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Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut




Somewhere else, their doingup tactica for armies and in round table discussions, but when does mathhammer become TOO much?

*hands up hands* Dont get me wrong, I take math into account. But I dont see it as end all be all.

I mean, when someone says " no dont stick extra armor on exorcists, you want dozer blades and stick it in hard cover" and you only have a 9% of being destroyed......but they dont want to listen to, oh you know, hide the damn vehical and first turn you have ZERO chance of being destroyed.....and then move up.

And apparantly extra armor is bad for them for some reason,.....


Hope more old fools come to their senses and start giving you their money instead of those Union Jack Blood suckers...  
   
Made in gb
Stern Iron Priest with Thrall Bodyguard




The drinking halls of Fenris or South London as its sometimes called

whwn people quote the "you have 1/32 chance of kilkling a amrine with a tau etc" and other crao like that. Dice are things of chance. but you can still be wrong statistacly.

R.I.P Amy Winehouse


 
   
Made in gb
Regular Dakkanaut





Well actually you can be right statisticallly but then the dice still screw you.

It gets too much when people forget the fun element, or suggest that there's only one way to play an army. Or when all you think about is tournaments.
   
Made in us
Dominating Dominatrix






Southeastern PA, USA

The problem isn't Mathhammer...it's the people who misuse Mathhammer. IMO, it's a check for or supplement to game experience...not a replacement. Your example of hiding the Exorcist is a perfect example of how Mathhammer tends to lack ecological validity. Mathhammer is an experiment that is ultimately removed from and not directly connected to the full reality of gameplay. And that's why Mathhammer results can seem as though they fly in the face of what you know to be true from game experience.

The classic example is the SM tactical squad and X squad standing 12" apart and rapid-firing at one another, round after round. That exercise will accurately show you what tends to happen when that situation occurs in a game. As we know, the problem is that the situation isn't very *realistic*. Mathhammer is very useful...but you have to understand its limitations and its proper role.

A while back I made the mistake of venturing on the Eye of Terror, and promptly got into it with a fool who proclaimed how powerful Necron Pariahs are in close combat. So I laid out some assault simulations vs. a bunch of different units, and as predicted, the Pariahs got their heads handed to them. Of course, if you have any game experience with Pariahs against competent opponents, you'd already know they stink. So in that case, Mathhammer didn't show me anything I didn't know, but it was a useful exercise to put some quantitative data behind my qualitative experience.

If you want to find out if something is useful/worth the points/etc., run your Mathhammer. And then go test it in actual games...thoroughly.

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Master of the Hunt





Angmar

The statistics are good as long as you and your opponent decided to play a very static battle. Once terrain, deployment, losses, etc all come into play, pre-game statistics can only serve as a guideline.

In other words, the Math is legit, but only in a controlled environment.


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Made in us
Clousseau





Wilmington DE

The problem is not math-hammer. Math-hammer is there to offset some of the randomness of dice rolling and having poor planning. You know, through the maths, what is the most effective load-out for each army and/or unit (if that is possible). The problem is inherent to the game itself. 4th ed. fixed some of that with more objectives-based missions and escalation, but so long as this is a game of a) too many truly ineffective units (defined below) per codex and b) an IGOUGO initiative system, then maths will be essential for playing 40k effectively. If initiative were mixed up somewhat (example: alternating unit activation), and something closer to 75% of all units were truly effective, then we'd be getting somewhere.

I define an ineffective unit as one that:
a) is price-per-point ineffectual (costs too much for what it does)
b) has little-to-no synergy with the rest of the army list
c) does not do its assigned job well (e.g. assault/counterassault, leadership bubble, shooting, etc.)
d) can be replicated by some other unit in the army list more effectively (e.g. rough riders vs. ogryns)
e) take a FOC location away from more effective units in the army list.

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Made in us
Regular Dakkanaut





It becomes too much when you start quibbling over minute differences in calculations. That is "Unit A kills 0.45 MEqs per turn, and Unit B kills 0.47 MEqs per turn. Therefore, Unit B is far superior and only an idiot would ever even thing of using Unit A."
   
