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Defeating Chaos

Voltaire

Master Necromancer
True Blood
Joined
Aug 15, 2007
Messages
2,763
#1
And now for a comprehensive guide to whats really kicked me up the rear with the Vampire Counts...i.e my experiences of them as a Chaos player.

First and foremost is that Chaos is hard, I'm not talking concrete hard, I'm talking hard like Mr T.

Having access to one of the only infantry units which can house a 2+ armour save in CC may seem like a nightmare but the silver lining to this cloud is that the unit that can take it (Chaos Warriors) are so expensive that if you focus any real effort on them, then you are going to be stealing victory points from right under your opponents nose. The trick I have found for dealing with warriors is that their expense normally means that they are going to of such a unit size that a well placed charge with a unit of zombies then a flank charge with something like Dire Wolves means that in the time it takes the enemy to fight the front of your unit, you'll have simply beaten him by weight of numbers. Sure they can have something between 2 and 4 attacks, but that shouldn't deter you from charging Chaos Warriors in any way.

Marauders on the other hand, are a nuisance for the Vampire Counts. Their higher than normal weapon skill coupled with how cheap they are for a Chaos unit means that in the core of any Chaos army you are going to need a bit more than zombies and flanking Dire Wolves to beat them. In my experience the best thing to use to kill marauders is Banshees or the Black Coach. The lack of armour from a charging coach means that the wounds are going to stack up very quickly in your favour and the enemy is going to be left wondering how it is you outnumber him with something which should only be US5. Failing that the coach's terror causing abilities will make the marauders run with their inferior leadership meaning you can use something like Dire Wolves or Ghouls to keep the sods running.

Marauder Horsemen are simple enough to deal with. Their distance from anything normally means they will not be able to charge due to failed fear tests and they'll be running at the site of a decently sized quick unit such as Fell Bats. Only worry about these if you have a lonely Necromancer behind your lines and them quickly approaching.

Chariots of Chaos are an evil best combatted with a character of some description. The standard Str7 Thrall who moves quickly is more than enough to put heed to any of these units wanting to get in the way of your units of infantry. Failing that combined charges once again work. Use your numbers as best you can!

Chaos Knights do not bear thinking about in any context. A minimum 2+ save, normally 1+ with a predisposition for getting the charge is not something that you are going to want to be on the receiving end of, even swamping these guys is hard as they still get the optimum number of attacks if they were charged. Their high WS and Str5 means that you may as well be sacrificing any unit that you charge in their front.
My advice to you about knights is to try and keep them away from your lines via diversions of go hunting for them with a Banshee. If you cannot kill them then a lucky scream can take them well below their starting strength and make for very nice victory points. A vampire thrall is another good way of dealing with these guys but be careful as if the vampire isn't in a unit it WILL crumble. If he is in a unit then a wily chaos player will aim all his attacks at the unit for maximum effect and mostly likely, maximum crumble.

For fighting daemonic units, the options available to you are very simple - swamp them. The fact you are guarenteed to be stuck in combat with these guys for at least half the game means you can press home your numbers advantage and magical superiority (their characters are REALLY bad in terms of being a points sink and taking multiple hero slots). If you bring your numbers to bear, combat resolution alone will kill the daemons.
The main thing to not attack daemons with is, of course, Etheral units. These units are completely superfluous and best used to do something like attack anything mortal or to block LOS to anything important such as your General. Grave guard and Black Knights are the anti-daemon with their magical attacks and this should not be forgotten at any point!

Bloodletters and Flesh Hounds suffer the same problem - their frenzy means that they are going to be led around the battlefield very easily. Khornes dispelling abilities may hamper your magic phase but if you can get off a spell to land a unit of zombies at such an angle that you put their units out on a limb then you are going to be in control of the enemies movement phase more than he is and against the frenzied lunatics of khorne that is definitely where you want to be. That same idea applies to their marked units.

Plaguebearers are expensive infantry without much going for them and should be treated as such. A unit of zombies or skeletons will keep these guys stuck indefinitely and if you have full command on the unit, the chances are that you will be winning combat and knocking plague bearers out the way VC normally get knocked - combat resolution.
Nurglings on the other hand are a very useful unit for Chaos if put in the right hands. Their monstrous amount of attacks means that they can swamp characters without you even realising it. Keep them at arms length until you can hit them with something that hits hard such as black knights - this unit is very much in the same arena as Spawn for uses.

