• Roll-up! Roll-up! Come one and all the fantastic Turning the World to Darkness painting competition. Welcome to any skill level, you can find out more here.
  • It's time once again to ferret out those murderous vampires in a new VAU - Vampires Amongst Us. A cross between Cluedo and a roleplay, sometimes gory and often hilarious! Find out more here.

Buying has never been so difficult


Crypt Horror
Hey all, so firstly let me say that I have no idea if this thread is in the right section, it involves three games (WHFB,AoS and KoW) and is about buying minis.

I have recently been stricken with a GW voucher of £50. Before AoS I'd have been ecstatic, currently I'm still happy with it but a bit less sure of what I want to spend it on. I'd like to boost my VC collection as it's not that huge.

I currently play Kings of War, WHFB and AoS. I like to maximise my miniature money as much as possible, meaning that firstly I would look for something I could use in all three systems and secondly that ideally I'd want to get something effective, maybe not hardcore competitive but something that is not underwhelming. So that's my dilemma. Looking at the VC range on the GW store I'm kind of stumped trying to find something that fits those criteria. It becomes even more difficult given my army theme.

I currently have lots of core (courtesy of Mantic) composed of skellies and ghouls. Specials I have 5 Hexwraiths, 3 Vargheists, 20 GG with GW, a corpse cart, Rare I have a Varghulf and a Terrorgheist. Lords and heroes I have aplenty of everything.

I like to play my VC with a noble Von Carstein kind of feel, very aristocratic vampires, hence why I'm not using much zombies or Crypt Horrors. Alternatively I like a Blood Dragon feel to the army too.

So yeah, that's my problem, can anyone help me spend my money? ;)

Prizes for the person that helps me get the most use of £50-60 on the GW webstore on things that I can
1. Use in WHFB, AoS and KoW
2. Is relatively alright/effective in games, doesn't have to be amazing but can't be dire
3. Fits my army theme

P.S. I'm alright with Vargheists counting as Werewolves and similar


Master Necromancer
I have little to no KoW experience, so these suggestions are coming exclusively from a WHFB (I'm assuming 8e) & AoS perspective. That said, some Von Carstein themed stuff that may or may not work for you:

Any of the Von Carstein special characters (Vlad, Isabella, Mannfred, Konrad). All are quality models, all have solid rules in AoS and can be used as generic vampire heroes & lords in KoW and 8th ed. Yes, they're all in GW resin, but the horror days of finecast are mostly behind us, you can order these with relative confidence, and GW will replace them if there are problems.

Black Coach: not the best model by today's standards, but a classic, and a solid fit for the classic dracula-esque Von Carstein feel. Unfortunately, it's a little lackluster mechanically in 8e and AoS, but not terrible. I have no idea what if anything you'd count it as in KoW.

Creatures of the Night: The Von Carstein's were masters of all of the fell beasts of Sylvania. Dire Wolves, Fell bats, and Bat Swarms are all strong fluffy fits, and all have effective uses in 8e and AoS. Dire Wolves in particular make good chaffy redirectors in 8e, while Bat Swarms are one of the few ways to dampen the effectiveness of enemy ranged units in AoS. Unfortunately, the models aren'tgreat for these, but there are some nicer (if pricier) wolves in the Space Wolves section of the 40k line, and the Giant Bats in the Moria section of the Hobbit line make good bat swarms. Again, I can't really speak for KoW on these.

Wight Kings: I know you're mostly good on heroes, but just to mention, wight kings are very decent heroes in both 8e and AoS, and complement your grave guard well. Though your GW voucher wouldn't work for this, FW makes a wight king BSB which is pre-modeled with the Drakenhoff Banner - Vlad's personal standard.

Drakenhoff Templar: Sylvania had its own knightly order, the Drakenhoff Templar, a deadly elite cavalry of vampyric nobility, so blood knights are a decent option. Of course, they're stupidly expensive, so maybe not. Empire knights are an option to represent them, but those models are ancient and kind of terrible. Honestly, you're better off going with Mantic's relatively recent vampire cavalry models for these, imo, but I figured it was worth mentioning.

