My 2 Carls on the 2+ Re-Rollable

Adam from WAAGH Drill Teef is here to discuss his view on the 2+ reroll saves in the game today. Check him out at his blog, WAAGH Drill Teef for more information!

Warning! Competitive gaming topic alert!  Hehe.

There have been a great many ideas posed for dealing with some of the issues with Deathstars in 40k right now.  One of the main culprits of this is the re-rollable save.  This isn’t everything that’s difficult about competitive playe right now, but it’s a big part of it.

As an Ork player, I find the concept of getting rid of Battle Brothers to be rather compelling.  I know that a lot of folks don’t like the concecpt of changing the rules of the game so fundamentally, though, and it really does kind of take something away from the game.  I do like the idea of being able to add some HQs to units and help out with psychic powers.

As a thought experiment, let’s go the other way and imagine if every army were Battle Brothers instead. What would happen? Well, every army could have a 2+ re-rollable of some variety. Almost every army, no matter the flavor, at the competitive level could be the same. How boring is that? Well, it’s the same thing we have now except only a handful of armies get to do it.

I think, in the interest of a diverse field of battle, banning Battle Brothers may really the path of least resistance. Having said that, I really think it would make Daemons extremely popular, more so than they are now.

It also doesn’t actually solve the core problem and it reduces player choice, which I do not like doing. People need to be compelled to make whatever fun and fluffy allies choice they want at a tournament and feel good about this choice.


The difficult part is that the real issue lies in the fact that a re-roll to saves is inherently broken by it’s very nature. A re-roll on saves is better when you have a better save to begin with. It’s an exponential bonus. This makes it an EXTREMELY volatile rule fraught with the danger for abuse. I don’t believe the game designers really thought it through. I think they assumed it’d be like re-rolling to-hits. That’s not the case. Hitting all the time is nowhere near as powerful or important as saving all the time.

The only real and true way to fix re-rolls on saves is to completely alter how it works on a fundamental level and I’m not sure any T.O. (myself included, even as small-time and local as I am) has the balls to do that.

What about this?

Re-Roll to Saves: Sometimes a special rule grants a unit a re-roll to its saving throw(s). For the purposes of this tournament, instead of re-rolling, improve the save by 2. If the save improves beyond a 2+, consult the chart below.1+        If a “1” is rolled, re-roll and save on a 6+.

0+        If a “1” is rolled, re-roll and save on a 5+.

This would make the rule linear instead of exponential. It would still improve 5+ saves to 3+ saves, which is good, but 2+ would be a 2+/5+ which is exactly the same as Draigowing used to be with feel no pain and that was completely managable with weight of fire.

I’d be very interested to hear everyone’s thoughts on this.



About Reecius

The fearless leader of the intrepid group of gamers gone retailers at Frontline Gaming!

33 Responses to “My 2 Carls on the 2+ Re-Rollable”

  1. anonymou5 March 16, 2014 12:33 am

    How would you handle Daemons of Tzeentch? Get’s fairly complicated there.

    Pink Horror in the open, 5++ rerolling 1s
    Pink Horror in ruins, 4+ rerolling 1s
    Pink Horror going to ground in area terrain, 3+ rerolling 1s

    Daemon Prince in the open, 3+ armor rerolling 1s and a 5++ rerolling 1s
    Daemon Prince with Invis in cover, 3+ armor rerolling 1s, 2+ cover rerolling 1s, and a 5++ rerolling 1s

    Fairly complicated and completely variable depending on a ton of factors.

    • Gordon March 16, 2014 8:58 am

      Rerolling 1’s is only a problem when they get a 2++ from somewhere. Even reroll 1’s on a 3+ is much weaker than a straight 3+ reroll. I’d just let it work the way it does, with the exception of on a 2+ save, where it becomes a rerollable 2+ as defined by the chart.

