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AoS3 - Soulblight Gravelord Discussion


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2 hours ago, AHexInScarletRed said:

How'd y'all balance out Kastelai in terms of Blood Knights & other units? 

I figure I'd for example: 

Prince Vhordrai (455)

- General

- Spell: Amethystine Pinions

Vengorian Lord (280)

- General

- Command Trait: Rousing Commander 

- Artifact: Sword of the Red Seneschals

- Spell: Flaming Weapon 

Vampire Lord (140)

- Spell: Ghost Mist 

Battleline:

20x Zombies (115)

20x Zombies (115)

5x Blood Knights (195)

5x Blood Knights (195)

5x Blood Knights (195)

10x Dire Wolves (135)

Other:

3x Fell Bats (75)

3x Fell Bats (75)

Total: 1975 / 2000

Could rid me of the Wolves and pump up one unit of Zombies to 40 (or just fuse the 2x 20). The Vampire Lord is there because the CA has better interaction with the 1 Attack of Zombies than VDM as I bring nothing else to increase Attacks. I don't know if it's worth to bring another unit of Blood Knights instead of the Wolves and one unit of Fell Bats. Vargheists instead of the Fell Bats are also an option to Deep Strike, but I guess I'll need the Fell Bats against shooting.

What was that? Sorry, I cant hear you over my 25 bloodknights
But yeah, jokes aside i think 15 are the sweet spot for kastelai. You should consider a batalion

Edited by Raptor_Jesues
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3 hours ago, Raptor_Jesues said:

What was that? Sorry, I cant hear you over my 25 bloodknights
But yeah, jokes aside i think 15 are the sweet spot for kastelai. You should consider a batalion

4 hours ago, Neil Arthur Hotep said:

If you want to be Blood Knight focussed I think it makes sense to take 2-3 units of them like you have done.

Have you considered battalions at all? Your list is currently 11 drops, which is high. You qualify for Warlord/Command Entrourage and could probably fill up a bunch of smaller battalions as well. If you drop one unit of Fell Bats and take Kritza in order to qualify for Battle Regiment you could get down to 6 drops (possibly 5 if you change some things around), which might be worth considering.

Thanks you two. I more or less built a list of what I'll have after investing my budget for the next months (which is 1 Vengorian Lord + 40 Zombies + 1 unit of Blood Knights, the rest I have). I didn't consider battalions. I'm not sure if I missed the information in the Core Rules - can I take the same Batallion twice? E.g. two Battle Regiments? Then it's two drops. Alternatively, I could Battle Regiment + Vanguard (for the bonus) + Vengorian Lord who doesn't fit anywhere in these, making it 5 drops. 

Others:

- would you use 1 unit of Vargheists or two units of Fell Bats in this list?

- I think that two units of 20 Zombies here would maybe work better than 1 unit of 40 as with the new reinforcement rules, they'll be a 'large' unit also when they're 20 most of the time and I can use them in different turns and places or... - but I can't estimate if the 40 wouldn't still perform better or if 30 Skeletons + Necromancer outperform any Zombies in this list (with the lots of talk about there being so many new goals and targets, I'm not sure if I need an objective holding, passive unit).

Thaaanks! 

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Managed to play a TTS game with a friend and played a blood knight heavy Kastelai list vs his 4 mega gargant list. We played the vice battleplan which was very interesting and I really liked it. I managed to win at the top of 4 after managing to kill two of his mega gargants at the bottom of 3 but it was a close game. Battle tactics, heroic actions and monstrous rampages all have a meaningful and positive impact on the game and barely slowed it down and in general the game felt a lot faster and more involved than 2.0. Blood knights preformed very well first as a solid anvil but acted as an amazing hammer when buffed. Them plus a fully buffed vengorian lord with rousing commander one shotted a gatebreaker in a single round. Radukar also was a beast and helped pin and kill an kraken eater. Overall I think the heavy blood knight list is both fun and viable.

