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ColShaw
20-08-2010, 14:16
Every so often, a thread pops up on the Tactics forum asking whether Spears are "worth it" to give to a unit. The answer, almost always, is "no". I started wondering why this was the case.

Ever since 6th Ed WFB, Hand Weapon/Shield has provided an additional protection to the model using it (+1 armor save in 6th and 7th, now the 6+ Ward in 8th). This enhancement is "free" in that a hand weapon costs no additional points (models come with one built-in).

Each of the "standard" close combat weapons in WFB gives an enhancement:
-Spears fight in an extra rank to the front;
-Halberds give +1S but prevent shield use;
-Great Weapons give +2S but strike last AND prevent shield use;
-Hand Weapons give a 6+ Ward save.

When you had the choice which weapons to use, it made sense that additional weapon options would cost points, since it made the models more versatile. Obviously a model with Spear, Hand Weapon, and Shield was superior in potential usefulness in 7th End to a model armed only with a HW/Shield. So I could see the Spear costing an extra point or so.

But now that you HAVE to use any upgraded weapon with which you're equipped, I believe that Spears should replace the Hand Weapons at no additional cost. People have been arguing that the Parry bonus is BETTER than the extra rank of attacks, most of the time, so why does it cost fewer points?

I think this might encourage more varied equippage of infantry.

Thoughts?

Odin
20-08-2010, 14:26
Completely agree in most cases, and that is probably what we will house-rule.

Only exception might be Saurus, who still get a lot of benefit from that extra rank.

Wakerofgods
20-08-2010, 14:30
Makes sense to me.

Bac5665
20-08-2010, 14:41
The problem with spears is that they are a bad concept. The extra rank of attacks is rarely useful to the units that can take them.

In warhammer, you almost always want infantry units that are good at 1 of either attacking or defense. Shields are for defense, spears are for attacking. No S3 unit should ever, ever, ever, ever, EVER be used for attacking in warhammer, so spears are a terrible idea for such units. Or at the very least, they aren't worth paying more points for. For S4 units, its different. In 7E, they still were a bad idea most of the time, but in 8E, most of those reasons have been lessened. So spears may work in 8E. The problem there is that spears require bigger units, and with more models being killed, the benefit of spears is lost faster in 8E.

So I don't like paying for spears. S3 units are always better off not paying for them, and using shields to hold longer. S4 units are 1) rare and 2) require expensive units to use. Not saying they aren't effective, but they may not be as useful as you'd want them to be, particularly if you're paying a point a model.

chilledenuff
20-08-2010, 15:03
Points costs for spears are very unit specific, very useful for my goblins but (with 8th) absolutely useless for my orcs. This has got to be an issue that'll be addressed with the new army books I think

scarletsquig
20-08-2010, 15:25
Spears often simply need their points value done properly.

Low-point units need to start having a 1/2 point option for their spear or shield option, like in the skaven book.

DDogwood
20-08-2010, 15:34
I think that the problem could be solved by having shields provide a 6+ close combat ward save, regardless of what weapon they're used with. Call it a "Shield wall" save instead of a "parry" save, if you want, but it would make spears better than hand weapons without really impacting anything else.

Duke_Corwin
20-08-2010, 15:49
The problem with this analysis is it does not factor in magic. Add in the beast spell that gives a unit +1 strength and +1 toughness and spears get better. What about Occums Mindrazor? Pretty powerful with spears.

What you need to figure in is how many wounds do you prevent with the parry vs how many do you cause with the extra rank of attacks. For some armies spears don't help but for others they become useful (see High Elves).

Avian
20-08-2010, 19:55
Historically, nobody much bothered with spears (note: SPEARS, not pikes) once it became reasonably cheap to produce swords of decent quality, so it's not unreasonable that spear + shield isn't better than sword + shield. However, they shouldn't cost more.

DDogwood
20-08-2010, 20:49
Spears are, however, a common basic armament in the Warhammer world - humans, elves, skaven, lizardmen, goblins, beastmen and the undead have all been known to use them regularly.

So, they should either be better than hand weapons, or cost the same points.

TheAmazingAntman
20-08-2010, 21:44
To be fair, spearmen are cheaper then swordsmen for the Empire, unless of course you give them shields, in which case they are the same.

The swordsmen do have an extra point of WS though...

ColShaw
20-08-2010, 22:14
To be fair, spearmen are cheaper then swordsmen for the Empire, unless of course you give them shields, in which case they are the same.

The swordsmen do have an extra point of WS though...

Fair enough. I was mostly talking about cases where you have the choice of arming the same troop with either HW/S or S/S. For instance, Night Goblins, Dark Elf Warriors, and Saurus.

