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skullkandy
28-03-2010, 21:29
I've been working on my beastmen army(first warhammer army) but in order to get some of my pen and paper roleplaying friend into warhammer I'm going to collect 2 armies so that we can play some games.

I'm thinking VC for the second army but I hear so much trash talked about them. No one at my local store actually plays them but they all hate them. Can VC be played balanced. I'm not saying a super fluffy gimped list, but a good solid list that isn't cheese and annoying to play against?

Kalandros
28-03-2010, 21:33
they can, its easier to go all out on characters and death star full of cheese but its possible.
You can do a horde of undead lead with support characters and heavy cavalry.

You can mimic 'The Village Idiot' playstyle of the Empire (but without the war machines of course) that was dubbed 'The Crypt Idiot' over on vampirecounts.net Basically you have a lot of infantry and support units with durable characters that don't cost you an arm and a leg. The General is always important of course, but you don't need to spend the usual 450 pts on it to win games.

Tymell
28-03-2010, 21:42
Any army -can- be played balanced :)

All armies have their abusive builds and their fair ones, it's just that with some there are a lot more of one than the other. Some armies you have to work hard to make an abusive build for, some you wouldn't have to work quite so hard, and some you have to work hard not to have one ;)

The Red Scourge
28-03-2010, 22:02
If your PD aren't in the double digits, if you don't use the Helm of Command and Drakenhof Banner, and if you do not run the master powers, you will have a very fun and playable army that people won't complain about :)

TheZombieSquig
28-03-2010, 22:26
VC are fine. There was some whining when they came out, just like most books, when people haven't figured out how to beat them yet. But then the good players adjust to the weaknesses of the list and it's just the halfwits left whining because they don't know how to adjust to a different army's playstyle. VC are different, DOC are overpowered.

Hojo
28-03-2010, 22:49
All armies can be played balanced.
Army lists are broken, not armies.
It's just that some armies find it easier to exploit the army list.
Plus all the VC hate is stupid.It is an army with quite a few flaws.
Namely, the lack of mundane wargear for vampires, the sucky magic weapons and mediocre armour, the horrible statline of most of the core choices, the overpriced options (Varghulf, Black coach perhaps wraiths too) and of course the lack of any shooting (save the banshee scream).
It is a nice army and it is easily exploited but playing with a balanced list there really is no problem.
The easiest way to achieve that is selecting some units and/or characters judging by the looks.That way you are bound to use some stuff that you wouldn't if you went all WAAC.

Maoriboy007
28-03-2010, 23:13
VC are fine. There was some whining when they came out, just like most books, when people haven't figured out how to beat them yet. But then the good players adjust to the weaknesses of the list and it's just the halfwits left whining because they don't know how to adjust to a different army's playstyle. VC are different, DOC are overpowered.

Rather harsh, but accurate for the most part.

For a balanced list I would avoid MotBA, too many dice make people cry.
The mastery powers are fine and a required to make the core units work, they really just need a small change in the mechanics if anything.
The helm is ok as long as its not on a lord.
Don't play bloodknights and your opponants think you're doing them a favour when you're doing yourself a favour.Overpriced and overrated.
Play at least one unit of non zombie core that starts out at 20 models if at all possible.
Again the HAsslehof banner see's more complaints than it deserves, it's not undercosted (like a certan pendant or ring I could mention). If you hear too much whining to take it, replace it with a unit of black knights.
No more than 2 corpse carts, unless your opponants abuse magic themselves.
The Varghulf is another unit that is really overrated, the coach is better value. If they complain about the coach, take wraiths-that'll shut them up.
Avoid the boring bunker lord, or the Furious dreadlance lord (a bit of a glass hammer IMO).
Just my 2 cents.

