• 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.

Fighting with the supreme magic casters

Master Vampire

Master Necromancer
True Blood
Jul 12, 2007

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 Necrarch 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 Necrarch 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 Necrarch, 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 Necrarchs, but rather directed at summing up players experiences in regards to fighting with the Necrarchs. 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 Necrarch players to find tactics and useful pointers.

Basically, write anything down you can remember fighting with Necrarchs! Let's get this going. :D


Aug 20, 2007
RE: Fighting with the surpeme magic casters

First and foremost, Necrarch vampires are vampires. Therefore, any miniature representing a vampire can be used to represent a Necrarch, as long as it's WYSIWYG (be careful with armor and weapons). I personnaly only use Lahmian figurines to represent my Necrarch vampires. But be sure to warn your opponent that the ladies are in fact of the magic-wielding bloodline, it's only fair. It may lead to problems in tournaments though.

Necrarch vampires have the fearsome ability of being formidable spellcasters, even more than elven mages (dark and high alike) and Tzeench sorcerers.
First, they have access to the formidable domain of Necromancy, probably the most powerful of all domains of magic, with its ability to create new units (the default spell) and to move units. Then, they have the profile of a vampire (albeit the WS), which is mighty indeed. They also have +1 to cast (a very dangerous asset, i'll explain below). Finally, they have access to the Necrarch bloodline powers, that are nothing to be ashamed of.

This little +1 to cast is really nothing minor. When you have played dark elves sorceresses like I have, you understand how important it is, and how it can make your magic phase a nightmare to the enemy.
With a spell requiring 7+ to cast and an ordinary spellcaster, you have 58% chance of casting the spell with 2 dice, and 91% with three. You then face a difficult choice : having almost one chance out of two to fail the spell, or use one more die for almost the certainty of casting it, but risking a more likely miscast, and weakening the rest of the magic phase. With a +1 to cast, a 7+ spell is cast with 72% chance of success with 2 dice. There's no choice.
And guess what, IoN is 7+ in one of its variants. And a Necrarch thrall with Noble blood of Nehekhara can cast the spell, and can use 2 dice. No other thrall can help the magic phase to such an extent. For 137 points, you have a character with toughness 5 (and respectable fighting capabilities), Armor save 5+ (with a barded nightmare) capable of summoning 2D6+2 zombies in each magic phase, with 72% of success.

Alternatively, your thralls can carry arcane items and they have access to other bloodline powers (although, in all honesty, the only useful ones to a thrall are the black acolyte and the noble blood). They can't cast spells then, but they can be moderatly tough characters with some unexpected tricks up their sleeves. You want your vampire to be tougher, try the Combat Familiar. You want a more dangerous magic phase ? You have the choice between the Power Familiar and the Dark Acolyte blood power. You want to stay away from necromancers ? Your thralls can carry the Book of Arkhan and the Staff of Damnation, and those o-so-useful dispel scrolls.

But the true power of the Necrarch bloodline lies not in their thralls. The counts and lords are amazingly more powerful than their lesser brethren. With still good fighting capabilities, they pack a lot more punch both in the combat and the magic phase than most characters.
With the unique ability of having a vampire being a level 4 spellcaster, Necrarch vampires are fearsome indeed, and it's only when you gaze upon the blooline powers that you understand the actual extent of their might. +1 to cast any spell, you can create 2D6+2+1D3 zombies right in front of the opponent's warmachines, even though he deployed them behind his lines. And then, with a little luck at spell generation, you may well be able to make those zombies charge the warmachine, putting a definitive end to this threat. And if something goes wrong, for a miserable 20 points, you have a unique protection against a miscast, something not to be discarded lightly.

Now, you're probably thinking they lack the punch of blood dragons. In that you are partially right. Even though a Necrarch vampire can't wear armor or any mundane weapon (except a few barely interesting selection), he is a still a true vampire in his own right. A barded nightmare is an elegant way to field a 5+ armor save, and 4 or 5 attacks of strengh 5 is still on par with quite a few heroes, better than some in fact. And you have a toughness of 5, which not so many heroes and lords do. They certainly cannot stand a challenge against even a blood dragon thrall, but they can bring the punch some of your rank n' file troops often lack, and they are more enough a threat against most enemy infantries.

To sum up, choosing the Necrarch bloodline is not weakening your characters, it's strenghening your magic phase, something that is very important to a Vampire Count army in the first place.
Aug 23, 2007
You're also forgetting that the Necrarch Bloodline makes the Death Lore very viable, with the extra 6'' range you have a 18'' Drain Life which is very deadly, and also 30'' magic missiles (hello ranged shooting)