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2000pt Vampire Counts Army
x1 Vampire Lord +1 Magic Level
Master of the Black Arts
Helm of Commandment
Walachs Bloody Hauberk
Sceptre de Noirot
x2 dispel Magic Scrolls
Corpse Cart + Bale fire
Sword of Kings
x10 Crypt Ghouls + Ghast
x10 Crypt Ghouls +Ghast
x24 Zombies 'Full' Command
x7 Dire wolves
x8 Dire wolves
x28 Grave Guard + Full Command + Banner of the Barrows
+ Double Handed Weapons
x2 Cairn Wraiths + 1 Tomb Banshee (3 models in total)
6 Dispel Dice
2 Dispel Magic Scrolls
CHOOSING THE ARMY
When I came to choosing an army from the new Vampire Counts book I was at first a little peeved. Dire wolves didn’t count as a ’mandatory’ core choice anymore. I didn’t really want to take skeletons, I had been told zombies weren’t so great and ghouls were never my first choice….
In the end I decided to base my army on the detachment system for the empire army. A few small supporting regiments, backing up a really solid regiment. Hence I took a couple of small ghoul units followed by a fairly solid block of Zombies.
I needed a good sized ‘killing’ regiment. I briefly flirted with the idea of skeletons. But even as I was punching in the point totals for a 35 strong regiment I knew that I would abandon them to take my beloved Grave Guard.
28 Strong, Full command and Banner of the Barrows. I was a little apprehensive about the new Banner of the Barrows. With only +1 to hit rather than the blanket 3+. Still the Wights Ws of 3 meant they would be hitting on 3+ most of the time.
I had my core units sorted out, but no characters as yet. I knew I wanted a Vampire who was magically orientated. This wasn’t going to be an army that relied on a blood soaked butcherer stalking the field looking for the next challenge.
I quickly tooled up a powerful level 4 Vampire Lord. Summon Ghouls and the Sceptre de Noirot were a must with my army. Then I noticed the Helm of Command. I looked again, a misprint surely? For a mere 30pts I could transfer my Vampire Lords Ws7 to 28 Killing Blow Grave Guard? A bargain at twice the price!
I realised while I had plenty of magical power I was lacking on the magical defence front. A Necromancer spell caddy solved that. I took the opportunity to mount him in a Corpse Cart and give him Bale Fire. This would also lessen the effectiveness of any enemy mages.
In addition the possibility that the Grave Guard could Always Strike First was enough for me…..I quickly upgraded them all to Great Weapons.
Well that was a massive chunk of my army done with. What I needed now was a strong flank attack.
I decided to use the same form as before. A few supporting ‘detachments’ supporting a main unit. In this case a Varghulf was the main unit and 14 dire wolves split into two units was the support.
I love dire wolves, being fast cavalry they can easily get into people flanks. This has a tendency to make enemy generals paranoid, and can stall an enemy attack all together.
The Varghulf was something new for me but it could regenerate, caused terror and fly….I was having one!
I didn’t have too many points left. I wanted to take a Banshee, which meant spending a good chunk of my points on some Cairn Wraiths. Ah well, they could be another supporting regiment.
Finally It was a toss up between more zombies, a handful of Blood Knights or something different.
I went for something different….An independent character on a steed and armed as much as possible to the teeth. Its not to often you get to choose a character in Warhammer that has a free role. But the new Vampire Counts army is quite forgiving in that respect. Varghulfs are Rare Choices as are Wraiths which means more character slots.
Now all I needed was some tactics for this army of mine!.
Tactics are fairly similar to my old Vampire Counts army. A strong centre rolling up the middle with the flanks harassing the enemy. There are a few nasty surprises this time around however.
Grave Guard take the centre with zombies guarding one of their sides and ghouls on the other.
Behind this line and safely out of sight is the Vampire Lord and the Necromancer (and more importantly the Corpse Cart)
Both Dire Wolf regiments go on one flank, probably. Probably supported by Varghulf. These guys zip up the side and either get behind the enemy or go war machine hunting.
