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varyn

New death player

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Hey guys

This is my first go at a death list, based on the skeleton horde and malignants box. I'll have 10 hexwraiths/black knights, should I build them all as hexwraiths?

Feedback would be appreciated as I'm not sure which units are weak/strong, I'd like a balanced thematic list for a slow grow AoS league with friends.

 

760 points

Tomb Banshee

Cairn Wraith

3 spirit hosts

3 spirit hosts

10 hexwraiths

 

1000 points

Arkhan the Black

Tomb Banshee

10 skeleton warriors

10 skeleton warriors

3 spirit hosts

3 spirit hosts

 

Thanks for reading, advice would be appreciated!

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Posted (edited)

My advice, as I'm not dead player, its from a economical standpoint:

 

Look for some cheap skeletal horses on ebay and make tose 10 hexwraiths/blackknights 10 hexwraiths AND 10 blackknights :) 

Edited by Galas
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Get more skeletons in a unit of 40 with a wight king they do 4 attacks each and if you build them with spears they should be all be able to attack which makes 160 attacks and a necromancer has a spell which makes them pile in an attack twice in one turn so another 160 attacks.also morghast archai are amazing and if you magnetize the mortarch you can swap between arkhan mannfred and neferata.hope this helped



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Posted (edited)

Your posted lists are alright to start off with and start getting used to your models, but sooner rather than later you're going to be in need of more regular dudes.  20 to 30 more skeletons to make them scary.  if you're playing matched play you'll need additional battleline units on top of that.Death Battleline Options:

Spoiler

 

* Skeleton warriors.  good in big units (30 to 40) with spears, can be ok in small 10 man units with swords to camp objectives or block charge lanes if you need something cheap to fill battle line or formation requirements.

* Crypt Ghouls get a boost for bigger units that make mobs of 20 to 30 good, especially wirh ghoul courtier heroes, but at 2 attacks base they're alright even in minimal squads of 10 if you need something cheapish to fill requirements, but want something thats a bit more threatening than small units of skittles.

* zombies are a special case.  they're wet garbage in small units, and even with their big unit bonuses they aren't as good as big units of skeletons, but they're our cheapest battleline option, and have the unique ability to mob up into bigger squads, so you can take multiple small squads to fill requirements then merge them into one bigger more effective squad during the game.  they get extra boosts from corpse carts, which are a cheap way to boost your casting rolls.

In addition to the standard battleline options, there are also these legacy options from the tomb kings rules, just be aware that models may be tricky to find or convert:

* skeleton warriors, same as regular, but with better shields.  Buy or convert tower shields to use these instead of regular skeletons if you can.

* skeleton horsemen, kinda weak, but they're fast.  sometimes it can be worth having some small, cheap, speedy cav units around to go for objectives, and these will do that while filling battle line requirements

* skeleton chariots are like skeleton horsemen, but trade some of their speed and 40 extra points to be a lot tougher (more wounds, better recursion) and harder hitting on the charge (though after the charge they turn into limp noodles).

 

 

 

given what you already have, I'd pick up 3 more boxes of skeletons to make one threatening spear block, a box or two of zombies to fill remaining battleline requirements with small units that can mob up, one necromancer for their amazing buff spell, and one corpse cart to buff the zombies and necromancer.  That should get you a solid core to build around.  as for the other stuff you have?

 

Spoiler

mortis engine > coven throne.  the throne's kind of limited in what it can do.  the engine isn't amazing at any one thing, but does wnough different things at once to be worth taking, just so long as you aren't taking it against other Death players, it's lousy in the mirror match.

Spoiler

 

hexwraithes > black knights.  it makes me sad to say it, as black knights are possibly my favorite death unit models, but they hit like limp noodles.  its like whoever wrote their rules thought they were skeleton cavalry, when they're supposed to be grave guard cavalry.

