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Making a working Undead Army (Vampire Counts WIP)
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Old 04 Jan 2008, 20:52   #1 (permalink)
lonely tau
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Default Making a working Undead Army (Vampire Counts WIP)

Hello everyone, Thanks to Red_Dog I've decided to post this (sorry it's only a bit late R_D, I was tallying :P)

Now, I started a Vampire Counts Army a few months ago, and so far I have collected:
1 Von Carstein Blister
1 Lahmia Vampire Blister
2 Necromancers
1 Unmounted Blood Dragon
60 Skeletons
39 Zombies (in progress of making a few more)
10 Dire Wolves
2 Bat Swarms
2 Fell Bats
8 Black Knights
1 Black Coach

So for the last few months when I wrote my lists I was focusing on blocks of Skeletons (light armor and full command), and then summoning Zombies onto the battlefield for whatever evil purpose they may carry out (such as sniping a Slann Mage Priest without guards, a whole once in a lifetime :P) My Vampire was mainly support, and my Thrall was usually joining the wolf packs (which I used as Fear Bombs more than anything, and they were quite good for 50 points a pop :P)

Another thing I needed to remember when coming up with a strategy was that we normally play with more than 2 players, normally 3-5, although on occasion I have played 1V1 (or, normal :P) games with our resident Wood Elf player.

On expanding my list, I am looking to get a a few more Fell Bats and Bat Swarms, 2 Banshees, and an entire Spirit Host unit at sometime in the future. Another thing is Grave Guard. Personally, I dislike the current GG, and I am looking for a unit that fits the bill better, and with Halberds! So until I can find them I'll be stuck with out them (I hate using units I don't have models for, and so refuse to do it).

So, looking at my list, here's what I normally use:

Vampire Count-331
Lvl 2, The Flayed Hauberk, Walking Death, Ring of The Night, additional CC Weapon

Von Carstein Thrall-134
Wolf Form, Flayed Hauberk, Great Weapon

Necromancer-115
Lvl 2, Spell Familiar, Dispel Scroll

Necromancer-115
Lvl 2, Spell Familiar, Dispel Scroll
[hr]

20 Skeletons-225
Light Armor, Full Command

20 Skeletons-225
Light Armor, Full Command

20 Skeletons-225
Light Armor, Full Command

5 Dire Wolves-50

5 Dire Wolves-50

8 Black Knights-200
Barded

Black Coach-200

Total: 1920

Damn! I can hardly believe I still have 80 points left to play around with...

So, any suggestions on how to fill up my army a bit more, models that would be a good substitute for Grave Guard (I don't mind too much converting, just as long as it's cheaper than the alternative :P) and just all around advice besides trying to play more even games with 2 sides instead of 3-6?
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Old 04 Jan 2008, 22:54   #2 (permalink)
Shas'Ui
 
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Default Re: Making a working Undead Army (Vampire Counts WIP)

HA! you have finally made it ^_^

Anyways lets give the quick run down.

- First, cheater counter is bipping like crazy! You can't use two copies of same magic item (unless its specified in description like it is done in the dispel scroll/power stone). So NO two spells familiars and two Flayed Hauberk.

----------------------------------------------------------->
Now the real run down.

Judging by the armies composition, I see you are running the slow horde with wolfs and knights on the flanks. It looks kind of like mine set up (idea of slow core supported by fast flankers). You however have a good amount of magic.

Count -> Good and solid "slow walker". He is very rough opponent and boosts your side of combat. Nicely done Alternatively, loose hauberk, mount him on the stead and give him Aura of dark Majesty and ench shield (that and walking death + ring of night is 100 points of magic gear). You'll still keep him with skeletons, but that would make him an excellent general.
I would make him Lvl2 Wizard as well. He will be much more nastier that way (you have points to spare )

Thrall -> Swap illegal item repeat from "summon wolves" and give him regular armor. Alternatively, in this list, BSB might help a LOT so you can consider it.(Remember though, BSB can't carry shield)

Necros -> Swap illegal spell familiar for "Book of Arkham". Other then that keep scrolls (if needed swap for stones)

Skeletons -> You know my opinion. Make them into 2 units of 30! I am telling you, loosing a combat to an outnumbering fear causer is equal to death. I am seriously telling you that you need them in 2 units of 30. Full command & LA of course.

