N18 Weapon balance / relative 'deadliness' spreadsheet

Dark_star

Juve
Jun 9, 2019
14
7
13
Hi guys. New forum member here.
I'm a long-term fan of Necromunda right from the beginning, and I think that the new House weightings/asymmetric gameplay is a big improvement on the original system.
However - We all know that some of the weapons costings seem.. odd.
In the interests of trying to figure out if a simple cost-manipulation will help to balance everything, and stop gangs from spamming a single weapon, I've made a spreadsheet of relative weapon 'deadliness', up to and including 'The book of peril'.
It's a bit messy, and some things are a bit arbitrary (I've taken the liberty of manipulating a few weapons for more unique value) but it seems to hold up fairly well overall.
It does highlight in particular, that some of the heavy weapons costings make very little sense for what they deliver.
Blast weapons have proven particularly difficult to work out - I think that being able to miss, and still potentially hit your original target, especially in Zone Mortalis, raises their value significantly.


In any case, it's taken a while, and I hope that it's a useful resource for somebody..
Help and opinions would be appreciated.

Many thanks all.
 

MrAndersson

Ganger
Sep 18, 2018
101
51
33
Halmstad, Sweden
I can appreciate the effort that goes into making something like this. But I do not agree with the way you assess weapons. Just adding a bunch of arbitrary numbers together doesn't do it for me. It has to be based on some kind of statistical damage potential.

And some of the points adjustments are really crazy. Making the bolter cheaper, for example. Even worse, you have cut the price of a heavy bolter in half. I'd say you are way off on that one.

And making a lot of close combat weapons more expensive. I respectfully disagree.
 
  • Like
Reactions: TopsyKretts

Dark_star

Juve
Jun 9, 2019
14
7
13
"It has to be based on some kind of statistical damage potential.

And some of the points adjustments are really crazy. Making the bolter cheaper, for example."
Hi there.
I don't know if it helps, but the breakdown of how the numbers are derived is at the top right of the spreadsheet. I'm not a mathematician, but some of the Trait values are reasonably unambiguous to derive - a Rapid fire x1 for eg. Giving you an average roll of 2 for a potential extra point of damage (possibly with a little extra value for the potential to spread this and pin multiple targets).
Values in general are debatable, but I've gone with what seems to work with the knife as a baseline, and gone from there.

Applying any consistent set of values to the weapon statlines brings out some really unexpected outliers. I was also surprised by the rapid fire heavy weapons, especially the heavy stubber. Why is it so expensive for what it delivers compared to the other weapons? Assuming that Games Workshop didn't pull all their values out of thin air, I can't for the life of me reverse engineer them 100%.

I agree that any increase in price of close combat weapons feels bad, as its hard enough just to get into combat. This is why I was hoping that people could share their views and try to get a consensus on how to weight different weapon sets. For eg. Should we be applying a 'does not pin' cost reduction ruling to all close combat weapons, or a decreasing cost to power ratio for weapons in general?
 

almic85

Gang Hero
Oct 30, 2014
813
1,297
113
Palmerston, ACT, Australia
I'm not sure if I am reading your spreadsheet correctly. Is column B meant to be the updated weapon costs?

If it is you have an issue right off the bat with both the autogun and the auto pistol having the same point costs even though one is only half the range of the other.

I also can't figure out how you are applying the "deadliness" cost in order to move costs up and down.

I think that you have dramatically under costed the Rapid Fire skill, specifically it's effectiveness as the Strength characteristic of a weapon goes up. This is why you believe that the Bolter, Heavy Stubber and Heavy Bolter are all over costed.

A Heavy Bolter for example is able to cause a maximum of 6 ST5, Damage 2 shots for a maximum of 12 wounds which can be spread across 6 targets. That is the best weapon in the game.

Compared to your most expensive weapon the Multi-Melta which is able to cause a maximum of 3 wounds to any model caught under it's 3" blast template. It has significantly less damage output compared to a heavy bolter but under your points adjustment it is 2.5 times the price of the heavy bolter.

EDIT: I wrote Plasma Cannon instead of Multi-Melta.
 

