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Tutorial Chaos Dwarf Tactica (now with Rock Paper Scissors Chart!)

Discussion in 'Lizardmen & Saurian Ancients Tactics' started by Scalenex, Jun 22, 2012.

  1. NIGHTBRINGER
    Slann

    NIGHTBRINGER Second Spawning

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    I wouldn't even call GW Infernal Guard a counter, I ran the numbers and was a bit surprised by the results...

    8 Kroxigor [4x2, 400pts] vs 27 Infernal Guard with Great Weapons [horde, 405pts]

    Since both have ASL, they will strike simultaneously...

    Kroxigors attacking:
    [24 attacks + 4 via PF] * [hitting on 4's] * [wounding on 2's] * [no armour save] + [4 stomps]*[wounding on 3's]*[6+ armour save]
    28*1/2*5/6 + 4*2/3*5/6
    13.9 wounds

    GW Infernal Guard attacking:

    [27 attacks] * [hitting on 3's] * [wounding on 2's] * [no armour save]
    27*2/3*5/6
    15 wounds


    So the GW Infernal Guard squeak through a very tight victory, but the difference so minute that I'd call it a coin toss before I'd called it a counter. Sure the Infernal Guard will also have a standard bearer and a musician so the victory is a bit more likely to fall in their favor, but on the flip side, a unit of only 27 infernal guard is unlikely to be in horde formation (that was optimized for this scenario). Also, there is a chance that the IG fail their fear check.


    So what beats Kroxigor? ... the K'daai (both Fireborn and the Destroyer)

    9 Kroxigor [4 wide, 450 points] vs. 8 K'daai Fireborn [4 wide, 440 points]

    K'daai Fireborn goes first...

    8 K'daii Fireborn attacking:
    [16 attacks] * [hitting on 3's] * [wounding on 3's] * [6+ armour save] + [4 Blazing Body attacks @S4]*[wounding on 4's][5+ armour save]
    16*2/3*2/3*5/6 + 4*1/2*2/3
    7.3 wounds


    7 Kroxigor remaining. Kroxigors attacking:
    [21 attacks + 3.5 via PF] * [hitting on 4's] * [wounding on 2's, re-rolling successful wounds] * [4+ ward save]
    24.5*1/2*5/6*5/6*1/2
    4.3 wounds


    So the K'daai come out on top. Bear in mind that the K'daai only have 2 wounds a piece, but even still the Kroxigor are losing combat resolution by a decent margin, and each round the K'daai are the ones striking first.



    7 Kroxigor [3 wide, 350 points] vs. K'daai Destroyer [325pts]

    K'daai Destroyer goes first...

    K'daii Destroyer attacking:
    [8 attacks (on average)] * [hitting on 3's] * [wounding on 2's] * [no armour save] + [3 Blazing Body attacks @S4]*[wounding on 4's][5+ armour save]
    8*2/3*5/6 + 3*1/2*2/3
    5.4 wounds


    5 or 6 Kroxigor remaining. Let's assume 6 Kroxigors attacking:
    [18 attacks + 3 via PF] * [hitting on 4's] * [wounding on 3's, re-rolling successful wounds] * [4+ ward save]
    21*1/2*2/3*2/3*1/2
    2.3 wounds (1.9 wounds if we assume that only 5 Kroxigors were left standing)



    Keep in mind that the Destroyer loses none of it's offensive potency in subsequent rounds of combat, but the Kroxigor do (especially in our example where 1 Kroxigor was sitting on a single wound, so 2 Kroxigor would fall in the next round before they can strike). Also, the assumption was made that the Kroxigor passed their fear check (because the Destroyer causes terror).



    So both variants of K'daai are counters to Kroxigor, although I wouldn't classify them as hard counters. So our Kroxigors are looking pretty good. However, there are two hard counters in my opinion.

    1. Sorcerer-Prophet with the magic carpet, lore of death and PURPLE SUN. (no explanation required!)
    2. Magma Cannon - it is ultra accurate (especially with the Daemonsmith re-roll) and even with the Kroxigors' larger base size, a 4X2 unit can easily take 4 hits from the front and up to 8 if you expose your flank. The key is that those hits are coming in at S5 and they do d3 wounds each!

    Even a Sorcerer-Prophet with the Lore of Hashut can do massive damage to Kroxigor with the spells Hell Hammer and Flames of Azgorh.
     
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  2. Scalenex
    Slann

    Scalenex Keeper of the Indexes Staff Member

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    Your math is sound but your premises are flawed (except on the K'daii Destroyer in which case you are completely right).

