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The most defining thing about Vampire Counts is their rules of undeath. Due to this they are unlike any other army in warhammer except Tomb Kings which follow similar rules. Firstly they are immune to psychology which means they will do what they’re told so no worrying about failed panic checks. This also means they cannot elect to flee as a charge reaction which is its one downside as there are some situations fleeing is best. The whole army also causes fear which as you will realise is one of its greatest strengths, fear controls who can charge you and can allow our poor troops to destroy enemy units without even fighting due to them fleeing in fear. The other bonus with fear is when winning combat and outnumbering they break a normal enemy unless they roll insane courage.
Speaking of combat, undead also means that undead units that lose combat do not take a break test instead they lose wounds for each point they lose by, this for each unit so if 2 undead units are engaged and you lose by 2CR both units take 2 wounds. This means it’s important to be careful who you throw into combat as I mention later. Being undead also means your units can only march when within 12” of the general or 6” of a model with the vampire rule, so you need to pay attention where you deploy your general and any units with the vampire rule, in most cases you should be able to get your whole army able to march without being really packed tight.
The general who must be a vampire is not only important to allow marching, he is also the lifeblood of your army because without him things start to fall apart, quite literally. If your general dies each unit takes a leadership test at the end of that phase and the start of each of your turns thereafter, units can use a character that’s leading them leadership and lone characters or units with the vampire rule do not test. So keeping your general alive is very important and if he dies early to mid game you will most likely struggle to get a draw.
I have not used any of the special characters and nor do I want to since I prefer making my own and letting them forge their own reputation.
By playing vampire counts you are blessed with having one of the best lords in the game and certainly the most customizable. In 2k games and up one of these will be your general, and there is no reason to not take one because they are that good. You get an extra A, WS, T, I, W, BS and 3Ld over the Vampire though the BS and Ld are of not much use. This makes the Vampire Lord a lot more survivable than a Vampire which alone is important as this guy needs to stay alive. When making a Vampire Lord you can chose to make him a monster in combat, an awesome wizard or mix of the 2. No matter what type of Lord you take it is always worth paying for the Lv3 upgrade as it gets you another dispel dice as well as another power dice and spell.
The Combat Lord
The combat geared Lord has 2 very good of options, the first being the good old dreadlance and red fury combo which is great if you tend to fluff your dice rolls or just want to take a bit of chance out of the game. Dread Knight compliments it though you can just take a nightmare if you want to get some other vampire powers on the lord though it’s worth it for the save alone. Another option is using the Blood Drinker which is a fantastic sword which slightly makes up for not being as good as magic as he could, used with red fury and infinite hatred you can reliably get a lot of wounds repaired which also adds to his survivability. This build works great in any unit really especially Knights as they can be costly to repair otherwise. These 2 are the best weapon fit for a combat lord though when it comes to protect you want some sort of ward and since this guy is designed to fight the crown of the damned is very good as hopefully he will be in combat most of the time and not need to test for stupidity and even if he has to Ld10 is reliable and finally him going stupid is nowhere near as bad as a magic geared lord going stupid as you’re not taking him for his casting ability.
The Magic Lord
This option is popular as VC have very good spells available to them and by being strong in this phase it lets you be strong in the movement and combat phases as well. With a magic Lord, master of the dark arts and a master power are essential as they fuel your magic phase and let you concentrate a lot of dice to your main infantry type and keep them at full strength. The other power is normally one of 3 after this; dark acolyte, forbidden lore, flying horror. Forbidden lore is probably the best as it means you know the whole vampire lore (which is the one you should take) and more importantly guarantees vanhels danse macabre which is the best spell you have available to you. Forbidden lore makes you’re Lord a lv4 so you are likely to get vanhels but there is a chance you don’t which is why I favour forbidden lore, you do however get another dice to play with so you may wish to chose this if you’re army relies on lots of raising. The last one is fly which is great as you can get your lord out of tricky situations quickly and get to where your spells are needed. After the powers you are stuck with a dilemma with equipment. One option is to give yourself some armour and ward in the form of walachs bloody hauberk and a nightmare, this gives you a 3+5++ save which is a nice amount of protection just be sure to keep out of trouble and only engage normal enemy units with no characters if you can help it. To compliment this a sword of might goes down well to give you a bit of extra punch when needed and the book of arkhan to round of your magic capability. Another option is to ignore protection and take the skull staff to greatly increase your casting and dispelling ability, this will mean you will want to avoid combat at all costs so to make the most of this add the helm of commandment so your fighting ability isn’t completely wasted. This build works well if you take fly which is a form of protection, either way you need a unit to hide in so be sure to allow for it in your list.
