Dwarven Combat - Verus Chaos Warriors

For the Third instalment of Dwarven Combat I will be trying my Ironbreakers out against Chaos Warriors.

So lets have a quick look at the Stats of Chaos Warriors:

WS:         5
S:             4
T:             4
I:               5
A:             2
Sv:           3+
Ward:      6+

These guys are the Heavily armoured behmoths of the Warhammer would, in fact as you can see their stats are exactly the same as my Ironbreakers, except in their Initative and Attacks.

So what is their chance to cause a Casaulty? Well the same as mine actually as all of the stats we are comparing are the same both ways.

Both units have the following chances:

To Hit: 50% (WS5 vs WS5)

To Wound: 50% (S4 vs T4)

Failed Armour: 50% (3+ Save vs S4)

Failed Ward: 83% (6+ Parry)

These all combine to an overall chance to cause an unsaved wound of 10% that is for both units.

This basically means that whatever happens, the statistical winner will be the side that has the most attacks.

Here the Chaos Warriors are likely to win. With 2 attacks per model in the front rank as long as they can get nearly the same number of models in combat with me they will cause more wounds, then factor in that they attack first, then in some circumstances I will have less men to attack back.

So the purpose of this post is to find out which formation will buy me the most time against the Chaos Warriors… because only with a lot of luck on my side will I be winning combat against them.

So what is the unit size? Well this time I am pitting my Ironbreakers against a unit of Chaos Warriors that is 30 strong. This translates to 430 points, this is exactly 10 points more than my Ironbreakers.

Once again the Chaos Warriors are on 25mm bases, so I will be using [---] to represent each Chaos Warrior.

Scenario 1.

Normally I would do this scenario as two horde formations. However the Chaos Warriors would most likely deploy in a unit 6 wide, and 4 deep, so this is what I will test my unit against.


This gives the Chaos Warriors a total number of attacks equal to 19. These would translate to 2 wounds.

This in turn means the Ironbreakers would get 27 attacks back, and this would give them a total of 3 wounds.

When it comes to combat resolution it would look like this:

Chaos Warriors Ironbreaker
Wounds 2 3
Ranks 2 2
Standard 1 1

Overall result… a win for the Ironbreakers by 2 if they charged, and a draw if they did not. The advantage of the Horde formation really pays off here as they can throw out so many more attacks. However every wound caused by the Chaos Warriors reduces the Ironbreakers retaliation whereas the Chaos Warriors will keep getting 19 attacks until 13 of them are dead.

Scenario 2:

So this time my Dwarves line up 7 wide and 4 deep.


This time the Chaos Warriors still get 19 Attacks, again causing 2 wounds. The Ironbreakers are down to a total of 15 attacks, causing 2 wounds as well. With everything else being even (which it is) it will come down to who charged to determine a winner in this 1st round of combat. The loser will not be steadfast as both units will still have 3 Ranks

This would be a very even fight with the luckier player wining this combat as it is too close to call otherwise.

Scenario 3

So this time the Ironbreakers have formed up 5 wide and 6 deep.

:: POOR IMAGE QUALITY DELETED... TO BE REPLACED SOON ::In this scenario the Chaos Warriors will be getting a total of 19 attacks again. Still throwing out 2 wounds in the opening round.

The Ironbreakers will instead be throwing out 11 attacks and should only be causing 1 wound.

Now in this case combat resolution will look something like this.

Chaos Warriors Ironbreakers
Wounds 2 1
Ranks 3 3
Standard 1 1

So the Chaos Warriors will be winning combat by 2 if they charge, and drawing if they did not. The Ironbreakers will be Steadfast if they lose combat, and should be for several turns.

This means that in this case the longer the combat goes on the more the Ironbreakers are favoured as it will take 5 rounds of combat before they lose any of their Rank bonuses. However the Chaos Warriors will drop to 2 ranks after 3 rounds.

This does mean the Ironbreakers need to pass 3 Break Checks and not be charged in the Flank or rear by another unit.


Well in conclusion the best formation for the Ironbreakers against an equal pointed unit of Chaos Warriors is the Horde Formation.

If the Chaos Warriors were 30 strong they would be getting the following number of attacks per turn, this is compared to the number in brackets that they got in the scenarios listed above:

Scenario 1: 41, (19)
Scenario 2: 29, (19)
Scenario 3: 25, (19)

From this I am sure you can see that they would have won the combats far more comfortably with these attacks.

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.

Dystopian Wars - 3rd Fleet

My third fleet has arrived in port!

This time it is the Federated States of America.

Thought I would include a couple of shots of the contents of the Battlegroup, and Carrier set for you to all have a look at.

Right now they are all undercoated black and I have started a dry brush of Pig Iron on the Battleship and Aircraft Carrier.

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.

Doubles Tournament 2011

Another year, and from the lack of posts it looks like I am suffering from an extended period of writers block.

I assure you this is not the case, just busy busy busy as usual at the beginning of the year.

In February we have a Doubles Tournament coming up. We went last year to the one in January, actually around this time last year. This time it has been moved to 6 weeks into the new year rather than 10 days... this is most appreciated by myself and Tom.

