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Death Company, 8th Edition, and Power Mauls

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#1
SM1981

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So let's start with a disclaimer... Although I have seen the leaked rules I haven't played a game of 8th Ed yet.

What did strike me as interesting though was the changes to the DC. I understand that every power unit has been hit with the nerf bat for 8th ed, and DC were the closest we came to a power unit, but 2 attacks base (+1) on charge (and +1 moreally if armed with CS), and strength 4 makes them much less effective as infantry killers than they used to be. Also the classic combo of 1 PF and 1 PS per 5 models still holds water, but the PS hitting at strength after round 1 will make beating MEQ+1 and higher toughness units much more of a challenge. So does this create an opportunity for the Power Maul with them? Not something I historically armed them with, but +2 strength means landing wounds on even Death Gaurd on 3's not 4's in later rounds of close combat, and no -1 to hit as with PF / TH... So, are they suddenly worth looking at?

Thoughts please frater!


Edited by Jolemai, 01 September 2020 - 09:36 AM.
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#2
Xenith

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The maul is in a funny place. You need S5 to wound MEQ on a 3+, so axe wins, as the S6 has no extra benefit beyond wounding T3 on a 2+.

If you're supporting with a priest, then you can go sword as you still wound T4 on a 3+ with the priest bonus.

The niche for the maul is wounding monsters on a 4+, but even then a fist does it better, the Ap-3 and d3 damage more than making up for the -1 to hit.

Long story short. The maul gives a dice bonus against T3 and T5 enemies, who they wound easier, also 6+ save enemies.

Axe is better against T4 and anything with a 5+ save.

Sword and axe give fewer wounds, fewer saves, and more wounds, more saved respectively, so essentially cancel out!

Weirdly, the sword has diminishing returns Vs anything with an invun. Against a character with 2+ 4++ the axe is the best choice as the sword's ap-3 is wasted.

So:

Fighting T3 6+ (termegants) bring a maul.
Fighting T3 5+ (guard) bring an axe.
Fighting T3 4+ (fire warriors, storm troopers) bring a sword.
Fighting T3 4/5++ (Harlequins) bring a maul.
Fighting T4 3+ (marines) bring an axe or sword.
Fighting T4 2+ 5++, bring a sword.
Fighting T4 2+ 3/4++ bring an axe.
Fighting T7-9 bring an axe

As you can see, you are largely better off with the middle of the road axe, in my view. It's tricky though.

There's a weird overlap on effectiveness. The ap is constant, so you have to aim the right weapon at the right target to give you a favourable to wound roll.

Edited by Xenith, 11 June 2017 - 09:35 PM.

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#3
SM1981

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That breakdown is gold - Great work.
 
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#4
Bartali

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I don't think the difference between the various power weapons is that great that you need to worry about them. They all perform well in their niche, and seem pretty balanced.

To be honest, I'd just go with whatever you think looks the best on the model


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#5
Malios

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Maths all goes out the window when you roll with cheap dice.

Take what looks best on your mini, or invest in magnets for when you can't decide.

Edited by Malios, 12 June 2017 - 01:10 AM.

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#6
appiah5

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When in doubt, just use more Power Fists.


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#7
Jolemai

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When in doubt, just use more Power Fists.

 

Sadly it's not as simple as that when a power fist is 16 points more than a maul/sword and 15 more than an axe.


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#8
appiah5

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When in doubt, just use more Power Fists.

 

Sadly it's not as simple as that when a power fist is 16 points more than a maul/sword and 15 more than an axe.

 

 

Yeah, cheap power weapons kind of throws off the balance - but think about it this way, it's still less expensive than it used to be.  Power weapons are a lot less expensive but also a lot less useful.  Power Fists are just as useful, more practical, and less expensive.

 

Power Fists win big time for me.  I'd only add Power Weapons to a squad if it's a squad that won't get a dedicated combat role at all, kind of like an after thought or for rule of cool modelling purposes.  If it's a melee squad, I'd still go for Power Fists or Power Lances most of the time.


