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How to Beat the Big Fellas!

Lord Fear

Master Vampire
True Blood
Joined
Aug 15, 2007
Messages
4,834
#1
Since we're here, how about the first "How to beat" thread :D

So this thread is about the really big guys that can really cause problems to an undead army, since they usually have high toughness and saves, which are very difficult to get though.

First up: the War Altar

There is no army that suffers against the War Altar like the undead. This overgrown chariot comes with an Arch Lector on top, and makes him Unbreakable and has a 4+ save, as well as casting any spell it likes from the dastardly Lore of Light (And in doing so, won't cancel a Prayer cast by the Lector). This means that the chief way that undead break units - auto-breaking due to fear - will not work. Oh and it gets MR2. So how do we beat an Arch Lector on a War Altar?

Well the most obvious way is to take down the War Altar- a single S7 wound, if it gets through the ward save, will instantly destroy the War Altar, and leave the Arch Lector on his own to be run off and killed. But getting an S7 hit from a Vampire Counts army is difficult, the only people who can get that strong are Vampires with Lances or Great Weapons, but if they get into combat with the War Altar, then a challenge will be issued and invariably the Lector will reveal Van Horstman's Speculum, which will switch a whole load of stats and make it impossible to destroy the Altar.

So really, you only have a few choices:
1) Swamp and pray. If you get a large unit of Skeletons and Zombies into its flank, eventually you'll cut through the Arch Lector Ward Save and bring him down, but for every wound you do you'll need to make about 50 attacks. Plus he can heal his wounds. It's not going to work, sadly.
2) Two S7 characters at a time. So maybe a mounted Count and a Thrall, the Count with a lance and the Thrall on foot with a Great Weapon: make sure they're in units, charge 'em in. He'll offer a challenge. The key here is to refuse the challenge! This will actually result in your Count being sent to the back ranks, but your Thrall will still be there, and hopefully he'll be able to wipe out the Altar.
3) Wights! Probably the safest bet, especially if you can get a flank charge. Again, decline any challenge- having 4+ attacks from the unit is far better than 2 from a champion; if you have the Banner of the Barrows you'll hit the Arch Lector on 3+ and killing blow will take him down sooner or later.

Just watch out for the prayer Soulfire and the Flare Light spell which will utterly smash your Wights. But if you need to sacrifice half the unit to take him down, it is definitely worth it.

The key is getting a decent charge on the fella. The best way is with Ghouls. Only a small unit is required. Place them in front of him and if he charges he will either kill them or break them; you might even get lucky and do a wound or two in return with your poison. Alternatively, he might not charge in which case you can charge him, though you may just end up locked in combat for a turn, which isn't so bad as your Wights can manevure themselves to where they need to be. But either way, he's full of hatred so he must over-run: if you can make him do so into a forest or a wall, and certainly into your Wights' charge arc, you'll be laughing.

Any other advice? :)
 
Joined
Aug 15, 2007
Messages
128
#2
Just keep it busy with a unit of zombies. :mrgreen:

Yeah, I know... I must be illuminating this entire thread with my ignorance. So, this war altar, is some kind of chariot?
 

Lord Fear

Master Vampire
True Blood
Joined
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Messages
4,834
#3
Yes it is. It always carries a Lord-level Priest on top, and can't be broken. Swamping it with Zombies is indeed an option, but whether they can hold out is another matter. The War Altar and Arch Lector will be sending two separate attacks doing D6 hits killing Zombies on a 2+ in every magic phase, which you can ignore or try and dispel with 2 dice, which is a bit of a waste really. After the first turn's impact hits the Altar will not do much damage, however if it stays in combat then the enemy will within two turns bring either a cavalry unit or a big infantry unit to free up the War Altar- Zombies will not survive that level of assault, sadly. And you can try and top them up, but do you really want to be burning 6 power dice a turn just on bumping up the tarpit?
 
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Aug 11, 2007
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152
#4
With the new Empire book, the Arch Lector has become the most popular lord choice, and the War Altar is going to be taken almost every time due to its overall cheapness, I wouldn't reccomend sending two vampires after it in a unit, as thats a lot of eggs in one basket, I find that your best bet is either a DoW cannon (works very well against the War Altar in my experiences, or a DoW giant (although not if your opponent has a gunline army, then he's just free VPs...), thankfully, once he's lost his fancy ride, the Arch Lector is not hard to kill off ^^...
 
