View Full Version : Seredain's High Elves- 2K vs Vampire Counts- with Pics

12-05-2010, 21:25
Week 3 at my new Bristol GW and this time I was facing Vampires at 2000 points. I took:

Lecalion: Lvl 4 Archmage- Silver Wand, Ring of Fury, Dispel Scroll, Dispel Scroll (finally painted, bar a few gemstones, and out on the field)
Azrael: Noble BsB- GW, DA, Reaver Bow, Talisman of Loec

20 Spearelves- Standard, Musician, Lion Banner
10 Archers

5 Dragon Princes
14 Swordmasters- Bladelord, Standard, Gem of Courage, Banner of Sorcery
12 White Lions- Guardian, Standard, Amulet of Light, Standard of Balance
1 Chariot

3 Repeater Bolt Throwers
1 Great Eagle

PD 7-9 + Ring of Fury
DD 4 + 2 Scrolls

He had:

Ethereal Vamp Lord, Great Weapon
Thrall, Helm of Commandment
Thrall, Book of Arkhan
Thrall, Bound Spell (Gaze of Nagash I think)

14 Ghouls, Champ
14 Ghouls, Champ
14 Ghouls, Champ
4 Spirit Hosts
2 Wraiths plus 1 Banshee
7 Wraiths plus 1 Banshee.

PD 12 + 2 Bound Spells (ugh)
DD 7

Jeez. Where the hell was his army? Believe it or not this was actually the first time I'd faced vamps in 7th Edition outside of playing some quite fluffy games with some quite nice people. However I've been on sites like this long enough to know some of their tricks, and by tricks I mean taking silly amounts of power dice and spamming multi-casting one-dice spells. This was very obviously one of those armies. And with all those ethereals too. Ugh. For my part, I'd shoved amulet of light on the lions and got an extra spearelf with the leftover points. I'd need those magical attacks big time...

Edit: As an experiment I turned flash off the camera for the last few pictures, meaning that they're slightly blurry. Apologies in advance for that.


He got all the usual stuff: a few raise dead, a few Van Hels, two gaze of Nagash and one curse of years.

I chose High Magic (partly for drain magic so I could take the sting out of his magic) and got everything except Flames of the Phoenix. This was a problem: I had very much hoped to get this spell to throw the smack down on his ethereal wraiths with their low toughness. On the other hand I had the Reaver Bow and 2 magic missiles (with the ring), so I wasn't exactly out of juice.



As above. His big wraiths went in the ruins and his small wraiths went by the ghouls facing my right flank. All the ghouls themselves were fairly central. Dragon Princes covered the left flank and my chariot the right. Repeaters and archers with Archmage went on the hill near the centre of the back of the board, another machine slightly to the left on the ground to get line of sight round the wood. Right of the hill and in the very centre of my lines were the white lions, with the Azrael and the spears to their right. The eagle sat behind the spears. Right of the spears, behind the chariot, stood the swordmasters, ready to follow up on the attack.

My plan was pretty simple: magic and shoot one block of ghouls at a time and clear out the vamp within with either the over-killing missiles or by assassinating him with my fast-attack units: I figured I could wipe out these ghoul blocks quicker than he could raise them. The white lions with Balance and amulet of light would hold the centre, where he was obviously planning to bulldoze through me with his Vamp Lord and Wraiths. The rest of my army would focus on wiping out the thralls: with his magic phase thus weakened I could hopefully pound on his general's wraiths with my archmage. Swordmasters would follow-up the chariot on my right, tearing through the Vamps' left flank. A slight problem was that he had his small unit of wraiths there and I wasn't sure of pounding through them with the SM's static res. Azrael's Reaver Bow would have to pop off a few wounds first. Dragon Princes would attack on the left and hopefully snipe out a thrall early on.

He finished deploying in the time it took me to sneeze and won the roll to go first.



