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Kaya
04-04-2008, 02:35
My husband and I have recently gotten into Warhammer, and I'm still learning about it all, but decided to pick up some Vampire Counts stuff, as I simply like the look of this particular faction the most. I was hoping some folks could give me some advice to maybe point me in the direction of a good smallish starting army, maybe around 500-1000 points.

Currently, I have the Battalion box, which if you need a quick recap, contains 20 Zombies, 20 Skeletons, 20 Crypt Ghouls and a Corpse Cart.

I also have 10 Dire Wolves, and 5 Blood Knights. I got the Blood Knights before anything else, and it wasn't until reading around a bit that I discovered they aren't fielded much until you get into bigger-sized armies, but the painter in me just had to snag them anyway.

I also have a female Vampire Lord (her box labels her as such), but the Codex seems to refer to her as simply a "vampire", so either I'm confused or I need another Lord/Hero to field, since I'm not 100% sure she'll work alone.

I know this is a little vague, but if anyone can give me some pointers, or suggestions on good additions to make a good starter army using this box set. I apologize if I come off sounding very noobish, but I am new, so I hope it's okay. ;)

*edit: I also really, really hope this is in the right forum. If it's not, I apologize.

Spirit
04-04-2008, 03:36
Its too early for me to have a detailed post, but one thing that stands out.

Any vampire model you wish to use can stand for a "vampire" or a "vampire lord" however in games of under 2000 points, you may only field hero level characters, and at a maximum of three heroes per army.

In the vampire case at least one hero must be a vampire.

So your female vampire can represent any type of vampire you wish to make. And she may lead your army on her own if you so wish, as she has the "vampire" special rule.

Frankly
04-04-2008, 04:37
I know this is a little vague, but if anyone can give me some pointers, or suggestions on good additions to make a good starter army using this box set. I apologize if I come off sounding very noobish, but I am new, so I hope it's okay. ;)



My first bit of advice, if you hadn't already, read the VC 7th Ed thread on this forum, its packed full of good advice.

Secondly, you have a good amount of models and units to have some games with. So get gaming with what you have and then figure out what kind what style of play suits you most, magic heavy, horde, elite etc, etc.

Working to a theme helps.

The most important part is just start having games to get used to your units and characters after that most of your question's will work themselves out.

Roel
04-04-2008, 09:01
In a 1000 points game, I would definitly recommend fielding two (hero-classed) vampires. Remember, you can only field a lord in 2000+ points. Vampire Counts really need their characters. Don't be shy to max them out (pointwise) with vampiric powers and magical items.

Another thing to keep in mind is protecting your general at all cost. Well, not at all cost, because Vampires are made for combat, but equip him with a nice armor save or a ward save. You really don't want your army to start crumbling because your general got hit one time too often.

Accept that your normal rank and file troops aren't too hardy and quite expensive (if you look at their stats), but remember you can raise more of them in the battle itself. It's a wise idea to start of with some units a little smaller then you would like them and try to raise them above their starting count. Just don't forget to give one of your vampires the appropriate Vampiric Power (ie. Lord of the Dead, Summon Creatures of the Night or Summon Ghouls).

Yeah, your probably right. You won't be using the Blood Knights in battles under 2000 points anytime soon. To be honest, I'm not even thinking about fielding them in battles under 3000 points, but if you like the models and the fluff you could use them sooner then that. Until then, use them as Black Knights. Taking into account that you'll be playing your husband a lot, no problems there. Just make sure your opponent know they represent Black Knights.

So, my last advices for a staring army:
- Core choices are obligatory so begin with them. You must field two cores in a 1000 points army.
- Next, start deciding on your vampires. Ask yourself: What kind of Vampires do I like? Brutal killing machines or subtle magic users? Equip them accordingly. Don't be to tactical at first. Just make them to your vision. The strategies and tactics will come eventually.
- After that, begin with supporting troops. Flying units (Fell Bats) or fast cavalry (Dire Wolves) are great for this.
- And last but not least, you want one hardy unit. Like I mentioned, your core troops will be a little flimsy, so take a unit of Black Knights, Grave Guards or a Varghulf (my personal favorite).
This will make up a army of roughly 1000 points (my estimation).

