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1k-1.5k VC Army

Sep 10, 2014
Hello I am brand spanking new to Warhammer, I used to play blood bowl and had a necromancer army so figured I would start with Vampire counts.
So I played my first game ever today, I have a friend who has a dwarf army and an ogre army, I chose to face off with his dwarf army and was unlucky in many aspects but eventually got pretty annihilated. He won't cheese fights especially as I'm new but I have some questions if you guys can help :)
Firstly, he just seemed to chuck runes on a weapon and for a low cost it became magic, what are the rules on what constitutes a magic weapon, I plan to invest in a spirit host next month and want to make sure its not a waste of money.
Secondly how important are BSBs at this level?
The army I had was
1 Master Necromancer Lvl 4
1 Vampire with quickblood and great weapon (does this neutralise the great weapon was another question)
1 Cairn Wraith
19 Grave guards with great weapons
24 skeletons
30 Zombies
10 Ghouls

My ghouls charged 15 Ironbeards and were destroyed, I've learnt that I need more ghouls so this will be in my next purchases unless told otherwise
My master necromancer helped a bit but in all honesty I wonder whether its actually needed to be lvl 4, feel like I should just have a necromancer lvl 2.
My vampire was excellent and took out 2 champions but my grave guards he was in got flanked after my ghouls got demolished so he didn't do enough before dying.
The cairn wraith was pretty useless, I had him in with my unit of skeletons thinking he would be able to help but that didn't work.
My skeletons crumbled after 1 turn to some warriors with great weapons, dunno if I just got unlucky.
My zombies did what they had to do.
He had a Dwarf Brewery right next to him and longbeards so fear just didn't cut it :S

What I plan to buy is about 10 more zombies to be able to expand my unit through IoN and the same with skeletons as I was unable to do either so my first magic phase was basically wasted.
I also want some more ghouls and spirit hosts.
Now, I'm on a budget, will this make a difference against Dwarfs or should I somehow buy those ridiculously expensive Crypt horrors or some black knights instead? My friend is more than happy to use placeholders for some characters/units, so if I need to pretend to have X or Y characters I can do.

Any help will be appreciated :)

My plan for 1.5k was to have a mounted vampire lord, more ghouls, spirit hosts x3 and some black knights maybe 9 to make 10 with VL.