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#9
Jolemai

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I'm a bit annoyed that removed the option for us to have Lances. Still useable though as a Lance and maul have the same rules - means I don't have to convert some mauls!

The other consideration is that only a chainsword grants +1 attack so we need to ascertain what's best in this edition - volume of fire/attacks, or less with better damage.

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#10
Drunken Angel

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When in doubt, just use more Power Fists.

 

Sadly it's not as simple as that when a power fist is 16 points more than a maul/sword and 15 more than an axe.

 

 

Yeah, cheap power weapons kind of throws off the balance - but think about it this way, it's still less expensive than it used to be.  Power weapons are a lot less expensive but also a lot less useful.  Power Fists are just as useful, more practical, and less expensive.

 

Power Fists win big time for me.  I'd only add Power Weapons to a squad if it's a squad that won't get a dedicated combat role at all, kind of like an after thought or for rule of cool modelling purposes.  If it's a melee squad, I'd still go for Power Fists or Power Lances most of the time.

 

Why bother with a power fist at D3 damage when for the same points you can have a thunder hammer with a fixed 3 damage output  both at AP -3 AP.  Or just take an Infernus pistol for 5 points less than either at S8 and roll a D6 at AP-4?  Your hitting with a pistol in combat on 3's anyway instead of 4's for either fist or hammer.


Edited by Drunken Angel, 12 June 2017 - 11:05 AM.

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#11
Xenith

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Agree with general sentiments above.

 

the super cheap power weapons are toned down, but allow whole squads to be equipped with them to boost damage output.

 

Adding AP-3 to your all of 5 man death co unit for 20pts or so is great.


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#12
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Let me answer:

 

Thunder Hammer loses you the Boltgun, and I don't like the idea.

The pistol fires once, the Fist/Hammer strikes more than once.


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#13
Charlo

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Let me answer:

 

Thunder Hammer loses you the Boltgun, and I don't like the idea.

The pistol fires once, the Fist/Hammer strikes more than once.

 

You'd rather have two bolter shots and risk gimping your charge than a guaranteed 3 damage from each thunderhamer hit? Seems off.

 

Also, Pistols strike once, but in addition to your combat weapons - so powerful pistols are a great commodity.


Edited by Charlo, 12 June 2017 - 11:18 AM.


#14
appiah5

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Let me answer:

 

Thunder Hammer loses you the Boltgun, and I don't like the idea.

The pistol fires once, the Fist/Hammer strikes more than once.

 

You'd rather have two bolter shots and risk gimping your charge than a guaranteed 3 damage from each thunderhamer hit? Seems off.

 

 

I'd rather have a model that can do something every turn. D3 averages at 2 hits, so I'm sacrificing one S8 hit in combat for the ability to fire a Boltgun on the turns I spend on movement.

 

Granted, I run my DC with Boltguns all around and on foot.  I suppose for a JP and Chainsword DC that may be different.


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#15
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D3 averages out at a any value between 1 and 3. It's a single dice roll.

 

Ah though I do assume all DC are JP, just seems much better for them - especially this edition! 



#16
appiah5

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D3 averages out at a any value between 1 and 3. It's a single dice roll.

 

Ah though I do assume all DC are JP, just seems much better for them - especially this edition! 

 

What?  D3 results in any value between 1 and 3, it averages at 2.  That's not even open to debate.  Let's not argue this.


Edited by appiah5, 12 June 2017 - 11:33 AM.

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#17
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appiah is referring to the Mean, IE Every result added together and then divided by the number of results. The mean is also usually the form of averaging that's usually referred to when someone just says "the average".

Charlo is talking about the Mode average, IE the most common result.


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#18
Charlo

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appiah is referring to the Mean, IE Every result added together and then divided by the number of results. The mean is also usually the form of averaging that's usually referred to when someone just says "the average".

Charlo is talking about the Mode average, IE the most common result.

 

Aye! A single D3 roll has the same chance to be 1, 2 or 3. That is all I meant.



