Monday, 19 July 2010

Mathshammer - Zoanthropes vs. Tyrannofex

The only reliable high strength ranged weapons available to Tyranids are the Tyrannofex Rupture Cannon and the Zoanthropes Warp Lance.

Much of the Internet seems to think the Tyrannofex is too expensive to have just to kill tanks and thinks I* should have Zoanthropes instead.

* by 'I' I obviously mean anybody reading the posts in question. I'm in no way claiming that there is a massive internet campaign to make me personally buy Zoanthropes...


The Good
1) S10, AP 1, Lance Weapon
2) Oh wait, there was only 1...never mind...okay, if I must give a balanced response..they're cheaper than a Tyrannofex...happy now?

The Bad
1) Zoanthropes use up an important Elite slot that I really need for Hive Guard
2) They're not that tough...Before anybody starts mentioning 3+ Invulnerable Saves here lets remember that 2 Wounds, T4 and a 3+ Save still means a squad of Imperial fucking Guardsmen can probably 'torrent' one to death.
3) Short range
4) Slow as fuck unless your Deepstriking them and we all know how reliable that is without some kind of Homing device or special rule**

** the simple fact is, the reason you probably wanted a Warp Lance was so you could kill Land Raiders and if you don't turn up till turn 3 then that Land Raider has already delivered something killy into the middle of your army.


The Good
1) Long Range
2) T6, 6 Wounds and a 2+ Armour save takes some killing.
3) It's secondary ranged weapons are quite nice anti-infantry which gives the unit some duality.
4) Its still a great big Monstrous Creature so can tarpit units or 'mop-up' in combat as well

The Bad
1) 265 points is a fair chunk of your army.

Okay looks like I'm going to have to resort to Mathshammer to decide this one.

2 shots at BS3 so we get 1 Hit
0.33 Chance of a pen
0.11 Chance of a Wreck or Exploded result.
Obviously with cover from smoke (or whatever) that drops to a 0.055 chance of 'killing' a Land Raider.

That isn't very good so I must be wrong and the Zoanthrope is better...or is it...

S10, AP1, Lance
1 shot, but first we need to pass our psychic test so were down to 0.82
Now we need to hit so 0.547 chance to hit
0.365 chance to pen,
0.183 chance of a Wrecked or Destroyed result.

So it's a bit better, of course cover drops that to 0.0915 which is still better than the Tyrannofex...

Until we take psychic defence into account,

A psychic hood has (for the most part) a 33% chance of stopping a psychic power so suddenly its dropped to 0.061 Vs. a Librarians Psychic Hood or 0.0458 Vs. a Space Wolf Runic weapon.

So admittedly a Zoanthrope is very slightly more likely to kill a Land Raider. It is however vastly more likely to arrive after it doesn't really matter as the Land Raider has delivered it's cargo or to get shot to pieces before it's in range.

I think I'll keep my Tyrannofex if nobody minds...


  1. Hooray for people making sense!

  2. Also, the analysis failed to take into account, if the zoe was pod dropped, it landing out of range of the land raider. The Land Raider, however will always be in range of the t-fex.

  3. @ Sharkticon - though your unlikely to scatter out of range as Warp Lance has an 18" Range and the max you could scatter is 12", your right that it is a possibility so adds another nail to the Zoanthrope coffin.

  4. Firstly, a slight error in your maths with the Zoan's chance of passing a psychic test at 0.82.

    LD10 = 33/36 chance = 0.9166667

    This would shift the calculation to a 0.2 chance of a wreck/destroyed result.

    I'd also question your psychic hood calculations. As both Zoanthropes and Librarians have a typical LD of 10, and the marine player has to *beat* the opposing roll, it's a 21/36 = 0.58333 chance the zoanthrope will beat the hood (worse odds than your estimate of 0.66 chance of success).

    Fair comments made all the same, but does fail to take the point weighting into account. Yes, a SINGLE zoanthrope has those odds, but even with a spore will only come to 100pts. The math when taking two (still coming in 105pts cheaper than the tfex) bumps up to a 0.36 chance of wrecked/destroyed. 3 Zoans (again still 45pts lower than a tfex) gives a very nice 0.495 chance!

    Taking absolute worst case scenarios of vehicle in cover / passenger with a hood / both, this now gives:

    Single zoan: 0.1 / 0.12 / 0.06
    Two zoans: 0.19 / 0.22 / 0.12
    Three zoans: 0.28 / 0.32 / 0.17

    I would also hope that, whilst of course weighting the mathhammer appropriately, make sure you take into account non-math factors. Deep-striking Zoanthropes can provide forward synapse as well as suddenly dropping Shadow in the Warp for some payback against those psychic hoods. Zoans do also share the possession an alternative attack to provide flexibility vs infantry.

  5. @ Stormy - All good points. My main issue with Zoanthropes is that they generally only get one chance to kill something and then are destroyed or neutralised in assault, whereas a Tyrannofex gets multiple attempts to do the same job.

    It's kind of like the difference between a Combi-Melta and a Meltagun I suppose.

  6. Even if a Tyrannofex was able to plug away at the same target turn after turn, it's still need to do so for 5 turns before it had a better chance of a wreck/explode result, which is my main point. Even taking in the randomness of reserve rolls, they still provides more reliability on a point-by-point basis than tyrannofexes. I realise you're enamoured with them, but if you want to go by the mathhammer, Zoans still trump them I'm afraid


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