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I want to play a vampire army but I don’t know how.


Ravinsild
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I want to play a vampire army but I don’t know how. 

I bought the Legions of Nagash book thus far, but I don’t really know how to get started. I don’t know which Start Collecting! Box to get, if any, or which units are best for death, or which Allegiance trait or battalions are good. 

I know I would probably like some Vargheists and one of the Mortrarchs plus some skeletons and some Black Knights come in one of the Start Collecting which seems like a good start... I just don’t know how to configure my army or what leaders are valuable or worth it or which units are the best units. 

I’ve never seen anyone run Death with vampires. Anyone only seems to care about Nagash and/or Arkhan but I would like to run either Flesh 
-Eater Courts with some vampire lords or the Mortrarchs (Manfredd or the lady probably) + skeletons. 

The vampire knights (Blood Knights) seem good but their kit is bad I’ve heard and i wouldn’t know how to convert them. Vargheists seem good and so do Black Knights but I don’t know which leaders to supplement to them. I’ve heard and seen Grave Guard do amazing things. 

I’m just not sure how to put a cohesive vampire themed army together, which battletraits and allegiances are the best to support this idea etc... legion of blood or night or soulblight or just plain death or....!?

Basically I guess I want to min/max but not in the totally optimized “run Nagash noob” way but in the very narrow context of “optimized Vampire army” - but I’m not sure how to accomplish that seeing as how I play Ironjawz and Khorne and I’ve never touched death before.

also I have seen a vampire counts army mentioned or something but they seem discontinyes....? They had a battalion that seems illegal now so I don’t know. 

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- Legion of Blood can be ok, but isn't top tier. 

- Blood knights in Legion of Blood are mediocre. They are horrible outside it. A solid charge can do work, but their variance is high, and lack of summonable really makes them into glass cannons that depend on getting a charge off to be effective.

- Vampire Lord on Zombie dragon is amazing in LoB.

- Black knights are actually good in LoB because it gives you a fast moving unit with -2 bravery aura.

- Nef can be ok, but you need to have other big threats or people will just snipe her away super fast. (it sucks that she is the only LoN Mortarch that doesn't actually benefit from her own legion's allegiance ability as she lacks the "vampire lord" keyword. )

 

That said, my 2¢ is to focus your death army away from the whole "charge at em and tear em to bits" style that a LoB army often leans towards. Mostly because you already have two armies that do that. Thus I'd recommend either a leadership debuff Legion of Blood army. (though bear in mind some armies such as sce are a very tough match) or go with Manfredd and thematically build a more "classic" vampire army where it is just a small number of powerful vampires commanding a vast undead horde that strikes from the shadows. 

PS: Don't go soulblight. I have no idea why it was even printed again in the book. It should have just be rolled into Legion of Blood. It is horrible. 

 

 

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1 hour ago, themortalgod said:

- Legion of Blood can be ok, but isn't top tier. 

- Blood knights in Legion of Blood are mediocre. They are horrible outside it. A solid charge can do work, but their variance is high, and lack of summonable really makes them into glass cannons that depend on getting a charge off to be effective.

- Vampire Lord on Zombie dragon is amazing in LoB.

- Black knights are actually good in LoB because it gives you a fast moving unit with -2 bravery aura.

- Nef can be ok, but you need to have other big threats or people will just snipe her away super fast. (it sucks that she is the only LoN Mortarch that doesn't actually benefit from her own legion's allegiance ability as she lacks the "vampire lord" keyword. )

 

That said, my 2¢ is to focus your death army away from the whole "charge at em and tear em to bits" style that a LoB army often leans towards. Mostly because you already have two armies that do that. Thus I'd recommend either a leadership debuff Legion of Blood army. (though bear in mind some armies such as sce are a very tough match) or go with Manfredd and thematically build a more "classic" vampire army where it is just a small number of powerful vampires commanding a vast undead horde that strikes from the shadows. 

PS: Don't go soulblight. I have no idea why it was even printed again in the book. It should have just be rolled into Legion of Blood. It is horrible. 

 

 

Mannfred and the Legion of Night have caught my eye - especially his Battalion because it used Vargheists which are models I love. 

Also I’ve always wanted to run a bravery bomb list. 2 out of 3 spells are Shyish based which might help out death armies specifically (Gravetide and Purple Sun) + there’s the Ravenous Jaws... then I’ve heard skeletons have a lot of bravery debuffs (grave guard, regular skeletons, Black Knights and the those giant grim reaper morghast guys).... 

