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There have been threads on the cost of seeker missiles, the effectiveness and playability, but i have not seen one specifically on this. This post will be on the cost of statistically dealing wounds with seeker missiles, and therefore what targets worth shooting them with. points cost and nothing else, mathammered all the way through. The point I will get at, is EXACTLY how many points should the target at least be worth to justify shooting seekers them.
It may seem like a deal to shoot it at say, a space marine (or anything worth more points than your seeker missile), but statistically it is not always the case
s8 ap3, one shot per game
Seeker missile is 10 points per shot, but factoring the chance of missing and wasting that 10 points for absolutely nothing, it costs 12 points per HIT (seekers fire at BS5. so there's a 5/6 chance of a hit per shot.
10 / 5/6 = 12
a HIT is still not a WOUND -- or kill if the target only has one wound and/or it's toughness is 4 or under (instant death). Factoring in the chance of a seeker not wounding and therefore wasting the 12 points it costs to score a hit, it is another 5/6 chance of successfully scoring a wound (assuming the target's toughness is 6 or under)
12 / 5/6 = 14.4
It costs 14.4 points for a statistic kill with a seeker missile. if you're firing at 15pt space marines, ok it sort of makes up the points it cost for the seeker missiles, but that;s just the cost of the missile. Just to shoot the seekers in the first place, you need to score markerlight hits. The cost of markerlight hits is very much to be factored into the cost of USING seekers because for the turn you fire seekers, the markerlights which you spent points on cannot be used for aything else.
The absolutely cheapest way of having markerlight hits is 44pts. full pathfinder squad with devilfish, 176pts. you could get 8 SHOTS for 176 points.
176 / 8 = 22
22 points per markerlight SHOT. statistically half of them miss because pathfinders have BS3. So at 22 points fer SHOT, it's 44 points per HIT.
unlike seekers though, they are not 1 shot weapons. and so assuming all your markerlights survive for 6 turns and they get to fire every turn,
44 / 6 = 7.3
7.3 points per markerlight hit per turn
For the sake of this calculation, I used the absolute cheapest way of statistically getting markerlight hits. keep in mind that people would usually like to trick out their DF's with gear rather than leave it at it's basic cost, and/or maybe get a shas'ui in the pathfinder squad, causing the cost to go up.
7.3 + 14.4 = 21.7pts
There you have it. If you took the absolute cheapest way to get markerlights, you should at the very minimum be firing your seekers at targets worth 21.7 (so let's say 22) points or more. If you get your markerlights any other way, the number goes up. Also, this is assuming you fire your markerlights every turn (right from turn 1, and survive till turn 6). If you don't, then the number goes up. If the points cost of your target doesn't make this threshold, than they are not even worth the cost of your markelights and seekers. In other words, even if you rolled right, and got the kill, it still cost you more points to fire the weapon, than it did for your opponent to field the model.
As long as your target is T6 or under AND it has a 3+ armour save or worse, AND it is either single wound OR T4 or under, those are the numbers.
IF your target has 2+ armour, any invul save, any cover save, or is toughness 7 or higher, than the numbers are different.
as with the ealier calculation it cost 21.7 points to inflict a wound. if the target has a 2+ save, you have only a 1/6 chance of the target failing the armour save. so to score the kill on such a target, you statistically have to wound it 6 times. (or just a wound if it is not T4 or under)
21.7 x 6 = 130.2
If the target of your seekers has 2+ armour, than it better be an expensive model, and you better have alot of markerlights and seekers.
This table shows how many points worth of seeker missiles and markerlights it would take to inflict a wound on such a target. example: against a T10 model with 2+ save, it would take you 475.8 points worth of seekers and markerlights to inlfict a wound. If that target had lets say 4 wounds, then you would need 1903.2 points worth of seeker missiles and markerlights to kill it.
There are only so many seeker missiles and markerlights you can field. If you fired at such a target chances are you won't kill it or even inflict a wound at all, and the points you spent on seekers and markerlights will be completely wasted.
