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View Full Version : 2,000 Points VC, 8th Ed., for Critique



Aluinn
04-07-2010, 02:26
Well since my starter 1k VC list was probably too boring to get any replies, I figure I'll submit to the tender mercy of the Warseer community my target 2k list for 8th Edition. Being brand new to the army I'm sure I'm doing plenty wrong, so please don't hold back on the criticisms! I promise not to come back from the dead and eat you or anything.

For the sake of expediency I'll not list standard (non-optional) equipment.

Lords

Vampire Lord

Master of the Black Arts
Forbidden Lore (Lore of Vampires)
The Flayed Hauberk
Talisman of Preservation
Earthing Rod


Heroes

Necromancer

Power Stone
Invocation of Nehek


Necromancer

Channeling Staff
Invocation of Nehek


Wight King

Tomb Blade
Dragonhelm


Wight King

Sword of Kings
Enchanted Shield


Core

27 Skeleton Warriors

Spears
Full command


27 Skeleton Warriors

Spears
Full command


Corpse Cart

Unholy Lodestone


Special

18 Grave Guard

Full command


6 Black Knights

Barding
Full command


Rare

Varghulf

How I plan it to work is thus. The "anvil" is a formation consisting of the two Skeletion blocks in 7x4 formation for 21 spear attacks, each joined by a Wight King. Immediately to the rear of each is a walking Necro, and between the Necros is the Cart. The Lord will take a forward position between the two blocks.

The reason for the Lord not being in a Skelly block himself is the danger of blasting them with an errant miscast, which could gut a unit so badly as to lose the game for me, depending on timing. In a forward position he can still fight, but the template around him won't touch anything else if he rolls boxcars. The Earthing Rod will be used in case he gets the miscast result that causes loss of magic levels and spells, or the one with a chance to remove him from the table outright.

The Grave Guard will be off to a flank in this opening formation, ready to flank charge or prevent a flank charge by the enemy.

The "anvil" is of course the Knights (in 3x2 formation for full attacks without many recieved back), marching with the aid of the Varghulf, and of course bolstered by the significant combat ability of the Varghulf as well.

Well, what thinkst thou Warseer (especially veteran VC players)? As I said in my earlier thread I really want to avoid taking any sort of animals (bats, dogs) or Ghouls, but I'm willing to change this in pretty much any other way.

MascisMan
05-07-2010, 03:22
Can both of your necromancers have the same spell in 8th?

Kalandros
05-07-2010, 06:18
Only wizards that have to ROLL for spells are forbidden from having a duplicate spell.
Any wizard or model that gets a spell by buying it (one or the entire lore) does not count for the duplicate spell rule.

Aluinn
05-07-2010, 06:41
Yeah, Necros just get to choose from one of the three Necromancy spells, and then can buy any of the two additional ones for an extra cost. They do not roll for spells. Similarly, the Vamp can also use Invocation of Nehek (if I choose Lore of the Vampires, which I plan to), because via Forbidden Lore he is what the rulebook calls a "Loremaster". These are immune to the duplicate prohibition as well.

So this army can get up to three casts of Invocation of Nehek per turn.

Anyway, I really need some advice on this list because it will be my very first VC army. Even if you guys think it's okay and *don't* have any major critiques, please say even that, because otherwise I just have no idea whether it will be functional.

BeatTheBeat
05-07-2010, 22:05
I don't have much experience playing WITH vc, but a little playing against them, and even in 7th ed I found a unit of only 6 black knights to be a little lacking. Try to find something more useful to spend those points on, like dire wolves (to keep a fast element in the army) or anything ethereal (for all the reasons that make ethereal models great). :)

Good luck,
BTB

Aluinn
06-07-2010, 00:28
I don't have much experience playing WITH vc, but a little playing against them, and even in 7th ed I found a unit of only 6 black knights to be a little lacking. Try to find something more useful to spend those points on, like dire wolves (to keep a fast element in the army) or anything ethereal (for all the reasons that make ethereal models great). :)

Good luck,
BTB

Yeah those were included mainly because I wanted to use those awesome new Morgul Knight models from the LotR range :). If you haven't seen them, check out the photos on the GW site; if you like undead/evil looking stuff they are just fantastic sculpts.

