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Alright, well I originally wanted to know how many Fell Bats to use per unit of them, but I hate topics that only hit one topic, and it's alwasy best to hit as many as you can. And also, it would be usefull to know if one should take a unit in 4, 5, 6, etc. models per rank.
First off, Fell Bats. This is my original question, and thus I want to address this first. I know minimum squads are generally bad, so I was thinking maybe squads of 4 to 6. That gives it some models to lose, whilst not going overboard. But then again, it may be better to go for 3 or 4 model units to do assassinations with, and take like 2 or three units instead of one. And I guess 1 rank would probubly be the best here, because that optimizes damage and keeps a low number of models.
Picking at Fell Bats: These guys are pretty durrable, some of the most. They are great at ridding yourself of pesky artillery, and archers. But, like everything else, always have a back up plan if they don't make it. And if there is no artillery then use them to slow down fast units so that you can have more time to prepare your offensive and/or defensive positions.
Skeletons: I'm thinking squads of 20, mainly because that's what comes in a box. Also, larger units could be better. Or maybe smaller units with armour to guard characters, because then it would be more cost effective, since you can summon more. And I'm guessing the old 5 man front is probubly the best. But 6 in the front does always give more attacks against enemies.
Zombies: They're just about the same as Skeletons, just larger units because you expect to lose more of them.
Picking at Skeletons and Zombie: These are the backbone of your army (pun intended). Thhey're both like gaunts (Tyranids) and I learned long ago that things like this are not to be expected to kill anything, at all. It's just an added bonus when they do (they do, however have more of a chance to kill things). Skeletons are more expensive, but you will lose less if your General dies. And they also attack faster (not like it matters because you'll probubly attack last). But Zombies are cheaper. As for summoning, summon Skeletons to revive your ranks with armour (which should be your defensive guys who escort models around), and summon Zombies to block your enemy and get in the way (aka, just to be anoying). They are both pretty good, but Skeletons are more useful for fighting and defending.
Ghouls: I have no idea, it's up to you, but from how it looks 10 man squads would be best because 5 man, although useful for skirmishers when you have a lot, is to little for living models.
Picking at Ghouls: If you have read my other topics you will know, I don't like them. I just don't like the concept of creepy guys running around eating flesh yet still being alive. But, they have great redeaming qualities (I won't use them, I'm just being a Devil's Advocate). They are skirmishers, which is always useful. And they can run away from fights which is a great tactic and they are only one of the two squads we have that can do that. Drawing your enemies into a trap is always nice, especially with our guys because we can attack our enemies on all sides by summoning some guys behind them. They are pretty powerful and poison attacks are great. They may not be imune to psychology, but they do cause fear, which is nice.
Bat Swarms: You can only have one squad, thus it's entirely based on how strong you want it to be. I'd say one or two for smaller games, though.
Picking at Bat Swarms: Same as with ghouls, not my favorite unit. But you can still run from fights just like with ghouls and they are quite strong. The only problem is that you can only have one squad of them. They have the bonuses of Fell bats, and the bonus of being alive, they're pretty nice.
Dire Wolves: Okay, they can be feilded in many different ways, 7 to cover the enemy unit and have one model extra on each side (which I beleive would be able to still attack), 6 to get good coverage, but a cheaper unit that would be a beter at manuvering, 5 for basic coverage, or 10 for basic coverage with extra bodies. 20 would just be silly, and 5 is the minimum, but it's still kind of practical. I plan on using 6, it's cheap, more manueverable, and effective. Not to mention the fact that for me I'll have like 3+ squads because I love them, but then again I take risks.
Picking at Dire Wolves: One of my absolute favorite units (this is gunna sound like I'm trying to sell them to you, but I'll say their bad points too). With a few small units you can get these babys all over the board, they can circle around and back attack, and they are great at butchering archers and artillery if you don't take Bats, but remember it's not a good idea to rely on one thing to do something, always have back up units to handle problems. These are your artillery and archer hunting back up. They may be half the speed, but they're still pretty fast, and if you start them with the general nearby, they can move pretty fast (even faster if you move the general with them, and use Vanhel's Danse Macrabe, which would mean they can move 36 inches in the first turn). After you have removed those pesky models that attack you from a distance, you can use them to rear attack your enemies who are now in combat with other stuff, which means you get to have a bit of fun. But, they have a problem with surviving, thus it is a risk to take them. But if you happen to be lucky and know what you're doing, you can reak havock with them (just like any other fast cavalry).
