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Thanous
06-02-2008, 17:26
Ok, a buddy and I were discussing the Hellblaster the other day. He still likes the idea of it. I really don't like the current rules for it. It is a complicated machine to quantify, so I ran the numbers thru a program called Crystal Ball. It is a Monte Carlo program. I can set up random number generation and a model to fit the Hellblaster's rules.

I calculated shots, missfires, hits (LR, SR, and SR with an engineer).

Here are the percentiles.

Shots
Mean 14.42
Median 16.00
0% 0.00
10% 0.00
20% 6.00
30% 10.00
40% 14.00
50% 16.00
60% 18.00
70% 20.00
80% 22.00
90% 24.00
100% 30.00

Standard Hits (Short Range, Regular Crew. Or Master Engineer Long Range)
Mean 7.21
Median 7.00
0% 0.00
10% 0.00
20% 3.00
30% 5.00
40% 6.00
50% 7.00
60% 9.00
70% 10.00
80% 11.00
90% 13.00
100% 25.00

Long Range (Regular Crew)
Mean 4.86
Median 5.00
0% 0.00
10% 0.00
20% 2.00
30% 3.00
40% 4.00
50% 5.00
60% 6.00
70% 7.00
80% 8.00
90% 9.00
100% 18.00

Master Engineer Short Range (BS4)
Mean 9.69
Median 10.00
0% 0.00
10% 0.00
20% 4.00
30% 7.00
40% 9.00
50% 10.00
60% 11.00
70% 13.00
80% 15.00
90% 17.00
100% 27.00

The cannon will be destroyed 15% of the turns it is fired in.
The cannon will be survive and be able to fire in the next turn 70.6% of the time.
The cannon will misfire 43% of the turns it is fired in.
88% of the time, you will fire at least some shots.
75% of the time you will fire 10 or more shots.
51% of the time, you will fire 15 or more shots.
31% of the time you will fire 20 or more shots.

31% of the time, you will fire 10 or less shots.

The most important dice when it comes to scoring hits, is not surprisingly, the artillery dice rolls. Next important surprised me. It was the misfire rolls, not the to-hit rolls.

So, is this what people were expecting the numbers to look like out of this thing? Does anyone else think that they must just have awful luck with the hellblaster if this is what the math says it SHOULD work like?

W0lf
06-02-2008, 17:52
Its not so much misfires and stuff..

Its the fact you can roll 18 shots and still only average 6 hits...

Not exactly mind blowing.

Thanous
06-02-2008, 17:55
Its not so much misfires and stuff..

Its the fact you can roll 18 shots and still only average 6 hits...

Not exactly mind blowing.

Yeah. It isn't like a bolt thrower that you can fire every turn. It almost depends on your opponent being dumb enough to get within 12" of it to really pay off...if you don't roll bad that is.

Malorian
06-02-2008, 17:59
As risky as this weapon is, I think we all have felt it's power more than once.

This is best not used at long range where it isn't worth the risk, and then unleashed at the last second at short range.

Much like you wouldn't fire your leadbelchers at waywatchers in cover, you wait for the right time to make up for the risk.

Thanous
06-02-2008, 18:20
The thing I've found interesting from the analysis is using a Master Engineer with it. Getting a median increase of 3 more hits against the right target could be worthwhile. Chaos knights...worthwhile... Night gobo horde...not so much....

I am also thinking of running the numbers on leadbelchers to see what the best number of them to run is.

W0lf
06-02-2008, 18:23
3 more hits for 85 pts and a hero slot?

That sounds just about the worst deal ive ever heard.

2 great cannons = 200 pts
1 helblaster and engineer = 200 pts.

Now children.. whats more useful?

I really like helblasters, but it has nothing to do with ingame ability, they suck majorly.

However take one and expect it to do nothing but look cool. Sometimes it suprises you!

Thanous
06-02-2008, 18:26
3 more hits for 85 pts and a hero slot?

That sounds just about the worst deal ive ever heard.

2 great cannons = 200 pts
1 helblaster and engineer = 200 pts.

Now children.. whats more useful?

I really like helblasters, but it has nothing to do with ingame ability, they suck majorly.

However take one and expect it to do nothing but look cool. Sometimes it suprises you!