So I would totally love to run a bravery bomb list or the classic vampire list! Let me list my favorite models out of all the death Line. I’ll rank from most favorite coolest looking to still awesome but mildly less cool looking but still cool looking. 

1) Neferata then Mannfred 

2) Morghasts 

3) Terrorghiest

4) Zombie Dragon (including riders like Prince Vordhai or a vampire lord or whatever) 

5) Black Knights 

6) Wight King with Black Blade 

 7) Vargheists 

? Crypt Flayers 

9) Vampire Lord on Nightmare Steed 

10) Vampire Lord (First the one with the outstretched hand and cape, then the lady and the rest are a bit meh....) 

Then I like the idea of Blood Knights and I basically love anything Calvary but I don’t love Resin and they’re incredibly expensive points and literal money-wise.... but I love like Chaos Knights, Mighty Skullcrushers, Gore-Gruntas... I want an awesome Calvary unit. I just wish Blood Knights looked cooler and were plastic and you know weren’t 99$.... and apparently aren’t even that good anyway so I mean... 

I do plan on trying to build a Chaos Knights (another of my favorite models... I really like Calvary!) bravery bomb list but if death does it better I may build a different sort of Chaos Knights list. 

Out of all the battle line I like skeletons the most but I also don’t exactly want to buy 300.... I think there are much cooler looking models and I tend to prefer MSU playstyle myself. I’ve also seen Grave Guard absolutely destroy and they look alright. Just kind of cooler Skeletons. I think they’re sort of Death Knight looking which makes them cool. 

I also love the idea of a fear bomb list and if it’s possible to build and have a pretty good army I’m all ears and eyes. 

 So that’s my list of things I think look super cool and wish I had some of... is there a workable army in there somewhere? 

 It pains me to not use Neferata but if she’s just garbage on the table then I’ll still get her for my shelf and maybe sneak her into Games sometimes but she’s something of a gotta have for me same with Megaboss on Maw-Krusha (my #1 favorite model in their entire line out of literally all the models, and #2 being Lord of Khorne on Juggernaut she’s #3 out of the entire range including board games and other mainlines like 40k) The above is true for Mannfred too, I like his look almost as much. He kind of looks like an Idoneth Deepkin to me but his horse is so cool. I would probably put Neferata’s horse blindfold on his though :P I hear he’s a monster in melee which is another box ticking things I love! 

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Kind of a shame they don't sell bretonnian knights anymore. Could use those to make Mousillon/Black Grail themed Blood Knights on the cheap.

But yea until they fix the soulblight/LoB thing (foot blood knights please!), a pure vamp force is a little hard to do. Still, the Vampires on Dragons are great, both generic and the Prince. Vargs from what I can tell are pretty good glass cannons, especially combined with Legions of Night ambush.

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3 hours ago, kenshin620 said:

Kind of a shame they don't sell bretonnian knights anymore. Could use those to make Mousillon/Black Grail themed Blood Knights on the cheap.

But yea until they fix the soulblight/LoB thing (foot blood knights please!), a pure vamp force is a little hard to do. Still, the Vampires on Dragons are great, both generic and the Prince. Vargs from what I can tell are pretty good glass cannons, especially combined with Legions of Night ambush.

Yeah I don’t mind running skeleton units either. It doesn’t have to be 100% completely pure vampires, just have the important ones like vampire lords and stuff you know? The Legion of Night sounds like it’s a Raven Guard strike from the shadows kind of playstyle huh. 

Maybe I’ll give that a go! LoB or LoN look best to me really.... I don’t care for magic much I like to just hit stuff with sticks. 

Ive heard regular basic skeletons can be one of the deadliest units in the game lol. 

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53 minutes ago, Ravinsild said:

Yeah I don’t mind running skeleton units either. It doesn’t have to be 100% completely pure vampires, just have the important ones like vampire lords and stuff you know? The Legion of Night sounds like it’s a Raven Guard strike from the shadows kind of playstyle huh. 

Maybe I’ll give that a go! LoB or LoN look best to me really.... I don’t care for magic much I like to just hit stuff with sticks. 

Ive heard regular basic skeletons can be one of the deadliest units in the game lol. 

