Hammer of Math: Necromathda II – Lots of Guns Edition

Greetings fellow hive scum! This week in Hammer of Math we’re going back to Hive Primus to take another look at the math behind Necromunda. We’re doing a deep dive into all the ranged weapons, comparing how the various options such as Scattershot and Gas affect the probability of putting the hurt on your opponent.

We covered the basics behind how Necromunda functions back in December, but one of the things that makes this game so much fun is the sheer variety of weapons and options that gangers can bring. Want to shoot a giant harpoon that can impale your enemy and hit the guy behind them? There’s a gun for that. Want to use a hand-held fusion gun capable of melting hole through the armor of an Astartes? There’s a gun for that. Want to unleash alien heresy upon the planet and surround your foe in a cloud of xenos crafted needles? Well it’s not a gun, but there’s a box for that. The wacky and weird options that Necromunda offers can be a lot of fun, but it can also be overwhelming for a player. The intent of this article to take a look at those options and help players avoid traps (and help Arbitrators tweak things as needed).

The Method

For this analysis we’re looking at probability. Every attack is a sequence of events with a defined chance of success; the accumulation of those probabilities results in a final value that we can compare between weapons. For the purpose of this analysis we’re going to set a defined goal; the probability that the attack will cause a Serious Injury or Out of Action against a common ganger target. For the purpose of this article we’ll be focusing on ranged weapons only, and if there’s interest melee weapons might be looked at in the future. The target in this case will be a T3, S3, 1W ganger with a 5+ armor save. This means the attack will have to hit, wound, get through the armor, and not result in a Flesh Wound result on the Injury die. We’ll also have to incorporate several effects based on the attributes of the weapon. The specific abilities are below:

Template: The weapon automatically hits if the target is under a template.

Blast: The weapon has either a 3″ or 5″ blast template, making it easier to hit the target as even a miss has a chance to scatter and stay over the target. This was covered in the previous article; we’re assuming a 25mm base for this analysis.

Blaze: If the target is hit the player rolls a die; on a 4+ the target takes an additional S3, AP -1, 1D hit and can be set on fire.

Gas: If hit the player rolls a d6; if the result is equal to or greater than the Toughness characteristic of the target then it is automatically wounded and an Injury die is immediately rolled.

Graviton: Instead of a wound roll, the target model must roll equal to or under their Strength characteristic or they will be wounded.

Melta: At half range the target is automatically taken Out of Action if an Injury roll is made.

Pulverize: After making an Injury roll the attacking player can roll a d6; if the result is equal to or greater than the Toughness characteristic of the target then a Flesh Wound result can be changed into a Serious Injury.

Rending: On a wound roll of a natural 6 the damage of the attack is increased by 1.

Scattershot: If the attack hits then d6 wound rolls are made instead of 1.

Seismic: On a wound roll of a natural 6 no armor save can be made against the attack.

Shock: On a hit roll of a natural 6 the wound roll is automatically passed.

Toxin: Instead of a wound roll the player must roll equal to or greater than the Toughness characteristic of the target. If successful the target is automatically injured regardless of how many wounds it has. I assumed that an armor save was still made since Toxin weapons have an AP characteristic.

Webbing: If the target is hit, it is “Webbed” which is functionally identical to a Serious Injury result.

There are some important caveats here. First, this analysis completely ignores range or cost. Both are critically important for determining the final efficacy of a weapon, particularly cost. Another caveat is that as the campaign advances armor becomes significantly more prevalent, making penetration a key stat. In a future article we may revisit this chart and look at representative threats from later on in the campaign.

The Results

I debated a bunch of ways to show this, but I decided a table that you can sort and look through would be the best. Note that if you can’t find a specific ammunition option (for example rad-phage shotgun shells) look for something with identical stats (like standard shotgun ammunition). I only added ammunition if the result would be different with respect to the probability of inflicting a Serious Injury result. I’ve also provided a version of this on Google Sheets that you can download; access it here.