In the last Tournament we finished 59th out of just over 100, and this year we have a target... finish better than 59th!

We actually spent a couple of hours recently hatching our evil plan for our army lists. They are currently super top secret as we are pretty happy with them except for a couple of Tweaks here and there.

If anyone reading this is planning on going along, look out for the guys in the Kraggi and Rusty Nail T-Shirts as that will be me (Kraggi) and my playing partner Tom (Rusty Nail).

We are hoping to reach around 10 practise games between now and when we leave... with luck we will actually manage to exceed this target. Our first is this coming Thursday against a Blood Angels / Blood Angels list.

As with last year we will be using our Imperial Guard / Space Wolves combination. Also like last year I will be writing a backstory to it. One for before the Tournament... the other for after.

I intend on using on of our games as the inspiration for the second part. Last year it was taken from a wonderful game we had against a Chaos Space Marine / Chaos Daemon combination. Their God was Nurgle and in the Kill point mission they soundly beat us. Still one of the most enjoyable games of 40k I have had in a long time.

So shamelessly plugging more of my posts have a read of the Backgrounds I wrote, let me know know what you think.

The First one is here, and the second one here.

Also feel free to drop me a line if you plan on attending and it will at least give us people to look out for.

Dwarven Combat - The Maths!

So in a game where you have to roll dice why do theory hammer?

Well I am sure there are many people out there that can give you many good and varying reasons for it. For me, well lets just say I like Maths, and I also like having an idea of the outcome of the combat before I get into it.

If nothing else than to unerve my opponent (not that it really ever works).

Ok, so now I have given you my reasons why I am doing it, now I need to tell you how I am going to do this.

Well I am going to take a look at the best Dwarf Combat unit in the game. The Ironbreakers.

I am going to have a look at how they do in combat against various enemies. Be these elite units or cheap units.

So what unit size? Well I really like Horde units, and I cannot afford to hit 40 dwarves at the moment, so we will be going for a 30 Man Ironbreaker unit.

The unit will have full command, no heroes, no standards. This unit comes in at a 420 Points.

There are three different formations to try this unit in. Each [--] represents one Ironbreaker. The Command models are not represented in the diagrams below, but rest assured they are present.

The first is the Horde unit,


The second is 7 wide, a slightly wider frontage for fighting units only 5 wide.


The third is 5 wide to maximise the number of ranks can get, and to hopefully be steadfast at the end of the combat, or deny it from my Enemy.



Obviously each of these formations will require its own set of calculations.

So what I propose to do is lay out the pertinent stats for the Ironbreakers here, and then at the beginning of each following article I will confirm the percentage chance they have to hit & wound the enemy, and what percentage chance the enemy has to fail their armour save & ward or regeneration save.

I will then list these percentages for the enemy to hit and wound my unit and their chances to fail their armour and ward save.

If anyone spots any faults in my maths, feel free to point it out, and if anyone has any unit suggestions to pit my Ironbreakers against (in a game of averages of course) then feel free to drop me an email at varcancluster@sky.com, or leave me a comment on any of the articles relating to this.

So what are the important stats?

Well simply put they are:

Weapon Skill, Strength, Toughness, Initative, Leadership, Armour Save & Ward Save.

With all this information I should be readily able to figure out the average combat results and determine how the unit will perform against certain enemies.

So what do the Ironbreakers have?

Weapon Skill: 5
Strength: 4
Toughness: 4
Initative: 2
Leadership: 9
Armour Save: 3+
Ward Save: 6+ (Parry Save)

Not bad as I look at them, very durable, and decent chances to hit things.

So my first Opponent are giong to be Bloodletters... the combat beasts of this world.

That post will follow in the next week. I will do my best to keep this as a weekly post.

If anyone has a combat unit they feel is better in the Dwarven book let me know about it as I will happily give it a shot to see how it compares.

As I get a little more confident with how these posts will look, I will start looking at Characters and other goodies being included.

Games last Month

To begin with I would like to say I hope everyone has had an awesome New Years wherever you are and whatever you are doing.

I used to do my games this week posts… however I would then forget to post them, or forget what I games I had played.

So now I am going to try for a, Games this Month post. This will give a better list of where my games have come from and how my stats on the left show up.

This ended up a little late due to bad planning. December wasnt the best or worst of months for me with the weather knocking a few oppourtunities of games out, and a new Shift pattern for me at work not helping either.

My Aim for January... more games.

So in December:
Warhammer - Dwaves
1000 Points vs Warriors of Chaos (Tom) – Victory by 438 points.
1000 Points vs Dark Elves (Stuart) - Victory by 840 points
1000 Points vs Orcs and Goblins (Shaun) - Draw, 95 points in favour of Shaun

Magic the Gathering
Red Deck vs Dave’s Blue/Green – 1-0 Victory

Dystopian Wars
Prussians vs Britannia (Paul) – Draw
Prussians vs Britannia (Paul) - Victory

I will eventually build a record of all the games I play in each game system… for myself if no other reason.

It will also, as has been pointed out to me, help back up the My Stats column section on the left of the Website.

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