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How does VC work nowadays? 
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Hi guys!

No one in my gaming circle plays VC, but ive been thinking about making an army "just for fun". I have the book and all, and i got to thinking: how the hell will VC survive in 8th ed?

To me it seemed that the major problems would be that due to the nerf to fear, and the addition of steadfast, you cant really hope to drive your enemy off, and since the normal VC infantry isnt that great at fighting, and the number of attacks overall has increased, the skeleton hordes will crumble in the face of... any non-goblin unit, while costing as much as the more robust dwarfs.

You cant even bog an enemy down with cheap infantry and charge in with direwolves/summoned units on the flank to utterly crush them, because it is not unlikely that the opponent is steadfast, not to mention the possibility that their superior combat skills wins them the combat anyway! :P

As a final blow, you cant cast a billion raising spells with 1 die each, cause if you fail, you cant cast any more spells that turn.


so, are there any experienced VCs out there, or at least some one who is used to play against them? are my fears ungrounded? do VCs simply play slightly different now? or are they "nerfed to oblivion" and not worth trying out before they get a new book?

cheers
/T

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Tue Mar 08, 2011 10:30 am
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As I've understood it from experienced VC players, they're nerfed but still fieldable, and not nearly as bad as say, Brets or Wood Elves. Vamps are still mean as hell, and generally the weakness in core is made up for by taking Ghouls.

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Tue Mar 08, 2011 1:22 pm
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Well, in my gaming group VC were never so popular. It has, probably, something to do with the total impossibility of keeping any single model alive bryond turn 3. It is a distinguishing feature of warhammer, and has been so for a while now. For most armies even the death of the general has little consequence, and, more often than not, investing time and resource in killing him is a waste, one that a wily opponent will make you pay for. The significant exceptions are VCs. All that stands between you and absolute victory is a filmsy, t5 w3 guy, with no particular saves and all, that you can kill in a blink of an eye. I have seen many try to hide their beloved vamps in huge regenerating tarpits units, or simply hide into towers or other buildings. I have seen all kinds of sneaky thing being tried, but ultimately all gave up (a long time before 8th edition came along to make things worse for the poor sods). There are just too many things (combat heroes much better than vamps, spells, warmachines, combat resolution etc etc) that can kill a single model, and having the whole army depend on it is just...not functional. Now this inherent flow just became harder to compensate, as the army will face larger, steadfast units and had its fear weakened. Really, unless you like it from a fluffy perspective there is absolutely no point in going vamps.

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Tue Mar 08, 2011 1:38 pm
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Yeah, I guess you just play them in a completely different way now. More elite units (Grave Guard, Black Knights, Wraiths, Varghulf), and large units of Ghouls to remove Steadfast, Vampires and multiple Wight Lords (these guys are really good in 8th, I think... nasty statline and quite cheap) to add combat capability to the regiments.

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Tue Mar 08, 2011 1:42 pm
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The Devil in Pale Moonlight
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There is no doubt. VC and TK got it rough for a few reasons:
1. Fear is not very useful as they were never the killing kind.
2. Unstable in combination of supporting attacks and horde formations.
3. Random magic for an army who depend on it, more or less.

Most VC players regard their special section to consist of one choice and that choice is Grave Guard. Core is more debatable, some like ghouls for their offencive capabilities and synergy with Lore of Beasts while others like the parry save and access to command of skeletons.

As for rares, you have a few options. Black Coach is pretty powerful but can end up screwing you just as much or more than your opponent. Varghs are more vulnerable but thunderstomp has made them an interesting choice(but that I2 really really does hurt). Wraiths are decent still but GWs hurt then against anything with magic attacks and by hurt them I mean kills them.

Blood Knights are only really worth it if you use a small-ish unit of 5 going up the extreme flanks or if you make Blood Knight deathstar with a lord wielding the blood drinker.

Zombies, wolves, hosts, bats, black knights are terrible choices. You can probably make use of the latter but the reason these mounted wights are hurt so badly is because of the unstable rule. One bad combat and they're likely to go 'poof'.

Right now VC are one of the most predictable armies in the game. 2 blocks of ghouls/skeletons and one or two big units of GG + arbitrary choice of support units. That said this is a decent build but as you have very little options for change your opponents are bound to learn your tricks and tactics before long.

It saddens me to say, as a longtime VC player, but I find the army boring beyond compare these days and I hope we don't have to wait too long for a new one. TK while being in the same boat on the nerfs atleast have some other things in it to keep it interesting... and is getting a new book soon, yay!

