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Hello everyone, I've been playing Warhammer 40,000 for several years now and just recently decided to start playing Warhammer Fantasy. The Vampire Counts had just been re-vamped (pardon the pun) when I decided to start, and they look pretty damn cool so I chose to collect them. I have a friend who plays, and he wants a 2000 friendly battle to break me in to WHF. He uses Skaven so I've been trying to devise an army list suitable for destroying the damn things:
Vampire Lord......... 435 Points (Grave Guard)
Level 4 Wizard (Dark Acolyte, +1 level)
Lord of the Dead
Walach's Bloody Hauberk
Konrad von Carstein...... 145 Points (Grave Guard)
Sword of Waldenhof
Vampire.......... 185 Points (Skeleton Warriors)
Level 1 Wizard
Sceptre de Noirot
Forbidden Lore (Need help with this)
30 Skeleton Warriors........ 280 Points
30 Crypt Ghouls.......... 248 Points
30 Grave Guard......... 436 Points
Seneschal w/Great Weapon
Standard Bearer w/Banner of the Barrows
Varghulf........... 175 Points
Okay, so I could really use some help from people with more experience really as I'm entirely new to this. I've gathered that fielding Zombies is quite useless, after all why pay for something when you can just spawn them in battle. So I built what I think is a solid core, with reinforcement from my Grave Guard and Lord + Heroes. I have quite a few points left too so any advice as where to put those would be greatly appreciated. So yeah, please give as much feedback as possible and don't forget it needs to be suitable for facing off against Skaven.
you have less points left over than you think:
I don't play 40K, so i don't know how you're able to upgrade models with various weapons or whatever. but in fantasy, the entire unit has to be armed the same way. That means that those extra 10 skeletons DO need spears, and that the rest of your grave guard need great weapons. Alternativley, you can drop the spears and great weapons, but both of those are ill-advised.
Otherwise, it looks like a decent list. However, skaven will likely cause you some trouble. Every time I've faced skaven, they win through numbers. Thier slaves, which are better than zombies, cost half as much as a zombie. Factor that in, and its not hard to see that you'll be fighting an uphill battle. They'll likely have more ranks than you (because they're cheaper), so they'll be steadfast for quite a while. including thier rank bonus, they'll have high enough leadership that fear won't do anything to them.
My suggestions, on that note, are as follows: Drop your grave guard to about 25, finish equipping the skeletons with spears and the grave guard with great weapons, drop the Sceptre de Noirot (really, you don't want to be wasting dice trying to raise zombies), and potentially drop the vargulf. I like vargulfs myself, but they're best used agaisnt smaller units or as flank chargers and you're not really going to have that oppertunity if he plays like any skaven player I know.
Use the extra points created to grab yourself a necromancer with vanhels danse, and maybe a corpse cart with balefire. It will help keep his magic in check (grey seers are pretty strong), and gives you an ASF bound spell. the necromancer will cast vanhels and try to give one (or more) of your units ASF and rerolls to hit. Thats going to be your best way to take out hordes and hordes of rats. for every one guy you lose, you have to kill 2-3. so striking first with rerolls will really come in handy. alternatively, you can try to get a banshee (for the scream attack) and choose death for forbidden lore. -3 to target LD, then 2d6+2 against thier LD. potentially devistating.
1. Right okay, that makes more sense because in Fantasy it's more regimental. I'll make a change to that. I'll pay for the extra spears and great weapons.
2. I was going to use the Sceptre de Noirot to form larger zombie walls to protect my secondary caster, but if Zombies are a waste of time then fair enough that will also be taken into account.
3. I also love Varghulf's, the model looks superb and they're mighty tough too. I had a hunch that they probably wouldn't last against hordes, they're strong but can't take 30+ attacks. I'll drop the Varghulf too.
4. I didn't think Corpse Carts were that great, not many people include them. But I've heard of these Gray Seers, supposedly one of the best Casters in the game. I will include a Balefire in order to keep them at bay. Any advice on where to keep it on the battlefield and how to use it?
Thankyou for your advice, I will amend my army list accordingly. Please keep the feedback coming, it's all very helpful.
Another alternative would be Lore of Beasts for the signature spell & character enhancing spells.
Your Thrall also needs some armour if he's going on the front lines. T4/W2 is only average and actually pretty squishy overall... The Flayed Hauberk is a nifty buy. Match that up with either the Dawnstone to re-roll his save, or else the Black Periapt to give a slight edge with your magic phases.
That vargulf though is great fun and can really tear up things like skirmishers, fast cav (albeit skaven don't have this unit type), and/or small units of 20-25 non-elite infantry.