I usually find myself in more of a squese when it comes to special slots then character and rare though. So many quality options in the Empire specials. IC Knights, mounted shooting, cannons, greatswords...

Rare, well easy enough to get flaggelents in as core or even skip them. Don't care for the STank. Rocket battery is really nice, but do I need 2?

Malorian
06-02-2008, 19:46
2 great cannons = 200 pts
1 helblaster and engineer = 200 pts.

Now children.. whats more useful?

That's an interesting way to look at it. You have to keep in mind that one is a long range weapon and the other is a short range weapon, but you make a very good point.

ZeroTwentythree
06-02-2008, 20:03
That's an interesting way to look at it. You have to keep in mind that one is a long range weapon and the other is a short range weapon, but you make a very good point.

Not exactly. One is a short range weapon, the other is a long and short range weapon. Cannon wins again.

Thanous
06-02-2008, 21:06
Ok, did the same analysis for the cannon. I didn't put a master engineer on it to take into account re-rolls.

Total Hits
Mean 2.03
Median 1.00
0% 0.00
10% 0.00
20% 0.00
30% 0.00
40% 1.00
50% 1.00
60% 3.00
70% 4.00
80% 5.00
90% 5.00
100% 5.00

I ran an optimization program to get the best amount to guess short by. (About 6 inches) I added in some error to the guess as well of +/- 3 inches with a mound profile (Not a normal bell curve, but more of a big rounded hump.)

The guess error will vary from person to person and range to range as we all know. I assumed that the target was a straight lined up shot at 5 deep 20mm bases to take the best case for the cannon. It could go down a flank of 6 with how some people are running now, but I figured this would be enough to get a comparison.

So, you see on average you'll hit 2 models.
The cannon will be destroyed 3% of the time.
It will be destroyed or useless next turn 8% of the time.
In turns it fires, 39% of the time it will hit nothing.
In turns it fires, it will hit 3-5 models 40% of the time.

Ok, now I know some of you will think my margin for guessing is too off. so lets see what happens to a perfect guesser.

You should underguess by about 7 inches.

Mean 2.13
Median 2.00
0% 0.00
10% 0.00
20% 0.00
30% 0.00
40% 1.00
50% 2.00
60% 2.00
70% 3.00
80% 5.00
90% 5.00
100% 5.00

Hit nothing 33% of the time.
On average you'll hit 2 models.
Somewhere around a 16% to hit 5 models.

lack0fbettername
06-02-2008, 21:14
Thanous i tried to make sense of your percentile list but couldnt quite make it out. However your "median number of hits" seam really close. Here is a tactica i posted on another site explaining the math behind the helblaster. (note i explain the math then ran a simulation as you did, however i ran mine for 5000 games and then took the average to get closer to the "true numbers"). (also note i didnt major in statistics, so i may have mislabeled some things, im just an engineer with an interest in warhammer)

So here it is.

Statistical Lifespan of a Helblaster
First a note on "Math-hammer" the below formulas doesn’t take into account if you only fire your helblaster twice, or it gets destroyed by fliers, or you have to spend 2 turns moving it onto a hill. It is impossible to make a formula to take every battlefield condition into account. The below is based on the following assumption "You will fire the helblaster every turn for 6 turns, if it is possible (not being un-jammed from the previous turn, or is already destroyed)"

The first misconception about the helblaster that needs to be cleared up is its reliability. Many people believe that the helblaster has a 1 in 6 chance of blowing up a turn. This would be their logic of (1/6 chance of misfire * 2/6 chance of misfire destroying it * 3 decks)*100 = 16.66%.

If you carry this 16.66% * 6 (turns in a game) you reach 100% chance the helblaster will not survive being fired for 6 turns.

However this is slightly flawed. This would be the case if you were forced to roll all 3 dice regardless of what happened on the first two, or roll all 3 at the same time. But in reality you are not guaranteed that you will get to roll the 2nd or 3rd dice. For example the heblaster my jam on the first deck and you would not be able to roll the other 2 dice. So if someone were to inquire about what the chance of the helblaster blowing itself up on the third deck, you would have to find the likelihood of getting to roll the 3rd artillery dice first.