Magic is super important for undead regardless of the Legion you go with. Going without it can be VERY costly. For the most part, besides our access to recursion, our units are stat wise very soft. The debuffs we have access to (most notably Overwhelming Dread and Fading Vigor) can significantly reduce the amount of damage out units take in a single turn. The Necromancers Danse Macabre spell literally doubles a units potential damage output (and they are our cheapest Invocation holder, as well as our toughest non-monster character).

Skeletons can be deadly in full 40 man units (can hypothetically put out 482 attacks in a single round). In smaller units, Chainrasps are better for the same points. Dire Wolves are also a fantastic option for battleline, bringing speed and reliability.

Grimghast Reapers are one of our best units period atm, regardless of Legion.

If you go Legion of Night, Terrorghiests and Morghast Harbingers really shine there. The deployment allowance allows you to set up the former in scream range, and 9" charges are fairly easy for a unit that charges 3D6 inches (also our only non-monster unit with rend-2, besides allied Myrmourns).

Edited by AverageBoss
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On 9/4/2018 at 3:39 AM, AverageBoss said:

Magic is super important for undead regardless of the Legion you go with. Going without it can be VERY costly. For the most part, besides our access to recursion, our units are stat wise very soft. The debuffs we have access to (most notably Overwhelming Dread and Fading Vigor) can significantly reduce the amount of damage out units take in a single turn. The Necromancers Danse Macabre spell literally doubles a units potential damage output (and they are our cheapest Invocation holder, as well as our toughest non-monster character).

Skeletons can be deadly in full 40 man units (can hypothetically put out 482 attacks in a single round). In smaller units, Chainrasps are better for the same points. Dire Wolves are also a fantastic option for battleline, bringing speed and reliability.

Grimghast Reapers are one of our best units period atm, regardless of Legion.

If you go Legion of Night, Terrorghiests and Morghast Harbingers really shine there. The deployment allowance allows you to set up the former in scream range, and 9" charges are fairly easy for a unit that charges 3D6 inches (also our only non-monster unit with rend-2, besides allied Myrmourns).

Well I bought the Blood Queen Grand Alliance Death pack and now I have 10 Graveguard, 20 Skeletons, 2 Morghasts, and Neferata. 

I was thinking a Start Collecting! FEC for Vargheists and vampire lord on zombie dragon then another for more Vargheists and a regular terrorghiest by itself and eventually a SC! Deathrattle for more skeletons, Black Knights and Mannfred. 

Then I don’t know what. More skeletons but idk the most efficient way to get them, I would like at least 5 more Black Knights. 

I want some Dire Wolves. Other than that I’m not sure and idk what the best bundles or ways to buy a death army are for efficiency. 

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The honest answer is that the rules don't really support a fluffy-ish themed army if you also want the army to be even semi-good.

Blood Knights suck (no pun intended), the Vampire battalions are  bad. The best you can do is vamp-ish using the good units (Skeletons and VLoZD) which ends up being a relatively cookie cutter army.

The worst thing about the vampire army, multiple blood knight units, VLoZD, etc - is it's really, really boring to play. All it does is charge forward and hope it wins the fight, Meh.

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4 hours ago, ianob said:

The honest answer is that the rules don't really support a fluffy-ish themed army if you also want the army to be even semi-good.

Blood Knights suck (no pun intended), the Vampire battalions are  bad. The best you can do is vamp-ish using the good units (Skeletons and VLoZD) which ends up being a relatively cookie cutter army.

The worst thing about the vampire army, multiple blood knight units, VLoZD, etc - is it's really, really boring to play. All it does is charge forward and hope it wins the fight, Meh.

Well I ended up picking up the battleforice box so now I have Neferata, 2 Morghasts that I built harbinger style, 10 grave guard, a wight king and 20 skeletons. 

I plan on getting more skeletons (like 40 more), some Dire Wolves, Vargheists, a terrorgheist, some vampire lords, a vampire lord on zombie dragon, some Black Knights and Mannfred. 

Are these units good? Would they make a good army? I don’t need every single unit to be a vampire, I just don’t want to run Nagash. Vampire leadership is good enough, I like Skeletons too. Deathrattle + Vampire Overlords seems cool to me, and I also wouldn’t hate FEC. The only style models I’m not thrilled about are zombies and ghosts. 

