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More and more in the games I play, I find myself playing less and less magic in my armies. I have been leaning more and more towards blood dragons, and playing only one necromancer, as a scroll caddy. I know that this is giving up our spells, which can be necessary for tactical manuevering, and defense. The problem is, when I go up against the armys I normally do, magic is a tough cookie to get out.
Undivided Chaos with like 4 khorne units and a caster, 7DD.
Lizardmen with a slann and 2 skink priests and a diadem, more DD than my PD.
Ogres, well, they don't have the DD, but against them I feel the need for combat characters to cut down on those ogre wounds.
Empire, I can do magicness, but its normally against 2 wizards, one with that spell storing thing, so he can get around 7 DD as well.
When I use necrarch, it is normally a count, which probably should take noble blood, and whatever assortment of powers, plus the crown of the damned. Then two necromancers, with bound items. That comes out to 9 PD, and 6DD, unless I run another necromancer, I am still risking getting no spells off a turn, due to spells failing, or lucky dispels. Plus, I sacrifice combat power, and though they can fight decently, a necrarch is weak against the armys I play. The skeletons and zombies they love to raise are weak, and I can't even rely on raising them, or vanhelling new units to the flanks/rear to help.
Do most people run 2 necros with their vampire, and use one thrall/wight for combat, or is it totally unreasonable in my situation to run only one, and do 2 thrall and a count? It feels like when I have an even number (or one more) PD than his dispel, that I am more risking a miscast than going to get a spell off.
I have had bad experiences with strigois, I know they can get spells off better than BD, but I dislike their lack of protection.
I haven't really played carsteins, but have been planning to for a while.
And Lahmians just wouldnt work vs the high ld/immune to psych armies I play.
The BD armys I have played recently have few zombies and skeletons, since I cannot reraise them as easily. Instead, in the past two games I played, I ran 2 units of 8 black knights, one time with a count and a thrall in each, the other time with a thrall in each. One thrall has the cursed book, the other unit has the banner of the barrows(just to spread out the influence) When these units get a front charge on the main infantry right in the middle, they are devastating. Then the third thrall was a bsb once, with flayed hauberk and sword of might, who stayed behind, and just reduced cr on the knights.
I found this list effective, but should I less pessimistic of magic? Should I raise my magic defense to sacrifice my physical offense? We already run one caster automatically, another one is the same thing as the opponent taking two, which is a standard number, unless a slann hits the table, in which my magic is fairly useless no matter what.
A side note: In 2v2 games, which my friends and I do alot, I won't run necrarchs any more, I just get screwed over by the opponents massive DD, and my partner always decides to run magic lax "for a change." So I run BD, and we both stock up on scrolls.
I look forward to seeing how you feel on the subject.
I go all out magic with my list.
Vampire Count, Level 2 Wizard, Nehekara's Noble Blood, Dark Acolyte
2 Necros, with Book of Arkhan on one, Staff of Damnation on the other
And either a 3rd Necro with a Power Familiar, or more often a Thrall with the BSB and Nehekara's Noble Blood, or Dark Acolyte and a magic weapon.
That nets me around 11 power dice, and 6-7 dispel dice. You should be able to handle an opponent with 7 dispel dice. He'll dispel some, yes, but he won't have enough power to dispel everything.
Warhammer Fantasy: Vampire Counts | Wood Elves | Chaos
Yes, but then how do you handle his troops tearing apart ours. No matter how many invocations you cast, its a losing battle between skeletons and, well, anything. I know flanks are key, but honestly, whenever I have skeletons in combat, I find reinforcing them is a lot more important than creating a new unit to get a rear.
How big are your skeleton blocks, you should be looking at 24+ (with room for character)Originally Posted by Master Jabu
Zombies even bigger
Oh normally when i run skeletons i have size of 24-25. Zombies I only have 20 of, and I don't even use them that often, as I see them as just speed bumps.
There lies your problem my friend. Take a unit of 40, look at you opponent and say "deal with it"and I don't even use them that often, as I see them as just speed bumps.
Even with the crumble rule no one is going to chew through 40 wounds very fast
Zombies are cheap enough to do this, they are the same cost as a skink!
Ok I can give that a try sometime, but back to my main focus, what about characters? In situations like mine, where I can plan against my opponent, do you think 2 necromancers and vampires are the way to go, is sacrificing magic for combat power such a horrible idea with this army? I know that we don't have the greatest units, but they will still stand their ground, while a vampire hacks away at a character, or rank and file.
I think what we have in magic more than makes up for what we lack on combat.
Against a magic heavy High Elf army, I got at least 1 Vanhel's Danse Macabre off every turn... I had 2 mages with it, plus Book of Arkhan. He just couldn't stop all of it.
Yes, Skeletons and Zombies will regularly crumble to anything else on the field. But the thing is, that's what they are supposed to do. Hold, while another unit gets a rear / flank charge.
Beef your Skeletons up to 25 per unit. Beef the Zombies up to 30 per. Tie up an enemy unit with Zombies, summon more in the rear, and charge 'em. The panic test will do a good job at breaking them. And if not, you'll have outnumbering, ranks, take their's away, and a rear / flank charge.
And every once in awhile, you'll get lucky and win combat with your Skeletons and Zombies. And if you outnumber (which you very well could), their units are running, and you're chasing them down.
In my opinion, Vampire Counts are the wrong army to try to get combat heavy with. Yea, sure, we got Blood Dragons. And we got some decent combat characters in Wight Lords. And Wight Lords are fine. But I don't think you should really have any less than 3 mages. Leave the 4th character choice for a Wight Lord, or a Thrall, if you don't want to run all mages. But the magic is too important to our army to give up, in my opinion.
Warhammer Fantasy: Vampire Counts | Wood Elves | Chaos
I do not believe in skeletons. 4 points for a 4+ save is just too much. I hate to roll for armour saves, as it wil let you down fast, or be nearly negated. They aren't any better at killing. They are also harder to raise, or create new units.
Fielding zombies frees up alot of points, wich you can invest in more caracter options, or elite troops that will do the job.
Still a question of personal taste.
An army can't rely on having three Danses each magic phase. You got lucky and rolled good spells, but how often does that happen?Originally Posted by Nell2ThaIzzay
"Combat heavy" means two things: what characters one should choose and what troops one should take. The question seems to come down to whether one should invest more in either the magic or the combat phase with the ultimate goal of winning combats. Winning most Warhammer battles comes down to winning combat resolution. You can have an awe-inspiring magic phase, dredging up zombies from the earth and hastening them toward the unwitting enemy, and not win combat. So I tend to lean towards three wizards and a pure fighter.
Wolf_Pack is right. You can't rely on armor saves to win combats for you, so taking zombies makes sense. Let them take the hits. My only problem is that keeping a zombie unit at a large enough number can start taking too much attention during the magic phase; skeletons don't fail every armor save, after all. I guess that's a good reason to start them out at 30+.
On the other hand, you can rely more for CR on wounds, IMO. The more armor saves you force the enemy to take, the better. And that's why I lean towards one pure fighter, along with a count who can lay out some smackdown.
I think you can go either way: less magic and more fight in your characters or vice versa. The ideal win for any VC army comes about from winning both magic and combat phases. Ultimately, though, it's impossible to predict your success in either phase, and sometimes the misalignment of the stars ruins one phase or the other, if not both. Maybe it's a matter of finding balance in the two as far as army composition goes?