MrAndersson

Ganger
Sep 18, 2018
101
51
33
Halmstad, Sweden
...the breakdown of how the numbers are derived is at the top right of the spreadsheet.
It's those numbers that are my main concern. How have you arrived at them? How have you determined that, for example, the traits Melta and Rad-phage should have the same value? Or that they both are better than Rapid fire (1)?

I'm not a mathematician...
Neither I am, but I have a reasonable understanding of statistics.

What you have to understand is that the processes involved here are multiplicative. If you want to calculate a chance to inflict a wound on someone, then you multiply the probability to hit with the probability to wound and the probability that the target of the attack will not succeed its save. That means that a trait or stat that increases any of these multiplies the weapon's value. And several positives multiply with each other.

...but some of the Trait values are reasonably unambiguous to derive - a Rapid fire x1 for eg. Giving you an average roll of 2 for a potential extra point of damage...
It's not 2, though. There are three 1's, two 2's and one 3 on the die, giving you 10/6, roughly equal to 1.67.

Assuming that Games Workshop didn't pull all their values out of thin air, I can't for the life of me reverse engineer them 100%.
You can't reverse engineer them because they are not engineered. I don't think they pulled them out of their asses, but not far from. More or less educated guesses, I assume.

I agree that any increase in price of close combat weapons feels bad, as its hard enough just to get into combat. This is why I was hoping that people could share their views and try to get a consensus on how to weight different weapon sets. For eg. Should we be applying a 'does not pin' cost reduction ruling to all close combat weapons, or a decreasing cost to power ratio for weapons in general?
What I think you have failed to take into account is how many rounds of a given match you will be able to use a certain weapon.

A Lascannon has a pretty decent chance of being able to fire every single round. A pistol does not, since it needs to get closer before it gets within range. A Grenade launcher is likely to spend a couple of turns jammed. And so on. With a close combat weapon, you should consider yourself lucky if you get to use it more than three times.


Lastly, I hope I don't come off to harsh. It's not my goal to shoot you down. I'm just pointing out where I don't agree with your reasoning or your math.
 

Ben_S

Hive Guilder
Honored Tribesman
Jul 26, 2015
4,254
6,548
158
Southampton, UK
I agree that any increase in price of close combat weapons feels bad, as its hard enough just to get into combat... For eg. Should we be applying a 'does not pin' cost reduction ruling to all close combat weapons, or a decreasing cost to power ratio for weapons in general?
The significant limitation of CCWs is not that they do not pin but their extremely short range. I didn't spend long looking at the spreadsheet, but has that been factored in somewhere?

(I see that longer ranges are given points, but it doesn't look as if an autogun's range counts for anything compared to something of equivalent S, AP, dmg, etc that is close combat only.)
 

almic85

Gang Hero
Oct 30, 2014
813
1,297
113
Palmerston, ACT, Australia
The significant limitation of CCWs is not that they do not pin but their extremely short range. I didn't spend long looking at the spreadsheet, but has that been factored in somewhere?

(I see that longer ranges are given points, but it doesn't look as if an autogun's range counts for anything compared to something of equivalent S, AP, dmg, etc that is close combat only.)
He has two parts. One part increases the cost for being above the "average"range and the other lower it for being below which are copied below.

> + 0.5 deadliness = Every 0-3" more than 12" max weapon range for pistols, Every 0-6" more than 24" max weapon range for basic/special/heavy weapons (it becomes harder to eyeball exact ranges at longer distances + there is more chance of terrain blocking line of sight), Blast marker persists/Area denial

> - 0.5 deadliness = Every 0-3" less than 12" max weapon range for pistols, Every 0-6" less than 24" max weapon range for basic/special/heavy weapons. Range costs allow comparison, with low-range Shooting weapons generally being less desirable due to increased risk of Melee Engagement. Long-range bonuses eventually taper off, due to reduced likelihood of being able to draw line of sight over longer distances.

I'm still not sure how the "deadliness" actually changes the costs though.
 

