Apologies, I've been away a few days (and about to be away a few more!)
Originally Posted by Renka
Firstly I'm a very competitive player in all games I play, I happily wear the ethical WAAC badge with pride, and I don't do fluffy lists, or take anything for fun, or because I like the models. Any list I use is used because it's my belief at that time that it's the strongest that list can be. It's not just wargames this applies to - I've played boardgames at national level, a number of CCG's to national and international level (inc ProTour once), as well as having playtest credits in a variety of gaming fields.
I used to have a lot more big tournament wins to my name than recently (I've been playing WFB since 1st, and 40k since RT), which is down to relocating and employment more than anything. I have had more than my share of wins at club/shop/local tourney level, but I'm the first to say they don't mean much. This year was to be my return to the big tournaments, with entry long planned to the UK Indy GT (the highest standard competition over here) but as usual the tickets vaporised as they went on sale, and I was left on the waiting list. Having been honing a list for 6 months for it I wasn't a happy bunny!
That said, I always phrase things as 'playing competitively' rather than 'in a tournament' because you can be WAAC playing at home (as I am) or fluffy and losing in a tournament (albeit the bottom brackets). It's about a mindset more than a location. If you play optimised lists against other optimised lists, against good players, against common tournament staples, then all of the same factors apply.
Aside from all of that though, I do have a good head for figures and statistical analysis. People who disparage mathammer are generally misusing it, or misunderstanding it's use. I have a fairly vast spreadsheet of a dozen worksheets, and many thousands of rows with statstistics of all weapons versus various canned targets I'm interested, in as well as calculating approximate chances to hit with blast weapons, metagame percentages for the last few years (which are multiplied onto every weapon result to give a 'weighted' damage statistic against a metagame weighted field). And so on... I'll admit to being a stats geek, I have an analytical mind and I love spreadsheet work, and working out which of various options gives the most bang for buck, etc. Often I can dig relevant data from the spreadsheet, or oftimes I'll just calculate it to suit on the spot. My greatest qualification is certainly to know the game well, to know the codexes and to understand probability.
As someone opined earlier - in the case of CSM it's actually very often rather obvious, and doesn't require the maths to show - eg: Possessed can only do close combat, and it's pretty obvious even without running the maths that unless they roll power weapons they will do worse in absolute terms than Berzerkers, and if you compare it (as for most purposes we should) in per point terms they get even worse. And Berzerkers are scoring...
That's the kind of obvious example that comes up a lot, and older codexes like CSM are glaringly full of obviously better and worse comparisons. Look to say GK, and you want to know which is more efficient of Purifiers vs Strike Teams per point, after Crowe, or whether HB or AssC Psybacks are more efficient then it's close enough that you want to look at the maths. Rarely so for CSM though...
Apart from to debunk fallacious thinking like this...
Originally Posted by Reivax26
Being worse than Berzerkers in CC we can all agree on. But outshoot Plagues? Real world? All figures below are given in terms of MEQ kills per round of shooting since that's what we generally care about and compare on:
5x Plague (2x Plasma) at 24" get 1.43 kills for a cost of 145 therefore 0.99/100pts
5x Noise (5x Bolters) at 24" get 0.55 kills for a cost of 100 therefore 0.55/100pts
5x Noise (5x Sonic) at 24" get 1.65 kills for a cost of 125 therefore 1.32/100pts
5x Plague (2x Plasma) at 12" get 2.86 kills for a cost of 145 therefore 1.88/100pts
5x Noise (5x Bolters) at 12" get 1.1 kills for a cost of 100 therefore 1.1/100pts
5x Noise (5x Sonic) at 12" get 1.65 kills for a cost of 125 therefore 1.32/100pts
If we reasonably assume that half the shots will be at long range, and half at short range we thus get:
5x Plague (2x Plasma) at mixed ranges get 2.15 kills for a cost of 145 therefore 1.48/100pts
5x Noise (5x Bolters) at mixed ranges get 0.83 kills for a cost of 100 therefore 0.83/100pts
5x Noise (5x Sonic) at mixed ranges get 1.65 kills for a cost of 125 therefore 1.32/100pts
As such, SonicBlasters only make a better gunline if you believe you can keep the battle at 13-24" range. In fact I've been generous because in my experience you'll generally only get one round at that range, and then it's all close which favours the Plagues massively. Then when you get to assault then it favours the Plagues even more! Actually I'd say the best use for Noise Marines isn't a gunline but some kind of moving reactive wave that makes best use of their assault/heavy stats but the moment they move they lose a third of their firepower, and don't get to double it if moving takes them within 12" like their competitors. You can add in BlastMasters, but at 40pts it doesn't help the Noise Marines efficiency any either.
Note that all of this was purely about comparing damage output. Think about that carefully - Plagues are best in the real world for damage output - and that's not even why we buy them. Their schtick is having T5, having FNP and having Blight Grenades - none of which factor in this. They are the best AND get all their best attributes thrown on top as freebies.
Plagues are probably the single biggest design flaw in the CSM codex - they obliterated the design space for anything else vaguely similar. Berzerkers, DP's and Oblits are all quite fair - they are good at what they are supposed to be good at, but not a lot else, but Plagues, by virtue of low cost, and the ability to take two special weapons in 5 men dominate shooting. Plagues should have had 1/5 and basic CSM have 2/5 - then you'd have a real choice: CSM would be the static firebase, Noise marines the mobile one, and Plagues would be tenacious objective campers. As it is they are the most efficient source of firepower in the Troops section (and indeed most of the rest) as well as being tough of nails, and they are the best at all 3 roles. They got given far too many shinies...
Noise Marines should have a role, but until they get buffed, or Plagues nerfed they just don't. Those Sonic Blasters desperately needed to be free...