There are range things, due to toughness, armour save, invul save, and points cost that are cost effective targets for seeker missiles. outside of this range, it becomes impractical (on the low end, the target is just not worth it, on the high end, it is simply too hard to kill for the seekers) Although the numbers start getting really high in parts of the table, keep in mind most things are just gonna fall in the first column (t6 or under)
How many points your target should at the very least be, to try shooting seekers at it:
....................... t6 or under ........ t7 .............. t8 ........... t9 ............ t10
3+ armour .......... 24.9 ............. 31.1 .......... 41.5 ........ 62.3 ......... 124.6
6+ save ............ 29.9 .............. 37.4 .......... 49.8 ........ 74.7 ......... 149.4
5+ save ............ 37.4 .............. 46.7 .......... 62.3 ........ 93.4 ......... 186.9
4+ save ............ 49.8 .............. 62.3 .......... 83 ........... 124.6 ....... 249.1
3+ save ............ 74.7 .............. 93.4 .......... 124.6 ........ 186.9 ...... 373.8
2+ save ............ 149.4 ............ 186.8 ......... 249.1 ...... 373.8 ....... 747.4
*if the model cannot be instantly killed (it has multiple wounds AND has T5 or higher) then multiply this number by how many wounds it has.
things were alot more simple with infantry models since it was a straight forward wound/kill or nothing. And the seekers (and markerlights) would be worth their points if they could kill their points worth.
It really gets a lot more complicated with vehicles in terms of determining what's worth it -- even if the missiles and markerlights you spent points are used on the vehicle, and the vehicle is not destroyed (wrecked or exploded), you could still have inflicted a number of other results. ie: immobilised: who's to say it's worth it or not? it could be a vehicle with short range fire power or a transport and immobilising it would be valuable whereas a vehicle with long range guns that sits back would not be too bothered by immobilised. And what about when you immobilise it enough times to destroy it? Weapon destroyed: the weapon that the seeker destroyed could very well have been worth more than your seeker missile and markerlights.
mathammering the vehicle damage chart, factoring in the chances of glancing, or penetrating with the different armour values, then the chart itself with all the modifiers, and then going back to figuring out what's worth shooting at based on AV, points cost, skimmers, open topped, etc. is very very complicated. it adds so many other elements to factor in
I'll leave this portion till later. I'd like to hear from you guys what format i could do the vehicle section in
The points cost of the markerlight hits should have been added on to the 10 because that's what it costs just to shoot it in the first place, using up the markerlight counter, hit or miss. I added it after calculating the chances to hit and wound. I redid the above table so all the numbers are correct, but rather than edit my whole post, I'll write a new explanation of how i came about the numbers -- post #7
Last edited by Takeda; July 18th, 2008 at 03:48.
Big mistake on my part, the cost of the markerlight hit should have been factored in right at the beginning, before calculating the chances to hit and wound, not after.
the real number is:
24.9 instead of 21.7
149.4 instead of 130.2 for 2+ armour
i'll fix the rest of the chart later
Last edited by Takeda; July 17th, 2008 at 06:24.
The most that the majority of people do is think "Does this weapon have a chance of wounding/beating the armour save/AV of the target?" and that’s it. In 5th you will have to consider cover saves more (other units etc) but that’s not really hardcore math-hammer. So while this article is quite thorough, who is going to memorise all these figures and apply them while playing a game? I will answer that for you 'not many'.
Can anyone honestly say that they think “well that unit costs 149.24 points per seeker and that one costs 142.49, I am going to take out the 149.24 unit"? Or do you do as most of us do and work out the best target due to all the other variables and the game play situation at the time, of which the math hammer for point’s value is only one small part of the equation (if it is considered at all).
I simply think the same thing every time I see one of these articles; do they provide enough to warrant what it took to create them? In my opinion no they don’t!
I don't fully agree with Riki. I think this article is an excellent way of giving us a good idea of what it actually costs to use seekers. The specific numbers aren't important as long as they are correct because what we get out of it is a numeric way of deciding whether or not to take seekers in the first place and if we do, then a way of helping us decide what targets are worth both the missile and the markerlight hit.
Personally, I love mathhamnmer, but then again, I'm an engineer.
I never take seekers on vehicles and I love my skyray, but it is a rare game when I use even a single seeker from it. That may seem silly, but it always seems more important to boost BS or reduce cover saves for other units, particularly for the hammerheads.
However, that is all going to change in 5th. My current 5th ed list has 13 markerlights (11 more than my favorite 4th ed list). Pathfinders got more efficient to take, marker drones got way better, and I still like the skyray. As if that weren't enough, the rail gun sub munition no longer has to roll to hit, so there is no real need to raise the hammerhead's BS for firing it.
So the combination of markerlights being more accessible and at least one major need for them being negated in 5th ed. means that I believe seekers are a more viable option in the new edition.
Great article so rep for you. Keep it up.
Last edited by ZenGamer; July 17th, 2008 at 14:13.
