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I'm a relatively experienced 40k player who has just begun working on a VC army for WHFB. I'm going to be playing (at 2500 pts to start) with a small group of much more experienced players who have spent significant amounts of time fine tuning their armies and playing practice bouts against one another. I'm not looking to go completely beardy, but I'd like to get some help in leveling the playing field so that I don't get squashed every time I go over there to play.
First, my army. I'll probably be playing Blood Dragons, but I'm going to build and paint a large number of extra skellies and zombies so that I'll hopefully be able to field a Necrarch force if the desire to do so seizes me. I like Grave Guard and love the Wight Lord model so pretty much any army I field is going to have at least one chunky (16+) unit of GG with a Barrows Banner led by a Wight Lord with the Sword of Kings. I like the Black Knights, too, so I will probably field one or two units of them, as well, though I'm not quite sure yet on the size. I'm planning on putting my Lord on foot in the middle of a unit of 30 armored skeletons. I have lots of zombies, but I'm still not sure yet how many I plan on putting in the list. I will be summoning significant numbers of these guys, as well, since I want 2 level two necromancers in the list. Despite the fact that they're fragile, I like wolves for their speed and maneuverability. I hate the ghoul models and their abysmal leadership, but fear causing skirmishers with two poisoned attacks sound like they would be fun to play. I'm not going to be using a Black Coach because I a) don't like the model and b) don't think it would fit the fluff for my army. It seems more like a Von Carstein kind of unit. I'm still on the fence about the two kinds of bats...I'm waiting to be convinced, one way or another. The same thing goes for Spirit Hosts and Banshees. I would like to include some Dogs of War units in my army to make up for it's inherent weaknesses, ie no missile fire, war machines. Dwarvish crossbowmen in heavy armor and a cannon would be nice, but I still haven't decided yet and would like advice on this.
Ok, now for the armies of my prospective opponents (hopefully, victims). One player is playing an Ogre Army and from what I can tell is going to be taking some wicked special character general with a weapon that causes d3 wounds and some kind of summoning device that brings large numbers of Gorgers onto the field. I'm not sure if he's bring Gnoblars or not, but I'm pretty sure that he's going to have a Scrap Launcher. He's also going to bring a Hunter with cats and a harpoon launcher. As far as I know, he's not bringing much else in terms of missile weaponry. With this guy, I'm worried about getting flanked by the Gorgers and straight up charged by the Ogres.
The second player is going to be playing Orcs and Goblins. From what I know, he's not going to be bringing much in the way of missile weaponry. I expect to see some Wolfriders and Black Orcs, but I can't say how many of each for sure. I do know that he has Boar Chariots and will be fielding some sort of sick lvl 4 Shaman with a backup shaman or two. I'm sweating a little bit over his magic (I don't want Gork stomping on my army!), but with their low leadership, I expect this army will be my least difficult opponent.
Lastly, my friends wife is bringing a Lizardman army, led by a second generation Slann Mage Priest with access to all kinds of killy spells. IIRC, this thing has a 2+ ward save against all missile fire and will be surrounded by something like 20 temple guard. She's also got a fair number of Skinks for harassment and march blocking and some other minor casters to provide more dice. There isn't a lot of missile fire in this army, either, unless you count spells. I'm still not sure what I'm going to do to make a good fight with this army.
Sooo... I'd like to solicit the advice of forum veterans on what I need to do, list-wise and on the table to give these guys a nasty fight.
mmmk well Im tired but I feel like helping a bit anyways JUST cause Im a nice guy . anyways if your planning on taking those units that you said (grave guard and the black knights) then I agree with you. my new army is very similar ... I would take your vamp count, 2 wights to stick in GG and an armored skelly unit (btw stick ur lord in with a small unit of knights... I do and they work wonders specially when the count has the book of arkhan to get into combat quick! Also take a necro with a power familiar... this is my exact army character lost actually but wtv lol... this way you have FIVE dispel dive and SIX power dice....not too shabby for a BD army. ALSO if you the opportunity to get van halse danse macabre (sp??) then get it... get your units into combat quick!
sorry my opinion is so short Ill say more tomorrow...
one more thing... is the ward save of a slan JUST against shooting? cause if so you dont reeeeally have that much to worry about since ur VC and you have not very much shooting anyways (besides magic)
What you are we once were. What we are you will become!!!