They don't even fill battleline requirements (outside of pure deathrattle armies, which don't quite have all the tools they need to be really viable in larger games).  hexwraiths aren't great, but they'e much better, particularly if you have some wizards around to throw mystic shield on them.  their formation from the ghosty box is also a lot better than the black knight formations, though sadly it isnt legal in matched play yet.

 

 

Spoiler

 

spirit hosts are great, especially if you have some relevant buffs for them (mystic shield, vamp's command ability, etc).  even without that stuff they're good, able to put mortal wounds on heavily armored enwmies, and to soak up damage from high rend attacks.  if anything, you should consider grabbing a second box to bulk thwm out to 6.  they're a viable summoning option even in matched play where you have to deal with reserve points, and their formation from the ghosty box is great if it ever gets a points cost to make it legal in matched play.

 

 

 

Spoiler

 

any of the mortarchs are good.  mannfred is strong and versatile, neferatas a bit softer but has an amaxing command ability, arkhan is the weakest and suffers a lot under the reserve point and castibg restrictions of matched play, but is also a hundred points cheaper and his ability to impede enemy spellcasting and reliably cast danse macabre for your necromancer can make him more than worthwhile.  read up on each of them and assemble whichever you personally like best.

if you don't build mannfred, the with a but or re-posing you can convert him to be on foot, and use the rules for 'count mannfred' from the vamp counts compendium, or you can use him as a regular vampire lord.

 

here's a sample 2000 point list based on some of my suggestions.  not the strongest list in the world, but uses all the models you currently have and gives you a variety of units to play around with:

Spoiler

 

Arkhan the Black (general) keep him near other casters to leech their spells and buff casting ranges, avoid commiting to melee until more dangerous enemy threats are locked down.  otherwise keep him as forward as ypu can to shut down enemy spellcasting.

Count Mannfred (on foot, converted from mortarch kit).  keep him in a forward but shielded location where he can pick where to commit to nelee in support of your melee blocks, in range of arkhan and casting buffs.  alternatively, you can replace him with either a regular vampire lord or a wight king with black axe if you prefer.  The wight king or plain vamp lord should be your general with ruler of the night if you take them in place of mannfred, due to having better command abilities and worse casting.

Necromancer with cursed book.  keep him forward where arkhan can use his spell and your units can benefit from the book, using zombies to screen him from combat.  due to rules of 3, he's stuck casting shield or bolt, but thats fine.

40 skeletons, spears & shields, the main hitting block and vanhels target.

4 x 10 zombies, during game they either mob up into a secindary fighting block or spread out onto multiple objectives.

2 x 5 hexwraiths, melee support for fighting blocks, or can hunt light enemy units holding objectives.  can alternatively field as ine unit of ten, try both ways, there are trade offs.

Corpse Cart with balefire, keep in buff range of zombie block and casters.

Mortis Engine, deploy in central position to take advantage of its various effects.

240 reserve points with which to summon six spirit hosts during the match, use them to block charge lanes of dangerous units or to threaten vulnerable backfield enemy units.  always follow up summoning them with mystic shield.

 

 

Edited by Sception

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Thanks a lot for the feedback, some really interesting ideas.

I had my first game at 760 this week and lost 2-1, but it was a very fun close game. I played a tzeench disciples list with:

shaman on disc

caster (shaman?) on foot

10 tzangors

10 tzangors

3 skyfires

 

My list was:

vampire lord (with wings)

cairn wraith

20 skeletons (swords)

5 hexwraiths

3 spirit hosts

3 spirit hosts

 

I found that it really pays to keep heroes near all my units for the 5+ death extra save. None of my units really felt like they had any real threat, in terms of damage output.

- Would my spirit hosts be better in units of 6?

- should I take take another hexwraith unit? if so should I double my unit up to 10, or go with two units of 5?

- Any suggestions for something I can add to give my list more punch? morghast harbingers?

