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Cobra SHT

 Post subject: Re: Cobra SHT
PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2012 10:36 pm 
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I am an avowed 'fluffyphobe' so have no idea about what Eldar tactics ought to be like in the first place :D
However the point is that Scorpions and Cobras are like chalk and cheese, the Scorpion is a long range anti-armour weapon that maximises on hit-and-run, while the Cobra is a short-ranged formation destroyer, that needs to be in a 'defensive' position with other formations in support. In an anti-titan role, it actually gets better as the titans increase in size due to the game mechanics.

In principle, when a Cobra sustains it has a 1/3 chance of hitting per 2xDC of titan, and each hit causes ~3 damage. Consequently each Cobra can usually cause 50% damage on the titan, hence the need for at least two in the attack when there is a reasonable chance of taking out a full strength Titan provided it has no shields left.

That said, there are a lot of "Ifs" in trying to achieve this; positioning, manoeuver and available cover being among the key ones (apart from winning the strategy roll of course).

Making the vehicle 3BP would allow it to double forward into range from under 80cm, and if centrally placed it would be almost certain to hit and destroy the target anywhere on the battlefield - basically it would be too easy to use. For this reason, I do not think there is any need to change the number of BPs to 'improve' the firepower.

However increasing the range to 45cm would provide a smaller boost which is probably appropriate given the difficulties in using it appropriately. So that is why I suggest giving this a go.


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 Post subject: Re: Cobra SHT
PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2012 10:59 pm 
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LordotMilk wrote:
I would be in favor of 600 points 3 EoV formations with a 15 cm range increase on Cobras. Considering the potential impact of the reduction in points, perhaps we could start with 650 and see.

I'm unsure if any change should be made or not and if one is to be it should only be small. If you're testing I'd recommend not wasting your time testing such a big combined change - either 45cm range OR a smaller cost reduction to 450-475 for 2, 650 for 3 would be sufficient.

600 is OTT on it's own, even without extra range, the unit's not that out of line and people would not be persuaded of such a change to be made.

Also, not all EoVs need or should have a group cost reduction. It might help the Cobra, but could over-power others e.g. the Void Spinner.


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 Post subject: Re: Cobra SHT
PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2012 12:38 am 
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I never take the Cobra any more for a combination of many interacting reasons, inevitably culminating in the decision that it is never worth taking them compared to other choices:
1. It has high damage capability, but only against very specific targets
2. Its high damage is crippled by very low to hit rolls, making it a gamble
3. It can be made less of a gamble by taking 2, but 500 points is a lot for an incredibly specialised unit (see 1)
4. Its poor range means you need to be risky with its positioning, but it has poor survivability

To work, you need activation advantage, to be facing a large titan with no shields, to win strategy, and a full moon. If all of these things happen, you *might* kill more points than you lose with them, but even then you have a significant chance of doing very little damage. It's just not worth it.

Ginger wrote:
In principle, when a Cobra sustains it has a 1/3 chance of hitting per 2xDC of titan, and each hit causes ~3 damage. Consequently each Cobra can usually cause 50% damage on the titan, hence the need for at least two in the attack when there is a reasonable chance of taking out a full strength Titan provided it has no shields left.

That said, there are a lot of "Ifs" in trying to achieve this; positioning, manoeuver and available cover being among the key ones (apart from winning the strategy roll of course).

Indeed, it's incredibly rare for a Cobra to ever sustain, due to its fire arc, range, SR and (for Eldar) less than stellar speed. Not once have I ever been able to pull it off. Also, you make it sound like the damage is a sure thing: "usually causes 50% damage". In actuality the damage is highly variable, with only a 5+ to hit on sustain vs WEs (the best targets). Only very high DC titans generate enough dice to mitigate the risk of a poor result. In fact it has nearly a 1/3 chance of doing zero damage whatsoever to a reaver, phantom etc. After everything you have to do to get to be able to even make this attack, you still need to be lucky.