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Tue Mar 08, 2011 4:04 pm
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dunno, VC are still pretty mean....

loads of Ethereal, loads of Ghouls with poison attack (yes, they die in drove, but can do quick work of low armor), that damn Vampire you need to cc with otherwise you end up with WS10 ghouls in front of you.... oh and those Grave Guard with Regen (which is alot different now, with the amount of Fire attack there is.


i think the only problem now, is that alot of their unit arent really that usefull anymore.

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Tue Mar 08, 2011 4:14 pm
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Ghouls are a good blank template to receive magic buffs. Good base Toughness, multiple attacks, Poison, are all strong when combined with a cheap Vamp who knows all the spells from Light or Beasts.

Grave Guard are just as lethal as ever; potentially hitting on a 2+ with Strength 6, Magical, Killing Blow weapons is lethal. Regeneration from the Drakenhoff banner is just lethal.

Also, combat lords shouldn't be underestimated. A Vamp Count Lord with the Sword of +3 Attacks, Infinite Hatred, Red Fury, Dread Knight, Potion of Strength and Cadaverous Cuirass is not something you want to mess with.

So overall, VC need to upgrade their playstyle from depending on Fear to actually fighting and winning combats. Ghouls, Grave Guard and Blood Knights are all strong, and they still have amazing magic flexibility and really dangerous combat characters too (A lord who can potentially kill 14 models per combat is a good indicator of that.)

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Tue Mar 08, 2011 5:53 pm
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Tethlis wrote:

Also, combat lords shouldn't be underestimated. A Vamp Count Lord with the Sword of +3 Attacks, Infinite Hatred, Red Fury, Dread Knight, Potion of Strength and Cadaverous Cuirass is not something you want to mess with.



Hi, well i kind of disagree on this one.
Almost all of my WoC and Dwarf builds far outclass anything a vamp player can throw at you (as far as characters are concerned), both in killing power and sheer resistence to damage.
Same can be said of all the killy lizardmen, black orcs, ogres, minotaurs and greater demons.
This is a true handicap, and it needs to be fixed (well, if you wanna keep vamps into play, i myself am not too keen about it).
You could just make the vamp a regular general (id est: someone who does not destroy the army when slain), probably the most sensible choiche, or significantly boost their statline (especially in the right now rather lacking W section). I guess the latter thing would give rise to endless whining from those who love the superiority of their own uber characters (Woc, Ogres, Dwarves, Lizardmen, DoC, Beastmen and high elves...that's a lot of potential whiners). So...i'd choose the first option, if anything to stop the haters dead in their tracks.

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Tue Mar 08, 2011 7:52 pm
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I'm not quite sure where you're coming from here. The proof is right there... It's tough to match that particular Vamp Lord build. Coupled with easy access to unit-buffing Lores and the ability to freely restore wounds, and Vamp Lords can be quite nasty. Plenty of characters can beat a Vamp Lord in terms of resilience, but when it comes to outright killing power, most races can't even compare to the combination of Hatred + Red Fury.

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Tue Mar 08, 2011 11:18 pm
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Also, Lore of Beasts can pull off a pretty nice combo with VC, as they have access to some nifty special rules. You can make an ethereal Fire Dragon, can't you?

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Wed Mar 09, 2011 12:25 am
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EolElfslayer wrote:
Tethlis wrote:

Also, combat lords shouldn't be underestimated. A Vamp Count Lord with the Sword of +3 Attacks, Infinite Hatred, Red Fury, Dread Knight, Potion of Strength and Cadaverous Cuirass is not something you want to mess with.



Hi, well i kind of disagree on this one.
Almost all of my WoC and Dwarf builds far outclass anything a vamp player can throw at you (as far as characters are concerned), both in killing power and sheer resistence to damage.
Same can be said of all the killy lizardmen, black orcs, ogres, minotaurs and greater demons.
This is a true handicap, and it needs to be fixed (well, if you wanna keep vamps into play, i myself am not too keen about it).
You could just make the vamp a regular general (id est: someone who does not destroy the army when slain), probably the most sensible choiche, or significantly boost their statline (especially in the right now rather lacking W section). I guess the latter thing would give rise to endless whining from those who love the superiority of their own uber characters (Woc, Ogres, Dwarves, Lizardmen, DoC, Beastmen and high elves...that's a lot of potential whiners). So...i'd choose the first option, if anything to stop the haters dead in their tracks.


I'm sorry, WHAT?

Have you been on the receiving end of this guy? He can charge a unit of elites by himself and kill it to the man without breaking a sweat.

Survivability - the vampire isn't exactly fragile but sure, there are better for this purpose. He's still unbreakable and can recover wounds, while WoC characters are rather prone to fleeing if they charge off on their own.


