But let's do the math!
Case #1: Marines with Bolters vs Termagants with Fleshborers, shooting at MEQ
34 Termagants shooting at Marines (170 points):
17 hits (4+)
8.5 wounds (4+)
2.83 unsaved wounds (3+ save)
So each Termagant generates 8.33% of a wound on an MEQ. At a 12" range. That's not great!
In close combat, the results are worse: Hit on 4+, wound on 5+, save on 3+. 5.6% of a wound on an MEQ, or about 18 'gants to cause a wound, assuming no assault bonus.
Marines, on the other hand, shooting at Marines:
10 Tac Marines, bolters (170 points):
6.67 hits (3+)
3.35 wounds (4+)
1.1 unsaved wounds (3+ save)
If they are in rapid fire range, it's 2.2 unsaved wounds.
Close combat results are worse because the hit is on a 4+.
So wait.... Marines generate (at best) 22% of a wound on an MEQ, at 12". Considering you get 3.4 Termagants per Marine, that means that point for point, Termagant shooting is more effective than Marines with Boltguns, even if the Marines get their Rapid Fire. (Ratio is 1.29:1)
|Terrifying Instrument of death? Dear God, my painting was never meant to be zoomed in this much.|
Case # 2: Things shooting at Marines vs Termagants
I would argue that the Termagants are more resilient, as well.
Anything shooting the Marine is .833 (1/6 difference) as likely to wound it as the Termagant, until you get above S6 and then it doesn't matter, it's 1:1.
Then the Marine gets a 3+ Save against most things. Not much out there denies that save that you would be firing at a Tac Marine. So now it's 8.33 x 0.333, or 0.275 marine wounds per Termagant wound.
This means that for every Marine you kill, you can kill 3.6 Termagants. Given that we can buy 3.4 Termagants per Marine, this means that the Marines are more resilient, but only if the Termagants don't have a cover save.
If they have a 5+ save from, say, a Venomthrope, then you only get 2.4 Termagants per Marine.
If they have a 4+ save, like they'd receive from most cover, then you're only killing 1.8 Termagants per Marine.
If they have 5+ from a Venomthrope and Feel No Pain from a Tervigon, you're only killing 1.2 Termagants per Marine.
Marines rarely benefit from cover saves, since AP3 is rare for torrent of fire and 3+ or better cover saves are rare as well.
So I guess we have to conclude the Termagants are more survivable in more situations.
Additionally, the Termagants are almost always going to be Fearless under Synapse, so you actually have to kill them all off.
I can only conclude that point for point, a Termagant is more dangerous and more survivable than a Tactical Space Marine.
Now, that's interesting!
So of course, I haven't included the fact that Tac Marines can include heavy weapons. Or Razorbacks. Then again, I also haven't included the fact that Termagants can have Devourers. Or Tervigons.
Now you might say, "you're only talking about Marines' boltguns and who cares about those? lul". The point's still valid though. I doubt a Marine player would agree that he should forget about rolling dice for all the boltguns in his army because they're useless, but The Internet tells Tyranid players that we should assume our Termagants are just useless little plastic toys that can't accomplish anything in the game other than sitting on an objective and not dying.
I don't want to go much further into how you can make your Termagants wreck face. I'm going to save that for their official Unit Review.
Anyhow this is a bit of a divergence for me, but my desire to post stuff that people aren't expecting really makes me want to continue this series.
Would love some feedback!
Almost ready to start painting my first Trygon!
I've test-painted one of the spare arms from the Trygon kit so many times now that I can't see the details on the Scything Talon anymore.