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Author Topic: Mathhammer from Ulthuan: Helblaster optimal strategies and #hits with engineer  (Read 9493 times)

Offline eriktheguy

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We Asur sure do love math. In celebration of your new lineup of war gear, I've prepared a mathematical analysis of your Helblaster. I've determined some of the optimal firing strategies for using it with an engineer, and have found that your engineers are quite effective at increasing the weapon's damage output.

My analysis is linked here.

In terms of impact, the lone Helblaster puts out about 4.2 hits on average at long range, while the addition of an engineer approximately doubles this to 8.5 hits. This is a good points investment, since the engineer costs about half as much and doesn't have to go down with the ship if the Helblaster bites it.

The optimal strategy can be broken down into a few categories:
- If you roll 3 misfires keep it, unless you are near the game's end and really want to salvage the 120 points
- If you roll 1 or 2 misfires, reroll one of the misfires.
- If you roll no misfires, you have to do some math. Set Y = the lowest roll, X = the sum of the higher two rolls. If 5 > X/12 + Y then reroll the lowest die

PS: Teclis is missing one of his orbs of sorcery. It's a sphere of pure magic with the ability to control the very heavens. If anyone sees it please send it to Ulthuan and we will reimburse you the cost of shipping.

Offline Botor

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I always knew that math must be good for something. That many clever person mustnt work for finding new equatations.

Thanks for the great work, not only helpful but an entertaining read.

Offline Nexus

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Lol, cool stuff! Cheers!  :::cheers:::

Offline TheBelgianGuy

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Thanks, nice read  :biggriin:

Offline Greg17

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Actually, here is a neat scenario for you to mull over... :)

Lets say that it is turn 3, and a unit of 20 temple guard plus a slann is going straight for your lines.  They are 10 inches from the hellblaster.  You pick up your 3 dice, and roll 2 misfires and a 10.  The question is, do you reroll one misfire to be safe and take the halved hits, or do you...

REROLL THE 10 AND HOPE FOR A THIRD MISFIRE??!!

Lol, sorry about the caps, I thought it would be more dramatic... :P

Anyways, I know this is statistically and in all reality a bad idea... but if you managed to make it work... even once... think of the stories that one would hold...  :::cheers:::

Thoughts?

:)

-- Greg

PS

I think we should call that "The Hellblaster-Gambit" or something.  Can I get a (tm) on that one?  :-D

Offline Johan Willhelm

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Actually, here is a neat scenario for you to mull over... :)

Lets say that it is turn 3, and a unit of 20 temple guard plus a slann is going straight for your lines.  They are 10 inches from the hellblaster.  You pick up your 3 dice, and roll 2 misfires and a 10.  The question is, do you reroll one misfire to be safe and take the halved hits, or do you...

REROLL THE 10 AND HOPE FOR A THIRD MISFIRE??!!

Lol, sorry about the caps, I thought it would be more dramatic... :P

Anyways, I know this is statistically and in all reality a bad idea... but if you managed to make it work... even once... think of the stories that one would hold...  :::cheers:::

Thoughts?

:)

-- Greg

PS

I think we should call that "The Hellblaster-Gambit" or something.  Can I get a (tm) on that one?  :-D

For Helblaster's that have dials that go up to 11!

I'd try and do it!  :happy:
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Some times there will be threads on controversial subjects . . . Reasonable people can disagree about these things . . . It is important to not make personal attacks or get drawn in to personal attacks.

Be it ethics or muppets. Rufas was a good man.

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Offline Ambrose

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PS: Teclis is missing one of his orbs of sorcery. It's a sphere of pure magic with the ability to control the very heavens. If anyone sees it please send it to Ulthuan and we will reimburse you the cost of shipping.

Have you checked ebay?
"Faith, Steel and Gunpowder"

Offline Ambrose

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Plus, erictheguy already talks about the suicide general and it's effectiveness.  Eric, great read.  I've only made two lists so far with the new book, and neither had an engineer but both had a helblaster.  Now, after reading this, I'm back to the drawing board.   :eusa_wall:
"Faith, Steel and Gunpowder"

Offline Johan Willhelm

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PS: Teclis is missing one of his orbs of sorcery. It's a sphere of pure magic with the ability to control the very heavens. If anyone sees it please send it to Ulthuan and we will reimburse you the cost of shipping.


Has he looked under his robes?  :unsure:
Rufas the Eccentric:
Quote
Some times there will be threads on controversial subjects . . . Reasonable people can disagree about these things . . . It is important to not make personal attacks or get drawn in to personal attacks.

Be it ethics or muppets. Rufas was a good man.

الني

Offline Ambrose

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PS: Teclis is missing one of his orbs of sorcery. It's a sphere of pure magic with the ability to control the very heavens. If anyone sees it please send it to Ulthuan and we will reimburse you the cost of shipping.


Has he looked under his robes?  :unsure:

Why would he look there?  Never ever has there been balls under an elf's robes.   :closed-eyes:
"Faith, Steel and Gunpowder"

Offline The Ol Perfesser

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Great stuff.  My Helblaster has been gathering dust on the shelf for too long.  But no longer!!
Never make predictions, especially about the future.

Offline Fidelis von Sigmaringen

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Is this
Great stuff.  My Helblaster has been gathering dust on the shelf for too long.  But no longer!!

connected to this:

PS: Teclis is missing one of his orbs of sorcery. It's a sphere of pure magic with the ability to control the very heavens. If anyone sees it please send it to Ulthuan and we will reimburse you the cost of shipping.


Has he looked under his robes?  :unsure:

Why would he look there?  Never ever has there been balls under an elf's robes.   :closed-eyes:
It is not enough to have no ideas of your own; you must also be incapable of expressing them.
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Offline Folken

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Thanks for saving me some work!

