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  1. #1
    Son of LO strewart's Avatar
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    Skeletons vs zombies

    So with 7th edition here, what do people think of the great debate between sleletons and zombies?

    The combat ability of both is negligable, the only real battle for top spot is numbers (for the cheaper zombies) vs armour (for the skeletons). I've just restarted making army lists for 7th edition, keeping in mind my Sylvanians are all but redundant, and I'm messing around with core choices. In 7th edition, if you are charged from the flank or rear you do not get the hand weapon/shield bonus anymore, making skeletons slightly less worth it.

    You will also notice that 30 skeletons (with light armour and shields) cost a significant amount more than 40 zombies. In fact, for the price of 30 skeletons fully upgraded you can buy 50 zombies. Is the extra armour save really worth those extra 20 wounds and numbers? How often do you have a round of combat where 20 skeletons make their armour saves? Given that the main thing to take into account is the armour, I really think I would rather have 20 extra zombies with none, than 20 less skeletons with 5+ saves or 4+ if fighting from the front.

    The statline of a skeleton is better though, they have one higher leadership, and of course may take a champion who can accept challenges for your necromancers. Plus they don't strike last automatically. So maybe its the optional light armour that isn't worth the points. Without it, they still get a save (even if it is pretty small, they sometimes work) and now your 30 skeletons are worth only 40 zombies. The numbers are getting a bit closer, and you have all the bonuses outlined above. 10 wounds difference is still a decent amount though, again that might not be worth the less numbers that skeletons would give you.

    And through all this I have forgotten to mention that zombies are easier to raise than skeletons, even if you do suffer a couple of extra wounds you can easily make it back.

    Thoughts?

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  3. #2
    Member skilett's Avatar
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    It's a very hard call. I mostly go for skeletons as my main army core, but that is because they 'feel' right, more than a calculated choice. I don't like striking last with zombies, and just having a little chance at an armour save is enough for me to buy the light armour. It might be costly, but it makes them last just that little bit longer.
    But really, the main reason why skeletons do better in my army, is because that's where the fighty characters hang out, so it sort of becomes a self-reinforcing argument (don't know if thats correct, not my first language), as the characters are in skeletons because they last longer, and they last longer because the characters are in there.
    So in the end it comes down to which I like better, and that's skeletons. In some cases I would be better off with zombies (against high strength, high toughness, low save opponents, I play against chaos a lot), but go with the skeletons anyway, just to get those lucky one-in-a-million '10 saves out of 10'. It's a state of mind for me. I feel more safe with skeletons.

  4. #3
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    first note i don't play tournaments and i play both but with much more skellies than zombies personnally i think they have both their pos and neg sides and i rate them so good as the same only i just love skellies for flavor coolness and etc that is my main reason to play skellies my advice play what you like most

    oh and btw if you don't like painting like me go for skellies

  5. #4
    Senior Member Nell2ThaIzzay's Avatar
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    I still run a bit of both.

    I usually run a couple regiments of 20 - 25 Skeletons, and a regiment of 25 - 30 Zombies.

    I still like the Skeletons because they can get the armor save, and the point for me isn't to save all of them, but rather to save just a few, and hope that those saved wounds help towards my combat res. Through a 1st turn of summoning into those Skeleton units, I have a good chance of outnumbering, and the Skeletons have a better chance of winning combat res thanks to the wounds that they can save. Outnumbering for combat res is only 1 point no matter if you outnumber by 1 or 50, so sometimes a huge amount of Zombies can just be overkill. But the points you can take away from your opponent through armor saves can add up.

    However, I never take to the field of battle without a big, beefy regiment of Zombies. The Skeletons are my main core (well, except for my Grave Guard with a couple Vampires in the front ranks, making that a truly devastating unit), but a beefy regiment of Zombies that will never go away definatley has it's place. But I find myself only ever needing one of these.

    Overall, it is my feeling that Zombies should be more of a secondary, expendable unit, not the main fighting core of your army. Unless luck is definatley on your side, Zombies aren't really going to win combat res, thanks to the fact that they are going to dish out minimal wounds striking last, and with no armor. They are going to take a bunch of wounds, and with outnumbering, 3 ranks, and a banner, that's only 5 points of combat res that you can really count on, 4 points which the opponent is likely to have, and the 1 point left over being more than made up for in the wounds they deal to your Zombies.

    Having the ability to strike first on a charge, the Skeletons at least have a chance of adding some wound points to that 5 combat res, and their armor will have a chance to negate some wounds inflicted by the opponent. Then when you win combat, you can auto-break them (assuming they don't roll snake eyes... ( ), and that's what Undead is all about.

    Usually with my Zombies, the breaking only comes against 1 base models, like Stegadons or something, which won't get the rank bonus. So if you're going up against Chariots, or similar 1 base models, then Zombies become good, because their numbers can soak up the wounds, and with your banner, rank, and outnumbering, the Zombies are bound to win that combat.

    Against rank & file, I definatley prefer Skeletons.
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  6. #5
    /botnobot/ DavidWC09's Avatar
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    I think you make a pretty good argument for big blocks of zombies. Skeletons are more survivable, but not that much more. Getting hit by a stegadon and a unit of saurus at the same time can reduce a unit of skeletons to dust in one round. A big block of zombies will be there for at least two turns, and the whole purpose of undead troops is to hold up the enemy until flankers arrive.

    Maybe I'll pick up another batch of zombies. I've only got 40 of the buggers.
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  7. #6
    Member Pazuriel's Avatar
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    I usually field one unit of each. 20 skeletons and 30-ish zombies in a 1k game. If I had to choose between the two though, I would say zombies. Their significantly lower cost and the +1 model with IoN makes them just a notch better. Its all about unit strength and ranks.

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  8. #7
    Nerf Dave's avatar The Loki's Avatar
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    Well as dave said the purpose of zombies and skeletons is to tie up the enemy until they are flanked or as a big ol wound buffer for your Vamps. Zombies are a win win here as their easy to raise cheap as all get out and neither one is going to do anything spectacular in a battle. Might as well go with number IMO.
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  9. #8
    Member skilett's Avatar
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    It seems both units are used, also in the same army by many. To me that indicates that they are very well balanced in respect to each other, which is also suggested by the numerous "Zombies vs Skeletons"-threads on various boards. Some go for numbers, others for the armour save, but in the end it seems neither works consistently better. So I'll stick with my 2 blocks of skellies and one of zombies. It has worked pretty well so far.

  10. #9
    Nerf Dave's avatar The Loki's Avatar
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    Above poster has the correct idea. Use whatever you have painted up and find more fun.
    Looking for help with your Ogre kingdoms. Need help against them? have burning questions about life or why Dave's Avatar is so creepy. Feel free to stop by and ask OverTyrant Loki

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