His lord and wraiths howled death-cries and surged forward at an amazing pace, totally taking my lines by surprise with the speed of their advance (they're movement 6, idiot!). I swore to the gods that I would read the vampire book sometime soon, while also swearing in many other ways. With a VanHels getting thrown down on them, next turn the wraiths could charge my archers and carry on right into 2 of my repeaters. Bad. Vampire's spirit hosts, who I didn't really care about, came through the woods in the centre. All the ghouls shuffled forward down their respective open spaces, his small wraiths running into the open in front of my swords.


Wasn't as bad as I'd feared. He was rolling lots of spells on one dice but I had High Elf +1 to dispel and it really came in handy when I chose to try the dispel. I let Vampire raise ghouls on the 2 units to my right, but I dispelled 2 raisings on the unit on the left flank, which I hoped to shatter with shooting on my turn. He got off a Gaze on my lions but it flunked and only killed one. Another Gaze of Nagash was hurled by the great Vampire at a repeater but Lecalion read out one of his scrolls and the magic burst into soft dust over the heads of the crew. I'd need those machines to perform. Vanhels went through for the big wraiths and moved them closer to my lines. I'd been unable to prevent this, but I had a plan...


A few screams went off but with the elves' high leadership there was nothing doing.


My elves had to act quickly to stop his lord tearing into my missile battery. The heroic white lions, addicted to putting themselves in life-threatening situations, wheeled slightly and marched forward as far as they could to get in the way of the wraiths. Only they couldn't get far enough and the wraiths would still be into my archers on turn 2. Luckily, however, elven tactical genius was at hand. The archers were screwed either way, so they decided to die in the service of their Lord. Lecalion evacuated into one of the repeaters and the archers marched down off the hill, interposing themselves between the wraiths and the lions and angling themselves in such a way as to ensure that, in pursuit, the wraiths would hit the lions and be stuck there, rather than running onto the hill and murdering my machines. On the left my princes moved forward and to the flank to get a view of the field and a charge on the left-hand ghouls. The eagle march-blocked the ghouls on my right. The small wraiths could just turn around and charge him but, if they did that, that was a turn wasted for them and I could Reaver Bow them some more. The chariot moved forward on the right to set up his own charge and the swords stayed put, ready to move in when the little wraiths were put down.


Lecalion hurled the Fury of Khaine at the great Vampire's wraiths, drawing a ton of dice from the Lord, who dispelled it easily. He'd also thrown lots of his defence away, though, so now the High Elf archmage prepared to party. Curse of Arrow Attraction went off on the left-hand ghouls and my repeater crews started chuckling. Then he summoned all his remaining energies and cast Vaul's Unmaking on the wraiths. Lecalion readied himself to unravel whatever item was giving the vampire lord his ethereal ability... Only it wasn't an item was it? It was some unnatural ability and he wasn't actually carrying any items at all. A huge opportunity had been thrown away to cast drain magic and, perhaps crucially, to throw a shield on the lions. The Ring of Fury failed to penetrate the vampires' remaining defences. Magic would be no help in the coming fight.


At least the arrow curse had gone off. Unfortunately it didn't do me much good, all three repeaters wiping off only 5 ghouls from the left-hand unit. Azrael did better and pinged a wound off the right-hand wraiths and another off the banshee. The chariot also picked a ghoul from the right-hand unit. The archers were too busy marching and praying to even think about shooting.

Left Flank: http://img266.imageshack.us/img266/5843/146i.jpg
Right Flank: http://img6.imageshack.us/img6/2972/147bh.jpg



The lions braced themselves as a horde of ethereal dead things slammed into their front and flank, their archer companions being chopped to pieces as they ran for cover.

The small wraiths charged the eagle, who held since he didn't want to flee through the ghouls in the centre and be destroyed (I later realised that, as a flyer, he could have just gone over them). All three ghoul units shuffled forward, more or less just carting around some bound spells.


Not getting drain magic through last turn had made this phase very dangerous. Initially more ghouls were raised but this didn't worry me too much. The big deal was that the vampires managed to summon Vanhels on the large wraiths, giving them ASF and re-rolled misses in combat. I'd managed to fend off the other Vanhels casts with dice and, since I knew it was coming, saved a scroll for this one... but the vampire lord had summoned all his might and it went through with irresistible force. Ouch.