    Just like you are not likely to see many people fielding 27 Ironsworn, you probably aren't going to see many people fielding units of eight Kroxigor.

    I believe two units of six or 2 x 2 squares is the way to go in most cases unless you are going for something for something gimmicky. Unless you are running a Skink cloud (which I guess is viable but not my style) having large blocks of Kroxigor bogs your line down as Kroxigor and Core infantry blocks get in each other's way.

    Battles don't happen in a vacuum, if you did have eight Kroxigor gunning for 27 Ironsworn, the Chaos Dwarfs are going to throw at last some shooting or magic at the Kroxigor before they get into close combat.

    I don't know about the math but I've never ever had Kroxigor wade into a fight against something with great weapons and full command and walked away happy.

    I have never seen a Chaos Dwarf player actually choose to use K'daii Fireborn.

    On the other hand, I rarely see a Chaos Dwarf player not use a K'daii Destroyer. Your mathhammer worries me because I assume the Golden Rule of Kroxigor applied to a Kroxigor versus K'dai Destroyer match up. That's distress because K Destroyer cut through the rest of our army like a hot knife through butter. I guess we have to use magic. Either peg it with a spell before the Kroxigors get in close combat or uses hexes and/or buffs to change the math.

    My vote would to use a WD Slann (for the Heavens, Beasts, and Death sigs) or play a Light Slann or play a FOM Slann and swap into Light a lot.

    True, but most Chaos Dwarf players I've met love to focus on the Army book lore.

    Forgot about the d3 wounds. Yeah, I guess the Magma Cannon is a Kroxigor killer.
     
  3. Killer Angel
    Slann

    Killer Angel Prophet of the Stars Staff Member

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    Is it correct to say that K'daai Fireborn cover a battle role similar to kroxigor's?
     
  4. NIGHTBRINGER
    Slann

    NIGHTBRINGER Second Spawning

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    You won't see anybody fielding 27 Ironsworn... because nobody fields Ironsworn. The Ironsworn are the special choice version of the Infernal Guard, and are extremely unpopular in comparison to their core choice equivalents.

    As for the unit size of 8 Kroxigor, I picked that unit size because that is my favourite sized unit for monstrous infantry. The size of my monstrous infantry units typically range from 6-10 (although both 6 and 10 are somewhat rare; I find 7-9 to be the sweet spot) and very infrequently a horde of 18+ for fun. Of note, I play at 3000pts.

    Personally I find smallish units of 3-4 Kroxigors to be largely worthless. If you lose 1-2 Kroxigor before you get into combat, the unit is completely ineffective (especially as they have ASL) and simply cough up victory points (even if it isn't a lot of victory points).

    As for the 27 IG, I just point-matched them against the 8 Kroxigor in order to have a fair comparison. My previous comment wasn't that you wouldn't see units of 27 IG (although units of 20, 25 or 30 are more common), but rather that such a unit would rarely ever be placed in horde formation, especially without a Dark Castellan (who makes them stubborn).

    This is true. Chaos Dwarfs rely on their shooting to even things out and (hopefully) give them an advantage. The Infernal Guard aren't the primary target for my unit of 8 Kroxigor, I was just simply surprised that they held their own fairly well.

    This is also the reason why I like largish units of Kroxigor. If the Chaos Dwarfs strip off a model or two on an 8 strong unit of Kroxigor, that unit is still highly viable and dangerous. That is not the case with a unit of 3-5.

    The math don't lie (unless I made a boo boo, in which case it can definitely lie! :p). The GW IG are definitely not the prime targets for the Kroxigors, but it is a much closer contest than I thought it would be. As such there are times when I might consider throwing the Krox into such a fray (if the IG had lost some models, or they had a flank exposed, etc.)

    I think the key here as that while the Infernal Guard are a solid elite unit, they cost an elite price and the Kroxigor negate a lot of their "eliteness". They are paying for that fancy armour save and toughness of 4, both of which are meaningless against the Kroxigors S7 attacks. Other elite units (like Witch Elves) would shred the Krox because their elite bonuses are not negated (re-rolling missed hits, poison, 3 attacks each). Obviously the S6 of the Infernal Guard does a lot of damage to the Krox, but some of that is negated because they only have 1 attack each.

    I'm not a huge fan of them either, but I have run into a few people who swear by them. For me, it is the Destroyer all the way!