Varg's are also quite fast on their own, and they have the 'vampire' rule too, so they offer movement support to your army's flanking unit/s without sinking pts into a specific magic banner.
a) They're bad as a character mount option, because that's a basic vampire thrall or a good wight king! On top of that, your necro can't join units anymore due to his monstrous mount.
b) They don't count towards your 25% core mins. Our army is already at least 25% over-costed overall, we don't have a single point to spare anywhere really, so including non-mandetory options is almost impossible untill you're hitting the 2500pts mark. We need a general, magical support, a hammer unit and still take 25% of the game's worst core units. (hence why ghouls are so popular)
Carts are great on their own, they sadly just can't make the cut without seriously weakening the army overall...
Against skaven, you're in tough because overall alot of their better options are pretty undercosted for what they do.
You might want to try out Lore of Death on your general if your friend keeps his characters in plain sight. it's vital to kill his characters ASAP! Not only are for example those grey seers nasty wizards, but they help buff the skaven's Ld. The sooner you can snipe his BSB for example, the more chance you're giving yourself of breaking his lines by denying him his Ld re-rolls!
Skaven 'wonder weapons' are too good overall, or at least the poisoned wind mortar, doom wheel & lightning cannon are.
Slaves are too cheap and you'll hate them like there's no tomorrow. Half the cost of a zombies, but they'll typically be Ld10 and steadfast! Build your skeletons & ghouls to run deeper rather than wider so you can hopefully deny him his steadfast as soon as possible!!! Worst of all, he can shoot into any combats involving slaves, because to skaven, life is cheap!
Beware the Dreaded 13th Spell.
Give your skeletons the Hellfire Banner. Hellpit abombs are among the game's most hienous units. Fire sorts them out and stops them from getting back up!
Actually as a general rule of thumb, always take at least 1 source of flaming attacks in any army. There's ALOT of regen out there to take advantage of and save yourself some headachs!
Don't ever charge enemy units unless it will deny them things like impact hits and/or +S from things like lances. Unstable is horrifically implimented right now, and we really suffer for it! Giving up the +1 combat res but being able to raise your casulties back after 1 round is much better than having to wait out a full turn! (you likely won't have a unit left at that point...)
1. Yeah I've added a Necromancer with Vanhel's and Invocation to my army list at 70 points. I have also removed the Sceptre and replaced it with the Flayed Hauberk to give him some protection.
2. Noted, Summoning Zombies is a waste of time. They do seem extremely over-priced points wise, which could be said about most of the VC units.
3. I thank you for the feedback, but Konrad is quite a valuable piece to my army as he is a big part of my hard-hitting Grave Guard. I also know this guy takes a lot of Rat Ogres so Konrad would be useful against those. Again, thankyou.
4. I would agree that it is 100 points that could be spent elsewhere, I just have nowhere to put my Necro really and the Balefire would be greatly appreciated against the "Grey Seer".
If I made the above amendments, and remove the Corpse Cart I will have 231 remaining points. Any ideas what I'm missing and what those points could fill in?
A BSB (Battle Standard Bearer) would be ideal. Wight kings are best for this duty as they're alot hardier than any thrall, plus they're one of the game's most cost-efficient hero options and come with killing blow like all wights do!
Now, you don't actually *need* the Drackenhof Banner like alot of VC players will try and tell you. Honestly, I find the banner to be at least 25-30pts over-costed now, simply because every single army can take a copy of our Hellfire standard for the same cost! Regen isn't nearly as good as it was, so it's a good idea not to get into the habbit of relying on it as a crutch.
As for Konrad, you're going to be forced to keep him near your general & within range of your BSB at all times, to ensure he doesn't do stupid at a critical moment in any game... (hence why he's more of a liability, despite how awsome he is against multi-wound enemies)
You might also want to check out some of the lord combos listed in the main VC section here... Hybrid lords don't really work so well, because they don't specialise and hence, get outdone by everyone else in their particular field! Blood Drinker is also a bit of a waste when not used in tandom with Blood Knights... (If your lord needs a wound or two, your necro can provide it with 1D6 invo spams for example.)
check out the thread here in the main VC section for some ideas to try out untill you find a combo that works for you! (For example, I like a mainly caster role who's hard to actually hit, so I've got a Lv3 upgrade, Forbidden Lore, MotBA's and such combined with a good ward save & an arcane item to add to her viability!)
1. I had a BSB in my original list, but scrapped him because I think all the banners except the Drakenhoff are rubbish, and Drakenhoff is way too many points! If you can think of any banners that provide useful and cost effective please let me know.
2. And I will be keeping Konrad in my Grave Guard with my general that is unless I alter her equipment.
3. I understand that Hybrids aren't great, I've noticed that most people say that about Vamps. I want my general to be in my Grave Guard with Konrad, she will be mostly casting ad bolstering the numbers with Invocation and the wounds cased from the Blood Drinker. What equipment/vamp powers should I give her for her to be an outstanding Caster but capable of being with my Grave Guard? And also, if she becomes an all out caster, will I need to keep my thrall? Again, thankyou all of this is EXTREMELY useful!
I would also like to mention my Vampire Lord has the master of the black arts power too, I forgot to put that. The 435 does include the cost of that power. Sorry, thought I'd say because it makes her all the better at casting.
