Sunday, December 20, 2009


After a dozen games ending in failure, I can finally announce that my Vampire Counts finally have achieved Victory vs Lizardmen! Final Score: 700 VP vs 300 in a 1900 point game.

MVP units were clearly the Black Coach for charging then neutralizing an Engine of the Gods equipped Stegadon, and the Grave Guard for running a unit of Temple Guard off the table. Honorable mention goes to the Terror causing scout vampire that was messing with the rear of the Lizard army, forcing at least 10 fear checks.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Smashed to Bits. Bones everywhere

Last weekend was played a contest at the 1000 points level. My illustrious opponent decided to field his gluttonous Ogre Kingdoms army. I, of course, fielded my underperforming Vampire Counts.

My Army:
  • Casty vampire LotD L2 Wiz, Helm, Black Periapt
  • Mounted Wight King BSB w/ Sword of Kings, Gem of Blood
  • 10x Skeleton bunker for the Vamp
  • 15x Ghouls w/ Ghast
  • 18x Grave guard w/ HW and Shields
  • 5x Fell Bats
His Army:
  • Butcher
  • Fighty Ogre Hero
  • 2x 4-man Bull Ogres units
  • 2x 2-man Cannon guys
  • Gorger
The race was on to 600 victory points.

Turns one and two were maneuvering turns, where the Undead were attempting to bait the Ogres into charge range while staying out the massive 12" Ogre charges.

Turn three sees my Ghouls charging his cannon ogres, who flee and thus pull my Ghouls into position to be charged by a Bull Ogre unit. He maneuvers his other Bull unit into charge range of my Grave Guard. His Gorger appears directly behind my General's skeleton bunker. A tarpit of Zombies is raised to delay the Gorger, and does so for two turn. Thinking that my Vampire is safe for a turn, I spend it replacing casualties in the Grave guard block as well as adding another rank of skeletons to the bunker. I position my Fell bats to cut off the fleeing Cannon Ogres.

Turn four sees both frontline undead units charged by a Bull ogre unit. They plow through the Ghoul unit and overrun into the General's Bunker. The Grave guard unit holds surprisingly well as the Wight King carves some fat off the Butcher in a challenge. His fleeting cannon Ogres fail their leadership test and are overwhelmed by the pack of Fell Bats descending upon them.

Turn five: The vampire general is killed by the impact hits from the charging bull ogre unit. By this point, the Undead have given up close to 600 victory points to the Ogres so we call it a night.

Thoughts on the battle:
  • I am happy that the Grave Guard were holding as well as they were. I usually equip them with Great Weapons, but I had a feeling that it was making the unit as a whole too brittle. This battle with HW + Shields seems to confirm this.
  • Killing blow vs Ogres is ineffective. The Wight King should have been equipped with the Black Axe for more punch per round.
  • Ghouls are great on the offense, but cannot take a hit. They should not be a frontline unit against high strength opposition.
  • I had forgotten about the bonus from the Battle Standard. That could have saved at least half a dozen losses from Crumbling.
  • At 1000 points, the Vampire Counts shouldn't make a hybrid list. It should be either all Casty, or all Fighty. Replenishing losses was a struggle for a single L2 vampire wizard.
  • The MVP for this battle was without a doubt the Wight King. He is my battle tank, and seems to mess with my opponent's mind as well. No other unit that I have fielded in this or other battles inspires fear like he does.
There you have it. I hope you have enjoyed reading this battle report. Please don't hesitate to comment. and have a Happy Halloween!

Monday, September 14, 2009

New Bones

Ever since GW announced that they were going to raise the price on (err... reculpt) the core VC skeletons, I've been apprehensive of the new models. Considering that the older skeleton models painted up quickly and easily, I looked upon the new skeleton bits and pieces in dismay. Would they take as long as the new Grave Guard to paint up? Would they look horrible compared to the 20 strong skeleton box?

I'm happy to say that the skeletons did *not* take forever to paint (this unit of 10 took just under 4h45) and look much less chunky than the older models. The only downside was that the new box does *not* contain headstones and other scenic bits, which is a shame as I'm always looking to grow my army's cemetery.

All in all a worthy addition to the Count's army.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Not all spirit hosts are made the same.

Today I received a shipment containing the last models that I will need to field my vampire counts army. In this shipment were the MIA Grave Guard (no thanks to GC Minis), 3x Spirit Hosts and 10 paint pots (including close-to-running-out-of black).

Concerning the Spirit Hosts. It's no secret that I I will refuse to field models that I think are sub-par sculpts and the spirit hosts are no exception. I've been mulling over some Empire infantry conversions but I still wasn't satisfied with the end result I thought I could achieve with them.

Enter "Ghostly Summons" from Reaper. This model from Julie Guthrie is exactly what I was looking for. And it even contains the correct number of figures for the base.

