Thursday, August 9, 2012

40k Metrics: Building a Better Devastator


In 5th Edition, if someone said they were bringing Long Fangs, Devastators or Havoks you could safely assume that they were going to be armed with missiles.  It was a no brainer for the most part because they were simply the most points efficient weapon available.  Does this hold true in 6th?  The way we go about killing vehicles, and to a lesser extent Monstrous Creatures, has changed quite a bit.  The old paradigm might not hold true at all anymore.

It's all about the numbers
A long while ago, I put forward some 40k theory that said it’s better your unit does something, at any cost, than doing nothing for cheap.  For example, if your only Troops choices were the following two units:

5 Space Marines with bolters for 50 points or

10 Space Marines with two lascannons for 225 points

What would you bring?  If those were your only two choices, the answer would be to bring the 10 marines with two lascannons by a mile.  The first unit, while extremely points efficient, does nothing.  It will not advance your position in the game one bit.  The second unit, while way overcosted, at least does something.  It has a chance to impact the game.

We have established that you would, and should, spend extra points when necessary to bring a unit that will actually be effective rather than one that is points efficient but doesn’t help you win the game.

Let’s look at some easy to compare units then, Long Fangs, Devastators, Havoks.  First we will look at them with the old standard loadout, 4x Missile Launchers.

Unit Cost

Fangs: 115
SM Devs: 150
BA Devs: 130
Havs: 155

Results:

Units
Kills
AV10
AV11
AV12
AV13
AV14
4x missile
Ave. by HP
3.4913
1.876
1.4349
0.9523
0.1684
Ave. by Insta
0.5651
0.6725
0.4751
0.2559
0
Ave. Total
4.056
2.549
1.91
1.208
0.168

This will be our baseline.  Clearly Havocs are so inefficient as to be unplayable.  I know said before that you can play inefficient units, but there has to be a reason to.  Obliterators and Predators and Vindicators are pretty efficient so there is no reason to bring a pretty trashy Havoc unit.  Same for vanillas.  Blood Angels are definitely playable, but Wolves are clearly undercosted.  Let’s see what Lascannons are up to…

Unit Cost

Fangs: 175
SM Devs: 230
BA Devs: 190
Havs: 215


4x Lascannon
Kills
AV10
AV11
AV12
AV13
AV14
Ave. by HP
3.3045
1.7604
1.483
1.1879
0.4706
Ave. by Insta
1.2985
1.6758
1.3515
0.9667
0.6054
Ave. Total
4.603
3.436
2.835
2.155
1.076


Wow those are expensive.  But look at those stats, they pack a punch.  Against AV11 and 12 they are almost a full dead tank better per game, which is a huge difference.  But the real selling point is how strong they are against AV13.  2 dead AV13 per game is no joke, if you team can drop two Predators per game you are pulling your weight.  These will definitely attract enemy attention, which is why I would say that BA Devs do these the best thanks to a FNP priest nearby.  Point for point, the SW are probably better off with Missiles.  Vanilla marines shouldn’t bother with these.

Lastly, how about a reason to take Havocs at all?  Glad you asked…

Havocs: 155

4x Autocannon
Kills
AV10
AV11
AV12
AV13
AV14
Ave. by HP
4.1082
2.6421
1.9382
1.0677
0
Ave. by Insta
0.6033
0.7494
0.4334
0
0
Ave. Total
4.712
3.392
2.372
1.068
0

Yep you are reading those stats properly.  They are better than missile devs at every light mech killing task.  Almost a full Rhino per game ahead.  Almost half a Chimera ahead.  That is big game, and a reason for this unit to exist.  While not as cheap as a Long Fang unit, these actually do more, and like I said above, paying more points for something is fine if you get more value from it.  If you’re playing Chaos Marines you could do a lot worse than bringing these.  Where I see these shining, though, is as an ally for Daemons.  Daemons want can openers, these are can openers.

Conclusions?  Space Marines should be playing AV13 heavy support units, or Rifleman Dreads via MotF.  Space Wolves can spend an extra 50% points on their unit to upgrade to lascannons to gain around 50% value, so it’s debatable which to bring.  Blood Angels gain more than they spend to upgrade to lascannon Devs, so it bears serious consideration.  And Chaos?  If 4x autocannons are a joke, I’m not laughing.

Thoughts?  Comments?  Questions?

3 comments:

  1. I can't help but wonder how Flakk Missiles will change their cost-effectiveness. When you can have a squad that knocks flying Monstrous Creatures down and takes out light aircraft. Though, word is, that the whirlwind will be getting a superior missile system and may be competing for that HS slot again...

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  2. with devs and stuff like whirlwind / vindicators all three in the HS slot... its a tight squeeze. furthermore, dev's can't split fire... it would end up being a army composition thingy i guess...

    generically, if you are running basic ML in your 10 man squads, you don't really need devs.

    also, the issue now is when the development team will release the fucking flakk FAQ...

    prolly after they finish milking gwfanbois from their flyer-milk-money.

    i'd be pissed if flakk missiles are a more than 10 points upgrade though... coz that will fuck up army composition point costs... but you can't rule that stunt out coz gw needs $$$$$$$$$$$

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    Replies
    1. You can split fire if you take the full ten guys and combat squad them. Also gives you extra wounds to soak up incoming shots :)

      They said the FAQ would be out by summer's end. I'm pretty sure the flakk missiles were around 10 points in the leaked DA test codex, so I think we'll be safe. :)

      Just a matter of waiting a couple weeks, now :)

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