• Roll-up! Roll-up! Come one and all the fantastic Turning the World to Darkness painting competition. Welcome to any skill level, you can find out more here.
  • It's time once again to ferret out those murderous vampires in a new VAU - Vampires Amongst Us. A cross between Cluedo and a roleplay, sometimes gory and often hilarious! Find out more here.

Lethality of Death Units


Vampire Count
True Blood
Hello everyone!

Recently I showed you our Deadliest Battleline, but wasn't quite convinced such information would be as useful as I wanted, because I considered many of my calculations in a vacuum.

So... now I want (time and Nagash permitting) to expand that idea into a more accurate calculation, and show you, as the title suggests, the Lethality of our Units.

Lethality will mean, how many wounds can I expect to inflict with a certain amount of models? Because of how pile-in moves work, I can't expect all of my models to attack my desired target, so their damage output would saddly diminish. In this post, I will calculate how much damage can you expect a standard size of models to deal. This should be useful as a quick reference guide when you're attempting to calculate if you'll deal enough damage to kill or shrink an enemy unit, etc.

But... How!? D:

5x Skeleton Warriors with Spears will deal "n" damage (before Save rolls). This is taking into account the buffs their Unit can have, from their abilities, spell augments cast on them; BUT only taking into consideration 5 of them at a time. This is so that you can estimate how much damage would 5 of these guys cause per round of attacks. If you can pile-in and attack with more models, adjust! This will give you a standarized view of how would certain units fare against an enemy, then just reduce said damage accounting for SAVES and in some cases, multiply that result by the amount of damage your weapons deal. These all change depending on your target, but you'll have a clear view of what to expect from your troops.

I'll begin with our Battlelines, and move on then:

5x Skeleton Warriors with SPEARS
Will deal:
~3.75 Wounds while Self-Buffed (20x or more Model count and a Hero nearby)
~5 Wounds with +1 Attack from Lord of Bones and similar
~4.95 Wounds with +1 to Hit from My Will Be Done and similar
~7.42 Wounds adding Righteous Smiting to the above
~4.95 Wounds adding Vlad's Command ability
~8.21 Wounds with +2 to Hit from Settra and another Tomb King
~13.64 Wounds adding Righteous Smiting to the above.
*Double those values if they get buffed by Vanhel's Danse Macabre
NOTE: I didn't consider their innate +1 to Hit for themselves in the Righteous Smiting calculations, which makes it a very powerful spell to be cast on them.

5x Zombies
Will deal:
~2.17 Wounds while Self-Buffed (20x or more Model count)
~2.73 Wounds with +1 to Hit from Corpse Cart OR from Settra
~5.47 Wounds adding +1 Attacks to the above (with Blood Feast)
~3.44 Wounds with Vlad's Command Ability and a Corpse Cart
*Double these values when Vanhel's Danse Macabre is cast upon them.
Settra would not benefit this unit.

5x Crypt Ghouls
Will deal:
~4.35 Wounds while Self-Buffed (20x or more Model count and an Abhorrant Ghoul King nearby)
~6.5 Wounds with Re-rolls to Wound from Feeding Frenzy
~5.8 Wounds with +1 Attacks from Trophy Hunter OR Blood Feast OR Black hunger
~7.25 Wounds with +2 Attacks from any two buffs from above.
~8.7 Wounds with +3 Attacks from all of their Attack increase buffs
~13.05 Wounds with All of the Above Buffs cast on them.
~5.74 Wounds with only +1 to Hit from Settra
~7.65 Wounds adding +1 Attacks to Settra, from Trophy Hunter OR Black Hunger
~9.57 Wounds adding +2 Attacks to Settra, from both Trophy Hunter and Black Hunger
~5.74 Wounds with Vlad's command ability
~8.61 Wounds adding Feeding Frenzy to it
~11.4 Wounds adding +1 Attacks to the above
*Double those values if they get buffed by Vanhel's Danse Macabre

As usual, Zombies are our worst fighters, even when buffed, but they are also quite cheap to max out and with very little effort. Settra's Deathrattle warriors stand supreme, followed closely by Ghouls who are much harder to max out on their buffs.

