RBTs worth a Shot?
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Author:  Lorddrittz [ Sun Sep 16, 2012 8:51 am ]
Post subject:  RBTs worth a Shot?

A lot of armies these days have either Fire Magic or Metal Magic on their supporting casters which can deal with the Regen on Hydras and Aboms.

Added to this the Banner of Eternal Flame and Flaming War machines (and normal War machines) and our Hydras may quickly die before crossing the table.

Also with the change in the 8th Ed Meta game especially with Tomb Kings, Ogres and Empire bringing more armored Monstrous Cavalry and Knights in their lists.

So for a similar points cost to a Hydra you can get 2 RBT's.

Why take the RBT's?

1. The long 48" range means they can hit things that our crossbows can't

2. Multi shots strength 4 (armor Piercing) can get rid of enemy chaff and snipe solo characters, weapons teams , etc...

3. It is also a tool to soften up enemy cavalry/MC with single Bolts (no armor saves).

4. They can also help wound higher toughness troops with the help of the withering

5. If deployed well the RBT's should be able to shoot for most of the game and kill the points you have spent on them or decoy troops away from your main battle line.

6. 360 degree LOS is another useful feature of the RBT's.


1. RBT's only have 2 wounds each so are very vulnerable to direct damage from Magic or shooting (keep the RBTs well back behind your lines)

2. Watch out for enemy scouts and flyers eg: Gutter Runners, harpies, scouting skinks, etc....

3. If using RBT's you need to be very selective about what you shoot at. Expensive targets first such as Empire Cavalry, Knights, MC, Monsters, chariots, etc.

Wasting shots at cheap troop types such as blocks of skeletons, clan rats etc.. is unlikely to yield enough points to justify taking the RBT's in the first place. Leave these cheaper troops for your crossbows, Dark riders and shades to soften up.

Author:  Calisson [ Sun Sep 16, 2012 8:59 am ]
Post subject: 

The problem is not competition for scarce rare pts.
The problem is to have a tool which fits your needs.
Two RBTs cost a lot and offers some services.
If the services are what you need most taking into account the rest of your army, go ahead, people had some successes with RBTs.
If there are other services that you need more (such as more bodies, more buffs...), drop them.

Reports about actual efficiency observed in combat would be apreciated.

Author:  Lorddrittz [ Sun Sep 16, 2012 9:22 am ]
Post subject: 

Okies I am a noob with Dark elves but have had a few games where I have kept the main troops in my list but tweaked about 500-800pts (out of 2800) per game to try an optimize the list.

Game 6 vs. Skaven
The RBT's sniped 2 weapons teams, wounded an Abom, killed some Storm Vermin & Plague monks.

Game 7 vs. Lizardmen

The RBTs managed to kill a Skink Priest, Pteradons and some skinks which were hunting the RBT.

Lost 1 RBT during the game.

Game 8 Big Battle

Sniped a Tomb King Heiro Titan, put a few wounds on some Mournfangs, killed a Gorger.

The results have been inconclusive but the contribution by the RBTs if they survive is quite useful.

Author:  Calisson [ Sun Sep 16, 2012 6:57 pm ]
Post subject: 

Thanks for the testimony.
Hopefully, other D.netters will add a thought.

Author:  Lord tsunami [ Sun Sep 16, 2012 7:31 pm ]
Post subject: 

RBTs are slightly better than RXBs versus some targets. RXBs are better against others. I personally play one RBT and two units of 10 RXBs. Some games the RBT dies, some games it survives. Some games i miss all shots, some games i hit the enemy general in the eye.

Statistically they are very similar point for point, and there is no question that both units are good. Go with whatever you feel like tbh :)

Author:  Tyrannus deathbringer [ Sun Sep 16, 2012 7:55 pm ]
Post subject: 

Mr Tsunami has summed up my experience and feeling on the matter well :P

I find the tactical flexibility RBTs offer most useful. Performance wise they range from fluffing all their shots to decimating enemy heavy cavalry!

Author:  Lorddrittz [ Mon Sep 17, 2012 12:54 am ]
Post subject: 

Okies maths is the key feature of using the RBT's effectively.

I haven't checked this website yet to see if someone has Maths Hammered the RBT's vs. various targets.

For effective use of RBT's deployment and target priorities are the key.

vs. Knights

However if I was firing an RBT at a unit of Knights I would be using a single bolt which prevents an Armour save and penetrates ranks. This is particularly good vs. Empire 1+ AS Knights if they are ranked up deep or you manage to get a flank shot.

vs. Monstrous Cavalry

The RBT's are ineffective and with a single bolt will be lucky to inflict 2 wounds. Likewise with multi bolts due to armor saves. Though the mutli bolts might be better vs. the TK Necro Knights especially if they have been withered.

vs. Weapons teams, small units

I would use multi bolts.

vs. Larger infantry units, Monstrous Infantry

I would use multi bolts unless fighting heavily armored WoC troops. Ogres being very popular at present means that in a Tourney setting the RBT's will have a target rich environment.

vs. Monsters

I would try to lower their Toughness first the withering if the Monster is T7 or lower. The Toughness would then determine whether or not to use a single bolt.

vs. Pegasus Riders

Single Bolt to bi pass the armor save.

The key to getting the RBT's to perform is shooting the juicy targets. If there are no decent targets then the RBTs won't be as effective.

Also do not shoot at cheap troops eg: Zombies, Skaven Slaves, unless there is a reason for doing so.
do not shoot at Skirmishers:due to the lower chance of hitting them, unless there is a reason for doing so.

A bonus when using RBT's is finishing off units which are down to the last few models and therefore gaining extra victory points which might otherwise escape being killed. The superior range of the RBT's also helps with this sniping.

One last note: If an RBT has done close to 100pts+ of damage and/or is still alive at the end of the game then it has done its job.

Author:  Calisson [ Mon Sep 17, 2012 3:29 am ]
Post subject: 

LordDrittz wrote:
I haven't checked this website yet to see if someone has Maths Hammered the RBT's vs. various targets.
This is when I realize that a little bit of advertisement wouldn't hurt. ;)

May I suggest a look at D.R.A.I.C.H. - Missiles
and D.R.A.I.C.H. - Long range missile units

You'll apreciate especially RXBs vs RBT - Secrets revealed with maths!
and D.R.A.I.C.H. - Druchii Naval Fire support: the RBT.

About the last thread, I'd be obliged if you endeavoured to update it for 8th edition. Feel free to copy/paste everything that you feel still applicable.

Author:  Lorddrittz [ Mon Sep 17, 2012 3:42 am ]
Post subject: 

Thanks for that Calisson I will look into it.

I will let everyone know how the 2x RBT's fair at MOAB (Mother of all Battles) a no comp Tourney coming up very soon in Australia.

I will also post Battle Reports as to how my list goes at this event.

8th Ed Target Priorities for RBT's

Getting the most out of your RBT's. In other words maximizing the the points the RBT's kill.

Using the Withering will enhance the damage done by RBT's as well as other shooting.

Army Specific Priority Targets

The targets are listed roughly in order obviously these targets are army and range dependent. It is sometimes better to improve the odds of hitting by shooting poorer targets at close range, also avoiding shooting skirmishers and troops in cover.

These lists are not perfect but based on my current Fantasy Army Knowledge.

Skaven: Grey Seer (Bell), Plague (Priest Furnace), Solo Characters, Weapons teams, Hellpit, Rat Ogres, Stormvermin, Plague Monks, Gutter Runners, Censor bearers,

Do not shoot: Skaven Slaves, Giant Rats unless no other option

Ogre Kingdoms: Man Eaters, Leadbelchers, Iron Guts, Giants, Mournfangs, Monsters, Gorgers, Ogres

Do not shoot Gnoblars, Sabre tusks unless direct threat.

Tomb Kings: Heiro Titan, Snakes, Chariots, Cavalry, Scorpions, Bone giants, Carrion, multi shot Sphinxes if desperate.

Empire: Knights, Demigriffs, small infantry blocks

Vampire Counts: Knights, Vaghulfs, Graveguard, Ghouls, Black Coach,

Do not shoot Zombies, Skeletons and Ethereal (can't be hurt).

High Elves: Eagles, Dragon Princes, Swordmasters, White Lions, Lion Chariots, Tiranoc Chariots, RBT's, Phoenix Guard, Bowmen, last = Spearmen

Wood Elves: Solo Characters, Eagles, Warhawks, Fast Cavalry, Bowmen, Way Watchers, Dryads, Treekin, Treemen, Spearmen, War Dancers,

WoC: Mounted Knights, Chosen Warriors, Foot Warriors (Khorne), Marauders mounted, Foot Warriors (Tzench),

Do not shoot dogs unless a direct threat

Bretonians: Pegasus Knights, Grail Knights, Questing Knights, Knights of the Realm, Errant Knights, Mounted Yeomen,

Do not shoot: Peasants & Men at arms, without a good reason.

Dwarves: Gyrocopters, Longbeards, Ironbreakers, Miners, Warriors,

Greenskins: These guys have numerous targets so its very situational. Mangler Squigs, Squig Hoppers, Chariots, Boar boyz, Giants, Black Orcs, fanatics once released, etc...