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Decrepit Dakkanaut






Baltimore, MD

What's interesting is the way this debate is reflected in the sports world.  In baseball, there's a huge debate right now between the statisticians and the more holistic scouts.  It's a game on the biggest possible stage, and there's no answer.

What is clear is that statistics form a set of data that can be added to a holistic framework.  Ignoring non-statistical factors is as foolish as to simply ignore all statistics. 

So, to answer the OP, yes, many folks go too far with their stats.  You cannot reduce all the variables of 40k to stats.

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[MOD]
Anti-piracy Officer






Somewhere in southern England.

The difference between sports and 40K is that a player can have an off day but a D6 can't. (Although sometimes they do...)

It can go too far. I remember something about Tau Stealth suits being 0.0056 Kills per point against MEq while Crisis Fireknife was only 0.0047 or something, so use Stealth. Well, I like Crisis suits and I don't care that I could kill one more marine every 27 games or whatever it may be by using Stealth suits instead.

Basically, what Davian said.

However it is totally possible to reduce 40K to stats. That's exactly what a computer game like Dawn Of War does. It's all stats and algorithms. It's just too complex for a typical single player to comprehend. That's why I've often advocated that GW should build a computer model of the game to playtest and balance codexes. It would add a lot of useful data to their current method of using experience and human playtesting.

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Fireknife Shas'el





A bizarre array of focusing mirrors and lenses turning my phrases into even more accurate clones of

It's too much when it makes my head hurt. It's easy to do simple 1/2*2/3*3*1/3 for stealth vs. MEQs and other similar things, but when you start thinking of bell curves and plotting them against each other...not to mention taking whatever standard deviation(s) you wish to use and having 95% confidence levels or whatever...that's when it becomes too much. It's fun to think about, and I love math, but I'm certainly no genius.

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Made in us
Dakka Veteran




Orlando, Florida

I use math-hammer just to get a rough idea of what should happen, but it usually is just quick thoughts like 1/2 hit, 2/3 wound 1/3 die (fire warriors shooting marines). I think having a basic idea of what 'should' happen really can help out as it makes decisions easier, such as knowing that you have roughly a 1/3 chance to get a penetrating hit on one tank, while you only have a 1/6 chance on another one. Basic math like this helps.
   
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Lethal Lhamean






when you have to make a thread about it..
   
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Krazed Killa Kan






South NJ/Philly

Stat's work for showing when it's a good idea to use X gun against Y target.

Of course there are things that you learn through experience that Stats can't replicate. The Exorcist example (god how much I hate that tank) is the perfect one.
   
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[DCM]
Tilter at Windmills






Manchester, NH

And sometimes math is a very useful tool during gameplay. Should I shoot this tac squad at the enemy tac squad or the landspeeder? Hrm. The enemy tac squad is within about fifteen inches, the speeder around twenty inches or so. Eight bolters rapidfiring plus plasmagun minus missile launcher (say you had to move to make sure everyone gets their shots) equals approximately 10 bolt hits, 5 bolt wounds, around 1-2 dead marines, and just over 1 dead marine from the PG equals in the neighborhood of 3 dead marines. If I stand still and shoot everything at the Speeder I get 8 shots with the Bolters, which are about 5-6 hits, maybe one Glance, and almost certainly one Glance from the Plas+ML, maybe two if my dice are good. I now have a decent approximation of the math on which to base my decision on who to shoot at. If the enemy tac squad is presently at within 2-3 models of being knocked under half and are holding a quadrant, it?s probably worth giving that a try. If they?re full strength than it?s probably not worth bothering, and I should try to nail the speeder. If course dice rarely conform to exact averages, but most of the time they come close. Properly used, that most of the time can help you win most of your games.

