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annarborhawk

Blades of Khorne - Mathhammer - Who to Buff

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O.K. , I did some maths and probably arrived at the expected results.  I was wondering about expected wound generation based on typical scenarios and buff options.  I wanted to compare the relative effectiveness of my infantry units (Reavers, Blood Warriors, Skullreapers, and Wrathmongers).  (I left out bloodletters b/c I don't have any, but I plan to run the numbers for them as well).

Assumptions:

1. All units are attacking with the Portal of Skulls open.

2.  Each unit can be buffed by either Killing Frenzy (+1 to hit), or an extra attack (Aspiring Death Bringer, or Wrathmongers, or Totem, etc.), or both.

3. I divided Targets into "Soft" (saves of -,6+, or 5+), "Medium" (saves of 5+, 4+, 3+) or "Hard" (saves of 4+, 3+, 2+) - (and I weighted those to the mean save).

4. I'm assuming units of 20x Reavers (axes turn out to be better overall), 10x Blood Warriors (2x axes), 5x Skullreapers (daemon weapons, and assumed they passed 1st trial of skulls).

5 (Turns out Skullreapers are better than Wrathmongers (even assuming the 'mongers get the charge) as far as damage output - excepting their unique ability to make enemies hit themselves being sometimes  better than the 'reapers murderous to the last ability- so I threw the  'mongers out of the analysis as a special case).

Results:

1. For this post, I'll leave out the exact numbers and calculations for brevity. But roughly speaking, buffing each unit once (either way ) increased expected damage output by 50%, and buffing each unit in both ways roughly doubled expected damage output. Again, roughly speaking, this applied to all units against all target types.

2. For "Soft" targets: 20xReavers expected damage is 10 unbuffed, 15 buffed once, and 20 buffed twice. 10x Warriors goes 13, 17, 21. 5xSkullreapers goes 12, 16, 21.

3.  For "Medium" targets:  20x Reavers goes 6, 9, 12. 10xWarriors goes 9, 12, and 15.  5xSkullreapers goes 9, 13, 15.

4.   For "Hard" targets: 20xReavers goes 5, 8, and 10. 10xWarriors goes 6, 9,  and 11. 5xSkullreapers goes 7,  10,  12.

Conclusions: 

The Reavers actually have the statistical edge. But I question whether it would work on the table, as it is harder to get all 20 reavers into the fight than it is 10 warriors or 10 reapers. I think in practice the buffing would play-out the same for each unit.

It looks like there is no significant advantage (damage output-wise) for choosing the most typical buffs between Reavers/Warriors/Reapers. Furthermore,  buffing one unit twice, instead of buffing two units once, doesn't create any significant statistical edge either. 

I think what this means is that rather than trying to find a mathematical edge for damage output in list building, it's far more important to field a variety of units - which have distinct advantages in other ways. This confirms the common sentiment that there is not one "right way" here.  In other words, it's not wrong to field a unit of 20x Reavers for board control/model count in one area, but then field a unit of Skullreapers and sacrifice a bit of survivability to gain a bit of armor cracking. 

 

Edited by annarborhawk
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Great job. Next factor in Bloodletters and see the Mortal woumd passion! :D

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My numbers now after adding in Bloodletters:

Option A:

30xBloodletters; 1x Herald; 1x SlaughterPriest=450 pts.

Assuming Portal is Open and assuming you get 20x letters into combat with killing frenzy:

vs. Light Target 33 wounds

vs. Medium Target 30 wounds

vs. Hard Target 28 wounds

Option B:

10xSkullreapers; 1xPriest=460 pts.

Assuming Portal is Open and assuming you get 8x reapers into combat with killing frenzy and 1st stage of trial of skulls met:

vs. Light Target 28 wounds  (34 if all 10 into combat)

vs. Medium Target 21 wounds (26 if all 10 into combat)

vs. Hard Target 18 wounds (22 if all 10 into combat)

Option C:

15xBlood Warriors; Aspiring Death Bringer; SlaughterPriest=480 pts.

Assuming Portal is Open,  assuming12x warriors get into combat, ADB uses command ability, and killing frenzy:

vs. Light Target 25 wounds

vs. Medium Target 17 wounds

vs. Hard Target 13 wounds.

 

Conclusions:

 

Obviously the Bloodletter bomb puts out the most damage, especially shining against high-save targets. Seems the obvious choice.

 

Although,  in practice I wonder how hard it is to get 20  of 30 of them into combat with their base size and 5+ save. Perhaps it's more realistic to get 8 of 10 skullreapers into combat with the smaller tablespace they occupy and the 4+ save.  Numbers-wise, once the bloodletter unit drops under 20, their output drops suddenly, whereas the skullreapers output drops linearly. (EDIT: Also the numbers change if the herald is sniped, whereas the skullreapers don't require the second support solo to get to the numbers outlines above).

I'd be interested in other players' experiences in using bloodletters vs. skullreapers.  

Edited by annarborhawk
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20 hours ago, annarborhawk said:

The Reavers actually have the statistical edge. But I question whether it would work on the table, as it is harder to get all 20 reavers into the fight than it is 10 warriors or 10 reapers. I think in practice the buffing would play-out the same for each unit.

On this note, this is why I am a fan of some of the Slaves to Darkness units.  Warriors of Chaos can fight in '2 ranks' and Marauders run a similar profile to the Reavers but on smaller bases  allowing for a greater pile in of models. 

 

Otherwise great bit of Math! 

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I play a unit of 10 Skullreapers (Daemonblades) buffed from the Bloodstoker. They are great and do their job, but I dont play Bloodletters so I cant compare. Skullreapers are much harder to shift, too. Overall Bloodletters mighty be better, but probably not as much better as u would think.

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7 hours ago, annarborhawk said:

the skullreapers output drops linearly

Actually, due to the Trial of Skulls, you'll sometimes find that their output can stay high or even increase as they are depleted (to a certain extent).

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