As far as battalions go I took the warlord and battle regiment battalions to get more enchancments and lower drops. In the future I think I would not take the battle regiment and instead take two hunters of the heartlands battalions from the GHB to make all my blood knights immune to monstorous rampages. Roar is so good and being able to shut that off is worth it in my opinion since this list doesn't care about drops as much and it won't win drops against lists that do care.

Lists:

 

Allegiance: Soulblight Gravelords
- Lineage: Kastelai Dynasty

Leaders
Belladamma Volga, First of the Vyrkos (200)
- Lore of the Vampires: Soulpike
Radukar the Beast (315)
Vengorian Lord (280)
- General
- Command Trait: Rousing Commander
- Artefact: Fragment of the Keep
- Lore of the Vampires: Amethystine Pinions
Vampire Lord (140)
- Artefact: Grave-sand Shard

Battleline
5 x Blood Knights (195)
5 x Blood Knights (195)
10 x Dire Wolves (135)
5 x Blood Knights (195)
10 x Dire Wolves (135)
5 x Blood Knights (195)

Total: 1985 / 2000
Extra Command Points: 0
Allies: 0 / 400
Wounds: 136
 

His list

Taker tribe

Gatebreaker

Warstomper

Kraken eater

Kraken eater

General

5+ ward artifact and wizard artifact

Edited by idn0971
Battalion Edit
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would you people say that having some grave guards in a tipical Kastelai army (prince, vengorian, lots of bloodknights) could be beneficial? If so how many would you take? I guess a necromancer would then be in order

Edited by Raptor_Jesues
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35 minutes ago, Raptor_Jesues said:

would you people say that having some grave guards in a tipical Kastelai army (prince, vengorian, lots of bloodknights) could be beneficial? If so how many would you take? I guess a necromancer would then be in order

I don't know about Grave Guard in Kastelai. The standard core of Vhordrai, a Vengorian Lord and 3x5 Blood Knights leaves about 700 points left over, so I suppose you could get a unit of Grave Guard. But I think really building around them by taking 20 with a dedicated hero is too expensive in this list. My first instinct would be that the list has enough hammers and should really get some bodies or screens first.

Personally, my take is that the Necromancer is not actually the best support hero for Grave Guard. Double activations from Vanhel's is cool, but Grave Guard deal so much damage that they don't actually need it. Plus, being a spell, it's a lot more unreliable than something like the +1 attacks command from the Vampire Lord.

The amount of Grave Guard you want is also tricky. 10 unbuffed already do comparable damage to Blood Knights on the charge:

Save   Grave Guard    Blood Knights
2+ 7 5.37
3+ 9.33 8.36
4+ 11.67 11.36
5+ 14 14.35
6+ 16.33 17.35
- 16.33 17.97

 

Personally, if I had just 10 Grave Guard and was considering how to support them, I would just add another 10 before considering a dedicated support hero. I think both a unit of 20 or 2 of 10 can do work, simply because their damage is so high. It's fine if they are just little units hanging around in the back/mid-field that your opponent cannot end a turn within 10" of out of fear of eating, like, 10 wounds.

Something nice about a small unit of Grave Guard is that you can still skyrocket their damage by piling buffs into them. Here are 10 with +1 to hit and +1 attack:

Save    Grave Guard
2+ 12.92
3+ 17.22
4+ 21.53
5+ 25.83
6+ 30.14
- 30.14

That still seems quite achieveable if you have a Vampire Lord or Radukar the Beast in your army and an opportunity presents itself.

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35 minutes ago, Neil Arthur Hotep said:

I don't know about Grave Guard in Kastelai. The standard core of Vhordrai, a Vengorian Lord and 3x5 Blood Knights leaves about 700 points left over, so I suppose you could get a unit of Grave Guard. 

How'd you fill the remaining 700 points, ideally, not taking the Grave Guard into concern? 

Oh, and regarding my question from my earlier post - do you know if I can take the same Core Batallion twice? 

