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Because Everyone keeps bringing it up: The # of Lasgun Shots Needed to Kill One Knight


MoshJason
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Because Everyone keeps bringing it up in regards to not feeling right when someone plinks a wound off a tough model with a Troop unit and not a special weapon, I wrote a very simple program to figure out exactly how many Lasguns are needed to kill an Imperial Knight Paladin with no upgrades.

I did 1,000 trials. 

 

A guardsmen hits on a 4+ (6+ Autowounds if you take born soldiers)

A lasgun (Str 3) Wounds a Knight (T4) on a 6+

 

Any wounds have to get past a 3+ Save

(Quick Math Check - .5 to hit * .1666 to wound * .33 to get past the save means each lasgun does approx .027 damage per shot. 24/.027 is 888 shots)

 

The results are below:

 

Spoiler

Number of Shots Needed to Kill - Amount of Times that Result Occurred

122--> 1
166--> 1
172--> 2
174--> 1
185--> 1
188--> 1
190--> 2
191--> 1
194--> 2
197--> 1
198--> 2
200--> 1
201--> 2
204--> 1
206--> 1
208--> 1
209--> 3
210--> 2
211--> 3
212--> 1
216--> 1
218--> 1
219--> 1
220--> 2
222--> 5
223--> 1
225--> 2
227--> 2
228--> 6
229--> 3
230--> 1
232--> 3
233--> 4
235--> 2
236--> 1
237--> 1
238--> 3
239--> 3
240--> 5
241--> 1
242--> 5
243--> 1
244--> 1
245--> 4
246--> 5
247--> 6
248--> 4
249--> 5
250--> 6
251--> 2
252--> 4
253--> 6
254--> 7
255--> 3
256--> 6
258--> 8
259--> 5
260--> 6
262--> 7
263--> 6
264--> 4
265--> 3
266--> 2
267--> 7
268--> 5
269--> 3
270--> 3
271--> 7
272--> 8
273--> 3
274--> 9
275--> 5
276--> 4
277--> 4
278--> 7
279--> 8
280--> 3
281--> 6
282--> 1
283--> 1
284--> 4
285--> 5
286--> 5
287--> 15
288--> 6
289--> 6
290--> 5
291--> 4
292--> 4
293--> 4
294--> 4
295--> 5
296--> 6
297--> 10
298--> 10
299--> 11
300--> 9
301--> 5
302--> 3
303--> 9
304--> 5
305--> 4
306--> 3
307--> 11
308--> 4
309--> 9
310--> 5
311--> 6
312--> 5
313--> 3
314--> 8
315--> 2
316--> 4
317--> 12
318--> 5
319--> 6
320--> 6
321--> 6
322--> 8
323--> 6
324--> 4
325--> 9
326--> 10
327--> 9
328--> 7
329--> 4
330--> 4
331--> 3
332--> 7
333--> 6
334--> 5
335--> 5
336--> 5
337--> 5
338--> 8
339--> 7
340--> 6
341--> 4
342--> 4
343--> 8
344--> 4
345--> 5
346--> 5
347--> 5
348--> 3
349--> 6
350--> 5
351--> 7
352--> 6
353--> 5
354--> 8
355--> 4
356--> 3
357--> 9
358--> 8
359--> 7
360--> 3
361--> 3
362--> 4
363--> 4
364--> 7
365--> 1
366--> 3
367--> 4
368--> 8
369--> 4
370--> 5
371--> 3
372--> 6
373--> 5
374--> 5
375--> 1
376--> 3
377--> 5
379--> 6
380--> 5
381--> 4
382--> 4
383--> 3
384--> 1
385--> 2
386--> 4
387--> 3
388--> 7
389--> 5
391--> 3
392--> 2
393--> 2
394--> 4
395--> 5
396--> 4
397--> 5
398--> 6
399--> 3
400--> 2
401--> 6
402--> 3
403--> 2
404--> 2
405--> 3
406--> 1
407--> 2
408--> 1
409--> 3
410--> 4
411--> 2
412--> 3
413--> 3
415--> 1
416--> 2
417--> 3
418--> 3
419--> 2
420--> 1
422--> 3
423--> 1
424--> 1
425--> 1
426--> 1
427--> 2
428--> 4
429--> 3
430--> 1
431--> 3
432--> 3
433--> 2
434--> 1
435--> 1
438--> 2
440--> 1
441--> 1
444--> 1
447--> 2
448--> 1
451--> 1
452--> 1
453--> 1
454--> 1
455--> 1
456--> 1
457--> 1
459--> 2
460--> 1
461--> 2
462--> 1
463--> 1
465--> 1
467--> 1
472--> 1
475--> 1
477--> 2
478--> 1
481--> 1
483--> 1
487--> 1
488--> 1
489--> 1
491--> 1
495--> 1
497--> 1
498--> 1
500--> 2
501--> 1
502--> 1
504--> 1
519--> 1
539--> 1
554--> 1

