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#1 DJSunhammer

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 07:51 PM

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Ok, I was curious [and bored] so I did a comparison of three power weapons. A Power Fist, a Power Axe, and a Power Sword. I set this up so that every weapon would make rolls with the most ideal attack that it is possible to make with the current rules. The Power Fist is only capable of making an All Out Attack or a Standard Attack. The Power Axe can make up to Swift Attacks. The Power Sword can make Lightning Attacks. I think physically made rolls for each, ten attacks [I'm aware that this isn't very many.] I only considered successes, since those are the only rolls that deal damage.

What I found out is that Unwieldy weapons basically suck, Unbalanced weapons are ok, and any weapon that isn't Unbalanced or Unwieldy is going to stomp any weapon that is. By extension, Lightning Claws are broken overpowered, they have higher base damage and pen than a power sword, higher minimum damage, and they scale with Degrees of Success twice. Most weapons Unbalanced or better only scale once.

You can read the data for yourself, the link is at the top. The average damage for a Power Fist is incredibly poor at just over 20. A Power Axe making a Swift Attack is literally twice as good, on average. A Power Sword deals about 25% more damage than a Power Axe when it uses a Lightning Attack.

Please note that I am well aware that 10 rolls each is an extremely small pool to be gathering data from. I would appreciate it if anyone could tell me how to make some more rolls, in high quantity, easily and with good readability. Ideally I would like a tool that lets me assign a weapon, then an attack action, WS and Str stats, and lets me makes a whole bunch of rolls all at once. Preferably taking the different attack actions into account and calculating those as well. I would make one for myself, but I'm not a programmer.

Thoughts? Comments? Suggestions to restore balance?

 

PS: This isn't a problem with rules from Deathwatch and older. There is no limitation on Swift or Lightning Attack, which means there is a meaningful trade off between parry potential and damage potential.

 

 



#2 Darth Smeg

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 07:58 PM

No access to the document.

But Unwieldy and Unbalanced weapons can both make Swift Attacks. Is there another rule somewhere which prevents the Power fist from making Swift attacks?

Note: The Errata changes the wording on Swift Attack, where the book said somewhat confusingly that Unwieldy weapons cannot make Lightning Attacks.

Swift Attack (page 132): Replace the section beginning
with “The character’s speed with weapons is legendary…” and
ending with “…Melee weapons with the Unwieldy Special Quality
cannot be used to make Lightning Attacks.” with the following:
“The character can attack with furious speed, landing several attacks
when others would only make one. A Heretic with this Talent may
make the Swift Attack Combat Action (see page 239).”


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#3 DJSunhammer

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 08:13 PM

I fixed access. I was under the impression that Unwieldy weapons couldn't make Swift Attacks, but that was my mistake. I haven't made any new rolls, but that should bring damage from a Power Fist to roughly on par with the Power Sword. Slightly better against a target with 8+ armor, but otherwise equal if you don't consider Balanced at all. The Power Axe is still clearly outdone by the Power Sword, however.

Now that I think about it, I should do another comparison between using a Two Handed Weapon and Two Weapon Wielder.



#4 igotsmeakabob!!

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 07:42 AM

Wait, crap, you can't swift/lightning attack with a power fist? My Chaos Marine has a Fist and a Sword, but… eesh.



#5 Darth Smeg

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 11:53 AM

You can use Swift, but not Lightning attacks.


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#6 DJSunhammer

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 08:31 PM

I wouldn't have a problem if a Power Fist couldn't be used with Swift Attack either, since that makes it similar to the Power Fist in TT, which is slow and does a crapton on damage. It would need to do at least twice as much damage in a single hit for it to be worth it though.



#7 Kasatka

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Posted 28 April 2012 - 01:40 AM

 I really don't see an issue with the heirarchy of weapons. One handed Balanced weapons start off with some of the worst damage rolls, but end up with some of the highest potential in the hands of a master combatant (ie someone who has spent a lot of Xp doing so). On the flip side of the coin, if you are not as skill a combatant you can go for Unbalanced weapons, with the trade off being you get slightly higher base damage but can't use some of those fancy Talents and combat options. Finally for the combat brutes or those that want a backup, powerful melee option for their ranged character then there are Unwieldy weapons which have a very high damage output but can use almost no Talents or combat options.

It's about comparing the applicable talents, XP cost to acquire them, weapon versatility and role within a group of characters. You can't just balance weapons based on pure, context-blank maths.


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#8 DJSunhammer

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Posted 28 April 2012 - 11:55 AM

That is an interesting point and one I'll be taking into account when I think about how these weapons should work. I do think melee weapons should have more defined niches.

For example, a Power Sword [or any other sword] is a finesse weapon that becomes increasingly dangerous as the character gets more talents to support it.

A Power Axe is a weapon that sacrifices defenses for the ability to crack hard targets wearing power armor or with high toughness. It does this with higher damage and pen than a Power Sword, but not to an excessive degree.

