View Full Version : Vampire Counts...your thoughts?

27-02-2009, 06:31
A few weeks back I started a thread on starting either Vampire Counts or Warriors of Chaos. After seeing some really niffty conversions, I was inspired to go with the V.C. I made a rather large purchase on Chaosorcs.com tonight and I can't wait to get all my lovely new models. I pretty much got a little of everything to start out with:

4 boxes of Skelletons
4 boxes of Grave Guard
1 box dire wolves
1 box of Blood Knights (I'm in loooove with these sculpts, despite them being over priced. My b-day is in a few weeks and I felt like splurging)
1 Battalion box
All the metal Characters
1 box of Tomb Kings horse men to convert Black Riders (w/ grave guard boxes)
Empire Sorcers in plastic to convert to necromancers
Empire Lord in plastic to make up my own lord (have other projects in need of bits in it too)
1 box of Ghouls
1 Chorpse Cart

Yeah, it's the biggest purchase I've ever made at once and I'm not feeling any regret! (You know how somtimes you make a large purchase and feel like you shouldn't have done it...not this time!)

As you can see, I will have a very well rounded force with a lot of options. I have no idea how I will make up my army yet, but I'm rereading Gav Thorpes article in Mays WD for inspiration.

What are your thoughts on Vampire Counts? Anything I should invest in that's not on my list? Thanks in advance!

27-02-2009, 06:37
Fell Bats, spirit host or cairn wraiths and a banshee. These 3 are to some a must have for VC. For the black knights, I suggest that you use one box of your grave guards and combine it with the tomb king skeleton horseman sprues, they will look great. I can feel your excitment, what bloodline do you intend to theme your army after?

27-02-2009, 06:52
I don't know which yet. Till I get the book and have a good read through it's up in the air. I want to make it so that I can swith it up for different games, hence all the metal lords and such. I'm really more of a modeller/painter than player, but I had to promise my wife I'd actually play this one so I didn't get the evil eye lol. I'm thinking about modelling my own cairn wraiths with leftover skellie bitz and green stuff. The bats and banshees will probably be future purchases if they are important. See, I didn't know that, that's why I asked!! Thanks

27-02-2009, 07:01
You mean your wife is a hardcore warhammer player?:p Just kidding. I am not sure if the 7th ed VC book will give you a better understanding of the bloodlines, I would suggest that you borrow a 6th ed VC book just to have a look at what kind of bloodlines they have and make a comparison with the newbook to design your variant list or theme your army. You are welcome and enjoy yourself with your new man toys.:D

27-02-2009, 09:24
Well, the good thing about VC is that with such a purchase you can build a variety of army lists, with most if not all of them being competitive. And for the modelling/painting this army is very rewarding as you can pick any grim theme and you cannot miss. I went for greenish-brownish beasty horde and it looks impressive on the board, especially as the whole army can keep some uniformity on colours. All the models are amazing, and you can build tons of conversions by yourself. I especially like new Varghulf, Corpse Cart and mostly of them all the new Winged Vampire Lord, though I took off that bat of his back and placed it on the top of the Battle Banner, to keep up the theme.

I hope you will enjoy painting and playing. As for the purchasing of more models, I'd go for more some Zombies. One can never get enough of those, which you will quickly learn after playing a couple of games and after summoning them on critical locations. Invaluable.

Other than that, proxy a unit of Cairn Wraiths with/without a Banshee and see if it works for you. As you already have a Varghulf and Blood Knights, you can fit in Cairn Wraiths only in very large games, so no need to rush. But Fell Bats are almost a must, so at least proxy those, and buy them later :)

27-02-2009, 18:02
@ChaosVC: Haha, no she isn't. I've tried many times to instill a little bit of my hobby into her, but painting her nails with my paints and having me mix her new colors is about as far as we got in that department haha. At least she acts like she cares. That's all I need. You know, I actually have a 6th edition army book - I work at a used book store and tend to horde all the GW stuff that comes in. I guess it's a perk of the job lol.

