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Another look at the annihilation barge


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#1
Miek

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So I've been thinking about how to beat Drukhari since their new codex dropped - as others probably have - and I'm wondering if we should give the annihilation barge a second look, especially its Tesla Destructor. I don't want to make this a strategy guide against DE - I haven't even played yet - but I'm looking for stuff to take down their raiders and their content, if possible.

The raiders are T6, 4+, 5++. At a glance, S7 AP1 should be the most cost effective weapon against those, and many single wound attacks should be more reliable than a few high wounds attacks. With the LHD now expected to drop to exactly half of a tesla annihilation barge, I thought I'd face them off against a raider.

 

!!! Jump to this post for the latest data: http://www.bolterand...e/#entry5705150 !!!

 

The first figure & numbers are slightly off because I didn't apply the LHD's hardwired for destruction reroll. It would bring their average wounds to 4.1 instead of 3.5, thus marginally higher than the AB:

gallery_225534_16735_11366.png

With no bonus, the 2xLHD average 4.1 wounds; the AB 4.0 wounds. The standard deviation of the AB is much lower however, and the curves clearly show that the 2xLHD have a much higher probability of doing nothing (still true with the inclusion of Hardwired for Destruction). That's hardly surprising, but still nice to confirm.

Within Mephrit, at half range, with a Triarch Stalker buff and the Talent for Annihilation stratagem, the AB become even greater vs the 2xLHD (Hardwired for Destruction becomes irrelevant with the TS's buff):

gallery_225534_16735_12865.png

Here the average wounds is about twice as high for the single AB vs 2xLHD, the maximum damage is higher, and the deviation remains better. The AB really benefits from those bonuses; the 2xLHD not so much.

Against DE infantry (ex.: wytches), I think it's obvious that the AB would be better.

It also has 12" vs 8" move, T6 vs T5, as many wounds as 2xLHD, no degrading profile, QS, etc.

---

So that's against Drukhari. Now I may be very wrong here - have barely played in 9th edition at all - but I am under the impression that other armies will start leaning towards weaker infantries or swarms to shield against DE (i.e.: screens), and that might mean that the AB would be better against those as well in official events.

My time is up for now, but would be very interested in people's views on this.

Edit: The graphs should be bar graphs (otherwise the probability is confusing), and I can fix the first one (hardwired for destruction) when I have some time if there's some interest.


Edited by Miek, 30 May 2021 - 11:12 PM.

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#2
dreadmad

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Love the thread!

My main quibble with the assumptions you make is that you'll be able to get within half range of the Raiders. From my play against them so far, a lot of the strength of DE is the ludicrous charge range out of the raider. My opponents tend to play cagey early on, and then disembark/advance/charge later on and get ludicrous charges up to 29" (3" disembark, 8" move wytches, d6 advance and 2d6 charge). That averages out at 21-22" range BEFORE any rerolls/using terrain to hide raiders etc etc.

I do like the Annihilation barge though, despite it feeling significantly overcoated. I am tempted to try a split list, with an Obsec core (the usual Relentless/Conquerors Scarabs/Warriors/Lychguard) backed up by a Heavy Firepower detachment (Mephrit perhaps, or a Superior Artisans/Something detachment) and just forgo protocols entirely.

Edit: A big issue with the AB is how squishy it is for the points, less so the firepower.

Edited by dreadmad, 29 May 2021 - 08:44 PM.

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#3
Miek

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I'm glad you love it!

You are absolutely correct about the range issue. I'm biased because I expect to play most games at 1000 pts (30x44 with a lot of BLoS), but I can run the numbers without the half range bonus to compare.

Edit: About its survivability, I'm intrigued. Would it make sense to calculate the number of dark lance shots to bring it down, divide its points by that, and compare with alternatives (ex.: DDA)?

I'm also thinking I should've included the DDA, considering its expected cost reduction.

Edited by Miek, 29 May 2021 - 09:20 PM.

