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Tensler
27-10-2014, 11:36
Im new to VC and dont plan on using end times.
So i was thinking about having a corpse cart to provide my vampires with ASF and clear some points on the vampire to get other upgrades. I will mostly be playing against armies with 3I and lower will be considered the norm, with only a few WoC and daemons marking an exception here. I will however engage mixed armies. So i was wondering if going sword and board on the ol grave guard would be worth it for the re-rolls to hit and durability or if GW are auto include.

I also happen to prefer the sword n board models so that is a factor here - albeit a minor one.

What do you think?

Malagor
27-10-2014, 11:40
HW/S grave guards work perfectly well.
They are S4 afterall so they got a bit of a bite and killing blow.
That they are tougher to kill is a added bonus.

Ayin
27-10-2014, 12:32
Nothing wrong with HW&S Graveguard. They may not be as good as Great Weapons, but that doesn't mean they are not a good choice. GW Graveguard are a threat to anything. S6 means they can take out monsters and tear through Monstrous Infantry and Monstrous Cavalry, and their lose of any extra durability is countered with the VC power to resurrect them, whereas HW&S increased survivability is negligible against those kinds of targets since you don't get the Parry against breath weapons, and stomps and Killing Blow won't help you overcome the loss of killing power either.

With Monsters, Monstrous Infantry, Monstrous Cavalry and Chariots being a pretty big part of the game, being flat out worse against them for little bonus will be noticeable to your force, but if you've got some other source of killing power, it's still something you can use and succeed with.

EvanM
27-10-2014, 15:24
Build your guys with sword and shield, then put the great weapon bits on their backs to make them look like they are carrying both.

Then you could pick when you play a game with them.

The corpse cart is best used for giving your undead the ability to take away rerolls from elves. Trust me, that's worth it.

Ayin
27-10-2014, 16:05
Build your guys with sword and shield, then put the great weapon bits on their backs to make them look like they are carrying both.

Then you could pick when you play a game with them.


This is solid advice. Building units the 'best' way is fine, but you're probably going to be playing the game for more than two years, and when the next rulebook comes out or the next army book drops and suddenly the 'best' way is the other way, it's a pain to tear everything off and change it. Building your army so that it looks the way you like it, though, that's good for as long as you play the game, and if you can find a way to be in the middle ground, that's even better.

StygianBeach
27-10-2014, 17:03
Build your guys with sword and shield, then put the great weapon bits on their backs to make them look like they are carrying both.

Then you could pick when you play a game with them.


Or build half with sword and shield with great weapon on their back, and the other half with great weapon and a shield on their back.

What the unit is armed with gets the front rank.

jprp
27-10-2014, 19:56
Always go with the models you like best and learn how to get the most out of them, if you only want the most efficient in game and dont care how they look you may as well play with paper cut-outs.

theunwantedbeing
27-10-2014, 20:16
I also happen to prefer the sword n board models so that is a factor here - albeit a minor one.

This is the most important bit.

Unless you only care about winning, in which case it shouldn't matter how you arm them as you'll just say "these guys have great weapons" at the start of the game.

SteelTitan
27-10-2014, 20:28
This is the most important bit.

Unless you only care about winning, in which case it shouldn't matter how you arm them as you'll just say "these guys have great weapons" at the start of the game.


To be honest, that is what I do.

I still have the old metal GG, from back in the day when GW wasn't an option yet. 35, all painted. GW from a competitive point of view is the better choice. Having that said though, Grave Guard aren't the competitive choice from a competitive point of view.

I've tried HW/SH numerous times but they don't cut it in my point of view. Other options are obviously better. The damage output is simply too low for something "elite infantry" and they can't take much in return either.

But if you don't care about this too much, you like the models, or you need an anvil and you don't want to buy Crypt Horrors, you should be fine.

I'm for the option of modelling them 50/50 and just telling your opponent what they have before the game begins.

PirateRobotNinjaofDeath
28-10-2014, 00:41
Depends what level you're playing at. If you're doing pickup games in your friends garage then sure, go for it. But for competitive play HW/S GG are hot garbage. Crypt horrors are a better option point-for-point as an anvil, and skeletons are a better bunker for a foot vampire lord. GG are fragile and die in droves. At least the GW guys take stuff down with them. HW/S...not so much.


