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I'm in an escalation league of mighty empires crossed with albion rules. We are about to go up to 1400 points. There are a several vampire counts players who field summoning armies.

Is there a good way to go hunting and kill the general and thus the army or is their a decent way to end the casting besides hunting down the mages. I tend to see 2 to 3 vamps or possibly instead of a vamp a wright lord all who are level 2, generally with lord of the dead.
 

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Benevolent Dictator
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Well, it's actually not difficult for Highelves to counter this. Most of the time, the Vampire is tossing a single die at a spell that casts on a 4+, MAYBE a 3+ ("master of..." raising).

You want to STOP that right? Okay then- run mage with High Magic. There's an immediate +1 to dispel attempts. Then give him the Staff of Sorcery. There's another +1. The total you get to dispelling: +2.

Mathhammer tells me that if he's playing with 3+ casters he has a 26% chance of getting through on a single die

Now, what you need are dice. I'm guessing that the kid is running standard Lvl2 vamps, rather than the Dice-machine Lvl1s with the +2PD power. This means that he pumps 8PD without cutting into the Crimson Gem or Black Periapt. This means he could have 10DD at his disposal for casting Raise Dead or IoN.

Unfortunately, we can't match him dice for dice. With 3 lvl1s, the most Dispel dice that we can put on the field is 5. If we take the Annulian Crystal we can even that up a bit, pulling one of his dice and giving it to ourselves. Now it's at least 6 to 9.

Math at this point is looking far more promising. His 9 dice only succeed on 2 actual raises. This is enough to cripple a res army.

But we can make it even worse. If we want, we can really bring down the hammer.

1) for free, we can cast Drain Magic. Now, he only gets .6 IoNs off casting on a single die (if we're dispelling on a single die). He's forced to swap to 2 dice, we can swap to two dice, and he's only getting 1 actual raise. And remember, Drain Magic stacks. If each of our mages manages to cast the spell, he can't cast it at all without rolling IF! Best of all, we're guaranteed to have the spell and it works on more than just IoN!!

2) Sigil of Asuryan is just evil in this case. If we use that, it immediately stops one of his successful castings, and has a 50% chance of removing that caster's ability to cast the spell again. If that worked, we might be pulling 2-3 Res dice right out of his hand. He could cast other spells, but his army is relying on IoN, and it's just not going to get there.


So, to summarize:
Use a Mage with the Staff of Sorcery and
Use a second Mage with Annulian Crystal
Use a third Mage with Sigil of Asuryan
Use High Magic and cast 'Drain Magic' with all of them

This will completely shut off his magic phase, stop the flow of troops to his army, and end in his demise. I know that it sounds expensive to run a setup like that, with those mages costing 140pts each, but he's paying 145 for each of his Lvl2 vampires and that doesn't include wargear or magic items.
 

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Hive Fleet Pandora
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As I will be playing a Morghur-spawning list and a Vampire Counts army with probably 4 mages at 2000pts, this is what I'm thinking of using:


Teclis or Archmage
Lvl 2 Mage - Seerstaff
Lvl 2 Mage - Silver Wand
Lvl 2 Mage - Annulian Crystal

Take the lore of light and use Cleansing Flare to annihilate everyone.
 

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Isn't there a magic item which allows the HE to end a magic phase immediately? That would be something to try, if you can successfully counter his spells and if you are on the attack you could end your phase in a position where he may well be counting on using a lot of magic to essentialy "Make/Break" the entire battle. If you can push the action and end your round in a point where he thinks he can moves his army thinking he is going to use a lot of summoning to give him the win in a pitched CC battle....only to see it thwarted by the Magic Phase being ended before he has had a chance to cast would break him.
 

