Nov 28, 2011


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.


  1. I agree with shorter ranged Speeders, but when it gets to Typhoons things change a bit, at least for dual Speeder squadrons. I generally find it almost trivial to get my "shot" at a target while being able to keep one Speeder obscured from most return fire and/or keep the range open enough to avoid most fire. The big deal? If I can shoot Target A cleanly and one of the two Speeders is obscured, then just like infantry, if half or more of the squad(ron) gets cover, the entire thing gets cover.

    So the question would be, how does losing half your hits change the equation? Against a single Speeder, there is a 1/3 chance to kill it, against two, there is a 1/2 chance to kill per penetrating hit. With one obscured, it then becomes a 1/4 chance to kill. Squadrons of two, although dying on immobilized hits are actually more survivable that most people think.

    Now, if we get three Speeders, that cover becomes harder to obtain, so your original numbers apply. This is why I rejected anything over a six Speeder list.

  2. I hadn't considered the difficulty of trying to give three Land Speeders cover. And, now that you mention it, I hadn't really considered that having only one Typhoon at all visible translates to equal firepower as just one Typhoon in the squad, but slightly better survivability.

    Looking at some new numbers, that makes a change in that, without that easy chance at cover, Squadrons are more vulnerable to higher strength weaponry, but if they get cover then they are actually less vulnerable to higher-strength weaponry than single Typhoons.

    Unfortunately, that really only affects my final conclusions in that 3-Typhoon Squadrons are even less useful than 2-Typhoon Squadrons. However I do appreciate the increased usefulness of the Squadrons now (choice between increased fire-power or increased survivability).

    But the bonus durability is very, very small, only about 16% more likely to survive a Melta shot, but the next best improvement is 8%, then dropping to 6% for S9. Add to that the chance that an Autocannon could kill them both (incredibly unlikely, but the chance is still there), and I don't think that what you gain is always worth that extra 70 points.

    I'm just rambling here, but it could be worth it to invest in a MM/HF Speeder to be paired with each Typhoon. That way, you can hold the MM/HF Speeder in cover until a target is close enough (switching the two out) and can decide which one will be more valuable to you when assigning penetrating or glancing hits. It could work, though I'm not sure how well.

  3. I just rough figured it in my head and real world tells us that you won't always be able to get that cover (or that your target can shoot you back as cleanly as you shoot them). Of course, if you do have to end up in difficult terrain, then you might get that 1/6 Immobilize = Wrecked as well.

    All in all, I figure it is a wash, with single Speeders probably edging out in "survivability" overall, but liking the extra firepower.

    I don't know about pairing any two since anything I do to get one obscured would work just as well for single as a squadron of two. Something most often messed up is allocation hits & glances to a squadron. It should be done like for infantry.