CrystalSphere
21-08-2010, 00:18
You also forget another big disadvantage of spears, they canīt use their extra attacks if they moved in their turn (unless i missed some change in the 8th rulebook). This means that spears are pretty good for units like the lothern sea guard, a defensive unit that likes to donīt move and shoot at the approaching enemy. I know that sometimes you like to take the enemy charge, but this is not always so. If halberds had to stay still for getting their +1str bonus, it would be very silly. Spears are defensive weapons that many times you pay points for, so for units who are not defensive or plan to do so it is a waste of points. A hand weapon on the other hand can be used both on the offense and defense, and most importantly the unit is cheaper. Those are some of the reasons why spears are so bad currently.

R Man
21-08-2010, 00:30
Historically, nobody much bothered with spears (note: SPEARS, not pikes) once it became reasonably cheap to produce swords of decent quality, so it's not unreasonable that spear + shield isn't better than sword + shield. However, they shouldn't cost more.

Not really, Spears were always popular, in one form or another. What took them out of the battlefield was that pikes became necessary because Knights became heavy enough to crash through them, so logic dictated that men should carry longer spears.

As for HW+S Vs. Spear, I disagree. Against light troops Spears were often superior, depending on the fighting qualities of the models involved. Spears were excellent against Zombies, who were never going to kill anyone anyway. And if you have High initiative than offense used to become a form of defense anyway. If there is some kind of attack buff, Spears are even better. That said, there are units where spears are no good, orcs for example, because it replaces the choppa, not a hand weapon. And for goblins and skeletons, who lack combat speed and any chance to hit.

cybercaine
21-08-2010, 01:18
Completely agree in most cases, and that is probably what we will house-rule.

Only exception might be Saurus, who still get a lot of benefit from that extra rank.

Hmmmm. . . they are one of the worst buys in terms of production to spear ratio. Especially when compared to last edition. Last edition, saurus gained double the attacks output with spears. This edition, they gain a single attack from a back rank? And lose the parry save? I'll pass, thank you.

Aluinn
21-08-2010, 01:59
Not really, Spears were always popular, in one form or another. What took them out of the battlefield was that pikes became necessary because Knights became heavy enough to crash through them, so logic dictated that men should carry longer spears.

Pikes were in use as far back as Philip's Macedonian phalanx; they were not invented with the sole purpose of defeating knights, only "rediscovered". Also, they require some training and discipline (the formation must retain tight cohesion), so they were not going to be well put to use by most Medieval infantry, who were raw conscripts by and large, anyway. Romans largely jettisoned the spears for swords; the pilum was apparently sometimes used as an actual spear, but more often it served as a javelin.

As for Warhammer rules, I think, since as has been pointed out some spells will "power-up" a unit with spears substantially more than one with hand weapons and shields, a spear ought to cost 1/2 point for models up to roughly 6 points each, and then 1 point for models more expensive than that. Making them free seems a little too generous, again with all the offensive buffs flying around these days. Alternatively the cost could be evaluated on a unit-to-unit basis based on offensive ability; if, say, a unit has any two of either WS4+, S4+, I4+, Hatred, or ASF, it costs 1 point, and otherwise costs 1/2 point.

I do get the impression that GW really would like to do away with 1/2 points, though (and in fact had done so fully for a while IIRC); the latest Skaven book was an exception but I'm not sure that it signals a real shift in policy there.

Venerable_Bede
21-08-2010, 02:26
I don't get it. Why is a 6+ ward save better than an extra rank of attacks?

Idle Scholar
21-08-2010, 02:29
1) The core mechanics relegate 'basic' infantry to tarpits where statistically you will always lose more men by not having the extra save than you will kill through the extra attacks.

2) The spear special rule only works when you're charged.

3) Spears cost more than the more effective HW & S. So generally you are paying points for a downgrade.

For my money parry should not exist and spears should always fight in an extra rank.

Venerable_Bede
21-08-2010, 03:19
1) The core mechanics relegate 'basic' infantry to tarpits where statistically you will always lose more men by not having the extra save than you will kill through the extra attacks.


Really?

Assume a unit with hw/sh with light armor vs. sp/sh. with light armor. Both 20 strong in 4x5 formation. Same stat lines (WS3, S3, T3).

Hw/sh gets 10 attacks, 5 hits, 2.5 wounds x .67 (5+ armor save) = 1.67 Casualties

sp/sh gets 15 attacks, 7.5 hits, 3.75 wounds x .67 (5+ armor save) = 2.51 x .84 (6+ ward save)=2.10 Casualties.






