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Gokamok
22-08-2009, 00:04
Yup, I'm currently in the early stages of building my list for the qualifying heats of this years UK GT, and this is the first build I've come up with.
Comments, etc. are highly appreciated, especially if you'd be so kind as to go a bit into detail:)

Vampire Lord
-Master of the Black Arts, Forbidden Lore, Lord of the Dead
-Skull Staff, Helm of Commandment
450 points

Vampire BSB
-Infinite Hatred, Dread Knight
-Cursed Book, Enchanted Shield, Sword of Might
225 points

Vampire
-Infinite Hatred, Dread Knight
-Dispel Scroll, Sword of Battle
190 points

Necromancer (Vanhel's)
-Black Periapt, Power Stone
-Mounted on Corpse Cart w/ Unholy Lodestone
190 points

12 Skeletons
-Command
-War Banner
141 points

12 Skeletons
-Command
-Banner of the Dead Legion
141 points

10 Skeletons
-Command
100 points

20 Zombies
-Standard, Musician
92 points

5 Black Knights
120 points

2 Wraiths + 1 Banshee
175 points

Varghulf
175 points

10 PD
7 DD
1999 points

Basically, the 2 combat vampires go into a unit of skeletons each, while the Necro and Lord hide in the Bunker. Zombies are there to provide another block since I feel that only 2 infantry blocks is a bit too little to screen my bunker, and I don't quite have enough PD to just spam-raise new units up to size.

I don't have models for barded Black Knights, so they'll just have to go without. I figure they can still be effective flankers, as well as protect my flanks from most harassing units. Besides, 16" ethereal charge isn't too bad.

The Wraiths and Varghulf are supposed to work in much the same role as the Black Knights; either attack relatively weak units that they can handle on their own, or support the infantry blocks to provide some active CR.

Among other things, I've been considering removing The Lodesone Cart and/or the Zombies in order to get 5 Fell Bats and/or 2 extra Wraiths, but I'm not really decided on that issue yet.

Soooooooo, gogo comment!:D

Witchblade
22-08-2009, 04:07
Hm, I don't know about combat vampires. I'd focus on magic with them. They're too valuable and squishy for most combats.

I prefer ghouls over skeletons, but a case could be made for either.

Most importantly though, I'm missing some hard hammers. The varghulf is solo, the black knights are lightly equiped and the wraiths don't have numbers. Your vamps aren't that hard either. What's going to dish out the damage?

Gokamok
22-08-2009, 15:29
Ghouls are a no-go at this time, since I can't really afford to buy enough of them before the GT, so Skeletons it is.

I played a magic heavy build in last years finals with quite a bit of success, and I definitely agree that it's a strong build. I'd just really like to try out playing with a few combat vamps in a tournament environment, since I've only used them in relatively friendly games before, and I actually think they should be able to do a decent job.

It's true that the list doesn't have any proper hammers, which I guess can provide a bit of a challenge. Currently, the idea is to engage targets with multiple units, preferably hitting in the front with Skeletons, and then bringing Wraiths/Varghulf/Knights in for some killing power.
I have very high expectations for the 2 Skeleton units with vamps and magic standards. They should be able to get 6 static CR each, and the Vampires will average around 2 wounds against most troop types. With the ability to provide WS7 to one unit, they should be extremely hard to break through, and will also have a very good chance at causing crumble/instability against undead and deamon units.

I might be completely off the mark here, but I think these are some good combat blocks.

I guess I could replace the Vampire BSB with a Wight King BSB, put him in the Black Knights and give them a magic banner, which would provide more of a real hammer, but it would have an impact on my magic phase, which isn't exactly overwhelming as it stands. Might be an option though.

Darkangeldentist
22-08-2009, 19:54
My initial worry about this list is that you don't have the numbers with the skeletons to cope against fast hammer armies. (Daemons and warriors of chaos spring to mind.) Also anything with a dragon and/or gunlines. The dark elf magic heavy gunlines are something evil. (A battery of power of darkness followed by some regular spells. Plus lots of crossbows, ugh...)

I think you might have a bit too much demand for your basic power pool. Those level 1 vamps are only going to be able summon and/or raise zombies, your elite units look very fragile and to me look like they'll disappear all too quickly once anyone hurts them.