This build mixes the magic and combat Lord together to make an all rounder so there are lots of options to mix and match the builds I’ve mentioned so far though you tend to favour one of the archetypes. An example would be to replace master of the dark arts with red fury in each of the builds to combine or perhaps take both on one lord, it’s down to you though from experience being slightly magic bias with the combi builds tend to work best.
have not personally used this one though here are some things to consider if you do. Firstly in a 2k game he will be your general so be careful with him as a dragon does not make you invincible. Consider taking the blood drinker, it will keep your dragon healthy as with T5 he is not as tough as he looks. Finally remember the breath attack if can be nasty to heavily armoured or low toughness units.
Again we are spoilt with this character, probably the best hero choice in the game. You get a very good stat line and 1lv of magic basic so like the lord you need to chose a path though he will be able to do both magic and fighting in a lot of builds.
The vampire can be upgraded to bsb and the benefit from doing so is very good so always consider it to one of your ‘normal’ equipped vampires. The other good thing about the BSB is the ability to take the infamous Drakenhoff Banner. It is a very expensive option but makes the unit you accompany very tough to shift . Remember you get regeneration on wounds caused by losing combat hat coupled with the effect BSB has on undead means crumbling from losing combat is greatly reduced. Be wary of flaming attacks though as this ignores your regeneration. Powers to consider giving your Drakenfoff BSB are dark acolyte and a master power as he has regeneration for protection you may as well make him a good caster. The other is a fighty option with dread knight and walking death or infinite hatred to add some punch to the unit.
There are 2 types of magic vampire one that takes master of the black arts and the other who goes with dark acolyte and a master power. The first one is good for raising zombies and makes a good candidate for the sceptre de noirot other than that its normally best to go with the dark acolyte one as you get another spell and can use 3 dice to cast a single spell with which makes him reliably able to cast the 7/8+ casting value spells in the lore of vampires. It also gives you room for a master power which lets you support your armies rising very well with the +1 to cast and ability to increase unit size of the unit you master. The equipment you give your Vampire can make him a hybrid type or solely a caste. To make a hybrid and one of the best vampire builds is give him sword of battle/might and the flayed hauberk it lets him fight pretty well and keeps him protected. To focus on his casting you can give him the book of arkhan or helm of commandment if not already in the army as that will make him favour staying out of combat and still be of good use whilst not fighting.
The combat vampire will take dread knight and infinite hatred or walking death for his powers as they directly help winning combats which is this guy’s job. For equipment you can add an arcane as he can already fight as well as he can from the powers so the black periapt or a dispel scroll are a good choice to boost magic defence, or the tomb blade if he will go with skeletons. It is also worth considering the hand of dust to give your opponent a nasty surprise at the end of the magic phase.
Another option with the vampire is to mount him on a hellsteed to make for a mobile wizard who either specialises in fighting or casting like I mentioned. One item in particular is worth giving this vampire and that’s the rod of flaming death as you can use the fly to get to the units you really want to target and position yourself so that any unit that flees will flee in a favourable direction.
The wight king is often overlooked because the vampire is so good which is a shame as what you get is one solid hero. With 3 wounds and toughness 5 he is as tough as a vampire lord and tougher or as tough as most other races lords. That and being a wight his basic weapons are magical and have killing blow. He can be your BSB so forms can get the drakenhoff banner in your army for cheaper than a vampire. Other than that the best build is a challenger/character killer, by taking the sword of kings and the cursed book making him lethal.
Again thanks to the vampire this guy is overlooked a lot as well but there are times you don’t have the point to fit a vampire so a necromancer becomes a viable choice. He has the option to ride a corpse cart but I’d advise against is as it just makes the cart a juicy cart and the necromancer is safer in a unit. Also there is the option when riding the cart to join a unit but this just makes your necromancer a bigger target in combat as he easy to kill and will be targetable by and entire enemy front rank pretty much. A quick list of equipment options are:
2 dispel scrolls- simple scroll caddy
2 power stones- this will let you have 2 good attempts at vanhels
Rod of flaming death- a cheap way to add some offensive magic
Book of Arkhan- a cheap way to get the must have book in a list if you haven’t already
Black periapt and scroll or stone- he may not get a chance to use his dice so why not let him save it for a cheap price as well
When it comes to choosing a spell I say always go with vanhels as its such a good spell and it’s nice to defiantly have, after that if you have the spare points add another spell if you like though I normally don’t bother.
