Monday, February 20, 2012

Back from Homecon II

Over the weekend I took part in a Warhammer Fantasy fun tournament at Pete Dunn's in Wellington. I took the new Vampire Counts along to start learning how they work.

Now I didn't do very well coming in 3rd to last (12 out of 14) but I am starting to see whats good in the list.

First off I think my lord choices were alright, having the Strigoi Ghoul King(the chap pictured above) and a Master Necromancer. The Ghoul King did very well in close combat and the build I used worked well. He was very effective in killing rank and file and immediately pushing combat res in my favour where he was concerned. He did die a few times though, once to a bad combat result and crumbling along with the remnants of his ghoul unit against a massive skaven block, similar thing vs dwarves and after beating the crap out of some skinks 3 kroxigors pounded him on the head and he didnt make a single save - thbaks for that Hagen ;)

The Master Necromancer is a bargain, I gave him a dispel scroll but I'm inclined to give him a save of some sort in the future. Invocation of Nehek from him is fantastic. I had him in a Zombie bunker which grew by 2d6+4 each time it was cast and in a couple games casting it at a higher power for a bigger AoE worked well refilling units. Might try and get Master of the Dead in too so I can make those skeleton units bigger.

Hero wise I thnik the Banshee is situational though good fun and she did a bit of damage though being able to head off solo in some games to harass small units worked well. The Cairn Wraith did sweet F A, I love the model but those points can go elsewhere. The Terror was ok to utilise fear vs fear causing units but that doesnt happen a lot. He would theoretically be good in challenges vs units with no magic but it didn't really come up, may use him more but for 5 more points I could get another Necromancer. The Vampire Hero with fear bomb powers was a bit of a waste. I had him with the Screaming Banner but it would have been better to have Quickblood and kitted for combat as killing rank and file iswhat Vampires are really good at. The Cursed Book is pretty good, all the hexes are useful though mine seemed to gobble up 3 power dice each time I used it, probably will keep using it.

I had a simple mix for core - ghouls, skeletons, zombies and a small dire wolf unit. The ghouls were very good with the Strigoi but I would probably stick him with skeletons next time for the increased unit size and save. Tane suggested Zombies which I will try too as skeletons didnt do a lot but neither will zombies though they are cheaper. Screaming Banner was hit and miss. Dire Wolves are a cheap chaff unit though one wasn't enough.

Special - The Grave guard were awesome when they actually got into combat. My opponents knew what they did so avoided them almost as much as the Ghoul King. I think a Vampire in with them would help a lot as the high initiative attacks would offset the wights ASL with GW and just make the unit even more of a monster. I have the new Wight King model and I think are a bargain for the points so thats one to use too. Fell Bats were a cheap nuisance. The Spirit Hosts were pretty good, people mainly tryed to avoid them so they are a very good unit to protect flanks or annoy flankers and small units.

I only took one rare and that was the Mortis Engine - the biggest fire magnet in my army. In four of the five games it got destroyed in turn 2! Against Joel's High Elves it lasted until turn 4 and the higher strength detonation was certainly felt. In the first 2 games I foolishly had it moving along the battleline with the main force where it got into combat with Neils Bretonnian Knights or Daves Skaven and was beat down through combat results. Learning from this I then put it behind my lines but Tane and his magic artillery had 2 solid rounds of blasting it with flaming shots and down it went. Game 5 against Hagens Lizardmen had the Slaan burn it down with flaming magic missiles. However if you can keep it going it is a good bit of kit for the army. The regeneration aura is damn useful if you can roll 6's and coupled with units with built in regen - ghoul king and crypt horrors for example, it makes them more durable too. The Tome upgrade was great with +2 casting and an extra banshee howl is good for the mix too.

Other rares I plan on trying are the Terrorgheist for sure, Ideally a build with 2 for stereo screaming would be fantastic. Also the Varghulf is good for its points with regen, being able to march under its own power, hatred and thunderstomp - if anyone has one they'd like to part with let me know.

So there is a break down of my army, if any of the more experienced fantasy players out there including those I played against can offer any suggestions please do as I am going to stick with these undead fiends and finally have a fully painted fantasy army at last.


  1. Hi man, I enjoyed our game (and the weekend overall).

    I thought the list was pretty solid and in terms of game play, as you said keeping the Mortis engine back a bit behind your units.

    I thought the Banshee definately did well for the points. Spirit Host & Fell Bats I think you let me distract you with the small unit of gutter runners and that kept them all out of my way while I slowly picked them off as & when I had a chance. Probably would have been better just ignoring them and pushing forward.

    The Ghoul king was a nightmare to fight in close combat but I would be reluctant to put him in a unit thats easy to kill as that means you risk an enemy being able to just ignore him, grind the unit for easy kills and combat res him to dust if they get lucky like I did or can throw a few big (or high attack) units in.

    The Grave Guard were great, I totally failed to handle them and not having played against them before underestimated them badly.

  2. G'day Glen,

    It was good to see you again over the weekend, and thanks for a good game.

    To expand on my comment about the Ghoul King and Zombies, the aim should be to have a unit that provides massive ranks to break opposing Steadfast, while Mr Strigoi racks up 5-9 kills. I'd suggest keeping an ethereal character on hand to step into the unit as well; with the Ghoul King on one corner of a 5 wide unit and the Banshee on the other, attackers will only be able to target the command group zombies in the middle for CR.

    You might find that Skeletons work out better due to better stats/protection, but either way, the aim is to back up Mr Walking Death with lots of ranks for instant auto-breaks, at least against rank and file units. Bloodletters/Chosen/Buffed Black Guard might not be so good..... The theory is nice anyway.