Saturday, 18 September 2010

You can't touch this

Yes, it's (math)hammer time! I made some rather spurious claims in this post so that I could follow it up with this post. Damn, I'm turning into a proper blogger - posts generate comments and those comments generate new posts. Anyway, onto the maths. Let's keep things nice and simple and take 10 Tactical Marines all with Bolters against 30 Slugga Boys. We'll put the two units out in the open and within 12" of each other. Then we'll be kind and let the Marines go first.

Marines rapid fire:

P(Dead Ork) = P(Hit) x P(Wound) x Number of shots
= 2/3 x 1/2 x 20
= 7 dead Orks

Orks don't shoot in case they kill enough Marines for Marines to Combat Tactic themselves out of the way. They do charge however.

Marines strike first:

P(Dead Ork) = P(Hit) x P(Wound) x Number of attacks x P(Failed save)
= 1/2 x 1/2 x 11 x 5/6
= 2 Dead Orks

Orks strike back

P(Dead Marine) = P(Hit) x P(Wound) x Number of attacks x P(Failed save)
= 1/2 x 1/2 x 64 x 1/3
= 5 Dead Marines

Orks win by 3.

Space Marines chose to run away to rapid fire again next turn.

Marines shooting:

P(Dead Ork) = P(Hit) x P(Wound) x Number of shots
= 2/3 x 1/2 x 10
= 3 dead Orks

Orks charge in again and Marines strike first:

P(Dead Ork) = P(Hit) x P(Wound) x Number of attacks x P(Failed Save)
= 1/2 x 1/2 x 5 x 5/6
= 1 Dead Ork

Orks strike back:

P(Dead Marine) = P(Hit) x P(Wound) x Number of attacks x P(Failed Save)
= 1/2 x 1/2 x 51 x 1/3
= 4 Dead Marines

Just the Sergeant left. He gingerly walks away and opens fire:

P(Dead Ork) = P(Hit) x P(Wound) x Number of shots
= 2/3 x 1/2 x 2
= 1 Dead Ork

Orks charge in and the Sergeant bravely tries to fight them off:

P(Dead Ork) = P(Hit) x P(Wound) x Number of attacks x P(Failed Save)
= 1/2 x 1/2 x 2 x 5/6
= 0 Dead Orks

Orks then kill the Sergeant.

14 Orks for 10 Marines. So, in a vacuum, a clear victory for the Orks.and the pure statistics do seem to back up some of what Andy was saying. However, in a real game no Marine player would allow 30 Orks to make their way across the board unharmed, not even a beginner.

4 comments:

  1. Interesting, nice to see some math-hammer backing up my hypothesis. While I agree that no player in their right mind would let 30 boys cross the board unmolested I would counter that any Ork player worth their salt will be rushing a skirmishing force across the board in Battlewagons to engage the long-range fire power as soon as possible to mitigate this

    Ork powah ftw!

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  2. I always find math in a vacuum rather limiting. It gives you an indication of what the unit will do but not the whole story. At 24" standard depolyment the Marines get an extra 1-2 rounds of shooting that would kill off all the orks. What about the free flamer and missiles they get, or the ubiquitous power Klaw...

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  3. It's taken the Orks 3 full turns to triumph though. I agree that you'll probably see the squad in a Battlewagon but a lot of Orks are going to die when it blows up.

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  4. Hi Lyracian, I admit it is a totally unrealistic example. The Ork mob would have taken casualties before it got within 12". I didn't include Flamers or Frag Missiles as it made the maths a lot more complex. I also ignored cover as Cover Saves and Difficult Terrain tests added another level of complexity. I'd be surprised if the Ork Nob didn't have a Power Claw but I wanted to reduce things to the simplest case.

    We haven't really learnt anything we didn't already know - 30 Orks will beat 10 Space Marines. However, I felt that it would be a lot closer before I ran the numbers. If we stretch it out to 24" with the same squads, the Orks are still going to win but they'll lose another half dozen Orks to shooting and a few more in combat.

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