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Benevolent Dictator
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Jy2- that is a pretty good setup for offensive casting. If you want to be cruel, take Teclis. He's an amazing model- not quite broken, but not quite fair either. The seerstaff is cool, but on a level2 against a heavy magic list I would swap it for the Staff of Sorcery. Teclis's generated dispel dice go into the pool each phase, and with a L2 with the Staff, you can still get a +2 to your dispel rolls. Everyone already knows the 'Drain Magic' spell, guaranteed, so there's no need to choose your spells.
A level2 only knows 2 spells. You can change any of those for the first. A good trick is this:
always roll your spell dice individually.
Die 1
- if you get a spell that you can reliably cast, even if you don't like it, keep it.
- if you get a spell that you can't reliably cast, switch it for the first spell

Die 2
- if you roll a spell you can reliably cast, keep it, and swap one of your 2 spells for the first if you want
- if you roll a spell that you can't reliably cast, switch it for the first spell
- if you've already switched a spell to the first spell, you can reroll this die because you've already got it.

Really, the trick just makes it more probable that you'll get a useful spell, because it drops the odds that you'll roll a natural 1 alongside a worthless or unwanted spell. This is severe mathhammering, and only gives you a decimal-percent advantage, but I'll take any advantage I can get.

GMJoe- the elves do have the Vortex Shard, which can be used at the start of any enemy magic phase to automatically cancel it, remove all stored dice, and end all remains in play. This can be good, but it could potentially end your Drain Magic spells. This forces you to recast them, which opens the possibility that your opponent could get an easier phase next turn.
I was also only suggesting builds that could be used in games under 2000pts. The Vortex Shard is too big to be used by a Hero level mage.
 

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To be really evil you should use of the of mages using lore of light or maybe it is heavens allowing you d3 re rolls, then use the magic item that makes their magic guy forget a spell and if you fail to get 4+ then re roll the dice.
 

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Herman1004
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I think it's stated that you may only re roll to, to wound and armour saves or something like that. Can anyone confirm this?

Regards,
 

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Hive Fleet Pandora
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Jy2- that is a pretty good setup for offensive casting. If you want to be cruel, take Teclis. He's an amazing model- not quite broken, but not quite fair either. The seerstaff is cool, but on a level2 against a heavy magic list I would swap it for the Staff of Sorcery. Teclis's generated dispel dice go into the pool each phase, and with a L2 with the Staff, you can still get a +2 to your dispel rolls. Everyone already knows the 'Drain Magic' spell, guaranteed, so there's no need to choose your spells.
A level2 only knows 2 spells. You can change any of those for the first. A good trick is this:
always roll your spell dice individually.
Die 1
- if you get a spell that you can reliably cast, even if you don't like it, keep it.
- if you get a spell that you can't reliably cast, switch it for the first spell

Die 2
- if you roll a spell you can reliably cast, keep it, and swap one of your 2 spells for the first if you want
- if you roll a spell that you can't reliably cast, switch it for the first spell
- if you've already switched a spell to the first spell, you can reroll this die because you've already got it.

Really, the trick just makes it more probable that you'll get a useful spell, because it drops the odds that you'll roll a natural 1 alongside a worthless or unwanted spell. This is severe mathhammering, and only gives you a decimal-percent advantage, but I'll take any advantage I can get.
Hadn't thought about that, but I'll give it a try. Thanks.


I think it's stated that you may only re roll to, to wound and armour saves or something like that. Can anyone confirm this?

Regards,
Correct.

Portent of Fear - to hit or to wound

Second Sign of Amul - to hit, wound, armor saves and ward saves


To be really evil you should use of the of mages using lore of light or maybe it is heavens allowing you d3 re rolls, then use the magic item that makes their magic guy forget a spell and if you fail to get 4+ then re roll the dice.
Even if you were able to do that (which you aren't), it'll be a one-trick pony. A good summoning army would have a lot of redundancy. For example, a vampire counts summoning list at 2K would have 4 vampires (possibly 1 lord), each able to cast Invocation of Nehek. You erase 1 and 3 are still able to summon undead.
 

