Mathhammer Monday – Week 1 – Chaos Warrior

I had been thinking about posting this topic for a while now, but didn’t know if anybody else might be interested. After listening to an episode of the Bad Dice Daily Podcast where this was covered, I thought that I might as well try it out.

Since I don’t get a chance to play many games, I thought that it might be a good idea to see how my units match up against other  units in a fight. To facilitate this, I have created a spreadsheet with lots of formulas to quickly calculate how the units match up, with the amount of casualties caused and received.

I thought that it might be interesting to other people to see these calculations, and since it takes only minimal effort from me now (the common formula work has been done), I thought that I could just make it a weekly series, with the High Elf infantry units facing off against a new unit each Monday. I included in my spreadsheet the ability to account for Augment/Hex magic, but probably won’t include that here, due to the sheer quantity of variables involved and me not knowing how to display it in a good manner. A sample image with an augment follows:

Calculation with the Elves affected by Wyssan's Wildform

Calculation with the Elves affected by Wyssan’s Wildform

Since this is the first installment, here is a list of assumptions made:

  1. Calculations are based on averages (e.g. If you roll 8 attacks needing a 4+ to hit, 4 will hit)
  2. Numbers are rounded to a whole number after each calculation (5.5 hits would result in 6)
  3. Full ranks of warriors are present to attack (i.e. enemy return attacks are not reduced by the amount of models killed)
  4. Only one round of combat is analyzed

With that being said, here is the comparison for this week.

Chaos Warrior - Hand Weapon & Shield, Mark of Tzeentch

Chaos Warrior – Hand Weapon & Shield, Mark of Tzeentch

As one can see from the calculations, any of the High Elf units going into a straight up fight with this particular Chaos Warrior setup is not the best of ideas. While the Sword Masters and White Lions break even, on average, the lower strength Phoenix Guard and Spearmen can’t punch through the armour. Either superior numbers, superior dice rolling, or some magic needs to come into this fight to help shift the fight in the elves favor.

Let me know what you think of this. In particular, these points:

  1. Is this interesting/useful?
  2. Do you see any issue with the calculations/assumptions made?
  3. Would it be better to use the same points value of models and account for model losses and/or break tests?
  4. Does the format make sense?
  5. Are there any match-ups that you would like to see stand off against the High Elves?

2 responses to “Mathhammer Monday – Week 1 – Chaos Warrior

  1. It’s an interesting idea, and I’d be keen to see more analysis from you. I try to quickly run numbers like these in my head before declaring charges so I have a rough idea of how it might play out. Having said that, I’m not sure how useful the calculations are in isolation as you’ll presumably find that huge units are best (as they always put out huge numbers of attacks are will be steadfast for a long time). During the game, it’s all about using movement or tricks to make sure that the combats will go your way, e.g. by charging a flank.

    • It is definitely true that the battlefield is rarely straight up fights and the maneuvers help to tip the balance of the fights. I’m just hoping this will give me a better idea of how the anvil unit might fare. The one thing that I did find surprising about this particular match-up is that the White Lions actually held their own with the Sword Masters. I always figured that more attacks were better, but it makes sense when I think about it more since only the front row gets the 2nd attack and the higher strength from the White Lions is better against the high Toughness & Armour Save.

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