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sholcomb
09-05-2009, 05:48
So today I played a fairly large game of 3500 points with a friend. Chaos Dwarfs vs. Vampires. He came to the table with 16 power dice and 9 dispel dice plus the Black Periapt, Manfred with his Sword of Unholy Power, and three bound spells. He said he did it because it was his answer to an "expected" heavy gunline. Am I justified in calling this cheesy?

Stuffburger
09-05-2009, 05:55
16 PD in a 3.5k game isn't all that bad, I don't think. He certainly could have done worse.

If a competitive build in a friendly game bothers you though maybe specify lists beforehand next time? Like friendly, medium friendly, competitive, soft or something as to what you expect?

Warhammer is flawed when it comes to army balance, we all know it and the only real cure is good communication.

(Sorry if i'm a little flamey, had a few...)

Dark14
09-05-2009, 06:03
its a cheesy number of dice but yes it could have been worse. the bounds and having a special character also dont help there case if its a friendly game.

WarlockOMork
09-05-2009, 06:16
it could've been a whole lot worse, for the avarage vampire player i'd almost call this below avarage.

the avarage vamp player inmo beeing cheesy in the magic phase as is :p


Edit: and @Sham, miscasting with a 1 Dice spam? lol.

havoc626
09-05-2009, 08:09
Hmm, 16 PD really isn't so bad for 3.5k of VC. I've run 2000pt lists with 14 PD, and that was with Skaven, so VC could do a lot more. Just going from a couple of the powers i can remember, I think it would be about 20PD or so. If they are going for a more or less full magic list, that is.

BigRob
09-05-2009, 08:25
The real question is what was your army like. If you had a triple earthshaker, 8 bolt thrower blunderbuss line with full wizard backup then he might have a point (and as mentioned above, VC can have many more dice).

If you had a warrior horde with bull centaurs, hobgoblins and lords on taurus then yes he is a bit OTT to say "Well you have a gunline so I am magic spam" CD can have a reasonably effective magic phase anyway so it shouldnt be too hard to close down the important spells.

Condottiere
09-05-2009, 08:51
Is there such a thing as too much magic? Unfortunately yes, but VCs are fairly reliant on it.

Lower average should be about 3 PD per 1000 points.

Kill-Freedom
09-05-2009, 08:52
You call 16 power dice bad? in a 3500 list, LOL, i could get 14 power dice with just the 2 vamp lords you can have and the army 2

IN a 3500 list a really heavy magic list could have 26 power or so and 3 to 4 bounds maybe even 5 or 6 depending on how many corpse carts you take

What you should do is collect an army that will actaully get an army book this centaury.......................................... .................................... :rolleyes:

0ld1eye
09-05-2009, 10:56
My 2k monotzeentch daemons tote 14 power dice, 9 dispel dice, the Standard of Sundering and the Blue Scribes. That REALLY isn't that much magic in 3.5k.

theunwantedbeing
09-05-2009, 11:39
Rather than listen to people spouting what is "possible" (25 powerdice and 18 dispel dice, at 2k,ish) its better to get an idea of what most amies are capable of feilding.

At 2k this is a level 4, and 3 level 2's.
Totalling 12 powerdice and 7 dispel dice.
At 3k(or 3.5) this is 2 level 4's and 4 level 2's.
Totalling 18 powerdice and 10 dispel dice.

Having 16 powerdice and 9 dispel dice therefore means that he was pretty close to the maximum of what other armies can acheive. (other armies that arent daemons or vampires).

The most dice a vampire counts army can generate at 3k (or 3.5k) is 26.
2 level 4's with the +2 dice ability, and 4 level 1's with the +2 dice ability.
A full 10 more than what your opponent turned up with.

So you have a choice.
Do you:
A). see the average maximum as the limit to "excessive"?
B). see the maximum for that particular army as its particularly limit to being "excessive"?

Here's some perspective for the maximum.
Daemons at 3.5k can generate 47 powerdice and 22 dispel dice.
Just using horrors and heralds with power vortexes.

W0lf
09-05-2009, 12:13
Lmao at daemons with 47 dice.

Id say 16 powerdice was pretty heavy at 3.5K as shown by unwanteds 18 dice for most armies.

Oh and dont BS with 'yeah but vampires NEED magic', im a vamps player and i dont buy it.

DarkTerror
09-05-2009, 14:44
Yes, it's a little cheesy.

