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Nov 6, 2021

I've recently been invited to participate in a painting challenge where me a few mates build a 1,000 point sixth edition Warhammer army list. I'm considering resurrecting my old von Carstein list, which was always calibrated around a 2,000 point threshold.

Any suggestions for how to play a Vampire Counts list at 1,000 points? I have some ideas and pronounced preferences in terms of units (I'm not keen on Zombies, for instance), but I want to create a fun, balanced list that could have some success on the battlefield.

Help, advice, and suggestions are most appreciated!


Mar 28, 2021
Astonished in Heck
I remember it being somewhat a challenge, as the army building requirements were harsher for the 2 Undead factions than for the others. Requiring Mages to be your General AND support your army, often left little variety, especially at 1000 points where they had to be Heroes. That means a Necromancer or Necrarch Thrall were the only options below 2000 points, and since you can't mix Bloodlines, you can't have a Von Carstein and Necrarch.

I only dinked around army creation lists, and never bought or played them, so I wouldn't be a good source for any significant strategies.

Zombie units were often preferred because they were cheap masses which locked up units while they ground them down, they responded a little bit better to the Invocation of Nehek than the Skeletons did, and could be taken in larger initial numbers.

Skeletons were generally tougher and better equipped, though, coming with a shield and could get light armor, spears, and full command, while the Zombies lacked leaders.

Ghouls were generally less well thought of. They were Tougher, Poisonous, and had better Initiative, but no equipment, only a leader for command, and Skirmishers.

That's all I remember from discussions at the time, and don't remember too much on the Characters, Specials, and Rares.

Though, I don't know if your group is up for it, there are the special lists at the back which allow the Von Carsteins may be allowed to bring in Empire Core units, while being restricted from using a few of the other units allowed to the general Vampire Counts army. Nothing like surprising your foe with them thinking you're the pure melee Vampire army with a couple ranks of Bows or Crossbows.
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Kaptain Von

Vampire Count
True Blood
Feb 26, 2008
United Kingdom
How's the project going? I was on one of my periodic jollies when this was originally posted, but I'm super interested.

At 1000 points you'll probably want two characters: a level 2 Necromancer with the Black Periapt and Ring of the Night (reasonably well protected, and can move some Power Dice around between turns to cast and dispel a bit more efficiently). If you're confident in your ability to keep them alive you could just go for a Power Familiar. My second choice would be a Vampire Thrall of my preferred Bloodline just so I had some kind of Vampire in the army (and if I was playing Necrarchs, this would be the General, and my Necromancer would get that Familiar and go to town).

In my opinion Skeletons are the better core block - you can buy them equipment and a command group and that means you can have a block with a 4+ save and a +5 to combat resolution before any blows are struck in melee. Two units are a good idea; a big fighty one for your Vampire to join and a small bunkery one for your Necromancer to hide in and bulk up with spells, charging in if they need to.

Ghouls are my other Core pick of choice - they're surprisingly hard to kill with shooting (hard to hit because Skirmishers, and they have T4) and their multiple attacks make them pretty good at ripping up flanks or archer lines. They're also the only Vampire Counts unit that can flee when charged, which means you can pull some sacrificial plays, luring enemy units into range of your slow fighting blocks. Two units of five do a lot more work than you'd think.

In Special you'll need some can openers; Black Knights or Grave Guard. Personally I favour the Black Knights; they hit slightly harder on the charge, and they have a better armour save for holding out in prolonged combats. Six with a standard and the War Banner will serve you well. The Spirit Host is one of my very favourite units in any army ever and I almost never leave home without at least one base per 500 points in my army.

Grab yourself some Zombies too. They're not great to start with on the table, but they're the right choice for raising new units during play. You're almost guaranteed a new unit whereas the Skeleton summon can fall short of the minimum number required, and they're cheaper, so you can throw them away and not sacrifice so many Victory Points.

That should be a good start!

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