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Voodoo Boyz
12-02-2008, 17:39
So after looking at the VC book and seeing all the different combinations there are for your Vamps, I have to wonder how common the "growing army" will be.

This is something similar to what used to happen with Zombies, but now you can do it with anything, Zombies, Skellies, or Ghouls, you just have to pick one when you design your list.

The concept is that you can make your vampire characters cast the invocation spell (summon/heal) on a 3+ for your prefered unit, and heal D6 Skellies/Zombies/Ghouls, and you can raise units of the type you selected when building the list over their starting strength.

This means I can "buy" 15 skeletons, but by the end of turn 2 that block could be upwards of 25-30 models, and if you do it enough you can really get multiple units growing very quickly - since you can cast it on a 3+, can cast as many times as you want, and can have 13-14 PD in your army.

So I figure with a Level 4 Vamp Lord, 2 Level 2 Vamp Heros, and a Necro-Caddy, you spend say, about 1k points in characters, which sounds pretty bad, but your "1k Points" worth of army can easily balloon to well above that with these summon rules. You buy cheap blocks and raise them to be huge, and then if you need more units just create some zombie units and heal them too.

That's a LOT of healing possible, meaning you can go character heavy, but at the end of the game end up with well over your points limit in units if you design the list right.

I know this used to be done with Zombies, but now you can do it with better troops.

How bad do you guys see this becoming?

TheDarkDuke
12-02-2008, 17:50
Umm from what I have read, you can only heal a unit to its starting point, much like TK. If you buy a unit of 10 skellies you can only heal them back up to 10, not suddenly create a unit of 50.

I could be wrong, but I am pretty sure that is what I read yesterday in the latest WD.

mav1971
12-02-2008, 17:51
Yes thats true, but your opponent is going dispell some of those. Not to mention shooting and hand to hand. And if your characters are killed your raising or healing undead will be slowed down.

Voodoo Boyz
12-02-2008, 18:11
Umm from what I have read, you can only heal a unit to its starting point, much like TK. If you buy a unit of 10 skellies you can only heal them back up to 10, not suddenly create a unit of 50.

I could be wrong, but I am pretty sure that is what I read yesterday in the latest WD.

There is a bloodline power for each unit type (Skeletons, Ghouls, and then "creatures of the night" - Wolves/Bats/etc). It is very cheap, as much as a Swordmaster. And any Vampire can take it.

This power gives you +1 to cast the healing spell, and lets you raise units of that type over their starting strength.

So this means you cast the healing spell on a 3+, and your army will have a ton of Power Dice if you set it up right (13 or so seems normal).

You will quickly burn through any dispel attemps and/or scrolls, and you still can cast the movement spell and this doesn't count bound spells you can also take.

You can very well ensure that you can raise a LOT of models in a game. And deployed right, you can ensure you get the 1-2 turns needed to heal all you need to take charges and then rip stuff up with the counter charges.

mattschuur
12-02-2008, 18:37
Zombies can be built up over starting size but that is it. Skellies only to starting number. And when used on wights and others the spell only ever heals 1 wound. so each spell would raise only one grave guard, black knight etc. my store has an advanced copy. However, the 6th spell is raise undead horde which will create a unit of 5D6 zombies! the 5th spell is cool also, you roll a D6 for every enemy unit on the table, on a 4+ they take a single wound with no armor save. After all those wounds are allocated, add up the total wounds and you then create however many spirit host bases those wounds allow. the book says if you do 7 wounds you create 2 spirit host bases, one with 3 wounds. So you can still raise the dead, just not as effectively as before and in different ways.

matt schuur

Voodoo Boyz
12-02-2008, 18:42
Zombies can be built up over starting size but that is it. Skellies only to starting number. And when used on wights and others the spell only ever heals 1 wound. so each spell would raise only one grave guard, black knight etc. my store has an advanced copy. However, the 6th spell is raise undead horde which will create a unit of 5D6 zombies! the 5th spell is cool also, you roll a D6 for every enemy unit on the table, on a 4+ they take a single wound with no armor save. After all those wounds are allocated, add up the total wounds and you then create however many spirit host bases those wounds allow. the book says if you do 7 wounds you create 2 spirit host bases, one with 3 wounds. So you can still raise the dead, just not as effectively as before and in different ways.

matt schuur

Look up the bloodline powers, there are bloodline powers that let you raise skeletons, ghouls, or other undead units over their starting size.