So instead of fielding something that looks like this:

I'm modeling something that looks like this instead:

Ahhh, muuuuch better.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Recently Finished Ghouls

For my B-day, I received an EBay gift certificate, which was promptly spent on Ghouls. Why did I wait so long? Because the pics I had seen of 'eavy Metal painted ghouls were... erm.. to put it bluntly, fugly. But taking my courage (and free money) in hand, I ordered them anyway based on the results from my last fugly model experiment which were Dire Hamsters.. err *Wolves*. Those turned out well thus the Ghouls went under the paintbrush.

I'm actually pretty pleased with the result considering the limits that I had imposed upon myself. These are Core units, thus do not deserve too much attention. I limited myself to a maximum of one highlight, one shade, and 3 colors. I didn't want to spend too much time on them either so I gave myself a time budget of max 1 hour per model.

3:40 hours of work later (forgot to count assembly time), this is the result:

Not counting the time spent on the Corpse Cart, I'm quite satisfied with the 10 Ghouls since I spent only 22 minutes on each.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Digging up some reinforcements

Finally received my most recent shipment of minis.

In this shipment was the Black Coach, and Skeletons.

Now the Black Coach is a model that I fell in love with the second I saw it. It is *the* reason that I started collecting a Vampire Counts army. It's an amazing model that just needs two Bretonnian horses to finish off. Looking at the pieces, I estimate that it will take me about as much time to paint this model as it did the Corpse Cart.

The new GW skeletons are very nice looking as well, without the huge heads of previous models (I'm looking at you Bretonnian Archers). They seem to be a little on the flimsy side tho, so I'm not sure how well they will take to the road.

MIA from the shipment was a box of Grave Guard to finish off my current unit. Apparently they are backordered at GC Minis. Will have to hunt down a box locally.

Pics Forthcoming.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Vampires like cheese, except this one.

Vampire counts have been included in what has been dubbed "The dirty three" armies together with Demons of Chaos and Dark Elves. Apparently if you play Vampire Counts in WHFB you're one of "those" players and opponents give you the hairy eyeball.

Striving to keep the lactose out of my army I've come up with some composition rules of my own.
  • Use the Jean-style 1/2/3 3/6/9 general composition guideline.
  • No unit is to be worth more than 300 points
  • Frontline units need to be at least 200 points
  • Keep character points to a maximum of 40%, but closer to 30% to avoid HeroHammer labels.
  • Not use the Drakenhof Banner
Here's an army list that should be fun to use, and more importantly fun to play against.
  • Isabella DeLaCroix: Vampire Lord with Wizard L3, Master of the dark arts, forbidden lore, lord of the dead, skull staff, crown of commandment
  • Lazarus Mock: Wight King Battle Standard Bearer with Sword of Kings, Gem of Blood riding a barded skeletal steed
  • Cornelius Barlow: Necromancer: Extra Spell, Black Periapt, Dispel Scroll, riding a Corpse Cart with Balefire
And the Army of the Bloodied Cross (Fighting units, and Bunker units)
  • 25x Skeletons with Full Command, War Banner
  • 10x Skeletons with Champion
  • 10x Ghouls with Ghast
  • 5x Dire Wolves
  • 3x Spirit Hosts
  • 18x Grave Guard with Full Command, Banner of the Barrows
  • 5x Black Knights with Barding, Full Command, Banner of the Dead Legion
  • 5x Fell Bats
  • The Black Coach
For a total of 2244 points (37% Characters), 8PD, 5DD plus a dispel scroll. This army has a little bit of everything and thus should keep me and my opponent on his toes.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Terrain Options

I've been mulling over some ideas for 4-6 pieces of VC themed terrain. I don't want to build a castle or anything like that, limiting the size of a single terrain piece to a maximum dimension of 8".

The quick ideas are:
  • A mansion of some kind. Maybe a tower due to size limits
  • A cemetary or crypt (a forest of headstones?)
  • A burial mound
  • A swamp or bog
I have forest and rivers and hills (oh my!). I just want to have something a bit more characterful. If you have any other ideas let me know.

Final models ordered

It's been a long time coming, but the final models for the Vampire Counts army I have been putting together for the past 2ish years have been ordered.

The army will be (when the shipment arrives) 83 models strong consisting of:
  • Skeletons (of course)
  • Zombies (absolutely)
  • Ghouls
  • Grave Guard
  • Dire Wolves
  • Fell Bats
  • Black Knights
  • Black Coach
  • Corpse Cart
I'm very happy to say that most of these models were purchased *before* GW decided to raise the prices of their plastics to metal levels since most of this army *is* plastic. Only the characters are metal, and those are Reaper models.

I *do* have some painting work cut out for me, since only about 1000 points of core models are painted. This should be an enjoyable journey tho, since I seem to have move past the "competitive list" stage and just plan to have fun.