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View Full Version : Return to Undead after a LONG absence



Kahadras
10-07-2008, 18:19
My first army was constructed back in the day when you didn't have different flavors of the unliving. After a long time away and with my growing frustration with my inability to pass leadership checks I decided that it might be a good time to take another look at the Undead in the form of the Vampire Counts.

I decided to gun for a basic 1000 point list to start off with which could form a nice flexible core to move onto bigger lists at a later date. The plan is to collect and paint a unit at a time untill I've built up to the full 1000 points then get in plenty of play testing before moving onto 1500 and eventualy 2000 points.

So without futher ado onto the list...

Characters -

Vampire + Dread Knight and Sword of Might = 140p

Vampire + Dread Knight = 125p

Necromancer + Black Periapt = 70p

When deciding on characters I decided to max out my Hero choices while trying to keep them fairly cheap (for Undead leaders anyway). My first choice was a General in the form of a Vampire. I decided to give him the Dread Knight ability to give him a decent save in hth combat (always useful as if he dies I'm probably in serious trouble). I also decided to give him the Sword of Might so he gets an advantage if he gets bogged down in combat.

My second choice was another Vampire and again I went for Dread Knight to give me two pretty tough and scary fighters in such a small points game. I decided to keep costs down by not giving him anything else. His stats and save alone should be enough.

Lastly I went for a Necromancer to help out with magic and provide a bit of variety. I decided to leave him with a single spell but did kit him out with the Black Periapt so he can help boost either my power or dispel dice. I was toying with the idea of bringing along a dispel scroll but decided I'd rather keep costs down and I have quite a few dispel dice as it is.

Troops -

23 Skeletons + FC = 204p

23 Skeletons + FC = 204p

5 Dire Wolves = 40p

5 Dire Wolves = 40p

I decided that I wanted two big blocks of infantry to form the basis of my army. Looking at the options and taking into account my personal preferences I decided to go for two units of Skeletons armed with hand weapons and shields. My two Vampires would each command a unit leaving me with two powerful blocks. The skeletons would absorb casualties and provide bonuses (ranks, standard and outnumbering) while my Vampires went about butchering enemy rank and file. Overall I decided to make the units 23 models strong (so they could absorb damage) and with a full command (for the various bonuses)

I then decided to go for two units I could use to protect the flanks of my two big blocks. After a bit of thinking I went for Dire Wolves as they were fairly cheap and I concidered them pretty expendable as well. Their job was basicaly to get shot up or redirect stuff away from the flanks of my skeleton units

Rare -

Varghulf = 175p

With few points remaining I decided to add one more unit to my army. After a bit of thinking I decided to go for a Varghulf due to his general scaryness. I decided that I'd hold it back behind my lines (but still close to my two skeleton blocks) and then move it to whichever flank looked like it needed the most help.

Army total = 998p

Power dice = 5 (6)
Dispel dice = 5 (6)

The basic plan for the army is to use the two strong center units to engage the enemy while to Wolves and Vargulf hold up the enemy flanking units. The Necromancer will either join one of the Skeleton units or hide just behind it to use his Invocation.

I'm not expecting much from the magic phase and hope to focus on beating my opponant with what's on the table rather than what I can raise during the game. One possible alternative for a list was dropping one of the Vampires and using those points to buy another sizable block unit (either Skeletons of Zombies) to use as a tarpit. My main concern with that idea was that it would reduce my magic power and my combat ability in one fell swoop.

So what do people think?

Kahadras

Frankly
10-07-2008, 18:39
I'm not expecting much from the magic phase and hope to focus on beating my opponant with what's on the table .... One possible alternative for a list was dropping one of the Vampires and using those points to buy another sizable block unit

So what do people think?



This is your best option if your going to run and CC list imho. The problem with running CC vampires is that your actually paying for mages built into your character, a better option than running a CC vampire is letting your troops do the work, Black knights, vangulf etc, etc are really good heavy hitting units, so is taking more rank and file for grind down tactics.

If your not going to do much in the magic phase then why not drop the necro instead of the vampire?

Wights are also brilliant in CC lists, they're really well costed characters, hard to kill, great with just a lance or GW in their hands.

The only problem you might have with your list is that the vangulf is the only heavy hitter in the list and alot of people will be gunning for it to take out the only option you have of affectively dealing with alot of heavily armoured units.

