Monday, June 1, 2009

June: Plague Marine Challenge

This month's army list challenge is a little different. It is geared toward fulfilling a goal: namely facing off against Plague Marines! Can you build a low points value list to defeat them? Can other Death Guard players (including myself) learn something about what plague marines should fear?

Here's the concept:
Your commanding officer / big boss / greater daemon / farseer (delete as appropriate or insert your own) has tasked you with a suicidal mission. You are to engage and destroy a unit of 7 plague marines that have captured a technological relic on a long-abandoned forge world.

Things you might need to know:
Plague Marines are exactly the same as normal chaos marines (frag & krak grenades, bolters, bolt pistols and chainswords) except that they have the feel no pain special rule, toughness of 4(5) (meaning their toughness is 5, but can suffer instant death as if their toughness is 4), initiative=3, and you get no extra attack from charging them due to their general stinkiness (or blight grenades as they're known).

Mission Briefing:
There are 7 plague marines to kill. One of them is a plague champion (i.e. has an extra attack) wielding a power fist. Two of them have melta guns instead of bolters. They are inside ruins (cover save = 4+). Their in game points value is 221 points.

On the other hand, you have as many or as few points to spend as you like, as follows:
(1) You may choose any codex.
(2) This is not a standard mission. You are only permitted to choose up to 2 different units, but must abide by the minimum number of models regulations. (e.g. chaos space marines must have at least 5 models in a unit; you cannot field two unique models ... e.g. having 2 Abaddons; etc.).

The scenario lasts for 3 turns. The turn sequence of events works like this:
(1) Your team enters play within 12 inches of the plague marines and may shoot at the plague marines as if they have already moved (no charging in to close combat however). If you're shooting ranged blasts or templates, then you may only cover half of them (i.e. 4 at maximum) if your shot is on target.
(2) The remainder of the plague marines rapid fire your team (no cover saves!) with their bolters (they're not within charging range) and their melta guns (if still alive). If you're fielding two units, then they choose to shoot at the unit that would inflict the most harm on them (they might belong to Nurgle, but their minds are still intelligent and sharp).
(3) On your team's second turn (and the third and last turn of this scenario), you may proceed as normal: you may shoot a second time and/or charge in to close combat.

How many plague marines can you statistically kill by the end of these 3 turns? (feel free to round up or down to make the maths easier).

The winner will be the entry that kills the most plague marines (by statistical average) for the least amount of points spent. As such, it is a bit mathematical and is meant to make you think about math-hammer considerations. Cheesy and beardy lists welcome! But extra kudos to those of you who steer away from such routes.
Entries welcome for up to one week! (i.e. 7/June/2009). Winner will be announced on 8/June/2009.

Here's an example. I take a squad of 20 chaos space marines (cost =300). They enter play within 12 inches of the plague marines and shoot (i.e. rapid fire their bolteres) 40 times. They score 26 hits (on average and rounded down to the nearest whole number). They wound 8 plague marines (again, rounded down to the nearest whole number). One plague marine will die (rounded down).

The plague marines shoot back with rapid fire bolters (i.e. 10 rounds) and 2 meltas. On average, the 10 bolt rounds will take down 1 marine and the meltas take down a second (rounded up).

On turn 3, my marines rapid fire the plague marines for 18x2 bolter rounds. That yields 24 hits. Of which, 8 wound. And the plague marines suffer a second casualty on average.

Hence, its cost me 300 points to kill two plague marines. I'm not going to win my own contest, am I?


suneokun said...

For killing Plague Marines I'd have to go with a IG Command Squad, Straken and 4 Plasma toting vets with carapace armour @ 225pts (see my 220pt version at the end).

Combining 'fire on my target' and 9 plasma shots gives you 3.75 kills (no armour saves or FNP and cover save at 25% effectiveness). The return fire (assuming the 2 meltagun troopers and the Sergeant survive) will result in 1.55 deaths.

Depending on your losses due to 'gets hot' rolls (0.75 losses), you could then either repeat the volley/on my target or charge in with Straken, whichever is statistically more lethal.

5 plasma shots (assuming only Straken and 2 plasma gunners are still shooting) will result in 2.08 kills.