The true formula for how likely It is to explode in a given turn is:

((Chance to roll First artillery dice * 1/6 chance of misfire * 2/6 chance of misfire destroying it) + (Chance to roll Second artillery dice * 1/6 chance of misfire * 2/6 chance of misfire destroying i)) + (Chance to roll Third artillery dice * 1/6 chance of misfire * 2/6 chance of misfire destroying it)) = Total chance of being destroyed in a turn.

OR
((1.00 * (1/6) * (2/6)) + (0.8611 * (1/6) * (2/6)) + (0.6952 * (1/6) * (2/6)))*100 = 14.20%

Farther more if you carry on with the example of firing the helblaster for 6 turns during a game, the formula is NOT: (6 *14.20%) = 85.2% chance it will blow up.

The correct formula would be.

((Chance of getting to shoot in first turn * 14.20%) +
(Chance of getting to shoot in Second turn * 14.20%) +
(Chance of getting to shoot in Third turn * 14.20%) +
(Chance of getting to shoot in Fourth turn * 14.20%) +
(Chance of getting to shoot in Fifth turn * 14.20%) +
(Chance of getting to shoot in Sixth turn * 14.20%)) =
% Chance the helblaster will destroy itself during a 6 turn game

OR

(1.00 * 0.142) + (0.7160 * 0.142) + (0.6546 * 0.142) +
(0.5704* 0.142) + (0.5013 * 0.142) + (0.4399 * 0.142) = 55.13%

So the helblaster in 6 turns of shooting has a 55.13% chance of being destroyed by itself. Now what the formula above is saying is not "Your helblaster is less likely to blow up on turn 6 then turn 1", what it is saying "You are less likely to get to have a helblaster around to blow up on turn 6 then turn 1".

To Sum up, there is about a 14% chance it will blow up on any given one turn, and about a 55% chance it will blow itself up if fired as much as possible for 6 turns. At a 55% chance of destroying itself the helblaster will be destroy itself somewhere about 2 to 3 out of every 5 games.

Statistical Effectiveness of the Helblaster
A note on the "Math-hammer" in this section, I’m not going to waist ether the readers or my time calculating how many chaos warriors, or skinks, or this, or that the helblaster would kill in a shooting phase, as this is relatively elementary. As well as most warhammer players already know what a helblaster will do to certain units. However below is the formula for calculating kills.

Shots * chance to hit * chance to wound * chance to fail save = kills.

However, I am going to calculate the number of shots you could expect out of your helblaster, as this is slightly more elaborate. The numbers below take every possibly of dice rolls into account. Even the .0021% chance you will roll 3 misfires & 3 duds in one turn.

Below you can see a pair of charts; these charts show the percent chance the helblaster will pump out that many shots in a given turn. The "0" include all forms of deck #1 jams & non-ka-boom explosions from the misfire chart. The charts show the same data, just in two different forms.

Just to reiterate these charts include EVERYTHING that could happen to your helblaster and its net resulting number of shots.

http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c398/jsvironfurnace/Empire/Helblaster1.jpg

As you can see the chart on the left is divided into thirds, this is roughly the statistical chance of getting those number of shots. To explain there is about a 32% chance of getting 20 or more shots, a 37% chance of getting 12-18 shots, and a 31% chance of getting 10 shots or less.

Two things to note are that you should average somewhere between 16 and 18 shots a turn. Also that the chance of 30 shots is greater then that of 28 or 26, this is mainly because of the "deck 1, misfire, ka-boom" roll

Helblaster Simulation
To reinforce what was laid out above and to gain some new insight into how the helblaster operates I devised a relatively simple excel spreadsheet that used visual basic to simulate a game.

The program operates under the following assumptions
-Games last 6 turns.
-The player will fire the helblaster every turn if possible.
-There are no enemies, just targets, so the only thing to kill the helblaster is itself.

Based on these three assumptions, I ran 10 sets of 500 games each for a total of 5000 games. This isn’t enough to get an exact average, but it should be more then enough to get a good idea of how the helblaster operates for our purposes. Please note I know this doesn’t simulate an "actual" game, but as stated in the previous section, to try to include variables for terrain and the likes would be near impossible and a waist of time.

I also understand that a helblaster could blow up in the first turn of 5 games in a row, or it could not blow up in 7 strait games. These numbers below are Averages over a long period of games. So use these numbers to give you an idea of what SHOULD happen (mathematically) if the following assumptions up above were made.

The results are that after 5,000 games, making up for a total 30,000 turns.
-The helblaster was alive and on the table for 22,104 turns
-Of which 16.909 turns it actually produced shots.
-Over 5,000 games it produced 277,602 shots.
-It blew itself up 2782 times.

This Means
-It averaged 4.42 turns alive per game.
-Of which it had 3.38 turns it actually produced shots per game
-Producing 16.39 shots per turn it was shooting
-Producing 55.41 shots per game
-It destroyed itself in 55.64% of the games.

From the simulation you can see that the helblaster blew itself up in 55% of the games, this number matches closely with the math from the section above. Also the 16.4 shots per turn is in line with what we would expect after the chart that was also discussed up above.

The one new thing that the simulation points out that had not been discussed in this tatica yet, was that over a large quantity of games, the helblaster should live on average 4.4 turns a game (if not destroyed by the enemy).

lack0fbettername
06-02-2008, 21:20
Here is my cannon data. Note the correct range to guess is 10" short of the back of your target.

http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c398/jsvironfurnace/Cannon2Updated.jpg

Fundamental Physics of a Bouncing Cannon-Ball
After the possibility of a misfire, there are exactly 30 different paths that a bouncing cannon-ball may take. That is a cannon-ball may carry 2", 4", 6", 8" or 10" past the initial guess range, then the cannon-ball may stick in the ground, or bounce 2", 4", 6", 8" or 10". (5 initial possibilities x 6 secondary possibilities each = 30)

The possibility of a misfire is 1 in 6 or 16.66%. That leaves 83.33% for the 30 paths, thus each there is a 2.777777% chance that the cannonball will travel on any given path.
(83.33 / 30) = 2.77 or ((1 / 6) * (1 / 6)) = 2.77

So the way to maximize your chance to hit a unit is to maximize the number of paths that carry the cannon-ball into/thru the unit.

The above diagram shows all the possible paths the cannon-ball take. The green dot represents the initial guess range. The blue dots are the points after the first artillery dice is rolled. The red dots are the points after the second artillery dice (or bounce) is rolled. (Note: it is possible for a cannon-ball to land on a blue dot then bounce to a blue dot. The red dots just show the extend to which a cannon-ball CAN bounce)

Great Cannon Tactica
Now it is obvious to the common man that a great cannon crew should aim just short of their intended target. But what is not obvious is how short. You should always guess 10" in front of the back of your target; this will always maximize the number of paths going thru the unit.

For a 50mm deep unit a perfect guess of 10" in front of the back would net in 20 paths or a 55.55% chance that the cannonball would hit some part of the target. For a 100mm deep unit a perfect guess of 10" in front of the back would net you 24 paths hitting or going thru the target for a 66.66 % chance of hitting some part of the target.

The great cannon is an awesome weapon, but cannon be of much use if it cannon hit its intended target, as such it is suggested by many commanders to take them in a pair and place one on ether side of the battlefield to eliminate things they can not hit.

The Engineer & the Great Cannon
If an engineer joins a great cannon he allows you a single re-roll ability that you may only use on your first artillery dice (not the bounce). If you recall from the chapter of this text on the great cannon, one should always strive to guess 10” short of the back of your target. Now the question you must answer is when do I use the engineer’s re-roll?

First off, the simplest answer is if the great-cannon suffers a misfire you should use your engineer’s re-roll. If you are a conservative player or a bad guesser, then this should be the only time you use the engineer’s re-roll ability.

As explained in chapter 2B the possibility of a misfire is 1 in 6 or 16.66%. That leaves 83.33% for the 30 paths, thus each there is a 2.77% chance that the cannonball will travel on any given path. By re-rolling a misfire you cut the changes for a misfire down to a meager 2.77% or ((1/6) * (1.6) * 100) this means there is now a 3.241% chance that the cannonball will travel on any given path. For a 50mm deep target this increased you chances of hitting with a perfect guess from 55.55% to 64.82%.