3) Spears cost more than the more effective HW & S. So generally you are paying points for a downgrade.

For my money parry should not exist and spears should always fight in an extra rank.

Well, they do cost more (and maybe they're not worth the extra cost) but at least in this match up they will on average cause more casualties.

zerorocky
21-08-2010, 03:40
How many units come with HW+Shield for free? Night Goblins are the only I know about. For instance, regular goblins and orcs can get a shield for 1 point or a spear for 1 point. So in the end, they do cost the same.

Are there any other units that get shields for free?

Kudzu
21-08-2010, 03:56
How many units come with HW+Shield for free? Night Goblins are the only I know about. For instance, regular goblins and orcs can get a shield for 1 point or a spear for 1 point. So in the end, they do cost the same.

Are there any other units that get shields for free?

Free? No.

Built in with no choice? Saurus and Temple Guard (who also get stuck using halberds with the new rule :( )

ooglatjama
21-08-2010, 04:01
They should give spears a buff of +1 str when the enemy charges to cement them as a defensive weapon.

Ymir
21-08-2010, 04:03
Tomb Kings skeletons get shields for free, they swap them for their bows. They have to pay the points for light armour to make the shields worthwile, though, and also, in 8th ed, there's pretty much a consensus that all their options except the bows suck.

In my opinion, the problem is that spears are too -bad- in Warhammer. I have suggested that they should have ASF versus charging cavalry before, but +1 to Strength when charged was also a good idea, or they could be armour piercing or give a simple +1 to Initiative or something. (or +1 to Initiative in the first round of combat, that'd make sense). Even better, though, would be if that 6+ ward save came simply from the use of a shield, this whole parry-thing doesn't make sense at all.

cybercaine
21-08-2010, 04:11
Really?

Assume a unit with hw/sh with light armor vs. sp/sh. with light armor. Both 20 strong in 4x5 formation. Same stat lines (WS3, S3, T3).

Hw/sh gets 10 attacks, 5 hits, 2.5 wounds x .67 (5+ armor save) = 1.67 Casualties

sp/sh gets 15 attacks, 7.5 hits, 3.75 wounds x .67 (5+ armor save) = 2.51 x .84 (6+ ward save)=2.10 Casualties.

Well, they do cost more (and maybe they're not worth the extra cost) but at least in this match up they will on average cause more casualties.

So you're assuming each against the other? That's not really an apt comparison. You would think that the one that costs more performs better on average, no? It is a point buy system and that should be the case.

The question isn't rather or not one outperforms the other but rather is that margin worth the added cost. There are better examples to illustrate those IMO. Try both of your hypothetical units against real enemies like Chaos warriors, elven spearmen, etc.

Let's assume I3. For example, your spearmen against CW (with 2 hand weapons and MoK let's say) goes like this: CW get 26 attacks (for my examples, I'm going to assume champions), 17.33 hits, 11.56 wounds which after saves = 9.63 wounds suffered. . . which leaves you with 10 guys and ineffective spears. On strikeback, you get 11 attacks, 5.5 wounds, 1.83 wounds which after saves becomes .92 casualties suffered.

Now, the hw+s guys against CW suffer 8.02 casualties and cause .92 casualties.

Against HE spearmen (which have la and shields if my memory serves me right), your spearmen goes like this (we're going to assume a charge neutral scenario so as neither army loses it's "spear advantage" and a 5 x 5 rank): HE SM get 21 attacks which 18.67 hits. Those hits become 9.33 wounds which after saves leaves you with 6.22 casualties. We'll assume that's just 6 casualties for strikeback purposes. Strikeback is 15 attacks, which becomes 7.5 hits. Those hits become 3.75 wounds which means 2.5 casualties.

The hw + s guys suffer just 5.18 casualties. On strikeback, they cause 5.5 hits, which become 2.75 wounds. Those 2.75 wounds become 1.83333 casualties.

These examples can go on and on. I think I should note that against CW, the hw shield guys effectively outperformed the spear guys. They suffered less casualties and killed the same amount of warriors. Keeping in mind that the spearmen are more expensive, this in effect means that those spearmen lost the battle by a larger amount of points.

Against HE, the lost 6.22 and killed 2.5. The hw +s guys lost 5.18 and killed 1.83. These differences can be quantified. Let's imagine that your spearmen cost 5 points without the spear, 6 with the spear. In effect, against HE spearmen, you lost 37.32 pts of guys. You killed (HE spearmen are 9 points if my memory serves me right again) 22.5 pts of HE. Effectively, you lost 14.8 pts in the exchange. The hw+s guys lost 25.9 pts of guys and killed 14.50 pts of HE. In effect, the hw+s guys just lost 11.4 pts in the exchange.