Ben_S

Hive Guilder
Honored Tribesman
Jul 26, 2015
4,254
6,548
158
Southampton, UK
He has two parts. One part increases the cost for being above the "average"range and the other lower it for being below which are copied below.

> + 0.5 deadliness = Every 0-3" more than 12" max weapon range for pistols, Every 0-6" more than 24" max weapon range for basic/special/heavy weapons...

> - 0.5 deadliness = Every 0-3" less than 12" max weapon range for pistols, Every 0-6" less than 24" max weapon range for basic/special/heavy weapons...
Right, but these only apply to pistols, basic, special, and heavy weapons - not CCWs, as far as I can see.

If we had an autogun with 18" max range, it would get a 'discount' for being relatively short-ranged (as a basic weapon).

But if we have a CCW with exactly the same stats, except zero range, then it has no discount because it's a CCW. So, effectively, it would be considered more deadly than the 18" autogun.
 

Thorgor

Of The YAQ
Oct 12, 2015
3,232
6,990
138
34
Issy-les-Moulineaux 92130 France
Coming up with a method to correctly price all those weapons is quite a task, honestly. I'm pretty sure those fine people at SG came up with some kind of relatively simple formula (probably additive) and then tweaked the results based on their experience (and, also, sprue composition — that's the only thing that can explain the 5c Escher lasgun)

I think @MrAnderson is on the right path as far as methodology is concerned. We need to come up with a set of possible scenarios (range, attacker BS, target T/Armour/Cover), weigh them (possibly using different weights depending on the weapon, to take into account that fighters with better BS will be given better weapons, that the bigger guns will be used to shoot bigger target, that sniper weapons will rarely be used at short range, etc.) and then, for each weapon, calculate some kind of metric (say average number of wounds per turn) Then we'll need to adjust for reliability and all the traits and effects that are not directly reflected in the metric (the fact that the target is pinned when hit, stuff like Template/Blast that can hit multiple fighters, Blaze, etc.)

Ranged weapons and CC weapons should probably be compared on two different scales and priced separately, as they do very different things (with Versatile and Sidearm weapons counting as both kind of weapons for this purpose).

It's not easy, and no formula will be perfect, but it seems doable.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Kairae

almic85

Gang Hero
Oct 30, 2014
813
1,297
113
Palmerston, ACT, Australia
I agree Thorgor that it is a noble effort and that Dark_star has put a lot of effort into his spreadsheet, but as you said it really needs to be based on how much damage they are capable of causing in a game, rather than just in a turn.

The issue I have with the method used is that it isn't grounded in how much damage weapons cause and makes the traits worth more than the stat increases. The Gas trait for instance is worth 3.5 deadliness, even though it exactly the same as a ST4 weapon which is only worth 1 deadliness.

Range, to hit modifiers and increased strength are the most important things that a weapon has over and above most traits. And of traits Blast and Rapid Fire are two of the best traits that a weapon can have (Web is also fantastic) and they are worth the least.

The basic lasgun should be the basis for weapon costings as it has no special rules and is pretty ordinary except for it's high short range, and I wuld sugest that you should use an imperial guard statline as the base (i.e. M5 WS3 BS3 ST3 T3 1A 1W) on a 36" x 36" board.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Ben_S

Dark_star

Juve
Jun 9, 2019
14
7
13
Hi almic85,
Column B has the original costs, and the adjusted costs plus who they apply to if there's any gang specifics.

The pistol vs basic weapon cost issue is down to if you think having the weapon available for a single attack in close combat is worth 12" of range. For melee weapons it's having the potential to use it for multiple attacks. Not sure what the balance should be for the close combat, pistol and general ranged categories should be.

All things being run through the same points calculator on the top right, one point of deadliness equates to 12 creds (column to the left of the deadliness one, with actual creds cost being rounded to the nearest 5).

Very good point about rapid fire. How would you weight it? - I hadn't thought about it having a multiplying effect. You still have to hit to get any of the damage, but you're right, it's actually much more potent than I first thought.

Much obliged.
 

