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After running the numbers on SG with the new changes for 9th I figured I'd compare our 3 elite melee units. These numbers are based on 1 model charging and all are equipped with a jump pack for the points, with no extra auras/buffs factored in. For the points efficiency it's simply model points / wounds dealt and I've set the chart scales the same for easier visual comparison.

 

Sanguinary Guard

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Death Company

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Vanguard Vets

wPXcNTO.png

 

My main thought is that SG are very strong overall. As I mentioned in the SG topic, getting that extra base attack makes a big difference to them and the fact that all their weapons now do a flat 2 damage makes them nice and consistent. Their weakest area is points efficiency vs 1 wound targets, as the 2 damage weapons are overkill.

 

When you consider that a SG with 2 damage encarmine sword and DC with 1 damage power sword both get 4 attacks on the charge and both cost the exact same points I honestly see no reason now why I'd take DC with many of the weapon choices, even more so when SG have the angelus boltgun included at the same cost.

 

You could say DC will still shine with a chainsword for chaff clearing but take a look at VV with lightning claws. Even 1 claw is stronger than a DC with the chainsword thanks to the wound rerolls, and a pair of claws is not only the most efficient by far against chaff but also maintains reasonable efficiency against tougher multi-wound targets.

 

Where DC do have their niche, for me, is with the thunder hammer. The extra attack over VVs gives them the highest potential damage output when you really need something dead but they are the most glass cannony option.

 

For a resilient unit against tough monsters the VV with a hammer is certainly an option, though adding the cost of the storm shield reduces output efficiency by ~11%. That model then becomes more expensive than SG with a fist (37 vs 35) and actually does less damage, so is a fair bit less efficient from a damage output perspective. The resilience then comes down to the SS giving 2+ / 4++ vs the SG having their native 2+ save and -1 to hit, though admittedly the SS works against shooting.

 

As a short summary, I see the following stand out options:

 

Overall Versatility: SG with Swords

Chaff Clearing: VV with Claws

Maximum Damage vs Vehicles: DC with Hammers

Resilience vs Monsters: SG with Fists or VV with Hammer + SS

 

I'm not seeing any real benefit to the humble power sword in any role, unless you're up against a Sisters army where DC with a sword get close to the efficiency of VV with claws.

 

And finally, if you were looking to run the units with a warlord, SG would pull even further ahead with the Heirs rework.

Edited by Jolemai
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Haha, it would be the case that as soon as I make and paint an 8th-meta vanguard squad (5 shields, 3 fists) they drop down in efficiency.

 

What I am seeing from your work is that 5x claw vanguard, and 5x THSS vanguard, both insane builds, might be viable this edition. I don't think 5x LC's were ever the most efficient or sensible option for VV's however now it seems they might be. Can VV's still take double chainswords? How would that factor in?

 

Time to make up 3x TLC Van Vets, I think!

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It does look from a youtube pause like vanguard can take dual chainswords (replacing the bolt pistol with one). The only restriction for 1 unique item is the storm shield.

 

Dual chainsword VVs would have the same damage output as DC with 1 chainsword as they'd both be charging with 4 chainsword attacks, so we can use the DC expected wounds chart for that. It would clock in at 4 less points than the DC model though, putting it at 11% points efficiency against T3 chaff and 5.3% efficiency against T4 marines. That setup would still be a bit less efficient than a pair of claws against weaker infantry and still significantly weaker against tough targets, but it would keep the model as cheap as possible if clearing chaff is the only goal. A saving of 30 points over a squad of 5 could mean a couple of upgrades elsewhere in your army, though again the pair of claws are more versatile across the wider range of toughness profiles.

 

It effectively makes the DC's bolt pistol and 6++ from black rage cost 4 points in comparison.

Edited by Thoridon
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Haha, it would be the case that as soon as I make and paint an 8th-meta vanguard squad (5 shields, 3 fists) they drop down in efficiency.

