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In marine armies you can have them on terminators, dreadnoughts and speeders.
Do people think assault cannons are too powerful or a fair piece of weaponry in 40k universe?
Has anybody got the probability calculations for how they compare with other weapons such as las cannon, missile launcher etc?
People seem to complain about ACs a lot, but for my money I think they are to be given due respect, prioritised in target selection - and in any case do have limitations.
I think the debate on assault cannons has been moved centre stage by Games Workshop, since the new Dark Angels codex ups their price in all three places you can purchase them. (and restricts their number in the case of speeders.)
This could turn into a much bigger issue than a DA Codex tweak to the DA army - as a new Space Marine Codex may, indeed most likely will, standardise the changes.
What do people think of that?
If only you were a Marine - you too could savour the taste of victory!
Like many weapons, ACs are deadly if ignored, so don't ignore them. They only have a 24" range so thay need to advance a bit. Speeders drop from small arms fire so they can strafe MAYBE twice. Termies have to DS to use them or advance. DS troops always die in short order and advancing is limited in it's effectiveness with expensive units with big scary guns. Dreddies are a popular target and easy to drop, they also fall in the Termie boat. In short, people need to learn how to play and not fear what one gun can do, if ACs are ripping someone up, the fault is with them not GW rules.
Of course Assault Cannons are powerful weapons. But what about Battle Cannons? Earthshakers? Demolishers? Or alien equivalents? All of them are weapons the enemy fears (or else will come to suffer from them a lot) and -sometime or the other- comes to complain about.
Assault Cannons already have the drawbacks of short range (without that they would indeed be unfair) and those of being mounted on rather fragile vehicles. (With the exception of Terminators. But you will find possible ways to down these too because you want the squad to die anyhow.) And they have their price.
It's like the Prince of Excess said. If you get torn by Assault Cannons you could probably do something to change that. Otherwise you should question either your playing skills or your luck.
(Ah, we forgot to talk about Land Raider Crusaders. They are durable too but they also have their price - even with the Assault Cannon being twin-linked it's still an expensive thing to take. And Codex Chapters are limited on them already.
What about the Blood Angels' Baals? Don't they have Assault Cannons mounted too?)
I do not think that their price is too low, but if you look at statistics I understand how some people may come to this conclusion.
After seeing several Dreadnoughts with CC weapon and twin-linked Lascannon I was very confused about why people pay for the Lascannon upgrade on a CC Dread. And to be sure my confusion was reasonable I started to compare the Assault Cannon with the twin-linked Lascannon.Since you asked for comparing statistics I may introduce my results here.
At first a more profane comparison:
* The Lascannon will almost always score a hit as it re-rolls any failed to hit rolls. The Assault Cannon will also almost always score a hit because of its many shots, as such it is also able to score MORE hits.
* The Lascannon can wound anything because of its high strength. The Assault Cannon can wound anything because of rending shots.
* The Lascannon ignores armor saves. The Assault Cannon can do so too because of rending shots - and at the same time force many of them being rolled and therefore some of them being failed. Its AP value is not too bad either.
* The Lascannon can make instant kills up to one point of toughness higher than the Assault Cannon.
* The Lascannon's range is double that of the Assault Cannon.
We conclude up to now: the Lascannon has its advantages (range and instant kill capability), but can actually do nothing an Assault Cannon can't (except for shooting that far). The Assault Cannon in effect is -as everyone will agree- by far the better anti-infantry weapon! (And can and will kill more models, with the possible exception of T8+, 2+ armor save infantry, if such were to exist squad-wise.)
But the Lascannon is the better anti-tank weapon, of course. I think. Er... is it?
For every armor value I have calculated the probabilities of glancing hits and penetrating hits with each the twin-linked Lascannon and the Assault Cannon (keep in mind that comparison to a normal Lascannon would reveal even greater superiority of the Assault Cannon).
Let me list the results as [AV]: [probability of glancing hit with twin-linked Lascannon]/[probability of penetrating hit with twin-linked Lascannon] - [probability of glancing hit with Assault Cannon]/[probability of penetrating hit with Assault Cannon]).