I believe the ward save is just vs shooting.... but he's got roughly 20 Temple Guard as a retinue, so reaching hand to hand may be problematic...
you could use etherels.... the temple guard can't hurt them. Surround him with zombies and dance macabre them all. laugh at him when u already have over 8 CR before the fight has started. More if the zombie units have ranks
vampire counts = magic and black knights wrong!
Ogres are difficult in one sense because neither the killing blow or Fear will effect them. They do have some quite small armies though so be sure to surround them with Zombies etc attack in the flanks etc.
Welcome to LO, Psyan. You made an excellent post with a lot of information. I'll do my best to respond. Playing more experienced players will help you fine tune your game a lot quicker, and your list.Originally Posted by Psyan
Okay, so for your heroes you want a blood dragon count, two necromancers, and a wight lord. If you want to do something really cool, give your wight lord a battle standard. I don't know what you think of that model, but a BSB in a VC army is something you don't see too often, and its benefit is the reduced CR losses you take.
It sounds like you're going to have a pretty solid infantry core. Glade Guard, skeletons, and maybe a unit of zombies. I like a few things about zombies: they defend flanks well, they are a true tarpit unit, and they are cheap.
Your observations about the wolves are right. They're fast and maneuverable and die in droves. Start with units a model or two larger than you want them once they get into combat. Be careful not to get them outside the general's march range too early in the game.
I love ghouls. I'm not crazy about the models, but I don't dislike them. There are some in the Mordheim range that are interesting, but I don't particularly care for them myself. There's an elf zombie, human zombies, and a couple of more races. They perform really well in combat and if kept near the general will pass their leadership tests.
A lot of blood dragon generals field the black coach because it's a mean chariot. But it becomes a real point sink, especially when you're fielding grave guard and black knights. Leave it out.
Speaking of knights, how many units do you want? If you want two, then they'll have to be smaller, or you might want one beefy unit. I don't think you can go wrong either way. I once watched a guy run a 3000 pt VC list with a twenty-man unit of black knights. One time he ran those knights five ranks deep. It was a black train of destruction. Now I'm not suggesting that you field twenty, but eight would make a pretty potent number. Have you considered putting your wight lord here? That'd make them even deadlier, and he'd probably help out the knights more than he would the grave guard.
I'm a minor fan of dogs o' war units. I have three Ogre Maneaters that I occasionally field, and they're a good fit for the army. They are stubborn, fear-causing, and immune to psychology; they have a bull charge and can take a mix of weapons. But the main reason I went with them is because they complemented the army instead of making up for deficiencies that the game designers specifically tailored to the army. Personally, I'd say avoid them because you're going to want the points for good VC units. Playing VC as designed and playing them well becomes a craft, and making up for deficits with valuable special slots just seems out of the VC idiom.
Like bats. Proxy some fell bats and see if you don't like them. Unlike most undead units, they don't need to be within the general's march range. They can fly out and marchblock or attack warmachines. They can hunt enemy wizards, and they're even good as a sort of swarm since they're unbreakable and can slow down or redirect an enemy unit for a turn or two.
Bat swarms are okay but you can do without them.
Spirit hosts! If I would recommend anything to an army list at or over 1500 pts, it'd be spirit hosts. I take them from 1000 up myself. At 2000+ go with three units.
Here's from my VC tactica...Spirit hosts are valuable against any army, barring all-demon and forest spirt ones. They screen, they negate ranks when they flank, can only be harmed by magic, and tie up enemy threats. I love to get a hold of kroxigor with them. Trust me, kroxes can put a big hurt on a VC army. If I see kroxes, I immediately place my spirit host opposite them. The only problem is when my LM opponent fields kroxes and salamanders because they're both great targets for spirit hosts.The VC army has great screeners. I think the best, par excellence, are Spirit Hosts. A unit of three (150mm) will cover just about any unit (100mm if five wide). In smaller games a unit of two (100mm) will shield a unit thatâ€™s only four wide (80mm). Another option is a unit of ghouls. Skirmishers are harder to hit, and their high toughness absorbs damage. Near the general, they are much less likely to break from panic.