Cairn Wraiths are a reserve unit. Either they will take the other flank, or they will also be behind the main line, the Tomb Banshee can howl into combat.
Finally the Vampire’s default setting is that of body guard for the general. With the killing blow ability and ability to ignore killing blow himself, as well as infinite hatred he is pretty good at taking out mid level enemy characters. If necessary he can go off to take out a small enemy scouting regiment.
The idea is that the Grave Guard roll up the centrer. At their best the Grave Guard will be Ws7 +1 to hit, St6 Always Strikes First and Killing Blow.
For this reason they will probably be arrayed 7 across to get the full 8 attacks (+1 for Champion).
The Zombies will be to their side. Their job is simply to prevent the Grave Guard being hit in the flank. If they can tie up an enemy regiment that is great.
The Ghouls have a similar function to the zombies but with the possibility of charging into the flank of an enemy if need be (mindful of the fact that they can be a liability without armour)
Meanwhile the Dire Wolves and Varghulf be high tailing (excuse the pun) it across the board possibly making use of cover possibly just going hell for leather. They have three objectives in order of priority
1)Destroy any artillery
2)Destroy any light flankers
3)Get behind the enemy for a rear attack
Enemy units moving up the flank that are more difficult (say a solid unit of infantry) will face the usual tactic of wolves encircling them, except this time the Varghulf is lurking near by for a pretty devastating charge.
Awkward units such as Rat Ogres, Kroxigors and the like will be dealt with by the Cairn Wraiths as they get in close.
All going well my Grave Guard should eat anything they come in contact with the Zombies and Ghouls should just about hold (with some prudent reinforcement from magic). Meanwhile the Dire wolves and Varghulf breaks through/evades on one flank and gets in amongst the enemy picking off independent characters such as wizards or artillery pieces. If there are none of the above to deal with they swing around and hit the enemy in the rear.
All in all I think my basic army is robust enough to be a challenge to any army but if I have a few good magic phases it may be an insurmountable obstacle.
ORC AND GOBLINS ARMY
My friend (names have been changed to protect the innocent we will just call him DT) was good enough to give me his army list to type up
1 Black Orc Warboss-Heavy Armour Shield
-Warboss Umms Best Boss Hat
-Warboss Imbads Iron Gnashas
1 Orc Bigboss. BSB. Light Armour
Morks Spirit Totem
1 Night Goblin Shaman +1 Magic Level
x2 Disepl magic scrolls
30 Black Orcs + Shields + Full Command+ Noggs Banner of Butchery
25 Orcs Full Command
25 Orcs Full Command
30 Night Goblins full Command + Nets + 3 Fanatics.
2 Goblin Wolf Chariots
7 Wolf riders + spears + shields
THE BATTLE REPORT WAS WRITTEN USING MY MEMORY AND SOME SCRAWLED NOTES AS THE MAIN SOURCE........
The battle field was fairly sparse. Neither of us particularly wanted a lot on the board, in fact we pretty much didn’t just play on a flat field out of respect for the idea of terrain!
There was a hill in my deployment zone in the centre and on the board edge. On my right flank there was a small grove of trees. Further up the right flank in DT’s deployment zone was a pile of jagged rocks.
On the left flank half way between the two armies was a group of orc huts DT had made the day before.
On asking why the battle was being fought DT pointed to the huts and replied “Because youse dead gitz have taken all da real estate” DT was getting into character quicker than usual.
My Vampire Lord rolled up Raise the Dead, Gaze of Nagash, Wind of Death and Curse of Years
My Necromancer took Invocation of Nehek
My Vampire ended up with for Raise the Dead
The Goblin Shaman got Mork Wants Ya and Foot of Gork.
My zombies were positioned on the far right flank, I was confident that the trees and rocks would mean I wouldn’t be outflanked on this side.
Next to them were the Grave Guard. Supporting the Grave guard on the left were the two units of Ghouls.
My Dire Wolves and Varghulf were just behind my lines on the left. Positioned diagonally to whip out into the main battle field. I didn’t know exactly what DT had taken at this point so I was screening them.
Behind my lines my three characters took cover behind the Grave Guard.
