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I'm not feeling Purifiers anymore. Thoughts?
Discussion: Eldar / Dire Avengers should cost **13pts**...and here's why :)
« Last post by The Mattler on July 21, 2017, 03:13:54 PM »
I found, and corrected, a significant error in my calculations.  I had forgotten to include the hit chance for the "rending" shots of the Avenger Shuriken Catapults, making it do more damage than it should.  On the plus side, under the corrected numbers the Marines and Dire Avengers are exactly equal against each other in offensive efficiency, so 13pts apiece is an appropriate cost.  I also submitted the correction to GW.

I like most of the changes in 8th edition so far, both in the core rules and the Indices, but points costs continue to be a concern.  I am currently evaluating all of the Eldar units for the degree to which their performance matches their points cost, and I thought I'd share a simple process that can help make it easier to determine appropriate points costs, as well as change them if necessary.  I've already sent all of this in an email to GW, but I wanted to post it here to get your feedback, and in case it helps the veterans of 40k Online with an efforts to submit their own balance suggestions to GW (which seems to be a work in progress right now).  I'll start with a few simple assumptions about the game, then dive right into an example of how to apply the method.

Theory and Assumptions
Game length: The number of battle rounds in 40k is generally capped at 7, but it's not that simple; in games with random length, 100% last at least 5 turns, 67% last at least 6 turns, and 33% last 7 turns.  In this exercise, I am assuming that games last 6 turns.
Expected Casualties: I think it's fair to say that most players want games with lots of casualties, so let's set the target at 100% casualties by the end of the 6th battle round.  In reality, we will fall short of that target because not all units will be able to apply their damage with perfect efficiency, and variability in dice rolls would cause fluctuations anyway.
Appropriate Damage: The two considerations above imply that a given unit should be able to average 1/6 of its own points value in casualties to its preferred target per round using its best attack, for an average total of 100% by the end of a game.

Case Study #1: Marines vs. Marines – Baseline Calibration
Let the Marine balancing be the benchmark for the rest of the game.
Let the points cost of a Marine be *arbitrarily* set to 13pts [Irisado, please leave it alone. ;)]. Gotta start somewhere...
At 24”, a Boltgun kills 1/9 Marines per round, so in 6 rounds they kill 6/9 Marines.  If those Marines are 13pts, that means per Boltgun 8.67pts of Marines are killed per game (new abbreviation: points killed/ game = PKG).  At 12”, double that number to 17.33.
If we assume that each Marine will only be in Rapid Fire range half the time, the average is (drumroll…) 13, which strongly implies that GW is already following the same logic as this exercise so far.  If the game we’re just regular Marines shooting each other, the game would be pretty well balanced, apart from the turn structure causing large “alpha strike” problems in which large numbers of models are killed before they get to act.  Alternating actions on a unit (or preferably, points) basis would go a long way to fix those problems, but I digress…

If you want to equip a model with a more powerful weapon with a more consistent range on a more maneuverable body, how much weaker would you have to make its defenses, or how much more expensive in points, to make it balanced with the Marines described above?

Case Study #2: Building a Dire Avenger – 1st Iteration (13pts)
(I chose 13pts as the starting point because I wanted to change the stats before seeing how far those changes would force me to deviate from the Marine points costs.)
At 18”, an Avenger Shuriken Catapult kills 1/3 Marines per round, so in 6 rounds it kills 2 Marines.  If those Marines are 13pts, that means an Avenger Shuriken Catapult has a PKG against Marines of 26.  That's crazy high compared to the Boltgun, so the Dire Avengers must be some combination of flimsy and/or expensive compared to Marines to make the shootout balanced.
At 24”, a Boltgun kills 2/9 Dire Avengers per round, so in 6 rounds it kills 4/3 Dire Avengers.  If those Dire Avengers are 13pts, that means per Boltgun 17.33 pts of Dire Avengers are killed per game.  At 12”, double that number to 34.67.  Again, take the average assuming Rapid Fire half the time, yielding 26 PKG.