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#4
Miek

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Improved / fixed the hardwired for destruction issue (only 1e3 simulations instead of 1e4 this time):

 

Scenario 1:

 

gallery_225534_16735_862.png

 

Mean unsaved damage (AB / 2xLHD): 4.0 / 4.2

 

Scenario 2:

 

gallery_225534_16735_8554.png

 

Mean unsaved damage (AB / 2xLHD): 4.9 / 4.1

 

Scenario 3:

 

gallery_225534_16735_14917.png

 

Mean unsaved damage (AB / 2xLHD): 7.0 / 4.3

 

Scenario 4:

 

gallery_225534_16735_27659.png

 

Mean unsaved damage (AB / 2xLHD): 8.5 / 4.5

 

Edit: Because it's fun, I added the DDA and CD (both at high power) to the mix; the AB remains the winner against raiders, both when looking at the pure unsaved damage ouput, and even more so when looking at the points / unsaved damage. The numbers slightly differ from the previous ones because of randomness and sampling size (I went with 1e4 simulations this time, instead of 1e3). This is for scenario 1 (only one of each model this time):

Mean unsaved damage:
+-----------------------------------+--------+----------------+
|             Attacker              |  Mean  | Mean pts / dam |
+-----------------------------------+--------+----------------+
|    Annihilation Barge (Tesla)     | 4.012  |     29.91      |
|      Lokhust Heavy Destroyer      | 2.0634 |     29.08      |
|     Doomsday Ark (high power)     | 3.7846 |     44.92      |
| Canoptek Doomstalker (high power) | 2.7505 |      50.9      |
+-----------------------------------+--------+----------------+

...and this is for scenario 4:

Mean unsaved damage:
+-----------------------------------+--------+----------------+
|             Attacker              |  Mean  | Mean pts / dam |
+-----------------------------------+--------+----------------+
|    Annihilation Barge (Tesla)     | 8.7031 |     13.79      |
|      Lokhust Heavy Destroyer      | 2.1764 |     27.57      |
|     Doomsday Ark (high power)     | 4.9944 |     34.04      |
| Canoptek Doomstalker (high power) | 3.6865 |     37.98      |
+-----------------------------------+--------+----------------+

Edit2: I added the DS and NS to the mix, and the DS is the clear winner overall; only the AB gets marginally better statistically in scenario 4 (the DS goes from 22.5 pts/dam to 14.5 pts/dam from scenarios 1 to 4). The NS goes from 43.5 pts/dam to 20.9 pts/dam - not bad.


Edited by Miek, 30 May 2021 - 11:53 AM.

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#5
Mordas

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I haven't tried the AB yet but this is interesting reading. My friend plays Drukhari as his main so will get the games in again soon I expect. Like Dreadman I am thinking of dropping the protocols altogether at the moment,  Against Drukhari my characters seem to get deleted too quickly or my lines disrupted and ranges come into play. Really think they should just be given as long as nobles are on the table.


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#6
Miek

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Hum I should have simulated the LHD with the Enmitic Exterminator as well, it might be the best option (3d3 S7 AP1 D1). I'll try that.

 

Edit: Here it is, first with no bonus whatsoever:

+------------------------------------------------+--------+-----------+----------------+
|                    Attacker                    |  Mean  | Std. dev. | Pts / mean dam |
+------------------------------------------------+--------+-----------+----------------+
|           Annihilation Barge (Tesla)           | 4.0902 |   2.01    |     29.34      |
|   Lokhust Heavy Destroyer (gauss destructor)   | 2.0629 |   2.29    |     29.09      |
| Lokhust Heavy Destroyer (enmitic exterminator) | 2.0752 |   1.28    |     28.91      |
|           Doomsday Ark (high power)            | 3.7356 |   3.71    |     45.51      |
|       Canoptek Doomstalker (high power)        | 2.7949 |    3.2    |     50.09      |
|                  Doom Scythe                   | 8.8928 |   3.82    |     22.49      |
|                  Night Scythe                  | 3.352  |   1.83    |     43.26      |
+------------------------------------------------+--------+-----------+----------------+

...and then with Mephrit, half range, talent for annihilation, extermination protocols and the Triarch Stalker's buff:

+------------------------------------------------+---------+-----------+----------------+
|                    Attacker                    |  Mean   | Std. dev. | Pts / mean dam |
+------------------------------------------------+---------+-----------+----------------+
|           Annihilation Barge (Tesla)           | 8.6763  |   3.17    |     13.83      |
|   Lokhust Heavy Destroyer (gauss destructor)   | 2.9657  |   2.35    |     20.23      |
| Lokhust Heavy Destroyer (enmitic exterminator) | 3.7679  |   1.84    |     15.92      |
|           Doomsday Ark (high power)            | 5.0381  |   4.47    |     33.74      |
|       Canoptek Doomstalker (high power)        | 3.6734  |   3.79    |     38.11      |
|                  Doom Scythe                   | 13.7792 |   4.47    |     14.51      |
|                  Night Scythe                  | 6.9809  |   2.73    |     20.77      |
+------------------------------------------------+---------+-----------+----------------+

Edited by Miek, 30 May 2021 - 11:10 PM.