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Making the vehicle 3BP would allow it to double forward into range from under 80cm, and if centrally placed it would be almost certain to hit and destroy the target anywhere on the battlefield - basically it would be too easy to use. For this reason, I do not think there is any need to change the number of BPs to 'improve' the firepower.
I think "almost certain to hit and destroy the target anywhere on the battlefield" is a bit strong for a unit that will get four dice at 6+ to hit the best kind of target it is likely to get (a Warlord). What it does do however is make an advance action feasible, and eliminates the requirement to take what is an expensive and extremely specialised unit in pairs. This last bit could make a real difference in seeing more Cobras appear on the battlefield - you can just about take a punt on a niche unit at 250.

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However increasing the range to 45cm would provide a smaller boost which is probably appropriate given the difficulties in using it appropriately. So that is why I suggest giving this a go.
Meh, if there's a problem I think it is the to hit value. I'd rather see a boost that significantly boosts a single Cobra compared to pairs. Sure 45cm is a help, but I don't it will materially affect your decision to take Cobras or not: you still need two, and they're still 500 points.

One thing I will say though: the variability in potential hits is not purely a bad thing. Opponents can be very wary of them, because even though the chances of the Cobra doing lots of damage are not great, its potential for high damage can cause opponents to keep BTS titans away from it. So it probably affects the game by its presence and position more often than the damage it does. The same however is true of Scorpions (long range MW) and Void Spinners (need to spread out).

So for me, it is probably worth upping the BP to 3 because:
a) it's probably still a bit underpowered
b) we might see more appear on the battlefield if singles are viable

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 Post subject: Re: Cobra SHT
PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2012 2:22 am 
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Kyrt wrote:
So for me, it is probably worth upping the BP to 3 because:
a) it's probably still a bit underpowered
b) we might see more appear on the battlefield if singles are viable


I've got to say, after some serious thought, I'm strongly leaning towards the idea of upping the weapon to 3BP from 2BP... it's a nice boost and it seems to fit in the sense that each Cobra will be creating its own vortex (barrage template) even when they're acting as a formation.

I think I'd prefer to see that tested rather than the 45cm range, but any testing would be appreciated!

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 Post subject: Re: Cobra SHT
PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2012 2:34 am 
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I also don't agree with the "discounts" for buying more in the formation; Eldar lists are rarely about "discounts", that's more an Ork thing, as well, it improves all the other super-heavies, which isn't really necessary...

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 Post subject: Re: Cobra SHT
PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2012 6:01 am 
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- While I'm not saying 3BP is certainly overpowered, it doubles the effectiveness of the gun on advance and double vs vehicles and war engines. Probably mitigated by the fact that Cobras sustain, where the effect isn't as pronounced (only 50% increase), but it now allows Cobras to be effective without sustaining. The last part may be valuable in itself, Eldar have generally not been designed to like Sustain Fire.

- I don't think discounts should be tied only to the orks. Originally it was, but haven't the last 10 years shown that activations are a bit undervalued in the original lists? I think 25-50pts for just having an activation is a fair price, ie that the second and third EoVs cost 25 or 50 pts less than the initial. I'd say 250/475/700 for 1/2/3 is fair. Don't know if it's enough to ever make 3 cobras viable though.


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 Post subject: Re: Cobra SHT
PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2012 6:40 am 
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i find it interesting that the prevailing opinion seems to be that cobras are underpowered, and yet the similarly statted up (but in my opinion, worse) slaughtersword from my bloody hand list faced pretty steep opposition for the exact opposite concern.

is the cobra supposed to be a warmachine hunter or an infantry killer?

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 Post subject: Re: Cobra SHT
PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2012 7:36 am 
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Chroma: you need to put together a list of things you'd like tested like steve54 has done IMO

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 Post subject: Re: Cobra SHT
PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2012 8:45 am 
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Ulrik wrote:
- While I'm not saying 3BP is certainly overpowered, it doubles the effectiveness of the gun on advance and double vs vehicles and war engines.
This is of course true, and IMO a good thing. Yes, it doubles the hit rate of a single Cobra on advance. Doubles it from abysmal to poor, and without affecting twin Cobras at all. Since everyone seems to be in agreement that single Cobras are not viable, this seems to me to be a good thing.

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Probably mitigated by the fact that Cobras sustain, where the effect isn't as pronounced (only 50% increase), but it now allows Cobras to be effective without sustaining. The last part may be valuable in itself, Eldar have generally not been designed to like Sustain Fire.

