Wednesday 18 April 2018

Lhamaeans, Incubi and Grotesques - killing tough targets in melee.

Hey guys!

The new Lhamaean look really solid. They are cheap and killy - the downside is that they are really fragile (and give up Kill points easily) as a 1 man unit that is not a CHARACTER
With an Archon nearby + if you are Poisoned Tounge or BH with Muse a single Poison-lady can deals avg 1,61 dmg against a MEQ.

Her weapon is really complicated as it is rolled differently, depending on whether the target is a Vehicle, a Non-titanic non-vehicle or non-vehicle titanic unit.
The graph shows how do you roll for wounds depending on the target

I did a comparision between 5 Incubi (including having a Klaivex with Index Demiklaives), 3 Grotesques (the combined option shows the best weapon's dmg) and a Lhamaean. The avg damage dealt has been adjeusted to point cost - as I always do (divided by point cost and multiplied by 100).
Here are the results

Well, Lhamaean are the new Incubi - as long as you do not play for kill points. A 8 man "unit" kills 8 marines and if near an Archon with re-roll wounds buff almost 13 MEQ. That is crazy for 15 pts/model.
When fighting anything but Vehicle Lhamaean shine. Incubi beat Grotesques but are definitely more resistant to high ap weapons.

It was a short post, but I hope you liked. Have a nice day!

Sunday 15 April 2018

Which Wych is the wychest

All the posts I put out so far were about Kabals/Mercenaries. Time to change it. We are gonna look at the Wyches - weaponry and drugs.


As in my killing infantry post I did the calculations for 5 types of targets. Gonna quickly remind:  GEQ (Guardsmen equivalent), MEQ (Marine equivalent), TEQ (Terminator equivalent), Poxwalker (with its 5+++) and a Sister (which represents all that T3Sv3+ infantry)

Every column has been split into 4. Why? Because we are either in turn 1-2 or 3+ and/or get reroll of 1's from Succubus. So, the first cells are counted for the wyches without Succubus's influence turn 1-2, the 2nd with Succubus turn 1-2, 3rd without Succubus turn 3+ and last but not least, the 4th with Succubus turn 3+. Furthermore I adjusted it to point cost (8pts + weapon's cost) and in TEQ column I divided all by 2 as those guys have 2 wounds (except for impaler as it does 2dmg)

In the index HG were always better than Razorflails. Now, with the buffs to the latter it wins when fighting T3 targets and even TEQ in turns 1 and 2. Shardnet & impaler are not cost efficient against anything but TEQ (and presumably Primaris) but it is their additional effect that is really doing work (we are gonna talk about it later).

Obsessions, drugs and rock'n'roll

In the table below you will see the effects of +1A and +1S drug (I do not really consider taking WS drug - it works only if you do not pland your wyches to survive till 3rd turn ;3)
I combined it with +1A and +1S obsessions, to see which of those combinations works the best.
On the left you see % increase in kills/10pts spend. 
GEQ: As you can see +1A and +1S drug makes no difference for a basic Wych - in both cases the avg damage is increased by 33%. Taking +1A is better tho for our special weapons - except for razorflails which preffer extra S. 
Out of the combinations the clear winner is a mix of +1A and +1S - except for HG in which case you rather take +2A
MEQ: Here +1S drug wins the competition - there is no doubt. It increases avg damage by up to 50%. 
When it comes to drug&obsession choice you'd again go for a +1S +1A mix - but this time razorflails are the exception, they benefit greatly from +2S

You cannot run

Shardet & impaler is great but not thanks to its damage output. It almost ensures that noone can except the combat. What are the odds of us winning a d6 vs d3 roll of? 
$ 1 - \frac{3}{18} = 83,33 $% because in case of a draw they cannot escape.
What is interesting is that it does not only work against wych's targets. If there was a Succubus next to a wych with S&I the opponent would need to win 2 rollofs to escape the fight. $ 1 -{(\frac{3}{18})}^{2} = 97,22 $%. Take that CWE!

Hope you guys found that interesting. Good luck in the arena!

Friday 13 April 2018

Getting that first turn

Hey there!

Today I am going to touch a topic that is more... universal - it applies to every army you might play.
We are an army made out of paper that sits in vehicles out of paper. We suffer from concentrated fire more than any other army. Going first or second at your will is desirable. In previous editions you kind of relied only on the decision of your opponent in case he deployed his army first. With the changes to pre-game (which make the game more dynamic) there is some tactics involved in list building. The less drops you have, the bigger is the chance for that +1 to your roll.
How likely are you to win the roll-off if you have finished deploying first?