Since VC rely on their characters a lot more than other races it is important you make the right choices to get the most out of them as they do cost a lot of points. It is best to have a balance with combat and caster characters. The biggest decision will be the type of lord you take. By taking a combat lord you will want at least one caster vampire though preferably 2 as you want to achieve at least 9 power dice at 2k to ensure you can get some spells off. With a combat lord it is normally a good idea to put him in a unit of skeletons or ghouls as he your wights and blood knights already have enough killing power on their own and a lord in skeletons and ghouls makes them a tough unit for your opponent to deal with, in essence you’re spreading your killing power to a unit that would otherwise be weak. The vampires supporting this guy are just that, support so should be caster vampires with the helm or book or possibly even a BSB with drakenhoff. I say this as there is items you should always try to fit into the list like the book of arkhan and helm of commandment which would normally be on a caster lord so getting them into the list through vampires is a very good idea and since your lord is great at combat it takes some pressure of the vampires to fight. This is the same with a caster lord since he will be holding together your magic phase and not wanting to fight it’s down to your vampires to fight so he will work best with the combat vampires and a hybrid to round of the magic phase. Mixing the archetypes in an army covers up the fact that you have they may be individually specialised though as whole they create balance. You can of course go all out with one archetype but you will not be making the most of the fact that vampire characters are good at both, you will be ignoring one thus not getting the full potential out of your vampires. It can work well but I see it as a waste of our vampire’s potential.
The fact that we have take infantry blocks as are minimum core means we are meant to be an infantry army, there’s no filling up with dire wolves for a cavalry army like before. Since we have this restriction I say make the most of it as our core is very good even if it doesn’t look like it at first. With the master powers I stand by taking all the same throughout an army and focusing on either skeletons or ghouls as your main unit. This is because I’ve found there are times you desperately need to raise a unit up but if you only have one vampire that can raise that particular unit your opponent will know and be able to focus his efforts in stopping that one vampire knowing full well the unit needs to be increased in size. Saying that I think it’s best to go all ghouls or all skeletons so you know all your master vampires can concentrate on these units with a lot of dice when needed.
Skeletons vs Ghouls
This is the new debate that has been brought up with the new book, whether skeletons or ghouls are the best unit to take? The short answer is they are as good as each other in my opinion, they are both about a survivable as each other, the ghouls will kill more but the skeletons can take full command and a magic banner which balances things out. Both units perform the same role in the army so I see no reason to have both in an army unless you like both models and it is made easier for your vampire to raise them if you concentrate solely on one of these units.
Zombies are cheap very poor in combat and dead easy to raise this is why I like them so much. Because you need to fill your min core with infantry I find myself always fielding one unit of 20 zombies because they are cheap and more useful than the 10 ghouls or skeletons you could get for the same price. It’s best to avoid the command options since you will not be winning and combats for it to make a difference and is generally not worth the points for the upgrade, and taking a banner just makes the zombies a nice target for some extra VP’s. A unit of zombies is handy to have in the deployment phase as you are not giving anything away by deploying it letting you adjust your deployment as you see where the enemy units are placed. Many people say it’s not worth starting with zombie as you can easily raise a unit during the game. I disagree as by starting with a unit you can use your power dice for more important things as to raise a unit of 20 or so from scratch will use a fair amount of power dice normally. In game the zombies use is not like most units as they cannot fight so their role is to tar-pit. Simply chose a tough enemy unit you don’t want to have to deal with and get it in combat with the zombies, with some invocations each turn you can hold it up all game unless they have a silly amount of attacks or send more units at the zombies to free the unit, which will play into your hands as that’s another unit the zombies will slow down/distract for a turn or 2. You need to be careful with zombies and try to not use them to help other units in combat as the zombies are easy CR for the enemy to generate so adding them to a combat could work out worse than avoiding it. Like I mentioned at the start when losing combat each unit takes wounds so it could be very costly if zombies cause you to lose blood knights through losing combat. Since they are so easy to raise I find a starting unit of 20-25 is enough as long as you remember to add to them as you can easily get distracted casting the fancier spells we have available.
