PDA

View Full Version : Need some help for an upcoming tournamet (Vampire Counts questions, lots of them!)



Mangs
09-05-2013, 23:01
So after a long time with my miniatures on the shelf, I’ve boldly accepted to join a Warhammer tournament taking place in late June. I’ve only played about 10+ battles with the new rules, so I think I’m going to get my ass kicked horribly, but maybe I could ask some experienced players here to lend me some advice on the current metagame.

The tournament is 2000 pts, and I will be playing 5 games. I have no idea what kind of armies I will be facing, and the only house rule is that no named characters are allowed.

Any suggestions for an army that can fare decently against mostly anything would be appreciated. I also have many questions, I don’t expect to get them all answered, but here goes;

1: I find the new magic to be tricky to use compared to the old one. You can no longer summon skeletons and zombies like crazy, and summoning the “speed bump wall” of zombies is a little bit trickier now. Is the new magic any good compared to the old one?

2: The new necromancers baffle me, they seem horribly nerfed; do they have any usage at all other than carrying dispel scrolls?

3: Corpse Carts are weird; do they have a place in 2000 pts armies? How are they most effectively utilized?

4: Are blood knights worth it? They’re brutally expensive, and there are many things that counter heavy cavalry like war machines and spells that ignore armor saves. The few times I played with them I either give them the banner which gives them a 5+ ward save against missiles, or the expensive Drakenhoff Banner which gives them 4+ regeneration. Should I incorporate Blood Knights into my 2000 pts army, and if so; how?

5: Ghouls seem freakishly strong. They seem to be the perfect core unit; they hit hard and die hard, and are inexpensive. They almost seem “too good” to be true, do they have any glaring weaknesses aside from no armor saves? Is there any reason to field skeletons or zombies instead of ghouls?

6: The usage of dire wolves seems clear, fast cavalry used to flank the opponent, but a few arrows and they’re down to not being able to flank anymore, they’ve also lost their +1 strength on charge. Do they have a place in a 2000 pts battle?

7: Should you fully equip a vampire count with magic items and bloodline powers? It’s not uncommon to see a count go up to 500+ points. It seems awfully expensive to have 25% of my army centered on a single general.

8: Speaking of vampires, are there any deadly bloodline power combinations that kicks ass?

Thanks in advance!

Mangs

KingFerret
10-05-2013, 18:37
1: I find the new magic to be tricky to use compared to the old one. You can no longer summon skeletons and zombies like crazy, and summoning the “speed bump wall” of zombies is a little bit trickier now. Is the new magic any good compared to the old one?

The new lore of vampires is, like most of our army book, very well balanced. Not too strong, not too weak. The sig is great for healing back losses and growing zombies until they are unmanageably large, van hels dance is fantastic and is useful all the time, for rerolls and for the free movement. Other spells are pretty good, nothing too exciting. The spell where you create a new unit of zombies is great as a speed bump for redirection, but i wouldn't recommend it for anything else.


2: The new necromancers baffle me, they seem horribly nerfed; do they have any usage at all other than carrying dispel scrolls?

Master necromancers are great, especially for when you don't want a vampire lord.


3: Corpse Carts are weird; do they have a place in 2000 pts armies? How are they most effectively utilized?

Corpse Carts are kind of weird to be honest. They are so slow, you will have to cast van hels on them so they can keep up. The unit that the corpse cart can keep up with and that you really want rerolls to hit with - grave guard - will always be using great weapons, so they just cancel out. Corpse Cart is a big no for me.


4: Are blood knights worth it? They’re brutally expensive, and there are many things that counter heavy cavalry like war machines and spells that ignore armor saves. The few times I played with them I either give them the banner which gives them a 5+ ward save against missiles, or the expensive Drakenhoff Banner which gives them 4+ regeneration. Should I incorporate Blood Knights into my 2000 pts army, and if so; how?

A unit of 4 with flaming banner and no command for killing regeneration monsters (chimera, hydra, hell pit) can be put to use. A unit of 5 with 4++ ward banner and full command is too expensive in my opinion to justify it's cost.


