Monday, September 28, 2009

Rangers vs Pathfinders

"Rangers versus Pathfinders" or "Yet another reason why Rangers are a better choice."

Raptor1313 recently did another stellar review of Eldar Foot Troops choices over here. He covered a great majority of the salient points. But what about damage? How do they compare for math-hammer? So I promised to post my cost analysis. You guys can thank Eriochrome's recent posts for getting me to put these in graph form rather than spreadsheet. I confess, I'm a programmer and the numbers tend to mean more to me than the presentation.

So here's the first run:

The above graph shows you the percent chance of a single shot to cause a wound. It includes to-hit, Rending, Cover... everything.
The Pathfinders have a 1/6th higher chance of doing an AP2 shot. So they slightly outperform the Rangers for damage per shot.

But then we factor in costs...:

And here we see the chance to wound per point. (The actual numbers are chance divided by cost and then times 100 for sake of easy reading.)
Even though the Pathfinders do more damage per shot, Rangers outperform in every single category. Said another way: you'll do more damage with 10 Rangers rather than 8 Pathfinders.

Cheers! (Image blatantly grabbed from GW's site and will be removed if asked.) Now off to swap graphs into my Falcon analysis...

**Space Hulk update: Termies and 4 Genestealers cleaned and assembled.**


  1. Good analysis on that, it's food for thought. However, I rarely take Rangers/Pathfinders for their killing power. When I take them it's usually for camping somewhere and getting a 2+ cover save.

    Also, the graphs are great!

  2. End of the day I'm more impressed with the unit's ability to camp on an objective. Snipers just aren't that killy; it's more the pain it takes to kill them. Unless flamers are involved.

  3. Can you show us a graph of survivability (ignoring flamers)? Maybe follow that up with survivability/cost, similar to what you did here with damage?

  4. When one factors in survivability, the pathfinders win out by a large margin. The 2+ cover save cuts in half the likelihood of failing a save compared to the ranger's 3+. As objective campers, the pathfinders cannot be beaten.

    A second factor that I believe goes in the favor of the pathfinders is that they ignore terrain when moving. This allows pathfinders to sometimes escape away from attackers that get bogged down in terrain.

  5. Hey guys, thanks for the comments!

    Alaitoc was my first Eldar army and it pains me to say this... but camping is really their primary point. Any actual damage they do is just a bonus and rarely more than a minor harassment.

    @mchmr6677: Being mainly "campers", would you agree with the above statement? So then add in the "Go to Ground" rule... now your Rangers have a 2+ save also. As a 1 always fails, GtG only benefits Pathfinders against Tau markerlights.

    The movement point is valid, but I think of limited use. 3d6 and picking the highest gives you some good probability of having sufficient move. The chance of rolling a certain move is:
    1" 1/216 (0.5%)
    2" 7/216 (3.2%)
    3" 19/216 (8.8%)
    4" 37/216 (17.1%)
    5" 61/216 (28.2%)
    6" 91/216 (42.1%)
    So with just over a 70% chance of moving 5"+? With how rarely they need to move, I'd rather save the points and take the risk.

    Oh, one thing you didn't mention: Pathfinders go at Initiative when assaulting into cover. No difficult terrain test = no I reduction. :-)

    All that together? I think it's worth saving the points for other toys.

    @Faolain: The graphs really aren't that much extra work and really do make things more presentable. I'll be updating some older posts today and you can expect to see them on future ones too.

    @Master DarkSol: Well, it'd just be a flat graph if compared to against a single shot... but casualties taken over time could certainly show a difference. I'll work something up with that!