AV: twLCglan / twLCpen - ACglan / ACpen
14: 15% / 15% - 7,5% / 30%
13: 15% / 30% - 7,5% / 37%
12: 15% / 45% - 0% / 44%
11: 15% / 60% - 44% / 44%
10: 15% / 75% - 44% / 89%
We see that AC is more effective against AV14. We also see that it is more effective against AV13 (as the probabilities to hurt the vehicle at all add up to the same sum with the AC having the greater probability of penetrating). Against AV12 the AC can't glance but is otherwise as effective as the twin-linked Lascannon. Only at AV11 is the twin-linked Lascannon really more effective than the AC because against AV10 the Assault Cannon is by far superior again.
(All this is of course presuming that the Assault Cannon is in range to fire at the target. Superior range of the Lascannon still has to be taken into account, of course. But so does the greater price!)
What we learn is that the many shots (all with the possibility of being rending shots) come to outweigh the higher stats of the Lascannon, even if the latter is twin-linked. That the AC has more advantages (above all: its versatility as an effective weapon against any and every threat on the battle-field) than does the twin-linked Lascannon, and that for the lower price.
One more reason to go AC all the way. But still I find that it should NOT be more expensive. (And I know I am probably not being objective here, but I am trying hard!)
I'd agree with all that. Lascannons are better against lower armor and do have the lovely Insta-Kill effect. But how often do you really get the chance to shoot a Lascannon (or most any weapon) at a character running around by itself? A lascannon could bump off an Ogryn or Thousand Sons Marine though, but Insta Kill is most commonly a CC rule. People just see the AC as the everyones gun. Got a vehicle to kill? It can probably handle it with a little luck. Got some Gaunts to mow down? Well look no further, except perhaps to a Heavy Flamer. Look at the army that HAS ACs. Space Marines. Grey Knights. Space Marines are THE most played army and as such, probably need a good gun to make up how common they're to play against. Grey Knights are understrangthed as it is so having ACs helps them where they're not to hot, Tank Busting and dealing with swarm. That might be a bit off topic but I think it might bring out some of the developers logic.
Indeed Baal Predators and Land Raider Crusaders have ACs. I would say the LRC is the best tank in the game all considered. Yes it is very expensive but what do you get? 3 solid anti-infantry guns and 2 solid anti-armor guns. The ability to transport large amounts of infantry or Termies, in some cases not as a designated transport, to assault out of said vehicle even if it moved WITH free Frag Grenades and all in a safe AV __basket. That's one versitile puppy. Of course this comes at the price of combining a ___ point tank with a ??? point squad, making it unignorable to the enemy and not always likely to make it where it's going.
Baal Predators have ACs also and with HB sponsons can pump out some ungodly shot smounts. Predators don't have amazing armor values though, only __, __, __. If you get the sides they're easily destroyed and even though they're mounted they can only move 6" and fire their AC, just like Termies. Easily dealt with.
So basically, in any form the AC is dangerous but easily nullifiable. Most people just don't know how to handle them and want something to blame losses on except tactics and army list because they control those and don't want responsibility.
Excuse the ranting parts. ;]
Last edited by Katie Drake; March 27th, 2007 at 21:07.
Red Archer: Thanks for those excellent probability stats - very helpful breakdown. Appreciate the time taken to share them!!
I agree with your conclusion that the range and price are important variables, and I feel that those factors sufficiently limit the AC as to make it a fair weapon as per its normal codex price+availability.
Prince of Excess: Shrewd comment on the idea of an everyman's gun and the onus being on the marine enemy to neutralise the threat of ACs. You are also correct to point out that people want to destroy termies anyway, and the speeder is notoriously fragile. Again these suggest that the AC is not the uber powerful weapon that some claim it is - just one of many good weapons that is sufficiently costed as codex stands.
By the way I forgot that ACs are on Crusaders too - thanks for pointing that out. As you say the high cost of Crusaders does make a commander pause before purchasing one - they hardly make ACs proliferate on the battlefield!
All of this brings me back to my underlying concern - is it possible that a new Marine Codex will follow the lead given by the recent DA codex, and give in to the foolish unsubstantiated rantings against ACs, and up their cost??!
If only you were a Marine - you too could savour the taste of victory!
