Random walks are a relatively new component used in several state of the art satisficing planners. Empirical results have been mixed: while the approach clearly outperforms more systematic search methods such as weighted A* on many planning domains, it fails in many others. So far, the explanations for these empirical results have been somewhat ad hoc. This paper proposes a formal framework for comparing the performance of random walk and systematic search methods. Fair homogenous graphs are proposed as a graph class that represents characteristics of the state space of prototypical planning domains, and is simple enough to allow a theoretical analysis of the performance of both random walk and systematic search algorithms. This gives well-founded insights into the relative strength and weaknesses of these approaches. The close relation of the models to some well-known planning domains is shown through simplified but semi-realistic planning domains that fulfill the constraints of the models. One main result is that in contrast to systematic search methods, for which the branching factor plays a decisive role, the performance of random walk methods is determined to a large degree by the Regress Factor, the ratio between the probabilities of progressing towards and regressing away from a goal with an action. The performance of random walk and systematic search methods can be compared by considering both branching and regress factors of a state space.