[Archive] Blunderbuss Average Damage Output

Serroth:

Hi, folks!

Every now and then there is a new guy wondering whether blunderbussers are a viable unit choice or not. including myself. So, as a friend of numbers I created a chart for the average damage output vs. opponents with toughnesses from 1 to 5 and more and armorsaves from none to 1+.

(Toughnesses higher than 5 lead to the same results as toughness 5)

The chart represents a unit with 20 shooting models that have not been moved. It benefits from the “no penalties for stand and shoot and long range”, the armor piercing rule and the rerolls for wounding.

Time of Madness:

I’m not sure how it is killing the game Herby. Math/averages have always been apart of Warhammer. Many people like putting number charts together to determine what units do on average.

Time of Madness

cornixt:

Without numbers you are just guessing. Not that the dice care!

As with any information, it is how you use it that is important. Knowing that you could kill more goblins is not helpful if there is a unit of Black Orcs in a more strategic position. But if you can’t dent the Black Orc unit then why shoot at them? Knowing your unit capabilities is key to winning, and this is an aid to that rather than the be-all and end-all.

Bloodbeard:

I disagree with Herby. I don’t play statistichammer and really stopped enjoying our blood bowl league when too many “I play the game mechanic and don’t care about miniatures” types entered it.

I like the work you’ve done here, I’ll send some slaves too you. I won’t use this during games and planning. But It does give me an idea about which armies and list I could actually benefit from bringing Blunderbusses against.

Looking a bit at statistic and numbers don’t ruin the game for me. It’s part of the nerdy buisness, checking out enemy army books, planning my own lists.

As soon as the battle starts, I’m all about impulsive decisions and good battle stories.

Serroth:

@ Herby:
Of course I agree with you that the flow of the game should not be interrupted by mathematical discussions or calculating every risk by numbers. But that is not the point.

I neither have access to all army books nor the time to compare all the units on the battlefield. But I have the basic rules and the chaos dwarf army book. Together with some math that is enough to get an idea of what my units might be capable of, like cornixt said. I can’t find anything bad about it because its done in advance. Therefore it even supports the game flow because it can simplify some decisions in the course of a match.

Thanks for your approval, Bloodbeard!
I’m happy to see that some people benefit from the chart.

torn:

I think its interesting for discussion on their worth, I wouldn’t use it on the tabletop. It is kind of obvious anyway that you will do more would against low armour or toughness than against high. The exact probability doesn’t really matter as dice on the day change that. Expecting 3.9 would and roll 5 ones? The dice gods have punished you for trying to apply hard maths to random dice.

Back on topic, I think personally 2 deathsreikers and a magma cannon will put out more damage than 20 bb IG for similar points and be more helpful. When I used them in my last game they were OK, but with that short range they will always get into combat and in combat you will miss having a shield.

ThorAxe:

Back on topic, I think personally 2 deathsreikers and a magma cannon will put out more damage than 20 bb IG for similar points and be more helpful. When I used them in my last game they were OK, but with that short range they will always get into combat and in combat you will miss having a shield.

torn
Infernal guard retain their shield even with the blunderbuss, as the blunderbuss is bought in addition to their standard gear (as all their upgrades are), and unlike the other two, the blunderbuss has no close combat characteristics, so shields are used in close combat.

Blunderbusses for me are used as either a mop up weapon (killing off the last 10-15 models I wouldn't waste deathshriekers/magma shots on) or a deterrent for enemy movement (move too close or risk a long charge can have strong consequences if done wrong, even though they wish to close quickly to avoid war machine fire). With a castellan bsb, extremely hard to shift and high points cost helps in that the enemy most likely won't be gaining them.

Then again, there are other massive downsides...

Admiral:

This chart is probably useful for army lists. Good work. :slight_smile:

Still…

Never tell me the odds! :wink:

sam585:

So about 15 dead chaos warriors in 2 shots.

Or about 7 Ironguts.

Or almost entire units of t3 troops/ elf/human heavy calv, and mournfang.

Only drawback I experienced with using Blunderbusses is when they get into combat they are stuck in for at least 2 rounds or more if the opponent is real nasty.

So against armies with 5-7 drops during a 2500 point game Blunderbusses will shine and make your opponent weep. Against armies that are truly massive with 10+ drops (excluding characters) blunderbusses effectiveness drops substantially and in that situation a bunch of rockets would likely be more optimal.

If your meta is filled with massive armies id drop blunderbusses. but if your meta is pretty standard (army unit size) then go blunders.

