Dwarven Combat - Verus Bloodletters

So the first installment of my Theory Hammer (two days late as the auto post didnt work and I was so busy I forgot to check).

To recap from the last post it will be a unit of Ironbreakers verus a different unit each week. This week it is going to be Bloodletters.

Now Bloodletters are very similar in points values, we will give them a unit of 30 Bloodletters, equal numbers to the Ironbreakers, slightly less points. Lets have a quick look at their stats:

WS:      5
S:          5
T:          3
I:           5
A:         1
Sv:       5+ Ward

Now given these stats we can work out the following percentages for my Ironbreakers.

To Hit:                               50% (WS5 vs WS5, 4+ Required)
To Wound:                        66% (S4 vs T3, 3+ Required)
For an Unsaved Wound: 66% (5+ Ward Save)

So overall each Ironbreaker attack has a 22.22% chance to cause a wound.

For the Bloodletters the maths is a little more complex because they also have Killing Blow which bypasses my Ironbreakers Armour Save.

To Hit: 50% (WS5 vs WS5, 4+ Required)

Now for the more complex bit. They have four possible results on each D6 which results in a wound. A 3, 4, 5 & 6. However we want to ignore the results of a 6, because they are killing blows. So their Chance to Normal Wound me is 50%. Then for these wounds to not be saved there is a 55% chance.

For a Killing Blow wound there is a 17% chance for each hit, and then 83% of these wounds will not be saved by the 6+ Parry Save.

So Overall each Bloodletter attack has a 20.96% chance to cause a wound.

So looking at these Stats we can see pretty quickly that the two units are very evenly matched, with the Ironbreakers only a 1.26% better chance to cause an unsaved wound. Consdiering that the Bloodletters attack first this can easily be cancelled out.

We must also consider that the Bloodletters base is 25mm wide, compared to the Ironbreakers base being 20mm wide, I will be using [---] to represent each Bloodletter

We will begin our Theory hammer with both units using a Horde Formation and running headlong into each other. I am going to ignore who charged until the combat resolution phase, then we will get to see if it makes a different or not.

So our units look like this:

In this scenario both units are getting the full benefits of the Horde formation, with each unit throwing out 31 attacks at the beginning of combat.

With the  Bloodletters attacking first, any kills they get will prevent a Dwarf from attacking back.

The Bloodletters 31 attacks will cause 6 wounds (technically 6.49 wounds but I am round down on the final maths).

This means that the Dwarves will get to attack back with 25 attacks. Their attacks cause 6 wounds (technically 5.5 wounds). 

So with both of the units causing the same amount of wounds, having the same amount of ranks and having a Standard it comes down to who charged as to who wins the combat. Not the ideal circumstances for my Ironbreakers as I will need lady luck to come up in my favour for this formation to work. 

I will also not be steadfast as they have the same ranks as I.

Scenario 2:

My unit of Ironbreakers will be deployed in a formation, 7 wide, and 4 deep with a couple left over.
So this time the Bloodletters are only going to be getting 7 models able to attack from each of their ranks. This gives them a total of 22 attacks.

Of these 22 attacks they cause 5 wounds (4.6 technically).

This reduces the Dwarves numbers, but does not reduce their attacks back this time. So the Dwarves are getting 15 attacks back. These cause 3 wounds (technically 3.33).

Combat Resolution.
                   Bloodletters          Ironbreakers
Wounds      5                          3
Ranks         2                          2
Standard    1                          1

So this time the Bloodletters win combat. If they charged they win by 3, if not they win by 1. Again not an ideal situation for my Dwarves, especially as we are not steadfast so are testing on a modified leadership.

Scenario 3:

This time my Ironbreakers line up in the most common formation for 20mm wide bases. 5 wide and as deep as we can go.

This time the Bloodletters get only 6 of their number attacking from each rank. This reduces them to only 19 attacks. Of these 19 attacks they cause 4 wounds.

The Dwarves get 11 attacks in response and get 2 wounds out of them.

Combat Resolution.
                  Bloodletters       Ironbreakers
Wounds    4                         2
Ranks       2                         3
Standard  1                         1

This time the Bloodletters win by 2 if they charged, or combat is drawn if my Ironbreakers charged. They are also steadfast if they lose which is a good bonus.


So of all of my formations the best one is the oldest one in the book, being 5 wide and as deep as I can go. This gives me the best chance of surviving a combat with the Bloodletters.

I appreciate that if my dice go really well for me then the combat results are close enough that I could win combat by a point or two in any of the three scenarios listed. Equally though a bit of bad luck for myself, or good luck for my opponent and I could be losing any of these scenrios by a considerably worse margin.


RTGamer said…
Nice bit of analysis. I think that you are going to find 5 wide being optimal for these guys, hammerers or Slayers 10 wide might be better.

Ironbreakers are your anvil unit Not that strong but durable.

Also watch out for that Tzeentch herald making all the bloodletters wounds ignoring that armour save (Shadow +1S +1T spell)
Kraggi said…
There is something fundamentally wrong with Bloodletters having a spell cast on them... I dont think Khorne would agree. Lol.

However I appreciate your point and counter it with the Cannons I could have shooting at the Letters on their way in.

need to work on the Formatting of the post a little bit too, but as always Feedback is welcome!
RTGamer said…
Silly Dwarfling... Cannons can be stopped by the first Letter rollinga 5+ lol.

Stone throwers on the other hand :Yikes:!

There is always rock, paper & scissors approach to Warhammer. Now where did I leave my 8 Fiends to rush those cannons!
Kraggi said…
Silly Daemonling (?)

Only if I dont kill a monstorous creatues (Cav,Inf,Beast or Monster) does the cannon ball stop.

So sorry... can and will kill some of those letters on the way in.

Or the Fiends trying to rush me cannons...