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I'm a bit frustrated. I'm in the very early stages of putting together a VC (Blood Dragon) Army. I've been playing around with Army Builder, working up various lists at different point levels, and I keep running into the same problem: How to allocate my points.
I don't write up any lists under 2000 points, because I don't see the point of a VC army that doesn't have a vampire as the general, so mostly I'm looking at lists of 2000, 2500 and 3000 points.
I end up spending a significant amount of points on my Heroes, because I know that my skeletons and zombies aren't going to win too many fights without a Lord, Count, Thrall or Wight Lord in there to do the killing. For that reason, I'm loathe to include more than one necromancer (at 2000) or maybe two (at 2500). At 3000, I usually add a Count in to back up my Lord, since he provides almost as much magic as a necromancer would, is much harder to kill and racks up an impressive body count. I bump up my magic phase by including the usual bound spells (Hellish Vigor and Dance), but those also bump up the price of my Heroes.
I also know that I need a fair amount of rank and file troops (mostly armored skellies with HW and shield) in order to outnumber in combat, while at the same time needing a hammer unit (GG, which I love), flank defenders (wolves/ghouls/spirit host), warmachine/mage hunters and maybe some cavalry for that extra punch. I like some of the DOW units, too and have a few lists that include some hired dwarven crossbows, or occasionally a giant, or even a cannon. I know that many people take a dim view of including DOW choices (especially missile troops), but the way I look at it, my Lord didn't stay alive for all those centuries by not compensating for some of the inadequacies found in his native troops. So, please, spare me the DOW=cheese speeches.
So, anyway, what happens is that when I go to make a list, I end up wanting way more than I can fit into it. When I trim it down to size, I always feel like I'm short a few units, usually rank and file, or heroes, if I add them in last.
I'd like to ask some of the veterans on the forum to give me some general guidelines on what percentage of my points I should be spending on each part of my army at the given point levels.
Thanks in advance,
I know alot of people at the store I play at who play VC will use a Vampire Lord and 2 Necro's @ 2k points. Personally the rule of thumb I go by is to try to allocate about 30-35% of my army to Characters, another 30-35% to Core, and then 30-35% Special/Rare. So in a 2000 point game, I try to never run my characters over around 800 points.
Ok, that's a good start. How about units like Dire Wolves, Spirit Hosts, Ghouls and Fell Bats? About how many of those should I be running at the various point levels?
I'm not setting up my lists to be anything tricky or particularly unusual.. no all cav lists or anything like that. Basically, I like blocks of troops with vampires in them and summoning zombies or skeletons to flank. I just need to know how to support them properly, so I don't get flanked to death or eat more charges than I should.
Im still learning but iv found so far that heros and block of units are the way to go spirit hosts can help me out wolves i think are good in terms of numbers, Id sujest 2-3 squard of wolves depending on how you like them spirit hosts are very nice take a nice unit of 4 and your set. Fell bats depends who your playing against dwarfs a few mabey 3 units of 3 or so, But against less artillery oriented lists 1 or none. rember these are support units and still need men to support.
I would run one unit of fellbats only. They hunt warmachines, that is it. I do not personally like ghouls so I don't use any of them. Dire wolves are a must have, they send your tactical options through the roof. Fast Cavalry and good speed are a real godsend. They can hunt machines along with your Fellbats, and most importantly set up flanks for your blocks of troops. Don't expect Skellies or Zombies to kill anything, the hero in the unit does the killing and the wolves flank to give your enemies negative combat res. You win combat, you ounumber, they "auto-break," you win. in 2000 points 3 units of cavalry (2 wolves 1 Black Knight) is my preference. Spirits hosts are nice, but bear in mind that they are expensive. I use them, but often wonder if they are worth it. Some games they really come in handy, though. They are a great "screening" unit seeing as they are incredibly hard to kill.
You may want to hold off on making that army. New army book this summer is what I hear.
Good advice so far, I usually run a little heavy on the wolves, because I like them, because my Fell Bats aren't ready yet and because I often run Von Carsteins with wolf form. But 3-4 cavalry units I think is good, one of them knights, for a nice balanced build.
As for the army book it seems to have been pushed back to 2nd quarter of 2008, as I've mentioned in the "New army book" thread a little down the list. According to Warseer it was because of problems with the sculpts, or something like that.
I always take alot of wolves. Usually 3-4 units in 2K games. They can do so much. Warmachine hunting and redirection mainly. Then I add 2 units of 3 fell bats. They ensure that your opponent has the same disadvantage as you. No warmachines!
I love ghouls in units of 7-8. Usually take 2 and hide them in woods around the flanks if possible. They are cheap and often don't do anything but every now and then they do amazing things.
For characters I take a count, a thrall and 2 necro's. No bound spells. This makes for a healthy magic phase but not one that controls the game. I do play strigio. Sure they don't fight as good a Blood Dragons (but come close) but you don't spend most of your combats using all those vampire attacks to kill 1 champion per round!
Then I take a black coach and a banshee. Neither is that good but they make opponents do stupid stuff which makes them well worth their points.
The rest of the points I spend on BIG unis of skellies with HW/Shield and Light Amor. You want the Armor save not the attacks from spears.