Edited by AHexInScarletRed
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8 minutes ago, AHexInScarletRed said:

How'd you fill the remaining 700 points, ideally, not taking the Grave Guard into concern? 

Oh, and regarding my question from my earlier post - do you know if I can take the same Core Batallion twice? 

I have not looked into a Kastelai list, so I can't really say. I'd put a big unit of skeletons or 2x20 zombies in and then go from there.

For battalions, currently nothing prevents your from taking the same battalion as many times as you want.

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I'm going to make what might be a radical argument. I don't think Prince Vhordrai is the best option in a blood knight heavy Kastelai list. My reasoning for this is that in a blood knights list what you need is not a massive hammer that takes up almost a fifth of your list but instead you want to have more heroes that can buff your blood knights and can fit into battalions and take artifacts. Vhordrai is a fairly good hammer whose main upside is his high rend values but he relies on self buffs and potentially needs buffs from other pieces as well. His command ability is not good as to get any use out of it you have to put another 300+ point hero out of it. He also provides no buffs to your blood knights which are your main hammer and anvil. He's also less tanky then blood knights as he has one less wound and the same save for 250 points more. He also does not have retreat and charge and he can be hard to use with the smaller board size since his base is so large even with fly. Finally a 14" flyer is less valuable in a blood knights list as it already is highly mobile.

 

Overall as much as I dislike it I think that Vhordrai and a Zombie Dragon are both more effective in other bloodlines where a modular fast hard hitting monster is more valuable since they lack the same mobility as a blood knight list. 

 

Let me know what you guys think, I'd be happy to be convinced otherwise but he seems like a trap in his own subfaction which kinds of sad but that is not to say that he cannot be an effective piece I'm a different subfaction.

 

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5 minutes ago, idn0971 said:

I'm going to make what might be a radical argument. I don't think Prince Vhordrai is the best option in a blood knight heavy Kastelai list. My reasoning for this is that in a blood knights list what you need is not a massive hammer that takes up almost a fifth of your list but instead you want to have more heroes that can buff your blood knights and can fit into battalions and take artifacts. Vhordrai is a fairly good hammer whose main upside is his high rend values but he relies on self buffs and potentially needs buffs from other pieces as well. His command ability is not good as to get any use out of it you have to put another 300+ point hero out of it. He also provides no buffs to your blood knights which are your main hammer and anvil. He's also less tanky then blood knights as he has one less wound and the same save for 250 points more. He also does not have retreat and charge and he can be hard to use with the smaller board size since his base is so large even with fly. Finally a 14" flyer is less valuable in a blood knights list as it already is highly mobile.

 

Overall as much as I dislike it I think that Vhordrai and a Zombie Dragon are both more effective in other bloodlines where a modular fast hard hitting monster is more valuable since they lack the same mobility as a blood knight list. 

 

Let me know what you guys think, I'd be happy to be convinced otherwise but he seems like a trap in his own subfaction which kinds of sad but that is not to say that he cannot be an effective piece I'm a different subfaction.

 

what would you pick instead of him or the zombie dragon then?

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Just now, Raptor_Jesues said:

what would you pick instead of him or the zombie dragon then?

Radukar, Belladamma and dire wolves for chaff. I have a list that I played on TTS that I really liked if you scroll up the thread

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1 minute ago, idn0971 said:

Radukar, Belladamma and dire wolves for chaff. I have a list that I played on TTS that I really liked if you scroll up the thread

it would be a bit sad though to use all vrykos named characters in a kastelai army. I think ill stick with the prince

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Just now, Raptor_Jesues said:

it would be a bit sad though to use all vrykos named characters in a kastelai army. I think ill stick with the prince

Fair enough. My narrative for it is that they have joined the kastelai lead by my vengorian lord for their nightly hunt and brought their direwolves

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I also feel Belladamma & Radukar off in a Kastelai list. It's easier to justify bringing a normal VLoZD in a Vyrkos list - which is what I'd do if I wanted to play those models. Remark, that's not taking into account min-maxing; I think you nearly always shoot yourself in the foot if you don't take Belladamma, but apart from bringing her in every 10th battle because the Crimson Keep happens to spawn in her domain, I think she'd kill off my immersion. 

