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Mathhammer: Board roll off math over 139 games

Updated: Jun 8

WiggleFish here, talking about the board roll off. Is it important? Does winning the board roll twice in a row make you more likely to win matches? Are some board roll offs more important than others? These are all things we will try to explore.

The data we will be looking at is all from the recent online tournament run by Jimmy, and he had the great idea to collect some additional data along with the normal glory and win/loss info. Without this data, we would only be able to guess at the above questions, so many thanks to him for making the extra effort. He collected the following from each player for each game:

  • Who won the board roll off

  • Who got 3 Objectives

  • Who got board placement


The event had 30 initial participants, 58 matches, and 139 games that ended in a win or a loss (draws are weird for this data, so I've ignored the couple that happened). The format of the event was the typical best of three championship format, in the current "post Wurmspat/Mantrappers" meta. It ran 4 rounds, then cut to the top two for the final match to determine a winner.


For reference, here are the overall stats from the event:

Here is the "Path to Glory" chart showing the number of players left undefeated after each round.


Congrats to the winner and those that did well at the event (I came in 10th wooooo)! There is some interesting performance data here, but that isn't really the purpose of this article, and we'll be sure to add this data into any of the the other data we get for this "quarter" in our other data articles. The focus for this article will be the board roll off/placement info.


Before we start I do think it worth noting that this is not the biggest sample size, but it’s the biggest sample we have, and I do think it is large enough to at least point us in the right direction. If anyone runs anymore events and wants to collect similar data, feel free to reach out to me and we can start adding to these numbers. It’s also definitely worth mentioning that the board roll off is just one part of the game, and things like player skill, match-up favor, dice luck, and card draw luck can and will also have large effects on game results, so this is just a small look at once piece of the puzzle. This is also just my interpretation of the data, based on some conversations with Jimmy and the conversations we had with Aman on the most recent episode of the Path to Glory Podcast. If you think I've missed something, or have some additional connections I might have missed I would love to hear it. With that and any other disclaimers you feel like applying to the accuracy of this data, let's dive in.


The Board Roll Off and Game Wins

The simplest question that can probably be asked about the board roll off is “Do you even want to win the board roll off?” Because the winner of the board roll off in Beastgrave gets to choose who gets to have 3 objectives and who gets to set the boards up (compared to seasons 1 and 2, or the current WUOnline version where the “winner” always gets 3 objectives), you would think the answer to this is always yes, because it gives you more control over the game you are about the have. In most situations, there is probably an optimal choice for each player to have, and being able to choose the board set-up that is the most optimal should give you an advantage. Lets look at some of the data from the event on this question:

  • Of the 139 games that ended in a win or a loss (there were some game draws in the event that we have ignored), the win rate for the player who won the board roll off was: 50.36% (70/139)


Board Roll off and Board Set Up data by Warband

Here are some examples from the warbands with at least 19 matches in this data:

The Gymwatch:

  • Players: 2

  • Matches Played: 8

  • Match Win Rate: 37.50% (3/4/1)

  • Games played: 20 (4 or 50% of matches went to game 3)

  • Games won: 10 (50% game win rate)

  • Board roll offs won: 10 (50% roll off win rate)

  • Games where they won the board roll off and won the game: 8 (80% of total wins)

  • Games where they lost of the board roll off and lost the game: 8 (80% of total losses)

  • Game win rate when they won the board roll off: 80%

  • Game win rate when they lost the board roll off: 20%

  • Games with 3 objectives: 13

  • Games with board placement 7

  • Wins with 3 objectives: 7 (70% of total wins)

  • Wins with board placement: 3 (30% of total wins)

  • Game win rate with 3 objectives: 53%

  • Game win rate with board placement: 42%


The Grymwatch numbers are interesting because they happen to be very symmetrical, and they won and lost the board roll the same number of times. The numbers for the board roll off seem to indicate that The Grymwatch warband REALLY wants to win the board roll off, and doing so allows it to pick the board option (3 objectives or board placement, depending on the match up) that they need. They also seemed to slightly prefer having 3 objectives, but their win rate when they placed boards is still not terrible (42%), so I would guess that this has more to do with each option being better depending on the match-up than the warband’s inherent reliance on 3 objectives vs placing boards. Given how the warband works, with a big reliance on inspiring early and being able to reach 3 objectives when it needs to, I think this makes a lot of sense.

