View Full Version : Haven't played in years. Help me with my 2250 Blood Dragon vamp list?

05-11-2014, 02:07
Hey Seer. Like the title says, I haven't played in quite some time. Looking to get back in it, as a few friends are picking the hammer back up as well.

I like cohesive themes and fluffy lists, but also derive a special satisfaction from hammering the top contender lists in the current meta with a non-traditional or common list. Had a lot of fun with a list similar to this one in 7th, it handled the BS that Daemons brought to the table extremely well. Now, I have no idea of what the current meta is like, and I'm wondering if my list is even passable, much less competitive. But like I said, fluff>winning. As such, I am not interested in monsters, lots of magic, vamps that are not combat focused, or ghouls in this list. Things I am interested in are vamps in heavy armor murdering everything and cramming as many knights as I can in here. Blood Dragon fluff til I'm dead.

Things I'm worried about are A: the size of the Black Knights and the Grave Guard. Will they be enough to crack units now that cavalry has been so nerfed this edition, and now that giant units are so common? And B: a lack of magic. I know I'm all about Blood Dragon and the theme of minimal magic appeals to me, but will I be slaughtered for this fluffy choice?

I'm toying with the ideas of A: combining the two units of 25 skeletons into a horde of 50, and B: finding room for a banshee. Thoughts?

Thanks a ton in advance for any help any of you can offer.


Vampire Lord w/ Red Fury, Quickblood, Dread Knight, Armour of Silvered Steel, Talisman of Preservation, great weapon, level 3 (hangs out with Grave Guard)


Vampire w/ Dread Knight, Armour of Fortune, great weapon (hangs out with unit #1 of skeletons)

Vampire w/ Dread Knight, Book of Arkhan, Enchanted Shield, heavy armour (hangs out with unit #2 of skeletons)

Wight King w/ BSB (hangs out with unit #1 of skeletons)


Skeletons x 25 w/ full command (joined by great weapon vamp and wight BSB)

Skeletons x 25 w/ full command (joined by shield vamp)

Skeletons x 20 w/ full command

Zombies x 20

Dire Wolves x 5

Dire Wolves x 5


Grave Guard x 20 w/ full command (joined by vamp lord)

Black Knights x 6 w/ full command, barding, lances, Banner of Eternal Flame


Blood Knights x 5 w/ musician, standard bearer, Flag of Blood Keep

Total= 2241 points

05-11-2014, 03:05
Welcome back, I can really see the 7th ed. influence in your army actually and It doesn't really fly in the modern meta.

Playing a traditional Vamps list is a bit of an uphill battle, I should know because I play a Blood Dragon theme list as well.

The main issue I see in the list is that you are trying to cram too many units into the list. You have Grave Guard, Black Knights and Blood Knights. You will probably have to drop one of them in order to make the other 2 bigger, you will quickly find out that unstable is horrendous and you will loose a lot of guys per turn once you start loosing combat.

Blood Knights in general are ok for a flanking force, but if you are using only 5 guys I would drop the flag of the blood keep, 75 points is way too much to protect 5 guys. I love Blood Knights but I have always been extremely disappointed in how they have performed. They are extremely over-costed and don't hit half as hard as you think they will.

20 Grave Guard aren't nearly enough, it's 40 or go home. Again, you need more guys to absorb wounds because they strike last, and if you loose combat you'll need more guys to absorb all the casualties you will loose from crumbling. If you take this unit take the banner of the barrows so they will actually be able to hit something.

Black Knights aren't really good for much except as a Vampire delivery system. One of the only "competitive" lists that I've seen this edition that involves a Blood Dragon theme is putting 4 Vampires in a giant unit of Black Knights and just wreck face with the Vampires. I wouldn't really take just 6 of these guys with no support, chances are they will kill one or 2 guys and then die from combat res and wounds. Again, take more with tonnes of vampires or go home.

25 Skeletons is way too few, you'll probably want 50. At least then they'll be able to tie up an enemy unit for 3ish turns before they vaporize.

Don't take dread knight on anything. It's a terrible power, I know it's "fluffy" but it forces you to challenge, this could literally mean the difference between winning and loosing because the only thing that is actually good at fighting in your army is the Vampire. Think of it this way, if you charge a unit of elves and you have to challenge, he'll just accept with his unit champ, and all you will do is kill the champion while his unit of white lions/executioners etc. will just murder your unit before they can even strike and then your vampire lord will just die from crumbling and thats game.