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Made in eu
Infiltrating Broodlord





Mordheim/Germany

Shouts from the other table-edge: "Hey Asshat, stop calculating and play the game already!"

just kidding...


but seriously, i consider the chnaces as you do, but I'm more like a gut-person...if it seems to be a good deal and the chances ain't that bad, I give it a try.

Greets
Schepp himself

40k:
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Made in us
Executing Exarch





Los Angeles

The code isn't rules so much as guid lines.

Dice are random, that's their job. Besides I've still found that ~33% of wining any game is decided on the roll to see who goes first. I don't think I've lost a game where I've won that roll in the last 10 years.

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[MOD]
Madrak Ironhide







Math is a problem when you start calculating the volume of paint on your minis or
the amount of weight dice pips shave off.

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[DCM]
The Last Czarnian






The Northwest Territory

Personally, I think Theoryhammer is very useful and has it's place, especially in army list building.  However, I think when the troops actually hit the dirt, nothing compares with game experience.

 

Obviously, there are exceptions when it comes to extremes.  If you have a horrible list, you have a horrible list.  However, I don't think you need to use math to find out if a list is usable or not.  I think math just helps you figure out which units have tip-top efficiency, and which units are just okay.


   
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Raging Rat Ogre




Off Exhibit

Posted By Hordini on 09/15/2006 9:57 PM

  If you have a horrible list, you have a horrible list. 


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[DCM]
Tilter at Windmills






Manchester, NH

Shepp- . I can do that math fast enough that you may not even know I'm doing it.

Phoenix- You are playing with too little terrain.

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Made in ca
Regular Dakkanaut





I think math became too much when you have to play hundred of games to have enough samples for what you need to calculate or have to bring a calculator for the game. Otherwise computer cycle are cheap and you can do a lot of analysis out of the game that we would do in our head if we were intelligent or fast enough.

A lot of thing that people have problem with is not too much math but not enough math or bad understanding of the math.

>whwn people quote the "you have 1/32 chance of kilkling a amrine with a tau etc"
>and other crao like that. Dice are things of chance. but you can still be wrong
 >statistacly.
You may take a good decision but lose because of the dice. What you calculate is the risk of doing an action.

>It gets too much when people forget the fun element
>, or suggest that there's
>only one way to play an army.
uh.. math are fun. If people prove that there is only one way to play an army found the flaw in their logic. If there is no flaw it may be because the rules are make like that and there is really only one to optimize that army

>The statistics are good as long as you and your opponent
>decided to play a very static battle. Once terrain, deployment,
>losses, etc all come into play, pre-game
> statistics can only serve as a guideline.
Include movement, terrain, deployment in your math

>In other words, the Math is legit, but only in a controlled environment.
Exactly like in a physic course. You have to remember a lot more about when you can apply a formula than the formula itself. To calculate gravity you can apply a lot of different formula but it is the context that will give you if an approximation is enough. We have to do the same thing in warhammer and know what were the limitation of the math we did.

>Of course there are things that you learn through experience that Stats can't
>replicate
What you call experience I called it logic, statistical analysis, case based reasoning and other process that can be replicate with math. You just need to be able to do those difficult math.
   
Made in us
Fireknife Shas'el





A bizarre array of focusing mirrors and lenses turning my phrases into even more accurate clones of

Hehe, scramasax. I'm sure there's a way to get more out of math if people applied more brainpower, same way we can get more out of physics/chem than simple PV=nRT or the speed of acceleration for falling objects (forget the equation right now) for real-world applications that aren't in a vacuum and don't have constant gravity. Just like in the wargame when you don't just have a simple board with checkers-type movements. Problem is, there's lots of scientists who worked to get those equations and I'm sure everyone can agree it would be a waste of brainpower to make theorems and equations for wargames unless there was a few hundred thousand dollars on the line or so.

WARHAMS WARHAMS WARHAMS WARHAMS WARHAMS WARHAMS WARHAMS WARHAMS WARHAMS WARHAMS WARHAMS WARHAMS WARHAMS WARHAMS WARHAMS WARHAMS WARHAMS

2009, Year of the Dog
 
   
 
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