View Full Version : VC Lord Options

14-03-2012, 20:27
I'm determined to get into fantasy and be good at it, despite my better judgement. So, I'm planning on examining a few VC topics that are relevant to the list I want to build, hoping to spur some discussion with the fantasy folks here.

I will start with the Lord section. A level 4 caster is effectively mandatory in fantasy, but I think it is actually mandatory in a VC list. If you aren't reliably getting off Invocations, your army will crumble fast, and your blocks need the buffs to even consider contributing. I also think you're going to need at least one level 2, again to get Invo off more frequently. Finally, most lists will want a Master of the Dead as bringing at least 1 skeleton block is very useful for their better stats and magic banner. The MotD upgrade pays for itself in a few castings on full strength skellie squads.

Let's start with the level 4. There are two options and I will weigh, what I think are, the pros and cons.

Vampire Lord - If you bring a level 4 Vampire Lord, he will be your main caster, your general and one of your best fighting units all in one model. The plus to that is the toughness and armor a Vampire Lord brings, as well as the fact that he doesn't disappear if engaged in CC by another character. He also can access Powers, but I don't find any of the casty ones to be that good since you need and want the Lore of Vampires on him. The downside is that he is the lynchpin for your whole army and a huge target, making it difficult to balance your desire to use his CC abilities with your desire to protect him. He's almost going to be like 20% of your points by himself. He also can't get Master of the Dead.

Master Necromancer - He comes in much cheaper and can get Master of the Dead, making him more deficient as your primary caster. However, with no armor, and a worse T, I and Ld than the Vampire, he is much, much more vulnerable. If he is your general, he becomes a big, vulnerable target.

I think it's a very difficult decision to make. To resolve it, why not get the benefit of both? Let's look at taking a Vampire Lord caster first

Vampire Lord + level 4 + Necromancer + level 2 + Master of the Dead = 455 points. You can then spend your full 200 extra (plus mundane gear) on the Vamp and full 50 on the Necro.

Now what about a Master Necro to cast and a Lord to fight and be the general?

Vampire Lord + level 2 + Master Necromancer + level 4 + Master of the Dead = 475 points. Here you are limited to an extra 150 to kit out your Lords.

I think you get a lot for that extra 20 points. You split your caster from your general, free your Vampire Lord to fight and move Master of the Dead to a better caster. The limit on supplies can be annoying, but I think you can get a decent setup on each for that total.

At first thought, I'd maybe do something like
Black Periapt on the Necro
Heavy Armor, Enchanted Shield, Talisman of Protection (3+/4++), Magic Weapon (Swift Slaying if not bringing Carts, Might if you are) on the Vamp

Ok, I'm done. Please comment, agree, disagree, whatever. I just want to start a discussion and get better at fantasy.

15-03-2012, 00:10
COmbat/caster vamp lords are way to go

15-03-2012, 00:32
COmbat/caster vamp lords are way to go

Awesome analysis. Care to give some reasons why you think that's the case? What's the advantage over a combat lord and caster Necro?

15-03-2012, 06:23
Well, most people don't take fighty lords. The only time you're really going to see them is in armies like O&G or Empire where they could really use the leadership boost. Aside from that it's pretty much just stubborn lords on monsterous mounts to be obnoxious. If they're just hanging in a unit, they're either likely to die or won't get attacked at all, and they only kill maybe 2 or 3 guys. Even a vampire lord without any offensive upgrades would feel pretty good about 3 kills a round.

The only thing that makes the Vampire Lord any different is that he can add on things like red fury, along with a strength or attacks boosting weapon and quickblood and start really making a mess of enemy infantry units, and well everything else. In short, spending 200 points to kill 3 guys a round is a ripoff, but spending 400 to kill 13 starts sounding pretty good.

So I guess my argument for making the vampire your level 4 is you just can't make the vampire worth taking and still afford a master necro until you're playing pretty large games.

15-03-2012, 07:23
The main reason, IMO, is that it is a cheaper option to go with a Level 4 Vamp.

Master Necro (Level 4) costs ~200 points (don't have my book ATM). Vampire Lord upgrade to Level 4 costs ~100 points. So you are saving quite a bit in overall points.

The disadvantage is the "all your eggs in one basket" problem. Plus you have a small drop in magic potential (as the Vamp Lord would be a level 1 if you went with the Level 4 necro, so you'd essentially lose out on 1 level of magic).

Personally, I kind of lean towards the Vampire Lord at level 4 as you can make him very survivable and a monster in combat, and usually wherever he is will be the center of where you want your spells anyway.

Of course, the other option is just a level 4 Necro and no Vamp Lord, which saves you a boatload of points.

