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I recently picked up a small VC force (about 1000 points) and played a couple games with it. My only experience with Fantasy before this was with Skaven who I now understand play much differently. To sum it up I got devastated every game without any idea what I could have been doing better.
Against Lizardmen my units would lose multiple ranks a round before the resolution was even applied and I could not raise enough zombies and skeletons to keep them busy. I couldn't do enough damage to any of his units and my General was easily picked apart in seconds causing a fair portion of the army to crumble. Fun game but slightly dissapointing show by the Core units who might as well have not had fear at all as it did nothing all game.
Fighting Dwarfs was frustrating to say the least, hordes of Thunderers, Crossbows, Organ Guns, Cannons and the Anvil of Doom made me think I was fighting the Tau with a bunch of footsloggers. The 2+ armor save Ironbreakers weren't even an issue as most of my army was in tatters before i was halfway across the table.
My other opponents being a Cavalry and Bolt Thrower heavy High Elf Force and an Ork Horde with a big meaty Giant, I'm a little worried I may get destroyed pretty often unless I figure a strategy, my main problems being the following.
1) The General in games without a Lord is extremely weak and vulnerable to pretty much anything. He cant' survive allocations in combat and he can't be alone so what do I do with him? Should he be cowering in a corner all game or should he be in a unit that avoids combat?
2) VC's lack shooting capability and against completely shooty armies theres little I can do. Is there any way I can screen my units with something so they survive long enough to at least lose in combat?
3) Most of the armies I'll be facing are rarely going be affected by fear short of autobreaks in combat which dont seem very likely without multiple charges happening to the same unit. What purpose do my core's serve? Can they be useful or are they just there as speed bumps?
Any suggestions are welcome.
Ok, here we go:
First of all, VC armies seem to get stronger as the points go up, for the reasons you stated.
1) In small battles, I've heard many people like to make a unit of zombies or something to protect the necro from shooting, and then keep that back away from combat. Ethereal hosts can also shield, and won't take damage, and to shoot back a little take a banshee.
2)For screens ghouls are popular, they give -1 to shoot at because of skirmishing, and have T4
3)I know where you are coming from, fear can be a useless ability against some armies, most of them I play too, although the autobreak is the most successful part of that ability and shouldn't be underestimated. Mostly however, they will be speed bumps, until you can try and get a flank.
What models do you have right now, to help against shooting I'd say ghouls definetly.
At the moment I have 25 Skeletons, 20 Zombies, 5 Dire Wolves, 2 Bat Swarms, 2 Hosts, 20 Grave Guard, and a few Vampires (Strigoi, Necrarch and Blood Dragon). Also I have a blister of Necromancers and some old school Brets I plan to make Black Knights at some point.
I definitely like the idea of using Hosts as screeners for fire, I always liked the idea of taking Ghouls but they are rather expensive and I don't like the models very much. It never really occured to me that Skirmishers could be used to my benefit like that, I might have to convert some Empire into Levied Ghouls maybe green stuffing some talons onto the gangly arms ( I always liked the idea of mini Strigoi looking Ghouls).
Whats the general consensus regarding armored skeletons? Is it worth the extra points to give them a 4+ in combat or would I be better off massing zombies since their cheaper and do about the same thing?
I like armored skeletons, they last a little longer than zombies, and may even cause a wound or two thanks to the save. I haven't used bat swarms, would get another unit of ethereal host, more zombies or skeletons depending on your preference, and some black knights. Also i really like banshees, they are normally worth their points.
about the armoured skeletons... read just a few threads down... last couple of weeks weve had heated debates about skellie armour . listen man VC is a hard army to play expecially when ur not use to the game.. and it seems ot me ur friend dont really like dynamics (your dwarf buddy there for example with a pretty much all shooty cheese army). In my opinion you cant go wrong with Black Knights with a thrall... they just mow down EVERYTHING I love them. what blood line you play? and hwo do you equip your necros
another thing. tell your friends to ease up a bit and help you out. but to be honest ur friends are pretty cheap.. I mean cmon a giant in 1000 points???? CMOOONNNN???? anyways just keep pluggin away at it. youll find ur groove sometime ... DONT GO BACK TO THE LIVING STAY WITH US MAUAHAHAH
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Welcome to LO, Aryakas. You've got a good post with good questions, so I'll give it a try.Originally Posted by Aryakas
1. Where my non-lord general goes depends on the game. Against an army with lore of heavens, he'll never leave a unit. The same goes for armies with flyers, scouts, fast cav, tunnelers and the like that will hunt him down on turn two. Also, if you keep two units of zombies/skellies next to one another, he can jump from one to the other (just allow for movement in your measurements) as the situation demands. If you're about to see combat, move him out before then, even if it means receiving instead of giving the charge.
