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Thoughts on Sharpshooting
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Old 08 May 2006, 10:32   #1 (permalink)
Shas'La
 
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Default Thoughts on Sharpshooting

Seen quite a few comments about it in passing on various threads, usually disparaging, I thought it might be useful to look at the maths as I've found it useful:

1. Basic maths of Sharpshooting:
------------------------------------------

Say typical points per IG Squad is 60 - 90 points depending on gear, and average hitting power of squad is BS3 = 1/2 = 50%

- Improvement in firepower/squad from S/S = 1/12 = 8.3%, thus improvement in firepower is 8.3%/50% = 16.7%

- Approx value of S/S in points is 16.7% x (60 - 90) = 10 to 15.0 points - so as S/S is 10 points/squad, it is a good investment vs buying more squads if the squads are tooled up, the more so as the guns the squads use get bigger.

The 2 caveats to this analysis are:

- It takes up a Doctrine slot...is there a more valuable option available?
- It puts less men (aka targets) on table - what is the tradeoff of extra hitting power vs reduced survival?

Taking these in turn:

2. Other Doctrine Options
---------------------------------

Assuming one other slot is taken for Iron Discipline, leaves 3 rather than 4 slots. On the margin this is typically whether you take say Ratlings or Special Weapons or not, as 3 slots is usually enough for basic troops.

So, assume 10 squads taking S/S = 100 pt, is the equivalent of 9 Ratling snipers. Thats 9 extra Sniper shots @ BS 5 = 7.5 hits, less (assume average squad shots/turn at long range = 2 x 10 squads) = 20 x 16.7% = 3.3 hits. Better deal for Snipers by 4.2 shots/turn - except that those long range shots are possibly bigger guns, shooting out to 4', so the conclusion still not certain (and I've yet to find my Ratlings survive 3 turns.....)

However, when we get to short range, thats (say 8 shooting x 10 squads) = 80 * 16.7% = 13.5 extra hits forfeited, so S/S is better to have once in short range.

This brings up the issue of survivability, ie is it better to have 100 or 110 troops ?

3. Accuracy v Survivability
--------------------------------

S/S @ say 100 pts takes away the opportunity for an extra 9 - 16 troops but gives up to 33% more firepower for those remaining. Lets see what you get:

At long range, thats (assuming 2 shots/squad = 3.3 - 1) = 2.3 more on target shots per turn. Now these are bigger guns so are taking down lots of points per hit. Assuming 1 Marine amount of points falls per hit on average thats c 30 - 40 points removed per turn, so payback for sharpshooting is probably within 3 turns of shooting (Say for eg thats 7 more Autocannon hits over 3 turns....that can be very nasty)

On a simple ratio basis you have spent c 100 points on a doctrine, the enemy will have c 100 points less to shoot with by bound 3, but you have c 100 pts less troops. Overall from bounds 1-3 (say @ 1500 pts per side) you take 100/1500 * 1/2 (average loss is in bound 2) = c 3.3% less damage caused, your army is c 100/1500 = 6.7% smaller....so you are about 3.3% worse off survival wise, but his losses have gone up by c 100/1500 = 6.7%...so you are outshooting the oppo on a 2:1 marginal ratio

Net net, survival in the long range stage has been reduced, but enemy points removed has gone up by quite a large amount extra, which will count in turns 4 - 6. In addition, those c 100-120 points more shot off is probably also a lot of big gun dakka removed from an enemy - enhancing your own tanks' survival.

At short range it gets more useful - thats (assuming the 80 guys) 13.5 more hits as opposed to 4 with another squad, these have lower impact (say .25% average) so its 1 dead enemy vs about 4.....but of course the big guns are still doing an extra 2.3 hard-to-save shots with sharpshooter each turn too.

4. Conclusion
-----------------

Overall, Sharpshooting gives an edge to an IG army that is greater than its cost if the squads are up-gunned. The exact benefit depends on how up-gunned the squads are, it gets better as they get more expensive. It also increases the overall effect as more units use it.