As for our banners, we actually have alot of good ones to consider;
- Blood Keep flag adds an additional level of protection to your main grave guard hammer unit. Add in even just MR1 and suddenly this unit is almost impossible to shift through shooting/magic without serious effort.
- Screaming Banner is halarious now. If you're not running a Helm 'o Awsome WS, this pretty much gives it to you as now the average roll on 3D6 is 10, good odds that Ld7/8 units will fail as they have to remove the lowest dice roll.
- Razor Standard makes your attacks even nastier, and helps your vamps in combat so they now inflict a -3 save modifyer.
- Strigoi Standard for the hatred bonus, gain more helpful when you're not using the Helm crutch.
- Standard of Discipline means your wights will likely not crumble at all if your general dies.
- Hellfire Banner gives added punch to your ghouls - now your ghouls will be abomb blenders!!!
Lots of good options, but you also don't *have* to take a magic banner either - the re-roll for Konrad, and potentially your general should you invest in the 4++ Crown of Stupid is why you really include him. If you can't decide on a banner, just tool him up like oyu would a normal wight king;
- Sword of Kings + Other Tricker's Shard = character killer (if you're feeling lucky, try the Helm of Discord to effectively neuter a single character!)
- Sword of Kings + Nightshroud = bit riskier character killer, but still a good one since he'll nerf rules like ASF.
- Trickster's Helm to make him a real pain to reliably wound.
- Charmed Shield & 4++ means he's not going anywhere.
You might want to consider putting Konrad into the Ghouls who also have good anti-monster abilities? Or else throw him into the Skeletons who carry the Hellfire/Eternal Flame banner to buff the skellies damage output, plus turn Konrad into a real terror for any rampaging abombs!
The Wight King can safely stay in the grave guard to protect your general, and also to benifit from the barrows banner.
And remember, you should always accept any challenges with your champion/s first, since ours can back and be annyoing all game long!
+ wizard Lv, MotBA's, Forbidden Lore (light), biting blade, glittering scales, crown of stupid, earthing rod.
She's hard to hit, most enemies need a 5+, if fear kicks and/or against WS3 troops, she's only hit on a 6+. Her defense comes from her ward save. I've taken to the earthing rod more recently, simply because miscasts suck, and items like the Hellheart are a much bigger threat to us! The extra dice she generates always equals an auto casting attempt for either Speed of Light (give unit WS10/I10) or else Timewarp (+1A/ASF & 2x movement), turns even skeletons into a decent unit, and is murderous on grave guard/black knights/wraiths.
I keep my wight king BSB in her unit to act as protection, along with the unit champ for fighting unwanted challenges... the king carries the Helm of Discord (as it's effects amuze me greatly) and the Other Trickster's Shard so that even nasties like HE pheonix guard crumple rather quickly. (Daemons HATE! this item)
Basically though, a good front line caster build will have Lv3/4 MotBA's + Lore/Acolyte, a 4++ save and something to mitigate being hit in combat or a 2+ save. And if you can squeeze it in, either; Staff of damnation (godly item - makes skeletons worthwhile!), Book of Arkhan (added utility to a BRB lore), Periapt (added dice), Earthing Rod (miscast protection).
With a caster lord and a support necro, you likely won't really need the Thrall. He's still viable, perhaps as another fighter to bolster the unit skeletons should Konrad go in the ghouls, (as he'd be overkill in the grave guard if you add in the wight king BSB.)
Also remember that we just recently got our Wraith & Banshee heroes back in the WD rules! Adding a pair of wraiths to a skeleton block that's 5 wide is hienously funny as it can really limit how many enemies get to fight! (run your skellies 5-wide and laugh as only 6-9 enemies normally fight back) Just keep this unit away from anything with magic attacks! (which skaven can include a fightening number of with their warpstone equips)
1. I will add the BSB again then, using either the Blood Keep Flag or the Strigoi Standard. Both of those incur some very useful effects for a unit. Possibly consider the Banner of Hellfire to use with my Ghoul's, as that seems like quite a deadly but cheap combo.
2. Hmmmmm, I will take that into account now, as I was going to but my General, Wight King and Konrad in the same unit. I need my Generals LD though if I'm to use Konrad effectively, so would it be wise to put my BSB with my Ghouls and keep Konrad and my General in the unit of Grave Guard?
3. Okay, I like the sound of Lore of Light on my General. Combined with MotBA that will become an extremely useful Lore to have if it bolsters units stats like that. 4. I don't recognise some of these items, are they in the Warhammer main Rulebook? I shall have to revise them when I have access to my Rulebook.
5. I will consider other options for my Lesser Vamp, but I doubt I'll need him with 2 casters and possibly one of the fiercest/cheapest combat Vamp combos readily available in Konrad. However I'm really unsure of which unit to have my characters in, as I don't want too many in one unit, however Konrad NEEDS to be in the same as my General for the LD increase.
This is all REALLY useful stuff here My army list is really shaping up now, thankyou.