Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Arena of Death - The Sanguinor vs The Swarmlord

Welcome to the Arena of Death, where we pitch named character against named character, ignoring such conventions as Mathammer and actually rolling some dice. This week, it's definitive article against definitive article. So, who is the best character that starts with "The"?

Round 1 - The Swarmlord on the charge

The Swarmlord began by summoning its psychic mastery and casting both Paroxysm and Psychic Scream at the Sanguinor. Both Psychic tests were passed which saw The Sanguinor reduced to WS1 for the rest of the turn, however, he managed to pass his Leadership test. Despite The Sanguinor's weakened state, The Swarmlord could only hit with 3 of its 5 attacks, although all 3 wounded. The Sanguinor passed two invulnerable saves and was left on 2 wounds. Striking simultaneously, The Sanguinor hit back twice. However, since he is an Avenging Angel he manged to hit again and using his Master Crafted Glave Encarmine he managed to get up to 4 hits with re-rolls (not bad for someone who is WS1!) He managed to cause 2 Wounds but The Swarmlord parried one with its Bone Sabres. In the second round of combat, The Swarmlord managed 3 hits but could only do 1 wound despite only needing 2s. Initially, The Sanguinor saved but those vicious Bone Sabres forced a re-roll of the invulnerable save and he took another wound. With a single successful re-roll, The Sanguinor struck back 3 times, causing 3 Wounds. Despite the whirl of blades from The Swarmlord, one still got through, meaning the combat was still in a deadlock. Angered by his latest wound, The Swarmlord hit The Sanguinor with all four of its attacks and managed to cause 4 Wounds! Despite his Unyielding Will, The Sanguinor still fell. With his last breath, he hit The Swarmlord with 4 attacks and while he managed to do 2 Wounds both were parried aside.

Round 2 - The Sanguinor on the charge

With a war cry from the very depths of its soul, The Sanguinor charged into the giant monstrosity. Initially hitting with 4 out of his 6 attacks, re-rolls improved that to all 6. However, despite only need 4s to Wound due to his Furious Charge he could only manage 1. Even with re-rolls that became a rather poor 2. The Swarmlord couldn't stop either of them though and so was down to 3 Wounds even before he got to strike. The Swarmlord fared even worse in riposte, hitting just once and failing to wound. Buoyed by his initial success, The Sanguinor hit The Swarmlord 4 times, causing 2 Wounds, 1 of which was saved. Swinging like a drunk in a bar room brawl, The Swarmlord missed with 3 of its attacks, although it did manage to cause an unsaved Wound with the one that did hit. Sensing his chance, The Sanguinor landed all 5 of his blows, needing just one re-roll. Initially causing 1 Wound, the Avenging Angel improved it to 2 and The Swarmlord could only parry 1. In return The Swarmlord hit twice and caused 2 Wounds. Even with the re-roll cause by the Bone Sabres, 1 was still saved. Both combatants were now down the their final wound! The end was near, it was the time for bold actions. The Sanguinor managed to hit The Swarmlord 4 times thanks to the help of his various re-rolls. He again needed his re-rolls as he caused no wounds initially but managed to improve that to 2 which was enough as The Swarmlord failed one of his saves. As it struck back simultaneously, The Swarmlord only managed 2 hits but both wounded. The Sangiounor failed one and both warriors fell at the same time.

Wow! Our first draw in the Arena of Death! I like to imagine it a bit like the end of Rocky II. I have to admit that the dicerolls for The Swarmlord were just awful in that second round. If he'd rolled anything like average he'd have won quite easily. His key advantage over The Sanguinor in a straight 1 on 1 fight like this is his higher WS and T6. Even with all those re-rolls, it's a tough ask for The Sanguinor. I think if these two ever came face to face in a real game of 40K, they'd be better off going round killing Troops rather than trying to face off to each other. The Swarmlord especially is better off against people without Eternal Warrior (which is one of the reasons that we didn't put him up against Mephiston, he'd have slaughtered him) Similarly, The Sanguinor is going to be the bane of regular HQs but I think that 5 Wounds was just a bit too much for him to handle. As we always say, a lot of these characters bring far more to the party than just their raw unadulterated killing power. The Sanguinor's Aura of Fervour makes Blood Angels even killier in combat while The Swarmlord's Alien Cunning lets you play the Reserve game and Swarm Leader makes one of you units better for a turn. The only other thing I'd say is that at 280 points, The Swarmlord is a very pricey model that has to walk everywhere. The Sanguinor may have been beaten here and he's only 5 points cheaper, but that Jump Pack makes it a lost easier to just run away from The Swarmlord.


  1. Great battle, though I think Mephiston vs Swarmlord would have been more interesting, given their statistical similarities.

    I think next up, Yarrick vs Ghazghkkull is in order. Or failing that, the Nightbringer vs Skarbrand

  2. I think that Mephiston would really have struggled. He doesn't have Eternal Warrior so The Broodlord would only have to wound him once with his Bone Sabres to kill him. He'd also be rolling his psychic tests on 3D6 so I'm not sure whether he could cause 5 Wounds before he takes one back.

    Great shout on Yarrick vs Ghaz tho, that's a definite for the future...

  3. Statistically, the Swarmlord will usually beat the Sanguinor by a slim margin, so this is more or less correct.

    Remember that on his own turn, the Swarmlord has Preferred Enemy, as he can give it to himself.

    (Meph vs. Swarmy is basically no contest, since he needs to do all five wounds before the big guy gets to swing, basically. With no Invuln and no Eternal Warrior, he's pretty much doomed.)

  4. Is the Swarmlord an Eternal Warrior? If not Mephy can try to force weapon the Swarmlord and that woul make it pretty much a no-contest in favour of Mephiston

  5. Yep, he's EW. Plus Mephy would still have to pass his psychic test and we've seen first hand how difficult that can be to do on 3D6

  6. Where does it say Swarmlord is an eternal warrior?O_o I was sure he wasn't.

  7. You're right he doesn't have it! I just assumed he did since the biggest, nastiest guy in the codex normally does. Hmm, Swarmy might find himself back in the AoD this week...

  8. I think you're forgetting about McPhisty's Force Weapon and his higher initiative. Assuming he gets all his powers off, McPhisty will:

    1) Get the charge with his 19-24" assault radius.
    2) Strike first in combat with 6 attacks.
    3) Hit the Swarmlord on 4's with re-rolls.
    4) Wound him on 2's (Str 10)

    That will average out to 4 wounds, with only 2 saves. Then McPhisty only has to pass a Psychic test at LD10 to kill Swarmy dead.

  9. No, he's not Eternal Warrior. Just T6 like Mephiston.

    McPhisty's probably got at least a 50/50 chance of killing the Swarmlord on the charge. If he fails, he's toast. But it's not like he can't bite.

  10. He does have to pass it on 3d6 though, definately not a certainity.


Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.


Related Posts with Thumbnails