Maoriboy007
28-03-2010, 23:21
A word on spamming, if your opponant has the ring of hotek (DE) Becalming cogitation (LM) Infernal puppet (WoC) or anything similar and complain about throwing single dice, you are perfectly within your rights to tell them to shut the hell up.
In all other circumstances I would recommend you try to throw at least 3-4 dice on a single spell that isn't vanhels in each magic phase whenever possible.
Wind of Undeath or Gaze of Nagash are excellent spells for this, WoD not being affected by MR and generating a handy spirit host.

Kaihlik
28-03-2010, 23:31
The problem with Vampire Counts is that they have a very narrow middle ground of balanced which is actually very similar to the WAAC list but intentionally nerfed to make it balanced.

This means that most builds are either not very good, or overpowered with people who play a balanced list having to run almost the same list as everyone else. Since it takes so little to push the Vamps into the overpowered list people who start off trying to make a balanced list find out that to do it they have to actually nerf themselves and not take the obvious choices.

This is frustrating for people who play as Vampires and against them as if they aren't running an optimised list you realise that they are holding back so it can cheapen your victory and if they are running an optimised list it becomes a rather dull grind.

The Vamp list is a problem because it makes it so hard to play a balanced list with it being much easier to make a bad list or an overpowered list. Unlike Dark Elves who are full of strong units and builds but simply have a couple of really obviously abuseable ones leading to their overpowered reputation.

Kaihlik

The Red Scourge
29-03-2010, 04:59
Namely, the lack of mundane wargear for vampires,

Beyond WoC, i don't know that many armies that let their casters run around in armour? And I don't know what wargear, you're missing, you've got heavy armour, shield, steeds with or without barding, lance, great weapons, additional hand weapons, what more do you want?

Trouble is, people think vamps are fighter/wizards, but you really have to tool your characters in one direction or the other, just like any other army have to choose whether they want a fighter or a wizard :)


the sucky magic weapons and mediocre armour,

KB on 5+, auto-hit lance, auto-kill sword,.. have you even looked at the stuff? Combined with the bloodlines, you can do some really nasty stuff. And would it really be fair to have characters that could run around in -1+ saves and be easily healed? :)


the horrible statline of most of the core choices,

They cause fear, and beyond that they are just as effective in combat as most other infantry core. Plus they can be recycled and used as tarpits.


the overpriced options (Varghulf, Black coach perhaps wraiths too)

Compared to skaven monsters perhaps, compare them to a giant, stank, treeman or the new beasts instead.


The easiest way to achieve that is selecting some units and/or characters judging by the looks.That way you are bound to use some stuff that you wouldn't if you went all WAAC.

Finally some truth - and this is good advice on buildng any army :)

ChaosVC
29-03-2010, 05:12
Just read the back ground and fluff provided in the book and try to do a theme army, but then again, there is a chance you may go wrong if your theme is about the invincible mongolian horde... Just try to moderate and reasonable with the amount of "HOT" selections in the troop choices. If your vampire is a blood dragon it doesn't mean the entire army only consist of blood dragon vamps.

Gaargod
29-03-2010, 05:26
I No one at my local store actually plays them but they all hate them.

There would be your problem.
It sounds like your group reads the internet and has decided that, as VC are acknowledged to be a very competitive army, they're broken.

That would be false.

Yes, they have builds which are rather silly (grave guard/bloodknight deathstars, 15 PD list, etc), but that's hardly the point. So do a lot of armies. If you take a balanced list, it will be fine - in other words, depending on your meta game, take some of the competitive options but not all of them. In other words, grave guard with ASF great weapons are very good, but give them hatred, regen + WS7 as well and they're too good. Bloodknights are really rather overrated - they're still T4 2+ save cav, so die to fire. Yes, they can be ressed - but if you're not playing cast spam, that means other stuff isn't/no magic charging.


Really, VC only becomes broken by combining multiple choices which, by themselves, are fine.
As opposed to Daemons, where some things are always good, all the time (horrors, flamers, BTs, certain SCs, certain banners...) or DE where things are underpriced/overpowered and taking them in combos is doubly harsh (hydras, ring, pendent, angry dragons, mass xbowmen).

