
28 Jun 2006, 02:10  #1 (permalink)  
Shas'O
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Hertford, UK
Posts: 5,086

Shotguns and Bolt Pistols  A breakdown
When people are planning scouts squads, they often wonder about the pros and cons of the various weapon options. Heavy weapons aside, I've made some mathematical calculations regarding Shotguns and Bolt Pistols. I won't bother listing the predicted casualties for Bolters because their stats are exactly the same as Bolt Pistols, the only difference being their longer range and 'rapid fire' characteristic. The variables I am using are equal numbers of weapons/target models. So if you assume there are eight models in the target unit, you can also assume their are eight Shotguns/Bolt Pistols being fired at it (that translates as sixteen Shotgun shots in this example). The percentages given are the mathematically probable casualties. They're not a guarantee by any stretch of the imagination, just averages. So a 22% casualty rate against a squad of ten enemy models roughly equates to two casualties. By the same token a 22% casualty rate inflicted upon a single model just means that the single weapon fired at him has about a one in five chance of killing him.
[table][tr] [td][table][tr][td]Target. stats[/td][/tr][tr][td]T:4 / Sv:2+[/td][/tr][tr][td]T:4 / Sv:3+[/td][/tr][tr][td]T:4 / Sv:4+[/td][/tr][tr][td]T:4 / Sv:5+[/td][/tr][tr][td]T:4 / Sv:6+[/td][/tr][tr][td][/td][/tr][tr][td]T:3 / Sv:2+[/td][/tr][tr][td]T:3 / Sv:3+[/td][/tr][tr][td]T:3 / Sv:4+[/td][/tr][tr][td]T:3 / Sv:5+[/td][/tr][tr][td]T:3 / Sv:6+[/td][/tr][/table][/td] [td][table][tr][td]Shotguns[/td][/tr][tr][td]7%[/td][/tr][tr][td]15%[/td][/tr][tr][td]22%[/td][/tr][tr][td]30%[/td][/tr][tr][td]37%[/td][/tr][tr][td][/td][/tr][tr][td]11%[/td][/tr][tr][td]22%[/td][/tr][tr][td]33%[/td][/tr][tr][td]44%[/td][/tr][tr][td]56%[/td][/tr][/table][/td] [td][table][tr][td]Bolt Pistols[/td][/tr][tr][td]6%[/td][/tr][tr][td]11%[/td][/tr][tr][td]17%[/td][/tr][tr][td]33%[/td][/tr][tr][td]33%[/td][/tr][tr][td][/td][/tr][tr][td]7%[/td][/tr][tr][td]15%[/td][/tr][tr][td]22%[/td][/tr][tr][td]44%[/td][/tr][tr][td]44%[/td][/tr][/table][/td][/tr][/table] So statistically, and much to my surprise Shotguns outperform Bolt Pistols against almost every troop type listed here. However, you need to weigh this against the extra attack afforded by a Bolt Pistol and Close combat weapon when you get to the assault phase. Below is a modified version of the above table taking into account the additional predicted damage to be inflicted in close combat. The modified stats take into account attacks afforded by Space Marine Scouts with either weapons options charging against enemies of equal weapon skill and initiative. [table][tr] [td][table][tr][td]Target. stats[/td][/tr][tr][td]T:4 / Sv:2+[/td][/tr][tr][td]T:4 / Sv:3+[/td][/tr][tr][td]T:4 / Sv:4+[/td][/tr][tr][td]T:4 / Sv:5+[/td][/tr][tr][td]T:4 / Sv:6+[/td][/tr][tr][td][/td][/tr][tr][td]T:3 / Sv:2+[/td][/tr][tr][td]T:3 / Sv:3+[/td][/tr][tr][td]T:3 / Sv:4+[/td][/tr][tr][td]T:3 / Sv:5+[/td][/tr][tr][td]T:3 / Sv:6+[/td][/tr][/table][/td] [td][table][tr][td]Shotguns[/td][/tr][tr][td]15%[/td][/tr][tr][td]32%[/td][/tr][tr][td]47%[/td][/tr][tr][td]63%[/td][/tr][tr][td]79%[/td][/tr][tr][td][/td][/tr][tr][td]22%[/td][/tr][tr][td]44%[/td][/tr][tr][td]66%[/td][/tr][tr][td]88%[/td][/tr][tr][td]112%[/td][/tr][/table][/td] [td][table][tr][td]Bolt Pistols[/td][/tr][tr][td]19%[/td][/tr][tr][td]36%[/td][/tr][tr][td]55%[/td][/tr][tr][td]83%[/td][/tr][tr][td]99%[/td][/tr][tr][td][/td][/tr][tr][td]24%[/td][/tr][tr][td]48%[/td][/tr][tr][td]72%[/td][/tr][tr][td]111%[/td][/tr][tr][td]127%[/td][/tr][/table][/td][/tr][/table] So there we have it. Despite outgunning the the humble Bolt Pistol, the unwieldy shotgun falls short of the mark by the narrowest of margins on account of the extra attack afforded by it's onehanded opponent. Even so, there may be situations where charging the enemy would be a bad idea, in which case the Shotgun's slightly improved firepower is more desirable than a close combat bonus. The choice is yours but perhaps now you can better plan your weapons options given the advantages of either weapon. Of course, there is the venerable holy Bolter...massed firepower from short range with these weapons is no match for following up the gunfire with an assault, but on the plus side they can mop up small squads without having to go toe to toe. If you can kill your enemies from a distance before they can shoot back then you won't have to risk casualties in close combat at all!
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28 Jun 2006, 09:49  #2 (permalink) 
Shas'Vre
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Coloma
Posts: 1,463