#19
Xenith

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Aaaaanyway, moving on.

 

I'd go with the hammer as the two handed stance is hilarious, and I prefer fixed damage weapons over random.


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#20
appiah5

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appiah is referring to the Mean, IE Every result added together and then divided by the number of results. The mean is also usually the form of averaging that's usually referred to when someone just says "the average".

Charlo is talking about the Mode average, IE the most common result.

 

Discreteley uniform distributed probabilities such as dice rolls can not have a mode, all outcomes have equal probability and no outcome will occur more than the others.

 

Anyway.


Edited by appiah5, 12 June 2017 - 01:29 PM.

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#21
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I do like that we have more options now, because every weapon fills a certain niche :)

 

Heck, even chainswords are quite good now. Cant wait to charge with my assault marines and their massive amount of chainsword attacks :D (then again, if they lose attacks on the charge and such, they really dont get more attacks then they used to...)


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#22
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The maul is in a funny place. You need S5 to wound MEQ on a 3+, so axe wins, as the S6 has no extra benefit beyond wounding T3 on a 2+.

If you're supporting with a priest, then you can go sword as you still wound T4 on a 3+ with the priest bonus.

The niche for the maul is wounding monsters on a 4+, but even then a fist does it better, the Ap-3 and d3 damage more than making up for the -1 to hit.

Long story short. The maul gives a dice bonus against T3 and T5 enemies, who they wound easier, also 6+ save enemies.

Axe is better against T4 and anything with a 5+ save.

Sword and axe give fewer wounds, fewer saves, and more wounds, more saved respectively, so essentially cancel out!

Weirdly, the sword has diminishing returns Vs anything with an invun. Against a character with 2+ 4++ the axe is the best choice as the sword's ap-3 is wasted.

So:

Fighting T3 6+ (termegants) bring a maul.
Fighting T3 5+ (guard) bring an axe.
Fighting T3 4+ (fire warriors, storm troopers) bring a sword.
Fighting T3 4/5++ (Harlequins) bring a maul.
Fighting T4 3+ (marines) bring an axe or sword.
Fighting T4 2+ 5++, bring a sword.
Fighting T4 2+ 3/4++ bring an axe.
Fighting T7-9 bring an axe


As you can see, you are largely better off with the middle of the road axe, in my view. It's tricky though.

There's a weird overlap on effectiveness. The ap is constant, so you have to aim the right weapon at the right target to give you a favourable to wound roll.

That's a really useful summary thar. I'm planning to run with Astorath and Corbulo, so the re-roll to hit compensates for the hit penalties on the fist and hammer. More so when Asto's special ability kicks in (using command points to re-roll a 1, this will work in all but a few games) and we get that +1 to hit rolls, so at the moment anything higher than T3 and the hammers are top choice imo.


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#23
durdle-durdle

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Also worth noting, axes are a point more than swords. Largely not an issue, but if I have a squad I want to trick out, I'd rather have 4 axes than 5 swords personally. My characters otoh will be getting swords, so they can fight 2+ saves more effectively.
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#24
Spagunk

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I do like that we have more options now, because every weapon fills a certain niche smile.png

 

Heck, even chainswords are quite good now. Cant wait to charge with my assault marines and their massive amount of chainsword attacks biggrin.png (then again, if they lose attacks on the charge and such, they really dont get more attacks then they used to...)

 

Chainswords are actually a bit of a wash this edition unless you use two melee weapons.

 

For example, in 7th edition a normal assault marine squad gets 3 attacks on the charge: 1 base, +1 for two CCW (pistol and sword), +1 for charging.

In 8th, you only get 2: 1 base +1 for your chainsword special attack (which adds +1 attack on the charge). But you get a pistol attack.

 

The problem is that it really only shines when you have special pistols since they can do more work than a lowly bolt pistol at the moment. Granted you get three pistols in an Assault marine squad now (including Inferno/whatever on the sarge) but it isn't really any more or less attacks than before.


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#25
appiah5

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It's the same number of attacks at lower strength and at higher cost actually.


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