Ultimate Life Form
29-03-2010, 05:49
I'm thinking VC for the second army but I hear so much trash talked about them.

That's right. Trash.

VC are just a regular army, unless you go overboard on elite troops and crazy item combos. Take big blocks of Core units (those may soon become a requirement with 8th Edition percentages anyway) and reasonably outfitted characters and there's no problem. I always get mad when I hear that VC bashing nonsense. The army is NOT inherently broken; you have to do it yourself.

MasterSparks
29-03-2010, 05:51
Trouble is, people think vamps are fighter/wizards, but you really have to tool your characters in one direction or the other, just like any other army have to choose whether they want a fighter or a wizard


There are a couple of builds available to have your hero Vampires be level 2 Wizards with a decent armour save (2+ or better). Mage/fighter hybrids are, like, the coolest thing ever and they're certainly quite viable, having continuously performed well in my lists for one. :)

kardar233
29-03-2010, 06:07
True, you can have a Hero with Dark Acolyte to make him a L2 wizard, but that means sacrificing a lot of offensive capability in the form of Infinite Hatred. Sure, Sword of Striking or Battle will make up some of the difference, but that means you're not getting the magical S6.

I guess you could go:

Vampire
Dark Acolyte
Avatar of Death (HW/S)
Sword of Striking/Battle
Enchanted Shield
Something else, Talisman maybe?

But that still leaves something to be desired.

Kalandros
29-03-2010, 06:52
[142] Wight King - Battle Standard Bearer, Barded Skeletal Steed, Banner of Hellfire, Lance

2+ Armor save, T5 3W, 3 S6 Flaming Magical Killing Blow attacks

You can place him in a unit of ghoul to completely destroy Hellpit Abomination and other such Regenerating monstrosities with a ton of S3 Poison Flaming Magical hits.

Its a cheap BSB that's durable enough and can be moved to where the Regen is at.
That's a good support character which doesn't chew up a whole chunk of points.

Here's some basic guidelines:

Rare Choice - Never the same one twice
Special Choices - Never the same choice more than twice
Core Choices - Pretty much limitless, though don't go overboard on fast cavalry (my current list has an insane amount of 29 dire wolves in 5 separate units haha)

Characters - LESS Points spent on Characters than points spent on Core.

That one, that last guideline, should be made into a Core rule for 8th edition and it would solve a lot of problems, but not all of course.

Hojo
29-03-2010, 09:07
Beyond WoC, i don't know that many armies that let their casters run around in armour? And I don't know what wargear, you're missing, you've got heavy armour, shield, steeds with or without barding, lance, great weapons, additional hand weapons, what more do you want?

Trouble is, people think vamps are fighter/wizards, but you really have to tool your characters in one direction or the other, just like any other army have to choose whether they want a fighter or a wizard :)



KB on 5+, auto-hit lance, auto-kill sword,.. have you even looked at the stuff? Combined with the bloodlines, you can do some really nasty stuff. And would it really be fair to have characters that could run around in -1+ saves and be easily healed? :)



They cause fear, and beyond that they are just as effective in combat as most other infantry core. Plus they can be recycled and used as tarpits.



Compared to skaven monsters perhaps, compare them to a giant, stank, treeman or the new beasts instead.



Finally some truth - and this is good advice on buildng any army :)
Paying 20 pts for a great weapon is not cool :)
It draws from your points allowance on spellcasting abilities.

Actually I almost sleep with the book lately.:p
I know there are some nasty combos but we are talking balanced here.They lack a general rank cutter or a stable high strength wep (lances are not as they only confer the bonus on the turn that you charge)
The armour options are good indeed.

Of course they cause fear and of course they are not useless.But some people use the undead rule as an arguement around how overpowered skeletons and zombies are but they seem to forget it's not unbreakable fear causing sword masters...not even empire soldiers.Zombies are the second worst fighters in the game and skeletons pay double the points they would normally do with that statline.Again I am not saying they are bad.They are splendid, but let's not miss on some facts here.