Most Unwieldy weapons should be monsters that deal a lot of damage with one hit, but only by sacrificing any defense the weapon might provide and the ability to make multiple attacks in one turn. A Power Fist should hit almost as hard as a Lascannon, but have very similar penalties to the Power Fist from the table top game.

This places each weapon type into a niche, ranging from the ability to destroy many targets to the ability to destroy a single, larger target. This also brings melee weapons more in line with ranged weapons in this respect, as most ranged weapons already fit into a niche that is similar to this.



#9 Saibot

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Posted 28 April 2012 - 11:26 PM

I also feel there is something important here that people have missed that simply skewes the result in favour of Lightning Attack. It is this:

"I only considered successes, since those are the only rolls that deal damage."

This is not a realistic in-game way of measuring it. By only measuring successes, the situation is ideal for Lightning Attack (which has the highest damage potential, but lowest chance to actually hit in the first place). The point of Lightning Attack simply is to have the highest potential damage at the most risk. If you just made ten rolls (including failures) and then applied these rolls to Standard, Swift and Lightning Attack (including the modifier, of course), I am sure Standard and Swift would come off much better.

 

 



#10 coolzyg

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 12:24 AM

I've ruled that Power Axe is not unbalanced nor is balanced. For medicore additional dmg and pen (+2/+1) more than sword there is -20 difference in parrying.

 



#11 DJSunhammer

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 06:17 PM

Saibot said:

I also feel there is something important here that people have missed that simply skewes the result in favour of Lightning Attack. It is this:

"I only considered successes, since those are the only rolls that deal damage."

This is not a realistic in-game way of measuring it. By only measuring successes, the situation is ideal for Lightning Attack (which has the highest damage potential, but lowest chance to actually hit in the first place). The point of Lightning Attack simply is to have the highest potential damage at the most risk. If you just made ten rolls (including failures) and then applied these rolls to Standard, Swift and Lightning Attack (including the modifier, of course), I am sure Standard and Swift would come off much better.

 

 

At 50 WS the difference is somewhat negligible, but that is one flaw I noticed. If I had thought it was worth it to make rolls for 60 and 70 WS you would see a greater difference, since Lightning Attack scales [literally] twice as well with WS than Swift Attack does. I didn't apply failures because that would skew the results of only ten rolls horribly, and I wouldn't be able to compare damage if one has 6 misses and another had 2. If I had a way of easily making a lot of rolls simply and all at once, I would. The results would have told me a lot more. Now that I think about it, I should have recorded how many misses occured.

There also isn't a huge amount of risk associated with Lightning Attack. You can still parry, still dodge and so on. There is significant risk in using an All-Out Attack, or a charge, but there really isn't any point. AAO simply doesn't scale with DoS like Swift and Lightning Attack, which means those two will always deal more damage with much less risk.



#12 Radwraith

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 07:07 PM

DJSunhammer said:

Saibot said:

 

I also feel there is something important here that people have missed that simply skewes the result in favour of Lightning Attack. It is this:

"I only considered successes, since those are the only rolls that deal damage."

This is not a realistic in-game way of measuring it. By only measuring successes, the situation is ideal for Lightning Attack (which has the highest damage potential, but lowest chance to actually hit in the first place). The point of Lightning Attack simply is to have the highest potential damage at the most risk. If you just made ten rolls (including failures) and then applied these rolls to Standard, Swift and Lightning Attack (including the modifier, of course), I am sure Standard and Swift would come off much better.

 

 

 

 

At 50 WS the difference is somewhat negligible, but that is one flaw I noticed. If I had thought it was worth it to make rolls for 60 and 70 WS you would see a greater difference, since Lightning Attack scales [literally] twice as well with WS than Swift Attack does. I didn't apply failures because that would skew the results of only ten rolls horribly, and I wouldn't be able to compare damage if one has 6 misses and another had 2. If I had a way of easily making a lot of rolls simply and all at once, I would. The results would have told me a lot more. Now that I think about it, I should have recorded how many misses occured.

There also isn't a huge amount of risk associated with Lightning Attack. You can still parry, still dodge and so on. There is significant risk in using an All-Out Attack, or a charge, but there really isn't any point. AAO simply doesn't scale with DoS like Swift and Lightning Attack, which means those two will always deal more damage with much less risk.

I would suggest simply making ten rolls. Apply those rolls (Hits, additional hits, misses and damage per hit) equally factoring in your weapon types. Divide this by ten and you now have an average damage per round for each weapon. This will give you a quantifiable number for damage dealt by weapon type.



#13 Darth Smeg

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 08:28 PM

10 is too few if you're looking for statistically sound answers. Better then to "force" uniformity by saying you roll 5,15,25,35, etc. This will give you results that will approximate those you would get if you rolled many times. 

So given 10 rolls like this, a person with a WS of 40 will score 1 hit at 05 (with 4 DoS), 1 at 15 (with 3 Dos), 1 @ 25 (2), 1 @ 35 (1) and then 6 misses.


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