Welcome to Librarium Online!
I've been collecting and painting up Mantic and Reaper undead for a while, and now I'd like to start playing them a bit more seriously as a VC army. Because they don't get steadfast, I'm wondering if people prefer to run horde formations with the undead, or whether it is better to stack ranks for static CR. Just looking for any "rule of thumb" that people use for their units.
I'm thinking horde for GG and zombies, and more ranks for skellies and ghouls (although I'm really undecided for my ghouls).
Well, if you just want to have some fun and don't care too much about winng alot, go with what you like! If you want to use lots of skellies/zombies and mix them between hordes & ranked units to deny steadfast, then go for it!
If you want to know what is the optimal formation for all our units however, then it's the sadly following;
Skellies: take 1 unit w/full command at 20-25 strong. Its only purpose for being inlcuded is to give you a banner & act as a bunker for a caster. Skeletons don't belong in combat in 8th!
Zombies: don't belong anywhere in your list... they're so horrifically sucktastically terribad that they should only be about 1pt/model right now. Just raise them as needed.
Ghouls: form your main battleline in 40 strong horde formations.
Grave Guard: take 30-35 w/great weapons & barrows banner in a horde formation. Add wight king BSB w/dickenhof banner and make sure you have a helm of commandment vamp supporting them.
Undead have been nerfed to hell in 8th, so we really don't have any options if you're wanting to have a really competitive list. Just copy-paste the same old ghouls spam + GG horde like every other VC player...
Hopefully with TK's getting fixed up in May, our book won't be too far behind?!
Thanks for the tips. I'll probably just try and have fun....but it's nice to have some basic guidelines for setting up ranks + rep for you!
I personally just throw the idea of VC's being competitive out the window and play to my theme - a Lahmian army so I use lots of ranked skellies!
A spear-horde buffed with light or metal magic is actually pretty damn good too! And having a block or two of sword & board skellies ranked deep is good for denying the enemy their steadfast.
Only problem is how badly gimped we are with 'step-up + unstable', meaning our units drop twice as fast now, and it's a real pain to try and heal even a bare minimum now... (Ie: invocation is terribad, but summon undead horde is epic for your support thrall!)
I'm actually just having fun with the painting right now. I'm seeing this as a long term project. My theme for the VC army is "war of the roses"/villains of Shakespere's History plays. I think Richard III is probably just as devious and nasty as Vlad...but i'll have to use a necrarch for him. I'm trying to track down some Sisters of battle transfer stickers so I can have House of York/House of Lancaster roses for my shields. Going a little skellie/GG heavy right now...but I guess that my Ghouls could be Welsh conscripts or something to that effect. Mantic Zombies look amazing so I may "summon" some from time to time as a speed bump on my flanks.
I've found that VC work really well in 1000 pt games. Had a 3 way battle a few weeks ago where spamming Invocation meant that I had an almost full troop count by the end of the game. I take your point about how the spell would really suck in higher point games....oh well....I'll still field them and have a blast learning the army...but there's always mordheim too.
For your raising needs, especially at higher pts levels, try this out for a support vamp;
Thrall w/Forbidden Lore (vamps), Lord of the Dead. Your choice of magic items.
Cast summon undead horde after you've drawn out a couple dispel dice, (perhaps with an invocation or two), and now watch a unit grow by 3D6!!!*evil laugh*