Feast of Blades '13

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Colonial GT bound..but for Fantasy?!?! /My Competitive Vampire Counts List

So last week I went to buy my Colonial GT ticket for 40k and sadly it had just closed that day. So when I got an email saying it would open back up for some slots I got kind of excited yet I was on a buisness trip so I had to wait a day before I could buy my ticket. I went online to get it and only saw fantasy was available....now I had thoughts of playing 40k at this event but I have been drawn to fantasy ever since I got back into 40k. I finally indulged and purchased my fantasy ticket.....so whats the problem?

I have never actually played a game of fantasy in my life....ever.

Yet I will admit I have been slowly building a VC army for about a year now, and immediatly jumped on buying that codex as soon as whispers were out and about the web.... Let me say I love the book (look for a readers review later....after I actually play some games)

Now the one reason I feel intimidated is not that I have not played a game before. I have played 40k for over a decade and competitively for years now with multiple tournament wins. The mechanics are similar and I have read all the rules multiple times and watched many games of it played. I have a good understanding of the mechanics and tactics of fantasy. I actually like how fantasy is palyed a lot more than 40k, I have just played 40k a lot and my home base has less fantasy players than a hill billy has teeth. Heck I just met one guy who plays....probably won't see him again. Out of the Colonials 3 VC players last year they all finished 1st, 6th, and 8th......thats a pretty high honor role. Honestly I know VC kind of got a lot of haters with the last book as it was fairly OP. I am not a bandwagon jumper for the new book either as Ive always loved this army. Anyway the new book is following a nice trend of the 8th fantasy books all being fairly balanced (Ogres are in review for slightly beardy)

Anyway fantasy is my new crack.....and i love the new range with the tactics it presents. The only issue is I am loking at painting 200+ models in the next 2 months (GRIPE#1)...now I like painting skeletons and zombies since I am a halloween nut but damnnnnnnnn.....thats a little much for me. It was my primary reason I wasn't gonna play fantasy at the Colonial this year with thoughts of it last year. Anyway heres an early draft of my list....I am open to suggestions and critique of it but I lvoe the synergy of the special wargear, vampiric powers, and model abilities mixed with the vampire lore to give this army an almost warmachine style buffs system.....explanation as followed

1.       Vampire Lord, lore of Shadows, level 2, fear incarnate, aura of dark majesty, Red Fury, ogre blade, armor of fortune- 430
2.       Master Necromancer, level 4, lore of vampires, master of the dead, gamblers armor- 220
1.       Wight King,  BSB, Screaming Banner- 119
2.       Vampire, level 1, lore of vampires, dispel scroll, book of arkhan-145
1.       X40 Skeleton Warriors, champ, standard bearer, musician, banner of swiftness- 255
2.       X20 Ghouls- 200
3.       X20 Ghouls - 200
1.       X25 Grave Guard, seneschal, musician, standard bearer, banner of barrows- 355
2.       X5 Hexwraiths, hellwraith- 160

1.       Cairn Wraiths x3, tomb banshee -175
2.       Mortis Engine Blasphemous tome- 240
Ok stating off with the Lords/heroes I have my personal favorate shadows lord. He is not ment to do much but be a combat beast (red fury and ogre blade? yes please) built into the grave guard (limiteed GG as the colonial caps them at 28). Why shadows? I like the buffs it can give, he is not ment to be a spellcaster like last edition but be part of my cool new fear bomb gem the book gave us. combine him with my bsb in the unit and we have  unit that makes you take a fear check at -1 leadership while rolling 3 dice and getting rid of the lowest....and if you pass you have to reroll it.....combine that with banner of the barrows and I hit you first on 2's while you hit me on 5's......boom that is nasty.

Now the MN is my vamp lore guy, he is there for all that goodness at a wayyyyy lower cost than a LVL 4 lord. He hides with the skeletons boosting all the units nearby. Also in the unit is the LVL 1 vamp with the book of arkhan for vanhels shananigans and also a dedicated invoc caster as he will almost always drop his rolled spell for the signiture.

My core comes with 40 skelies and two units of ghouls....now I know ghouls are not as coola s large skelie blocks these days but they are good flank hitters as I ride them along my flanks. The skelies get boosted from invo at the start since my master necro has master of the dead and can boost them beyond starting size....by the time im in combat they will be around 55 strong.

