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Somewhat intrigued by this issue, I threw together some quick statistics to see which item is, theroretically, more deadly against high-armour, high-toughness opponents. The results are somewhat surprising, and so I thought I'd share them.
First, I am using Games Workshop (UK)'s version of the Codex, primarily because I dislike the Eldar Online one (thematic reasons only). There are probably not any differences, but keep it in mind regardless.
Secondly, I may have made a critical oversight, and if I have, please correct me. Also keep in mind that this is a very limited view of the weapons in question; it does not take into account points costs and the like.
Thirdly, all numbers are truncated. This is a basic comparison, and the truncation is for simplicity's sake.
So, let us begin.
Opponent has 2+ armour save, 4+ invulnerable save and requires a 6+ roll to wound.
- For 1000 attacks:
(Arbitrary value. Basically determining the wound and kill rate over a large number of attacks.)
- 83.3% hit = 833 hits.
(Reason: Assuming a 2+ to hit. High weapon skill and half enemy weapon skill make this viable, but regardless of it's accuracy the to-hit rate is a constant between the two weapons.)
- 16.7% wound = 138 wounds.
(Reason: Wounds on a 6. This is a 1/6 chance (16.7%).)
- 100% slay = 138 kills (0 wounds).
(Reason: All wounds are 6's. All 6's slay outright. There are no "normal" wounds in this case.)
- (There is no regular armour save.)
- 50% save = 69 kills.
(Reason: 4+ Invulnerable save grants a 50% chance of saving.)
- Result is 69 infinite wound hits. (~7% kill rate, 15 attacks per kill).
- Harlequin's Kiss:
- For 1200 attacks:
(Reason: Powerblades are incompatible with Riveblades. Thus, models using a Harlequin's Kiss can get 20% more attacks, from both sidearm and Powerblades.)
- 83.3% hit = 999 hits.
- 83.3% wound = 832 wounds.
- 20% slay = 166 kills (666 wounds).
- 83.3% save = 27 kills (111 wounds).
- (There is no invulnerable armour save.)
- Result is 27 infinite wound hits, and 111 normal wounds caused. (~11% wound rate; 9 attacks per wound. 20% of wounds instant-kill; 45 attacks per such instant-kill.)
As the toughness lowers, Riveblades become ever more effective. They primarily excel against single, high-wound targets, because they're killing outright more often than not.
As the armour save lowers (raises), the Harlequin's Kiss becomes more effective. The Riveblade maintains a steady 7% kill rate against targets requiring 6+ to wound (assuming a 4+ invulnerable).
At an armour save of 3+, the Harlequin's Kiss wounds ~23% of the time and kills ~4% of the time, leading to a wound every 4 attacks, and an instant-kill every 44 attacks. The Riveblades are only superior against high-wound targets; anything three wounds or over.
At an armour save of 4+, we get a ~34% wound rate, ~6% instant-kill rate; a wound every 3 attacks, and an instant-kill every 15 attacks. The Harlequin's Kiss has now surpassed the Riveblades (remember there's a 4+ invulnerable save).
There are three basic variations in weapon effectiveness; these depend on the opponent's armour, on their toughness, and on their wound count.
However, examining all three axes produces a very limited scope in which Riveblades prove more effective than the Harlequin's Kiss.
On a high-wound (3+ wounds), extremely-armoured target (2/3+ saves), the Riveblades perform better than the Harlequin's Kiss regardless of toughness.
(A perfect example of this is Terminators. They have an extremely high armour save (2+), with a moderate Invulnerable Save (5+). The Riveblades are better than the Harlequin's Kiss against Terminators. However, keep in mind that taking a Riveblade means no Powerblades, and you'll be losing 1 attack, which affects your non-Terminator fights more severely.)
There is one exception to this the highly-armoured target situation, which occurs on invulnerable saves of 3+ (an invulnerable save of 2+ renders the Harlequin's Kiss as the better weapon). It is only in this case that one must take into account toughness when deciding which weapon to use.
I intend to provide a table of invulnerable save vs toughness, but not at the moment. Regardless, the situation where the Riveblade becomes useful is limited; and taking it negates the extra attack from Powerblades.
Anyway, hope this helps people. Good luck.
(If anyone wants to help me, I'd appreciate a brief guideline/summary of units with 3+ wounds and 2+ armour saves; I'm mainly fantasy (was 2nd edition Eldar) and not too familiar with the current codices).
Addendum: the Harlequin's Kiss is always superior to Powerblades. The only reason the Riveblades are so good on high-armoured targets is that the few wounds they cause normally kill outright.
Last edited by Sophismata; July 12th, 2006 at 01:57.
I didn't think you could combine powerblades with any other weapon? As such aren't you limited to your base attacks +1 for having 2 weapons + your charge bonus?
This would make harlequin's kiss even worse. However, as with all things it depends on whom you're using the harlequin! 2+/4+ is the worst case imaginable.
Also, since riveblades are limited to S3, whereas the kiss is an automatic wound weapon, there are toughness levels where the Riveblades /cannot/ wound, whilst the Kiss will (I'm thinking T6 and above?).
Last edited by Alexb83; July 11th, 2006 at 12:53.
No you CAN combine powerblades to make your +2 attacks for 3 weapons, but can not do it with Riveblades.
My issue with this, is not yur maths or conclusions, given the premises, it is the premise that is flawed, how many 6 to wound, 2+ save, 4+inv save oppponents do you encounter, cos I cant say many, I would be more focuswed on MEQ hunting to get more realistic stats
Everything you have been told is a lie!
