Thursday, February 11, 2016

Bloodthirster Vs Knight: A Re-Visit

When I originally wrote the article about a Bloodthirster fighting an Imperial Knight there was quite a lot that got simplified.  The destroyer table makes mathematical calculations particularly tricky.  Since then I have reworked my figures and now have more accurate results, and the new results are a bit more dramatic.

The Knight:
The Imperial Knight has one main advantage, initiative.  Since it has a chance to kill the Bloodthirster before the 'thirster gets to swing, we will start here.

Chances of killing the Bloodthirster without the charge: 16.71%
Chances of killing the Bloodthirster with the charge: 24.68%

This includes both the chance to instantly kill, as well as dealing 5 or more wounds.

Stomping will happen at the same initiative as the Bloodthirster, but if we include stomp in the calculations the chances increase to 30.74% and 37.27% respectively.

The Bloodthirster:
Despite swinging second, the Bloodthirster has a better weapon skill and a boatload of attacks.

Chances of killing the Knight without the charge: 77.89%
Chances of killing the Knight with the charge: 90.98%

Compared to the 66% I had given in the first article, this is a huge improvement.

Putting Things Together:

Knight Charges:
Chances of the knight killing the Bloodthirster AND surviving: 27.46%
Chances of the Bloodthirster killing the knight AND surviving: 48.86%
Chances of both killing each other: 9.81%
Chances of neither one killing each other: 13.87%

Bloodthirster Charges:
Chances of the knight killing the Bloodthirster AND surviving: 17.98%
Chances of the Bloodthirster killing the knight AND surviving: 63.01%
Chances of both killing each other: 12.76%
Chances of neither one killing each other: 6.25%

With the more accurate changes, the odds swing even further towards the Bloodthirster winning combat.  Bloodthirsters are going to put out some serious hurt, but there is still a significant chance that they are going to get killed.  Any kind of de-buffs on the knight are also going to increase your survivability.  Bringing along a maulerfiend (with lasher tendrils) or allying in a psyker is going to make your Bloodthirster much more effective.

As I had mentioned previously, it is recommended that you run units in pairs.  A blood thirster on its own is scary, but two Bloodthirsters or a Bloodthirster and a maulerfiend is going to present a more substantial threat.


  1. It actually surprises me how good of a chance the BT has. I knew if the BT got the chance to attack it wouldn't be pretty, but I guess I overestimated the chance the Knight killed him before he could do anything. I always shied away from taking that variaton of the 'thirster because I figured most things it would be good against would just kill it before it went anyway.

    1. In most situations, I think the standard blood thirster is going to be the most efficient option, but not against knights, superheavy vehicles, and gargantuan creatures. I don't know of any other superheavy walker or gargantuan creature that can get 8 STR-D attacks on the charge.

  2. I've been looking at the Curse of the Wulfen Campaign book alot and while everyone is crying about the core tax (Nurgle is actually decent and cheap) I think it is pretty powerful that you can now simply add a D-Thirster, Belakor, and/or Fateweaver to any army as their own formation(s).

    Do you think it could be possible for an army consisting of like 6 Blood Thirster Variants to do well?

    1. 6 Bloodthirsters? Probably not. A mix of 6 mostrous creatures including Bloothirsters? Absolutely.

      I'm working on a write up of the incoming formations, so keep an eye out for the next couple of days.

    2. Wooohooo I'm excited. Although someone did just point out that the command unit option from curse of the wulfen book is not its own formation >.< sad panda

  3. This post depressed me because I had this exact scenario over the weekend where a D-thirster assaulted a close combat knight (had 5 attacks base) and he landed a single hit and rolled a 6 to one shot my blood thirster :( So I now see the odds of that happening and it just makes me a sad panda :(

    Does your math assume a 4 attack knight? would that extra attack make much of a difference in the %s?

    1. 3 attacks without the charge, 4 with the charge. It ups the chance to kill a bloodthirster from 16% to 24%. Approximately a 1/6th chance to a 1/4th chance. Not great, but still significant.

    2. Ok, a 1 out of 4 chance is not that bad. I don't feel so robbed then :P