Agreed, making it possible to advance a Cobra is good. As you say, sustain is un-Eldar-like, but it's also extremely difficult to pull off. An advance helps to mitigate one of the reasons why Cobras don't work: the need to leave a fragile 250 point unit either in the open, or unable to attack. It gives a boost to sustain too, but not as pronounced and arguably not a problem anyway: rather like rough riders, your opponent will only make the mistake of letting this happen once. The Cobra might as well have a big red arrow pointing to it with a label saying "titan hunter".

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 Post subject: Re: Cobra SHT
PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2012 9:07 am 
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Evil and Chaos wrote:
Chroma : Were you the one who downgraded the Cobra? If so, when?

Also, why?

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 Post subject: Re: Cobra SHT
PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2012 10:16 am 
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As far as I can see the Cobra is fairly sub par for its cost.
Downgrading it by removing ignores cover would have made it moreso.

And now Chroma is encouraging a power boost to give it +1 to hit (essentially)?
Thereby making it slightly better than it was in the first place.


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I also don't agree with the "discounts" for buying more in the formation; Eldar lists are rarely about "discounts", that's more an Ork thing,

And an IG thing, a Titan allies thing, a Marine thing, a Tau thing, a Tyranid thing, basically most armies have examples of larger formations/add on units being cheaper than the initial formation.

Considering the relatively large changes you made to Eldar in the past, this is a pretty modest change, with a clear balance aim in mind.

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as well, it improves all the other super-heavies, which isn't really necessary...

You never see multiple Eldar SHT's in a single formation of any of the SHT types.
Cobra, Scorpions, Megaspinners, Warpymegatanks, all bimble around on their own, because 500pts is too much to pay, let alone 750pts.

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Last edited by Evil and Chaos on Wed Aug 15, 2012 10:29 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Cobra SHT
PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2012 10:24 am 
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Regarding Eldar and sustained actions, I don't understand why this should be deemed somehow 'un-Eldar' in terms of usage. Many Eldar super heavy tanks are fire support vehicles, not transports and fire platforms, which are much more suited to hit and run tactics with advance and double actions.

I don't think that this idea of 'un-Eldar' tactics should influence any changes in the rules, unless someone can define what Eldar tactics should be in the first place, and why no units in the army should ever have exceptions.

Rug: I think that you bring up a good point about the Cobra and cover. Since it was based on the old Warp Hunter rules, I would have no problem with it being able to ignore cover once again. If any rule is to be changed, then I would say that this would be the most logical one to alter.

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 Post subject: Re: Cobra SHT
PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2012 10:59 am 
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Discounts for multiples - unless its <400pts its of no use. More than that and they become a very fragile BTS or with a titan reduce activations too much

+BP - I thought the initial problem was it was too good vsnon-WEs?

I'd suggest making it TK(4) or (3) rather than D3+1. Makes it better vs WEs with no increase vs non-WEs

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 Post subject: Re: Cobra SHT
PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2012 11:18 am 
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Steve54 wrote:
Discounts for multiples - unless its <400pts its of no use. More than that and they become a very fragile BTS or with a titan reduce activations too much


Well Aspects with Autarch are 400, with Wave serpents are 600. I often use that as BTS (usually Dark Reapers that hold the center table).

+ the discusiion is about a decrease in price for all EoV's in multiples, so a formation of 3 Void Spinners would be resilient through distance, same for Scorpions.


Steve54 wrote:
+BP - I thought the initial problem was it was too good vsnon-WEs?

I'd suggest making it TK(4) or (3) rather than D3+1. Makes it better vs WEs with no increase vs non-WEs


I do remember a lot of complaining due to its anti-infantry abilities. These are due to the fact that it's much easier to get a lot of dice to roll vs. infantry. However the Cobra is barely worth its cost agains t marine level infantry, and only really interesting vs Terminators. The removal of Ignore cover against them was I supposed geared towards that issue, which was less an issue of balance than an issue of a perversion of the Cobra rules (who is still supposed to be anti-WE.)

3BP per Cobra would be really nice indeed ;D

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