Thursday, November 19, 2009

When Math isn’t Math anymore

Old Skool-New Skool Series (Article 1)
Insights on 4th edition strategies in a 5th edition world
*sorry about the images - I forgot to take my cam off of ISO3200 after I did some night work*

Fluke? The 1Ksons had no way of winning against Shrike in 4th ed.Some of you may know this about me. I may not look it, but I number-crunch a lot. Number-crunching actually takes up a third of the major elements in my strategy. I number-crunch when I’m making army lists (mostly to evaluate weird lists and their efficiency). I number-crunch while playing. I number-crunch when doing post-mortem. Heck, I number-crunch when I’m reading my codices while taking a crap (beware all you who would dare borrow my codices). It is unsurprising, when viewed from this perspective, that I would tend to attempt to go back to my old ways now that I have returned to 40K gaming.

It was during my first battle under the 5th edition rules (and the beating I got from Matthew’s Eldar) that I noticed how my math simply does not work anymore… at least not the way I expected it to.

The predator praying that he makes his cover saves.My brand of number-crunching is all about 1)reducing random results when possible, and 2) anticipating randomness through a crude probability computation. In my golden years, I could very effectively predict the outcome of assaults with a 2 model/wound margin of error. This allowed me to anticipate the chances my units will win in a particular combat and, more importantly, how long the combat would hold before my units or the opposing units get wiped-out. Gone are those days and here are the major reasons why:

1. Assault – The wound allocation rules are putting me off. A lot of my computations relied on the powerfist guaranteedly surviving the round of assault. Current wound allocation rules dictates that you have to distribute wounds prior to taking saves.

2. Shooting at units – Cover saves are awesome! I knew this way back when I was playing Nightlords. In fact, I would spend the extra 5 points per marine for Stealth Adept except on my assaulty units. Now everyone gets the 4+ invulnerable save I used to have to pay for. This rule adds 50% randomization to my results as compared to the 33% that I had to contend with using old rules.

True-line-of-sight is also putting me off. Do I have to anticipate the 4+ cover save for that unit or don’t I?

3. Shooting at Vehicles– Vehicles taking a cover save? A new set of Glancing Hits results? I hope I get used to this. There was a time when cover meant “Glancing Hits Only”. I abused this rule through my Manongguard patented T-Rhino Assault Formation which basically guaranteed a maximum of only 2 glanceable transports as my opponent’s legal targets per turn. No randomness.

I cannot seem to get the hang of computing for results based on the chances of getting an immobilized or destroyed result when you compound the new table with the cover rules. I end up shooting land raiders with 8 bright-lances a turn and coming up with nothing.
Rhino’s in-turn, are ultra-easy to pop (it’s just sad that I use so many rhinos). Pop-smoke and you only get a 50% chance to become unpoppable. Sigh.

4. Assaulting Vehicles – What?! Units always get to assault the rear? They simply made the Land Raider a bigger monster and made everything else afraid of getting assaulted (Why do they love the Land Raider so much – I have 2 CSM armies and an SM army and not one Land Raider).

Now protecting the rhino's rear does squat in assault.I’m at my most vulnerable right now and it’s a wonder that I haven’t lost any of my games so far. I don’t know if I will ever get back to number-crunching on the table or if it’s simply time to let the dice gods have their way with me.

Just some thoughts from an old dog trying to… you know the rest.


Salubri said...

you just brought up some very interesting points. particularly with wound allocation. i admit it does ruin your number crunching a bit. makes the game more dicey.

the ability to take out specific models in a unit is a double edged sword though. the upside is you can do it to your foe. the downside is he can do it to you too! lol

Balian the Blacksmith said...

"I’m at my most vulnerable right now and it’s a wonder that I haven’t lost any of my games so far"

This line made me squirt what I was drinking out my nose. :P

ManongGuard said...

And why would that be so funny?

Balian the Blacksmith said...

somehow, for me, in 40K - vulnerable + you... doesnt compute :P

ManongGuard said...

Mamaya maniwala mga nakakabasa sayo. Ano ka be ate! You can't deny that I kinda gravitate towards the handicapped armies. Hehehe.