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You may find me very unstable of opinion, but the necrach bonus to cast and acces to magical oriented bloodline powers do not outweigh the weaker statline, and inaccessibility to a great weapon ?
I've been think alot about my armylist lately, and the only thing that tickles me is the general himself. Out of him I gain 2 power dice assured, but I loose the ability to take action in combat, and give out support to my lesser units.
In this light the Carstein Vampire seems very balance in each purpose, and can be much more multitasked than a necrach or blood dragon. Walking Death and Aura Of Dark Majesty comes to mind.
Anyway, I feel that I will stick to I got, but I would like to know what the other blood suckers out there think of this ?
Necrarchs are the strong casters, thats what they've got. Their bloodline powers give you boosts in dice, levels, spells, range, and effect. This makes them better at casting that the other bloodlines hands down.
They are not good at multitasking however. Von Carsteins would be the jacks of all trades for this. They can fight fine, they can take all the weapons, they can give their thralls armor and make them combative, they can summon things, and they can be specialized to an extent. Strigois are the other all aroundish heroes, except for their lack of customizability, but they are great in combat, and can still cast normally. Lahmians can fight almost as good, but again they get ws and weapon penalties, but they can cast. Blood dragons are the opposite end of the spectrum, you go from and urge to overpower with magic, to the army that would rather have buff units that don't need the magic to keep them alive.
Even though necrarchs are weaker in combat, the counts and lords still have ws 5 or 6, which is still decent, and they will never hit on 5s unless under wierd circumstances. You can still give them magic weapons (sword of might works), and a ward save to help keep them safe.
I still think that Necrarch Vampire make great character choices.
I've found most opponents I've faced would rather just direct attacks into the unit than on the Vampire, because despite the fact that he's a mage, and has no armor to protect him, it's still a WS 5 T 5 you're attacking against. That's probably going to be around 4's and 4's or 4's and 5's to hit and wound.
The Count will be hitting back on 3's or 4's, and usually wounding on 3's. Plus you can give the Sword of Striking to allow hitting on 2's or 3's. A high initiative will still have the Count attacking first in most combats.
Granted, -2 WS and not being able to take any armor is a bit harsh, but don't underestimate the power of a Vampire Count in combat, even if it is Necrarch.
In one of my recent games, I ran a unit of Grave Guard with a Vampire Count and a Vampire Thrall (with Battle Standard) in it's front ranks, and let me tell you, that was a walking regiment of doom right there.
4 attacks at WS 4, S 4 and Killing Blow from the Grave Guard, 4 attacks at WS 5, S 5 from the Count, and yet another 3 attacks at WS 4 S 5 from the Thrall. Oh man did it cause some bloodshed.
I think I've decided I'm going to run my Grave Guard regiment like that from now on. That's just a BRUTAL central fighting unit, and it's tough enough to sustain wounds from shooting or magic before it reaches combat (4+ Armor Save against shooting, since there's no Hand Weapon / Shield bonus, plus a T 4). You can also give it added protection against shooting with the Banner of Doom if you really feel it's neccesary.
My advice to you:
Stick with what you have, run the Necrarchs a bit, and see how you like them. I'm absolutley loving my Necrarch Counts, they are freaking viscious. Don't underestimate their combat prowess. Even though they are the lesser of the combat characters in the Vampire choices, they are still a good combat character, and dish out their fair share of damage. I see people underestimate undead combat a lot, with admitedly good reason. But they shouldn't be underestimated, because often enough have I seen my Zombies or Skeletons win combat that they shouldn't (Stegadons or Dogs of War Giants anyone?), and often enough have I seen a Necrarch Vampire Count help to decimate an enemy unit.
However, most important, more important than any combat abilities or statlines, find the playstyle that you best enjoy. You may find that a Von Carstien's "jack of all trades" style is more toward what you enjoy playing. And if that's the case, by all means, go for it.
Because more important than wiping the battlefield with your opponent's face is finding the army that you enjoy. And if Necrarchs aren't that for you, when you thought they may have been, then maybe it is best to experiment with different bloodlines.
Last edited by Nell2ThaIzzay; July 13th, 2006 at 06:32.
Warhammer Fantasy: Vampire Counts | Wood Elves | Chaos
I played Necrarch before turning to the ways of the Carstein's and the lands of Sylvania.. I lost quite a lot with them, while my Sylvanians are still unbeaten in my hands. Though that was a couple of years ago, so I didn't have the general gaming experience that I do now.
I find Necrarch to be underpowered not because the disadvantage outweighs the advantage balance-wise, but because one of the advantes of VC in general is strong magic. Every bloodline has decent magic, even Blood Dragons, Necrarch though tend to beat down one of the weaker areas of VC; combat. I rely on my vampires heavily in combat because they are one of the few things in the entire army that can actually kill things reliably and well, running an army that has no such abilities is very hard IMO. That could be just my playing style though..
The fact that there are many successful Necrarch players out there suggests to me that the bloodline isn't really underpowered, though I think if I had a say in a new VC book I would be supping up Necrarch and Lahmia a fair bit, maybe even Strigoi.
You could also try using all of the blood lines over a few games. You may be surprised how good the rest are as well.
Myself I normally take Blood Dragon vs chaos because my opponent uses only one mage, and I bring 2 necromancers, no need for a magic boost. If I play vs the Skaven who is normally very magic heavy, I always use the Necrarch to give the edge, plus his stats are more than adaquite for fighting in hand to hand vs skaven. When I want to have some good fun I play Lahmia, sometimes with domination (I know I can't count on it, but when it works it's fun watching my opponent roll to kill his own unit, worth it if playing for fun).
For most armies I would use Von Carstein though, as I like to expand strategy and tactics, this works for me. Sometimes if I feel like 100% hand to hand I use Strigoi, no better substitute for satisfying a pure slaughter feeling. One fun game I took a count and three thralls (730 points, ouch), and put them in one unit, gave them all Infinite hatred and iron sinews and just tore up some chosen warriors. 17 vamp attacks that can be rerolled on S6, evil evil evil (I think I had a skellie champ next to them and skellies with spears for 7 normal attacks on top of that, lets just say they never got an attack back, a well timed Vanhel's Danse Macbre let me get the charge). I do not recommend this however, the rest of my units got ate up and spit back out, and most spells I cast were countered. Still it was lots of fun.
Anyway back to the point, Just try the different blood lines, I'm truly not sure why some people will only play with one bloodline when a different one would be better for the army they are fighting.
If I were building the list that I would always play, it'd be Von Carstein. It's what I use for tourneys, campaigns, and such. In my experience, they've been the best all around. The biggest selling points are their overall good stats, solid magic, and 18" march range. That and I like to put the walking death bloodline on a thrall.
I like experimenting with the other bloodlines and will play them once in a while just for a change, but I always go back to Von Carstein.
I see alot of points brought up, but I also have to consider that I am mainly a tournament player, I have to be ready for all comers.
In guess all I have to do is cut the necrach and paste a carstein vampire.
Sidenote: Lord or Count for carstein ? ^_^