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Benevolent Dictator
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Even if you were able to do that (which you aren't), it'll be a one-trick pony. A good summoning army would have a lot of redundancy. For example, a vampire counts summoning list at 2K would have 4 vampires (possibly 1 lord), each able to cast Invocation of Nehek. You erase 1 and 3 are still able to summon undead.
I play vampires as my primary tournament army and I agree with this in part. There will be a lot of redundancy in a VC Rez army- it's part of what makes it a good list. However, there are still advantages to knocking out 1 of his casters ability to cast the spell:

1) incoming dice- I suggested this in my first post, but if he's got 9 dice casting IoNs repeatedly, and you knock out a caster's chance of casting, now he's down to 7 dice. It's easier to stop. That other caster might still be tossing spells around, but vampires have very few aggressive spells that can be cast without a lord. If they have a lord, stopping him will remove SEVERAL dice (potentially 6) from their pool.

2) Not all vampires can raise regiments beyond starting their number of models. Some lists that go rez heavy field smaller regiments to start with, and pay 15pts per vampire to gain the ability to make those regiments bigger through IoN. If you stop a vampire who can super-size a regiment, you may have very well crippled his plans. For example, my general has 6PD and is one of only 2 vampires who can raise my Ghouls beyond their starting values. If she can't do this, I'm stuck with TINY regiments of 15 ghouls. I only cast 3 spells, and they're all easy one: Raise Dead, IoN, and VanHels Danse Macabre. They're the only spells we need, and they don't hurt anybody.

3) Redundancy- Vampire set up for Raise-specific lists are quite pricey. Without weapons or armor or magic gear you're looking at 145pts base. I well tuned army will try to field only as many vampires as they need. Therefore, if he's got 4 vampires set for raising, and you take one out, you've just put a lot of strain on his army. Also, IoN has a short range of just 12". If you knock out a caster, you've destroyed part of the chain that lets them keep their army going. Again with redundancy, they can probably mitigate this by overlapping bubbles, but still- 12" is a big distance in Fantasy.

Knocking out spells is still a viable tactic, but it only has a 50% chance of working, at best. You can't build a plan around it, because of the redundancy issues and also the poor odds, but you can certainly use it to your advantage.
Same goes for killing vampires. Highelves should NEVER target weapons at VC infantry choices unless they can reasonably kill a vampire. Why- because we have asf, hit on 3's, and wound on 4s, with more attacks than they'll ever get. Our basic infantry can demolish VC regiments. Vampires are the only thing that keep their army in the fight and make them so nasty. Aim for their flanking regiments and knights (who are dangerous or destroy your SCR), then vampires who you can catch alone, then Corpse Carts, and finally everything else.
 

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GMJoe- the elves do have the Vortex Shard, which can be used at the start of any enemy magic phase to automatically cancel it, remove all stored dice, and end all remains in play. This can be good, but it could potentially end your Drain Magic spells. This forces you to recast them, which opens the possibility that your opponent could get an easier phase next turn.
I was also only suggesting builds that could be used in games under 2000pts. The Vortex Shard is too big to be used by a Hero level mage.

I thought Drain Magic only lasted to the start of the casters next magic phase so you have to recast them anyways...
 

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1) incoming dice- I suggested this in my first post, but if he's got 9 dice casting IoNs repeatedly, and you knock out a caster's chance of casting, now he's down to 7 dice. It's easier to stop. That other caster might still be tossing spells around, but vampires have very few aggressive spells that can be cast without a lord. If they have a lord, stopping him will remove SEVERAL dice (potentially 6) from their pool.
About this point, I've seen VC players generate as many as 14 dice. and even with the +2 to dispel, the VC player can also have a +2 to cast of his own, so this brings the probability of success to 50% per die.

So I'd say Drain Magic is your only real good bet, and you'll have to have multiple mages trying to get it off.
 

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Benevolent Dictator
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The absolute most dice that vampires can throw towards IoN, barring the use of special characters is 20.