Daemonettes are brilliant. No, seriously, they're ace, nothing says Chaos like a dancing big breasted creature with claws and the look of a vengeful wife hitting a cheating husband. These units have something going for them over the other daemon infantry - they have a 10" charge range making them more flexible. This with 2 attacks basic means that they are going to mangle anything they hit first, which is normally everything! Their downside though is that they have toughness 3. This means that they are going to be killed as easily as any other infantry. Try showing them the business end of a unit of Grave Guard to ruin their day (and their daemonic save).
Daemonettes also get a faster more deadly flavour in the form of the fast cavalry daemonettes on steeds. This unit is an entirely different ball game to the other daemons period. Fear causing, always strikes first fast cavalry with a 20"charge range is not your friend. Avoid them at all costs or hit them with everything fast you have. You really need to beat these guys into submission in a single turn if possible. Do not let them get behind your lines though, as they WILL cause havoc. A well placed Gaze of Nagash should fix them.

Horrors are not something to be sniffed at when facing a Chaos list. They are one of the few things in the army which can provide a bit of ranged support for the forces of the gods. Keep your spirit hosts and othe ethereal units away from these guys at all costs lest them become even more dead than they already are. Fighting them is simple though, they have the same stats as most undead infantry meaning most undead infantry are going to beat horrors just by virtue of having a command group and better numbers. Flamers are single model units essentially and should be treated as such - magic, Dire Wolves, ghouls and Fell Bats will all kill them in a single turn of combat with much ease.

Now, flyers which cause fear are something of a pain in the bottom as nothing says HAHA in the face of Vampire Counts like being immune to their main advantage. To take out these flying pests, I recommend trying to catch them in a vice with Dire Wolves and Fell Bats and NOT to leave Necromancers in the open - especially when fighting Screamers whose Str3 biting attack will eliminate a Necromancer in no time. Banshees also suffer this problem. The numbers game will catch up with the fliers sooner rather than later.

Warhounds of Chaos serve one purpose normally and that purpose is not necessary against Vampire Counts - shielding units. Their meagre leadership and normally small unit size mean that if you hit them then they will scarper with their tails tucked between their legs. Hit them with something that has any rank bonus and the doggies will run away and not come back.

The rare section of Chaos has a pair of beauties in it; Spawn and the Hellcannon;
The Hellcannon is nothing to fear, simply raise a unit of zombies infront of it and keep doing it to minimise the effects of its firepower. Fleeing when charged is definitely the way to go with this unit. Alternately, you could play a merry chase with it by using a unit of ghouls. This beast is not a beast vs VC. Just don't let it into combat with anything important like Grave Guard - its a sod to beat and has a tendency to be able to eat its weight in miniatures several times over.

The spawn is a different kettle of fish to the hellcannon and it a rarity in that it is a unit which appears to be a tar pit for the undead, one of the few things better than zombies at holding up units. This beast is best defeated by simply outfighting it with something such as grave guard or black knights. A hard hit will be the only hit that matters against this blob of Chaos!

Chaos magic is something of an nuisance as it is so varied, everything from magical missiles to movement spells. This should not dishearten you however, as a lot of the time Chaos magic users are very hard but expensive nuts to crack. They will be played with cautiously because of this and it is not something you should overlook when deciding what you need to hit. The best way of dealing with sorcerors of Chaos is normally a Banshees scream or a character assassination with a unit of ghouls. As far as actual magic goes, try and use the fact you should be magically superior to annihilate any offence your opponent tries to bring against you.

The marks of chaos present a unique challenge for VC players as they essentially help negate the effects of fear in some form or another. whenever possible it is best to aim for unmarked units before turning your attention to those with the Mark. Inversely, if you want to hit the marked units first, make sure you hit them with enough force to break them in a single round of combat. If you get bogged down with a Slaanesh, Khorne or Nurgle army then you are going to lose, it really is that simple. Tzeentch is different in that you will find your DD are not enough for the magic phase and that you are being attacked from many different ways. Tzeentch magic is damaging but not deadly to the Vampire Counts.

