Friday, June 10, 2011

Warhammer; What Stat is most important? T

The Toughness (T) characteristic is closely related to strength. It is more malleable under the current magic edition than ever before with the easy access to buffs like Wissans Wildform, etc., but still more or less is the basic stat most of the time.

There is a much wider range of commonly seen Toughnesses. Monsters can play a large enough role in the battles that even difficult to wound targets often face a quiver full of shooting, thus calling the T characteristic in to play more often.

For line troops, the common T scores are 3 and 4. There are occasional 2s thrown in and Monsters frequently have T5 or even T6, with other targets having even as high as T10.

As we saw when looking at S, having T4 versus T3 is a huge boon. It often shifts how often a model is wounded by 16 – 33%. Just one point of T makes a huge difference. It is one of the real benefits the Dwarfs, Chaos Warriors and Knights, Gor, and similar troops have. Facing “typical” S3 strikes, they are wounded 16.33% less often which, as we saw with the extremely basic math-hammer of the S piece, can really add up over the course of a battle.

One issue with T is that typically the higher T a model is, the less chance it has a save. The new Arachnarok spider, Tomb King sphinx and the Beastmen models are all fine examples of this. If you penetrate their T defense, you inflict a wound as they have no save at all.

Naturally, there are some high T models that have an exception; The Shaggoth has a very nice 3+ save, as do many dragons, the Hydra has a base save and Regeneration, and the Abomination is all but unkillable* between T, save, regeneration, coming back again and again and again and again…

So exactly how important is T? As with virtually every other stat we have seen…”it depends”. A T4 Chaos Warrior is worth more than a T4 Dwarf Warrior or Saurus Warrior. Arguably, 16 of them are worth more than a T5 Shaggoth, even though the points costs are relatively equivalent.

But the reason he is worth more is because of his weapon skill and armor saves. His higher weapons skill means fewer enemies will strike him in the first place, and his3+ save (assuming hand weapon and shield) versus the 4+ for the Dwarf, mean he is more likely to survive. Saurus are theoretically nearly as good…they have the same S and T and base attacks, but their lighter armor and inability (?) to take shields for the parry save, combined with the higher weapon skill of the Chaos Warrior all combine to mean the Chaos Warrior gets hit less than the Saurus, resulting in his higher T being even more valuable to him than it is to the Saurus…for whom it is very valuable.

At the same time, for a Gor it is still very valuable…but not as valuable. Whereas a Saurus, Dwarf Warrior or Chaos Warrior who has their T4 penetrated will most likely still have some sort of save, the Gor is dead.

This does not mean the T4 is not valuable…arguably, it could seem even more valuable for the Gor as that is the sole means of defense…but it works better in concert with factors that combine to reduce the wounds.

Naturally, for the most part most armies do not get choices in T for their line troops. Elf and (non Chaos) human armies are T3, Dwarfs T4…but there are some armies that DO have a choice.

Lizardmen can choose between lot T skinks and T4 Saurus. Beastmen can choose between T3 Ungor and T4 Gor. Warriors of Chaos can choose between T3 Marauders and everything else.

But beyond that, many armies can choose in other slots between different T units; it might be a chariot versus a monster versus more basic troops. Obviously there are other things to consider, but how much should the T of your troop weigh into that decision?

For example, if you are filling your core slots for the Beastmen, you must choose between the T3 Ungor and the T4 Gor. Neither has armor, both are similarly equipped, WS, S. The Ungor are 2 points cheaper, the Gor are 1 point of T higher; how often should you take the Ungor?

It is actually a tough call. The Gor cost 19% more and are roughly 16% more resilient. So arguably the Ungor are the superior choice. However, other factors (LD, the difference in chance to run based on lost casualties in close combat due to the extra 16% casualties, etc) combine to make the Gor one of the best steals in any army book this side of Chaos Marauders…

Which brings up an interesting point. A Chaos Warrior with no mark and just the required upgrade will typically be 16 points. Marauders with no mark and no upgrades are 4 points. Are 4 Marauders worth 1 Warrior?

They will strike about 16% less frequently, wound 16% less often, and be wounded 16% more often…and only have twice as many attacks. Just for fun, lets see how much difference the T 4 makes.

160 points worth; 10 Chaos Warriors with Hand Weapon & shield versus 40 Chaos Marauders.I would go 10x1 with the Warriors and start in horde with the Marauders.

Round 1: Warriors strike first, 20 attacks, 13.34 hits, 8.898 wounds. Marauders have 31 guys in three rows able to strike back; 31 attacks, 16.5 hits, 5.445 wounds, 2.723 saves.

Round 2; 8 Warriors v. 31 Marauders. 16 attacks, 10.672 hits, 7.118 wounds. 24 Marauders strike back, 12 hits, 3.996 wounds, 2 saved.

