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RBTs worth a Shot? 
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LordDrittz wrote:
Looking at your Maths a different way.
If 2 single bolts hit Skull crushers there is a 100% chance of killing 1, a better than 44% chance of killing 2 or more.


Dear no. That's not how it works, no offense. With 25% of neither bolt hitting its target, you can't have 100% chance of killing 1.

With 2 bolts you get:
  • 25% neither hit. Total 0 wounds, chance 25% (1/4)

  • 50% one hits
    • 33% no wounds. Total 0 wounds, chance 16.6% (1/6)
    • 66% to wound
      • 33% to give 1 wound. Total 1 wound, chance: 11.1% (1/9)
      • 66% to give 2 wounds.
        • 50% no additional wound. Total 2 wounds, chance: 11.1% (1/9)
        • 50% to wound
          • 33% to give 1 wound. Total 3 wounds, chance: 3.7% (1/27)
          • 66% to give 2 wounds or more. Total 4 wounds or more, chance: 7.4% (2/27)
  • 25% to have 2 hits
    • 11% no wounds. Total 0 wounds, chance 2.8% (1/36)
    • 44% to have 1 wound, 1 fail
      • 33% to give 1 wound. Total 1 wounds, chance: 3.7% (1/27)
      • 66% to give 2 wounds.
        • 50% no additional wound. Total 2 wounds, chance: 3.7% (1/27 )
        • 50% to wound
          • 33% to give 1 wound. Total 3 wounds, chance: 1.2% (1/81)
          • 66% to give 2 wounds or more. Total 4 wounds or more, chance: 2.5% (2/81)
    • 44% to have 2 wounds.
      • 33% first bolt does 1 wound and stops.
        • 33% second bolt does 1 wound and stops. Total 2 wounds, chance 1.2% (1/81)
        • 66% second bolt does 2 wounds
          • 50% second bolt doesn't wound again. Total 3 wounds, chance 1.2% (1/81)
          • 50% second bolt does wound and total is 4 or more wounds. Total 4 or more, chance 1.2% (1/81)
      • 66% first bolt does 2 wounds.
        • 50% first bolt doesn't wound again.
          • 33% second bolt does 1 wound and stops. Total 3 wounds, chance 1.2% (1/81)
          • 66% second bolt does 2 wounds. Total 4 wounds or more, chance 2.4% (2/81)
        • 50% first bolt wounds again. It does 1 at least and so does the second. Total: 4 wounds or more, chance 3.7% (1/27)


For total wounds we get:
  • 0 wounds: 44.4% or 16/36
  • 1 wound: 14.8%, 4/27
  • 2 wounds: 16.0% 13/81
  • 3 wounds: 7.4% 2/27
  • 4 or more wounds: 17.3% 14/81

Or cummulative:
  • 0 wounds: 44.4% or 16/36
  • 1 or more wounds: 55.5% or 5/9
  • 2 or more wounds: 40.7% or 11/27
  • 3 or more wounds: 24.7% or 20/81
  • 4 or more wounds: 17.3% or 14/81

Quote:
I am unsure the cost of the Skullcrushers but killing 2 should almost recoup the cost of the RBT's and any extra would be a bonus.


Killing two should recups the cost of 1 and a tad. You'd need to kill 3-4 to break even.

Quote:
RBT's may need several turns to be useful if they get ignored as you suggest this is when they shine, 6 rounds of shooting from even 2 RBT's will have an impact.


By round 2 or three, the juicy targets may just be in combat. I didn't ignore them... but they are easy to take out. It simply depends: if it's more important to have 1 or two rounds of shooting on something else or not. If so, then be sure that by turn 3 or 4 your RBTs ain't firing anything important.

Quote:
The Lore of Metal spell Enchanted Blades can further enhance one of the RBT's chances of hitting. So with a Level 4 on Metal this would be a possible option.

True.. but it's not an almighty spell. It buffs 1 RBT. To put it crudely, if you shoot at empire state troopers on long range, 2 RBTs give about 6 hits. With the buff, they give about 7 hits. Surely we can have units to benefit more from this?