Dark_star

Juve
Jun 9, 2019
14
7
13
Honestly, I appreciate the critique. That's the whole reason I posted this publicly. I'm hoping that someone who has a better grasp of probability can use this as a springboard to a better result.
I like to hope the underlying principles are valid..
 

almic85

Gang Hero
Oct 30, 2014
813
1,297
113
Palmerston, ACT, Australia
The idea is good, everyone will just have a different idea on the execution.

Mathwise you want to work out the likelihood that your average weapon will cause a wound against an average target at an average range an work from there. so pretend a person is standing say 17" away and take two actions to try and kill them.

Pistols will get an unaimed shot, most basic weapons will get an aimed shot at long range, and most heavy weapons will get an aimed shot at short range.

If you work out how many wounds per turn will be caused by each of the weapons it will give you an idea of how they should be adjusted up or down. Then you can start mucking around with what the traits actually do.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Chitriel and spafe

Dark_star

Juve
Jun 9, 2019
14
7
13
Hi everyone,
Just to give a little more info on how/why I used the numerical values that I did (most of this is on the spreadsheet in some form, although scattered about):

- I've played some games with the new edition Necromunda, but haven't gone through every scenario yet. My gut feeling though, is that with certain skills, like Infiltrate, and certain scenarios, it should be possible to position each weapon (or fighter carrying the weapon) in ideal range at least some of the time, beyond the basic of two gangs slowly approaching from opposite ends of the table. At least, this how I assume the game designers' thoughts ran, given that from the outset, an Autogun and a knife cost the same. I've assumed an underlying degree of logic, and figured that if my values ran far off from the original values, I was probably wrong.
- I have no idea how well reaching close-combat works with the new rule-set. I have my reservations, given that I'm used to having a basic charge range of 8" for everyone, but I figure that it's probably an essential when considering that at all times in Zone Mortalis, you are usually a short distance from a 90 degree corner.
- I've taken it that the chance of scoring a Hit is more valuable than the chance to Wound, is more valuable than the Armour save, due to Hits being required to activate weapon Traits, pinning, stand any chance of a Wound. Not everyone wears Armour, so there is a fair chance that Armour Penetration as a bonus goes unused.
- Traits such as Gas are more complex than simply delivering a Strength 4 Hit. As with many of the harder hitting weapons, a lot of the damage potential is probably wasted on an average target. Even so, it has to be factored in (within reason, else you could assume the fighter is attacking a tank, and gaining some very excessive Armour Penetration against it) - "Essentially S4 vs baseline stats, so +1 deadliness, Ignores wounds, so +2 deadliness [max General damage deadliness before tail-off], Ignores armour, so +1.5 deadliness [max General armour deadliness before tail-off], Does not pin, so -1 deadliness. Note the Inability of Gas weapons to attack mineral-based objects due to a lack of strength value, and the slight reduction in potential vs T6 compared to a traditional S4 weapon)."
- As much as I would love an entirely fair, statistical formula for the game, I'm not sure that it's 100% possible. There's so much variation to account for, even before you add human factors such as play style into the mix. I really would be happy if we can get it just so each weapon has a clear, and preferably individual function, and a cost that 'feels' reasonable for what you get (and doesn't lead to a weapon going unused or starting arguments). Starting with a numerical value system seems to make this easier/more achievable (at least for me) - For eg. Sawn off shotgun initially looks worse than a pistol, especially given the risks with it of ending up in Hand-to-hand with a weapon that you can't use. But - you know that if you get it into short range, it will ruin everyone's day. Your opponent knows that as well. We can't underestimate the psychological value that some weapons (and Traits) have over the battlefield. I remember in the original Necromunda, no-one I knew would risk going past line-of sight of an Overwatched Heavy bolter. That had a huge impact on games, even though in say, Chess, you wouldn't think twice about sacrificing a weaker piece as a shield if it got you into a stronger overall position.

Lots to consider. But I promise that I am listening to (and appreciating) what everyone has to say.
Can't say that I have the mental acuity to be able to act on all of it.. but I'll do my best!
Working at it as time allows.
Thanks all!
 