    The Destroyer breaks the golden rule of the Kroxigors. Kroxigors typically follow this simple formula when fighting monsters:
    1. most monsters "only" have somewhere around 4-6 attacks, so the Kroxigors can tank the wounds/causalities
    2. the Krox will miss with roughly half of their attacks but...
    3. the hits that the Krox do land will cut through the toughness of the monster quite easily
    4. the monster's save will be ignored by the Krox's S7 attacks
    In the case of Destoryer, only step#2 holds true (and that's the step that is already working against the Krox):
    1. The Destroyer has 6 +d3 attacks (average of 8) PLUS its blazing body auto hits. So in our example that is 11 attacks total! That leads to a lot more damage against the Krox
    2. The Krox still miss with roughly half their attacks
    3. The Krox's S7 advantage over the Destoryer's T6 is greatly reduced as they have to re-roll successful wounds (so instead of wounding 67% of the time, they are wounding at a rate of only 44%)
    4. the K'daai's ward save is the perfect answer against the Kroxigors high strength attacks.


    That said, we do have tools to deal with the K'daai Destroyer. The Dragonhelm and Dragonbane gem are HARD counters. Another hard counter is our Skink's poisoned ranged attacks (which bypass the K'daai's key defensive feature). I was having a discussion with a Chaos Dwarf player over on EEFL and he said that since he typically plays against Lizardmen, he doesn't even field a Destroyer. He views them to be a point sink due to skink poison.


    I definitely fall into this category. I find the Lore of Death boring to play, even though it is consistently cited as being the best lore overall. That said, the Prophet + carpet + LoD is a potent and popular combo discussed over on Chaos Dwarfs Online forum.

    If I wanted to field a hard list specifically against Lizardmen, I think the lore of Death is the way to go. Purple Sun is a hard counter to not only our Kroxigor, but to most of our key fighting units. It almost feels like an auto win (and often is if the spell goes through the Slann + TG bunker). It is so good that it feels a bit unfair to me.

    The single best unit on the Legion of Azgorh roster!
     
  5. NIGHTBRINGER
    Slann

    NIGHTBRINGER Second Spawning

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    I think Bull Centaur's with GW's would be a better comparison. That extra point of strength is needed for hunting down monsters and other big stuff.


    While the Fireborn did pretty well against the Kroxigor in our scenario above, they do much better against lower strength cheaper (infantry) troops. S3 and S4 attacks have a great deal of difficulty wounding the Fireborn (because successful wounds must be re-roll). Also, the more models that are in base to base contact with the Fireborn the more Blazing Body auto hits are generated (which devastate lower toughness troops). Add that to the Fireborn's impressive S5 stomp, and they can shred lower tier infantry very quickly.

    The key to Fireborn is that they MUST be fielded in larger unit sizes because they will damage themselves through their Burning Bright special rule.
     
  6. NIGHTBRINGER
    Slann

    NIGHTBRINGER Second Spawning

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    Okay, so we saw that Kroxigor beat Bull Centaurs and Fireborn beat Kroxigor, so how about some Legion of Azgorh on Legion of Azgorh violence?

    Bull Centaurs (GW) X9 vs. Fireborn X8

    Capture.JPG


    So in terms of wounds caused, the Fireborn edge it out by the skin of their teeth. In game terms however, this one goes to the Bull Centaurs for two reasons:
    1. a wound differential of 0.6 is easily overtaken by the Bull Centaurs' ability to field a musician and standard bearer (giving them the edge in combat resolution)
    2. Bull Centaurs have 3 wounds each, while the Fireborn only have 2. So losing wounds at nearly the same rate, will favour the Bull Centaurs in the long run.


    So in the end, we have:
    • Kroxigor beat Bull Centaur
    • Fireborn beat Kroxigor
    • Bull Centaur Beat Fireborn
    A nice little game of rock, paper, scissors!



    More Lizardmen vs. Chaos Dwarf analysis to follow.
     
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  7. NIGHTBRINGER
    Slann

    NIGHTBRINGER Second Spawning

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    On with the LM vs. CD analysis!

    With the surprisingly good performance that the K'daai Fireborn demonstrated against the Kroxigor, I thought it was time to give them a second look. I must admit that I've always been a bit biased against them because I'm not particularly fond of their models, especially when compared to their closest CD equivalent, Bull Centaur Renders. Furthermore, the analysis/opinions I had read about the Fireborn was highly mixed; with some people dismissing them completely, while others swore by them. In addition, when a poll was conducted over on the Chaos Dwarfs Online forum, the Fireborn were rated extremely poorly. Additionally, I find that the Fireborn suffer in terms of perception because they exist in the shadow of their bigger brother, the K'daai Destoryer (which I still believe to be superior to them in most respects). On paper, their stats are deceivingly unimpressive (at least in my mind), but I've come to realize that they perform significantly better than I assumed they would.