-Thread Killer Bryan
Tyranid Hive Fleet Typhoeus
T'au Empire, Bork'an Sept
Markerlights will be much more useful in 5th but I do not see the Seeker being used anymore than it was in 4th. In fact with the removal of the glancing table and cover saves being more prevalent I can see them being used less.
Last edited by Rikimaru; July 17th, 2008 at 15:55.
With the subs there is a 1/3 chance there will be no scatter at all, thereby wasting the markerlight hit. If there is scatter (2/3) chance, then it will be reduced by 4" without using a markerlight hit and 5" at best with the use of a markerlight hit. So a 66% chance of reducing the scatter by only a single inch, and a 33% chance of completely wasting that valuable markerlight hit.
I would call that having a chance to reduce the scatter by a small degree. I also consider that to be a waste of a valuable markerlight hit, unless there is nothing else you can think to use it for.
Last edited by ZenGamer; July 17th, 2008 at 16:13.
-Thread Killer Bryan
Tyranid Hive Fleet Typhoeus
T'au Empire, Bork'an Sept
The corrected math - how i got the results
10 points for the seeker
7.3 points for the cheapest markerlight hits statistically (see post #1)
17.3 points for each seeker SHOT
20.76 points for each seeker HIT
24.9 points to cause an unsaved wound
at AP3, S8 that basically means a kill for most targets.
What this means is that it would cost you 24.9 points worth of markerlights and seeker missiles for statistically every kill you score with them.
25 <------------ there's the magic number
if the target gets any kind of save, or is T7 or higher, or can survive instant death from S8, then numbers are different. please see post #1
in conclusion, shoot the seekers targets worth more than 25 points, or it's not even worth the points you spent on the seekers and markerlights
i dont intend to memorize the numbers or expect anyone to. in fact i don't even use seekers. the points of this whole thing is to work out (i worked out the math as i wrote the post) really what it's costing you to kill with seekers.
at first glance, it may seem like kill something worth 10 points is just getting your points back for the seeker, and anything more is that much better, what this post is about is finding the right number. which is 25 at the very least
and that's it. thats the point of the post. also, a quick glance at the chart will help determine what the most practical range of targets are for seekers.
when fielding models, those models could be worth it even if they don't kill their own points worth of enemies. they could capture objectives, soak of enemy fire, tie up things in hand to hand, take up enemy fire and then survive to deny kill points, etc.
seekers are a different story. they can't do any of these things. the sole reason to spend points on seekers is to kill things. if they dont kill enough points, then the points spent on them are wasted, as there is no other use for the seekers.
that is why finding just how many points should you target with your seekers is quite relevent.
as a side note, pumping out the numbers for the chart took less than 5 minutes. writing out the post and explaining everything took longer, as i figured it out as i went. the post itself only actually needs to be read once, to understand where i'm coming from. after that theres really nothing to be memorised for gaming.
I have never worked out the math-hammer for Seekers yet I know just what it is worth shooting a Seeker at. The only time I take Seekers is on a Skyray (and I take that for the Markers not the seekers) because usually Seekers just are not worth taking as expensive additions to other vehicles.
You can also correct by any amount you wish, so if the scatter is beneficial then you have the flexibility.
I don't think it is fair to say that this reduces scatter by a massive degree, perhaps 'potentially crucial' is the right expression.
The main flaw (which does not generally harm the usefulness of the article but is necessary to note) in your reasoning is that a point for point exchange is not necessarily an 'even swap'.
I remember back in 3rd where you could get 4 Seekers to a fish, and saw a player fielding as many markerlights as possible who essential made all his marker lights count as missile launchers for the first two turns of the game. The beauty of this was that all the point he spent on seekers was 'fast burn' (ie - large amounts of force in a short space of time) which is more efficient then a 'slow burn' weapon like a heavy bolter (which relys on firing for extended periods of time to cause damage). This is because the unit you killed 'fast' is dead NOW so cannot attack you in the time it would have taken the 'slow' weapon to kill you (of course this is assuming that the 'fast burn' weapons cost the same points and kill the same number of models per game etc as 'slow burn' or the comparison is askew). Other examples of 'fast burn' weapons are the one shot 10' blast titan thingo (forgot the Imperial name) and, to some extent, non tau Plasma weapons (as there effectiveness over time diminishes due to the chance that they have already overheated).
Just throwing this out there.
Last edited by kroxigor01; July 18th, 2008 at 13:25.