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Looking at it now, the only advantages to taking skeletons over ghouls is their armor saves and command. Has anyone tried running with 3 units of crypt ghouls. Having the Ghoulkin and Summon Ghouls items would make your core a devestating force. Any thoughts on this before I buy 6 boxes of them?
Skellies can fight off things that hit them first though. High Elves with ASF will make a mess out of ghouls.
20 each of Ghouls and Skeletons
20 High Elf Spearmen, 3 ranks - 16 spear attacks vs Ghouls
Hit 3 - 11 attacks
Wound 5 - 4 wounds
No save, 4 die.
Ghouls return 3 attacks for the Ghast
Hit 4 - 2 attacks, maybe 1 poison.
Wound 4 - 1 attack
1, maybe 2 Save 4 or 5 (I forget)
Possible one death. We'll say 1.
Hit 3 - 11 attacks
Wound 4 - 6 wounds
Save is 4+ - 3 die
Skeletons return 3 attacks for the Champion and surviving front rank
Hit 4 - 2 attacks
Wound 4 - 1 attack
1 save, again
So they may or may not lose one.
But CR is pretty noticeable. Ghouls lose by 3 CR in combat. Then they lose another CR due to the High Elf banner, probably 1 more due to outnumber. If they offed one, they would not be down a rank. So between -5 and 6 CR
Skeletons lose by 3 CR as well. But with a war banner they only lose 2. Outnumber and a possible kill may cancel each other out, but let's say you didn't kill one. so you lose by 4.
Ghouls can lose a great deal to combat resolution. Skeletons, while they cannot do as much damage, will not take as much damage either. They are a defensive unit and have much greater staying power. Skeletons have a 25% casualty rate from a strength 3 source, whereas a ghoul has a 33% casualty rate.
Also remember that ghouls have WS 3, compares to a WS of 2 for skeletons, this may not seem like much, but when going up against things like ogres, the ws 3 comes in real handy, meaning the ogre will miss half of his attacks, instead of only missing one third of his attacks, and when your talking about iron guts, this will save a lot of casualties.
I have thought about a full crypt ghoul army, but they do look like more of a support unit. The lack the staying power to form a solid core. When it comes to VC combat, we need to win by CR over number of kills. If ghouls had fear, then they would much more threatening-but they are better suited to a support role (think of them as a halberdier equivalent in Empire).
Asking for suggestions without knowing what you're planning on doing is like asking a blind man what color shirt matches your eyes.
Don't forget that Skeletons also have the option to take a 25pt magical banner...that is something ghouls will never have since they don't even have banners.
Ghouls have a place in an army but I will gladly face the person who feels ghouls are sooooo much better than skeletons, and feel pretty confident in my victory. I'm not saying ghouls are bad, but they lack the versatility of skeletons by a huge amount...no command, no spear choice, no armor save.
the one problem i have with the ghouls is that they pretty much rely purely on their killing power to win combats... sure they'll make a decent of most T3/5+ save units when they charge! (or get the influence of say a corpse cart or vanhel's) but they're far too 'hit-or-miss' for me to personally consider them as the bulk of my main force...
they're great for flanking - especially if you dedicate say a single vampire w/ghoulkin + summon ghouls, nightmare, some magic armour + other item!
the real reason i much prefer the skellie though is because they're reliable... ghouls at best have a SCR4. skellies can have a potential SCR6! (unit w/war banner) that's infinitely better as it's also combined with a pretty decent armour save too. and the skellies only get nastier when under the infulence of a corpse cart or vanhel's!
case-in-point: in a recent match, i had a unit of spear skellies w/banner of hellfire take a charge froma hydra. next turn, i used an invocation/LotD spam to bring back my numbers and then use a combined vanhel's + staff of damnation to utterly wreck the hydra!!! i took 4 wounds off of it and won the combat which broke the hydra and chased it off...
ghould would never have stood a chance in this case! they're 2x poisoned attacks may seem good on paper, but it simply won't cut through a 4+ armour/4+ regen!