Now continuing on with the assumption that you are the perfect guesser you could reroll all misfires & 2’s in hopes of getting closer to the target before the bounce. Now sense you are rerolling more dice the chance of a misfire will rise. Also now the math becomes more complicated because the and now the chances that a cannonball will travel on any of the 30 paths will vary. The chart below carries on with the assumtions that you are just trying to hit a 50mm and 100mm deep target with the great cannon. It also assumes you make a perfect guess of 10” short of the back of the base.

http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c398/jsvironfurnace/Empire/Engineer-Cannon.jpg

As you can see you can ether use the engineer in a purely “damage prevention” engineer rerolling only misfires. If you do this your chance of misfire drops to a remarkable just under 3%, or I out of every 36 shooting turns. However I would suggest using the engineer as a “master of ballistics” rerolling dice to try to get closer to the target. You can see from the chart, with rerolling misfires, 2” and 4” initial rolls on the artillery dice you can achive 80% shooting accuracy when trying to hit a 100mm deep target.

However where the engineer truly shines is when you have “special shots” or bad guesses. Here if you were to guess way to short or need to put the cannonball right in front of a unit (so it would not just hit the target, but have a good chance of carrying all the way thru). Remember to follow the steps listed in the big rule book.

Pick Target & Guess – Roll Artillery Dice & Add Together – Measure & Put Counter - Use Engineer’s Reroll if needed – Roll Artillery Dice for Bounce – Measure & Put Counter - Determine Hits.

Thanous
06-02-2008, 21:27
I'm not a stat major either, but an engineer too.

I ran 15000 trials in my simulations. All were single turn simulations. It didn't make sense to me to simulate trying to fire it every turn. I was more trying to quantify the risks I'm taking when I do fire it.

I'm calculating the shots, then for each shot rolling one virtual dice. (equal chance 1-6) For each shot that rolls high enough to hit, counting, and ignoring misses.

The percentiles are bit bit wonky because they are bi-modal. Getting two peeks. First peek is at zero due to poor shot rolling, hit rolling, and mis-fires. The second is at the most likely positive value.

If the Hellblaster misfires, I am rolling a virtual D6 on the chart. I then have the logic in the model to calculate the results. So, if I do blow up my Hellblaster on a misfire roll of 1, but I did it on the last barrel, then I still take credit for the shots it did that turn. (And so on)

Do you by chance have Crystal Ball?

Thanous
06-02-2008, 21:32
I will look into modifying my sheet to calculate from the back of a unit.

lack0fbettername
06-02-2008, 21:34
Nope, just excell and a calculator

Thanous
06-02-2008, 21:50
Can you explain a little more as to why the percentiles do not make sense?

lack0fbettername
06-02-2008, 23:05
When i see this

Shots
Mean 14.42
Median 16.00
0% 0.00
10% 0.00
20% 6.00
30% 10.00
40% 14.00
50% 16.00
60% 18.00
70% 20.00
80% 22.00
90% 24.00
100% 30.00

i interpret it to mean there is a 10% chance the helblaster will shoot 0 shots, 20% chance for 6 shots, and so on down to 100% chance it will make 30 shots.

Obviously i dont think this is what you intended.

happy_doctor
07-02-2008, 00:05
Well, I thought the percentages referred to a Gauss curve, whose mean is 14.42.

What really bugged me is:
Did you take into account the chance of each barrel misfiring and the effects of the misfire?
To be more precise, what if the misfire results in a single barrel not being fired/all barrels firing 10 shots?

lack0fbettername
07-02-2008, 00:36
Happy Doctor. Ill have to google this gauss curve, as i said ive never actually taken a class in stats.

My numbers take into account everything that could EVER happen to the hellblaster.

I believe you are asking If you rolled
2 - misfire (dud) - misfire (kaboom)

or something else along those lines, yes all that was taken into account.

soots
07-02-2008, 00:59
24 Black Orcs. Entire unit, including command group. One volley.

Cant do that nowadays, i cant convince myself to field one since its practically 1/2 as effective now (needing 4s to hit).

Dragon Prince of Caledor
07-02-2008, 01:08
Ithought that the new rules for it were that it always hit on 4's? It is true the different barrel that misfires means different things...

Thanous
07-02-2008, 02:13
My numbers took into account barrel order and misfire results before moving onto the next chamber. Rolled barrel 1, check for misfire, then moved onto barrel 2....and so on

07-02-2008, 08:34
Hellblasters are funny weapons IMHO. I normaly take one in my army due to the general lack of compertition for rare slots. I use it to support the center block units of my army and to provide a link between the center and the units on the flank.

