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Khaines Wrath
28-01-2015, 12:07
Hi all, last year I bought some Vampire Count miniatures without any plan or reason for it beyond maybe starting a VC army in the future. Here's what I have.

20 Skeletons assembled with spears.
20 Black Knights
6 Vargheists
1 Vampire Lord and 3 Necromancers "built from spare bits".

So essentially curious on where I should go from here.
I was thinking
-More skeletons
-Maybe some Ethereals to tar enemies to leave them vulnerable to Black Knights or Vargheists
- Maybe a Coven Throne/Mortis Engine

I'm really not sure, any advice would be great. Sorry about all the questions lately, I need all the advice I can get and my access to friends who actually play warhammer to answer such questions is limited to say the least.

Soulsmith
28-01-2015, 13:01
It might be an idea to write a small list, and then escalate it up using what you currently have. It certainly wouldn't hurt to get another 20 odd skeletons just to make a nice big unit to bunker the necromancers in. Also zombies, even if you don't put them on the field, you will almost always end up summoning some.

Considering you have so many black knights, it might be an idea to make a mounted vampire and a wight BSB so you can have a nice big kill unit. It is a good way to field that many knights. I haven't used the Coven Throne or Mortis Engine so I am not sure on how effective tehy can be. But a corpse cart is never a bad idea. My 500 point list for quick games is basically a necro, skeleton bunker, zombies, corpse cart, ghouls. And then to boost it to 750 I just added a terrorgheist.

PirateRobotNinjaofDeath
28-01-2015, 19:29
Woah, that's a lot of black knights. Are they all assembled? If not 5-7 of them could probably be assembled as hex wraiths instead.

Otherwise that's a pretty solid start. To build from there I'd suggest purchasing some of the following:

10-20 direwolves

30-60 more skeletons (I run two units of 40)...also snap those spears off and give them HW/S. Spears are garbage.

A terrorgheist or two

A couple spirit hosts (run as units of 1 for ethereal chaff)

Maybe another box of vargheists if you like how they play. I run two units of 4 (in a 2x2 formation), and they're very solid flanking forces.

~20-30 zombies for Raise Dead.

A mounted WK, BSB optional.



Corpse carts are pretty trash in a speedy list like this. At M4 no marching they struggle to keep up. Mortis Engines only really work in a double, and even then you kind of need to build your list around them.

Wesser
29-01-2015, 07:31
It's always good to start thinking about the army you want to have.

Maybe you want a Blood Dragon, Nceromancer or Lahmian themed force? Maybe you want your army to represent Army of Darkness (skeletons shouting "Let's get the hell out of here".. priceless).

Since you'll have to include some core infantry the first stop should always be if you want ghouls, skellies or zombies or some combination thereof.


Your current models could make a neat Lahmian Force. Example:

Characters - Get Isabella and perhaps the old Lucrezzia Belladonna model for a mounted gal. And grab a Coven Throne

Core - Only skeletons and dire wolves (ghouls and zombies smell and their sense of fashion is soooo bad)

Special - Keep Corpse Carts and Crypt Horrors out

Rare - Black Coach, Cairn Wraiths and Sycophant lovers ( I mean Blood Knights) only


That leaves out a chunk of models you need to use sparingly or not at all, but especially when you start an army a theme like this can help focus your purchases

Khaines Wrath
29-01-2015, 23:41
It might be an idea to write a small list, and then escalate it up using what you currently have. It certainly wouldn't hurt to get another 20 odd skeletons just to make a nice big unit to bunker the necromancers in. Also zombies, even if you don't put them on the field, you will almost always end up summoning some.

Considering you have so many black knights, it might be an idea to make a mounted vampire and a wight BSB so you can have a nice big kill unit. It is a good way to field that many knights. I haven't used the Coven Throne or Mortis Engine so I am not sure on how effective tehy can be. But a corpse cart is never a bad idea. My 500 point list for quick games is basically a necro, skeleton bunker, zombies, corpse cart, ghouls. And then to boost it to 750 I just added a terrorgheist.

Yeah I think I will need zombies purely for the magic phase. I actually used to have about 120 zombies back when I was first trying to start VC's years ago but it was just as I was about to give up on warhammer so I gave them away along with my Night Goblins.

Good idea on the Black Knight killer unit, I got a fair few of them because being undead numbers give an advantage with combat resolution. Plus I love the newer Black Knight models.


Woah, that's a lot of black knights. Are they all assembled? If not 5-7 of them could probably be assembled as hex wraiths instead.

Otherwise that's a pretty solid start. To build from there I'd suggest purchasing some of the following:

10-20 direwolves

30-60 more skeletons (I run two units of 40)...also snap those spears off and give them HW/S. Spears are garbage.

A terrorgheist or two

A couple spirit hosts (run as units of 1 for ethereal chaff)

Maybe another box of vargheists if you like how they play. I run two units of 4 (in a 2x2 formation), and they're very solid flanking forces.

