This comment from Deathwishjoe got me thinking no link to original source but I found it before Purgatus gave the link in the discussion:I'd promise not to post anything else on Tyrannofexes... but we all know that is a lie.
“I'm really just not convinced about the tyrranofexes. Thats alot of points for a BS 3 shooting unit. Sure its got str 10 with long range but theres a pretty good chnce when it shoots nothing happens. I know its math hammer but against a rhino you should get about .277 kills a turn with it. for less points I can get a squad of 3 zoans with a mycetic spore. not including the damage from the spore and taking into account the psychic test they get about .815 kills a turn. 4 warriors with deathspitters and a mycetic spore with tl death spitters deepstriking behind the rhino do a better job as well. It just would seem incredibly frusterating to have such an expensive unit miss or do nothing usefull on the vehicle table for me.
I'm just not convinced”
Now, I love math-hammer as much as the next guy, I really do. Not as much as Sepharine. In fact, the majority of my posts on this site have been math-analysis related. However, there are times when math cannot provide you with the answers you are looking for, (usually because you are asking the wrong questions). Like Sepharine explained. In this case, Joe has asked the question “what is better at killing Rhinos, a Tyrannofex or 3 Zoanthropes?” to which he replies resoundingly: the Zoanthropes! Typical of someone to ask a question and then answer it themselves. See it on the interwebz all the time... especially forums.
Well, this is true, as far as it goes. But it ignores several other questions which we have to ask ourselves before we relegate the T-fex to the ash-heap of history. Like the penisvore...
1) What FoC do each of these units compete for?
2) What is the survivability of each of these units?
3) What is the range of each of these units?
4) Do either of them bring something else to the army that we need?
Let’s look at each of these questions in turn and see why pure math-hammer doesn’t reveal the entire picture here.
1) FOC Competition: This is a big one. And Kirby does a great article on it here. If these units occupied the same FOC, then I would have fewer quibbles with Deathwish’s comparison. As it stands, however, he is truly comparing apples to oranges. Stelek’s list (and many other good Nid lists) fill their Elites slots with anti-tank (either Zoans, Hive Guard or both) AND put in T-fexes in the Heavy Support slot. If you’ve already maxed your elites slot (where, undeniably, Tyranids most points efficient anti-tank can be found) then you must look elsewhere.
2) Survivability: This is where the Zoanthropes don’t even hold a candle to the T-Fex. T6, 6 wounds and a 2+ save goes a LONG way, and unless your opponent is rocking 15 Lascannons he is not going to like trying to down those T-Fexes. And if he does decide to fire all those Lascannons either he has really crap target priority or he has killed everything else worth shooting. Zoanthropes, on the other hand, get insta-killed by Krak missiles, Meltaguns, Lascannons and a lot of other things. With the new FAQ ruling you cannot spore drop Zoanthropes with an attached Prime either, so forget about that plan. Yes, 3+ invuls are nice, but you WILL fail them (especially when you are chucking 5 kraks at a time their way).
3) Range: Again, this is the part where the T-fex leaves the Zoans in the dirt. Zoans are the Tyranid equivalent of Sternguard with combi-meltas. What happened to comparing apples to oranges? You drop them in close, they pop something nasty like a Land Raider, and then they die horribly. You can try to run them on foot, but there is no comparison to the board covering range of the T-fex. That Rupture Cannon will be firing, from turn 1, at a high-value target, every turn. Period. I will take 5-7 turns of shooting over 1-2 any day.
4) Additional Value: Zoanthropes provide Shadow in the Warp and Synapse, and in a pinch can throw out some Marine killing blasts. T-Fexes can lay down large numbers of wounds on infantry, and in a pinch they are still monstrous creatures and can be thrown into melee. Both units suck up heavy weapons fire.
Final Analysis and a poll:
Now, if there’s one thing I do NOT want you to take away from this article, it’s that I am arguing that Zoanthropes are the suck and that T-Fexes are the most awesomest thing, like, ever. What you SHOULD note is that they have characteristics which go beyond their vehicle killing power which allow them each to fulfill distinct roles in your army. Looking at the whole of your list, you must determine how to use your points and (just as importantly) your Force Org slots to build an army that covers all the bases and has all the tools you need.
Until next time, happy gaming.
- Purgatus from YTTH in List Construction Basics: Why Looking at a Unit in a Vacuum is BAD
Wednesday, September 01, 2010
I've got a problem actually he has several. Whenever I read a logical argument that favours the T-fex it has to be put up on the blog so I can easily find it in the future. This time it is by Purgatus from YTTH...