Lord w/ 6 dice, +2 from Crimson Gem, with a +1 to casting
Hero w/ 3 dice, +1 from Periapt
Hero w/ 3 dice
Hero w/ 3 dice

The Lord is carrying the Crimson Gem, which lets him take a wound to generate a dice. Of course, he can only take 2 wounds without killing himself. The other three vampires are only Lvl1 casters with a bloodline power, and cannot raise units above their starting value. The first of the heroes is carrying the Black Periapt, which allows him to save an unused dispel die for the next phase.

The only way that Vampires can get a +2 to casting is by taking the Skull Staff. If he does this, he has to drop the Crimson Gem, and only a Lord can afford to take the Skull Staff. However, we can take the Staff of Sorcery with a Hero level character, so it's a tactic that will be successful even in fights under 2000pts.

Furthermore, the lowest unmodified roll that can result in a successful casting is a 3+. However, a dispel roll can succeed on an unmodified 2. While it may not seem like much, it does mean that we have a very slight edge over the other 3 vampire heroes, and are still on a level footing with the lord.

Finally, only the Lord benefits from the +2 to cast, whereas our High Elves will always benefit from the +2 to any attempt to dispel.

This method isn't guaranteed to stop a VC casting phase, but it can certainly slow it down. You're right to assume that the best method is absolutely using Drain Magic, but I'll take any edge that I can get. This method is actually more effective at stopping demons, who can't multi-cast and who also have more difficult casting values- resulting in fewer successful castings for us to worry about.
 

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I think the bottom line is to make summoning new undead as difficult as you can. Just forcing him to use 2 dice to cast even the easy spell of Nehek (or whatever it is called) is an accomplishment. The more difficult you make it to use even the easy spell's takes away any chance of him using any other magic.

Use the High Elf Mage rules, drain magic, the staff of sorcery and force him into a position where you are matching him dice-for-dice and he is going to have to concentrate on very sporadic spells and won't be able to rely on bringing a huge new force into play.
 

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I just recently played a match against a very, very summon-y army with 14 casting dice and every character outfitted for Invocation raise spams. My solution was to bring out Teclis and equip one mage with the +1 dispel staff, another mage with the annulian crystal, and the last mage was given the scroll of hoeth. The first time his 6 dice lord tried to raise, Teclis' scroll removed the whole spell from the game; if it hadn't, I would've used the scroll of hoeth on his next attempt. That alone was crippling for him, and I could then easily swat away most of his other attempts with sheer dispel volume. Teclis was invaluable for getting past his own nasty dispel power.

My list was probably a bit cheesy, but when I'm fighting a VC with 14 casting dice that doesn't bother me much. ;)
 

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Benevolent Dictator
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That's the same type of build that I suggested- running a Staff, Teclis (if you can) and then hitting them with Drain Magic.

GMJoe has hit the nail on the head- on pg1 I gave the formula for matching a Vampire as closely as Dice-to-Dice as you can. Remember, he is going to fail some castings through sheer bad luck. We don't have to attempt to dispel those. He might also try to cast spells that won't have a major effect on the game. We shouldn't stop those either. We need to focus on the mission in fighting vampires: kill the vampire. We only need to focus on stopping spells which will make that job more difficult.

So, I'll recap:
L1 Mage w/ Annulian Crystal
L1 Mage w/ Staff of Sorcery & High Magic
optional: Teclis, Sigil of Asuryan, MORE MAGES!
Method: steal a dice, get +2 to dispel attempts, and cast as many Drain Magics as you can
 

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J

GMJoe- the elves do have the Vortex Shard, which can be used at the start of any enemy magic phase to automatically cancel it, remove all stored dice, and end all remains in play. This can be good, but it could potentially end your Drain Magic spells. This forces you to recast them, which opens the possibility that your opponent could get an easier phase next turn.
I was also only suggesting builds that could be used in games under 2000pts. The Vortex Shard is too big to be used by a Hero level mage.
True about it being too big for a Hero level mage.