The vampires look ok for combat but considering your rather fragile units and the helm I'd probably go for a wight king BSB. He can join the black knights without hindering their movement and adding much needed clout to them or simply do the same roll as the vamp. Most usefully he's cheaper and can buy a magic banner without losing much from his combat abilities.

Which heat are you going to? I'm also heading up to the UKGT for heat 2 and will also be taking Vampires. I will be using ghouls but a rather different balance of heroes and hammer units.

artyboy
22-08-2009, 20:08
My favorite combat vamp build is a vamp on a hellsteed. Give him beguile, infinite hatred, balefire spike and flayed armor and you've got a unit that is easy to hide until he's needed and who's easy to position for a very hard hitting charge. 3 str 7 hits that rerolls to hit and to wound makes for an excellent hammer. He's still a caster so he's also useful as a very mobile caster.

Lately I've been running a caster lord, a wight king, a vamp on hellsteed and either a caster vamp or a necro on corpse cart. I prefer dark acolyte over forbidden lore for my lord. If you're afraid that you could see combat with him then avatar of death is worthwhile. If you're not worried about it then just take the appropriate raising buff.

If you're going to run a character with black knights then make it a wight king bsb. The wight king is by far the toughest character in the army. Give him accursed armor and you've got a toughness 6 beast with 3 wounds. Keep your caster lord close and he'll have 7 ws. Gem of blood will probably bounce the first wound he takes or you can give him sword of kings and laugh when a character challenges him. I prefer to run him with grave guard, though. They're much tougher to take down and they benefit a lot more if you decide to run the wight king with the regen banner.

For my last character I either take a caster vamp or a necro. I've been leaning more towards the necro lately because they're so much cheaper and you can mount them on a corpse cart. This allows it to join a unit so that it's not so vulnerable to shooting. Give him a book of Arkhan and the black pariapt and call it good. If you decide to run a vamp then go with Dark Acolyte and a raising buff along with the same magic item setup. You end up paying the same for both but the more I use it the more I think that you get a lot more benefit out of the corpse cart riding necro. Always use balefire on your corpse carts...

As for the troops I prefer ghouls to skeles but either one will work. Ghouls end up being cheaper and they're capable of doing damage in combat. The only benefit that skeles have is better static CR and the fact that you can take a magic banner. You pay quite a bit extra for that, though. Ghouls usually more than make up for their lack of static CR by actually killing something. They're close enough in effectiveness that you can run either one and be fine. I would never start the game with a mob of zombies. They're too easy to raise and they're much more tactically viable when you raise them where you want them in the middle of a game. I'd ditch them and either beef up your skele units or try to fit in a couple more wraiths.

Your rares look good. Then again all of the vamp rare choices are viable.

Gokamok
23-08-2009, 00:03
Thanks for the comments so far peeps, really nice to get some qualified input:)
It seems the Wight King BSB is getting a lot of love, and I've had great success with using him earlier, so I'll definitely consider putting him in the list. I ran a WK BSB along with 6 Black Knights with the Hatred banner at last years qualifiers, and they were awesome in most games, but were replaced in my anti-magic army in the finals.

@Artyboy:
I don't like Hellsteeds; placing my vamps on their own without being properly able to hide in woods and buildings just isn't my thing. I also really like being able to join units, which I feel is the biggest drawback in using Hellsteeds.
I was considering going for Balefire on the cart, but decided that I'd rather have the Lodestone since I'll likely need the extra raising power with only a 10 PD magic phase.

@Darkangeldentist:
I haven't really had issues against DE shooting with units of this size earlier, since I basically deploy 6" deep in my own zone if I see a lot of X-bows. That way I get 1-2 turns (depending on who wins the roll to go first) of raising before I'm in range of the X-bows and most spells. Also works wonders against Tzeentch Deamons.:D
The rather limited PD can deffinitely be an issue, but going heavier on magic will basically mean a completely different list (which is actually one of the other lists I'm working on atm;)). I guess I could sneak in a Book of Arkhan in order to strengthen the magic phase a bit, but that would mean losing the Dispel Scroll. Not sure if I really like that.

