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Fighting with the Blademasters

Master Vampire

Master Necromancer
True Blood
Joined
Jul 12, 2007
Messages
2,342
#1
Greetings,

This topic is dedicated to each and every one of you. I hope this place is going to be a great library of knowledge.

As a community and Blood Dragon players (the legal army list; not back-of-the-book), we can share a number of items for all to read and use:

  • thoughts
  • losses
  • victories
  • ideas
  • tactics
  • unit choosing
  • kitting our characters
  • army set ups

These are all individual points that a new Blood Dragon player is going to discover. But seasoned players can help a little, somewhat like a teacher in the arts of war (don't tell me that isn't your dreamjob :tongue:). A seasoned player is well aware of advantages and disadvantages of playing as a Blood Dragon, and would be more than capable of giving pointers, showing examples of when things would work and when not, etc.

This topic is thus not an usual topic. This topic is not directed to the discussion of using Blood Dragon, but rather directed at summing up players experiences in regards to fighting with the Blood Dragons. So please keep that in mind when you post.

Different people think differently, to say it plainly. This is entirely correct. Hence feel free to ask that person in a PM (or even get a discussion going in a separate topic) to show you how, perhaps even to be more precise (eg, against which army did he use this tactic/idea/set up/etc?).

Having written all that, I took this iniative for you all to add to this library of knowledge, as to it becoming a great beginning place for new Blood Dragon players to find tactics and useful pointers.

Basically, write anything down you can remember fighting with Blood Dragons! Let's get this going. :D
 
Joined
Nov 20, 2007
Messages
194
#2
A few basic tips to fighting with Blood Dragons. I don't fight anymore with a normal Blood Dragon list, but I've tried it all. I've even had a unit of 20 Black Knights led by a Vampire Lord doing Lance Formations as per the optional army lists in the back of the book. And believe me, nothing can withstand a 21 knight Lance Formation of Black Knights. That's 14 lance hits plus the hits of the Lord. I've fought with a strong ghoul attachment, black guards, complete mixes, and of course my infamous Gangrel Army of 1Lord on a Dragon with 70 Dire Wolves and 20 Fell bats. In all my lists, here are the rules I've learned to live by.

No Fear! If Vampire Counts are a character heavy army, than a Blood Dragon army is even more so. If you are not fighting in Close combat with your Vampire Lord in any of your phases, you're doing something wrong. If your General dies, your whole army dies, so I understand the fear of charging into battle head-first, but the Vampire Lord is THE strongest non-named character model in any army at all. The Blood Dragon is even stronger. And a Count ain't that far behind the Lord in power. Don't hesitate and hold back when a charge is available.

I'm the Man! No matter if he's solo, or in a unit, the General of a Blood Dragon Army is the center piece of your entire army. He will be hitting harder, killing more and winning the only battles that matter in the fight. Don't be afraid to treat the rest of your army as fodder. Do whatever it takes to make sure the General or whatever unit he's in, is in control. He charges he never gets charged. He never gets flanked. Doesn't matter what you sacrifice, he's the man, make sure he's always in control.

Lord o' Mighty! Take a Lord if you can. Always. Again, this is a character-strong army, even more so than Tomb Kings. Your Grave Guard and Black Knights may be good hard hitters, and may take out units on their own, but your General is the center piece and his winning is what lets you win. And having a Lord is the most assured way of winning.

Ignore Ranks! Seriously, if you have multiple targets possible, do not waste time with rank-n-file units. They get major CR bonuses. Take out everything else first, even if there's a Mage in that Rank-n-file unit. When you are done with non rank-n-file, you can start from the weakest and work your way up the food chain. This is why it's imperative that your Lord be mobile. He's the No-Fear Man, Lord O' Mighty that needs to be in control to take out the weakest units fast.

Who my friends be! It's tempting to put him in a Grave Guard, but I've never ever seen an army do well with a Blood Dragon General in a Grave Guard unit. Black Knight units, great. Solo, great. And definitely never ever ever put him in a unit of Skeletons or Zombies. They lose your CR for you. Even with +1 for size, +3 for ranks, you'll still lose CR. Your enemy isn't going to hit that big unit with his 5 Knights and especially not with his 5 Wild Rider Fast Cavalary. He's gonna hit it with as much CR as he can because CR is how he beats you. I've seen a hundred times a unit of Zombies or Skeletons lose CR by so much through a single round of combat that the General killed himself in CR. It's not a pretty thing.

Those are the rules I live by whether playing my normal 70-Wolf army or a much more classic combo of Magic and Knights. Whether these rules help you or not may be dependent on how you play of course, but they're Gold for me and my army.
 
Joined
Oct 16, 2007
Messages
876
#3
The strengths are legion, but what about the weaknesses?

When the enemy know I've brought my Blood Dragon box, I often find massive magical defense/attack, to the point that our weakened magic phase can achieve nothing.

Also, the 'must always challenge' rule can be exploited. Sure the challenger dies and is hacked to bloody bits, but only one model is lost. With their sacrifice, other front rank models live to fight. The Speculum becomes automatic and there are other item combinations which are sufficiently defensive that the Vampire will not prevail.

When fighting an enemy unit with multiple characters, your Vampire is chopping his champion to bits, while his characters are slaughtering your r-n-f. You must accept with the Vampire, he can accept with anyone.

I see a surpising number of BD, particularly Thralls, who fail to remember that they must always challenge.
 
Joined
Nov 20, 2007
Messages
194
#4
Most of those comments/quesions are answered with the rule Who my Friends Be!. If you're not in a unit of Black Knights, you're best off solo and don't generally get slaughtered...

The only way I've found to deal with Magic and Speculums hiding in units has been units of Black Knights (zonder General). Mages (and Speculums) tend to stick to rank-n-file units when facing Vampire Lords, thus 2ndary rule to apply is the Ignore Ranks. If someone decides to solo the speculum, few Blood Dragons are without their Killing Blow and 1+ armour save. The speculum is not a huge threat to a Blood Dragon.
 

N.I.B

Master Necromancer
True Blood
Joined
Sep 26, 2007
Messages
2,370
#5
Sphynx said:
Mages (and Speculums) tend to stick to rank-n-file units when facing Vampire Lords. The speculum is not a huge threat to a Blood Dragon.
Hey we have a new Empire book you know. The only place you find a Speculum today is on a Waltar. And it makes a huge difference, of course.
 

Lord Fear

Master Vampire
True Blood
Joined
Aug 15, 2007
Messages
4,834
#6
Yeees, my ally on the weekend took a War Altar without putting the Speculum on the Arch Lector, then charged the S7 enemy Vampire general... I was a bit gobsmacked.
 
Joined
Aug 15, 2007
Messages
770
#7
EvC said:
Yeees, my ally on the weekend took a War Altar without putting the Speculum on the Arch Lector, then charged the S7 enemy Vampire general... I was a bit gobsmacked.
And so was I when I found out that said 'War Altar' was made out of a cereal packet and some undercoat! :mrgreen:
 

logan054

Master Necromancer
True Blood
Joined
Aug 16, 2007
Messages
2,523
#8
EvC said:
Yeees, my ally on the weekend took a War Altar without putting the Speculum on the Arch Lector, then charged the S7 enemy Vampire general... I was a bit gobsmacked.
I was more gobsmacked by the blue peter attempt on the war alter, i was waiting for the cannon made of toilet roll and knights made from match sticks to make appearance...
 
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