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#7
Mandragola

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This is an interesting thread, but possibly a bit of a blind alley to go down. I think that you’ve probably proven Necrons have no good weapon for dealing with raiders, rather than demonstrating that AB’s are good at it.

Raiders are pretty unusual. They’ve got a worse toughness and armour save than the vast majority of vehicles, but they have an invulnerable save. And typically they’re hidden somewhere out of sight until after the damage is done. There are also lots of them and they come with dark lances, which are perfect for killing vehicles and LHDs.

So I think the end result is that you’re pretty likely to get swarmed by wyches before any of these guns see a raider. Or else the raiders will zerg you, you’ll shoot down one of them, and then you’ll be swarmed. But either way trying to shoot them down on the way in is a losing strategy.

My plan is to try and soak the initial zerg on units like scarabs and then kill whatever did it. By flooding the midfield with units that raiders aren’t good at killing, hopefully I’ll force the infantry to dismount. If I can do that, I might be in a good position.

Edit: and remember that DE are only a minority of armies you’ll face. ABs remain pretty useless against marines and their vehicles. It would be a shame to spec into beating DE only to lose to a more common opponent as a result.

Edited by Mandragola, 31 May 2021 - 07:46 AM.

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#8
Miek

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This is an interesting thread, but possibly a bit of a blind alley to go down. I think that you’ve probably proven Necrons have no good weapon for dealing with raiders, rather than demonstrating that AB’s are good at it.

Raiders are pretty unusual. They’ve got a worse toughness and armour save than the vast majority of vehicles, but they have an invulnerable save. And typically they’re hidden somewhere out of sight until after the damage is done. There are also lots of them and they come with dark lances, which are perfect for killing vehicles and LHDs.

So I think the end result is that you’re pretty likely to get swarmed by wyches before any of these guns see a raider. Or else the raiders will zerg you, you’ll shoot down one of them, and then you’ll be swarmed. But either way trying to shoot them down on the way in is a losing strategy.

My plan is to try and soak the initial zerg on units like scarabs and then kill whatever did it. By flooding the midfield with units that raiders aren’t good at killing, hopefully I’ll force the infantry to dismount. If I can do that, I might be in a good position.

Edit: and remember that DE are only a minority of armies you’ll face. ABs remain pretty useless against marines and their vehicles. It would be a shame to spec into beating DE only to lose to a more common opponent as a result.


You are certainly not wrong, and the title should have specified "vs DE raider". I still think it's interesting to try to identify our least bad unit for dealing with them.

The things dark lances are bad (or suboptimal) against, with their low volume and high strength & damage, are low wound models, stuff with invulnerable saves and vehicles with quantum shielding. My intent is to field scarabs and vehicles with QS against DE.

For events and other armies, my experience is too limited and I'm only repeating what I've heard on YouTube/podcast. I've heard other armies will want to field a lot of their version of our scarabs, hence making the AB more appealing, but some armies just don't seem to have good fodder units (SM).
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#9
Miek

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The things dark lances are bad (or suboptimal) against, with their low volume and high strength & damage, are low wound models, stuff with invulnerable saves and vehicles with quantum shielding. My intent is to field scarabs and vehicles with QS against DE.

 

I managed to play a game against DE a few days ago, 1000 points matched play. I essentially played 2x9 scarabs with a chronomancer and vehicles with QS (including an AB), with super objec + interplanetary invaders. He mostly played raiders, wytches and succubus, with a few other MSU units (ex.: reavers). We ended the game after turn 2 because he was no longer able to score 2 of his secondaries I believe, but QS and the scarabs really did their work, and the AB performed splendidly. It was a clear win for necrons by then (end of turn 2).

 

The Triarch Salker worked pretty well but I think I should have replaced my tesseract ark with another AB (with spare change). I really like this model, but almost 190-ish points (if I recall correctly) for a D6/D6 weapon... come on.

 

I guess he's going to bring venoms next game to deal with the scarabs.