My Cairn Wraiths were positioned behind my characters ready to move either to the left or right as appropriate.
DT deployed in a fairly similar way really. His chariots and wolves on my left flank (his right but that will get confusing) Then working inwards he had his Giant facing the Ghouls his two Orc regiments side by side then his black Orcs In the centre ready to advance towards my grave guard. Finally his Night Goblins were headed for my Zombies.
His Warboss was with the Black Orcs and his BSB with the nearest Orc regiment. His shaman was of course with the night goblins.
I won the Dice to decide who got to go first. I allowed DT to go first as I wanted to have the
last turn to repair my units and bring them up to full strength and also to raise units to claim table quarters chase down fleeing troops and generally counter attack..
ORC TURN 1
With mighty cheers and woops of blood lust from the assembled green skins (all 120 of them!) the Orc army surged forward…..or at least they did apart from the Orcs on the left who stalled, and then began bickering amongst themselves…..the joys of animosity…..
On the far left the Chariots and wolves moved forward fairly cautiously aware of the long range of my Varghulf. They were in a staggered arrangement ready to counter charge if possible.
The Giant lopped forward ahead of the Greenskin advance eager to engage with my Ghouls.
The Magic phase was something of a non event. And I could see DT looking rather worried. I had 6 dispel dice to his 4 power dice. Still he used three dice attempting to cast foot of Gork on my Vampire Lord. Being trampled to death in the first turn by the smelly foot of a phantom deity would be rather embarrassing so I quickly dispelled the attempt.
VAMPIRE TURN 2
My Dire Wolves and Varghulf moved out at a fair speed on the left flank to cover the Goblin chariots and wolf riders. Terror and fear would probably allow me to weather any kind of sudden assault from the Gobbo outriders.
My wraiths moved along the line behind the ghouls on the left to support that flank. I fully expected the Giant to break through and wanted him overrunning into the ethereal horrors.
On the other side the Vampire moved along the right flank behind the Zombies. I had some notion that he might be useful in drawing out the fanatics (which night goblins clearly would have) by using Raise the Dead.
My Magic Phase was fairly disappointing. Morks Spirit Totem gave DT 6 Dispel dice. My Vampires attempts to Raise a speed bump unit of zombies failed. As did most of my attempts to bolster my Ghouls. I finally got Invocation off and rolled a 6! Bringing up the number of Ghouls in one regiment to a very respectable 16.
ORC TURN 2
Animosity plagued the Greenskins again. This time the wolf riders argued amongst themselves as to whether to go near the Varghulf or not. They chose wisely and stayed put.
On the right flank the Night Goblins decided zombies probably weren’t too much of a challenge and began breaking into a sprint towards them!
One of the Chariots passed his fear test and charged the dire wolves. The other moved into position to charge the Varghulf.
The rest of the Orc and Goblin line moved forward as fast as possible while the Giant bore down on me only a few inches from my armies edge.
The Magic Phase began with a close call. The Night Goblin Shaman was just within range of my Vampire Lord with Mork Wants Ya. D6 St 10 hits would not be nice! Rolling three dice at a time there was a fair chance of irresistible force…..luckily DT just rolled high and I responded by dispelling.
The Chariot scored a whopping 5 impact hits on my dire wolves and the Chariots wolves killed another who couldn’t respond in kind. The last wolf crumbled to dust and the Chariot overran. First blood to the Goblins!
TURN 2 VAMPIRE COUNTS
I am not sure if DT realised but Ghouls are now fully Undead so no fear or terror tests……My u nit of 16 charged the Giant.
On the Left Flank
My Varghulf charged the Goblin Chariot (who somehow passed his terror test), while my dire wolves reformed and moved in behind the other victorious Goblin chariot.
In the magic phase I bolstered my zombies by 5 models, my Ghouls by 1 (for a total of 17) and I cast Miasma of Deathly Vigour on the Corpse Cart. I also drew out one of DT’s dispel Magic Scrolls.
On the down side I was once again unable to speed bump a regiment to get at those darn fanatics!
