If you have played Butchers you have been in this situation: Ox charges (or attacks) and gets 7 results and you have to make a decision, do you do the 4 damage (owner is so good), or 2 damage and trigger Butchery, getting +1 damage against that player forever more (or until the end of turn). I have been in that situation many times. I have consistently chose to do the extra damage now instead of triggering Butchery. I have done this because I have assumed my opponent was a pretty good player and that Ox would be the only one to really benefit from Butchery. Clearly, if you can attack with other players Butchery’s extra damage will add up to be worth it.
But what if I was right about the opponent being a good player and making sure Ox is the only one that gets to benefit from Butchery? What is the right move? I wanted to find out, so I used Math.
Often it is on the charge that the chance for Butchery comes up. Here is the table of expected damage value with and without choosing Butchery from the charge attack with the 5 most common defenses.
The graph above shows that picking the Butchery result on the charge nets 1 damage from the attacks in that activation than not choosing Butchery. This surprised me a little. I assumed to get anything out of Butchery it would take more than just Ox’s activation. This is why I run the numbers. Obviously it just gets better if you can get other models on that model to add damage. Butchery helps all those models.
It also shows that you have to pick the Butchery result on that initial charge attack and he doesn’t benefit if chosen on a later attack. Others still benefit, of course.
Here is a chart with 5 attacks instead of a charge.
Butchery adds about 2 extra damage if you can make the extra attack. This is an even bigger deal. If you can get Butchery on the first attack it goes a long way. It will also pretty much balance out if chosen for the second attack. After that it doesn’t help him any.
This has really changed my thoughts on Butchery. I think I had it in my head that the charge had to be a big hit from my experiences with other games and the damage being less on that hit if I put up Butchery seemed bad. Now I will be putting it on players more often.