5: Ghouls seem freakishly strong. They seem to be the perfect core unit; they hit hard and die hard, and are inexpensive. They almost seem “too good” to be true, do they have any glaring weaknesses aside from no armor saves? Is there any reason to field skeletons or zombies instead of ghouls?

Ghouls skeletons and zombies all have their own uses. Skeletons should be hand weapon and shield, with a vampire lord, and used to deliver him into combat and provide static res. Zombies are a bunker for necromancers to hide in, and can be used as massive tarpits (50+). Ghouls as you say are solid combat units that should outperform most other core blocks. Should be taken in a horde of 40+. Core should always be minimum because our core units are so crap in combat.


6: The usage of dire wolves seems clear, fast cavalry used to flank the opponent, but a few arrows and they’re down to not being able to flank anymore, they’ve also lost their +1 strength on charge. Do they have a place in a 2000 pts battle?

Dire wolves are not for flanks units, they are for dying in a useful way :P fast speed bumps, filling core, and hunting war machines. I always take 2 units of 5 minimum.


7: Should you fully equip a vampire count with magic items and bloodline powers? It’s not uncommon to see a count go up to 500+ points. It seems awfully expensive to have 25% of my army centered on a single general.

If you take a Vampire Lord, go all out. A good combination is level 4, red fury, quickblood, barded nightmare, sword of +1 or +2 strength, enchanted shield, talisman of preservation, heavy armour. Put him in black knights and watch them steam roll anything you put in front of them.

I wouldn't take a ghoul king at these points levels.

I would take a master necromancer with power stone and level 4 as my general personally at 2000 points. Simple solid level 4 general, and doesn't cost a quarter of my points.


8: Speaking of vampires, are there any deadly bloodline power combinations that kicks ass?

See above. The best bloodline power combination is red fury quickblood by a long way.

If you have any more questions just ask! My best advice is max out on rare especially terrorgheists, don't overspend on heroes (as fun as it might be to get wight kings vampires and ehterals) and get minimum core to fill the 25 percent. Oh and also have fun :D

Hope this helps, good luck, and be sure to tell us how you get on!

P.S if you want an example list I can knock you up a quick one.

zakk_wylde001
11-05-2013, 00:22
KingFerret has offered some pretty sound advice already so I will just make a few additional points:

1. The sig spell can still raise a good amount of zombies and skeletons (if you've taken MoTD). Van Hel's is the second most important spell in the lore IMO, re-rolls or free movement counter some of the main weaknesses of the army.

2. Necromancers have a lot of uses, even if they are just scroll caddy's or used for carrying the Book of Arkhan. Don't forget they can draw dispel dice or if their spells are let through then you have a free wound to heal a character using the lore attribute.

3. I've always struggled to justify a Corpse Cart in any list I've written, their plus points are negated by their appallingly slow speed, the fact you only negate ASL on Grave Guard and their relatively high cost. I would avoid using them in a competitive environment.

4. Not a lot to add here.

5. There's always a debate on what is the best VC core choice, the only thing that is universally agreed on however is that you should take the minimum 25% and leave it at that. Ghouls suffer from only having T4 as a defence, which isn't going to keep too many of them alive for great swathes of time. They also almost always have one less static combat resolution to anything you're fighting due to not being able to take banners. IMO they are a little overpriced to what they can really achieve but I wouldn't go as far as saying they are a weak choice, they can still get things done.

6. As KingFerret said, also they retained their +1 strength on the charge.

najo
11-05-2013, 04:41
The new vampire lore is amazing. With invocation you can bubble heal, van hels allows movement and rerolls (works great with poison and red fury), raise dead creates a redirector out of nothing, curse of years ignores armor and ties up their power dice when they have to dispel it on their turn, hellish vigor rerolls to wound (working great with killing blow), wind of death is a vortex and blocks movement, gaze of nagash is a typical magic missile. When used properly, lore of vampires brings nearly dead units back, controls enemy movement and makes your mediocre troops threatening. As a bonus, it restores a wound on a model with 12" when successfully cast. This is great for your vampires, miscasting necros and monstrous infantry.


