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Pinning and you.
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Old 07 May 2007, 05:58   #1 (permalink)
Shas'O
 
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Default Pinning and you.

Well...we'd all prefer our opponents dead, but pinned is an ok substitute, at least briefly. Lets take a look at how likely it is to occur, and how much weight we should put into it's likelihood of happening, as this is something I've not seen discussed in detail.

The benefit is clearly obvious, so let's look at the weaknesses. First, you need to cause a wound. Not difficult under many circumstances, but its annoying having to guess if you need to use that ML counter to boost BS or to pin. The other flaw is that pinned units don't have a chance of running away. Really, which would you rather have? After all, even if they auto-rally next turn, they cant fire HW, and are now out of position.

Pinning units:
FW: To get the pinning ability, you give up range and rapid fire. Relatively immobile unless given a DF, and the carbine range means they'll be unlikely to fire for at least a couple turns per game.
Sniper Drones: Best pinning unit, but killwise, they're only really great against MEQs. The long range is handy, but the lack of mobility is annoying.
Pathfinders: Desperation measure if these guys are going for the pin...the markerlights are why you buy them, after all.
Gun Drones: Relatively quick, but only moderate range. Also, a relatively few number of shots make any squadron less than max sized have a decent chance of not even getting a wound.

Well, some armies are obviously more vulnerable than others, lets look at what we can expect to pin.

Tau: Well, a farsight list isn't terribly vulnerable to pinning, as the main unit has great LD and he cant take kroot, the most likely unit to be pinned. Vanilla tau is relatively vulnerable to pinning unless they take shadowsun or an etherial. If they've got both, stick with pinning the kroot.

IG: A wide variety of options to negate pinning, and LD in general. Commissars, officers, vox casters, and several doctrines mean pinning checks are unlikely to be failed. Low T/armor does make it easier to get checks, though. And armored company makes the whole thing irrelevant.

SM: A couple, such as deathwing, are fearless. Pinning is obviously worthless in this instance. Otherwise, high leadership is the rule, and, given the right HQ choice, LD 10 across the board is not uncommon. Pinning is not terribly useful here, which is annoying for sniper drones.

Chaos: Terrible army to pin, as fearless is the rule, and even those without it tend to high leadership. It is useful on demons, though. You wont actually pin them, but the instability roll may kill a couple off for you.

Witchhunters: Acts of faith, Ld 9-10 common, power armor....pinning probably wont play a huge role. Inquisitor and assassins are fearless. Keep in mind that they are most lethal at close range, so sacrificing range to get a shot at pinning is probably not the best move.

Necrons: Ld 10 across the board. 3/10 infantry units are fearless as a bonus. A tough army for tau to take regardless, sacrificing firepower for pinning isn't normally a good move. If you take sniper drones, take them for the AP3, not the 1/12 chance of pinning.

Orks: Great chances of inflicting a wound...but unfortunately, mob size checks mean it's literally impossible to pin the large groups you really want to, and its more unlikely against the little 'uns. Overall, orks die fast anyhow, better off just shooting them to death.

Nids: Synapse basically makes pinning useless in almost all situations. Also, for those with carbines...being in range to shoot means that if you fail to pin them, you're pretty much dead next turn. Stick with dakka.

Eldar: Avatar. Fearless. Wraithguard. Fearless. Wraithlord. Fearless. Four units at ld8(mostly troops), everything else is 9-10. Possible to get a pin, but not terribly likely.

Dark Eldar: People still play these? In the unlikely event you see them, DE have the same issue as nids....if you're in range to pin them and fail(the most likely outcome), they will eat you on the following turn. Also, it is very common for them to rely on tricks(like obscenely fast skimmers) to cover large chunks of terrain without being shot at, so it's unlikely you'll have a lot of time to try.

Demon Hunters: Fearless-Inquisitor, Daemonhosts, all Grey Knights, Death Cult Assassins, the special Assassins...theres what, two units that are not in the codex? Unless they go nuts with the allies, pinning them is a complete waste of time.

Pinning chances:
LD 10: 3/36
LD 9: 6/36
LD 8:10/36
LD 7: 15/36 **Essentially, you want at least LD 6 to have any reliable pins**
LD 6: 21/36
LD 5: 26/36
LD 4: 30:36
LD 3: 33/36
LD 2: 35/36
LD 1: yay, autopin!

Average wounds on a MEQ squad with the following maxed units:
12x FW: 1.33
8x PF : .88
8x GD : .98
Sniper Team: 1.52

As you can see, the sniper team is the most reliable pinning unit, as it's AP and higher strength allows it to be effective against a wide variety of targets(very high T models can be ignored, as the are almost universally fearless), and it has the longest range of any pinning unit. Also, the networked markerlight is handy.

Now, given that a sniper team, without using a ML, has a 68.56% chance of inflicting a pinning test, what are the odds of it pinning on the following Lds?

Ld10: 5.71%
Ld9: 11.43%
Ld8: 19.04%
Ld7: 28.57%
Ld6: 39.99%
Ld5: 49.52%

Getting a 50% or better shot requires the target unit have LD 4 or less, something that is impossible to achieve against almost any unit with sniper drones. Lets try with the firewarriors.