The banshee in the large wraiths screamed at the white lions before combat, but they didn't pay her any attention.


The eagle got eaten by the small wraiths, but no-one minded as all eyes were on the white lions and those evil spirits. Helm of Commandment went down on the big wraiths. Filled with magical power, the vampire went first and, with all his re-rolls, killed 3 lions (a potential mistake by my opponent, since he could've challenged out the Guardian in order to take out the Amulet of Light before my other lions got to strike). The Guardian himself struck out at the Vamp and hacked a wound off of him, before his companions did... nothing at all to the wraiths. Fail. One lion in the rear-rank was still awake though and squashed a wound from one of the flanking hosts. The response from the Helm and Vanhels-boosted wraiths was brutal. Their ability to re-roll misses was the real killer, and they wiped out every single white lion, tearing them limb from limb and leaving the Guardian all by himself. When his unit's banner fell and hit the mud, he woke from his zen-like trance to find that he was all alone, surrounded by angry spirits and completely scared ********. He screamed and ran away, an enormous distance and far away from the unstoppable wraiths, who oozed forward lazily, too busy chomping on elf to do much else.




OK, time for Plan B. Um... right. The spears were now on 'sacrifice' duty. That was the only way I could save Lecalion from a horrible horrible death. He'd have to run just out of wraith-range and let the spears distract them for a turn while he hurled as much magic as he could. Whatever happened, I had to do something quickly: if I could take out a couple of thralls in the next couple of turns then my magic could bear down on the wraiths and hopefully do some real damage, while the vampires' own phase would be much more controllable.

For the rest of my army it was time for affirmative action. The princes charged the left-hand ghouls, already withered by fire, and the chariot charged the right-hand ghouls, hoping to crush the thrall there, be broken on static combat res and flee to safety. In so doing it would draw the ghouls toward the swordmasters, who would need to get involved if they were going to make a difference. They moved 5” forward and were joined by Azrael, who was getting out of the way of the wraith-bus and looked to finish off the small wraiths with his bow.



Did absolutely nothing. Lecalion had some kind of mental episode and rolled ones rolled all over the place. The only good thing that came of it was that he didn't miscast and blow his head off. However, crucially he'd failed to grant the spears, staring the vampire lord's wraiths full in the face, either stubborn or a 5+ ward save, both of which could have proved their salvation and the vampire's ruin. Bad. But there's always a silver lining, right?


Yes actually. Azrael managed to pop one wound off the small wraiths, killing one. The repeaters were reviving their recently questionable form, targeted the central ghouls and killed them in droves. Excellent.


If this didn't go well then I was in trouble. The princes barrelled into the ghouls, who were being controlled by the Helm of Commandment (ugh) and smashed them open while two of their number, on the right, targeted the vampire thrall and... fluffed it. They got only one hit on him, but at least managed to wound. The result was a huge victory but not quite huge enough and, after crumbling, there was still one ghoul left and the vampire with his one wound. Darn! The chariot did much better than expected and absolutely demolished an entire rank of ghouls, while the crew managed to spear the vampire thrall, taking a wound off him. It did so well in fact, having suffered no wounds itself, that another ghoul or two collapsed to the ground. Although their swordmaster comrades had hoped that they'd retreat and draw the ghouls on, the chariot crew were so pleased with themselves that they decided to stick around for more dancing. What could go wrong?

12-05-2010, 21:33


The Vampire Lord and his wraiths charged the spears who bravely held, their lion banner flying defiantly in the wind. The central ghouls turned to face the dragon princes fighting the left-hand ghouls. The small wraiths moved to face the flank of the chariot, still fighting the ghouls on the right.


All I cared about was making sure Vanhels didn't go off on the central ghouls, who would've gone into the princes' flank, and the wraiths, who with a re-roll to hit would certainly cut my brave spears to pieces. I succeeded in these two aims with the help of excellent dispel rolling while saving my last scroll for any magic missiles that might come Lecalion's way in the latter few turns. While dedicating my dispel dice to this mission I had to let some ghouls swell the ranks of all three units. Fair trade.


