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Spiney Norman
14-11-2012, 06:34
So I'm planning a new force that I can start building after Christmas, the army will be vampire counts, but I'd like some input from experienced VC players on how viable it will be/adjustments I should make, things to include/avoid etc. The theme is important, but I would obviously like to win games as well, and I've hardly ever played against VC, much less used them as an army.

As a brief outline the army will represent a force of Bretonnian vampires from Mousillon.
It must be led by a vampire on a coven throne, this model is the single most compelling reason why I am building the army, it must be in there.
I'm not sure what to do with heroes yet, maybe a Necromancer, BSB etc, whatever works
The core section will be filled out mostly by zombies, I'm thinking a real shambling horde, 3-4 very large horde units
The special section will be mostly Black Knights, with a few corpse carts to support the zombies
As for rare, maybe a coach, blood knights or banshees, I'm pretty much open to suggestions.
Pts size - 2000

So a zombie horde supported by cavalry, can it be done? Would it work? What about the coven throne, I know characters on enormous flying chariots are not considered to be the best thing in the game right now, but what is the best coven throne build available?

Oogie boogie boss
14-11-2012, 08:50
I like the sound of that! Nice to hear you've got a good theme in mind and you're willing to stick with it. The army construction seems sound as well, as big hordes of zombies are pretty much the ultimate tarpit. You do need to make sure you have a fair amount of damage-dealing units though, as those hordes are going to do jack-all damage against anything tougher than Gobbos.
Lot's of Black Knights sounds great, and you'll find they work well as a counterpunch once your hordes have tied up a few enemy units.
However, I'd also be tempted to go for some Vargheists for additional combat power, as once the Black Knights have hit, if they don't break the opposition the struggle, as do most knights.
As for the Coven Throne, if you like it, go for it. It may not be the most popular choice, as you say, but you'll find a way to make it work.

Spiney Norman
14-11-2012, 13:59
What is the best way to approach the Coven Throne at this size game? After looking at a few forum posts on the subject it seems generally accepted that putting your general on a Throne is a recipe for disaster. On the other hand if I take a second vampire and put the Hero on the throne I'm spending almost half the army points on two characters. Not that I have a problem with that perse, it just reals a little risky.

I had a chance to sit down with a borrowed army book earlier today and thrash out some numbers, I'll post it in the AL forum for additional feedback.

KingFerret
14-11-2012, 15:57
Having never fielded a coven throne, unfortunately my advice is limited, but the vampire counts 8th edition tactica in the tactics section of this forum has quite a bit of information on coven thrones buried in there, as well as being a great read anyway.

You wouldn't be spending half of your army cost on two models if you went for a master necromancer as your lord/general and then a vampire hero on coven throne. For me this works better as well because if you have a vampire lord on coven throne as your general, then he will likely be on the flank charging up alongside your black knights, which means he will be out of range of your zombies, so they can't march.

Although I understand a lot of people have a problem with a master necromancer as the general in terms of fluff, I think it is a cool and personal touch fluff wise, and I would relish writing more varied/less generic fluff - I wonder how many people have written fluff for a vampire counts army with a vampire lord general, compared to how many have written fluff with a m. necro general? 10 to 1?

On the other hand, a vampire lord on coven throne on one flank supporting black knights, and then blood knights on your other flank (vampiric so don't need to be near general to march) would give two extremely powerful flanks, while your zombies tar-pit the center.

trotsky
14-11-2012, 17:04
One concern. Zombie horde fighting an empire halberd horde with warrior priest (killy but bog standard unit). You charge your knights into the flank which in other armies would be a perfect move. However halberds decimate zombies and all knights die to crumbling espeically if you fluff knights rolls a bit.
Biggest problem with knight/zombie combination i think.
edit: if you aren't convinced think of a whitelion horde instead :)

Spiney Norman
14-11-2012, 19:02
One concern. Zombie horde fighting an empire halberd horde with warrior priest (killy but bog standard unit). You charge your knights into the flank which in other armies would be a perfect move. However halberds decimate zombies and all knights die to crumbling espeically if you fluff knights rolls a bit.
Biggest problem with knight/zombie combination i think.
edit: if you aren't convinced think of a whitelion horde instead :)

So would you say that a zombie themed list was a non-starter, or do I just need to reshape it a little?

Regarding a master Necromancer fr general, correct me if I'm wrong, but a master Necromancer has a lower ld than a hero level vampire so even if I did take a master necro the vamp on the throne would still have to be the general.

Ville
14-11-2012, 21:05
If you use mainly Zombies for Core, I don't think multiple Corpse Carts are a good idea. ASF is awesome with Ghouls against Initiative 1-3 troops, but it won't make a big difference with Zombies.

