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Vegas Odds:
Blades / Claws / Fangs
(05/24/2010)
Goto Comments

HeroClix Vegas Odd Blades / Claws / FangsTo Blade / Claws / Fangs or not to Blade / Claws / Fangs... that is the question. Many people grapple with this problem every week in their local games, but there is an answer.

First is the easy solution: how's your luck? Typically players use raw emotion when deciding to use Blade / Claws / Fangs. How many times have we all heard "gosh, my die rolls suck today?" Logically this makes no sense since die rolls are random and independant of previous rolls. So "my rolls suck today" sounds silly, doesn't? Sure does.

However, after seeing countless games over the years, I can say without hesitation that those those players are probably right. I'm just simply amazed at players who consistently get bad rolls no matter whose dice they use. Those are the times I'd say, "Don't use Blades / Claws / Fangs, because you'll probably roll a one". Sad, but all too true. The only possible explanation is that the universe probably is scheming against you.

Statistically, however, there is a logical answer to the Should I use Blades / Claws / Fangs question. First, let's take a look at the power description from the Blackest Night PAC:

HeroClix Power Red

When this character is given a close combat action, you may roll a d6 after making a successful attack roll. The result replaces this character’s damage value, then that damage value is locked.

HeroClix SniktPretty straight forward, but when do you want to use it? Obviously you always want to B/C/F when your damage value is [1] since you have a 100% probability of rolling "1" or higher. Here's a handy dandy chart to help you decide (numbers are rounded):

D6 Result Chances

Chances With

Probability Control

(when factoring

in both the first and

second roll)

1 or higher 100% 100%
2 or higher 83% 97%
3 or higher 67% 89%
4 or higher 50% 75%
5 or higher 33% 57%
6 17% 31%


If you're playing the odds, then you should always use Blades / Claws / Fangs when you have a Damage value of [3] or lower, because you have a full 67% chance of rolling 3, 4, 5, or 6. Simply put, probability is on your side (even if the universe isn't).

If you have a Damage value of [4] then it's a tossup. If you're having a good day, then roll to your heart's content. If you're having a bad day, then I'd definitely recommend avoiding that roll. Obviously the odds are against you if you have Damage value of [5] and using B/C/F is pointless if you have a Damage value of [6].

In the third column you'll notices that your odds increase dramatically if you can use Probability Control on your B/C/F roll. In this case, statistically you should use B/C/F if your Damage value is [5] or lower... but I wouldn't...

Even with Probability Control, I'd only use B/C/F when my Damage Value is [3] or lower -- if my Damage value is [4] or greater, then I'd rather apply that "guaranteed damage" value rather than letting the fates decide.

(edit: note that the chances increase when you account for both the original roll and the PC'ed roll)

How have your B/C/F rolls been?


Back to Top

Your Comments:
your probability of getting said number on a single die is increased before you roll with P/C. the odds that you get a 6 is 31% on a single die rolled twice. however the probability of getting any number is consistently 16.6% so fearing whether to roll for b/c/f is moot if you have 2 or less damage, at 3 damage ur chances are about 50% so trust your instincts about your luck. your p/c can only take you so far... and even then you would be in no better position to re roll than you were just a few moments ago

Posted by: kris on 7/11/2010 6:26:50 AM
My knock out rate using blades is 100%...all on bystander tokens. That being said, the usual (83% of the time) roll I get for blades is 1 or 2.

Posted by: Dr. Tran on 5/27/2010 11:30:22 PM
I don't think Mr. Cranberry is trying to manipulate the system. In his example, it looks like he is trying to increase his die roll result. He states that his result is 3 and then he uses PC to roll higher than his previous result. He is trying to roll higher than his previous result. If that was the case then The Le's formula does not work.

Posted by: chopchop777 on 5/27/2010 7:53:08 PM
I don't think Mr. Cranberry is trying to manipulate the system. In his example, it looks like he is trying to increase his die roll result. He states that his result is 3 and then he uses PC to roll higher than his previous result. He is trying to roll higher than his previous result. If that was the case then The Le's formula does not work.

Posted by: chopchop777 on 5/27/2010 6:12:42 PM
The Le is correct on all accounts. The first roll has a profound effect on the second in that if the result is favorable, you don't roll again. The Le has simplified his math down but it is derived from using the Wronskian (used in thermodynamics and statistical mechanics). Mr. Cranberry is looking at the outcome of both die rolls, but the article is about attaining a certain result and not seeing what two resulting die roll will be.

Posted by: chpopchop777 on 5/27/2010 5:43:08 PM
2 chances. Each with a possible 6 different results. Looking for 4 out of 6 on either. Still sitting at the same percentage.

Even if I look at the results being 8 favorable out of 12 possible results the math still puts it at 66.66~%.

