View Full Version : Tips for a new Vampire Count player?

Khaines Wrath
22-08-2014, 05:56
Hi all, I've recently gotten back into Fantasy after 5 years and after recently completing a 1500 point High Elf army I'm looking into getting starting an army I was preparing to start just before I got out of the hobby, Vampire Counts. The trouble is I'm having a hard time structuring an army list around some of the models I've purchased. Using spare bits I've managed to make a decent looking vampire and 3 necromancers. I have 30 skeletons, 20 black knights and 6 Vargheists in models so far but I realise I'll have to expand on that. Any advice would be swell and appreciated on anything, models to get, unit sizes, models to drop etc.

22-08-2014, 10:01
Depends what you want to do?

skellies = slow grind

black knights & Vargheist = quick (ish) and aggressive.

At 1500 you really need to tailor your force, vamps suffer at lower points. Ghouls and/or dogs are the best choice at lower points. Doesn't mean yours are of no use. I reckon 20 black knight are possibly too many unless you're going huge. I've a bus of 10 with 2 mounted vamps for the kills.

What do you want?

22-08-2014, 23:51
First of all, it's very important to understand what each part of the VC army does. Put very simply, our army is divided into HAMMERS and TARPITS. You use the tarpits to hold things up that you don't want to fight, or isolate parts of your opponent's army so that you can smash other parts with your hammers. Your hammers, of course, being primarily there for smashing.

Our primary tarpits are skeletons and zombies. Zombies are technically the more cost-effective tarpit, though I will argue that skeletons have their place too and are less magic dependent. If you're a new player zombies are probably where to go. The purpose of these units is to last a LONG TIME, so they need to be LARGE. 20 zombies won't do anything unless you raise them up to 50 with invocation. That's why many VC players have lots of low-level casters to spam invocation and hit lots of zombie units at once, to make them huge. Other good tarpits are ethereal units like cairn wraiths or spirit hosts.

Now for hammers. Our best hammers are Vampire lords, either in skeletons or black knights, Vargheists, Hex Wraiths, Grave Guard hordes, Crypt Horrors, or Ghouls. All of these have their own uses. Vargheists are very mobile, though also very fragile. Hex Wraiths are terrifying to armies without magic, but very vulnerable against armies that do. Ghouls die in droves but are good at taking down high-T targets with low armour (because of poison), or hordes of infantry with little armour (though they'll take a lot of wounds back). Crypt Horrors are deadly against infantry, and are also an anvil unit (something that can take a charge or hold an enemy unit down until your other hammers can smash it). Grave Guard are amazing can openers but they're fragile and expensive. Vampire Lords are incredibly deadly.

Not mentioned are screams, which are another great damage-dealing tool. They're great because you can lock something up with your tarpits then scream at it to deal damage. Terrorgheists are the best screamers, but banshees and mortis engines can do it with magic support (from death).

Another thing to think about is your TOOLKIT. That is, what answers do you have to various kinds of threats that might appear from across the board? Many people just throw a bunch of good **** together and call it a day, without really thinking about this, but you need to. Vargheists are great, for instance, but they're weak against 1+ armour. They're also not very good against hordes of infantry, since they won't break steadfast. Grave Guard are great, but they're not very good against high-attack units (like skull crushers or witch elves) who will decimate their fragile ranks. They're also allergic to impact hits. Terrorgheists too are excellent, but they're allergic to poison and cannons and are dead points against an army like beastmen or skaven with a large quantity of cheap models that screams are next to worthless against.

From the sounds of it you have lots of black knights and vargheists. That's cool. Why not start by getting a vampire lord on a horse, and stick him in the unit. Go with a standard "BK bus" build. This army is great because it is HIGHLY mobile, and you can apply that deadly vampire wherever he will do the most damage. Usually starting on one side and "rolling the flank" of your opponent, by holding everything else up with zombies and crushing units with the vampire bus from the outside in.

Vargheists work well with this strategy because they're fast. So do terrorgheists because they want to be with your vampire lord for mobility (marching). To make this strategy work though you'll need lots of drops, so consider a couple spirit hosts, a few units of dogs, and a bunch of units of zombies. This will ensure that by the time you place your BK bus you'll have seen most of your opponent's force, and he'll struggle to counter it.

Khaines Wrath
23-08-2014, 08:49
Very helpful suggestions and a very handy overview. Would a 20 strong Black Knights bus be too big or is it a case of bigger is better in the Vampire Counts? I'm really liking the idea of "drops", its actually not something I ever considered though my current army that I've played most with is High Elves where just about every unit is valued. It's a smart tactic. As for Vargheists would two units of 3 be better than one unit of 6, for durabilities sake or is that a redundant for a unit which to my understanding is better at dishing damage rather than taking it? Thankyou very much for the tips, Ill reply more later but I have to go to work now.