As to how I have seen the Vortex Shard successfully used.......

***Use it around turn 3 or more, at a critical point in the battle. At this point, the battle is about to be decided and both of you have been attritted at least some of your forces.
***If the enemy has magic items that allow it to transfer over power dice from turn to turn, I think they have this. And makes it clear he is storing up for a huge round the next one.
***Remember, you use it during HIS MAGIC PHASE. This means that once you use it, all the Drain Magic spells you have put up are gone, but remember that Drain Magic goes both ways- now in your upcoming magic phase, you are going to be the one throwing out the spells.

At that point, hopefully you have the enemy vampire general in range for Light Magic spell #6, if you have positioned it right. HE probably has already used his dispel scrolls at this point, so now it is your turn to try to break his army with your most powerful wizard.

And, if you feel like it, have your lower level mages start putting up DRAIN MAGIC again, just to make sure that when he does get to turn #4, it will be back again.

Remember, just a single turn can turn the battle in your favor with this.
 

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I agree with all of this, except the point about the 6th spell in the Lore of Light. With only D6 wounds, distributed like shooting, this spell wont kill his general unless he's foolish enough to leave the character on his own. The best spell for sniping out Vampire Generals is actually one of the easiest to cast- Steal Soul, ironically from the lore of Death. It is one of 2 spells that we have available that lets us target an individual within a unit, and this spell causes an instant wound, no armor saves. The second sniper spell is Commandment of Brass. Often, a Vampire General will be boasting a 2+ armor save in some form or another, as the player believes he needs the protection. This of course makes him a prime target for CoB.

Lore of Light is a good lore to use against Vampires, but not because of it's damage capabilities. Vampires raise D6 models with their IoN, and will laugh in your face if you kill a handful of skeletons. The best thing about Lore of Light is the 5th spell, which has the ability to make all friendlies within 12" immune to psych.

Unfortunately, in a 2k game we want to leave our friend Teclis free to get I.F. drain magics after all of our other mages have cast it. Therefore, I usually give all of my mages High Magic. This also ensures that a single lucky kill won't remove our +1 for having a High Magic mage.
 

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in theory, if you are using the Vortex Shard by round 3 or 4, then chances are the vampire is in the think of battle with your own army and when his phase started, he may well have maneuvered his army into a position where he expected to raise skeleton warriors on your flank- lets say he closes in on round three of his own phase and may not have cast as many spells as he was using items/powers to carry over power dice to his next phase, in anticipation of this massive magical attack.

You do your round three, perhaps you close on his own forces with your own.

Round 4 begins......he brings his entire army in, envisioning his coup-de-grace that is going to deliver him this battle in his favor.

Announces the start of his magical phase.........still with images of him rolling 5 dice for every casting spell that will bring in a huge force on your flank to route you......

And you pull the vortex shard, ending the phase and forcing him to wait another round.

You now have him at point blank range with your own casting with all drain magics removed. Hopefully by now he has already used all his dispel scrolls so now you hit him both with your army and with every spell you can get off, perhaps with your lower level mages as soon as the archone/teclis is done with his own offensive casting, they go about and put up DRAIN MAGICs again in hopes of thwarting him.

In theory, if you are using big units of Phoenix Guard other troops, you may well route him in this round alone and turn it into your coup-de-grace moment of the battle that delivers you the victory.
 

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Benevolent Dictator
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Absolutely, and I don't disagree with you at all on the use of the Shards. It works that way against anyone- you wait until the moment that they are counting on having a good phase. Unfortunately, it can only be put onto a lord, and its probably THE most expensive 1 use item in the game, and it almost forces you to reduce a lord to a caddy. Again, I'm not disagreeing, I'm only pointing out that, like everything in the game, this item does have its drawbacks.
 
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