Grave Guard: Not my favorite because they are strong, more expensive, and just barely less vulnerable as skeletons. But, I'd say squads of around 20/19 since you're limited to the number you can have in whatever point cost game, thus you want a decent ammount since these bugger's can't be summoned.
Picking at Grave Guard: Now, I don't like them because they are a bit to expensive, and still vulnerable. However, they can pack a wallop, and they have more strength, armour, leadership, and have a higher chance of hitting in combat, on top of killing blow. They're our elite walking unit, they can kick bum in combat, and take some hits. But you can't revive them. So, take them if you want a more expensive stronger un summonable Skeleton unit. Sadly, they also take up a special squad, which means less Knight units and less Fell Bats.
Black Knights: I have to say the same thing for them as Dire Wolves, it's the whole cavalry thing, they generally only work in specific numbers.
Picking at Black Knights: These are the hardcore expesive cavalry of the Vampire Counts. They can have a high save, and kick insane butt in combat. You get there faster, and then you get to rip apart your enemies like a Hive Tyrant does to a Space Marine. Just like with the Guard, they do tons of damage, and cost an arm and a leg (literally). But they are faster, and have a muuuuuch higher survivability rate. They're generally a must for every army.
Spirit Hosts: Just like Bat Swarms, you can only have one sqaud, so 1-3 in small/medium games.
Picking apart Spirit Hosts: These guys are cool as hell. They can't be hit by anything other than magical items, they're pretty strong, and they have a decent number of attacks. Their only problem is that combat resolution butchers them. Other than that, they can hold up an enemy unit for turns on end, and are fun to use as psychological torture. Their only other problem is that you can only have one unit.
So, my question is what you guys say about this? Do the number per squad sound right? Should one take more or less?
Oh, and the picking at them was just a bonus because I really felt like typing tonight and was just in the mood. It's more about the number of models per squad and the setup of the squads (skellies, zombie, wolves, the things that you take tons of). So plase, help one of your fellow Vampires out with what you more experianced, and those of you who just love to sit around and come up with tactics, do.
Wow... Long post.
Fell bats: I do not think they can get rank bonuses anyway since they are fliers, not completely sure though. I think 3-4 is best for them, and they are pretty useful.
Skeletons and zombies: I find 20 models 5 wide is best for both sorts. Your characters are better in the larger units to make them win combat rather than be protected by smaller units. Do not worry about how many might survive if the general dies, for the most part if he goes you are finished anyway. You may think skeletons kill more than zombies, but in reality they kill about the same - nothing. Skeletons are only better because they can have a 4+ save in combat.
Ghouls: I always saw them in units of 5 or 6, don't really know. I haven't used them either.
Bat swarms: Can you still run? Don't they get unbreakable or something for being swarms, I'm not sure if swarms can flee or not. I think bat swarms are pretty useless, too slow for war machine hunting so what do they do? Bog down units, yeah them and pretty much everything else we have that can do it better like skeletons, zombies and spirit hosts.
Dire wolves: I guess 6 is best. Usually I do not pay points for units of them, I use summon wolves with the drakenhof banner so I can get any amount of them.
Grave guard: Yeah 20 is good, but they still aren't nearly as good as the elite units of other armies so you need to watch them. Still qa nice unit, especially when they have banner of the barrows.
Black knights: As with all cavalry, 5 or 6 models and used primarily to flank opponents and annoy them or sometimes hit opponent cavalry and smaller units with vanhel's.
Spirit hosts: 3 or 4. Not too big that they cover more than a unit, but not too small that they do nothing. I guess they are pretty useful but I have had limited success with them so far.
About the Bat Swarms I have no clue. But I'll check into it tomarrow.
The reason I was saying smaller units of armoured guys for your characters is because in the first couple of turns you can just sit there and fill them up with more skeletons, that will have armour and won't cost you anything. One skeleton with armour is the same cost as a wolf, and I'd rather have wolves.
So, 6 for knights, that's helpfull. Same seams to go for any cavalry, nice tip.
And I'll work on the post and hopefully wind up with some tactica, that would be usefull. And yes, I know there is a vampire count tactica, but it's not one of those insane ones I used to see on Eldar Online (like 2 pages per unit of in depth tactica) and that's what I want to write up, because you don't really see that anymore, and it makes me sad.
Also, if anyone wants to pitch in ideas or strategies/combos they find that work, please do so. I'll give credit where it is due when and if I make this tactica I wanna see made.
But I haven't seen much on the numbers you should use (except in army lists) thus this topic.