If it's really a problem, give him the cloak of mist and shadows. In a unit, he'll be pretty safe; just don't stick around for characters that might have magic weapons to find him. The cloak also lets you make the most of terrain as he just glides right through it.
Characters can't join ghouls, but they can certainly be surrounded by ghouls. Keep a body guard unit encircling him if you really need to.
Also, he can go between units, and if you keep those units angled so that skirmishers can't squeeze through, then he's relatively safe.
The gem of blood can be a nasty surprise (that sometimes backfires, and it will happen sooner or later) for someone attacking him.
2. Ghouls are great screeners, as already noted, as well as spirit hosts. Or run a unit of zombies 10 wide in front of your main units to absorb missile fire. It's not cheesy, they're zombies for cryin' out loud. What else are you going to do with them?
Let your fell bats and dire wolves (units I always take, both of 'em) go after shooters. Sometimes you can't send them after different shooters or they get picked apart; instead you occasionally need to mass them all against the biggest shooting threat knowing that one of the units will make it to the target.
3. Your core units will win for you. They need support from that blood dragon thrall. Get a grossly oversized zombie unit. Put your thrall in the smaller skeleton unit. Most people will go for the skeletons. With hellish vigour and your thrall, they will suddenly be very effective. You do need flank and rear charges as much as possible. That's paramount to winning. You negate their ranks, you win combat, you outnumber, they run for the hills. Or in the case of dwarfs, they gimp for the hills. Raise new units behind units, use the book of arkhan to charge them in, and keep the invocations going.
I'd say drop the bat swarms. Get more wolves. Lots more wolves. Five won't last long. The cheapest way to buy them is either in a goblin wolf-rider box ($35 for 10 wolves and goblin bitz galore) or individual sprues for $3 apiece (US). They are great flankers with their slavering charge, but they die if even a spitball hits them in the right spot.
Ghouls are great. They really do stand out as a core unit. They will actually kill things, unlike zombies. Two poisoned attacks. High toughness. Skirmishers. Average archers at long range will hit them on 6s and then have to penetrate their tough hide. Also ghouls are the only VC unit that can flee a charge, a handy thing that.
Most VC players agree that armor is worth it on the skellies. I would take either armor or spears, but always one or the other, unless it was really a throw-away unit. With hellish vigour at your disposal, spears become an even better option. 8 to 10 attacks rerolling misses are going to kill something.
I favor Blood Dragons simply because I like their fluff the best, Necrarchs seem useful if I ever get enough points to play a game with a lord and Lahmians might be something I try in the near future.
My necromancers confuse and sadden me, I have no idea how to equip them and they dont seem horribly effective at casting spells. My typical general thus far has had a Book of Arkhan and usually that was it besides Level 2. He never seemed to do much lacking the dice to cast more than one spell and he was easy to kill. Im contemplating etherealizing him so skinks and flyers cant kill him second turn but then I'm not sure how useful he is unless I take another necromancer with a book.
Banshees worry me, it seems like anything could charge them and kill them with resolution before I could find a good spot to wail at a Stegadon or something else big and low on ld.
Book of Arkhan is generally our standard magic item in VC, and you really should try and have more casting power than one necro I feel, but others will tell you otherwise, and it depends on your outlook. The beauty of a banshee is it has 6" movement, and is a single model on foot, meaning 360 degree view, and you just slap it in a forest for a turn or so, until you move it behind the units or to the side of the unit you want to destroy. They can chase her around all day and not catch her if you stick to the flanks and rear. Yes, she will die if she gets into combat, but also remember she can shoot into and out of close combat, meaning if you get an infantry block in combat you can shoot into it with her, they can't move out of her range, and you help out the combat too. Really I lovem, normally I run 2 in 2000 points, and even if one dies, the other will get it's points worth.
Banshees will freak out your opponents, even if they don't kill anything. They're worth the point cost. With movement six and the ability to move as an independent character (i.e., not be march blocked) they can use their etherealness to stay out of most trouble.
Use two necros, never one. You need two chances at IoN per round. Give one the book and a scroll, the other the staff. That's six power dice and two bound items. A strong magic phase. Experiment with what bound spells or cast spells you use in what order. See what your opponents bite for. Will they save dispel dice for that staff or will they burn them against IoN. What if you use the staff first? And so on.
A quick question on banshees: if they are outside the generals ld, do they only move 6, or since they are single models can they do all 12, i've been doing 6 inches they can't march.