15-03-2012, 08:12
I'll first comment on some of your thoughts;

1. You don't necessarily need level 2 necromancers. I only run level 1s as the only spell I want them to cast is Invocation + carry a magic item (dispel scroll/book of arkhan). While having another spell is nice, I prefer casting all of the other spells with my level 4 Vampire Lord, which saves dice. Also, the +1 to cast isn't gonna help you a whole lot with Invocation. On a 5+ to cast, I chuck at least two dice at it anyway, one-die castings are situational anyway. All in all, the level upgrade is not the worth the 35 points in my opinion (additional utility vs incremental cost).

2. I've used Master of the Dead on a necromancer a couple of times but haven't found it to be that useful. I would run it on a Master Necromancer though, but will not do so again at a lower level caster.

3. I wouldn't worry too much about the lower stats of a Master Necro. He should be hiding in his bunker in the back anyway. Usually when the enemy reaches his unit, that means the enemy stomped through you main combat blocks and all is lost anyway :)

I use a level 4 vampire lord, like most people. Up until now, I don't have many bad experiences with having it all-in-one except for the times when only I was to blame for getting him killed...not the setup/list. He does the heavy lifting, casting most spells on 2 or 3 dice while one or two necromancers sit in the back and support my main blocks with Invo's.

Honestly, I would either go with this setup or just a master necro (instead of m.necro + vampire lord). I'd rather go all the way and have a awesome model that supports my army like no other can than STILL spend a buckload of points on a half-ass Vampire Lord.

Athlan na Dyr
15-03-2012, 08:50
I'm guessing points is 2k yeah? Just want some clarification to know how many points you have to play with.

As to what a vamp lord can do, there are a few things. The first is hit things. Lots of things. A strigoi ghoul king (whilst a bit more expensive than a vamp lord) is better at this (in terms of damage), by virtue of being able to take the same powers and weapons PLUS poison and hatred. This, a mortis engine and the dragonbane gem does wonders for the ghoul king, giving him a 4+ regen save and (for a mere 5 points) a 2++ against almost anything that negates this. Just keep him away from killing blow and get stuck in with red fury and an attack boosting sword.
What it brings: Combat res. This will either start winning you combats or lowering the amount you lose by by a crapload. With instability, this is doubly important (yes, kinda obvious, but you did say you were just getting in to fantasy). Problems are no armour (which is one advantage a vamp lord brings compared to the GK) and lower leadership (not that it really matters for undead)

The second is the harbinger. Set up is Fear Incarnate and Aura of Dark Majesty in a unit (i.e. skellies or grave guard) with the Screaming Banner. Good thing is its relatively cheap, allowing the harbinger to be a hero level vamp or a Lord with red fury (woo, multi-task!).
What this brings is survivability and hitting power. Anything at ws1 is going to be hitting your unit (and character) a crapload less than normal, whilst the opposite is true for your unit. Helps balance out combat res, but is particularly effective against the more elite enemies. I like a few wraiths in the unit as well to 1) add terror and hence cause fear in fear causers and 2) cut down the number of attacks against the unit in question even more.

And finally the caster vamp. Personally don't use them (I like mortis engines... can justify the +6 to cast with 2 miscast results for a ~200pt necro, not a 400+pt lord). Ask some other people about good setups and so on, but periapt is a very nice item to have.

15-03-2012, 20:07
I play at 2500 points and although I really think a killy Vampire Lord can make a mess of many units, you are always subjected to crumbling. Imagine his unit is in a tough match up or just for one turn the dices betray you and you don't get many kills. Then, when your turn arrives all your invocations can be dispelled and that combat beast is reduced to dust. I don't say this happen every game you play, but at least in my case, when building my list, I don't like to go very riskier and make a list that can win some games but lose some other ones depending on a solo performance. In addition, if this vampire is also your lvl 4Ö Then the match is almost lost.

That is why I prefer to field a Master Necromancer in a skeleton bunker (Master of the Dead and next game Iíll try Staff of the Dammed; naked apart of that), where he can be well protected from close combat (Iíll explain later) and even from Death magic as your opponent should not be able to cast direct damage spells on to you (as it would be possible on a Vampire Lord who is at your main battleline). Furthermore, I feel there can be many uses for the points the Vampire Lord would consume, and which I feel very comfortable spending on units that can have potentially more impact on the game than a single hero.

Then I also run a level 2 Necromancer with a dispel scroll. Regarding the level 2, I agree with what was said before about not being marginally very useful for the Necromancer himself. However, I basically portray this as important to have better chances of having all the spells I want (it is obvious that both heroes will choose Invocation of Nehek), and specially the one that can summon zombies or skeletons (I donít know its exact name in English). This spell is great because people are usually terrified about it and will always try to dispel it. At last, you donít want your Warriors of Chaos to spend a charge on 10 zombies who are right before them while they could be charging your ghouls, for instance. Then, this ďauto-dispelĒ leaves you more room to empower your units in the important combats with VDM or specially bring the dead back with our beloved signature spell, which I believe is the most important spell in the army, because even if ghouls are not buffed, for example, as long as you keep resurrecting them, they should eventually be in a good position. And well, if your opponent does not dispel this raised zombies, hey, you have made him waste a turn (or more if Frenzied and redirected) on a unit. So, all in all, I donít give him the additional level thinking on him individually but on my army as a whole and trying to maximize my strategic options with a wider spell selection. Another thing about this Necromancer is that I have it on a Corpse Cart, but Iím not sure if that is very dangerous and I should move him to the skeleton bunker so he doesnít get shot to death and run the Corpse Cart by its own. The thing I donít like about this is that I would have my two casters in the same unit, reducing somehow the casting maneuverability as I would not be able to act in different parts of the board. In addition, things like Hellheart could be quite nasty, and even more if you run a Mortis Engine, as I do.

