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FuelDrop
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PostSubject: Contemplations on the Shadowfield   Wed Sep 27 2017, 10:05

When the Shadowfield was first introduced, a 2++ save was a VERY big deal. I mean, back then a stormshield gave you a 4++ and many HQs had far less potent if more reliable defenses. But now, with the fact that not only are there plenty of ways to flat out ignore invulnerable saves (mortal wounds and psyker shenanegans), but powerful invulnerable saves are more common, is the Shadowfield vanishing after a single bad roll and leaving us with a 5+ armour (and no way to upgrade this) really still needed in our modern game, where it is entirely possible to kill a character without ever allowing him to make his invulnerable save?

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Lord Johan
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PostSubject: Re: Contemplations on the Shadowfield   Wed Sep 27 2017, 10:27

It seems like it would be a reasonable and interesting save (good vs high damage single shots, bad vs rapid fire) for a relatively cheap model. If only the Archon weren't just a really really expensive Sybarite otherwise. Protecting 1 blaster that way at such cost is a waste.

If by "needed" you mean that you could still choose to not take it and cut 25 pts from the price of the Archon then I think everybody would do that immediately.
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nerdelemental
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PostSubject: Re: Contemplations on the Shadowfield   Wed Sep 27 2017, 12:17

Last week I ran 3 Archon with Blasters and Power Swords. One court of 4 Slyth. They were each in a different Raider with 9 Kabs or one Venom with the Slyth. Flying close together, but room in between for other mobility. When they dumped out in the middle of the table I had them all converge into a quasi unit. 3 Archon. 4 Slyth. My opponent nearly flipped the table several turns later because he couldn't figure out how to get them all out of the way.
It was hella expensive. However, he was using words like "broken" and "unfair" and "poorly playtested to allow that through".
Things just look different on the other side of the table.
Certainly changed my perspective on them. I ran them as a fluff 'joke'. Just to get a whole bunch of arrogance on the board.
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Count Adhemar
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PostSubject: Re: Contemplations on the Shadowfield   Wed Sep 27 2017, 12:25

At the very least they should remove the restriction on not being able to re-roll it. If you want to burn a CP to keep your Archon alive then you should be able to do so, especially when your opponent can burn CPs to remove the Shadowfield save completely!

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URIEN
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PostSubject: Re: Contemplations on the Shadowfield   Wed Sep 27 2017, 12:31

As annoying as re-rolling our 2++ would be to our opponent we are paying to do so with a CP. I think that'd be ok really. considering we'd only be able to re-roll it in either players shooting and/ or assault phase. Plus it's not like we're trying to keep someone alive that's "amazing".

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PostSubject: Re: Contemplations on the Shadowfield   Wed Sep 27 2017, 12:39

@URIEN wrote:
As annoying as re-rolling our 2++ would be to our opponent we are paying to do so with a CP. I think that'd be ok really. considering we'd only be able to re-roll it in either players shooting and/ or assault phase. Plus it's not like we're trying to keep someone alive that's "amazing".

Honestly, I was fine with it being non-rerollable if it didn't vanish on the first failed save. Maybe have it degrade as woulds are lost. 2++ until first wound is lost, then 3++, ect ect.

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URIEN
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PostSubject: Re: Contemplations on the Shadowfield   Wed Sep 27 2017, 13:02

That could work actually. I did roll 2 1's in a game when I was first required to take a save that warranted using it. Rather unlucky there

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PostSubject: Re: Contemplations on the Shadowfield   Wed Sep 27 2017, 13:47

One bad roll and our HQ gets the defensive statline of a 3-point conscript, with some extra wounds.

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URIEN
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PostSubject: Re: Contemplations on the Shadowfield   Wed Sep 27 2017, 14:23

Yeah I know, kinda rubbish. Wish we could take Ghostplate again at least. Or give us our own Incubus warsuit of sorts. That'd be cool. But a degenerating Shadowfield seems off as in the lore they are known to just stop working all of a sudden.

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PostSubject: Re: Contemplations on the Shadowfield   Wed Sep 27 2017, 14:37

The shadow field is instigated by the user's own willpower. As I understand it, it requires concentration to activate. I think it would be cool if you COULD reactivate it, if you didn't shoot or fight in the fight phase of a given turn.
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URIEN
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PostSubject: Re: Contemplations on the Shadowfield   Wed Sep 27 2017, 14:42

Damn that'd be cool also

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PostSubject: Re: Contemplations on the Shadowfield   Wed Sep 27 2017, 14:43

Okay let's actually get some math on this. I'm going to phrase the question of "how good is the Shadowfield?" in the calculable form of "What is the equivalent ordinary invuln save to the shadowfield at a given number of wounds?" To give a worst-case estimate I'm going to say the weapon is AP -2 so there will be no saves after the shadowfied fails. We're now in the phase where the opponent has successfully wounded the Archon and you are going to roll your save. Wounds suffered by the archon for 10 successful wound rolls is:

1/6 of the time (you fail your save the first time): 10
5/6*1/6 of the time (you fail the second time): 9
5/6*5/6*1/6 of the time (you fail the third time): 8
...
(5/6)^9*1/6: 1
(5/6)^10: 0

and the total is
sum of x=0 to 9 ((5/6)^x*1/6*(10-x))

which is 5.8 damage taken.