~20-30 zombies for Raise Dead.

A mounted WK, BSB optional.



Corpse carts are pretty trash in a speedy list like this. At M4 no marching they struggle to keep up. Mortis Engines only really work in a double, and even then you kind of need to build your list around them.

Yeah all are assembled as Black Knights. I might get a small unit of Hex Wraiths for chaff.

I went for spears primarily for the rank bonus, I'm hoping that if I have a horde of skeletons I want them to deal as many attacks as possible.


It's always good to start thinking about the army you want to have.

Maybe you want a Blood Dragon, Nceromancer or Lahmian themed force? Maybe you want your army to represent Army of Darkness (skeletons shouting "Let's get the hell out of here".. priceless).

Since you'll have to include some core infantry the first stop should always be if you want ghouls, skellies or zombies or some combination thereof.


Your current models could make a neat Lahmian Force. Example:

Characters - Get Isabella and perhaps the old Lucrezzia Belladonna model for a mounted gal. And grab a Coven Throne

Core - Only skeletons and dire wolves (ghouls and zombies smell and their sense of fashion is soooo bad)

Special - Keep Corpse Carts and Crypt Horrors out

Rare - Black Coach, Cairn Wraiths and Sycophant lovers ( I mean Blood Knights) only


That leaves out a chunk of models you need to use sparingly or not at all, but especially when you start an army a theme like this can help focus your purchases

All great suggestions, I love the Blood Knights as a unit but the only thing stopping me from even considering them is their horrendous models cost. Last time I checked the GW Aus site they were like $140 something for a unit of five. I like them but not that much.

PirateRobotNinjaofDeath
30-01-2015, 01:52
Yeah I think I will need zombies purely for the magic phase. I actually used to have about 120 zombies back when I was first trying to start VC's years ago but it was just as I was about to give up on warhammer so I gave them away along with my Night Goblins.

Good idea on the Black Knight killer unit, I got a fair few of them because being undead numbers give an advantage with combat resolution. Plus I love the newer Black Knight models.



Yeah all are assembled as Black Knights. I might get a small unit of Hex Wraiths for chaff.

I went for spears primarily for the rank bonus, I'm hoping that if I have a horde of skeletons I want them to deal as many attacks as possible.



All great suggestions, I love the Blood Knights as a unit but the only thing stopping me from even considering them is their horrendous models cost. Last time I checked the GW Aus site they were like $140 something for a unit of five. I like them but not that much.

Skeleton attacks aren't worth crap. Their strength comes from SCR, not combat prowess. You want to run them deep to maximize that, and with HW/S for parry saves. Spears aren't worthwhile until your unit is over 90 models., at which point you're quite honestly just better off putting them into two smaller, more maneuverable units of 45.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

Ahnarras
30-01-2015, 07:24
As an another opinion: how hard are you aiming for your list? If you want to go to tournament with that, follow PirateRobotNinjaofDeath advise.
But if not, let me tell you that spears can be valuable in a friendly game. My buddy use a unit of 50 squelettons with spears, and they always are a trouble for the opponent.
Sure, it's only S3, but with so many attack, you will have some that will hurt. He is also playing more necromancer-style, so the skellies are often 60-70 when they reach melee, and with ASF or reroll to hit/wound (corpse cart is golden).

It's no use to go horde & spears if the only thing you are facing are netlist where everyone as at least a 2+ armor save and is mounted. But otherwise, give the spears a shot ;)

Same question for the black knight: a big bus of 20 is pretty in a hard list, but in a friendly game, it's just overkill. You will gain much more tactical opportunity if you do two units of 10, maybe each with a vampire in it, or one with vampire and the other with wight king (to keep the ethereal rule, or maybe to try a BSB - not much use, but looks cool).

For the blood knight: if you are not playing in a GW shop, you can always use other model as count as. I know a guy who is using dark elf rider, and somes others compagny do vampire on skeletal steed for way cheaper.
But if you are playing them, consider the BSB even more, as Frenzy can be quite a problem. As you already have vargheist...
* imagine a flank with 10 black knight + wight BSB / 6 vargheist / 5 blood knight* Boy, that would be nasty ^_^

Khaines Wrath
30-01-2015, 11:23
Nothing terribly competitive for the most part but a friend has been trying to get me to go to his local tournament he helps set up. So I guess I'd like the option to play both competitively and non competitively?

Ahnarras
30-01-2015, 12:23
Well, then it would depends if this tournament is wysiwyg or not.
If not, take your spears and just say it is hand weapon.
If it is, and as you are going for at least 20 more skellies, maybe give them hand weapon. Having half of each, and put on the front rank the one that you are playing. Standard tournament, even with wysiwyg, ask only for 51% of the unit correctly equipped.