The big benefit of Quick Blood is the re-rolls, without them your Vampire Lord doesn't kill half as much as he should, give him the Ogre Blade or mount him with a lance. I find the Great Weapon just isn't worth it usually.

Vampires are a pretty technical army, they aren't very forgiving. There's really only 3 units that are actually scary; Vampire lords, Terrorgeists and Hexwraiths. Everything else ranges from mediocre to poor.

06-11-2014, 00:37
Dread knight is a fine bloodline upgrade just don't couple it with Red Fury because chances are you won't be able to maximize the damage output since theres a maximum of over-kill combat res. My real worry with your list is that your vampire lord is your primary magic caster; level 3 means your relying on his magic and miscasts will hurt you, being the general and all may ruin the game for u before it really begins.

Maybe it is unfluffy in your eyes but having a Level 4 Master Necromancer is very worthwhile. He'll also be holding a dispell scroll that will sure up ur magic defence. Undead Armies don't really need to take a bsb. It brings you really no benefit beyond losing just one wound; if your playing with the Undead Legion rules; then u won't need the re-roll leadership if ur army crumbles since it doesn't crumble anymore. And if your aren't and your army has crumbled you've probably lost the game already.

Armour of Fortune vampire is silly when he is also holding a great weapon; your basically throwing away your high initiative. Give him a barded steed and a lance if u want the +2 strength.

Black Knights need to be 10+ strong; 6 won't be enough for u because the unit won't be able to take a charge and your restricted to having only 6 models. When you cast invocation your getting back d6 plus wizard level hence they are actually very viable when in bigger units because they'll actually come back very efficiently. Another option is look into a corpse cart; giving every unit ASF within 6' will give your army the edge.

Unfortunately for 5 blood knights u could get 10 black knights with barding and lances and command so yeah they're better

11-11-2014, 01:41
Thanks for the input Knifeparty and Mannfred. Having taken it into consideration, revised version is below.

I'm extremely hesitant to throw a vampire in the Black Knight unit, as the second anybody riding anything besides a skeletal steed (which vamps can't ride, wight kings and black knights only) joins them, they use their coolest and most useful ability. I have them to add some unexpected punch to an anvil-assisted combat, hopefully by charging through terrain. Ethereal movement seems so fun to use with knights. I've considered mounting the wight king and putting him in the black knight unit to give it more bite, and since I feel like the vamp lord has most combats as taken care of as they'll need to be on his own, but I feel like I'm cheating myself by using the Banner of the Barrows without him in the unit. What's the best idea,
A: having the Banner of the Barrows and Wight King in the Grave Guard, with the vamp lord
B: having the Banner of the Barrows in the Grave Guard, but the Wight King with the Black Knights
or C: having the Vampire and Grave Guard handle themselves, with the Banner of the Barrows and Wight King both in the Black Knights?

If the Black Knights underperform in upcoming games, I suppose I'll cut them out to get more Grave Guard or something.

Also, With one level 2 and 2 level 1s, I don't expect to have much magical superiority, but I know VC are extremely magic-reliant. Do I have enough magic here to even get one Invocation through per turn or so? Or will I be snuffed out?

I made a little room in the list for a Spirit Host. I really like the new models, and would love to fit more than one in if this one performs well. The versatility of an ethereal unit appeals to me. Plus, it's one more drop during deployment so I can implement reactionary deployment once my opponent puts down some juicy stuff. Is just one base worth the points? Do I have a hope of it holding anything up for any meaningful amount of time?

Vampire Lord w/ Red Fury, Quickblood, Dread Knight, Armour of Silvered Steel, Talisman of Preservation, great weapon, level 2, Lore of Vampires (Hangs out with grave guard)

Vampire w/ Dread Knight, Talisman of Endurance, Sword of Might, heavy armor, Lore of Vampires (Hangs out with skeletons)

Vampire w/ Quickblood, Book of Arkhan, Enchanted Shield, heavy armour, Lore of Shadow (Hangs out with skeletons)

Wight King w/ shield (Hangs out with Grave Guard)

Skeletons x 40 w/ full command (joined by both hero vamps, is putting their killing power together to make this unit a bit more of a hammer a good plan? Or should I split them between the two skeleton units for more versatility?)