The banshee in the small wraiths screamed at the engaged chariot and blew 2 wounds off it. This was dangerous: if the thrall did his job properly that chariot could easily be toast in just a moment.


The chariot crew were fighting for their lives and thrust at the advancing vampire, but he was too quick for them and their attacks went wide before he smashed another wound off the chariot. The elven steeds had had enough of the smell of dead things, however, and decided to make their opinions known to all, head-butting the vampire right in the face and knocking him stone dead. Take that you son of a bitch!

The ghoul champion, similarly pissed off about smelling horse, smacked another wound off the chariot before it duly broke and ran clear. The ghouls pursued but not far enough (annoyingly) to bring themselves within the charge-reach of the swordmasters, who were starting to quietly mumble dissenting words about their “idiot” commander deploying them “miles away” from any fighting. At least Azrael could finish off those wraiths and, whatever happened next, without a thrall in their ranks those ghouls were going to end up as easy sword-food.

Meanwhile the combat between the princes and the left-hand ghouls was going terribly for the elves. One of their steeds managed to bring down a ghoul but the knights swung wildly and couldn't hit a thing. The vampire brought two down in punishment for their incompetence and they fled from the now revived ghoul unit. Crap!

Despite not having a re-roll, the vampire lord and the wraiths had it all their own way, dancing through living flesh, destroying 2 ranks of spearelves and breaking them easily. Fortunately the elves escaped without running off the board as, once again, the vampire and his retinue feasted on the raw meat. Since I'd failed to get stubborn off I was happy with the result: with a musician and Lecalion nearby, the spears would hopefully rally next turn: the vamp would still have to deal with them and hopefully I could protect them with magic better than I'd been able to do previously...


The sound of blaring horns rang across the battlefield as Lecalion called on his brave spears to rally and once again face an enemy who would surely bring them death. Having thus secured his own escape, the noble archmage promptly failed a terror test from the banshee and legged it, running straight off the board. Little bastard!

With his cowardly hide went my only shot at halting the advance of the wraiths and vampire lord. The game was over for my elves. Determined to put a brave face on the situation, the chariot and dragon princes rallied and the swordmasters, with Azrael, marched forward toward the right-hand ghouls.

For their part the repeaters, who by now had got their eye in, were not going to take any more of this undead crap. They were annoyed and and decided to enact some righteous steel-tipped justice. One let rip on the left-hand ghouls to clear the ranks for the other two machines, who unleashed an enormous hail of bolts into the few remaining creatures, skewering the thrall in the face! Haha! Honour having been (partially) restored with the slaying of two vampires, Azrael and the remaining high elves quickly conceded and quietly vacated the field. The undead hordes were left to feast on the remains of those proud white lions, now lying in ruins and face down in the dirt.

Victory to the Vampires.


Well, in part I was hurt by some bad dice. I didn't get Flames of the Phoenix, my dragon princes, against the odds, failed to kill the thrall on my left when they charged and my archmage, by turn 3 the only thing that could hurt the ethereals, failed a terror test on LD 9 and ran away. The white lions had been doomed by Vanhels going down on the wraiths with irresistible force (for which I'd saved a scroll) and, even then, suffered some bad luck in that only one of them needed to survive to keep their immunity to psychology and hold for another turn.

Having said all that, I made mistakes and could've played some things better. For one I was far too timid with the swordmasters and was lulled into a false sense of security by the BsB's Reaver Bow. I should not have forgotten that, although he has a bow, Azrael also had a great axe, ASF and the Talisman of Loec. If he'd gone forward with the swordmasters and spears, together they would have totally buzzed through the vamps' left flank. The small wraiths, against all that combat res (outnumber, 2 standards, 3 ranks against Azrael and the spears), would have quickly been overwhelmed. For their part the ghouls and their thrall would have been no match for the swords.

I'd made a different mistake on my left flank. If I'd deployed the chariot and the dragon princes together, I could have easily taken out the weak ghoul units on the left and centre, which my repeaters had been keeping at manageable sizes. By separating my fast attack units I'd allowed myself to be screwed over by bad dice rather than guaranteeing victory on the charge by bringing overwhelming force.

