View Full Version : Vampire Counts Bang for Buck and tactica <1000

09-10-2006, 13:23
Well as I've said in a couple of other threads, I'm branching into Fantasy for the first time and have got hooked on the idea of a Lahmian-themed Vampire Counts army. Theme aside, I've decided to start at 500 points for Border Patrol and then work my way gradually up as far as I feel inclined.

Currently, I'm having difficulty with forming a list for 500 points, as I decided on one then realised it doesn't have much punch or potential for variety. To this end do I come to you all. The purpose of this thread is twofold; firstly to ask of you all what units you find suitable in low-points games for Vampire Counts and secondly to ask of you all how you feel these useful units should be best utilised alongside the rest of the army.

I'm not asking for a list of great units, rather a breakdown of those which make their points back best and provide a great 'bang-for-buck' so to speak.

One thing I'm interested in specifically though is what I should arm my Skeletons with - Hand Weapon and Shield or Spear and Shield? I'm in the process of assemling my first unit of Skeletons, who will be armed with Hand Weapon and Shield so that if you all cry that they should ideally be equipped with Spears I can do that on my next unit, and save this one for freshly raised units.

Anyway, follow on with advice for lower points games if you all feel so kind :)

09-10-2006, 18:42
No one has posted on this yet, so I'll try.

First, there are a lot of bang for the buck units in the vampire counts, but it depends on what route you're going for.

With a 1000 point list, a lot of people try to load up on magic to outnumber the opponent quickly. I hate this idea, simply because at low points levels, the magic phase just gets shut down with a level 1 spellcaster and a dispel scroll. You dump 600 points into magic, and you're going to get beaten.

At under 2000 points, the most efficient army build uses the Necrarch Thrall as a general. No other bloodline can have a thrall as a general, which is a shame. He can cast spells and he's a hell of a lot tougher than the necromancer, who normally has to be your general at this level.

The reason why I'm even discussing the general is that the majority of your games that you lose in small points games will be due to someone going after your general and your army crumbling. At least with the necrarch, he's hardy enough to get into combat and not die from a wimpy ungor spear.

At small points games, ghouls, small units of wolves, and fell bats become really, really good. All of these units cause fear, they get around the table quickly, and they can quickly deal with the lone war machine or spell caster that is hurting you or shutting your magic down.

You'll likely have to take a zombie or skeleton unit to protect your general or your spellcasters, so take a basic unit with a standard and musician. As far as spears or hand weapons are concerned, I never take spears. They cost points and don't provide you with a real benefit. After all, skeletons with spears still have a terrible initiative and will almost never get to attack. But give them a hand weapon and a shield, and they just might survive to attack. Giving them spears just costs you points and doesn't provide a real benefit.

10-10-2006, 08:33
Thanks for that insight, it's given me a fair bit to ponder. Thankfully I have indeed assembled this first unit with hand weapons.

What are your thoughts on light armour for Skeletons? On the one hand I can see it may not be worth taking as Skeletons are fodder anyway, though if you're talking about trying to keep them alive for a chance to attack, then perhaps it is worth it?

I'm also wondering what you think of units like Black Knights and Grave Guard - worth using a unit of either/each in small games or not?

10-10-2006, 15:54
I like light armored skeletons, but I've never used them in 500 point games. At 1000, they're pretty useful. The reason why I don't like upgrades in general at low levels is the same one that I talked about: your magic gets shut down very easily at 1000 points and lower. As far as the armored skeletons go, I would tell you to proxy them with a borrowed unit and see what you think.

Taking the armor increases the cost of the skeletons, but they get +1 to their armor save. Personally, when I'm playing at 500 points, I'm skimping on everything I can just to get warm bodies in the army, rather than upgrades. Skeletons are already expensive for what they do, especially since many other armies are immune to fear or have a really high leadership. Also, most of the other armies get 3 point models that get the same advantage to ranks, standard, and musician. So unless I load up, I'm not going to get to outnumber them to break them, which sucks.

On Grave Guard and Black Knights: Taking a unit of 5-8 black knights in 1000-1500 points is a good choice. They're pretty cheap if you don't load up on upgrades and they get around the board quickly. Also, at low levels, the Vampire Counts have a distinct lack of hammer units that can go after your opponent's heavy hitters. All they can do is win by fear, and that is not always consistent. Grave Guard are ok at 2000 points and not so good at under 2000 points. They have the killing blow ability, they're strong, they're tough, and they have a pretty good armor save if you give them shields. However, they're 13 points a model and you can't raise them back. I wouldn't take them if I couldn't take 20. They need numbers to be effective, because they're a points sink and every cannonball will be going into them. And since they're slow, you're going to have a tough time getting them there intact. Black Knights, for their part, are expensive also, but they have a 16'' march move if you don't put barding on the horses. They can swing around terrain to attack flanks and avoid shooting.

10-10-2006, 16:34
At 500 points I would suggest trying a combat approach with a strigoi thrall as general. I would also suggest spears, you hit the enemy rarely so you have to have many attacks.

10-10-2006, 16:54

Vampire Counts must have a caster as a general, thus, no Blood Dragon or Strigoi Thralls in 500 pts.

At 500 pts, one decently sized unit of Skeletons, a level 2 Necro with the Cloak of Mists and Shadows and a larger unit of Zombies allongside either some Fellbats, some Ghouls or some Direwolves will handilly do the job for you.

At higher points levels, if you have a Lahmian theme, I'd suggest you incorporate non-barded Blackknights, they woul give you that extra jump on enemy knights which you might very well need.

10-10-2006, 17:44
if you want to make a real evil 500 pts list you could take 3 necros and some zombies.
assuming you also wanna have fun, I would take a bat/wolf form vampire with a great weapon, small unit of black knights a necro and some zombies

Iron Father
11-10-2006, 05:06
my friend plays VC, and won a escalation league using mostly ghouls at the lower points. games ranged from 250 at the beginning to 1k at the end, dindt really require anything other than ghouls until after the halfway mark

11-10-2006, 07:42
You are right about caster as a general, but you could assume, in 500 points, as not necessary. The rules for battles among 500 points even allow a player to use a champion as the general!! Just look at the warbands rules. I would go for strigoi.

12-10-2006, 09:24
The big question is how would you equip the vampires/thralls etc and which Lahmian bloodline powers would be chosen?