Skeletons x 40 w/ full command

Zombies x 20

Dire Wolves x 5

Dire Wolves x 5

Grave Guard x 25 w/ full command, Banner of the Barrows (Joined by Lord, Wight King)

Black Knights x 5 w/ full command, barding, lances

Spirit Host

Blood Knights x 5

Total= 2248 points

Thanks again, everyone.

forseer of fates
11-11-2014, 02:11
25 grave guard wont accomplish much mind, and 5 black knights either. Just a as a secondary idea, crypt horrors are our best special choice and put everything else to shame. Also no l4 or dispel scroll is a very bad idea, unless that's what you really want.

14-11-2014, 14:30
Skeletons are a anvil only and a weak one at that... They rely on the opponent not being able to do enough damage to pop them through combat res. using them as a hammer or a combat support unit will only bleed CR to your opponent, plus your hero will be effected by the res and most likely crumble even though he has actually taken no wounds.

Vampires in core units honestly suck... They can neve dish out enough kills to balance the kills that your unit will take. Against cavalry they do ok because of the low model count and the wounds they do actually count for something but core v core grind you will lose.

Wight kings can be very efficient but you will find the amount of attacks that come there way thanks to step up and the rest of the special rules every army gets means they will die easily... T5 means little when everyone is re-rolling their re-rolls.

It may be boring but the most cookie cutter vamp lists are the best, or alternatively try Undead Legions... Truly awesome stuff!!! Brought new unlife to my undead!! Plus the bonus of having your generals death not cause crumble is mental!!

17-11-2014, 01:03
Hmmmm... I'm very wary of jumping into Undead Legions or taking any of the stuff that's taken by every list. But you're for sure right m1acca1551, VC core is pretty lackluster save for how they can be raised and healed. Thing is, I don't want to take the amount of magic that would really capitalize on that. Raising a d6 here and there is nice, but magic is hardly what I want to focus my list around.

That being said, I do think I need more/bigger hammers.

Does anybody have any advice on Blood Knight unit size? What about running two units of 4 or 5 naked Blood Knights and cutting the Black Knights altogether? Everybody seems pretty much in agreement that Black Knights are best with a mounted vampire, which I don't want to do as it eliminates their coolest and most interesting ability.

I've noticed a lot of the most optimal choices are very much in line with a Strigoi-themed list, which I'm sure I'll make eventually, but I really want to stick with Blood Dragons as much as possible for now. No Terrorgeists or Crypt Horror for me just yet. I'll try a few games with this list and revise accordingly. Keep the suggestions coming everyone!

17-11-2014, 21:36
I think black knight buses are a more cost effective hammer, people are just going to frenzy bait you round the board with blood knights

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

17-11-2014, 21:44
Everybody seems pretty much in agreement that Black Knights are best with a mounted vampire, which I don't want to do as it eliminates their coolest and most interesting ability

I wouldn't worry about this too much, the Black Knights aren't really the ones doing the killing. They're pretty much there to make sure your vampire lives long enough to see combat. It is a cool ability but it's yet another rule that Phill Kelly failed to make work properly. If it worked with characters attached then it would be fine, but he's pretty short sighted when it comes to writing rules.

18-11-2014, 12:31
So if you truly want to be running Blood Knights then you need to re-write your list and add in many more hard hitters that are also fast moving....the list your running at the moment is just too slow, you want to have your blood knights come in with your skeletons but that will mean it'll be turn 3 earliest that u will get there since Book and Vanhels are cast at too low of a level, your only able to bring back a single blood knight a turn. Just not enough wounds there to make it viable....here is what you may like to work off....

Vamp Lord - Hellsteed, Red Fury, Quickened Blood, Fencers Blade, Glittering Scales, Potion of Strength "for when u need some oomp" (Goes with Vargheists)

Wight King - Barded Steed, Lance, Shield, Dragonhelm, Potion of Foolhardiness (Goes with Black Knights)

Vampire - Quickblood, Lance, Heavy Armour, Enchanted Shield, Dawnstone, Barded Nightmare (Goes with Blood Knights)

2x40 Skeletons with Standards
2x 5 Dire Wolves

6 Vargheists + Champ
9 Black Knights, Barding, Lances, Standard
5 Blood Knights


Pray you get first turn and hope u have the models left for that second turn of charge in glory :)