What are you going to use to deal with large targets, like shaggs, S.Tanks, gaints etc, etc?

Kahadras
10-07-2008, 18:54
If your not going to do much in the magic phase then why not drop the necro instead of the vampire?

Well the Necromancer costs half the points the Vampire does and the extra 70 points won't go far when buying me that extra unit that I want. By keeping all three characters in I do give myself the option of a six power dice magic phase which could be effective against armies that haven't gone for a strong magic defence.


The only problem you might have with your list is that the vangulf is the only heavy hitter in the list and alot of people will be gunning for it to take out the only option you have of affectively dealing with alot of heavily armoured units.

What are you going to use to deal with large targets, like shaggs, S.Tanks, gaints etc, etc?

I'd probably use the rest of my army to shield it from the attention of my opponants. I'm not really sure what I'd do against large targets as my club simply doesn't field them (especialy in 1000 point games). I might team up the Vampire with lance and the Vangulf to go after it. I don't see many other options TBH.

Kahadras

Frankly
10-07-2008, 22:41
..... I might team up the Vampire with lance and the Vangulf to go after it. I don't see many other options TBH.



ahhh sorry I forgot that they're dread knights, my fault.

I understand what your saying about your characters and I'd be interested in how your they work out.

I'm one of those 'all magic or no magic' type of players when it comes to the VC magic phase, so there ya go, thats the angle I'm looking at it. I'm seeing over 33% of your list tied up in a not so solid magic phase and good but not great fighters.

Mind you I've never run characters like that, so I'm not sure how workable they are on the table top.

Kahadras
11-07-2008, 05:31
I'm one of those 'all magic or no magic' type of players when it comes to the VC magic phase, so there ya go, thats the angle I'm looking at it. I'm seeing over 33% of your list tied up in a not so solid magic phase and good but not great fighters.

Mind you I've never run characters like that, so I'm not sure how workable they are on the table top.


Well I'm not sure really how to improve Vampires much more as fighting characters without unbalancing the army to much. They already have a superior statline to most other heroes and a 2+ save to boot. The only thing they're really missing is a ward save but seen as most of them are either expencive or essecialy useless.

Kahadras

Kahadras
11-07-2008, 21:26
I've also had a stab at upgrading the list to 1500 points...

Vampire + Dread Knight, Lord of the Dead and Sword of Might = 155p

Vampire + Dread Knight and Lord of the Dead = 140p

Necromancer + Black Periapt = 70p

23 Skeletons + FC and War banner = 229p

23 Skeletons + FC = 204p

19 Skeletons + FC = 172p

5 Dire Wolves = 40p

5 Dire Wolves = 40p

20 Grave Guard + FC = 270p

Varghulf = 175p

= 1495p

Basicaly I decided to boost the number of block units I had by as much as possible. The basic plan with the 1500 point list is pretty much the same as in the 1000. The Vampires join the two big block Skeleton units and use their combat prowess to hammer rank and file enemy soldiers while the Skeletons provide rank and standard bonuses and hopefully will minimise their own casualties due to the hand weapon and shield combo. In between my two big blocks of Skeletons I'm going to put my Grave Guard. These bad boys should be able to take quite a bit of punnishment with their good save and be able to deal out a fair bit as well. Certainly enough not to warrent me putting a character in there. My final block consists of 19 Skeletons plus my Necromancer. Now he has a unit of his own to hide in. This unit will anchor one end of my battleline hopefully allowing my Dire Wolves to gain a bit more flexibility (they no longer have to baby sit both flanks of my army).

I added Lord of the Dead onto my Vampires to give them a better chance of raising the skeletons in their units. Finaly I gave the Skeleton unit that my general goes in the War banner to give them that slight edge in close combat.

Kahadras

Kahadras
12-07-2008, 23:30
Any thoughts or is it pretty soild as it is at the moment?

Kahadras

Stinkfoot
13-07-2008, 00:26
In regards to the 1000 point list:

That necromancer really isn't going to do anything. Dropping him may not save as many points as dropping a vampire, but as is the Vamps have some value whereas the necro is certainly worthless. I'd use at least some of his points to put LotD on one of your Vampires. +1 to cast on the three dice he can use is about as good as the die the necromancer generates, and it costs 55 points less than the extra caster. Throw in the Book of Arkhan too and you'll have a stronger magic list that costs fewer points. It probably wouldn't be a bad idea to turn the Vampire without LotD into a Wight Lord as Franky suggested. They're better fighters, and it sounds like that's what you're mostly concerned about.

