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Cobra SHT

 Post subject: Re: Cobra SHT
PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2012 11:34 am 
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if the problem is that it's disproportionally good against infantry, do what i did with the slaughtersword, change it to BP1, that way it's hitting everything equally. then, if you're concerned with its poor hit-performance, give it a rule like Tank Hunter, which gives it +1AT on a sustain or advance (though i guess being eldary, you'd want it to be +1 on doubles instead) or alternately a rule that reverses its BP chart (so BP2 for it would be AP6+/AT5+)

with a straight BP weapon you're always going to be fighting against the fact that the BP chart doesnt want you killing tanks

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 Post subject: Re: Cobra SHT
PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2012 11:52 am 
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Jaggedtoothgrin wrote:
if the problem is that it's disproportionally good against infantry, do what i did with the slaughtersword, change it to BP1, that way it's hitting everything equally. then, if you're concerned with its poor hit-performance, give it a rule like Tank Hunter, which gives it +1AT on a sustain or advance (though i guess being eldary, you'd want it to be +1 on doubles instead) or alternately a rule that reverses its BP chart (so BP2 for it would be AP6+/AT5+)

with a straight BP weapon you're always going to be fighting against the fact that the BP chart doesnt want you killing tanks


Very little Infantry is worth enough points to warrant risking a cobra to shoot at it. Remember the Cobra is a very fragile short range unit. The Infantry issue was really about SM players scared for their Terminators. And the argument against IC vs. infantry was easy and fluff based.

I don't think adding special rules is the way to go.

@Irisado: If you read the Hit-and Run special rule at the beginning of the Eldar army, you will see that Advance, Assalt and Double are the designed Eldar orders. The army list has been designed around those three orders, and the justification is that Eldars cannot afford to lose any of their numbers, and therefore have to hide behind/in cover.

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 Post subject: Re: Cobra SHT
PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2012 11:55 am 
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Quote:
I don't think adding special rules is the way to go.

Which is ironic, since the Cobra apparently picked up a special rule (Has ignores cover vs War Engines only).

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 Post subject: Re: Cobra SHT
PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2012 1:03 pm 
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Evil and Chaos wrote:
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I don't think adding special rules is the way to go.

Which is ironic, since the Cobra apparently picked up a special rule (Has ignores cover vs War Engines only).


Yeah, well that ain't great ;)

Perhaps Chroma's proposition with 3 BP, but no IC at all could be workable. That's one of my orginla propositioons at the beginning of the thread by the way.

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 Post subject: Re: Cobra SHT
PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2012 4:13 pm 
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Ok, the removal of IC vs infantry occurred way back when Sotec was the AC and went through a whole raft of proposed changes because the Eldar was seen as OTT. Personally I am not bothered either way - the point is one of priorities in the game, and I am sure that a SM player would gladly lose his Terminators if it meant keeping his BTS titan :)
However IC is needed to ensure the statistics are appropriate against titans.

The point about the restrictions of the FF arc is valid, it is almost impossible to put them into static positions and expect them to be usefull; few enemy would intentionally 'blunder' into arc and range of a Cobra :). However that is not how you get the best out of the unit. In the scenario I describe, the Eldar player out-activates the opponent, and only at that point does the Cobra get positioned to fire in the following turn. So the target will be in arc and range, but the Cobra's shooting is effectively restricted by having to double or march to get into position (unlike other formations). And 75cms with a subsequent 30cm shot does cover a lot of the table :)

On the statistics, The maths is very simple. At 2BP, you get a 5+ to hit on sustaining against a titan, or a 1/3 chance per dice, with an average of 3 TK damage per hit. As you get 1 dice per 2DC, this gives an average amount of damage equal to 50% of the Titan's starting DC.
(Or 1/3 * 3 * 1/2 * Titan DC). Two Cobras sustaining gives an average chance of destroying a full strength titan, but three Cobras gives some redundancy and mitigates against failed activations etc

With 3BP, the power is significantly increased.
  • When doubling the average damage is 1/6 * 3 * 1/2;
    or 1/4 the starting DC
  • When advancing it is the same as above,
    or 1/2 the starting DC
  • However, when sustaining the maths becomes 1/2 * 3 * 1/2;
    or - - - - 3/4 the starting DC.
    Potentially with lucky dice, you could get 4 TK damage per hit which would kill the titan outright. And the odds of getting 12 damage from three hits is 1/27, or less than the odds of throwing double '6'.
This is why I am cautious about this boost.

