Friday, November 12, 2010

Statistics: How Many Bloodcrushers of Khorne?

And to finish off our examination of the elites section of the daemons codex, we finally turn to the Bloodcrushers of Khorne. Once again, in order to answer the question we will consider what role we want the bloodcrushers to play on the battlefield. For me, it boils down to icon-bearing, anti-infantry, anti-monstrous creature, and anti-elite troops, with perhaps a smattering of light tank busting. Let's have a look at each of them.

Icon Bearing.
This purpose boils down to survivability. How many standard bolter shots (fired by marines) can an icon-bearing bloodcrusher take? Well, the marine will need 3+ to hit, 5+ to wound and then the bloodcrusher to fail its 3+ armour saving throw. That amounts to 0.074 wounds per standard shot. Or put another way: 27 standard shots will be required to take two wounds away from the bloodcrusher and remove him from the game (on average). Plaguebearers eat you hearts out! (yuck on second thoughts). Even against plasma shots, they'll take 5.4 shots to kill. So the bottom line is that bloodcrushers can make reasonable icon bearers.

As usual, we'll put a bloodcrusher up against a squad of 10 space marines, with a power fist equipped sergeant. We will assume that the bloodcrushers get to charge in (which I hope is the case for you experienced players out there), meaning that furious charge is active. Given they might take some bolter fire on the way in, they have probably lost 1 wound already.

The bloodcrushers strike first with 4 attacks, hitting on 3+, and killing on 2+ (hell blades are power weapons!). That results in 2.22 wounds taken by the marines from a single bloodcrusher. Hence an unit of 4 or 5 should be readily able to alpha strike a tactical squad.

If the marines get to strike back, then they hit on 4+, wound on 5+ and cause a wound when the bloodcrusher fails its 3+ save. That means 0.11 unsaved wounds per regular space marine trooper. The bloodcrushers are not bothered at that level of pain. End of story.

Let's put a bloodcrusher up against a daemon prince of Nurgle to see what happens. They strike simultaneously (assuming the bloodcrusher charged in). The Khornate daemon hits on 4+, wounds on 3+ and makes it stick when the prince fails its 5+ invulnerable save. That gives 0.89 wounds on the charge.

The prince hits on 3+, wounds on 4+ and makes it stick when the bloodcrusher fails a 5+ invulnerable saving throw. With 4 attacks, the bloodcrusher takes a similar (0.89) amount of wounds in exchange. They're evenly matched, remarkably.

To take out the daemon prince in an alpha-strike, 4.5 bloodcrushers would be needed. Two would be needed to win the combat on the charging round.

Anti-Elite troops.
What about terminators? What about with a storm shield? Let's have a look.

The bloodcrushers strike first, hitting on 3+, wounding on 2+ and downing terminators when they fail their 3+ invulnerable save. With 4 attacks on the charge, that means 0.74 wounds. Therefore 7 bloodcrushers will be needed against a squad of 5 storm shield terminators to alpha strike them. Striking back, the terminators would hit on 4+, wound on 2+ and make it stick on failing the bloodcrushers 5+ invulnerable save. They take 0.55 wounds from 2 such attacks. Hence to statistically go better than a draw against 5 terminators, we will need at least 4 bloodcrushers.

Light tank busting.
Against AV=10, the bloodcrusher on the charge will have 4 Strength=6 attacks hitting (assuming the vehicle was not moving). Half of them will at least glance. Without going too much further, it is safe to say that even a modest number of bloodcrushers can pose a threat to light weight tanks.

It looks like 4 or 5 bloodcrushers in a squad should be enough to handle most situations described above. Their only draw-back is that they don't move as fast as fiends of Slaanesh. But hey, in a daemons army: you can have both and play tag-team.

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