@Jagosaja: Yeah, I was planning on just getting a little of everything for painting and modelling purposes. I also knew that it would make tailoring a force to my needs pretty easy as I had most everything to choose from. I've seen it done a lot, putting vamps and skellies on snow bases, but I really like the look of a frozen army of death so I might do this while trying to throw in something to change them up from the standard look. As for colors I have no idea yet. I have some warmachine skeletons lying around so I'm going to test on those till my stuff gets to me. I plan on making on more purchase to even things out, so Zombies, fell bats, wraiths, and banshees are on the list. I currently have 20 zombies in various stages of comletion and 20 on the way. After I get a few games in I'll get some more as it appears you can never have too many. How many fell bats are usual? The blister comes with two, but is four the norm? What about wraiths and banshees? I have some models I plan on proxying till I either buy some or model them myself with plastic components and green stuff. Robes are pretty easy to GS and I'm sure I'm going to have tons of skellie extra bits for hands, head, etc and a plastic sythe from the zombie sprue.

I know there are a few current logs on V.C. but I think I'm going to start one. It will be my first log and since I promised my wife I'd actually play this army I need the motiviation in getting things finished in a timely manner. Plus getting everyones feedback is encouraging as well.

Thanks for replying everyone!

27-02-2009, 18:14
One thing I'd suggest for Spirit Hosts, especially if you have a fair few models lying around that you don't use for anything else, is to use THEM as Spirit Hosts!

With a bit of tinkering and conversion, you can make almost any mini suitable for being a spirit - and with the Vampire Counts spell where you suck the souls out of every unit on the field and use them to make a new Spirit Host... well, it could be quite handy, you know?

27-02-2009, 18:48
Haha, sucking souls sounds awesome to me! I had an idea and went rumaging through my various 'stuff' boxes. A year ago or so someone bought me a warmachine box set as a gift even though I didn't play it. Here are some pics:


I'm going to paint these bad boys up to practice for my incoming skellies. The Bone Thralls might make good Cairn Wraith till I figure out how I will model them. Alexia might make a good V.C. lord count as.

27-02-2009, 21:27
Personally, I made similar mistakes as you did.

I would do the following:
Exchange all the skeleton boxes for ghouls. I have 100+ painted skeletons, maybe 140 total even and I never field them anymore, ghouls are outright superior and much more useful in a variety of lists.

Dump the sorcerers-->necro conversion plan and get another corpse cart, I pretty much NEVER run necros on barefoot anymore, they are always part of corpse carts so separate models are not particularily neccessary (and sadly I have 4-5 wonderful necros on foot painted..) I would model 1 cart with balefire and 1 with the loadstone.

4 boxes of GG seem excessive, that is 40 total. I would shoot for painting of 20 with great weapons. If you do paint up all 40, I would make 1/2 with GW and 1/2 with sword/board.

ALL the metal characters is excessive. Of all of them you might play Mannfred and most likely Mannfred on nightmare model.

I would consider trading in the metal characters for a set of Cairn Wraiths with Banshee and perhaps some fell bats.

For core units at 2250 points, you need about 40-50 ghouls and about that many zombies.

Other tips I would offer is to create some unit fillers for summoning: 40x40 bases with scenery+a ghoul or 2, something like a 40x40 dirt base with a tombstone and a ghoul rising out of the earth. Maybe a GW tree model on a 60x60 base (you make these from the modular movement tray pieces) with zombies hanging in it for really big summons. Something to prevent you from going mad painting up 100 zombies/ghouls.

Definitely you need spirit hosts for winds of undeath. Would also consider black knights but I would definitely do conversions with these as the GW ones look horrible.

27-02-2009, 21:56
Before you get the GW blood knights, look what gamezone miniatures got...