  2. jy2
    jy2 March 16, 2014 6:39 am

    I like the 2+/4+ method:

    2+ – > 1/6 failed saves

    Re-rollable 3+ -> 1/9 failed saves

    Re-rollable 2+/6+ -> 5/36 failed saves

    Re-rollable 2+/5+ -> 1/9 failed saves

    Re-rollable 2+/4+ -> 1/12 failed saves

    Re-rollable 2+/2+ – > 1/36 failed saves

    Currently, a re-rollable 3+ is even better than a 2+/6+ and equal to a 2+/5+. 2+/4+ makes it slightly better than a re-rollable 3+ but nowhere nearly as broken as the 2+/2+.

  3. xTHExCLINCHERx March 16, 2014 7:00 am

    I like the idea of a linear approach; seems to be similar to having a BS above 5 where if you roll a 1, you get to re-roll but at a 6+ or something.

    Seems worth trying to me. The real question is, would that make the armies that do this worth taking still? Probably.. I don’t play them so I don’t know.

    As for the examples of re-rolling ones when you don’t already have a 2+ I think it’s fine because you are essentially getting to a 2+ single roll which is fair. Other than that, regardless of the situation that puts you at a 2+ before the re-roll (going to ground, etc) you would just follow the aforementioned re-roll 2+ plan.

  4. Adam March 16, 2014 8:44 am

    Anonymous5 is right about the re-rolling 1s. The re-rolling 1s SHOULD be treated differently from just an overall re-roll, though I’m not certain how. It’s certainly far too powerful for a model with a 2+ save, though giving it a +1 linear bonus would make it too strong compared to a +2 linear bonus for an overall re-roll. +3 for a re-roll and +1 for a re-roll of a specific number or less might be reasonable for the points costs involved.

    jy2, I agree that the 2+/4+ does create an even spread of probability, however I believe it is re-rolled saves in general which are broken. Those ratios of saving are way off for how easy it is to get a re-roll to saves. If people paid exponentially more in points to get those kinds of ratios, it’d be one thing, but they don’t.

    • Adam March 16, 2014 8:46 am

      Though that does stack up to getting a 2+/4+ if you start off with a 2+ and get a generalised re-roll. However, that would only be a 2+/6+ if you have a re-roll of 1s. I think that helps a bit.

  5. RyanL March 16, 2014 9:06 am

    Would banning Fortune and Grimoire solve all 2+ rerollable save stars? Other solutions seem to try to address the symptom not the cause, which often has the side effect of harming otherwise reasonable units.

    I’d also change Hit and run so that the whole unit needs the rule to use it… but that’s off-topic for this discussion.

    • Reecius
      Reecius March 16, 2014 10:59 am

      Unfortunately, no. There are a lot of ways to get a 2+ reroll save.

  6. edwin March 16, 2014 9:45 am

    I have an idea. Clean and simple. Failed saving throws of 1 cannot be rerolled if you have a 2+ save

  7. Oadius March 16, 2014 10:03 am

    Reece said that even the 2+/4+ is just a gesture to make an opponent feel like he has a chance. It’s not good math even at 2/4. If 40k 6.5 or 7.0 fixes all this then we are just releasing hot air, if not then let’s just nerf the shit out of it and be done with it. “Half Gestures” don’t really cut it with this crowd.

    How about:

    “Any unit with a re-rollable armor, cover or invulnerable save gains the Feel No Pain USR instead, for the purpose of balanced play”

    Now that would mean in some instances there would be no “re-roll” AKA Feel no Pain(for these purposes) since double toughness, force weapons and other instant death stuff would negate it.

    I don’t know…. I’m just throwing that out there.

    I thought the part about the draigowing being manageable with “weight of fire” was compelling.

    Seriously though, how many people are going to write about this subject? I’m not trying to be disrespectful, but it seems everyone has their own twist.

    Everyone has drawn a line in the sand and implied that to play ultra competitively is unbalanced and therefore unacceptable. I don’t get this concept at all. Ever heard the phrase:

    “life is not fair.”

    What can the Jamaican Hockey Team do to “balance” the game against an entity such as CANADA? Why would it be fair to cripple Canada in an attempt to bring Jamaica to the sport of Hockey?

    Why does everyone need to win? What is that entitlement that people feel, it’s foreign to me.