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#10
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I used 3 ABs in my last game against my buddies DE raider spam, played as Mephrit. The range allows you to get -1ap pretty easily on the Tesla destructors.

I played them as throw away units and pushed deep up the board, also using the quantum deflection strat I was able to absorb a lot of dark lances.
My buddy ran 20 incubu, and the ABs were able to kill them off quite easily before he could get into my warrior blob.

I was pretty impressed with them for sure!
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#11
Mandragola

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How does annihilation barge tesla compare with just taking a load of tesla immortals? Or for that matter, a bunch of Gauss immortals? This is a genuine question - I don't know.

 

The immortals are troops, obsec and so on. But they're slow and have less range, and no gauss cannon attached. They give you more tesla shots at less strength, but still probably enough strength against infantry. The Gauss gives you good ap at respectable range.

 

In terms of durability they're radically different. Immortals have a profile that makes them sort of awkward to remove. So does the AB, though in an entirely different way.

 

Anyway, somehow the question I come out of this thread with is "what if I took 60 immortals?", not "what if I brought annihilation barges?". I still think that D1 and 0ap looks like too weak a profile in a vehicle and HS slot but I'm intrigued by the idea of a load of dakka coming from reasonably durable robot guys.


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#12
dice4thedicegod

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I think it depends a lot on your army. If you have other vehicles, or a monolith (something that will distract your opponents AT) then annihilation barges are probably ‘good’ .

If you are an all infantry force, just add even more and go with immortals!

#13
Miek

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I should've named this topic something like "Necron anti DE raider", it's really what I wanted to check the AB for (vs a few other alternatives). I think Immortals would perform quite poorly against wytches, succubi and raiders, but great against many other things. Not that they can't kill the wytches and raiders, but that they would be inefficient vs the raiders and would melt in front of the wytches + succubi.

Nonetheless, I'd be happy to crunch some numbers if people are interested.
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#14
Daimyo-Phaeron Lenoch

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Anyway, somehow the question I come out of this thread with is "what if I took 60 immortals?", not "what if I brought annihilation barges?".

I think doing this is a fast way to do no damage whatsoever with your troops and lose, if you take all tesla. Some tesla is good in that mix I think, for strat purposes, but they should probably go majority gauss.

 

Annie Barges have the advantages of greater range and strength, as well as QS and living metal. On the whole its probably a wash, but since you can't buff Tesla with MWBD anymore to do 5+ proc shenanigans teslamortal falls off some.


Edited by Daimyo-Phaeron Lenoch, 31 July 2021 - 01:39 AM.

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#15
Mandragola

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I think I agree that a lot of Tesla immortals wouldn’t be the way to go. Too much stuff out there has 2+ saves. To be honest though I do think that’s a mark against the annihilation barge as well.

I’ve got the combat patrol to build with 10 immortals. I was thinking about building them with Tesla but I think I’ll go for gauss. That would leave me with 15 gauss immortals, which could be of some use.

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#16
Karhedron

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I still tend to lean on regular Lokhust Destroyers for the bulk of my firepower. They excel at shredding elite infantry like Marines and are a decent threat to vehicles too with Extermination Protocols. Against lighter vehicles like Venoms (which are also popular), they wound on a 3+ meaning you don't really need the Stratagem either. It is only against Dreadnoughts and other units with the -1 Damage rule that they struggle.


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#17
Galron

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ABs arent too bad in the current game. With QS they take a bit more of a beating than their statline would suggest. I havent played my quasi-competitive list against DE yet but I imagine there are typically more raiders than I have ABs to shoot them. My current list uses 2 ABs, 2 squads of 6 blades and a 5 man unit of locusts so my S6 firepower is pretty well covered. I use my ABs as the tanks of the group backed up by a CCB adding to the S6 fire. It does well unless it gets quickly swarmed on T1 which is what happened to me my last nid fight. 32"+ charge winged hive tyrants dont care how much firepower you have especially when backed up by enough genestealers and swarm lords. Even the Night bringer fears this list(high powered shooting, high powered psyker phase, assault). 

 

What they bring to the list

- A solid firing platform with mid power high volume shots.

-Use for the Tesla strat since most of us have stopped using it on our immortals and blades.

-Not as squishy as people think and it tends to be under estimated QS + living metal

-Good general use as an independent harassment unit your opponent can ignore but does dependable chip damage every round

-low points cost but do not bring just one. 


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