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Caledonian Deathwatch Network

MathHammer

Greetings 40k fans!

We were contacted recently by an independent developer (Jake) from the 40k blog cadianshock.com (which I recommend you check out for all of its other awesome hobby content as well), to discuss their brand new 40k MathHammer app! Those of you who have been following us since before we were the Caledonian Deathwatch Network might remember we took a (far less functional) stab at doing this around about the time when 8th edition rolled out:

Old 8th Edition Damage Calculator

Jake contacted us to let us know about a new app he has developed, which is available on both the Android and Apple app stores (more details at the end of the article). From there the plan was to review this awesome app, and then tell you all about it here! So lets get into it.

What is MathHammer?

If your gaming circle plays 40k, its inevitable that you’ll have heard the phrase “MathHammer” crop up at one time or another. So what IS MathHammer? Loosely speaking, MathHammer (the concept, not the app) is rough estimates of how a certain unit will perform against another unit. For example, how many Ork Boyz can I kill with this salvo of Scatter Laser shots? As we all know, the dice gods are fickle beasts, and statistical averages are not guaranteed. However, over a gamer’s lifetime, these things do tend to balance themselves out, and working out the prospective chances of success can lead to sensible list building decisions, and also astute tactical ones when the time is right. Like, am I REALLY going to be able to finish off this dreadnought with this round of shooting? If you’ve crunched the numbers beforehand, you’ll absolutely have a better idea of what to expect before any dice are rolled. Indeed, you’ll be able to more accurately bemoan your bad luck, or realise if perhaps your plans were just a little too far fetched. The MathHammer app allows you to achieve precisely this – it’s a fast, organised way of testing prospective damage output (or indeed unit resiliency if that’s more important to you) for your army’s units.

What is the MathHammer app?

So taking into consideration what we’ve discussed above, let’s now look at the app itself:

When you first load the app, you’re given a very helpful tour of what functions and features are available. This is super useful for helping you plan out your combinations of attacker/defender.  The first thing you need to do, is fill in the profiles for your attacker and defenders. You should fill in as much as you can – and you can do this for single models, or for entire units too. You can also add profiles for additional weapons as part of the same unit.

 

You can also drill down into the attacker and defender’s abilities, and add elements such as hit or wound bonuses, re-rolls, disgustingly resilient etc. All of these help the application build a picture of how effective one unit will be against the other. Once you’ve tailored the attacker and the defender attributes to your satisfaction, you can also save these profiles for quick use later:

This all makes for a fast, fluid experience, and allows players to quickly do some calculations as to the effectiveness of a unit. I’m not recommending that you do this a lot mid game, but if you have time to burn in your round then it certainly couldn’t hurt! Once you’ve put in all of the data, and flagged any additional attributes, you’ll receive your results at the bottom of the screen:

In the above example, i’m pitting a Scatter Laser Windrider shooting at a standard ork boy. That is a very basic permutation, as so much more can be tested here. Shown at the bottom here, is Total DamageDead Models, and Return on Investment. These figures should hopefully help you see just how worthwhile a certain attack is. The application is very useful, and implemented and designed well.

Lastly, there is a web version of this tool available at MathHammer,com where there are also tips and tricks shown for the best uses of the app as well. Additionally, there are plenty of links to the Cadian Shock Blog too, which I absolutely recommend that you check out. At the time of writing this app is £2.99 on the Apple App Store and £3.59 on the Android Play Store. I really recommend checking it out, you won’t be disappointed!

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