Wolves -> solid

Knights -> Give them full command, or at least banner and musician. Consider Banner of Doom or Banner of Borrows or Screaming Banner.

Black Coach -> Though it isn't a bad unit. IMO, too many points in one place. You can smash it with S7 and it'll die 2/3 times... I would just drop it and get something else.

Over all, aside from some illegality, I like the list. Again, from major change I would 1)Lvl2 Count 2) Work out some items 3) Combine skeletons (save some points) 4) Kit out knights 5) Spent (if any) rest of the points.

On GG. I find it a VERY powerful unit. 30 men Grave Guard full command with shields and banner of borrows is a force to fear. Having T4 3+armor,S4 hitting on 3+ and killing blow is a very though opponent. However such unit costs 465 points. Thats lot of things in one place... I am not sure what would be the best way to use them in this case. But as if now your lists seems fine without them. Ohh and if you do get them, no halberd. 3+ armor is far more valuable to a static combat resolution unit like grave guard.

I hope I helped. ^_^

Walk Tall everyone!!!!!
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Old 05 Jan 2008, 07:22   #3 (permalink)
lonely tau
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Default Re: Making a working Undead Army (Vampire Counts WIP)

Just found the entry about the magic items, so now I'll attempt to fix it accordingly.

On the Count, He's already level 2 (hence the "Lvl 2" at the beginning of equipment :P). so I guess losing the Flayed Hauberk would do the most good, and if I replace it with an Enchanted Shield and a barded mount, adding 6" to my area of influence probably wouldn't hurt at all. I'll look into it, and depending on what I like I'll switch it. Also, because I'll be mounted, what do you suggest as a weapon selection?

Thrall: I like the setup now as it is, quite a lot, so methinks I'm going to keep it that way. Especially now that she's legal (hooray for porn joke :P)! A Battle Standard would be quite good, but considering that she isn't actually meant to stay back with the rest of the army, but instead venture out with the Wolves or the Knights and cause some havoc. With the armor save and 3 Great Weapon attacks (plus a good charge range, meaning she should be charging first) will cause some havoc.

Necromancers: Changing them, they'd both have Dispel Scrolls, but I don't particularly like the Book of Arkhan, only slightly because I'm prone to rolling a 1 on the first turn, and secondly because I don't actually want any of my units moving that quickly. However in one game I may want to try giving one Necro a Cursed Book, and the other 2 Dispel Scrolls, and tossing them up next to my Skeleton units. The enemy would need a 4+ to hit me in combat, I could whittle them down on their way there with Magic, and assuming I roll a Hellish Vigour I'll be able to re-roll missed hits! For now though, I'll just stick with Dispel Scrolls, plus a Black Periapt on one, and a Spell Familiar on the other.

Skellies: While I respect your opinion, I'm thinking more in a mind of the games with and odd amount of players on their own side, and the flexibility I am afforded if I have 3 units of 20 as opposed to 2 units of 30. That, and I can always summon more Skeletons into those two squads if I see a good opportunity for it, but I don't really see the point in doing it anywhere before that. Plus, it looks a lot cooler to have 3 large blocks of Skellies moving up, a lot more so than it does to have 2 massive blocks moving up :P

Knights: For an extra 80 Points I can add a full command with the Screaming Banner, so although I think I might want to do that, as it'd help a whole hell of a lot all around (with enemies charging me, and charging them, etc) I think I'd want to add 2 more Black Knights to the squad though, so I could have 2 Ranks, even though the regiment would then be 330 points, I think it'd be worth it. Just means I'd need to find 2 more Black Knights :shifty:

Black Coach: I loves me my Black Coach ^_^ Honestly I think that the unit is quite fluffy and pretty awesome, as balanced as it is. Plus, although it's a tenth of my army, it usually makes back it's points with Terror and Impact to help with combat. The Strength 7+ insta-gib rule doesn't terrify me too much, as there aren't that many units on the field that can do it to my coach, and most of the time they won't be too near me.

