Armor Value List here. Let's talk about armor. First, let's have an armor rating system, and a discussion about probability. Armor Rating System So, let's give armor cards ratings based on points. This is calculated by multiplying the Armor X value by the number of times it triggers if you were to roll all the numbers from 1-6 once. This point system makes Harnesses easier to calculate. More on them later. If you divide this point value by 6, you get the average damage reduction (ADR) for that armor. Mail: Armor 2, 4+ 0+0+0+2+2+2 = 6 OR 3X2 = 6 points Reliable Hide Armor: Armor 1 (1+) 1+1+1+1+1+1 OR 6X1 = 6 points ADR (Average Damage Reduction) = 1.0 Now you think, which armor card is better? Mail, or Reliable Hide? I rate them both as 6, but one is clearly better than the other. And you may be surprised by which one it is! On average, they both reduce damage by 1. However, Mail can reduce any damage up to and including 2, to 0, as long as the die rolls are favorable. On the other hand, any damage from 2-1 can hit you every time that it fails in a similar "unlucky" scenario. Now, in the cases where you always take 2 or more damage, there is no clear winner. Hide absorbs 1 damage every six times, whereas Mail absorbs 2 damage half as often. However, if you take 1 damage per hit, it becomes clear that Reliable Hide Armor is the superior armor choice. Mail has Armor 2, but it requires a good die roll, and the extra point of armor reduction is wasted. Then you can compare Thickened Mail to Hardy Mail. The both have an armor value of 8 points, but whenever you take damage less than 4 points, statistically Hardy Mail is more effective. It is possible for Thickened Mail to reduce twice as much damage per hit as Hardy Mail, but this only happens in half of the scenarios. Also, the odds of Thickened Mail triggering several times in a row decreases exponentially. Let's look at another factor. Say that you are being targeted by three attacks, which total 3 points of damage more than your HP. Which armor is more likely to save your life? You may be thinking, Thickened mail is essentially 1/3 chance on 3 attacks, and Hardy Mail is 2/3 chance on two attacks. They must have the same odds of saving you right? You may also be thinking, hey, Thickened Mail only has to trigger once, But Hardy Mail has to trigger twice. What are the odds really? Spoiler: The math 2/3 chance of Thickened Mail roll failing 2x2x2 =8 3x3x3 =27 8/27 chance that you die with one Thickened Mail 1/3 chance of Hardy Mail failing 1/27 fail 3 times =1/27 2/27 fail 2 times (x3) =6/27 4/27 fail 1 time (x3) =12/27 8/27 fail 0 times =8/27 1/27 + 2/27 + 2/27 + 2/27 = 7/27 chance you die with one Hardy Mail Result: 8/27 Thickened Mail, 7/27 Hardy Mail. You have a 3.7% less chance of dying with Hardy Mail. As it turns out, your odds of survival are superior with Hardy Mail over thickened. Also, don't forget that in many situations, you only need an armor card to trigger once, not twice! Basically, the more times you take damage the better a more reliable armor card becomes. If you take these factors into account, it becomes clear that cards like Reliable Mail are extremely valuable, not just an illusion of reliability versus armor cards with (lower) die rolls. What About Harnesses? The problem with Harnesses is that they are actually poor armor cards for their cost, and they are only good when they leech off of other armor cards. By itself, Enchanted Harness is no better than Hardy Mail. When combined with a good armor, it can effectively double it's value. What do I mean? Read on... If you look carefully at Harnesses, you will see that Leather/Chain harness only increase your other armor card's value by 1-5 points. Enchanted Harness doubles this value, but has a lower armor value than most Silver and all other Gold quality armor cards. The effectiveness of Harnesses is further restricted by the hand limit, which means you can only keep any two normal harness or armor cards at any given time. Officer's Harness is not affected by the hand limit; however it has a very low armor value (just 3 points!) and even if you collect two harnesses to boost them, you only get 1-3 points per Officer Harness. So I developed a formula. X represents the number of Officer's Harness in hand. Y represents one armor card paired with a single harness. IE, Thickened Mail would have a 4 point bonus (Y=4) when paired with Leather Harness instead of Mail. The 