The equivalent for invuln save of s would be
10*(s-1)/6 so let's solve 10*(s-1)/6 = 5.8, that gives s=4.48. If you had an invuln save of 4+ you would take 5 damage and if you had an invuln save of 5+ you would take 6.66... damage so seems right.

Then the general form is
a*(s-1)/6=sum((5/6)^x*1/6*(a-x)), x=0 to a-1

this autosolves as a!=0, s = (6^(-a) (7 6^a a + 6 5^(a + 1) - 5 6^(a + 1)))/a
let's table it with Wolfram Alpha as Table[(6^(-a) (7×6^a a + 6×5^(a + 1) - 5×6^(a + 1)))/a, {a, 1, 10}]//N
This gives
{2., 2.41667, 2.78704, 3.1169, 3.41127, 3.67449, 3.91035, 4.12213, 4.31269, 4.48452}

So obviously vs. 1 wound the Shadowfield is a 2+ invulnerable. Vs 2 or 3 successive wounds it is still better than a 3+ invulnerable. Vs 4 to 7 successive wounds it is better than a 4+ invulnerable. Vs 8 or more successive wounds it is better than a 5+ invulnerable. I think if your opponent fires at your Archon more than that he is messing up his target priority already, but if it goes further then obviously it becomes worse and it becomes equivalent to a 6+ invulnerable at about 30 successful wounds.


Hope this was useful in seeing how bad/good it is. Was for me.
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URIEN
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PostSubject: Re: Contemplations on the Shadowfield   Wed Sep 27 2017, 14:49

Nope. As once it stops working it stops. No amount of math hammer will sway me from thinking we at least need a back up to this since we , as stated, only have a 5+ normally.

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PostSubject: Re: Contemplations on the Shadowfield   Wed Sep 27 2017, 15:00

Archons should have Ghostplate, not Kabalite Armour. 4+/6++ would at least be some protection when the Shadowfield collapses.

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URIEN
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PostSubject: Re: Contemplations on the Shadowfield   Wed Sep 27 2017, 15:02

They should at least have it as an upgrade again if not basic.

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Lord Nakariial
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PostSubject: Re: Contemplations on the Shadowfield   Wed Sep 27 2017, 15:03

@FuelDrop wrote:


Honestly, I was fine with it being non-rerollable if it didn't vanish on the first failed save. Maybe have it degrade as woulds are lost. 2++ until first wound is lost, then 3++, ect ect.

This is a fantastic idea! Love it!

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PostSubject: Re: Contemplations on the Shadowfield   Thu Sep 28 2017, 06:19

@nerdelemental wrote:
My opponent nearly flipped the table several turns later because he couldn't figure out how to get them all out of the way.
It was hella expensive. However, he was using words like "broken" and "unfair" and "poorly playtested to allow that through".

Yooo this is hilarious, I gotta try this man! thanks for the idea.

and @Lord Johan, I think I understood your math(for the most part) and I think its basically saying that, the more wounds are put onto the Archon, the more and more likely we are to fail it, eventually. But at that point, even if its conscript spam firing in, the opponent has essentially wasted time and effort on killing the Archon when much better targets could've been chosen. Because even if they are causing 30 wounds or something ridiculous, those wounds won't carry over after he's dead. so RIP those extra shots, or any multiwound shots that get stopped on the shield.

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PostSubject: Re: Contemplations on the Shadowfield   Thu Sep 28 2017, 06:57

Yes. I agree with you there.

I'll try to clarify the math once more since it doesn't seem like it is that clear what I meant. What the math means, simply, is which ordinary invulnerable save the Archon's shadowfield corresponds to. People are saying the Shadowfield is not reliable, but of course this argument only depends on the math, doesn't it? Nothing in this game is reliable as such, everything is probability, you always fail on 1.

So to illustrate the probability I calculated the corresponding normal invulnerable save. As in, which normal invulnerable save on the model would let you, on average, save as many times, when taking that many wounds, as the Archon.

So it turns out that if the opponent is trying to kill your Archon with 3 lascannons, the Shadowfield is better (and yes, more reliable in the plain sense of the word) than a 3+ invulnerable save. But if the opponent is trying to kill your archon with 40 bolter hits the Shadowfield is only equivalent to the Archon having a 6+ invulnerable save.

