Disintegrator Banks Are A Better Return On Your Investment
Having played a few games now, all the way up to 2000 points, I have fallen in love with a group. No it is not my Amethyst spam, which I do love that group as well, it is my Vanguard group consisting of an Onyx, Amber, and two Topaz.
Now the first thing most people will ask is, “Why not a group with Particle Lances?” If you take the equivalent group with the auto crit lance, you only get 7 shots for a total of 12 damage. Now taking averages into account and missing shots, you will miss 2-3 of the shots bringing your damage total anywhere from 5 to 10 damage on a round of shooting. Now the same round of shooting with Disintegrator Banks as i mentioned earlier you have 24 shots, which will give you 8 misses, 8 hits and 8 crits. Already on average compared to the low end of the Particle Lance, you are dealing 3 more damage, and then on top of that there are 8 more shots that your opponent needs to roll saves on, with a chance that they will fail on average 2-3 of them bringing your damage total to 10-11, almost as much as hitting with every shot in a Particle Lance group.
Now let's talk firing arcs. Particle Lances are a front narrow arc, meaning you must take the time to get your ships lined up for the shot which also means if you must turn to do this, you will be unable to go weapons free and get the max number of shots. Now if you play things out correctly you can minimize this, but it will happen. Now the Onyx and Amber have full front and side arcs, this opens up the field of fire and give you a much better chance to bring all shots on target more often. With both groups you have the same ability for group spacing for coherency, but Disintegrator banks give you the ability for a greater field of fire. Having such a wide field of fire will also help you control the tempo of the games, since you are able to effectively able to shot at around ⅓ of the table instead of 1/9 of the table.
Part of the reason why I also prefer this grouping over the Particle Lance's, because we have all had bad days where we can’t roll to save our lives. Having a smaller number of dice to roll will give you a better chance of failing more rolls. Having more dice to roll will give you more a much larger dice pool and while you may miss with a lot of shoots if the dice gods are not in your favor, you are rolling three and a half time more dice. You may miss a lot but you will still get some hits in. Now I know this may sound like a silly or weak reason but I would much rather have many good shots, than a few great shots.
To sum it up, i would much rather have a greater field of fire, with a larger quantity of quality shot. My recommendation take this group, and may you opponents fear you and your shaltnangians when you go weapons free.
Thoughts from Lyraeus:
Who let this marine on my blog. . . oh. . . I did. Well guys, another great post by GFW. Lots of information here and it all looks great! I like Particle Lances but the math favors the many shots. . .