That said, the key to this debate is in the tactics, or how you use the beast. Cobras have to be made to work for you. They provide an excellent 'fear' factor to any large titan which can be game winning by its self if it means that the titan does not get used properly. And you do need some luck especially in the strategy roll off where your Cobras are the first thing to activate and unleash their firepower.


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 Post subject: Re: Cobra SHT
PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2012 4:44 pm 
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Ginger,

All your strategy tips are made on the basis of the March + sustain move, but that is precisely what my request for change is about. I would like Cobras to be used in other ways, and that there is possibility and incentive to be used in those other ways more than in that (horribly unnatural) way.

Do you think the different altrenatives proposed here would achieve that goal and if not, do you have a suggestion?

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 Post subject: Re: Cobra SHT
PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2012 5:35 pm 
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+1 to Rug

Perhaps even cheaper.

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Last edited by Evil and Chaos on Thu Aug 16, 2012 6:54 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Cobra SHT
PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2012 8:19 pm 
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LordotMilk wrote:
@Irisado: If you read the Hit-and Run special rule at the beginning of the Eldar army, you will see that Advance, Assalt and Double are the designed Eldar orders. The army list has been designed around those three orders, and the justification is that Eldars cannot afford to lose any of their numbers, and therefore have to hide behind/in cover.


That doesn't prove your point I'm afraid. All that highlights is that the majority of Eldar units are designed to fight in this way.

If we were to follow your logic on this point, we would end up with the absurd position that barrage units, such as Nightspinners should be employing hit and run tactics, because sitting back away from the front line goes against Eldar tactics.

The same could be said of Eldar titans using long ranged weaponry, and the Scorpion, which I've often used on sustain once I've got it into position.

Hit and run tactics primarily are there for the benefit of Eldar infantry and their transports in my experience.

I like Rug's latest proposal if anything is to be changed. It doesn't involve changing very much, which is a good thing, and seems sensible.

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 Post subject: Re: Cobra SHT
PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2012 8:43 pm 
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All the eldar units you mentioned (NS, Titans and Scorps) can use the Hit-and Run effectively, even if you have the option of doing something else which can sometimes be better.

The Cobra cannot use the Hit and Run effectively with his range and to-hit values.

What I am saying is that if the unit use os to march and sustain, it could do with a 15 cm move Guard SHT hull better than with a Skimmer EoV hull.

The reduction in points would be a good thing but would not solve the specific issue of the poor lonesome Cobra.

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 Post subject: Re: Cobra SHT
PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2012 10:46 pm 
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Not that I think removing IC was needed, but I don't really see how putting it back for AV and infantry solves any of the things that are actually wrong with the tank...

For me the problem is not even its overall power (though IMO it could use a boost anyway), its that it's so incredibly unlikely to reach its potential AND that you need to spend lots of points on them. It's always going to be a niche unit, but it's way too extreme right now. It's all very well doing some easy maths and coming up with an "average", but its pointless if:
a) its an unrealistic and contrived example (sustaining against a very large titan)
b) the spread of probability still has a high chance of being very poor

If you can't get past the notion of a Cobra doing big damage to these very large titans (why this is a problem I'm not sure), why not make it less specialised for doing so? Increase the reliability of getting at least some hits by upping the BP to 3, but bring down the maximum damage per hit. In other words, narrow the variability.

BP 3, TK(2):

Against a warhound (sustain):

0 hits: 1/4
2 hits: 1/2 (2 or more hits: 3/4)
4 hits: 1/4
Average: 2 hits

Against a warhound (advance):

0 hits: 4/9
2 hits: 4/9 (2 or more hits: 5/9)
4 hits: 1/9
Average: 1.333 hits

Against a reaver (sustain):

0 hits: 1/8
2 hits: 3/8 (2 or more hits: 7/8)
4 hits: 3/8 (4 or more hits: 1/2)
6 hits: 1/8
Average: 3 hits

Against a reaver (advance):

0 hits: 8/27
2 hits: 12/27 (2 or more hits: 19/27)
4 hits: 6/27 (4 or more hits: 7/27)
6 hits: 1/27
Average: 2 hits

Against a warlord (sustain):

0 hits: 1/16
2 hits: 1/4 (2 or more hits: 15/16)
4 hits: 3/8 (4 or more hits: 11/16)
6 hits: 1/4 (6 or more hits: 5/16)
8 hits: 1/16
Average: 4 hits

Against a warlord (advance):

0 hits: 16/81
2 hits: 32/81 (2 or more hits: 65/81)
4 hits: 24/81 (4 or more hits: 33/81)
6 hits: 8/81 (6 or more hits: 9/81)
8 hits: 1/81
Average: 2.666 hits

