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Discussion Starter #1
Hello guys :)

I'm a seasoned Ogre Kingdoms player who's looking into Vampire Counts for my next project. I'm in the habit of planning my list out entirely before I start buying miniatures and I would like some feedback on the viability of the list I have in mind.

I'm hoping for the list to be at least semi-competitive and my main opponent plays high elves.


LIST:

Lords: Total = 245

Necromancer Lord - Lore of Vampires- (165)
- Level 4 Upgrade (35)
- Master of the Dead (20)
- Dispell Scroll (25)


Core: Total = 250

20 x Skeleton Warriors 100 pts
20 x Skeleton Warriors 100 pts
10 x Skeleton Warriors 50 pts


Special: Total = 270 Pts

10x Black Knights, Barding, Lances (260)
- Musician (10)


Rare: Total = 240

Mortis Engine (220)
- Blasphemous Tome (20)




Put together, this makes for 1005 pts, though I could drop the dispell scroll or the musician on the knights if needed.

Admittedly this list mainly contains *the models which I like the most* in the army. Zombies for example are a really old and outdated kit in my opinion, which is why I'm going with skeletons. I guess I'm just asking if this list would actually work on the tabletop as well as containing good looking and up to date models? :p

I like the terrorgheist too, but since I'm mainly facing elves I don't think it's optimal? The main idea here is to spam invocation of nehek and dominate the magic phase with a +6 caster (mortis engine). I would tie the opponent up using the skeletons, constantly replenishing their numbers and attempt to flank him with the knights. The Mortis Engine should put out some damage as well, especially against elves.

I am aware that crypt horrors synergize well with the engine.. but are Black Knights really that bad in this setup? At this point level I cant take a vampire lord and the baby vamps are really really squishy..

Thank you :)
 

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Drill Sergeant
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10,215 Posts
Welcome to the Forum Kobe.

In al honesty the Fantasy section is pretty dead nowadays. I was a massive Fantasy player back in 8th but AoS pretty much killed it off for me. Still I can remember enough to give you a bit of advice. Are you still playing 8th ed rules?

The skeleton units could really do with some more thought. I'm guessing the ten man unit is simply to hide the Necromancer in? If that unit ever gets in combat it's toast and you wont have long enough to rescue it before it crumbles. I'd ditch that small unit in favour of bumping up one of the other units. Also, Undead core don't really kill anything. I'd just take one unit of skellies big enough to fill your 25% core and then spend all your other points on units that can actually kill something. Crypt ghouls, Vargeists or maybe wraiths/Banshees.

That's pretty much all I have really. Oh, actually, take a Champion in the skellies to take challenges and a standard bearer to help out combat res and for blood and glory missions.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Welcome to the Forum Kobe.

In al honesty the Fantasy section is pretty dead nowadays. I was a massive Fantasy player back in 8th but AoS pretty much killed it off for me. Still I can remember enough to give you a bit of advice. Are you still playing 8th ed rules?

The skeleton units could really do with some more thought. I'm guessing the ten man unit is simply to hide the Necromancer in? If that unit ever gets in combat it's toast and you wont have long enough to rescue it before it crumbles. I'd ditch that small unit in favour of bumping up one of the other units. Also, Undead core don't really kill anything. I'd just take one unit of skellies big enough to fill your 25% core and then spend all your other points on units that can actually kill something. Crypt ghouls, Vargeists or maybe wraiths/Banshees.

That's pretty much all I have really. Oh, actually, take a Champion in the skellies to take challenges and a standard bearer to help out combat res and for blood and glory missions.

Thanks for the feedback :)

I detest the travesty that is Age of Sigmar as well. Me and my friends are sticking to the 8th edition rules (no end times either), though it has severely limited our options. I'm keeping an eye on the development of this 9th age thing that's been going on, but it doesn't seem entirely finished yet ;p

I mainly thought about dividing the skeletons in multiple units so I'd be able to raise more of them using invocation and "master of the dead". I have never actually played a vampire counts army though, so I don't know if that's a thing?

I know all of the core options are really weak. If I were to go for one big block of skellies I could indeed put a standard bearer and champion in it. That's a pretty solid idea :)
 

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Drill Sergeant
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A lot of Fantasy players (in general and members on this forum) are all waiting to see what 9th ED brings to the table (see what I did there??). Until then we're kind of in limbo like yourself. The 9th age thing looks interesting but I have always been happy with the 8th ED rules.