Quote:
The Skullcrushers seem hard to deal with whatever we use shades are unlikely to be better than the RBT's in this instance due to 6's to wound and the 1+ AS of the Skullcrushers.


Absolutely agree. That's the problem. The RBT's aren't "effective". They do something, every now and then, but they are not -strong- against it. Neither are Shades. And the units the RBT really can make a difference against.. Those can be done by Shades too, probably. Whenever RBTs may outclass RXBs the margin is either small, or the total effect of the RBTs is too small to be an effective strategy.

Their performance is too close to those of RXBs in tough situations. Take Bret Knights:
- On long range, 2 RBTs score 6 hits, 4 wounds, 2 kills.
- On short range (you place them closer to the battleline or enemy came closer): 8 hits, 5-6 wounds, 2-3 kills. Top score there for RBTs. Ideal situation.
- 20 RXBs, long range, 13-14 hits, 6-7 wounds, 2-3 kills. Small difference.

You bring in magic with the Blades of Aiban:
- On long range, 2 RBTs, 7 hits, 4-5 wounds, 2-3 kills. Minor improvement
- On short range, 2 RBTs, 9 hits, 6 wounds, 3 kills. Small improvement
- 20 RXBs, long range, 20 hits, 10 wounds, 3-4 kills.

Take T3, 5+ AS troops.
- Long range, 2 RBTs, 6 hits, 4 wounds, 4 kills
- Short range, 2 RBTs, 8 hits, 5-6 wounds, 5-6 kills
- 20 RXBs, long range, 13-14 hits, 6-7 wounds, about 5 kills.

In comes the spell:
- Long range, 2 RBTs, 7 hits, 4-5 wounds, 4-5 kills
- Short range, 2 RBTs, 9 hits, 6 wounds, 6 kills
- 20 RXBs, long range, 20 hits, 10 wounds, 8-9 kills.

You don't want to know what happens when troops get into close range of the RXBs :D
This is a core choice, a required slot to fill, compared to a rare choice which inevitably costs points from either characters or specials.

Why do High Elves see this differently though? Because they don't have RXBs. They have to work with bows and can far more rely on their troops to handle armor. I think only their archers, spearmen and eagles are somewhat ineffective against armor. They don't have Shades either. They can't get their shooting from elsewhere other than bows. Their bows are alright, but with only 1 shot per bow they need something that can put weight in that phase. RBTs can do that... somewhat.

Shades have a devastating shooting power, but also close up and personal role in our game. RXBs can serve as bunker for Sorcs (guiding eye!). They can do more than just shoot and yet they can rival a rare choice warmachine. We have other sources to get firepower from, from units who can offer more than solely the firepower. That.. I think.. is our major difference with the High Elves and why RBTs are not a "bad" but a somewhat weak choice.

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Thu Jan 31, 2013 9:14 pm
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The problem is the Skullcrushers 1+ AS so our armour piercing crossbows basically have the armour piercing negated. So they effectively become more like HE bowmen shooting at normal 2+ knights.

Another factor that needs to be considered is the 24" close range for RBT's and up to 48" long range.

If our RxB's have to move up to get into range and double shot they will be hitting on 6's (-1 moving, -1 double shotting, -1 long range).

I am not arguing that our RxB's or Shades are bad they are really good at shooing if they are in range, just not as effective vs. Skullcrushers or Empire knights with 1+ Armour saves.

Admittedly HE's are in more need of the RBT's than DE's.

Mournfangs are 70pts each without command so I would hope that Skull crushers (80pts each according to rumor) would be at least that amount. i will have to see the new WoC book.

This link shows the comparison between 10 RxB's and an RBT vs. various troop types.

http://www.druchii.net/viewtopic.php?t=68188

Obviously at over 24"s the RxB's don't operate, the Shades however can scout to ensure they are within the 24" range at the start of a game.

As the Meta game swings towards more heavily armored troops and Monstrous cavalry, we may see more RBT's back on the table to support our RXB's, DR's and Shades.

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Last edited by Lorddrittz on Fri Feb 01, 2013 2:14 am, edited 1 time in total.