Doombeard:

Would be interesting to see a points-per-avg breakdown across a set toughness/armour save to see how they compare to other armies missile troops, like dark elves crossbows or dwarf thunderers or w.elves etc

ie 17 pts at 12.5 (t3 as5+)

If they were still 12 pts per model I think they’d be one of the best units in the game but they got nerfed at 17pts

Geist:

I cant do a across average spread via numbers. But I can tell you my experience running them.

Elves, they shred the unholy hell out of them. Assuming you get to reroll to wound. Once your body count drops too low for that then its horrid output.

Humans, only a handful of games and most players never send soft targets anywhere near them.

Orc ans Goblins again they stay far a field but the few units that get near are just vaped.

Undead, while the damage output is impressive against the junk units its substandard against the things that matter like lord blend-O-ma tic.

Orges, it can do a great deal of damage problem is you get 1 shoot and 1 stand and shoot due to their rather impressive movement rate. So it really comes down did your dice love you. Average or low roll wont generate enough to really matter, a high roll can just tear them apart.

Warriors of chaos, very low output because most of the time its jugger knights or knights. Those fuckers just don’t care about your shots.

Lizard men, mixed bag. The skinks get mowed apart. The cold one cav goes wide.

Thats all my musings I have for now.

sam585:

Would be interesting to see a points-per-avg breakdown across a set toughness/armour save to see how they compare to other armies missile troops, like dark elves crossbows or dwarf thunderers or w.elves etc
ie 17 pts at 12.5 (t3 as5+)
If they were still 12 pts per model I think they'd be one of the best units in the game but they got nerfed at 17pts

iamahobgoblin
Its really tough to compare a Blunderbuss to other ranged core troops mainly because our Infernals are equiped with special/rare unit armor and weapons. If we could choose between heavy armor and our black armor it would be possible. So we should be comparing our Blunders to ranged special and rare troops of other armies.

For example Irondrakes are 3 points cheaper then an Infernal Guard with a better weapon skill. Drakes will be more optimal when shooting at Monst calv, chariots, and monsters when taken in units of 20+, but Blunders are a lot better when CC actually occurs due to the better armor save and Blunders can better deal with RNF units and will easily outdamage drakes when targeting the likes of chaos warriors, ogres, and t3 RNF core/special blocks. Drakes then are pretty much forced into a supporting role whereas a Blunderbuss unit can be used as a main battle unit and due to the ranged of the gun they are forced to be a frontline unit.

Hard truth is that if Blunders were 12points, LoA would be a broken army that would easily decimate 2 enemy units every shooting phase by themselves. As it stands now no ranged unit has the standalone shooting power that a single blunderbuss unit provides, and to achive Blunderbuss shooting results as another army, you have to take about 50+ ranged troops get them all into range and all shoot at the same target, and still likely fall short on Blunderbuss damage. And to give an example of what that would look like, its about 720 points for 60 thunderers and that is without command or shields. So then in a detailed look a Blunderbuss is about 3 ranged units (in terms of damage potential when compared to other core shooters) that are then put into an anvil unit and then given Gromril armor and a parry save.

Now the real question is how would a unit of Blunderbusses do against space marine squad in a shooting war :hashut

Maetco:

I hate this. It's killing the game for me.

I know you put effort in this but for me it's totally pointless. It kills the spirit of Warhammer for me.
For me it was always unit vs unit. Army vs army. Hero vs hero. But for you and some guys it's numbers vs numbers.  In my gaming club we all had the same mentality.
A rough estimate is ok by rule of thumb. But that's it. Years ago when I played my first tournament I was dumbstrucked.
It was alwasy for the fun but at the tournament there were players which shit on the unit themselves and on their background. They just lamented what their units can't do. And were comparing maths all the time.

It makes me sick.

No harm meant my friend! But I had the compulsion to say this loud.

Herby
All I can say is I feel sorry for you and you really are playing the wrong game. Maybe Chess would be more of your cup of tea.

MadHatter:

I’m really excited to get/paint/play a unit of 10 Blunderbusses and try them out. Chargeblocking will give them some extra time to fire, the short movement and nasty non-penealty charge-reaction invites them to be played aggressively, getting into position. Ashstorm will still buy time and keep enemy units from charging them.

How do you get 20 or more models to fire at the same target for the final blunderbuss buff? 10*2 wide?

Bloodbeard:

How do you get 20 or more models to fire at the same target for the final blunderbuss buff? 10*2 wide?

