Monday, August 30, 2010

The black coach is finally finished

After many appearances in this Vampire Count's army lists in paper and metal form, I can finally say that my Black Coach is done! The model itself is the reason why I chose VCs as my army. The way the model is put together tho... ugh! The white metal parts don't *quite* fit together, or even line up for that matter. Assembling the thing was a exercise in frustration.

Because of all the problems assembling and painting the thing, I will make *sure* that it is still present in all my army lists.

Monday, August 23, 2010

I'm just sayin'

And on this very topic, Today's Dork Tower absolutely nails it!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

8th ed BRB Bang for buck quick review

I finished reading the rules for WHFB 8th edition, all 150 pages of 'em. I have no inclination to wade through what amounts to 3 white dwarf issues tacked on to the rules to make a 500+ page book. The white-dwarf-ish later half of the book should have been cut, and kept in the astronomically priced special edition ($150 for that thing), leaving the rules and background info in a much more affordable core book (I'd be ready to shell out $50 for that no problem).

I come back to my price/value comparison with WARMACHINE mkII. Would I buy the WM mkII Prime book for CAN$35? In a heartbeat! (And will before the month is out) Would I buy the 8th ed BRB at CAN$90? Never in a million years. I'll wait for the mini book to appear on ebay, thanks. The close to 3 to 1 fluff to rules ratio doesn't justify the price for me.

I'm clearly not the target market since I want most of the pagecount of the game books that I buy to be useful in the actual games that I play. To each his own, but sticker shock on the BRB is a "remains in play effect" until GW decides to bring down the price.

Oh and here is a pic illustrating very well the padding contained in the BRB. It's a size comparison between the standalone book and the rules-only book in the starter boxed set.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Two great tastes that taste great together

This is just a quick note while reading the VBRB (very-big-red-book). Measuring rules are great, especially coupled with the failed/successful charge rules. I *really* like the fact that you check to see if your charge is in range (from closest base to base) *before* you move models.

We never used to do that, trying to angle a charge/wheel for best impact. Now it is: is it in range? yes? great! it's successful. Move your models to get the most models into base contact with a wheel. No more futzing with the charge, taking it back, futzing some more. It fails if it do this, but it doesn't if I do that... all gone!

Things are looking up :)

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Borrowed the 8th ed doorstopper

Hello, in advance of the reasonably sized book in the boxed set, I have borrowed a friend's massive 8th ed book. I *just* started reading it, so the only thing I can comment on right now is that its pretty. and pretty hefty. Is the worth the sticker price? Well to me, when compared to the WARMACHINE Mk II book, feels padded to justify it's astronomical price tag. So no, I mean *hundreds* of pages of miniature showcase? really?

Radio silence until I evaluate more. Speak to you later, boils and ghouls!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

8th edition FAQs have been posted

8th edition has been released and thus the army book FAQs have been updated to reflect the new ruleset. Here's a quick link to the Vampire Counts FAQ.

*sigh* my beloved Banner of the Dead Legion is no longer.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

*SOLVED* Mantic Games' silent customer service

*PROBLEM SOLVED: See comments*

I recently ordered some miniatures from Mantic Games from their Kings of war series. I had heard good things about them, and I really enjoyed the look of their sculpts.

Unfortunately, when my order arrived, I was missing 10 of 22 models. I have contacted Mantic via their contact WebForm *and* their info@ email address about a week ago about the missing models. All I have recieved for my trouble is a canned autoresponse stating that they will get back to me shortly. I don't think that this is the best way to retain new customers, especially for a small / new company competing against the GW juggernaut.

Stay tuned for updates.

Monday, June 7, 2010

The calm before the storm

My VCs have entered a state of torpor until the appearance of 8th edition and the changes that it will bring. We shall see you there.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Official word on the 8th ed

According to GW's website, the release for the 8th edition of WHFB will be July 10th. So if rumours hold true, we VC generals have until that date to enjoy un-nerfed Fear rules.

Promo Video:

Monday, April 5, 2010

Comp scoring, or looking out for the lactose intolerant

A friend of mine has recently sent me a copy of the WPS composition scoring system that was used most recently at AdeptiCon 2010. And I must say that I love this document so much that I want to bear its children.

I have been trying to limit the cheese in my army lists, which is a tall order considering the state of the Vampire Counts army list. IoN spamming, Crown of commandment combos, or the million cairn wraith army are but a few of the army list abuses that the VC are known for.

Now I have tried the Jean-Style army list, or consciously avoiding the "power" units like the Varghulf, Lord with Red Fury with the Dreadlance on a Zombie Dragon, or Drakenhof Banner-in-the-Grave-Guard death star unit. None have been quite satisfactory and have left my use of the army wanting for enjoyment. So much so that I have many times stated that I may sell the army.

The WPS system liberates me to use anything that I want, as long as I "pay" for the cheese by using non-cheese units as well. This way I can feel good about unleashing the cheddar since I know that it isn't over-the-top when you consider the army as a whole.