If it helps in further criticism, the only armies I play against right now are Wood Elves, Lizardmen, and on the odd occasion, Dark Elves. I also have a friend whom I'm trying to get started with a Hordes of Chaos army, but it won't be moving too quickly.

On the Grave Guard though R_D, Can you find any models that are cheaper and look better than the current Grave Guard? Just a personal dislike for them :P

I'm going to work on a new list now, thanks for the help and I'll post it when it's done.



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Old 05 Jan 2008, 13:54   #4 (permalink)
Shas'La
 
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Default Re: Making a working Undead Army (Vampire Counts WIP)

Red dog covered most of what I would say. Looks like a good list if you make those changes - I'd spend the extra points on fell bats. Great for hunting war machines or pesky things like ratling guns.

If you do nothing else though, get the book of arkhan, the most valuable tome available to the dead guys.
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Old 05 Jan 2008, 17:47   #5 (permalink)
Shas'Vre
 
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Default Re: Making a working Undead Army (Vampire Counts WIP)

I wouldn't go giving your count any armour at all to be honest (aside from the barded steed). Von Carsteins, like most wizards in the game can't cast while they're wearing armour. It's a fiddly point most people miss out on since Blood Dragons are specifically stated to be able to cast in armour and the rest of the bloodlines aren't actually allowed to wear any so it kinda gets lost in the shuffle.

Really though, I've found I rarely ever have to take armour saves with my Von Carstein counts anyways. Toss the Talon of Death and a Warrior Familiar onto him with an extra hand weapon and you'll be tossing out around 9 Str5 attacks every turn so you won't have to worry about much striking back against you :P
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Old 05 Jan 2008, 19:03   #6 (permalink)
lonely tau
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Default Re: Making a working Undead Army (Vampire Counts WIP)

Alrighty, made a list based on what R_D said,

Vampire Count-364
Lvl2, Aura of Dark Majesty, Walking Death, Ring of the Night, Enchanted Shield, Barded Nightmare, Lance

Vampire Thrall-134
Wolf Form, Hauberk, Great Weapon

Necromancer-125
Lvl2, Dispel Scroll

Necromancer-125
Lvl2, Dispel Scroll

20 Skeletons-225
Light Armour, full Command

20 Skeletons-225
Light Armour, full Command

20 Skeletons-225
Light Armour, full Command

5 Dire Wolves-50

5 Dire Wolves-50

Black Coach-200

8 Black Knights-280
Full Command+Screaming Banner

Total: 2,003 points.

I'm very much so disliking the setup on my Count, namely because he costs a lot more than my normal count, and he just doesn't seem to have as much killy value. I think I'll end up just putting him on foot with another hand weapon, and dropping the shield. That way he'll only be 336 points instead of 364, and I'll be able to give one Necro a spell familiar and the other a Black Periapt.

Other than the count however, I quite like this list, although it would also be quite nice to find a way to work in some Fell Bats (a unit of 4 of them or so). however, until then I'll have to be content with what I have, and go buy myself another Blister's worth of Fell Bats :shifty:
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Old 06 Jan 2008, 19:09   #7 (permalink)
Shas'Ui
 
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Default Re: Making a working Undead Army (Vampire Counts WIP)

LT -> I've searched the net and the VC codex and I have to re comment few things.

First things first Von Carstein are "weird". Their counts are not exactly combat oriented, but their Thralls are. Counts, being mages, CAN NOT wear armor (except for barded stead). So no ench shield possible. If he can't wear an mundane armor or shield he can't wear magic armor or shield. Their Thralls are combat oriented and can use magic armor. Counts can't

That leaves a decision to make. You can either drop the count altogether and swap him for a master necromancer. Or make a count in the ultimate general ^_^. I think that is what he was meant to do. I made few combos that I though may be helpful.

Balanced #1 -> Count lvl2, Extra HW, Aura, Walking Death, Ring of Night = 336
Balanced #2 -> Count lvl2, Biting Blade, Aura, Walking Death, Ring of Night = 340

Risky Arcane -> Count lvl2, Extra HW, Aura, Walking Death, Stuff of Damnation = 346
***Surrender the ward safe in favor of good magic staff***

Risky "safe" -> Count lvl2, Extra HW, Aura, Walking Death, Crown of the damned = 341
***Boost ward safe to 4+ but in return get "stupidity", risking of not using count and his unit for a turn. Though Ld9 is very good way of preventing that.

