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Written by Grimbog Elf Ater
What follows is a list of generic army compositions many Vampire Counts players employ. This list is not meant to be exhaustive, but merely a starting place for new players.
MC Hammer Army
Can't Touch This: Ghostly theme
Army: Vampire Counts (any, but particularly Necrarch or Necromancer)
Units to Consider: Spirit Host, banshees.
Playing Basics: Given that your host is ethereal (can only be hit with magic and / or magic weapons) these guys are ideal for holding up elite units for turns on end while the rest of your army moves in for the kill and is raised before your opponent's very eyes! Also, use two or more bases to make them terrific flankers or screeners against shooty armies. Banshees on the other hand use their etherealness to good effect to ignore terrain that most other units would have trouble traversing. This allows her to get behind your enemy quickly and start dealing with pesky war machines and lone characters. Caveat: ethereal creatures still lose wounds due to combat resolution, and a cagy opponent will slam into them with a large ranked unit and send them vanishing much too soon!
I See Dead People!
Zombies-R-Us: Magic heavy necromantic army.
Army: Sylvanian List, Vampire Counts (Necrarchs, Von Carstein, Necromancers, Strigoi, Lahmia).
Heroes: Vampire Lord / countess, Master Necromancer, Necromancer.
Units to Consider: Anything that will compliment the skeletons and zombies you'll be mass raising, which is pretty much everything.
Playing Basics: Keep your core units large and don't skimp on the equipment, as you will eventually end up raising more un-equipped units which will threaten enemy flanks and rear lines as the unliving horde shambles forward and (almost) automatically breaks enemies through combat resolution! Use raised units for rear and flank charges to make that auto-break more likely.
I have never been bested in personal combat in 1,000 years - en-garde mortal!
Not All of Us Shamble: Elite combatant lists
Army: Vampire Counts
Heroes: Blood Dragons Vampires (from thralls to Lords), Strigoi Vampires (from thralls to Lords) and Wights.
Units to Consider: Elite stuff like Grave Guard and Black Knight fit the army theme well; skellies can represent the hapless souls of people who have been bound in the vampire's service after their defeat in combat! If you want to be true to this theme, which is the player's choice, avoid zombies as they're more the hordes of undead theme (and they are anything but elite combatants).
Playing Basics: Choose your battles carefully, while your vampires are some of the best fighting characters in the game, they cannot take on units on their own! To this effect, put them in units and pick your battles carefully, taking out opponents a unit at a time. If using Blood Dragons, don’t forget about their ego. They must issue and accept challenges, which is sometimes good and sometimes bad.
You wouldn't harm a lady would you *pout*?
I'm Too Sexy for this Game: Pretty to look at, beguiling list.
Army: Vampire Counts
Heroes: Lahmian Thralls through to Ladies.
Units to Consider: Really anything you want. What makes this list unique is the Lahmian. If you want to theme it out, I imagine lots of grave guard, black knights, skeletons and zombies who lost their lives enchanted by her.
Playing Basics: Protect your ladies as they are unable to wear armour and keep their allure. Units of grave guards and skeletons do the job well and can win through sheer weight of numbers. Remember to use wolves and black knights on your flanks to offer protection against enemy flankers and to slam into the unprotected sides of opposing units and make them flee in fear! Lahmians can be very effective against low leadership armies as they turn those mental-weaklings into putty willing to attack their own comrades.
I love wolves!
Army: Sylvanian List or Regular Vampire Counts
Heroes: Any Von Carstein Vampire with wolf form / summon wolves (the latter only for Sylvanian).
Units to consider: Lots of wolves (buy the goblin wolf rider boxed set for best value here).
Playing Basics: Wolves are best used in tandem (one unit to the front. one unit to the side and charge!) or as support for other core block troops as flanking units. With their high movement they can also easily move out of your general's influence range, so be cautious about where you move them. A Von Carstein thrall with the wolf form bloodline power and the flayed hauberk is a favorite of generals running this army.