Khaines Wrath
30-01-2015, 12:33
That's handy to know, I'm not sure in regards to wether its wysiwyg though, mainly because I have no idea what that means :D

malisteen
30-01-2015, 13:44
That is a lot of black knights. Too many even, unless you run multiple units, and they're not exactly the most multiple-unity unit? Even a big black knight bus tends to cap out at 3 ranks of five, and that's including any characters - and you should be running multiple characters in that, so, like, max 13, which leaves seven left over.

Ideally, you'd invent a time machine, and go back to assemble seven of those knights as hexwraiths, but until that becomes possible what I'd suggest is separating seven of those knights out to run as their own separate flanking / warmachine hunting unit, capitalizing on their ethereal movement and the fact that your general is going to be hanging with the rest of your knights so they'll all be in march range. Hexwraiths are better in this roll, but Black Knights aren't bad at it.

Speaking of your general, you'll want a couple of horse-mounted characters to go in that bus. I'd recommend a mounted vampire lord with the works (barded steed, heavy armor, red fury, quick blood, enchanted shield, talisman of preservation, some nice magic sword - I like ogre blade, but antiheroes works, 3 to 4 magic levels). Unfortunately, there isn't a particularly good model for such. You can direct order one of the older mounted vamps, but I don't like those models personally. If you're like me, then you might instead consider ordering the Mannfred model, and converting that. Maybe cut away the ghosties coming off the cape, leave the spikes off the back and sculpt in some fur with putty into the gaps if you feel up to it, stick a shield on his side, maybe replace the staff with a lance to emphasize his fightyness, or with a less ostentatious staff just to reinforce that 'this isn't mannfred'. Maybe give him some hair, or cut/dremmel out the head altogether and replace it (maybe with one of the dragon rider heads if you build a terrorgheist?).

Alternatively, you might start with the empire general on horse kit. Shave off or deface the 'sigmar' bits on the horse, maybe bits swap for a different head (perhaps the other dragon rider head if you build a terrorgheist?), maybe add a collar from the empire wizard sprue. Maybe give him that wicked BSB that comes with the empire general kit.

I've done more or less the above for a couple of mounted heroes to use in my own black knight bus:

http://www.vampirecounts.net/threads/mournful-knights-or-i-want-a-mounted-vampire-lord.28384/#post-412142


Other than vamps, you might also want a mounted wight king. For that, I'd recommend fancying up one of your existing black knights. Maybe re-base him on some rocks for added height, maybe add some skellie spears as back banners, maybe point his lance straight up, trim off the end, and stick that fancy Empire General BSB on there if you aren't putting it on your vamp.


You can have all three, or you can just do two characters, but either way you should try to get a vamp lord w/ red fury & quick blood, a BSB in there, with the night shroud on one of the two heroes to deploy next to your lord. The Wight King is cheaper and sturdier, but the Vamp is more offensive, and brings caster support (since your lord is required to take vamps, it can be handy to have a second caster in the unit for death) and arcane items, so the choice between them for your second character if you aren't taking all three isn't a trivial one. You might proxy different set ups before committing to conversions.

If you play undead legions (from the End Times: Nagash book, allows use of Vamp Count and Tomb King models, though you need both army books) rather than simple vampire counts, you might also consider sticking a mounted lich priest in the unit's second rank (if you have three command and 2 other characters, then the priest won't need to go in front), with the default nehekhara spell for added movement. Undead Legions also isn't required to take Lore of Vamps on the general, so the vamp hero could cover you on healing freeing up the lord to go offensive with Death. Or stick to vamps to be sure to have danse macabre if you want it. A huge cav block with deadly, deadly vamp lord that can march, plus dance, plus dance again thanks to the book of arkhan, plus move again w/ desert wind from a lich priest, can be near about anywhere you want it by the end of your first magic phase. Perhaps more gimmick than sound strategy, but it's one heck of a gimmick.


As an alternative to the single large black knight bus with smaller flanking support, the recent rules change to 50% lords allowance opens up the possibility of running two nearly fully kitted vampire lords in games above 2k points, in which case you might consider two units of 8 to 10 black knights, each with a single Vampire lord (with quickblood, red fury, and some sort of magic weapon, one with talisman of preservation and one with armor of destiny) in each. It's another option to consider and test around before committing to a particular set up, in particular since running two vamp lords and two units of black knights may leave you shy on points for BSBs and other stuff.


That's all I really have to say about black knights... what was the rest you had?

20 skellies. You'll want at least 20 more for that unit to be functional. Skeletons aren't bad in a battle line, and they can be strong character busses like what we're trying to use black knights for here, but 20 isn't enough.

6 vargheists. Strong. Whether one unit of six or two of three, these will do well for you, especially supporting a big black knight bus on a flank to benefit from the general's leadership and BSB's reroll to keep them from charging things you don't want them to charge.

You are in major need of core. characters, knights, and gheists are all expensive, you've got enough of each (especially if you pick up the mounted characters to go in your bus) for a large army. But 25% of the points of that army have to come out of core. In addition to the 20 extra skeletons you are going to want:

At least one box of dire wolves. Two units of five is quite useful as mobile speed bumps or redirectors (put them at an angle in front of the enemy unit, so if the enemy unit charges they're forced to either sit their and reform afterwords or move off in a bad direction if they overrun, exposing a flank).