    I would rather allow someone like Alex F, JY2, Reece or Warmaster Doug to play their very best game with the very best units and EARN a victory. If this took more money, time and effort than was “comfortable” for me then that’s just the way it is. The hotter the battle the sweeter the victory.

    Can’t everyone bring a seer council or screamerstar to a tournament? If they can then it boils down to the fact that it’s not “fun” for people to bring the most competitive armies and play at that level. It sounds like you have a problem with pressure and competition, not some rules that GW came out with….

    Even if we all DID bring screamerstars and seer councils, I’d bet you the same group of people would keep winning… Those people are dedicated and / or more gifted than the rest and that’s the bottom line. Cream rises to the top.

    For those of you who may not be “cream”(myself included), I’d reassure you with the fact that it is “just a game”.

  8. Oadius March 16, 2014 10:21 am

    How absurd a concept would it be to apply to painting competitions? There are men here in Reno that have won multiple Golden Demon, Silver Demon and Crystal Brush awards. I would NEVER DARE TO INSULT THEM by thinking a painting competition should be fair and balanced against them. Someone who was born gifted and then practiced at it their WHOLE LIFE is bound to win more if not all competitions he enters into. Why is that bad? Don’t we hold competitions to elevate the best of us? What is this envy that people pen up and never admit to? Let it go.

    If the only thing that can transcend the obvious and nearly insurmountable odds you face is an extrodinary effort then you better get to work.

  9. Adam March 16, 2014 10:32 am

    This isn’t a question of unreasonable entitlement. Equating the 2+/2+ issue to a painting competition between someone who’s good at painting and someone who isn’t is a false argument.

    It’s more like telling someone they have to beat someone at a painting competition and the person who’s good at painting gets to use a brush and you have to use your finger.

  10. Oadius March 16, 2014 1:50 pm

    Your argument IS false. Everyone can bring the same model, paint it with the same brush and paints. The same way everyone can play a screamer star or seer council. It’s not entitlement to want to win without using the best tools? If the results of a painting contest are typically predictable then why should a 40k tourney be any different?

  11. Bassface7 March 16, 2014 1:59 pm

    If it were me i’d ban re-rollable saves of any kind. I can’t see any way in which that would be game-breaking (we’d have to remove fortune obviously) It’s just too abusable. What difference would no rerollable saves really have to gameplay other than killing stars?

    • anonymou5 March 16, 2014 2:18 pm

      It would screw Daemons of Tzeentch, who have a rerollable save built into their points cost. You would need to have an exception for them.

  12. Oadius March 16, 2014 2:03 pm

    Part of wanting to be the best means bringing the best tool or weapon for the job. If it wasn’t a 2+/2+, it would be something else relative to the meta(in that environment). I maintain that regardless, the same people will be at the top. I’ve seen it year after year. Something will always be unfair or unbalanced for those that weren’t meant to win in the first place. Natural selection can be perceived as cruel from a certain context, but its not.

  13. Bassface7 March 16, 2014 2:22 pm

    I’d call one group of units breaking acceptable losses if it brought some balance back to the game system. Sorry daemon players!

    • anonymou5 March 16, 2014 3:01 pm

      Well it’s a good thing you’re not a TO. You’d rather screw a codex to fix a problem than come up with a simple exception. Crazyness.

      Banning reroll saves wouldn’t balance the game anyway, we’d just go back to Tau and Eldar gunlines being dominant. Which was worse than deathstars, lol.

      • Bassface7 March 16, 2014 11:34 pm

        Gunlines of all stripes are much, much easier to deal with than invincible deathstars.

        And so as a TO i make an exception for daemons… and suddenly 1/3 of entrants are running a Screamerstar, all the while the rest of the players complain about how their 2+ has been nerfed and daemons haven’t.

        • anonymou5 March 17, 2014 1:55 pm

          I wasn’t talking about Screamerstar. You said ban “rerollable saves of any kind” Which hurts Horrors, Screamers (in their normal role), DPs of Tzeentch, etc. Those units pay for their reroll in their points cost. You could institute your change without screwing Daemons with the following line

          “units from codex Chaos Daemons may reroll their saves unless their save has been increased to a 2+ by any means” That way a Horror going to ground in area terrain still gets a 3 up save, rerolling 1s, but if you cast Invis on that same Horror he gets a 2+ with no reroll (which is better than the 3/1 combo). This also nerfs the Screamerstar and meets your intent without ruining a bunch of good, but not great, units.

