Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Necron Decurion Math-hammer 2 - Wraiths with Resurrection Protocols

Wraiths are hard to kill already, with 2 wounds, toughness 5 and a 3+ invulnerable save. It takes a lot to kill them in their standard state. What happens though when you have them in a Canoptek formation in a Decurion detachment. Madness, thats what happens. Here is the maths behind killing wraiths when they have a 3+inv save and 4+ RP.

Shooting the wraiths with Bolters from Marines

2/3 shots will hit due to BS of 4
1/3 hits will wound due to T5 vs S4. So 1/3 of 2/3 is 2/9 of shots will wound.
1/3 of wounds will fail their save. So 1/3 if 2/9 is 2/27 will fail their save.
1/2 of failed saves will fail their RP roll of 4+. So 1/2 of 2/27 is 1/27.
It will take 27 bolter shots to do 1 wound to a wraith!
To kill a full squad of 6 wraiths, it will take 162 bolter shots. Broken much??

Shooting the wraiths with Krak missiles from Marines

2/3 shots will hit due to BS of 4
5/6 shots will wound due to S8 vs T5. 5/6 of 2/3 will be 5/9 shots will wound.
1/3 of wounds will fail save of 3++. 1/3 of 5/9 is 5/27 shots will fail save.
1/2 of failed saves will fail their RP roll of 4+. 1/2 of 5/27 is 5/54 of shots will actually cause a wound.
It will take 10.8 Krak missiles to cause 1 wound on a wraith! 
To kill a full squad of 6 wraiths, it will take 64.8 Krak missiles.

Killing wraiths with S10 hits (for Instant Death bonus)

I won't start with a BS skill here due to S10 being rare and a variety of different BS of its users.
5/6 hits will wound due to S10 vs T5
1/3 of wounds will fail save due to 3++. So 1/3 of 5/6 is 5/18 of hits will fail save.
2/3 of saves will fail RP due to -1 to RP rolls because of instant death. 2/3 of 5/18 is 5/27.
It will take 5.4 S10 HITS to KILL a wraith.
To kill a full squad of 6 wraiths it will take 32.4 S10 hits. Remember these are hits not shots, you have to factor in BS skill and/or blast scatter first. With a guards man BS of 3 you will need to multiply this by 2 to account for only 50% of his shots hitting.

So basically wraiths are nearly impossible to kill by simply shooting them with guns. They do however have a big weakness. This formation requires a single Canoptek Spyder (Tomb Spyder in old money) to give the formation RP rolls and it needs to be within 12". Either kill the spyder or somehow force the the wraiths away from the spyder. The spyder has to be by itself, not a squad of 2 or 3 spyders, so it is quite vulnerable but it will also have RP too, so T6 with a 3+ save and 4+ RP rolls will also be quite hard to kill. And don't forget the scarabs in the formation will also have 4+ RP rolls, which is just funny.

Necrons as a whole seem stupidly resilient with the Decurion, but seeing things with a 2++ re-rollable save I don't feel too bad about this. While our army is hard to kill, we don't put out that much damage and this (sort of ) balances things out a bit.

Monday, 21 September 2015

Some quick(ish) math-hammer on the Necron Decurion detachment

So, I was a little bored at work today and a probability question has been bugging me for a while. What is the probability of killing Necron Warriors when they have a 4+ save, followed by a 4+ RP (Decurion) and re-rolling 1s due to the warlord being within 12 inches. The re-roll RP (Resurrection Protocol) rolls of 1 had been the bit that I was stuck on. So today I did some calculations on a spreadsheet to work things out.

TL DR, it takes approx 13 shots from a marine with a bolter to kill a warrior. Without the re-roll of 1s, it takes approx 12 shots to kill a warrior. Doesn't sound like much of a difference, but when you have a big blob of 20 warriors the maths looks a little more impressive. It takes approx. 262 bolter shots to kill all 20 warriors!!!! That is insane! Without the re-roll of 1s it takes a mere 240 shots. I suppose its still not a huge difference. The main point is that it takes an insane amount of shots to kill Warriors in a Decurion detachment. When you add in things like 3+ saves on Immortals or 3++ saves with RP on Wraiths you're in crazy territory. I haven't worked out the maths for that. Maybe tomorrow.