Peasantry: If you want to add zombies, you're probably better off with mantic models, but some empire free company and archers could represent some of the soldiers that chose to fight for the Von Carsteins in life rather than be slain and fight for them anyway after death. Unfortunately, this is really only playable for you in AoS, as mixing factions really isn't a thing in 8e and KoW.

Varghulfs: A more recent retconned addition to the Von Carstein fluff, Vargheists are vampyric nobles who displeased their masters by failing to the standards of their nobility. Since they acted like bests, they were made to become beasts, locked away in coffins and drip fed just enough blood to be denied the sleep of torpor, these cursed vampires are driven mad with starvation, their bodies twisted into monstrous parodies of their original forms, and then released on the enemies of the Von Carsteins. They're an effective unit in both 8e and AoS. In KoW they'd probably be werewolves, which as I understand it are a decent unit?

That's it for specifically Von Carstein stuff. There is another thing I'd mention just because it's a good fit for your budget:

Start Collecting! Malignants: a box set with a mortis engine (or coven throne), three spirit hosts, and a box of hexwraiths (or black knights). All are decent units, and the mortis engine could be themed as one of Mannfred's necromantic creations. Spirit hosts are a fantastic unit in both 8e (run them in separate squads of 1 and use them to jam up enemy units that can't handle ethereals) and Age of Sigmar (pack them into single larger units to wall enemies with their incorporeal save - buffed with arcane shield if possible - and bring enemy units down with weight of attacks and mortal wound spikes on 6's to hit). The only issue is the hexwraiths - since you already have some, and they're not exactly the closest fit for the VC theme (fluff-wise, they're more of a Necrarch unit, but again, the presence of Mannfred can account for them). They're not a bad unit, and running a squad of 10, or 2 of 5, won't hurt you. Black Knights are probably a better thematic fit, but black knights really want to be run in squads of 10 or more in 8e, and they're really lackluster in age of sigmar.

But really, the mortis engine and spirit hosts are great, and the box set's bargain makes the extra cav basically free at that point, so you can do whatever you want with them. And the AoS formation is actually pretty quality.
I can empathize. I am also playing AoS and KoW and am having a bit of trouble. The problem is that the large hero minis that I have don't work in KoW because 50x50 is the largest base size and you are only screwing yourself if you get one that's any bigger than that. AoS seems to be all about getting bigger minis too. I thik they are no longer 28mm but at least 30 if not 32mm minis now. Also of course I want to keep everything on squares since it works for both AoS and KoW but now that things are only coming out on rounds that's more difficult.


Crypt Horror
Malisteen - very good rundown! Oppenheimer - Yeah, funny really how little GW had to do to bring Warhammer to its knees.

Really the way I see it and what thematically fits in my army would be:
1. Unit of Blood Knights...because...I hate my wallet (I know, conversions etc but I'm trying to keep a uniform look to my forces and for me Dragon Princes just don't cut it)
2. 2xBlack Knights and 1x skellies (you can never have enough skellies) just that in AoS Black Knights are quite bad. Maybe not useless but bad. In WHFB black knights I remember were only really useful as a bus and buses aren't my thing.
3. Vargheists, skellies and a Von Carstein vamp

That's really it for things that I can recycle to use for all three systems. Blood knights tempt me because Blood Knights however GW made the price just high enough to put me off. As for the other two, I think I prefer the Vargheist option, they're one of my favourite units, they're good in AoS, KoW and they were situationally good in WHFB (glass canons and all that).

Only GW knows how to turn buying things from a pleasure into more of a chore of "What to get to be most price effective" -.-

Oh also Malisteen I am half way through painting a Wight King I had sitting around, he's coming on so well I even surprised myself, I'll post a picture up when I finish!
I second either the Start Collecting set or the Blood Knights. For me a voucher's an ideal opportunity to buy something you'd never pay for normally, so go wild! And those Hexwraiths will either have all the bitz provided in the box to build more Black Knights, or worst ways you can pick the parts up cheap on eBay.