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EvanM
28-10-2014, 01:45
The issue is that HW/Shields gives you maybe 30% more defense, but GW's give you probably 100% more damage, if not more vs some targets. Its just a rediculous comparison. If you arent missing out from high init (which you arent, you are undead) then take the GWs. ASL is a small price to pay for wrecking stuff

Lord Dan
28-10-2014, 02:16
The issue is that HW/Shields gives you maybe 30% more defense, but GW's give you probably 100% more damage

Obviously it depends on the target, but those numbers are pretty much spot-on:

Taking Damage
10 Hits, S3
GW: 2.2 wounds
HW+Shield: 1.4 wounds (36% improvement)

10 Hits, S6
GW: 8.3 wounds
HW+Shield: 5.8 wounds (30% improvement)

HW+Shield sees an average 33% improvement in defense in this example.


Dealing Damage
10 Hits, T3 Opponent
GW: 8.3 wounds (24% improvement)
HW+Shield: 6.7 wounds

10 Hits, T6 Opponent
GW: 5 wounds (312% improvement)
HW+Shield: 1.6 wounds

GW's see an average 168% improvement in damage in this example.

Wesser
28-10-2014, 08:08
Depends what level you're playing at. If you're doing pickup games in your friends garage then sure, go for it. But for competitive play HW/S GG are hot garbage. Crypt horrors are a better option point-for-point as an anvil, and skeletons are a better bunker for a foot vampire lord. GG are fragile and die in droves. At least the GW guys take stuff down with them. HW/S...not so much.


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How you equip Grave Guard will likely depend on your meta as the VC army doesn't exactly lack for high STR attacks or anvils. I play a lot against Lizardmen and Elves of all sorts and my meta is usually more MMU than hordes. For me GG with HW&S comes out as the stronger choice because it's more durable and have a chance at not giving up their 500+ points.

At lot of people go on about "at least GW Grave Guard take something down with them...". Eh.. if you want that take Blood Knights instead. Unless fighting heavy cavalry I tend to find that STR 4 + killing blow is more than sufficient against most enemies, and HW&S have so far given me at least one magic phase to shore p their numbers or bring them aid of some sort. GW Grave Guard can easily pop in one combat phase

PirateRobotNinjaofDeath
28-10-2014, 09:00
How you equip Grave Guard will likely depend on your meta as the VC army doesn't exactly lack for high STR attacks or anvils. I play a lot against Lizardmen and Elves of all sorts and my meta is usually more MMU than hordes. For me GG with HW&S comes out as the stronger choice because it's more durable and have a chance at not giving up their 500+ points.

At lot of people go on about "at least GW Grave Guard take something down with them...". Eh.. if you want that take Blood Knights instead. Unless fighting heavy cavalry I tend to find that STR 4 + killing blow is more than sufficient against most enemies, and HW&S have so far given me at least one magic phase to shore p their numbers or bring them aid of some sort. GW Grave Guard can easily pop in one combat phase

Then you should be running crypt horrors instead. All GG do compared to skeletons is bleed slightly less combat res when hit in the flanks or rear. But not enough to justify being twice as expensive. If you want an anvil unit for your vampire bus then use crypt horrors. They bleed significantly less CR and are better against unarmoured opponents due to poison and stomps. They can take on high T stuff so long as it doesn't have a good save. They take fewer wounds from shooting and warmachines. On and on it goes.

GW GG can easily pop in a phase, yes. They're a really tricky unit to use. They require a significant amount of finesse, even with a VL in there generating CR. But they're still a more flexible and powerful option.

On that note, I've taken to protecting my 7-wide GG unit with a WK with the shroud. Yeah he costs as much as 10 more bodies, but he helps to prop up your damage output while shrinking the bus's frontage, and also protecting the unit with the shroud. It's also very helpful against elves, especially against things like BotWD silverhelm deathstars.

Wesser
28-10-2014, 11:34
Then you should be running crypt horrors instead. All GG do compared to skeletons is bleed slightly less combat res when hit in the flanks or rear. But not enough to justify being twice as expensive. If you want an anvil unit for your vampire bus then use crypt horrors. They bleed significantly less CR and are better against unarmoured opponents due to poison and stomps. They can take on high T stuff so long as it doesn't have a good save. They take fewer wounds from shooting and warmachines. On and on it goes..

Lets agree to disagree

In my meta I face poison a lot and while everyone moans about how bad killing blow is it remains a big deterrent in regards to where enemy characters and cavalry go and don't go. GG with HW&S can still dish out damage and the extra pip of armour save means a lot when fighting elves of all types.

Crypt Horrors lack punch. They are an overrated anvil that I don't need because I'm forced to take tarpits in my core anyway. Of course their models do them no favors either....