For anyone who cares here is the maths that led me to this.
Marine with bolter (or necron warrior) vs Warrior in Decurion.
Marine BS of 4, 2/3 shots will hit.
Strength 4 vs Toughness 4, 1/2 of hits will wound, so its now 1/3
4+ save, so 1/2 of saves will fail. So we're now at 1/6
4+ RP roll, so we're now at 1/12 shots will kill.
Now it gets tricky with the re-roll of 1s. 1/6 of failed RP rolls will re-roll, this is 1/24 of the shots fired. 1/2 of these will actually pass their re-rolled RP roll. Thats 1/48 shots will pass a re-rolled 1 RP roll. Adding 1/48 for the failed re-rolls to the.... oh damn my notes have failed me, I can't remember how I got to the next hurdle but I have 11/48 x 1/3 written down and I can't remember why now. I came to the answer of 11/144 chance of killing a warrior or 13.09 shots to kill it, which makes sense given the calculation below without the re-roll.

The maths for without the re-roll is a lot easier.
Marine BS of 4, 2/3 shots will hit.
Strength 4 vs Toughness 4, 1/2 of hits will wound, so its now 1/3
4+ save, so 1/2 of saves will fail. So we're now at 1/6
4+ RP roll, so we're now at 1/12 shots will kill.
Or 12 bolter shots to kill a warrior. 240 bolter shots to kill a blob of 20 warriors.

Without Decurion

Marine BS of 4, 2/3 shots will hit.
Strength 4 vs Toughness 4, 1/2 of hits will wound, so its now 1/3
4+ save, so 1/2 of saves will fail. So we're now at 1/6
5+ RP roll, so 2/3 will fail, we're at 2/18 or 1/9.
So it takes 9 bolter shots to kill a warrior not in a Decurion instead of 12. Makes quite a difference. Only 180 shots to kill 20 warriors (lol) compared to 240.

With guardsmen with lasguns against decurion warriors you may as well pack up and go home. To kill 20 warriors (without re-rolling 1s) it takes 480 lasgun shots! 24 shots to kill just 1 warrior.

I will try tomorrow to get the missing bit of math for the re-rolls. The end answer is still correct I believe, I just can't remember how I did the last bit of calculation.

I think the lesson to learn from this is don't bother trying to kill warriors with bolters because you will be rolling dice all day. The Decurion adds quite a chunk of extra resilience to and already resilient army for only the cost of loosing objective secured and being forced to take particular units. I don't think its much of a tax and having wraiths with a 3++ and a 4+ RP roll with 2 wounds at T5 is just plain wrong.

Like with any math-hammering and with my dice and rubbish dice rolling hands this will probably fail to stand the test of real life (real life toys anyway) battles.

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

First game of 7th edition wasn't so bad after all

On Monday night I played my first game of 7th edition 40k. I had made a simple list for my Necrons to ease me back into things.
HQ - Destroyer Lord with Warscythe
HQ - Destroyer Lord with Warscythe
Troops - 20x Warriors
Troops - 20x Warriors
Troops - 10x Warriors
Troops - 10x Warriors
Transport - Ghost Ark
Transport - Ghost Ark
Fast Attack - 6x Wraiths with 3x whip coils
Total - 1499 points

My warlord trait gave all models within 12 inches of the warlord Relentless and Crusader.

I managed to get a game with a guy practising with his Daemons for a tournament in October. He had Kairos, using the grimoire of true names for a 2++ re-rollable, some champions, 2 squads of pink horrors, some blood crushers and some plague drones. He had enough psychic power cards to wallpaper the room!

Deploying 6 numbered objective was a new thing for me and the fact that one player deployed them all.

I got first deployment and first turn. I deployed everything close together on the right hand side of my deployment zone. My destroyer lords were attached to the 20 warrior squads to give them preferred enemy, the 2 10 man squads were in the ghost arks behind the big squads, to regenerate any losses, and the wraiths were deployed on the right hand side.

He deployed his forces stretched out along his deployment line. His fatal error at this point was deploying Kairos opposite the wraiths, hidden behind ruins, but opposite them none the less.

The entire battle basically involved him summoning daemons and me shooting and killing them. He had a few shooty psychic powers but these didn't do much. 40 rapid firing gauss shots that re-roll 1s to hit and to wound made a mess of anything that went near my army. He deepstruck his big squad of plague drones near one of the squads of 20 and I shot them and then charged them (due to relentless) and made a mess of them. Necron warriors charged something and won combat!