My bad - I thought the rules stated that powerblades couldn't be combined with other weapon effects, but I am glad to be wrong!
But yes - what you should be calculating as a worst case is Terminators. 5+ to wound (with Eldar S) 2+/5+ saves. So you should be comparing the 2+ to wound but allows saves kiss to the 5+ to wound but 5+ save riveblades. In addition, you need to state your assumptions on percentage to-hit rates as well. Terminators roll in with WS4, but if they're up against a Solitaire then he's going to hit them somewhat more frequently than a basic harlequin trouper. Similarly, there aren't any creatures out there that a Solitaire, Great Harlequin or Shadowseer (IIRC) will hit on 6s, unless they have special rules (like D fields).
I think you can assume a 50% hit rate across the board, and then go with the wound/save maths.
You can combine the attacks, just not the ignore armour (with a shuriken pistol, kiss and power blades you get +2 attacks as either normal CCW (but why), power weapon or kiss, you cant use the blades ignore saves with the kiss to wound roll
Everything you have been told is a lie!
I have not attempted to get an immediately practical result so much as attempted to take a worst-case scenario and work down from there. The common opinion I see is "don't use Riveblades unless your opponent is low toughness high armour"; I want to test the validity of such a statement.Originally Posted by CheredanineAs I've said, on extreme armour (such as a Terminator) the Riveblade is better, provided your opponent has multiple wounds. In this case, with a 5+ to wound, the Riveblade outshines the Harlequin's Kiss.Originally Posted by Alexb83
I'll add it to my post.Hit rate is the same for both the Harlequin's Kiss and the Riveblades, so it won't affect comparison between them. In essence I've taken the easy option, something that leaves me with a larger sample to calculate wounds/kills. Not to mention that Harlequins will hit on a 2+ against nearly all opponents.Originally Posted by Alexb83
Remember, I'm not, directly, trying to show an in-game situation, I'm trying to get data that can then be applied to in-game situations. Even applying a 50% to-hit ratio across the baord still leaves the Riveblade with a very limited set of situations to shine in.
And, as I said, I'm not really a 40k player (I've been looking to convert some Wardancers to Harlequins to get started), so I'm not intimately familiar with the units you'll likely face. The math, though, is another matter .
Last edited by Sophismata; July 12th, 2006 at 02:46.
2+ to hit. Remember, the holo field halves your opponent's weapon skill.
5+ to wound.
2+/5+ saving throw.
83.3% hit = 833 hits.
33.3% wound = 277 wounds.
50% slay = 138 kills (139 wounds).
33.3% save = 115 kills (115 wounds).
23% of attacks wound; 5 attacks per wound.
Half of those wounds are instant-kills.
11.5% kill rate; 9 attacks per kill.
Thus, if charging terminators with a Solitaire (what everyone really wants to know), you're likely to take out one instantly and wound another.
83.3% hit = 1000 hits.
83.3% wound = 833 wounds.
20% slay = 166 kills (667 wounds).
83.3% save = 55 kills (222 wounds).
23% if attacks wound; 5 attacks per wound.
One fifth of those wounds are instant-kills.
4.5% kill rate; 22 attacks per kill.
Thus, if charging terminators with a Solitaire (what everyone really wants to know), you're likely to deal two wounds.
Also, keep in mind that values were continuously truncated; you may well cause another wound for both weapons on average. The Riveblades still have the instant-kill, though.
This is a continuation of the point that Riveblades are superior against multiple wound opponents under Terminator Armour-like conditions. While they tend to cause a similar number of wounds to the Harlequin's Kiss, the Riveblade's hits have a higher lethality.
Exceptions: 3+ or better invulnerable saves. 4+ or worse armour saves. Single-wound opponents under any conditions.
Last edited by Sophismata; July 12th, 2006 at 02:31.
Unless I'm mistaken, the best you can hit on according to the CC chart is a 3+; comparing Solitaire to Termies in this case will be WS 8:2, so I don't know quite how that works out without a quick reference chart.
Also, both the kiss and Riveblades get instant kill in the same way - not that instant kill matters at all vs Terminators as they have only 1 wound. The only difference is that the blades ignore saves and the kiss wounds on a 2+. So it's a case of 5/6 kiss hits wound, whereas 2/6 blade hits wound.
Of those, 1/6 of the kiss wounds will cause an unsaved wound (2+ armour), whilst 4/6 of the riveblades wounds wont be saved (5+ inv).
If you assume 13 attacks on a charge this averages out to about 2 kills either way as you demonstrated - what separates the two is that the kiss can be used to shred daemon princes and wraithlords, and /anything/ with a toughness rating outside of the to-wound range of the measly S3 riveblades (thinking T6+).
The really good comparisons would be vs. say... a daemon prince, or a wraithlord. In this case the kiss is undoubtedly the better weapon because you'll get around 10 hits, 2 of which are instant death, and he'll fail 2/10 (or so).
Going to go back over this, put in some charcter details (Wraith, Princes, etc).Originally Posted by Alexb83
The to-hit doesn't matter, since it's the same for both weapons, I'm using the WH table for WS comparsion. I assumed WH40k's was the same.
As an aside, I thought GK Terminators had 2 wounds...?
And if someone can give me he toughness and saves of a Daemon Prince it would be great, otherwise wait a bit and I can check a codex (bit = few days).