This week’s Hammer of Math angrily looks at the impact of the changes to the Favoured of Khorne enhancements from the Q1 2024 Balance Dataslate.
While one would assume that the general plan of running forth and hacking your enemy with rage-fueled chainsaw tipped axes would be fairly simple and reliable, the core ability of the World Eaters is a curiously fickle set of rules. The Blessings of Khorne ability revolves around an 8D6 pool that is rolled at the start of every battle round. The contents of the pool determine what Blessings can be applied, with each Blessing applicable once per round and the player being able to use up to two Blessings per round. The bonuses range from using any double to add 2″ to the Move characteristic to using either a double 6 or triple 4+ to invoke Advance and charge. Angron also has his own ability, Reborn in Blood, which allows a player to use a triple 6 from the pool to put him into Reserves instead of being destroyed.
A lynchpin of the Berzerker Warband Detachment was the use of the Favoured of Khorne Enhancement to allow the player to re-roll the Blessings of Khorne roll. In what can only be described as an obvious ploy to make World Eaters players truly feel what it’s like to serve the Blood God, Games Workshop changed this Enhancement in the most recent dataslate so that it only works once per battle instead of once per battle round. As you can imagine this has a devastating effect on the probability of achieving some specific results, but it’s worth asking: Exactly how devastating?
Using the AnyDice script that I put together the last time we looked at Blessings of Khorne (thanks, past me!), we can calculate the probability of success for each outcome based on a few conditions. Those conditions are as follows:
- The baseline probability given a single Blessings of Khorne roll of 8D6.
- The probability given a re-roll of the entire pool via Favoured of Khorne.
- The probability given the re-rolls provided by Icons of Khorne placed near an objective marker.
- The combination of Icons of Khorne and Favoured of Khorne.
Rage-Fuelled Invigoration and Wrathful Devotion
As both of these Blessings rely on the presence of any double, and 8D6 are being rolled where there are only 6 possible outcomes, the probability of getting at least one double is always 100%.
The probability of getting a double 3+ was already 94.3%, which meant that the application of a re-roll practically guaranteed the result.
Getting a double 4+ or any triple started at a 97.1% chance, so once again the chances of getting this result on a re-roll was also nearly guaranteed.
Applying a re-roll increases the chances of a double 5+ or any triple from 92.7% to 99.5%, meaning that once again Favoured of Khorne would make not getting the desired outcome extremely unlikely.
Given the need for a melee-focused army to actually get in melee, the need to enable Advance and charge is pretty critical. The baseline roll of 59.4% was improved to 83.5% with a re-roll, making it roughly as effective as having three Icons of Khorne near objectives. This is where we start to see how devastating the change to Favoured of Khorne is, as a crucial ability of the army is reduced from effectively a 2+ to slightly less than a 3+ on a D6.
Reborn in Blood
This is the big one – while the others are likely to happen at least once, if not multiple times per game, World Eaters lists often depend on getting Angron back once per game when he’s killed early on. Being able to re-roll every turn and modify results with Icons made it much more likely he’d show back up on rounds 2, 3, or 4 (around 65%, in total).
The chances of bringing Angron back is only 13.5% without a re-roll, which is brutal given that even with the re-roll the chance of success only increased to 25.1%. In other words the chances of success without the re-roll are effectively cut in half. The effective result of this change is that, on average, Angron will return one round later than before. Before the change Angron had a 50% chance of returning in three rounds and with a single Icon of Khorne in range of an objective marker that threshold improved to two rounds. Assuming you save the re-roll for after Angron dies, he now has a 50% chance of returning in four rounds (or three with a single Icon of Khorne in range).
This makes stacking icons even more important, but at the same time, those odds aren’t high enough to rely on Angron coming back.
Homicidal Rage is Now Slightly More Justified
If you’re a World Eaters player, this sucks. As Mike Pestilens put it in the Balance Dataslate review, “You can’t give a faction a lottery system for their army rules and then get mad when players take the only way to add some reliability to it.” Warhammer 40k is full of probability-based army rules that force players to take obvious choices to improve reliability, and usually those armies end up on the bottom of the competitive pile. The fact that Games Workshop decided to apply a change which effectively delays a key mechanic by an entire round is inexplicable, and World Eater players have every right to be angrier than they might otherwise be.
Thanks for reading! If you have any questions or comments feel free to drop us a note in the Comments below or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. That’s also the best way to suggest topics for future articles. And if you want regular updates in your inbox, subscribe to our newsletter.