Myth: Daemons of Chaos Can't Kill a unit of White Lions with Banner of the World Dragon in Combat
Since the release of the new High Elf book we've been subjected to a range of crying regarding the Banner of the World Dragon and it's interaction with the Daemons of Chaos book. The main complaint is that Daemons of Chaos can't kill a unit of White Lions with the Banner.
First up let's price up the White Lions. For the sake of the argument I'm going to cap the unit cost at 450, which buys you:
28 White Lions - Full Command Group, Banner of the World Dragon - 444 points
Against this I'm going to put up Plaguebearers as internet wisdom (if such a thing exists) tells us that a Daemon player should only ever use Plaguebearers.
32 Plaguebearers - Full Command.
I'm now going to assume that both of these formations are in horde, as the White Lions will be looking for maximum damage output and can't possibly lose right?
So What Happens?
Well the White Lions go first with 29 attacks, hitting on 4's and wounding on 2's causing: 29*0.5*0.83 = 12 wounds. The Plaguebearers get their save so suffer 8 wounds.
This leaves the Plaguebearers with 24 attacks which cause 4 poisoned wounds and 5.33 normal wounds for a total of 9.333. The White Lions take 6.222 wounds after Armour Saves and 1 wound after the Ward Save.
The White Lions win by 7 on wounds and add 1 for the extra rank they have for a total of 8. The Daemonic Instability kicks in and with an average roll of 7 lose another 7 Plaguebearers.
So after a single round of combat we have 27 White Lions left against now only 17 Plaguebearers. At this stage it's obvious what's going to happen so I'm going to stop doing the maths. However, how many Plaguebearer attacks would it take to kill 28 White Lions assuming they stick around and take their beating?
Well you would need to force 28*6= 168 Ward Saves. In order to do this you would need to force 168*6/5 = 202 Armour Saves/Wounds. To achieve this you need 520 attacks to get 86.7 poisoned wounds and 115.5 normal wounds.
So, if you want to kill a 28 White Lions, you will need to generate 520 poisoned attacks from Plaguebearers.
Verdict: True Practically there is virtually no way to generate 520 Plaguebearer attacks on a single unit in the course of the game, even without taking into account the damage the White Lions will do back to the Daemons each round.There are a few tricks that could be used to get this number down and make the White Lions more vulnerable to a failed leadership test (Soulblight and Doom and Darkness come to mind) That being said, if you're a Daemons of Chaos player and your game plan involves any attempt to kill this unit in close combat, the numbers would suggest you need a new plan.