My wraiths charged up the side of the board and by turn 2 were in combat with Kairos. This seemed like a waste of the wraiths as they couldn't really hurt him due to his 2++ re-rollable but it was a major game changer. Kairos is utterly crap in combat, 1 attack and 1 WS. The wraiths spent 3 game turns locked in combat with him and only knocked off 2 wounds. He charged the wraiths with plague bearers with 2 champions in the squad, and the wraiths just kept shrugging off the wounds. By the end of turn 4 there was one wraith left in combat with Kairos, plague bearers, 2 nurgle champions, a squad of horrors and a nurgle greater daemon had just been summoned next to the combat. The rest of the table however was at this point devoid of any other daemons. He had summoned bloodletters, blood crushers and other things and they were all dead too. My army had lost 5 wraiths and 4 warriors..... He threw in the towel at this point, quite understandably.

Objective wise I had got First Blood, I killed a squad in a shooting phase and I held an objective. He had only held an objective. The new objective system is certainly different now, with the getting 3 cards and changing them whenever they're achieved etc. Its a more interesting way of doing things compared to the old end of game objectives but I do think they're a bit messy. My other two objectives which I didn't achieve were, kill a monstrous creature and kill the enemy warlord. The only way I could get those were to kill Kairos with his damn 2+++ save. God I had that combo.

So I won my first game of 7th. Wasn't expecting that. I don't know what I was so worried about. There are a few changes but it is still more or less the same game as 6th edition. I'm not sure if I like the objectives and I still don't like the way psychic powers work with their randomness and cards everywhere, I prefer the old style where they're basically like wargear with a perils of the warp test.

Once I started moving models and shooting stuff it was as if I had never stopped playing. It all came back so quickly. Now I'm looking forward to next Monday and my next game of 40k. Maybe using my scarab farm this time.

Sunday, 5 July 2015

OMG, I'm back!


After nearly 2 years to the day of not posting I'm back. I have been on hiatus from 40k for a variety of reasons, mainly because it stopped being fun and then 7th changed 40k beyond recognition for me. I have spent 2 years working on model railways instead. Which was relaxing and there was no pressure to win win win. 

Well, I have now moved due to work and there is a wargaming club where I have been sent. So against my better judgement, I find myself sliding back into it. I'm a little bit miffed about the costs of simply getting back into it though, 1 codex and the rulebook is all I need. Just that comes to £80!!! WTF!! I have found a cheap rulebook on ebay for £20 but I think I'll have to pay full whack for the necron codex. I have access to the necron codex though and I'll write up a list and see if I can get a game at the club tomorrow night. 

So much seems to have changed since 6th edition 40k and the old codex. I don't have a clue what the deal is with formations and pretty much everything seems to have been tweaked or changed. My flayed ones might actually get deployed at some point now, I just have to find them all in the loft and reattach various arms that have come off. 

I think I'll start off with a simple army to get back in the swing of things. Lots of warriors, a destro lord to lead a big squad of them for preferred enemy, a couple of ghost arks and some wraiths if I have spare points.

So much stuff to try and take in. There are 4 new armies since I stopped playing... how did that happen??

Monday, 1 July 2013

Winning a tournament by using all available means - Or, why do people hate tournament winners?

Warning! Rage and vitriol in the following text. Read at your own risk. Apologies if I have offended anyone but I myself have been offended and need to vent.

I read today some responses to the tournament I played in and won in June. I was a bit miffed at the attitude towards me about the way I won. First off, I didn’t intend to win, I believed that it was impossible to plan for 4 way games as I’ve seen multiplayer games before and seen the way that players can be ganged up upon. That sort of game can be vicious so I decided I’d be the grey man and just gather a few points that I could, and hope for the best.

I think people don’t like it when they realise they didn’t play the mission properly and someone else did. The tournament had a lot of points available for bonus things, like bringing in units from reserve or having an MSU army. I was the ONLY player who used those fully to my advantage during the tournament. Did I abuse the rules? I don’t think I abused them anymore than people who brought nigh on unkillable units to a battlefield where everyone was limited to 1000 points. People just saw the mission as the Relic mission and thought: “if I get the relic I win”. Wrong. Whoever gets the most points wins. People claimed I had a “technical win”, I dispute this, nowhere in the rules did it say you must claim the relic to win, so a win is a win. I worked my arse off for 2 weeks painting my army to get just 2 bonus points, why don’t I deserve to win?