Zombies. If you want to deploy them, we're talking at least 40 for a tar pit, though a unit of 20 makes an acceptable bunker for wizards behind other infantry units. You'll want at least an extra box or so for invocations and raise deads.


Beyond that, you can fill in additional points with more skeletons/zombies, or with ghouls (which are expensive for what they do, but can fight better than your other core infantry, and when you're just trying to fill core points being more expensive can help you do that faster). Ghouls like to be wide, either seven wide or ten, and three to four ranks, so you're probably looking at three to four boxes of ghouls if you choose to run them, though if you play the watchtower scenario much, a unit of 20 can make a decent unit to deploy in the tower.


Tactics wise, I'd put your slower tar pit infantry in the middle of your deployment, drop some dire wolves and other cheap drops (maybe units of one spirit host if you pick them up), to get to see more of your opponents deployment, then pick a flank to be strong on and deploy all your fast stuff on that flank. Try to clean up on that flank while your other units slow down the rest of the opponent's army and buy you time.


So... yeah. In terms of what to get next, I'd recommend a bunch of core infantry (you could do worse than two more box, a box of dire wolves, and a few mounted characters to run with your black knights are the top priorities, imo. After that, maybe a terrorgheist to support your fast moving stuff?

Or maybe get nothing. Warhammer Fantasy is due for some big changes in about six months, if rumors are to be believed, so you might want to hold off before making any major purchases.

Ahnarras
30-01-2015, 14:48
That's handy to know, I'm not sure in regards to wether its wysiwyg though, mainly because I have no idea what that means :D

What you see is what you get.
It means that the model has the weapon/armor that is on the model. So a skellies with spear is only a skelli with spear, and can't be used as a hand weapon.

malisteen
30-01-2015, 15:35
Its worth noting that wysiwyg is not a hard and fast rule, more of a 'best practice' sort of thing.

Khaines Wrath
31-01-2015, 23:40
That was all fantastic advice malisteen. I have been thinking about trying to get at least a mounted vamp, I quite liked the old Von Carstein generic mounted vampire model.

But as you say, with the changes coming I'm wondering if its worth doing. Of course I'm more likely to stick with 8th for a while yet. But you've given me a good plan to expand. Direction is what I needed more than anything.

PirateRobotNinjaofDeath
02-02-2015, 16:57
That was all fantastic advice malisteen. I have been thinking about trying to get at least a mounted vamp, I quite liked the old Von Carstein generic mounted vampire model.

But as you say, with the changes coming I'm wondering if its worth doing. Of course I'm more likely to stick with 8th for a while yet. But you've given me a good plan to expand. Direction is what I needed more than anything.

The nice part about Undead is that, whatever new skirmish options are available, putting dozens upon dozens of skeletons and zombies down on the board is iconic for our army and nobody is ever going to make us move those one-by-one. Whatever happens, skeletons and zombies will remain ranked-up on movement trays.


Just to expand on Malisteen's advice, my ideal core is 2 units of 40 skeletons with full command, and 4 units of 5 direwolves naked. The direwolves are "dead drops" so that by the time you're placing your black knights and vargheists you have a really good idea of where in your opponent's line they'll be most effective.

The idea with skeletons is that they anchor the centre of the board and cut your opponent's right flank off from supporting his left (or vice versa). They march up first turn then sort of "glide" into where they're needed once the general is off doing something else. You don't want them in combat so much as you want them threatening flank charges against your opponent's units as they swing around to go after your flanking force. Hopefully this delays them long enough to let your hammers shred their foes unhindered. But if they have to charge just make sure it's in the flank or rear, where skeletons are devastating with all their SCR. Otherwise just make sure they're not fighting anything with high attack volume and they should manage to tie things up for at least 2-3 rounds of combat.

Lord Dan
03-02-2015, 14:49
That was all fantastic advice malisteen. I have been thinking about trying to get at least a mounted vamp, I quite liked the old Von Carstein generic mounted vampire model.

But as you say, with the changes coming I'm wondering if its worth doing. Of course I'm more likely to stick with 8th for a while yet. But you've given me a good plan to expand. Direction is what I needed more than anything.

I hate to be that guy, but if you don't have specific plans for a VC army and no real immediate need to expand the list, I think the best thing to do is to put them in a nice, safe box somewhere and wait for 9th to drop. You don't want to spend a bunch of money on new models at insanity-level Aussie pricing only to find you won't want them anymore 5 months from now.

Hang in there.

malisteen
03-02-2015, 18:04
Actually, im not sure we can rely on huge blocks of trayed infantry remaining a key part of our army. Id imagine part of the goal of the changes, if in fact they are real, will be to make single box purchases into functional units, the way things are in 40k, where you can buy a box of whatever and itll be a functional unit on the table. Right now, you need four boxes of skellies to even begin to consider that a real unit, which is admittedly rediculous, even if i do like my huge undead infantry blocks.

