View Full Version : Help making skeletons and black knights work.

21-03-2012, 10:22
So, this is kind of a tricky question for me to pose, as I have quite a bit of knowledge of wargames in general, and even of fantasy, but very little practical experience, and almost none in the current edition.

I've started working on my Vampire Counts army, and I've still got some stuff to work on that I know I want to include, but thematically, I'd like to do 2 skeleton blocks as my core, and add a unit of black knights after 2k. But, I'm having trouble justifying either choice.

So far my logic for core has been that I probably want to go for 2 blocks plus whatever dire wolves I feel like fitting in. I'm putting a blender vampire lord in one. If I go with two skeleton units, the vampire's unit will do fine, while the other one is either a tar pit or maybe anvil if one of my other units can get there relatively intact. If I put the Vampire instead in a ghoul horde, I could take a minimum sized zombie unit as the second and raise em up whenever I get the opportunity. That way my Vampire's unit is doing better, and my other unit is totally expendable instead of being just bad. At least that's what it seems to me. I thought about adding a hero vampire in the second skeleton unit, with forbidden lore of beasts, but it feels like at that point I'm basically taking points away from special choices which are actually worthwhile to try and make my core choices maybe passable. Plus if I don't get Wildform off, against anything this side of state troops is still going to be winning pretty hard against that unit. A hero is only going to net me an extra 2 kills maybe when I'm losing by 10. Am I overlooking anything? Is there anything I could do to make the second unit of skeletons worthwhile?

As for black knights, that one's a bit simpler. I look at them, then I look at Crypt Horrors. I can't even imagine a reason to take them unless you wanted a place to put your mounted vampire, but I might totally be missing something. But just straight comparison to Horrors, they're a little faster, but point for point they're bring less offense AND defense. Unless I'm seriously underestimating their moving through terrain, which is possible.

So that's where I'm at. I could certainly just include both units in my army regardless, but I'd rather feel like I wasn't gimping myself. So if they're redeemable, let me know why, otherwise I've got some soul searching to do, heh.

21-03-2012, 10:44
Dont field a blender lord in skeletons, they give away too much combat res, all his kills will be for nothing, they enemy will just pwn the skeletons, i have found a mounted lord to be far better, thus where the black knights come in, unit of 10 last forever, toughness 4 and 2 plus armour is pretty decent, sure they only have 1 attack, but its the benefit of not dieing in droves that there taken, plus IoN heals them so well lol, all the games ive taken them in, my unit of 10 to 14 have never let me down and have rolled everything they have come up against. VCs have there tarpits, anvils and hammers, crypts are anvils, skeletons are tar pits, and black knights are hammer, a balance is always good

21-03-2012, 19:06
Well, Rat. I guess my questions then are, why take skeletons at all? Zombies are a cheaper unit to send to their death, why do skeletons even exist? Also, I don't see what qualifies black knights as a 'hammer' when they hit less hard than the example of an 'anvil' you provided. I do see your point about them being good raise targets though. That's quite a few points per model and armor save to be raising the full amount of.

21-03-2012, 19:36
Both are a matter of preference, but to make them work:

Black Knights- Field in 10's and back up with a vamp or Wight.
Skeletons- H/W & shield and back up with a Necromancer with Lord of the Dead.
Both together- If it arises, hold up unit with skeletons, flank with Black Knights.

21-03-2012, 19:55
I'm a huge fan of skeletons. At first I was just taking Skellies becuase I've had collected so many over the years and just wanted to use them.

Now I can't think of ever dropping them from my list. Note that I play a list thats prefectly suited for skellies, the lists pours AoE buffs onto my GG units which powers my Skellies.


M.Necro B.P. + M.o.t.Dead

Nerco (usually staff of damnation)

Nerco, stone

Necro (maybe Rod/Seed combo)

2 x Mortis/C.Cart

This can give me regen, strike first and re-rolls without even targeting my skellies with power dice.

At the moment I'm running as core

20 skellies
20 skellies
10 skellies

20 zombies
20 zombies

6 x 5 wolves

The thing is buffed skellies are actually the perfect answer to the hordes of chaff thats plaguing my meta atm, empire, skaven, beastmen, T.K. core, gobbos, there always alot heap of targets for buffed skellies to grind out on.

22-03-2012, 07:03
I don't know if I'm comfortable with taking units of skeletons as small as 20. I mean, if your opponent knows anything about Vampires, all he has to do is stop one spell a turn to leave you with speed bumps instead of units. Even with a necro with master of the dead I dunno if I'd feel comfortable going under 35, maaaaybe 30.

Well let me pose this then, would it be more effective trying to run these units if I had the skeleton blocks strictly as anvil/speedbumps and put the vampire lord with black knights instead? Even as I type this I still feel like I'm reaching though. I can't see any way two units of skeletons and some BKs with the Vamp is better than one unit of ghouls with the vamp and a pack of crypt horrors. Unless I'm underestimating the value of having a second unit, but it's easy to get the impression every enemy unit is going to be a horde of nasty, and at that point it seems like the combats will be all but decided on the first charge anyways.

Asuryan's Spear
22-03-2012, 13:03
something interesting that happened to me with Black knights recently was my opponent placed them behind a building with the end model having Los to my unit. they charged through the building and suprised my line. it also protected me from enacting a smilar action. not fool proof and very situational but its something fun and gimmicky to do with Black Knights

22-03-2012, 13:05
Crypt Horrors can't deal with armored cavalry or characters and they aren't as good at running things down compared to black knights because they don't roll 3 dice. Wights of all types can get strength 6 and even when they don't have it killing blow will make your enemies think twice about attacking you with 2+ armor save knights or expensive combat characters.

22-03-2012, 15:16
I don't know if I'm comfortable with taking units of skeletons as small as 20. I mean, if your opponent knows anything about Vampires, all he has to do is stop one spell a turn to leave you with speed bumps instead of units. Even with a necro with master of the dead I dunno if I'd feel comfortable going under 35, maaaaybe 30.

I see what your say, but.

Actually 20 is fine if your going heavy magic and hanging around in the back feild buffed by Mortis engines. I started playing with a unit of 40 and just kept on shaving it down until I got to a reasonable point where the unit was safe from range attacks or able to take on chaff without dying in 2 combat phases. Aynthing else, my GG units can get in the way of.

24-03-2012, 23:32
killing blow

And there lies my favourite reason for taking them- it can sometimes be a great mental weapon. Although Grave Guard are arguably better in general, there's nothing like a fast-moving KB unit that can ignore terrain.