Whereas Straken and 2 vets would get 2.72 kills with his 4xWS5/S7 attacks ignoring saves (and FNP - killing 2.22 (plus 0.42 for his plasma)). The vets would get 0.083 hits.

Total kills for Straken and 4 plasma vets shooting: 5.83

Total kills for Straken and 4 plasma vets shooting and charging: 6.47

With either option, charging or shooting should guarantee some very dead Deathguard and straken and the deathguard sergeant facing eachother with Straken's 4 S6 (no save) attacks at I3 and the Sergeants 2 S8 (no save) at I1.

If it HAS to be below 221 then I'd swap a plasma for a melta which results in 6.463 kills @ 220pts.

Barjack said...

I would take.
20 Thousand Sons

Rapid firing 40 str 5 ap 3 bolters.

26-33 Hits
12-14 wounds

The ap 3 forces them to take cover saves.

With thier feel no pain rule on average 2-9 died, If any survive the first volley then fire and repeat, the 3+ invul save for the thousand sons will increase thier survivablity, no charging just rapid firing. 507 points.

Master Darksol said...

I don't have the book in front of me for points, so I'm going to have to come back with more detail.

...but here's my initial thinking:

IG command squad w/ Straken and plasma-gunners

Colossus (I think that's the one) Seige Tank.

The ordnance on the Colossus if I remember correctly, is large blast template, high enough strength to deny the FNP via Instant Kill, denies your 3+ armour save, AND has a special rule denying cover saves. The Plague Marines would have NO protection. Plasma gunners mop up rest.

Will come back later tonight with points and statistics ... if I remember ;)

Raptor1313 said...

For fun, let's take a Hive Tyrant with +BS, +S, and two twin-linked Devourers, and Flesh Hooks
(75 + 10 + 12 + 12 + 12 = 121).

Round one: the Tyrant walks in. 12 BS4 shots, twin-linked, at S5 that re-roll wounds.

12 twin-linked BS4 shots = 10.667 hits, S5 w/ re-rolls > 8 wounds > 1.33 dead plague marines.

Round 2: Plague marines shoot back. 2 meltaguns, 4 bolters. Meltaguns knock off 1.1 wounds; bolters shoot 8 times, 5.33 hits, 0.88 wounds, 0.29 after saves.

Tyrant has a total of 1.39 wounds; 1.33 plague marines down.

Round 3: Tyrant shooting:
as before, 1.33 plague marines stay down.

Tyrant assaults: Say 5 marines are left; that's 8 regular and two fist attacks. Fist hits once, wounds once. 8 regular attacks mean 4 hits, less than one wound, so tyrant gets to swing.

WS5, S6, 3 attacks. 2 hits, 1.33 dead plague marines.

So, 3.999999 dead plague marines, and I spent 121 points to do it. Ergo, I spent 30.25 points per plague marine corpse.

And my entry. Not the first thought, but I looked to my codex shelf and gave 'em a shot. It won't kill 'em all, but it's at least efficient.

Raptor1313 said... my entry, I forgot to edit out the part where I didn't need flesh hooks, because on average I'd survive the charge.

The final calculations don't take into account the points paid for flesh hooks, just noting it...

Farmpunk said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
folkert said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
folkert said...

I'd choose a Dark Eldar Ravager with 3 disintegrators and a night shield,

1st turn i'll drop 3 blast templates on you (dont know the statistics.. the scatter dice confuses my mathhammering) you'll wont be able to respond because of my night shield you will be 18" away and your bolters won't hurt me because of AV 11. the next turn another 3 blast templates

at a 140 points... not bad I say :)

erfunk said...

Originally I was going to suggest 5 CSMs with a naked Champ and a Greater Daemon at 190 points. No need to shoot, charge, or anything with the CSMs. They walk on, one dies to a melta, 3 have to take saves, and the unscathed champ releases the GD charges. It will spend the next 4 CC phases killing 2 a round, and will probably only lose 2 wounds total in return.

Sisters with heavy flamer, flamer, vet with combi-flamer, and an attached Palatine with combi-flamer can do it for 201 points in ~2 volleys of shooting. It takes 2 uses of the Divine Guidance act of faith, which causes their shots (including the flamers) to be rending and thus denies FNP on 6s to wound.