So right now, op would need two more boxes of skellies just to have a functional unit, but in 9th, those twenty skellies might already represent not just one, but two ideal units, and any more skellies purchased in the mean time might just be overkill.

auStun
03-02-2015, 19:17
I have a nearly complete collection of VC models, from experience I'll tell you what I've experienced,

Core
Zombies are great for just being in the way, easy to resurrect if hit
Wolves suck, no armor, one spell and dead, one shooting phase and dead, can't charge anything that shoots because stand and shoot will kill them. I am only glad to have 20 because in End Times i can summon 5 at a time on the flanks and use the undead counters for something large and awesome (like a mortis engine)
Skeletons, seems nice to have spears and armor but they suck and don't kill anything, they just look cool.
Ghouls are where it's at, I have a horde of 50, they have won my favor game after game, they're excellent at killing infantry or cavalry and can take a real beating.

Special
Vargheists, YES
Black Knights, again, seem great, the Banner of the Barrows sounds awesome, but I've never had much luck with them. Maybe that's my own fault. Because they should be great.
Hexwraiths, in a group of 10 it completely changed their dynamic, they are great in front of a group of Black Knights or Blood Knights where you can run them through a unit before your heavies charge into them, then you can just reform them and charge the rear next turn or continue to pester things. End Times lets you cast the same spell over and over, so Vanhel's or Breath of Darkness let you move the guys over and over and they kill things each time you move through them.
Corpse Cart, someone said it was slow, but just cast Vanhel's on it and it has another 8' movement... I always take Balefire and put it behind my Ghouls.
Spirit Hosts, YES
Grave Guard, never used them, Black Knights on foot, sounds good.
Fell bats and Bat swarm, never used them. Don't seem very useful. Models are ugly.

Rare
Blood Knights, I broke down and bought them when I was just getting started. Assuming they pass their armor save, they are a phenomenal asset. take 4, put a hero or lord in so you can cast the re-roll buffs and go blender anything in the game up in one turn.
Terrorgheist, YES, not great in combat, but fun to fly your huge dragon around death shrieking everything, roll well and take out other monsters and tanks and chariots with death shriek no problem.
Mortis Engine, pretty useful. Not sure if you're playing End Times or not, but I summoned one in round 4 right in the midst of my opponents ranks and the ghostly howl and ranged attacks it gives you are nice. Really puts the pressure on while you get other things going.
Varghulf, never used one. Probably good at one-on-one monster action or flanking things to death.
Never used Black Coach, never bought it, it's ugly and I'd rather have a terrorgheist.

Tomb Banshees are fun just for their ghostly howl. good for finishing off whatever your terrorgheist doesn't kill with death shriek.

Coven Throne with a Red Fury vampire and MR2 give the whole thing a 2+ ward and some re roll buffs make this thing about as deadly as some Blood Knights, less attacks but still nasty. And it can move over and through terrain like open ground. Can't be upset about that. Battle of Wills, roll well and it's just funny to see your opponents face :)

Lord Dan
03-02-2015, 21:44
Wolves suck, no armor, one spell and dead, one shooting phase and dead, can't charge anything that shoots because stand and shoot will kill them. I am only glad to have 20 because in End Times i can summon 5 at a time on the flanks and use the undead counters for something large and awesome (like a mortis engine)
You're using them wrong. They're cheap redirectors with the Vanguard rule, so, given that their goal is to get in the way and set up counter-charges, if they're still alive by the end of the game you probably did something wrong. ;)


Black Knights, again, seem great, the Banner of the Barrows sounds awesome, but I've never had much luck with them. Maybe that's my own fault. Because they should be great.
They only work in big units. The whole Knight Bus with 3-4 Vampires in the front is a bit over the top, however they'll work just fine in a unit of 12 with a Wight King and BoTB. Thanks to Killing Blow they end up being really, really good at countering enemy knights. As with all cavalry in this edition, however, you need to be careful not to throw them into a massive ranked unit that can maintain steadfast for more than a turn or two, particularly because they suffer from crumbling.


Grave Guard, never used them, Black Knights on foot, sounds good.
They're easily on of the best units in the army. In a unit of 40 with GW and BoTB, particularly with magic support, they can auto-delete just about anything in the game.


Blood Knights, I broke down and bought them when I was just getting started. Assuming they pass their armor save, they are a phenomenal asset. take 4, put a hero or lord in so you can cast the re-roll buffs and go blender anything in the game up in one turn.
Remember, though, that they're Frenzied on something like Ld6 in an army that doesn't frequently run a BSB. A lot of people forget this, and if you're not babysitting them, against any competent opponent they're going to be chasing a 40 point unit around for most of the game.