TL;DR its $ \frac{21}{31}=67,7 $ %

How is that? In a normal roll of the chance is 50%. Out of 36 possible rolls you win 15 times, he/she wins 15 times and you have to reroll 6 times. It's 50/50. But when the modificator is involved everything changes. Out of 36 rolls if you have the +1 you win 21 times, he/she wins 10 times and you draw 5 times. Why then 21/31 and not 21/36? Well... with every draw you have to reroll and then you still win 21/36 times but in case of a draw you reroll the 2nd time, and then.... It can theoretically happen MILLLLLLLLION times in a row. To calculate the odds of winning a roll of with one player having +1 to the result you actually need to solve a limit of: $ \lim_{x\to\infty} \frac{21}{36} \sum_{i=0}^{\infty}(\frac{5}{36})^{i} $

The graph shows a chance for a player with a +1 to win a roll of after x number of rerolls (starting with 0 as the original roll).

On the Y axis you have the chance in decimal of winning the roll of, on the X axis is the nth reroll.
The orange line is equal to 21/31. The blue line shows the odds of winning the roll of, after nth reroll, with 0 being the original (first)  roll.

It doesn’t matter what is the difference in number of drops between you and the opponent. Having 2, 4, 10, 20 more drops will still mean you have only 10/31 of winning the roll-off. In ITC you might wanna go first (to secure alpha strike) or second (to have better control over the objectives). If you lose the roll-off, you have still 1/6 chance of seizing the initiative, so that is effectively ~32% chance of going first (assuming your opponent decides to start the game). It is slightly less than 1/3 of your games.

Can this knowledge help us when building our list for a tournament? The answer is yes!
NOTE: If you have the same number of drops then a person that started deploying first gets the +1

I took top16 army lists from adepticon 2018, counted the number of drops they had and based on that info I created a normal distribution graph. In the table below, you can see probability of our opponent having less than X number of drops and of us winning the roll-of.

While building your list you should keep track of how many drops you have. While approaching 19 drops, you will be able to choose whether to go first or second ~~50% of the games. No matter how few drops you have, you will never go over 67,7%, and even while having as few as 8-9 drops you have 2/3 chance.

An example: Hero in one of his posts proposes a full Kabal 2000pts roster, which has at least 11 drops. It means, that the odds of him winning the roll are

1) Having more drops than our opponent gives us 32% chance of getting first turn
2) You cannot statistically begin more than 67,71% of your games
3) Before you start deploying your army check your opponent’s roster and count his minimal # of drops - if it is higher than yours you can deploy more offensively, if it's lower rather defensively

I hope that this article was interesting, if you have any feedback you can leave it here below, in my thread at The Dark City or in the Dark Eldar Facebook group.

See you next time!

Wednesday 11 April 2018

How to kill infantry effectively?

Switching from 7th edition our army got a lot worse at killing most infantry units. Our main weapon - splinter - at least had that AP6 (negating 6+ save, for those that were not arround at that time). Changes to how wounding works now kinda negated the advantage of flat 4+ wounding aswell.

With point reductions, changes to Shredder, as well as Splinter Racks coming back from the dead we gained some much needed help.

I've divided the targets into 5 categories: GEQ (Guardsmen equivalent), MEQ (Marine equivalent), TEQ (Terminator equivalent), Poxwalker (with its 5+++) and a Sister (which represents all that T3Sv3+ infantry).
I calculated average damage (as usual per 100pts spend on a unit). I assumed that you are in Rapidfire range when it mattered.

For some units an obsession makes a difference - that is what all that FS (Flayed Skulls) and PT (Poisoned tongue) means, in case you were not sure :D

As the results show us, Mandrakes are the best unit against high-save opponents (thanks to their AP and mortal wounds). When it comes to shooting at low T targets Shredders do shine. Having that 35/36 (97,2%) wounding chance and AP-1 is priceless.
Splinter racks, altough they change dmg output significantly they still do not bring as much pain as I would hope them to.

Webwaying Kabalites blob (especially PT) or Footslogging (recommending Obsidian Rose for that extra range) are one of the most efficient buys you might have. They are great at killing low save targets and are not bad against 3+. We have to remember tho that they ain't gonna survive long without a Vehicle that protects them.

Thanks for reading and I hope that your enemies are gonna scream louder than ever.

Tuesday 10 April 2018

Dark Lance or a Disintegrator Cannon - how to equip your Ravager(s)

A lot of us (or at least me) feel kinda uncertain whether a Dissy is a good choice - it has 3 shots but only 5 strength and flat 2 damage. Thanks to codex it went down in points by 50%, being now 5pts cheaper than a DL. With point reduction to 3xDC Ravager went down to 125pts.

Instinctively I would say - take a Lance when firing at a Vehicle, elsewhere take a Dissy. I did some math and... I was wrong.