And, I'm going to Heat 3, so I'll see you at the finals!

Darkangeldentist
23-08-2009, 01:00
If I make it to the finals. :angel:

I'm never very confident about relying on raising. I roll too many 2's when casting stuff. Plus you only have the lord who can make the units bigger. This also means the army must stay quite centralised, not very close together but enough to hamper your manoeuvrebility.

I don't feel 10 power dice is a weak magic phase at all. I've been playing with just 8 and not found it to hamper my games. Instead my worry is how you can use those dice. If your lord is making the units bigger he'll want as many dice as he can get leaving your level 1 vampires effectively useless in terms of casting.

Don't forget the missions and secret objectives they're introducing for this years GT. Some of them won't have much effect but others will.

artyboy
23-08-2009, 05:00
@Artyboy:
I don't like Hellsteeds; placing my vamps on their own without being properly able to hide in woods and buildings just isn't my thing. I also really like being able to join units, which I feel is the biggest drawback in using Hellsteeds.

I'm still toying with the idea. It's the only viable way to get an affordable flying vamp with decent powers in smaller games as far as I'm concerned. You can give them the flying power but then you're extremely limited in what other powers you can take. Putting a lord on a flyer is just stupid. If you're smart when setting up your terrain it's really easy to hide your vamp until you need to get him into combat. Just make sure to make good use of Vanhel's. I've had my hellsteed vamp survive enough rounds of shooting that I know that they can do it pretty easily most of the time.


I was considering going for Balefire on the cart, but decided that I'd rather have the Lodestone since I'll likely need the extra raising power with only a 10 PD magic phase.


A 10 power dice magic phase is really good. It's enough to overwhelm just about anyone when your most important spell needs a 2+ to cast and you can cast it over and over. Considering the only other spell that's really worth a crap in the vamp list only needs a 7 (Vanhel's) your opponent is going to have a tough time deciding what to save his dispel dice for. I usually run between 10 and 12. That's almost always enough to buff up my units more than I think is necessary. By the time I'd want the lodestone the corpse cart would probably be dead, anyway.

Atrahasis
23-08-2009, 12:48
A 10 power dice magic phase is really good.I think 10 is about optimal tbh - any more and you're lacking the points to buy the units you can't raise. It's generally those units that win the game.

Adam Turner (3rd? at the GT last year) used a 10PD list.


It's enough to overwhelm just about anyone when your most important spell needs a 2+ to cast and you can cast it over and over. If you're casting anything (bar Incantations) on 2+, then you're playing wrong :)

Minimum 3 to cast.

Gokamok
23-08-2009, 14:38
I think 10 is about optimal tbh - any more and you're lacking the points to buy the units you can't raise. It's generally those units that win the game.

Adam Turner (3rd? at the GT last year) used a 10PD list.


I've come very much to the same conclusion as you, since the 12+ PD lists usually end up just being 4 units of Ghouls, some Corpse Carts and a unit of Wraiths:p

I'm not really sure if I'm hooked on using a Necromancer in this list anymore. A Wight King BSB and a support caster Vampire in place of the Vampire BSB, Necromancer and Corpse Cart could yield the same amount of PD, and would free up points to make the Black Knights stronger, as well as getting a few more Skeletons on the field.

Does anyone have an opinion about the Corpse Cart? I like the idea of being able to heal 2 wounds on the Wraiths/Knights/Varghulf if needed, as well as using it to speed up my raising of the Skeleton units, but I could get another support unit in it's place. The bound spell should also be able to draw out dispel dice once my units get stuck in, but I'm still not quite sold on it.

Darkangeldentist
23-08-2009, 22:51
I find corspe carts are expensive and difficult to find a place for in my armies. I like them and they can really add to your tactics but I don't like them as mounts. Necromancers are fragile enough without giving them a 40mm wide base. The extra ranks the large base provides is pointless considering how much it risks the nercomancer riding it. Plus even with 2D6 attacks it's rarely going to cause damage.