------------------------------------------------------------->

On the rest of your army, I like it. I guess you can always summon more skeletons for the smaller units ^_^. You can drop black coach in favor of some fell bats and wolves or more skeletons. Or more gear for necros.

One thing I wold definitely recommend you to do is to pick a "theme". I like your heroes selection. However you can try (not saying you should use it always) to use Master Necromancer. Now days people usually have magic defense (two scrolls and/or 5-7+ dispel dice). It will not stop all your magic but it might cripple your "life support" of your skeletons. Though having 8 PD every turn is a good thing I am not sure if it will be enough. But come to think of it, 2 more PD might not make any difference...

But as I said, I like this set up. Tell us how it will perform

Walk Tall everyone!!!!!
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Old 06 Jan 2008, 23:03   #8 (permalink)
Shas'La
 
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Default Re: Making a working Undead Army (Vampire Counts WIP)

I don't think you should go for the master necromancer. With the new counts on the horizon you'll need your count back before you get used to the master necro (he won't be in the new army book).

You could just buy the count the carstein ring and a great weapon/halberd. Not much will even tickle him with that ring.
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Old 06 Jan 2008, 23:33   #9 (permalink)
Shas'Ui
 
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Default Re: Making a working Undead Army (Vampire Counts WIP)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kalarn
I don't think you should go for the master necromancer. With the new counts on the horizon you'll need your count back before you get used to the master necro (he won't be in the new army book).

You could just buy the count the carstein ring and a great weapon/halberd. Not much will even tickle him with that ring.
I don't know about master necro (didn't read rumors on them yet) but on the rest... dude...

No GW for Count EVER. you have I7. Count should strike first (except Vs HE, but screw them) most of the time. There is absolutely NO way someone can break undead unit on the charge. There is simply not enough attacks. ^_^ That means you are stuck in combat. Thats why XHW is lot better. Halberd is an option since you can't have shield anyway. But No GW period. You can pull it of on wolf thrall but not on Count.

And on the ring... Worst item in vampire codex. No, let me rephrase it, the most useless item in the VC codex. Ward and regen isn't bad. But you don't have any armor anyway and regeneration is too easy to deny. With an abundance of regeneration and flammable targets, lot of people carry flaming attacks. I for once use Scar-Vet with burning blade.

But even if you are willing to take chances with that, you will get an absolutely useless character who can't kill anyone (4 S6 attacks or 5S5, who are kidding mate?) and you are not so hard to kill as well. Nearly all lords and most characters who are expecting HtH carry 2+ armor(and usually better) and 5-4+ ward(usually its 4+). Meaning they are just as durable and can stick it to lots of people. Meanwhile your count with ring not such a good warrior and doesn't benefit the army at all.

Von Carsteins counts are great "boosters" and one of the best generals in the game as if now. The regular crown of damned is enough to save the count long enough and allow him boost an LARGE portion of your army.

Nothing personal of course.

P.S. Kalarn I forgot that he can take Halberd. LT if you want to choose weapon, either two HW or Halberd. Biting blade would be bad. I forgot that Count can take Halberd.

Walk Tall everyone!!!!!
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Old 07 Jan 2008, 02:35   #10 (permalink)
lonely tau
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Default Re: Making a working Undead Army (Vampire Counts WIP)

Where's the option for Halberds on my Count? I looked through my Army book but can't find it, and on the entry it says I can choose between a Great Weapon, additional Hand Weapon or a Lance.

I think out of the choices for the count, I'll be taking the 'Risky Safe' one, as I believe it fits best into what I'll be attempting to do with him.

I was just thinking a bit, about getting rid of the Skeleton Captains in the army though, as it gets me 30 points, and only sacrifices 3 attacks. If I could clip a few extra points from around, I'd have enough for 3 Fell Bats, (30 from the captains, 23 from the Count, meaning I only have to scrounge up about 7-10 points, maybe the Musician on the Knights?)

P.S. Does Fear and Terror add +1 to Combat Resolution? I can't find it anywhere, but my friend keeps insisting it does. Some clarification would be nice, thanks.
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