I thought it was pretty illustrative personally.
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PostSubject: Re: Contemplations on the Shadowfield   Thu Sep 28 2017, 07:04

OH SNAP

Yeah that wording makes it a lot easier to understand.

As always though, the dice gods are fickle beings. Making men become gods in time of need and others, just mice to be harvested.

More dice you roll, higher your chance of success as usual. Maybe the flashlights light up the shadows in the field, making him easier to hit and kill or something...

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PostSubject: Re: Contemplations on the Shadowfield   Thu Sep 28 2017, 07:24

@Lord Johan wrote:


So it turns out that if the opponent is trying to kill your Archon with 3 lascannons, the Shadowfield is better (and yes, more reliable in the plain sense of the word) than a 3+ invulnerable save. But if the opponent is trying to kill your archon with 40 bolter hits the Shadowfield is only equivalent to the Archon having a 6+ invulnerable save.

I thought it was pretty illustrative personally.

Yes, this exactly. Shoot a bunch of flashlights at the archon and finish with a big hitter and he is a dead man.
The shadowfield essentially makes it easier to kill him if you use the right tool for the job which is a mixture of weapons.
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PostSubject: Re: Contemplations on the Shadowfield   Thu Sep 28 2017, 08:13

Yes! Does that mean the Shadowfield is bad? In my opinion no!

The Archon is a similarly costed model to the Succubus and I am assuming these models are meant to be similarly powered. The Succubus gets a 4+ invulnerable save. The Archon's save is better if he gets wounded 7 or fewer times (see above). So if you consider the bolters (these are special AP-2 bolters, in reality the Archon does somewhat better because he gets 5+ after shadowfield collapse) then the Archon is better defended than the Succubus until he is fired at by 3/2*3/2*7=15.75 bolters. And after that he is worse defended. This seems completely balanced to me and I do not think the doom and gloom here is supported by analysis. And you've got to remember that despite how bad losing the shadowfield "feels", defense in this game is completely probabilistic and a matter of how many rolls you can expect to pass and units should be compared on that basis.

To me the issue with the Archon is still, as always, that he has too little offensive output and/or too little utility so if your opponent knows that he can be safely ignored, he is just a waste of points despite reasonable defence for the price.
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PostSubject: Re: Contemplations on the Shadowfield   Thu Sep 28 2017, 09:11

I really like the Shadowfield and it is still one of the best saves in the game until it fails...and I am fine with that because you can't have your cake and eat it.

For anyone that has sat their Archon in front of 40 Bolter shots then shame on you lol!
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PostSubject: Re: Contemplations on the Shadowfield   Thu Sep 28 2017, 10:09

@Dark Elf Dave wrote:
I really like the Shadowfield and it is still one of the best saves in the game until it fails...and I am fine with that because you can't have your cake and eat it.

For anyone that has sat their Archon in front of 40 Bolter shots then shame on you lol!

What else are we going to use him for?!?

The question in my mind when I started this thread was simple: Is the Shadowfield failing after a single failed save a product of the 3rd edition mindset in which it was designed, and thus obsolete in the modern 40k environment.

The general consensus seems to be keeping it as is. Personally, I think that:
a) we should be able to throw on some ghostplate underneath it and
b) we should be able to reroll it with command points to prevent a single bad roll killing off our warlord turn 1 by dropping his defenses nearly completely.

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PostSubject: Re: Contemplations on the Shadowfield   Thu Sep 28 2017, 10:22

Yes I agree it makes more sense that the chap in charge has armour at least as good as Ghostplate armour...maybe GW felt like giving an Archon a 2+ invul and then when it failed a 4+/6++ then 6++ PfP was pushing it a bit. I mean that's 3 invul saves on the same model which some might consider too much even if the last two are only 6++.

I think with the Archon we need to hang fire and see what comes out in the codex. Right now he seems pants, but I think the Archon is likely to improve in the codex.
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PostSubject: Re: Contemplations on the Shadowfield   Thu Sep 28 2017, 11:12

I think the Archon is fine with a basic 5+ armour save if the good invulnerable save fails. It means that they can get away with a lot but it discourages just using him to soak up firepower which doesn't make sense from a fluff perspective. If you get enough shots against him the shadow-field will inevitably fail. What he does need is better weapons and more 'cheats' up his sleeve in my opinion, to offset his relative lack of resilience (shadowfield excluded). He should be able to leave a group of lowly enemies who dare attack him as a pile of dust. He needs more esoteric wargear for sure, to make him more scary for the opponent. Right now he's a kabalite warrior with nice invulnerable save but offers little else.
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