IN short, I must remember to be more aggressive against vampires. In that sense I could have known my enemy better: I had no idea that wraiths had 3 attacks, movement 6 or that the ethereal vampire lord had no items. As for the white lions, I don't think I'd have done anything different other than deploying them infront of the archers rather than to the side. They were unlucky to suffer from the re-rolls provided by an irresistable Vanhels, and were also unlucky to lose that last wound which took out the standard and forced the break. After that I was playing catchup. Perhaps if I'd deployed Azrael with the lions, they'd have chewed through the wraiths a lot better and he could even have taken out the vamp lord with the talisman.

My magic choices could also have been better. Where was drain magic, Seredain? Casting Vaul's on his Lord was a product of ignorance so that's an easy lesson to learn, but I should've tried harder to stop his phase. He could've rolled much better with his magic than he did and I might have found it hard to deal with without Drain.

All in all a fun game and some good lessons learned. His list was heavily weighted against a more balanced list like mine but it also had serious flaws which I could have exploited better. This game was a case of learning more from your defeats than from your victories. Lecalion had also better earn his salt next time or he's in trouble, and I swear the swordmasters WILL get into combat.

Thanks for reading. GG!

13-05-2010, 11:27
Tough game, but lessons learned and all that :)

An excellent rep, Seradin.

13-05-2010, 11:46
I'm saddened that you quit the game (even though you were doomed) before the swordmasters got into combat.

Even so, flavorful bat-rep full of lessons learned and pretty pictures (your archmage looks wonderful).

I've never seen such a ethereal heavy vampire list before, very interesting indeed. It seemed like you were all set to fight it with a level 4 wizard and so many magical attacks. I think that a unit of Phoenix guard would have been extremely useful due to their survivability instead of the whitelions, but that's just something you'll have to decide on your own if you want to get the models. I would have attempted to hit a single unit with the dragon princes AND the chariot simultaneously to prevent it barely surviving like that. I think drain magic should have been cast every phase without question, vampires hate that spell with a passion.

13-05-2010, 15:08
That was a mean list he took, and one that deserves to go up against some deamons...

14-05-2010, 02:40
Great report! Great Pics! Great commentary & reflection.

I second the poster who discussed phoenix guard-I would get them if nothing more than for the fact that it seems the new edition is going to make them much more important to HE battleplans, but they would also serve you better in a.....


14-05-2010, 12:28
I think that a unit of Phoenix guard would have been extremely useful due to their survivability instead of the whitelions, but that's just something you'll have to decide on your own if you want to get the models. I would have attempted to hit a single unit with the dragon princes AND the chariot simultaneously to prevent it barely surviving like that. I think drain magic should have been cast every phase without question, vampires hate that spell with a passion.

Your last two points are spot on. Not putting the chariot and dragon princes together was a basic tactical error against VC's and just showed my lack of experience against them- lesson learned there. I was quite surprised by how useful the repeaters can be against Vamps: they were really good at keeping the ghoul units manageable - a better charge from combined DPs/chariot would be the perfect follow-up.

Casting Vaul's Unmaking on Turn 1 was a potentially game-changing mistake from me: those power dice could have done a drain magic and a shield of saphery, then latter likely preserving the white lions for another turn. Even so, having managed to kill 2 thralls, the archmage could have done more if he hadn't been such a chicken.

I'll keep the lions over phoenix guard since my list is 'all comers' and needs their stubborn and woodwalking.

Thanks for the comments everybody. I'd actually be quite confident with a rematch but I'm trying to play a different opponent every week, so we'll have to wait a while to see... Next time Gadget!

14-05-2010, 15:21
It's all about amulet of light on a big block of spearmen and a couple heros on steeds (for the save) and magic weapons.

Then we'll see how much he likes his ethereal units ;)

Don't bother to try and beat VC in the magic game, just kill faster than they can raise, and with ethereal units that can be fairly easy if you have magical attacks.

14-05-2010, 23:55
Seredain, your reports are an interesting enough read and have great pictures. Consider dedicating a thread to all of your battle reports instead of making a new one each time. It'll make things easier for people who want to keep updated on your latest high elf adventures.