27-02-2009, 22:49
@CalifornniaGamer: That's a lot of info. I do plan on playing this army, but what I like most about this hobby of ours is modelling and painting, as I'm better at that than playing WFB. I plan on playing a lot more games in the future and will play around with what forces work best for me. I tend to go with things that look good rather than their usefullness, so once I get the army book I will begin seeing what works best for the way I like to play. I love the skelletons and plan on having a bunch so that I can play a small game with mostly skelletons as my troops choice. I also plan on having a lot of Grave Ghouls for when I want to play with them as my main troops choice. Other times I will mix them depending on how I want to play. I bought one Corpse Cart and have one other that is wip. I just found out today that it was missing the necromancers body so I called up GW and they are sending me a replacement box. I'll probably put one of my planned necromancers in it, tooling him up with the extra bitz of the necromancer in the box (missing the actual necro). I don't plan on feild all the Grave Guard I bought, 1 box is def going to be used to convert the Tomb King horces into Black Knights. I decided to get all the metal characters simply because I really like them and can't wait to paint them up. I plan on making Cairn Wraiths and Banshees from extra Skellie bits, the parts leftover from my Corpse Cart with the missing Necro. I put in another order today for a Cairn Wraith so I can use it for reference in green stuffing my own. I also got a banshee and a spirit host blister, along with fell bats. I figured I was going all out anyway, so why not more? Lol (I get bonus checks every three months from work. Naturally they usually go to GW) I thought about unit fillers, even though some people frown on them as a lazy choice to painting more zombies. I'm pretty good with converting so I might consider your suggestions. How many Spirit Hosts would you use in a 2000 pt army? What is Winds of Undeath? How many Cairn Wraith sshould I use? Fell Bats? Bat Swarms? What exactly do these units provide? I have no expierence with V.C. I have been juggling either doing WoC or V.C. for a few months now and just made the decission last night to go with V.C. and put my order into chaosorc.com (awesome place to find models with a good discount and low shipping cost - one flat shipping rate for no matter how much you buy!) Thanks for all the info! I sure will consider these things when I actually get to making my army list. Right now I'm simply waiting for my stuff to get here and testing paint schemes on similar models i have lying around.

@Abhorash: I have seen the models you refer to. They are amazing models, but I really liked GW's Blood Knights as well. In the end Blood Knights won out just because I like them more and they are easier for me to get. Later on I may add some of them to my army rather than buying more Blood Knights.

27-02-2009, 23:00
Winds of Undeath is a spell that does a wound to units on a 4+ and turns the wounds dealt into spirit host bases. 2 should be plenty, 40mm bases I believe.

bat swarms both look and play poorly, so skip those.

Fell bats are useful though on occasion.

I think 5 wraiths+banshee is plenty.

28-02-2009, 00:04
California Gamer, I don't think there's a consensus that Ghouls are so obviously superior to skeletons. Their improved combat abilities are definitely nifty, but the inability to take a standard (including the plentiful and effective VC magic standards) and musician, and the lack of sword-and-shield armor are downsides. Sometimes, the ghouls combat prowess will make a difference where the skeletons would not, but there are many enemies with good armor who will not be much affected by the S3 attacks of either, in which case the skeleton units greater resilience from the standard and shields make a bigger difference. The scuttle forward ability you can use on Ghouls, however, is pretty cool. I personally think they are both worth taking.

28-02-2009, 00:13
California Gamer, I don't think there's a consensus that Ghouls are so obviously superior to skeletons. Their improved combat abilities are definitely nifty, but the inability to take a standard and musician, and the lack of sword-and-shield armor are downsides. I personally think they are both worth taking.

ghouls are superior because they are more versatile. Ghouls can function in small blocks and still be dangerous, skeletons not so much. Skeletal elements like standards that do aid in CR are also liabilities when taken by opponents. Overall more needs to be put into skeletons to make them as effective. In terms of offensive ability, the ghoul is vastly superior with poison allowing wounds vs high toughness opponents the skeleton could never hope to wound. 5 ghoul frontage with a champ is 11 poisoned attacks, nearly 2 6s by odds for the poison. In addition, there is incredible synergy with spells like danse that let you reroll misses in CC, greatly increasing the odds of more poison attacks landing. No real synergy with Danse+skeletons because they wont wound regardless of rerolls vs. high T opponents. Ive played both ghouls and skeleton cores in tons of games and definitely feel the ghoul>>skeleton.

28-02-2009, 00:33
Strange. It's the exact opposite for me. Ever since ghouls lost their skirmisher and fleeing ability I hardly ever field them anymore (another reason is I dispise the new models - they look like mutants!).

S3 hits aren't going to kill stuff, whether poisoned or not, so I'll take an armoursave over naked and T4 any day.

