View Full Version : Zombies and their uses.

28-12-2007, 00:28
I've just started putting together my Vampire army, and have played a few battles to work out what I like and what I want to include in my list when I get round to putting a proper one together - and I just thought I'd open up the floor to a bit of a talk on Zombies.

I've heard a lot about them - some people like to take them in big units, some in small units with the intention of raising into them, and others buying into the philosophy of "buy skeletons, raise zombies"... I'm not sure which I'm leaning towards just yet.

As a unit, they seem to be brilliant when raised small for re-directing unwanted charges. They're obviously a nice choice to bog down big things, or other nasty enemy units... but in terms of fighting, they seem worse than I anticipated. It probably doesn't help that one of my regular opponents is Lizardmen, and charging Zombies into Saurus = instant death for the Zombies. In fact, when facing Saurus, I would probably rather not charge any Zombies in at all unless I knew I could get off Hellish Vigour.

I was just wondering if there were any beautiful little tactics any Vampire players use their Zombies for.. any glorious stories about these most braindead of servants?

The Adept
28-12-2007, 06:56
I've never played with VC, but I've played against them. Here's a few ideas:
- Raise a unit beind a combat you think you'll win (that one there, with the black knights and vampires looks good), break their unit and watch as the zombies eat the fleeing fools.
- Raise a unit behind a combat you think you'll loose, then Danse them into the back. You'll take away rank bonus, get the rear bonus (if enough survive) and help towards that all important outnumbering with a fear causer.
- Raise a unit in front of an enemy threat (the nine ironguts with tyrent, Bret grail lance, chosen khorne chaos knights, etc) at an angle. They then have to charge, and hence align with you zombies, and therefore be out of the fight for a while; or, they can spend several turns trying to get round the zombies (without marching, of course), taking them out of the fight for a few turns! Wash, rinse, repeat.
- Take a big unit, and get it into combat with something nasty (dragon lord, stegadon, heavy cav etc) and watch the zombies loose. Then raise more to the unit, and leave the opponent bogged down for the rest of the game.
- Necrobunker. Take a unit, and put you necromancers in it. When they've got nothing better to do, they can make the bunker bigger. It protects them from ranged attacks, and you can turn it side on to a threat to keep the necros out of combat. They should be able to raise enough to survive unit help arrives.

Hope this rambling gives you a few ideas. You zombies will kill almost nothing, but like skaven slaves, that isn't what they're there for!

28-12-2007, 10:25
Zombies are great with the exception that you cant expect them to kill anything in combat. In addition to the suggestions above use them to keep warmachines busy. Raise a new unit behind or at the flank and get them into combat with the goal of keeping the crew busy for a couple of turns.
Or raise a singe rank unit of zombies in front of the cannon that keeps giving you problems to deny LOS (only works if not on a hill).

If the opponent wants to deny you the opportunity to do this he will have to put a combat unit that is strong enough to kill your zombies in one turn on guard duty and if he does this raise them somewhere else.

Raise a unit behind enemy lines and watch your opponent rediret one of his units to get rid of it. If he doesnt grow it bigger and sooner or later he will start paying attention or it will become big enough to do something useful.

Raise a new unit to claim or deny VP for a part of the table.

Raise units to marchblock or redirect that unit of brettonian knights that you dont want in combat until you are ready to deal with it.

28-12-2007, 11:41
1 warning i have lost a few of my vampire lords/counts by raising a unit of like 8 or sumn zombies and hit them in the rear with vanhels. thus they pick off the zombies and get + combat res which then crumbles my vampire on winged nightmare etc. ive had 10 dire wolves in the flank of brettonians skellies in the front and zombies in the flank thus they pick off the zombises/wolves and i lost horribly by combat res and vanish into dust.

28-12-2007, 13:07
This is one of the reasons I can’t wait for the new VC book. I want to see what they do to tactics like we have been used to using so far.

Here is what I suggest based off of my experience.

Zombies are lacking as a ‘unit’. To a VC player your unit of zombies is not better (and maybe worse) then a unit of Skaven Slaves to a Skaven general… or regular goblins to an Orc player. In other words you won’t stand up to tough units (like dwarf warriors or Saurus units) and you don’t have a guaranteed win over weak units. (like goblins or skaven slaves.)

Your major advantages are also potential problems.