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That's totally fair. My idea is that they are in the crimson keep accompanying the kastelai as it means they get a fresh hunt every night but I completely understand not wanting to have Vyrkos in Kastelai.

If I were doing something like that and you were dead set against non kastelai units I might do something like this

 

Allegiance: Soulblight Gravelords
- Lineage: Kastelai Dynasty

Leaders
Prince Vhordrai (455)
- Lore of the Vampires: Amethystine Pinions
Vengorian Lord (280)
- Artefact: Fragment of the Keep
- Lore of the Vampires: Amethystine Pinions
Vampire Lord on Zombie Dragon (435)
- Deathlance

Battleline
5 x Blood Knights (195)
5 x Blood Knights (195)
5 x Blood Knights (195)
10 x Deathrattle Skeletons (85)
10 x Dire Wolves (135)

Total: 1975 / 2000
Extra Command Points: 0
Allies: 0 / 400
Wounds: 113
 

It's a lot more fragile but has potentially more damage output and takes full benefit of the new monster rules and bonuses. I'd probably stick all the troops in the anti monster battalion and have high drops. The other option is going 3 drop and trying to get priority.

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14 minutes ago, idn0971 said:

That's totally fair. My idea is that they are in the crimson keep accompanying the kastelai as it means they get a fresh hunt every night but I completely understand not wanting to have Vyrkos in Kastelai.

If I were doing something like that and you were dead set against non kastelai units I might do something like this

 

Allegiance: Soulblight Gravelords
- Lineage: Kastelai Dynasty

Leaders
Prince Vhordrai (455)
- Lore of the Vampires: Amethystine Pinions
Vengorian Lord (280)
- Artefact: Fragment of the Keep
- Lore of the Vampires: Amethystine Pinions
Vampire Lord on Zombie Dragon (435)
- Deathlance

Battleline
5 x Blood Knights (195)
5 x Blood Knights (195)
5 x Blood Knights (195)
10 x Deathrattle Skeletons (85)
10 x Dire Wolves (135)

Total: 1975 / 2000
Extra Command Points: 0
Allies: 0 / 400
Wounds: 113
 

It's a lot more fragile but has potentially more damage output and takes full benefit of the new monster rules and bonuses. I'd probably stick all the troops in the anti monster battalion and have high drops. The other option is going 3 drop and trying to get priority.

I wrote something very similar the other day. I think Fel Bats will be decent if you can include them, they can be used to soak the Unleash Hell from a charge, especially if the firing unit is behind the screen you are charging. Would mean losing the Skeletons OR dropping the Dire Wolves for 2 x Fel Bats.

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Is the consensus that putting more bodies on the skeletons is not worth the cost? I haven't had time to think much about this, but I feel that it seems that at baseline 10 dire wolves benefit over skellies for the reinforcement rules. Or perhaps I am overlooking something obvious.

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2 minutes ago, Liquidsteel said:

I wrote something very similar the other day. I think Fel Bats will be decent if you can include them, they can be used to soak the Unleash Hell from a charge, especially if the firing unit is behind the screen you are charging. Would mean losing the Skeletons OR dropping the Dire Wolves for 2 x Fel Bats.

You could certainly change the skeletons into fell bats. I'd hate to lose the direwolves personally as they are the only cheap fast chaff that we have that can actually survive a charge

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1 minute ago, Greybeard86 said:

Is the consensus that putting more bodies on the skeletons is not worth the cost? I haven't had time to think much about this, but I feel that it seems that at baseline 10 dire wolves benefit over skellies for the reinforcement rules. Or perhaps I am overlooking something obvious.