Joined
Aug 16, 2007
Messages
60
#5
Your suggestions are good sound, solid ones. However, The ONLY suggestion I would make and to me, what is the most viable one, is to go magic heavy, hope he doesn't, and tarpit the ever living **** out of it with Zombies. Lots and LOTS of zombies.

Put simply, the goal here isn't to "Destroy" it. If you concentrate on destroying the War Altar, you lose because you are losing focus on what the main aspect of undead is. Destroying the opposing army with overwhelming numbers and fear.

Wights, nor anything else should be relied upon. Slam it with zombies and slam it with a ton of em. Leave those zombies to rot and shamble and braindead swamp it while the unit goes nowhere. Due to Ranks and everything else, you should continue winning the combat and suffer no wounds from CR unless you suffer from combat itself. You might, but so long as you continue to hold him there for even 2-3 turns, you've won.

The key here is to 'Bind' the war basically, and keep it immobilized and non threatening. If you can continue to swarm it with Zombies, then do so.

Once this is accomplished, the rest of the undead army can waltz freely over the rest of his units, assuming your rolls and tactics are with you.


Barring that, Black Knights on a Flank charge are a good idea. He'll challenge, but that's not the point. Even with a challenge refused, you still have a chance of doing some good damage. The problem is doing ENOUGH damage. This is key, since it has 5 wounds and a 4+ ward. And therein lies the problem with the War altar. You have to destroy it on the charge with Wights basically.

Honestly, swamping it is the best and ONLY tactic, considering we lack truly hard hitting units aside from our vampires in the army. Swamp it, and swamp it HARD.

Swarms will slowly die, Spirit hosts will be slaughtered, and we don't really have anything else that can tackle it. The key to this strategy is to keep your characters FAR FAR AWAY from the thing.


Hope this helps.
 

Lord Fear

Master Vampire
True Blood
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Aug 15, 2007
Messages
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#6
Well ya see I don't just want to survive the War Altar... I want it dead. And there's a way to kill anything and everything in this game. Note that the Black Knights will be directing their attacks at the Arch Lector, not the War Altar when they charge- Killing Blow is fun when it actually works!

Dracomancer said:
With the new Empire book, the Arch Lector has become the most popular lord choice, and the War Altar is going to be taken almost every time due to its overall cheapness, I wouldn't reccomend sending two vampires after it in a unit, as thats a lot of eggs in one basket, I find that your best bet is either a DoW cannon (works very well against the War Altar in my experiences, or a DoW giant (although not if your opponent has a gunline army, then he's just free VPs...), thankfully, once he's lost his fancy ride, the Arch Lector is not hard to kill off ^^...
Good thing I'm not a mod or I'd ban your ass for such a suggestion!!! (Kidding mate) No Soot for the Soot God in my army!
 
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Messages
60
#7
EvC said:
Well ya see I don't just want to survive the War Altar... I want it dead. And there's a way to kill anything and everything in this game. Note that the Black Knights will be directing their attacks at the Arch Lector, not the War Altar when they charge- Killing Blow is fun when it actually works!

Dracomancer said:
With the new Empire book, the Arch Lector has become the most popular lord choice, and the War Altar is going to be taken almost every time due to its overall cheapness, I wouldn't reccomend sending two vampires after it in a unit, as thats a lot of eggs in one basket, I find that your best bet is either a DoW cannon (works very well against the War Altar in my experiences, or a DoW giant (although not if your opponent has a gunline army, then he's just free VPs...), thankfully, once he's lost his fancy ride, the Arch Lector is not hard to kill off ^^...
Good thing I'm not a mod or I'd ban your ass for such a suggestion!!! (Kidding mate) No Soot for the Soot God in my army!


The problem with this is that you are relying on Luck. Armor of Meteoric Iron, Van Horstmanns, and the War altar is nasty.

1+ armor save and 4+ ward. You can bypass the armor with Killing blow, but the big problem is his ward save. He can pass it way too easily. The Chariot also gets the ward as well I believe, making this even more difficult. As a whole, it's a very problematic situation. Honestly, I do think that the Vampire Thrall is a good idea if you can't tarpit it. Use a GW or something with a high strength and just slaughter the chariot out from under him.

Either that, or a frost blade works wonders.
 
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Messages
136
#8
How to beat Altar with Von Carstein

Dire Wolves with Champion + Vampire Thrall with GW on foot, flayed hauberk, charge the Altar in 1 turn.