One unit you haven't mentioned is the banshee. Normally, I wouldn't recommend her, despite all I'm about to say. Against armies with a low or mediocre leadership, a banshee can prove devastating. She ignores armor saves and will average two wounds against units with Ld 7. On a really good roll, she can splinter a unit. Ogres, Orcs and Goblins, and Lizardmen all have mediocre to poor leadership, so I'd say take a banshee.That ogre army sounds pretty nasty. If you're brave, tool up your count for heavy combat. Myself, I've found that the toughest Ogre characters are pretty damned tough. Even my blood dragons have had a difficult time. And mind you, Skrag the Slaughter has killing blow and there's no defense in the VC armory against that. I'd avoid the beast with my general and let him hack up some other ogres.Ok, now for the armies of my prospective opponents (hopefully, victims).
Otherwise, you should be able to handle his army. If you see gnoblars, you can take them out quickly by forcing a panic or fear test. Getting rid of the one ranked unit the Ogre army has to throw at you can be worth it, even if their VP value is low.
Out flank the ogres and you'll force them to take break tests. Unfortunately, they won't autobreak, but they do have mediocre leadership and will eventually run. You can absorb a bull charge and keep going, especially if you have large units, like the 30 skeletons. Spend an invocation or two beefing up units early on because you know you're going to take some losses before your own flankers can arrive and turn the combat.
Gorgers are basically frenzied. When one appears, raise a small unit of zombies at an odd angle and lead the gorger away from where he'll really hurt you.
As for O&G, Wolfriders are a royal pain in the undead arse. Direwolves can counter them; just find some way to neutralize them. Don't let him forget animosity and fear checks. Take out the lower level shaman with fell bats, direwolves, or some other suicide unit. That'll really weaken his magic phase. You'll need your vampire or wight lord to kill off the lvl 4 shaman, assuming he's an orc and not a goblin. Watch out for giants, too. They are tough to deal with.
I've seen O&G implode with bad leadership and lots of quarreling; then again, I've seen them mow down my undead in an unwelcome display of Orcish might. Don't underestimate this army
My undead have never killed a Slann in combat, but they have run him down due to fear. Unlike saurus, TG can't take a sacred spawning to make them immune to psych. Remove his ranks, outnumber him, get your blood dragon involved, and run that fat frog off the table.
Another option is just to ignore that unit. Methodically take out the other units, especially the high point ones. Once your units are in combat, most of the Slann's spells won't be any good against them.
Just as with the O&G magic user, kill off the lower level skink priests. They're slippery little buggers and can cause a lot of grief. Fell bats work well, as do dire wolves, or ghouls. The usual trick. Watch out for skink units with javelins or blowguns. They're a big pain. Summon up some zombies to tie them up and use your banshee to blast them to bits.
Watch out for kroxes and salamanders. Terradons are also a pain. She'll use them to kamikaze into your necromancers and hit and run.
If she's using lore of heavens, think hard about where you put your characters, all of them. A necromancer might best be kept in the grave guard unit where the magic can't get to him most of the time. And skink scouts can make short work of a necromancer, too.
It occurs to me that the armies you are playing particularly Orcs and Goblins don't have great leadership, taking a Battle Standard with the Hell Banner (causes terror) could be a nasty surprise plus it will mean you cause fear on the Ogre army.
An unorthodox way of using Dire wolves is to deploy them behind your main line, as you get close to the enemy move them around his flanks, this has the advantage that you are less vulnerbale to missile fire and are more likly to be in a position to support your units. Remember dire wolves are light cavelry so the can reform and turn how they like (I think look up the rules) but don't get rank bonus (again look this up?). The main weakness of this is that you give the enemy flankers more of a free reign early on in the game and can't use your wolves to go war machine hunting.
A largish unit of Fell bats can be kept in reserve (I mean behind your lines) to deal with terradons there is a fair chance you will outnumber and win the CR making him flee automatically. Other than this I find Fell Bats are very fragile and while not completly useless I would prefer to but the points toward seither Ghosts or a Bat swarm.
Ghouls are trickey for the reasons you stated. I like to use them as a target for enemy scouts as usually you will be facing units with the same low armour (I say low I mean none) as you. Plus your posion and fear can make all the difference.
If you take Black Knights work out what the average CR will be before you charge a unit, and be sure that you can break them in one round. Black Knights in a protracted fight are vulnerable to flank attacks and they are too expensive to lose models just through CR.
In all then the top three bits of advice I would give you are
1) Learn the rules of fear and terror inside out
2)Harrass the Flanks and protect your own
3) Don't go for the immediate glory charge, weaken your opponents supporting units first.
Good stuff! Thanks a lot! I've got a list posted in here, if you care to check it out.