  14. Wakkawakka March 16, 2014 2:33 pm

    I find that the fateweaver combo is not to bad to deal with a certain it has a 1/3 chance of failing. How about this simple change to fortune that will stop much of this shenanigans, “fortune can only affect units from codex eldar.” Boom.

    • anonymou5 March 16, 2014 3:02 pm

      I wasn’t even talking about invincible Fateweaver (which is 8/9 success, assuming you use your reroll for Grim), but just regular Daemons of Tzeentch. Without the reroll 1s, there is no reason to use Horrors or Screamers, which are some of the stars of that book.

  15. Beefnerd March 16, 2014 11:12 pm

    As a player who has done the 2+/2+ it is broken, but I feel like a 2+/4+ diminishes the power of the armor or units you had to purchase to get to that point. Has anyone experimented with 2+/3+.

    • Reecius
      Reecius March 17, 2014 9:11 am

      Going from a 2+/2+ to a 2+/4+ is actually only about a 6% difference in durability. From a 97% chance of stopping a wound to a 92% chance. It is still stupid durable. While it is a threefold decrease in durability, it is still a country mile better than anything else in the game. Going from a 2+/2+ to a 2+/3+ is a negligible difference, almost pointless. From 1/36 to 1/18, or, 97% to 94.5%, it is not much of a change.

  16. Moridan March 17, 2014 3:19 am

    So along with changing the rules for armies that can put this together, are you going to recommend a point reduction as well? Only fair.

  17. Baal Viper March 17, 2014 6:51 am

    Do you really think that the game designers intended (and thus pointed appropriatly) the units needed to create a 2++ reroll? The general gaming community did not catch onto Screemer Counsil for months after the rellease and it was there the whole time. GW missed this in what ever they pass off as play testing. They never factored that into the points cost.

    Play an army that is not built around a game design gimmick please.

    Do people with a 2++ reroll army not just feel dirty inside when they bounce 35 of 36 wounds casued regardless of AP or cover? You should feel like a cheater when that happens. Where is your sense of fairness when you roll up to play a conventional army that at best has a 2+ followed by FNP which most of the time can be circumvented with AP and/or ingnore cover. How can you honestly say that is fair?

    Some would argue that “everyone can bring this army so its fair,” but what if you don’t like those armies or do not have the funds to run them? Are you just out of luck?

    Every army should have an equal chance to compete. Sadly GW has not created a set of codexes that allow this, but why are we as a community not atlest self regulating and avoiding these hyperbroken armies simply on principle? Never mind the talk of banning things. It amazes me that these people can bring such lists to the table and then go home and sleep at night

  18. Freeman March 17, 2014 4:17 pm

    When did screamer council last win a major GT? It hasn’t happened yet in the Uk. Beast packs are the real filth.

    • anonymou5 March 18, 2014 12:15 am

      Biggest tournament Screamerstar has won in the US (to my knowledge) was Dualcon. Which while run by great guys, was only 30 odd players. Screamerstar hasn’t done anything, it’s not a great build. People just love whining about it.

      And yeah Beaspacks are super good right now, of course they’re not really a rerollable 2++ unit, despite all the hand wringing about them. (a beastpack taking on the Baron is probably not a Beastpack that will be winning its game)

    • Baal Viper March 19, 2014 6:34 am

      People always love to measure the brokenness of an army based on “did it win a GT,” Many of these 2++ based armies are built around getting certain powers and then also getting them to go off. One bad game where they don’t get the powers you need and many of these lists end up losing a game and thus being effectively eliminated from the tournament (for the purpose of winning over all)

      That being said, the people who have the bad fortune (pun intended) of playing these lists when they get all the powers they need, have a very unfun game and usually take a beating in the process.

      These lists have a high probability of rolling the powers they need and at that point they have created a unit that is utterly broken based simply on the mathmatics behind how it’s saves function.