Thu Jan 31, 2013 9:42 pm
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About the range... Shades have as much chance of being in short range than RBTs. And RBT's close range isn't a given. If you place them close to the battle line, they have decent visibility for a short term but are far more vulnerable to chaff. The best is to have them shoot in between a central unit and a flank holder, further to the back so that the approach route for flyers is cut off. At those positions, though, they aren't likely to shoot in close range very often.

RXBs may need to move up, but they can be placed close to the battleline. So what if chaff comes close? All the better! Range rarely proved an issue for my RXBs. But yes, they sometimes had to shoot 6's. There are scenarios wherein RBTs can outperform them, I agree, but the edge gained for RBTs is often small as my examples showed.

You link a chart that compares RXBs and RBTs. It's a decent chart, but it lacks some important points to give the perspective I'm trying to explain:
- where is our unit actually going to do something useful.. because winning is good, but if's not going to kill anything, then what's the point of winning?
- where can the unit reliably kill.. say.. 1 or 2 guys. If we look at where our units can reliably kill 1 dude, say, more than 50% chance (hardly reliable, but enough to prove a point), then a single bolt shot is rarely going to be marked as reliable because it already has a 50% failure on a long range shot on the hit roll alone. This is why even against very toughly armored opponents, the bolt may score decent points on average but even volley will prove a more reliable strategy. And compared to volley.. The RXBs can compensate by sheer volume.
- When is the difference between the units bigger than 1 kill on average. You'll find that answer to be "rarely", unless it is in favor of the RXBs.


Let me give an example from that chart. Against a single wound 1+ AS T3 knight, the chart says "6-shot or single" as the top choice.
Here's my combat calculator:
http://warhammer.orderoftheathanor.eu/C ... lator.html

12 volley shots have an average of 1.3 kills at long range or 1.8 at short range. Now.. you can argue that beats the 1.1 average kills from my 20 RXBs who fire at long range. But would you consider either attack effective? If it's to "pick one off" then both have a shot at it.
If we pick 2+ AS knights, then we get RBTs on 2 or 2.7 and RXBs on 2.2... 3.3 on close range. That's more like it.. But still a very narrow difference. If you want to whittle that unit down, which one will be the best choice? I think either. Except that RXB unit:
- is core
- is better against lighter troops
- can bunker a sorceress
- is easier to buff
- has steadfast
- has 20 wounds

Most of my arguments go one way, but I'm not trying to say that RBTs are -bad-. You're not going to loose by default if you pick them. They are "worth a shot". They have a few interesting options, just like our RXBs have interesting options.

But the difference between them is small, and if you want a competitive army, I'd recommend to pick RXBs in core choice and use those points from rare somewhere else. We can use those points in better choices in special or character slots.
If RBTs would be core, either would be a valid choice, with the RBTs range utility weighing against the resilience- and tactical weight of the RXBs.

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Thu Jan 31, 2013 10:56 pm
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hmm, this is a really interesting discussion. Theoretically, I'd favor the RxB though.
@Daeron: you really have a nice combat calculator ;)
I have used it alot already :p It's a really nice tool to make a strategy if you know who you're playing ;)

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Thu Jan 31, 2013 11:24 pm
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I get what your saying the RBT's are not an optimal choice but maybe you pick up extra points from having a softer list in a Tourney environment.


Just looking at your maths that's a 40.7% chance of killing 1 skull crusher and a 17.3% chance of killing 2.

This is why I would run 2 RBT's or none as they count as one rare slot and 1 RBT just isn't effective enough to get the kills as you have demonstrated with Maths.

The only other rare slot the DE's have is the Hydra so the RBT's taking up this selection is not an issue unless you want double hydras which are great but may be comped at Tournies.

Yes I agree the RxB's are better vs. lighter T3 troops though the limited range can be a factor (not for Shades obviously). The extra reach of the RBT's can be really nice for sniping out those Skaven Weapons teams for example.