Now for rare you see me rocking the Mortis engine....it boosts my magic rolls with +2 which is good since vamps live and die in the magic phase....also it is a huge threat to my opponent as the longer it lives the stronger it gets....It will also give my necessarilly compact army all regen for the most part as well as lashing out with attacks from banshee screams, its built in aura, and its ghost horde if in combat....all together I couldn't deny it entry being only 240 points....it hides behind my two main blocks dead center for maximum coverage....I also have a small wraith unit.....why? Well for one I love the oop models for them and grim reaper-esqueness (I know that is not a word). It is a nice redirecting unit/flank hitter that hits with a strong ethereal punch.

The last part of my list is a unit a lot of people do not see as worth it....and I agree they are a huge liability with a single fireball wasting the unit without a save easy.....but I love the models for them and think they can be protected easily.....see the hexwraith unit I will hide on my right flank behind my blocks of infantry so when I get into combat they can use thier march move, and vanhals....to go through my unit and my opponents block (ghostly evil attacks while I move through) then reposition for a rear charge next turn....all in all I like the idea...so my army looks like this advancing forward....farily balanced and strong with magic

HEX               MORTIS      

All in all it is a fairly solid army IMHO....a lot of buffs and neat little shenanigans with some cool ethereal elements mixed in with all being legal for the tournament. PErsonally I am excited (except for painting 10 models a day almost every day for 2 months)

time to go build some mantic skelies! more on this later! (for sithis!!?!?!?!?? ...........bad skyrim joke sorry)   


  1. I like the concept of your list, very similar to mine, but I'm down on Skellies...some issues, though.

    The MN can't take mundane armour, so he can not have magical armour.

    You're relying on 2 casters casting IoN to keep your "blocks" alive...guess which spells the enemy will dispel? You'll likely be using few dice (so you don't suffer the miscast effect of the Tome), so those aren't too terribly hard to dispel. Admittedly this will allow other spells to go thru, but don't rely on it.

    Hexwraiths won't be "hidden" behind infantry...TLOS rears it's ugly head in Fantasy as well, and while normal shooting would have cover from being behind a unit, Magic Missiles always hit. Moreover, please re-read the Hexwraith rules...they only move through "unengaged" units. Once you tie things up in melee, the ghosts don't go through anymore. Still, I think they're a great unit, especially if you can give some ethereal saturation to force them to decide which threat they want to deal with. (this is theory-hammer, of course...I've only gotten a handful of games in with the new book).

    The fighty-lord/bsb/fear-bomb GG is great and all...but really do the GG need all that extra stuff to make them mean? I run mine in a horde and just the banner and a Danse for rerolls makes them obnoxiously mean! Maybe consider making the Skellies the fear-bomb unit, then they may actually be able to kill things! I'm noting a lack of Great Weapons here too...how will you kill big mean things?

    I too LOVE the old CW and Banshee models. The new ones are really blah to me, despite the rest of the new stuff being gorgeous. A whole unit is spiffy, but they lost one of their greatest strengths IMO...no longer are they skirmishers. I've switched to running a couple of heroes that can join units. Now that whole unti effectively causes terror. Add that to your fear-shennanigan unit, and even Ogres will be suffering!

    On the fear-bomb thing, I'm not convinced it's worth the points. There are SO MANY things that will make it worthless (particulary without Terror). Daemons, TK, other VC, Ogres (unless you lump in some terror), anyone with a fear/terror causing banner or magic item. Hell even just high Ld can make that combination only of marginal (if any) value. Again, just theory-hammer, but it's nto something I'd rely on working. Just like 40k, if you're paying points for something it needs to work in every single game, or it's not worth taking.

    I like the Shadow guy, but don't feel just 2 IoNs is enough.

    Don't discount the power of the Zombie! I'm up to my elbows putting together Mantic zombies now (great kits, eh?)...that xtra d6 worth of wounds and the ability for any IoN to be able to raise them above starting value is really potent. Consider having two cheap units of Skellies...have your IoN guys casting near them every turn, and each unit should be increased by 8 or 9 (for lvl 1 or 2) by each cast. If you have two casters doing it, that's 18 Zombies in each unit...36 zombies in one turn. At WS1 T3, they're not that much easier to kill than Skellies, and can benefit from your Mortis Engine's Regen! They're also a cheap way to get some flags in the list so you're not in a huge disadvantage in Blood and Glory (or whatever that mission's called)!

