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What are the essentials in a vampire army list at 2k?
What do we need? for instance; minimum number of power dice? do we need units of fell bats or dogs to redirect, get in the way, hunt warmachines if so how many.
There are so many ways to build a vampire list, that I think it would be very hard to answer this question.
For example- it seems general consensus that a vampire army needs a Varghulf to be competitive, but I don't even field them. Others say that regiments of 10 skeletons will be wiped out too quickly, but I usually field them at 10 men.
If you're a beginner, I'd say that the first essential is to focus on buying and focusing around Ghouls firstly. At the same points-cost as a skeleton, the Ghoul is just as resilient, and far more damaging than a skeleton will ever be. Really, ghouls should probably be priced at about 10pts each, but we get them at a steal.
Secondly, I think it's important to know the kind of list that you want to run. I know that with a magic-oriented list like my own, there are definitely some things that you need to have in the list.
>> 6-Dice Raise Lord: Lvl3 VLord w/ Dark Acolyte, Master of Black Arts, Summon Ghouls
>> Additional 5+ powerdice with high-raise capabilities (zombies or added core)
>> Graveguard Anvil Regiment: magic lists should be slow moving, to maximize their swell prior to hitting the line. Because of this, we should have our "central" unit be infantry, rather than cavalry. An expensive GG regiment can hold down the enemy, I usually run the tradition "Dickenhof Guard">> Core regiments: You should have 1 core regiment for every vampire. This protects them from magic. The vampires themselves should be armored enough to go into combat regiments. This gives the combat regiments duality of purpose. To save points, they can be fielded at minimum size, though I prefer 11 to give 2x6 configuration. All core regiments should include a champion.14-20GG w/ BSB Drakenhof, Banner of Barrows, FC, Greatweapons [remote helm of command]
Things which I DO NOT field (therefore, I don't personally find them to be a necessity)
--Bats of any kind
The single most important point for an army build is numbers. If you lack size, you will not use basic ability that even lowly zombies have; and that is fear. We pay extra points for having fear causing soldiers, and to disregard this would be like trying to swim against the current.
If you are fielding a 2k+ army, you should have more than 60 models. The size is important due the fact; fear is better with large units. If you are starting the game out with less than 60 models, then you have more than likely spent too many points on characters or other frippery.
Some people will argue about the effectiveness of certain units, or preach that certain units are a must buy to the exclusion of others, but with the diversity of magic item combination's with our soldiers almost all of the choices have a use.
I agree with the above post.
I also feel that we get hung up on questions like, "What is our strongest unit, or the ongoing skeles vs. ghouls discussion."
The truth is skeletons and ghouls can be a tarpit, albeit not as easily raised as zombies. All it takes is one abyssmal turn of combat from one enemy, and as anyone who has played this game knows, this happens to everyone, normally multiple times per game. Without numbers though, the autobreak mechanic does not function.
I can't tell you how many times my zombies have actually beat another unit and forced an auto break...can I count on it, absolutely not, but without numbers that wouldn't have even been an option.
Do we still need characters, OF COURSE! They are still our single greatest strength but lets not miss the forest for the trees! Large units are required unless the unit only fills a niche position, i.e. march blocking, war-machine tie-up/destruction, small flank force.
Also, Lord of the Dead, the Ghoul-raising ability, and the Creature of the Night raising ability, are all great...but they are must takes if you need to raise above your starting unit sizes....that's 15 points that aren't fully necessary.
Economically speaking we must weigh the costs of what we are giving up in order to take this benefit.
Big units can't be wiped out early due to poor magic rolls (i.e. dwarven/elven shooting). I can't tell you how many times I have started the game out with 2 extremely poor magic phases...the games where I started with large sized infantry blocks, I was able to hang-in and recover, and when I had small units which I had planned on building in the first rounds, I was placed in an almost impossible catch-up position.
- Skeletons OR Ghouls, not both. Pick whichever you like and focus on one of them to maximise your raising.
- At least one hammer. One thing VC don't lack is tarpits to act as anvils, but you need at least one unit to kill stuff be it Grave Guard, Knights, Varghulf or whatever.
- Protection for your general. Personally I like them to have an armour and a ward save, but just one of those 2 might do in a pinch. Under no circumstances send them out naked.
- According to the Magic Item polls I started these are what people consider must have items (75% or more):
- Flayed Hauberk
- Book of Arkhan
- Black Periapt
- Helm of Command
- Talisman of Lycni
Personally I'd add a dispell scroll onto that list too. And the bloodlines considered important:
- Dark Acolyte
- Lord of the Dead / Summon Ghouls (Vote is split on persoanl preference of skellies or ghouls, but general conscientious is that you need at least 1 of the raising powers)
- At least 3 wizards. at least 8 power dice (including army dice). Most VC units need at least some magic support to be effective, the majority of VC losses I've seen have included their magic phase being neutered in some way. Fortunately for VC it;s not hard to boost our magic.
2000AD's answer to all "How do VC deal with ..." questions: Forbidden Lore + 2 Power Stones.
Further answers will require more vodka.
Well, I always try and put a BSB into the army. Some people would disagree and say that its costing you 100vps if he dies but i say hes really good when things like black/ blood knights, coahes, wraiths or varghuls start to lose combat. Usually i dont take a magic banner but when i took a mounted wight king w/ royal standard of strigos in a unit of 9 black knights w/ banner of the barrows, they werre near unstoppable! when running with a vampire, avatar of death, walking death and a warbanner work really nicely.
I agree on needing to choose between skeles and ghouls but id say you only need 2 vampires (including the lord), a necromancer scroll monkey and a wight king.
When choosing rare choices, choose 1 then either double it, single it or go with wraiths and varghulf. IMO, any other way you choose rares and they just become too expensive for what they do.
You're gonna want to get some grave gaurd as well
when a vampire bites you, its not out of love