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I have just came back to warhammer, and decided to start a WoC army, however, a few days ago, i somehow stumbled onto a small, zombie themed list, and i loved it.
So, after a few days of deciding which to choose, i've decided to ask.
Try to give an honest-ish veiw.
I actually play both armies. It really depends what you want to do with the army. They both play a little bit differently. If you want to win, I will tell you right now that the Vampires are the more powerful army (although, ironically, they struggle against WoC).
If you're looking to have fun painting, then you're going to want to go with the WoC. However, conversions are actually easier with the Vampires, since their models come in more pieces, and it's easier to use models from other armies in the game.
The armies play differently as well. In the VC army, your characters seem overpriced, because they are paying for 2 capabilities that most armies don't have. Even our best close combat Vampire is capable of casting spells. Our best Spellcaster can still hold their own in a fist fight. However, the Vampires are always better at casting. The Zombie list that you saw probably focuses quite heavily on casting.
Warriors rely most heavily on their characters. They have some of the best hand-to-hand characters in the game, some of the thickest armor in the game. The Warriors are like battle tanks. They don't really shoot, as they've only got 2 units capable of doing so. They can potentially do alright at casting, but nowhere near as good as armies like VC, HE, and DoC. However, the Warriors can do 1 thing well, and that's hand to hand. Unfortunately, that's their weakness. If you can keep them out of hand to hand, you can beat them.
In the painting/model department I'd say they're equally good. In both cases the only limitation is your mind as you can paint them however you like, add tons of different effects, use virtually any models you feel like and the list goes on and on.
Concerning WoC vs VC. A traditional VC army might struggle(in combat) but if you push the emphasis to combat you can match most WoC armies.
But as you seem to have your eyes on a zombie themed list;
Having Helm of Commandment will earn its weight in gold many times over. As they are a CC army forcing them to fight WS6-7 units which can cost up to 4-5 less is pretty bad for them. Especially since it usually means they're now vulnerable to flank/rear charges as well as being stuck in combat with a unit worth alot less than themselves. This can potentially ruin his battle line as well as there will be a big road block in the way.
Skull staff. This will get you through the magic phase much easier(as there are no zombie master-power).
You will need it cause when zombies die, alot of them go at once.
The danger with zombies needs to be stated though. Your opponent might just focus on smacking down as many zombies as he possibly can and make you crumble through CR. Since none of your characters can join the zombie units(therefor being protected) the units intended to win the combat for you might just be draged down by the zombies(oh the irony hehehe).
Depending on theme the rest of the army should consist on wights too, as you need some units to sway the combats in your favour. For rare(again depending on theme) I would go with wraiths or a varghulf.
""What's the matter? Don't ya like clowns? Don't we make ya laugh?" - Captain Spaulding.
Wow, thanks guys.
Any suggestions/buys on how to do a small (500-750 pts) zombie-themed list?
I've found a 600 pt list, but have only just realised that i'd need to paint 90 zombies if i was to go long with that list or something like that.
And that is alot of zombies...
/disagreeThey can potentially do alright at casting, but nowhere near as good as armies like VC, HE, and DoC.
WoC can cast very hard if that's what they go for. A level Tzeentch 4 sorc with three tzeentch / nurgle level 2 sorcs, including a power familiar, skull of katan, and then the dreaded infernal puppet (made worse with the black tongue). Can't think of a much worse scenario than your casting vamp lord general rolling a "2" on 1d6 and it becoming a miscast that your opponent gets to manipulate by D3 on the first turn.
Lore of Nurgle is fantastic, and Tzeentch is great for its Gateway, Pandemonium, and even flickering fire is good for a base level magic missile.
That said, it's a *very* different style of casting than VC. VC spam cast on themselves to raise / heal / move their own units... WoC cast offensively.
Everything else said was pretty spot on.. especially the dangers of masses of zombies. You never want to have zombies in a combat with a unit that fights very hard when you have other units in the combat, too... unless it's on a flank of knights or something similar. In most situations, zombies give up more combat res in them dying than their static res will provide if they're fighting against anything with multiple attacks.