So far I've played five games with it and it's definatly been a lot of ups and downs. It's caused quite a lot of damage and people still aren't keen to to get within 12 inches of it. In several games it badly chewed up several units before going down (usualy to enemy shoot and magic more than misfires). Even with the 'nerf' that it recieved in the new armies book I still think it's quite a potent weapon and I wouldn't leave home without one.

Anardakil
07-02-2008, 10:40
I'm with Kahadras. Helblasters are still very good :)

Especially since I very seldom roll misfires with mine ^^

shutupSHUTUP!!!
07-02-2008, 11:19
The helblaster is much weaker than it used to be, but it's str5 all the time at least, the extra killing power makes up for the relatively low number of shots. Assuming it fires 16 shots the helblaster hits more often than an equivalent amounts of points in handgunners and at higher strength, it also takes up less room. Of course the potential for misfires let it down but it's far from useless.

I think it is a unit that relies on potential and thus works well as a terror weapon to make opponents behave irrationally.

On another forum I read about people using twin Helstorm Rocket Batteries and I'm inclined to give it a try. Now the possibilities of that would be difficult to calculate ;)

sainthale1988
07-02-2008, 11:41
i used to have 2 helbasters with 6th edition, but have droped them both (used the points for flaggelnts instead) as they just arn't as good as they were. i'm sorry you may say that they are still effective, but as you say only against certain targets, and i think that they still have an unexepatalbe level of unreliability considering the minimal effect they can now have. what realy annoys me is that the dwarf organ gun still gets auto hits, and the helbaster dosen't, and the organ gun nearly never malfuncions itself to death and is more powerful. The thing that realy did it for me was when using my graveguard against an empire army they got shot (at long range granted) by the full 30 shot volley. i would normal just start preparing to take the unit off the board but it managed only to kill 4. this is becuase it missed nearly everything. i'm sorry but in the fluff infantry getting hit by a helbalster get vapourised. this is the way it should be. i rather they made it more unpredictable, if it was more specatular when it does work. other wise i'll just take another cannon and a few more halbadiers and get on winning the emperors wars. sorry if this seems like a rant (ok i admit it is) but this is the first time i've expressed my opinion about the new helblaster and it all came out at once.

lack0fbettername
07-02-2008, 14:15
My rare slots are constantly used up by rocket batteries. Im a firm believer that taking 2 of them is some of the scariest stuff in the old world. I mean, if you hit a unit of of anything elf/man size or smaller, you are going to be chucking a handfull of dice and killing stuff on a 2+.

Anyway sense shutupshutup mentioned calculating the rocket batteries odd. Here is some math on it.

An Overview Of the Helstorm Rocket Battery
The Helstorm rocket battery is a wholly remarkable new invention to come out of the college of engineers. At the time of its first trials it was disregarded as too random and too experimental by most empire generals to be used. However it has proved itself on the battle field by filling a niche roll that none of the other empire war machines fill. That is attacking heavy armored blocks of troops at great range.

http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c398/jsvironfurnace/Empire/Rocket0.jpg

http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c398/jsvironfurnace/Empire/Rocket1.jpg

http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c398/jsvironfurnace/Empire/Rocket2.jpg

Fundamental Physics of Rocketry
The rocket battery is unique as it is the only war machine in the old world that behaves the way it does. If first acts as a cannon, then as a mortar. This adds high degree of randomness, as the shot could feasibly scatter 20" forward of the guess range or 8" backwards. It is so random in fact that a shot from the rocket battery could indeed drift and get a full hit on any 20mm based soldier within a 4.79 square foot area. This represents 20% of a standard 4 foot by 6 foot table.

To determine the accuracy of the rocket battery look at the diagram above. The solid dot represent the initial guess, the clear circles represent the distance the shot travels after the first artillery dice. The colored circle represents all the places in which the shot could scatter too. The colors of the circles are important for each 6" of red line that passes thru a target it adds about 1.06% to the chance of hit. For orange it is .53%, yellow is .35%, green is .27%, and blue is .21%.

