View Full Version : HE vs VC rematch

05-03-2008, 21:18
We had a rematch today, High Elf and I, the Vampire Count, at 2250 points again but with different army compositions. He went for magic heavy, I wanted to test Ghouls, Black Coach and Knights of The Blood Keep. The field was pretty much clear with one woods in the very center, a hill on his side and a large building on mine. On the other side of the field there was some more scenery, but nothing was happening there so it is not worth mentioning. Here are army compositions:

High Elves:

Arhmage on Great Eagle, lvl4 (Lore of Shadows: Creeping Death, Shades od Death, Unseen Lurker, Pit of Shades)
Guardian Phoenix
Seerstaff of Saphery
Dispel Scroll

Mage, lvl2 (High Magic: Drain Magic, Shield of Saphery, Arrow Attraction)
Jewel of The Dusk
Dispel Scroll

Dragon Mage, lvl2 (Flaming Sword of Rhuin, Fiery Blast, Wall of Fire)
Silver Wand
Ring of Fury

10 Archers
10 Archers
5 Dragon Princes + Standard (Banner of Sorcery)
5 Dragon Princes + Standard (War Banner)
Lion Chariot
Lion Chariot
Repeater Bolt Thrower
Repeater Bolt Thrower
Repeater Bolt Thrower
Great Eagle

Vapire Counts:

Vampire Lord, lvl4 (Invocation of Nehek, Raise Dead, Vanhel's Danse Macabre, Wind of Undeath, Summon Undead Horde)
Master of The Dark Arts
Dark Acolyte
Summon Ghouls
Helm of Commandment

Vampire, lvl2 (Invocation of Nehek, Raise Dead, Vanhel's Danse Macabre)
Dark Acolyte
Summon Ghouls
Staff of Sorcery

Vampire, lvl1 (Invocation of Nehek, Vanhel's Danse Macabre)
Summon Ghouls
Book of Arkhan
Talisman of The Lycni

Vampire, lvl1, BSB (Invocation of Nehek, Raise Dead)
Walking Death
Dread Knight
Drakenhof Banner

18 Crypt Ghouls (with Ghast)
18 Crypt Ghouls (with Ghast)
18 Crypt Ghouls (with Ghast)
5 Dire Wolves
5 Dire Wolves
4 Fell Bats
5 Knights of The Blood Keep + Standard (Standard of Hellish Vigor)
Black Coach

From the above one can see that we were both kitted for magic offense, though manic defense was also pretty good. The things that really made vast impact on battle was that I have drawn lots of Vanhels' and had Ghoulkin. My God, that one is good! The other thing was Black Coach, which was also a real blast. Although Vanhels were mostly dispelled when necessary, the ability to be at the middle of the field before the battle even starts made High Elf play defensively most of the time. In fact, those Ghouls ever saw combat only once, but presented a big threat with holding their line in the enemy half of the field. A big psychological advantage this was. And though they were shot at with 3 Bolters and 2 units of 10 archers, and a Pit of Shades succesfully cast upon them, and a succesfull Drain Magic in turn 2, with zounds of Invocations Ghouls were full at the end of battle. Amazing!

Anyway, the battle went like this:

Turn 0:

I moved all three Ghoul units forward, two to the front, one behind with three Vampires inside of it.

Turn 1:

I started. Moved Ghouls forward again. Formation was tight so everything was fine. Wolves had my right flank, and so have Bats. On the left was Black Coach, and behind were Knights because I foresaw his Dragon Prince lapping around me. Magic mostly failed. I made a small unit of Zombies up front, to distract him. He wasn't distracted :(

He lapped around with Princes with Banner of Sorcery, vanquished summoned zombies with one of his coaches and shot my Wolves and Bats to the ground. His Bolters made terrific job through the battle. He even succeded to cast moving spell, but as he chose to charge the flank of my knights, he failed his psychology test and stood at place.

Turn 2:

Coach charged Lion Chariot and took three wounds resulting in its fleeing of the table and me pursuing enough to potentially cause terror to many things in his round. It is worth to mention that the Coach started stealing dice from round three, and by round five it was flying. This is mostly due to the Banner of Sorcery and me later being close to one of his wizards. I moved knights towards his battery. That marching banner is pure gold.

He shot at my knights so much that, despite their great ressilience, he reduced me to Vampire and one knight carrying standard. Due to terror from the Black Coach one Bolter and archers with wizard fled. He casted nasty magic thinning my Ghouls. Most of his units were standing and I already lost all the Wolves and Bats.

Turn 3-4:

We were chasing each other around zapping with magic. He reduced my numbers, I restored them. Eventually he left me with only one knight standing who chased fleeing archers with wizard off the table. I took both his chariots down and knights with War Banner. His Eagle disrupted me all the time, and this is where Hellish Banner was brightest with not caring about that at all. He held his knights with Sorcery banner safe.

Turn 5:

This turn saw me starting to dominate in magic as three infantry casters were alive and at full strength. His Dragon Mage charged my Coach which already had Killing Blow, Hatred and MR3. In his turn it became ethereal and the fight became ridiculous as he could not hurt me, although winning on CR. Coach eventually took the mage down, and with help of ranked Zombies in the rear made the solo Dragon fly away.