Probability of Serious Injury

WeaponTypeAmmo/Option2+3+4+5+6+
LasgunBasicStandard19%15%11%7%4%
LasgunBasicFocusing Crystal28%22%17%11%6%
LaspistolPistolStandard19%15%11%7%4%
LaspistolPistolFocusing Crystal28%22%17%11%6%
Las CarbineBasicStandard28%22%17%11%6%
Las CarbineBasicFocusing Crystal39%31%23%16%8%
Las SubcarbinePistolStandard28%22%17%11%6%
Las SubcarbinePistolFocusing Crystal39%31%23%16%8%
Long LasSpecialStandard25%20%15%10%5%
Long LasSpecialFocusing Crystal37%30%22%15%7%
Suppression LaserBasicShort33%26%20%13%7%
Suppression LaserBasicFocusing Crystal49%40%30%20%10%
LascannonHeavy67%53%40%27%13%
AutopistolPistolStandard28%22%17%11%6%
AutopistolPistolFragmentation34%27%20%13%7%
AutopistolPistolManstopper35%28%21%14%7%
AutopistolPistolStatic32%27%21%16%10%
AutogunBasicStandard28%22%17%11%6%
AutogunBasicFragmentation34%27%20%13%7%
AutogunBasicManstopper35%28%21%14%7%
AutogunBasicStatic32%27%21%16%10%
Compact AutopistolPistol19%15%11%8%4%
BoltgunBasicStandard53%43%32%21%11%
BoltgunBasicGas38%32%26%20%14%
BoltgunBasicGunk25%20%15%10%5%
BoltgunBasicShatter24%20%16%12%9%
BoltgunBasicPenetrator62%49%37%25%12%
Bolt PistolPistolStandard41%33%25%16%8%
Bolt PistolPistolGas38%32%26%20%14%
Bolt PistolPistolGunk25%20%15%10%5%
Bolt PistolPistolShatter24%20%16%12%9%
Storm BolterSpecialStandard73%58%44%29%15%
Storm BolterSpecialGas38%32%26%20%14%
Storm BolterSpecialGunk56%45%33%22%11%
Storm BolterSpecialShatter24%20%16%12%9%
Heavy BolterSpecialStandard77%62%46%31%11%
Heavy BolterSpecialGunk56%45%33%22%11%
Warpstorm BolterBasicStandard53%43%32%21%11%
Hand FlamerPistol27%27%27%27%27%
Scrap FlamerSpecial27%27%27%27%27%
FlamerSpecial42%42%42%42%42%
Heavy FlamerHeavy49%49%49%49%49%
Inferno PistolPistolLong Range62%49%37%25%12%
Inferno PistolPistolShort Range69%56%42%28%14%
MeltagunSpecialLong Range67%53%40%27%13%
MeltagunSpecialShort Range69%56%42%28%14%
Multi-MeltaHeavyLong Range69%58%47%35%25%
Multi-MeltaHeavyShort Range72%60%48%37%26%
Plasma PistolPistolLow41%33%25%16%8%
Plasma PistolPistolMaximal67%53%40%27%13%
Plasma GunSpecialLow53%43%32%21%11%
Plasma GunSpecialMaximal67%53%40%27%13%
Plasma CannonHeavyLow63%50%38%25%13%
Plasma CannonHeavyMaximal69%58%47%35%25%
Grav-GunSpecial32%27%21%16%11%
Grav CannonHeavy33%29%25%21%16%
Combat ShotgunBasicSalvo Fire45%36%27%18%9%
Combat ShotgunBasicShredder Blast41%41%41%41%41%
Combat ShotgunBasicFirestorm Shells42%42%42%42%42%
Combat ShotgunBasicGas Shells38%32%26%20%14%
Combat ShotgunBasicShatter24%20%16%12%9%
Sawn-off ShotgunBasicStandard45%36%27%18%9%
Sawn-off ShotgunBasicShatter24%20%16%12%9%
ShotgunBasicAcid Rounds56%45%34%22%11%
ShotgunBasicExecutioner Ammo41%33%25%16%8%
ShotgunBasicGas Shells38%32%26%20%14%
ShotgunBasicInferno Ammo29%23%17%11%6%
ShotgunBasicScatter Ammo34%27%20%14%7%
ShotgunBasicShatter Shells24%20%16%12%9%
ShotgunBasicSolid Ammo33%26%20%13%7%
Stub GunPistolStandard19%15%11%7%4%
Stub GunPistolDum Dum25%20%15%10%5%
Heavy StubberHeavyStandard63%51%38%25%13%
Heavy StubberHeavyStatic67%54%41%28%15%
Long RifleSpecialStandard31%25%19%12%6%
Long RifleSpecialStatic34%28%22%15%9%
Web PistolPistol67%67%67%67%67%
Web ProjectorPistol33%33%33%33%33%
Web GunSpecial67%67%67%67%67%
Web ShooterSpecial33%33%33%33%33%
Needle PistolPistol31%25%19%12%6%
Needle Long RifleSpecial37%30%22%15%7%
BlunderbussBasicGrape Shot41%41%41%41%41%
BlunderbussBasicPurgation Shot27%27%27%27%27%
BlunderbussBasicEmperor's Wrath41%33%25%16%8%
Heavy CrossbowHeavyFrag26%23%20%17%13%
Heavy CrossbowHeavyKrak62%49%37%25%12%
Flechette PistolPistolSolid28%22%17%11%6%
Flechette PistolPistolFleshbane35%28%21%14%7%
Concussion CarbineSpecial25%21%17%13%9%
Heavy Concussion RamHeavy33%28%23%17%12%
Sniper RifleSpecial33%27%20%13%7%
Mining LaserHeavy67%53%40%27%13%
Seismic CannonHeavyShort Wave64%51%39%26%13%
Krumper Rivet CannonHeavyRapid Fire54%43%32%22%11%
Krumper Rivet CannonHeavySuper-Heated Rivet67%53%40%27%13%
Storm WelderSpecial70%57%43%29%16%
Stub CannonBasicStandard25%20%15%10%5%
Stub CannonBasicStatic Rounds27%22%17%12%7%
Harpoon LauncherHeavy37%30%22%15%7%
AutocannonHeavy70%56%42%28%14%
Arc RifleBasic42%34%26%19%11%
Balefire ThrowerSpecial54%54%54%54%54%
Demiurg Energy DrillHeavy62%49%37%25%12%
Hrud FusilSpecialLow63%50%38%25%13%
Hrud FusilSpecialMaximal67%53%40%27%13%
Kai HellspearSpecial38%30%23%15%8%
Kroot long rifleBasic25%20%15%10%5%
Missile LauncherHeavyFrag33%29%25%21%16%
Missile LauncherHeavyKrak67%53%40%27%13%
Mole LauncherHeavy48%40%32%24%17%
Necrotic BeamerSpecial77%62%46%31%15%
Neural FlayerSpecialFull Blast59%59%59%59%59%
Rak'Gol Razor GunBasic69%56%42%28%14%
Sling GunBasic49%39%30%20%10%
Stake-CrossbowBasic19%15%11%7%4%
Withertouch PistolPistol28%22%17%11%6%
Yu'vath Puzzle BoxSpecial79%63%47%32%16%
Assault Cannon (Iron Automata)Heavy63%51%38%25%13%
Assault StubberHeavyStandard63%51%38%25%13%
Assault StubberHeavyTracer77%62%46%31%15%