Wed Mar 09, 2011 4:54 am
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Masked Jackal wrote:
You can make an ethereal Fire Dragon, can't you?


Yes, yes you can, I had a Lord to do just that in a campaign my friend had.


VC definitely took a hit in 8th and probably won't get a new book till 2012 to make them more competitive. I've always went more magical with my VC lists, but because of the new rules I find myself with terrible magic phases which I count on. Not to long after 8th came out I started making more combat orientated vampires and haven't had much of a problem in duels with other heroes/lords. I've also gone to using Crypt Ghouls more often in my lists where I used to use only skeletons, thinking more offensively with the better stat line and Poi Atks. I don't use Black Knights as much anymore as Unstable makes them go from 10 to 0 very quickly and shooting with magical attacks can take them out first turn. Grave Guard are still my hammer of choice and all my lists have at least one unit of them. Varghulf's are still pretty quality, but really only as a flanker or warmachine hunter, against other monsters its pwnd and now every army has access to at least one flaming banner. Dire Wolves I use to tie up shooting units until the rest of my army can get there, warmachine hunting, charge block, etc., but always expect them to die, they are even more useless than they were before. I don't think anyone actually puts zombies into their lists, you can always raise them when you need them in game.

VC lists are more and more becoming fairly interchangeable with the compositions being very similar if you want to have a competitive one. VC is still very fun for me though as I've never been one to only play to win. The fluff is great, there are plenty of books, very few metal units and best of all the army revolves around vampires, the best of them all!

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Wed Mar 09, 2011 7:30 am
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Burizan wrote:

I'm sorry, WHAT?

Have you been on the receiving end of this guy? He can charge a unit of elites by himself and kill it to the man without breaking a sweat.

Survivability - the vampire isn't exactly fragile but sure, there are better for this purpose. He's still unbreakable and can recover wounds, while WoC characters are rather prone to fleeing if they charge off on their own.


Yesw, and the dude is a goner. Even against my average Slaanesh (but, obviously, Tzeentch marked) 3 plus ward, crimson armoured lord with sword of might he wont last more than 2 turns, and that's if he is very very lucky and regenerates some wounds by magic. You can pull out much motre "cheesy" combos with WoC characters, believe me.
Dont even have me start how a dwarven lord can pull this vamp apart in half a turn. They have good profiles to start with, and a huge armoury of runes that cam make them unkillable AND overkilling at the same time.
The vamp is, perhaps, a decent unit killer, that's probably the best use you can make of the creepy, pale guy.
But if he is your general, by all means, avoid other combat oriented character slayers, or you army is history.
That's my point: vasmps per se are not bad, but the undead rules are really hard on players that need to keep a t5 w3 meat sack alive (ok, "keep alive" might not be the best choiche of words here, we're talking undead after all. Still, i think, you get the idea).
Of course, when you play small games (say below 3k points) vamps regain a bit of their effectiveness, as they have easy access to spellcasters and such, but i guess they absolutely have to remove the army crumbling rule. I find it silly in the first place, but that might just be me: more importantly, if you give vamps just sligthly better than human profiles, you NEED to avoid the whole army getting the shaft when (rather than if) the general bites the dust (pun intended).

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Wed Mar 09, 2011 9:42 am
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Quote:
He's still unbreakable and can recover wounds


He's unstable and needs to be alive in order to heal. Assuming he charged he won't be able to do so for two rounds of CC. It would be complete lunacy to charge in alone. To risk your general like this would only be done by the most insane and desperate of VC players. Charging elite units is pretty much a death sentence for the VC lord.

You never ever charge in alone with VC characters because you won't hit with all attacks nor will you wound with all attacks but you will lose. The VC lord is far too important for the VC army to be used so recklessly.

Quote:
Ghouls are a good blank template to receive magic buffs. Good base Toughness, multiple attacks, Poison, are all strong when combined with a cheap Vamp who knows all the spells from Light or Beasts.

Grave Guard are just as lethal as ever; potentially hitting on a 2+ with Strength 6, Magical, Killing Blow weapons is lethal. Regeneration from the Drakenhoff banner is just lethal.


Ghouls are good when used in conjuction with a 200 point vampire who's fragile and have to tap magic in order to make them effective. Even then you're going to have to cope with massive amounts of ghouls crumbling.

That unit with with BoB and hoff BSB will cost almost 700 points. If I spend 700points on a unit, it better be good.

VC can heal. Again tapping into magic.
VC has access to a lot of lores, yepp, at a very steep cost.

And that is the general problem. Everything is tied back to their character and magic. Too bad magic is random and riskier than before and unstable is more deadly and combat has gotten more brutal. See where I am going with this?

