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Strigoi Flying Circus

Mutter

Skeleton
Joined
Aug 29, 2007
Messages
60
#1
A few years back I came across the idea of a Flying circus, mainly born out of a discussion with a club mate that to give your big vampire flying is just a really stupid idea. Being a stubborn mule, those discussions usually end with me taking said 'impossible lists' to the next tournament. Happened with an army full of chaos warriors as well ... :lol:

So, the list I took to the tournament was roughly three flying Strigoi, a necro, two block s of skellies, big unit of BK and the usual stuff like ghouls, wolves and bats ...

How did it go? It was my worst tournament placing ever ... :grin: Basically, in the first round I completely walked over a traditional greenskin army, in the second round I massacred (very luckily) a Khemri army, but then it all started to fall apart. A WE army trashed me, mainly because a unit of 7 or 8 archers (the old edition, so only S3 :|) killed my lord when he was out on his own. Well, that was bad luck ...

Next game was against magic heavy greenskins, where, when I came out to play with the vamps, my lord was killed by greenskin magic, and I fell apart. Well, that was bad luck ...
Last in line was a SAD skaven army, where, when my vamps came out to play, got killed by warp lightning and ratlings ... well, that was to be expected.

Anyway, I kinda grudgingly accepted, that my clubmate might be right, and the army IS weak. It kinda steamrollers over anybody without much shooting and/or little shooting or magic, but suffers terribly otherwise.

Fast forward a few years later. The new wood elves are on the scene, and after finding almost no recipe against them with my vampires, I kinda retire them from tournament play. Then, while trying to devise a vampiure list that is actually any good against the tree-huggers, I narrow it down to vamp on big flying nasty, OR the vamp BEING the flying nasty - the Flying Circus I reckon might have a chance against the WE, even if their shooting has gotten more dangerous.
The idea still intrigues me, and I decide to try out some ideas for lists.
Disclaimer: I haven't actually played the list in a tournament yet, and even though I have played against wood eleves, I haven't played against tournament hadrcore players who kick some serious behind with wood elves with this in list - so we're still in Beta, so to speak ... :lol:

Basically, from my experiences last time round I learned a few things:

- While magic is nice, and magic defense is even nicer, I think I really need that fourth vamp. So the list, as it stands, has no necro, three dispel dice and NO scrolls. But together, the vamps accumulate 12 S5 and 5 S6 attacks (re-rollable) in the first round of combat - which is enough to annihilate even harder targets in one round.

- While the skellies were a nice, stable platform from which to launch the vamps, they were too slow. Because a lot of opponents tend to flee when faced with that many angry bat-forms, you want to be reasonably close when you launch, so that a failed charge will still carry you BEHIND enemy line and not copping any counter-charges one-on-one with your vamps. So, the first idea was to use wolves as a carrier, but then it occurred to me, that I might as well use black knights. More reisilient to shooting, just as fast (since bening slowed down by the vamps to 6 ", they also offer a hammer that strikes right AFTER they launch their vamps. So two big blocks of 12 black knights made it into the list.

Now, I'm well aware that fluff-bunnies will cry out in pain when seeing Strigoi and that many wights, but it was either that or bury the idea altogether. Lots of ghouls, for example, would have been fluffy, but very annoying to my opponent.

The rest of the list is two units of fellbats, lots of wolves ( I think four or five units), and then around 4 units of 5 ghouls.
Lots of deployment drops, lots of diverters and screeners, who make sure, that the two hammers can strike with controlled aggression: In the first wave (usually turn 2) the vamps launch from their respective carrier of black knights, smash something in the enemy lines and overrun/pursue.
Since they have 360 degrees LOS, in the third turn it's usually time for BK from the front and the vamps from the back. Turn 4 onwards is mop-up time - if all goes well. If not all goes well - you've usually lost your vampire, and it is also mop-up time, just for your opponent ... :rolleyes:

The list is incredibly fun to play, because it is so mobile, hits like a ton of brick and is SO straightforward. BUT (you knew there was a but, right?) it is not a list for the faint-hearted. Remember those three dispel dice and NO scrolls? You reall need to be able to just take it on the chin, hunt mages and make tough decisions, if you want to come through unscathed with that little defense. There will be games when you'll loose through magic - but not as many as you think. Being so mobile, and being able to kill some mages virtually on sight is very, very powerful, and helps to stem the tide.

