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Cardiology: Steady Aim

Decision: Should You Play Steady Aim?

TL;DR:

Yes, Peanut.

Factor: Base Attacks

Let's start off by saying how good it is to have a Score Immediately objective that has the potential to be scored on every attack by every member of your warband.  Most objectives of this type require special positioning (Advancing Strike, Defensive Strike), a specific type of attack (What Armour, Headshot), a specific fighter (Victorious Duel, Obliterated), or additional actions to set up (Change of Tactics).  Many also require an enemy fighter to be taken out of action.  Steady Aim requires none of these things - it simply happens, regardless of the attack type, target, or success of the attack, if your dice happen to end up in the correct configuration.

Beyond it's base appeal, Steady Aim has been handed to a warband that can score it quite easily.  The table below summarizes the likelihood of being able to score Steady Aim with a single base attack on any one of the Profiteers (gold rows represent inspired attacks):

AttackAll Successes
Atmospheric Anatomizer (Thundrik)25.00%
Heavy Instruments (Thundrik)25.00%
Atmospheric Anatomizer (Thundrik)25.00%
Heavy Instruments (Thundrik)25.00%
Skypike (Drakkskewer)25.00%
Vulcaniser Pistol (Drakkskewer)11.11%
Skypike (Drakkskewer)25.00%
Vulcaniser Pistol (Drakkskewer)11.11%
Aethershot Rifle (Lund)25.00%
Aethershot Rifle (Lund)25.00%
Aethermatic Volley Gun (Ironhail)3.70%
Aethermatic Volley Gun (Ironhail)1.23%
Arkanaut Cutter (Alensen)25.00%
Privateer Pistol (Alensen)11.11%
Arkanaut Cutter (Alensen)25.00%
Privateer Pistol (Alensen)3.70%


A couple of things of note can be gleaned from this chart.  First, inspiring some of your fighters (Ironhail and Alensen) reduces their ability to score Steady Aim, because they gain more dice to hit.  While this is usually a good thing - it still probably is, in the overall assessment of things - having more dice on an attack roll does make Steady Aim harder to score.  The second thing we should be able to pick up pretty readily is that you're rarely going to be able to score this objective with Ironhail; he just rolls too many Sword dice on his attacks.

Regardless of these two hiccups in the plan, the Profiteers still have an abundance of 2-Hammer attacks with which to score Steady Aim.  If, in a given round, you manage to make three attacks with your 2-Hammer fighters, you've got a 58% chance of scoring it at some point.  If you push up to four 2-Hammer attacks, your chances of scoring it increase to 68%, and if you manage five 2-Hammer attacks (with Ready for Action, Stand and Shoot, etc.), you're up to 74%. 

Factor: Rerolls

You read it in his voice, didn't you?

Thanks to the Profiteers' abundance of ranged attacks, they also have more options than your average warband for rerolling dice (thanks to Archer's Focus).  While adding additional dice to your attacks will make Steady Aim harder to score, rerolls will improve your chance to hit and make Steady Aim more likely to go off.

Since all of the Profiteers' attacks fall into a few categories, we can simplify our math a bit by combining them into groups by the number and type of attack dice rolled.  The following chart summarizes the chance of scoring Steady Aim using the Dwarves' base attacks and a given number of rerolled dice.


Base1 Reroll2 Rerolls3 Rerolls4 Rerolls
2-Hammer25.00%37.50%56.25%

2-Sword11.11%22.22%29.63%

3-Sword3.70%9.88%16.46%21.95%
4-Sword1.23%4.12%8.23%12.80%17.07%


Even a single reroll can drastically increase your chances of scoring Steady Aim.  For example, if you were to make 4 attacks in a round, each one a 2-hammer attack with a single reroll (Thundrik with Archer's Focus, for example), you would have an 85% chance of triggering Steady Aim.  Additionally, if you happen to draw Steady Aim mid-round (as is quite likely with the Profiteers), you can burn Fueled by Fury and have a better than 50/50 chance of scoring it with Thundrik or any other 2-Hammer fighter in a single attack.

In addition to your base attacks, the Nullstone Weapons and Kingsbane also provide situational rerolls, making them better than the average weapon upgrade for scoring Steady Aim.

Factor: Other Adjuncts

While rerolls are perhaps the most obvious way to increase your chances of scoring Steady Aim, there are some other options you could pursue.

Several upgrades grant 1-Hammer attacks (Heroslayer, Unparalleled Strike).  These attacks will score Steady Aim 50% of the time at base, and can still benefit from rerolls.  Low Blow, a 2-Hammer attack that counts Swords as successes, will net you Steady Aim 44% of the time.  If you manage to drum up 2 support more than your opponent (Spiritbond, anyone?), you can actually make Steady Aim an auto-score with Low Blow - it's literally impossible to not succeed on all your dice at that point.

Since we've touched on the subject, it's also worth considering support.  Your base attacks improve in the following ways when you have support (again, Spiritbond is a card that exists).



BaseSupport +1Support +2
2-Hammer25.00%44.44%69.44%
2-Sword11.11%25.00%44.44%
3-Sword3.70%12.50%29.63%
4-Sword1.23%6.25%19.75%

With sufficient support, even Ironhail stands a good chance of scoring Steady Aim.  The increased hit chance granted by support also combines nicely with rerolls, creating a synergistic effect that drastically increases your chance of success.

Finally, at the risk of approaching silliness, you could - if the spirit moved you - use some power cards in more unusual ways in a desperate attempt to score Steady Aim.  For example, you might play Fearful Visage in such a way that your 2-Hammer attack becomes a 1-Hammer attack, effectively doubling its chance to score Steady Aim.  To improve your Sword-based attacks, you could use Curious Inversion (essentially gaining the equivalent of a free support).  Or, if you really want to score Steady Aim, you might consider playing Blinding Flash during your own ranged attack to set your chances of scoring it firmly at 33%.

Unfortunately, most of these potential adjuncts don't see much play.  Instead, it's probably best to focus on rerolls and support to score Steady Aim.

Alternate Path: Headshot

Most competitive Profiteers decks are at least considering playing Headshot.  Every member of your warband has a Range 3+ attack, and you've got plenty of options available to you for making extra attacks and rolling extra dice.  Using only their base ranged attacks, the chances of rolling at least critical on any given base attack are as follows:

  • 2 Dice - 30.56%
  • 3 Dice - 42.13%
  • 4 Dice - 51.77%
However, it's worth noting that you not only need to roll a critical, you must also succeed on the attack to score Headshot.  While this is certainly likely (given that you've already rolled a critical, your opponent will need at least the same result), it certainly isn't guaranteed.  For example, against a 2-shield defense, Thundrik's Anatomizer attack will only trigger Headshot 24% of the time making it slightly less reliable in this instance than Steady Aim.  On the other end of the spectrum, Ironhail's inspired attack will trigger Headshot 43% of the time against the same defense, while only scoring Steady Aim 1.23% of the time.

Headshot can also be negated by popular cards like Rebound and Last Chance, as well as less-popular-but-still-seen cards like Soultrap.  Steady Aim is unaffected by those cards. There are definite advantages to each, but really - at this point in the cycle - there's no reason not to play both.

Summary: 

Steady Aim provides something that very few other objectives can: an unrestricted chance to score an easy glory by doing what you were going to do anyway.  You don't have to set up in a special way, play a combo card, target a specific enemy, use a certain attack, or stand on a particular part of the board.  Just point, shoot, and score.  Combined with similar (though not quite as unrestricted) cards also available to Profiteers - like Headshot, Warning Shot, and Death from Afar - Steady Aim serves to further amp up the consistency of one of the strongest warbands available at the moment.

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