Challene with Doom Wolf, kill chariot with thrall;)
 
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#9
Or if you want to be sure, 2 units of dire wolves with a champ in each.

REMEMBER to have your thrall in one of the units to avoid crumbling:)
 
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Aug 13, 2007
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76
#10
I agree with Nikolaj, except you have 2 wolf units of 7-10, with 2 wolf form thralls, with great weapons with flayed hauberks (earthbind if you play Army of Sylvania).

The 2 thralls allows you a fail safe in case one dies or has to go to the back of the unit you can still wail away at it.

I dont know how many thralls the usual player takes in 2k (2?) I play aos and i have 2 and a Lord so......

If you dont play aos or Carstein......use killing blow!!! Wights for everyoe else unless you want to risk your tooled up Blood Dragon Lord. I just dont think running zombies into it until the game ends really works.........because they WILL DIE. Eventually your opponent will get a lucky roll and kill them all
 
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Aug 17, 2007
Messages
20
#11
Dracomancer said:
With the new Empire book, the Arch Lector has become the most popular lord choice, and the War Altar is going to be taken almost every time due to its overall cheapness, I wouldn't reccomend sending two vampires after it in a unit, as thats a lot of eggs in one basket, I find that your best bet is either a DoW cannon (works very well against the War Altar in my experiences, or a DoW giant (although not if your opponent has a gunline army, then he's just free VPs...), thankfully, once he's lost his fancy ride, the Arch Lector is not hard to kill off ^^...
Please forgive this silly question, but can we take DOW cannon? If so, which one--Bronzoga's Galloping Gunners or Empire cannon? :redface:
 
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121
#12
you can take a light cannon as a rare choise (DoW) for 85p, or Bronzoga's Galloping Gunners, not the Empire Grate Cannon.

Cheers

Lord Aldrek
 

Master Vampire

Master Necromancer
True Blood
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2,342
#13
If so, which one--Bronzoga's Galloping Gunners or Empire cannon?
I though Bronzino's Galloping Gun was referred to as "Regiments of Reknown", hence it got a name...

Empire Great Cannon would be great, but all we can get is thr Light Cannon, as Lord Aldrek pointed out. Great conversion possibilities!

Nikolaj said:
Dire Wolves with Champion + Vampire Thrall with GW on foot, flayed hauberk, charge the Altar in 1 turn.

Challene with Doom Wolf, kill chariot with thrall;)
Apparantly you can't hit the Chariot while a challenge is going on. It acts as part of the character.
 
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Messages
152
#14
Count Guillaume said:
Empire Great Cannon would be great, but all we can get is thr Light Cannon, as Lord Aldrek pointed out. Great conversion possibilities!
Funny you should say that, browsing Warseer I came across this nifty little conversion: http://warseer.com/forums/m-p-t-general-discussion/67627-empire-undead-cannon-pictures-included.html
(note to self: buy some Jade Green paint...:wink:)
As said before, we only get the light cannon variant, however I still believe it to be a worthwhile addition to the army, I don't take a Black Coach in many battles, so I tend to usually have a spare rare slot, and for only 85 points, its a steal...
 
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Messages
136
#15
Vicente von Carstein said:
I agree with Nikolaj, except you have 2 wolf units of 7-10, with 2 wolf form thralls, with great weapons with flayed hauberks (earthbind if you play Army of Sylvania).

The 2 thralls allows you a fail safe in case one dies or has to go to the back of the unit you can still wail away at it.

I dont know how many thralls the usual player takes in 2k (2?) I play aos and i have 2 and a Lord so......

If you dont play aos or Carstein......use killing blow!!! Wights for everyoe else unless you want to risk your tooled up Blood Dragon Lord. I just dont think running zombies into it until the game ends really works.........because they WILL DIE. Eventually your opponent will get a lucky roll and kill them all
The usual player take something like this:

Lord
Thrall / Wight Lord
Necromancer

Count
Thrall
Wight Lord
Necromancer

Count
Thrall
Necromancer
Necromancer


I can't remember when I saw 2 thralls last, I actually think I have never seen it;)


I believe 6 attakcs should be sufficient to kill the chariot?

hitting on 3+, so 2 out of 3 attacks will hit.
Then 2+ to wound, and ward save.

So 6 attacks should be safe...