If you have two units of the same type each other in battle, and assuming they are both intended to have the same preferred targets (in this case, each other), you want their PKGs with respect to each other to be similar.  It won't be exact, as we shall see, but they must be close in order to consider the fight “fair”.  If you don't want to change a unit's stats for thematic reasons, you must change the points cost.  CAUTION: adjusting a unit's points cost affects both its offensive and defensive efficiencies, so be careful and systematic! Fortunately for us, though, at 13pts apiece, the Marines and the Dire Avengers are balanced against each other, but let's take a look at some other factors anyway.

 First, models with lesser armour saves are disproportionately affected by even modest AP because it represents a larger fraction of save negation, and models with lower toughness are disproportionately affected by stronger weapons because they become easier to wound more quickly as weapon strength increases.  Second, models with a larger gap between the offensive efficiency of their best attack mode and other attack mode (e.g., between shooting and melee) have an exploitable weakness.  Third, other abilities of a model that have a substantial effect on the offense or defense must be taken into account.  In our present example of Marines vs. Dire Avengers, the Marines have the upper hand on these “tiebreaker” considerations; their better toughness and saves buffer them against weapon escalation, their melee performance is closer to their shooting than is the case with the Dire Avengers, and they suffer less additional attrition from failed Morale tests.  Don't get me wrong, the Dire Avengers have advantages too, such as their relative mobility acting as both an offensive and defensive boost, they have more accurate Overwatch, and their Avenger Shuriken Catapults lose much less efficiency against tougher targets compared to the Marine Boltguns.  The advantages the Dire Avengers enjoy are more situational than those of the Marines, but their maneuverability in particular prevents the Marines from maximizing their own efficiency, so 13pts is still appropriate for both models.

Final Thoughts
Since everything is now in a wounds/toughness/save system in which all units can split fire, the entire game can be balanced from a single base model, the Tactical Space Marine.  There are other considerations for the larger models of course, which will probably end up being more tuned for performance against each other than against typical infantry, but that's not too tough as long as stronger weapons tend to have fewer shots and inflict more sounds instead of having more shots. I'm particularly encouraged by how the various Indices show that there appears to be an array of archetypal profiles for, e.g., transports, heavy tanks, light vehicles, heavy infantry, monsters, etc., which are then tweaked according to faction.  That's a great way to smooth out some of the variability in quality when multiple designers are all working on separate Codices later.

If you have any questions or comments about my methodology, or if you spot any mistakes, let me know.  Regardless, I hope this has been a useful exercise for you! :)
Discussion: Dark Angels / Re: Chapter Tactics
« Last post by Tobas DA on July 21, 2017, 11:49:58 AM »
Hello Primarch Fritz, I am honored.

I restarted playing Dark Angels at beginning of 6th edition, since that time Deathwing had no assault bonuses. The focus seemed to be on shooting Terminators, (vengeful strike) twin linked shooting on the turn of deepstrike. That was OK but a little sad for Deathwing Knights (and pure assault Terminators).

Yes, some kind of assault bonus would be nice. I would prefer a bonus in combination with teleporting on the table.

Maybe: Stratagem (1CP): Precision deepstrike. If teleporting onto the table (within 6" of a friendly Ravenwing unit), a Deathwing unit must only stay more than 3" away from any enemy model.

Something to make deepstrike assault more likely. Maybe deepstriking Venerable Dreadnoughts  :)
Discussion: Orks / Re: Ork Psychic question
« Last post by Eryx_UK on July 21, 2017, 09:19:02 AM »
Thanks. We agreed that it should be a perils and that is how we played it but wanted to check.
Discussion: THE LIST / 2000 Point Ultramarine Dread Heavy List
« Last post by sindri_tepek on July 21, 2017, 08:23:23 AM »
With the advent of 8th edition and the improvements to vehicles, I was kicking around the idea of a heavy dreadnought list. Obviously this list is going to be spam heavy, and not something I would bring to the club week in and out, but I look at it more as a thought experiment that might actually be a hardliner for tournament prep and play.

