Dwarven Combat - Verus Chaos Marauders

Following on from last weeks opponets of Bloodletters, I decided to use a real unit I have faced on the Battlefield.

Chaos Marauders. I have had 30 of these buggers, armed with Flails and the Mark of Khorne worrying me for a while. So here is some maths to see how my Ironbreakers would do against them.

The Chaos Marauders have a full commnad, and a 40 man unit, in Horde formation, they are armed with Flails.

Now Chaos Marauders are considerably cheaper than Ironbreakers so for a points for point comparison this should be a simple victory for the Ironbreakers.

Lets have a quick look at their stats:

WS:      4
S:          3 (5 for the first round)
T:          3
I:           4
A:          2 (Mark of Khorne)
No        Armour Save.

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

To Hit:               66% (WS5 vs WS4, 3+ Required)
To Wound:        66% (S4 vs T3, 3+ Required)
Every Wound caused will result in a Casualty... excellent!

So overall each Ironbreaker attack has a 44.44% chance to cause a wound.

For the Chaos Marauders I am going to do two Calculations. The first is for the first round of combat where they are Strength 5, the second will be for any subsequent rounds where they are only strength 3.

To Hit:                     50% (WS4 vs WS5, 4+ Required)
To Wound:              66% (S5 vs T4, 3+ Required)
Failed Armour:        66% (S5 vs 3+ Save, Requires a 5+ to save)
Failed Ward:           83% (6+ Parry Save).

This combines to give the Marauders a 18.52% chance to cause an unsaved wound. However in the second round of combat or after, their odds change dramatically.

To Hit:                   50% (WS4 vs WS5, 4+ Required)

To Wound:            33% (S3 vs T4, 5+ Required)
Failed Armour:       33% (S3 vs 3+ Save, Requires a 3+ to save)
Failed Ward:          83% (6+ Parry Save).

This combines to give them a 4.63% chance to cause an unsaved wound. Basically if my Dwarves survive the first round of combat... they are going to take very very few wounds from then on.

Once again the Marauders are on larger bases, so may not always get their full compliment of attacks. I will be using [---] to represent each Chaos Marauder.

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 difference or not.

So our units look like this:


In this scenario both units are getting the full benefits of the Horde formation.

The Chaos Marauders, due to their Mark of Khorne are getting a total of 41 attacks. Any wounds will reduce the Dwarves number of attacks back.

So from their 41 attacks they get 8 wounds (rounding to the nearest whole number).

This means the Dwarves get to respond with a total of 23 attacks. From these 23 attacks they cause 10 wounds.

Combat Resolution:
                               Ironbreakers    Maruaders
Wounds                  10                    8
Ranks                     1                      2
Standard                 1                      1

So from this we can see that if the Marauders charged then they would draw combat, if they were Charged by my Ironbreakers they would lose combat by 2, but be steadfast. Either way it looks promising for me to win or draw combat, and make it into round 2. Where even if they kept their Frenzy because of a draw, their 41 attacks are likely to cause only 2 wounds, and my Ironbreakers will likely kill another 7-9 of them.

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 Chaos Marauders are only going to be getting 7 models able to attack from each of their ranks. This gives them a total of 29 attacks (dont forget the Frenzy!).

Of these 29 attacks they cause 5 wounds.

This reduces the Dwarves numbers, but does not reduce their attacks back this time. So the Dwarves are getting 15 attacks back. These cause 7 wounds.
Combat Resolution.
                             Ironbreakers          Marauders
Wounds                7                            5
Ranks                   2                            3
Standard               1                            1

The results here are the same as before with a draw if they Charged me, and a loss by 2 if they were charged, however they would be Steadfast.

If I win combat then the Marauders will be Steadfast which is not ideal, but it is all about getting into the second round of combat here where I will begin to really wear away at their numbers and start wining combat by a lot more.

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.


In this combat, the Marauders can only get 6 of their number in base to base with me, reducing them to only 25 attacks. These 25 attacks cause 5 wounds.

The Dwarves get 11 attacks in response and get 5 wounds out of them.

Combat Resolution.
                              Ironbreakers    Marauders
Wounds                 5                      5
Ranks                    3                      3
Standard                1                      1

So this time it would be a drawn combat, with the Charger wining by 1 point either way. If I lost combat I would be steadfast, if the the Marauders lost they would not be. In the end I would stand a good chance of making a second round of combat, where I would expect to do some serious damage. I can also reform my unit to increase my frontage and my attacks for the later rounds.


So in conclusion, regardless of the formation I am using I stand a very good chance of Drawing or Winning the combat against the Marauders.

In later rounds their chances to wound me drop signifcantly as do their attacks if they lose the opening round of combat.

The best formation for me is probably a toss up of the the first two formations, and if I have a choice I would prefer to let the Marauders roll less dice rather than more.

Remembering these Marauders clock in at about 50% the cost of the Ironbreakers shows that they can still deal out some serious damage to my best combat unit, and the Maths show it is still a very close call on all of the three Scenarios.


RTGamer said…
GW Marauders would be better in subsequent rounds. TBH no reason ever to not go with the GW against you.

Of course you are right Ironbreakers are nails lol.
Kraggi said…
GW Marauders would suffer more in the first round. especially against the 10 Wide formation as the Ironbreakers would get their full 31 attacks prior to the Marauders being able to retaliate.

It would mean a lot more dead Marauders and therefore less attacks in the first round of combat, resulting in less Ironbreakers dying basically resulting in an easier Victory for the Dwarves.