- I will probably push my skeletons up to 30 and possibly add a wight king with black axe

- I've got a mourngul on the way too, but not sure what points level to start adding it in

I'm trying to keep away from the FEC stuff, so I don't want to take zombies, ghouls etc. My army is more themed around spirits, I've started painting my skeletons in a ethereal style (a bit like the undead in Return of the King!)

 

This is my list for 980 

- Archon the Black

- Tomb Banshee

- 20 skeletons

- 6 spirit hosts

- 5 hexwraiths

 

I've put a picture of my vampire lord conversion and the test model for my skeletons, thanks for reading. Looking forward to some more feedback!

IMG-20170402-WA0014.jpeg

IMG-20170410-WA0001.jpeg

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love the vamp conversion.

I definitely prefer 6 spirit hosts to two units of three.  Hexwraiths can go either way on the 1 unit of 10 vs 2 of 5 thing, but you seriously want to get those skeletons up into the 30+ range asap.  You'll also want to hold off on the banshee until you have some other casters to run with arkhan, as he really wants to be able to leech off their spells.  Also you need two battle line units.  You could split the skeletons into 2x10, but that really leaves your force lacking in units with actual punch.  Try instead:

Arkhan
Necromancer (with cursed book)
30 skeletons
10 zombies (compulsory second battleline)
6 spirit hosts

For general, I'd recommend the skeleton champ to bunker ruler of the night as safely as possible, though arkhan or the necromancer could also work.

Misses out on the hexwraiths (hard to fit them AND compulsory battleline AND arkhan AND six spirit hosts in 1000 points), but has three reasonably threatening offensive outlets in the hosts, skeletons (with vanhels) and arkhan (with vahhels), though obviously only two at any given time since you can only cast vanhels once per hero phase.  Remaining casts will go into upkeeping mystic shield on the spirit hosts and throwing out the occasional arcane bolt or curse of years, though the buffs are higher priority.

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Posted (edited)

On 4/14/2017 at 0:39 PM, varyn said:

 

 

I found that it really pays to keep heroes near all my units for the 5+ death extra save. None of my units really felt like they had any real threat, in terms of damage output.

 

Models only get the 5+ extra save if within 10" of the General,not any Hero. This is in the FAQ's. 

Edited by discoking

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thanks for that Discoking, I'll have to rethink my list a bit and consider taking a vampire lord on zombie dragon with red fury :(

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vamp on zombie with red fury is good, i back him up with 2 units of 30 skels with spears. with a necro and wright king, then 2 units of 3 varheists. this works well, i have found in most games. although most of my games are very casual, so no very powerful lists.

Skels with spears are an amazing core unit with necromancers and wrights kings as they are a decent solid line that can output a lot of attacks.

the VOZD, with red fury i send after small units that he can kill quickly or enemy general, the 2 units of varheists kill warmachines and rear units of archers.

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I would certainly try to magnetize the riders on the Dread Abyssal. (the mortarchs).

They vary widely in aesthetic, points cost, design, fluff, purpose. To the point where I think you will be bummed out in the future if you are  committed to only one, when magnetizing their butts to the seat (just pick a seat) is easy and hidden.

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On 4/17/2017 at 0:16 AM, varyn said:

I'll have to rethink my list a bit and consider taking a vampire lord on zombie dragon with red fury :(

Looks tempting, maybe add Tomb Blade to help recover lost wounds faster.

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it seems like one of the vampires from the mortis engine kit, with dark elder scourge wings and legs. the sword, i have no idea where it is from.

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When I was a death player, (Before Stormcast), I would say that Arkhan, is easily the most OVERPOWERED CHARACTER EVER. With the Curse of the years spell, he can kill anyone in a SINGE TURN. Also In my experience 2 units of Hexwraiths is way more effective against units.

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10 hours ago, Celestant651 said:

When I was a death player, (Before Stormcast), I would say that Arkhan, is easily the most OVERPOWERED CHARACTER EVER. With the Curse of the years spell, he can kill anyone in a SINGE TURN. Also In my experience 2 units of Hexwraiths is way more effective against units.