Sword n' board is the more flexible unit. They have less punch true, but I never seem to find myself in a situation where their offensive output haven't been enough. As long as they steer clear of very tough monsters they don't need the extra strength.

pinktaco
28-10-2014, 14:47
Lets agree to disagree

In my meta I face poison a lot and while everyone moans about how bad killing blow is it remains a big deterrent in regards to where enemy characters and cavalry go and don't go. GG with HW&S can still dish out damage and the extra pip of armour save means a lot when fighting elves of all types.

Crypt Horrors lack punch. They are an overrated anvil that I don't need because I'm forced to take tarpits in my core anyway. Of course their models do them no favors either....

Sword n' board is the more flexible unit. They have less punch true, but I never seem to find myself in a situation where their offensive output haven't been enough. As long as they steer clear of very tough monsters they don't need the extra strength.

I think it very much depends on ones preferences and builds. One could argue that GGs are good at opening up +1 knights and that CHs have better defensive stats. Then again GGs have killing blow, can easier be ressurected and you can always have a killy vamp and/or terrorgheist to do your can opening.

Personally I've gone with the CHs. GGs apparently reminds me too much of my saurus warriors (WS3, S4/T4, 4+ armour, parry) and I haven't had much succes with those. Then again one can't compare units like that due to internal balance. I suppose GGs strenght lies in banner of burrows, killing blow and easily being ressurected. Not to mention easy access to rerolls in to hit and to wound, which LM kinda lacks.

Just out of curiousity what's you prefered GG sword and board setup?

facepalm
28-10-2014, 21:19
Ive always used sword and board GG, I have found that taking less casualties is better than inflicting more casualties when I'm in combat. Anyone telling you that T4 4+/6++ models that dont break and can be easily res back up are a bad anvil is crazy. CH are also good anvil units but i dont find its a case of one or the other both can co exist.

EvanM
29-10-2014, 05:28
Also, in tournaments and super competitive play, usually people go all out for killing and doing damage over surviving. I think units are often costed more for survival than damage causing ability, so the GW may be undercosted for what it does vs sword/sheild

Wesser
29-10-2014, 08:42
I think it very much depends on ones preferences and builds. One could argue that GGs are good at opening up +1 knights and that CHs have better defensive stats. Then again GGs have killing blow, can easier be ressurected and you can always have a killy vamp and/or terrorgheist to do your can opening.

Personally I've gone with the CHs. GGs apparently reminds me too much of my saurus warriors (WS3, S4/T4, 4+ armour, parry) and I haven't had much succes with those. Then again one can't compare units like that due to internal balance. I suppose GGs strenght lies in banner of burrows, killing blow and easily being ressurected. Not to mention easy access to rerolls in to hit and to wound, which LM kinda lacks.

Just out of curiousity what's you prefered GG sword and board setup?

Simply 40 GG with the Banner of Well-Duh.

It's already plenty expensive like that (though be aware my meta leans MMU atm) and easily capable of holding it's own. Corpse Carts are a stable choice in my army in almost every game anyway, and I have the advantage of having become very good at mitigating it's movement issues making it rightly despised (aside from my Vampire Lord no other unit have won me more games).

I don't take the unit too often though as armies with GG tends to be fairly similar. In a 2500 army where 625 have to go to infantry and another 500 for the GG then you already have a fairly ponderous force. Corpse Carts and strong magic users become no-brainers and it becomes harder to march-control the fast stuff.

I think I might have lost this unit once in my career when the local Lizardman player got really lucky with his Temple Guard. Usually the combination of decent output and decent defence means they grind through their combats without losing so many models that Invocation makes them fight-worthy. GW Grave Guard have a nasty tendency to destroy the first unit they meet, but then get taken out by the second and at almost 600 points for a horde that smarts..

PirateRobotNinjaofDeath
29-10-2014, 08:46
Lets agree to disagree

In my meta I face poison a lot and while everyone moans about how bad killing blow is it remains a big deterrent in regards to where enemy characters and cavalry go and don't go. GG with HW&S can still dish out damage and the extra pip of armour save means a lot when fighting elves of all types.

Crypt Horrors lack punch. They are an overrated anvil that I don't need because I'm forced to take tarpits in my core anyway. Of course their models do them no favors either....

Sword n' board is the more flexible unit. They have less punch true, but I never seem to find myself in a situation where their offensive output haven't been enough. As long as they steer clear of very tough monsters they don't need the extra strength.
What are you facing? Because I can name a large number of things where the damage output of the S4 GG wouldn't be sufficient. Skullcrushers, demigryphs, frost phoenixes, ironguts, mournfang, chimeras, chariots, or demon princes. All choices that you'll come across in an uncomped meta.

