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Skeletons vs. Zombies: Points per Effective Wound

Joined
Jan 1, 2016
Messages
2
#1
If you count in the 5+ armor save and 6+ parry, skeletons have an effective cost per wound (1 + 1/3 + 1/6 wounds for 5 points) of 3.33, just barely more than zombies at 3. Vs. high strength opponents, where the armor save is negated, then their cost is 4.28 (5/(1+1/6)). The other advantage is that when boosting these units with invocation, the models generated have more wounds (around 1.16-1.5). That requires the master of the dead upgrade at 20 points, so you are looking at 20 + ~1 point per model, but you might effectively "earn" those costs back through invocation.

Looking at all of this, it doesn't seem like zombies are straight superior to skeletons in terms of a tarpit, but I don't really know. You also get the option of a magic standard. Finally, the skeleton models just look cooler.

Why do people seem to favor zombies over skeletons when skeletons are about the same cost, but have a better upside in the long game where multiple invocations can earn more effective points?
 
Joined
Aug 7, 2016
Messages
11
#3
I also would've thought that it might come down in the shooting phase as well?
Just the parry being for combat only?
A lot of people see the upgrade of shields useless if they're coming up against any arrow with Armour piercing.

Althought, I'm only new here so could have that wrong!
I'm thinking of 8th edition rules, also.
 

Borgnine

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jun 15, 2013
Messages
1,823
#4
I always used zombies because you summon additional D6 with each invocation, they grow very nicely even without a special upgrade. Skeletons' armor also doesn't count for nothing when they are suffering bonus wounds because of the combat resolution - and tarpits suffer LOTS of those.
 
Joined
Jan 1, 2016
Messages
2
#5
Hmmm...the extra D6 is a good point. Every skeleton is worth 1.16 (no armor, parry only), 1.33 (6+ save, parry), or 1.5 (5+ save, 6+ parry) wounds. Assuming a level 4 wizard, you are essentially earning about 1-5 extra wounds for skeletons. So with a level 4 wizard, rolling a 6 means that full value skeletons are only a worse deal if your extra d6 for the zombies is a 6, and at 5 you break even. It gets worse at lower numbers, but assume an "average roll" of 3.5 + level 4 wizard, that means you are generating 11.25, 10, or 8.75 wounds worth of skeletons per invocation compared to 7.5 zombies. So it looks like Skeletons are a better deal when you get max armor and parry, requiring you to roll better than average to get more zombie wounds, and a slightly worse to even deal when you get 6+ armor, and a worse deal at no armor.

Zombies are a better deal for lower level wizards and vs. high strength or armor-negating enemies.

The other thing is that multiple necros can raise zombies, whereas only one necro can be master of the undead.
 
Joined
Jun 27, 2014
Messages
106
#6
I prefer skeletons for an optical reason.
But zombies are the better tarpit: You start with 20 Zs for 60 pts and your lvl 1 necros spam invo during the advance since other spells are not useful in the first rounds. when they reach an enemy they can hold up a greater demon for some rounds. 10skellies with standard cost 60pts, too. but they do not profit from the invo spam and will not do anything useful against a greater demon. ;)
 
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