I prefer to field them on their own and use them to protect the rear of my army or at a pinch the flank. Against most skirmishers and units that will get round behind you it can hold them off till help arrives. (Big nasties excepted.)Since it counts as a monster for movement purpose you can swivel the model on it's base I believe at the start and end of it's move. This lets you make the most of it's 6" area effect of it's spell. Miasma of deathly vigour is also to my mind very useful, against a range of foes it can make people really think twice about charging. (I've had units purpose built to tackle my own be brought low because I denied them the chance to strike first.)

Balefire is good because it's straight forward and can cripple your opponents magic phase. Lodestone is harder to use because the short range makes it difficult to keep it and the units that will most benefit from it together. (Wraiths, knights, dire wolves etc...) The ones it'll effect most are likely to be itself and a wight king. Both are good though. (Don't forget the varghulf is unaffected since it's a vampire.)

Gokamok
24-08-2009, 14:49
Ok, here goes a revised list, including Wight King and with no Corpse Cart:

Vampire Lord
-Master of the Black Arts, Forbidden Lore, Lord of the Dead
-Skull Staff, Helm of Commandment, Biting Blade
455 points

Wight King BSB
-Skeletal Steed
-Sword of Kings, Cursed Book
160 points

Vampire
-Infinite Hatred, Dread Knight
-Book of Arkhan, Sword of Battle
200 points

Vampire
-Dark Acolyte, Lord of the Dead
-Dispel Scroll, Black Periapt
185 points

17 Skeletons
-Command
-War Banner
181 points

14 Skeletons
-Command
-Banner of the Dead Legion
157 points

10 Skeletons
-Command
100 points

20 Zombies
-Standard, Musician
92 points

5 Black Knights
120 points

2 Wraiths + 1 Banshee
175 points

Varghulf
175 points

2000 points
10 PD
6 DD

So, the Vampire BSB was replaced with the WK who I think will be able to provide a nice threat as well. I'll likely keep him with the Skeletons so he can either add to CR or be used as a "missile" to jump any low-CR unit that strays too close.
I removed the Corpse Cart and Necromancer in favor of a lvl 2 Vampire with LotD. I felt that the Necromancer wasn't adding much to the list, since I already have guaranteed Vanhel's on my Lord who has +1 to cast. The fact that the lvl 2 Vamp can cast Gaze of Nagash and Curse of Years (should he roll them) will add a bit more offensive threat to my magic phase, especially in the first few turns where the Necro and Cart wouldn't really do anything. Besides, having more PD to chuck at raising Skeletons is always nice:D

I fiddled around with a few magic items in order to include Book of Arkhan, which I think will make up for the loss of the bound spell from the Corpse Cart, and I also added a Biting Blade to my Lord since I ended up with 5 points left over. Who knows, he might end up in a situation where I actually want him to charge something, and I figured it was better than an extra Zombie.

I also bumped the Skeletons a bit, and the reason for the somewhat odd unit sizes is that players pick a "secret mission" for each scenario, which if completed grants 400 VP. One of these missions is to destroy the opponents most expensive unit, and I didn't really feel comfortable having my Wraiths or Varghulf grant 575 VP:wtf:
I'm quite confident that I can keep a Skeleton unit with War Banner and BSB alive (no pun intended) so it should help in making the missions somewhat harder for the guy on the other side of the board.

The basics of the list remains the same; 2 combat blocks of Skeletons, a bunker, a Zombie tarpit and some support units. I think the magic phase is stronger than the original draft, and the combat potential seems to be about the same. Only downside is the loss of a dispel dice, but I guess I should be able to manage.

Yet again, comments, pie recipes, etc. will be highly appreciated:)

EvC
24-08-2009, 15:23
Great army, though I would highly recommend turning the larger Skeletons into 20 Grave Guard at the cost of one of the other smaller units of Skeletons. Perhaps drop the 14, change the 17 Skellies into 20 Grave Guard and add 3 Bats/ 5 Dire Wolves.