When I use Curse of Years, I usually get about 1-2 damage.

You'd have to get pretty lucky to down a 4+ wound character.

 

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Yeah, curse of years is usually pretty weak.  It has terrifying potential, but rarely deals more damage than a bog standard arcane bolt, and with the matched play rules keeping you from causing wounds on better than a 2+ you never even get to the auto-death threshhold.

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sorry to derail the conversation a bit but on the topic of pretty underperforming spells in-game but sounds ok on paper is the VLoZD signature spell, 'blood boil'. I just gave it a shot out of novelty and got a single mortal wound. 

We really need better spells.  Many are just meh and, in my opinion, don't fit the bill of general necromancy.

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eh.  The necromancer and abysal terror vamp have good spells.  So does the lich priest, at least when combined with a to-hit buff from settra or a tomb king.  arkhan can piggy back on those, as can Nagash who also has terrifying spells of his own, albeit not enough to really make up for his massive points cost, not with the rules of three and summoning restrictions of matched play in place, anyway.  And there's always summoning spells, healing spells, and mystic shield.

We could certainly use a few more and better casting options to choose from, but i don't exactly feel like we're hard up as it is.

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On 4/20/2017 at 8:39 PM, Mohawk_Monkey said:

@varyn I really like your vampire lord, what parts did you use for it? 

Thanks a lot, it was all a happy coincidence! I needed another unit to make up some points and I noticed some vampire bits left over from my mortis engine.

All the bits are as FRoper said, and the sword is also from the dark eldar scourge kit :) 

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I've played a couple of games with my army now and have lost both (vs tzeench disciples), 760 and 980 point games.

My thoughts are that my army lacks any threat and once my heroes were killed, my army folded pretty quick.

 

760 list

vampire lord, wings, chalice

cairn wraith

10 skeletons

10 skeletons

3 spirit hosts

3 spirit hosts 

5 hexwraiths

 

980 list

vampire lord, wings, chalice

tomb banshee

cairn wraith

10 skeletons

10 skeletons

6 spirit hosts

5 blood knights

 

I don't know whether I need to start taking more resilient heroes (I have arkhan and manfred on horse), I also have a mourngul. I'd like to keep to my theme of nighthaunt/soulblight. Having played tzeench twice, I really get the impression that lots of my units were very underwhelming and inferior :(

Is a VLoZD worth a look? or perhaps isabela and vlad?

The blood knights did well against tzangors when they charged, but then got wiped off the table with mortal wound spells and shooting/charging skyfires. The skeletons feel like such a tax, unless I invest in 40 more, but then I've got 480 points tied up in units that I don't really want to take. I have only just started playing death but my friends playing tzeench, khorne/blood bound, sylvaneth all seem to be able to build to whatever particular theme they enjoy and still have better units available which pack a punch.

I'd like to avoid buying dozens more models to make an army which doesn't get stomped on so easily.

 

Any help would be appreciated, I feel very lost with my army

 

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Posted (edited)

1 hour ago, varyn said:

I don't know whether I need to start taking more resilient heroes (I have arkhan and manfred on horse), I also have a mourngul. I'd like to keep to my theme of nighthaunt/soulblight. Having played tzeench twice, I really get the impression that lots of my units were very underwhelming and inferior :(

Is a VLoZD worth a look? or perhaps isabela and vlad?

The blood knights did well against tzangors when they charged, but then got wiped off the table with mortal wound spells and shooting/charging skyfires. The skeletons feel like such a tax, unless I invest in 40 more, but then I've got 480 points tied up in units that I don't really want to take. I have only just started playing death but my friends playing tzeench, khorne/blood bound, sylvaneth all seem to be able to build to whatever particular theme they enjoy and still have better units available which pack a punch.

I'd like to avoid buying dozens more models to make an army which doesn't get stomped on so easily.