I was thinking of running giant blob of skeletons and maybe some Dire Wolves or MSU skeletons to finish the Battleline requirements in Legion of Knight and keeping in my territory for the +1 save and shields versus no rend..

then put my Vargheists in reserve and maybe a unit of 10 Black Knights and deep striking them when the enemy moves up to take objectives or where ever needed with the legion of Night Battalion ability. 

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Big block of skellis within cover is just too funny with the bait rule. 2x10 or 5 wolves can secure the flanks and secure objectives.  

As reserves I liked morghast, who are also pretty good at securing objectives or harassing your opponents troops. I had 4 morghast brawl away with a whole nurgle army, after they got killed it was too late to score. wolves could also work pretty good, being cheaper and summonable

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1 hour ago, Honk said:

Big block of skellis within cover is just too funny with the bait rule. 2x10 or 5 wolves can secure the flanks and secure objectives.  

As reserves I liked morghast, who are also pretty good at securing objectives or harassing your opponents troops. I had 4 morghast brawl away with a whole nurgle army, after they got killed it was too late to score. wolves could also work pretty good, being cheaper and summonable

I have some Morghasts and I love their models and the ability to deepstrike and roll 3D6 on the charge plus their weapons profiles makes them seem pretty strong... 

i May get another blood queen army box and build Mannfred this time and 2 more Morghasts and have 4 of them, Mannfred and Neferata, 2 wight Kings, 40 skeletons and 20 graveguard. 

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Are Morghasts good/competitive? I’ve watched some battle reports featuring death (and Nagash) and people kept being like, “well they’re over costed and kind of bad, but they look cool so whatever im bringing them.” 

Also same for Black Knights and Grave Guard....? I’ve seen Guard Grave do massive work and be terrifying but those were AoS 1 Battle reports and nobody ever talks about them... 

Same with Vargheists. I’ve never seen anyone mention them but they look cool. 

Basically I feel like I’m gravitating toward cool/epic LOOKING models but I don’t know if they’re actually worth it. It feels like there’s a lot of other more oridinary models that are the true stars and the big flashy stuff kind of sucks...?

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2 hours ago, Ravinsild said:

people kept being like, “well they’re over costed and kind of bad, 

A tearful „yes“ to that. Bloodknights lost their regain a model while still at 240 points... 40 points more gives you 40 skellis with 160 attacks and summonable...

same goes for morghast and if you really need high rend... spirit hosts are also way better.

same with blackknights vs wolves, puppies are way cheaper and can endure through mass alone...

always the same, for almost any army... high competitive reduces your list to a 4-5 unit combination which might perform but looks stupid

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To give you an idea of how overcosted they are, Blood Knights would be good, not broken, at 160 points. They'd be usable at 180. They're literally overcosted by 30%+.

Or they could make them summonable and let them interact with our armies rules properly and make them 180-200. That'd be cool. But rules changes never happen, only points changes :(

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I think people are overdoing Blood Knights suck.

Might not be the thing to go for if you want to play top tables at turnaments, but thats not all there is. Guy I play local does Legion of Blood with Blood Knights and I become kinda scared of them. Last game 1 unit Bloodknights deleted 10 Bloodwarrriors on charge, then got killed by my Bloodthirster and a second unit of Bloodknights deleted  him on charge. Need to get charge of with them, but then they are able to kill their own worth in points in 1 turn. Just having 1 unit behind screens should make your opponent think.

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11 minutes ago, Silchas_Ruin said:

I think people are overdoing Blood Knights suck.

Might not be the thing to go for if you want to play top tables at turnaments, but thats not all there is. Guy I play local does Legion of Blood with Blood Knights and I become kinda scared of them. Last game 1 unit Bloodknights deleted 10 Bloodwarrriors on charge, then got killed by my Bloodthirster and a second unit of Bloodknights deleted  him on charge. Need to get charge of with them, but then they are able to kill their own worth in points in 1 turn. Just having 1 unit behind screens should make your opponent think.

When someone is asking about optimising their army then it's perfectly valid to go into detail about the validity of using the models in a list.

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53 minutes ago, Silchas_Ruin said:

I think people are overdoing Blood Knights suck.

Might not be the thing to go for if you want to play top tables at turnaments, but thats not all there is. Guy I play local does Legion of Blood with Blood Knights and I become kinda scared of them. Last game 1 unit Bloodknights deleted 10 Bloodwarrriors on charge, then got killed by my Bloodthirster and a second unit of Bloodknights deleted  him on charge. Need to get charge of with them, but then they are able to kill their own worth in points in 1 turn. Just having 1 unit behind screens should make your opponent think.