Hope this helps you to find your way into the world of Warhammer.
Cheers,
Roel

Kaya
04-04-2008, 18:11
Thanks for clearing up the bit about the Vampire/Vampire Lord. That had me really confused. All of this advice has been really helpful. Reading the Codex can only get you so far when you've never played before.

I have another question, hopefully someone can help. I noticed that different units have customizable parts. For example, the Corpse Cart has a torch and a bell (and different faces and a whip/spear), and I've already read the difference there and it seems like the bell is a better choice for keeping the army going a bit longer. How do you know which parts are simply for appearance, and which ones will actually effect the model? Not just on the Corpse cart, but in general?

However, I think almost ALL units are like this. How on earth do I decide for example, if a skeletal musician is a good choice to take over say, a skeletal champion? I'm actually a little hesitant to start assembling my guys because I'm afraid I'd take the wrong thing. It's probably a silly thing to worry about, but hey, these minis cost a lot to acquire so I don't wanna mess them up.

Thanks for the assistance!

Spirit
04-04-2008, 18:56
Generally, warhammer and warhammer 40k play with a rule called WYSIWYG, (wizzeewig) which means What You See Is What You Get.

So if your vampire is on foot and has a sword, you shouldn't really go buying a lance and a horse for the model.

However, in warhammer, this rule is a bit more relaxed. As long as you say "the vampire i'm putting down has heavy armour" then it doesn't necessarily have to be a very heavily armoured model. This is because there are so many items that are hard to show in warhammer (hauberks, for a vampire example). Also, generally, you do not have to model magic items on the models, if you have "the black periapt" on your vampire, and it is written in your army list, there is no need to have it on the model, as you don't actually have to tell your opponent what magic items your characters/units have. Of course if you buy "the sword of kings" for someone, it's a good idea to have it on a model with a sword, to avoid too much confusion.

Where units are concerned, as long as over half of the models have an item (shields, for example) then you can say the unit has shields. So having 3 command models armed differently can (as i'm about to show) be placed somewhere else in the unit and it wont matter that much.

On commands, it is "generally" a good idea to always have a full command (champion, musician and standard bearer) and at the end of the day, its only 3 models, you could always just put them at the backs of your units if you don't want to pay the points, no one will notice/care if your back left skeleton has a bongo.

In my opinion, assemble the full command, ALWAYS (always) have a standard bearer in every unit, champions are a good idea, because if you read the description for invocation of nehek, they get placed back in the unit first if they die, so they are worth the points. Musicians are personal preference in a vampire counts army, but i always have them if i can afford them.

Roel
04-04-2008, 19:47
However, in warhammer, this rule is a bit more relaxed. As long as you say "the vampire i'm putting down has heavy armour" then it doesn't necessarily have to be a very heavily armoured model. This is because there are so many items that are hard to show in warhammer (hauberks, for a vampire example). Also, generally, you do not have to model magic items on the models, if you have "the black periapt" on your vampire, and it is written in your army list, there is no need to have it on the model, as you don't actually have to tell your opponent what magic items your characters/units have. Of course if you buy "the sword of kings" for someone, it's a good idea to have it on a model with a sword, to avoid too much confusion.


Absolutly true, but remember, the naming of magical items is just that and nothing more. With that I mean that if your model has a axe of some kind (no vampire model that I can think of has a axe, but you get my drift) and you want him to have the Sword of Kings, nothing is stopping you from giving him a Axe of Kings. Just be sure that you're using the same rules. So you can't give a model with a halberd the Halberd of Kings, 'cause halberds follow a different line of rules. All magical weapons are considered hand weapons unless otherwise stated.

Oh, and remember that you can use each magical item entry (with a few exceptions) just once, however you name it. So you cannot give one model the Sword of Kings and another one the Axe of Kings... :)

Spirit
04-04-2008, 20:57
Absolutly true, but remember, the naming of magical items is just that and nothing more. With that I mean that if your model has a axe of some kind (no vampire model that I can think of has a axe, but you get my drift) and you want him to have the Sword of Kings, nothing is stopping you from giving him a Axe of Kings. Just be sure that you're using the same rules. So you can't give a model with a halberd the Halberd of Kings, 'cause halberds follow a different line of rules. All magical weapons are considered hand weapons unless otherwise stated.

