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Hi everyone, I'm interested in starting Vampire Counts as my first army, specifically the Sylvanian army list. I've read alot of threads here and the stickied tactics post at the top of the forum, but I'm still confused about a few things.
1. Is this army for beginers? I've been told Vampire Counts are a good army to start with, but I don't know if the Sylvanian list is also easier for a new player. Would I be better served starting a normal VC army and later branching out to the Sylvanians?
2. I read alot of advice suggesting using hand weapons and shields for militia and levy units for the greater armor save. I don't see hand weapons on their profile, is there a rule that all units are assumed to carry them even if not specified? (I'm still reading and re-reading my rulebook, I didn't remember seeing that).
3. I've been told that zombies and skeletons don't generally kill very much, but their best use is to tie things up in combat and to outnumber them to auto-break the opponent with fear. It seems like militia (zombies) are a much better deal than levy (skeletons) since they have the same armor save and are cheaper (more of them) and easier to raise with Necromancy. Why would I want to use levy, and if I used militia and excluded levy would it be considered bad sportsmanship?
4. Assuming the answer to question 2 is yes, when would I want to use spears/halberds instead of hand weapons and shields? Is one considered more flexible than the other? As it stands I would probably just give everyone halberds because I think they look more menacing
5. When is it considered acceptable to take a second black coach? I've heard that two coaches in lower point games is both risky and unsporting.
6. I see alot of people giving great weapons to their vampires. Is the loss of their gigantic initiative a major concern, or are they simply so tough it rarely matters?
7. Since my Count/Lord can't wear armor and cast spells, I imagine a Ward save is really important. I see the Crown of the Damned alot in army lists, is the character's leadership so high that the stupidity doesn't hurt him much? Also, is the Von Carstein ring ever worth taking, it seems horribly expensive.
8. Do Wights or Vampire Thralls generally make better standard bearers? I would have thought Thralls, but I see Wights most frequently in the position.
I appreciate anyone who can clear these up for me. I have a theme in mind that I think this army would fit perfectly.
Last edited by SkyTyrant; February 4th, 2006 at 19:42.
Oh, while I'm typing here, this is the general theme for the army.
I like crusaders and undead, so I want to combine them. The army will be based on a religious order (Templars, Hospitalers, Teutonic Knights....mostly Teutonic Knights because the Empire is German-flavored) that goes on crusade. In the course of their holy war they are horribly defeated by a Sylvanian Vampire and his army, who instead of killng the core officers, gives them the curse of the vampire. The officers recognize what they are, but in an act of faith and defiance renounce utterly the Vampire and continue their crusade. Their army, haunted by its failure, returns from death to march again. Most of the rank and file don't even realize they're dead.
1. I'd say that VC is a good starting army it tends to be more forgiving at least IMO. I myself started VC as my first army and it worked out well. As for Sylvanians, im not as familiar with the new list GW put out but im guessing you would want to have some experience with VC. In any case its your decision. My #1 rule is to have fun win or lose.
2. From looking at the list it looks like the militia come standard with light armor, shield and spear which is a good makeup for any unit.
3. Zombies and Skeletons dont kill much but they are best used as holding units for your tougher troops. Even then if you manage to throw several units at them you can easily break them with fear. Skeletons are more expensive because they can have captain and they are not braindead. Zombies allways attack last no matter what with the braindead rule. Though most people use skeletons in their normal VC armies because they can take armor and shields, the sylavians zombies seem to be better equipped than the usual VC zombies and might be worth considering. Also take into account that you can arm your skeleton militia with crossbows which can give the undead the much need ranged attacks that it lacks.
4. Halberds are gonna give your troops +1 strength which would really help and considering they allready have light armor the loss of the shield would well be made up for with the added strength but you will have less attacks without spears. Its your choice.
5. Black coach are fun but expensive and taking 2 is not a very good idea. A cannon ball will blow it to bits. One black coach is a good edition if you want a hard hitting unit that can back up the skellies with a flanking attack but 2 coaches is rediculous.