Offline eriktheguy

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Actually, here is a neat scenario for you to mull over... :)

Lets say that it is turn 3, and a unit of 20 temple guard plus a slann is going straight for your lines.  They are 10 inches from the hellblaster.  You pick up your 3 dice, and roll 2 misfires and a 10.  The question is, do you reroll one misfire to be safe and take the halved hits, or do you...

REROLL THE 10 AND HOPE FOR A THIRD MISFIRE??!!

Lol, sorry about the caps, I thought it would be more dramatic... :P

Anyways, I know this is statistically and in all reality a bad idea... but if you managed to make it work... even once... think of the stories that one would hold...  :::cheers:::

Thoughts?

:)

-- Greg

PS

I think we should call that "The Hellblaster-Gambit" or something.  Can I get a (tm) on that one?  :-D
Thanks for the comments
The Suicidal strategy I outlined dealt with this. You can see a bit of discussion on the topic if you scroll down the comments in my linked thread. On average you do more shots rerolling the third die if it was a 2 or a 4, and worse if it was an 8 or a 10, compared to going for three misfires. The numbers are incredibly close. Since the average payoff for both strategies is the same, but the suicidal strategy is far more hazardous to the war machine, I strongly suggest rerolling one of the two misfires.

Of course, if the target is nice and juicy, and your Helblaster is in a bad position and looking like it might die anyways, you might want to go for broke.

This discussion really speaks to the mentality of our species. Asur are gifted with a lifespan that makes human generations seem as but an eyeblink. What sounds like a Suicidal risk to us might not seem as dangerous to creatures who rarely make it to 30 years.

Offline The Ol Perfesser

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Is this
Great stuff.  My Helblaster has been gathering dust on the shelf for too long.  But no longer!!

connected to this:

PS: Teclis is missing one of his orbs of sorcery. It's a sphere of pure magic with the ability to control the very heavens. If anyone sees it please send it to Ulthuan and we will reimburse you the cost of shipping.


Has he looked under his robes?  :unsure:

Why would he look there?  Never ever has there been balls under an elf's robes.   :closed-eyes:

Haha!  Not intentionally.  Does Teclis even have a Helblaster?....(don't think I care to find out!)  :icon_biggrin:
Never make predictions, especially about the future.

Offline Finlay

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so is it worth 185 points for 8 hits a turn? it probably wont get to shoot 6 tmes very often.
I don't care about the rules.

Pass the machete.

Offline Mechanical Monkey

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PS: Teclis is missing one of his orbs of sorcery. It's a sphere of pure magic with the ability to control the very heavens. If anyone sees it please send it to Ulthuan and we will reimburse you the cost of shipping.


Has he looked under his robes?  :unsure:



Why would he look there?  Never ever has there been balls under an elf's robes.   :closed-eyes:

Good one  :::cheers:::
Why would he look there?  Never ever has there been balls under an elf's robes.   :closed-eyes:

Offline Joelatron

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so is it worth 185 points for 8 hits a turn? it probably wont get to shoot 6 tmes very often.

You're looking at it the wrong way round.

Opponents see it like this "hmmm 20ish shots/turn at bs4 on left flank....guess I wont be running my knights/mournfang/greater demon/killy unit towards that flank then!"

THen plonk 10 xbows next to it to stop chaff getting near it, and you have a protected flank!

the deterance factor is so much more important than getting 6 solid turns of shooting out of it...heck even my cannons dont get 6 turns of decent shooting most of the time.

Offline sammay23

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6 or so S5 AP hits are lethal against high-points stuff, and relatively useless against chaff, so it likely depends on your opponent. I played a Brettonian player on Wednesday who went comically out of his way to avoid my hellblaster battery. I only fired one turn, but owned the battlefield because of the arty.
Bring out the mop and broom sammay.  I want to see you clean this house.

Offline Old bold knight

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I hadn't considered the possibility of re-rolling the artillery dice with an engineer to get that all-important third misfire- thanks for this!  :icon_biggrin:

Offline eriktheguy

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so is it worth 185 points for 8 hits a turn? it probably wont get to shoot 6 tmes very often.
It's more robust to misfires than other war machines. The chance of a given number of misfires on 3 dice are as follows
1 Misfire: 35%
2 Misfires: 7%
3 Misfires: 1%
And having an engineer reduces this by a factor of 6. There's only about a 1% chance of a misfire that's going to take it out of commission for one or more turns, plus a 1% chance that it will blow itself up while delivering 30 shots.

It's also capable of defending itself against enemies that get within 12'' for a close range charge, but most war machine hunters are fast enough to stay outside this radius. At least when it does go down, it doesn't take your engineer down with it.

Offline Ambrose

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With the 7th edition book I usually fielded 3 mortars and 2 cannons.  It seems helblasters are moving in, and my mortars are moving out, especially for the small point difference now.
"Faith, Steel and Gunpowder"

Offline Clarkarias

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Apparently a friend of mine pulled the old reroll the 3rd die to get three misfires today and it worked. Still only a one in six chance but when it works it's spectacular.
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Offline Noght

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so is it worth 185 points for 8 hits a turn? it probably wont get to shoot 6 tmes very often.

If you get 2 or 3 turns of hitting opponents Knights it might be.  And the psychological effects seems to be valid also.  And  considering that the chance for misfiring and dying are so low you may take long range shots with the Engineer's BS that you'd never take in 7th so maybe you get 4 turns of shooting.

Because all Artillery went up it means less Artillery in general so the Engineer (staying at 65) seems to have a greater value methinks.

Noght
"...the most incorrigible vice being that of an ignorance which fancies it knows everything..."  Camus.

Offline Mathias

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Interesting formula. If correct, then following it, you should re-roll anytime you have a 2.

Also, if you happen to have:
4-4-4 or 4-4-6
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