Oh, and remember that you can use each magical item entry (with a few exceptions) just once, however you name it. So you cannot give one model the Sword of Kings and another one the Axe of Kings... :)

Yes, that was what i was getting at. I use an old foot wight model with a big one handed axe actually lol. It's his hand weapon of kings!

Dark_Mage99
04-04-2008, 23:03
I have another question, hopefully someone can help. I noticed that different units have customizable parts. For example, the Corpse Cart has a torch and a bell (and different faces and a whip/spear), and I've already read the difference there and it seems like the bell is a better choice for keeping the army going a bit longer. How do you know which parts are simply for appearance, and which ones will actually effect the model? Not just on the Corpse cart, but in general?

As a general rule, it doesn't matter. You can assemble it however you like, and play with it and all is dandy. If you check out the Corpse Cart entry in the army book, you'll see you can purchase one of two different upgrades for it: "balefire" or the "unholy loadstone" - you can use either or neither, depending on how you want to play. Whether the model represents this is up to you - but it generally just looks a little nicer for a unit to represent what it has.


However, I think almost ALL units are like this. How on earth do I decide for example, if a skeletal musician is a good choice to take over say, a skeletal champion? I'm actually a little hesitant to start assembling my guys because I'm afraid I'd take the wrong thing. It's probably a silly thing to worry about, but hey, these minis cost a lot to acquire so I don't wanna mess them up.

Thanks for the assistance!

I would recommend assembling 3 out of your 20 skeletons as a champion, a standard bearer and a musician. You don't have to use them as champions or musicians if you don't want to, but if you do you have them ready. Essentially, they each offer different benefits to the unit. As you start to play with the army, you'll see that some units need these benefits more than others... but ultimately it's all a matter of personal taste. And at least if you have them made up, you can use them if you want to.

You can only have one champion per unit, and the same goes for musicians and standard bearers; but you can field all three together, so you needn't worry about taking the wrong thing.

Dracosavarian
04-04-2008, 23:20
Thanks for clearing up the bit about the Vampire/Vampire Lord. That had me really confused. All of this advice has been really helpful. Reading the Codex can only get you so far when you've never played before.

I have another question, hopefully someone can help. I noticed that different units have customizable parts. For example, the Corpse Cart has a torch and a bell (and different faces and a whip/spear), and I've already read the difference there and it seems like the bell is a better choice for keeping the army going a bit longer. How do you know which parts are simply for appearance, and which ones will actually effect the model? Not just on the Corpse cart, but in general?

However, I think almost ALL units are like this. How on earth do I decide for example, if a skeletal musician is a good choice to take over say, a skeletal champion? I'm actually a little hesitant to start assembling my guys because I'm afraid I'd take the wrong thing. It's probably a silly thing to worry about, but hey, these minis cost a lot to acquire so I don't wanna mess them up.

Thanks for the assistance!


First of all, welcome to the Hobby!

May many rewarding hours of modelling, painting, and games be ahead of you. :)

A theme is generally a good idea of where to take your army in general. Recently I got my own GF into Warhammer 40k, and after reading the Codex and her and I discussing ideas, she decided to create a themed list, rather then one for pure strategic purposes. Again, its the whole enjoyment thing.


As for WYSIWYG, generally its only nessecary for Tournament Settings. The Corpse Cart example that you cited, has two options. Unholy Lodestone which is the Bell you described, or Balefire. Generally speaking, its more of a concern in a tournament setting to have these represented accurately then it is in say, a personal game between two friends. Again, as stated, just feel free to tell your friend that "I know it has an Unholy Lodestone on it, but I thought I'd try out a Corpse Cart with Balefire tonight to see how it works out. "

Things like that are perfectly fine.

More to the point, the reason why the plastic miniatures have so many options is just that. It gives the player choice. Customizability in its most beautiful elegant manner. A way to make the army truly your own instead of looking like copied models.

Generally, it is a good idea to put a full command in every unit. Musician, Standard, Champion....put aside three models each for these and assemble them as such. Again however, this is a CHOICE that you can maintain, and ultimately, you can decide to take those models and make them normal rank and file troopers without a command structure.


As for explanations as to why you want to take them, here we go.