Each FW has a .11 chance to inflict a wound on a MEQ, so a unit of 12 will have 75.3% chance of causing a pinning test. Looking at the average wounds...this appears counter-intuitive, until you remember that with more dice being rolled, the FW tend to get a result closer to average more often. Lets look at probability of pinning with this unit:

Ld10: 6.27%
Ld9: 12.55%
Ld8: 20.92%
Ld7: 31.37%
Ld6: 43.92%
Ld5: 54.38%

Now, Im tired and going to bed, but we can make a few deductions first:

A. Pinning is very target specific. Nailing down a bunch of kroot is possible, but don't try to use it on just any target as essentially every list will have at least some targets that are just not likely to be pinned.

B. Pinning is not reliable. You can burn markerlight counters to make it more so, but against most units, you'd need to burn a LOT just to make it relatively safe. I strongly advise using them to up BS first in most situations, as if you can take them below half, you get a -1 to their save for free, and if plenty die, they take a ld check even if they fail the pinning check. Suddenly, thats a lot more reliable.

C. No single unit can be counted on to get more than a lucky shot at pinning. If something must be pinned, use fire support from multiple units as necessary.

D. Pinning is list specific. To a very large degree, some lists are either vulnerable to it or not. Playing a fearless army? pinning is suddenly useless. Because of this, I would not advise many pinning weapons in any sort of "take all comers" list, as those should aim to be effective vs everything.

+1 - Khanaris
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Old 07 May 2007, 12:45   #2 (permalink)
Shas'Saal
 
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Default Re: Pinning and you.

I must say, I enjoy how you bring up each armys' relative 'pinnability'. To me, the irony of Tau having so many pinning weapons, but at the same time being the only army that is actually vulnerable to pinning 9/10 times, always makes me smile.
It's always funny to remember we play one of the few armies that actually cares about morale tests :

On a random addition type note, pinning is an extra bad idea against Witchhunters, since any intelligent player will have a book on every squad, so they're taking every morale and pinning test at Ld9 (possibly even 10 if a cannoness is around).
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Old 07 May 2007, 13:55   #3 (permalink)
Shas'El
 
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Default Re: Pinning and you.

Nice job on the article. I like the fact that you broke down the probability for each Ld value, and how good/bad each army is vs the pinning check. I don't think pinning should be used as a tactic, but as a blessing that might happen every now and then. You can't count on it happening, but if it does make good use of it. The other day I actually pinned a unit of Necron warriors, which allowed me to bounce my XV8's in front of them without worrying about being shot the next turn.

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Old 07 May 2007, 14:15   #4 (permalink)
Shas'La
 
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Default Re: Pinning and you.

i always take sniper drones for the ap 3. its almost like shooting an ionhead for a bit less points.
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Old 07 May 2007, 19:07   #5 (permalink)
Kroot Shaper
 
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Default Re: Pinning and you.

Very good article. Pinning can be useful (probability dictates that someone's gonna fail a roll every once in a while), but as you so vividly demonstrated in the article, it's more of an added bonus than a strategy to pursue.

Something that might be worthwhile: might 12x FW's with carbines on a Devilfish be slightly more effective? They can fly in close, jump out right at 18", shoot, and hopefully inflict a pin, and if not, just load up and get out of Dodge the next turn.

Also, was the Pathfinder squad only fielding their carbines, or did the numbers include rail rifles? Don't think it'll make too much of a change, but was curious.
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Old 07 May 2007, 21:11   #6 (permalink)
Shas'Ui
 
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Default Re: Pinning and you.

but you did not take ML into the count. the ML can to tons of stuff helpful to pinning.
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Old 07 May 2007, 21:15   #7 (permalink)
Shas'O
 
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Default Re: Pinning and you.

Just carbines. Sure, you can use them as a defacto sniper team...but they're both more expensive, and the MLs are not TL.

The eval of average sniper drone wounds DOES include the probability of ML hits. I ignored it for the probability of pinning, because it makes the math rather more complicated. If you DO get a hit and apply it to reducing LD on the pinning check, that informations is available by simply looking at the row showing the targets leadership minus one.

Glad to see you are enjoying it, good note on the sisters, I don't play them often, so Im not terribly familiar with their items, likewise dark eldar.
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Old 07 May 2007, 21:26   #8 (permalink)
Shas'Vre
 
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Default Re: Pinning and you.

I'd advise though, on using markerlights, not to use them to pin a unit. That many markerlights could have been easily used for annihilating the squad with a bunch of BS 5 crisis suits, etc. However, if only a unit that can pin can see said marked unit, by all means do, but the golden rule of markerlights is increase your BS as high as you can first, and then worry about pinning, and negating cover, etc.

Cheers!
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Old 08 May 2007, 03:17   #9 (permalink)
Kroot Shaper
 
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Default Re: Pinning and you.

Actually, about that Auto pin for Ld 1, isn't there such a roll as 2 1s means you automatically pass? Insane heroism i believe it's called? Sure it's unlikely, but still not a Auto Pin
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Old 08 May 2007, 04:02   #10 (permalink)
Shas'O
 
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Default Re: Pinning and you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Def3nd3r
Actually, about that Auto pin for Ld 1, isn't there such a roll as 2 1s means you automatically pass? Insane heroism i believe it's called? Sure it's unlikely, but still not a Auto Pin
Actually, that sounds familiar. Basically then, Ld 1 is equivelent to Ld 2, so theres not really a point in lowering it past that.
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