[QUOTE=Pious Hearts;896743]Has anybody got the probability calculationsQUOTE]
Um really probability is nothing. I in my 2 most recent games, I have rolled: GAME 1: 4/4 on my assault cannon, in one shot, GAME 2: 3/4.
How's that?:w00t: (Not meant to sound cruel at all)
All I'm tryin to say is probability is nothing in game. You can do all the math you want and figure out that you have like a .66% chance of rolling all 6's, but when it comes down to it, it's all up to the roll.
Let's look at the adv/disadv:
-the range(could be an advantage with the DCCW)
-the low chance of rolling 6's
That's a pretty good gun, but it all depends on whether you want to be near the enemy, or peppering them at range.
JOIN MY SQUAD IN THE SONS OF THE LIBRARIUM THREAD, I NEED TACTICAL MARINES! I PLAN TO CONVERT UP A SQUAD TO "COUNT AS" LoTD IN MY SMarine ARMY
Note: Grey Knights only get assault cannons on their Crusaders and their Dreadnoughts. Since the only up to taking a GK Dreadnought is anti-tank, most people go for the lascannon/ML.
I prefer the lascannon to the assault cannon for tank hunting. This is for two reasons; one, I appreciate the long range, especially on a heavy weapon; two, I still think there's something genuinely silly about using an anti-infantry weapon to hunt tanks. I know mathhammer says it's more effective, but I despise mathhammer.
Unsurprisingly, assault cannons are very good at taking down Marine land speeders. Which means the best thing to kill a Land Speeder Tornado is...another Land Speeder Tornado.
The key is to remember what the cannon is mounted on; if it's terminators, they're expensive and every wound counts. If it's LST's or Baals, remember that these are notoriously fragile (the Baal's side arc is quite expansive and is weak enough to be penned by plasma) and target them thusly. If it's on a Dreadnought, remember that it can't shoot in close combat and only has two attacks per turn - swamp it. If you've got more than ten models in the squad and they're throwaways like 'gaunts or convicts, congratulations! Barring morale failure, you've completely neutralised the threat.
Also, always remember that they (excepting Terminators) are usually on vehicles and have a short range. Take advantage of that and shoot them with lascannons, which theoretically, firing at maximum range, take...two turns to be in the AC's threat? And the cannon has to shoot the next turn. Theoretically.
The above poster = Totally a member of the Fluff Masters Clan. Click here for fluff pwnage.
Come, sons of LO! Kneel before Poodle!
Mr_Wayne: "Some people believe that the World Eaters do not field any ranged weaponry. Those people often die at a distance."
BUT, aside from the dice who can not be influenced in ANY (legal and sportive) way, it is the skill of the army's commander that wins the game.
The dice can only take full responsibility for a battle outcome in very extreme situations. But it is the force commander's job to compose an army which has the best ODDS for rolling the right dice rolls to win. So, probability is all a commander can base his decisions on. And therefore probability is EVERYTHING, not NOTHING.
Believe me: maths don't give your security (that's why it's called PROBABILIty), but those commanders with the better odds will win the most games. (If you have otherwise comparable commanders with the same skill concerning deployment and tactics, but even a good commander's decisions you have to make for deployment and tactics are strongly influenced by probabilities, not only army composition.)
Sorry if that sounded rude. Didn't mean to in any way! I can totally understand anyone who dislikes maths and doesn't want to do any type of calculation. I totally understand those who just want to play the game "blindly" (concerning statistics) and just have fun!
But you CAN realize more of your armies potential if you care about probabilities.
I understand what people mean when they say that dice rolls are down to chance and games can not be predicted.
Yesterday I twice rolled triple ones on a roll of three dice! That was unforseen bad luck!
But in a game like 40k where so many dice are rolled, we need to respect the principle of probability - every roll is random and unpredictable, but in the long run the odds do catch up with you. Understanding the rules of probability is an important part of playing 40k - I always find it strange to hear people who play a game that involves dice rolls to dismiss that.
Bearing that in mind- has anybody else come up with any surprising probability calculations for 40k weapons? I agree with the above commetnts re assault cannons, any other insights to share?
If only you were a Marine - you too could savour the taste of victory!
This turned into "OMG Nerd Probability Thread" Joking guys. Bottom line, AC = one of the best guns in the armies that have it, it's just not everything but used properly, it can pretend it's everything really well.