 

As you can see, it's significantly less than 888. However, the average is still about 300 shots. An Infantry squad can, at best, fire 28 lasgun shots, with First Rank/Second Rank, since the Sergeant can't take a lasgun, and instead has a las pistol.

 

So that's about 11 squads (300/28 = 10.71).

 

Assuming all those squads are in range of an officer, and can all get hit with one order, (which isn't likely) you are still looking at 765 pts (65 for each squad, plus *one* Cadian Castellan) to kill a single Knight in one round of shooting on planet bowling ball where you can consolidate that much fire power. And that's assuming you took Born Soldiers, cuz God Emperor Help you if you find yourself firing lasguns at a Knight and you *don't* have those sixes to hit Autowound.

 

Keep in mind, with the new detachment structure, and I could be wrong, you can only take a max of 12 troops. So that means you would be firing *ALL* of your Lasguns to kill a knight. Lasguns are supposed to be stronger than modern day weapons, and you have to be firing an entire armies worth at a single target to bring it down. (A baneblade is somewhere in the 450 shots on average)

 

So if your worried that having everything be able to wound everything makes high toughness/high armor models worthless - it doesn't. I get that it can feel unfun to have your knight get it's last wound or two plinked off by lucky shots, but it feels even worse to find yourself unable to *even try* to plink these off. There were quite a few times in 7th where I ended up conceding because I ended up playing a Knight player without knowing I would be, and they killed all my anti-tank in the first two rounds, and i wasn't even able to roll to plink.

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Recommendation for the future, add an few lines at the end to export the data as a CSV file or format as comma tab-delimited. Makes it super easy to then make visualizations in a spreadsheet program. I took the time to enter in the values manually, and here yah go:

image.png.49a61486ea374587cc3e37cddc843cf1.png

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D1 weapons have never efficiently killed big targets, even with ridiculous stuff like auto-wounding on 6s to hit and rerolls all over the place. The fact that people keep talking about *chip* damage killing tanks/monsters, when Multi-Meltas have been slagging stuff all edition is rather strange to me. Even Plasma is often not enough these days, wounding on 4s, usually hitting an invuln, and then only doing 2 damage to something with double digit wounds just isn't going to be killing stuff quickly without ridiculous volume, certainly nothing like the old days of 40k when a single plasma gun could get lucky and kill a light/medium vehicle in 1 shot. Like sure, that squad of plasma Inceptors *might* kill a Russ, but I wouldn't rely on it (they do about 7 wounds on average, or 14 damage to a Russ, assuming they're rerolling 1s cause you'd be insane otherwise)


The fact that small arms fire can chip off a wound or 2 here and there is generally a good thing, since it prevents armor skew lists from just being an incredibly unfun thing to play. Can you imagine fighting daemon monster mash when they all have unmodifiable 4++ invuln saves, 20ish wounds, defensive strats and abilities, AND you need Str 6+ to even hurt the bigger targets? No thanks, I'll take the theoretical entire army of lasguns in double tap range fully buffed killing big stuff for the practical reality of not having an entire army rendering useless when it runs into a skew list and all its anti-tank gets taken out early.

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It is annoying suffering damage from small arms fire, which can result in lowering the wounds of said vehicle into a lower wound bracket or contribute to a vehicle being destroyed.

 

But the main reason I don't like everything wounding everything is the needless dice rolling slowing the game down.

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4 hours ago, The Unseen said:

The fact that people keep talking about *chip* damage killing tanks/monsters, when Multi-Meltas have been slagging stuff all edition is rather strange to me

 

Agreed - I currently play sisters of battle. In order to get any *chip* damage, I'm firing an entire squad into a Knight, and praying for 1 wound to go through. Since bolters are str 4 AP -, I'd be looking for similar numbers as a Guard Squad without 'Born Soldiers'

 

3 hours ago, Captain Idaho said:

It is annoying suffering damage from small arms fire, which can result in lowering the wounds of said vehicle into a lower wound bracket or contribute to a vehicle being destroyed.

