Monday, September 21, 2009

"PEW!" vs. "BANG! BANG!"


According to Lyle at the South Store, there's going to be another tourney on the 10th of October. So Farmpunk and I are both busy prepping our forces. Part of that is creating an army list. And part of creating that list is figuring out how to arm my Sentinels.

Generally, I favor ether Autocannons or Lascannons. But, as I've said before, I go back and forth between the two. The lascannon is better at cracking armor, but the autocannon puts out more shots. And, as I noticed at the last tourney, Sentinel autocannons make short work of Monsterous Creatures and other baddies like Tyrannid Warriors. So a test was in order. Which weapon would be more effective against transports?

I can calculate the odds easily enough for either gun, and I know what my gut tells me. But I decided to just throw some dice and see what I came up with, since that's more real-world than simply running the math. My primary target, as always, will be Marine Rhinos. With the slimmer possibility of facing IG Chimeras. So I simulated a series of attack rolls versus AV11 and AV12 with Autocannons, Lascannons, and Autocannons + HK Missiles.

Why HK missiles? Because they cost the same as an upgrade from Autocannons to Lascannons. And hey, in most games the Sentinels are dead by turn 3 anyhow. So it's worth seeing if the boost in first turn firepower might be worth it.

Each test was conducted as a series of 20 attack rolls, so each run constitutes 5% of the total test. "Success" was measured by whether the transport was stopped. By which I mean it was stunned, immobilized, wrecked, or destroyed. Cut the numbers in half for a transport that's in cover.

Here's the Results:

Shooting at Rhinos:

3 Autocannons: 75% (5% stunned, 10% immobilized, 60% w/d)
3 Lascannons: 80% (10% stunned, 30% immobilized, 40% w/d)
3 ACs + 3 HKs: 100% (10% stunned, 30% immobilized, 60% w/d)

Hmmnnn... that's pretty interesting. The lascannons did a bit better overall, though not as well as I'd thought they would. But the Autocannons had a significantly higher number of wrecked or destroyed results. Probably because on their good rolls, the autocannons were rolling a lot more dice on the damage chart. Whereas the lascannons would only ever get one or two rolls.

Shooting at Chimeras:

3 Autocannons: 45% (10% stunned, 15% immobilized, 20% w/d)
3 Lascannons: 50% (20% stunned, 15% immobilized, 15% w/d)
3 ACs + 3 HKs: 60% (20% stunned, 15% immobilized, 25% w/d)

And once again, we see the same pattern. The Autocannons do a bit worse overall, but have a significant edge when it comes to wrecked/destroyed results.

Winner: Autocannons!!!

The answer is obvious. If you want to spend 150 pts. on Scout Sentinels, take Autocannons with HK missiles for a turn 1 alpha strike that's much better than what you would get with lascannons. On turn 2 it's a wash, and on turns 3, 4, or 5 you're either tarpitting an assault unit or dead.

Now to finish painting all those melta troopers...

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