The risk is the slightly lower survivability in turns 1-3, the reward is the extra damage to an enemy early on.
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Old 08 May 2006, 10:36   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Thoughts on Sharpshooting

Nice work... mind if we add this to the tactica?

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Old 08 May 2006, 11:10   #3 (permalink)
Shas'La
 
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Default Re: Thoughts on Sharpshooting

Quote:
Originally Posted by C???????? ???? (J?)
Nice work... mind if we add this to the tactica?

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I have removed a few typos, and thanks for teh cookie (munch
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Old 08 May 2006, 11:36   #4 (permalink)
Ethereal
 
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Default Re: Thoughts on Sharpshooting

Here's my number-crunch for 10 Guardsmen against a sampling of targets.

Vs Marines:
Standard: 5 hits, 1.666 wounds, 0.555 kills.
8.333VP earned. 13.888% squad value recovered.
Sharpshooters: 5.833 hits, 1.944 wounds, 0.648 kills.
9.722VP earned. 13.888% squad value recovered.

No difference.

Vs Eldar Guardians:
Standard: 5 hits, 2.5 wounds, 1.666 kills.
13.333VP earned. 22.222% squad value recovered.
Sharpshooters: 5.833 hits, 2.916 wounds, 1.944 kills.
15.555VP earned. 22.222% squad value recovered.

No difference.

Vs Tau Firewarriors:
Standard: 5 hits, 2.5 wounds, 1.25 kills.
12.5VP earned. 20.833% squad value recovered.
Sharpshooters: 5.833 hits, 2.916 wounds, 1.458kills.
14.583VP earned. 20.8333% squad value recovered.

No difference.

So, in terms of offence power, Sharpshooters is pointless. You are not gaining any benefits. Any increase in individual ability is offset by the reduction of numbers. Overall, no point.

[hr]

Now, when the enemy returns fire...

10 Marines:
Standard: 6.666 hits, 4.444 kills.
26.666VP earned. 17.777% squad value recovered.
Sharpshooters: 6.666 hits, 4.444 kills.
31.111VP earned. 20.740% squad value recovered.

10 Eldar Guardians:
Standard: 10 hits, 6.666 kills.
39.999VP earned. 49.999% squad value recovered.
Sharpshooters: 10 hits, 6.666 kills.
46.666VP earned. 58.333% squad value recovered.

10 Firewarriors:
Standard: 5 hits, 4.166 kills.
24.999VP earned. 24.999% squad value recovered.
Sharpshooters: 5 hits, 4.166 kills.
29.166VP earned. 29.166% squad value recovered.


As this shows, enemy forces earn more VPs per kill against Sharpshooters than against normal Guard. Combine with this the fact that, relatively, your Sharpshooters earn you no extra VP over regular Guard, you're essentially paying 10pts per squad to make things easier for your opponent.
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Old 08 May 2006, 12:59   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Thoughts on Sharpshooting

Here is a thread I've started on another board:
Quote:
"Any guard infantry model with a BS of 3 may make a single re-roll of a shooting to hit roll of 1."
I read this as any GI that gets a 1 can reroll. IE (3/6+1/12)*number of shots. This cost X pts/unit
this means that all accuracy will increase by ((7/12)/0.5) = 16.6666% @ a variable % cost in points increase.

So here goes. (please tell me if I'm infringing copyright laws.)
for std inf sqd: (no HW/SW): 70/60*100 = 16.666666% increase in pts.* * ** IE no difference
for 3HB FS squad:* * * * * * * ** 90/80*100 = 12.5% increase in points.* * * * ** IE 33% increase in value?
for 3 Autocannon:* * * * * * * * 115/105*100= 9.5%* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * IE 75% increase?
for 3 Las:* * * * * * * * * * * * * ** 120/110*100= 9.1%* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * IE 83% increase?
__________________________________________________ ___________________________________

In short, the more expensive the unit is the more valuable the sharp shooters doctrine becomes. Once i add my lascannons to the squad....