    Thanks for the great article, looking forward to some Pics and your thoughts from the games! Sorry for the wall of text...I tend to ramble! :)

  2. Thanks for the comments since these are things I need to learn, I didn't notice mn's cant take armor....I want to work another vampire into the army for invo.....basically the plan was to cast other spells besides invo and leave invo for last to try to draw out the dispell dice but also the ME helps a lot with the +2...personally I am a fan of summoning zombies with raise but i am also making dozens of zombies since they can be drastically useful

    Personally with 4 decent blocks and that big base ME I wanted to avoid running a few smaller units of skellies. Yet I was under the impression you could not add cairn wraith heroes to regular units since they are ethereal or Id rather drop the unit of wraiths for hero versions to give terror....if not there is the vampire upgrade to cause terror which I couldn't justify bringing......I do have to tweak out the armor so I will have to mess around with points anyway thanks

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  4. Ok replaced the cairn wraith unit with a hero version to add terror to the GG unit and a dark acolyte vampire for another boosted invocation role...d3+2 to the roll that passes on a 6 from a level 1? That is an easy roll to make with any number of dice (probably 2)

    1. Vampire Lord, lore of Shadows, level 2, fear incarnate, aura of dark majesty, Red Fury, ogre blade, armor of fortune- 430
    2. Master Necromancer, level 4, lore of vampires, master of the dead – 200
    1. Wight King, BSB, Screaming Banner- 119
    2. Vampire, level 1, lore of vampires, dispel scroll, book of arkhan-145
    3. Vampire Level 1, lore of the vampires, heavy armor, dark acolyte, enchanted shield- 94
    4. Cairn Wraith- 60
    1. X39 Skeleton Warriors, champ, standard bearer, musician, banner of swiftness- 250
    2. X20 Ghouls- 200
    3. X20 Ghouls - 200
    1. X25 Grave Guard, seneschal, musician, standard bearer, banner of barrows- 355
    2. X5 Hexwraiths, hellwraith- 160

    1. Mortis Engine Blasphemous tome- 240

  5. 630 points in Lord...can only have 625

    First Vampire has two Arcane Items...can only have one. Should be easy to just move one to the other vampire.

    All else looks really solid, and remarkably similar to what I'm doing! You're making me rethink not including a Vamp Lord...he's just so killy!

    Just a thought...you've only got one unit with flaming attacks to deal with HPA/Hydra. That Banner of Swiftness could switch to Flaming Banner to give some threat to Regen meanies and save you enough points to throw a cheap magic weapon on someone maybe.

    Good luck, I'm looking forward to hearing how you do!

  6. damn I hate army builder not working I never catch these when I audit it only once. that is an easy flip especially since i need to drop the item....I really want to add in a corpse cart but i cannot justify it in the list

  7. replaced the armor of fortune with glittering scales, if fear bomb works they hit him only on 6's.....boom that is beardy

  8. Just food for thought, here's mine at 2500:

    -Master Necromancer
    Lvl 4; Rod of Flaming Death; Black Periapt
    -Vampire Battle Standard Bearer
    BSB; Heavy Armour; Enchanted Shield; Sword of Might; Book of Arkhan; Red Fury
    Lvl 2; Heavy Armour; Shield; Staff of Damnation; Dark Acolyte
    -Cairn Wraith

    -20 Zombies
    -20 Zombies
    -40 Ghouls
    -5 Direwolves
    -5 Direwolves

    -30 Grave Guard
    Full Command; Banner of the Barrows; Great Weapons
    -Spirit Host
    -Spirit Host
    -6 Hexwraiths
    -Corpse Cart
    Unholy Lodestone

    -Mortis Engine
    Blasphemous Tome

  9. Hey there,
    I too will be attending the ColonialGT for fantasy. If you wanted to play test sometime before the tourney, I would be down.
    I myself just finally wrote up my list last night. My army itself is a surprise ;-) so I can't reveal it publicly, but I wouldn't mind testing out my list in a private game.
    ~Capt. Red Gevhere