Fell bats - I take four, mainly because I have four models. Regardless, I could field three (and do in smaller games) but four can make a difference. Since they don't negate rank bonus, I'm looking solely to benefit from their two attacks and two wounds apiece. The longer they stick around, the longer they hold the enemy, the better.
Skeletons - I run five wide and prefer to field at least one unit of 25. With 25, I hope to have more troops and ranks in combat for an additional round or so; that way, outnumbering becomes more likely, especially with summoned zombies on the flank. Also, this lets me focus more castings of IoN on summoning new units of zombies, instead of replenishing depleted skeleton units.
Zombies - They get to attack back so seldom that I started fielding them 4 wide, in order to hold onto that 3rd rank bonus a bit longer. I usually summon them, but if I do field them, I'll start with thirty and summon skeletons instead.
Ghouls - I rarely play without them. I've had success against most armies with these guys. I'll run two units of six or one larger unit. Two poisioned attacks, high toughness, fear-causing skirmishers all play out well for me. And their use as missile screens and flank/rear defenders has helped, too.
Bat Swarms - I rarely field them, but I like the results when I do. I'll have a spirit host with two models and a bat swarm with two models, and they can really befuddle an enemy's intentions. But compared to my friend's swarms that have poisoned and maybe warpstone wounds, bats don't compare.
Dire Wolves - My units of five or so in size only fare well against armies with many war machines. Otherwise, they tend to get whittled down to an insignificant size by the time they reach combat. Larger units tend to stick around longer for me and pack more of a punch when they get off their slavering charge. They've been great for harrassing the enemies rear flanks.
Grave Guard - fair, but like Stewart says, not much when compared to other armies' elite troops. If only we could raise more, like skeletons and zombies. Ahhh, how happy that would be......
Black Knights - I have seven models, with full command, and usually run them with a character to get one rank bonus for at least one round of combat. That with a war banner can potentially break the enemy, especially when a Blood Dragon leads the charge.
Spirit hosts - in 2000 pt battles I almost always run three models, two if I know exactly what army I'm facing.
Banshees - they've helped more than they've hurt. I take one maybe half the time, two against my buddy's skavens.
Black Coach - only played two games with it and can't comment--but it looks cool!
This is a lot to reply to, and, there is incorrect information in here to boot, so without further ado, here is another short essay that everyone should read:
Fell Bats â€“ You cannot get ranks with skirmishers, which, fell bats are, for one. Secondly, I run them in units of four personally, 1 or 2 of them. Smaller is better, as youâ€™ll learn, because they will never really beat anything except artillery crews. Honestly, they have mixed success, so they are better used for artillery killing, march blocking, and general harassment, and sometimes taking out archers.
Zombies & Skeletons (Itâ€™s all the same) â€“ I start with units of 20, but I occasionally mess with units of 10 zombies or skeletons with command to raise into. As a Sylvanian though, it doesnâ€™t matter a ton for me, as new units come full of equipment.
Ghouls â€“ 9 is the magical number, and my opinion of the minimum squad size (10 or so is good). With skirmishers you want to have 7 models when they get in CC (5 wide units, you can rank up 7 wide, you get idea), and gives you some casualties you can take. This way also, losing 2 models wonâ€™t give you a leadership 6 panic check.
Bat Swarms: Absolutely useless. Honestly. Horrible. I cannot explain how much I want to beat someone who takes these. They are very expensive unit that are ONLY good at tying up units. Even then, you need a lot to do it. Guess what? Our whole army does this. Add to the fact that almost all other swarms have something cooler going on, it really makes it something that will never make it into my list.
Dire Wolves â€“ I like small units. They are expendable that way. (50 points for a unit of 5, thatâ€™s a throwaway unit). Even if they do get whittled down, itâ€™s not a big deal as that just means they are protecting your main units from fire Remember you can always have multiple units working in tandem, double charges and the like, and since you canâ€™t get ranks with fast cav, there is no point in taking a super large unit. You only need 3 alive to negate rank bonuses on the flank or rear (Rank bonuses are calculated at the BEGINNING of combat, so if 3 charge in, and 2 die, you still negate rank bonuses). Great for assisting your main blocks into winning combat. YOU CANNOT MOVE MORE THEN 8â€? WITH DANSE MACABRE, so the max you could do is march 18â€?, and use the spell to move or charge 8â€?, for a total of 26â€?, NOT 36â€?, huge difference.
Grave Guard â€“ I disagree. I like a big block of these guys, but I get Drakenhoof guard. Just be smart, and screen them, or place them on a safer flank. There are plenty of banners out there to make them more resilient, and I put a BSB with them. They are much more reliable then you think, but taking them alone is suicide.
