Freelance Peacekeeping

These are the Model VI Leg Irons with Spike Attachment - Get the point, yes?

Grapple's Flippin' Pippalizer - And the Deck


We've learned a little about Grapple, learned how to use the OCTGN Deck Editor, and spent some time thinking about battle icon math. Now let's discover a new tool and get to our conclusion, a Super Grapple Deck.

I've been mentioning various percentages and math likelihoods as if I am some kind of flipping savant (see what I did there? Pun!). I won't pretend to be such. For one, there is Computron's Labs excellent article on Grapple, which at time of writing was dated (though at time of editing I notice it's been morphed into an entry for this challenge). Given the article was dated though, and because I've wanted to spend some time thinking about how to do pip-flipping-research; I present Grapple's Flippin' Pippalizer, a tool that I hope everybody gets some value from.

Grapple's Flippin' Pippalizer is a webpage that let's you simulate card flips in decks. There are a couple of ways to describe your deck's battle card setup, either by building pip sets through the user interface or by writing out a pip pattern that describes it all in one go. You can vary the deck setup that the tool should run through. For example, you might want to know the percentage of times you will flip exactly 4 colours while varying the number of WG cards from 16 to 27, while varying the number of OK cards from 24 down to 13. Please give it a play; feedback is much appreciated.

Let's use the Pippalizer a little. While we have a mathematically great deck, it has some dead cards if you have 25 WGs, namely the, presumably 4, Decepticon Crown and Backup Bag cards. Let's assume we're going to get rid of them for now. Running the Pippalizer, we get the following percentages for Grapple-Success for 21 WGs and 15 BKs plus the listed pips:

By running a pip pattern of WG21BK15 with various battle icon replacements for the removed 4 cards, we can use the Pippalizer to see how our changes of Grapple's effect change:

Pip Patterncolours(*)=4
WG473% (current)

We can see that replacing WG cards with W cards (or WK, or feasibly WB if they existed) has the least impact, losing us only 2 percentage points of Grapple-success. At the other end of the spectrum we see that bringing in O cards is costly, in fact, as costly as adding no-pip cards. Incidentally, this is why the excellent Lucky Vest card mentioned earlier doesn't make the deck, it lacks a pip. We can also see that replacing WG cards with G cards is almost as good as replacing with W cards. Let's do a few more pippalizing runs to narrow things down:

Pip Patterncolours(*)=4
WG473% (current)

Given these numbers, let's look to the white and green-pipped cards. We could look to WK, but the only Waves 1-4 WK card is Swerve, and we are only rarely going to want to flip Grapple to alt mode before he's attacked.

One issue with the world of WG cards is that there are no Armor upgrades and little in the way of scrapping. Let's opt for two white-pipped Armor Upgrades, and two green-pipped scrapping cards. White-pipped Armor upgrades are typically a choice between Force Field and Medic's Protective Field - with the latter feeling like it's been more popular since it came out. For scrapping, Wave 4's Reprocess is the card of choice due to its huge versatility. We can heal our team, scrapping one of those not-brilliant WG Utilities, or we can use it to scrap any upgrade from our opponent's deck. Another useful white-pip would be Acute Reflexes, giving Grapple Focus 1, but we have a lot of Utilities already.

We've lost 5 percentage points of Grapple success doing this, but we've gained a couple of features for our deck. If we go back to the numbers and consider a full set of these, i.e. three Reprocess and three Medic's Protective Field, we see that it only costs us another two more percentage points. Let's ditch a couple more WG cards and be happy with our 66% chance of pulling off Grapple's effect.

You better not have Open Sourced that tool; not my style, yes?

Hopefully that was fun :) What's more, it's Open Sourced!


So, now that we've pippalized, who makes the team?

It's not the time for the Rescue Patrol. Despite all the WG cards, this is not a White deck. Vanguard would have some advantages, but Armor is harder to get value out of than Weapons (Sabotaged Armaments aside); thus our partners are Autobot Hound and Private Smashdown.

I really like Autobot Hound. He's a mini-Grapple (becoming 5-12-3 when he flips a white) and with Smashdown attached he can pull off a 9 Attack. For a Sideboard I'm going to go Octone. He and Grapple side by side would change the deck up a touch, and bringing in some O/OK cards like Opportune Repairs and Peace Through Tyranny feels powerful.

Grapple and his Amazing Friends
Grapple and Hound, ready to Smashdown

Here's a link to the Deck. I've called it: Grappling With Maths.

One of the problems in building a deck with Waves 1-4 is that there aren't quite enough cards to be fully happy with each card you have. Wave 5 provides a lot of good WG and BK cards, so I've also uploaded a deck that is purer on the maths, while avoiding utterly dead cards: Grappling With Maths W5.

This was a long read, even longer before some rather aggressive editing. I thank even those who successfully skimmed their way through and I hope you found some value here. I especially hope that you will find value in the Flippin' Pippalizer!

Unimpressed. Spiked Leg Irons are a tight fit, yes?