Killing blow is only a psychological deterrent against things that can be killing blower, and even then its not always enough. Killing blow is a risk, but risks can be weighed. Taking killing blow or two is a worthwhile trade for punching out a big unit of grave guard. They bleed bodies like nobody's business against anything even remotely killy, and spike damage (say from chariots) can make them pop in a turn.

I agree crypt horrors lack offensive output, but that's not their purpose. They win combats by denying combat res. Unlike your tarpits in core they can pin down a unit you can actually throw a hammer into. Doing that with zombies is suicide.

Wesser
29-10-2014, 10:07
What are you facing? Because I can name a large number of things where the damage output of the S4 GG wouldn't be sufficient. Skullcrushers, demigryphs, frost phoenixes, ironguts, mournfang, chimeras, chariots, or demon princes. All choices that you'll come across in an uncomped meta.

Killing blow is only a psychological deterrent against things that can be killing blower, and even then its not always enough. Killing blow is a risk, but risks can be weighed. Taking killing blow or two is a worthwhile trade for punching out a big unit of grave guard. They bleed bodies like nobody's business against anything even remotely killy, and spike damage (say from chariots) can make them pop in a turn.

I agree crypt horrors lack offensive output, but that's not their purpose. They win combats by denying combat res. Unlike your tarpits in core they can pin down a unit you can actually throw a hammer into. Doing that with zombies is suicide.

Noone plays WoC I my meta and I'm the only Empire player too so the only MC I tend to see is Mournfangs.

Chariots (especially Doomwheels) is one case where the GW really ahead though. Ironguts aren't though. Sword&Board pulls ahead there by a fairly huge margin

Specifically I play a lot against Lizardmen, Elves, Ogres, Skaven, Tomb Kings and OnG. Against these only the Doomwheel/Hellpit, Frost Phoenix, Cold One Chariots, Stonehorns, Mournfangs and Stegadons.. aka the High Tougness/High Save contenders.. tend to be problems for the Sword&Board horde.

For the GW Horde though.. most elf elite units, the usual savage orc horde and big Ogre units will crush them. Utterly. Sure they may take a bunch of the enemy out too, but they'll still die. And against the more average troops they'll bleed models for the same outcome.

Ultimately the choice depends on your meta and what other units you include. That GW on Grave Guard is plain better and more competitive is something I find easy to discredit though

rolly_321
29-10-2014, 16:47
The only advantages to taking shields vs iron guts is striking first and getting a 6+ and parry save. The GW will wound on two and removes the iron guts save completely which somewhat undermines the additional defensive benefit of shields.

I haven't math hammered it but I think GW will win out over several turns of combat. Shield might be more useful in the first round since they could help to soften impact hits.

That being said I fully endorse using shields if you think they look better, the difference isn't so great that it removes pleasure from the game.

Frankly
29-10-2014, 21:10
GWs gives a stable amount of str6 attacks that are hard to find in any other VC unit. Generally a bucket load of Str6 hits will freak most targets out. VC have enough anti-light tArget options in the armybook, but horde str6 is GGs big Boon.

In saying all that, I ran s/b GGs more often than not. For soft comp, freindly games and I like my old models.

On a side note; 40 gw GGs is OK I guess, but 2 x 40 or 1 x 50/60 is better in magic heavy lists.

Wesser
30-10-2014, 09:39
The only advantages to taking shields vs iron guts is striking first and getting a 6+ and parry save. The GW will wound on two and removes the iron guts save completely which somewhat undermines the additional defensive benefit of shields.

I haven't math hammered it but I think GW will win out over several turns of combat. Shield might be more useful in the first round since they could help to soften impact hits.

That being said I fully endorse using shields if you think they look better, the difference isn't so great that it removes pleasure from the game.

It's me who remember units wrong..

Ogre Bulls = GW Horde gets beaten /Sword&Board Wins

Ironguts = Opposite


Once again it depends. Against a Stormvermin Horde (always comes with Razor Standard), Phoenix Guard, Empire Halberdiers and Ogre Bulls Sword&Board is better
Against Chaos Warrior, Ironguts and Chariots you'll prefer the GW

Spells such as Hellish Vigour or the Vigour Mortis effect may be of greater benefit to either unit depending on situation. If you don't use Vampire units you may find yourself needing the High Str of the greatweapons.


I wasn't really trying to make a case for Sword'n Board being better. I merely argue the choice between the 2 configurations to be highly situational and neither option strictly better. But then again I'm the person who well at tournaments with Corpse Carts and Blood Knights...I'm weird...