Make sure you make the units at least 25 skellies big or you have to depend on raising skellies right from the start and you don't want to do that.
My VC army is a Blood Dragon List... Mousillon themed so at 2250 points (I play indy GT's primarily) I have the dreaded BD Lord and a Wight Lord BSB in a unit of 10 knights with banner of barrows... this garuntees that no matter what I have an expensive hammer unit that can fight anything in the entire game! The magic ability of the BD-Lord is helpful and the BSB's bonuses for combat resolution as well ass killing ability as well as his bonus that negates a wound when I lose combat makes him worth at least double his points by the end of the game! I also give the BSB the banner of doom for a 5+ ward save on my knights making them very resilient to missiles.
My characters I don't mind being expensive since they hold the army together so they takeup about 800 points.
I also have a second unit of 12 knights full command with war banner to support the nasty knights or simply to kill lighter units.
The third super-killy unit is the 5-bases of spirit Hosts. Holy crap these guys are amazing, I used to try uning 3 and they just died, but once I learned their stengths I started deploying them infront of the enemy's strong, but non-magical units such as knights or ogres or even infront of magical units that lose their ward saves such as forest spirits and daemons... who while they will kill some will also be killed! Primarily though they can hold an entire flank by rushing forwards with their wide frontage and blocking the enemy from charging anything else!
My special slots are what kills the most so they take up around 1200 points
Support units include 3 units of 5 dire wolves and 2 units of 6 ghouls, these provide me with several options... first they bulk out my deployments so I don't have to deploy my key units before the enemy deploy his making it easier to set up in such a way that my best unit for the job is inthe right place! Next they are fast so can keep up with the knights and spirit hosts... finally they provide diversion units when the enemy has too many units for me to work with at once... I simply place one of these units at bad angles and deflect the enemy regiments. Ghouls in particular performa lovely functionof baiting... most opponents forget that ghouls are alive and can flee from charges.. if you place them in a smart way you can force the enemy to fail a charge and be in range of you other units on your turn or you can get close and flee forcing them to destroy your nearly worthless 48 points of ghouls by running them down as they flee... but in turn you are capable of forcignthe enemy to charge in a bad direction and go their full distance making it very easy to single out that unit for a quick kill! Dire wolves can also perform some nasty roles... they can use their fast cavalry ability to move behind the enemy to auto-destroy them as they break from combat or flee from acharge! Some enem,ies will want to flee, but choose to stand and fight to the death simply bewcause the dire wolves are behind them and they no longer have the option to run... this makes it easier to garuntee victory and perhaps capture some banners as the enemy loses and breaks from combat! Fell Bats can perform similar roles as dire wolves,but are much fastersince they never need to operate within 12" of thegeneral! I highly suggest you use these units in small numbers for expendability...
The core slots are my expendable troopsso they use only 250 points
Also a Banshee is amazing in about 50% of your games..worth the points that might allow youto panic skirmishers or light cavalry or even kill heavy cavalry who stray too close. She can hide behind other units and move 12" a turn which makes her very fast and capable to gaining proper cover from enemymagic and charges. Not needing LOS to scream at a unit means she should never be within LOS of a magic attack or charge... this completely terrifies the enemy as a lucky roll can kill 25-50% or more of an elite expensive unit!
Necromancers are hard to use safely... you should mount them for mobilityand armor and you should have escort units... I use one Necromancer in my army and she hides with the dire wolves untilshe can raise some zolbies to escort here!... her ability to create zombie units performs two roles one she can be safer from enemy attacks and two she can hold down a table quarter. The necro also uses the bookof arhkhan to help with mobility a bit.... and also helping to boost my total number of spells cast to overwhelm lighter magic defenses!
Due to the small unit size on the support units and the huge unit size onthe combat units I gain some distinct advantages first I have lots of expendable units even if all my support units (wolves, bats, ghouls) die I still only lost 366 points not nearly enough to gain a victory after the damage that they alone will inflict! They also bumb my deployments up to 11 which is rather high meaning I'll nearly always finish deploying last makingmy deployments much more tactical compared tomy enemy... they will start deploying heavy cavalry and characters while I'm still deploying bats, wolves, ghouls and the banshee... thenthe heavy hitters can be dropped in the most dangerous places! These small deployment units can also be a life saver as they block out forests and buildings from being potential scout setup locations! The key is controlling the enemy's ability topcounter you in the deployment phase... incomparison.. my Empirearmy has over 200 troops but only 8 deployments meanwhile my VC has 11 deployments and only 58 troops!
With Wood Elves, I take 3 heroes, usually. But with VC, I typically max out the hero slots. More than other armies, heroes are the glue that holds VC together.
I usually take a count, two lvl 2 necros, and a thrall. Then two units of skellies. Plenty of wolves. Some ghouls. Three bases of spirit hosts. And then I go from there. That's been my most successful build, having those troops as the main core of my army.
In 2K point games i usualy run a count, 2 necro's, and a Wight lord. Make sure you have 3-4 block units of skeletons and zombies for block units and have a few wolves and bats to hunt down enemy war machines. Also ive had some great experence using spirit host and banshees. Anything over 2K my count becomes a Lord and i add a thrall