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I havent played whfb for 8 years. Ive decided i want to play an evil army, from the look of the models i am stuck between vc and de. I need help making my final decision though, could you tell me how both armies play and their strengths and weaknesses so i can make an informed decision. Thanks alot ryan
I know next to nothing about Dark Elves, so I'll leave that for someone else to deal with.
I know only slightly more than nothing about Vampire Counts but I've picked up a few things, and will try to put them in some coherent sentences for you.
Vampire Counts can be quite a flexible army. We generally, no matter what kind of build we bring to the table, rely on our heroes and lords to make the rest of the army work.
These vital characters can come in all manner of arrangements; magic heavy, combat specialists, support characters or a mix of two or even all three of these aspects.
The rest of the army will kind of depend on your lords/heroes. For instance, taking powerful close combat characters means you'll probably lean towards a more combat heavy force, with Grave Guard, Black Knights, Knights of the Blood Keep... really hard hitting units to take it to the enemy.
Magic heavy characters are more likely to be seen leading a host of shambling undead. This is probably the more common style for VC - using core choices to bog down an enemy unit, and then hitting it on the flanks with a more damaging unit to wipe them out. The magic power is useful for replacing losses in the core units by raising the dead.
A few final points; practically the entire Vampire Counts army is immune to psychology, so is generally quite reliable and won't run away at the worst possible moment. We can finish a game with more models on the table than we started with, thanks to our ability to re-raise fallen troops.
However, we have our weaknesses as well. Our core units aren't really that effective. They will need to act as support or be supported by other units to work at their best. And when I said we depend on our lords and heroes, I meant it; your army begins to fall apart (literally!) if you lose your general.
That said, we have quite a characterful force with a fair degree of flexibility, and some fantastic units and models. Of course, this could also be said of a Dark Elf army, I suspect, but like I said I'll let someone else handle that!
Hope I was of some assistance to you. Choose well!
(Although, with a name like RyanUNDEAD, isn't Vampire Counts the obvious choice?)
oki, i'll take a shot, since i play dark elves and my regular opponent plays VC .
Glass cannon army, we can dish it out, but can't really take it.
getting stuck in tarpits is our doom.
DE are more or less "jack of all trades, master of One at a time" we can dominate any phase if we build towards it, we tend to get outshot against the more specialised armies though (dwarves, empire, wood elves)
Armywide hatred... if you are like me and roll 1's a lot, then you'll love this .
our frail nature means that we have to run the numbers a bit and avoid combats that we won't win on the first turn, or we'll get dragged down with our T3.
An army where every unit and model is important and must not be wasted to insure a good chance to victory.
It's the definition of small & elite, DE win by outmanouvering and using each phase in most cases, not stamina.
Great monster(s): the hydra (unless he fluffs and just flops over and dies)
The eternal tarpit army.
How do you feel about handling your models a lot?
(you'll be setting up and removing handfuls every turn)
Be prepared to buy and paint double the amount of some units that you plan on having in your list. (thats a lotta zombies!)
You list will be 50% heroes and lords, the rest will be chaff units with one or two hammers.
no seriously, a vamp will easilly reach 5-600 points.
The army has a lot of choices in how it can be built and still be powerful.
(easy to theme)
Armywide Itp and fear, so you won't be redirecting or baiting.. ever..
One single model in the army is capable of some pseudo-shooting. (banshee)
be prepared to use half your points in your general, and a good chunk more on trying to keep him protected.
somewhat static and a bit slow by default, the "slow inevitable doom" type of army.
a bit boring in the magic phase, most of your PD will be spent on replenishing units, with the odd magic movement thrown in.
so-so monsters, no warmachines at all.
Blood knights....... they hurt.... a lot..
In a match-up DE vs VC:
It's balancing on the edge all through the game for me as a DE player.
Plenty of fun and important decisions every turn.
Hope this helps a bit.
I happen to have both of those armies. Most of what arachnid said is there.
The main thing I find with undead is you can afford mistakes as the troops are very reliable in that they will never break and the constant resummoning is a means of replenishing ranks. Many are the times where I've had a single zombie cause a Orc Warboss cowaring from fear (not charging) and its always funny when that happens. However unlike darkelves their rank and file troops won't be doing too much damage, its all in the chacters, rank bonus, outnumber and fear to break units....against unbreakable units you'll be sat there for a long time.
Character wise both armies have very good magic capabilities. This is important I find when choosing an army as magic can work very differently and effect the way you play. Undead magic focuses on replenishing and summoning while dark elfe magic is offensive and dishes out alot of damage...while being overloaded with power dice.
Though I will note that vampires are also good in combat (2+ save t4) while the Sorceress will fold like a wet paper bag if even hit by a butter knife (naked t3), however magic on the dark elf side is much more devastaing.
Everything else has already been said so I hope this helps.
Thanks for the advice. After watching battle reports played with both armies. I've decided to go with Dark Elves, as I like how much variety they have. I'm also not too keen on the idea of relying so heavily on my characters.
Fair enough! Variety is the spice of life, after all, and Vampire Counts do have a bit of a heavy reliance on their characters as you've said. So, enjoy your new army!
I was trying to make the exact same decision and decided on Dark Elves. Looking over everything again I'm glad about the decision.