View Full Version : When to boost or buy?

Dr Steve Brule
03-13-2017, 03:50 PM
As a new player I really like this feature. But I have a hard time knowing when it is more beneficial to boost damage or to just try and buy another attack.

Someone said to me that a general rule he uses is if their armor is near your p+s then he would rather buy attacks but if it is maybe a difference of 5 or more he will boost damage.

Is this a good general strategy?

03-13-2017, 04:25 PM
On average an extra die of damage will add 3.5 to your damage roll. Let's call it 3 to be conservative.

Provided that you are very likely to hit your target, then you've​ got to decide whether hitting again (an additional attack) is more or less valuable than boosting the damage roll on the attack you've already made.

If, after taking your target's ARM into account, your damage roll is "dice minus 4", then your average damage on a 2d6 roll is 3, and on a 3d6 roll is 6. In this case, making two unboosted damage rolls yields the same average damage as a single boosted damage roll.

For this reason, many players use "dice minus 4" as the break even point, boosting damage only in cases where the odds to hit are lower than average, or when making a single large attack is better than multiple smaller ones (e.g. hitting a Spiny Growth model).

Obviously there are a lot of variables that can go into all this, so there are no hard and fast rules, but hopefully this will illustrate the thinking behind why people choose to boost or buy in the way they do.

03-13-2017, 11:27 PM
There's a neat Battle College article on the matter:


03-14-2017, 03:40 AM

03-14-2017, 04:53 AM

Dev Null
03-14-2017, 09:13 AM
Provided that you are very likely to hit your target
If, after taking your target's ARM into account, your damage roll is "dice minus 4", then your average damage on a 2d6 roll is 3, and on a 3d6 roll is 6. In this case, making two unboosted damage rolls yields the same average damage as a single boosted damage roll.

I get that you're simplifying for clarity, but that "Provided" is a pretty huge caveat. Even needing 5's to hit on 2 dice you're going to miss 1 time in 6.

I like your method though; I'd just want to factor in the chance to hit the second attack. Those are the kinds of odds you're going to want to get a gut feel for playing this game anyways. So I'd do something more like:

2 dice average = 7
3 dice average = 10.5
5's to hit = 5/6

So if it's dice-4 damage, and you've already hit the first attack (because that's the point where you're deciding whether to boost or not):
boost = 10.5 - 4 damage = 6.5
buy = 3 + 5/6 * 3 = 5.5

dice-3 damage:
boost = 10.5 - 3 = 7.5
buy = 4 + 5/6 * 4 = 7.3

dice-2 damage:
boost = 10.5 - 2 = 8.5
buy = 5 + 5/6 * 5 = 9.2

As a rule of thumb, which does NOT always work exactly but which won't lead you too far wrong for most of the cases we care about (DEF-skill less than 8 - otherwise you should probably be boosting to hit - and P+S-ARM between 0 and -7) I use:

buy if DEF-skill <= P+S-ARM+7; otherwise boost.

So if I'm doing dice-3, it's worth buying if I hit on at least 4's or better.

03-14-2017, 01:40 PM
If you miss on averages, boost to hit.
If you miss on 5s but it's important, boost to hit.
If you cause 3 damage on average, boost the damage.
If the target is very hard to hit, boost the damage.
If you're going for the hail-mary, and you can't realistically take down the target without all your attacks, boost nothing.
If you're going to get a limited number of attacks, boost everything.


1) If you don't miss on a 7, you can boost, but there's no guarentee it will be better than just trying twice. Trying twice potentially means succeeding twice. Trying once with a boost means you only hit once, no matter how good you roll, and if you miss, then you spent 2 focus/fury to miss anyhow. If you DO miss on averages, it's generally not worth the gamble of unboosted attacks.

2) If it's important to hit, lower the threshold. This is especially true when you don't need all your attacks to kill the target, or for whatever reason you absolutely MUST cause some kind of damage, but not necessarily beat a certain threshold.

3) If you're only causing an average dice worth of damage anyways, you want to boost the damage. The two reasons for this are that firstly you concentrate the damage on a single point, so you're more likely to get through hull boxes or to the root of a spiral and make more progress towards crippling something. The second reason is that unless you are auto-hitting your target, you get comparable average damage as you would from two attacks, but you only need to hit the first time and then you get to 'tack on' an extra attack worth of damage without making a second attack roll.

4) Similar to the second advantage of 3, if your target is very hard to hit, you can't guarantee you'll land as many hits as you like, so it's worth it to make all the attacks you DO land accomplish as much as possible by boosting the damage.

5) Exact opposite of situation 2. Hail marys aren't ideal. They often end up failing and generally come down to dice. That said, you can only succeed in as many opportunities as you give yourself, so if you're going in for the assassination, you need to have some idea of how many attacks that's going to take. If boosting anything would leave you too few attacks to finish the job, and you're backed into a corner with your only options being to kill the target or lose, then you have to go for the volume of attacks and hope for the best, because it's the difference of that having a possibility of success, vs boosting having a no possibility of success. This is particularly true of warlocks camping fury, where you can guarentee that until you land a certain amount of damaging attacks, you'll potentially do nothing to your target. Warcasters are a bit easier to gamble, because a big damage spike will cause massive damage even after overboosting.

6) If you're only going to get a few attacks anyways, because the target has something that would disengage you or disable you afterwards, or you just only get a few good attacks (like an angelius making an armor pierce), then just boost the heck out of those attacks and make them count.

03-15-2017, 06:45 AM
I use the rule of 7 or above to hit before I boost.
Important rolls will reduce this to 5-6+

For damage, similar thing.
Depends on how many boxes they have, and if it's important that they die.

03-15-2017, 09:11 AM
Do you really need something to work? Then boost.

My favorite in-game saying is "this is why we boost" or "should have boosted to hit" (especially the last one if it was a model that can't boost :P)

03-15-2017, 11:13 AM
So you can also print this table, in the left it shows what roll you need in order to hit and how much your damage roll is affected by armor, this table helps you maximize the expected damage.


Martyr of the Cause
03-17-2017, 04:29 AM
I use a few rules of thumb for when to boost:
1. I always boost to hit when I need a 6 on the charge. Probability says I should still hit, but the insurance helps.
2. I calculate how much the armor will subtract from my damage, such as POW 18 - ARM 22 = dice minus 4. The only time it's better to buy an attack instead of boost damage in melee is when you have good odds to hit (need 5 or less on the dice) and are dealing at least dice minus 3.
3. If you can spend 2 focus/fury to give yourself a +2 damage bonus per hit, it is worth getting the damage bonus if the damage roll would become dice minus 3 or dice minus 2. If it improves beyond that it's overkill to cast it unless the target has a ton of wounds (like a Colossal).
4. Unless I am going to kill a target with just a tiny amount of damage on a ranged attack, I always budget so I an boost the damage roll.