The RXB are a bunker yes I agree

RXB are easier to buff not sure what you mean by this? are you talking spells or cauldron

Yes the RxBs have steadfast, hopefully the RBTs will never see combat unless flyers or enemy scouts get to them.

20 rxbs will have 20 wounds T3 vs. 2 RBT's with 4 wounds T7 (T3 in combat)

I agree the RxBs and Shades are more versatile but in conjunction with the RBTs you get the best of both worlds so to speak.

As far as killing is concerned with RBT's you have to pick your targets wisely. It is pointless shooting at large blocks of cheap troops, better to target expensive ones that the RxBs may struggle with by themselves.


RBT Range

The threat range of the RBT's is worth talking about 48"s. This means you can shoot at enemy archers without getting return fire until they move up into range which may take 2 turns..

An enemy would be loathe to have their wizards out of units for fear of sniping from RBT's.

Solo characters on Pegasus etc... may also receive a few wounds or even die before engaging or sometimes even moving.

Killing chaff and re directors though not gaining many points helps clear the way for our fighting blocks. This job can be done by our RxBs if they are in range. Enemy T4 Eagles may need the extra RBT shots to bring them down.

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Fri Feb 01, 2013 12:20 am
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Range and 360° is definitively an advantage for RBTs.
The "psychological shot" is another: with 2 RBTs around, the reasonable opponent might hesitate to gamble his pegasus hero, when he could have measured to remain at distance of shades.

This to say that RBTs do have their uses.
But, as Daeron mentions, aren't better uses for 100 or 200 pts?

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Fri Feb 01, 2013 8:35 am
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Well Lord Drittz, there is little I can add to the discussion at this point except going a tad more in depth and clarifying a few points.

LordDrittz wrote:
Just looking at your maths that's a 40.7% chance of killing 1 skull crusher and a 17.3% chance of killing 2.
This is why I would run 2 RBT's or none as they count as one rare slot and 1 RBT just isn't effective enough to get the kills as you have demonstrated with Maths.


I too would echo the idea of "run 2 or none". But the 40.7% chance to kill at least 1 skull crusher... that's the accumulated chance for 2 RBTs! Not 1. Only 1 RBT would have a notably lower chance to kill anything at all.

In fact, we could take this a step further. 2 RBTs is still mediocre. Let's try 4 using single shot. Here's a spreadsheet:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc ... sp=sharing

The result on long range:
- 0 wounds: 20% (not insignificant here.. but "okay")
- 1 wounds: 13%
- 2 wounds or more: 67%

The result on short range:
- 0 wounds: 10%
- 1 wounds: 10%
- 2 wounds or more: 80%

Now this does cost a whopping 400 points BUT... Let's compare with 400 points of RXBs:

On long range:
- 0 wounds: 47.51%
- 1 wound: 35.52%
- 2 wounds or more: 16.97%

On short range:
- 0 wounds: 32.66%
- 1 wound: 36.80%
- 2 wounds or more: 30.53%


So what happened? Simple: the single bolt shot has a very large chance to fail to hit before it can do good damage. This makes it unreliable. By compensating with numbers, it becomes a fairly strong tool with a more reliable minimum gain. More importantly is that, with these odds, it becomes reliable against an enemy that would otherwise require heavy points elsewhere. But only at this number would it be a tactic where you can expect a minimum outcome. Combine this with Shadow magic, and you might see wonders happen. :P

LordDrittz wrote:
The only other rare slot the DE's have is the Hydra so the RBT's taking up this selection is not an issue unless you want double hydras which are great but may be comped at Tournies.

It's not the competition for rare points but "everything not core". We can easily fill the lord slot with 25%, hero slot with 25%, special with 50%. There's already competition for those points and less so for our Core points. RBTs aren't badly placed in rare, but if you take RBTs, you'll have to cut in either specials, heroes or lords in which I often find stronger choices.