So as Striker_002 said the effect is more than just as balance in firepower, but also a reduction in CC or shooting meatshields. Well, most strategies involve trying to avoid CC, so I guess that does not apply that much. Also If you are worried about that just don't give it to your assaulty guys and leave it to the heavy weapon crews. Now to try to take the meatshield into consideration statistically is very, very tricky so I won't try. This is a problem, cause lady luck is a witch and large numbers nullify this).

Alright, now for my hypothetical Mech force (already quite expensive, but hey):
4 infantry platoon squads armed with lascannons will gain their 16.6% kills increase for a cost increase of (95/85)=11.76%, so my entire force will be 1.42 times as likely to hit tanks (hits are directly proportional to kills).

As to the comments from Lieutenant Alexander: what I meant about the chimera is that it acts as a way of increasing the points cost of a unit. eg chimera with standard squad (IE 10 guys no SW or HW) =16% increase in infantry shooting, but only (155/145)=6.8% increase in points cost compared to say a squad without a chimera (70/60)=16.6%, thus with a chimera the doctrine is around 2.45 times less expensive relatively.
Quote:
I don't believe in statistics so I rolled 200 dice

result

rolls* * hits* * 1's* * reroll hits
200* * 105* 30* * * 17

which comes out at around 16.66%
You are dedicated! But here is the real test: don't use 200 dice, use three. You don't get 200 shots in a game with a lascannon. Its those three that makes the diff. Thats why I brought up this topic in the first place.

Like I said before. It comes into its own when you want to get that one tank by reducing random luck (sort of a sucky twin-linked doctrine).
But I'm not sure how much it will push specialist squads up the priority list. How observant have your enemies really been?

Use your standard squads for meatshielding and put this into your HW/SW guys.
Summary:
1)* So basically you get a points increase that is exactly proportional to your effectiveness increase for a standard squad.
2)* The more expensive a unit is in the first place the more effective it is (hence my Chimeras)
3)* It's useful for when you need that 1 Lucky shot
4)* Due to 1 through 3, it is important that you place them in SW/HW squads, not infantry squads. While some may say that it will attrat more enemy attention this is not particularly true as the cost increase is marginal and they would attrat lots of fire anyways. Same tactics apply.

Home this helped any, but I still don't take the doctrine as my Mech force is pressed for points. User descretion advised
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Old 08 May 2006, 13:19   #6 (permalink)
Shas'La
 
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Default Re: Thoughts on Sharpshooting

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wargamer

So, in terms of offence power, Sharpshooters is pointless. You are not gaining any benefits. Any increase in individual ability is offset by the reduction of numbers. Overall, no point.

As this shows, enemy forces earn more VPs per kill against Sharpshooters than against normal Guard. Combine with this the fact that, relatively, your Sharpshooters earn you no extra VP over regular Guard, you're essentially paying 10pts per squad to make things easier for your opponent.
Yes, I saw this before, and did my analyis as my experience did not tally with yours.

You are correct for an IG squad with no extra points spent on heavy weapons, for its first bound shooting. My analysis predicts no benefits in that case either, but it does predict a less bad loss over the turns as the rate of opponent attrition is also higher.

To adjust for this attrition, take your Marine eg:

20.74 VP x (8.33/9.722) higher attrition from Sharpshooters = 17.77 VP, so about the same loss in effect as without Sharpshooter.

Note that your calc is also true if you add a heavy weapon, Vox etc to the squad rather than Sharpshooter ability, as by definition the Marine/Eldar etc are hitting a more expensive man. In theory it is a poor return/man to buy any heavy weapons either, but we know this is untrue as the army also has to have a minimum range/armour piercing capability to be viable.

The issue thus becomes return on points spent.

If the average IG squad has some heavier weapons, this changes your analysis as as in general, they are hitting more expensive stuff farther out, reducing the opponents VP, and return firepower, much earlier.

In this case, the difference between 50% and 58.3% with say a Lascannon or Autocannon doing the shooting is more significant, as I showed in my analysis.