8 points it normally has is omitted. In this example, Leather Harness Value = 3 + 1X +Y = 3 + 0 + 4 =7 Plus 8 points from Thickened for a total of 15. VS Mail + Thickened =6+8=14. Note I have simplified the harness formula by always including the added die rolls to their value. To avoid confusion, all 'Ench' refer to the harness not the mail unless otherwise stated. Leather= 3 +1X (+Y) Mail = 6 LeatherX2 =8 +2X MailX2 =12 Leather +Mail= 3+8= 11 +X Leather Harness is pretty weak... needs 2+ Officer's. Hardy = 8 Chain = 6 + 1X (+Y) Chain Harness is only efficient with 3+ Officer's. HardyX2 = 16 Chainx2 = 16 +2X Two Chain, on the other hand, is equivalent to Hardy Mail. At this point, Harnesses begin to have a benefit. EnchantedX1 = 8 + 2X (+2Y) Barbed = 12 Barbed+Mail = 12+6 = 18 Ench. +Mail = 8+10 = 18 Enchanted Harness+ Mail has the same value (18) as Barbed Platemail + Mail. EnchantedX2 = 24 + 3X (Technically 4X but only on Thickened) At this point, two Gold Cards are equivalent to two Silver Reliable Mail cards, until you start adding Officer's Harnesses. Chain +Ench= 20 + 2X Thickd +Ench= 24 + 1X Barbed +Ench= 28 + 2X Ground +Ench= 32 + 2X What happens here? By using a high-value armor card instead of a harness, you gain much more armor points. Enchanted +Chain = 20 +3X Barbed + Chain = 24 +1X Barbed + Hardy = 20 So, looking at the math overall, it seems that the boosting Harnesses are most effective when: A, they are paired with a high value armor, and B: They are paired with two or more Officer's Harness. They are NOT efficient armor cards by themselves. In addition, given the deck size, number of armor cards, traits, and cards drawn per turn, it is unlikely to draw your ideal armor set right away. So unless the game lasts for a sufficient number of turns, or you are able to draw the required number of cards, Harnesses are not a very effective form of armor. However, it is possible to gain Harnesses on Boot, Helmet, and Heavy Armor slots, whereas it is only possible to have ONE high value armor card in the Heavy Armor(or Divine Armor) slot. Therefore, there is a possibility to gain a significant benefit by including Chain or Enchanted Harnesses in other slots, since in effect, the harnesses can increase your armor value by an amount equal to a high-value card. A notable exception is the card, Heavy Armor, which has above-average damage reduction by itself or when paired with one Harness, and a staggering 30 point value when you have both Heavy Armor cards- which only exist on one item (Leaden Plate Mail). However, the Encumber drawback is significant to prevent this from being a common occurence. Also, there are Divine Armors Seething Armor and St. Temrun's Chainmail, which have two Crafted Mail and gain a significant boost by including one Harness. Lastly, there is Shimmering Aura, but it only works against magic. Assuming you have either one harness (minimum armor value) or one harness plus one other armor card: Leather Harness: 3 + 1-5 (Value: between 3-8) Chain Harness: 6 + 1-5 (Value: between 6-11) Enchanted Harness: 8 + 2-10 (Value: between 8-18) In all cases, Harnesses have an average value which is on par for the armor value of armor cards in that quality color. Only by combining the harnesses with high-value cards (3-5) do they become equal or superior. Now what about the "Legendary Officer's Harness setup"? General Jelom's Helm Xander's Mail Kelharin's Clogs (Perfect Stoutness for one extra OH) 5-6X Officer's Harness 2X Enchanted Harness 1 Reliable Mail If you can gather all your Harnesses, you can have up to armor 10. Imagine shrugging off all the Bludgeoning branches that those trees have. Imagine tanking multiple Goblin Berserkers and taking no damage. Then imagine a Sundering Strike ripping through most, if not every single harness in your hand. Or Boiling Armor. Folks, it's just not worth it. Then there is the one card that changes the rules: Forward Thinking. The potential armor value here... is, well, actually not that great, since it's hard to stack high-value armors. Unless you are a Priest with St. Temrun's Chainmail (Two Crafted Mail + Enchanted Harness) you can only really use something like one/two Enchanted Harnesses + one/two Thickened Mail for 40-48 points of armor. It's way, way easier to get three Reliable Mail. (36 points) Too bad you can only have one Forward Thinking, or else armor stacking/harness stacking/ Dodge would become a viable strategy.