1) You can summon zombies real fast. However they obviously need to be in large numbers or they just become a slow moving skirmishing unit. (Meaning something you pop up behind enemy lines and use to disrupt his artillery or unprotected weak models.) So you can summon a unit of zombies to created a flank or back attack but you have to hope the original unit does enough damage that the zombie unit doesn’t hurt more then hit helps. Since a flank gives you +1 CR and removes the rank bonus of the enemy unit…. You should effectively be at a +4 CR for this scenario. (+5 if you hit from behind.) So you can lose up to 4 zombies and still break even. Any more then that and you could actually lower you chance of winning the CR.
2) You can summon zombies anywhere you want and as much as you want… well, that’s not really true but the ranges and limits do favor the VC player. The point is your opponent will know that. A 2000 point lizardman army can easily bring 7 dispel dice. So if your battle plan hinges on you being able to summon 30 zombies in one turn, you might find your opponent stops that from happening pretty easily. In that case you will need to make sure you have a great back up plan.

Here is what I do love about zombies… out numbering. Fear causing models that can come in huge numbers…. They are nice. All you have to do is find a tactic you are comfortable with that will let you win 1 round… and your opponent will flee 99 percent of the time. (Do be aware of the insane courage roll.)

That’s what I love about them. The can be used to remove the rank bonus of an enemy and many times that is all I need to win CR. If I can then ‘out number’ them with my total fear causing unit strength… that’s just the icing on the cake.

28-12-2007, 14:54
Simple rules, till new book comes out, take small bunker units of 10 to hide Necro's in, raise more to increase size, move Necro's out when units are needed for CC. Aim them for big elite units and tar pit them, keep adding to the unit. Be careful about raising small new units, these are free extra VP's for opponent.........Unless you are about to win CC, raise ninja zombie unit behind soo to break unit, so long as there's 5 of them, unit will flee into them and die!

But yes old adage is true, Buy Skellies (LA + SH) , raise Zombies into existing units, avoid multi attack frenzied troops...chosen Knights, witch elves etc..

28-02-2008, 21:33
i'd take two units too tie up annoying units then back the combats up with some grave guard or something to finsh the unit off.

28-02-2008, 21:48
Raising them to block LOS for warmachines/wizards, or to engage the crews/wizards is very helpful.

They can lose you combat if you are unaware as mentioned previously.

Brain dead is gone, so on the charge you actually get an attack off. Against pathetic wizards or units you may get a hit in.

They are best at redirecting or threatening weak units/characters. If you engage Karl Franz, expect to lose even with 3 ranks and outnumber. If you engage a crappy wizard, he can't even hope to win CR.

The other use as mentioned is 5+ behind a unit to wipe them out, or to extend your overrun by having your unit land on top of them :)

Kabal of The Ordo Mallius
29-02-2008, 14:33
I lieke dezz zombeis

29-02-2008, 16:52
Create a tarpit with nots of nice cheap zombies, tie your enemies snobby swordmasters up for a turn. Fly your black/blood knights into their flank, then watch your knights make a nice sidewards motion across the board pursueing into lots of units.

Well thats how I use skellies/chariots with my TK, and it works out nicely.

Lord Inquisitor
29-02-2008, 17:18
The new army book changes things somewhat with zombies. With WS1 and S&T 2, they really are terribly rubbish. They're going to hit on 5's and wound on 5's against most basic enemies. On the plus side, they don't always strike last anymore.

I've always been a proponent of the "buy skellies, raise zombies" crowd. Aside from anything else, it rather makes logical sense. Plus you can steal your opponent's dead models to use as zombies...

However, the new book changes things. At only 4 points a pop, they're very cheap. Since you can no longer buy dire wolves as compulsory choices, they represent a nice and cheap core choice.

One thing I've noticed when playing with the new list is that the spells have reduced range - and if the enemy aren't whittling down your units with shooting, then you often have a bunch of Level 1 wizards who have nothing to do with their power dice (you can't raise existing units beyond their starting size unless you take particular bloodline powers - but zombies are exempt). Having zombies around that you can "spend" your dice on if you don't have anything better to do might be a good idea.

So I might well include one unit of zombies with command for my army now.

Andrew Luke
29-02-2008, 19:00
I may want to add a unit of Zombies to my VC as well. I am not a huge fan of the models. But I have an old Mordheim warband that it could be fun to convert them and bring 'em back as a unit of Zombies. It could be neat to make a unit of 50 or so to surround a fighty Vamp and take charges.

