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I haven't played them yet but was wondering if anyone out there has (particuarly with HE but any army is cool)
What are the major threats, what should we be aware of is there anything new that we can look out for to exploit.
It would also be nice to know if there was any major change in feel to their army and how it plays.
Thanks very much for any feedback you guys have.
I've only played the new rules once, and I am playing them tonight in a 2.4k list again.
IMO Grave guard are easy to handle now days with no Regen banner.
I wouldn't say that their army has a lot of benefits against High Elves, apart from a lot of ethereal options (Just make sure that you take the Amulet of light in a unit against them).
I am taking tonight; Alith Anar, Mage, BSB on steed, 60 archers (3 units on 20), 29 swordmasters, 15 shadow warriors and 5 dragon princes. I go for more of a fun list. =D
I should be facing the following(ish); Manfred, Vampire BSB, 40 ghouls, 40 ghouls, 40 grave guard, 40 grave guard and 2 Vanghulf.
Normally he would field ethereal, mainly Hex wraiths, but due to their flaming attacks, my Dragon Princes would get a 2+ wardsave.
I have yet to face other new units for the VC but I really don't see any threat of combination apart from the characters.
Let me know if you face a new style death-star unit of VC, or just a very productive list.
High Elves \ Ogre Kingdoms \ Lizardmen \ Blood Angels \ Dark Angels \ Dark Elves
W100+/D20+/L100+ \ W17/D0/L2 \ W1/D2/L2 \ W3/D0/L3 \ W7/D2/L9 \ W1/D0/L1
Thanks Vedith, let us know how the game goes. While its nice to know what tricks to look out for a lot of games are won and lost just by being able to anticipate how thee troops will be used so even a breakdown of your perception of units strengths and weaknesses would be awesome.
Well i've played the new Vamps once and to me they seem to be the easiest army that i've faced in a long time. Their magic is seriously underpowered in my opinion with them unable to spam their spells, they can't raise enough models to heal the one's that get butchered.
In my first game agianst them I was worried of the hexwraiths and the mortis engine, the rest i'd faced before and knew how to deal with them. The hexwraiths were wiped out by a unit of swordmasters w/amulet of light. The mortis engine got hit in 4 succesive magic phases with Shem's Gaze and survived to reach my lines... killed it with ease and then it went off like a nuke, as apparently if it's destroyed all units within 2d6 get hit with 2d6 at whatever strength the current turn is (turn 5 in my game).....it killed 19 S/masters 20 Spears, my Archmage general, the Vampire lord, 10 skellies and another unit of Hexwraiths.
What I got from this game was that Shem's Gaze even on a level 1 is beastly 2d6 hit Strength 4 and the hits are Flaming all at the low casting cost of 5+
Mortis Engines are weak, the only reason the one I was facing did anything was rubbish rolling on my part, and then crushing it in combat meant it killed about a thousand points of models from both sides
Hexwraiths seem alright but against S/masters that could hit them they got massacred, his other unit just rode round and them got blown up
Vampires are brutal if tooled up
All in all my list eventually carved through them (may have been to me getting Dwellers on his skellie horde and him failing 3/4 of his rolls), lore of light is unfair to them still, My level 3 w/seerstaff (Light of Battle, Banishment and Timewarp) managed to maintain LoB through the game, so all leadership tests were passed, Banish was the iceing on the cake kept hitting his Zombie bunker and killing half of them every turn.
I've played roughly 6 games against them now and although I play dwarfs I'm happy to contribute just to give you a different viewpoint. The vamps I played didn't have many of the new units (still haven't played against hexwraiths, mortis/coven throne or vargheists) and it might have been because of that that I won 5/6. While I didn't have the lore of light advantage a single Runesmith at 2k and less and a Runelord above was plenty to ensure that in most magic phases I at least had the same amount of DD as his PD. The list I run usually consists of a 30-40 strong horde of GW longbeards, 2 Organ guns, a cannon, Dwarf lord with GW and maxed defensive runes, a BSB, aforementioned Runesmith/lord, a few other war machines for flavour and 20 GW Quarrellers. My longbeards never really had any issues with any infantry that was thrown at them, especially when I took an oath stone with the lord. As soon as I won 1 combat no matter how many units they'd throw in it would just snowball and combat res would destroy them completely. Sorry for the ramble that was just a long way of saying that I find their infantry, even Grave Guard with GW don't have the punch to swing the combat the way vampires need to (obviously this would be different in elf cases with lower T).
In saying this I have found black knights to be very dangerous, especially when vanhels goes off and they can fly around the battlefield, however they are very very good targets for artillery (and in your case magic) so if you can stop the resurrection, which is insane on cavalry now, they will go down. The most powerful part of their army I've found is their characters (surprise surprise) and my Dwarf Lord with 1+ re rollable AS and a 4+ ward with immune to KB and poison has been scared (and even killed) quite a bit in challenges.
