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Posted this towards the end of another thread here (VC in 8th..) but it was some 30+ posts in & didn't see much discussion... well, a couple of weeks later & I'm still struggling to adapt - maybe it's my unwillingness to use wraiths - but anyways, here's to hoping for some more help...

So my question regarding vampires in 8th is how do we beat down those hard blocks other armies are able to field?


I've had a 2250pt game where a turn one purple sun was able to demolish fully 1/3 of my opponents ogre army before he had a chance to move. The remaining ironguts (three of them. and his tyrant) were MORE than a match for my hammer of 24 graveguard w/ greatweapons & barrows AND my fighty vampire lord with the sword of strife (+2 attacks), infinite hatred, beguile & walking death (+1 combat res).

That's right - 4 ogres held off my brick of GG. 4 wide ogres allows (in theory) 12 20mm bases to line up to fight, I had 6 wide, giving me 12 s6 attacks hitting on 3's AND the vampire with 6 s5 attacks hitting on 3's rerollable, including static combat res (ranks, sticks, walking death, charge) and I was still unable to break them - several sub-par magic phases later actually saw my brick crumble until my lord died (incidentaly, no ward / regen saves vs crumble sucks ass)


I've had a similar situation occur fighting halberd using warriors. a 12 brick (was a 24, curse of years is my best friend...) of frenzied, slaaeneshi chaos warriors c/w halberds managed to make an astounding overrun charge & hit my general's bunker taking me completely by surprise... well, on my next turn I magiced in every single unit I could to help my poor boneboys out.

Now, with his 6-wide front he was able to pull 25 (3x6+1 + 1x6)attacks hitting on 3's and wounding on 2's into my skeletal block - scary... so I thought I'd put a couple of flank charges in (ended up with 1 skelly block in one flank) and tried for the rear - the aformentioned graveguard unit hit his block in the rear. I thought that in theory this was tactically sound but in practice, it only increased his volume of attacks!

the player completely ignored the unit to the flank and istead threw his full allowance of attacks forwards from the front rank (3x6+1 for 19) AND THEN threw a further 18 attacks into my graveguard - hitting AND KILLING on 3's there...

so, I hope my two examples serve to illustrate my point - with no shooting to rely on, and a fickle magic phase, how can a VC player reasonably hope to stop these fighty units? Simply using the good ol' zombie tarpit doesn't work as there's no WAY you'll be able to summon enough to keep a hard unit locked in combat (without completely neglecting the rest of your army) and well, those zombies aren't actually going to kill anything are they?




My gaming group has recommended using wraiths as a solid hammer and from what I've seen I'm inclined to agree. If I throw that 25pt character upgrade in I know have access to shooting AND have a model to take the challenge in case I'm up against a unit with magical weapons. I think that a 525 point deathstar of (9) Cairn Wraiths & a Banshee would be more effective than the 800 point knights. I used to refuse to field wraiths because they were so powerful but now they seem to be almost necessary to ensure I'm able to get a decent amount of attacks...

It has also been suggested that Shadow would be a better lore than Death for vampires, but I haven't had much luck... Death seems to work well since I can have one vampire attempt to overload and get a big spell of irresistably throwing up to 6 dice at it, THEN using the dice generated by the wounds inflicted I am able to cast my necromacy spells until I'm running low on dice again, only to cast another Death spell, rinse repeat until I fail to cast....

The benefits of shadow I guess are that I should be able to cause my opponents to be worse fighters than I am - reducing the S of those warriors or ironguts would go a long way to keeping my skeletons alive but the synergy with the rest of my casting isn't there. Of course it would be neat to have a casty vampire who finds herself in trouble automatically switch places with my Wight BSB... (note: if a character is in a challenge when using the teleport granted due to shadow, does the model who replaces them enter the challenge in their stead or is the challenge ended?)

Incedentally, another powerful unit I've struggled to topple in combat is the temple guard... with the slaan in there they become almost immune to magical attacks as well further straining a VC players already weak combat prowess.
 

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Vampires certainly have a harder time now I believe. I don't have an army but one of my regular opponents does.
Recently he has been using The Black Coach as a hammer, by turn 2 its flying with all kinds of buffs (etherall, frenzy and more) and has had some success. Tho it does eat up the vampires valuable magic dice as well, so it is double edged.

If this forum can't help have you tried Carpe Noctem forum?
http://www.vampirecounts.net/

Hope this helps.
 

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Wraiths are not good. Remember if they charge a full unit they will be at least -4 CR before they even start. Plus with all the magical buff spells around now they tend to die fairly quicky. I'm just not convinced by them

I find its best just to raise a zombie screen in front of my main units to stop them getting charged

GG will always struggle with ogres as they can't use their killy blow to fall them. With Corpse carts and banner of the barrows they should be able to hold their own though. Allowing you to flank charge with ghouls

How much necromancy are you using? The danger of purple sun with VCs is you have virtually resigned to lose your vamp straight away, if you even get it. weakening your battery power for constant innovation

VCs are ALOT harder to play now, and you need to gain magic supremacy ASP, I tend to include a vamp on a hellstead to go wizard hunting straight away, your other option is the scout vampire. The Static line is no longer a viable tactic with them as the troops are simply overpriced
 

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Vampires need to Concentrate on magic prioritizing. Period.

Super-powerful killy vampires such as the Dreadlance lord/Blooddrinker lord need to be mounted and in Bloodknight units. This is the most devestating hammer availiable to you. I personally think the Blooddrinker is far more useful in a Bloodknight unit, as it allows you to focus casting on other units, leaving the Blooddrinker to keep the vampre and knits topped up.
Dreadlance lord works best on a winged knightmare, it's definitely a shock attack weapon, use it in conjunction graveguard to break flanks.

As for what to do about hard melee units (ogres, chaos blaa blaa) then you need to stick with clever casting and flanking.
Manfred has finalyl come to shine here, yes he is expensive, but worth every point in a casters army. Give him additional equipment such as the skull staff (increasing his already amazing magic power) and either the Black perifat or Sceptre de noirot. Manfred nows all the lore of the dead and all the lore of Death, giving you magic power galour. He will be your rock, as he can either blast units to hell OR add some serious numbers to your army. As a level 4 wizard, and with skull staff, he will have a whopping +6 to cast. This allows for a lot of single die castings of invocation.

Use other vampires as marker points up the battle line, usually, this should be casters, but it never hurts to have a fighting vampire.

Varghulfs are and always will be, a gift to you. Points wise, I think the only better monster out there is the hydra. Varghulfs are fast and allow good flank charges.

So, hard melee units, Tarpit with Zombies (as before) but now you need to make sure you have plenty of vampires around to keep the numbers up. Varghulfs and black knights are killer blows in the rear or flank, and worst comes to worst. Blood knights will secure a break.
 
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