Edit: On a side note, I haven't seen the new rules yet. What is the easiest way to give a Vamp ASF? This could be a nice combo for the new 4 pt zombies. For 200 pts you give a vamp +4 CR and FIFTY WOUNDS lol. Its gonna take a nasty unit indeed to steamroll that. And by he time something hits it it could easily number 75+... I am gonna need to make bigger movement trays...

29-02-2008, 19:11
Here's a little trick I use. Works best on mediocre/average units when poorly supported, but the other day I got some white lions hiding in a building stone dead with it.

30 Skellies (or GG), full command, fighty vampire, banner of the dead legion. Summon as many zombies as (in)humanly possible in posisition to flank the unit you intend to charge the next turn. The opponent either has to turn to address the zombies (bad move), back out altogether, or just let them get in his flank. If all goes to plan, your vamp should kill a bunch, maybe some overkill in a challange too. Skellies/GG probably get a couple too. You have the flank, the res from special powers off the vamp, the flank, and are outnumbering vastly due to the banner. Ouch!

Of course, this doesn't exactly work brilliantly against better players who'll understand how supporting units properly works... but if the situation arises (pun intended) it works a treat.

Lord Inquisitor
29-02-2008, 19:49
Edit: On a side note, I haven't seen the new rules yet. What is the easiest way to give a Vamp ASF? This could be a nice combo for the new 4 pt zombies. For 200 pts you give a vamp +4 CR and FIFTY WOUNDS lol. Its gonna take a nasty unit indeed to steamroll that. And by he time something hits it it could easily number 75+... I am gonna need to make bigger movement trays...
First issue - no characters are allowed to join units of zombies!

Secondly, it's a little surprising but there are no vampire powers that actually gives vampires ASF per se. There are three ways of doing it however. 1) the corpse cart's bound spell ability gives ASF to all units within 6" (for a whole turn!), 2) Danse Macabre works like the old Hellish Vigour when cast into combat, 3) the Nightshroud (a magic armour, dirt cheap really) gives the wearer a sort of ASF - enemies wishing to attack the wearer lose charging bonuses, ASF and strike at I1.

30 Skellies (or GG), full command, fighty vampire, banner of the dead legion.
Banner of the Endless Nightmare (can count up to +4 for ranks) might be a good one for units that big too. Add in a BSB with the War Banner and Walking Death and that's a unit with (assuming it outnumbers the enemy) a combat resolution bonus of 4 for ranks, 1 for outnumbering, 2+1 for banners and 1 for the vamp. That's a combat res of 9 before casualties!

01-03-2008, 02:58
Aye, that one works well too!

04-03-2008, 13:02
I may want to add a unit of Zombies to my VC as well. I am not a huge fan of the models.

Buy one box of Zombies and one box of some type of human infantry (I used Empire Militia). They will look fabulous. In my 10 years of the GW hobby, I never had more fun that creating this unit (I had 2 boxes of each for a total of 80).

04-03-2008, 23:43
I was just wondering if there were any beautiful little tactics any Vampire players use their Zombies for.. any glorious stories about these most braindead of servants?

Well my first 1500 point game with the new undead, i was pitted against a steam tank. He had more units than me so as soon as i put down my 7 black knights he dumped the tank in front.

So i duly marched the knights through the nearest wood and raised 30 zombies into the bugger. (Scepter of d3+9 and then a minimun of 5 with every cast of invocation FTW!)

I kept the thing in combat with zombies untill my turn 5, with gratuitous abuse of 1 dice casting of invocation, he had 1 turn of movement, by which time my army was everywhere BUT where it was..

Also, during the same game, i used zombies to misdirect a knight charge that wound have killed my corpse cart+skellies, AND stopped him from taking a table quarter in the last turn.

TBH im not really suse what vamps can do against a steam tank, the only one ive figured out is the frostblade, because it uses the vampires strength all you need to do is 1 wound and it dies, just like evrything else! but that does involve 6s to wound and a 3+ (4+?) save...

They have their uses, that one is for sure!

05-03-2008, 09:48
Ah yes a scouting vmap lord who is level 3 and + 2 dice and subseqently summons script de noird and black perpit and a book of your choiche churning out zombies in the middel of your oppents army....

Or there its that scounting, terror and flying :D alwyas fun :D

Lord Inquisitor
05-03-2008, 13:41
I'd be a little nervous about that - I'm not used to being able to move the general away from the rest of the army anyway - but it might be possible. Leaves your general very vulnerable. Perhaps with the carstein ring, so if it DOES go pear-shaped he can rejoin the rest of the army...