Gokamok
25-08-2009, 14:54
Interesting thought about the Grave Guard, it actually never crossed my mind to bring those bad boys into the list. Problem is that I'll have too little core if I ditch 2 units of Skeletons, and I'm not really sure how to find points for them otherwise.
I could drop either the Wraiths or Varghulf in order to turn the 17 Skeletons into 20 GG with War Banner and then either add 3 Fell Bats or a Dragon Trap (6 Dire Wolves + Doom Wolf). I could also shave a few points here and there to get Banner of the Barrows instead, which could be a nice option with the BSB in the unit.
Another alternative would be keeping the infantry as it is, and then removing Varghulf or Wraiths (probably the Wraiths) for 3 Fell Bats and another unit of 5 Black Knights. Some of the Scenarios and Missions at the GT use scoring units (US 5+, not single models, not raised units), and another unit of ethereal cavalry seems like a very good choice for this.

Gokamok
27-08-2009, 00:51
I'd like to point out that I don't usually bump my own posts, but I'll make an exception to that here, since I'd very much like to hear some qualified opinions about the final tweaking of the list.

So, one more chance for comments, etc. before the list goes off page 1 again:D

Darkangeldentist
27-08-2009, 01:48
The modifications look solid. I've just realised I'm not sure why you've bothered with a standard in the zombie unit. It's a nice point of combat res but it's also 100VPs if the enemy kills the unit and captures it. Considering how squishy zombies are it could prove a liability.

I'm trying to think of how my own vampire list for the GT would cope against it. It would all come down to your magic phase. My list is based on ghouls and doesn't have as much spell casting but does have a bit more mobility and different tricks. I think it would be close.

The wraiths are fragile and expensive so swaping them for another unit of black knights would probably give you a slightly more survivable and mobile unit to kill enemy cavalry. However I know that the wraiths are in fact one of the units my own army would have more difficulty dealing with. Which the whole problem with wraiths, against some they are virtually unassailable but against others they die in a single turn.

Grave guard are awesome and would fit in well with your core infantry theme. Plus as a most expensive unit for the special missions they would be damned difficult to kill. I would also favour replacing the wraiths to find the bulk of the points for them.

If you do decide you want the fell bats for warmachine hunting and the like then consider swapping the second 'lord of the dead' for summon undead creatures. This would let you quickly turn 3 models into 5 or more. (Since they count as infantry.) Once they hit 5 models you can then fly them behind peoples units to ensure their destruction if/when they flee.

Gokamok
27-08-2009, 17:23
Aye, I guess the Grave Guards look fine, so here goes "Slightly revised list v. 2.0":

Vampire Lord
-Master of the Black Arts, Forbidden Lore, Lord of the Dead
-Skull Staff, Helm of Commandment, Biting Blade
455 points

Wight King BSB
-Skeletal Steed
-Sword of Kings, Cursed Book
160 points

Vampire
-Infinite Hatred, Dread Knight
-Book of Arkhan, Sword of Battle
200 points

Vampire
-Dark Acolyte, Summon Creatures of the Night
-Dispel Scroll, Black Periapt
185 points

13 Skeletons
-Command
-War Banner
149 points

10 Skeletons
-Command
100 points

20 Zombies
-Standard, Musician
92 points

19 Grave Guard
-Command
-Banner of the Barrows
303 points

5 Black Knights
120 points

3 Fell Bats
60 points

Varghulf
175 points

1999 points
10 PD
6 DD

As for the standard on the Zombies, I see the point about it being potentially easy VP, but I really like the extra point of CR so I think I'll keep is. They'll likely have 5 Static CR and a nearby BSB, so they should be able to withstand quite a bit of punishment. Since I only have one unit of Skeletons to raise above starting size, (apart from the bunker) I guess I should be able to chuck an IoN or three on them before they see much action, and if my opponent wants to charge 40 Zombies to get a standard, then I'll be happy to let him:D

I took the advice of switching LotD on the support caster for Summon Creatures. Summoning Fell Bats has a nice tendency to draw out dispel dice, so he might even make the magic phase stronger this way, and he can still cast Gaze/Curse if I need a tad more offensive magic (and assuming I roll them of course).

I don't feel too comfortable about not having the Wraith unit in the list, since I really like having them around to protect flanks and hunt skirmishers and/or low Ld enemies, but losing the Varghulf instead would mean not having a fast moving "Vampire" to go with the Black Knights if I want to pull a flanking maneuver. I guess I could manage, but I don't like the thought of having my entire army staying within 12" of the general.