I think in most examples, the hw+s guys will outperform the spear guys. These numbers do change a bit given magical support etc. These things can make the spearmen better options. I think it's worth noting though the diminishing returns of the spears. In effect, in either example the margin between the 2 units increases. In the second round, the HE spearmen will kill the spearmen to the point where spears no longer matter. With the meat grinder that 8th edition combat has become, spears on smaller units are a really poor buy. They require larger commitment of points as to keep their usefulness after casualties. I don't mind .5 point spears as the difference in loss of points seem mitigated in the performance. But 1 point spears, especially in your example, seem wasted.

Aluinn
21-08-2010, 05:56
Agreed with cybercaine. The mathhammer only works if you compare their performance against the *same* hypothetical enemy unit, which pitting them against one another does not accomplish. You're not trying to figure out which will beat the other in a fight, although the truth is that even that is close enough that all bets are off.

Spears are not a complete waste, however, when the unit is given offensive buffs. Just try to assess the likelihood that you will resolve an augment spell on your unit during any given combat phase, based on what your magic looks like and what you expect enemy magic defense to be. (Personally, I usually assume dispel attempts coming from a level 4 with no other dispel bonuses, which is about the 8th Ed. average in my experience.)

Kudzu
21-08-2010, 06:06
So you're assuming each against the other? That's not really an apt comparison. You would think that the one that costs more performs better on average, no? It is a point buy system and that should be the case.

The question isn't rather or not one outperforms the other but rather is that margin worth the added cost. There are better examples to illustrate those IMO. Try both of your hypothetical units against real enemies like Chaos warriors, elven spearmen, etc.

Let's assume I3. For example, your spearmen against CW (with 2 hand weapons and MoK let's say) goes like this: CW get 26 attacks (for my examples, I'm going to assume champions), 17.33 hits, 11.56 wounds which after saves = 9.63 wounds suffered. . . which leaves you with 10 guys and ineffective spears. On strikeback, you get 11 attacks, 5.5 wounds, 1.83 wounds which after saves becomes .92 casualties suffered.

Now, the hw+s guys against CW suffer 8.02 casualties and cause .92 casualties.

Against HE spearmen (which have la and shields if my memory serves me right), your spearmen goes like this (we're going to assume a charge neutral scenario so as neither army loses it's "spear advantage" and a 5 x 5 rank): HE SM get 21 attacks which 18.67 hits. Those hits become 9.33 wounds which after saves leaves you with 6.22 casualties. We'll assume that's just 6 casualties for strikeback purposes. Strikeback is 15 attacks, which becomes 7.5 hits. Those hits become 3.75 wounds which means 2.5 casualties.

The hw + s guys suffer just 5.18 casualties. On strikeback, they cause 5.5 hits, which become 2.75 wounds. Those 2.75 wounds become 1.83333 casualties.

These examples can go on and on. I think I should note that against CW, the hw shield guys effectively outperformed the spear guys. They suffered less casualties and killed the same amount of warriors. Keeping in mind that the spearmen are more expensive, this in effect means that those spearmen lost the battle by a larger amount of points.

Against HE, the lost 6.22 and killed 2.5. The hw +s guys lost 5.18 and killed 1.83. These differences can be quantified. Let's imagine that your spearmen cost 5 points without the spear, 6 with the spear. In effect, against HE spearmen, you lost 37.32 pts of guys. You killed (HE spearmen are 9 points if my memory serves me right again) 22.5 pts of HE. Effectively, you lost 14.8 pts in the exchange. The hw+s guys lost 25.9 pts of guys and killed 14.50 pts of HE. In effect, the hw+s guys just lost 11.4 pts in the exchange.

I think in most examples, the hw+s guys will outperform the spear guys. These numbers do change a bit given magical support etc. These things can make the spearmen better options. I think it's worth noting though the diminishing returns of the spears. In effect, in either example the margin between the 2 units increases. In the second round, the HE spearmen will kill the spearmen to the point where spears no longer matter. With the meat grinder that 8th edition combat has become, spears on smaller units are a really poor buy. They require larger commitment of points as to keep their usefulness after casualties. I don't mind .5 point spears as the difference in loss of points seem mitigated in the performance. But 1 point spears, especially in your example, seem wasted.

It's all in how you look at it. From a pure mathhammer perspective you're right, HW+S is the way to go.

I've never had a game that goes the way pure mathhammer said it should.