KA7777

Ganger
Jan 19, 2018
150
129
48
Canada
I appreciate the discussion your rankings have generated, but I think a quote from No Country For Old Men sums up my overall feelings about the value of your conclusions: "If the rule you followed brought you to this, of what use was the rule? "

If a methodology leads to a conclusion that the Boltgun should come down in price, that methodology shows itself to be fundamentally incorrect.

I agree with those who think that trying to assign a weapon an arbitrary "Deadliness" number is a foolish way to go about the task of ranking weapons, and that a valid "Deadliness Quotient" would focus on the likelihood of taking out a model.
 

MrAndersson

Ganger
Sep 18, 2018
101
51
33
Halmstad, Sweden
I have a method I use for evaluating ranged weapons that I presented (very briefly) in another thread. Here it is in a little more detail:

First, I make basic assumptions about a generalized situation in which the weapons are being used. I know they don't cover everything, but in the interest of finding a (reasonably) simple methodology, I think they will provide a good enough basis.
- All weapons in the comparison will have the same to hit number.
- 75% of the time, the target of the attack will have a toughness of 3 and 25% of the time it will be 4.
- The target has an armour save of 5+

I have then calculated the average number of wounds inflicted by firing each weapon once, taking into account all relevant stats of the weapon.

I then divided the experiment in three cases - in which each weapon is given to a fighter with a cost of 50, 100 and 150 respectively. This is done to answer the question "I have a fighter costing X, which would be the best weapon to put on them". For weapons with the Unwieldy trait, I have added 60 (the cost of Suspensor) to its cost.

I then divided the average damage output with the cost of the fighter+weapon, and multiplied with 100 (to get rid of some decimals).

Then, I calculated the reliability of each weapon by looking at the chance of jamming multiplied by the expected number of turns burnt un-jamming. For Scarce weapons, I (naturally) had to use a different formula. But it resulted in a value which should be interpreted as the number of turns out of 10 you can be expected to fire the weapon, given that there is a visible target within range. It ranges from 9.86 (Lasgun) to 6.73 (Heavy bolter).

After that, I corrected for range into something I call Time on target (term borrowed from other miniature game theorists). Basically, I assumed that weapons with a range of 36" would never fail to fire because of their range, 24" range weapons would be able to fire 90% of the time and 16-18" weapons 80% of the time. I have not yet put pistols and other short range weapons into the "machine".

So I multiplied the expected damage output per cost (for the three different cases) with reliability and time on target, which gave me a bunch of relative numbers that should be comparable to each other.

Here are a few:

For 50 cred fighters:
Autogun 0.434
Boltgun 0.700
Lasgun 0.278
Lasgun w/ hotshot 0.339
Shotgun, solid shot 0.513
Grenade launcher, krak 0.583

For 100 cred fighters:
Autogun 0.245
Boltgun 0.474
Lasgun 0.157
Lasgun w/ hotshot 0.214
Shotgun, solid shot 0.316
Grenade launcher. krak 0.406

For 150 cred fighters:
Autogun 0.171
Boltgun 0.359
Lasgun 0.110
Lasgun w/ hotshot 0.156
Shotgun, solid shot 0.228
Grenade launcher, krak 0.312

Now, there are of course a few problems with this method, or at least things not taken into account.

First of all, different weapons give different to hit bonuses at different ranges. I could not think of any way to mathematically correct for this (without taking qualitative values such as play styles and strategies into account).

Secondly, there are diminishing returns to the number of wounds inflicted on a single enemy fighter.
 

Dark_star

Juve
Jun 9, 2019
14
7
13
Hi MrAndersson,
That's really, really useful!
So mathematically (trying not to tie myself in knots here), for Hit range modifiers, we could assign a value by average bonus across the whole weapon range, which is imperfect, but should give a rough idea of how effective the bonus is overall. Or we can do a large table comparing all weapons at each range, say.. at 3" intervals. The problem is in then deciding what values are reflective of gameplay in Sector Mortalis, and what values are reflective of the longer ranges of Sector Mechanicus.

You're then saying that we've got a reliable formula for potential to be in range, a formula for damage output, and a formula for number of rounds weapon functions - this sounds like the full weapon stat line is accounted for, barring Traits?