How big were his blood knight units? I've never managed to reliably delete an enemy unit in one go with 5 in a squad. They do perform much better when a VLoZD gives them rerolls on hits.

 

Generally it seems that vampire themed competetive just means VLoZD with all your regular bread and butter units like skellies, doggies or reapers etc. Which makes sense as vampire lords are supposed to be lieutenants. There were some rumours about plastic vampire lord and blood knights coming but not sure how valid those are or when.

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1 minute ago, Lightbox said:

How big were his blood knight units? I've never managed to reliably delete an enemy unit in one go with 5 in a squad. They do perform much better when a VLoZD gives them rerolls on hits.

 

Generally it seems that vampire themed competetive just means VLoZD with all your regular bread and butter units like skellies, doggies or reapers etc. Which makes sense as vampire lords are supposed to be lieutenants. There were some rumours about plastic vampire lord and blood knights coming but not sure how valid those are or when.

5 man units and yes he gives reroll with VLoZD.  Not sure how reliably they are, but its 1 more thing that hits pretty hard and can't be ignored.  If you are not going horde I think you need speed and to hit hard and have several things that can do it. 

I know this is not what people think is best right now, but look a the Flesh-easter Court and Khorne armies that came top 10 at Nova. Others might have seen it coming, but I was surpriced by people doing well with monster lists. 

Talking about lists tends to get down to a couple of options we talk about and everything else gets ignored.  Maybe the Blood Knights player I been up against just rolls above average against me and normaly does worse. But I think we are offen way to fast writing of units when we talk about them if they are not great. Some units are not super just looking at price and warscroll, but can be made work depending on play style in specific lists. Could totally be wrong about Blood Knights being 1 of those, but I clearly do not think so.

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I regularly run a mostly vampire force using Blood Knights, a Vampire Lord, and (at least) one Vampire Lord on Zombie Dragon. If you can effectively manage a screen from one of the numerous chaff options in Death, Blood Knights are lethal on the charge. The fact that they automatically charge 6" makes their minimum threat range 16", which can't be understated.

In Legion of Blood, with the Blood Feast command ability, you're looking at a unit of 5 knights with 25 attacks at -1 rend D3 damage in addition to their mounts' attacks. Couple that with the Dread Knight command ability, and now they're all rerolling hits as well. That is a mountain of damage that most armies can't take.

The army certainly doesn't play itself, but with smart strategy and timing, a vampire-heavy list can easily compete with most of the top tier lists out there.

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36 minutes ago, David Griffin said:

I regularly run a mostly vampire force using Blood Knights, a Vampire Lord, and (at least) one Vampire Lord on Zombie Dragon. If you can effectively manage a screen from one of the numerous chaff options in Death, Blood Knights are lethal on the charge. The fact that they automatically charge 6" makes their minimum threat range 16", which can't be understated.

In Legion of Blood, with the Blood Feast command ability, you're looking at a unit of 5 knights with 25 attacks at -1 rend D3 damage in addition to their mounts' attacks. Couple that with the Dread Knight command ability, and now they're all rerolling hits as well. That is a mountain of damage that most armies can't take.

The army certainly doesn't play itself, but with smart strategy and timing, a vampire-heavy list can easily compete with most of the top tier lists out there.

mounts those gain the bonus from the battle traits too, and command ability too, so you gain also 15 attacks from the horses.

And if you are able to use a vampire lord command ability on them both riders and mounts benefit from it. Not a bad amount.

 

Their problem is that each model lost is really heavy as loss for that unit.

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18 minutes ago, deynon said:

mounts those gain the bonus from the battle traits too, and command ability too, so you gain also 15 attacks from the horses.

And if you are able to use a vampire lord command ability on them both riders and mounts benefit from it. Not a bad amount.

 

Their problem is that each model lost is really heavy as loss for that unit.

Absolutely. Can't discount the mounts as well. With Blood Feast in LoB, that's 20 attacks in addition to the 25 lance attacks.

Don't forget that in LoB, they also spread a -2 Bravery debuff. And they are naturally a 3+ save against attacks with no rend with the ability to heal a wound a turn. Not bad.

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