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I'm wondering how you all go about dealing with elite enemy units. I'm talking bout extremely killy units like chosen, chaos warriors, blackguard (particularly with cauldron support and/or characters), etc.
I've found that tarpitting can work, but this can be a bit dicey and gives you little to no chance of actually killing the enemy unit. If you can get them to charge a big unit of zombies, ghouls, or skeletons you can tie them up the whole game, but they tie up your power dice as you basically have to commit to raising 15-30 new models every turn to replenish the losses over the two combat phases. The real problem here is that you can't engage their killy unit, which may be necessary as there are so many VPs invested in it.
The problem is this: they generate a ton of combat res from chopping up your tarpit. So you hit them in the flanks with your own killy units (Black Knights, Cairn Wraiths, Varghulf) and you do manage to kill some of their models, but you still end up losing combat by several points (especially if the tarpit is a zombie unit)... and EACH of your units crumbles by that much. Now you don't have enough dice to replenish the Wraiths/Varghulf/Black Knights AND keep your tarpit up.
Just engaging them with your own elite units is often not a solution either. They sometimes have enough SCR to overpower you, or they often either have ASF or are so tough that even your killy units will suffer significant return attacks.
So what do you do? How do you finish off the units that you tarpit?
You don't deal with them. You just leave them in the tarpit and use your elites to deal with softer, more vulnerable targets.
The whole point of tarpitting units is to take them out of the game so you don't have to deal with them, accept they are too much trouble to kill and go for the rest of the opponents army. When it gets to turn 5 and 6 if you think you need to extra VP's then let your tarpit die and hit them with something hard. Also remember Curse of Years can be cast on enemy units in combat and works really well against the units you described, so cast the spell.
BEN DIESEL FTW!!!
I think that Vampires have elite enough troops of their own to deal with them - Blood Knights, Black Coaches, Grave Guard, Black Knights etc. The key is to use the various buffs like Standard of Strigos and similar to deal with them, and hit the opponent in flanks if possible to minimise his attacks on you (especially true vs High Elven elites where ASF butchers you..)
Using trapits in combats where you have hammer units hitting is just giving away freebies unless your hammer unit can cause enough casualties, your tarpit unit will suffer an inordinate number of attacks back, and give away combat score - zombies are next to useless as tarpits - they are solely useful as a harrassment unit (they give away free combat res to the enemy) - I would say that a ranked HW/Shield skeleton unit is more useful as a tarpit, but even then only marginally moreso...
I would use avoidance/baiting using cheap units if I didn't have teh wherewithall to deal directly with the offending unit. Chosen only move 8" marching, march blocking with bats or vampire bats is a viable option, or baiting with a small unit of Dire wolves...
Oh - and yeah - Lore of Metal is your friend against most of the above units, as the magic missiles will eat them alive, whether they have 3+ armour save like Chosen with sheilds, 1+ like Chaos Knights or 5+/4+ and only T3 like Dark Elves...
Zombies are an Incredible Tarpit unit....one of the best if not the best ever.
They aren't an anvil unit, which is what the first and above poster are describing. If you want a unit that will hold and not give up too much static combat resolution than you want skeletons with hand weapons and shields or Gravegaurd with the same. Then hit them with your hammer unit.
If you want to bog a unit down indeffinetely Zombies are the premier choice. Easy to rez in bulk and worth almost no VP. I will gladly give up 80 pts of VP to tie up a 300+ unit for an entire game. Sure you might not gain those VP points back but they have their major unit busy killing something worth nothing while the majority of your army points are wreaking havoc on the rest of his army. Why would you ever send your own units into a tarpit?????? If you are desperate for the VP than just let your tarpit die and then hit them....NEVER use your tarpit as an anvil! That's just crazy, of course you'll lose.
Even super killy units have a hard time doing more than 10 - 15 wounds in a single round. Most things just don't have that many attacks and regardless of the zombies crappy WS people still need a 3+ to hit most of the time. You can Raise 10 zombies in one IoC cast if you're lucky. ONE CAST! Evn rolling only ones for the IoC roll you only need to succesfully get 3 IoC's (15 Zombies on min. and 30 max) off to bounce back from even brutal rounds of combat, barring no lodestones in your army.
P.S. - As for Curse of Years, It is a great spell but since it remains in pay you have to drop it to cast anything else with that spellcaster, and normally you need them for other things unless it's a low end spellcaster in which case the Casting requirement of the spell is too high for the lesser wizards to effectively cast.