Some Takeaways

Web weapons are scary. As template weapons they ignore poor BS, armor and wounds have no effect, and the web effect itself is identical to a Serious Injury result. This makes them an extremely reliable and evil means of disrupting your opponent, and it even works in later campaigns. Note that the Web Pistol does not have the Sidearm trait so you can’t run around pretending to be Spiderman… which is a shame.

The Yu’Vath Puzzle Box is one of the nastiest weapons in the game, particularly with higher BS. The Puzzle Box is an interesting weapon as it combines Rapid Fire 3 with the Scattershot ability, meaning you could potentially get 18 wounds off a single attack. Like all of the direct attacks it’s gated behind the hit roll being successful, and at a 2+ BS it’s the most lethal ranged weapon available. The caveat is that with three dice you have about a 42% chance of getting at least one out of ammo result.

Fear the Blunderbuss. A lot of the high performing weapons are expensive, elite options that require the use of Champions or Leader. Not so the humble Blunderbuss. A template weapon with Scattershot means you’re going to hit regardless of your skill, and when you do hit you will hit hard. 85 credits for a Cawdor ganger with a polearm/blunderbuss is a pretty scary prospect.

Multi-meltas are wonderful things. Turns out bringing an anti-tank murder cannon to a gang war can really make a difference. Give one to your 2+ BS Van Saar Leader or Heavy and laugh as your opponent turns into a pile of ash.

Wrapping Up

We’re just scratching the surface of this data and I hope you can get something useful out of it. Please look over things and let us know your thoughts. If you have any comments or questions, feel free to drop a note in the comments below or email us at contact@goonhammer.com and we’ll be happy to answer them. As always I highly recommend checking out our Necromunday series. Dan and Merton are absolute fanatics about this game and are a fantastic resource.

If you have any questions that you would like answered in a Quick Hits article, please submit them here.