I know they won't kill vast amounts of anything or hold up against a block of infantry alone, but I plan to organize them 3x2. This means incoming attacks are quite limited if you strike a flank, and now all the riders can attack in this formation--I'll accept losing 3 Skeletal Horse kicks without complaint :).

Dire Wolf models, on the other hand, I find absolutely hideous (and not in a good way) and refuse to use them, while Chaos Warhounds, though a possible substitute, just look way too mutated and, well, Chaotic to pass for undead IMO.

I don't mean to dismiss your point, and I probably shouldn't have described the Knights + Varghulf as a "hammer", because as you said they lack the hitting power to just roll up a flank all on their lonesome. My hope is that they will prevent the enemy from being able to focus everything on the main blocks of infantry, though, and that they will be able to kill missile units, war machines, and wizards.

But rest assured, I'd never charge those knights headlong into an infantry block and expect anything other than complete fail.

I'm not sold completely on Ethereal units in 8th. I mean, they are still decent, but dang near everyone is going to be throwing around magic missiles in the new edition and they would not hold up to that. I think they'll be one of those units that absolutely wreck some armies but die very fast against others. Since I'm going for an all-comers list I kind of want to avoid that. However, I will consider some Wraiths, because I'm just theorizing here and may prove to be totally wrong.

NitrosOkay
08-07-2010, 18:37
Yeah, Necros just get to choose from one of the three Necromancy spells, and then can buy any of the two additional ones for an extra cost. They do not roll for spells. Similarly, the Vamp can also use Invocation of Nehek (if I choose Lore of the Vampires, which I plan to), because via Forbidden Lore he is what the rulebook calls a "Loremaster". These are immune to the duplicate prohibition as well.

So this army can get up to three casts of Invocation of Nehek per turn.

Anyway, I really need some advice on this list because it will be my very first VC army. Even if you guys think it's okay and *don't* have any major critiques, please say even that, because otherwise I just have no idea whether it will be functional.

The Army Book specifically says Necromancy spells are an exception to the normal rule for spells and may be cast repeatedly by the same Wizard, even on the same unit.

You can get up to TWELVE casts of Invocation of Nehek per turn.

As for the list.

Ideas:

Now is a great time to take Grave Guard with Great Weapons. Especially with Banner of the Barrows. They step up and will usually go last anyway and you can replace their losses easily and if the opponent fails their fear test they will hit on 2's and wound on 2's vs almost anything with a -3 armour modifier and killing blow.

I'm not sold on spears. I'd rather run Skeletons with hand weapon and shield in horde formation. Same number of attacks, lose a rank bonus (but if you pick up Lord of the Dead and there won't be any disadvantage if you take them up to 40-50 strong in the first few turns.). Gain +1 armour save and a 6+ ward in close combat. Skeletons are a tarpit that grinds the enemy down, don't try to make them something they aren't.

Definitely have one of your Wight Lords be a battle standard bearer. Re-rolling all leadership tests is golden. Use Crown of the Damned on your Vampire Lord for a 35 point 4+ ward and a re-rollable stupidity test with leadership 10. 97% chance of passing.

I really advise taking Dark Acolyte and magic level on your Vampire Lord and then tooling him up for close combat and putting him with Skeletons or Grave Guard. Vampire Units utterly depend on their characters for killing power and the Vampire Lord is the killiest thing in the army. Give him the Nightshroud and Sword of Hero Killing for a cheap 20/25 points and he'll murder stuff like Dark Elf Assassins and other annoying things that usually go first and killing blow. Miscasts aren't really such a big deal. The most dice you'll ever use is 3 on Summon Undead Horde. So 15% chance to miscast. Only a third of the miscasts actually cause you to blow up, so a whopping 5% chance on your biggest spell. Put him in the corner of the unit and maybe 7-8 skeletons die.

Consider a Vampire with Helm of Commandment and Master of the Black Arts to sit behind the army or in the back row of a unit and give weapon skill/power dice instead of the second Wight King. Roll for him first on the spells table, swap his spell for raise dead. Then roll for your Vampire Lord and it's almost assured you'll have every spell you need. Then you can drop the 30 points of Forbidden Lore.

Remember your units can only march with a Vampire near them. If your Vampire Lord is the only Vampire besides the Varghulf (who will be babysitting the Black Knights?) you might have some difficulties actually maneuvering.

