I like the idea of including both dice and TUV and I think they would complement eachother. I haven’t downloaded it yet (waiting for the official update) but I am looking forward to using it. And thanks for doing the work of getting this started.
I would quibble a bit with how we read the bomber example. Apologies in advance if I am completely misunderstanding this, but … If all 10 bombers and the cruiser hit in the first round the TUV calculator would show that the defender beat the average TUV differential, whereas the dice would tell us that the attacker was very lucky. If only one bomber hit instead, the TUV would show the same but the dice would tell us that the attacker was very unlucky.
But in each case above (and in the example Gargantua gave), the outcome in game terms is exactly the same. A cruiser was destroyed which should happen 100% of the time and a bomber was destroyed which should happen 50% of the time. 1/10 is a terrible roll but not meaningfully unlucky when you only need 1 hit. 10/10 is a great roll but is not meaningfully lucky when you only need 1 hit. 0 hits is consequential but only if the cruiser gets a hit in the 2nd round.
Or suppose only 2 bombers hit and the cruiser misses, the hit differential would tell us that the attacker had very poor luck (missed 4.67 possible hits) and the defender had poor but better luck (only missed 0.5 hits). But the consequence in game terms is clearly worse for the defender than for the attacker.
While it appears that 10 dice have 11 outcomes (0 through 10 hits) in game terms, when there is only one opposed unit, there are only two meaningful outcomes. Either they get at least one successful roll or they don’t.
In individual battles, this is not a big deal since one should be able to understand the significance of the hit differential in the moment. But at game’s end, the cumulative count might produce a narrative of the game that is far removed from what actually happened. If one player had more rolls that beat the average where they could under-perform, it will appear that they got more hits. If the other player had more rolls that were below average, but sufficient to win the combat round, they would appear to have gotten fewer hits. It might then appear that one player was much luckier than the other, but in game terms that dice luck had no bearing on the game outcome.
A TUV differential helps correct this but is it possible to also get a hit differential count where inconsequential luck wasn’t included? If the hit differential doesn’t count rounds where both the expected and the actual number of hits exceeded the number of casualties, that would remove most of the inconsequential dice luck. And I think the remainder would be addressed if the combat differential only counted whichever number was smaller, the number of actual hits, or the number of actual casualties. If this could be done, it would get closer to a measure of only the dice luck that had game consequences and the number of hits above or below the expected hits would also equal real (rather than hypothetical) units saved or destroyed in the game.