And every Vamp in the army can take this same power.

danko
12-02-2008, 19:28
My VC friend plays this kind of army. His core consists of 3 minimum sized (10 models) units which he then summons into with his Count and one Thrall having summoning blood powers.

The main strength of this list is the HUGE amount of points he has to spend on the rest of his army. He has about 1000 points in characters, of which almost half of which is the Count, and this is with a Necro scroll caddy in there. If he gets the first turn it is very hard to keep all the summoning in check.

However, a list with decent shooting/magic can obliterate one or more of these 10-man blocks before he has a chance to flesh them out. So this list is a risk, but if the Vampire can get the summoning done this type of list is very strong.

Mad Doc Grotsnik
12-02-2008, 23:39
It's a risky tactic to be sure, albeit *potentially* horrific

Starting off with small-medium units is a brave thing to do with Undead, as you'll soon find their number dwindling, especially when combats start. Stick some Knights into what you hope will be a key block, and you can munch them pretty much straight off both from kills and combat resolution.

The Vampire player really needs his wits about him to pull this stunt off, and ideally ought to have his Magic phases planned out ahead of time.

Oenghus
13-02-2008, 00:42
I'd imagine that you'll be seeing a lot of Vortex Shards and Cubes of Darkness and the like showing up against VC armies -- shutting down the first one or two magic phases and allowing your army to make contact with his smaller starting squads will be the key to knocking out this sort of force. If you can kill the Vamps before their armies are massive, then great. If not, you're in for trouble.

Also, anything that makes for -1 to cast will become almost mandatory. All of these summonings are likely to be cast on one dice, and 3+ vs 4+ is a big difference -- especially if you've got a more limited pool of dispel dice than the vamps have power dice. Which seems likely.

Nedar
13-02-2008, 01:09
IoN heals D6 to infantry units, D6+4 to zombie units, and 1 model/wound to all other things in the army (Anything with Vampire special rule, Wight Kings, Necros, Black Knights, wraiths too I believe). You can normaly only raise zombies above what they started the beggining of the game with.

However, there exists 3 bloodline powers under the section of The Master that confer a +1 to casting rolls on IoN when targetting the specific unit type, AND allow you to raise the unit above it's starting value.

Lord of the Dead is specific to skeletons.
Summon Ghouls is specific to ghouls.
Summon Creatures of the Night consists of Dire Wolves, Fel Bats, and Bat Swarms.


The "Growing" army, as the OP put it, is a very viable build and is one I very much like. I've ran it twice so far in test games (and to a lesser extent in the first game I did) and it worked almost flawlessly.

You end up spending more points on characters than average, however, since you will be increasing your unit sizes by an average of a rank or so per turn, they can basicaly make up for the extra point investment in relatively short order.

Starting with 2 units of 10 skeletons with spears, FC, and a 25 point banner costs all of 140 points. By turn two you can have a unit of 20 with said full command and banner...now it's worth 230 points to buy, but for VPs is still only 140, and will require your opponent to cause 10 wounds before he starts to eat into your own original investment essentially.

This makes skeletons with spears one of the most cost effective units in the new book, as you can trade a single average IoN roll to give the entire unit spears and not feel bad about using HW/Shields when it's better to do so. Ghouls are similar, as you can buy an 88 point 10 strong unit with a champ, and raise it to 20-30 in short order.

Certain powers/items and spells will hurt this type of VC magic phase more than other more standard magic. Ironicaly, we have one of the most efficient ones: Corpse Cart with Balefire. This confers a -1 to casting rolls to enemy wizards. A nasty counter to playing yourself.

The VC magic phase is extrordiarily strong in the new book IMO, just because of how it functions. Lots of low casting value spells being spammed (Note: if you have Forbidden Lore, you can make a VC army that casts normally by taking more conventional lores to play with). IoN is a 1 die spell when used properly, and most VC players will be running at least 2 or 3 bound items. This essentialy means you will get quite a bit of magic through, your opponenet just has to decide which is worse :evilgrin:

Zoolander
13-02-2008, 03:42
I play tested this tactic this last weekend. I started with 20 skellies and 2 units of 30 zombies. But turn 3 the amount of zombies and skellies out there was ridiculous. I literally ran out of zombies at one point and had to sub ghouls for them.

