Saturday, 5 April 2014

Critical Mastery

Figure 1: Sho smacks down Faust Orbatos?
This Innate Ability is a nice and simple one to explain to anyone who has not played the game; Critical Mastery effectively doubles the chance of achieving a Critical Hit (which Empire can improve further with the Combat Mastery Organizational Advantage).

A model scoring a Critical Hit hits even if the target Dodges successfully, and inflicts a minimum of 1 Life Point of Damage regardless of Armor. So for a unit like Ignis, Fire Demon for example, this particularly offsets the Summon's low Attack value.

Now comes a quick lesson! Anima Tactics allows a little degree of manipulation of probabilities through buffs to Attributes such as Attack, but more importantly through use of Gnosis. Players have a small pool of Gnosis to use each Turn. A Gnosis die adds an extra die to a roll, choosing the best result. Alongside Critical Mastery and using a Gnosis die means a 36% chance of a Critical Hit. For Empire Parties using Combat Mastery, that probability rises to 51%. So even the most well-defended (through high Defense and/or Armor plus Dodging) target can be hit with a strong degree of confidence in those circumstances!
Figure 1: Sho is Attacking Faust Orbatos, and Sho's Party is benefiting from Combat Mastery; Faust has not yet Activated, and so has enough AP to Dodge. Sho knows Faust may Dodge, and that his target has very good Armor, so he decides to use Gnosis (Attacker declares first before the target declares use of Dodge and any Gnosis).
If Faust does not Dodge, Sho has a 64% chance of hitting, a 51% chance of causing a Critical Hit, and a 19% chance of causing his maximum Damage in this situation which would be 6 Life Points. Perhaps more importantly, it pressures Faust to either Dodge (using a precious AP) or risk a good chance of taking some Damage.


  1. Thats a lot of maths! It does sound like a fun game if you can get your head around all the buffs and stuff. Do tactics against forces become quite predictable though after a while?

    1. Too early for me to say about predictability, but I like to regularly mix things up. The rules lean towards Organization Parties, and each Organization has around 20 units to choose from, with differing Leader options, so objectively there are tons of ways to build lists which will have strengths and weaknesses. Some units are trickier to use than others (I have yet to get the best out of Lostaroth Marchosias - one of my favourite units!).

      The probability thing is a simple application of weighing using 1 die vs two. What i like is that Dodging an Attack will often mean the unit Dodging cannot then us one of their 'big hit' Actions, so the trade-off is defending at the risk of being damaged vs. wanting to use a devastating attack of your own; so weighing up risk-reward which is something I really like in games.

    2. That is a nice feature then. I was curious as to whether an certain attack would be sort of seen a mile off judging by what buffs where being played and stuff. But it sounds like there a lot of choice which is a good thing.

    3. Hopefully I can introduce you to the game soon to give it a try. :)


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