As for making your units bigger, that's fine but you're only going to get one or two turns before your opponent hits combat so you need to guarantee your units are going to durable enough (big enough) to hold your opponents in place while you line up counter charges or let magic do its work. Although if your constantly raising skellies you're not using your magic to kill your enemy.

Gosh, all this talk of fantasy makes me want to play fantasy again!
 

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Benevolent Dictator
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9,222 Posts
Hello guys :)
I'm hoping for the list to be at least semi-competitive and my main opponent plays high elves.


LIST:

Lords: Total = 245

Necromancer Lord - Lore of Vampires- (165)
- Level 4 Upgrade (35)
- Master of the Dead (20)
- Dispell Scroll (25)
I hate scrolls. Either it's not worth burning a scroll on, or he throws it on 6D6 and just swallows the Miscast. The only time I've had a "make or break" with a Scroll, was when they did something crazy like roll a 6 and five 5s on a casting attempt. I know that this is down to "meta", and how your opponents typical optimize their casting, but I'd rather eat a spell for 1 turn than burn the points on a single-use item.
Master of the Dead isn't bad, and you'll get proportionately more use from it in smaller games, but I wouldn't pin your entire strategy around it. Especially when the poor guy doesn't have any kind of a save. There ARE ways to pick this guy out from the lineup, not counting the chances that his own miscast will blow him up.
I'd almost say that if you're primary opponent plays Elves, and you wanted to have fun duking it out with him, run a Vampire or even a Wight King here. Get a L2 somehow (Vampire?) and leave it at that. Elves have a tough time getting any real casting ability into a 1k game, and it doesn't particularly help them that much (a proper "Light Coven" would wreck your army, but they can't run one effectively sub-2k, so you're safe). Meanwhile, getting a juggernaut CC character onto the table would really help you deal with them in combat. Your list is lacking in the melee department...


Core: Total = 250

20 x Skeleton Warriors 100 pts
20 x Skeleton Warriors 100 pts
10 x Skeleton Warriors 50 pts
10 man should get folded into the other units. Drop a model and add the Champ to whichever unit has your Necro in it, so that he can eat challenges for you. Other than that... with this list I would actually consider trying to swap one of those units over to Ghouls (in which case, 150pts of Ghouls, and a 20-man Skellie block for your escort).

Special: Total = 270 Pts

10x Black Knights, Barding, Lances (260)
- Musician (10)
Good stuff here. 10 is a big unit at this size though, to be fair. Especially as they are your ONLY 'hammer' unit. You could knock them down into smaller blocks of 5 or try to scrape a few points and even go for blocks of 6 (or two 10s if you're crazy). Black Knights aren't bad by any stretch though.


Rare: Total = 240

Mortis Engine (220)
- Blasphemous Tome (20)
This is a good support unit, but at roughly 25% of your army, I'd rather just see you add in something that HITS. If this were an army like Ogres or Warriors, where the Core can actually lay the smack down, I'd say go for a support in your Char/Spec/Rare slots. But this is Undead, and you already have 25% of your army tied up in stuff that really isn't going to pull it's own weight in a meaningful way... why bump that number to 50%?
Admittedly this list mainly contains *the models which I like the most* in the army. Zombies for example are a really old and outdated kit in my opinion, which is why I'm going with skeletons. I guess I'm just asking if this list would actually work on the tabletop as well as containing good looking and up to date models?
It will play games. How well it would work I'm not entirely sure. Elves will eat Skeletons for breakfast, and I don't think that you'll be able to keep their numbers up high enough. 20 Elves with Spears get their full attacks at 5x4, get rerolls, hit you on 3's, wound you on 4's, and hit ahead of you. The Black Knights are all that they're worried about, and they still have 75% of an army to handle those.

