Hammer of Math: Brute Ragerz Weapon Options

This week’s Hammer of Math visits the Mortal Realms to answer fellow author Bair’s inquiry regarding the efficacy of Brute Ragerz weapons.

I wish I had more time for gaming. If I did, I might actually paint up the nearly 100 Necromunda weirdos lying around my office. I might get some actual games in. Or I might pick up Age of Sigmar, which remains incredibly appealing and consistently seems like the one damn game I should try out. Just look at the Orruk Warclans for example. They’re big. They’re scary. They have something called a Maw-Krusha? Or the Brute Ragerz, which as far as I can tell are what happens when an Orruk hears about a Fyreslayer and decides that what’s missing is a bigger piece of rusty metal.

Brute Ragerz. Credit: Rich Nutter

For this article, AoS guru Bair has asked me to look at the different weapons available to the Brute Ragerz and see if there were any obvious standouts. Ragerz have access to three weapons and a variety of bonuses.

  • The Chain-smasha gets 6 attacks at hit on a 4+, wound on a 4+, have -1 Rend, and deal 2 damage.
  • The Mighty Gore-hacka has 3 attacks at hit on a 3+, wound on a 3+, -2 Rend, and deal 2 damage.
  • The Brute Crusha gets 3 attacks that hit on a 4+, wound on a 4+, -1 Rend, and deal D3 damage. On a hit roll of 6 it deals 3 mortals and the attack sequence ends.

To look at the baseline output of these weapons, we can use the AnyDice program that I put together awhile ago and chart the damage output.

The results are pretty interesting. Against heavily armored targets, the Brute Crusha provides more average damage thanks to the high ceiling from the mortal wounds. The Gore-hacka is more effective than the others against targets with a 4+ or 5+ Save, while the Chain-smasha averages the most damage against unarmored targets. This means that the optimal weapon is heavily dependent on the distribution of targets you’re trying to kill, although the higher ceiling makes the Brute Crusha particularly appealing.

Zoggrok Anvil-smasha. Credit: Rich Nutter

Given the efficacy of the ability to inflict mortal wounds, it makes sense to examine the impact of Zoggrok Anvil-smasha and his Power of Da Green God ability, which grants a unit within 12″ the ability to deal a single mortal wound on a Hit roll of six. Since this ability doesn’t stack with the bonus from the Brute Crusha it naturally provides a boost to the other two weapons.

The bonus from Zoggrok flat-out makes the Chain-smasha better in every possible scenario, averaging more damage than the Gore-hacka or the Brute Crusha. The ceiling from the Chain-smasha is also higher than the Brute Crusha outside of when facing 2+ saves. These results show exactly how powerful Zoggrok can be when used on the right weapons.

Warchanter. Credit: Mike ‘Ellarr’ Chadderton

Another option is to include a Warchanter and use their Violent Fury ability to give a unit wholly within 15″ a +1 bonus to the Damage characteristic of their weapons. Because the Bone Crusha’s ability is a fixed amount of mortal wounds this ability can actually prove slightly deleterious depending on the target.

The results show that the bonus damage actually benefits the Gore-hacka the most, averaging more damage against everything outside of a lightly armored target where the Chain-smasha is more effective. Going from a Damage characteristic of 2 to 3 allowed the Gore-hacka to offset the reduced number of attacks through a better Hit, Wound, and Rend characteristic.

Wrapping Up

The results show that the optimal weapon to use on Brute Ragerz is heavily circumstantial. In the absence of any modifiers, the Brute Crusha is superior against heavily armored targets and the Chain-smasha is better against lighter foes. The Chain-smasha becomes superior when the unit is improved by Zoggrok Anvil-smasha, while the Gore-hacka is generally preferable when the unit is boosted by a Warchanter. When I first took a look at these numbers I assumed that the Chain-smasha would be preferable in every situation due to the high number of attacks, so it was a pleasant surprise to see that things were more complex than originally thought.

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