I looked at ork slugga boyz, and 20 with a PK nob and 2 rokkits and you can do it for 175.

But my personal favorite solution, due to it's simplicity, is 105 points. 3 flamers of tzeentch, probably split into 2 groups. Breath will hit 4 each, based on the premise? So 12 hits, 6 wounds, 6 dead (FNP specifies anything that prevents armor saves prevents it). 1 left? He's got a 1/3 chance to kill a flamer, shooting a bolter (better odds than the melta). 3 flamers can easily finish the job.

Farmpunk said...

after re-reading the initial setup, I realized the Inq. Lord's servitor couldn't fire a Heavy weapon, so I needed to go back to the drawing board. I thought about 20 Sisters with bolters, and taking the PM's down with weight of fire, but 5's to wound on bolter fire kinda sucks, even with Faith to make 'rending' shots. Don't get me wrong, it might still be an effective setup.

But I went with something that negates Feel No Pain, and negates the 3+armor save, and minimizes the 5T, plasma. like a lot of others have done.
so then to mitigate the cover saves, a IG company command squad is GOLDEN for rapid fire.

So I started trying to reverse engineer this problem. 7wounds. I need 7wounds to land. with the 'Fire on my target' it's effectively 25% cover saves. so. 7 is 3/4 of 9.33. so then going backwards through the shooting, I need 9.33 wounds before cover. so.. 9.33 is 5/6 of 11.2 (because plasma will fail to wound on 1's).
so I need to hit 11.2 times.

I need something that can hit with 11.2 shots of plasma to eliminate the PM's in a turn... or two. Company Command squads have a BS of 4, so hit 3/4 of the time, and can wield 4 plasma. 4 plasma double taps is 8 shots, yielding 6hits.

so if I take 2 Co. Comms, I will have 12theoretical hits with plasma. That's what I need to wipe in a turn. If I wanted to get it done in two turns, I could possibly drop a plasma from each squad.

a Company command squad with 4 plasma comes in at a whopping 110pts
so two run a whopping 220pts. no extra bells and whistles.
the only chink in this plan is passing orders. with Ld9, it should be pretty easy. it's 83%, to ensure orders take, 5pts per squad takes the success rate with re-rolls up to 97% per squad.

but that's a 1 turn take down with two squads. I'm also expecting 2-3 guys to die from plasma burn.

erfunk said...

@Farmpunk - The thing about Sisters and rending is, no matter what their toughness (assuming < T8) you'll get the exact same number of rends. Against a T7 Carnifex or fellow Sisters at T3, you'll still get 1 rend per 6 hits. The only difference is how effective the rest of the wounds will be, meaning against high toughness elite squads like PMs or Nurgle Bikers less non-rend wounds will stick. This is strangely advantageous as it makes it harder to bury the rends on sacrificial models due to silly wound allocation rules. If the foe has lower toughness, odds are they have more models and it's ok to get all the extra non-rends. At that point, thinning them out is probably just as urgent as forcing a rend on whatever distinct models are buried in the squad.

Against PMs, those rends conveniently deny armor AND FNP, leaving them only cover. So if you load up on flamers to deny those saves too....

Chris said...

I thought about the 20 SoB with a Palatine myself, but I decided to go with something else since it's already been entered:

9 Eldar Fire Dragons, accompanied by an Exarch with Crack Shot (177 points).

Round 1:
Exarch uses Crack shots, he hits on 2+, wounds on 2+ with a reroll, target gets no cover save and no FnP (AP1) = 1 dead PM
9 Fire Dragons, 6 hits, 5 wounds (rounding off), cover saves give 2.5 dead = 2 dead PMs

Round 2:
2 Melta guns fire back, 1.32 hits, 1 dead Eldar
2 Bolters rapid fire, 2.64 hits, 0.87 dead Eldar, so 1 more Eldar dead

Round 3:
Exarch uses Crack shots, he hits on 2+, wounds on 2+ with a reroll, target gets no cover save and no FnP (AP1) = 1 dead PM
7 Fire Dragons, 4.62 hits, 3.83 wounds, 1.91 dead PM = 2 dead PM

Final Score= 2 dead Eldar, 6 dead Plague Marines.

29.5 points per casualty.

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