In shooting the Banshee scream couldn‘t even be heard above the joyous laughter of the Giant ‘playing’ with the Ghouls……...a double 1, pathetic……
In close combat the Ghouls did somewhat better. With 2 attacks each and poison they were able to inflict 2 wounds on the Giant. The Giant responded by picking up one of the hapless Ghouls and chucking him into their nearby brethren killing three of them!
The Giant lost the combat but easily passed his break test.
Meanwhile the Varghulf predictably butchered the Goblin Wolf Chariot.
ORC TURN 3
The Black Orc Warboss turned to his boyz and indicated to the line of dead things, “youse gonna let them stinking maggot ridden…dead humies take yur hutz?” she shouted “Nah boss” came the response “Well then lets show em real Orcs lets show em WAAAAGH”
The Black Orcs gave a mighty cheer at this and barrelled head long in to the Grave Guard.
The Orc Boys on their left charged into the Ghouls. For a moment their resolve faltered but the presence of the Battle Standard straightened them up and they charged forward.
Meanwhile on the far left DT declared his Goblin Wolf riders would charge the still hungry Varghulf. I looked sceptical but DT happily rolled his Ld getting a 3 to pass his terror test. I don’t know what the Black Orc Warboss was feeding those Goblins but it certainly worked.
The Night Goblins moved forward and released their fanatics into the zombies, two tore through the dead things ranks destroying 7 of them. The final fanatic stopped a mere inch and a half away from their front rank.
The last Chariot moved down the left flank to try and get behind the Vampire lines.
With Orc units in combat DT’s Magic phase was more effective and once again my Vampire Lord found himself under threat. Both of the Night Goblin Shaman’s spells were cast and though I dispelled Foot of Gork and Mork Wants Ya I needed to expend a Dispel scroll to keep my Vampire Lord from having a close encounter of a Green Kind.
The Wolf Riders did admirably against the Varghulf scoring two wound against it. Unfortunately this only served to annoy it and it responding by killing 5 of the wolf riders!
The rest understandably fled for the hills……
The Giant once again found it fun to pick up and hurl a Ghoul into the other unit killing two more of the Ghouls. (so I had one unit of 15 and the other of 5!). The Ghouls had no come back for this and though ranks etc meant they won the combat the Giant did not flee.
The Orc regiment facing the handful of Ghouls had no problem in cutting them to pieces and overrunning into the Vampire Count deployment zone. A bit too close to my Vampire Lord and Corpse Cart for my liking.
My Grave Guard vs. the Orc Black Orcs was a different proposition however.
At WS 7 due to the helm of command they were hitting on 3+. Because of the Banner of Barrows they were hitting on 2+. They struck first because of the Corpse Cart and had St6 with killing blow.……
The Grave Guard Champion challenged the Warboss who accepted. To his embarrassment he suffered a wound but didn‘t manage to kill the champion!
Meanwhile the Grave Guard hacked down no less than 6 of the Black Orcs! (getting the maximum number of kills they could just like the Varghulf!)
Auto break did its job and the black orcs were sent scrambling back to the safety of…well wherever black orcs feel safe.
The Night Goblins thought better of sticking around failed their panic test and legged it as well.
TURN 3 VAMPIRE COUNTS.
Well things were looking pretty good. The Black Orc Warboss and retinue were fleeing closely pursued by the Grave Guard, while on the right flank the Goblins had also ran.
The left flank was looking rather shaky though. A solid unit of Orcs had broken through and more were baring down. Plus that Giant still hadn‘t gone down and there was a chariot loose.
I decided to nip things in the bud.
My Varghulf charged the Orcs who had yet to engage with the undead. Meanwhile the Grave Guard charged the Black Orcs and the Dire Wolves charged the Chariot. My mounted Vampire charged the fleeing Night Goblins.
The Orcs promptly failed their terror test and fled. DT did not look amused as the Orcs fled from a creature that his Goblins had willingly faced down.
My Vampire didn‘t catch the Night Goblins who rolled an impressive double 6 on their flee reaction.
The Grave Guard too failed to catch the Black Orcs.