Or what about using your black coach? I'll like to see him beating that one in just a few turns if it's within a BSB:D
 

Lord Fear

Master Vampire
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Messages
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#16
Draconis said:
The problem with this is that you are relying on Luck. Armor of Meteoric Iron, Van Horstmanns, and the War altar is nasty.

1+ armor save and 4+ ward. You can bypass the armor with Killing blow, but the big problem is his ward save. He can pass it way too easily. The Chariot also gets the ward as well I believe, making this even more difficult. As a whole, it's a very problematic situation.
Not really relying on luck too much to be honest. It's a safe bet that he'll have AoMI like you say, but with 4 attacks (Even more if you ccan get a flank charge), you have a decent chance of getting a killing blow and the unit should hopefully survive for a fair amount of time increasing the likelihood of success. And if the Knights fail you've always got their horses ;)

Honestly, I do think that the Vampire Thrall is a good idea if you can't tarpit it. Use a GW or something with a high strength and just slaughter the chariot out from under him.
Sadly the Thrall will be challenged and reduced to 2S6 attacks, making him near useless. And unfortunately you can't direct attacks at the War Altar if the Doom Wolf takes up the challenge so you really do need 2S7 characters, and even then it's a risk. But high risk = huge rewards :biggrin:
 
Joined
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Messages
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#17
The big issue that is inherent, is, as you stated, no one else can direct attacks at the war altar since the war altar, horses, and arch lector count as a single model involved in a challenge. Put simply, Multiple Characters in the unit with High STR attacks hopefully above 7 is the best way to take it out.

Charge, Refuse Challenge, Hit with high STR Thrall, hope he fails the ward for the Chariot, and destroy it.

probably the best way. That or the cannon. Mwuahahahahha
 

Lord Fear

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#18
Yes, two S7 characters is the best option- unfortunately if you don't tailor your list then this does not become a viable option.

However, here's a way of combining the ideas of Black Knights are S7 Vampires: a Wight Lord and Vampire whatever (with lance) in a unit of Black Knights with the usual Banner of the Barrows. Charge in and your opponent thinks he's hit the jackpot: two major characters and your best unit out of the game for however long. For this the Wight Lord should have the Gem of Blood and Sword of Kings. He'll offer a challenge; now you can accept with your Wight Lord, in which case you'll switch stats so you now have two attacks still hitting on 3+, killing on 5+; but decline the challenge and your powerful Vampire will probably be sent to the back, giving you 3 attacks as above plus your Black Knights- so you have a good chance of outright killing him. Gem of Blood is there for emergencies and using it to put a wound on a highly armoured model is sweet. However, this is a risky strategy again.
 

logan054

Master Necromancer
True Blood
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Messages
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#19
you know i thought you could still attack chariot of you challenge out the character however i think thats 6th ed rules, i know they used to dismount. Looking at the army book i dont think you have the greatest of options, perhaps raising a unit to redirect its charge s away from you army keeping it out of the game (placing them and a right angle) by doing this every turn until your ready to kill it, this could be used with a wolf form vampire with great weapon to get a rear charge.

anyways im still here as im actually going to start a new army and its a toss up between VC, tomb kings and orcs
 

Skaramak von Carstein

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#20
Count Guillaume said:
Apparantly you can't hit the Chariot while a challenge is going on. It acts as part of the character.
An annoying point that requires the refusal of the challenge noted above to work, and this in itself makes it less likely to work.
 

Skaramak von Carstein

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#21
Vicente von Carstein said:
I agree with Nikolaj, except you have 2 wolf units of 7-10, with 2 wolf form thralls, with great weapons with flayed hauberks (earthbind if you play Army of Sylvania).
You are not allowed 2 flayed hauberks in the army.
 

Lord Fear

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#24
Bear in mind he has magic resistance 2 for Casket of Ages, but if you could get it off it'd be fantastic...
 
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#25
hm. I haven't actually read the new empire rules, but can't you simply charge the altar-thingy with a unit with a S7 vampire AND a champion? the arch lector challenges, the champion accepts (funny if he uses the speculum against a skeleton captain, it's one use only, right?) and while the lector is busy the vampire destroys the altar, and, as you outnumber and the lector's unit is only unbeakable while the altar is intact (or is it?), they will outobreak. If you use a S7 count you should be able to destroy the altar in one turn, 4 attacks hitting on 3s and then a 4+ ward, makes about 75% chance of succes.

//Harak Iman
 
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