LordDrittz wrote:
RXB are easier to buff not sure what you mean by this? are you talking spells or cauldron


If you take 200 points of RBT, you can still only buff 1 RBT with a spell like "Blades of Aiban". Only half your RBT shots are buffed.
200 points of RXBs can placed in 1 large unit, which can be buffed with a single spell. If you want synergy with magic, take Shadow :)

LordDrittz wrote:
As far as killing is concerned with RBT's you have to pick your targets wisely. It is pointless shooting at large blocks of cheap troops, better to target expensive ones that the RxBs may struggle with by themselves.

Well.. it would depend on the situation. Sometimes shooting the horde is important (Bloodletters), but this doesn't invalidate your arguments or mine. My point is that RXBs and RBT volley fire struggle against the same enemies and do well against the same troops. There are tough opponents where single shot RBTs do well against that RXBs do not, but there you need plenty of RBTs to compensate for the high probability of getting nothing (hit failing).

LordDrittz wrote:
An enemy would be loathe to have their wizards out of units for fear of sniping from RBT's.
...
Killing chaff and re directors though not gaining many points helps clear the way for our fighting blocks. This job can be done by our RxBs if they are in range. Enemy T4 Eagles may need the extra RBT shots to bring them down.


True and this is important... But we can achieve such with Harpies, DR's, Shades, witch elf darts... It's not a unique role within our army. That doesn't mean RBTs aren't valuable for this role too, they just aren't unique in it. In particular for HE's it is a critical role for bows and RBTs in their army. I think only Eagles do it effectively besides their missiles and they need them for redirecting and support. So missiles handle chaff and force characters to stick in units, where they can be pinned down in the one thing HE's excell in: kicking the living snot out of things in close combat.
Dark Elves have different ways of handling that, different ways of assassinating wizards or keeping them in check. So it's important, but can easily be less critical depending on how you compose your army.

LordDrittz wrote:
Solo characters on Pegasus etc... may also receive a few wounds or even die before engaging or sometimes even moving.


It's a fair point but it really depends on the setup. Characters flying like that would fear cannon balls. If they have any form of protection against it, like POK or Cloak of Hag Graef, then you may notice that RXBs actually have a better chance. But such items aren't available for every army.

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Fri Feb 01, 2013 1:15 pm
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Daeron Correct me if I have misinterpreted your information but 2 RBT's over 2 turns = 4 RBT's. They have a 67% chance of doing 2+ wounds on Skullcrushers which cost 80pts each with no upgrades.

I could live with these 67% odds, my biggest worry would be if the Skullcrushers can get a Ward save on them eg: Iron Curse Icon and mark of Tzench for a 5+ ward Save?


Summary

I think the main outcome of our discussion is that RBT's have their use but may be to some extent a sub optimal choice if you play in a no Army composition environment.

I personally won't take RBT's in every army but may use them for a change up from time to time depending on the type of list I am using.

When might the RBT's be of use?
Taking into account their superior range to our RxB's as well as their ability to penetrate 1+ Armour. I would say they are good vs. the following armies Skaven, DE's, HE's, TK's, Bretonnians, Ogres, WoC (Skullcrushers), Empire (knights), VC (knight bus list).

Not so good vs. Lizardmen, Dwarves, Chaos Dwarves, Beastmen, VC (non knight builds), Orcs & Goblins, WE's.


RBT vs. a Dark Elf Match up.

Interestingly a single bolt vs. Cloak of Hag Graef with Dawnstone on a Pegasus Rider. The RBT Bolt will hit him at Strength 3 but still no armour saves. So Withering (Shadow Magic) the Pegasus rider first may make this guy an easy kill.

vs. the PoK guy multi bolts would be the way to go but RxB's would be better if in range. Shades would be the best answer in this case.

2 RBTs shooting at long range can kill 4 Blackguard per turn or 4 RxB's per turn. So it would take 4 turns to re coup the RBT's points cost.
Killing 4 Dark Riders per turn would net the best points (better if DR's upgraded with RxB's), or 3 Shades per 2 turns if the Shades are in the open (not worth shooting at).

Warriors would be the worst targets to shoot at due to their cheapness.
Harpys being Skirmishers harder to hit than enemy RxB's.
Hydras being T5 with Regen hard to get wounds off with RBT's.

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Fri Feb 01, 2013 11:35 pm
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