Skeletons are a solid choice, they may have a subpar profile but they make up for it with the rules of undead and the ability that your vampires can take to raise them above their starting strength. It’s is almost always worth giving them full command as the standard lets you take a magic manner, the champion can accept challenges in place of your vampires to help protect them and musicians just round it off as they are cheap enough to add even if you will use them for drawn combats. With a 25pt magic banner allowance I say always try to give one a war banner because with skeletons static CR is everything and that extra point can make a huge difference especially if you outnumber. When combined with the helm of commandment skeletons become a lot more survivable since enemies will be hitting you on 4+ instead of 3+ making them even better at winning combats through static CR. By adding a combat vampire or lord to a unit it turns the unit into a very potent unit that can take on a lot of units in the game even more so if the skeletons are augmented by the helm of commandment. This is normally a good idea as it can spread you’re killing power through the army rather than having super units that can be ignored. For a skeleton unit to be most effective you need to have 25+ models fortunalty you don’t have to pay for all of them in your army list. Since skeletons can be raised above starting strength taking a unit of 20 is a good start as it won’t need much effort to bring up to the best size even if you don’t have lots of magic. If you have lots of magic 15 is the best size to start with as it won’t take a massive amount of effort to get to a good size and is large enough to withstand a fair bit of shooting and magic damage. Another option is replacing a unit of 20 with 2 units of 10, this can be risky but the benefits is you can get more units than you should in your army which is a great advantage though it only really works if you have lots of magic in the army, so 11 power dice or more. If you chose to do this it is normally wise to hold one of the units back to make sure it doesn’t get blown away from ranged damage and to concentrate on getting one unit up to strength at a time. One more thing is the age old debate of spears there have been countless threads discussing this so I direct you to them as they go into far more detail than I’d like to in this overview.
Ghouls have a pretty good stat line with toughness 4 and 2 poisoned attacks, if they could take full command they would almost always be better than skeletons but because they don’t it puts them level with skeletons. Ghouls can be enhanced with the vampire power ghoulkin letting them get to the enemy faster and giving the option to get a first turn charge with a flying vampire catapulting out the unit, this is a tactic worth considering against empire and dwarves who have warmachines that can be taken out before shooting if deployed too far forward. Obviously if taking ghouls you will want your vampires to take the summon ghouls master power to make the most of them by increasing their unit above starting strength and getting a +1 to cast on the invocation. Ghoul starting size is the same as skeletons so either 20 or 15 or using 2 small units of 10. Ghouls can also have a place in an army of skeletons as a small unit of 10-12 as flankers due to their 2 poison attacks they can be good at this though there are other units that are better at them for this role.
With fast cavalry and movement 9 these dogs are quick. When taking them you shouldn’t expect them to kill much but that doesn’t make them bad. In fact the only things you should be charging with them is warmachin crews (not dwarven as they’ll lose) and the flanks of weak troops. There is no reason to take more than 5 in a unit as having more doesn’t make them perform their role any better. With their great movement they are very good at march blocking and diverting units. By moving them directly in front of an enemy and angling them in a way that is favourable to you, the opponent will have to charge them or simply not move so you can slow down and take enemy units out of the battle this way. Another use is to use their high movement to get behind enemy units so as long as you keep 3 or more alive any enemies fleeing through them will be auto-killed, this is great if you have an infantry unit fighting cavalry that they will probably not run down, it also means you can decide not to chase broken enemies knowing that they will still be destroyed. As they are cheap and expendable they make great screens and they will fit in any army so there is no reason to not take at least 1 unit.
These are pretty awful as our core infantry can do a just as good job, it’s nice that they count as infantry for the purpose of raising but it doesn’t make them worth taking. These should really be avoided.
At a first glance it looks expensive for what it can do but when in-game you see why it costs as much as it does. The 2 options it has are very good and part of what makes it worth taking, in an very reliant on raising the unholy lodestone is invaluable and if you have black knights it saves a lot of invocations as 2 are risen opposed to the 1 that it normally does. The other option is a great boost to your magic defence and is the one I’ve come to favour because of this. When using the corpse cart don’t engage it in combat if you can help it, it works best sat behind your battle line where it is relatively safe and it can use its ability to augment the most units and affect the largest part of the battlefield.