You also have to be very good at risk assessment and planning future moves - if make mistakes here, and for example allow an opponnent to attack your vamps after YOU attacked ( because of a bad overrun/pursuit or other move you didn't anticipate), you'll usually loose. Since your vamps are attacked one by one, a successful charge by your opponent will usually mean instant death to one thrall, and an overrun into the second. Once you loose your vamps, it gets very hard to pull off a win.
Make sure that you cover shooting threats well - for example, if playing against WE, and you suspect the Hail of Doom Arrow to be about, you REALLY have to clamp down on that character (usually there is only one suspect who can carry it), because otherwise you're in for a world of pain. The arrow might even be enough to kill your lord, and even if not, it is usually enough to weaken him to be finished off by archers.
Sometimes you will have to dance around a bit like a real pretty to make sure you're not stuck in some uncomfortable places - example: in my latest game with the list, I faced a WE highborn who I knew to have the netlings, in a big unit of wardancers.
I couldn't attack anything with my vamps too close to the WDs, since if they caught me, I'd loose almost all of them very soon. So I attacked the flank instead, let the BKs take the brunt of the WE attack and rolled them up from the flank.
It is difficult to find the right balance between aggressiveness (and those four vamps can destroy many, many units directly) and caution, where it would be better to hang back and wait. But don't wait too long - you've got no shooting, no magic, and no magic defense. You wanna win the game first in the movement phase, and then tighten the noose in the combat phase ... :cool:

Will keep you updated with further progress of my list,

Cheers, Mutter
 

Mutter

Skeleton
Joined
Aug 29, 2007
Messages
60
#2
Mmmh, I just realized that this might have been better in the 'Tactics' section ... don't know, if so, please move it, Mods ...

Cheers, Mutter
 

Master Vampire

Master Necromancer
True Blood
Joined
Jul 12, 2007
Messages
2,342
#3
I certainly look forward with the results. Keep it up.

I really thought that the Strigoi Flying Circus would actually be useful against shooty armies, because of their speed and swiftness. It appears to be effective against infantry armies, then!?
 

Mutter

Skeleton
Joined
Aug 29, 2007
Messages
60
#4
It is hideously effective against infantry simply because the bigger blocks don't have the means to deal with the flying nasties. Since you can basically decide, where and when you annihilate complete blocks, it is very difficult for the opponent to stop that from happening.

Not sure if there is infantry which is elite enough NOT to be destroyed by the vamps - maybe the new HE with their strike first will pose a threat to the smaller thralls. I'll be trying the list next in a campaign game in a siege, I'll let you know how I fared, even if siege games bear little resemblance to normal games.

Cheers, Mutter
 

DarkHand6

Grave Guard
Joined
Aug 12, 2007
Messages
244
#5
sounds a bit like my beast of chaos army. using Khazrak i have about 12 models down at the start of the game. in turn 2 another 83 models appear behind the enemy.
Then as Mutter said, turn 3 - charges from in front and behind. So far its worked very well for me until meeting (yep, you guessed it) WE. The sods can charge backwards! Only I'm allowed to do that!
I agree with Mutter, my army is low on magic defence as well and so normally takes huge amounts of pain in the magic phase (have faced Teclis! Not fun at all) But if i can just weather the casualties for a turn or so the pain can be returned. Tenfold!!! :evil:

Interesting idea Mutter - tell us how it goes some time
 

Danceman

The Devil in Pale Moonlight
True Blood
Joined
Aug 19, 2007
Messages
3,461
#6
If you havent already considered this there is a unit which I love in these kinds of armies. Spirit hosts. They break ranks are quite fast as well due to their ethereal qualities. Furthermore they can act as a screen before you unleash hell. Trying up units(most notebly hard buggers) to leave your vamps room to kill at will.
Usually take 3-4 as then they can take some punishment.

Sounds like you got a good idea already on what you want. Could we see the list too perhaps? :)

Cheers
 

VladtheLad

Grave Guard
Joined
Sep 2, 2007
Messages
206
#7
I have played 2 battles using strigoi circus in the nemesis crown campaign. In both I lost my general but got a solid victory. The first was against woold elves and the other was against brettonia.

The amrylist was sth like this

Strigoi count level2
Fly+ Iron sinews infinited hated or
Fly+ Regeneration

3 Thralls with Fly

10 Black Knights Champ FC Banner of Barrows

10 Black Knights Champ FC War Bannes

(sometimes I use barding some times not)

Black Coach

6 Dire Wolves

25 Zombies (for the vampires to start from)

7 Ghouls

7 Ghouls

4 Fellbats

If I had the models I would add more units of black Knights propably around 5 models each with no barding and I would remove the fell bats and the Coach.

The list actually isn't that strong, the thing is that you are very vulnerable to magic. Plus a VC army usually needs magic to be strong.
 

Mutter

Skeleton
Joined
Aug 29, 2007
Messages
60
#8
danceman said:
Sounds like you got a good idea already on what you want. Could we see the list too perhaps? :)

Cheers
Current set-up would be:

Count, bat form, infinite hatred, iron sinwes
3x thralls, bat form

4x 5 ghouls
3x 5 dire wolves
7 dire wolves, doom wolf

4 fell bats
5 fell bats
2x 12 Black knights, full command, (one with warbanner, the other with banner of the barrows)

Makes it to 1995 points ...

Usually I don't include champs, but in this list they are sometimes needed to save a vamps bacon - remember that all the vamps are unit-killers, so avoid big nasty characters if at all possible.

The wolf unit with 7 and champ is for 'sticking' big flying nasties ... otherwise I just have too few tools to deal with them.

@Vladthelad: You don't need any footsloggers as an aircraft carrier - you can launch the vamps just as easily from both the wolves or the knights ...

Cheers, Mutter
 

Mutter

Skeleton
Joined
Aug 29, 2007
Messages
60
#9
Okay, like I said I played a campaign siege game against DOW last night, and I used the Flying Circus. For assaulting the walls (even by flyers), we use the 6th ed. rules which means attackers only hit on 6 until they win combat.

So, the idea was to attack the walls with the flying troupe, getting 17 re-rollable attacks, and then just climb over with ghouls and zombies.

But since I was facing a level 4 and a level 2 both with Light magic, I got slightly scared (four single vamps being struck bei sunflare, or whatever it's called?). So I attacked a tower where the big mage had joined a cannon, and destroyed him, but not after I failed one look-out sir and lost a thrall, and not after the mage actually killed an injured thrall after I had wiped out the crew.
Later my lord got killed in the final turn when he and his remaining mate didn't manage to kill more than one ogre per turn.
In the end, my army crumbled, and I lost by a couple of hundred points ...

This illustrates two points I made further up:

- Your vampires are beasts - but only when nobody gets to attack back. So beware of getting stuck in combats that look manageable but will get you killed in the end ... repeat after me: YOU ARE NOT INVINCIBLE! :)
- Magic can mean your death. When being faced with possibly disastrous magic (like the aforementioned Light magic), do everything in your power to silence that magic. It might be costly to you, and drastically alter your plans ...

Cheers, Mutter
 

Danceman

The Devil in Pale Moonlight
True Blood
Joined
Aug 19, 2007
Messages
3,461
#10
Never played a Siege game before I cannot comment anything regarding that.

Indeed, there´s nothing invincible about T4 and a 6+ ward. Quite fragile actually flying around.
The last time I ran the circus was quite awhile ago, within a week or two I hope to be able to have a game against WE and HE which should be interesting considering the speed, shooting and/or Magical abilities they possess.
Might also face the greenskins but that is a big maybe.

Till then, long live the flying beasts of strigoi!

Cheers
 

VladtheLad

Grave Guard
Joined
Sep 2, 2007
Messages
206
#11
I know you can put the flying vampires in wolves or knights, I even started a thread in warseer of wether its possible for flying characters in units to use their fly movement when moving with the unit. For example could a flying strigoi move 14 inches with the Black Knights? The truth is though that there isn't any official ruling.

I used the zombies because I wanted to have a big unit with three ranks and because they are better in protecting the vamps from shooting.
 

Master Vampire

Master Necromancer
True Blood
Joined
Jul 12, 2007
Messages
2,342
#12
VladtheLad said:
I know you can put the flying vampires in wolves or knights, I even started a thread in warseer of wether its possible for flying characters in units to use their fly movement when moving with the unit. For example could a flying strigoi move 14 inches with the Black Knights? The truth is though that there isn't any official ruling.

I used the zombies because I wanted to have a big unit with three ranks and because they are better in protecting the vamps from shooting.
Actually, on the old forum it was discussed and we agreed that this is possible.
 

Lord Fear

Master Vampire
True Blood
Joined
Aug 15, 2007
Messages
4,834
#13
Well although I certainly think they can, there's quite a few people who disagree. So since we're the VC players it's really up to us when we use them if we want to fly them around in units :D
 

Mutter

Skeleton
Joined
Aug 29, 2007
Messages
60
#14
As far as I know, it has always been forbissen to mix movement modes within a unit - so put me firmly in the 'tehy don't fly'-camp. But since they move 12 anyway. I don't think it matters much. Just save yourself the hassle arguing with your opponent ... the list can be nasty enough as it is. ;)

Cheers, Mutter
 
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