- For the Autoicannon eg, Squad cost goes from 75 to 85 (13% rise) for a 16.7% improvement in efficiency.

- For a Lascannon it goes up from 85 to 95 (12%) for that 16.7% improvement.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spiteful

Summary:
1) So basically you get a points increase that is exactly proportional to your effectiveness increase for a standard squad.
2) The more expensive a unit is in the first place the more effective it is (hence my Chimeras)
3) It's useful for when you need that 1 Lucky shot
4) Due to 1 through 3, it is important that you place them in SW/HW squads, not infantry squads. While some may say that it will attrat more enemy attention this is not particularly true as the cost increase is marginal and they would attrat lots of fire anyways. Same tactics apply.
Some notes:

1) No, as the unit gets more powerful the increase in accuracy gets relatively cheaper as a benefit
2) Correct
3) Absolutely...I could tell some stories here!
4) I didn't do the SW/HW analysis but it must by definition be even more true. Thanks for your analyis. My experience though is these squads are rapidly taken out once in 3' range (heavy bolters, shootas etc), best is to use long range weapons from cover.
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Old 08 May 2006, 13:50   #7 (permalink)
Shas'Saal
 
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Default Re: Thoughts on Sharpshooting

You're research tally's exactly with mine.
Thanks for the VP analysis. Never bothered with those as the damage to the enemy should increase by 16.66% on a normal situation. (increase in hits = increase in kills)

Quote:
Yes, I saw this before, and did my analyis as my experience did not tally with yours.
Sorry to dissagree, I'm with freecloud here.

Quote:
Quote:
Summary:
1) So basically you get a points increase that is exactly proportional to your effectiveness increase for a standard squad.
2) The more expensive a unit is in the first place the more effective it is (hence my Chimeras)
3) It's useful for when you need that 1 Lucky shot
4) Due to 1 through 3, it is important that you place them in SW/HW squads, not infantry squads. While some may say that it will attract more enemy attention this is not particularly true as the cost increase is marginal and they would attract lots of fire anyways. Same tactics apply.
Some notes:

1) No, as the unit gets more powerful the increase in accuracy gets relatively cheaper as a benefit
2) Correct
3) Absolutely...I could tell some stories here!
4) I didn't do the SW/HW analysis but it must by definition be even more true. Thanks for your analyis.
Explanations:
1) I'm just notoriously bad at saying things. Read 1) again. I said for a standard squad: 10 guardsmen no SW, no HW. Therefore 16.667%points increas + 16.667% kills increase = directly proportunal. Hence with SW and HW you get point 2:
2) No explanation needed
3) ;D
4)
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Old 08 May 2006, 14:22   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Thoughts on Sharpshooting

IMHO...the gains from giving sharpshooters to normal squads do not justify the cost. However, the gains from giving sharpshooters to specialized squads are well worth not only the points cost, but the doctrine slot. Take a fire support squad armed with heavy bolters, for example. 9 shots will normally produce 4.5 hits. With the doctrine, you're looking at 5.25 hits instead. Depending on your enemy, that could pay for itself on turn one! For another, take a drop troops command squad with 4 melta guns landing near a tank. Normally, you'd expect 2 hits. With the doctrine, try 2 1/3 hits. That doesn't sound like much, but consider that it means that every third game (we're intelligently assuming that the squad will be eliminated after one turn of shooting), you're getting an extra S8 hit against side armor on a vehicle. Who wouldn't pay 30 points for one S8 shot at the AV12 on the side of a Leman Russ? Possibly with 2d6 penetration? That's a much better investment than 10 points for one S8 shot at the AV14 on the front.
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Old 08 May 2006, 14:30   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Thoughts on Sharpshooting

That just about sums up the general concensus.
If only it worked on plasma guns :'(

No doctrine should be dismissed out of hand as they all have their place (even carapace, but maybe not cybernetics or whatever its called? ).

You just have to evaluate your army as you see fit. First write the fluff, then do the doctrines and remember not to make each unit too expensive and its all good.