So if you were to have 18" of red lines, 12" of orange lines and 6" of yellow lines passing thru a target it would yield a 4.60% chance to hit.(((1.06*3)+(.53*2)+(.35*1))). Now this percentage is relatively low, the bulk of the rockets accuracy comes from a hit roll on the scatter dice. Each clear circle that falls within the target area adds 5.56% to the chance to hit. So continuing with the scenario above, if a target has 2 clear circles within it, as well as all the lines listed above it has a 15.72 chance of being hit. (5.56 + 5.56 + 4.60)

So what one should attempt to do is first maximize the number or clear dots, then red lines, then orange lines, then yellow lines, then green lines, and finally blue lines. Once you do this you come to the determination that to get the most out of your rocket battery your guess range should be 5" short of the center of your intended target. Guessing 6" short would get you a greater chance of partial hits, but guessing 5" short gets you a greater chance of full hits & landing the shot in the unit.

The rocket battery has the same chance of a misfire as the cannon & mortar. (16.66%) If you look at diagram "A" you see the same 25 men ranked up on 20mm x 20mm bases as in diagram "A" of the mortar. Note that with a good guess at 5" short, you maximize your number of clear circles as well as a lot of red & yellow lines, you still only retain a 16.2% chance of landing the rockets within the unit. This is relatively inaccurate compared to the mortars 35.7% chance on the same unit. However the chance of getting at least one full hit is still a respectable 35.5% when put beside the mortars 43.6%.

Diagram "B" shows the same unit as in Diagram "B" of the mortar sections, 20 men ranked up on 25mm x 25mm bases. You can see the rocket batter improved to 18.6% chance of landing the shot within the unit and 36.0% of getting at least one full hit. Compare this too the 37.3% chance of a direct hit and 45% chance of getting at least one full when a shot fired at the same unit with a mortar.

Helstorm Rocket Battery Tatica
Despite the inaccuracy the rocket battery its high strength and ability to kill heavily armored infantry make it fill a roll that the mortar does not excel at. Another benefit of the helstorm is that it does not take up one of the much competed for "special" slots.

The helstorm is that it is much more forgiving to bad guessing then the mortar is. As you can see in diagram "C" even when a shot is under guessed by 4 inches, your chance of landing the shot dead in the unit only drops from 18.6% to 16.4%. Where as a guess that is 4" short with the mortar could drop your chance to land the shot in the unit from 37.28% to 3.35%.

When firing at a unit dead on from ahead as seen in diagrams "A" and "B" you want to guess your distance short by 5". However in an effort to maximize your effectiveness if you are shooting at a unit or target that is longer then 4" (or 100mm) then you should attempt to guess 6" short. Diagram "D" shows that because you are shooting at an angle the target is deeper then 4" now, so you should guess 6" short. As Diagram "D" shows you can achieve up to a 22.8% chance of getting a shot to land in the unit and a 42.4% chance of getting at least one full hit. This comes very close to the mortar's 45.1% chance of getting at least one full hit on the same size unit. As such it is a very useful tactic to shoot at units not dead on, but at an angle.

When shooting the rocket battery at a battle line of troops it is negligibly better then the mortar at hitting units on the sides. In Diagram "E" you can see the same set up as in diagram "D" of the mortar section. Note that the mortars have a 3.85% chance the shot scatter into ether side unit, this number improves to 4.05% with the rocket battery.

sainthale1988
07-02-2008, 21:42
out of interest you talk about 'partial hits' and full hits, but i was under the impression that even partial hits by a helstorm counted as a hit. also you don't get an extra -1 to armour saves for it being a black powerder weapon do you? (geting -3 would be sick!)

Bortus
09-02-2008, 04:08
Ok, a buddy and I were discussing the Hellblaster the other day. He still likes the idea of it. I really don't like the current rules for it. It is a complicated machine to quantify, so I ran the numbers thru a program called Crystal Ball. It is a Monte Carlo program. I can set up random number generation and a model to fit the Hellblaster's rules.

I calculated shots, missfires, hits (LR, SR, and SR with an engineer).

Here are the percentiles.