Let's jump into the maths. I will divide this post into 4 parts:
  • average unsaved wounding hits
  • average damage dealt
  • average damage dealt per points spend
  • few honorable mentions
Average unsaved wounding hits
Similarly, to all the following I did my calculations for targets with T1-10 and Save 1+-7+ (from a 2+ save in cover to no save).
This are the final results of my calculations - a Cannon deals more wounding hits despite having lower Strenght and Worse Ap.
What does it mean to us (before we implement damage into the calculation)? That unless we are shooting at a 3+W target DC is gonna be more reliable. Things might change if we were to shoot at a Death guard marine (5+++ etc.).

Average damage dealt
DC does flat 2 where a DL does 3,5 on average. This should change the results, right? And it does :D
Here DL takes the lead when targeting most of the Vehicles that we can find in our games (and most of the Monsters too). Remember me mentioning that Nurgle marines? You are still gonna disintegrate them with a cannon.
So, DL is a better AT weapon? Yes, but it is more expensive. Let's check how the things shape up if we factor in the cost.

Average damage dealt per points spend
This time I decided to post all the results. The damage dealt has been divided per 100pts spend on a 3xDC or 3xDL Ravager.
Now, if we compare those 2, we get some interesting results.

As you can plainly see DC overtook the Lance at T8 at 2+ and 3+ save. If a Land raider or a Leman Russ doesn't hang out in the open (or you happen to be from the Flayed Skulls) you should rather equip Ravagers with a DC.

The choice is not clear. For me it will be DC on Vehicles and Blasters on the Scourge and Kabalites.
There are 2 honorable mentions that were counterintuitive for me:

Honorable mentions
... a Wave Serpent (with its Shields and Stones) and a Necron Ghost Ark (with its Quantum Shielding)

Let's start with the Ghost Ark. Whenever it is getting damaged, the opponent rolls a d6. If he rolls lower, he gets to negate ALL the damage. I thought it favors the DC (as it does less dmg per wound)

A 3DL Ravager gets on average 2 hits > 1,33 wounds > 2,07 dmg. That is 1,48 per 100pts.
A 3DC Ravager gets on average 6 hits > 2 wounds > 3,28 dmg. That is 2,62 per 100pts.

EDIT: A user form the Dark City named Rashkashanoticed a mistake in my calculations. It has been corrected above. It seems that DC is actually way better at dealing with the Necrons

Now the Transport of the lesser kin - the Wave Serpent. With its wargear it ignores wounds on a "6" and reduces incoming dmg by 1 to minimum of 1.

A 3DL Ravager gets on average 2 hits > 1,33 wounds > 1,33 unsaved wounds > 2,96 dmg. That is 2,12 per 100pts.
A 3DC Ravager gets on average 6 hits > 2 wounds > 1,67 unsaved wounds > 1,39 dmg > . That is 1,11 per 100pts.

Depsite the damage reduction and 6+++ a Lance beats Dissy by a big margin.

I hope it was useful, interesting and that it will help you make your own choice based on the stats I provided. Good luck in bringing pain!

Monday 9 April 2018

Anti-tank Scourges, blasters and the haywireblasters

8th edition codex has landed and I do not need to tell you - it is huge. Lots of new options, many weapons revised. I decided to start with a quick look at my favorite Drukhari unit - Scourges.

I like to use them both as Tank hunters and as Character snipers but for the purpose of this post I am gonna focus at the 2 anti-vehicle options that look really appealing to me - new d6d Blasters and new Haywire Blasters. The buffs to Heat lance look fine but then again... you enter >9" from an enemy with your 6S shot and that ridiculous AP5 (which negates 2+ armor but you wound on 5s - not the best deal at all).

I did my calculations for 3 types of Vehicles. A Rhino Equivalent (T7, Sv3+), a Land Raider equivalent (T8, Sv2+) and an unfriendly Raider (T5, Sv4+/5++). 
We have to remember, that a Blaster scourge costs almost 50% more than HWB scourge. I adjusted the %chance to the cost and here you have it:
Blaster and Haywire blaster

vs a Rhino

vs a Landraider

vs a Raider

the X-axis shows damage dealt (Well, theoretically 1 hwb can do even 12 dmg, but probability of it doing  7+ is ~0,5% against a Raider)
the Y-axis shows probability of doing that much dmg

By looking at those graphs we can easily tell that the haywire blaster is better at shooting vehicles. It is the best weapon if we want to strip a Tank from last few wounds. A hwb doesn't care about invs, quantum-shielding and spirit stones but it is next to useless at sniping characters and killing non-vehicle opponents.

Tho a Scourge with a Haywire blaster has >50% chance of getting at least 1 wound on a Landraider (a blaster equipped one <28%) it cannot benefit form CP reroll that well - we all know and we all love that sweet sweet dmg roll of "6" on a blaster shot from a cheap winged Drukhari.

When playing against a Vehicle heavy opponent Haywire is a useful tool at getting that killing blow on a Tank but it cannot and should not serve as a primary AT option for our army.