    So I've gone back to page one of this thread, and re-examined some of the match-ups they are said to struggle with using a little bit of mathhammer (hopefully I didn't make an error, but with so many inputs it is possible... please let me know if you find anything).

    Keep in mind that the calculations below assume that, where applicable, the Lizardmen unit pass their fear test. Neither side is given the charge, I treat it as an ongoing combat. Additionally, the analysis does not take into account the self inflicted damage that the Fireborn's Burning Bright special rule will inflict on them. The "Differential" column is the difference between wounds caused by each unit (essentially how much they win or lose by), but does not incorporate static combat resolution (ranks, standard or a musician to break a tie).

    8 Fireborn [440pts] vs. 40 Saurus Warriors [440 points]
    Saurus Warriors.JPG

    This is a very decisive victory in favour of the Fireborn. Even with maximum static combat resolution, the Saurus Warriors get pasted. Nothing to see here. This isn't the match up we're looking for. Move along. Move along.

    This one is difficult to analyze because what is a "small unit" and what ratio of Kroxigor to Skinks is being used. I do not believe that the calculations are required though. The skinks will give up far too much static combat resolution. The Blazing Body attacks of the Fireborn will shred our poor little skinks and the skinks can be stomped too! On top of that we've already seen the Fireborn beat the Kroxigor. The simple forumla would be to devastate the skinks with the Blazing Body auto hits and stomps while directing the "standard" attacks into the Kroxigor.


    8 Fireborn [440pts] vs. 31 Temple Guard [434 points]
    Temple Guard.JPG
    A bit of a closer fight than with the Saurus Warriors, but the Lizards are still on the losing end. Even with static combat resolution (which they don't have here, as each has 1 additional rank) the Temple Guard still lose. We can play around with different unit formations, like gaining ranks, but the problem with that is that the Temple Guard would lose a lot of attacks while the Fireborn would only lose out on a few Blazing Body attacks.

    4 Fireborn [220pts] vs. 7 Cold One Riders [210 points]
    Cold One Riders.JPG
    Now this is a close fight. If we account for a standard bearer and musician, than our Cold One Riders can barely squeak out the slimmest of victories. If the the CORs had spears and got the charge, that would give them a small boost too (they do have 1 extra movement and swiftstride, but are also stupid... so no guarantees). Bear in mind that the Fireborn did 2.5 wounds, which is right in between slaying 2 or 3 COR, of which I assumed only 2 died for the calculation of their return attacks, but it could have just as easily gone the other way.

    The 2+ armour save of the COR really helped them out, as did the fact that cavalry can't be stomped.

    Important: this match-up of 4 Fireborn vs. 7 Cold One Riders was very advantageous for the COR. Fireborn work much better in larger groups, while cavalry loses their relative effectiveness when you start adding additional ranks after the first. If it was 8 Fireborn against 14 COR (which is not a realistic sized unit of COR, which is why I didn't use it), the COR would not fair so well.


    I assume here that the Razordon's shooting is being considered, because in close combat the Razordons would not fair very well.

    So a Razordon averages 5 shooting attacks, at S4. Under ideal conditions they would hit on 4's (assuming no cover, and generously assuming that they shooting from close range.
    5 attacks * [hitting on 4's] * [wounding on 4's, rerolling successful wounds] * [4+ ward]
    5*1/2*(1/2*1/2)*1/2
    0.31 wounds per Razordon per round of shooting at close range

    Skink poisoned shooting will be far more effective because poison bypasses the need to wound (which is doubly important as normal successful wounds must be re-rolled).


    4 Fireborn [220pts] vs. 1 Troglodon [200 points]
    Trog.JPG
    Troglodon will likely break after a single round, but if it does not, it is dead by the end of the second round.

    Verdict: Troglodon still sucks unfortunately (such a pretty model)


    The Fireborn pose a much bigger threat to us then I originally assumed. They have favourable match-ups against most of our units. Like the Destroyer, they be countered by Skink poison fire and Saurus Cowboys with the Dragonhelm or Dragon Bane gem, [OTS and the Sword of Might are both very useful].

    The Fireborns' triple layered offensive arsenal [stomps, blazing body auto hits and conventional attacks] against infantry is devastating. It's WS of 4 also helps it out as does its dual layered defense of forcing re-rolls of successful wounds and its 4+ ward save.