These are our elite/heavy infantry and are an excellent choice with magical killing blow attacks, toughness 4 and good armour. Whether you give them great weapons or not depends on if they have a BSB with drakenhoff banner accompanying them as the extra protection you get makes up for the lower armour they have with the great weapons, without it’s normally better to stick with the hand weapon and shields as they do have killing blow and strength 4 which is fairly good offensively plus with a 3+ save in combat they are tough enough to take damage. Full command is always worth it as is a magic banner as compared to other elite infantry grave guard suffers with WS so standard of strigos and banner of the barrows can help this. Having the helm of commandment in your army can make these guys super deadly and able to take on anything in the game. When it comes to the unit size there is no real reason to take more than 20 as they can be raised up to their starting unit strength, they should kill a enough that they will end up outnumbering the enemy for the auto-break. If you take the drakenhoff BSB you can get away with a unit of 15 since you will be very survivable but 20 is ideal. This unit is one of the most powerful we can take so use it wisely it can survive and take on most things but it is not invincible.
There are 2 ways to use this unit, as a flanker or a super unit. The super unit is simple, a unit of 9/11 with a character (preferably the drakenhoff BSB ), full command and standard of strigos. This will take on anything and probably come out on top, just use with care. Black knights are the mounted versions of grave guard and also have skeletal steeds with grant them ethereal movement; it is this that makes them excellent flankers. When taking a flanking unit the ideal size is 5 or 6 with no command as its role isn’t to cause damage but remove a rank bonus and not die, it is also this reason barding is worth the upgrade. What makes this unit so good is the cost and the abilities you get for that cost. They can be hard to kill of as well due to ethereal movement and hiding in or behind terrain with no worry of being slowed down by it. When taking a small unit you can always invest in the command and strigos banner to make them able to break units by flanking on their own a lot of the time but taking them with no command when there is the helm of commandment in the army is the most efficient way to use them. It’s this efficiency that makes them a contender for best overall knight unit the game.
Fell bats do what dire wolves do but better and are our most manoeuvrable unit, pretty much all I said about dire wolves applies to fell bats. The only problem is they take a special slot but if you have a space spare it’s always worth putting a unit in. Fell fats can be deployed away from your army as they fly do not need to be able to march, it’s a good idea to place them early as they are fast enough to get where they need to be so can be used to reveal another enemy unit before you commit something important in deployment. Fell bats are made even better when you have the respective master power as they count as infantry so are raised d6 at a time. Remember they are only US1 so need 5 bats to gain some of the benefits I mentioned with dire wolves.
Spirit hosts are another great flanking unit due to being ethereal, having a good movement and being immune to normal attacks. At first they look expensive but they can only be hurt with magic which makes them very resilient except against armies like wood elves, deamons and warriors of chaos cavalry armies. A unit of 3 is normally enough as it keeps the cost down and they remain effective even if they lose a base. Magic missiles hurt these guys but with 4 wounds each it takes a few to do some damage to them, your real worry will be runed grudge throwers as they make a complete mess of them so taking out the grudge thrower should be high in your priority list when facing one. They are great screens as they can’t be hurt by missile units, if moved in the right way they can block a missile unit that’s not on a hill from shooting your entire army and then charge and take them out. In fact they are great at taking out small units as their strength 3 attacks are usually enough. Since they can’t be harmed by most things they make a great tarpit for units like shaggoths, giants, hydras etc which would otherwise cause you a lot of problems plus it only takes one round of good dice rolls to take it out the game.
I haven’t used blood knights enough to write about them and they are the sort of unit that you will base your army around and warrant their own tactica in my opinion.
The Black Coach is a bit random for its cost that and the fact it’s a chariot and weak against S7+ attacks makes it a poor choice. There will be games when it becomes super hard and games when it does nothing for this reason it is best left at home. I don’t like that it can weaken my magic phase which is an important phase for vampire counts, so take it for fun and to mix things up but if you want a balanced list avoid it.
Against anyone but deamons wraiths are brutal. They are very difficult to deal with being ethereal and skirmishers making them extremely mobile. Try to keep them out of sight from enemy wizards preferably behind your units. A common tactic is to engage your infantry then swing your wraiths round and into the flank to provide a bunch of kills. In large units they can take ranked units on, on their own provided they have support with the helm of commandment and vanhels for the re-rolls to hit. The best unit size is 5 or 6 a they can take a bit of damage and cause a lot of problems with the sheer amount of attacks they produce but you can get away with 3 or 4 just don’t rely on them when they’re that small. The banshee upgrade is usually worth it as it gives them something to do when not in combat as well as be able to really hurt some knight units as even killing 1 or 2 is a good return from your investment. One more thing is always remember the terror.