Zarbag’s Gitz:

  • Players: 2

  • Matches Played: 8

  • Match Win Rate: 50% (4/4/0)

  • Games played: 21 (5 or 62.5% of matches went to game 3)

  • Games won: 10 (47.62% game win rate)

  • Board roll offs won: 16 (76% roll off win rate)

  • Games where they won the board roll off and won the game: 8 (80% of total wins)

  • Games where they lost of the board roll off and lost the game: 3 (27% of total losses)

  • Game win rate when they won the board roll off: 50%

  • Game win rate when they lost the board roll off: 40%

  • Games with 3 objectives: 18

  • Games with board placement: 3

  • Wins with 3 objectives: 9 (90% of total wins)

  • Wins with board placement: 1 (10% of total wins)

  • Game win rate with 3 objectives: 50%

  • Game win rate with board placement: 33%


The Gitz players had a very high rate of winning the board roll off at 76%. Since who wins the board roll off is completely random, This just means that the Gitz players got lucky to win it so many times. Some of the other numbers like overall win-rate, and the percentage of their wins that happened when they won the board roll off are very similar to The Grymwatch, but their win rate when they win boards is much lower at 50%. Although it is hard to say given the sample size of two players, this data seems to indicate that Gitz do not gain as much as Grymwatch do by winning the board roll off, or lose quite as much from losing the board roll off. What is clear about Gitz is that Gitz players do seem to think they want 3 objectives more often than not, as they picked that most of the time they won. This makes sense due to their liking of cards like supremacy, but it’s hard to say if they are correct in that assessment with only a 50% win rate. It would be nice to see more data come in on their win rate when they place boards, as only 3 games is not much to go off. It’s also interesting to think about what Gitz and The Grymwatch numbers would look like if the number of times they won the board roll off was reversed. If The Grymwatch’s 80%/20% win rate when they won/lost the board roll off persisted, they would have won 13 games and had a 65% game win rate.

Spiteclaw’s Swarm:

  • Players: 3

  • Matches Played: 12

  • Match Win Rate: 25% (3/8/1)

  • Games played: 29 (5 or 41% of matches went to game 3)

  • Games won: 12 (41.38% game win rate)

  • Board roll offs won: 12 (41% roll off win rate)

  • Games where they won the board roll off and won the game: 8 (66% of total wins)

  • Games where they lost of the board roll off and lost the game: 12 (70% of total losses)

  • Game win rate when they won the board roll off: 66%

  • Game win rate when they lost the board roll off: 29%

  • Games with 3 objectives: 14

  • Games with board placement: 15

  • Wins with 3 objectives: 2 (16% of total wins)

  • Wins with board placement: 10 (83% of total wins)

  • Game win rate with 3 objectives: 14%

  • Game win rate with board placement: 66%


Spiteclaw’s Swarm seem to have a reliance on winning the board roll off, and also seem to prefer placing the boards to having 3 objectives, perhaps due to their speed and rez abilities allowing them to control the board better than most, and their low durability preferring some distance between them and the enemy. Having played an objective focused version of Spiteclaw’s Swarm in the event myself, I definitely prefer having the board placement because I knew I would likely be able to reach the objectives wherever they were, and preferred to control the way the battlefield was set up.

Lady Harrow:

  • Players: 3

  • Matches Played: 12

  • Match Win Rate: 33% (4/7/1)

  • Games played: 28 (4 or 33% of matches went to game 3)

  • Games won: 12 (42% game win rate)

  • Board roll offs won: 15 (53% roll off win rate)

  • Games where they won the board roll off and won the game: 6 (50% of total wins)

  • Games where they lost of the board roll off and lost the game: 6 (37% of total losses)

  • Game win rate when they won the board roll off: 40%

  • Game win rate when they lost the board roll off: 53%

  • Games with 3 objectives: 10

  • Games with board placement: 18

  • Wins with 3 objectives: 3 (25% of total wins)

  • Wins with board placement: 9 (75% of total wins)

  • Game win rate with 3 objectives: 30%

  • Game win rate with board placement: 50%


Harrows had slightly above average luck when it came to winning the board roll off, but actually tended to lose more of those games than they won with a 40% win rate in the games where they won the board roll off, and 53% when they lost it. It doesn’t seem very likely that Harrows gains some advantage when they lose boards, but it may indicate that the Harrows players made sub optimal choices when they did win boards, or just that other more important things happened (such as match-up, player skill, or luck imbalances) during enough of those games to negate any advantage they do have when they did win the board roll off. Harrows players do seem to prefer to place the boards over having 3 objectives, though it’s hard to say with only 3 games with 3 objectives, and only an average win rate of 50% when they do get to place them.