      Getting the powers you need to run the list and also always getting them to work when you need them to is pretty likely in one game, but over 5-8 games it’s a bit more iffy.

      Thus, it is a poor indicator of the armie’s brokenness to say “well it has not won any GT’s,” In the games that it functions properly (which is most of the time) it has to many strengths with not enough weaknesses to be considered fair and balanced when compared to other normal armies which are not blessed with a gimmick that can produce a hyper resiliant unit.

      You can run a broken unit and still not win. It does not change the fact that it is broken.

      I think it would be very easy and effective to simply make a blanket rule that you may never reroll saving throws and just have people reroll psycic powers that allow this (Precognition, Fortune). It’s just bad math to allow it in the game as it exponentially increases resilliance without exponentially increasing unit cost. I would make an exception for deamons becasue it is built into their points cost, but only allow them to reroll if using their standard, unmodified save.

      Another option would be to keep the reroll powers in play but create the caviot that it only applies to base saves, not modified/ buffed saves.

      That way everyone dies at a rate proportionate to their points cost and one single power (that you effectively pay 34 points for on a Farseer) does not increase the durability of a unit to 6 times what it normally would be.

  19. Dennis March 18, 2014 8:34 am

    All Math and Rules aside. And just using my experience from games I have played, this would be a very viable and balanced option!

    My question is, if the unit also has FNP will it then roll 3 dice if the first attempt on a rerollable 2++ failed? Just curious.

    But a very good concept!

  20. TinBane March 18, 2014 9:17 pm

    Distribution of saves (7+ being “none”):
    Fail Rate Distribution
    2+/2+ 2.65
    2+/3+ 5.69
    2+/4+ 8.25
    2+/5+ 10.79
    2+/6+ 13.41
    2+/7+ 16.73
    3+/3+ 11.36
    3+/4+ 17.1
    3+/5+ 22.64
    3+/6+ 27.64
    3+/7+ 33.82
    4+/4+ 26.03
    4+/5+ 33.28
    4+/6+ 41.64
    4+/7+ 49.45
    5+/5+ 43.22
    5+/6+ 55.91
    5+/7+ 66.26
    6+/6+ 69.44
    6+/7+ 83.78

    Using your table, it looks like a pretty fair system, although it may have unintended consequences. For instance, a seer council’s 4+/4+ save goes from 26.03% fail rate, to 16.73%. So for my money, I’d keep things as they are, and just limit 2+/2+ to 2+/4+ as you did at the LVO. It smooths out the bottom edge, without benefiting the top edge too much. FOr instance a 5+/5+ goes from 43.22 down to 33.82%. Further, rules like “reroll values of 1” don’t exactly fit your table, in cases other than 2+/2+, and even then that’s only if you put on an engineer’s (realists) hat, rather than a mathematicians (or rules pedants) hat 🙂

    • Reecius
      Reecius March 18, 2014 10:36 pm

      This post gives me a math boner!

  21. Lord Krungharr March 20, 2014 5:03 pm

    Straight up banning wargear and units is a ticket to less people attending competitive events, and perchance eliminating even more variety from the armies used. Will people use Orks and Blood Angels more if they can’t take a Jetseer Council with a 2++ rerollable? (which is WAAAAY nastier than a Screamer star BTW)
    Probably not, they’ll just be forced into armies that don’t use that tactic, like Tau and Wave Serpent spam and the Space Marine centurion thing.

    We still have a bunch of Codices to go and I think we’ll see a bunch of stuff come out that can help mitigate the 2++ fiascoes everyone’s all in a bunch about. Permitting a D weapon in each army, that would certainly go a long way! Of course that’s a whole other can o’ worms I suppose.

    I’m more of the mind that either reducing Battle Bros to just Allies of Convenience, or even just saying only Warlord Traits apply to Battle Bros (not psychic powers), would go a super long way to alleviating this problem without outright screwing over/pissing off a bunch of players.

    And FYI, the Grimoire doesn’t always work! I like to play my Khorne Daemons, and many times, at least once per game, my FleshHounds end up with a 6++, and on occasion no save at all due to the Warpstorm. SOOOO FICKLE!