Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Math by Request: Wyches vs Meganobz

There has been a a request for math from one of the readers.  Michele was wondering how many wyches were needed to kill three meganobz.  I don't have good news.  It's a lot.

Not knowing how many wyches we need makes this problem much more difficult.  I ended up having to use an excel program to speed up the process.  More or less you are forced to guess and check.

Lets start simple.  Hitting on a 4+, wounding on a 5+, and a 2+ save will mean there is a 1/36 chance to cause a wound.  Using this information we can extrapolate the following.

Twenty four attacks are need to have a 50% of doing at least one wound, so to have a 50% chance of doing one wound we would need 8 wyches.  With a squad of three meganobz things get a bit more bleak.  We have to do a total of six wounds.  To get up to a 50% chance of doing all six wounds we actually need 204 total attacks which means there needs to be 68 models in attack range.

Doing a bit of trigonometry (since I don't have any models with me) you should be able to form a ring of seven small bases around a meganobz' 40mm base and outside that ring you should be able to form a ring of 14 bases.  This gives you a total of 21 models and 63 attacks.  Things do not look good.  Also these calculations are basically done in a void.  In an actual situation the three meganobz would be bunched up or even in base contact with each other.  This would prevent you from getting more models in close enough to make their attacks.

However, everything isn't doom and gloom.   Wyches aren't the only tools in the Dark Eldar toolbox.  Four dark lances will have about a 40% chance of killing all three meganobz and five will have about a 60% chance.  Meganobz are also incredibly slow compared to most everything in a Dark Eldar army.  If you manage to strand a group of meganobz out in the open, then I would simply ignore them.  I haven't played Orks in a few editions, but once you remove the mobility from their transports they usually are pretty easy to carve up.


  1. Ahahahah!!! The meme makes me laugh so much!!
    Thank you for the article and for the answers! :-D
    And Merry Christmas!!!!
    I can't stop laughing..... I am working.... if I will be fired it's your fault :-P

  2. Shooting them with a splinter pistol poison shot has double the chance to wound (2/36) so at least you have that going for you! Softening up the megas with poison first would definitely help.

  3. How many incubi would it take to kill three meganobz then? :P

  4. Incubi armed with AP 2 klaives should make short work of meganobz. They hit on 3+, wound on 4+, and they bypass the save. So statistically if you need 6 wounds to wipe the meganobz you would need 18 attacks. That is approx 5 incubi w/ 1 Klaivex (19 attacks on the charge).

    The key take away here is matchups. 40K is basically a statistical game of rock paper scissors :) Throwing weak strength and weak AP attacks at strong toughness and armor is a bad matchup. You need an unrealistic amount of attacks to net any kind of meaningful result. Its better to attack where your opponent is weak. Klaives are a good option as they tip the odds in your favor. High WS means you hit more often, bonus to strength means you wound more often, and AP2 negates the nobz saves. This results in a much better outcome.

    Even better is to exploit the instant death rules so you need even fewer attacks to take out the unit. S8 AP2 will one shot a mega nob. Mega armor doesn't grant an invuln save and the codex got hit with a nerf bat and their cybork body upgrade went from a 5+ invuln to a 6+ feel no pain. So the only save they get is cover, which can be bypassed simply by board position. So just drop 5-6 dark lances into the unit and it'll melt with little to no risk to your own models. Then your drugged up wyches can go to town on the masses of unarmored orks, which is a much better match up for them.

    1. Right. In truth, I don't own wyches :-D :-P My question was pure theory.
      In truth my army -Eldar with only one wave and some DE (an Archon and a venom)- has problems with others kind of army, such as Astra Militia, withe scars, and the most famous "deathstars" of the game.

  5. I have another mathhammer request. I'm interested in learning the different probability formula that will result in the % chance of the desired outcome occuring.

    For example, you already did the screamers vs a land raider. From there I gathered the formula to be as such:

    exploding: chance to hit * chance to penetrating * chance to explode.
    Translating to (1/2 * 1/6 * 1/6) = 1/72 or (1.38% chance).

    Where I got lost is how to figure out if 5 vs 9 screamers were swinging. I think it was you take the final result to the 9th power. But at some point you calculated the chance of it not occuring and subtracted that from 100 to determine the % chance of it occurring.

    I think that will help us learn the most is understanding the base equations. Then we can string together scenarios and then come back to ask intelligent mathhammer related questions :P

    1. I feel like Benny in the lego movie when I finally gets to build his spaceship.

      I will work on a post about combinatorics.