You're overlooking coherency. 20 direwolves are really hard to maneuver as single block and a reinforced pack of skeletons make a fairly tough objective holder as long as you have a command point for a potential inspiring presence for them to use. They fill a bit of a different role as direwolves are fast chaff and objective takers and skeletons are better at holding mid or backfield objectives for cheap which is helpful with how many teleports and deepstrikes exist in the game

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1 minute ago, Greybeard86 said:

Is the consensus that putting more bodies on the skeletons is not worth the cost? I haven't had time to think much about this, but I feel that it seems that at baseline 10 dire wolves benefit over skellies for the reinforcement rules. Or perhaps I am overlooking something obvious.

Skeletons get their regeneration through activating in the combat phase, so if you want to make use of that you need them to live an enemy's attack. They can even get double activations from Vanhel's for double healing. Even though they are only at a 5+ save, not a lot of things can actually deal the 30 wounds required to wipe a double-reinforced unit of skeletons completely.

It's up to you whether you think this is worth it. Skeletons definitely have a lot of built-in drawbacks, as well, between their regeneration not working on models that died outside of the combat phase, pretty much needing Inspiring Presence to not die to battleshock and being being fairly reliant on a spell to work. But they are also the only unit in Gravelords that combines body count and defensive ability.

There is also the question of what else you want to reinforce instead. There are actually not that many units in Gravelords that want that size increase outside of Skeletons and Zombies. Grave Guard and Vargheists, maybe, but everything else seems to want to be min-size.

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Many thanks! Apologies for not being clear, I meant MSU wolves vs skeletons, reinforced or not.

I understand they fulfill different roles (faster vs tougher, needed support vs not).

It just seems to me that the skellie side suffered from needing to spend reinforcing points, but as you pointed out not many things seem to merit above MSU.

Blood Knights seem the new hotness to make up the "core" of the army, as "hero hammer" does not seem to work too well yet. Is there an alternative composition that doesn't focus on knights and is actually competitive?

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2 minutes ago, Greybeard86 said:

Many thanks! Apologies for not being clear, I meant MSU wolves vs skeletons, reinforced or not.

I understand they fulfill different roles (faster vs tougher, needed support vs not).

It just seems to me that the skellie side suffered from needing to spend reinforcing points, but as you pointed out not many things seem to merit above MSU.

Blood Knights seem the new hotness to make up the "core" of the army, as "hero hammer" does not seem to work too well yet. Is there an alternative composition that doesn't focus on knights and is actually competitive?

I think going horde is competitive enough, especially in Vyrkos. This is my prospective list:

Spoiler

Leaders
Vampire Lord on Zombie Dragon (435)
- General
- Deathlance
- Command Trait: Hunter's Snare
- Artefact: Sangsyron
- Lore of the Vampires: Amethystine Pinions
Belladamma Volga, First of the Vyrkos (200)
- Lore of the Vampires: Amethystine Pinions
Radukar the Beast (315)
Necromancer (125)
- Lore of the Deathmages: Prison of Grief

Battleline
30 x Deathrattle Skeletons (255)
10 x Dire Wolves (135)
20 x Deadwalker Zombies (115)

Units
20 x Grave Guard (280)
- Wight Blades & Crypt Shields
3 x Fell Bats (75)

Total: 1935 / 2000
Extra Command Points: 0
Allies: 0 / 400
Wounds: 139

A big plus for this list is its ability to play the objective game, between bringing 80 bodies naturally, Radukar summoning 10 extra wolves and the VLoZD counting for 14 models on objectives. It also has fairly decent magic, a good composition as far as battalions are concerned (4/5 drops with an extra enhancement) and enough free points to bring an endless spell of your choice (probably Soulsnare Shackles or Cogs, sadly Spell Portal is 5 points over). Also, three generals to keep the command points flowing. Everything is summonable, as well.

The draw backs are that the list is slow and average damage is low, but this list is not primarily looking to win by wiping out the opponent.

I think that there are also good lists to be had in Avengorii and Legion of Night. Jury is still out on Legion of Blood.