I don't see how a varghulf can be compared to a steam tank.He has wings but doesn't fly!
A steam tank costs less than double the points and it will keep those points til the end on 4/5 games.It can cause many more wounds on CC (it can actually cut down a whole regiment) and even has a cannon for those occasions when a dragon has parked in front of it.I don't see how there can even be a comparison.
Again I am not saying they are BAD, I am saying they are not bound to be OP.

-Grimgorironhide-
29-03-2010, 09:40
Out of the top three i'd say VC are probably the easiest to balance.
If you don't do the following you should be fine.
-No more than 10 PD in 2000pts. My list has 7
-Don't abuse the master powers. Especially the ghoul one.
-Don't take the regen banner with Graveguard.
-Don't take the helm of commandment.

I normally field this list which people are fine against.

-Medium Combat/magic Lord.
-Necro candy
-Nightmare Vamp
-25 skellies
-18 ghouls
-20 zombies (yes you probably shouldn't buy them but I just love my zombies.:D)
-19 Grave Guard (Shields)
-5 Black knights
-5 Wraiths

cheers.

Hojo
29-03-2010, 09:55
I don't know if this is the right thread to post this but why is the helm of commandement overpowered?I can see how it can be useful but why so much?

BigbyWolf
29-03-2010, 10:38
You mean some people have to resort to casting spells when using VC? :eek:

Madness....pure madness!

The Red Scourge
29-03-2010, 10:43
Paying 20 pts for a great weapon is not cool :)
It draws from your points allowance on spellcasting abilities.

That great weapon gives you chariot-busting S7 and thats nasty. A great weapon is worth a lot more to a vampire than a human wizard. A favorit build of mine is a Flying Horror, Avatar of Death with Wristbands and Enchanted Shield. Perfect for hunting chariots and warmachines.


Actually I almost sleep with the book lately.:p
I know there are some nasty combos but we are talking balanced here.They lack a general rank cutter or a stable high strength wep (lances are not as they only confer the bonus on the turn that you charge)
The armour options are good indeed.

If you want to rake in the kills use a lord with Red Fury - mine usually sports a Flaming Sword of Rhuin to boot. That cuts down most things.


Of course they cause fear and of course they are not useless.But some people use the undead rule as an arguement around how overpowered skeletons and zombies are but they seem to forget it's not unbreakable fear causing sword masters...not even empire soldiers.Zombies are the second worst fighters in the game and skeletons pay double the points they would normally do with that statline.Again I am not saying they are bad.They are splendid, but let's not miss on some facts here.

So you're saying, you shouldn't pay for the ability to get raised (even beyond starting unit size), cause fear and never run from a fight? Skellies don't need to kill to win a fight, they just need to come back.


I don't see how a varghulf can be compared to a steam tank.He has wings but doesn't fly!

They serve different purposes, and VC has no need for a STank, but you were complaining about points cost. Different armies win through different tactics. Would look odd if my woodies ran around with a STank, wouldn't it? ;)


Again I am not saying they are BAD, I am saying they are not bound to be OP.

Well, you did say they were overpriced...

VC aren't the army with all the best gadgets - thats DoC :cheese: - but all the choices have their place in an army and can be put to good use, as the army has very good synergy :)

MasterSparks
29-03-2010, 10:51
True, you can have a Hero with Dark Acolyte to make him a L2 wizard, but that means sacrificing a lot of offensive capability in the form of Infinite Hatred. Sure, Sword of Striking or Battle will make up some of the difference, but that means you're not getting the magical S6.


I don't rate the Infinite Hatred power very highly myself since it does come with a rather unsightly downside. If my regular Dark Elf opponent would ever get a whiff of my characters having Hatred I'd be in for so much abuse when you think about how much I've tormented his units with their automatic overruns. :evilgrin:

Besides, I find that 3 S5 attacks is plenty enough for a unit leader. My two usual set ups look like this.