Wight King
I second either the Start Collecting set or the Blood Knights. For me a voucher's an ideal opportunity to buy something you'd never pay for normally, so go wild! And those Hexwraiths will either have all the bitz provided in the box to build more Black Knights, or worst ways you can pick the parts up cheap on eBay.
I can confirm that the start collecting boxes include the extra parts both of hexwraiths and of the engine. Definitely worth it. It also includes a formation with the units listed on the box =]


Crypt Horror
All good suggestions. The reason I won't get the "start collecting" box is that while I like to splash an adherent unit here and there lots of ethereals don't fit my army theme. That and all the models in it are useless for KoW (some people use Hexwraiths for soul readers, the heretics!)
Also the Mortis Engine is meh in AoS.

@Dragonet - don't tempt me you fiend! I have been wanting Blood Knights for a while! :D


Wight King
@Aren also a new start collecting skeleton horde should be up for pre order this week, including 1 mortarch, 5 black knights and 10 skeletons =]


Crypt Horror
@Eyeless - seriously? It will be those nasty round bases but stilll....that's juicy...

Shame mortrarchs have no use in KoW.

So what's better, start collecting mortrarchs or blood knights? o.o
@Aren Yea. Well if the Mortarchs have no use in KoW and you're also aiming for that i think i'll go for blood knights since you already have some of the others. But for an AoS and WHFB bundle its great. As for bases you can easily find replacement for them or put them on trays =]


Master Necromancer
The value of the mortis engine in age of sigmar varries wildly depending on the opposing army. Against low-to-medium bravery units like humans and skaven and the like it's actually really impressive. Against high bravery opponents, not so great, but the combined buff to your wizards, penalty to theirs, and the once per game pulse that heals your stuff and hurts there's still adds up to a reasonably useful piece.

In mirror match games against other undead armies, however, it's laughably terrible, as they're all bravery ten, and it buffs your wizards and theirs equally, and the pulse heals everything on both sides.

If you play mostly against other undead, you're right, skip it. But if you're the main undead player, it's a perfectly usable piece in Age of Sigmar, especially with the formation (you'd be surprised how useful shifting a couple ghost units around like that actually is).



As you say, you can always use more skeletons and black knights. And Arkhan can be built as Mortarch Mannfred instead, a solid piece in both Age of Sigmar and 8th edition, and one more in fitting with your Von Carstein theme.

In 8th edition, you could either run mannfred as his mortarch self, or, if it's a better fit for you thematically, as young man Mannfred the Acolyte riding an Abyssal Terror, which is an option for him. Not the best option, it tends to get him killed, but it does get you a large monster in a hero slot without risking you're general, and that's something that can be worked with.

In Kings of War, you could run it as a zombie dragon or whatever. The standard mortarch base IS larger than any KoW bases, but not by a huge amount like the actual GW zombie dragon.

Only downside is that, as an AoS set, you'd need to buy the square / rectangular bases yourself.
Can't you just assemble the black knights as hex wraiths or the hex wraiths as black knights? They used to be the same sprue. Same as mortis engine can also be coven throne.


Crypt Horror
Yes you can as far as I can tell. Well ok, I have got it down to two options, both of which I find incredibly tempting: Start collecting Arkhans or Blood Knights. Blood Knights marry my army theme perfectly (just the £61 for 5 models has me doubting my sanity) and the "Start collecting your Arkhans" kit is well...amazing money value from GW that I thought I'd never get to witness. Question is, which!?

(And yes I realise I should be grown up enough to judge what to spend my money on...but I doubt anyone would find this an easy clear cut choice)
Blood knight proxy: High Elf Dragon Princes... I only have 1 unit so far and I cannot abide the sheer travesty that are the proper sculpts.. They REALLY missed the boat on that one, when they could've been made in plastic:swear:


Crypt Horror
@Lord Elpus maybe so but I despise using conversions. To me Dragon Princes are always Dragon Princes no matter how you paint them. I am fine with using other manufacturers but to me the original model shows through painfully despite any paintjob, no matter how good, I can't help thinking that the dread cavalry of my undead hordes are actually some elf do-gooders in disguise and that kills all the magic for me. So yeah...I hate proxies, or at least definitely for Blood Knights.
If you've ever read Ravenloft books, there's a vampire Elf, that's how I make my jsutification, My Vamp lord turned some elves to be his ghets. xD But I do know what you mean! though I do also use mantic werewolves in place of vargheists too!


