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Making an Army -- What Units Work?

May 7, 2010
So as many of you know I have made three army lists to date and, looking back at them, they all have things I like and things I don't like.

So I wanna take this opportunity to review the units that I am interested in and I would appreciate you guys giving me insight into their tactical value as well as their battlefield roles. The army is very alien to me as I am naturally an Orc player, lol!

To give a brief summary of my armies backstory, they are an empire force that marched to war, leaving their lives behind to repel a chaos incursion to the north over a century ago. The army never reached the actual battle to relieve the current forces and no trace of it was ever found. That is until a spectral army wearing its regimental regalia and banners appeared along the route the army had taken, assaulting any forces since that would move north to repel a chaos threat. The army was composed of knights, state troops, great swords, and a legion of civilians who tend to follow large war hosts to war. Families of soldiers, weapon and armor smiths, hunters, leather workers, priests, etc etc.

Here is a little spoiler that will be in the story, the army was killed in their dreams and their flesh simply sloughed from their bones, leaving nothing but skeletal remains. Naturally there is more to it than that, but that is my reasoning behind an all skeletal wight force.

Ill have little regiments explaining my reasoning and my conversion plans as I go and you guys can tell me what you think I should use, etc etc. Perhaps even rate them with your personal scores, call it 1 - 5 to rate how much you like them in game, concept aside, strictly based on your experiences in using them!

Zombie Horde
These models would represent the people following the legion, the families and workers that weren't so lucky as to die in their sleep but were instead murdered and turned into the shambling dead. I don't intend to have a single zombie wielding a weapon, although I might make the zombie "leader" into a priest of Sigmar conversion

Skeleton Warriors
The state troopers that comprised the bulk of the legions infantry where turned into skeletons. I intend to use the state trooper box and skeleton box to make these guys work. My only issue is the tights because skeletons are skeletal and the tights reveal meat, I could cut the legs off and just use skeletal legs, but that might look strange with the frilly sleeves, thoughts?

Dire Wolves
These represent both the prized hunting dogs that the noble characters found in the legion brought along, but also the pet dogs of the families as well as the mangy mutts that follow armies looking for scraps. They also died unpleasant deaths while the legion slept.

Corpse Cart
I am not sure about how I will make this work, probably design it like an imperial supply wagon and what not because that would be the only way I could justify it!

Grave Guard
These represent the legions Great Sword regiment. They will inevitably be equipped with Great Weapons to represent this, they will also be made using the Great Sword kit with the Skeleton kit.

Black Knights
The Knight regiments that died in their sleep will be Black Knights, not Blood Knights, (see Blood Knights for reasoning). I will be using the Knight models from the empire with very little converting as far as skeletonizing is concerned, as their armor is in good condition and doesn't reveal much. The horses will have more cloth bits for color, I find the empire knights to be a little bland.

Spirit Hosts
These will be representative of either the spirits of the families, trapped not only as soulless shells in the zombies, but also having their spirits bound. Otherwise they will represent a fraction of the dark forces that caused the tragedy in the first place. Time will tell!

Cairn Wraiths
Much like the Spirit Hosts, any Wraiths I have will represent the forces that fell upon the legion while they slept and caused them to become the dark mirror of their former imperial glory!

Blood Knights
These represent not any normal knights or soldiers, but the command structure of the army, they are the captains of the legion that (through means not yet disclosed) have become vampires. This is my way of having more than just 4 heroes in the army and I intend to name each of my Blood Knights and give them each their own story and personality.

That about wraps it up, you will notice that there are units missing, and those are the units that I can't justify in the theme or I just don't want for personal reasons. I usually play at 2250.

Oh and my list will be more combat oriented, due to the fact that it wasn't a highly magical force before its transformation, I can't rightly justify it being a really casty force after the fact.

Thanks for your insight!
-- Ravenfeld


Staff member
True Blood
Nov 26, 2008
Hi there Ravenfeld.

The bricks you've given yourself to build an army out of are good ones, no doubt about it. I'd rate all of your choices highly, especially those Dire Wolves - never underestimate the sheer amount of strategic options they can give you simply by being around.

Skeletons and Grave Guard form a solid center (with a Corpse Cart or two for support), Black and Blood Knights can serve as powerful hammer units while your ethereal units (as well as your Black Knights) are adept at scouring terrain and dislodging enemy scouts and whatnot. I think you'd be fit for writing an army list or two at this point, really~

Oh and for another unit you could include, consider using a Black Coach in the guise of an Imperial War Wagon (back from 5th edition). :)

Make sure to share pictures with us once you get this army underway. :)


Master Necromancer
True Blood
Feb 5, 2009
I was going to suggest using a War Wagon as a Corpse Cart... just toss some bodies in it, call it a day :innocent: Though either, or both, could work.

Overall, seems like an excellent background/theme! :thumbsup:

I agree, an army list or two is in order!
May 7, 2010
I think I am more fond of the War Wagon as a Corpse Cart idea, since the Black Coach doesn't fit at all with my theme really.. I mean I could make it work if push came to shove, but I get enough chariots out of my O&G army and this army has Wraiths and Blood Knights which I find far more appealing and fitting to theme. The only issue is what if I want multiple Corpse Carts, I doubt there is War Wagons aplenty these days! I think I would want to own at least two Corpse Cart units even if I only field one, just in case.

I think I will write the fluff before I make the army lists so everyone can critique it from a theme point as well as a game point of view.

Thanks for the insight so far!

-- Ravenfeld
May 7, 2010
Alright guys, I've started making the story and I would love it if you all gave it a gander and let me know what you think!

Its at https://www.vampirecounts.net/thread-9622.html !

Thank you,