 

But the main reason I don't like everything wounding everything is the needless dice rolling slowing the game down.

 

I get that, and can understand that. I just really don't like feeling like there's not even the chance to do damage to something. I usually skip trying to do plink damage unless it's dire - if it's a Timed Game then I don't have time to waste rolling all those shots, and if it's a casual game, I don't want to waste me and my buddies time.

 

8 hours ago, Inquisitor_Lensoven said:

Just want to point out CST sgt can take an autogun with the same Stats except it’s 2 shots

 

Good to know! I was just looking at Infantry Squad, but yeah, that would help get the number of shots up.

 

Sidebar:

I ran this for Sisters Meltas, Sisters Heavy Bolters and Hammerhead Gunships - Sisters w/ Meltas (no buffs) outside of Melta Range need about 31 shots to kill a knight, and Hammerhead Gunships with only their native reroll need about 4.5 shots to kill one (Rule of 3 means you'd have to take 2 turns to get enough firepower from just Hammerheads). 

 

Sisters Heavy Bolters has a really wide variance, but you'd need an average of around 110-120 shots, which would be 40 heavy bolters.

Edited by MoshJason
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This theoryhammer just confirms what I suspected already, which is that in response to the game getting deadlier as a whole, they have inflated the number of wounds along with everything else to keep up.  I suggested  a few ways in post in the other thread on how they could modify infantry squads to be able to interact with superheavies and other high toughness targets without being able to harm them with their basic guns, along with ways to make the game less deadly in some ways. It's not that I want these guys to be able to roflstomp all over a person who went with an infantry heavy army, I just think their should be certain benefits to being such a powerful creature. 

 

With that said, there should be viable tactics and equipment to take them out commonly available and useable by almost any force, but they would be different tactics than what you would be using if you went up against another infantry heavy army, and might require some creative thinking on part of the generals involved. Likewise, if someone takes an armoured column with no infantry support, they should find themselves at a disadvantage in particular situations, particularly if the enemy gets close enough to swarm them, even if that other army is not normally melee oriented. This would include knights and walkers to some extent as well, though they should suffer less in melee than other vehicles. Right now the game doesn't simulate this very well, and some armies have scarcity of the needed equipment to crack open vehicles. These would be things that I would hope they revise for the next edition.

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1 hour ago, Arikel said:

I just think their should be certain benefits to being such a powerful creature. 

 

This is the really tricky part, I think.

 

There's a level of "The Fantasy" of these models vs "The Table Top", and I think when I play Knights, that they do a decent job with it - but it's very tough to make them these, just, Giant Robots of Doom while making it fun to play against them, especially when most people build their collections to fight a Take-All-Comers list, and Full Knights are definitely a Skew List.

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If my big guns fail, how many lasguns do I need to just knock a single wound off the knight?

This is a discussion had at the start of 8th also, with the 'Sky is Falling' crowd worried that their landraiders would be getting nuked by lasguns all day every day - as we can see, it's pretty tough to do, and didnt actually happen through 8th or 9th. 

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I'm personally of the opinion with Knights, they should have been relegated to something an army can take as an allied unit, with Knight "armies" being something intended for special/unusual games and only playable with opponents' permission. An army of big stompy robots is cool and all but trying to have it as a "standard variable" for balancing is a bit of a nightmare. If any army is expected to face what is effectively nothing but super-heavies, then the level of lethality every army needs to be able to dish out to deal with this will leave "normal" armies in ruins.

 

I definitely believe the "with opponent's permission only" caveat for super-heavies, mega-characters (the Primarchs, Abaddon, Swarmlord etc) and other "nuke buttons", and the appropriate balancing to compensate for the fact these units aren't going to be seeing every single game, would do a lot to help the health of the game. It'd also allow for a lot of more fun things (vehicle/monster/character design rules for instance) to make a triumphant return; AOS allows you to include your custom heroes in all three game modes but Matched Play requires opponents' permission, and a similar approach for 40K would mean people who just want to play cool, fluffy games whilst still having a bit of structure would be able to, whilst those that want a higher emphasis on balance would also be able to.

 

It'd also mean we could return to the (IMO more sensible/immersive) wounding system where you need a certain amount of punch to wound big targets, as people's ability to bring large amounts of unkillable death machines to every game and steamroll their opponents would be kneecapped, thus removing the frustration of "Your army of 9 Monoliths just disintegrated my last lascannon team, might as well forfeit" due to the lack of 9 Monolith armies.