My Dire wolf was about an inch out of range of the Chariot and failed the charge.
My Vampire Lord and the Corpse Cart moved up behind the Grave Guard.
In the Magic phase I raised up a unit of 15 zombies to hem in the black orcs.
In shooting the Banshee howl killed 5 of the Orcs who had broken through. Not enough for a break test but getting there.
The Giant found a new game for the Ghouls and began jumping up and down killing 5. Combat resolution with Undead being what it is and 4 more crumbled.
ORCS TURN 4
First things first the Orc line completely rallied!
Secondly the Fanatics span round wildly and went back through the zombie regiment, (re)killing 9 of the walking dead.
One fanatic rolled 11 and made an impressive go at getting close enough to wrapping an iron ball and chain around my Vampire Lords neck.
The Goblin Chariot wheeled around and got ready to charge my Wraiths in the rear, while the Orcs did the same but from the other side,
Magic was fairly uneventful. Mork Wants Ya once again was dispelled.
The Ghouls struck first against the Giant this round. They rolled triple 6 and managed to wound, bringing the lumbering creature down to one wound.
In return he killed 4 of the Ghouls by continuing to jump up and down on them. (which after crumbling, left 4 or so)
The combat once again was left more or less unresolved.
VAMPIRE TURN 4
The Grave Guard charged the Black Orcs who passed their fear test
The vampire moved to the left to avoid the newly rallied Night Goblins
The Wraiths had enough space to charge the Giant.
The newly raised Zombies charged the Black Orcs in the flank.
Meanwhile I had hoped to send the Orcs fleeing in terror by charging my Varghulf at them. Unfortunately they held.
In the shooting phase the Banshee caused a single wound on the Giant…Which was all that was needed to slay the thing…….
The Magic Phase was fairly uninspiring. DT used the last Dispel magic scroll to stop an attempt to raise a speed bump regiment. Poor rolling and good use of dispel magic dice meant the only success I had was Gaze of Nagash which killed 5 of the Night Goblins.
I did however re cast Miasma of Death as a consequence in combat things went slightly better….
The Grave Guard Champion issued a challenge again which the war boss once again accepted. The Champion caused yet another wound to him. In return the Black Orc was able to finally cut down the Dead upstart.
His boys did little better though, 4 were cut down by the Grave Guard.with only one Grave Guard cut down in return.
Three zombies were destroyed. The Black Orcs narrowly lost the combat and once again auto breaked.
In so doing the zombies were able to pull apart another black orc……
Seeing their leader breaking the Nightt Goblins followed suit
Meanwhile the Varghulf killed 4 Orcs, who failed to return a wound. The Varghulf narrowly lost combat and suffered yet another wound.
ORC TURN 5
The Orcs in my deployment zone declared a charge into the Ghouls with the Chariot following…or at least the chariot would have except he failed his fear test and stayed put.
The two fanatics on the right had a real thing for the zombies and once again smashed through them killing 4 more.
The other fanatic hit my Vampire Lord damn near killing him…..
In combat the Orcs cut the Ghouls to pieces and overran into my Wraiths
On the other side of the board the Varghulf gobbled down three of the Orc boys but lost on Combat resolution and suffered his final wound, destroying him……
VAMPIRE COUNT TURN 5
My Dire wolves charged the Orcs engaged with Wraiths, This was a flank charge.
My raised zombies wheeled around to face the other Orcs as did my Grave Guard.
My Mounted Vampire moved across to get into position to charge……
In the magic phase I bolstered my zombies on the right flank as they were looking a bit dishevelled. My Vampire Lord healed himself of a wound and finally I cast gaze of Nagash to kill the troublesome fanatic.
I also tried re cast Miasma of Death but DT dispelled it.
In Shooting Banshee brought down 3 Orcs.
This was quickly followed by another by the Wolves and 3 by the Wraiths.
Though the Orcs killed two Wolves it was not enough. They fled off the board.
ORC TURN 6
The Goblin Chariot failed its terror test on account of the Wraiths and went the way of the Orcs.
The final Orc regiment could only turn to face the inevitable……..