Basically anything that gives the guard more dakka is fine by me.

uhm, happy huntings?
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Old 09 May 2006, 08:13   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Thoughts on Sharpshooting

I did a bit of mental calculation about this doctrine a while ago, but I used a different method from freecloud's in accounting for the loss of durability. I'm afraid that I lost track of his reasoning somewhere in this section:

Quote:
Originally Posted by freecloud
On a simple ratio basis you have spent c 100 points on a doctrine, the enemy will have c 100 points less to shoot with by bound 3, but you have c 100 pts less troops. Overall from bounds 1-3 (say @ 1500 pts per side) you take 100/1500 * 1/2 (average loss is in bound 2) = c 3.3% less damage caused, your army is c 100/1500 = 6.7% smaller....so you are about 3.3% worse off survival wise, but his losses have gone up by c 100/1500 = 6.7%...so you are outshooting the oppo on a 2:1 marginal ratio
I think freecloud was assuming that 3 turns of firing is, on average, long enough to completely annihilate an enemy of equal points value, but assuming zero friendly losses over that period. Of course, I could be completely mistaken. In any case, here's my attempted analysis, with its own set of (over-?)simplifying assumptions:
  • Firepower is proportional to the number of models remaining. Obviously this isn't true for an individual squad including heavy weapons, since the last few models will have disproportionately high firepower, but it becomes valid over a larger force if we assume that the enemy is annihilating one squad at a time.
  • No plasma weapons or sniper rifles. The doctrine doesn't apply to them - so, rather than invent a variable to account for them, I'm just assuming that they are in the unit we're applying it to.
  • Every friendly model is BS3 - at least in the units we're giving the doctrine. This only becomes important in mixed-BS units like SO command squads, and they're rare enough that we can discount them.
  • We are interested in the number of enemies that our sharpshooting squad would be expected to kill before they die - and comparing it to the equivalent value for the same number of points' worth of non-sharpshooting squads.

Let's say that our non-sharpshooting squad costs n points. Our sharpshooting squad costs n + 10 points, and has 16.7% more firepower (as according to freecloud's calculations), but exactly the same durability as the original squad. The average amount of damage that it would inflict before it dies is proportional to the product of its firepower and durability (the proof of this is a little involved, but it follows from my first assumption), so it will kill 1.167 times as many enemies before it dies, compared to the non-sharpshooting squad.

Now let's look at how many non-sharpshooting squads we can get for n + 10 points. Since they cost n each, we should be able to get [sup](n + 10)[/sup]/[sub]n[/sub] of them. The durability and firepower are both multiplied by this amount, so their expected number of kills is multiplied by ([sup](n + 10)[/sup]/[sub]n[/sub])[sup]2[/sup].

Is this horrible-looking expression better or worse than being multiplied by 1.167? The answer depends on the value of n. To take the case where they're equivalent...

([sup](n + 10)[/sup]/[sub]n[/sub])[sup]2[/sup] = 1.167

[sup](n + 10)[/sup]/[sub]n[/sub] = 1.08

n + 10 = 1.08 * n

10 = 0.08 * n

n = 125

So, if the squad costs more than 125 points, it's worth making them sharpshooters - and if it costs less, it's not. Unfortunately, there are no applicable combat units in the Guard which cost this much, unless they've already had other doctrines applied, so the doctrine appears to be (given my assumptions) near-useless.

However, this is a particularly simplistic analysis of the game. It assumes that the enemy is content to sit back and trade shots with you - which may be true against other Guard armies, but practically no one else. If your opponent is likely to close the ground quickly against you and decide the battle in assault, the sharpshooters doctrine will be even less useful than I've suggested here. On the other hand, if you have a chance to shoot at them with little return fire as they cross the board to assault you, sharpshooting (and other firepower-enhancing 'front-loading' options) will be more useful. In the extreme case, if we ignore our durability entirely (reasoning that the game is lost if even a single model makes it to our ranks), then freecloud's earliest calculations apply, and sharpshooting is a worthwhile upgrade for any squad over 60 points.
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