Dire wolves are not flankers, their redirectors. They do still get +1 strength on the charge though you won't use it redirecting.


All of the core is valuable, but its true you want to only take 25%. Zombies are for magic strong armies and act as bunkers, tarpits or vampire delivery devices. Skeletons are for less magic armies and work great as tarpits or delivery systems. Ghouls are incredible fighters, resilient but have no command, so can't quick reform or take banners.


Necromancers are great as extra invocation casters, channellers and to bring in arcane items. The vampires have great bound spells. I rarely take a dispell scroll, opting for book of arkhan, cursed book, staff of damnation and black periapt. Necros make good death mages, sticking them in a unit with a vampire or banner of discipline on a Wight king to get leadership 10 and then cast he signature sniping spell. Plus a vampire lore necro could save your army from crumbling if your general dies.


Side note, the black periapt is incredible. Learn to use it.


Shadow magic is awesome too. Fit it in when you can.


The crypt horrors are one of the best anvils in the game. Get them.


Blood knights are very fragile and difficult to keep alive. Black knights are more survivable and easier to raise.


Terrorgiests are overrated. I love them and they can do amazing things. But if your opponent knows how to deal with them, they die fast. They have little protection beyond their t6 and w6. So don't base your whole strategy on them.


The corpse cart is good, but difficult to use. Its best use it giving -1 to all enemy casting, second best use is super buffing your invocations. The always strikes first is cool, but usually not needed because our army is about taking charges and having enough troops to absorb damage and still attack back. Its roll as a chariot is decent, but its is slow. The best thing about it is casting Vanhel's on it moves it and triggers the strike first buff. That's easy enough.


As for bloodline powers, there are not really any combos, more synergies. Technically Quickblood and Red Fury are a combo, but since its so easy to cast Van Hel's and vampires have such high initiatives I find it is over kill usually to use quickblood.


In reality, the bloodline powers should be used to support your tactics. Aura of Dark Majesty works great against Daemons and in fear bomb/ scream lists. Forbidden Lore allows easy access to powerful utility lores like Metal or Heavens. Dark Acolyte can cause your opponent to have to through an extra dice into dispelling your key Invocation. Nearly every power has some sort of value in certain builds, the weakest is Master Strike. When building a vampire, keep in mind they shouldn’t be maxed out unless they need to be. To many eggs in one basket and all that.


There is a lot of great builds with the vampires, and nearly everything in the army has value at some point. It takes a while to get them down really well, but they are rewarding and fun to play once you do. Personally I find the Vampires have a great, versatile book

KingFerret
11-05-2013, 13:04
Agree with everything you say apart from this:



Technically Quickblood and Red Fury are a combo, but since its so easy to cast Van Hel's and vampires have such high initiatives I find it is over kill usually to use quickblood.


If I'm building a killy vampire lord i take red fury and quickblood everytime. Sure you can maybe get Van Hel's off on his unit to give him rerolls and turn him into a blender, but I'm not gonna take that risk, because just one or two failed combats due to your vampire missing his attacks can mean he and his unit crumbling into oblivion. That's a risk I'm just not gonna take with the most important model on the board for my army.

najo
11-05-2013, 20:46
Agree with everything you say apart from this:



If I'm building a killy vampire lord i take red fury and quickblood everytime. Sure you can maybe get Van Hel's off on his unit to give him rerolls and turn him into a blender, but I'm not gonna take that risk, because just one or two failed combats due to your vampire missing his attacks can mean he and his unit crumbling into oblivion. That's a risk I'm just not gonna take with the most important model on the board for my army.

I understand that point of view. The way I look at it, every "mandatory" power you can avoid taking frees up points for other powerful additions in your army. Which is more valuable? Book of Arkhan or Quickblood on one vampire? What about Aura of Dark Majesty on a vampire in a list running screamers? What about if the vampire is your level 4 caster? A level 2? Just a level 1? What if you take a ghoul king and give him red fury, now your don't need quickblood..