Re: Shotguns and Bolt Pistols  A breakdown
did you also take into account the ability to fire twice with the bolt pistol? Granted, you can't charge afterwards, but that should increase the percentage for shooting the bolt pistol above the shotgun.
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28 Jun 2006, 10:24  #3 (permalink)  
Shas'O
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Hertford, UK
Posts: 5,086

Re: Shotguns and Bolt Pistols  A breakdown
That's easy enough, just ignore the second table and double the results of the first, it's the same for bolters. Rapid firing bolters and bolt pistols will easily outshoot shotguns but you can only do that if you stand still with the latter, so it's not exactly ideal. :\
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28 Jun 2006, 10:48  #4 (permalink) 
Shas'O
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 5,246

Re: Shotguns and Bolt Pistols  A breakdown
Good guide Tom!
Kinda what I've been trying to explain when I use shotguns. Not only are shotguns good at shooting before you charge, they're really fluffy for Scouts, no matter how you use them!
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28 Jun 2006, 23:10  #5 (permalink) 
Shas'Ui

Re: Shotguns and Bolt Pistols  A breakdown
i'd say tom deserves some more karma... ;D
still, I like shotguns because, as krezent said, there fluffy. Don't work very well for my own army however, so it's nice to know that all my bolt pistols will be worth it.
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29 Jun 2006, 03:44  #6 (permalink) 
Shas'Saal

Re: Shotguns and Bolt Pistols  A breakdown
I have to ask, against what WS was the closecombat table based on? Which method did you you use to come up with those numbers of probability?
[edit] Ignore the first part of this, I skipped over the "of equal skill and initiative" part. :P 
29 Jun 2006, 09:00  #7 (permalink)  
Shas'O
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Hertford, UK
Posts: 5,086

Re: Shotguns and Bolt Pistols  A breakdown
I've put together an excell spreadsheet that takes the weapon variables: ballistic skill, strength, AP value, and number of shots fired with modifiers such as 'Template weapon', 'Twinlinked', 'Rending', 'Melta' and 'Ordnance', and the target variables: toughness, wounds, and armour save with the modifiers 'Hull down' and 'Skimmer' to produce a final casualty/armour penetration probability by progressively multiplying a percentage value by the componant parts of inflicting a shooting casualty (ie. tohit, towound, save probability) and by ultimately multiplying that figure by the number of shots fired.
Just recently I added a second weapon option and a chart so you can compare two different weapon's antitank capabilities...I was surprised by the assault cannon and disappointed by Krak missiles...but I know better now. The close combat calculations were made in much the same way as the shooting calculations. Between models of equal weapon skill, the to hit rolls would be 4+, so I changed the BS variable to 3. I entered the scout's strength as the weapon strength and set the AP value to 7 (because normal close combat attacks have no AP value). 'Shots fired' was just modified to the number of attacks a scout would have depending upon his weapons option.
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30 Jun 2006, 11:22  #8 (permalink)  
Shas'Saal

