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I got bored, so I decided to do some mathhammer, to find out if stealth battlesuits with gun drones, for pinning, were worth the points cost. It's made a lot easier by the fact that the stats of each of their weapons are identical.
A single stealth battlesuit, equipped with a targeting array, costs 40 points, has a 2/3 chance to hit, and on average hits 2 times per turn. Against MEQ, they wound 2/3 of the time on a hit, and each wound is unsaved 1/3 of the time, for a total of 4/9 unsaved wounds against MEQ per turn. This amounts to a cost of 90 points to cause 1 unsaved wound per turn to a MEQ.
Against IGEQ, they wound 5/6 of the time on a hit, never allowing a save, causing 5/3 (1.6666) wounds per turn, for a cost of 24 points per unsaved wound per turn.
A stealth suit with 2 gun drones instead of a targeting array costs 50 points, hits half the time with the suit and each drone hits 5/9 of the time. 3*1/2 + 2*5/9 = 2.61111 (or 55/18, about 2.5 hits per turn. ). Against MEQ, they cause 55/18 * 2/3 * 1/3 = 55/81 wounds per turn, for a cost of 73.6363... points to cause 1 unsaved wound per turn to a MEQ. Against IGEQ, they cause 55/18 * 5/6 = 275/108, about 2.55 wounds per turn, no saves allowed, for a cost of 19.6363... points per unsaved wound per turn.
Hey, cool, it's more efficient to use drones than arrays, and with drones you get pinning!
Now to calculate the pinning test chance. Each drone has a 5/9 chance to hit, and against MEQ a total chance of 10/27 (roughly 1/3) to wound. Assuming from the Codex that it doesn't matter whether the wound is saved or not, the odds of a single drone causing pinning is 10/27 (1-(17/27)^1), the odds of two drones causing a pinning test (ie inflicting at least one wound). With two drone, the odds are 1-(17/27)^2, roughly 60.3%. With 6 drones (for a 3-suit team), you're going to cause pinning tests 94% of the time. With 12 drones, roughly one in 257 turns of firing won't cause a pinning test.
Against IGEQ, with a total chance of 25/54 (roughly 45%) to wound, 1 drone causes tests 25/54 of the time, 2 drones 71% of the time, and 6 drones 98%. With 12... you will probably never fail to cause a pinning test (99.94%. One in 1737 chance of missing).
As normal, or array-equipped stealth suits have the same efficiency as Fire Warriors, stealth suits w/drones are more efficient, point-wise, than Fire Warriors. So I've decided to give the pros and cons of each, compared to each other. They each have identical firepower (BS 3, STR 5, AP 5).
30'' Shooting range
Disembark from DF, shoot, land DF. Instant cover!
Move, shoot, avoid getting assaulted: pick any 2
Far lower mobility on foot
Stealth Suits w/drones:
Stealth generators reduce chance of being shot at
Large squad means many wounds can be allocated to drones
Pinning. Depending on number of drones, lots and lots of pinning.
Takes up an elite slot
When I have more time, gonna factor markerlight drones into the equation.
Last edited by Kyoufuu; September 10th, 2010 at 10:04.
Pinning weapons must deal unsaved wounds to cause a pinning test.
If you are taking stealth suits, there is no reason whatsoever not to take a DC and 2 gun drones on every model. However, you shouldn't be taking stealth suits in the first place. Tau Elite slots should be filled up with crisis suits, and your fire warriors should be hidden inside their devilfish anyway. However, when they're forced to get out of the Devilfish they are definitely a better unit than stealths.
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"The pulse carbine sacrifices range for portability and the chance to mount an underslung photon grenade launcher. Any unit suffering at least one wound (no mention of saves) from pulse carbine fire must test for pinning."
No other weapon in the Armoury has a description of the general rules for that weapon type, only the specific rules for that weapon. It can be reasonably assumed then, that pulse carbines are an exception to the normal pinning weapons, and only has to cause a wound, saved or unsaved doesn't matter.
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Unfortunately I was rooting for your math hammering so i could finally excuse myself for using stealth suits... but the pinning wording does not directly contradict anything, and is in every way effected by normal pinning rules. This means you have to cause damage, ie a 'casualty' in W1 units or an unsaved wound in multi wound units. The reasoning for this is that pinning is caused by frighteningly harsh or shocking weapons fire/damage, and if you shoot a marine in the chest and it fizzles off his armor... is he really going to hit the deck and cry?
I used a lot of carbine equipped firewarriors in 4th edition, but now days pinning is nearly useless. I have pinned a warboss or two after plinking off all his boys with pathfinder rail rifles, but other than that, I would never count on pinning to do you anything. If it happens, woot! but never assume you will ever succeed in pinning a unit and you will do much better.
If a unit suffers a wound (unsaved or not) from a Pulse carbine then it takes a pinning test.