5x Grave Guard
Will deal:
~3.96 to 4.96 points of damage while Self-Buffed
~4.65 to 5.65 points of damage with Righteous Smiting
~6.5 to 7.5 points of damage with +1 Attacks (Lord of Bones, Blood Feast, etc)
~5.4 to 6.4 points of damage with +1 to Hit (From a Tomb King)
~6.8 to 8.8 points of damage with Settra
~10.3 to 13.3 points of damage adding Righteous Smiting to the above.
*Double those values if they get buffed by Vanhel's Danse Macabre

These are not Wounds, like from Battleline units, but total points of damage, with Rend 1 start counting armour from 5+ to 3+ and see what damage you'll actually deal. The cheapest buff they get is with Lord of Bones / Blood Feast. Settra is still the best you can give them, but costly.

3x Crypt Horrors
Will deal:
~4.45 Wounds while Self-Buffed (Abhorrant Ghoul King nearby)
~5.94 Wounds with +1 Attacks (Blood Feast /Black Hunger)
~5.87 Wounds with re-rolls to wound (Feeding Frenzy)
~5.16 Wounds with Settra
~7.83 Wounds with both Feeding Frenzy and +1 attacks
*Double those values if they get buffed by Vanhel's Danse Macabre

These values are wounds which can be saved. Then, amplify them by 2 to get your total amount of damage. Crypt Horrors seem on-par with Grave Guard when fully buffed, but only against very lightly armored units (6+) the difference is more evident the more armor the target has.

3x Crypt Flayers
Will deal:
~4.64 points of damage while Self-buffed (Skewering Strike)
~5.8 points of damage with +1 Attacks (Blood Feast / Black Hunger)
~5.48 points of damage with re-rolls to wound (Feeding Frenzy)
~6.96 points of damage with re-rolls to Hit (Dreadknight)
~7.86 points of damage with Settra
*Double those values if they get buffed by Vanhel's Danse Macabre

Again, these are almost guaranteed points of damage (ish) because of the atacks having Rend 1 AND having a chance to inflict mortal wounds with Skewering Strike, making them another Settra's favorite non-Deathrattle troop, along with Spirit Hosts. While Crypt Horrors fare much better against Battlelines (weak saves), the Flayers can punch through some Heroes themselves with their mortal wounds.

Between Battleline and Elite infantry units, there seems to be not too much difference in wounds inflicted, however Rend and Damage become much more important as you face stronger enemies (which, you will). The Flayers seem like the weakest of them all, but account for their limited damage output with their Flying and more reliable punch-through damage dealing.

Will update more as I can!
Last edited:


Vampire Count
True Blood
Adding Vlad's command ability could be messing with my math, and supposedly, it's on par on having a Tomb King give his own buffs (as if +1 to Hit and +1 to Wound were the same).

It doesn't sound right to me, but my math isn't that good and could be wrong.

Anyhow, Zombies fare much better with Vlad, but not as good as with +1 Attack from a Vampire Lord.

Ghouls get their own brand of goodies by using him as well as a General.


Master Necromancer
do keep in mind that single-unit targeted buffs will often have better targets than your battle line units. In particular, units with rend, that will limit the ability of enemy armored units to mitigate damage. As such, for battle line units, the most relevant buffs are more frequently aura effects, like that of Settra's command ability, rather than targeted buffs, like, say, a casting of van-hels.

Not that targetting buffs on battle line units is never worth while, the above figures on skeletons and ghouls are quite impressive, especially when rolling attacks against enemy units that rely on numbers rather than individual durability for defense.

Also, do not forget that Skeleton Horsemen and Skeleton Chariots are also default battleline units for Grand Alliance: Death armies. The horsemen are pretty forgettable, but the chariots can be quite nice. More as mobile walls than damage dealers (they are quite sturdy with just Ruler of the Night and a Tomb Herald vaguely nearby), but on the charge they can put out a respectable payload, and as a deathrattle unit they have a lot of buff options for upping their offensive output where necessary.

It also really can't be stressed enough how much settra adds to the damage output of deathrattle armies. Even without a backup tomb king for extra goodies, just Settra's own +1 to hit and wound is already a massive bonus, which interacts beautifully with the 'many weak attacks' default situation of many deathrattle units, and synergizes particularly nice with tomb guard, grave guard, and necropolis knights, which will get their extra damage on 5+ instead of 6+ to wound with Settra around.

There's a strong case to be made that settra is the strongest general choice in the entire alliance. He's certainly the strongest for offensive-leaning deathrattle lists. One of very few named characters who I don't feel bad giving up on Ruler of the Night to take as a general.