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Just some broad advice please!

Shadespyre

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I'm about to start revamping (!) my old VC army, and I'm funding it by selling off a lot of my naff old rank and file models, and some classic characters.

My new army will be based around the Coven Throne and a bunch of other pretty vampiresses from various manufacturers. However, at the moment my concern is the lower ranks. I'm left with approximately:

Zombies x 80
Ghouls x 25 (the old metal ones, so expensive to expand!)
Dire Wolves x 24

and 60 unmade Mantic Skeletons.

So my first question is: if I want to be able to field armies up to 4000-5000 points (pretty common for my game group) what extra core should I buy? Specifically how many more skeletons?

Thanks for your input....
 

Bounce

Varghulf
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If you want to play 4000 points you may need hundreds more models. :)
For 4000 points you need 1000 points of core. That is around 200 skeletons or 300 zombies.
Each invocation spell you have will raise 8 zombies or 4 skeletons per turn per unit within range.
 

Seneschal

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I would go with ghouls since they are our best core choice and also the most expensive so your points allotment will fill up faster. How do you feel about using alternate models? You could go with plague monks like I have and save a ton of money. They are quite similar to ghouls with two attacks, T4 and an association with poison so it's no real stretch using them instead. They also look the part with their disease ridden features and torn robes.
 

Shadespyre

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Bounce said:
For 4000 points you need 1000 points of core. That is around 200 skeletons or 300 zombies.

Yeah, when you put it like that it's a silly question isn't it?

Let's guestimate:

100 Zombies - 300 points
30 Ghouls - 300 points
80 Skeletons w 2 command groups - 460 points
24 Dire Wolves - 200 points

That's about 1250 points of core already - I've assumed I can expand each troop type with some unit fillers.

So now I just need to provide for Invocations or Raise Dead? I reckon if I could lay in 20 spare of Skellies and Zombies that'd probably cover me. surely I will be taking casualties by the bus load to provide extra models?

Seneschal, I don't mind using alternate models, but I'm already not sure about having nasty smelly ghouls and zombies with my lovely lady vampires, so dirty smelly plague monks are right out - actually, main problem is that I do play against Skaven sometimes, and that might get confusing. I think Heresy ghouls work okay with the old GW ones, so I can probably expand my unit up to a horde without breaking the bank.
 

Seneschal

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In the 6th edition army book, it was stated that The Sisterhood made use of zombies in their armies. You could always just paint your skaven models differently, give them a deathly pallor and vacant eyes and it should do the trick.
 

Shadespyre

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How many GG / BK are enough??

I guess it could work... as it is, I've had a hunt around ebay and the old ghouls can be picked up for maybe £2 each, which isn't cheap but I can probably afford enough to get a horde together if I can stop myself buying cute female vampires... I just blew over half of my budget on character models I probably don't need! :)

I did pick up 20 extra skeletons, so I reckon I've got core pretty much covered up to a 5000 points army, which is enough to let me field a few pretty Vamps.

What about the "Elite" rank and file units?

I've got 30 Grave Guard with HW/Sh and I just picked up about the same again with great weapon. Are 30s about right for GG, or will I end up mixing these to make a 40 all the time?

I've also got 10 Black Knights, and a spare command group to paint up, so I could field 2 units of 6. But in my Empire army I've been tossing around units of 15-20 White Wolves, so do I need more to make BK viable in 8th edition?
 

Seneschal

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10 knights is the sweet spot, you tend to put a few characters with them and they perform quite well at that size.
30 GG is the most popular setup. Units of 40 are taken in bigger games but I have seen them used in 2500 battles.
 

Shadespyre

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Thanks for the comments, it's helping me rough out the project before I start (restart really, though there is going to be a lot of painting!)

What are the popular chaff choices? I've already mentioned wolves, being core. I've got some nicely painted (as far as I remember, anyway!) fell bats and bat swarms tucked away, and I always liked spirit hosts, which I will probably do new models for. Are these units effective in the new army book?

And how do cairn wraith / banshees and hexwraiths fit into the picture? I'm keen to use banshees because they fit the female character theme. And ethereal cavalry sounds like a no-brainer, but how do they atually work in the game?
 

Seneschal

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Units of 2 fell bats are a good choice, as are solo spirit host bases. Although I am a "Bat Swarm Enthusiast," I can't recommend them to someone getting back into the swing of things as they are very much a finesse unit that takes time getting used to.
Banshee heroes are nice but they need to be taken in pairs and the inclusion of AoDM/doom and darkness is highly recommended. Wraith units are still decent although more and more armies are packing magic missles like the ruby ring in order to deal with them. 4-5 cairn wraiths is a solid amount.
Hexwraiths can be hit or miss. Proxy (or buy) one unit and try them out. Make use of their...I forget the name...the rule where they pass through a unit and do armor ignoring hits...yeah, that's the one. A lot of players swear by them but I'd be wary if your area includes daemons, high elves with a lore of light coven, wood elves or anything else that has strong answers to ethereal.
 

Shadespyre

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Thanks again :)

When you say banshees in pairs, do you mean two in the army or two in the same unit. And either way: why, exactly? Just because the howl is unreliable?

I wonder, is it legal to add Banshee Heroes to Crypt Wraith units? Not that I think I'll have many spare Hero points to go around.

I read the rules on Corpse Carts. They seem pretty much a must as they enhance your buffs so much, in fact, I'm wondering if I need to buy and paint a second one for bigger lists. But looking around about I see a lot of lists which don't even have one. I'm not sure what I've missed?
 

Seneschal

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The howl is unreliable, yeah.
I wouldn't add heroes to wraith units, you want the wraiths themselves to be attacking, not the banshees with their single, str 3 swings.
CC's can't march so they tend to lag behind the rest of the army where their buff can't reach the mainline. I personally don't bother with them but I haven't completely written them off.
 

Shadespyre

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Seneschal said:
CC's can't march so they tend to lag behind the rest of the army where their buff can't reach the mainline.

Ah, because they are chariots I suppose. Hadn't thought of that.

I'm quite relieved, as I recall I didn't much enjoy painting the first one...
 
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