Shots
Mean 14.42
Median 16.00
0% 0.00
10% 0.00
20% 6.00
30% 10.00
40% 14.00
50% 16.00
60% 18.00
70% 20.00
80% 22.00
90% 24.00
100% 30.00

Standard Hits (Short Range, Regular Crew. Or Master Engineer Long Range)
Mean 7.21
Median 7.00
0% 0.00
10% 0.00
20% 3.00
30% 5.00
40% 6.00
50% 7.00
60% 9.00
70% 10.00
80% 11.00
90% 13.00
100% 25.00

Long Range (Regular Crew)
Mean 4.86
Median 5.00
0% 0.00
10% 0.00
20% 2.00
30% 3.00
40% 4.00
50% 5.00
60% 6.00
70% 7.00
80% 8.00
90% 9.00
100% 18.00

Master Engineer Short Range (BS4)
Mean 9.69
Median 10.00
0% 0.00
10% 0.00
20% 4.00
30% 7.00
40% 9.00
50% 10.00
60% 11.00
70% 13.00
80% 15.00
90% 17.00
100% 27.00

The cannon will be destroyed 15% of the turns it is fired in.
The cannon will be survive and be able to fire in the next turn 70.6% of the time.
The cannon will misfire 43% of the turns it is fired in.
88% of the time, you will fire at least some shots.
75% of the time you will fire 10 or more shots.
51% of the time, you will fire 15 or more shots.
31% of the time you will fire 20 or more shots.

31% of the time, you will fire 10 or less shots.

The most important dice when it comes to scoring hits, is not surprisingly, the artillery dice rolls. Next important surprised me. It was the misfire rolls, not the to-hit rolls.

So, is this what people were expecting the numbers to look like out of this thing? Does anyone else think that they must just have awful luck with the hellblaster if this is what the math says it SHOULD work like?

Don't forget that a master engineer cannot join a hellblaster crew. I like the hellblaster and to up the odds I take a wizard and give him the Second Sign of Amul spell for the d3 re-rolls that btw work on artillery dice! :D

sainthale1988
09-02-2008, 10:30
Don't forget that a master engineer cannot join a hellblaster crew. I like the hellblaster and to up the odds I take a wizard and give him the Second Sign of Amul spell for the d3 re-rolls that btw work on artillery dice! :D

yes he can, but he only give it BS4 and is an extra crewman he cant use his master of balistics special rule. the use of second sign on the other hand is an excellent way to make the blaster more reliable (to a level i'd be happy with anyway)

Bortus
09-02-2008, 16:28
yes he can, but he only give it BS4 and is an extra crewman he cant use his master of balistics special rule. the use of second sign on the other hand is an excellent way to make the blaster more reliable (to a level i'd be happy with anyway)

Your absolutely right and I don't know why I didn't realize it myself..........(puts head down and begins beating himself in the head with the Empire rule book)

So what would be a better choice? A wizard for the d3 re-rolls spell or the improved BS from the engineer or maybe both would be a good idea?

Mouchliazo
09-02-2008, 19:54
How can the Second Sign rerolls be used for the Hellblaster? Do you mean that you get to reroll the artillery die? If so I will have to disagree, the spell description states that "these rerolls may be used for rolls to Hit, rolls to wound, armour saves and ward saves"...

lparigi34
09-02-2008, 20:21
What I just do not get is why you get into statistics and Monte Carlo simulation and/or Cristal Ball, please explain as I might be missing a point here.

All the figures for either the HB or the Cannon can be determined deterministically... But I feel lazy today, I was crunching numbers in my work for the whole week...

I got once into Mathhammer and demonstrated how useless certain things are (like champions for Archer units or expensive champions like Orc Big'uns ones...

sainthale1988
09-02-2008, 21:35
I got once into Mathhammer and demonstrated how useless certain things are (like champions for Archer units or expensive champions like Orc Big'uns ones...

things that us experienced gamers learn anway though trial an error! at least you were proving useful things, but yes mathhammer has no part of the game, i mean since when did you every had a game that went by the numbers?

Thanous
11-02-2008, 15:21
What I just do not get is why you get into statistics and Monte Carlo simulation and/or Cristal Ball, please explain as I might be missing a point here.

All the figures for either the HB or the Cannon can be determined deterministically... But I feel lazy today, I was crunching numbers in my work for the whole week...

I got once into Mathhammer and demonstrated how useless certain things are (like champions for Archer units or expensive champions like Orc Big'uns ones...

Because while I can crunch all these numbers by hand, it is much quicker to use tools like Crystal Ball to do it for you. Plus, you can get a lot more data and get a better idea what the curve shape looks like.