As far as bloodlines go, the only thing worth noting is that any blood line can fight toe to toe with Chaos, its just that the usual suspects fight a lot better. My own experience has only ever been fighting the Von Carsteins...

Something which should always be remembered by VC players is that Chaos may fight well but it is a fragile force when not employed properly. If you stop their momentum it is very hard for a Chaos player to get going again. VC stop momentum like nothing else and this is something which you will need to remember as you remove a full unit of zombies after a black knights charge. Eventually the water will hit the wall and it will not be able to break against it, you just need to be able to use the right wall for the right water, figuratively speaking
 
Joined
Aug 25, 2007
Messages
688
#3
Chaos Warriors are a joke.

If you see a chaos player using the Warriors it is either because he is a newbie and thinks "Warriorz R gonna ownorzzz" or he likes the models/fluff, or both.
The only time that they begin to become even somewhat feasible is to either increase their attacks (extra handweapon, khorne, chosen) or to increase their strength (halberd, great weapon). Fortunately, these superfluous upgrades increases the unit's overall cost - making an already small unit smaller.

If you ever see a Warrior unit with just handweapons and shields, you've just earned 200-300 points.

Banshees are excellent against Chaos also.
No body plays with a Chaos Lord these days, and those that do have him Tzeentch marked in order to get access to the staff of change (otherwise known as the 'staff of legal cheating'). That all means that the Chaos army will only have a leadership of 8, max. Even a Tzeentch Lord will zip off on either a Disc or a Dragon, leaving his forces without his guidance. Expensive, high toughness, heavily armoured, average leadership troops are great Banshee targets.
Just be careful to not become too reliant on this tactic - the mark of Slaanesh can severly limit units that you can target.

Excellent review Voltaire; as Skaramak I'll give it a better read later on.
 

Lord Fear

Master Vampire
True Blood
Joined
Aug 15, 2007
Messages
4,834
#4
Yes, pretty good... time to add some counterpoints though!

Voltaire said:
Sure they can have something between 2 and 4 attacks, but that shouldn't deter you from charging Chaos Warriors in any way.
No, sometimes it should. If it's a huge unit and will be able to direct 12 more attacks at your flanking unit, then if you charge in with a rank-busing unit of Wolves or Zombies, you'll be gifting him more copmbat resolution when those extra 3 models slice apart your T3 unarmoured models. Of course that's really just with Chosen Khorne fellas, but if they have 8 or more attacks to the flank then don't risk it.

Marauder Horsemen are simple enough to deal with. Their distance from anything normally means they will not be able to charge due to failed fear tests and they'll be running at the site of a decently sized quick unit such as Fell Bats.
You'd need 11 Fell Bats to make a unit of 5 Marauder Horsemen run- though most will flee voluntarily at such an obvious assault.

Only worry about these if you have a lonely Necromancer behind your lines and them quickly approaching.
The enemy's more likely to take Furies to do this job, but I guess you're talking about mortals only ;)

Chariots of Chaos are an evil best combatted with a character of some description. The standard Str7 Thrall who moves quickly is more than enough to put heed to any of these units wanting to get in the way of your units of infantry. Failing that combined charges once again work. Use your numbers as best you can!
Other great counters are ethereals. The Chariot won't be able to do a single thing to them, if it's a unit of Spirit Hosts the chariot will be auto-broken, if it's a Banshee then make sure there's a BSB nearby and the Chariot will be stuck for the rest of the game... or until you destroy it!

My advice to you about knights is to try and keep them away from your lines via diversions of go hunting for them with a Banshee. If you cannot kill them then a lucky scream can take them well below their starting strength and make for very nice victory points.
Also: Curse of Years, every time.

Warhounds of Chaos serve one purpose normally and that purpose is not necessary against Vampire Counts - shielding units. Their meagre leadership and normally small unit size mean that if you hit them then they will scarper with their tails tucked between their legs. Hit them with something that has any rank bonus and the doggies will run away and not come back.
The hounds are obvious screens, but use them to your advantage: if you can direct the route of their fleeing, then they can hit other, more important units and possibly panic them. Same with Beast Herds... I once managed to panic some Dragon Ogres by making a Beast Herd just in front flee ;)

Whew, long post, but a good un!
 
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