Remember:

http://www.demotivateus.com/posters/suitability-demotivational-poster.jpg

Shamfrit
09-05-2009, 15:10
Funny. All this claim of cheesy, watch him roll a miscast, lose his Lord or magic phase and suddenly the game is over.

Crube
09-05-2009, 15:17
Potentially cheesy but I think it does depend toa degree. As you say, he expected to fight against a certain army, and tooled his army to match that... If a 'friendly' game was decided on, then maybe he'd have come with a different build.

On the subject of PD etc, I know VC don't need hideous amounts of magic per se, but they an army that can quite easily...

It is a bit more eggs in a basket approach... as Shamfrit has said - 1 miscast and it could be game over ;)

Gorbad Ironclaw
09-05-2009, 15:23
At 3k(or 3.5) this is 2 level 4's and 4 level 2's.
Totalling 18 powerdice and 10 dispel dice.

Having 16 powerdice and 9 dispel dice therefore means that he was pretty close to the maximum of what other armies can acheive. (other armies that arent daemons or vampires).


How many armies can not get more than 18 power dice if they want?

Off hand I believe that Demons, Dark Elves, Vampires, Empire, DoW, Lizardmen, Beast of Chaos, Warriors of Chaos, Lizardmen, High Elves, Brets and Skavens can all do it.

I'm not sure if Wood Elves and OnG have something that can boost that count (outside of power stones obviously), but Chaos Dwarfs might? And I don't think Tomb Kings, Dwarfs and Ogres can do it.

I don't believe that 18 really is the max at 3.5k for the majority of armies in the game. How far above they can go obviously varies but most can go higher if they want to.

EvC
09-05-2009, 15:39
It is a bit more eggs in a basket approach... as Shamfrit has said - 1 miscast and it could be game over ;)

Good thing that Vamps are the only army in the game that can every last power dice on single-dice castings to avoid those pesky miscasts ;)

Anyway, is it cheesy, or isn't it... hard to say, 3.5K is a big game. For a VC army more than 10 power dice could be thought as too much at 2K, so at 3.5k, 16 isn't soooo bad. 20 power dice and the game would have been too slow and boring for my liking.

theunwantedbeing
09-05-2009, 15:46
At 3.5k
Dark elves 19 Darkstar Cloak +1
High Elves 22 Jewel of the Dusk +1, banner of Sorcery +D3
Wood Elves 18
Bretonnians 18
Empire 21 Rod of power +1-3
Ogres 14
Beasts of Chaos 18
Warriors of Chaos 20 Power familiar +1, Book of secrets +1
Skaven 21 Screaming Bell +2, eye of the horned rat +1
Lizardmen 22 engine of the gods x4,+1 each
Orcs&Goblins 18

I'm ignoring the random powerdice and such added thought things like spells as those dont really count.
Most armies cannot get much more than 18 at the 3.5k level.
That's going as magic heavy as possible.
So 16 dice at 3.5k isnt far off the maximum level at all. It's still magic heavy.

vinny t
09-05-2009, 16:14
I'd say that it isn't that cheezy but it is a tad OTT. The main problem with vamps isn't that they have oodles of dice, but that they can cast a spell with one dice over, and over, and over. I wouldn't call any other army with 16 dice at 3500 cheezy, but vamps that can single dice cast it is kinda OTT.

Also,Ogres have to have a Tyrant before they have a Slaughtermaster so all they could have would be 14. Then again, they can also single dice cast...

sholcomb
09-05-2009, 17:49
The real question is what was your army like. If you had a triple earthshaker, 8 bolt thrower blunderbuss line with full wizard backup then he might have a point (and as mentioned above, VC can have many more dice).

If you had a warrior horde with bull centaurs, hobgoblins and lords on taurus then yes he is a bit OTT to say "Well you have a gunline so I am magic spam" CD can have a reasonably effective magic phase anyway so it shouldnt be too hard to close down the important spells.

I did have 2 Earthshakers (but thought it was reasonable considering the size of the game), 2 Death Rockets and 2 bolt throwers. That with 3 units of blunderbuss made it a gunline, but not an earthshatering gunline given the size of the game. Remember I also had a unit of warriors, black orcs, and 8 units of hobgoblins. If anything, I had a hoard army.


Rather than listen to people spouting what is "possible" (25 powerdice and 18 dispel dice, at 2k,ish) its better to get an idea of what most amies are capable of feilding.