Black Knights â€“ Knights are Knights. They are always good. However, you definitely are over-estimating their survival. War machines and shooting still hurt a lot for knights, and our Knights when they lose combat donâ€™t run away a safe distance like everybody elseâ€™s knights, instead, they lose models, so losing combat by 2 is a huge deal. This also means, if they donâ€™t break a unit on the charge, you really probably wasted the unit.
Spirit Hosts â€“ They are good, but more difficult to use. They make a great screen, but you need at least 2 of them. However, the biggest thing is they can FLANK a unit because they are not a skirmishing swarm, so they can negate ranks, and unlike other smaller rank â€˜negatersâ€™, you canâ€™t get rid of them as easily (assuming you are using them with another unit)
Alright, sorry about that, I realise that it has been to long and I should definately read through the rules again (it's been like 2 months since I even though of VC's). Luckily the weekend is comming up.
As for the thinking that Fell Bats come in a rank, that's GW's doing with their online pictures that have the Bat's lined up. Sorry about that.
And about the Grave Guard, I heard that ghouls make an excelent screeners. So would it be wise to put a unit of them in front of your Grave Guard?
Yes, or Spirit Hosts would be even better. However, if you don't even want to do that, give the unit the Banner of the Barrows (as they can take a magical banner), and then they will always hit on an unmodified 3+, and then take a Wight BSB and give him the Banner of Doom (5+ ward against all normal and magical missles). This way, when they get to the enemy, even if they kill your BSB, you'll still hit on a 3+. The hitting on 3s is 100x more important then the ward save once you get into CC.Originally Posted by archonofdeath
My unit of Drakenhoof Guard (Sylvania ones with Platemail and Great Weapons) uses either the Banner of the Barrows, and the wight either takes the Banner of Doom or the Drakenhoof Banner (Magic Resistance 2)
Fell Bats - in my armies (Necrarch or Strigoi) I field a unit of 5 and IMO its their perfect size.
Black Knights - 5 is the perfect flanking force and as Strigoi I use 8 with a Screaming Banner.
Grave Guard - as Necrarch I use 16 (shields, no halberds) with a Screaming Banner (my favourite banner - if you play a tournament BotBarrows means a lot of penalties). They stay near the general with a joined necromancer and with magic support (and Necrarch means turn 3 no more Dispel Scrolls for your opponent) they have 16" (or more) range. Ranks of 5.
Spirit Hosts - 3 bases are the perfect size (maneuvrability plus unit strenght). I consider them along with the zomies for VC army's MVPs. They alone slaughter Dwarfs or Empire (20 Ironbreakers or Banner of Griffon against flanking spirits equals a lot of lost victory points).
Black Coach - I don't have the skill to play it as it gets destroyed befor my second turn almost every my game so I don't field it anymore. Sorry, no advise.
Banshee - really great. 2 of them take out heavy cavalry units with ease. Even against Tomb kings they are usefull blocking the charge of Ushabties, Scorpion or a Bone Giant and the BSB keeps them alive (undead?). You only need to have some expirience with them for they are very fragile.
Bat Swarm - VC army is a very offensive one and that swarm has nothing to do with its spirit.\
Dire Wolves - I like 1 or 2 units of 6. They rarely make it till turn 6 but always make up for their points.
Skeletons - normally I field 14 10-points skelies (the spear is useles in an offensive army) but army lists could be very different at this point. Front of 5 or 6 (depends on how many characters join that unit.
Zombies - in a fast army you summon them, while as Strigoi I field 2 units of 19 (full command). They soak a lot of damage and regularly kill a Dragon or something of that sort. Front of 4.\
Ghouls - great. They are our only unit with flee reaction. Keep your general within 12". One unit of 9-12 or 2 units of 6.
You say you have problems with a black coach...
I have read the rules many times now for them, and everyone is always saying how poorly they do (everyone gets screwed because they can be hurt by str 7 shots). Well then throw the bugger behind some cover, wait until your fell bats and dire wolves have taken care of any high powered shooters, then bring it out of it's hiding and run right to their basic troups. Butcher enough to get scything then just go on a massive killing spree.
You want to kill off your threats before turn 3, and hopefully on turn one, then you will have ample time to reek havoc on your enemy.
I don't think the black coach is bad, I think it is very good. I sometimes take 2 as Sylvanians since they are cheaper, but opponents don't like that so one is enough... They are well worth the points IMO.