Turn 6:

Reinforcing and taking quarters from both of us, though his bolters are still relentlessly shooting at me. He took the Blood Knights down, as they were too far away from me to heal them and had their flank open for single bolt shot. It ended up as a massacre of 900 points difference in my favor.

I am sorry for reducing the report to a short summary, partly because I am really tired now, but as the battle took place on a small part of the field, and was full of tactical movement rather than spectacular combats, it is hard to recall of all the details. However, the conslusion for me is that against magic heavy armies, Black Coach shines as there will not be many S7 hitters around, and it will boost up rapidly. The thing that made him play pure reactively was the ability of Ghouls to march before battle. Sure, I was lucky to get so many Vanhel's spells, but I failed to cast most as the danger they pose is well known. Book of Arkhan broke in turn 1. Three large blocks of Ghouls don't care about banners especially if there is Lord with WS7 lending it with Helm. Priceless.

05-03-2008, 21:36
Brief battle report, but still an interesting read. (Still trying to gauge their weaknesses)

So what are your thoughts on the blood knights and the ghouls?

05-03-2008, 21:50
5 Knights of The Blood Keep + Standard (Standard of Hellish Vigor)...

why would you do this? you are paying 25pts for nothing... blood knights are already vampires...

an interesting mix, need to look over it again...

05-03-2008, 22:22
Standar of Hellish Vigor enables the unit to march even if there is an enemy nearby. His eagle was always a few inches behind me, which is standard tactics, but Knights didn't suffer. That is why it was great, to improve my mobility.

OK, Ghouls got into combat at the very end of the battle, in round 6. But as that unit was filled with Vampires, the presence of Ghouls didn't matter much as Vamps already took many elves down. However, their T4 means a lot, combined with higher I and Ld, for there are many spells out there based on these characteristics. Knights deflected ridiculously big amount of damage, having AS 2+ and Regeneration, and a decent toughness. As a matter of fact, they never got into combat as well, only chased archers with wizard out of table. But they drew so much attention that the rest of the army was pretty much safe from enemy fire. Which is good because they survived for 5 turns of barrage, while two units of Wolves and a unit of Bats died in round 1.

It is the ability to make a march move at the beginning that makes Ghouls so valuble. It is even more deadly if properly combined with Vanhel's Danse Macabre, or if you are lucky to get the first turn. On the other hand, if you give WS7 from general to the unbreakable unit with T4 and high static CR, there are but a few things put there which can destroy it, and then you are sure where his points are stacked as this is his hammer. Skeletons have their advantages as having banners, but the advantages Ghouls offer seem to tip the scales in their favor.

For all around armies I would go for 2 Varghulfs, as gunlines or other nasty things would be demise for Black Coach and Blood Knights, and this leaves you with more flexible choices (and more points) for the army. But it is fun to test them.

It was a good game in the end. Hope Joske will contribute with his comments as well, so this will not end up as a one-sided story.

06-03-2008, 08:18
Standar of Hellish Vigor enables the unit to march even if there is an enemy nearby. His eagle was always a few inches behind me, which is standard tactics, but Knights didn't suffer. That is why it was great, to improve my mobility.

May want to re-read the ability of the standard again. It allows a unit to march as if a vampire was within 6" of the unit. Blood Knights are vampires, hence the standard is useless in the unit. There is no mention or even hinting that the standard acts in a way you describe.

P.S. The Eagle would have march blocked your unit.

06-03-2008, 08:53
For all around armies I would go for 2 Varghulfs, as gunlines or other nasty things would be demise for Black Coach and Blood Knights, and this leaves you with more flexible choices (and more points) for the army. But it is fun to test them.

i must dissagree. against gunlines (esp dwarf ones) varghulfs arn't gonna be that good, as they'll get gunned down real quickly. Cairn wraiths for the win on that front. i don't own a black coach but i'd only take it againt HE (just to spite that blasted banner of socery.... i hate it soooo much).

as far as the gouls vs skelies argument goes i'll admit that in the games that ives used them gouls have performed much better than i expected. however i'm only going to have 10 (from battlaion set) and they are realy gonna be a cheap 3rd core and look for something sutible to kill with poison (high toughness but not much armour). skellies will remain my 'core' core..... if that makes any sense....

glad you got a win, and the report was a good summary, gave a good flavour of how the battle went without the details (pics are always nice tough :angel:)

06-03-2008, 09:37
Well, it seems that Banner was useless after all. I don't have the book yet, so I took the rules from the rumors, and there they said something like that.

Anyway, I lean towards universal armies, and it seems to me that Varghulf is more universal than any other Rare choice. With the exception of tooled up Blood Knights but these are far too expensive for my taste. Wraiths are either a win or a waste, a gamble too big for me. Similarly for the Black Coach.

It makes sense. I like Skellies very much. And Zombies too. And I didn't like Ghouls prior to this battle, but they shined very bright. Now, as I play for the fluff, not for absolute victory, I will continue using Skellies, because I love them. But if I were to compete somewhere, and was going for the win, it is Ghouls with Ghoulkin all the way. I'd even go so far as to say that this, with Book of Arkhan and Vanhel's, is almost broken.

02-04-2008, 15:49
WTF: Dragon Mage without any protection? Damn, he must have been very very brave! (or stupid)