Sorry its not as relevant to the HE section but since you asked for anything Allonaire I thought I'd throw it in
Wow... who let the dwarf in? haha. Thanks for sharing nonetheless, that's the feeling that I've gotten from my 2 games against them.
I will say, their new Monstrous Infantry is scary, and it does actually cause me some problems. The Flying ones (Varghouls, something like that) can hop around your lines and keep you guessing as to where they're going to hit. The best tactic that I've found is to keep your units very tight together, so that they can only charge the extreme flanks of your army, or get behind you. If they get behind, they have to reform before they charge, which means you have 2 turns to figure out how to deal with them. M my personal favorite method? Chariots or Dragon Princes held in the rear of your army, making a long charge into their line.
Also, take magic missiles on at least 1 mage, Hexwraiths are Ethereal and can move through a unit, doing damage on the way in. No VC general worth his shiny teeth lets them get stuck into combat, because they have NO SAVE and only a single wound. This makes them choice targets for ranged magic, negating their Ethereal and blasting them from the saddle before they can hit you.
Mortis Engines? No problem, they're killable in combat and don't do enough damage to really hurt you. Coven Thrones I'm not sure about, but from what I've heard from the VC guys, they're better off taking a Dragon or Vargheist. Against these, I foresee some troubles. I had a Warriors army eaten by one the last time I faced it, so I wouldn't expect Elves to fare much better. I haven't pitted my Elves against one of yet, he keeps his general on the ground, with a unit of GraveGuard.
And onto the General - we can't kill him for the auto-win anymore. As long as they have someone with Lore of Vampires still standing, they don't start to crumble. Luckily, they spam Necromancers to keep their men from dying, so if you target them in CC and wipe them, then get the general, it's still an auto-pop (kinda). Just realize that it is going to take a lot longer. In closed list games or tournaments, look for the Necromancers who aren't casting anything, as the player will try to keep a "secret" Lore of Vampires character to avoid you targeting his whole coven.
Their core have gotten cheaper/better all around, but Elves will still ravage them. Skeletons vs Spearmen is laughable. Remember - they cost half as much these days, but you only have to kill 1 per Elf since Combat Resolution will take care of the rest for you.
As an army now they are slower than before and the new rules mean youre going to see lots of new army builds. I've played them twice against 2 different army builds one containing a Mortis engine ,the other containing 3 or 4 units of Skellies and 3 of Grave guard with Konrad ,a Lord tooled up 2 other vampires and a Master Necromancer.
Mortis engines are great for replacing lost models though after 3 rounds of Bolt thrower shots at it doing nothing my unit of archers with Flaming banner and flaming sword of rhuin cast on them killed it in a single round. Vampires now are able to regenerate lost wounds as a lore attribute making them harder to kill.The loss of Helm of Command has hurt their ability to pass on WS7 to the Graveguard I'd recommend getting out your swordmasters again to give solid combat resolution bonuses. Zombies are extremely dangerous and being S3T3 cause our core endless problems as does their being able to be raised beyond their starting strength. Hexwraiths and other ethereals are easily countered by giving champions magic weapons or by anything that gives magical attacks to a unit(spells/items).Only marching within 12" of general makes archers a great choice for core then fill up on White lions and swordmasters. Also with our ASF take magic weapons with Strength bonuses or ignore armour saves where possible.
For us High Elves the Teclis ,Silver wand AM and seerstaff mage spamming Flames of the phoenix could be a good way of whittling down tarpit zombie and skelly units before they can get across the table.
The go to Ghoul and Grave Guard heavy lists will be a thing of the past with this book so expect to seecompetitive themed armies quite a bit.
Necromancers are cheap as chips still, and no longer have to 'buy' their spells. If a VC army isn't packing at least 3 vampire lore casters, you know your opponent isn't playing the 'new book' and is still trying to make their same-old-same-old tricks work. (which btw, those 'old tricks' are just that! )
Thralls are still Lv1 wizards who are much beefier fighters now, (cheap basic gear + additional attack have really helped these guys out!) So really, it's very simple to just use them as invo batteries while they're butchering the enemy rank-and-file. While we can make them proper Lv2's without dipping into the powers alotment, it makes them very pts-heavy and Forbidden Lore is balanced now. (so you likely won't see it much, if at all)
The big thing to watch-out for with the new VC lore is a player trying to combine it with a Mortis Engine. Properly deployed, you're looking at a minimum of 2 VC wizards who can easily cover a 24" bubble of their battleline with 1D6 invo spams. Add a 3rd Lv3/4 wizard to the mix, and stopping VC magic becomes a nightmare as they'll cast on minimum dice and rely on all those lovely bonuses stacking against you!
There isn't a single 'bad' spell in our new lore either;
- Invocation is better than before. Sure you need multiple wizards now to spam it, but it's not like it's hard to do except at the lowest pts games.
- Vanhels can be buffed upto an area-effect spell. Oh, and 1 casting gives both bonuses now & The Good Book is still around, plus a couple of Loremaster characters.