When I add spears to my normal saurus set-up (6x5 with a scar vet up front), I pay 29 points for 6 extra strength 4 attacks to a unit that already can dish out some serious pain and holds up fairly well against just about any enemy unit I throw it at. Victory goes to he who rolls the most dice, at least in my experience, and the 8.3% cost increase pays for about 1/3 more attacks.

cybercaine
21-08-2010, 09:37
It's all in how you look at it. From a pure mathhammer perspective you're right, HW+S is the way to go.

I've never had a game that goes the way pure mathhammer said it should.


I don't even understand what you're saying. You've never had a game that's pure mathhammer? Do you mean to say that your games in general fall out of statistical averages? All I'm doing is evaluating choices based on mathematical averages. These averages don't change at all no matter what perspective you choose to see them with. Does that necessarily mean that spears won't be situationally good? No it does not. Just like jamming a lower pair into a higher pair all in preflop in poker doesn't assure a lost pot. But I'd rather bet on the higher pair given a choice.

Gazak Blacktoof
21-08-2010, 09:53
Now that you can't choose to use a hand weapon if you have a special weapon, this question has lost some of its relevance. There aren't many armies that actually get to pick HW+S or Spear. From memory only Saurus, goblins, VC and TK skeletons get this as a pure option, whilst empire and orcs get something that isn't a pure HW+S Vs Spear choice.

In the new edition where wiping a unit out and retaining stubborn are the most pertinent parameters for hand to hand combat, I'd rather have a big unit of spears. In the examples cybercaine posted I'd still rather have the spearmen and inflict some extra kills. This is because the unit is going to break regardless of a 6+ wards save, whilst in drawn out combats with units of a similar quality, I'd like the edge in kills that spears give.

Idle Scholar
21-08-2010, 11:48
Ok so using the Skaven costs adding spears is an additional 12.5% points increase.
For that you get a 26% increase in damage output, vs an equally stattetd unit.

However generally you'll be fighting units with S4 or T4 or WS4:

So against WS4 the spear clannies will do 2.10 wounds and take 2.22 in return.

The HW&S rats will only take 1.86 wounds while doing 1.67 back.

Avian
21-08-2010, 11:52
It's not quite that simple, because spears don't work when charging and it's quite difficult to compare units that don't cost the same (as you don't know what else you might spend the saved points on).

mrtn
21-08-2010, 12:12
How many units come with HW+Shield for free? Night Goblins are the only I know about. For instance, regular goblins and orcs can get a shield for 1 point or a spear for 1 point. So in the end, they do cost the same.

Are there any other units that get shields for free?Ungors get shields for free.


In my opinion, the problem is that spears are too -bad- in Warhammer. I have suggested that they should have ASF versus charging cavalry before, but +1 to Strength when charged was also a good idea, or they could be armour piercing or give a simple +1 to Initiative or something. (or +1 to Initiative in the first round of combat, that'd make sense). Even better, though, would be if that 6+ ward save came simply from the use of a shield, this whole parry-thing doesn't make sense at all.
Some good ideas, might houserule some of them if my friends agree.

Idle Scholar
21-08-2010, 12:25
It's not quite that simple, because spears don't work when charging and it's quite difficult to compare units that don't cost the same (as you don't know what else you might spend the saved points on).

Aye but in the context of a tarpit role where their job is to hold up the enemy, break steadfast and add static CR giving them spears will usually net you less combat res difference than giving them HW&S.

Wakerofgods
21-08-2010, 13:08
One thing to remember is buffs to cheap units abilites are getting more and more common. Not only the spells but arn't there a few buffing units out there? Maybe not...I can't think at the moment but I saw a horde of DE spearmen given killing blow by that thing. I was very suprised when they slaughtered by 18 chaos warriors of khrone with halberd (who killed over 20 of the spearmen and half the horde - but still went down).

Plus I like spearmen, and I really think str3 attacks get a bad rap that they dont entirely diservere. Especially since the meta enviroment has kind of changed a bit...less cav, more large infantry units - there are simply more things your infantry can actually kill about.

itcamefromthedeep
21-08-2010, 15:12
Low-point units need to start having a 1/2 point option for their spear or shield option, like in the skaven book.I plan to remodel the Island of Blood Clanrat spears in into hand weapons. Half a point is half a point too much.


Spears are, however, a common basic armament in the Warhammer world - humans, elves, skaven, lizardmen, goblins, beastmen and the undead have all been known to use them regularly.

So, they should either be better than hand weapons, or cost the same points.
Your argument doesn't follow. I don't see a correlation between how effective a weapon is and how commonly it is used. Troops don't always bring the best. money is a factor, for instance.