At 2k this is a level 4, and 3 level 2's.
Totalling 12 powerdice and 7 dispel dice.
At 3k(or 3.5) this is 2 level 4's and 4 level 2's.
Totalling 18 powerdice and 10 dispel dice.

Having 16 powerdice and 9 dispel dice therefore means that he was pretty close to the maximum of what other armies can acheive.

Right, I think its silly to compare 16 power dice to what is possible to take with a Vampire army. Rather, I would compare it to the fine line of "not fun to play against", or the even finer line of "I never want to play this person again".

Condottiere
09-05-2009, 18:34
How many armies can not get more than 18 power dice if they want?

Off hand I believe that Demons, Dark Elves, Vampires, Empire, DoW, Lizardmen, Beast of Chaos, Warriors of Chaos, Lizardmen, High Elves, Brets and Skavens can all do it.

I'm not sure if Wood Elves and OnG have something that can boost that count (outside of power stones obviously), but Chaos Dwarfs might? And I don't think Tomb Kings, Dwarfs and Ogres can do it.

I don't believe that 18 really is the max at 3.5k for the majority of armies in the game. How far above they can go obviously varies but most can go higher if they want to.

DoW: 2K

Arch Wizard (4) + Wizard (2) + Dark Emissary (4) + Pool (2)

= 12 PD / and 7 DD

rtunian
10-05-2009, 02:27
if you had indeed brought a gunline though, that would have been the right choice for him, right?

anyway, i'm not sure quite what you were expecting to face with vampire counts. i mean, for starters, there are 900 whine threads and lists thread per day (what, me exaggerate?) and most are ion ion ion, with a dash of vanhels and 3/5 cups of deathstar. almost every hero and character is a wizard, so... i mean... "magic heavy" is pretty much implied by the bestiary! as is "shooting heavy" implied by chaos dwarves (in his mind at least, as evidenced by his 'excuse', but idk anything about chaos dwarf bestiary myself)

anyway, you should always talk about what category of list is being brought, especially when you are going to play a huge game and spend all day together. i would be crabby too if i spent all day fighting a frustrating battle. in this case, you could have solved this problem by communicating. "competitive" or "soft" ?? "magic heavy" or "mixed bag" ??

if you knew he was going magic heavy (which again, you probably should have assumed) you would have brought a list that could deal with it, or you could have told him what you were bringing (generally) and asked him to play nice.

sholcomb
10-05-2009, 06:22
That's just it! I knew Vampire were inherently magic heavy, so I took a level 4 sorcerer and 3 level 2s, plus 6 dispel scrolls just to deal with it. In the end, it wasn't nearly enough.

iamfanboy
10-05-2009, 07:49
That's just it! I knew Vampire were inherently magic heavy, so I took a level 4 sorcerer and 3 level 2s, plus 6 dispel scrolls just to deal with it. In the end, it wasn't nearly enough.
....And you complain about him? A horde army, with a gunline backing it up, and 6 dispel scrolls plus what, 7 dispel dice (do Chaos Dwarves get the bonus dispel dice?) can't handle a VC army?

I mean... wow. What did he have? Obviously not maxed-out wizard vamps; as pointed out he could have easily brought 25 dice to the table with as many bound spells as he has Corpse Carts.

It's far more likely that he anticipated out-maneuvering you and brought Black and Blood Knights to the table, with screening units of Dire Wolves, a Varghulf or two to keep them moving and add some hard-hitting strength, with several packs of Fell Bats to hunt your war machines - it's what I would have done. The basic vamps would probably have been in units of ghouls, raising them on a 3+ with IoN and Summon Ghouls, and one of them with the Ghoulkin power for the free march move? The non-Mannfred Lord would have been kitted for close combat, either with the Blood Knights or as a flank-charger on an Abyssal Horror, with Mannfred playin' it cool with the rest of the force.

Also, he might have screened his forces with Spectral Hosts and Cairn Wraiths, knowing you'd have an inability to hurt them by shooting with their Ethereal rules - am I right?


It really does seem, without seeing an army list and just guessing from the paltry amount of power dice that he brought to the table, that he spent the amount of points on wizards needed to overcome your defenses eventually, then bought the units he needed to crush you in more traditional fashion.

The real thing you have to do is not cry, "magic spam cheeze!" but ask, "How did he beat me?" It's rather difficult to believe that he overcame you via magic only - vampire magic is designed to support their regiments, not crush enemies.

Kill-Freedom
15-05-2009, 09:05
Yes, it's a little cheesy.