Hrothgorn’s Mantrappers:

  • Players: 7

  • Matches Played: 30

  • Match Win Rate: 56% (17/12/1)

  • Games played: 74 (18 or 60% of matches went to game 3)

  • Games won: 40 (54% game win rate)

  • Board roll offs won: 33 (44% roll off win rate)

  • Games where they won the board roll off and won the game: 15 (37% of total wins)

  • Games where they lost of the board roll off and lost the game: 19 (55% of total losses)

  • Game win rate when they won the board roll off: 45%

  • Game win rate when they lost the board roll off: 53%

  • Games with 3 objectives: 38

  • Games with board placement 36

  • Wins with 3 objectives: 24 (60% of total wins)

  • Wins with board placement: 16 (40% of total wins)

  • Game win rate with 3 objectives: 63%

  • Game win rate with board placement: 44%


The Mantrapper numbers are interesting because they are also fairly strange. The 7 mantrapper players won the board roll off only 44% of the time, and had a better win rate when they lost the board roll off than when they won it (53% vs 45%). To me, this likely indicates that Mantrappers rely very little on the board roll off due to the nature of how the warband works, with Hrothgorn doing most of the heavy lifting, and the other fighters mostly staying back, perhaps making it less important how the boards are set up since Hrothgorn should have a decent starting point no matter what. It is also curious that the Mantrapper players had better win rates when they had 3 objectives than when they got place boards (63% vs 44%). Again this may be due to the common way to play the warband involving objective removal, meaning that if the opponent cares about objectives, they not only have to travel farther to reach the objectives, but the Hrothgorn player also has easier access to removing them.

The Wurmspat:

  • Players: 2

  • Matches Played: 8

  • Match Win Rate: 75% (6/2/1)

  • Games played: 19 (3 or 37% of matches went to game 3)

  • Games won: 14 (73% game win rate)

  • Board roll offs won: 8 (42% roll off win rate)

  • Games where they won the board roll off and won the game: 5 (35% of total wins)

  • Games where they lost of the board roll off and lost the game: 2 (40% of total losses)

  • Game win rate when they won the board roll off: 64.5%

  • Game win rate when they lost the board roll off: 81%

  • Games with 3 objectives: 11

  • Games with board placement: 8

  • Wins with 3 objectives: 8 (57% of total wins)

  • Wins with board placement: 6 (43% of total wins)

  • Game win rate with 3 objectives: 72%

  • Game win rate with board placement: 75%


The Wurmspat numbers are the smallest sample size I have included, and may be thrown off slightly by the excellent performance of both players. More than any of the other warbands, I think the skill+luck+matchup part of the equation likely overshadows the board roll off influence. Allowing for that, though, it does seem like the Wurmspat may just not care very much if they have 3 objectives or board placement, and may therefore not mind too much if they win the board roll off or not (though I still think it can't hurt to win it).

Rippas Snarlfangs:

  • Players: 3

  • Matches Played: 9 (1 player dropped after the first round)

  • Match Win Rate: 55% (5/4/0)

  • Games played: 20 (2 or 22% of matches went to game 3)

  • Games won: 9 (45% game win rate)

  • Board roll offs won: 8 (40% roll off win rate)

  • Games where they won the board roll off and won the game: 5 (55% of total wins)

  • Games where they lost of the board roll off and lost the game: 6 (54% of total losses)

  • Game win rate when they won the board roll off: 62%

  • Game win rate when they lost the board roll off: 50%

  • Games with 3 objectives: 13

  • Games with board placement: 7

  • Wins with 3 objectives: 7 (% of total wins)

  • Wins with board placement: 2 (% of total wins)

  • Game win rate with 3 objectives: 53%

  • Game win rate with board placement: 28%


Rippa’s Snarlfangs did slightly better when they won the board roll off, and did significantly better when they had 3 objectives compared to when they got to place boards. This may be due to their speed allowing them to make up for the disadvantage of the boards being set up certain ways, or by having an advantage when the other player has to come to them if they want to hold their objectives. More data on this would be interesting. I suspect that in general, this warband doesn’t rely on either the board roll off or the 3 objectives vs board placement, and it has more to do with the match-up and other factors.


