Hi and welcome to path 2 of Mathhammer. Today I’m gunna build an army with mathhammer in mind. Dark elder are THE mathammer army, no other army can spam the way dark elder can. Why? Because splinter cannons will always put the same amount of wounds on any target it shoots and Lances will generally pen exactly the same amount for every target they shoot (av 10/11 aside here) and wound the same amount for the target it shoots (Wraithlords/Talos/New big elder thingy aside)
Ok so I said I’m using math hammer but how am I using mathammer. Firstly I’ll choose a focus and an objective. Focus is the type of gun; the objective is what it’ll averagely do each turn.
Essentially the focus of this mathammer army will be splinter weaponry. Why not Lances I hear many people cry! As the game moves towards infantry and large monsters, the need for anti-tank in abundance lessens. The rise of the haywire grenade is also key here as the lances power can be coupled with haywire grenades for anti-tank. Therefore the need to spam lances is less obvious. I’m not saying just take splinter weaponry; I’m just saying that in my opinion splinter weaponry is the critical part of this army.
Now what I mean by this is if all my splinter cannons shot one unit it will die ON AVERAGE. I can’t stress the on average enough here. This is probability I’ve had 3 venoms kill 6 wraiths before and 9 kill 3.
So which unit should be the objective? Below I have listed a number of popular choices in meta lists these days. I’ve grouped up each unit to an armour save. For each unit that has the most wounds in each category, I’ll calculate how many poisoned shots ON AVERAGE will kill these units. Remember every venom shooting does 4 wounds. I’m not including a blob unit. Splinter cannons are not so good at killing that unit.
6 Wraiths = 12 unsaved wounds = 36 wounds = 9 Venoms
10 Marines = 10 Wounds
3 Crisis Suits = 6 Wounds
Tervigon = 6 Wounds
3 Obliterators = 6 Wounds =36 Wounds = 9 Venoms
3 Broadsides = 6 Wounds
Riptide = 5 Wounds
4+ Save (or unit behind aegis)
12 fire warriors = 12 unsaved wounds = 24 Wounds 6 Venoms
The below options although very popular have too many variables to take into account. Obviously If I’m shooting a tyrant and he comes down from the sky turn 1 then yeah it’ll die very quickly. Alternatively the thing could just sit in the sky and not tumble down after 9 venoms hitting it (Taylor luck as I call it)
Daemon Prince (Flying High)
Hive Tyrant (Flying High)
Let’s not worry about these too. Also with my list there are going to be things I’ve missed but hopefully the top one I ach category is going to be the unit with most wounds
As you can see 9 Venoms cropped up twice.
The issue is with the more venom you choose the lesser the quality of the models inside. 9 Venoms would mean I’d need to be taking low level units i.e. 5 dark elder warriors or 3 wracks. These units are ok but on some occasions I want the unit inside to pose a threat (and I want some haywire grenades!)
Fortunately we have a unit that comes to the rescue here. A trueborn unit! 2 splinter cannons and 3 men come to 56 points; they are not survivable but let’s face it, who will target a unit that can get a 2+ save it goes to ground?
Ok so this is currently my Army…
8 Venoms = 520 Points
1 Trueborn unit = 56 points
Ok so at this point id start to fill in places for other necessary choices. These would be the following:
HQ: Baron = 105 pts. – Only HQ that probably won’t be useless if his transport blows up.
HS: 3 Ravagers = 315 pts. – 9 dark lances or 315? Yes please! No flyers? This is because they don’t apply to the alpha strike and as such are not math hammer worthy enough
FA: Beast unit (10 Kymera, 4 Flocks, 4 Beastmaster) = 228 Pts. – I’ve chose a basic beast unit here they complement well with the baron and give out plentiful amounts of punishment
So that little lands us on 1224 points. We have currently 9 Dark lances. The chance one ravager will cause a pen is 2/9 x 3 = 2/3 not bad ey (never works out that way for me!) so currently in the list we have approximately 2 pens a turn…. Ah.
Let’s mathhammer that figure up a bit shall we? To get 1 destroyed vehicle need a further 1 pens. To get another pen you need another 4.5 Lances. In the list there is a few ways to get these in. However the way I’m going to do it will be trueborn...
I have 2 more elite spaces that I can fill so I can fill these with Trueborn. At this point I have an option of the amount of items I use. In this unit I can hav
I’ll take the 2 of the following unit: 3 Trueborn 3 blasters and haywire grenades for 87 points. This’ll get me above the 1 vehicle kill limit.
So now if I fill out the remaining venoms with 3 units of warriors and 2 units of wychs with Haywire, I get the following…
Baron = 105
Beasts = 228
Blaster born in venom x 2 = 304
Splinterborn in venom x 1 = 121
Warriors in Venom x 3 = 330
Wychs in Venom x 2 = 250
Ravagers x 3 = 315
Wall = 100
Total = 1753
Considering that 12 is the most amount of vehicles you can take without resorting to the HQ venoms I’m pretty happy with this. I’m not gunna use the remaining 97 points yet but there a lot I can do with it. A holding unit of warriors maybe? More beasts? A big brutal unit with 6 more models comes to mind! More wych’s? What do you guys think?
Thanks for reading! With allies out it’s about to reassess them again, but that’s all for next time. Till then, stay classy!