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Hi. I used to play Fantasy a long time ago but never had the money to own an army of my own. Because I had numerous friends more seriously involved in the game, I had the opportunity to play about with a number of different armies (4ok as well).
(Because I can now afford the money and time) Now I want to own an army. For style and quality reasons I prefered the Skaven army then, and I was prepared to purchase the army until recently when I looked into the new armies that I had at first passed over. On closer inspection, the Vampire Counts seem both stylish, interesting, as well as effective.
I apologize for burdening you with another this versus that thread, but here it is. I remember the Skaven army then (with older rules granted) to be a good all around army, good at magic and hand to hand and ranged attacks, while also being fairly quick to engage. Their balance appealed to me then, at least in practical play. I've looked at threads here already in regards to the VC army, but comparatively, how do they contrast with my (old and no doubt obsolete) understanding of Skavens? I'm considering them, that's all. In any case my Skavens codex/index is on the way and I'll get a chance to see what's changed. Thanks for the input.
In some ways Skaven and VC are similar. Hoard armies with a preponderance towards magic and with porr basic troops.
The big difference is that Skaven basic troops are probably slightly better in combat while the Undead cause fear.
Skaven have shooting while Undead magic is more likely to win the game for them
THe Vampire Count characters are better in combat.
I think for a gamer the greatest strength of the VC is their reliability they won't run away, ever (except for the ghouls). Skaven on the other hand will run at the first sign of trouble if they aren't backed up by three or four or fifty of their mates.
Skaven on the other hand are slightly more wacky and do allow you to field some rather fun and dangerous (to everyone concerned) war machines.
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I wouldn't quite say the VC magic is more likely to be a gamewinner... It just has different uses. While it will send your units into a frenzy and allow them to attack flanks in the magic phase, Skaven magic is very offensive. If you've ever been hit by a plague at the wrong time (especially one that bounces) you'll know what I mean. Even the magic missile is s5, Skaven have extremely good offensive magic.
Skaven will be less reliable than VC, not only in regards to fleeing but they can blow themselves up too, their long range potential is better though. And they will have a lot more numbers, slaves are only 2 points a pop.
The biggest difference between the two is that skaven use their shooting and magic to control the game before they combat you. Vampires use their unbreakable infantry to cause fear and their amazing heroes to take out many enemy troops at a time. This is not to say that skaven heroes are bad, take a bunch of warlock engineers and let that warp lightning fly! Another thing to look at is how the army maneuvers on the field. The average skaven troop is going to be faster than most other infantry. The downside is that they lack the speedy mounted and flying troops that other armies can field (like VC). The skaven must use their magic and shooting to get rid of flanking troops. Both armies rely heavily on combat resolution to win games. The undead will slowly crumble as they continue to lose (they take extra wounds), and the skaven base troop really can't kill anyone (yay outnumber + rank bonus). Vampire magic is more supportive in nature, but its effects are varied and quite useful. Vampires lack any real shooting but they make up for it in fast cavalry choices and flying troops and infantry who just do not care if they get shot up.