If you'd like to see all the roll off / board placement data for all the warbands at the event in one place, you can see it here in a somewhat chaotic format:


Board Roll Off data by Round and Match Type


In addition to the faction data, there are some other interesting overall numbers that can be looked at.


Board Roll off and Wins per game:


We already mentioned that the overall win rate when players won the board roll off was 50.36%, but let's break that down by game number:


  • Game one: 39.66%

  • Game two: 53.45%

  • Game three: 60.00%


Interestingly, the players that won the board roll off in the first round of each match tended to lose more often than win. I think this number is interesting because it may indicate that the advantage gained from winning the board roll off is mitigated in some way by the possibility of making the wrong choice when you do win that roll and/or the possibility of giving the other player information when you do make that choice. I find it hard to believe that this number would not get slightly higher as data comes in because it seems unlikely that winning the first board roll off could truly be a bad thing itself, but it’s interesting to see that it clearly was not a dominating factor.


I do not think it is any surprise that as the rounds progressed, the win rate of the player that won the board roll off increased.


In the second round of a game, players should understand what their opponent is trying to do, and deciding the board roll off should be advantageous.


In the third round, this is even more true, and because each player has taken a game, it may also be the case that the board roll is even more important if factors like match-up favor and player skill are more similar.


2 Game Match Data:


  • Total Matches: 57

  • Matches that only had 2 games: 32 (56% of all matches)


Matches that only went to 2 games are interesting because they mean that one player won both games and the match had a score of 2-0. Presumably, this indicates that there was a disparity of some kind, be it match-up favor, skill, luck, or perhaps the board roll off that resulted in the match going completely to one player. It’s very hard to track skill, luck, and match-up favor, but we were able to track the board roll off info:


  • 2 game matches were one player won the board roll off twice: 17 (53% of all 2 game matches)

  • 2 game matches where the above player won the match: 7 (41.18% of above)

  • 2 game matches where the above player lost the match: 10 (58.82% of above 17 matches where one player won the board roll off twice)

  • 2 game matches where each player won the board roll off once: 15 (45% of 2 game matches)

  • Above matches when the winner of the board roll off in game 2 won the match: 11 (73% of above)


These numbers seem to indicate that in general, winning the board roll off twice in a row did not seem to have a large effect on winning the match 2-0. It’s very possible that this varies in certain match-ups, but I think it may also indicate that most 2-0 matches have more to do with other factors like skill and match-up favor than just winning the board roll off twice in a row.


They do also seem to indicate, however, that when both players win the board roll off in the first two games, more 2-0s seem to happen when the winning player wins the second roll off rather than the first. This is enforced by the below:


  • 3 game matches where each player won the board roll off once: 10

  • Above where each player won the game they won the board roll off in: 6

  • Above where each player lost the game they won the board roll off: 4


This means in the 25 matches where each player won the board roll off once in the first two games, 17 out of 25 (68%) game 1s were won by the board roll off loser, and then 11 of those 17 (64%) players went on to win the second game as well, this time also having the advantage of having won the board roll off.


If a match does go to game 3, it seems clear that you want to win that roll off, since other factors may be closer:


  • Matches that went to game 3: 25 (43% of all matches)

  • Game 3s where the board roll off winner won the game: 15 (60% of 3 game matches)


Conclusion:


So did we learn anything?


Maybe some of the following things we can be a bit more sure of:

  • Some warbands really want to win the board roll off, others seem to care a lot less.

  • Winning or losing the roll off twice in the first two games seems to be less important than you might think it is compared to other factors like luck, skill, and match-ups, mostly because winning the roll off in the first game doesn’t seem to give a lot of advantage in most matches in and of itself.

  • As a best of three match continues, winning the board roll off becomes more and more important, especially once you get to game 3.


Thanks for reading! If you liked this article, great! If you notice I missed something, or made any mistakes, let me know in the comments!


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