One of the regular readers, Mundo, made a request for some calculations related to the new bloodthirster of insensate rage fighting an Imperial Knight. When I took this on I thought, "Oh this is going to be easy." After a few
**Update: The math in this article has been redone to include the chances of killing/destroying with wound/hull-point removal. Go here for more accurate numbers.**
This is a tough fight for the bloodthirster. Any roll of 6 on the destroyer table will end your day right there. The main source of protection for the bloodthirster is it's weaponskill 10, so a knight is going to need a 5+ to hit. The invulnerable save can help negate some of the lesser hits, but the biggest danger comes from losing the bloodthirster instantly.
Since the initial three attacks, assuming that the knight did not charge, go before the bloodthirster then there is a possibility that the bloodthirster won't get to attack back at all. After some tedious calculations I found that a knight has a 16.25% chance of killing a bloodthirster with it's initial three attacks. To put this in perspective a 1/6 chance is 16.67%.
If the bloodthirster does get killed there is a 94.37% chance it was from a 6 on the destroyer table. Chances are a knight is not going to be doing many regular wounds to your bloodthirster. This means that daemonic gifts or psychic powers that would normally increase your survivability aren't going to be much help here. If your target is a knight then run your bloodthirster naked.
So, our bloodthrister gets an 83.31% chance of swinging back, and when he does it is going to hurt. Once again any roll of 6 on the destroyer table will end the knight instantly. The bloodthirster also has 8 attacks on the charge. To be honest I am not going to calculate the chances of a bloodthirster hulling out the knight, because I would be here until next week. On the charge a bloodthirster has a 61.03% chance of instantly blowing up the knight with the destroyer table. It also has a 5.63% chance of causing six or more D3 hull points. These two possibilities alone give the bloodthirster a 66.66% chance of destroying the knight. This does not include the possibility of 2-5 hits destroying the knight (That would take way too long. I want to read the new codex this afternoon).
The knight isn't done attacking yet, because it still has the stomp attack. I'm not worried about anything other than the instantly destroyed option. So there is another 1/6 chance of being destroyed.
If the knight is destroyed there is another destroyer hit on the bloodthirster. Once again there is an additional chance to be instantly destroyed.
Putting this all together:
Chances of the bloodthirster killing the Knight: 55.53%
Chances of the knight killing the bloodthirster: 38.29%
Chances of the bloodthrister killing the knight AND surviving: 34.27%
Chances of the knight killing the bloodthirster AND surviving: 21.81%
Chances of both of them killing each other: 16.97%
If I wanted to hunt an imperial knight I would bring along a maulerfiend with lasher tendrils. The tendrils will drop the knight down to one attack, dramatically limiting its damage potential. If it attacks the bloodthirster it now only has a 5.56% chance of killing the bloodthirster before the bloodthirster gets to strike. Adding the maulerfiend dramatically increases the chances that the bloodthirster is going to get to swing.
So with this in mind here are the new chances (ignoring any attacks from the maulerfiend).
Chances of the bloodthirster killing the Knight: 62.95%
Chances of the knight killing the bloodthirster: 33.34%
Chances of the bloodthrister killing the knight AND surviving: 43.72%
Chances of the knight killing the bloodthirster AND surviving: 11.73%
Chances of both of them killing each other: 19.23%
I made a LOT of assumptions and simplifications with my calculations. Destroyer weapons are fairly complicated from a mathematical perspective. I did give the knight the option to do enough wounds to try an kill the bloodthirster with its initial attacks, but every other calculation is based off of an instead kill. Accounting for these assumptions would increase the chances of the bloodthirster killing the knight, but by how much I cannot be certain. What I do know is that I wouldn't send any monstrous creature to kill a fully functioning knight by itself.