Last edited by D'yanoi; October 9th, 2009 at 04:03.
Anything small with always strikes first, you can send a Black Coach. Also either have dreadlance so you kill more than he does, or another vampire with something like nightshround, sword of striking would eventually beat a unit of black guard, could even add red fury in there. Anything flanking a unit should win, and if none of that looks like it work then go for skeletons with warbanner to hold them up. Getting curse of years off also and keeping it in play for several turns if they have lost or have no mages for dispel/power dice.
Zombies are slow. And they are pathetic at combat. And they interfere with your own combat units getting to grips with the enemy. Unless your oponent is frenzied - he is more than happy to sit by and watch the zombies shuffle forward, or outmanouvre and get to your crunchy units. Low WS, low S and T = easy fidder for even poor troops like gobbos.
A High Elf Spear unit, for example, will normally bring 12 attacks on the charge. 8 hit, 6 kill. The zombies don't strike back, may outnumber, same ranks, HE have standard. So the zombies crumble 6, + another 6 for being so crap...
Next turn - 18 attacks... 12 hit, 8 kill, 24 crumble....
See the pattern?
A killy unit that is cavalry will ignore zombies. A killy infantry unit will charge them with some ranked support and kill them.
A killy unit attacked by zombies and maybe flanked by a Black or Blood Knights unit, will kill the zombies...
Zombies are themselves useful ONLY for flanking or acting as speedbumps or charge funnels - a true tarpit unit is one like Trollslayers or Flagellants, who don;t die in droves as easily as zombies do. I note your point that you can raise billions of them..
That's no big deal to most armies TBH, as if you are raising zombies, you are not increasing the unit size of skellies or re-raising your DKoff Guard...
The Crown of Commandment.
Use the Crown on the tarpit, and flank with special or rare unit.
I still must disagree...
Kithre, I have no problems with the scenario you present with HE Spearmen, indeed a scary foe, along with blocks of Saurus Warriors w/spears or anything fighting in multiple ranks or huge amount of attacks...But...I understand the 6 kills on a charge, but HE aren't gonna outnumber your zombies (and if they do...shame on you) and rank bonus will be the same so you lose the combat by 6...the number of wounds caused, I don't see the 12 on the crumble and the 24 the following turn?
As for their speed....you've stated a better unit would be GG or skeletons or ghouls...they have the same speed as zombies!!!! How is this changing any of the above. (sorry that was Dr. Dogmeats comment) also we're completely ignoring VanHel's Danse...don't leave home without it.
As for Dr. Dogmeats comments, elite units are monstrous and some would certainly be silly to try and stop with zombies but we have to assume some intelligence to the person controlling them...I mean...all units suck if you don't take in account who they are fighting or use them for something they aren't meant for...for example an Empire cannon would be dumb to fire at zombies when there are Vahrgulfs or GG on the field, or Giants or Dragons, or Stegadons...you get my point???? We have to assume non-stupidity on the player's part.
Elites are nasty...in fact they are nasty enough to chew through skeles armour saves with higher Strength and nullify the Ghoul advantage of 4 Toughness...and those units still deal with crumbling as well, and you can only raise 1d6 of them per Invocation of Nehek. In Fact Ghouls should be next to worthless as a tarpit against elites as all their advantage is gone, they are gonna get killed and are probably not gonna get their attacks back so their extra attack advantage is gone. Only skeles w/ spears make sense, since they could effectively get attacks back unless 10 die from combat. Still why waste the points...you're not gonna raise them back anywhere near as effectively as zombies.
As for zombies as a flanking force...are you crazy!!!! You're just gonna give away CR to a battle...Why would you do this. In fact, Zombies only use is as a tarpit. I don't disagree that they are crap. THEY ARE THE CRAPIEST UNIT IN THE GAME, based on pure stats, but their purpose is not to win...it is to stall, and when combined with other Vampire Count units and abilities (i.e.. Corpse Cart, Fear, Crown of Command) they do their job quite well. The only other use for zombies is to raise a unit directly behind a unit that is gonna break from combat to create that unit strength 5 that will demolish the enemy unit when they flee through them (the only time I see zombies really kill anything, and there are no rolls required).
Lastly I would love an enemy to use a killy unit and a support flanking unit on zombies....that would make me laugh incredibly...to spend an entire round of the game tying up 2 of their decent units on a 80pt Zombie unit, or possible 50pt if they were raised from scratch whilst the rest of my army goes unchecked. To me that is a huge victory when it comes to tempo of the game regardless of the loss of an expendable unit.