MadHatter
Yes. But you should go with 23 models for a 12*2 line, and use as a bunker for daemonsmith. Kee near warmachines. That'll leave you with a few bodies for shooting/magic.

If I faced 20 blunderbuss I would concentrate on quickly killing 1, making them far less lethal.

Heavygear:

Here is something to consider when exercising this type of mathhammer. This chart alone is really kind of worthless. If the goal is to make an informed decision on your armies options you need a lot more data.

You would need to make a chart for each weapon option available to your infernal guard and then compare results. For example you can compare the damage output of a unit with blunderbuss and a unit with sword and board or a unit with great weapons. I’m sure generally what you will find is the unit with the extra range attack will kill more, thus making them more expensive. Now the question becomes is the points cost keeping you from taking another more valuable option so you will need to compare vs. the other ranged option in the game factoring in the chance these things will misfire and explode.

Then you should probably compare it to our other troops option to determine which gives the greatest kill ratio vs. point cost. In this case hobgoblins. Does the equivalent points value of hobgoblin with bows kill as many chaos warriors? But of course you have to find a way to compare their resilience vs. that of infernals, because infernals have rock hard armor and hobgoblins are wearing tin foil hats. Steadfast always comes into play though so you have to figure out on average how fast you will lose steadfast vs. the dwarves.

Or you could simply realize you are playing an overly complex game of toy soldiers and simply take what ever option you think looks coolest on the table top or fits into your fluffy view of your army and then take all that extra time you have to go drink a beer or actually play the game your doing all these calculations for and socialize with other human beings.

sam585:

Here is something to consider when exercising this type of mathhammer. This chart alone is really kind of worthless. If the goal is to make an informed decision on your armies options you need a lot more data.

You would need to make a chart for each weapon option available to your infernal guard and then compare results. For example you can compare the damage output of a unit with blunderbuss and a unit with sword and board or a unit with great weapons. I'm sure generally what you will find is the unit with the extra range attack will kill more, thus making them more expensive. Now the question becomes is the points cost keeping you from taking another more valuable option so you will need to compare vs. the other ranged option in the game factoring in the chance these things will misfire and explode.

Then you should probably compare it to our other troops option to determine which gives the greatest kill ratio vs. point cost. In this case hobgoblins. Does the equivalent points value of hobgoblin with bows kill as many chaos warriors? But of course you have to find a way to compare their resilience vs. that of infernals, because infernals have rock hard armor and hobgoblins are wearing tin foil hats. Steadfast always comes into play though so you have to figure out on average how fast you will lose steadfast vs. the dwarves.

Or you could simply realize you are playing an overly complex game of toy soldiers and simply take what ever option you think looks coolest on the table top or fits into your fluffy view of your army and then take all that extra time you have to go drink a beer or actually play the game your doing all these calculations for and socialize with other human beings.

Heavygear
Its not worthless in that it is pretty accurately describing BB damage. From my own usage of the bus even with poor rolls for the random shots my damage does match that chart almost exactly. BB does not kill a lot more compared to the other options, Blunderbusses kill so much more that they change the entire flow of the game for your opponent when you place them on the board as much as a Kdaii destroyer does.

Infernals need to use a shield in cc.

Infernals have crappy shooting capability with fireglaives due to bs3 and 18" range means that you are usually hitting on 5s and 6s and though that is workable against specific targets (mainly chaff and calv) you will always be disappointed with their ranged damage capability of this rifle.

Additionally losing out on the shields with greatweapons and fireglaives really takes away from the infernal guards roll of being an anvil/not dying in cc. An AS of 4+ w/o parry is bad because even with the extra str you are not gonna hit consistently enough with ws4 to get a decent CC damage output.

Blunderbuss is unique because it is the highest damage of all weapon options and still as survivable as vanilla IG.

Additionally Blunders will consistently do that damage listed on the chart, which is something you cannot say about any of our other ranged options.

Your last comment I do not understand do you mean to say that we who strive to make and figure the best units in an army book are doing it wrong? I can sit and calculate a new army in my head while hanging out with friends or drinking or whatever, its not that hard. Or do you mean that we should just play test that unit and see how it does in a battle? That I agree with completely.

Onyx:

The sad thing is: It is really kind of pointless to calculate averages for blunderbusses as the deviation is much too high due to one roll determining the amount of shots for the whole unit. This would make sense if you had to roll for each model individually. This effect is magnified by their short range -> few shots / game.

I regard this as a major design flaw by forgeworld. Also the old shooting system for blunderbusses in 4th and 5th edition was so much fun. I still can’t believe they changed it.