Variance Hammer is creating A Miniature Wargaming Blog!
10

patrons

$58
per month
For more than a year, I have been writing and maintaining Variance Hammer, a blog about miniatures wargaming, specifically about Warhammer 40,000. Where did the name, and the idea, come from?

If you've ever read a website talking about miniature wargaming on the internet, you've probably encountered a phrase like the following: "Well, on average, the Plasma Megablaster should kill 12.667 Space Marines per shot..."

The problem is, that statement doesn't actually contain all that much information. First of all, you cannot kill 2/3rds of a Space Marine - he's either dead or he isn't. Second, what's the variability associated with that? Is it possible that the Plasma Megablaster will kill zero Space Marines? 100 Space Marines? All of these statements are built on what's known as the Law of Large Numbers, which assumes essentially an infinite number of die rolls. And that's the core of the problem: games of Warhammer involve very few dice rolls. Essentially, there are no "average" games.

I've been trying to address that, by looking at simulation-based analysis (what I also do for a living as a computational scientist) and statistics to actually look at the variability inherent in the game, and question some of our closely held assumptions about it. So far, this has included everything from product reviews to a statistical analysis of the Las Vegas Open, with more to come. I've also tried infusing this with a fairly positive attitude about the game as a whole - inspired by the good folks at The Independent Characters I think the best discussions of the game should make people more excited to play, not less.
Rewards
Pledge $1 or more per month
3 patrons
Public Thanks: In the coming days I'll be establishing a somewhat more formal GitHub account to store the code base for Variance Hammer. Donate just a dollar, and I'll thank you by name, Twitter handle, blog name or whatever else you want (within the bounds of reason and decency) on a contributor page.
Pledge $5 or more per month
1 patron
Variance Hammer Dice: Patrons who maintain this pledge level for a year will get a set of 10 custom Variance Hammer dice as thanks for their support, as well as being thanked on the contributor page. A picture of the dice, and a statistical analysis of whether or not they're fairly weighted, can be found here: http://variancehammer.com/2015/09/10/ordering-custom-dice/
Pledge $10 or more per month
5 of 10 patrons
Custom Analysis: Want to know who would win, a two Sicaran battle tanks in ruins versus a half-dozen Helldrakes? Or want to know the real impact of the change to the way the Wave Serpent's shield works? Want to take one of those "Ultimate Faceoff" features that are run in White Dwarf for only one round, and run it a thousand times instead? Lets do it.

Patrons at this level will also recieve the rewards from any lower tier.
Goals
$45 – reached! per month
This funding level will help cover both the game and code development of a stochastic (random) campaign generator, that would allow you to generate a linked 3-5 game narrative campaign's worth of scenarios, with some branching outcomes and the like. The code for said generator will be available on Github, so it will act as something of a living campaign repository as people add new missions, etc.
5 of 5
For more than a year, I have been writing and maintaining Variance Hammer, a blog about miniatures wargaming, specifically about Warhammer 40,000. Where did the name, and the idea, come from?

If you've ever read a website talking about miniature wargaming on the internet, you've probably encountered a phrase like the following: "Well, on average, the Plasma Megablaster should kill 12.667 Space Marines per shot..."

The problem is, that statement doesn't actually contain all that much information. First of all, you cannot kill 2/3rds of a Space Marine - he's either dead or he isn't. Second, what's the variability associated with that? Is it possible that the Plasma Megablaster will kill zero Space Marines? 100 Space Marines? All of these statements are built on what's known as the Law of Large Numbers, which assumes essentially an infinite number of die rolls. And that's the core of the problem: games of Warhammer involve very few dice rolls. Essentially, there are no "average" games.

I've been trying to address that, by looking at simulation-based analysis (what I also do for a living as a computational scientist) and statistics to actually look at the variability inherent in the game, and question some of our closely held assumptions about it. So far, this has included everything from product reviews to a statistical analysis of the Las Vegas Open, with more to come. I've also tried infusing this with a fairly positive attitude about the game as a whole - inspired by the good folks at The Independent Characters I think the best discussions of the game should make people more excited to play, not less.

Recent posts by Variance Hammer

Rewards
Pledge $1 or more per month
3 patrons
Public Thanks: In the coming days I'll be establishing a somewhat more formal GitHub account to store the code base for Variance Hammer. Donate just a dollar, and I'll thank you by name, Twitter handle, blog name or whatever else you want (within the bounds of reason and decency) on a contributor page.
Pledge $5 or more per month
1 patron
Variance Hammer Dice: Patrons who maintain this pledge level for a year will get a set of 10 custom Variance Hammer dice as thanks for their support, as well as being thanked on the contributor page. A picture of the dice, and a statistical analysis of whether or not they're fairly weighted, can be found here: http://variancehammer.com/2015/09/10/ordering-custom-dice/
Pledge $10 or more per month
5 of 10 patrons
Custom Analysis: Want to know who would win, a two Sicaran battle tanks in ruins versus a half-dozen Helldrakes? Or want to know the real impact of the change to the way the Wave Serpent's shield works? Want to take one of those "Ultimate Faceoff" features that are run in White Dwarf for only one round, and run it a thousand times instead? Lets do it.

Patrons at this level will also recieve the rewards from any lower tier.