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I was thinking about the psychic power warptime. Do you think its worth having warptime on a sorcerer, or is it a power reserved for the daemon princes only? Could he possibly fill any role that a lord couldn't? At least I didn't think so. But, he will certainly be a safer choice than a lord, since the lord needs to rely on a daemon weapon in order to measure up to the rerolls. He will also be able to handle a plasma pistol a lot better. I started doing some mathhammer and found out some interesting things. Consider the following two HQ's:
Lord- daemon weapon, plasma pistol - 145 pts
Sorcerer- warptime, plasma pistol -140 pts
Imagine them charging a MEQ unit each:
The lord charges in with his daemon weapon for an average of 3.5 +4 attacks (*not* counting zero attacks on a ‘1’).
He hits 4/6 of the times and wounds 4/6 of the times, causing in average 7.5*(4/6)*(4/6) = 3.33 unsaved wounds.
The sorcerer with his rerolls is a bit more complicated, but will perform like this:
He’s got 5 melee attacks, hitting 4/6 of them and rerolling another 2/6 of them, that is a (4/6 + (2/6)*(4/6)) chance to hit.
Wounding 3/6 times and rerolling 3/6 will cause 5 * (4/6 + (2/6)*(4/6)) * (3/6 + (3/6)*(3/6)) = 3.33 unsaved wounds, exactly the same as the lord (!).
But wait, just before that, the lord fired his plasma gun.
He hits and wounds 5/6 of the times each, causing (5/6)*(5/6) = 0.69 wounds on the MEQ-unit.
The sorcerer also fired his plasma.
He also hits 5/6 times, but rerolling 1/6 of the times for a (5/6 + (1/6)*(5/6)) chance to hit, wounding on the same. He causes (5/6 + (1/6)*(5/6)) * (5/6 + (1/6)*(5/6)) = 0.94 wounds.
So while they generally kill MEQs´ equally well in close combat, the sorcerer has a better chance of killing one with his plasma gun.
Assuming all goes according to plan.
Now consider that the lords weapon rebelling causes him to not attack at all. He will get the much lower mean value of ( 0+6+7+8+9+10 )/6 = 6.67 attacks, and he will kill only 2.96 MEQs´ with his daemon weapon. The sorcerer also has a chance of failure with warptime, but fails only 3/36 times. He then still gets to attack without the benefits, as opposed to the daemon weapon, which makes this downside near negligible. If we apply the modifier 33/36 to the result (as if he wouldn’t get the attacks at all when botching) he will actually beat the lord anyway with (33/36)*3.33 = 3.05 kills.
Also to consider is the risk to themselves: The lord will burn by his plasma on (1/6)*(2/6) = 0.06 wounds per shot. The sorcerer rerolls and burns only on 1/6 of the times, <0.01 wounds per shot. The lords rebelling daemon weapon hurts him by (1/6)*(4/6) = 0.11 wounds per round. Sorcerer suffers perils and is wounded (2/36) * ((4/6) + (2/6)*(4/6) reroll perils) = 0.05 wounds per round.
If the same calculations are applied on a couple of other unit templates we find they cause the following average numbers of wounds in close combat:
Ws 3, T 3: Lord 3.70, Sorcerer 3.95
Ws 5, T 3: Lord 3.37, Sorcerer 3.33
Ws 6, T 3: Lord 2.78, Sorcerer 3.33
Ws 4, T 4: Lord 2.96, Sorcerer 3.33
Ws 5, T 4: Lord 2.96, Sorcerer 2.81
Ws 6, T 4: Lord 2.22, Sorcerer 2.81
Ws 5, T 5: Lord 2.22, Sorcerer, 2.08
Ws 6, T 5: Lord 1.67, Sorcerer 2.08
Ws 4, T 6: Lord 1.48, Sorcerer 1.38
Ws 5, T 6: Lord 1.48, Sorcerer 1.15
Ws 6, T 6: Lord 1.11, Sorcerer 1.15
This is calculated with the lords’ chance of “zero attacks” in mind. The lord is only slightly better at cracking just a few of the harder nuts. As for killing foot soldiers, sorcerer is the way to go. Of course, marked lords have a different edge; with a mark he will probably be stronger on specific targets. There are also the anti-psykers that can ruin the day for a sorcerer. But for an unmarked lord, considering the handling of the plasma pistol, the lesser risk of failing and the fact that the sorcerer is 5 pts cheaper, I would seriously consider choosing the sorcerer. The lord has greater killing potential, but the sorcerer is most reliable in the long run.
I like to take the mark of slaanesh on my sorcerers to bump them to Init 6. Gives you an edge against high init enemies without losing anything.
I think Lords are a bit "meh" in the current codex, there is almost no real reason to take one. If Daemon Weapons didn't have that stupid 1/6 times do nothing rule, they would be a viable choice. But that's another issue.
Sorcerers with warptime are great, they can really help clean out an enemy unit in a very efficient way.
The only problem is that you have to roll the psychic test. There is a 1/12 chance of failing and a 1/18 chance of taking a wound.
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Nice analysis. I can tell you from table top experience that it seems to be on-target. the re-rolls make a sorcerer perform very reliably, which makes them markedly easier to use tactically.
When I send a daemon weapon lord into assault, it's always a risk because he may perform too well and get caught in the open, or do nothing and get himself pummelled into the dirt (very bad when the enemy is sporting power fists). The sorcerer behaves very consistently, so I can make a good guess how a battle will go before I charge in, which mitigates a lot of the tactical risk when making a battle plan. and of course, sorcerers have the option of maximizing Warptime with tzeentch and wind of chaos, or taking tzeetch and firing off the force weapon on nasty things like wraithlords and a lot of ICs.
I actually think that a more comparable lord might be one with Lightning Claws. He's much cheaper and pretty reliable. Kind of a Kharn-lite. Makes me miss the option for master-crafted and spikey bits though
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If you give the sorc MoT, you can use warptime AND reroll to hit/wound with his force weapon, then, because being Tzeenetch, you can still use the force weapon ability for the instakill (as long as you didn't doombolt).
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