Overall not a bad list. It would probably be better (ie more powerful) if it was more magic-heavy, but not every game is about blowing your opponent off the table.

1500 points:

The same goes for this list as your 1000 points list in regard to characters, though I would add that by 1500 magic gets increasingly important. I would take a vampire with LotD, Dark Acolyte and Flayer Hauberk (and possibly something else, like the sword of might and a mount). Also, if you already have a character with LotD, I wouldn't bother further upgrading Lvl 1 casters with the power. They only let you roll one more dice with its benefit, which in my opinion isn't really worth it.

I like Black Knights a lot better than Grave Guard, but I think I'm in the minority in regard to that. Still, if you dropped the GG and the necromancer would could probably afford Black Knights and another unit of skellies. I really don't see what GG do that skellies don't. They stand around generating combat resolution and rarely getting kills (unless you give them great weapons, but then they become a totally different type of unit). Skeletons do that too, but cost less and benefit from LotD. Maybe GG win combats a bit more often (ie, rarely > sometimes), but the dead win by pinning the enemy in place and bringing in flank support anyway. You don't need to win 1v1 combats, since there are basically zero consequences if you lose. For my money I'd rather buy better flanking units (and magic to help them get there) than a marginally better CR generating block.

Kahadras
13-07-2008, 19:52
It probably wouldn't be a bad idea to turn the Vampire without LotD into a Wight Lord as Franky suggested. They're better fighters, and it sounds like that's what you're mostly concerned about.


If I did drop the Necromancer and swiched the Vampire to a Wight then I feel that I'd be leaving myself with little in the way of magic defence. A single Vampire would give me three dispel dice which I don't think would cut it (I usualy take at least 4).


I really don't see what GG do that skellies don't.

I see the Grave Guard as being a unit that doesn't need to be baby sat by a character and still be able to stand a realistic chance of being able win a combat. Their strength and toughness is the real kicker IMHO and they'd form a really solid core for my army.

Basicaly I'm going for the 'rule of cool' in the army and I really like the new Skeleton and Grave Guard models. I even took Dread Knight on both my Vampires so I could use a couple of Blood knight models to represent them!

Still I agree that the army could be tweaked a little bit. So I made the following changes...

Vampire + Dread Knight, Lord of the Dead and Sword of Might = 155p

Vampire + Dread Knight and Book of Arkhan = 160p

23 Skeletons + FC = 204p

23 Skeletons + FC = 204p

6 Dire Wolves = 48p

6 Dire Wolves = 48p

Varghulf = 175p

= 994p

Basicaly I decided to drop the Necromancer and use the points to pump my Vampires a bit and beef up the Dire Wolf units. The Book of Arkhan give me the extra spell while Lord of the Dead should help me get off Invocation a couple of times.

Kahadras

Stinkfoot
13-07-2008, 20:50
I like the list. The only thing I would suggest is to move the Book to the character with LotD and Sword of Might (who I assume is your general). Your eggs are already in one basket by virtue of the Undead General rules, so it might be wise to make your secondary Vamp as cheap as possible in case you need to sacrifice him or bring him away from your main lines for whatever reason.

About the GG: They're a solid unit, but all undead units are solid. I do admittedly run more magic-heavy than you, but it is still a rare game when I lose a skeleton unit - especially one in the middle of my line with its flanks protected. I don't think GG suck or anything, just that they're not necessary. The only instance in which I think I would be really glad I had GG over skeletons would be if I'm fighting a multi-attack, fairly low strength infantry unit like Plague Monks or Witch Elves (Warriors or Khorne or other high-strength units will still win handily). Spending the points on more knights and magic on the other hand is pretty much useful against everybody, and those purchases have better synergy with the skellies.

The rule of cool is all well and good, and I've used it before myself, but I don't think I'd apply it to GG. I really hate those stupid wings, and I feel like fluff-wise they're not nearly as cool as they were last edition. That's a personal taste comment of course, but regardless...