 

Any help would be appreciated, I feel very lost with my army

 

Sad to say but if your friends are focussing on the building super optimized lists you might just be outclassed. Goes with the territory of playing non TK death. As with many armies and kind of AoS in general it's very synergy-management heavy. Looking at your 980 list you really only have 1 hero dishing out any kind of buff/de-buff and our generic heroes are pretty squishy so when he goes down it's tough to comeback. 10 man skeleton teams really don't do much on their own, they're not particularly good at holding up units or getting onto objectives quickly. At best they're really just to fulfill a battleline tax and sit on any objectives of opportunity. 

In my experience big skeleton blobs with some (at minimum) support are almost always a solid choice. It also gives shooty armies a nice big target to consider. If you had that plus your knights it would give 2 big threats in a 1k game. Don't forget if you're killing anything with the knights they heal a wound plus getting a model back. The spirit hosts are tempting but unless you can improve the chances of the 6 it's going to be rough goings; good against negating hard-hitters but a waste otherwise. Other than that, they are objective grabbers and there are better for fewer points.  

If you're limiting yourself to soulblight/nighthaunt you might have a tough time unless you go with a mournghul. If I were you I'd go:

vamp - wings, cloak (for getting out of tough spots), RotN (140)

Isabella (cheap dedicated mystic shielder) (80)

40x skels w/ spears (320)

10x skels w/ swords (80)

blood knights (260)

spirit hosts or necro (for dance macabre) or wight king (another 6+ save for your skels) (120)

This is really focussed on getting that huge unit into combat. It's too big to ignore and if they don't, they have 5 knights to deal with. The hosts and other skels are just there to prevent people charging/moving where you don't want them to go. Hope this provides some insight or ideas. 

Edited by kcjling

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Undead infantry really only work well in big blocks (30 is good but 40 is better). If you don't like the shambling horde approach, you could specialise in one of the sub-factions which then gives you extra battle line units.

If you go for Soulblight, you could make an elite-ish Vampire army. A couple of units of Blood Knights led by a Vampire Lord on Zombie Dragon with Red Fury and Tomb Blade will make a dent on most things. Blood Knights are expensive but a lot of players convert (or just repaint) High Elf Dragon princes (now called Dragon Blades) for their Blood Knights. Blood Knights can be quite hard to put down, particularly if you use the Lord's Tomb blade to heal damaged Knights while their Banner resurrects one per turn.

Add some Bats as a skirmish screen and you are good to go.

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keep in mind that tomb king skeleton chariots are also battle line by default, and are one of the fewish tomb king units that are pretty easy to convert a stand in for even if you don't have access to the original models.  Just a couple boxes of skeletons for crew, a couple boxes of black knights for steeds, and whatever chariot chassis you happen to like from other ranges.

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Mourngul is nighthaunt.

Sounds like if your opponents are on Disciples of Tzeentch, then they already have a more powerful army with even stronger synergies if they're mix-maxing to some degree.

Death is a blend of Powerful Behemoths-Battline that's only offensive as Hordes-and regeneration. Somewhere in there is also ethereal-to-ignore-rend, but they generally only hold up enemies for a few turns while putting out little damage.

I would suggest gearing up on more of our strong side-as mentioned above.

Then the rest of the army can fall into place as long as you have a few powerful hart hitters of your own that each have their own resilience (Mourngul heals and ignores rend, VLOZD heals and has 3+ save, 40skeletons/zombies just have 40 health and they regenerate, you already have blood knights which are pretty good, Morghast Archai do high reliable damage.

Just pick a few of our stronger units and the rest will have a place.

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On 4/22/2017 at 0:06 AM, Sception said:

Yeah, curse of years is usually pretty weak.  It has terrifying potential, but rarely deals more damage than a bog standard arcane bolt, and with the matched play rules keeping you from causing wounds on better than a 2+ you never even get to the auto-death threshhold.

I dont think this counts for the 2+ rule. I think that is for hit and wound rolls only. I could be wrong...

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