28-02-2009, 00:50
I was poking around on GW's site and found an army list example that I find quite appealing. It's probably the route I will take for most games. Any thoughts?

Vampire Lord Extra Magic Level, Dread Knight, Infinite Hatred,
Dark Acolyte, Lord of the Dead, Sword of Might,
Walach's Bloody Hauberk, Book of Arkhan 450
Vampire Avatar of Death, Eternal Hatred, Flayed Hauberk,
Talisman of Lycni, Black Periapt 195
Necromancer Invocation of Nehek, Extra Spell (Vanhel's Danse
Macabre), Dispel Scroll 95
Core Units
21 Skeleton Warriors Spears, Skeleton Champion, Standard Bearer, Musician,
War Banner 230
25 Zombies Musician 104
24 Zombies Musician 100
5 Dire Wolves 40
5 Dire Wolves 40
Special Units
20 Grave Guard Seneschal, Standard Bearer, Musician, Banner of Hellfire 280
6 Black Knights Hell Knight, Standard Bearer, Musician, Banner of
the Dead Legion 209
3 Fell Bats 60
3 Fell Bats 60
Rare Units
6 Blood Knights Standard Bearer, Royal Standard of Strigos 385
Total: 2,248

I've never actually played a game of Fantasy myself, but have watched others many times. I spend most of my time dabbling in half a dozen 40k armies. This will be my first time really focusing on Fantasy Battle. I've tried to be this inspired in the past with Dark Elves, High Elves, Dwarfs, Orcs and Goblins. Those armies are pretty much untouched in their boxes awaiting the day I feel the inkling.

28-02-2009, 01:51
I combined tomb king horsemen wtih grave guard bits to make black knights, I have to say though that the tomb king body is bigger than the grave guard body.

What I did was give the tomb king bodies grave guard helmets, grave guard left arm, grave guard shields, grave guard shoulders, grave guard banner, skeleton warriors spears.

They look ok overall, perhaps more like lighter armoured lancers than heavy armoured knights, I think I will give them cloaks. Also the extra box of grave guard meant my units are bigger (2x25)

28-02-2009, 03:55
5 cairn wraiths with a banshee has always done exceedingly well in my games.

my grave guard all have great weapons, since most of the time im striking first(charging/van hels/corpse cart) and with the hatred banner, that unit chews up opponent's units(except for HE).

my black knights are made from empire knightly orders, but they all have skull heads instead of the normal knights head. my old zombie spearmen are the old 6th edition empire spearmen, with zombie heads attached.
since most of my old VC army was empire-plastics based i am thinking about dumping my actualy empire army and then buying more VC stuff to use in case i want to play Empire. thus, it will be an empire army, but visually look like VC. :)

kit bashing is an amazingly fun time to convert your army and put your own stamp on it. painting it well will make it that much more unique as well. good luck in the future of your VC!(unless you play me :P)

28-02-2009, 04:20
@Demonborger: I knew that the Tomb King skellies would be bigger so was going to make my anaylsis after I got them. After doing a bit'o research online I have decided that I will use the legs only, cutting the torsos off at the waist and attatching Grave Guard and Skeleton warrior bits from there. After that I will use green stuff and extra bits to kind of hide the fact that the legs will be a tad bigger. Giving them a bit of a 'skirt' like the Grave Guard have will hid this pretty well I think. Capes are a good idea and pretty easy to model on. I find sculpting decaying clothing easier than crip clothing because you can usually hide small errors pretty easily. They kind of just help in the decayed look. I hadn't thought what I would do with the extra legs - good idea bulking up the other units. I have some skelletons now that I've been working on and love the fact that there are so many extra bits. Tons of left over skulls to embelish bases.