6. I never give my vampires a 2 handed weapon because they are allready tough enough and being able to cut down a bunch of enemies before they attack can help alot.
7. He cant wear armor but can cast spells. A ward save will be needed unless you want your army to fall apart. If you plan to have him sitting back wristbands of black gold will give him a good save vs missiles otherwords i would just take the carstein ring just to be safe and let your troops do the work.
8. I use wights but either would be fine. Thralls are gonna be stronger but more expensive.
1. I think Sylvanians are easier because all your basic troops have nice army, and you don't have to worry about protecting panzy necromancers. In fact, some people even say the list is overpowered. Certainly in the right hands it is great. Its much better in larger battles though..
2. Yes they do. I should add that to the tactica if I haven't... It gets asked a lot.
3. If you read the tactica, yeah levy (the zombies, you got them the other way around) are far more cost effective, and no it isn't cheesy to take all levy but some people say its boring. Bah, they're all dead anyway! Raise skellie crossbowmen occasionally, but don't pay points for them.
4. Basically never, its always HW for me. If you use hellish vigour on a unit in combination with halberds they can be quite nasty though.
5. I wouldn't take 2 any less than 2k, some say its cheesy others don't care since s7 will wipe em anyway. Up to you really.
6. Nah you're either charging, or no one bothers to attack the vamp anyway since its too hard to kill. It depends on who you're up against, for elves, gobbos or skaven I would take 2 HW instead.
7. My lord never died, or even comes close. They're pretty tough, and invocation can fix em. Crumbling is all that ever gets them, and wards do nothing for that. Go for the crown on your general to be safe if hes a lord though, he'll be fine. The ring is a bad choice unless its a second lord choice in 3k+, though for Sylvanians item combos are far better. You need those guys to be your magic support.
8. Thralls are wasted being standards, since they're far better at killing. The use of a BSB is not to kill, but to provide support with the banner, since wights are cheaper they are the obvious choice. Either works though.
9. Oh, there isn't a 9. Good luck!
Oh yeah, in future, edit rather than double posting.
also there is alot more converting involved. You might be able to get away with just an empire soldiers regiment with some zombie parts but with units like skeleton crossbowman or halberds it might take a little work.
Since the army would be from the Crusades era (when Bretonnia and the Empire were at war with Araby), I think the army should look more feudal than the ordinary Empire army. I was thinking of using Bretonnian Men-at-Arms painted more like zombies with some undead bits thrown here and there. They've already got the halberds.
I don't know what I would use for Drakenhoff Guard. I'd like to use the Greatswords model from the Empire somehow, but since Wights look skeletal I don't know how much that would work. I think wolves and bats can stay pretty much the same, since they'd be attracted to the army after it's unfortunate demise. I also thought of using some of the Blood Dragon models and removing Blood Dragon symbols on them for my characters.
Well, most people have answered your posts. But if your starting, this is a good army as any. It is also very easy for beginners. Cool idea you got there. I was thinking the very same idea actually. Except I had werewolf vamps too (teugton guard with some conversion).
Actually thanks to some guy, i forgot who, who posted some rackham minatures, I found some really cool ones. If you don't really care about the tournaments, then some are really good. I'll post some down in a sec. If you do care, checkout the whole empire range, and the bretonnain knights. SOme questing knights are really good. Don't forget the Ulric ones too.
Here are some rackham good ones: bold bits are the name or how to find them, and the not bold it below is what i think of them
persecutors (the links are weird) -check in drunes section
I just like this model (the horns bug me though, makes him look half goat)
in exclusive mailorder-- pretty bald, big axe, nice corrupted look
good corrupted priest more somewhat (pity you get no necromancers..)
dunno what guys but nice looking avenging crusaders
Templar warstaff, the griffons of whatsit check al these out
nice looking guys, their helmet bugs me though