As has been repeated ad infinitum on the internet about how to win at 40k (or anything in life really); play the mission. The mission of the day was to get the most points to win the tournament. The relic was worth 20 points to whoever had it at the end. There were 2 games to play ergo 40 possible points. There were 3 other players all trying to get the relic too, making you a bit target if you tried to get it. 2 points were available for each kill point. Because of these facts I decided to plan my army around not claiming the relic and aiming to come somewhere near the high end of the middle, hopefully 3rd if I was lucky. I planned to get lots of points for my army list as these were guaranteed points and I wanted the 3 bonus championship points for getting the most achievements for the day. To be honest I expected more people to see these as easy points. In fact people were blinded by the relic and decided to put in really tough big units instead. This lead to armies with few units, which meant few bonus points, which in turn put me at an advantage. I just turtled up in the corner while everyone was frothing over the relic.

Is maximising your points with your army list or by keeping things in reserve exploiting the rules? It’s a tournament! Tournaments are about maximising what you can. If you decided to ignore some obvious advantages for moral reasons then fair play to you but don’t expect to win. Tournaments are the peak of WAAC playing, its like that in every sport and most people congratulate the winner at the end and try to think what they could have done better. I try to think what I could have done better after a tournament and the bonus points are what I have seen used to win before…… by Ken. It was his example last year that lead me to use the bonus points myself. He played for all the little things like a bonus point for infiltrating, a bonus point for having allies, a bonus points for scout moves. People just dislike the fact that I gained lots more bonus points than anyone before. Maybe the rules should be changed to have more focus on the objective of the game but that doesn’t change the rules for the games already played.

At the end of it all it’s just a game of plastic men and nothing to get worked up about. I’m a bit annoyed at myself for getting worked up like this already but I had to vent. I mean no ill to the other players who play in the Guardians of Tyr tournaments, I enjoy the challenge, that’s why I keep going. I could complain about the cheesy armies that they use against me but I’m not going to, you expect that sort of thing at tournaments.

Lessons learnt:

  • Play the mission – all of it, not just the main objective.
  • Expect cheese at a tournament – it’s a tournament, not a fluffy/story-based scenario.
  • If you post it on the internet it will be seen.
  • If you were beaten by someone don’t complain about it unless they cheated. Just up your game next time.
  • Ignore the orks at your peril!

Monday, 24 June 2013

GoT 4 way free for all 40k tournament!

Last Saturday was the 40k Mayhem tournament. 4 players, each with 1000 points, on a 4 foot x 6 foot board fighting over a relic and kill points. It was definitely mayhem. Alliances were formed, only to be broken the next turn. Backs were stabbed and bodies littered the battlefields at Wargames Workshop Milton Keynes.

The Format of the tournament was 2 games of 4 way or 3 way free for all. Each game to last a max of 3 hours. The objective was a relic in the centre of the board, this was worth 20 points. Kill points were worth 2 points each. There were bonus points for things like turbo boosting, reserves and scout moves. There were also pre-tournament achievement points for things like having a painted army (1pt), 1 point for each unit, 1 point for each troop choice, wearing a t-shirt in the colours of your army. The achievement points and points gained for both games counted towards a total that decided the winner at the end.

Before the tournament had started I had tricks up my sleeve. I had engineered my army to get a ton of achievement points. 32 points to be exact. I had maxed out my force org chart and managed to fit in a fortification and 2 transports! This gave me a bit of a head start as the closest other person only had 23 achievement points. Having such a crazy army was very risky though as there was a lot of easy kill points in it.

My army list for the day:
Big Mek with Shokk attack gun and boss pole
Big Mek with boss pole (Warlord)
3x 10 Grots
3x 10 Ork Boyz
3x 5 Lootas
3x Kannons
2x Trukks
2x Deffkoptas with big shootas
1x buggie with rokkits
Aegis Defence line with Quad gun.

The plan was to simply hide behind the Aegis and shoot everything, once everything was dead hop out and grab the relic. Of course plans rarely survive contact with the enemy though.