Round 3: 6 Warriors v. 24 Marauders; 12 attacks, 9 hits, 6 wounds. 18 Marauders hit 9 times, 3 wounds, 1.5 saves. The first time I went in favor of the Marauders, this time in favor of the Warriors.

Round 4: 5 Warriors v. 18 Marauders; 10 attacks, 6.666 hits, 4.44 wounds; 14 Marauders, 7 hits, 2.33 wounds, 1ish save.

Round 5; 4 warriors v. 14 Marauders, 8 attacks, 6+ wounds; 8 marauders hit 4 times, 1.33 wounds, 50% chance to save

Round 6; 3 warriors, 6 attacks, 4 hits, 3 wounds. 5 Marauders, 2.5 hits, .83 wound, this time will say saved.

Round 7; 3 Warriors, 6 attacks, 4 hits, 3 wounds; 2 Marauders, 1 hit, .33 wound.

So in 8 rounds, the Warriors kill the Marauders. Lets re-run this with one change; we will drop the Warrior T to 3, equal with the Marauders.

Round 1: 10 Warriors v. 40 Marauders.

20 A = 13.34 h = 8.898 w. 31 A = 16.5 hits, 8.25 wounds, 4 saved.

Round 2: 6 Warriors v. 31 Marauders; 12 A = 9 hits = 6.67 wounds. 24 Marauders have 24 A, 12 hit, 6 wound, 3 saved.

Round 3: 3 Warriors v. 24 Marauders: 6 attacks, 4 hit, 3 wound. 21 Marauders, 21 A= 10.5 hits, 5.25 wound, 2.5 saves. Lets be charitable and keep the Warrior alive.

So in 4 rounds the Warriors die having done half as much damage.

How important is T4? Even in the case of the Chaos Warrior, an elite, hardcore close combat death machine, it is vital, vital, vital. Losing just one point changes the outcome from a close (losing 70% of the unit) fight to a devastating loss.

Of course, these examples ignore things like failed LD tests after combat, upgrades, etc., but they should fully demonstrate the power of higher T.

So how important is T overall? It ranges towards the top. It can keep your guy alive long enough to do what he came to do.

* not true…but fun to say.


kennyB said...

It frequently seems to me that T3 is bad, T4 is good, T5 is exceptional, and anything beyond that is generally wasted. By the time I get to toughness 5 all weak troops are going to have a tough time with me and super strong things won't be deterred by a point or two more in toughness. I love T4 because it generally seems to make the most difference for the least cost. As in your example a T4 elite can stand up to a lot more physically weaker troops than is immediately obvious. In addition, these elite troops can deal with stronger and tougher targets easier as well. Like a Hydra. Chaos Warriors hit on a 3, wound on a 5, and eliminate 1 pt of save. The hydra hits on 4's, wounds on 3's, and only takes them to a 5+ save. Compare that to normal troops hitting on a 4, reducing the AS not at all, being hit on 3's or 4's, wounded on 2's, and have no AS left (assuming they start with 5+ or worse) which means they die in droves. In fact, the Hydra has proven over and over that all he is really good at is killing economy troops (as long as they don't have great weapons, in that case he plays dead round 1 usually). Against anything tough or strong he tends to do quite poorly. Are there lucky exceptions? Yes. Are there unlucky exceptions (like getting Heroic Killing blowed by a 100 pt hero in round 1 before Hydra can even attack...)? Yep. So, would I take higher T? Yes. Would I want to pay much for it? Not above 4. Is it considerably more valuable with a good save? Yes. Usually if your stuck in against something where your toughness no longer matters much your armour save is gone anyway. Like the Hydra, a 4+ save with toughness 5 doesn't mean much by the time you get hit by say, a Strength 5 or 6 knight charge, as they will be wounding on a pretty good % and the AS will be gone or nearly gone.

Darth Weasel said...

Of course, the Hydra still has his regen and what is his save after it is reduced?

Also, against the S4 warriors, troops with 5+ save would still have 6+ save.

Knights S6 on the charge is devastating against anything T4 or below. Alongside that are things like Dragons with S6, some monsters, etc, and from that standpoint I would argue that for multi-wound models, the upping to T5 over T4 could be extremely important.

Even against S4 guys it saves 16.333% of hits from wounding. Same for S5 and S6.

in fact, T5 is kind of the tipping point. Far more things that are readily available and often used can wound T4 on 3+, whereas T3 troops are wounded on 2+ by S5 or they are far easier to wound.

There are more troops with S5 readily available and oft used than S6 which does lend a lot of credence to the T4 being the huge step..but for characters, monsters, etc, that extra pip becomes huge. All depends on if we mean line troops or those type models where the important line is.

Line troops, T4 is fine as usually losing one or two is hurtful (as they are typically expensive) but not devastating, whereas for the monsters/heroes, losing a wound IS devastating.

That meanst the wounds are more important, thus T more important.