Big unit of Black Knights with a Varghulf running alonside them is a decent attack force, and one I use pretty often.

Ville
14-11-2012, 21:07
Regarding a master Necromancer fr general, correct me if I'm wrong, but a master Necromancer has a lower ld than a hero level vampire so even if I did take a master necro the vamp on the throne would still have to be the general.

Master Necro has higher Ld, so he would be your general.

trotsky
14-11-2012, 22:11
So would you say that a zombie themed list was a non-starter, or do I just need to reshape it a little?

I think it can work but i thought i would throw that warning in as people were being a bit too enthusiasitc about the holding up units with zombies and crushing them with knights. Its not the same as a bus off inner circle knights lead by a crownofcommand grandmaster hitting a unit tied up by steadfast statetroops :)

RugbySkin
15-11-2012, 02:32
OK some suggestions.

2nd Vamp on a coven throne is a great idea. ESP if you can make him your BSB, give him the fear bomb powers/banner. -1 ld, 3d6 leadership for fear and re-roll fear checks. That's cheap enough you can squeeze a banshee in.

For a lord, Master Necro or Kemler.

Zombies are a great core if supported by magic. However for an all zombie core, it's a lot of models and more beside for the expanding ranks of the dead. Wolves, skellies and those dirty grubby peasants painted as zombies should work. I could not see a real way to get ghouls in there TBH.

Black knights for special are awesome. And remember, a necro can mount a horse. 1+ caster lvl on invoke is not a bad idea. Can also stick in some hexwraiths. Maybe some fallen grail knights all ethereal and such.

For specials, I wanna say Mortis Engine, but for the theme, I gotts say Blood knights. And then a small unit of wraiths with a banshee champ.

For actually playing, simple. Tie things up in combat with blobs of 60+ zombies, flank 'em with something mounted, rinse repeat. Force things into running with the Coven Throne and run 'em down. Coven throne on one flank (Hopefully outdistancing any artillary that'll kill it dead), blood knights on the other and the necro's blob of knight units in the middle (And I recommend the mounted sorc of nurgle that just got redone in finecast. Creepy robed guy with a scythe. Who needs anything else.)

m1acca1551
15-11-2012, 05:50
As has been said your zombies will yield way to much CR for your knights to actually stick around and do much.

Zombies represent peasants (so large unit of them is great)
Skele's represent men at arms (would include a unit of them or ghouls), these guys will be neede in order to actually give some solidity to your battle line, as is you will have msu of strong units that will be the target of arty, magic etc meaning that by combat time they are reduced to nothing and leaving you with zombies to pull of the win.

Black knights backed by varguls/gheists will work very well together as the damage output is extreme.

Being a themed army, i cant comment on the choice of coven throne and lord combo, its not the optimal choice but i agree it is a wonderfull model.

Blood knights will be highly needed, and wraiths are always fun, banshee you can play as the dead wife of your lord that he resuurected rather than face eternity alone

Vipoid
15-11-2012, 11:31
What is the best way to approach the Coven Throne at this size game? After looking at a few forum posts on the subject it seems generally accepted that putting your general on a Throne is a recipe for disaster. On the other hand if I take a second vampire and put the Hero on the throne I'm spending almost half the army points on two characters. Not that I have a problem with that perse, it just reals a little risky.

Ok, here's the thing - one of the main abilities of the Coven Throne depends on the Leadership of the model riding it. You see, whenever a unit tries to shoot the coven throne, or attack it in combat, you roll a d6 and add the Ld of the model riding it. If you beat the Ld score of the enemy unit, then there are various effects (depending on how much you beat them by), which are along the lines of :
-1WS and -1BS
Reroll successful hits
the enemy unit attacks themselves, instead of the throne

Anyway, I just thought I'd tell you why it's good to have a high-Ld character on or near the Throne (I could have missed it, but I haven't see anyone mention it yet).

Unfortunately, Vampires only have Ld7, making it a lot harder to get good use out of the throne's effect. That's why you want a Vampire Lord either riding it or near enough to lend his Ld. A master necromancer isn't much better than a vampire, since he only has Ld8.

At this point level, I fear the Throne is going to be out of bounds for a Vampire Lord - you'd probably want to be playing 2500-3000pts, before you put a Vampire Lord on it, otherwise you'll be leaving yourself no points to kit him out.

So, your best choices are probably going to be: Put a Vampire on it and don't expect the Ld ability to work, or use a Vampire Lord, but be spending a massive amount of points on characters.

Although, considering that you want to use Corpse Carts, I'd probably lean towards ignoring the Ld ability, and take a Master Necromancer with Black Periapt (since corpse carts generally rely on a good magic phase).

Oh, one more thing - the Throne has a built in 4+ ward save, but this doesn't extend to the rider - make sure you give him one. ;)