@Neckutter: After reading online I kind of regret not getting wraiths and a banshee in my initial purchase :/ I didn't realize they were so useful. The same goes for Spirit Hosts. I've been working on some concepts for modeling my own as they seem like easy things to sculpt. I sure can't sculpt Space Marines (too many failed attempts...especially at 'True' scale) but this kind of stuff I can knock out. After I get some of the empire stuff I got to convert into a lord and necromancers, I may get some more to make other V.C. choices. They would make good bases for minis based on the Sartosian Vampire model (which is another I can't wait to paint). I don't want to make Empire turned Vampire Counts, but I would imagine that the Empire modeled a lot of their clothing on Slyvanian history (before they were Vampires and such...If I have my fluff correct). This is the most heavy converting I will have done for an army (though I used to have a sizeable Death Guard army that used 2 tons of Green Stuff - 1 ton of it on an old Tank alone! lol) I'm pretty excited to get working on it. Ironically, I've been on vacation from work all week and will have to return Monday. I should have thought about getting all this stuff WHILE I was on vacation. Instead I've been painting a bunch of Orkz halfa**ed. Woe is me, huh? :) If I'm ever in Tuscon, I'll let you know. We'll go V.C. on V.C. Let me know if you're in Indianapolis, IN lol

28-02-2009, 10:42
my spirit hosts are just random GW figs glued to a base, primed black, brybrushed grey, then drybrushed white. :)
i think one base has an old bretonnian man at arms, and a static-looking knight from the empire. the second base has an old flagellant, and an OLD fruitseller model from citadel in the 1980s. the last base has a plastic dog from the current bretonnian man at arms line, and two empire cannon crew.

my wraiths are the 4th edition wraith models, and i have an old "ghost" model from 1985 who looks like a screaming woman.

my theory is that you should never use stock models, when you dont have to. it is much funner to have unique units.

28-02-2009, 12:09
@JCOLL. The empire wizards in plastic that you have bought would/could make wraiths. Wraiths are the trapped spirits of evil wizards that messed with the dark arts too much. the box comes with a sycthe as does the zombie box + some conversion and GS and you're laughing. Then just paint them in a classic ethereal way....

28-02-2009, 17:07
Very interesting. I didn't even think of the empire wizards. They are a little pricey to use them that way, but once I take a look I may decide to do that over sculpting my own. HAHA - I laughed :)

28-02-2009, 18:05
well on the plus side you could make two from the wizard box then use other models/conversions forthe rest. Afterall, the wraiths are remnants of different men from different time periods and places in the old world, why should they all look the same. Kitbash empire wizards, skeleton bits, Grave Guard bits zombie accesories, green stuff and whatever else and i think you may come up with some reallyy nice unique miniatures. a cohesive ethereal paint scheme will tie the whole unit together.
Also see these for possible inspiration: http://www.coolminiornot.com/197457 - just goes to show you can use all sorts (they're flagellants)

28-02-2009, 18:19
I've seen those Flagellants before. Awesome paints schemes. I plan on making my banshee out of the new plastic Daemonettes. The on with the long blown hair. With a little bit of fileing and GS I think she'll look the part. I was studying the banshee models available from GW and noticed something odd...Their faces are skulls - no skin left - but they are equipped with a pair of...well...you know... I think I'm going to leave those out. I wonder if the Empire wizards will work with the extra necromacer pieces I have left over from the corpse cart (mine had the necromancer body missing, so I have all his other pieces left over). TOO MANY POSSIBILITIES!!! I love it.

01-03-2009, 05:45
Very interesting. I didn't even think of the empire wizards. They are a little pricey to use them that way, but once I take a look I may decide to do that over sculpting my own. HAHA - I laughed :)

I've actually got some of the plastic Wizards left over from when they were selling kits of 8 models in a $10 box that WOULD make awesome bloody Wraiths!

Thank you for giving me this idea! I'll save one out to convert into a Necromancer on Corpse Cart when I get my Army box in, but after that I'm goin' to town!

And I have a leftover middle-Daemonette (the one with bare bewbs, hurhurhur) that might make a decent and frightening Banshee.... teeheheheee.... but I'd have to sculpt those tentacles into real hair, not an issue.

Man, I LOVE conversion!

01-03-2009, 17:42
Before you get the GW blood knights, look what gamezone miniatures got...

Wow, I googled gamezone and their blood knight substitutes are AMAZING. I actually like the GW blood knights but those gamezone models are just incredible. I wish I could find pics of them pro painted to really bring out the detail.

01-03-2009, 18:00
Yeah, they are nice, but I think I'd have to have a similar theme to my army. The clown head one is awesome, but a little much. I'd love to have them to paint up. Did you check coolminiornot.com?