Frankly
31-10-2014, 00:29
The thing is wesser. You can take on any of those T3 threats with a number of VC units, the benefit of gw GG units is they give a list something to attack higher toughness/high armored targets with a good amount of attacks, im thinking of some cavalry units, M.cavalry, some monsters, some T4 heavily armored infantry.

I don't think it 'that' situational to be honest. To me gw GG units do a job no other VC units can do that as much success.

Ayin
31-10-2014, 00:35
It's "situational" in that you can find situations where the swords do better, not that there are in any way an equal number of situations, or that each side has situations of equal importance.

The old Pewter Grave Guard with Hand Weapons and Shields look *******' awesome though.

Wesser
31-10-2014, 11:24
The thing is wesser. You can take on any of those T3 threats with a number of VC units, the benefit of gw GG units is they give a list something to attack higher toughness/high armored targets with a good amount of attacks, im thinking of some cavalry units, M.cavalry, some monsters, some T4 heavily armored infantry.

I don't think it 'that' situational to be honest. To me gw GG units do a job no other VC units can do that as much success.

I dunno. I can't think of a VC unit apart from a Blender Lord or Sword n'Board GG which I'd want to put against as common a unit as an Empire Halberdier Horde with a Warrior Priest for example (Thanks to Soulfire and Hammer of Sigmar even Crypt Horrors are likely find themselves out of luck) apart from tarpitting them with spirit hosts. Or how about Phoenix Guard? Or Stormvermin?

Some things Crypt Horrors can handle, but that +1 to hit and KB just means Grave Guard have the flexibility to give them the edge imho.

Once again it's just me. I prefer Vampire Heroes and Blood Knights to do my heavy lifting, so I have more benefit in my Grave Guard being flexible and rock-solid rather merely punchy. The fact that I've only lost the unit once 8th edition (and that 500+ points the enemy never gets) is also a steady point in their favour. I'd rather say that I can't think of another VC unit that do what SB Grave Guard do with as much success...

Maybe part of my prejudice stems from having dealt with GW Grave Guard with contemptuous ease when I've encountered them myself (that's only happened twice as I don't play against VC much, so it's prolly a weak statistic). I'm just not really part of the Greatweapons > Every other weapon option club...

Frankly
31-10-2014, 20:43
Wesser, you bring up some good points. Nice to see people using the same unit differently.

PirateRobotNinjaofDeath
31-10-2014, 23:53
I dunno. I can't think of a VC unit apart from a Blender Lord or Sword n'Board GG which I'd want to put against as common a unit as an Empire Halberdier Horde with a Warrior Priest for example (Thanks to Soulfire and Hammer of Sigmar even Crypt Horrors are likely find themselves out of luck) apart from tarpitting them with spirit hosts. Or how about Phoenix Guard? Or Stormvermin?

Some things Crypt Horrors can handle, but that +1 to hit and KB just means Grave Guard have the flexibility to give them the edge imho.

Once again it's just me. I prefer Vampire Heroes and Blood Knights to do my heavy lifting, so I have more benefit in my Grave Guard being flexible and rock-solid rather merely punchy. The fact that I've only lost the unit once 8th edition (and that 500+ points the enemy never gets) is also a steady point in their favour. I'd rather say that I can't think of another VC unit that do what SB Grave Guard do with as much success...

Maybe part of my prejudice stems from having dealt with GW Grave Guard with contemptuous ease when I've encountered them myself (that's only happened twice as I don't play against VC much, so it's prolly a weak statistic). I'm just not really part of the Greatweapons > Every other weapon option club...


I'd put crypt horrors against Phoenix guard. Or skeletons with a vampire. Or BK with a vampire.

I wouldn't put GW GG into that fight. But then, against elves I would also shrink their formation way down. The horde is good against some armies, but you need to know when to reform to bus as well. Really just to prevent having to fight a frost Phoenix in addition to the Phoenix guard.


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Oogie boogie boss
07-11-2014, 15:24
Personally my vote would be for GW due to the 8th philosophy that damage output is always better than damage prevention, especially when you can resurrect your troops. Also, GG are the only infantry unit VC have which can really do damage, so you should maximise this to offset the lack of kills Skellies and Zombies give you.

However, I think the in-game effect is, apart from with a few match ups, relatively minor. ST4 and KB is still pretty killy against most basic troops and will still worry knights and single wound, high AS troops. And they'll do better against massed ST3 T3 infantry. Where HW+S will prove inferior is against monsters and MI.

Really all about what you're likely to face and how you want to play them- hammer or anvil?