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Are Your Defensive Upgrades Worth It?

Submitted By: Date: September 19, 2005, 03:55:24 PM Views: 2139
Summary: <p class="body">Given the fact that Tau have so many upgrades that are unique to their army, I'm going to do an explanation on which upgrades are actually cost effective.<br /></p>

<p class="subheader">Part 1, Defensive Upgrades<br /></p>
<p class="body">The whole point of getting defensive upgrades is to keep your troops alive while packing enough punch to slay your foes. But the question is, which upgrades actually do this effectively? Let us first look at the factors that make an upgrade defensive. <br /></p>

<p class="body"><ul>
<li>How much does your upgrade cost?</li>
<li>How much does the unit you want to protect cost?</li>
<li>Does whatever the upgrade defend against happen often?</li>
<li>What is the chance that this upgrade helping against whatever event it's defending against (confusing I know, read it over  Tongue).</li>

<p class="body">Some upgrades are very easy to choose. For example, the Decoy Launcher is an upgrade that might as well come with your Hammerhead since you will always take it. Why? Lets say in a game you suffer from 1 glancing hit per game, a reasonable number. This means that for a small amount of points, the survivability of your Hammerhead increases by 11%, reducing glancing hits that destroy your tank from 33% to 22%. It saves our vehicle 1/9 times and costs less than 6  points so it worth taking on vehicles that cost 45 points (9 x number that is highest next to 6). This means that on average, the Decoy Launchers will save you the destruction of a tank that costs almost 100 points every 9 games, preserving 95/9 or 10.6 victory points each game. Since this upgrade is less than the victory points saved, it's worth more than its cost in effectiveness making it a useful upgrade. If you get more glancing hits than this upgrade is even better!</p>

<p class="body">     Other upgrades are harder to understand (if you had a hard time understanding the above than too bad, even I got it) Let use bonding as an example.. For bonding to be effective these events must occur to a squad:</p>

<p class="body">
<li>Takes 25% casualties from shooting, morale check</li>
<li>Below 50% strength but not wiped out </li>
<li>Fails a morale check</li>
<li>Falls back 2D6" but not off table</li>
<li>Succeeds in attempt to rally</li>
<li>There is time for the unit to get back into position and play a part in the remainder of the game</li>

<p class="body">What is the chance that this whole process is going to happen? The first three are possible but all together this is a risky upgrade that is probably not worth the cost. You could figure this out pretty much with estimates and a good guess.</p>

</p><p class="body">Now lets take a look at the Shield Generator. I'll divide this up for Crisis Suits and Broadsides. The Shield Generator is expensive costing as much as two Fire Warriors. Still, it gives you an Invulnerable Save that protects you on a 4+. Crisis Suits are probably going to need this if they risk using more close ranged weapons such as the Fusion Blaster or Flamer or are facing a lot of strong weapons. Broadsides might also need this since they will need to stay stationary throughout most of the game, making them easier targets, especially if the enemy gets close. Lets check the stats for saving your Crisis Suit first, using my example of the Flamer and Fusion Blaster with Multi Tracker.<br /><br />
This unit will cost 7.3 Fire Warriors (Gen is 2 Fire Warriors, model is 3 Fire Warriors, the tracker is 1/2 a Warrior and the weapons are around 2 Fire Warriors), not too expensive. The Shield Gen helps on rolls of four or more so it saves 1/2 the time. So, this means that if this suit were to be attacked 10 times in the game (not too unreasonable I should say...) than around 5 of those will be saved. That’s 5 chances that your opponent had to kick off this unit wasted, so the cost of 5.3 Fire Warriors saved 5 times equals 265 points saved. If you prefer a more accurate statistic than, in 10 games that would be 100 attacks (ouch...) with a possibility of an estimated 50 attacks saved (no cover, no other saves etc.) 50 attacks on a model worth 7.3 Fire Warriors is 2650 points, enough for an entire army...holy crap.<br />    
<br />
 However, since this is a Crisis Suit with a FLAMER your probably going to be near cover a lot, either hiding in it or blasting things out. With this said, perhaps your cover save is 3+, better than what your Shield Gen offers. So let’s cut the points in half, 10 attacks, 5 saves, 2.5 are from the Generator so 87.5 points, still worth more than the unit. With this said, the Shield Gen can be pretty good. It depends if you get attacked this much. So lets say you get attacked 5 times just  for those that are picky out there. 5 attacks on a model worth 7.3 Fire Warriors with 2.5 saved without cover is 87.5 points or with cover I'd say 1.5 saves so 52.5 , around 20 points under the cost of the model, so it doesn't take very many attacks for the Shield Gen to actually be worth while.. The effectiveness is slightly dropped on a Broadside if you’re facing slow or short ranged enemies, raised if the enemy is fast/long ranged. So if your going to get shot at a lot, bring the Generator, its actually quite worth it (Even I learned something new after do this math...who knew Shield Generators were so sweet....).<br />
<br />
Basically, this means that you should analyze the effectiveness of a defensive upgrade before you go off and buy a bunch. Try it out on "common sense" upgrades like a multi-tracker on a Hammerhead to get a sense of the analysis. Then try something your not sure of like a shield generator, maybe you'll learn something about what upgrade you've been taking are worth it or not. However, you must understand that not all these statistics are completely true. You might not get shot at all, or your suit will explode before anything happens. Just make sure you just don't go running off buying ever upgrade you find out is good after experimenting.<br /><br />
Next time...Offensive Upgrades!</p>

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