VAMPIRE TURN 6
The Grave Guard supported by the Mounted Vampire charged the Orc Regiment.
The Orcs to their credit passed their fear test.
In the Magic Phase I didn’t do to much. I raised up some zombies to claim a table quarter (bit redundant but its best practice)
The Grave Guard killed 3 Orcs while my Mounted Vampire killed another 1 and his mount killed 1 as well. 5 Orcs dead then, none to fight back.
I easily won on combat resolution and auto broke the Orcs before running them down.
Result: Total Victory.
Well obviously I am pleased with the over all performance but to DT’s credit his list was made in about 20 minutes as a generic one rather than facing Vampire Counts specifically.
If he had spent a bit more on magic and had gotten a spell or two off my Vampire Lord could have been toast.
Equally I had some pretty great rolling in combat. But then the Varghulf and Grave Guard are such excellent fighters you almost expect it.
One thing that really struck me was that the Varghulf Terror is almost more impressive than his fighting ability.
When that was combined with the Wraiths ability to also cause Terror and you have a VC army capable of routing an enemy without really doing a great deal.
I was rather disappointed with my performance in regard to magic. I think I should have been more disciplined. As it was I couldn’t decide whether to bolster my Ghouls raise speed bumps or perhaps attempt an offensive spell.
In hindsight I should have concentrated on the Ghouls and I would have probably been able to repulse the Orc and Giant attack first time.
The Dire Wolves weren’t a waste but I am not sure used them confidentially enough. I should have sent them both around behind the enemy lines as quickly as possible, or used them to draw out the fanatics. IoN may even have been able to save them!
The Grave Guard regiment is as hard as ever and when combined with Miasma of Death and Helm of command I would be intrigued to know what can stop them.
Zombies…hmm...absorbed the fanatics quite well but were never really put to the test.
Overall I would say Vampire Counts are the same as always except now their offensive capability is a bit less Hold and Grind and more Hold and Bite!
Last edited by Visitor Q; September 7th, 2008 at 12:03.
cool sounded like a wicked battle and the big unit of 30 black orcs was to cool! but the orc and goblin army did seem quite small just massive units, i would have expected alittle bit more hitty units! like trolls and boar boyz real hammers!
I think he wrote up the army list in about 20 minutes.......
Nice report, and Good going with the new army Q.
I think the Grave guard unit is the one causing a lot of headaches for non vampire players at the moment, there seems to be little that can live with it in combat, especially if they have either charged or used the miasma thingy.
In terms of magic I'm suprised you got so little through especially given that your lord has eight dice to use casting new ghouls on a 3+, althought the spirit totem is notorious for shutting us down, and with two scrolls its never going to be easy.
Just as an aside I don't know if you are aware that the vargulf can regenerate its combat resolution wounds?
Arms are an instrument of evil, No measure for thoughtful men until there fail all other choice but sad acceptance of it.
Sun-Tse : The art of war
No, I made a mistake there, I was basically just treating it as a 4+ ward save in combat.
As I say this is my first warhammer game with the new VC and by extension my first game of warhammer in a little while. warhammer in general.
As I say I basically wasn't being particularly focused with my spells. I should have worked out what my optimum number of dice per spell was which I didn't (its probably two or three for IoN).
Basically I definitley didn't want to miscast, and there seem to much of a reason to take risks.
As for the grave guard, it was quite a points sink. Its was the equivilent of 530 points or something (Corpse Cart and Helm of command added to the basic points value) I think a massive attempt to kill the VC general by turn three would be the way to go.
Last edited by Visitor Q; September 7th, 2008 at 15:42.
Good write up - thouroughly enjoyed it. Congrats on the win.
Dovie'andi se tovya sagain (It's time to roll the dice)- Mattrim Cauthon
Varghulfs don't fly
LOL! Rep to you,
I can't believe I missed that!. (the fact it has flippin great wings didn't help)
Luckily the things move is so massive it probably wouldn't have made to much difference.
I read that and thought to myself, holy smokes have I missed that.. I guess their wings are too tattered or some storyline floof like that!