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3 hours ago, Xenith said:

If my big guns fail, how many lasguns do I need to just knock a single wound off the knight?

This is a discussion had at the start of 8th also, with the 'Sky is Falling' crowd worried that their landraiders would be getting nuked by lasguns all day every day - as we can see, it's pretty tough to do, and didnt actually happen through 8th or 9th

 

That's, uh, that's weirdly a much harder question.

Not that there's not good math on it - just that it feels like a much wider variance since it's only one set of dice rolls, and so there's less of a bell curve.

 

So, there's a reasonable chance (8.4%) that I plink a wound off on the first hit! It could go like this: I (Guard Player)) roll one lasgun shot and roll a six. You (Knight Player) roll a dice and, bam! You roll a 1 or a 2. That's a wound!

But there's also a reasonable chance (19.8%) that I roll an entire 19 shots (No first rank/second rank) and do no damage to you at all. In fact, there's a 10% chance that you don't take the first wound off until after you've fired 27 shots - which is the max number of Las shots from a single Infantry Squad (Cadians not withstanding)

 

Also, Guardsmen are only this good if they take the Born Soldiers perk. 

 

100,000 Trials of (simulated) rolling the dice

Lasgun vs Knight.JPG

Edited by MoshJason
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Actually useful to conversation: how much of the current game issues are due to lethality versus overall imbalance between what's in a codex and what that faction's secondary objectives are?

Edited by jaxom
Deleted unnecessary stat-Geek speak
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Is this...40k equal to the "how many licks does it take to get the centre of a lollipop?"

Not sure this is an issue with increased lethality but more to do with the new way wounds are determined on how hard they are to land. While there is a point where we ask "how?" in terms of lore and narrative we have to keep in mind the game is just an abstraction.

Don't let current negative events cloud your judgement over a game you like, such things tend to make nit-pick things such as this become far greater than they are. In effect, a Mountain making a giant of an ant.

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1 hour ago, jaxom said:

The only way I can think of where 8.4% is the probability is taking the frequencies of the independent events (1/6 for the wound roll and 2/6 for the failed save) and combining them as a single event. I assume theses are the three events you used: rolling a 1 on the first die and rolling a 1 or 2 on the second die as part of a simultaneous 2d6 roll; i.e. 3/36 . Not only is it the incorrect model, but the calculation is flawed for the 2d6 model, because there are four events which give the result we want: 1,1 / 1,2 / 2,1 / 1,1. 

 

The problem is that it isn't a single event. The dice are rolled serially and the second die is gated behind the probability of the first result. The probability should be modeled as independent events.

This is a simulation of 100,000 rolls. 

 

It takes into account the sixes autowounding, so the most common successful result is you roll a six, and your opponent fails the save 

Otherwise, the second most common is you rolling a 4 or 5, followed by a six, and your opponent failing the save. That's why it's not a neat X/36.

 

The order of events is:

  1. While you have not yet wounded, Roll a dice:
    1. On a result of a six -> Roll a second dice, if a 1 or 2, You wounded the knight, stop
    2. On a result of a 4 or 5 -> Roll a second dice to wound -> If it's NOT a six, go back to the top
      1. If it's a Six, roll a third dice -> if it's a 1 or 2, You wounded the knight, if it's not, Go back to the top
    3. On a result of 1, 2 or 3, go back to the top

It tracks how many times it needs to go through the sequence before it completes it successfully, and runs the total process 100,000 times. I've run it a few times, and there's always some variance in each percentage that it gives - you don't get a neat 8.4 each time, sometimes it's a little higher and sometimes a little lower. The first time I ran it was the 8.4, but I've gotten a few in the 7.X% when I ran it as a sanity check, so it's possibly my guard player was rolling hot the first time. That said, at any point I'd say 1% is a bit of a squiggly margin of error.

 

 

Edited by MoshJason
used to formatting on mobile. Can just use bold instead of asterisks lol
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So in the most likely situation with the autowound, 18 lasgun shots leads to ~3 6's, of which one will be a failed save. From the rest we get 6 additional hits, one of which might wound, forcing another save. 

 

So generally a unit of 10 lasguns rapid firing at a knight will strip a wound, which is nice in an emergency. 

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good math, but if this was in response to my post in another thread, I think you missed my point. Take this equation and run it against... I don't know, Say Angron, Paladins, Blade Guard, Custodes, C'tan anything that is meant to be elite and tough like that with the buffs that guard can apply to a single unit.