The Black Knights probably won't do much without a rank bonus, if you can bump the unit up to 12 strong that would be great. Then they can break ranks. If you have to drop barding so be it.

You might want to drop the second Necromancer in addition to the Wight King if you get a Vampire. Don't want too many points locked up in characters, and then you can beef up the Black Knights.

Aluinn
09-07-2010, 05:41
The Army Book specifically says Necromancy spells are an exception to the normal rule for spells and may be cast repeatedly by the same Wizard, even on the same unit.

You can get up to TWELVE casts of Invocation of Nehek per turn.

As for the list.

Ideas:

Now is a great time to take Grave Guard with Great Weapons. Especially with Banner of the Barrows. They step up and will usually go last anyway and you can replace their losses easily and if the opponent fails their fear test they will hit on 2's and wound on 2's vs almost anything with a -3 armour modifier and killing blow.

I'm not sold on spears. I'd rather run Skeletons with hand weapon and shield in horde formation. Same number of attacks, lose a rank bonus (but if you pick up Lord of the Dead and there won't be any disadvantage if you take them up to 40-50 strong in the first few turns.). Gain +1 armour save and a 6+ ward in close combat. Skeletons are a tarpit that grinds the enemy down, don't try to make them something they aren't.

Definitely have one of your Wight Lords be a battle standard bearer. Re-rolling all leadership tests is golden. Use Crown of the Damned on your Vampire Lord for a 35 point 4+ ward and a re-rollable stupidity test with leadership 10. 97% chance of passing.

I really advise taking Dark Acolyte and magic level on your Vampire Lord and then tooling him up for close combat and putting him with Skeletons or Grave Guard. Vampire Units utterly depend on their characters for killing power and the Vampire Lord is the killiest thing in the army. Give him the Nightshroud and Sword of Hero Killing for a cheap 20/25 points and he'll murder stuff like Dark Elf Assassins and other annoying things that usually go first and killing blow. Miscasts aren't really such a big deal. The most dice you'll ever use is 3 on Summon Undead Horde. So 15% chance to miscast. Only a third of the miscasts actually cause you to blow up, so a whopping 5% chance on your biggest spell. Put him in the corner of the unit and maybe 7-8 skeletons die.

Consider a Vampire with Helm of Commandment and Master of the Black Arts to sit behind the army or in the back row of a unit and give weapon skill/power dice instead of the second Wight King. Roll for him first on the spells table, swap his spell for raise dead. Then roll for your Vampire Lord and it's almost assured you'll have every spell you need. Then you can drop the 30 points of Forbidden Lore.

Remember your units can only march with a Vampire near them. If your Vampire Lord is the only Vampire besides the Varghulf (who will be babysitting the Black Knights?) you might have some difficulties actually maneuvering.

The Black Knights probably won't do much without a rank bonus, if you can bump the unit up to 12 strong that would be great. Then they can break ranks. If you have to drop barding so be it.

You might want to drop the second Necromancer in addition to the Wight King if you get a Vampire. Don't want too many points locked up in characters, and then you can beef up the Black Knights.

Thanks for the tips. I've actually been thinking about hw/s on Skeletons and you've pretty much sold me on that. I don't know if they're killy enough for spears to be worth the points.

One problem with horde formation however is that enemies will get more attacks on you as well, which may mitigate the benefit of parries. So I am also considering just going for something like 24-29 + character in a 5x5-6. They may be more likely to gain the CR from rank bonus than from killing anything, even in horde, and are more durable. But the jury is out and it's of course easy to try both ways.

I'll use some of your other suggestions and work on a new list. One thing I should note is that I don't have enough Skelly models to make use of Lord of the Dead, so my plan is just to keep them at full strength or as near as possible. Other than that it all sounds good.

I'll post a revised version soon (just takes a while to work out fiddly points issues with items and such).

P.S. The one thing I am not so sold on is great weapons on Grave Guard. Like you I thought it was going to be hands-down the way to go in 8th, but then you have to consider that for one, S6 is overkill against many enemies, and for another, it is more or less a waste of Killing Blow, as you'll be ignoring armor most of the time anyway. Now if they didn't cost any extra points I'd be with you 100%, but increased survivability + more use out of Killing Blow is worth something and is cheaper. I guess it really is quite dependent upon the opponent though.