Do not shoot at Goblins/Night Goblins

Dark Elves: Cold One Knights, Dark Riders, Black Guard, Executioners, Witch Elves, Corsairs, Hydras, Crossbows, Harpies

Do not shoot Warriors


Lizardmen: Solo Characters, Carnosaur, Cold ones, Salamanders, Razordons, Temple Guard, Saurus, Skink + Kroxi units, Stegadons, Pteradons, Skinks

Do not shoot Slaan if he is Ethereal, Chamelian Skinks (too hard to hit)

Chaos Dwarves: unsure as i havent read the new army book.

Author:  Daeron [ Mon Sep 17, 2012 8:15 am ]
Post subject: 

I always tried to get RBTs in pairs. The reason is simply reliability. Imagine you can flank-shoot enemy cavalry or multiwound beasts, then it's probably because those troops are threatening the flank or rear of your troops. At a time like that, I dare not rely on a single roll to kill them off. 2 rolls... It's still a risk but at least there's a smaller chance on a complete failure.

As for this link:
RXBs vs RBT - Secrets revealed with maths!
Thank you very much for linking it Calisson, and for writing it, Tsunami.
But there is a small detail I don't see in that sheet... it doesn't express the chance to fail or degree of success. On average, your single bolt, or multishot, may score more wounds. But if it has a higher chance to fail, then the safe tactic may prove better in some situations.

Author:  Lord tsunami [ Mon Sep 17, 2012 9:21 am ]
Post subject: 

i didnt print the individual percentages because it was just too much typing. however, if you define "success" as the chance to hit, wound and pass armour, then it is trivial to calculate.

all calculations i made are statistical in nature, so they assume you fire an infinite number of times. in short, they do not make any difference between if you do 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1 wounds or 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 6 wounds. the first example has a 100% chance of "success" while the last one only has a 16,7% chance. however, on average they will both be just as good ;)

Author:  Daeron [ Mon Sep 17, 2012 9:45 am ]
Post subject: 

Yeah, the numbers are based on averages which, while very valuable, can give a bit of a wrong indication in -some- cases. Let's take T3, 5+AS as example. On average 10 RxB warriors will kill more foes than a single RBT. Yet the RBT has a bigger chance to score:
1 kill or more
2 kills or more
On 3 kills or more, the RBT and RxB are matched. On 4 kills or more, the RxB outweigh the RBT by a margin but... by then the odds to score such an outcome have drastically reduced.

So what I mean to point at is.. The RxB may be better on average and that's great if you're out for raw damage. But if you absolutely need to take 1 guy or 2 guys out to reduce the unit (say below US5) then the RBT may offer a more reliable outcome.

This is just nitpicking... at least in this case it is. But it does capture something that's valuable too: the RBT is more reliable in the shooting phase than its equivalent in points in RxBs. But the RxBs can deliver more wounds and the RxBs deliver a support unit.

Author:  Lord tsunami [ Mon Sep 17, 2012 12:01 pm ]
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that should be obvious. if 6 shots are roughly equal damage output as 20 shots, the RBT it more likely to kill a few guys while it has no chance of killing 7 guys...

Author:  Daeron [ Mon Sep 17, 2012 1:05 pm ]
Post subject: 

Well, yes it is logical. And it is computable. But I simply wanted to note that your sheet doesn't show that :)

One question though, if you'd permit me. How comes RXB beat RBT for Toughness 6?
Isn't T6 untouchable for RxB?

Author:  Sedge [ Mon Sep 17, 2012 1:52 pm ]
Post subject: 

Daeron wrote:
One question though, if you'd permit me. How comes RXB beat RBT for Toughness 6?
Isn't T6 untouchable for RxB?

You always wound on a 6. I'm guessing that's different to previous editions.

Author:  Lorddrittz [ Mon Sep 17, 2012 1:57 pm ]
Post subject: 

In 8th Ed all Strength 3 & 4 shots will wound T6 or higher on 6's therefore Crossbows having 20 shots vs. RBT 6 shots all needing 6's to wound.

Author:  Daeron [ Mon Sep 17, 2012 1:58 pm ]
Post subject: 

Ah! Thanks for clarifying that up :)

Author:  Red... [ Mon Sep 17, 2012 2:00 pm ]
Post subject: 

But if you absolutely need to take 1 guy or 2 guys out to reduce the unit (say below US5) then the RBT may offer a more reliable outcome.

Unit strength doesn't exist anymore in 8th ed.

Author:  Flash29 [ Mon Sep 17, 2012 2:39 pm ]
Post subject: 

Red... wrote:
But if you absolutely need to take 1 guy or 2 guys out to reduce the unit (say below US5) then the RBT may offer a more reliable outcome.

Unit strength doesn't exist anymore in 8th ed.

very true, although it is still somewhat relevant, rather then reducing unit strenth you could kill one or 2 models to remove a rank.

to remove future steadfast, or make a unit unable to disrupt( 2 rank units)

Author:  Lorddrittz [ Mon Sep 17, 2012 2:49 pm ]
Post subject: 

However in some Tournaments the trend has been to give half points for units below 25% starting strength.