Just to end this hero chapter, I also use two Cairn Wraiths hero. I have them in the main fighting infantry units (Ghouls and Grave Guard) so they make them cause Terror, can be used as suicidal speed bumps if necessary or can make an excellent solo charge to a monster or chariot, for example. Furthermore, I read yesterday that I would also have the option to deploy them in the Master Necromancer unit (not as default but if for example I see my opponent has flying or scout units that could come for my general), that, given a full command, could allow the general to be in the second rank, thus protected from any danger. Until now I was playing zombie bunkers just for the reduced cost (as it is a unit that should not see combat and if it sees it is because your main line has been destroyed, I didnít care about their crappiness). However, I was concerned about DE Pegasus heroes or things like that, but this idea of the skeleton bunker prevents you from heroes through the challenges of your champions and even in a more general way if you decide to have the wraiths also in that unit.

So this is what I have seen or thought after the first games Iíve played with the new book, but I am totally opened and interested to learn more things from your experience.

15-03-2012, 22:39
Wow guys, thanks for the responses. Just to be clear, I play at 2500 points.

I still think there is a lot of potential in this setup.

What about a naked Master Necro (level 4) and a level 1 Vamp Lord? Now I have the points available to really kit him out.

16-03-2012, 00:05
Before I started using just a Master Necromancer, I ran this build you are talking about, but at the end, and at least for the moment, I decided to leave the Vampire resting and field more units. In fact, my last 3 games have been all vampireless and have been all wins. Anyway, it is obviously too premature to make assumptions from this, but for the moment I will keep a list that follows this idea. In fact, my idea for my next game would be something like this:

http://img189.imageshack.us/img189/5217/capturahmd.png (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/189/capturahmd.png/)

16-03-2012, 01:36
Your Lord choice will depend very much on which style of list you want to run. My initial viewpoint on the new VC is nothing particularly new- they won't do middle of the road lists very well, so you need to either go with a defensive list or an offensive list. Your Lord will depend on this, as will of course the rest of your build.

If you go with the defensive option (2x6-8 Crypt Horrors will give you a great starting point), there's no real need for a Vampire Lord as he just doesn't add enough over a Master Necromancer (to be honest, this is generally try of combat lords on foot). The Earthing Rod will pretty much be essential on the Necro Lord, and you'll likely want a couple more level 1s.

If you go with the offensive option, then a Vampire Lord is the way to go. It has some pretty nasty match-ups (for example it can't engage Dark Elves until the Cauldron is dead), but the Knight Bus still has some legs in it. An ASF Vampire Lord, 3-4 ASF Vampires and then 20 odd Black Knights will kill a LOT of stuff.

16-03-2012, 03:16
at 2400 points, assuming you want a Master Necro, l4 with a dispell scroll, you get 375 points to contribute to a combat lord. I am trying to figure out if a ghoul king could ever be competitive... and it seems like you can kit him out at this points level with Potion of Str, Dragonbane, Red Fury, Dark Majesty, Beguile, and he is a better combat lord than the vampire separat at that points cost. Still not sure however if he is worth it... maybe with mortis engine and the staff of damnation you could build an army around making him viable.

16-03-2012, 08:42
Regarding Strigoi Ghoul Kings, although many people talk about protecting them with a 4+ Regeneration and the 2+ against flaming attacks... I don't know, I don't feel very safe saving just half the wounds this expensive lord suffers... Of course you may have then your magic, but it's not that difficult to kill him, anyway. As for a combat lord, I'd rather use a Vampire Lord.

17-03-2012, 14:29
Perhaps you could up the protection by giving him beguile? Still too soft?

17-03-2012, 14:36
My combat caster lord pwned some deamons tonight, killed a tonne of them, lvl 4 upgrade, nightmare, heavy armour, shield, red fury, beguille, quickblood, orge blade, other trickster shard, and 4 plus ward save :) been using this vamp as (except the magic weop changes to 2 extra attack sword) and only ever let me down once, fluffed attacks against i keeper, and failed 3 ward saves...... not so much the build, but bad luck, ive consider running a master necro, but that 200 or so points more i pay for my lord, i am yet to find something that can dish out the pain and take it, to fill my vamps combat roll....