Oh, one more thing: If by some chance a Corpse Cart manages to give them ASF, they're just striking at I3 and probably still last with great weapons, while they'll be striking first with hw/s. A very minor issue, I know, but it's there to consider.

NitrosOkay
09-07-2010, 06:02
I've had six games with the new rules and I am loving Grave Guard with Great Weapons.

It's only overkill against toughness 2, which is like Zombies and Skinks?

I'm absolutely convinced it's the better call, Grave Guard aren't hard to raise back (D6+1 per Invocation). Strength 6 suddenly makes that big pack of Grave Guard wound Dragons and Stegadons and Hydras on 3's. A little bit of survivability vs suddenly able to reliably kill almost any unit in the game and murder characters. If you can get Vanhel's Danse Macabre off they re-roll to hit. And if you can get Helm of Command they're weapon skill six.

It's so invaluable because the Vampire Counts army doesn't have ANY war machines to reliably kill monsters.

Just for example, today I played against Lizardmen. The Grave Guard tore into a unit of Temple Guard, killed 12 on the charge, killed 11 in the next round, broke the Slaan Mage-Priest and caught him on the overrun. That's a 421 point Grave Guard (with Wight King) unit killing a 700 point block and taking only 8 casualties which I raised back. After that they hit the Shrine of the Gods (Name?) on the Ancient Stegadon and ripped it a new one, its toughness 5 being naught.

Without Great Weapons yes they tarpit it down better, but no way do they kill that much. You have enough tarpits in your army in my opinion.

Aluinn
10-07-2010, 05:39
I've had six games with the new rules and I am loving Grave Guard with Great Weapons.

It's only overkill against toughness 2, which is like Zombies and Skinks?

I'm absolutely convinced it's the better call, Grave Guard aren't hard to raise back (D6+1 per Invocation). Strength 6 suddenly makes that big pack of Grave Guard wound Dragons and Stegadons and Hydras on 3's. A little bit of survivability vs suddenly able to reliably kill almost any unit in the game and murder characters. If you can get Vanhel's Danse Macabre off they re-roll to hit. And if you can get Helm of Command they're weapon skill six.

It's so invaluable because the Vampire Counts army doesn't have ANY war machines to reliably kill monsters.

Just for example, today I played against Lizardmen. The Grave Guard tore into a unit of Temple Guard, killed 12 on the charge, killed 11 in the next round, broke the Slaan Mage-Priest and caught him on the overrun. That's a 421 point Grave Guard (with Wight King) unit killing a 700 point block and taking only 8 casualties which I raised back. After that they hit the Shrine of the Gods (Name?) on the Ancient Stegadon and ripped it a new one, its toughness 5 being naught.

Without Great Weapons yes they tarpit it down better, but no way do they kill that much. You have enough tarpits in your army in my opinion.

This is not to dismiss your overall point, but mathematically speaking S6 is overkill against T3 (S5 already wounds on 2s). I know there are no Grave Guard with S5, of course, but it's still the principle of paying points for more S than you'll often need that I was bringing up.

It is also overkill against 5+ armor. Now when we consider that T3, 5+ (or worse) armor models are the most common infantry in the game, the S6 is more than you will need against most Core.

But like I said your point is still well-taken, because they will obviously be very useful with great weapons against any "hard target". It's just that you also sacrifice both a point of armor and a parry save. We can agree that great weapons are good. I think S4, 4+ armor/6+ ward is also good, is all.

I'm not really sure that either one is flatly better than the other. I think you guys have convinced me that great weapons are worth taking, but I kind of still think it's worth not taking them as well. In other words, where I stand now is that it's a style (and metagame) choice.

Anyway, throw enough dice with Wight Blades of any sort and you'll still be downing 1+ save models like it ain't no thang. Let me just take this opportunity to say how much I love that rule :).

Oh, and about the new list, still working on it, got distracted by building one for a 500 point tourney on 8th Ed. release day. Thanks to everyone who has replied so far, your input truly does help and is appreciated.

thesheriff
10-07-2010, 10:41
But your not sending grave guard against orcs and tge like, your going after monsters and elite bodyguard units, such as greatswords, black orcs and warriors

everything in a vc army has it's place, and if you dint have enough if them, you cab raise some more!

But I do like the list

thesheriff