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I have a math question that I can't seem to be able to work out.
If I'm shooting a solid shot hammerhead railgun at a marked but in cover space marine (example given for simplicity), I can either increase the the ballistic skill or decrease the cover save.
Now from what I worked out, if I increase the ballistic skill, there's a 35% chance of killing the marine. If I reduce his cover save, there's a 37% chance of killing the marine.
But what I don't understand is what happens if the markerlight isn't used? If I increase the ballistic skill, I get use of the markerlight immediately. If I reduce the cover save, then fail to hit or fail to wound, the markerlight got used but did nothing.
However no matter how I order it, the space marine still has a 37% chance of dying, which is better.
If however I was able to wait until after I wounded the space marine, then if I wounded the space marine was allowed to use the markerlight, he still has a 37% chance of dying but I have a 44% chance of not using the markerlight!
In such a case I could then use the markerlight on a second hammerhead instead.
My question is, given 2 hammerheads, would you increase the ballistic skill of the first hammerhead, increase it for the second hammerhead, reduce cover for the first hammerhead, or reduce cover for the second hammerhead (where the second hammerhead would shoot something else if the marine was dead).
I hope I understood your question correctly, please correct me if not.
Essentially, you are saying that firing markerlights on your target for your two Hammerheads should be done after first firing one Hammerhead on that target and after getting a successful hit.
I will assume that regardless of the results, both Hammerheads will shoot at their target unit. Let's go through possible scenarios:
1. Hammerhead fires and hits. You then resolve the hits, proceed with marking the unit for the second Hammerhead and fire with the second Hammerhead on the now marked unit.
2. Hammerhead fires and misses. You then proceed by marking the unit for the second Hammerhead and fire with the second Hammerhead on the now marked unit.
You see, in both cases, you are going to fire the markerlights on that target, and you are always decreasing the cover save of the target unit for one Hammerhead, or increasing a Hammerhead's BS. One of the Hammerheads is always going to shoot with no advantage, and you are going to mark the target regardless of the result. Because of that, this is equivalent to marking the target unit first, and then firing your Hammerheads on it.
Now, if we have a potential situation of killing the entire unit with one Hammerhead, I would mark the unit first, just as I would in the case described above. This is because you want the blast to succeed so that you can use the second Hammerhead on a different target, so I feel it is better to increase the odds in your favour with the first shot.
I think you've summed everything up just about right. Just from a statistical point of view, using the markerlight to aid your BS yields very nearly the same result as lowering the cover save.
Using the BS boost:
5/6 (chance to hit) x 5/6 (chance to wound) x 1/2 (chance to fail cover save) = 25/72 ~ 34.7%
Using the Cover save decrease:
2/3 (chance to hit) x 5/6 (chance to wound) x 2/3 (chance to fail cover save) = 20/54 ~ 37%
So while the odds for killing model are slightly higher by lowering the cover save, if you happen to miss in the first place (1/3 of the time you will!), you won't even get the chance. Since the statistical difference isn't great, psychologically, I feel better about increasing the BS of the shot. I'd rather hit and have the guy make his save than miss in the first place!
However, in this thought problem, there is no denying that lowering the cover save does yield superior results, however slight that superiority is.
ninjabackhand: point and click, again, really? even after i give you an military term "shock tactic" you still call it point and click.
RIP Warhammer 40,000: 21 Sep 1998 - 24 May 2014
The way I had it explained to me is that although I don't even hit and wound 44% of the time when I reduce the cover save, if I do hit and wound the markerlight increases the value of that hit and wound.
Edit: It's difficult for me as it is for others, but I'm going to trust the statistics on this one and reduce the cover save in the future.
I think that's mostly psychological, if I understand what you mean. As I said, the cases are equivalent, so it really doesn't matter whether you fire first and then mark or vice versa. And when it comes to the second possible scenario I depicted, then it's really just a case of picking your priorities.
You have to keep in mind that the value is largely determined by luck. In the first case, it really doesn't matter, while in the second case it may, but then it's up to the dice. If you want that unit destroyed, you might end up marking it and firing your second Hammerhead on it as well.
Just a very quick question.
The rule book says that the counter is placed by the unit.
So you have an ML token placed against a unit.
You then choose how to utilise the tokens, in this case you declare that you are going to use it to lower a cover save.
You fire the HH solid shot and it misses
Here is the question
Do you lose the token there and then?
now here are the two choices:
(a) The shot missed and the codex does not clarify if the to hit roll has to be successful. So can the ML cover save token can be used if another Tau unit shoots the target unit and wounds it successfully (you declared its use as a cover save reducer so it would have to stay as that use).
(b) The ML token is removed because you attempted a to hit roll and the codex only says after to hit rolls have been made. In the case of using the token to up the BS then it is obviously removed because you have used it to up the BS of the unit before the to hit roll was made.
In cover save reduction it is not so clear, the codex does not clarify whether the to hit roll has to be successful only that tokens are removed after to hit rolls of the firing unit have been made. The codex also says that tokens are left on the unit until the end of the current Tau shooting phase or until they are used, does this mean that you can leave the unused cover save ML token on the unit or do you remove it at the end of the unit that fired (and missed) shooting phase.
I think this is a very important issue given the fact of how important cover saves are in the game now. The key to this is the question, does the to hit roll have to be successful for the cover save token to be removed? I am going to go with (a) because it seems the more logical answer, the unit shot and missed but the ML could still be used to reduce the cover save when another unit shoots (this could be explained in fluff terms by the next firing unit not having LOS to the marker light beam but the unit panicking because they know they are ML'd and not utilising cover effectively).
Oni dude, I am not trying to hijack this thread and if needed I will start a thread in the rules section, I just wanted some thoughts and this thread is covering when cover save reduction is best used and this question seems to fit that theme