Gorbad Ironclaw
13-02-2008, 04:41
Well, it's not really new. It's just doing what you can already do with the current spells. There might be a bit more raising power in the new list, but the concept is still the same.

Nedar
13-02-2008, 07:16
Well, it's not really new. It's just doing what you can already do with the current spells. There might be a bit more raising power in the new list, but the concept is still the same.


Ya, it's not completely new. But it is a strategy you could not really use effectively in the 6th ed book, and I ran Necrarchs all the time.

"A bit" is the biggest understatement of the new book :D

Oenghus
13-02-2008, 12:12
My guess is that you're going to see flying or fast-moving units gunning all-out for the VC general. Presumably, with so many points wrapped up in raising powers, he'll be (relatively -- for a Vampire) easy to kill.

Then it's just a lot of skeletons (zombies, whatever) that are all crumbling at once.

They do still take crumble tests, right?

Voodoo Boyz
13-02-2008, 12:30
My guess is that you're going to see flying or fast-moving units gunning all-out for the VC general. Presumably, with so many points wrapped up in raising powers, he'll be (relatively -- for a Vampire) easy to kill.

Then it's just a lot of skeletons (zombies, whatever) that are all crumbling at once.

They do still take crumble tests, right?

From the quick list I wrote up using this kind of army build, I made sure that the Vamp lord was no slouch. 4+ Ward and a 2+ Armor save, and then there's the whole "He's a Vampire" thing. Assuming he can just take a mundane great weapon, I think he'll be able to survive anything that will do a mad rush at him. And in a worst case, you're looking at throwing him in the back with some units in front to protect him.

Also in the list I made I made sure I had at least a unit of BK and wolves to either redirect or just fend off anything that fast while I'm still "building" the rest of my army up.

Not that I'd run this list, but I like to go through every army book and build armies that are as nasty as I can make them so that I know what to expect when I run my own armies. Personally I think this is going to be the "strongest" VC list type coming out of the new book, at least from my first few looks at the book.

Riftsower
13-02-2008, 15:09
My VC friend plays this kind of army. His core consists of 3 minimum sized (10 models) units which he then summons into with his Count and one Thrall having summoning blood powers.

The main strength of this list is the HUGE amount of points he has to spend on the rest of his army. He has about 1000 points in characters, of which almost half of which is the Count, and this is with a Necro scroll caddy in there. If he gets the first turn it is very hard to keep all the summoning in check.

However, a list with decent shooting/magic can obliterate one or more of these 10-man blocks before he has a chance to flesh them out. So this list is a risk, but if the Vampire can get the summoning done this type of list is very strong.

Yup, and I love the style of the list. You have to generally play more defensively early on, staying out of range of any nasty shooting. But once you get your units to 20+ models per, you can rush hard. It tends to throw most opponents off as I turtle up on turn 1 or 2 only to come rushing at them with some Vanhels spamming.

It is a risk, yes. But so long as 1 model lives in those core units, you can bring them back and it pisses your opponent off to no end. And hell, if i lose a unit of 10 ghouls, oh well. Grats on 80 points. If i really want to, I throw about 9 dice into summoning skels and ghouls. Even with average rolling and an opponent with 7 dispel dice i get about about 4 summons going off.

I'm still trying to refine my character choices in the list to maximize the effectiveness of my lord. But right now I have one of the hardest units I've ever seen (shield GG w/BSB Regen), a flanking unit of 15 GG with GW, 2 units of 10 ghouls, 1 unit of 10 skel, 2 carts. Its slow but you have enough units to cover your flanks and enough hit and staying power to take a star dragon after a few rounds.

The 15 GG never really show up to play, so I'm considering swapping them for a vargulf and fel bats to help minimize my weakness to heavy shooting.

Necromancer2
13-02-2008, 15:38
So.. the new VC are a defensive army? aside from the Blood Knights and a dragon..

Riftsower
13-02-2008, 15:42
Not at all, thats just how i like to play it at the moment. VC can be quick and deadly if you want to go that route. But personally, knights never do it for me. Mostly due to being cursed at rolling with cav/monsters over the years of my gaming experience.