- Hellish Vigor is equally nasty as anything re-rolled is painfull. Makes even skeleton hordes or spirit swarm units a threat simply through wieght of attacks.
- Gaze is your bread and butter 2D6/S4 magic missile, however we cast ours at a rather rediculously low casting value due to our lack of a shooting phase.
- Curse of Years is as painful as ever.
- Raise Dead raises bigger units for only +5 to the old 7th ed casting value. And it can raise skittles too now.
- Wind of Death absolutely murders anyone running those ranked buses that are so good at keeping the steadfast bonus.
Our lore is scary good, and it synergises well with Shadow & Death magic which all of our wizards also have access to.
There is always going to be a learning curve with new Army books as players figure out what still works and what doesn't and which of the new units are worth bothering with. It sounds to me like VC may force us to play slightly differently, particularly in the magic phase.
Most of us tend to go for a Life (or Shadow) Mage as our general, this leaves us a bit exposed with respect too magic missiles particularly as a second mage normally takes the Seer staff and is therefore bound to 2 spells picked when we write our lists. Again we tend to avoid magic missiles as there are much better spells. We have never been an army that has been big on magical attacks as our characters tend to go with a great weapon (ASF at S6 is just better than most magic weapons) with defensive magical gear.
This leaves our standard all comers list exposed to ethereal units in particular and these are what I perceive to be the biggest change, magic has always been a strength for VC and will continue to be by the sounds of Experiment626's post, but a L4 AM can should be able to manage lots of L1's spamming a base spell in theory (+5 to dispel vs their +1 matters here) I am assuming a reasonable casting cost of 4+ for the raise spell, so a third of the single dice spell attempts fail anyway.
Do we have any suggestions, not to tailor a list as such but to modify the lores we choose, include particular items, pick certain spells that are particularly beneficial in a tournament/all comers army.
Firstly - New VC are NOT slow! This was a major oversight that I found when looking through the book. They can march within 6" of any unit with the Vampire special rule, and within 12" of the General, giving them more of a "march bubble" than they had previously. Furthermore, they have more viable flying units, or units which move through terrain, than any other book in the game. The fact that Vargheists, Varghulfs, and Varghasts are all Vampires, and all except the Varghulf can Fly, they're insanely fast moving.
Ethereal units don't care about terrain, the Coven Throne and Mortis Engine both move through terrain, as do Black Knights, Hexwraiths can move through entire units, Bat Swarms and Zombie Dragons fly, and the Coach has the chance to become both Ethereal and gain Flying. The icing on the cake is that Dire Wolves now count towards Core requirements, and are of course Fast Cavalry Warbeasts. Add on to this that, as mentioned above, they can spam Necromancers with VanHels, plus the Book, and you're looking at an army that is actually murderously fast.
We've gone from the George Romero "shambling dead" to '28 Days Later' style sprinters. This army is going to move fast, and I already have plans to build an army that is on top of the enemy by turn 2 or 3, and is terribly hard to pin down into combat.
As for items and strategies that are going to help us?
- Talisman of Light: This is a must have now. It is so cheap that there's no reason not to take it. Preferably on a character so that they can move to where the attacks are most needed, but if you have to lock it into a unit, give it to a Swordmaster champion.
- Magic Swords: We get them at an extreme discount thanks to our book, so there's no reason that any combat character or champion who has access to a magic weapon of any kind shouldn't be carrying something for a magical attack. The exception of course is the BSB if he's carrying a banner, you'll want to keep him in the ToL unit most of the time.
- Anything that allows for Leadership modifiers. The VC actually have shooting attacks now, and they do hurt, frequently following the rule of "2D6+Firer'sWounds - Target'sLD = Wounds, no Armor". This doesn't work on ItP units, so if we can get some form of Immunity, grab it up.
- Teclis is nice for his +D3 Dispel dice, but you might really want to consider grabbing lower level mages of our own, one with the Channeling Staff. Yes, there's a good chance that a L4 is going to shut down a lot of the minor spam-casts, but that's what the VC wants you to do. If he's casting on 1 dice, anything that does get through is going to force you to use 2 dice to stop it, because if you fail to Dispel, that Mage is done dispelling for the rest of the phase. He's hoping that you fail one of those several rolls or burn all your dice, and then he's going to slam you with a big spell from his L4 or Mortis.
- Prepare a Second Line and keep them back. You want to set up a very tight, closely knit line of models so that they can't land their Fliers between your units, or send Hexes through the flanks. Force them to land in front of you, or behind you, and have a second line of units prepared to attack them if they land behind. Cheap units of Silver Helms can work this for you, as can Tirannoc Chariots. A Prince on a Dragon with Magic Attacks (Talisman of Light to affect the Dragon perhaps) can be a huge deterrent for these shenanigans, but we probably want our Archmage, or want that Dragon up front doing damage.