I'm not manipulating the system, just telling it how it is. The first roll has now effect on the second.

Posted by: Mr. Cranberry on 5/25/2010 5:23:12 PM
You get two rolls, with an 89% chance of rolling three or greater on either roll. Period. Stop trying to manipulate the system. The folks on HCrealms are talking about it right now in the "HeroClix Strategy & Tactics" section.

Posted by: The Le on 5/25/2010 5:07:33 PM
We'll say my fig has a natural 2 Damage. I roll BCF and I have a 66.66~% of rolling higher. Do we agree on that? Ok, so the result is 3.

I use PC to reroll that. I still have a 66.66~% chance of rolling higher than 2. That hasn't changed, agreed? OK, good. Seeing as how I'm now actually trying to roll higher than a 3 my actual odds of a higher result has dropped to 50%.

Now we're seeing a decrease if I'm bring the previous result into play.

Had my first roll been a two then the 66.66~% stays true. Now if the first roll was a 1 then my second roll has a 83.33~% chance of rolling higher, but a 16.66~% chance of being 1 again.

Posted by: Mr. Cranberry on 5/25/2010 4:55:01 PM
Alright, I understand the confusion. I have edited the article for clarification.

Posted by: The Le on 5/25/2010 4:37:35 PM
Just to add something I forgot. Since PC replaces the previous roll you're only looking at the one roll. Your formula would work if you were allowed to choose either one of the rolls, but since you are stuck with the reroll the previous is irrelevant and moot.

Posted by: Mr. Cranberry on 5/25/2010 3:55:55 PM
But you're applying it to the results for your formula to work. When using PC to reroll you're not changing the odds of the single die roll that is the result of using the power. It's still just the on die roll, and when you roll that die it doesn't change any of the %'s.

Posted by: Mr. Cranberry on 5/25/2010 3:47:38 PM
You are right, of sorts. My math is correct. To calculate, use this reverse-formula:
100 x (Odds of Failure x Odds of Failure) = chances for fail

The odds of getting a 3-6 when rolling one die is 67%. With Probability Control, the odds increase to 89% for 3-6 to occur on ONE OF THE TWO DIE ROLLS. Remember, you're looking for a specific result set on either die.

Posted by: The Le on 5/25/2010 3:31:02 PM
I have to second that about the PC not increasing the odds of rolling higher. Each roll has the same percentage of rolling a given number as the roll before it. The only way to increase the chance to roll a higher number is to use a die that has more occurrences of those higher numbers.

I hate it when people say the odds increase with more rolls. It invalidates the rest of what they have to say.

Posted by: Mr. Cranberry on 5/25/2010 2:02:44 PM
I always went about it the same way. I always used it if I had 1 or 2 damage. Most likely use it with a 3 but never with a 4 or higher.

Posted by: Lord Logan on 5/25/2010 8:43:07 AM
I have counted, I have rolled more 6's for my b/c/f and regen than any other number. I kick butt with Deadpool

Posted by: Randy on 5/25/2010 12:56:23 AM
The chance of getting 3,4,5, or 6 on the first OR second die roll is a total of 89%.

Posted by: The Le on 5/24/2010 6:59:29 PM
surely the chances of getting a number on a die do not increase if you roll a second time with pc

eg 67% chance of a 3 or higher, those chances do not increase if you roll again it is still 67%. baisic maths!!

Posted by: dengar69 on 5/24/2010 6:15:32 PM
Rolling for BCF with a 3 damage is fine when "playing the odds". However, a BCF roll should be compared to "Deal or No Deal". When playing "Deal or No Deal", you should almost never take the deal if "playing the odds," but that presumes that you get to play the game a large number of times so that your losses are outweighed by your successes. But you only get to play "Deal or No Deal" once, so you may settle for a lesser amount of money than you would get on average simply to guarantee that you will get *some* money. Likewise, with BCF. You may only get one chance to attack Character X with BCF. If 3 damage would be helpful but 1 damage would be disaster, then you should not roll BCF, even though 6 damage would be great; it's better to be good than risk disaster for the chance of greatness.

Posted by: SimonMoon5 on 5/24/2010 10:53:49 AM
JohnWhite-Toledo: Yup. You can use probability control (PC) on almost anything -- attack roll, support roll, regeneration roll, breakaway, B/C/F, etc.

The only exception is if the power in question specifically ignores it (example: a character in range of a Pulse Wave attack cannot use PC against it, since Pulse Wave ignores powers. However, a character OUTSIDE the Pulse Wave range/attack can use PC against it!)

Posted by: The Le on 5/21/2010 1:12:39 PM
Can you, in fact use Prob on BCF?

Posted by: Johnwhite-toledo on 5/21/2010 11:44:24 AM