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Saturday, 28 April 2012

Getting Ready for Warhammer

Hi all,

Well, I succeeded in part of pledges, and entered my first ever painting competition! I didn't win (I didn't really expect to, and the winner was excellent), but at least it's a start. Anyway, whilst in the store I was invited to a locked-doors Warhammer Fantasy Night. The catch? I need 3000pts of Fantasy ready to go, and to be familiar with it.

Vampires- Look upon them and Despair :(

I've been on a bit of a Vampire Count kick since the book was released, so this game seems to tie in nicely. Even better, it's over a month away, so plenty of time to prepare! The only problem is- I'm not really "au-fait" with 8th ed. In total, I think I've played 3 games of this edition, so as I figured why not throw open the doors to the Internet (dangerous, I know!)

Right now, I'm at the fairly basic list writing stage- for anyone unfamiliar with the basic process I have for writing lists, read this for more info. So step 1- theme. Honestly, all I want is a Vampire Count that I'm comfortable with. My army is largely traditional (Vampires, Skeletons, Knights, Wolves) based on the old Von Carstein Bloodline, when it was important. What I'm going for is a Skeleton Horde of Sylvanian horror!

I know what I'm definitely taking- blocks of Skeleton Infantry with Vampires, lots of Wolves and Black Knights. With 3000 points to play with, that's a lot of Core that I'll be taking anyway, so all is good. To start, I've set my mind on 3 Skeleton Blocks of around 30 models, 3 small Wolf Packs, a decent sized unit of Black Knights (10)..... and Count Mannfredd.

Yes, I know Mannfredd Mann may not be the best choice (He's points heavy, and there are more cost effective Lords) but I really want that extra Magic punch and reliability- with his Loremaster (Vampire and Death, so 14 spells) and his handy Magic Phase re-roll, he's too good for me to pass up. Plus, I love the model :)

With all that in mind, I'm reckoning on playing for magical dominance, with a strong infantry centre and a rapid cavalry flank. So first, I'll Point-up the Compulsories I've already mentioned:

Count Mannfredd, Barded Steed.

30 Skeletons, Full Command

30 Skeletons, Full Command

40 Skeletons, Full Command, Spears

10 Black Knights, Barding, Lance, Full Command

5 Dire Wolves

5 Dire Wolves

5 Dire Wolves

So far, that's 1554 points- all that and still only half way! There is one other compulsory choice I've missed off, and that's Zombies- no matter what, I always have 1 Zombie unit when I'm playing Vampires, otherwise it just doesn't feel like a proper VC army! So 20 Zombies are in, with a Standard, bring the total up to 1619 points.

Now, I'm light on characters so far. Mannfredd is more than enough Lord for 3,000 points, so I'm essentially looking at Heroes. Wight Kings in this book I love, and I think that they will really beef up the combat potential of the Skelly units, so I'll take 1 for each unit, each one with a shield for a bit of added staying power. I also need Magic, and out of the 2 choices (Necromancer or Vampire) for me it's a no-brainer- Vampires every time. At level 2, they are 40 points more expensive, but that buys you an extra Lore, Hunger, a massively improved stat-line and the fact that they don't care if the General dies. So 3 Level 2 Vampires are in as well :)

That splurge of combat-prowess and magical ability is pricey though- the total just shot up to 2306 points with only 6 models added! Time will tell if they are worth it.... Now, though, the real choices come in- what shall I take to benefit the units already in the list? I don't need to take any more Core (775 points in total is just over the minimum!) so I can look at the rest of the list:

Corpse Cart. I only have 1 of these, but Vigour Mortis is potentially awesome. Plus I can push magical dominance with Balefire, and I've always been a fan of Chariots.

Grave Guard. I've got plenty of these, but I've never been a fan of them (due to a sheer lack of success at rolling 6's, I admit). Probably not going in the list.

Crypt Horrors. Well, I don't own any of these, and they just feel wrong without Ghouls.

Fell Bats. I would dearly love to take this unit. They fit perfectly with Von Carstein Vampires. Unfortunately, they just aren't good enough at anything to be worth the investment :( Maybe for theme, depending on points...

Bat Swarms. When these guys didn't crumble, I loved them. Now, there are better choices in an Unbreakable, Crumbly army than an Unbreakable Crumbly swarm Better units like...

Spirit Hosts. Ethereal Bat Swarms! Much more like it! With movement 6, I won't even be losing mobility over the Bats, and they make excellent redirect blockers. More than likely taking a small unit of these.

Hexwraiths. i haven't had the opportunity to use these yet, but they were my first new purchase when the book came out since they are such a great idea for a VC unit, and have a handy set of rules too- I will be taking a unit of these, just because! :)

Vargheists. Another of the new units. They have some great plus points ?(Fly, Vampires so they can march, 4 S5 Attacks) but I just don't know- I have images of ending these guys off on a lone mission and wasting the points in a glorious unsuccessful charge. Possibility though.

Varghulf. I still love this guy! If I can squeeze him in I will.

Blood Knights. I have never used these. Yes I know they are good. Lots of Attacks, Vampires etc. They are also average, hyper-expensive models. I have absolutely no intention of putting these in a Vampire list. Sorry!

Cairn Wraiths. Another "possibly." I never left home without them in 7th, and that's really what's holding me2696 back from just including them- a new edition makes me want to try out new things- like having a strong cavalry wing in a Vamp army :)

Black Coach- well, I looked at my old model, and it's seen better days- I think it is too far battered to be worth repairing. A pity, but there we go- so this is out on the bass of availability!

Terrorgheist. I still don't own one! :( I have plans for a Terrorgheist/ Vargheist list, but I need to buy other things for other armies first, so again out do to a lack of availability.

Mortis Engine. I own one. I want magical dominance. This is another auto include!

So from that list, the only 2 units that I have set aside are the Hexwraiths (5 of them ) and the Mortis Engine (with compulsory Tome) which brings the list up to.... 2696 points. Hmm, not a lot left. The options I'm left with, from the desirable, are:

Corpse Cart, Spirit Hosts, Vargheists, Varghulf, Cairn Wraiths.

Out of those, I know that the Corpse Cart will be worth it, so that's in, with Balefire. I'm hoping that between the Cart and the Mortis Engine, my Infantry will get a much needed boost and my magic will be more effective. Time will tell, of course. I'm discounting the Varghulf and the Cairn Wraiths, on the basis that I used them through all of the last edition and I fancy a change... in the shape of multiple Spirit Hosts!

Yes!! Finally I can take more than 1 of these and not feel the pinch! I love percentage-based restrictions once again! 2 groups of 2 Spirit Hosts to tie up enemy, redirect and generally harass sounds too good to pass up, and feels right with the Mortis Engine and Hexwraiths (lots of Spirits roiling around the battlefield has a weird kind of appeal to it.)

That brings me rather neatly to within striking distance of 3000 points. Lastly, just to round off, I'm going to drop a Skelly from each Sword and Board unit, for which I can afford the Screaming Banner for the large unit of Spears- my only concession to trying to scare my opponents into submission.

That's the list I'll be working with. I have quite a bit to paint, but at least it is all modelled up! Oh, and I found out while writing this that some of the other armies turning up are Empire, Orcs and Goblins and Chaos Dwarves. That's a hell of a mixed bag, and I have no idea what the evil stunties can throw at me, so it will be an interesting nights gaming!

That's all for now- I will be keeping this running up to and including the night,

Comments, as always, are welcome.

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