Which is, correct me if i'm wrong, I dont play guard. But extra -AP to the lasgun, double tap, rerolls, autowounding.

 

Completely bypassing 1/2 of the target's defensive measures in toughness. On top of that, worsening the other 1/2 of his defensive measures, his armour save.

 

You'll understand my point better if my comments weren't censored all the time.

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18 minutes ago, Reskin said:

good math, but if this was in response to my post in another thread, I think you missed my point. Take this equation and run it against... I don't know, Say Angron, Paladins, Blade Guard, Custodes, C'tan anything that is meant to be elite and tough like that with the buffs that guard can apply to a single unit.


Which is, correct me if i'm wrong, I dont play guard. But extra -AP to the lasgun, double tap, rerolls, autowounding.

 

Completely bypassing 1/2 of the target's defensive measures in toughness. On top of that, worsening the other 1/2 of his defensive measures, his armour save.

 

You'll understand my point better if my comments weren't censored all the time.

 

I don't know if it was or not, but I think an earlier comment makes sense in this context:

 

On 1/25/2023 at 9:35 AM, MoshJason said:

 

This is the really tricky part, I think.

 

There's a level of "The Fantasy" of these models vs "The Table Top", and I think when I play Knights, that they do a decent job with it - but it's very tough to make them these, just, Giant Robots of Doom while making it fun to play against them, especially when most people build their collections to fight a Take-All-Comers list, and Full Knights are definitely a Skew List.

 

Some designer seems to have thought the only way to make "The Fantasy" of the elite Astra Militarum units like Kasrkin feel right was to give them those buffs. I don't know the inner dynamics of who does what or anything like that at GW, but it seems like a lot of the problems are when someone was willing to "murder their darlings" in paring down "The Fantasy" while writing Codex A, but not Codex B. 

 

 

 

 

 

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It does seem like there are two different sets of guidelines depending on who does the codex. Some like, GSC or Knights, for the most part are balanced.

 

Then you get codexes like Dark Eldar/Eldar, Tyranids, Votann, and others that are embarrassingly broken when :cuss: out into the live game.

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I really don't like the relatively recent (Eldar is the first time I noticed it) wave of 'on a six next roll passes' rules like in this discussion born soldiers. It feels innately unfair for some factions who pay and rely on toughness to have their defence bypassed (would have needed a 5 or 6) by the same rule that would also auto wound a weak model.

 

I'd love to change all of them to either a +1 to wound (maybe make if you were already 2+ automatic) or a re-roll, I'm sure that makes a massive difference to the Knight calculation and to me that's a positive side effect of fixing how it plays for things like Death guard and Custodes (I only have sympathy for Custodes who use infantry,....), who don't have the body count to survive rules like that. 

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On 1/25/2023 at 2:02 AM, The Unseen said:

D1 weapons have never efficiently killed big targets, even with ridiculous stuff like auto-wounding on 6s to hit and rerolls all over the place. The fact that people keep talking about *chip* damage killing tanks/monsters, when Multi-Meltas have been slagging stuff all edition is rather strange to me. Even Plasma is often not enough these days, wounding on 4s, usually hitting an invuln, and then only doing 2 damage to something with double digit wounds just isn't going to be killing stuff quickly without ridiculous volume, certainly nothing like the old days of 40k when a single plasma gun could get lucky and kill a light/medium vehicle in 1 shot. Like sure, that squad of plasma Inceptors *might* kill a Russ, but I wouldn't rely on it (they do about 7 wounds on average, or 14 damage to a Russ, assuming they're rerolling 1s cause you'd be insane otherwise)


The fact that small arms fire can chip off a wound or 2 here and there is generally a good thing, since it prevents armor skew lists from just being an incredibly unfun thing to play. Can you imagine fighting daemon monster mash when they all have unmodifiable 4++ invuln saves, 20ish wounds, defensive strats and abilities, AND you need Str 6+ to even hurt the bigger targets? No thanks, I'll take the theoretical entire army of lasguns in double tap range fully buffed killing big stuff for the practical reality of not having an entire army rendering useless when it runs into a skew list and all its anti-tank gets taken out early.

People don’t complain about MMs slagging things because they’re supposed to.

a lasgun is not supposed to hurt a baneblade or a knight at all 

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On 1/25/2023 at 12:52 AM, Captain Idaho said:

But the main reason I don't like everything wounding everything is the needless dice rolling slowing the game down.

 

The bane of every edition following 5th.

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