Crypt Horror
If anything I'd use Vargheists to represent werewolves, what's not to like about massive mutated bat vampire things? What is the problem with the Blood Knight kits, just the finecast? As far as I know GW massively improved on their finecast quality. I'd be more concerned if the Blood knight kit didn't actually look as epic in real life as it does in pictures.

As for elves as vampires....sure, I totally accept that as a thing, though don't Blood Knights come from exclusively the Blood Dragon bloodline? The Dragon Princes don't really fit my theme...really the models most suiting my army would be the Mournful Knights however that's not GW.
If you like the Mournful Knights more you should use them; don't compromise for GW, they don't endorse the tournaments anyway and I don't think any organiser would shut the door on a decent converted unit that looks like what it does?

I admit I'm not a lover of the Blood Knight crests, but in my opinion you'll never get better Barded Nightmares; my first body swap was Red Duke torso straight onto a horse, I have Walach and Markus conversions waiting to be commenced and I'm removing the rider's legs from one horse to accommodate a naked vampiress spellcaster; this is the only time I ever wished a metal model was Fine cast!
The skelton Horde is cheaper than the 5 Bloodknights. For me it's an easy picvk what to buy. ;)
For the Bloodknight I can only recommend conversions. I love conversions and I find it more interesting and fun than painting. You might be able to use these 5 Knights in the Horde Box for it, too.


Crypt Horror
Haha, a bit late to the party, I went for blood knights. I will be painting them for a local competition. I completely agree with everyone that they are overpriced and that £61.50 is silly for 5 models, however at the same time £29 for 3 models is also quite silly (Vargheists). Really the less models in the box the less cost effective it is, look at Nagash or the Mortrarchs or the Terrorgheist etc.

I think that we have to remember that we are not actually paying for the plastic that the models are made from. The plastic is cheap, I would be surprised if the resin used to make the Blood Knights cost more than £2. We are paying for the sculpts, QC, QA, the casting uptime etc. So GW prices cannot be balanced around the mass of plastic you get.
I do think it's ridiculous that they base their prices on quite arbitrary in game stats and rules. It's silly. Why should the money I pay be decided by some rules in a game that changes all the time (or is destroyed). That's how GW balances their prices, on the points cost of the models (roughly) so essentially on how many of them they sell.

Now I understand, with the game rules being what they are, Blood Knights cost a lot to make (the sculpt etc) and then the return on them is quite small as few people buy them. That means there is little incentive to make amazing sculpts for points expensive models as you won't sell many anyway. However, that's a fault of the game system I think.

Comparatively skeletons give GW a much higher profit than say Blood Knights. Blood Knights you will usually only ever buy one kit and that's it, you're done, you don't need any more plus with the choices being what they are not that many people would buy them anyway. However skeletons, you will buy at least 4 boxes, usually 6 or 7 even. Plus almost every VC player will buy them. If 1 in 5 VC players buy a box of Blood Knights and 4 in 5 VC players average 6 boxes of skeletons each that comes to £1200 revenue for the blood knights and £7200 revenue for the skeletons per 100 VC players. Now scale that up to account for all the VC players in the world and you get loads of skeleton money and very little blood knight money even with their super high price.

So yeah, I get why the price of blood knights is that high. I just think that a more effective pricing model could have been possible.

Anyway I'm rambling. I got the Blood Knights because they can be used in all three systems. Mortrarchs are useless in KOW. If I make hexwraiths then they are also useless for KoW and if I make Black Knights then they are overall useless for anything because honestly why would you ever run 5 black knights? The skeletons....well they're there, yeah....I guess I could start a new unit with those or something?

So the start collecting arkhan box for me is kind of pointless. It's good value for Ao$, alright value for WHFB and useless value for KoW. Whereas Blood Knights are good across all three systems, being useful in each.
If it were me I would have looked to do what we call a "horse trade" here in the states. Ie trade your voucher to someone for them to use while they traded you items you wanted, or money that could be spent outside of GW.

I have to say I love my Blood Knights more than any other unit outside of heroes. I made 15 of them from a mix of Empire, Chaos and HE Dragon Princes, and some bits from WE. Worked out really well, I get compliments everytime I bring a set of them to a game and for an investment of maybe ~60 USD I have 15 of them.