 /quote]

 

Same, 4 of my newly-painted VAS have powerfists. I remember the exact moment when I thought to myself: ‘nah, you don’t need to magnetise the weapon arms, fists will be fine...’

 

At least fists are cheaper? :D

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This might need it's own thread, but what's the math-hammer approved "best" unit for taking on Deathwing/Knights?

 

For those unaware, Dark Angels' Deathwing is the new meta-buster since their revised Inner Circle rule gives them an inbuilt-datasheet-level-Transhuman Physiology, stating that all To Wound rolls of 1-3 automatically fail against them. So you have 1+/4++/6+++ 3W T5* dudes running around, with only wound rolls of 4-6 hurting them, and being able to be brought back at full health with the new Apothecary shenanigans (who also give them they 6+++; T5 is from a Stratagem). 

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I think the best unit for DW Knights is probably Van Vets with Lightning Claws. Rerolls to wound get around the built-in THP. The AP is enough to force them onto saving on a 3+ and that goes up to a 4+ when we hit the Assault Doctrine. Getting 2 extra attacks when wielded in a pair gives us volume of attacks to push through wounds.

 

The only downside is that VanVets without Shields are pretty vulnerable to DWKs melee attacks. Not sure there is very much you can do about that though.

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I think the best unit for DW Knights is probably Van Vets with Lightning Claws. Rerolls to wound get around the built-in THP. The AP is enough to force them onto saving on a 3+ and that goes up to a 4+ when we hit the Assault Doctrine. Getting 2 extra attacks when wielded in a pair gives us volume of attacks to push through wounds.

 

The only downside is that VanVets without Shields are pretty vulnerable to DWKs melee attacks. Not sure there is very much you can do about that though.

 

First thought was sheer volume of attacks, but the combo of 1+ sv, 3W, T5, and THP is such a nasty combo that it seems like some sort of multi-damage weapons need to do work. Who has the craziest volume of D:3 attacks.... DC with TH?  Or SG in full gonzo mode could have the right balance of volume (5A ea, 6A w/ Sanguinor, 7A with Unleash Rage {if we get it again}) of D:2 attacks with just enough AP-3 to tackle the 1+.....

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Added to BA Resources

 

@Thoridon, would appreciate it if you could add the DC and VAS graphs along with some words to the relevant UotW threads (similar to what you did in the SG thread). Cheers :)

 

http://www.bolterandchainsword.com/topic/344308-unit-of-the-week-death-company/

http://www.bolterandchainsword.com/topic/359980-unit-of-the-week-vanguard-veteran-squad/

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It might not be one unit, but several. Either a LC VAS squad or a LC terminator squad backed up by a Librarian with Null zone. Also, either squad needs to be in the assault doctrine (or under the effect of a Blood Chalice) so that they save on 5’s on armour alone. Still not guaranteed that you’ll get a wipe-out. Litanies to taste...which means that all your HQ choices will be buffing characters with one target: getting rid of a DW knight squad. Probably not worth the effort needed, hence broken.

 

It’s probably easier to snipe the Apothecary before you try tackling the big unit...

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It might not be one unit, but several. Either a LC VAS squad or a LC terminator squad backed up by a Librarian with Null zone. Also, either squad needs to be in the assault doctrine (or under the effect of a Blood Chalice) so that they save on 5’s on armour alone. Still not guaranteed that you’ll get a wipe-out. Litanies to taste...which means that all your HQ choices will be buffing characters with one target: getting rid of a DW knight squad. Probably not worth the effort needed, hence broken.

 

It’s probably easier to snipe the Apothecary before you try tackling the big unit...

 

Yea a tactica for us will be prudent (and I'm expecting a crop of "how to deal with Deathwing in 9th" articles/videos to start popping up. They are clearly the splash of 9th so far). I'm just curious from a purely mathematical perspective. I have found math hammer to be sharpening knives and cleaning guns, so to speak, but ultimately battlefield use is about skill and smarts and tactics. 

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This might need it's own thread, but what's the math-hammer approved "best" unit for taking on Deathwing/Knights?

