Monday, November 23, 2009

Statistics / Gaming Note about Plasma Blastguns and Destructors

Plasma blastguns and plasma destructors are typically (but not exclusively) mounted on titans. They are the superheavy variety of the not-so-humble plasma gun and plasma pistol.

Blastgun Statistics.
Both superheavy plasma weapons can fire with two different profiles, depending upon the user's tastes. The first profile is known as "rapid". For the blastgun and you get two S8, AV2, 7" blasts. The second, known as "full", gets you one S10, AV2, 10" blast. Additionally, should it actually matter in Apocalypse, the latter has a larger range than the former.

But what I want to comment on today is the mathematics behind these two profiles. If you do not want to hunt after two very separate targets, then it is always preferable to choose the "full" profile. This is because the area of effect is proportional to the radius squared. In the full profile, we get pi x (10)^2, which is about 314 square inches. In the rapid profile, we get 2 times pi x (7)^2, = 2 times pi x 49 = 309 square inches.

So not only does shooting two separate shots mean that you get a lower strength, you also drop a few square inches of effect!

But then again, let me immediately note that in the insanity that is apocalypse, this shouldn't matter too much!, but its just something to be aware of. (You'll also note that I've avoided speaking of the relative merits of the Melta Cannon versus the plasma blastgun!).

Plasma Destructor.
On the other hand, the warlord battle titan mounted plasma destructor is able to fire two 10 inch blasts in full mode, and three 7 inch blasts in rapid mode. The difference between the two is a whopping 166 square inches -- this is much more significant than the plasma blastgun variety (should you be fielding a warlord titan!). For me, it always has to be the full mode here, assuming of course that the battlefield is jam-packed to apocalyptic proportions.


folkert said...

so you lose 5 square Inches but get double the hits? I'm not sure which one is better..

I think I prefer the Rapid setting on the Blastgun


jabberjabber said...

Indeed - not much to be worried about with a difference of 5 sq inches.

Do you feel the same way with the warlord destructor variety? :)

folkert said...

well an difference of 166 square inches is a lot, so you might make up for the loss of one blast, still not totally convinced though.. but I play guard so the quantity of quality is what I choose first.. which isn't always favorable ofcourse:P

so I'm not sure aboiut the warlord destructor version, which is just to insane anyway so.. xD


folkert said...

damn couple of typos :P it should be a instead of an and about instead of aboiut xD

sorry about that :P

Firewasp said...

Just a thought, if I remember correctly the apocalypse rule book states that each weapon on a super heavy can fire at separate targets, not each shot. So if you are firing at only a single unit I often find the rapid fire mode preferable. For example, units in cover, there is ore potential to fail cover saves with two hits per model then 1. Also units with invulnerable saves. i.e. terminators. are more likely to die to two hits as opposed to one.
Due to the 5th edition rules, the saves are made after both shots hit, meaning that you can get more hits on a unit with the smaller rapid blast then one big blast.
Just my 2p worth.

jabberjabber said...

Good points firewasp! :)

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