Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Case For Cleansing Flame

A thought occurred to me this weekend while throwing dice with my Purifier army: people have already made some assumptions about when and how to use Cleansing Flame and Hammerhands with their Purifiers.  And those assumptions are oftentimes wrong.  I'm not an expert at mathhammer, but what follows is my primitive analysis of which power your Purifiers should use and when.

Cleansing dem Termagants!

So the standard line you hear from people is, "against MEQ you use Hammerhands, against armies with poor armor saves, use Cleansing Flame."  This is a bit too simplistic and doesn't really do a good job of explaining the interaction of these two powers.

Against MEQ

First, Hammerhands scales with the amount of guys in your squad.  Against T4, Hammerhands does an additional 1/4 wound per Purifier.  Which works out to 2.5 more casualties for every 10 Purifiers.  So the fewer Purifiers you have left alive, the fewer benefit from it, and the fewer casualties they will inflict.

Second, Cleansing Flame does not care how many of your guys are left alive.  It is equally effective whether you have 10 or 1 Purifiers left alive in the combat.  What matters to cleansing flame, is how many models your opponent has in the combat.  Against a 10 man MEQ squad, Cleansing Flame will kill 1.65 MEQ.

So.  Each Hammerhanded Purifier kills an extra .25 MEQ.  To beat Cleansing Flame against 10 man MEQ squads, you need to have 7 Purifiers in the combat.  If you have below 7 Purifiers in your unit, you are better off casting Cleansing Flame, even against the MEQ, if they are at full strength.

That isn't the end of the story, ofcourse.  If there are only, say, 5 MEQ in combat with your Purifiers, you are better off casting Hammerhands so long as your squad size is 4 or higher.  Cleansing Flame only deals .82 unsaved wounds to 5 MEQ.  4 Purifiers deal an extra whole wound to MEQ.  

I'm more than sure that someone could use this information to make a fancy spreadsheet where one axis is the amount of Purifiers in your squad and amount of MEQ in the opponent's and give you the correct answer for every scenario.  I could do it, but I work for a living!  Suffice it to say that against MEQ my brief analysis is good enough for the two most common scenarios.

Against Orks

Each Hammerhand kills .25 Orks per Purifier.  Cleansing Flame kills 8.4 Orks for every 20 Orks in the mob.  It would take 34 Purifiers in your squad (lol) for Hammerhand to be as effective against 20 Orks.  Once the Ork mob is reduced to 10 Boyz, you can expect to kill 4 Boys.  It would take 8 Purifiers in your squad to equal that.

So the Rule of Thumb for Orks is, if you have greater than 8 Purifiers in your squad AND your opponent has 10 or fewer Boyz, use Hammerhands.  In any other scenario, use Cleansing Flame.  

Against GEQ

Each Hammerhand kills an extra .36 Guardsmen per Purifier.  Cleansing Flame kills 3 Guardsmen for every 10 GEQ in the unit.  So against a 10 man Guard unit, you need 9 Purifiers in your squad to make Hammerhand the better choice.  As you are limited to 10 Purifiers at most, anything over around 14 Guardsmen makes Cleansing Flame superior.  So against GEQ, the fewer than 10 Purifiers you have, and/or the greater than 10 GEQ in the combat, the better Cleansing Flame is.  

So really, which power to cast isn't a no brainer against MEQ, as you have to do some quick mental math to figure out which scenario is better.  Against Orks and GEQ, it's a bit easier as Cleansing Flame is superior in almost every real world scenario.

Hope this helped.

1 comment:

  1. I have a spreadsheet for you. What's your email address?