In WHFB, (Warhammer Fantasy Battles) combats are generally decided by Wounds inflicted, How many Ranks, and if you have a command Structure

Musicians, for example, can win a combat if both units are tied. But only if the other unit does not have a musician. Basically, if you are both tied, and Unit A has no Muscician, but you Do...you Win the Combat by 1. Also, Musicians can add +1 to your leadership role when attempting to Rally Fleeing troops. Very useful, especially when considering Fast Cavalry. Again, however, you are undead, so Musicians in the sense of rallying bears no relevance for you.

Champions are always worth getting. They add an additional attack, can accept challenges so your big bad vampire can rip apart her victims in the front ranks. Tactically, there are alot of reasons to take a Champion. It is almost always advised to take one.

Standard bearers add +1 to your combat resolution. It is generally advised to always take one of these. Moreover, Standards offer an excellent painting opportunity. A beautifully painted standard can truly distinguish a unit, and in this way you can further give your army an overall theme, by using the standards to distinguish named units famed for particular deeds in battle.


I hope this was of help.

Enjoy the hobby, it definitely can prove to be alot of fun.

Lordmonkey
05-04-2008, 00:35
In particular for the Corpse Cart, it is possible to leave both upgrades off the model, and then 'click' the bell/fire into place for use during the game (if you are careful!). The guy on top is supposed to represent a necromancer, in case you want to mount one on top. And if you don't, he just makes the model look cool!

One convention used in Warhammer is the idea of "counts as", which allows people to go nuts converting cool ideas and themes for their armies, without having to strict to the rigid margins of WYSIWYG. During one of the carnage tournaments I played a game vs a guy who took a Chaos Dwarf army. It contained all sorts of cool conversions, like organ guns built from Imperial guard sentinels. The Chaos Dwarf list isn't supported anymore (at present) so he just used the normal Dwarf rules for them - and this was fine, because he let me know what did what before the battle.

Dracosavarian
05-04-2008, 00:38
Actually, the Chaos Dwarf List is supported. Just not in Tournaments right now I think if memory serves me correctly.

The US Gw Site has them listed under Hordes of Chaos, in a PDF File. :) So your friend can use that list to play them.

Lordmonkey
05-04-2008, 01:38
The US Gw Site has them listed under Hordes of Chaos, in a PDF File. :) So your friend can use that list to play them.

Ah, I didn't mean the Ravening Hordes, rather a full army book.

Kaya
05-04-2008, 23:47
Oh man, you guys are great! :D

Quick semi-unrelated question: I got a Black Coach today, and I noticed on the back of the box, the coach itself is on a base, however, only my horses came with bases. Was the coach actually supposed to have a base too, and I'm missing it, or is this how they usually are packaged?

:o

I'm feeling a lot better about putting my models together now, thanks to the advice I'm reading here. I was actually a little scared to start assembling them for fear I'd mess them up somehow. XD

I can't wait to start putting them together now, but I promised myself I'd paint my Skull Pass stuff first, haha.

Dracosavarian
06-04-2008, 02:45
You should have gotten a Chariot base inside of that Black Coach model instead of two Horse Bases. I'd talk to the Store if it was a GW store and see what they can do to help you out. Usually my Local store is pretty cool about incidents like this.

Mistakes do happen. GW in general is pretty good about getting them resolved.

Lordmonkey
06-04-2008, 02:53
Quick semi-unrelated question: I got a Black Coach today, and I noticed on the back of the box, the coach itself is on a base, however, only my horses came with bases. Was the coach actually supposed to have a base too, and I'm missing it, or is this how they usually are packaged?

Unfortunately, this is how they usually come packaged. Some chariots come with a "chariot base", which is the same size as four of the cavalry bases (like the ones your coach came with) lined up 2x2 - this is the ideal size base for the coach. I think, short of aquiring one of these bases from somewhere, you could cut out a piece of cardboard (or plasticard) to 50mm x 100mm (i think thats the size) and mount the coach on that.

Stupid Games Workshop stupidly being stupid, as stupid usual :rolleyes:

Spirit
06-04-2008, 18:26
My local games workshop has a bag full of bases that anyone can have, tats where i got my chariot base.

If you bought the battalion box set, and do not want to use the corpse cart, use it's base for the coach, that is a chariot base (even though the corpse cart is not a chariot)

If in doubt, just ask your local store, i'm sure they will have one somewhere.