Are you taking your damage output all the way through to chance of immediately taking the opponent Out of action?

It doesn't account for 'wasted' points of strength or armour piercing, but I guess it might be possible to figure an average value per point?

What other sticking points can people see?
 

MrAndersson

Ganger
Sep 18, 2018
101
51
33
Halmstad, Sweden
So mathematically, for Hit range modifiers, we could assign a value by average bonus across the whole weapon range, which is imperfect, but should give a rough idea of how effective the bonus is overall. Or we can do a large table comparing all weapons at each range, say.. at 3" intervals. The problem is in then deciding what values are reflective of gameplay in Sector Mortalis, and what values are reflective of the longer ranges of Sector Mechanicus.
The main problem I see is that at which range combat occurs is highly dependent of how the players involved play their gangs and the scenario. Thus it is hard to find an idealized case. The relationship between the strength of the weapon and the toughness of the target is much more static. AP vs armour even more so.

You're then saying that we've got a reliable formula for potential to be in range, a formula for damage output, and a formula for number of rounds weapon functions - this sounds like the full weapon stat line is accounted for, barring Traits?
I wouldn't go that far. What I have produced is relative numbers for comparing weapons, not an exact science. But it should give some indication as to which weapons are over- or underpriced.

Are you taking your damage output all the way through to chance of immediately taking the opponent Out of action?
I have run the numbers on that too, but not forged it into the weapon comparison. The reason for that is that it is easier to compare numerical values (number of wounds inflicted) than game effects (flesh wounds, serious injuries and OoAs).

But if you are interested, here are the statistics for rolling up to 4 injury dice.

1 die:
33.33% flesh wound
50.00% serious injury
16.67% out of action

2 dice:
11.11% two flesh wounds
25.00% serious injury
33.33% serious injury + flesh wound
30.56% out of action

3 dice:
3.70% three flesh wounds
12.50% serious injury
25.00% serious injury + flesh wound
16.67% serious injury + two flesh wounds
42.13% out of action

4 dice:
1.23% four flesh wounds
6.25% serious injury
16.67% serious injury + flesh wound
16.67% serious injury + two flesh wounds
7.41% serious injury + three flesh wounds
51.77% out of action

It doesn't account for 'wasted' points of strength or armour piercing, but I guess it might be possible to figure an average value per point?
That's true. But I assume 5+ is, by far, the most common armour save, since Mesh armour is so competitively priced compared to both Flak and Carapace.

For strength, my formula does take that into account. Weapons with strength 6 and strength 7, for example, wound get the same damage output, if all other things were equal. And that is perhaps a weakness with it, because there are certainly situations where it does matter, even if they are not common. The target in Sabotage, for example, or a stimmed-up Goliath.
 
Last edited:

Fold

Gang Hero
Oct 26, 2013
1,419
2,985
143
London E2
fromthewastes.com
I then divided the experiment in three cases - in which each weapon is given to a fighter with a cost of 50, 100 and 150 respectively. This is done to answer the question "I have a fighter costing X, which would be the best weapon to put on them". For weapons with the Unwieldy trait, I have added 60 (the cost of Suspensor) to its cost.
What are you trying to achieve here? As far as I can tell the classification of cost of fighter has no other effect so the final result the weapons are recommended for each fighter cost in exactly the same order.

The expense (quality) of the fighter should affect something, such as the chance to hit.
 

Wasteland

Ganger
Apr 7, 2018
118
128
53
Germany
To try to correctly apply a cost to all the weapons in Necromunda is alike to opening a can of worms. I still remember when the basic box hit the stores and the heavy stubber for my beloved Escher gang was only available in the pdf file. The heavy stubber had only ONE rapid fire die and it´s cost was above a 100 creds.
Why? GW stated that gangs which included this iconic heavy weapon would have had an unfair advantage over the gangs inside the core box. So you see their points cost is indeed not based upon a mathematic model but upon a sales driven mindset. And please don´t mention the dreaded grenade launcher. This thing is so undercosted that a lot of people came up with there very own way of addressing that problem.