My point is there is many subtle ways to finesse the Vampire Counts and your Lord's bloodline powers are part of that. Locking into Red Fury + Quickblood limits the power of the army to just blender lord delivery, when you can get a blender with just red fury and also gain something else. Just because you take red fury, doesn't mean you have to auto include quick blood. In fact, your army strategy shouldn't be relying on being able to reroll your vampire's attacks. Although, I do understand the desire to put these powers together and most of the time it is worth it, just not mandatory.


On another note, Master of the Dead is not worth the 20 points if you plan on having multiple Invocations. The way skeletons summon, its better to take them in the maximum amount you are going to want to have and then just keep the unit up with invocations from every Vampire Lore caster. Otherwise, you run into trying to cast Invocation in a specific order to build the unit up before the MotD guy casts, just to get the extra skeletons, whereas that may not work well for your magic phase strategy. If you don't cast him last, you end up being unable to summon the skeletons above the starting amounts when the non-MotD goes to cast. MotD is very situational and often won't provide its benefit. Honestly, they should have just built it into the Necromancers and then provided Master of the Dead as a vampire bloodline power. That would have been better.

KingFerret
13-05-2013, 16:46
I understand that point of view. The way I look at it, every "mandatory" power you can avoid taking frees up points for other powerful additions in your army. Which is more valuable? Book of Arkhan or Quickblood on one vampire? What about Aura of Dark Majesty on a vampire in a list running screamers? What about if the vampire is your level 4 caster? A level 2? Just a level 1? What if you take a ghoul king and give him red fury, now your don't need quickblood..

My point is there is many subtle ways to finesse the Vampire Counts and your Lord's bloodline powers are part of that. Locking into Red Fury + Quickblood limits the power of the army to just blender lord delivery, when you can get a blender with just red fury and also gain something else. Just because you take red fury, doesn't mean you have to auto include quick blood. In fact, your army strategy shouldn't be relying on being able to reroll your vampire's attacks. Although, I do understand the desire to put these powers together and most of the time it is worth it, just not mandatory.

Well argued, good sir. I concede the point, and you've sincerely made me question my automatic inclusion of quickblood into all of my vampire lord containing lists. It just goes to show that I still have plenty more to learn when it comes to vampire counts.

warplock
14-05-2013, 05:59
I'll chime in regarding the usefulness of ghouls. I wouldn't say they're the perfect core unit (I think Dark Elf repeater crossbowmen take that crown) but they're the only core unit VC have which may give the enemy pause for thought right out of the box. Due to poison, they are dangerous to monsters and expensive high toughness models. Their T4 is nice but only marginally better than skeletons' T3 5+ armour 6++ parry. I would say their weakness is their cost- being twice as expensive as skeletons and over three times as expensive as zombies means they'll often find themselves tested by enemies who equal their numbers but also murder them in combat. Overall though, I like the fact that by taking them you add a combat threat to Core, where you otherwise would not have one. I usually try to fit in a Horde of 40.

najo
14-05-2013, 10:51
@King Ferret - Thank you for being opened minded. I have found that my understanding of the vampires continues to find new surprises and layers as I play them more and more. They are a very well written army with so many subtleties. Enjoy!

@Warplock - IMO, I think Chaos Warriors might take the cake for perfect core unit with Lizardmen Sauruses taking second place, Dark Elf Crossbowmen are good but not that good. I agree that Ghouls are up there too.

KingFerret
16-05-2013, 23:05
Skink skirmishers win it for me as perfect core units...If I wanted to be a jackass I could field 2 slann and the rest skink skirmishers and probably win most games...Our saurus are just a little too slow and expensive to take the prize I think...

quietus1986
24-05-2013, 04:05
I use a strigoi king as blender lord :D.
the +3 attack sword. potion of st. and that talisman with the 2+ ward against flaming
redfurry (de rest depends on how many points in the game :D)