Aug 15, 2011

Information from the Numbers -part 1

As I mentioned in my last post I have been busy making a great many calculations determining the most efficient units our codex has. I thought that I would share those units with you in order of most to least.

EDIT: something to keep in mind is that this is based off of offensive output entirely and ignores things like Defensive abilities.

1: The Land Speeder Typhoon. This should be pretty self-explanatory.

2: The Auto/Las Predator. Again, no real surprise here, though the fact that it comes so close behind the Typhoon is worth noting.

3: The Tri-Las Predator. It is sometimes worth taking this over the Auto/Las, specifically if you need more Anti-Heavy Armor or more Anti-Infantry (surprisingly enough) or if you have an extra 60 points to spend. It isn’t as efficient as the Auto/Las where it counts but it does come close and gets better numbers (not counting points).

4: Multi-Melta/Heavy Flamer Speeder. There is a reason that this is sometimes taken over the Typhoon. Personally, I think that the extra range makes the Typhoon a much better choice.

5: Maximum sized Biker Squadron with 3 Plasma Guns and a Multi-Melta Attack Bike. This one is the first surprising one yet. It costs a ton but is three times as effective as the Typhoon against both Infantry and light vehicles plus it has a Multi-Melta to handle Heavy Armor. The problem? It costs a little more than three Typhoons and has less range. So it isn’t worth taking over the Typhoon, but it is still quite good.

6: Venerable Assault Cannon/Missile Launcher Dreadnought with Tank Hunting. The first non-Heavy Support/Fast Attack unit. Infantry is threatened, Heavy Armor is threatened, Light Armor is threatened, Horde is even threatened, and in a pinch it can still tar-pit Close Combat units, even ones with Meltabombs or Powerfists/Thunder Hammers, without sacrificing much shooting ability in the list.

7: Las/Plas Squad in Razorback. Yup, a troops choice. Troops aren’t great, and we have touched on every other kind of unit (HQs excluded) first, but we don’t have a bad troop choice. This is a solid little choice, even though it costs a fair amount for one unit.

8: Multi-Melta/Plas Squad in Rhino. Yes, another troop choice that is distinctly different from the last one. For reference, if they were in a Razorback they would even top the Las/Plas Squad but Multi-Meltas don’t have the range to act as a foot unit while their Razorback goes off to act on its own so they get a Rhino. Not too expensive and with the Plasma Gun they make quite good 24” range Bunkers. Take that Tactical Squads!

9: Tank Hunting Cyclone Terminators. Surprised that they’re this far down on the list? They would be placed farther down if I didn’t assume the “Accept Any Challenge” was chosen, which means that they are only here if they also take the rolls Counter-Assault or Aggressive; otherwise, the Venerable Tank Hunting Assault Cannon/Heavy Flamer Dreadnought would go here. They are often taken, and their ability to keep firing after they’ve been hit (unlike vehicles aka most of the previous choices) means that they aren’t worse than everything above them, just less efficient.

10: Power of the Machine Spirit Vindicator. Range causes some problems but you also have the option for it to stay close and make the midfield a killing ground (you don’t even need Extra Armor for that and an Immobilized result does almost nothing). Very destructive and lethal to everything, but expensive and easily neutralized. Not best but not bad either, though nowhere near as good as Predators with Lascannon Sponsons.

11+: Other good units that aren’t quite as high as these ones (and not already mentioned) include regular Assault Cannon/Missile Launcher or Heavy Flamer Dreadnoughts, Venerable Tank Hunting Multi-Melta/Heavy Flamer Dreadnought, regular TL Las/Missile Launcher Dreadnought as well as the Venerable Tank Hunting version, Plasma/Plasma Squad in Rhino or Razorback, 5-man Squad in Razorback with Power Weapon and Meltagun (assuming “Accept Any Challenge”), and Tank Hunting Assault Cannon Terminators in a Drop Pod.

What’s missing: Of course, there are a few units that simply don’t make the cut, despite what some people believe. One glaringly obvious one is the standard Combat Crusader Squad (8/2 w/ Powerfist and Meltagun in Rhino); a possible flaw in this system is how dependant it is on ability to kill light armor, which this unit does not do well and for a really high cost (it is, however, worth noting that while it is more efficient than a 5-man Squad in a Rhino with Power Weapon and Meltagun, it is not much more efficient and it may be quite worth getting multiple smaller squads as opposed to fewer large ones). Another one is Assault Squads; I’ve heard of taking a 10-man assault squad and a Chaplain with Jump Pack, but that unit is in no way worthy of being taken. Not even smaller, more efficient Assault Squads are very effective since they are taken to handle Heavy Armor (such as Land Raiders) but most of the time you won’t fight against Land Raiders so they become only marginally as effective as you need them to be.

Please realize that I have not tested every possible combination or build for every possible unit, but I have checked every unit with the best set-ups (as I believe) as well as the most common ones. I have also ignored things like Crusader Squads on foot and included certain upgrades which should come standard even though they do not help the score, a good example being Rhinos (when I assumed Extra Armor and Smoke Launchers).

So do you want to know which list gets the best numbers while still being a strong list in-and-of itself?

EDIT: Well I'm still working on it. I thought I had it until I was pointed to a mistake and so I had to rework the list. I did so, and thought I had it, until I double checked with another list which actually has better numbers despite seeming to be an inferior list. In the next post I will include a final list, sorry.

That’s all for now, next time I’ll be working on a Template list that meets the needs of Nikephoros’s Metric system at a minimal cost so that you can add in units that you like, regardless of how good they are.


  1. I'm curious to see the formula actually used here. Is it entirely offensive based? Or does it take into account mobility, defensive capabilities, and duality? Definitely an interesting ranking. :D

    On the list at the bottom, however, you do have a slight mistake. We can only take one venerable dreadnought per detachment. :(

  2. You know, every time I read that line about the Venerable Dreadnought my mind had lumped it in with the flavor text that comes before and simply translated it to "A Dreadnought may...". Thanks for pointing that out, I will work on a slightly different list to accommodate and edit it in.

    As for the actually isn't that amazing, when I said 'a great many calculations' I was doing a small amount for a great many units. You start with the DMS, DMCC, DRPG, and DLRPG. Then you divide each score by the cost of the unit and multiply it by one-hundred. Multiply the new score by a set amount depending on which score it is and then add the DRPG, DLRPG, and either the DMS or DMCC (whichever is greater). So the formula kind of looks like this for DRPG:

    DRPG / Cost x 100 x 3

    (For Reference, DMS is multiplied by 2, DMCC by 1, DRPG by 3, and DLRPG by .6) What you end up with is a reflection of how valuable that unit is in offensive output with greater emphasis where greater ability is needed. DRPG is very important and you need a lot of it, thus it gets a higher multiplier, whereas DLRPG is only important to have enough, not plenty, and so it gets a lower Multiplier (these multipliers are based on actual numbers and not pulled out of my hat, just FYI).

    (One note about DMS and DMCC: I am assuming that you are either making an army to shoot infantry or one to assault them as doing both is hard to pull off successfully. For assaulting you need higher numbers so each is less valuable and thus DMCC gets a lower multiplier than DMS.)

    It does take into account Duality, since a unit that is good against multiple kinds of targets gets a higher number, but it completely ignores Mobility and Defensive capabilities, as well as range and scoring status and a great number of other factors. I will make a note of that in the post but I did try to take Defensive abilities into account when checking units (so foot-based squads got Rhinos and there are two ablative bodies in the Biker unit).