Ultramarines Vanguard Detachment

HQ: Techmarine (Conversion beamer, boltgun, chainsword) 78 pts
Elites: 2x Venerable dreadnought (2x dual autocannons) 156 pts each
           1x Venerable dreadnought ( Missile launcher, Autocannon) 148 pts
Flyer:  Stormraven (2x hurricane bolters, twin assault can, twin hvy bolter, 2x Stormstrike) 274 pts

Ultramarines Vanguard Detachment

HQ: Techmarine (Conversion beamer, boltgun, chainsword) 78 pts
Elites: 2x Venerable dreadnought (Missile launcher, Twin lascannon) 165 pts
           1x Venerable dreadnought ( Heavy plasma cannon, missile launcher) 145 pts
Flyer:  Stormraven (2x hurricane bolters, twin assault can, twin hvy bolter, 2x Stormstrike) 274 pts

Ultramarines Super-Heavy Auxiliary Detachment

Lord of War:  Roboute Guilliman 360 pts

Totals:  1999 points /  106 power level

My thought was to ring Guilliman and the techmarines with the dreads to prevent deep-strike assassination attempts while also maximizing the benefits of Guillimans reroll aura. I tossed around the idea of going plain dreads, but for 20 points more base you get +1WS/BS and the potential chance to negate a wound on the roll of a 6, which I feel would be well worth trying to fit in another dread at the expense of some of the items in the list.

I realize the list does not have a huge number of command points, but given that Guilliman provides a measure of redundancy with rerolls I believe the trade-off is worth it.

The added nugget that the apparent upcoming Ultramarine Chapter Tactic is the ability to break off from close combat and still shoot at -1 to hit will also be a huge boon IMO.

Anyway, feel free to comment on what you think. There are obviously going to be bad matchups (massed conscripts, ork tide) but I think this list might have some promise.

Discussion: Space Wolves / Re: Looking for help expanding a Space Wolf army
« Last post by ANevskyUSA on July 21, 2017, 04:25:17 AM »
Getting another Start Collecting box isn't a bad idea. It is really a question of how much Thunderwolf Cavalry he wants. If he is good at modeling, a Wolf Lord, a Wolf Guard Battle Leader and an Iron Priest can all take a Thunderwolf mount so a second box could be useful even if he is satisdin with a single unit of 3 TW cavalry.

The Space Wolf Pack kit is used to assemble Grey Hunters, Blood Claws and Wolf Guard in power armour, and have lotsod useful bits. Since Grey Hunters and Blood Claws are his Troops choices, it is a good idea to have the units available. If more TW cavalry is not needed, GW has a box that consists of a Space Wolf pack + a drop pod for less than the contents separately.

For something a bit different but generally useful, your brother might consider picking up a Wolf Priest, a Rune Priest or the Space Wolf Venerable Dreadnought.
Discussion: Space Wolves / Looking for help expanding a Space Wolf army
« Last post by Nightwing7x on July 20, 2017, 06:34:12 PM »
Hello everyone, so before you hold up the heresy signs for a dark angels player posting on the space wolf side of things, hear me out. My younger brother has recently bought the start collecting box for space wolves and was looking to expand a little more but has no clue where to start, can you guys give us any advice? My suggestion was to buy another start collecting box for the grey hunters and thunder wolves. However I wanted to see what you wolf players had to say on the matter of building a space wolf army.
Discussion: Orks / Re: Ork Psychic question
« Last post by SharkoutofWata on July 20, 2017, 04:36:16 PM »
Natural double 1s and double 6s are always Perils, no matter what mods are included.  Mods that lower a score or raise a score below 2 or higher than 12 do not Perils.
Discussion: Tau / How to get Tau to work under 8th?
« Last post by Eryx_UK on July 20, 2017, 03:34:02 PM »
One of my local players has a Tau army. Under 7th it was fantastic but under 8th he is feeling it has lost the shooting capabilities that it had and he is feeling that markerlights don't help as you so many to get the +1 to shooting. I'm trying to find ways to explain to him how Tau work now under 8th. Any suggestions on what I can point out to help him? Thanks.
Discussion: Orks / Ork Psychic question
« Last post by Eryx_UK on July 20, 2017, 03:26:54 PM »
In a game tonight against an opponent playing orks, a situation came up that we weren't sure about. The Weirdboyz cast a power but rolled double 1's. He was within range of two large boyz squads so added the bonus to the roll. Does he still perils or not even though he rolled the double 1's? Couldn't see anything in the Index entry or in the FAQ so we just rolled for it.
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