Coven Throne with a Red Fury vampire and MR2 give the whole thing a 2+ ward and some re roll buffs make this thing about as deadly as some Blood Knights, less attacks but still nasty. And it can move over and through terrain like open ground. Can't be upset about that. Battle of Wills, roll well and it's just funny to see your opponents face :)
I'm like 99% certain that the 4++ applies to the Throne and handmaidens, not to the Vampire riding it.

malisteen
03-02-2015, 21:56
Some contrary opinions:

Ghouls: I like the more than many, but they are a lot of points for their offense, and they are still rather fragile. The lack of banner and musician can be a pain on a melee block, and while they're excellant against targets with poor saves regardless of toughness thanks to their respectable number of attacks (for core infantry) and poison, they are pretty much hard countered by anything with a decent armor save. While you can fix some of that with character support (a vamp lord w/ ogre blade, red fury, and quickblood will eat entire units of cavalry before they can even swing, so long as you keep him out of challenges), that same character support can make almost any unit amazing.

In the end, ghouls are very expensive for what they do, point for point. That just isn't all that big a deal because they're core, and with Vamp Counts you're usually trying to add core to hit the minimum requirement. Costing more per model just helps you meet that requirement with fewer purchases, so you can get back to 'the good stuff'. Their actual fighting ability is mostly gravy at that point.


Skeletons: I kind of agree there. Skeleton warriors look awesome, but they aren't all that great. Against any melee specialist enemy units, skellies tend to bleed combat rez almost as fast as zombies, while raising slower and not being abile to raise above starting size without an expensive, 1/army necromancer upgrade.

However, if you're looking for an infantry bus for character delivery, skeletons do have a few things going for them. First, they can have full command, unlike skeletons or zombies, letting you keep that infantry vamp lord you're delivering out of challenges, allowing for quick reform, and bringing that little bit of extra static resolution.

Second, they're cheap, and come out of core requirements, unlike grave guard. The rez bleed is an issue, though, so if using skeletons for this, be sure to take an extra character or two to limit the amount of attacks directed at the skeletons theselves.

As for spears vs. hand weapons - the hand weapons will almost always be better - skellies don't kill things, so even a 6++ is superior to, basically, nothing. The only exception is if you have a ward save coming to the unit from somewhere else - typically a mortis engine. Still, hand weapons aren't so much better than spears that you should feel bad about giving them spears if you think they look cooler.

I take skeleton warriors, when I do, for aesthetic purposes more than anything else. For what it's worth, my current 2k list desn't include any.


Zombies: agree. Cheap as chips, easy to raise, these are great tar pits.


Dire wolves: Dire wolves are cheap, they're core, they're fast, they have vanguard, they're excellant at gumming up enemy movement and charge lanes. Yeah, they melt quickly to enemy attention, but that's attention directed away from your more important units, which imo is 40 points well spent. Plus, by the time the enemy's magic or shooting phase rolls around to remove them, they've often already made a mess of at least one of the enemy movement phases, which is why you take them to begin with. I strongly recommend 2+ units of five. I'm not a big fan of the official models, though. I've heard that 40k fenrisian wolves painted in ghostly colors provide a good and easy alternative, though sadly one that costs about twice as much.


That's core, anyway. I don't have time to get into the rest, but since core is what OP needs most right now, hopefully that's useful. For a more detailed look at other VC units and options, check out this thread on carpe noctem: http://www.vampirecounts.net/threads/sunny-najo%E2%80%99s-vampire-counts-handbook-2014.27561/

I go by malisteen there as well, if you wan't to bug me, though if you want actually good advice that comes from a place of more experience, you'll want to bug najo instead.

For what it's worth, in my current 2k army, I'm currently running the following core:

20 skeleton archers*, full command
40 zombies, full command
40 zombies, full command
5 dire wolves, champ
5 dire wolves, champ

*I play, and my local community allows, undead legions, and as such have access to tomb kings core, hence the archers. This unit is primarily a wizard bunker, when it's not manning the watchtower. You might use a min size zombie block, or a small skeleton block (14 to 20), maybe with the lichbone pennant, for the same purpose. If you start playing Undead Legions yourself, then that opens up some other more interesting core options that diverge more heavily from what VC can do on their own - stuff like scouting horse archers, cheap core cav skeleton horsemen for character delivery, bulking out archers into a serious ranged threat using Khalida for poison and maybe a BSB for flaming, and of course chariots. But none of that really translates well into straight VC advice, and regardless I don't have any personal experience with it. If looking for demonstrations of an Undead Legions list that makes heavier use of TK options, look up Lord Tremendous on youtube.


Anyway, the total comes to 510 points. If not for my compulsion towards full command, I might drop the champions from the dire wolves, and maybe the archers, and add the minimum amount of extra zombies needed to bring the total back above 500.

Regardless, that's a pretty typical core load out for vamps at this points value - a couple solid tar pits to block in the middle, a couple cheap drop wolf units to use as chaff, and a backfield character bunker. A faster army (one, say, built around one or more black knight busses delivering red fury vampire lords and supported by a couple small units of vargheists and maybe a terrorgheist) might field some more dire wolves and maybe drop the infantry character bunker (no need for one if all your characters are mounted). Or maybe just reduce its size, and keep at least a hero necro around for invocation purposes.