Vampire - Dark Acolyte, The Flayed Hauberk - 155
Vampire - Dark Acolyte, Avatar of Death (GW), Enchanted Shield - 165

They're both level 2 Wizards with a 2+ armour save (the second one can use his GW for S7 when the opportunity arises) and they've both got some points to spare for other little stuff.

It's all pretty much down to personal preferences, anyway. :)

Gaargod
29-03-2010, 11:02
You mean some people have to resort to casting spells when using VC? :eek:

Madness....pure madness!

Not all of us are completely insane BigbyWolf :)

Though i admit, your battle reports are definitely worth a laugh, even though the idea is crazy.

danny-d-b
29-03-2010, 11:09
I don't know if this is the right thread to post this but why is the helm of commandement overpowered?I can see how it can be useful but why so much?

have you tried hacking through WS 7 zombies recently?

Hojo
29-03-2010, 11:12
Many units will have to hit them on 5s yes but it will still be a unit with T2 and no save at all.

Condottiere
29-03-2010, 11:18
have you tried hacking through WS 7 zombies recently?Yes, but it seemed to me that the more I killed, the more that appeared.

FictionalCharacter
29-03-2010, 14:42
yes, they can. i worked out a middle ground among my gaming group that allowed me to remain competitive without steamrolling everybody in the magic phase. VC can be beaten with tons of magic defense and some smart targeting. a big part of the problem is that common VC magic builds are just too much for a lot of all-comers lists.

GrogDaTyrant
29-03-2010, 15:41
IMHO you can still build a very effective VC list that is fun to play against, without resorting to the Drakenhoff 10+ PD trap. I've seen extremely effective VC lists that had at the most 8 PD, and spent their battle-standard on something else entirely. In my case, I've been itching to do a very ghoul-heavy Strigoi-themed list, where the only magic-standard I'd field would be the Strigoi one. Partly to prove it can be done, partly because the only lost-bloodline I liked more were the Lahmians.

On an aside note, I think one of the most under-used VC lords currently is the Dread-Knight build with the always-hit lance and Red Fury. I've seen him solo infantry formations of chaos warriors, reliably kill 6 to 7 models on his own, win combat res, and then single-handedly charge down the entire regiment. Not to mention he's a solid monster/chariot killer (unless going up against something like a blood thirster).

Carraway Effect
29-03-2010, 18:32
I don't know if this is the right thread to post this but why is the helm of commandement overpowered?I can see how it can be useful but why so much?

Depends: If taken on a hero (WS6) it's not horrible--makes most things hit you on 4+ rather than 3+.

The problem happens when a lord (WS7) uses it on a large block of zombies or grave guard. Suddenly, most forms of rank and file (WS3) are now hitting you on a 5+, which means they're only killing about 5 or 6 zombies (including crumble), or maybe two grave guard each combat--enough that a single Invocation can restore the unit to full. Then it's just a matter of waiting for the opponent to whiff on an attack roll and autobreak them with fear/outnumber.

And that last part's the kicker. If it were just a means of making the king of tarpits more annoying, it would still be controllable. But since you can break and run-down a unit so easily with it, it veers into overpowered.

If the rumours/wishlisting about 8th ed psychology getting tuned-down are true, the Helm will (hopefully) stop be such a point of contention.

Back to the OP's question: Unlike DoC (where half the units touch the rules in their bathing suit area), VC lists are only truly broken if you take advantage of all the synergies at once. Even 15 power dice list is perfectly beatable if you don't have the Master powers to abuse it, or the Hasslehoff-Guard deathstar to dance around. And the 'star itself can be whupped on if it's backed by close combat vamps and wight kings.

Yes, VC is a powerful army, and is generally ahead of the curve. But it takes effort to break it. And hopefully that breakability will be tuned down in the next rulebook. (And then we'll all right flying marshmallows to the sherbet kingdom.)