Remember:

http://www.demotivateus.com/posters/suitability-demotivational-poster.jpg

Thats a awesome picture ^^

Woodsman
15-05-2009, 12:09
I would have thought lizzies could do more than 22 PD. Can't some slann get +1 for every spell? potential 26 PD?

High elves do have a small chance of dispelling Ion, if VC not maxed out, with a possible +2 to dispell you can generally dispell single die casts on a single die, if required.

Looking at both lists I wouldn't blame him bringing a couple more PD had he felt like it.

WarlockOMork
15-05-2009, 14:26
and high elves got teclis. :p so they can get even more dice.

Condottiere
15-05-2009, 15:27
The HE have variable dice.

Lemonbrick
15-05-2009, 15:35
humm I would say its not to excdessive looking at how many dice many of the VC's players use in smaller forces at my local,

as a dwarf player in larger games the Banner of Valaya (sp?) is probably going to be worth its weight in gold (aganist most armies not just undead) and as well as a runepriest + run of balance

just my thoughts

Lemonbrick

Mercules
15-05-2009, 15:45
Also,Ogres have to have a Tyrant before they have a Slaughtermaster so all they could have would be 14. Then again, they can also single dice cast...

Sort of. Once you let a spell actually go through they need a 6+ to cast it with a different Butcher and at 14 PD your army is mostly Butchers. If that one goes through you are looking at a 9+ to cast it again with the next Butcher. 10 or so PD seems to be the practical limit of Gut Magic, after that you are just getting diminishing returns unless you run into a Dispel heavy army, in which case you would have been better off with less casting anyway.

skuller
15-05-2009, 16:47
[QUOTE=sholcomb;3556526]I did have 2 Earthshakers (but thought it was reasonable considering the size of the game), 2 Death Rockets and 2 bolt throwers. That with 3 units of blunderbuss made it a gunline, but not an earthshatering gunline given the size of the game. Remember I also had a unit of warriors, black orcs, and 8 units of hobgoblins. If anything, I had a hoard army.QUOTE]

AT 3.5? I normally field more guns at 2250 and depending if i want to get fully retarded in the magic phase besides the gun line I will be having 12 CC + 2-3 powers stones and 7DD and a around 4-5 DS. So I will considering your opponent a good/tough one rather than cheese. Cheese my friend will be the same amount of CS and DD backed up with 5 corspe carts at 3.5 giving you a helathy -5 to cast in a 24" radius

swarmofseals
15-05-2009, 23:02
If you had 7DD + 6 scrolls vs his 16 PD, I can only conclude that you were either unlucky or unwise in your use of DD. Either that or your expectation of how much you could shut down his magic phase was way too high.

Even against VC, it's OK if 25-33% of his spells go off. You just need to know when to dispel and when to let things through.

Was his army magic heavy? Yes. Was it excessive? I'd say no. Was it cheesy? I'd say definitely no (at least not in the magic department).

(PS: I play wood elves, so I'm used to being on the defensive side of the magic issue)

sholcomb
15-05-2009, 23:35
@ iamfanboy, a hoard army with a gunline backing it up, and defensive magic sounds like a balanced army to me! I can't imagine what you would actually think is balanced.

I think the idea of balance here is key. Did he completely max out his magic? No. But that would have made his army weaker anyway. Then he couldn't have eternal hatred vampire BSBs with the regen banner his blood knights. It was supposed to be a friendly game, and we had talked about him laying off unbalanced lists already. He was arguing that his 17-19 powerdice per turn was perfectly normal and "balanced" for a Vampire army.

I feel its extreme, but maybe that's just due to Vamps being a top tier army.

sulla
16-05-2009, 01:32
Right, I think its silly to compare 16 power dice to what is possible to take with a Vampire army. Rather, I would compare it to the fine line of "not fun to play against", or the even finer line of "I never want to play this person again".
That's how I would judge it too. If it wasn't fun to play his army, just don't play against that army again. Cheesy/non cheesy is pretty irrelevant. Whether or not the game is fun for both parties is not. Mismatches are almost never fun.

Dexter099
16-05-2009, 04:14
In the old days, the vamps having lots of magic wasn't overpowered due to the restrictions placed upon it...

Nell2ThaIzzay
16-05-2009, 07:58
Funny. All this claim of cheesy, watch him roll a miscast, lose his Lord or magic phase and suddenly the game is over.

This.

There are 4 phases to the game, and it is never cheesy to focus on one of those. It's all dependent upon your strategy.