Ferraris are good cars, but not everybody buys them.


I don't get it. Why is a 6+ ward save better than an extra rank of attacks?
Once that extra rank of Attacks disappears or the unit with spears is doing the charging, the ward save becomes strictly better.


In my opinion, the problem is that spears are too -bad- in Warhammer. I have suggested that they should have ASF versus charging cavalry before, but +1 to Strength when charged was also a good idea, or they could be armour piercing or give a simple +1 to Initiative or something. (or +1 to Initiative in the first round of combat, that'd make sense). Even better, though, would be if that 6+ ward save came simply from the use of a shield, this whole parry-thing doesn't make sense at all.Swords are easier to parry with than spears, so that parry thing works for me.

My preferred solution would be to allow spears to use their extra rank even when charging, as well as reducing the price to match hand weapons.


I've never had a game that goes the way pure mathhammer said it should.
Every game you've played ha gone the way mathhammer says it should (unless there was cheating going on). A probibalistic analysis will give you a statistical distribution of the possible outcomes.

Mathhammer doesn't say that the result of a roll of two dice will be seven. In fact mathhammer say it probably *won't* be seven. It will tell you that of all the possible results, seven is the most likely to occur, and that seven is the average of all possible results.


it's quite difficult to compare units that don't cost the same (as you don't know what else you might spend the saved points on).You can pretend that they cost the same and see how htey do in any given scenario. If the price doesn't line up with that then you *may* have a problem.

Venerable_Bede
21-08-2010, 17:17
So you're assuming each against the other? That's not really an apt comparison.

There are better examples to illustrate those IMO. Try both of your hypothetical units against real enemies like Chaos warriors, elven spearmen, etc.



What do you mean real enemies? WS3, S3, T3 with light armor is the most common stat line the game.



Let's assume I3. For example, your spearmen against CW (with 2 hand weapons and MoK let's say)


These are probably the best regular infantry in the game. If you make your decision based in them your picking an extreme.



Against HE spearmen



Another special situation, since the HE Spearmen fight four ranks deep without horde.



These examples can go on and on.


Plenty of examples when you pick the extremes. WHat about against average units?


[/QUOTE]

Kudzu
21-08-2010, 17:25
I don't even understand what you're saying. You've never had a game that's pure mathhammer? Do you mean to say that your games in general fall out of statistical averages? All I'm doing is evaluating choices based on mathematical averages. These averages don't change at all no matter what perspective you choose to see them with. Does that necessarily mean that spears won't be situationally good? No it does not. Just like jamming a lower pair into a higher pair all in preflop in poker doesn't assure a lost pot. But I'd rather bet on the higher pair given a choice.

The point I was trying to make is that while over a game the rolls might work out to the averages, it doesn't necessarily work out round by round.

Having those extra attacks softens the combat rounds where I roll statistically low (ex: hitting 30% instead of 50% of 23 attacks is more than 30% instead of 50% of 17 attacks) and hardens the combat rounds where I roll statistically high (ex: 70% of 23 attacks is more hits than 70% of 17 attacks).



It's not quite that simple, because spears don't work when charging and it's quite difficult to compare units that don't cost the same (as you don't know what else you might spend the saved points on).

Losing the extra attacks when charging breaks even from a mathhammer POV, since you end up trading 1 (fractionally more or less) average wound/s for 1 CR.

All in all I consider it points well spent. As a lizzy player, it's like paying 29 points for a magic weapon that more often than not adds 6 S4 attacks. YMMV.

Avian
21-08-2010, 17:40
What do you mean real enemies? WS3, S3, T3 with light armor is the most common stat line the game.
Eh? Skaven Clanrats, Empire Spearmen and ???

warmong3r
21-08-2010, 17:54
Now that you can't choose to use a hand weapon if you have a special weapon, this question has lost some of its relevance.

Hold on a sec. What do you mean you can't choose if you have a special weapon?

commander of the marines
21-08-2010, 18:15
well if you have a special weapon and a hand weapon you HAVE to use the special for example:

you got a hand weapon and a spear and a shield, you always have to use the spear so you'll never gain the 6+ parry save

warmong3r
21-08-2010, 18:35
So i have to buy the spear for all my units, or only if they auto come with it?

Von Wibble
21-08-2010, 18:37
Things would be a lot better for the spearmen if the parry save was allowed for spear and shield as well as hand weapon and shield. At least then the spear is an upgrade in a units capabilities rather than a tradeoff.

09Project
21-08-2010, 18:54
Eh? Skaven Clanrats, Empire Spearmen and ???

