Hey Montana, this profile picture has a pretty strange origin story.
There is a mobile game for IOS and Android called "The Battle Cats." It's a pretty simple game, you deploy cat-themed units with money that is built up over time, the aim being to destroy the enemy base before they destroy yours. At first glance it looks like a short-winded campaign that will be over in no time, but when you get into the game it's possible to sink hours into it, because the campaign has 9 chapters as of now, and a bunch of other gameplay elements that are key to progression. Anyway, the game has a plethora of units, and back in 2018 PONOS (the game devs) announced a contest where players could submit their own cat designs and the top design would get added to the game. Among the designs there were a lot of "joke" designs, and one person decided to do a Nicholas Cage Cat, complete with a handgun and a strange grin. A YouTuber, MattShea, did a video on it, which is where I saw it originally. If you're interested, the video is called "The BEST (and worst) Cat Designs! (Battle Cats)." Timestamp of Nicholas Cage Cat is 6:06.
Anyway, I guess it's been covered that the game has an "x-factor" which plays the biggest role in how damage is dealt. I would say I have gripes as to how big a role they've given rng into an RTS game where every little battle matters. Even then, though, I can't say I know the ins and outs of the system, and from a few posts I read it's a lot more than a dice roll, which I guess I can appreciate.
Is that the decapitated head of Nicholas Cage??
Just read your forum comment about the random artillery outcomes in the forum. I used to be a very active player, and made very active use of artillery, both conventional towed arty and self-propelled arty, and I have had very similar experiences to your own. In fact, I just entered my first COW game in 18 months about a week ago, and I have again had similar random results to what I remembered and you described. Enough so, that I was contemplating starting a new thread on topic until I found yours yesterday.
I will comment at greater length on point at your thread.