There are way too many weaknesses in all out magic onslaught for it to be cheesy.

Condottiere
16-05-2009, 08:15
There are weaknesses on an over-emphasis on the Magic phase, but if you have duly placated the Dice Gods and they roll favourably, very few Army Books allow you the means to counter act.

Rubicon
16-05-2009, 08:29
My 2k monotzeentch daemons tote 14 power dice, 9 dispel dice, the Standard of Sundering and the Blue Scribes. That REALLY isn't that much magic in 3.5k.

In other words, I'm way cheesier that he is....

I stick to 9PD/7DD per 2000 pts. Anything more than that is on the cheesy side

Lijacote
16-05-2009, 19:17
There are weaknesses on an over-emphasis on the Magic phase, but if you have duly placated the Dice Gods and they roll favourably, very few Army Books allow you the means to counter act.

Perhaps the same could be said of all phases.

Stmr5000
17-05-2009, 00:14
How many armies can not get more than 18 power dice if they want?

Off hand I believe that Empire, DoW, Lizardmen, Beast of Chaos, Brets and Skavens can all do it.



How do you figure that?

rtunian
17-05-2009, 01:09
If it wasn't fun to play his army, just don't play against that army again. Cheesy/non cheesy is pretty irrelevant. Whether or not the game is fun for both parties is not. Mismatches are almost never fun.

this is kind of a slippery slope.

sometimes you are going to lose, and sometimes losses can be brutal to endure. there is something to be said for learning from your defeats, and also learning how to handle defeat, in regards to growing as a general, and as a person as well.

if you have a super soft list and you get beaten by a super hard list, then there was a communication breakdown. either you entered into a situation where you should have known to bring a competitive list (tourney, etc), or you assumed incorrectly what kind of force your opponent was bringing, or your opponent pulled a bait-and-switch on you.

in only one of those cases are you entirely blameless, and right to be upset and even to refuse to play against that person ever again. in the other two cases, you are at least partially responsible, and there are things that you could have done beforehand to ensure both that you had more fun, and that you had a better chance at winning.

Crazy Harborc
17-05-2009, 01:27
My regular long time, old fart opponents and I prefer to have magic lite WHFB games. We do not normally push heavy magic needed armies against each other. We went through the 4th and 5th WHFB editions with the double expenses of rules, armybooks and then magic suppliment books too. Magic card decks, extra magic books.

We are old and I guess we prefer wargaming to magic gaming.;) Okay lecture over.

If the armies can stand up without lots of magic....try doing magic lite or even no magic phase WHFB games.

That said.....all things considered.....I've pushed a Vamp/undead army. THAT army really needs lots of magic to win.;)

Condottiere
17-05-2009, 04:53
How do you figure that?I already calculated the most that DoW can do on 2K is 12 PD; 17PD at 3K, but then you need the Giants of Albion as well.

Dag
17-05-2009, 04:53
i disagree with this idea that VC NEEEEED their 12+PD a phase in 2k games. Their units are just as good and u can field them fighty, seen it done and its really good. its not just a combat res fight.

i had a guy summon 22zombies on my flank then run them into combat, was awesome.

VC's army is fine. Their lists just are most effective with lots of pd.

the 1 dice spam is my only problem, maybe max 2x per wizard?

Zeuy
17-05-2009, 07:36
Wow, I played a 2250 point game against VC not even eight hours ago. He brought 15 PD with Blood Knights and Cairn Wraiths, and I thought at the time I was out of line for complaining a little bit!

Nell2ThaIzzay
18-05-2009, 05:23
I really do get tired of people complaining about the magic phase.

The magic phase is not the "win" button. Far from it.

Perfect example? I played my first game in about 8 months today. I ran my Vampire Counts army, and I ran it pretty magic heavy. I had 11 PD in a 2k game. I also had my Vampire Count mounted on an Abyssal Terror with Dreadlance and Red Fury. On top of that, I was playing against Ogre Kingdoms.

The match ended up in a close defeat on my end. Despite having a free reign on my magic phase, I simply put could not keep up with the power he was able to dish out on me in combat, no matter how hard I tried. He also used superior tactics against me a couple times and was able to swing the battle in his favor.

Simply put, despite how magic heavy I was, he outplayed me. No if's, and's or but's about it. He didn't have any magic defense. I didn't blow up my mages or my general with miscasts. He just simply put beat me.

