Monday, October 24, 2011

Email In: 40k-Metrics, Dark Eldar, Apples, and Oranges

Email In:

Mr. Nike40k
     I hope I can get a moment of your time, and ask you what is (hopefully) a simple question. As a bit of background, I have, for over a decade, played 40k in a fluffy style. I was always happy to paint my models and get a friendly game in. I didn't have any issues with the better players (because that's what they were, better at the game than me) who played to win. Now things are changing.
     Now, I want to start breaking into the more hardcore scene, and I stumbled across your 40k-metrics. I had always known the basics behind statistics in the game (how to calculate shooting and wound percentages) but this novel approach is a delight. My problem comes to this. I'm working on a dark eldar army, and all of the advice I get is bringing me up crucially short in the area of penetrating Rhino-equivalents. Even with 5 Dark-lance armed raiders and 3 ravagers, my DRPG and DLRPG are still areound 30 and 20 respectively. I may just not know what to look for still, but the lack of powerfists seems to be killing me. Even 40 wyches with power fists doesn't get me to the GT levels of transport-popping that the statistics seem to demand.
Am I missing something crucial that should be very obvious, or am I worrying for nothing?
Eric V.

Without seeing your list, it is difficult to say with absolute certainty.   There are a few possible things at work here…

1.  You have a crap list that isn’t good to start with and making changes makes it no better.

2.  You’re discovering correctly that dark light weapons are crap at popping light mech.

3.  You’re comparing apples (Dark Eldar) to oranges (Marine variants).

I suspect it’s a mix of 2 and 3.  But mostly a problem of ‘3.’

This is a key point I’ve tried to explain over and over again; namely that not only does each codex have its own “GT  levels” of scores, but each army type does as well.  Comparing one mech marine list to another mech marine list provides a useful and valid comparison to each other.  A mech marine list compared to a foot marine list provide a much less useful comparison to each other.  A mech marine list compared to a foot Dark Eldar list provides almost no useful comparison.

The key is that each army/playstyle needs to do different things to win the game, and thus will have different scores.  For some reason this is obvious in many cases but not so in others.  No one would be surprised when an IG list has below average close combat scores, right?  But clearly people are surprised when Dark Eldar score low on anti-light mech.  It comes down to managing your expectations.

If you want to know how your Dark Eldar list works, compare it to good Dark Eldar lists of a similar style.  Playing Venom spam?  I would suggest that your list score similarly to Dash’s 2011 NOVA list.  Playing Baron/Hellion-star?  Compare yours to Xaereth’s.  And so on.

So the bottom line is, compare apples to apples, Eric.  If you compare your DE list to a similar proven GT DE list, and you’re still coming up way short, write me back with your list and we’ll see what is happening under the hood.  But if I was a betting man, I would suggest comparing apples to apples will solve your problem.



  1. Thanks for the plug :)

    Dark Eldar can kill light mech, but it's a pain in the ass. Just gotta have lots of redundancy - Raiders + Ravagers aren't quite enough, in my experience. Reavers (with Heat Lances) are the real money-makers, if you ask me.

    And if you want to kill tanks in close combat... the only real solution is Hellions, with a (very slight) nod in the direction of Wyches w/ Haywire grenades.

    That's really just scratching the surface, but honestly, it's a thing that I could write 5 articles on, and still not cover the topic in its entirety.

  2. I've had a lot of success with the following:
    5 Scourges - 2 Haywire Blasters, Solarite with Blast Pistol and CCW (155 points)

    Unit scores:
    DMC: 0,6666
    DMR: 1,4444
    DRPG: 2,7777
    DLRPG: 2,2222

    They suppress, then approach and pop.