Okay, so I had an idea. I know that Squadrons of Typhoons aren’t as efficient as single Typhoons. While you still get two Missiles and a Heavy Bolter for each 70 points you spend, after the first three they aren’t as good. Taking more could still be worth it, as that really isn’t much cost for what you get, but generally I like to stay away from such things in my lists like Plaguebearers.
My idea involved making a bunch of calculations and see how the increased chances of killing something, like a Rhino, compared to the increased cost. My thoughts were that as you add more Typhoons, the less each one is actually worth. Here’s what I came up with on the chances for each number of Typhoons to kill a Rhino in one round of firing:
1 Typhoon: 21.9%
2 Typhoons: 44.9%
3 Typhoons: 70.2%
And what it should be, based on the assumption that two Typhoons should be twice as likely to kill a Rhino:
1 Typhoon: 21.9%
2 Typhoons: 43.8%
3 Typhoons: 65.7%
Okay, so larger Squadrons are, in fact, more efficient once you factor in getting three results of Immobilized/Weapon Destroyed, but not really enough to worry about as along with the reduced efficiency, they are more likely to kill what they shoot at which means that you can move on to the next target which, technically, is a strike against it as when you need to spend two turns shooting at a Rhino that refuses to die, you are wasting more with a larger unit; or is that balanced out by the smaller chance of having to spend extra turns shooting at a single Rhino. Regardless of the exact worth, in this area the differences are irrelevant because they are so small between what they should be and what they actually are, especially if you only take two.
So a dead-end there, which made me wonder how much of a loss in durability you get from being in a Squadron. So I ran those numbers specifically on the chance of a weapon getting a Wrecked or Explodes result in one shot, and the percentage increase that a Squadron risks:
Squadron Single Ratio Difference
S4 2.8% 0.0% N/A +2.8%
S5 11.1% 5.6% +100.0% +5.6%
S6 19.4% 11.1% +75.0% +8.3%
S7 27.8% 16.7% +66.7% +11.1%
S8 36.1% 22.2% +62.5% +13.9%
S8AP1 65.6% 48.6% +35.2% +17.1%
S9 44.4% 27.8% +60.0% +16.7%
S10 50.0% 33.3% +50.0% +16.7%
Yes, I wanted to be thorough. And by AP1 I also mean in Melta range (should not really affect the Difference). Now, what do we see here? Here we see the reason to not take Squadrons. Yeah, Bolters being able to kill them isn’t a very big problem, but how often do Bolters get shot at Land Speeders? No, Land Speeders attract the firepower that is low enough that people prefer to use it against Land Speeders than Rhinos. S5-7, with higher weaponry if they deem the Typhoons more of a threat.
Okay, Heavy Bolters double in effectiveness against a Squadron, and an extra two-thirds chance is nothing to sneeze at for Autocannons. Plus there’s the chance for multiple penetrating hits, which means that you could lose multiple Typhoons to one gun.
And what do you get for this huge loss of Durability? More shots. So when deciding whether or not to take Squadrons you have to decide where the balance is; at what point do Typhoons lose their efficiency? It really looks like it would be at taking two of them. The units still aren’t overly expensive, coming in at a similar cost to a Crusader Squad or a Dreadnought, slightly above a Predator. In exchange for temporarily decreased durability, you almost double your chances to kill a Rhino, and you probably aren’t going to lose both to one shot.
On the other hand, single Typhoons have the advantage of being dirt cheap units that can still fulfill their role. They attract less attention, in addition to only being inconvenienced by Immobilized results. These attributes make them wonderful supporting units, rather than ones that are meant specifically to kill stuff, like Predators. Personally, I’d rather spend those 200 extra points on another Crusader Squad as I then have more units as well as more scoring ability.
But I think one of the greatest benefits that my calculations have shown me is that, while I might be troubled by non-identical units, if I have an extra 70-ish points I can grab another Typhoon with almost no downsides. Not something to apply to every list, but something that I can keep in mind.