The best thing for me about the Undead race in Dragon Dice is the huge amount of SAIs that are exclusive to this race and which are also rather interesting. It was whilst investigating these lesser known icons that I discovered this chap, and I have been using him regularly ever since.
Now that I have managed to work out that the icon for this die is Death carrying a scythe, I thought that it would be a good idea to do a feature about my new discovery – Minor Death.
This die is a monster (4 health) from the Undead race and, as such is a D10 containing a mixture of interesting effects along with some of the normal action icons. The faces of this die are :-
- Face 1 – 4 x IDs
- Face 2 – Slay
- Face 3 – 4 x Saves
- Face 4 – Plague
- Face 5 – 4 x Melee
- Face 6 – 4 x Saves
- Face 7 – Slay
- Face 8 – 4 x Manoeuvre
- Face 9 – Plague
- Face 10 – 4 x Melee
Needless to say, it is not the excitingly high expected values for any particular normal action that makes this die useful having, but it does have a little bit of melee and saving ability and also a more than basic manoeuvre, which is uncommon in this race.
The thing that makes this die one to consider is the 4 ‘Special’ faces each having 20% chance of appearing, so 40% of the time, you will get something a little bit different.
The Slay SAI
Question – What do all the following have in common?
- Eldarim Shield Bearers
- Eldarim Champions
- Dragonkin Champions
- Any Swamp Stalker Cavalry unit in a Swampland Terrain
Answer – They are all very difficult to kill using normal action icons, as they are all loaded with saves either as a Unit, or as part of an army.
The Slay SAI, gets around all of this as it kills any unit of any health unless it rolls its ID icon. The number of saves that the target unit has makes no difference. More to the point, the owner of the die gets to target which unit is being attacked and, as a monster has only a 10% of rolling its ID, as opposed to 16.67% chance for the six-sided dice, they are actually easier to kill than the lesser units in the army!
Because of this SAI, it means that it fits well inside a non-melee army closing in on the 8th face where the terrain is showing melee. This unit on its own can do a nasty bit of damage on a counter attack, and should therefore be a strong deterrent from melee attack.
The Plague SAI
Those who know me know that I am a great lover of units with Bullseye and Rend icons, as they both generate a re-roll indefinitely until they are no longer rolled. I appreciate that the statistics behind this do not present a great chance of generating a really big score but, none the less, it is actually possible to do so – a 36 point army of Amazons at a terrain can be wiped out by a single Sharpshooter, albeit highly unlikely.
This is one of the reasons that I like the Plague SAI. This is how it works:-
This icon is rolled during a melee and you chose a unit to roll for a save. Nothing exciting there you say, I just select a die that has the least save faces on it, giving it less chance of surviving.
That is true, and that is what you do, obviously, but this is where the fun bit starts.
If the targeted unit saves, then that is the end to it but, if it fails to save, then your opponent, who’s units are being attacked, has the great pleasure of selecting the next unit in the army to be attacked by the plague. If this is killed, they select another, and so on until one of the units in the army successfully makes a save roll, stopping the chain reaction.
This creates little dilemmas for your opponent, such as “This Dragonkin Champion has 5/6 chance of survival but, if he doesn’t make it, I lose a valuable unit”.
The chance of success of killing the first one obviously depends on how many save faces the target unit has, and what type of terrain it is on. I have therefore created a table showing all possibilities for all races common, uncommon and rare dice. The table also shows how many units you could expect to lose in addition to this from a random army of any race.
The ‘Expected Dice Loss’ column shows the expected number of dice that you would expect to lose from an army of this race with no monsters, items, foreign races etc. The ‘Expected Health Loss’ is the amount of health you would expect to lose for that race taking into account the different vulnerabilities of the different health of dice making up the army.
If this is not interesting enough, the Save Probability percentage is the best indicator that I have seen yet as a measure to the fragility of each race. The Coral Elf figures, for example show the great importance of the Coastal Dodge racial ability to them.