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Here is my take all, balanced Vyrkos Dynasty list. Reroll spells and Hunter's Snare might not be worth the sacrifice of damage you get from Kasteali but I want to test it out because I think some of the spell casting is very important (Bella with portals does so much for our army and Pinions is crucial).

People don't seem to be putting the Amulet of Destiny on their VLOZD, but I think it's an auto include. He won't be the killiest unit with this build but Amulet play into his strengths. 14 wounds on objective that can do a deep charge and tell the tale.

Set up graves so you can aggressively drop the 40 zombies onto an early objective and force your opponent to kill them. Be aggro with this unit (if it dies early more chances to bring back 20). 20 Zombies can pop up early and create a screen up the field for Manny and BKs if playing against melee heavy army.

Mannfred and Blood Knight generally move together, and after your BKs charge buffed by Manny, if your VLOZD is stuck in somewhere and needs a punch, you could always try and teleport or move Mannfred to support him. 

Bella is the glue because she can guarantee your charges with engaging units with Lycancurse and portals is huge for getting her buff onto Blood Knights and heroes. We lack buffs to charge so Redeploy is a real threat. Cogs is there for +1 to charge or getting off a few extra spells turn 1 or 2 (i had exactly 45 points leftover)

It lacks a true Hammer (consistent high rend or mortals) but it's very tanky list, has bodies, semi-reliable casting and enough movement tricks to play the board. 

Allegiance: Soulblight Gravelords - 2 DROPS
- Lineage: Vyrkos Dynasty
LEADERS
Vampire Lord on Zombie Dragon (435)
- General - Artefact - -Amulet of Destiny
- Command Trait: Hunter's Snare
- Deathlance
- Lore of the Vampires: Amethystine Pinions
Mannfred von Carstein, Mortarch of Night (380)
- Lore of the Deathmages - Prison of Grief
Belladamma Volga, First of the Vyrkos (200)
- Lore of the Vampires: Amaranthine Orb
UNITS
5 x Blood Knights (195)
5 x Blood Knights (195)
40 x Deadwalker Zombies (230)
20 x Deadwalker Zombies (115)
10 x Dire Wolves (135)
ENDLESS SPELLS / TERRAIN / COMMAND POINTS
Umbral Spellportal (70)
Chronomantic Cogs (45)
TOTAL: 2000/2000 WOUNDS: 145

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Looks like I am at an impasse then. I have the prince, a Vengorian lord, 15 bloodknights and 10 wolves ready to go and 445 point i do not know how to spend. I suppose that a big blob of zombies or skeletons is the savy choice but on the other hand I HATE BOTH ORDES AND PAESANTS.
Quite a conundrum indeed. I can hear voices  saying something on the line of "put in more bloodkniiiighs

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6 minutes ago, Raptor_Jesues said:

Looks like I am at an impasse then. I have the prince, a Vengorian lord, 15 bloodknights and 10 wolves ready to go and 445 point i do not know how to spend. I suppose that a big blob of zombies or skeletons is the savy choice but on the other hand I HATE BOTH ORDES AND PAESANTS.
Quite a conundrum indeed. I can hear voices  saying something on the line of "put in more bloodkniiiighs

2 stacks of Vargheists and another 10 dire wolves fits perfectly if you’d rather go all out attack w/ no plebs.  Gives you a couple new deployment options and fits the theme if that’s what you’re into.  I think others would say another Dragon, but Vargheists in the Monster Hunting Core Battalion could get some work done for you.  They might come in handy scoring some of the easier Battle Tactics while the Knights are sinking their teeth into stuff too.

Edited by Andalf
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Just now, Andalf said:

2 stacks of Vargheists and another 10 dire wolves fits perfectly if you’d rather go all out.  Gives you a couple new deployments options and fits the theme if that’s what you’re into.  I think others would say another Dragon, but Vargheists in the Monster Hunting Core Battalion could get some work done for you.

aren't vargheists a bit meh nowdays?

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