Game 1

The tables for the first game were decided by order of achievement points from highest to lowest. This put me on a table with mech Dark Eldar in front of me, Dark Angels diagonally opposite me and Salamanders to my right. I deployed behind my Aegis and got to go first. The Dark Eldar deployed as far from everyone's guns as possible, the Dark Angels turtled up behind their Aegis and the Salamanders put a squad of terminators and a vindicator within spitting distance of my orks, ready to tear them up.

The Salamanders grabbed the relic and started hauling it back to their deployment zone. Bullets were flying in every direction except between myself and the Dark Angels. Forced started thinning out but the Salamanders still held the relic by turn 3. The Dark Eldar sent on their flyer, it dropped a bomb and promptly fell out of the sky due to a hail of fire from the Ork Quad Gun (hehe).

With the relic almost safely in the salamander hands all attention turned to him and his forces came under attack from all angles. He managed a rather cheeky manoeuvre though. The Dark Angels were sending their bikers to grab the relic once the remaining stragglers of salamanders were wiped out. The Salamanders had dragged the objective up a level in the ruins though. Bikes can't clime ladders!! Game ends and nobody has the objective......

Game 2

The tables for the second game were decided by how many points you got in the last game. On the top table were myself (Orks), Ken Chambers (my nemesis) (Tau), the pink Eldar and the Dark Eldar. 

This time I decided to play for second place. I deployed my Aegis further back from the edge of my deployment and stayed behind it hoping that everyone would forget about me.

The Eldar grabbed the relic before the game had even started. They infiltrated their rangers right on it. These were then reinforced with the help of jetbikes and then the wraithknight. The scouts died and the wraithknight picked it up.

Then the Dark Eldar swooped in, stabbing their brothers in the back. The wraithknight was toppled by the combined firepower of the Dark Eldar, Orks and Tau. Wracks got out of their venom and ambled over to the relic and picked it up.

As soon as the wracked picked up the relic they got shot out of existence by the Tau who send over their 2 riptides to pick it up. 2 riptides in 1000 points!!! Goddamit Ken!

The Eldar were wiped out by this point and the Orks and Dark Eldar set out to kill the Riptides. I gave up after a round of unsuccessful shooting and started picking of Tau infantry and Dark Eldar things.

The Riptides just laughed off the incoming fire with their 2+ saves and feel no pain. They went and hit in the corner away from my guns and waited for the end of the game. The end came and they still had the objective. Bodies lay everywhere..... except in the ork deployment zone! My plan to be ignored worked. I only lost 4 units, 2x deffcoptas, a buggy and a trukk. Everyone else was devestated. Ken had just his 2 riptides and his HQ suit thingy, the Deldar had a couple of venoms and a ravager and the Eldar were gone completely.

After the totals were added up I was expecting Ken to win as he had the relic and me (hopefully) get 2nd. Lo and behold! I beat him with a crap ton of bonus points and kill points. 44 points to 42! The trick was keeping 9 units in reserve as each one got me a point when it came on. Also sitting back and picking off stragglers with my lootas made a big difference. Sorry Ken.

End Result

After the end of the game I had no idea who would win as it was possible to get a huge amount of points if played right, Ken got  52 points in the first game. The results were announced in order from last to first. Making me wait to be put out of my misery. I came first!!! AAAAhhhh! I went into the tournament thinking it was impossible to plan and win in free for all games. I didn't even touch the relic in either game. Turns out that was the winning move. Let everyone duke it out for the relic and you just sit there killing them one by one.


Thanks to Ian Wardle of Guardians of Tyr for organising the event and thanks to everyone who took part.


Pts T. ach G. ach Kp's S.troops Relic
Michael towers 116 32 40 34 10 0
Ken chambers 2 110 16 19 34 1 40
James hulance Taylor 1 81 21 17 22 1 20
Chris king 3 79 23 22 30 4 0
Dan burrows 1 69 22 13 14 0 20
David Stewart 1 69 14 18 16 1 20
Keaton James Callaghan 3 69 12 19 18 0 20
Jake trapnell 0 61 14 15 10 2 20
Michael Stewart 2 60 15 15 28 2 0
Steven almond 1 58 17 21 16 4 0
Dean Hankin 0 45 15 18 12 0 0
Tobias Barr 0 42 17 8 14 3 0
Tom van den end 0 41 16 14 10 1 0

0 0 0 0
numbers after names indicate 0
0 0 0 0
warlord kills 0
0 0 0 0