A more typical infantry battle line, particularly one supported by area-buff options like corpse carts and mortis engines, might swap some of that out for a mid sized (30ish) unit of ghouls to get a bit more punch out of your core, though again VC punch tends to be more efficient and more punchy when selected out of other list categories.

Either way, you're still aiming to keep your core as close to the 25% minimum as you can, in order to put more weight into your more potent, list-defining selections from other categories.

Khaines Wrath
03-02-2015, 23:57
I hate to be that guy, but if you don't have specific plans for a VC army and no real immediate need to expand the list, I think the best thing to do is to put them in a nice, safe box somewhere and wait for 9th to drop. You don't want to spend a bunch of money on new models at insanity-level Aussie pricing only to find you won't want them anymore 5 months from now.

Hang in there.

This is smart advice, it doesn't help that I'm also teetering more towards restarting a Night Goblin army rather than trying again for VC's. I'm very curious how different the game actually will be and what miniatures might be invalidated as a result.


Actually, im not sure we can rely on huge blocks of trayed infantry remaining a key part of our army. Id imagine part of the goal of the changes, if in fact they are real, will be to make single box purchases into functional units, the way things are in 40k, where you can buy a box of whatever and itll be a functional unit on the table. Right now, you need four boxes of skellies to even begin to consider that a real unit, which is admittedly rediculous, even if i do like my huge undead infantry blocks.

So right now, op would need two more boxes of skellies just to have a functional unit, but in 9th, those twenty skellies might already represent not just one, but two ideal units, and any more skellies purchased in the mean time might just be overkill.

This is arguably the rumour I'm actually excited for, while I think it would be a shame to lose the square tray combat of fantasy, because I prefer it to 40k, the idea of single box purchases would be heaven. It was one of the things I loved about 40k, where I would only have to drop $45-$50 on a box of infantry and I had a usable unit. Fantasy on the other hand requires me to buy about 2, 3 or even 4 boxes of infantry for a single unit to be viable. Personally the cheaper I can make the hobby the better. I realise there's bitz stores but I find these terribly frustrating. They are a much cheaper option but due to the unpredictable nature if what they have in stock it's hard to budget and prepare to make purchases.

PirateRobotNinjaofDeath
04-02-2015, 02:08
Actually, im not sure we can rely on huge blocks of trayed infantry remaining a key part of our army. Id imagine part of the goal of the changes, if in fact they are real, will be to make single box purchases into functional units, the way things are in 40k, where you can buy a box of whatever and itll be a functional unit on the table. Right now, you need four boxes of skellies to even begin to consider that a real unit, which is admittedly rediculous, even if i do like my huge undead infantry blocks.

So right now, op would need two more boxes of skellies just to have a functional unit, but in 9th, those twenty skellies might already represent not just one, but two ideal units, and any more skellies purchased in the mean time might just be overkill.

Undead are a horde army, and an iconic one at that. Masses of shambling undead are the primary draw of the army. Our units might get smaller, but I guarantee that they will remain larger than those of other armies however things go.



As for skeletons, I absolutely disagree that zombies are the better core unit. They don't have champions, have ASL, and hit pretty much everything on 5s. Skeletons may not be MUCH better than zombies, but they have the POTENTIAL to be due to hitting on 4s and having a 5+6++. Catch a unit in the flank and roll a couple of 6's and suddenly you're winning combat by enough to break people and run them down. Against zombies they'll just be testing to reform on an 8...best you can hope for is to just pin them down for a bit.


Things I've done with skeletons that I couldn't have done with zombies:

1) broke and ran down a 1,000 point brick of WOC marauders with GW (Swedish comp...you see weird things) that they were fighting in the flank.

2) have killed at least 6 WoC 3++ lords/heroes with challenge shenanigans and SCR

3) Held up a doombull all game...again with challenge shenanigans

4) Broke and ran down a big unit of empire halberdiers because I rolled an oddly large number of 6's and beat him on SCR,



Skeletons are my darkhorse unit. They run up the centre of the board and catch things in the flank that are trying to get at my outflanking vampire force. People underestimate the risk until 4 skeletons hit them in the flank and they're suddenly losing combat and taking LD4-5 break tests on that horde of executioners or savage orcs.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

auStun
04-02-2015, 15:12
Wow, Lord Dan, I'm honored to have been quoted by you!


You're using them wrong. They're cheap redirectors with the Vanguard rule, so, given that their goal is to get in the way and set up counter-charges, if they're still alive by the end of the game you probably did something wrong. ;)

Lol, they are NEVER alive by the end of the game, rarely make it past Round 2 :)
I don't know that I would assume I'm playing them wrong, but just wanted the OP to know that these guys are only good for the redirect (which only works if your opponent even see's them as a threat) and flanking (if they aren't nuked in one spell or shooting phase before that)
Again, still great in End Times, where you can summon 5 onto the table 4 times in a row as free points, placed in a better position that if vanguarded, and you have 4 Undead Counters to go toward some Archai summoning, or a decent Vamp hero or Mortis Engine in the next phase.