There are 4 phases to the game. Focus on what the strengths of your army are, and you'll be fine. Quit worrying about what I can do, and start worrying about what you can do.

meecrob
18-05-2009, 05:46
Rather than listen to people spouting what is "possible" (25 powerdice and 18 dispel dice, at 2k,ish) its better to get an idea of what most amies are capable of feilding.

At 2k this is a level 4, and 3 level 2's.
Totalling 12 powerdice and 7 dispel dice.
At 3k(or 3.5) this is 2 level 4's and 4 level 2's.
Totalling 18 powerdice and 10 dispel dice.

Having 16 powerdice and 9 dispel dice therefore means that he was pretty close to the maximum of what other armies can acheive. (other armies that arent daemons or vampires).

The most dice a vampire counts army can generate at 3k (or 3.5k) is 26.
2 level 4's with the +2 dice ability, and 4 level 1's with the +2 dice ability.
A full 10 more than what your opponent turned up with.

So you have a choice.
Do you:
A). see the average maximum as the limit to "excessive"?
B). see the maximum for that particular army as its particularly limit to being "excessive"?

Here's some perspective for the maximum.
Daemons at 3.5k can generate 47 powerdice and 22 dispel dice.
Just using horrors and heralds with power vortexes.

That's disgusting. How someone could keep track of all of that is beyond me and if you consider that he'll likely have more dispel dice than most people do power dice, the magic phases are entirely 1-sided.

Kerill
18-05-2009, 06:44
I really do get tired of people complaining about the magic phase.

The magic phase is not the "win" button. Far from it.

Perfect example? I played my first game in about 8 months today. I ran my Vampire Counts army, and I ran it pretty magic heavy. I had 11 PD in a 2k game. I also had my Vampire Count mounted on an Abyssal Terror with Dreadlance and Red Fury. On top of that, I was playing against Ogre Kingdoms.

The match ended up in a close defeat on my end. Despite having a free reign on my magic phase, I simply put could not keep up with the power he was able to dish out on me in combat, no matter how hard I tried. He also used superior tactics against me a couple times and was able to swing the battle in his favor.

Simply put, despite how magic heavy I was, he outplayed me. No if's, and's or but's about it. He didn't have any magic defense. I didn't blow up my mages or my general with miscasts. He just simply put beat me.

There are 4 phases to the game. Focus on what the strengths of your army are, and you'll be fine. Quit worrying about what I can do, and start worrying about what you can do.

I generally agree with this statement although there are exceptions:
1) Pure magic VC are too good due to the invocation and vanhels both having casting values one less than they should do IMO. 13PD VC with 3-4 bound spells is too much at 2000 points for some armies to have a chance (whilst some armies can deal with it).
2) Tzeentch daemons can rack up too many bolts of change as well at 2000 points for some armies although deployment can negate a lot of it. Used to play them but it was just too much.
3) Teclis can be too much against some armies. Again though deployment can negate a lot of that.

I always go very magic heavy though, regardless of what army I play and all my regular opponents are ready for it. Never wins games on its own.

The Clairvoyant
18-05-2009, 11:59
At 4000pts my VC army normally comes in around 16-18 PD
I don't think the number you took was excessive.

I'm also one of those vamp players that get bored of single-dice casting.
I much prefer to throw out some bigger spells. Forget about the risks, its a game.

I'll quite happily let my general cast curse of years on 3 dice even though 3 x Invocation would be safer.

Mid'ean
18-05-2009, 13:37
At 3.5k and having 2 Lords on the field I don't think that was excessive at all. You had L4 and 3 L2, semi gun line and horde army.....Sound like a good match up to me.....

Nell2ThaIzzay
18-05-2009, 17:45
At 4000pts my VC army normally comes in around 16-18 PD
I don't think the number you took was excessive.

I'm also one of those vamp players that get bored of single-dice casting.
I much prefer to throw out some bigger spells. Forget about the risks, its a game.

I'll quite happily let my general cast curse of years on 3 dice even though 3 x Invocation would be safer.

I think I agree with this too. I only "spammed" IoN once in that game against Ogres. I'd much rather throw 3 dice at a Winds of Undeath or a Curse of Years.

Although I don't know that I'd agree that Invocation of Nehek costs 1 less to cost than in needs to. It is the same spell as the level 1 version from last edition, and costs 1 point more to cast than the level 1 from 6th. It also doesn't have the option of being more powerful like the last one did. You can only get D6 wounds back, and you can't create new units with it like last version.