 

For those unaware, Dark Angels' Deathwing is the new meta-buster since their revised Inner Circle rule gives them an inbuilt-datasheet-level-Transhuman Physiology, stating that all To Wound rolls of 1-3 automatically fail against them. So you have 1+/4++/6+++ 3W T5* dudes running around, with only wound rolls of 4-6 hurting them, and being able to be brought back at full health with the new Apothecary shenanigans (who also give them they 6+++; T5 is from a Stratagem). 

 

Ignoring the 6+++ as that's entirely on their end (unless we look at what we can cause mortal wounds with) it's not too bad to look at. The auto failure on 1-3 means every weapon we have will effectively be 4+ to wound, and the AP of every melee weapon will be fully active as -3 AP just takes them from the 1+ up to the 4++. That's going to give an advantage to high AP, high damage weapons and strength is irrelevant. Claws with the failed wound rerolls should be good too, though the extent of that will depend if you get to reroll all the 1-3s or only the 1-2s that would be natural fails as in 8th.

 

If it works the same as 8th, the best 3 melee weapons for VV against that target profile are:

 

Thunder Hammer = 1.13 unsaved wounds (extra flat damage helps)

2x Lightning Claws = 1.12 unsaved wounds (best for points efficiency, rerolls doing their work)

Power Fist or 1 Claw = 1.0 unsaved wounds

 

For SG:

Sword = 1.78 unsaved (-3 AP forces them into the 4++)

Axe and Fist = 1.33 unsaved (Axe loses 1 AP, Fist gets -1 hit)

 

For DC:

 

Hammer = 1.50 unsaved

Fist = 1.33 unsaved

 

So really it's SG with a Sword. The 5 strength is no weakness as they only wound on 4s anyway, the sword has no negative hit unlike hammers/fists and it has the full -3 AP that can be applied. Based off their 4 attacks it packs the most punch of all.

 

The DC hammer isn't far behind as it gets the extra flat damage but it does suffer from the -1 hit and only having -2 AP.

 

VVs are lowest max output for 2 reasons: They have less base attacks to work with for the thunder hammer and their lightning claws still only deal 1 damage. The rerolls keep them in touch though.

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First thought was sheer volume of attacks, but the combo of 1+ sv, 3W, T5, and THP is such a nasty combo that it seems like some sort of multi-damage weapons need to do work. Who has the craziest volume of D:3 attacks.... DC with TH?  Or SG in full gonzo mode could have the right balance of volume (5A ea, 6A w/ Sanguinor, 7A with Unleash Rage {if we get it again}) of D:2 attacks with just enough AP-3 to tackle the 1+.....

It is a tough one. The tricky bit is the TH still only wounds on a 4+, costs more points and has fewer attacks. Plus it only takes one successful 6+++ to require another failed save to finish off a DWK.

 

Ignoring the 6+++ to make the maths a bit easier means you need on average 8 TH attacks to kill a DWK. 2 Van Vets should just kill a single DWK once we are in the Assault Doctrine. The problem is that a single passed 6+++ means we need to go up to 3 Van Vets to kill a single DWK.

 

Ignoring the 6++ means you need on average 12 LC attacks to kill a DWK. Once again, 2 Van Vets should just about accomplish this in the assault Doctrine. The difference here is that a passed 6+++ only requires one extra wound from an LC rather than the 3 TH wounds that would be require to finish off a DWK. From this POV, it makes the LC attacks more efficient as any passed FNP saves cause less overkill.

 

Twin-LC VanVet is 6 points cheaper than a TH VanVet so are more effective point-for-point and more efficient when facing a unit buffed by an Apothecary. If you want to run THs to deal with DWKs, you are probably better off with DC as each extra attack is worth more. And you will definitely need Litany of Hate to reroll dem Hits. All of which makes the calculations a bit too complex for my poor little brain. :tongue.:

 

EDIT - Beaten to it by Thoridan and some slightly more comprehensive maths. :teehee:

Edited by Karhedron
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