Jul 30, 2009

The Secret of Starcannons



Some hate them under the new rules, some love them. Where do you stand?

Here is a look on how the Starcannon compares to the Scatter laser - a weapon that seems to have become the go-to gun for Eldar players since it is the same range and gives 4 shots instead of 2. I excluded the Eldar Missile Launcher from this table because of the randomness of the number of hits is highly situational. I'll get back to the EML in another post though.

I created an Excel table so I could easily change between what kind of unit I was shooting at. Did you know you can copy and paste Excel cells into Blogger? In the event a target does not get a save, it also counts as a failed save for the purpose of this table. Guide and Doom are not taken into account here. They can be figured out with a little math depending on if you are using them or not.


Shots Hits Wounds Saves Failed (Kills) Points Per Kill (Larger = More Effective)
VS MEQ IN  THE OPEN
Starcannon
2 1 0.83 0.83 0.0332
Scatter Laser
4 2 1.66 0.5478 0.03652
VS GEQ IN THE OPEN
Starcannon
2 1 0.83 0.83 0.0332
Scatter Laser
4 2 1.66 1.0956 0.07304
VS 2+ MEQ IN  THE OPEN
Starcannon
2 1 0.83 0.83 0.0332
Scatter Laser
4 2 1.66 0.2656 0.017706667
VS 2+/5+ MEQ IN  THE OPEN - TERMINATORS
Starcannon
2 1 0.83
0.5478
0.021912
Scatter Laser
4 2 1.66 0.2656 0.017706667
VS MEQ IN  COVER (4+)
Starcannon
2 1 0.83 0.415 0.0166
Scatter Laser
4 2 1.66 0.5478 0.03652
VS GEQ IN  COVER (4+)
Starcannon
2 1 0.83 0.415 0.0166
Scatter Laser
4 2 1.66 0.83 0.055333333

What does all this Mathhammer really mean though besides a bunch of numbers? Against most targets, the Scatter laser shows a higher number of kills across the board. The Starcannon shines against any durable targets in the open.

Points per kill is an effective way of looking at the statistical value of each option in terms of relative points. The higher this value the more effective it is in that given situation... but it is not exhaustive. Anything with good saves will fall to Starcannons with far more reliability than the Scatter Laser, but in almost every situation the Scatter Laser seems to have the edge in both pure kills and Points Per Kill.

What does it mean? Being in the right place at the right time so you can kill the right target, or "making" the target be in the right place; which in itsself is an art, but that is Eldar for you.

7 Comments:

Aleksi Lehtio July 30, 2009 at 11:57 AM  

Very good stuff! I personally believe that after the starcannon was reduced to heavy 2, It's days of glory were over, but this shows that with the new cover system (and often opponents do get cover saves) low ap weapons just dont cut it.

Fritz July 30, 2009 at 1:30 PM  

I'm still rolling with all star cannons on my vypers. I negage the cover saves by making sure my opponent is out in the open- placing objectives out in the open, blowing up rhinos and then using my mobility to light up the guys inside. Last game I downed a squad of tooled up chosen in one round. That said, those times when my opponet does get a cover save they do suck.

Raptor1313 July 30, 2009 at 2:39 PM  

I'm rolling with double shuriken cannons on my Vypers, mostly because the blasted things are BS3.

I pretty much agree with your analysis; they're great IF you get high-save targets into the open.

Beyond that, though, the scatter laser beats it in all respects, especially if you're hunting lighter armor.

As for the 'killing high save targets', I think there are a few times I've just put Fire Dragons on 'em. I mean, Terminators don't necessarily do too well vs. massed melta (unless it's Thunder Hammer/Storm Shield termies...)...

Dverning July 30, 2009 at 5:51 PM  

I'm of the "don't really bother with either" camp.
My Serpents get Shuriken Cannons or EML.
My Falcons get EML.
My Vypers gather dust.
My Guardians get CCWs and Flamers.

The only time I'll bother with Scatter Lasers is if I'm running War Walkers. I haven't bothered with Star Cannons since the new Codex...

KBelleau July 30, 2009 at 5:59 PM  

I still use starcannons on my Vypers. The role I have for them is anti heavy infantry and they do it well.

Akenseth July 31, 2009 at 12:27 AM  

Statistically I feel that Starcannons are "no good", but I still use them dispite that... Last game I missed on all my starcannons in a single turn, which made me cry and wish they were scatter lasers. But then they ended up redeeming themselves getting me a kill point from a Zoanthrope. There are plenty of emotional highs and lows with them.

The_King_Elessar July 31, 2009 at 12:38 AM  

Fantastic post.

When (if :p) I ever finish my Complete Guide to the codex, I'll link this as my mention of the Starcannon debate. :)

Post a Comment

Blog Widget by LinkWithin

  © Blogger template The Business Templates by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP