Theming your Vampire Counts Army

February 2, 2012 by crew

I guess first up I should be clear that this isn’t about building the best tournament army list (let’s leave that sort of nonsense to Darrell and his big book of cheese). It’s not about making an army to smash face of all comers from the club/shop.

It’s about deciding on a theme for your Vampire Counts Army, something that you can put on the table and think “this is mine and it’s not like anyone else’s”. I like to kick things off from a number of different angles:

Play Style – Do I want a big block of infantry to gradually wear down my opponent, smaller units of elites and cavalry to make decisive strikes, fast moving missile troops, an artillery battery, a strong magical force or a combination of all of them?

Of course, for Vampire Counts some of those options really aren’t viable. Missile Troops and Artillery being the obvious ones. However, there are other options that do open up and that are pretty cool… like an army of Zombies and Bats… except the Bats are murders of Crows… both normal and giant!

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Models/Look of the Army – While some might call it style over substance, there’s nothing like using the coolest models possible especially those with your best brushwork. Sure, they may not be able to destroy your opponent in a swirl of dice rolls and hastily interpreted rules, but they look good, they make you feel god when their on the table and I know of no opponent that doesn’t appreciate a well painted army.

Just the Backstory – As we all know “fluff-driven” armies are typically the worst performers on the battlefield, but if you like your research, there’s little that’s more rewarding than an accurately depicted army, with a well fleshed out (or is that dead-fleshed-out) history. Also there’s nothing that annoys the “competitive player” more than a army filled with fluffy units, that advance to cries of “Forward Count Manfred… show them they cannot resist your Dark Powers!”

The eye-swivelling despair of your opponent is worth the entrance fee alone!

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So what about this new Army Book then?

The new book has now made some of my favourite old builds for vampire counts, playable, maybe not top tier competitive, but fun to game with… and maybe, even catch some opponents out by not using the same “Net Deck” that everyone knows the counter moves for.

So let me give some examples:

How about an all ghoul army? A huge colony of subhumans that live under a teaming empire city has been attacked by skaven raiders and forced them out onto the streets. Already we can make some decisions about basing – streets and graveyards, lamp posts and barrels, street clutter of a busy city. The leaders – they should be led by a strigoi king, with old empire magic weapons. All the ghouls would have raided the crypts of the rich and famous, so rags would be made of quality and decorative fabrics. The call of help would have gone out and maybe a terrorghiest would join forces, keen to fill its belly on human flesh. The king would call on his fastest and hardest – crypt terrors and vargheists to lead the attack. Whilst waiting for the perfect moment to release to most feral of their kind, vargulfs, to savage the toughest town guard.

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How about Army of the living dead… zombies … Thousands of Them! Lead by necromancer – a Guardian of Morr that was over looked for promotion one time too many… Now he leads 100s of zombies, following his every command, over seeing the massive sea of gore and filth, high from the back of his abyssal terror steed. The army is constantly fed from corpse carts, laden with fresh meat. Packs of dire wolves range ahead of the main forces, taking out enemy scouts and light cavalry units. Then at the core sits a mortis engine made entirely of zombie parts and horse remains, this unholy power fuels and drives the hungry horde onwards…

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Are you planning to build an army of the living dead? What do you plan to include… and are you going for competitive or cool?


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