I like the terrorgheist too, but since I'm mainly facing elves I don't think it's optimal? The main idea here is to spam invocation of nehek and dominate the magic phase with a +6 caster (mortis engine). I would tie the opponent up using the skeletons, constantly replenishing their numbers and attempt to flank him with the knights. The Mortis Engine should put out some damage as well, especially against elves.
Hmm... flanking in with Black Knights isn't a good idea against Elves. You're committing the Knights into a fight where they're only solid on the charge, and Elf elites will gut them in CC (everything is S5+, ASF). Against the Core, you're going to lose Skellies by the handful, and that negative CR will spill over onto the Knights. That's the problem that I'm foreseeing - you need to pick a unit that you can kill (Spears, or Swordmasters/Lions) and kill that unit without relying on holding it up with something "squishy". Use your Skellies/Core to hold up whatever else tries to stop you. That's why I wouldn't really bother with the Master of the Dead upgrade. Maybe even skip the Mortis Engine as well.
This is why a lot of builds for Undead tend to run a hugely expensive "deathstar", just like a Gutstar for Ogres. You slam a Wight King and/or Vampire into a block of Black Knights or (Sigmar forbid) Blood Knights, and aim it at the most expensive unit they put onto the table. Short of smacking into a tooled up Chaos deathstar, you should cut straight through it. The rest of your army just keeps them from getting any Victory Points of their own.

I am aware that crypt horrors synergize well with the engine.. but are Black Knights really that bad in this setup? At this point level I cant take a vampire lord and the baby vamps are really really squishy...
Squishy, yes. But remember that we're talking 1kpts. It's not like you're going up against Elf Lords or anything either. Toss ArmoDest on the little Vampino, and he should hold. Or consider using a Wight King. Honestly, Wight Kings are great in small games (imo) because they're absurdly sturdy for a Hero choice.


Thanks for the feedback :)
I detest the travesty that is Age of Sigmar as well. Me and my friends are sticking to the 8th edition rules (no end times either), though it has severely limited our options. I'm keeping an eye on the development of this 9th age thing that's been going on, but it doesn't seem entirely finished yet ;p
My 9th Age, or the one that the ETC guys are doing? I have looked at theirs, and everything is quite solidly wrapped up, they're just working on fixing the Armybooks and even those seem to be chugging along nicely.
My 9th Age (this site) is on hold, just because I decided that everyone and their mom is working on a version of "8.5", and all for naught. They simply won't be supported - you can only play if you already have everything to play 8th or earlier editions, so you might as well do exactly as you and your mate have done; stick to an older version. I might return to it one day, but I've decided to tackle the problem from another angle and try to make AoS "playable" for fans of "old" Fantasy.

I mainly thought about dividing the skeletons in multiple units so I'd be able to raise more of them using invocation and "master of the dead". I have never actually played a vampire counts army though, so I don't know if that's a thing?
This only works for the turns before you get into combat. Once you're in combat, you start losing Skellies too quickly to "go positive". In fact, you normally lose them faster than you can bring them back. Ultimately, you need to hit combat with a block large enough to hold for 6-8 rounds of fighting (to get through the end of the game). Whether that means you start with a larger block, or you try to boost it through magic, is up to you. But boosting multiple blocks with one caster is hard, you'll normally get the spell off once. Unless you have something bigger and scarier to eat his dispel dice, he doesn't care if Raise Dead is "just a little spell", he's going to stop it. The more you hinge your plan on that spell, the more he's going to try to stop it. Even with a +6, you're probably going to throw more dice per casting that you seem to be anticipating.

Gosh, all this talk of fantasy makes me want to play fantasy again!
DO IT!
Or help you playtest the AoS pts, you bum. :p
 

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Assuming you're still playing 8ed rules, I'll chip in two pence.

It's been a while since I've played this sort of vampire list (as I settled on a beast themed army, wolves, gheists etc) but in my experience of playing it in the past, units like your skellies (and zombies) are crappy when it comes to fighting combats on their own. What tends to happen is they do poorly and then get shafted by crumble rules, so the lesson here is to rank and flank (which you can do with your knights), and crucially, to do it before your core unit has crumbled to nothing.

To that end I'd probably bunch two, maybe even all of those skelly units up in to one massive swarm, designed to go for a smaller enemy unit (20-30 guys) and bog it down while your other guys charge the flank or rear to finish them off.

Keep you skellies supported by your necromancer with IoN, but even with that, don't count on it saving them forever - you'll lose combat res by so much it won't make up the numbers, so you may want to consider a much cheaper vampire (lvl 2 if you really want) for hitting power and IoN goodness too.

I've not had much experience with the mortis engine so can't really comment on that, but would also like to make a shoutout to units like the vargheists (which tear up small, light-medium toughness units), as well as horrors (which are hilariously tanky), and even the terrorgheist, which I use at 1k (i'm an arsehole lol) and is absolutely beast.
 
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