This means that a player can't simply march a solo trooper away or into cover and get full points for the original unit at the end of the game.

Author:  Daeron [ Mon Sep 17, 2012 3:07 pm ]
Post subject: 

Hmm... It could be interesting information, but that's the key thing about theoryhammer results: it's still up to the player to evaluate IF and HOW relevant some numbers are to him. Furthermore, the more detailed and fine-grained your numbers get, the less clear-cut the answer becomes unless they are "obvious" but then fine-grained numbers aren't needed.
And then there is, of course, the question of how relevant a 5% difference is. With 1 dice roll making up 5% of the total rolls for RxB and 1 dice being 16% of your RbT rolls, a 5% difference is hard to rely on in the game.

I think Tsunami's sheet is as clear as an indication can get, without cluttering the cheat sheet.

As for me.. I'll gracefully (*cough*) stop posting numbers until I have my 8th ed book in hand. The damn delivery was stalled by a week :( Then I'll dig a little deeper in the numbers myself, if only to see if there's a situation or two worth mentioning.

Now... to shoot the delivery company with RxB or RbTs...

Author:  Lorddrittz [ Tue Sep 18, 2012 1:10 am ]
Post subject: 

So Maths hammer is useful as it helps a player make better decisions on the Battlefield.

Here is an example

A RBT shoots at a Lion chariot (T4 and 4+ AS, 4 wounds) at long range.

Is it better to use 6 shots which potentially can kill it in 1 round? or risk a single Bolt which can't kill it this turn?

The Maths Hammer tells us the answer to this.

Author:  Killerk [ Tue Sep 18, 2012 3:11 pm ]
Post subject: 

As math and all that helps,
Heres some experience, I'v found that a single RBT really helps control the movement phase.

This is done through a few factors
1. long range
2. 2 fire modes, single s6 no saves, and 6 shot.
3. 360 line of sight

It gives the list flexibility, do to the character of the RBT, it helps to deal with things like enemy skirmishers or solo heroes, the thing's that our RXB's struggle with. A no armor save kills most scar vet's or Pegasus heroes (or alike). Also it is much easier to deal with fast cav, since any decent player will force you to change facing with your rxb's, and thus you loose 50% of your effectiveness, as your no longer hitting on 5+ but 6+. Also it helps to put a little damage across the table if it is needed. Something a unit of rxb's cant do, if they are not positioned there beforehand, which is not always possible, or needed upon deployment..

It really helps to supplement our rxb's, to make our shooting phase more effective. So I would always encourage to use at least one. BUT it's priced at 100 point's :?, making it debatable if it is needed in a list.

Author:  Lorddrittz [ Wed Sep 19, 2012 12:32 am ]
Post subject: 

I think also that at higher points games the RBT's are a better option than at 2.5k or lower points games.

Author:  Lorddrittz [ Mon Sep 24, 2012 2:15 am ]
Post subject: 

I thought I would keep updating my games mentioning the Damage done by the 2 RBT's.

This is a game played in Western Australia as a practice for MOAB (Mother of All Battles). The army size was reduced to 2.4k for the practice game but I kept the RBT's in to see what they would do.

Battle for the Pass My DE's vs. Aren's Ogre's. I will do a full battle Report later.

I must say Ogre's are hard to deal with and his list wasn't optimised he did have 1 unit of 4 Mournfang with full command and the Dragonhide Banner but these guys were armed with Great Weapons which is not the optimal build (3+ AS with no Parry).

He also only took 1 Ironblaster which luckily for me misfired turn 3 and turned into a Chariot (no more shooting).

Any way back on topic the RBT's. I must say I didn't deploy the 2 RBT's optimally due to the scenario giving a narrow funnel for the enemy troops to advance along. So I ended up deploying the 2 RBT's about 6"s apart in a central position there were no hills to give better LOS.

In hindsight 1 of the RBT's should have been deployed on the far right flank next to the crossbows, however I was worried a couple of Sabre Tusks might charge it early in the game.

RBT Damage inflicted over 5 turns they were both Killed opponents turn 5 by a Comet landing on them both :(.

Between the 2 RBT's they killed
3x Maneaters with BOH
3x Ogres with IF

So not a bad assist to the army as they inflicted more damage than their points cost.

The biggest advantages of them were turn 1 where their range allowed them to kill a Maneater. Also the ability to snipe smaller units to finish them off.

I came to the conclusion that shooting at Mournfangs would be useless as 1 or 2 wounds would be all you could hope for per turn. While shooting multi bolts at the Maneaters meant 3 wounds per turn taking 1 off with no AS due to Str4 AP bolts.

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