Ok they have shields and not LA but Ungors, sort of fit.

And they being forgotton in this thread :(

Ancre
21-08-2010, 19:08
Hold on a sec. What do you mean you can't choose if you have a special weapon?

If you buy a special weapon for your unit (say, if you equip your clanrats with spears and shields) then they are forced to use them. You can't buy them spears and decide to use handweapon+shield in a fight. You can, however, not buy them spears, and they will fight with handweapon+shield.

warmong3r
21-08-2010, 19:24
Okay thanks guys, i get it. Personally I'd rather take the spear even though you have a less chance of survival. Like someone said it's personal preference and i enjoy dishing out more attacks.

Fobster
21-08-2010, 19:38
the weapon options would be better if there was no parry save. hweapon and shield get a boost for no real reason. It makes even less sense when a magical shield will prevent a user from being able to "parry"? Take out the parry bonus and the weapon pricing is far more accurate.

warmong3r
21-08-2010, 19:48
i liked the 7th edition hand weapon and shield bonus. It made more sense.

Gazak Blacktoof
21-08-2010, 23:07
i liked the 7th edition hand weapon and shield bonus. It made more sense.

It was also too good against weak enemies.

warmong3r
21-08-2010, 23:57
It was also too good against weak enemies.

I guess...

Crovax20
22-08-2010, 00:07
I field my night gobbo's with spears all the time!

Then again, thats what you get when you have 120 night gobbo's with spears from BfSP:shifty:

Aluinn
22-08-2010, 01:15
It was also too good against weak enemies.

And having a 5+/6+ is somehow not as good as having a 4+? They're both a 50% chance to save. The Parry save is an improvement in all ways against attacks from the front, being just as good against weak attacks and providing some protection against attacks which would have, in 7th, allowed no save at all (S6 and above in the case of a model with light armor, 5 and above if only a shield).

itcamefromthedeep
22-08-2010, 01:50
And having a 5+/6+ is somehow not as good as having a 4+? They're both a 50% chance to save.
A 5+/6+ is a 16/36 chance of passing, where a 4+ is 18/36.

Chances of passing saves with an Ironbreaker, 7e and 8e.

S3; old 30/36; new 26/36
S4; old 24/36; new 21/36
S5; old 18/36; new 16/36
S6; old 12/36; new 11/36
S7; old 6/36; new 6/36
S8; old 0/36; new 6/36

As you can see, the old version was better against weak Attacks, where the new version is better against strong Attacks. Presumably this is there to encourage large numbers of weak Attacks and discourage taking a few super-strong Attacks. This makes units like Ironbreakers and Chaos Warriors easier to kill with basic infantry, thus giving a little more encouragement to basic infantry.

warmong3r
22-08-2010, 02:34
I'm a little confused. You said that those are the chances of passing, when almost all of the old ones have a higher number than the new ones...

Crovax20
22-08-2010, 10:02
I'm a little confused. You said that those are the chances of passing, when almost all of the old ones have a higher number than the new ones...

let me ask you, whats the better chance to deflect a blow

a 1/4th chance or a 3/4th chance?

The numbers of the old ones are higher because it was more likely to pass. With the change your chance of survival at higher strengths are higher than it was in the old edition. If you had only a shield and handweapon you'd have a 5+ in the old system which would be canceled when hit by a strength 5 hit. Now you still would get your 6+ parry save, thus troops with very little armor got more survivable against higher strength hits.

haroon
22-08-2010, 10:15
I see a lot of posts in this thread implying that you get +1 as when using a spear and shield in CC. Is that the case? My understanding was you only get +1as from shooting attacks.

Aluinn
22-08-2010, 10:47
A 5+/6+ is a 16/36 chance of passing, where a 4+ is 18/36.

Chances of passing saves with an Ironbreaker, 7e and 8e.

S3; old 30/36; new 26/36
S4; old 24/36; new 21/36
S5; old 18/36; new 16/36
S6; old 12/36; new 11/36
S7; old 6/36; new 6/36
S8; old 0/36; new 6/36

As you can see, the old version was better against weak Attacks, where the new version is better against strong Attacks. Presumably this is there to encourage large numbers of weak Attacks and discourage taking a few super-strong Attacks. This makes units like Ironbreakers and Chaos Warriors easier to kill with basic infantry, thus giving a little more encouragement to basic infantry.

You're right, I just realized my math was flawed there. I was for some reason assuming that 5+/6+ was 0.33+0.17 to get 0.5 (equivalent to 4+), but it doesn't actually quite work that way. My bad!