Yes, great troops, I just prefer Wraiths :)


[QUOTE=They're easily on of the best units in the army. In a unit of 40 with GW and BoTB, particularly with magic support, they can auto-delete just about anything in the game.

I would like 40 of them, but I have so many Spec units in my collection that I haven't had the urge to get them.





Frenzy has only been a problem a few times, I like to put my Hexwraiths in front of them so that the BKs can't charge until the Hexwraiths are out of the way (typically after they've moved through the unit I want to charge with the BKs)

[QUOTE=I'm like 99% certain that the 4++ applies to the Throne and handmaidens, not to the Vampire riding it.

Good to know! Still a nice buff for the Throne and maidens.

auStun
04-02-2015, 15:13
Sorry for bad quotes :(

Lord Dan
04-02-2015, 15:28
I don't know that I would assume I'm playing them wrong, but just wanted the OP to know that these guys are only good for the redirect (which only works if your opponent even see's them as a threat) and flanking (if they aren't nuked in one spell or shooting phase before that)

I mean that you don't seem to place much value on redirecting and flanking, which are techniques that should be winning you games - if they aren't you're playing them wrong. ;) I wouldn't leave home without 3-4 units of 5.

malisteen
04-02-2015, 17:16
Again, park a dire wolf at a jaunty angle right in front of the enemy's key unit, and that unit isn't going anywhere useful next turn. Yeah, they can kill the wolves in melee, or with shooting, or magic, but that unit's movement phase was ruined already before any of that happens. Easily worth 40 points of core allotment, imo. They don't need to kill anything or survive the game (and they usually don't do either) to be amazing.

Wesser
05-02-2015, 07:31
Obviously the manly way of doing Dire Wolves is to field 20 Dire Wolves in one unit... ye know.. to get out of the habit of doing everything the same in every game...

auStun
05-02-2015, 21:45
Obviously the manly way of doing Dire Wolves is to field 20 Dire Wolves in one unit... ye know.. to get out of the habit of doing everything the same in every game...

Obviously. Best. Strategy. Ever.

The French Guy
10-02-2015, 10:24
For a 3000pts army, spend the 750pts of Core on 94 Wolves, then go 20 wide and nearly 5 depth.
Deploy, vanguard, run like hell and crash into the opponent battle line.
That's manly!

Wesser
10-02-2015, 13:35
For a 3000pts army, spend the 750pts of Core on 94 Wolves, then go 20 wide and nearly 5 depth.
Deploy, vanguard, run like hell and crash into the opponent battle line.
That's manly!

But illegal since max unit size for Dire Wolves is 20....


Otherwise you'd prolly see Dire Wolf hordes quite often...

The French Guy
10-02-2015, 18:33
Saddest thing I read today :/
Didn't saw that before

Lord Dan
10-02-2015, 19:35
Do Warbeasts even get supporting attacks, though? I know Cavalry doesn't...

Ramius4
10-02-2015, 19:57
One thing I'd like to point out to the OP about Dire Wolves. They're totally worth it, but they're not able to redirect in the traditional sense of the word. I.e. if the enemy is charging them and wiping them out in combat, they get a free combat reform at the end of it.

So 'redirector' is used by people here more in the sense that you're either taking away the opponent's charge or movement options. Basically, 'getting in the way'.

kikibobo
10-02-2015, 21:48
One thing I'd like to point out to the OP about Dire Wolves. They're totally worth it, but they're not able to redirect in the traditional sense of the word. I.e. if the enemy is charging them and wiping them out in combat, they get a free combat reform at the end of it.

So 'redirector' is used by people here more in the sense that you're either taking away the opponent's charge or movement options. Basically, 'getting in the way'.

Except for against frenzy!

Wesser
11-02-2015, 08:51
Do Warbeasts even get supporting attacks, though? I know Cavalry doesn't...

Nothing in any book say they don't.

Lord Dan
11-02-2015, 14:42
Nothing in any book say they don't.

Yeah, I double checked last night.

Huzzah! Warhound Hordes FTW!

PirateRobotNinjaofDeath
11-02-2015, 17:50
One thing I'd like to point out to the OP about Dire Wolves. They're totally worth it, but they're not able to redirect in the traditional sense of the word. I.e. if the enemy is charging them and wiping them out in combat, they get a free combat reform at the end of it.

So 'redirector' is used by people here more in the sense that you're either taking away the opponent's charge or movement options. Basically, 'getting in the way'.

That's a function of ALL redirectors though.

And while they do get a combat reform...so what? It keeps a unit out of the fight for a turn or two. And against frenzy you can put the wolves into a dart and make the overrun even worse.