How do I describe myself? Positively ghoulish!
Army: Vampire Counts
Heroes: Any Vampire of the Strigoi bloodline.
Units to Consider: Ghouls! Lots, and zombies too as they fit the ghoulish look more than skellies.
Playing Basics: These fellows offer nice protection as rear-guards for your army against other flyers and skirmishers, or alternatively can be use to harass war machines and enemy unit flanks one your opponent is enaged with a block of you own troops (eg. zombies). You’ll still need skeletons and maybe grave guard to do the heavy killing. But ghouls high toughness and multiple poisoned attacks make them fierce foes.
Night of the Dead
Here a zombie, there a zombie
Army: Necrarch or Necromancers
Heroes: Counts, Lords, Master Necromancer, Necromancers
Units to consider: A horde army so lots of zombies in large units. A slow shambling army that wouldn't have black knights or the black coach thematically. Besides you want the points for, you guessed it, more zombies! Maybe a banshee and spirit hosts for a ghostly fit.
Playing Basics: Shamble forward, raise more zombies and win through sheer weight of numbers! Brains! Use any banshees to target pasky characters or war machines - even to soften up enemy units before they get to close combat. Again, rear and flank charges will make their work that much easier.
I need an army on the cheap!
Cheapest way out for a beginner army
Army: Any VC
Heroes: Just buy a single vampire blister, yes it's expensive but you usually get 2 for the price of 1.
Units to Consider: Box of skellies, box of goblin wolf riders and another of zombies and you're well on your way!
Playing Basics: Use your zombie and skeleton units to hold the centre and split the wolves into two units of 5. The wolves can be used for flank attacks on units that have engaged your zombies / skellies, while your vampire hacks away mercilessly at your foes, adding much needed CR points in your favour!
Strike fast, strike hard!
Mobile, quick and hard hitting army
Army: Vampire Counts
Heroes: Any bloodline, counts, thralls, lords.
Units to Consider: Bat swarms, fell bats, black knights, black coaches and dire wolves.
Playing Basics: Use your great movement to set up simultaneous front and flank charges. With thralls in your black knights units and wolves to the side (for example) wining combat ought to be a breeze! And pick off those war machines and use march blocking to your advantage.
Shamble forth my lovelies! Bob, pick up your darn leg!
Horde infantry based list
Army: Any bloodline.
Heroes: Spellcasters are your best option to bulk up the numbers of your horde, although thralls will also have their used to swing CR your way.
Units to Consider: Skeletons, Zombies, Ghouls, Grave Guards.
Playing Basics: Advance in a tide of undeath, try and keep your ranks even as you go in ordewr to protect your flanks properly. Use your ghouls to harass threat yto your own flanks as your vampires add to the carnage and your infantry masses trample foes relentelessly wherever they engage them!
I think I'm going batty!
Army: Vampire Counts
Heroes: Any vampires of the Strigoi or Von Carstein bloodlines.
Units to Consider: Bat Swarms, Fell bats and some solid core troops (eg. skellies, grave guards, etc).
Playing Basics: Use fell bats to get behind the enemy and block their ability to march (note - don't do this for Dwarves!) and hunt enemy war machines and lone characters. When your units meet in the centre, charge them into a flank / rear to cause further fear checks and add much needed CR points.
* Please note - Sylvanian army list appears in the Storm of Chaos army book or it can be found at the GW website below:
Storm of Chaos Global Web Site - The Book
Thanks to DavidVC04, Silvermoon and Iron Loki for their input in making the selector thus far.
Any other types to be added? :hmm:
For those of you wondering what's up with this thread, I'm tidying up the fantasy forums, which means unsticking some threads. The fantasy forums have a lot more "stickie clutter" than 40K and need a little housekeeping. So I've unpinned the original of this thread and reposted the original content in a response-free thread that I've then closed.
It will eventually drift off to the dark void that is page 32 of the VC forum, but the content will still be available via the VC Index which will house links to various threads and a few external links.