The varghulf is a great utility unit, it’s tough with regeneration, a terror causer and can do some damage with S5 and hatred so all in all a great package. He can support charges, hold units up to wait for back-up, get to warmachines quickly and take on other monsters and small units. He is a vampire so can let your army march and lastly he is a great model. Since there are so many uses for him it’s hard to write about apart from use him wisely as he is vulnerable to concentrated missile fire. The key to his success is to adapt to changing battle plans and your opponent as his ability to multi task is one of his greatest assets.
The thing to remember about the varghulf and cairn wraiths is they are there to support your army and let it work to its strength which is in its infantry so these rares are tools to improve your core and special choices not the other way round.
Vampire counts Magic
The vampire counts magic is one of its greatest strengths, with vampire characters being wizards you will naturally be good at it without trying and when you start to try it becomes one of the most feared magic phases in the game.
Invocation of Nehek
All vampires get this spell and is the 2nd best we have, this is the spell that keeps our army at full strength and is the vampire count trademark. When casting in a master power situation it’s cast on a 3+ effectively so has a good chance with 1 dice. That combined with the fact it can be cast over and over allows for the feared 1 dice casting that can be very hard to stop. Against other units it’s still worth using 1 dice unless it’s very important to get the spell cast in which case resort to 2 dice to almost guarantee it. This spell will rarely let you down and after a few games you’ll love it
This spell allows you to create a new unit which no other army can do with magic. A 5+ to cast means you will need 2 dice to cast it reliably and what you get is a small unit of zombies that will require some invocation attention. This new unit can be used as normal with the bonus of being placed where you want within range, this present the opportunity to get a flank or rear charge easily though remember to be careful what units you engage with.
Vanhels Danse Macabre
This is the best spell we have as it can change the outcome of games very quickly. Being cast on 7+ means you need 3 dice to reliably cast though you can get away with 2 if it is not urgent. This spell lets you get the charge and improve chances of getting a flank charge and with VC a flank charge normally means winning combat and destroying units. The other use of this spell makes our units fight well which again means we will stand a better chance of our poor troops winning combats which is normally all they need to do to break an enemy. Also being a necromancy spell you can all you want dice permitting so you know you will get the charge you need this is what makes the spell so lethal.
Gaze of Nagash
Another very good spell for vampire counts, as we lack the ability to do ranged damage this spell can make up for it, 8+ to cast means use 3 dice on it.
Curse of years
Another great spell (see a pattern emerging) like gaze it is a ranged damage spell which is good for us and cast on an 8+ so again 3 dice will be needed. One more thing, as it’s a remains in play remember to be sure it’s the spell the vampire casts and it is normally worth ending in your next magic phase if it hasn’t already been stopped in the enemies magic phase.
Wind of Undeath and Summon Undead Horde
These are both 12+ spells so will need 4 dice though they are also the worst in the list as they can be cast cheaper with invocation and raise dead or just aren’t effective enough unless in a massive battle.
In each magic phase you need to set some targets in order of priority and because of the nature of the necromancy spells you can keep going until you reach the goal and then move on, treating your magic like this will make it reliable as far as magic goes. The order of your spells is also very important, saving the big spells you know your opponent will want to stop can give you room to get some of the small invocations off with no opposition. Alternatively you can cast the big spells first to try and draw out the magic defence early leaving you free reign afterward. One more thing is to plan your phase before casting so you can use all your dice in the best possible way. A word on bound spells (book of arkhan in particular), you want to keep them hidden until they will be most effective so do not hesitate to hold back for a turn or 2, once they have been revealed upon casting you will want to save them till last as they are guaranteed and the end of the phase will be when the enemy has the least amount of defence.
Last edited by no1cafc; January 4th, 2009 at 03:14.
BEN DIESEL FTW!!!
I plan to do a part 2 going into more detail with the actual in-game tactics and how to approach building a list and each phase of the game. Just thought I'd show part 1 to see what is made of it.
BEN DIESEL FTW!!!