However, I should say that Ironbreakers, because they have such good saves without the Parry, make the new rule look a little worse than it would on a lower armor save model, because in that case Parry can start to become superior to +1 AS against S6 (light armor+hw+shield) or even S5 (hw+shield alone), and equally good as +1 AS against S5 or S4, respectively. But, yeah, against S3, +1 AS is always better, no matter what.

itcamefromthedeep
22-08-2010, 15:50
You're right, I just realized my math was flawed there.No problem, the new dynamic is a good thing to explain.


I see a lot of posts in this thread implying that you get +1 as when using a spear and shield in CC. Is that the case?
That is the case. See page 43, and remember that the rules for armor saves are used for all kinds of attacks, despite sitting in the Shooting section.

warmong3r
22-08-2010, 18:05
let me ask you, whats the better chance to deflect a blow

a 1/4th chance or a 3/4th chance?

The numbers of the old ones are higher because it was more likely to pass. With the change your chance of survival at higher strengths are higher than it was in the old edition. If you had only a shield and handweapon you'd have a 5+ in the old system which would be canceled when hit by a strength 5 hit. Now you still would get your 6+ parry save, thus troops with very little armor got more survivable against higher strength hits.

I see now. A 6+ ward save is always good, and now most basic infantry can have it.

Kudzu
22-08-2010, 18:22
I see now. A 6+ ward save is always good, and now most basic infantry can have it.

It's not a true ward though. Only works in CC, to the front, and stomp/thunderstomp attacks bypass it.

SamVimes
22-08-2010, 18:23
What's the deal with units and more than one special weapon? Do they get to choose whatever they want to use (though not hand weapons presumably)? This is mostly for Orcs because of Blorcs (though I'm guessing armed to the teeth let's you choose choppas anyway).

Jetty Smurf
22-08-2010, 21:47
A 5+/6+ is a 16/36 chance of passing, where a 4+ is 18/36.


You're right, I just realized my math was flawed there. I was for some reason assuming that 5+/6+ was 0.33+0.17 to get 0.5 (equivalent to 4+), but it doesn't actually quite work that way. My bad!


Could someone please explain this to me in a bit more detail? It's late here, and I will be heading off to bed once I post this, but my brain can not, for the life of me, figure this out.

With a 5+ you have a 1/3 chance of success.
So there's a 2/3 chance of failing that.

You then have a 6+, which is a 1/6 chance of success.

1/3 = 12/36
1/6 = 6/36

My brain tells me this equates to a 18/36 chance of success. This would be me adding them together, since I can't figure out any other way to do it, since it's more AND than OR. Though it is a THEN, and I have no idea what I'm saying anymore...

18/36 is the equivalent to having a 4+ save.

Please, please explain where I have gone wrong, and how this actually works. I will have a look after I have had some sleep, so I should be able to understand just about whatever is written.

Much appreciated. :D

Idle Scholar
22-08-2010, 22:10
You multiply the two factors together.

Think of it like this: 2/3 of a wound get past your 5+ save. Then 5/6 of that fraction get past the 6+ ward. So the total wounds caused are 5/6 of 2/3.

DDogwood
22-08-2010, 22:19
Could someone please explain this to me in a bit more detail? It's late here, and I will be heading off to bed once I post this, but my brain can not, for the life of me, figure this out.

With a 5+ you have a 1/3 chance of success.
So there's a 2/3 chance of failing that.

You then have a 6+, which is a 1/6 chance of success.

1/3 = 12/36
1/6 = 6/36

My brain tells me this equates to a 18/36 chance of success. This would be me adding them together, since I can't figure out any other way to do it, since it's more AND than OR. Though it is a THEN, and I have no idea what I'm saying anymore...

18/36 is the equivalent to having a 4+ save.

You don't attempt the ward save unless you fail the regular save - so there is a 4/6 chance that you will fail the armour save, followed by a 5/6 chance of failing the ward save.

You don't add probabilities together; you multiply them, so the total chance of failing the save is 20/36, or a little worse than 50%.

itcamefromthedeep
22-08-2010, 23:36
Could someone please explain this to me in a bit more detail?
Take 36 dice and put them in front of you.

Now take 1/3 of them away, representing the armor save. 1/3 of 36 is 12, which will leave you with 24 dice.

Now take 1/6 of the remaining dice away, representing the ward save. 1/6 of 24 is 4, which will leave you with 20.

So you've "rolled" 36 saves, and 20 of them failed. This means 16 passed.

decker_cky
23-08-2010, 07:00
When you add the chances together, you have an error because you count cases when you save both armour and the ward.