15-05-2010, 00:55
great game too bad you didn't have enough magic attacks to take down the ethereals anyway better luck next time

15-05-2010, 04:05
Great battle report. One of the most well presented I have come across, thoroughly enjoyable reading. Well done.

Bad luck, but I think you'd get him in a rematch. Probably a bit of surprise factor got you, that's all.

15-05-2010, 09:20
Seredain, your reports are an interesting enough read and have great pictures. Consider dedicating a thread to all of your battle reports instead of making a new one each time. It'll make things easier for people who want to keep updated on your latest high elf adventures.

im glad someone else thinks this too!

15-05-2010, 22:40
I have to agree with dungeon lawyer and Kayosiv. Your reports are great matey and one thread would make it a lot easier to find and follow :)

16-05-2010, 03:32
For future reference, in a pitched battle the armies must be deployed more than 24" apart. That means no second turn Wraith charge unless he gets off VanHel's.

16-05-2010, 09:39
It didnt seem like an unfair vamp list to me, just very tailored, especially if you arn't used to erethreal units. i doubt you'll lose to this guy again if he keeps taking the same type of list. he only had that one deathstar unit, the rest of his army was pretty weak, your elves are fast enough to outmanuver the slower ghouls to focus on the faster wraiths. you just got caught unawares with the tricks of that list. problem is, it only works once and the HE have plenty of tricks to counter erethreal units.

16-05-2010, 11:17
I have to agree with dungeon lawyer and Kayosiv. Your reports are great matey and one thread would make it a lot easier to find and follow :)

Thanks chaps! It'll be another week before my next game but I'll start a thread with the report.

For future reference, in a pitched battle the armies must be deployed more than 24" apart. That means no second turn Wraith charge unless he gets off VanHel's.

That's a good point. I expect he got VanHel's off on turn one: I'm pretty sure they could've charged the archers on turn 2.

EDIT: I've altered the OP to reflect Vanhels going down on the wraiths. I remember now that it was the last thing he cast (with book of Arkhan), after I'd run out of dispel dice.

maze ironheart
16-05-2010, 15:38
Excellent report kept me intrested from start to finish.

16-05-2010, 16:23
It didnt seem like an unfair vamp list to me, just very tailored, especially if you arn't used to erethreal units.

I tend to agree. I don't think it was such a bad VC list. I think your list has all the tools to deal with it. Like you said there were good lessons learnt and thats what wargaming is all about.

Another great read, better luck next time.

P.S. Im just wondering how far in you deployed your ranged units?

16-05-2010, 17:39
P.S. Im just wondering how far in you deployed your ranged units?

I deployed my archers quite early (after the eagle I think), since it wasn't an important unit and in going on the hill it wasn't going to give anything away. My repeaters I deployed quite late. Though I knew that at least one was going to go on the hill, I wanted to make sure that I had the angle to shoot around the woods in the centre of his zone, so I waited until he'd deployed his ghouls before placing my machines, allowing me to put one to the left of the hill to ensure it had a good choice of targets.

Since he got Turn 1 it didn't make any difference, but I normally deploy my repeaters late so's I'm sure of them having a shot at the target units I really want to kill.

16-05-2010, 21:00
I played VC as my main tournament army this Ed. and ranged target selection and deployment is key importance against VC. Even players who have read the armybook a few times(and myself also) can have a hard time with target selection against VC, because one or two different unit selections and/or one or two special item changes can change the way the list performs on the board. It doesn't take much for the VC list to shift from defensive to assaulting to true magic spamming and thats hard to read for alot of opponents.

When I'm playing static DE against VC(and my list looks much like your list) I try to sit right on the edge of the RBT's range to give me a change to get as much out of my ranges attacks as possible and more importantly to figue out how my opponant is going to play his magic phase i.e. damge dealing, summon spamming or vanse spamming for example.

17-05-2010, 20:01
Another great report Seradain :D I don't get round to reading many but yours are very easy to read and I learnt useful things to remember if I ever face vampires!