Good tactica and one we need, though I might just voice three opinions.
(1) Don't underestimate the black coach. I use it in every game and most of the time it comes up trumps. With the constant sucking of power dice it quickly gets to that uber stage of been ethereal at which point its just plain nasty. My last battle had it own a unit of chaos warriors. Yes STR 7 hurts it, but its got a good ward save should they arise and if they are likely to cause issues, simply avoid them or concentrate your initial damage on that unit. If its warmachines you got fell bats and cairn wraiths for that.
(2) I like the two last spells in the vampire list. Wind of Undeath particularly as if the opponent has a lot of units which most of the time they do, then thats a lot of rolls and potentially 2-3 spirit hosts. That spell just got you 130-195 points of ethereal units whilst dealing damage to the enemy. And dealing wounds to lone characters and rare choices (chaos spawns and dragon ogre in last game) is always nice when its tough to do it normally. Summon Undead Horde, granted the zombie part isn't brilliant but at least with 4 dice its generally reliable to get the spell off than hoping for a 5+, then lots of 4+'s. I like it most for the 3D6 wounds spread around part. Perfect for healing characters, knights, grave guard etc to a decent level and then just topping up your other units.
(3) I find dire wolves to be ...........well plain dire! Fast movement is all well and all but they can't win a battle against anything other than a petty war machine crew and even then they can easily mess it up. Other flanking units from the enemy will mince these alive not giving you much chance to get into a decent position for march blocking, etc. I personally find ethereal units to fulfill this better, failing that use fell bats which at least can fly.
1) It's the sucking up power dice that makes it unattractive as those power dice are better served supporting the army rather than having a small chance in making 1 unit slightly better and by the time it gets to its super stage it will be late game and be less effective than the other rares that are effective from the start. I just feel the other rares are a better choice and I see it as a novelty choice.
2) These spells have their uses but compared to the other spells we have I don't see them being cast much purely because the other spells are that much more useful. That and only a lord can realistically attempt to cast them who will likely be the general so using 4 dice has a high chance of miscast so casting the spells is an unnecessary risk to take and the rewards are not really worth it. I only see them being worth it in larger games of 3000pts or up.
3) The point of them is they're a cheap core and are supposed to die, don't expect them to kill anything. The better choices are special so are contesting for slots this is why the wolves are good you can add them without sacrificing a slot in your army. Plus even if you don't use them in the game they can be deployed first so you reveal nothing about your army and just hold them back to hold a table quarters as then your paying 40pts to get 100VP or deny your opponent 100VP so either way a good deal.
I understand your opinions may differ from mine but this was written from my experiences which are probably different to yours.
BEN DIESEL FTW!!!
We never manage to finish a game to 6 turns to worry about table quarters Takes so long to set up Vampire Count armies
Oh don't worry I'm not saying your wrong, its a good overview, obviously people will experience different outcomes.
I would love to try other rares..........just don't have any! I want some dam wraiths though. A black coach and some wraiths I'd be happy!
Find an opponent that will let you play a friendly game with proxies to see if you like them. I pretty much always do this at least once before buying something.
great overview mate
was a good read, and it helped me redesign my list
I agree with farmergiles65 so about wind of undeath being a spell best not over looked, ive taken out many HE bolt thrower crews just by it causing them to make panic tests, lone characters, small units of skirmishers and small Calvary units fear it just as much, its one of those spells i try to cast on 4 dice with my lord every phase, it generally eats up alot of dispel dice or scrolls early on, but that being said, indeed there is alot of risk in doing it. Not to mention i play very magic heavy so i have the dice to throw about.
"Playing it safe is the most popular way to fail." - Elliott Smith.
Another possible magic hero vampire combo: The stoner.
2 Power stones
Master power to suit your army
What most people fixate on with this combo is getting off lots of big flashy spells like pit of shades and comet of cassandora, but one of the best ways to use it is to take Lore of Vampires. That way you guarentee the all important Van Hels and the power stones give the means to get it off when you need it.
Or if you've rolled Van Hels (or other spells you want) on some of your other wizards you can take a different lore tailored to your enemy.
It's a versatile combination you can use to provide cover where you need it, a magical swiss army knife.
2000AD's answer to all "How do VC deal with ..." questions: Forbidden Lore + 2 Power Stones.
Further answers will require more vodka.
BEN DIESEL FTW!!!