Quote:
Plenty of characters can beat a Vamp Lord in terms of resilience, but when it comes to outright killing power, most races can't even compare to the combination of Hatred + Red Fury.


Agreed but the gap aint that big and very few pay 455points for their lords. Granted it is also a wizard but this is a mixed blessing as it has to support the rest of the army as well as not dying. Stats-wise it looks great, I know, but reality tend to be a real biatch sometimes.

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Wed Mar 09, 2011 1:17 pm
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I must say i like the killing power of that vamp lord. my brother uses a tzeench lord with daemon sword (+d6 A & +d3 S) to hack up units, and the vamp must be even nastier. the defense is nothing compared to our old trusty "immortal dreadlord" to be sure, but it must be satisfying chopping up whole units in a few turns hehe.

i tried making a list of mine own and as expected it ended up being 2 blocks of ghouls, 1 block of GG, the above mentioned combat lord, a vamp bsb (needed a guy with ghoulkin) and a support vamp (forbidden lore, and the helmet) to really buff those ghouls. i also got a warghulf, some small units of wolves and some wraiths to handle enemy archers and such, and finally a small unit of black knights to deliver the combat lord to combat. feels like it could maybe work, but all units and characters do feel awfully expensive.

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Fri Mar 11, 2011 10:50 am
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It doesn’t look to me like Vamp’s have taken that big a hint… In our LGS 2k league we have a vamp counts player who runs, a Ghoul Horde, Skeleton Horde, Lv3 Vamp, thrall with blood drinker sword in Blood knights, and one or two other thralls, magic has changed game to game.

I haven’t gotten to play my first game in the league yet (i play dark elves) so I haven’t played him but so far the Vamp player has totally dominated everyone he has played against except one close game against a WoC player but all his other games have been near massacres. I actually was going to ask for some advice on what would be best to take this list down because its been so dominant.


Fri Mar 11, 2011 3:25 pm
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As with everyone else, but perhaps more so, VC must adjust their strategy and tactics to the new edition. We have a local player who now refuses to play VC because his 7th edition strategy of 15 power dice (or some obnoxious number) throwing single dice at raising dead and dance macabre until he succeeded will no longer work.

Dance macabre would allow him to out-charge almost any other army (including my cavalry army), and with Raise Dead you needed to kill the unit to the man or get stuck in for at least one more round.

Seriously, this was the extent of his strategy. Now that he can't use it and is unwilling to experiment with others, he's decided VC is no longer viable. Not saying he's right or wrong, but, as with anything else, you need to play around with it to see what now works.

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Fri Mar 11, 2011 4:19 pm
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Well, at very very very low point (say 2500 or below) VCs regain some competitivity, but still they are rather sub par compared to most other lists and, most of all, they need their general death/army response rules totally rewritten.

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Fri Mar 11, 2011 6:33 pm
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are 2500 very very very low point? Warhammer as I know it are still mostly played around the 2000 pts mark.

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Fri Mar 11, 2011 7:06 pm
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Dark Reaper wrote:
are 2500 very very very low point? Warhammer as I know it are still mostly played around the 2000 pts mark.


Correct, based on my experiences, as well as everything I've seen heard/discussed/experienced internationally. 2500 seems to be the "average", and point values above and below are often less.

I would think that the disadvantages of VC would be offset more in bigger point games. In a large game, with multiple Lords, it's easier to protect your General and keep him out of harm's way, using other characters to perform more dangerous front-line roles. In smaller games, with only one Lord, you can't always afford to do that.

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Fri Mar 11, 2011 7:36 pm
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Tethlis wrote:

Correct, based on my experiences, as well as everything I've seen heard/discussed/experienced internationally. 2500 seems to be the "average", and point values above and below are often less.

I would think that the disadvantages of VC would be offset more in bigger point games. In a large game, with multiple Lords, it's easier to protect your General and keep him out of harm's way, using other characters to perform more dangerous front-line roles. In smaller games, with only one Lord, you can't always afford to do that.


Hi all.
Well in my group we usually play 4k-5k games, but, as i gather from other sources, the "average" warhammer game should be 2999-3k pts.
True, in larger games you can afford multiple lords, but only one is your general, and he is the one they gonna kill. Also your opponent has much more ways of killing the poor sod (more spells, more artillery, more combat monsters/characters) and, ultimately, the only things the unlucky vamp can count on are his ward saves and armour, full stop. I can imagine vamp lords (oh, ok, lords no longer exist...counts then?), before a battle, trying to decide who's gonna attract all the crap and die by turn 3: the shortest straw gets to lead and be the general, with visible relief from the others.

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Fri Mar 11, 2011 8:27 pm
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