I've been thinking about 3 other alternatives that I'd really appreciate some input on, since I have a hard time deciding if I think they're better than the above build:

1) Remove the Zombies and turn the 17 Skeletons into 18 GG with Command and Banner of the Dead Legion.

2) Remove Wraiths and Biting Blade, add another unit of 5 Black Knights and 3 Fell Bats.

3) Remove Wraiths, Zombies, 17 Skeletons and Biting Blade, Add 18 GG with Banner of the Dead Legion, 5 Black Knights and 3 Fell Bats. (essentially option 1+2 combined).

Be Afraid
30-08-2009, 03:07
I like most recent list quite abit, minor alterations would be drop sword of battle from arkhan bearer, and give him black periatpt, then if you drop a skelington you can get another scroll or s power stone on scroll bearer (or maybe even halberk).

Another nice combo I have used is get a standard bearer for black knights ~(maybe drop skellies, aslwel as their war banner) and take the doubl. unit strength banner. People dont see that unit as scary, but with BSB thats US2, so probs outnumber, banner, battle standard, aswell as a fairly solid cavalry unit charging through terrain !

If points still dwindle after that you could stand losing a grave guard, if dread knight is joining.

Gokamok
30-08-2009, 03:49
I like most recent list quite abit, minor alterations would be drop sword of battle from arkhan bearer, and give him black periatpt, then if you drop a skelington you can get another scroll or s power stone on scroll bearer (or maybe even halberk).

Another nice combo I have used is get a standard bearer for black knights ~(maybe drop skellies, aslwel as their war banner) and take the doubl. unit strength banner. People dont see that unit as scary, but with BSB thats US2, so probs outnumber, banner, battle standard, aswell as a fairly solid cavalry unit charging through terrain !

If points still dwindle after that you could stand losing a grave guard, if dread knight is joining.

I can't take Book of Arkhan and Periapt on the same character, since they're both arcane, so that's not an option. Besides, I really like Sword of Battle with Infinite Hatred, since the extra attack coupled with rerolls to hit adds some nice punch for so few points.

I've been considering the double US banner for the Black Knights, but I really have a hard time figuring out where to get the 41 points.
I'm not keen on losing the War Banner, since I really want that block of Skeletons to be one of my mainstay combat units, but I could potentially remove 1 Skeleton, 1 GG and the command group from my bunker to finance the upgrade for the knights. Then again, I kinda like having the command group in the bunker for added CR in case I get flanked by a unit of fast cavalry or the like.
The Black Knights are mainly in the list to assist my infantry with breaking ranks and for capturing objectives in some missions, and they'll go from 120 to 241 VPs if they get a banner; again I'm not really sure if I like that.

I'm probably down to fine-tuning right now, but does anyone have an opinion as to whether the combat units (Skeletons with Vamp and GG with BSB) are strong enough?

Also, any other input is still highly appreciated, I really like the list as it is now, but I guess there'll always be some weaknesses in any list that don't seem obvious at first.

Scooner
31-08-2009, 13:34
Gorka, like the list just nervous for zero armour for lord. That's all really! I'm off to heat 2 so dentist il see you there!! Il be using vamps too but as ghoul army. Have you play tested the list yet? U tried it v daemons?

Gokamok
31-08-2009, 22:09
Gorka, like the list just nervous for zero armour for lord. That's all really! I'm off to heat 2 so dentist il see you there!! Il be using vamps too but as ghoul army. Have you play tested the list yet? U tried it v daemons?

Nope, I haven't had the opportunity to playtest the list yet, but I'll likely get a few games in soon.
I think the list has a good chance against most Daemon builds. As long as I can pin down the obligatory Bloodthirster, I'm rather confident that I can manage the rest, but I guess playtesting will show.:)

As for the Lord, I would often put some kind of protection on him, but since I'm keeping him bunkered, I guess the main threats to him will be fast cavalry and large flyers. I think he can handle fast cav with T5 and 3 wounds, and a 2+ AS or the like really won't make a difference against a Dragon. Yes, it might be a gamble, but I think it's worth it in order to get Helm of Commandment and Skull Staff placed where they'll do the most good.