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I'm thinking of taking VC as my second army. I had an idea that most likely won't work well but I thought it would be a nice surprise for my opponents.
While taking the usual HoC and Corpse Cart for first strike purposes, I want to take a vamp and give him the Lore of Beasts spell list. Buff up my horde of Zombies to WS7 S3 T3 with 3 rows attacking and see the horror in their eyes. It's not much of a buff but it's enough to make them formidable opponents.
As a side note could also be used to buff up other units such as Tomb Guard or even make your melee vamps crazier. Vamp w/ S8 and 6 attacks minimum? quite formidable. Throw him in a unit of skele's w/ Tomb Blade and Red Fury? Might be pointless but an interesting idea?
Comments and help always appreciated
Come to think of it, that would actually make zombies worth their points (the S & T buff spell, mostly). Not sure if Wysan's Wild Form allows multiple augmentations for the +1 S & T to accumulate, cause then the spell's use would be that much more beneficial to zombies and any other units.
And since the Tomb Blade turns slain enemies into additional skeleton warriors and Red Fury gives additional attacks for every unsaved wound, I'd say try it out. It's a lot cheaper than simply having to manually beef up the skeletons' numbers with IoN; saves power dice.
There will be at least a couple guys who would discourage the idea, but vampires have WS6/7 and S5 anyways so it isn't too much of a worry.
overall, T3 isn't much better than T2. however, watching the sheer panic and horror in your opponent's eyes when he's facing down 30 or so WS7/S10 attacks is well worth it!
overall, if you want a combat healer, then plump for the blood drinker! it works on any unit, and can heal different parts of those units at the same time... (ie: say a lord causes 4 wounds, he can heal himself of a wound and then bring back 3 rank and files.)
tomb blade is fun to play around with in non-competitive settings, but for tournaments, blood drinker is far, far better!
Except not everyone plays in tournaments.
And even though T3 isn't impressively durable it's still a tiny bit better than T2, which means slightly fewer zombies die. Still, the augmentation helps if even by a tiny bit.
I'd say go with what you personally think is appealing or sounds like an appealing option. After all, games of Warhammer are meant to be fun.
The question I have is that will the Lore of Shadow spell actually work that way? It says that the unit uses it's Ld so I'm not sure if they would be able to use the generals Ld for it. If it does work that would be amazing. Zombies that can tear through anything with relative ease.
as for the tomb blade vs blood drinker, it's up to you. in fun, non-competitive games it can offer up a nice change and will help out a little bit. (not too much mind!) you could try and make it more effective by giving the vamp using it the red fuy power as well to try for more potential kills.
blood drinker is simply the 'safer' and all 'round option since it has no unit restrictions. (it still won't stack it's abilities on top of LotD or summon ghouls though).
personally, i prefer the drinker, even in friendly games because it can also help augment the vampire using it! if the thrall takes a wound, then blood drinker can heal it, and i can use that invo on the unit itself... or i can cast a different spell to augment the entire unit...
basically, tomb blade = skellie healer. blood drinker = multi-tasker & option maker.