Against 3 infantry (sustain, IC):

0 hits: 1/27
1 hits: 6/27 (1 or more hits: 26/27)
2 hits: 12/27 (2 or more hits: 20/27)
3 hits: 8/27
Average: 2 hits

Against 3 infantry (advance, IC):

0 hits: 1/8
1 hits: 3/8 (1 or more hits: 7/8)
2 hits: 3/8 (2 or more hits: 1/2)
3 hits: 1/8
Average: 1.5 hits

You will notice that the average hits vs titans whilst on sustain are the same as the existing stats, but the range of possible damage is reduced, more reliable, less skewed towards sustain, and easier to calculate. Now that I've laid these out, I quite like the profile. Taking out a titan is only possible if it has been unshielded first (or with criticals), they are still useful but not uber scary on advance, and it's less of a gamble to attack smaller titans (right now it's all or nothing).

It gives them a boost against infantry, but even with IC I think it is fine for what they are - if there are WEs they are better targets, and if not they have something to do. This could be more of a problem for pairs though - there's practically no reason to take a pair of Cobras in one formation vs a titan, but they do get better at killing infantry.

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 Post subject: Re: Cobra SHT
PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2012 11:41 pm 
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LordotMilk wrote:
Ginger,

All your strategy tips are made on the basis of the March + sustain move, but that is precisely what my request for change is about. I would like Cobras to be used in other ways, and that there is possibility and incentive to be used in those other ways more than in that (horribly unnatural) way.

Do you think the different altrenatives proposed here would achieve that goal and if not, do you have a suggestion?

I do not think there is an alternative strategy or tactic, basically because of the way the game mechanics work.
Taking these in reverse,
  • The Cobra is armed with the powerfull disrupt cannon and this makes it primarily a a titan killer.
  • The way the Barrage mechanics work mean that there is a good chance of success under the right conditions (as I described). It is largely up to the player and opponent as to whether the Cobras can be used in this fashion. Adjusting the stats risks improving a unit that is already very effective when used correctly.
  • Single unit formations of Cobras work better than Multiple unit formations, because the Barrage mechanics do not scale well.
  • Eldar tend to work better with high activation armies which in turn lowers the average cost per formation. At 500 points, the pair of Cobras is a very brittle BTS, and if a further high cost formation is then taken to be the BTS, this reduces the activation count too far.
  • At 750 there are better things to buy than three Cobras, and this is still true at 650 points
So LoM, what other uses would you like the Cobra to try out?

While I like Kyrt's stats, they do not radically alter the primary role of the Cobra, which is a short-ranged barrage weapon that is inevitably good against other targets. In that respect, I echo Rug's views that we ought to revert to the original stats.

As to the use of discounts, I remain unconvinced because of the need for a high activation count - as already discussed.


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 Post subject: Re: Cobra SHT
PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2012 11:50 pm 
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I agree with Kyrt's proposition. Increasing BP but reducing TK hits sounds like a good alternative.

I am still unconvinced about the return of general IC.

@Ginger: I disagree that the Cobra is great when used right. I would rather it be said it can be great if used right and the right opportunity in the game arises and the opponent is not unlucky, and the opponent has a lower strategy rating that the Eldar. Otherwise its mediocre at best.

Concerning the point cost issue on EoVs I agree with Ginger that this would not make a real difference in Tournament scenario list, but it would be nice to have for larger games. It definitely does not solve the Cobra issue that warranted the thread in the first place.

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 Post subject: Re: Cobra SHT
PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2012 12:07 am 
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LordotMilk wrote:
Ginger,

All your strategy tips are made on the basis of the March + sustain move, but that is precisely what my request for change is about. I would like Cobras to be used in other ways, and that there is possibility and incentive to be used in those other ways more than in that (horribly unnatural) way.

If a Cobra spent all game staying still and sustaining I could see where you'd be coming from more but I'm genuinely baffled why a late turn march and a sustain next turn is considered by you 'horribly unnatural'. It's a good tactic by the Eldar player that results in the Cobra darting swiftly in and striking, hopefully before the enemy can react, or at most striking after they have activated one formation (two if retaining).

Look at how far the Cobra has moved overall and it's capability to swiftly strike and don't get too hung up with how much it moves in a particular turn. Also, I disagree with your restricted idea of how Eldar fight. Overall Eldar armies are fast moving and mobile but this shouldn't be taken have to be true of all their units. Some, like Void Spinners and Dark Reapers clearly are meant to be mostly static.


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