    Thoughts? Did I miss something?
     
  8. Scalenex
    Slann

    Scalenex Keeper of the Indexes Staff Member

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    Okay, I own the book with the Chaos Dwarf rules. I have played three or four games against Chaos Dwarfs. I have watched two or three games where a Chaos Dwarf player played against something else. I've only visited the Chaos Dwarf forum a handful of times.

    You are clearly more knowledgeable on this than I. If you wish to rewrite my Rock Paper Scissors analysis, I will overwrite my OP with your wisdom.

    Admittedly when I write Rock Paper scissors I stretch the truth to put Troglodons in the best possible light.
     
  9. NIGHTBRINGER
    Slann

    NIGHTBRINGER Second Spawning

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    I just want to make sure I clarify that when I wrote: "Thoughts? Did I miss something?", I meant it 100% genuinely and not in a confrontational or "debating" sort of way. I am really interested to brainstorm ideas of how we might be able to beat a unit of 8 or so Fireborn with roughly the same amount of points from our roster (without relying on a character with dragonbane gem / dragonhelm or skink poisoned shooting). Re-reading my closing sentence, I can see how it is possible to interpret the statement in the context of a challenge. In no way did I intend to present my breakdown as a way to step-on or supersede your analysis (which I thoroughly enjoyed reading). To be fair, I had many of my assumptions turned on their head when the math ended up indicating otherwise. It's been a learning experience as we've delved deeper into the match-ups. Lastly, I'm not saying that is the way you had actually interpreted my statement, I just wanted to make sure. I know I can be quick and eager to jump into debates, but I'm also never one to shy away from admitting so when it is the case. In this thread, I'm genuinely hoping to explore the issue collaboratively. I just wanted to make sure that my clumsy wording was not interpreted in a way that I had not intended. If you read it in the exact same tone/context that I had rattling around my brain when I wrote it, then I guess this rambled response of mine is a bit useless :p.

    I'm definitely not a Chaos Dwarf expert. I'm just trying to explore and read about them as much as I can (information about them is a lot more scarce than it is for other armies). Truth be told, while I present my analysis from a Lizardmen point of view, behind the scenes I am looking at it through the lens of fielding a Chaos Dwarf army against the Lizards. Am I a traitor?... maybe... I am an agent of Chaos; I am fickle.

    I can't blame you. I'd love to find a use for our beautiful but pitiful beast too!
     
  10. Scalenex
    Slann

    Scalenex Keeper of the Indexes Staff Member

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    I made a name for myself on Carpe Noctern writing traitor anti-LM posts, so I am not one to talk. Same on the Empire forum, but they don't have the traffic and atmosphere, CN is one of my favorite non-L-O Warhammer forums. They are similar to us in their depth and scope and overall friendliness. Same with U-E

    You are the guy who sees challenges, just a few days ago you posted this in response to something I said....

    If I thought you were challenging me, I would let you know...by crushing you utterly.

    We don't get as much traffic on the 8th edition Tactica Index these days but my goal was always to use Theoryhammer to create tacticas to the best of my ability and I welcome any and all corrections by people with more subject expertise on any 8th edition Tactica.
     
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  11. NIGHTBRINGER
    Slann

    NIGHTBRINGER Second Spawning

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    I don't dispute that I often see things as challenges, but not always (sometimes one's reputation gets ahead of one's self). However, I'm always willing to admit when I've taken something on as a challenge or when I have not. For instance, the Mufasa clip I posted was completely in jest and had nothing to do with legitimately rising to meet a perceived challenge. On the other hand, proving that the clip was not a challenge has become a challenge now (ironic), so without further ado, the reasons why I didn't view strewarts post percentage as a challenge:
    • #1 doesn't concern himself with #11 (and soon to be demoted #13) :cool:
    • strewarts' post percentage is unsubstantiated; all we can do is speculate (no point in chasing a phantom target)
    • it is easier to have a higher post percentage when there are FAR fewer forum members (at some point someone had 100% of all posts... namely the person who posted first!)
    • raw count > percentage, games are not won by the team with the better ratio of shots-to-goals, but rather by the team that simply scores the most goals!
    • despite all the fun we have with the notion of post counts, they ultimately mean very little!
    And most importantly...
    • Even if all the above didn't exist, it simply wouldn't be worth it. If we take the low end of your estimate (20%), that still represents twice my post percentage. Meaning I'd need to literally more than double (because my posts themselves would add to the forum count) my total post count. AND that is assuming that no one else is posting during the time I double my count!! :eek:



    :p
     
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