Re: Shotguns and Bolt Pistols  A breakdown
First, let me say that I'm quite impressed with your work both in general on these forums and by creating a spreadsheet for such purposes. I've personally found much of your work both helpful and insightful. However, one thing from the charts did stand out as being improbable: probabilities over 100%.
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For the sake of simplicity, I simplified the concept of equal number of targets into single shooter/single target. Using a 50% baseline for causing a wound that the target fails to save against, two shots should have a 75% chance of successfully causing at least one nonsaved wound (0.5 + (0.5 * 0.5)) not 100% (0.5 *2). Using a 33% baseline for 2 shots becomes 55% (0.33 + (0.67 * 0.33)). 2 shots at 20% becomes 36% and so on. The same holds true for close combat which appears to assume no power weapons or other wargear. [table][tr][td][/td][td]Shooting only[/td][td][/td][td][/td][td]Shooting/Assault[/td][td][/td][td][/td][td]Cl. Combat only[/td][td][/td][/tr] [tr][td]Target Stats[/td][td]Shotguns[/td][td]Bolt Pistols[/td][td][/td][td]Shotguns[/td][td]Bolt Pistols[/td][td][/td][td]Shotguns[/td][td]Bolt Pistols[/td][/tr] [tr][td]T:4 / Sv:2+[/td][td]7%[/td][td]6%[/td][td] [/td][td]15%[/td][td]17%[/td][td] [/td][td]4%[/td][td]8%[/td][/tr] [tr][td]T:4 / Sv:3+[/td][td]14%[/td][td]11%[/td][td] [/td][td]28%[/td][td]32%[/td][td] [/td][td]8%[/td][td]16%[/td][/tr] [tr][td]T:4 / Sv:4+[/td][td]21%[/td][td]17%[/td][td] [/td][td]40%[/td][td]44%[/td][td] [/td][td]13%[/td][td]23%[/td][/tr] [tr][td]T:4 / Sv:5+[/td][td]27%[/td][td]33%[/td][td] [/td][td]50%[/td][td]61%[/td][td] [/td][td]17%[/td][td]31%[/td][/tr] [tr][td]T:4 / Sv:6+[/td][td]34%[/td][td]33%[/td][td] [/td][td]58%[/td][td]67%[/td][td] [/td][td]21%[/td][td]37%[/td][/tr] [tr][td][/td][td][/td][td][/td][td][/td][td][/td][td][/td][td][/td][/tr] [tr][td]T:3 / Sv:2+[/td][td]11%[/td][td]7%[/td][td] [/td][td]20%[/td][td]22%[/td][td] [/td][td]6%[/td][td]11%[/td][/tr] [tr][td]T:3 / Sv:3+[/td][td]21%[/td][td]15%[/td][td] [/td][td]38%[/td][td]40%[/td][td] [/td][td]11%[/td][td]21%[/td][/tr] [tr][td]T:3 / Sv:4+[/td][td]31%[/td][td]22%[/td][td] [/td][td]52%[/td][td]55%[/td][td] [/td][td]17%[/td][td]31%[/td][/tr] [tr][td]T:3 / Sv:5+[/td][td]40%[/td][td]44%[/td][td] [/td][td]63%[/td][td]74%[/td][td] [/td][td]22%[/td][td]40%[/td][/tr] [tr][td]T:3 / Sv:6+[/td][td]48%[/td][td]44%[/td][td] [/td][td]73%[/td][td]79%[/td][td] [/td][td]28%[/td][td]48%[/td][/tr] [/table] Your comments throughout are accurate in my opinion, with the bolt pistol only beginning to outperform the shotgun once you get them into combat, in most cases. Cheers! 

30 Jun 2006, 12:36  #9 (permalink)  
Shas'O
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Hertford, UK
Posts: 5,086

Re: Shotguns and Bolt Pistols  A breakdown
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The only reason some of the values I have provided are over 100% is because that is just the probability of the damage you'd do. Obviously you can't inflict more casualties than there are models so in reality the damage could only ever be 100%...but I'm trying to show that a weapon that inflicts 125% casualties would be better than a weapon that inflicts 110% casualties. For example, by my calculations, if you shot a single Guardsman with a heavy bolter, you've a 167% probability of inflicting an unsaved wound. That doesn't mean you're guaranteed to kill him, it means you are statistically likely to inflict two wounds out of the potential three.
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