The benchmark for a "balanced" army is 3000 comp points. Rating the army list that I used in the recent campaign , I was presented with a score of 993. Which would confirm my urge to take a shower after the game to wash the stink of fromage off. I *really* don't like WAAC armies. (For the record, I did not win that game either, for my opponent scored a low 1000s in composition as well)

I have since re-tooled the my army to a more friendly 3013 points, so we'll see how that goes. I can already tell that it will be much more fun to play just because I will have to deal with the so-so VC units.

The WPS composition scoring system can be used for any WHFB army out there and I highly recommend it.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Defeat, but there was nothing I could do about it

The VCs have lost the campaign! But considering what has transpired, I don't think I could have done anything to prevent defeat.

Basic strategies:
  • Vampire Counts: With the lack of a lord level character, I was expecting a lot of comets to be thrown my way. My main focus was on spamming Invocations of Nehek to deal with the many Lizardmen area of effect spells.
  • Lizardmen: The whole army was geared for assassination. Everything that could be thrown onto the VC General and his unit, would be. And he had a Slaan to help.
So here is the tempest of spells that I had to weather:
  • 5x Comets of Casandora (1 was dispelled, 2 of them were 12"+ radius)
  • 3x Steal Soul attempts on my General. (All ward saved)
  • 3x Burning Alignments of at least 7" radius. (one of which was during a charge)
  • at least 100 shots from assorted skinks, razordons, falling rocks, etc
Surprisingly, the whole army was still relatively intact until turn 6, at which point the invocations just couldn't keep up. Truth be told, I don't see what I could have done to better my situation aside from sacrificing more chickens to the dice gods.

The Lizardmen have won this campaign. Time to reap the fields of battle and embark on another campaign in the jungles of Lustria.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Music and Mayhem

I have a musical jam tomorrow with a bassman friend of mine. This friend is also the Lizardmen player I am in a WHFB campaign with. So after the jam, the last match of the current campaign will take place. I'm going to have to play an A+ game just for a campaign victory point tie. Maybe if I hit the drums real hard, it will dazzle his brain to nothingness (fat chance of that, but worth a try)

Of course, I'll have one hand tied behind my back as I do not have access to a Lord level character (key for VC victories). He, on the other hand, will have access to his Lord,which will undoubtedly be his beloved Slaan. The frog will either be riding a stegadon or lost in a temple guard unit. I have a feeling that I'll be dodging many a comet falling upon my head.

Final campaign standings will be posted as soon as I know them. Hopefully there will be much rejoicing.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Finished the Varghulf and a Vampire

The Varghulf is finally painted and I must say, that unlike the dire wolves, even a proper paint job cannot save this model. I don't think that I will ever like this model. Luckily, I paid US dollars for it instead of the bloated Canadian price.

Monique deNoir is next. This model is from Reaper's Dark Heavens line, and I really like the way that this model turned out. She looks like she knows how to wear that platemail and can kick your ass while looking good doing it. She will probably become a regular fixture of my army lists.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

The dead will walk this weekend

Campaign turn 4 and possibly turn 5 will happen February 13th, and I hope to switch gears and actually win more than once a year.

For archival purposes and to illustrate the method behind my madness, here is the army list and the plan.

The Walking Dead (Magic: 7PD, 5DD, 2 Scrolls and 2 bound spells):
  • Monique deNoir [1]: General, Vampire w/ Infinite Hatred, Beguile, Flayed Hauberk, Sword of Kings
  • Eldessa [2]: Vampire w/ Master of the Black Arts, Book of Arkhan, Sword of Might
  • Cornelius Barlow: Necromancer w/ 2x Dispel Scrolls, Extra Spell, mounted on a Corpse Cart w/ Unholy Lodestone
The Shambling Horde (1497 points w/ characters):
  • 24x Skeletons w/ Champion, Standard Bearer, Banner of the Dead Legion [1]
  • 24x Skeletons w/ Champion, Standard Bearer, War Banner [2]
  • 5x Dire Wolves
  • 5x Dire Wolves
  • 12x Grave Guard w/ Great Weapons
  • Varghulf
Ye olde cunning plan:
This is a classic "center presented" formation, with the both skeleton units holding the center and having their flanks guarded by hammer units (the GG and Varghulf). The dogs will be held back and will "fetch" any broken enemy units and run them down. In other words, I want to skeletons to *be* charged and holding for one round of combat. If they cannot autobreak the charging enemy unit, I should be able to bring to bear an attached hammer unit to support the skeletons. This will finish the job and prepping the fleeing unit for the dogs. It's the classic hammer-and-anvil routine. The Necromancer will be trailing the skeleton units to make sure that they are affected by the Miasma of Deathly Vigor.

Of course, I'll be facing Lizardmen and their annoying Engine of the Gods. I plan to ignore it and feed it as many zombies as it wants, well away from my lines.

This brings me to the Magic Phase. I didn't invest in as much magic power as magic spread, all I plan on doing is re-filling ranks of skeletons or feeding new zombies to the Stegadon.

That's the plan in a nutshell, wish me luck!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Them bones were rolled

Today was matchup #3 for the WHFB campaign between I and the Lizardmen using an adaptation of the Fantasy Battlegrounds Kingdosms rules.

The objective was to hold an objective in the center of the table woth 400VPs and units destroyed VPs were tallied.

The VCs unfortunately were massacred, but I don't think it was due to the units themselves, but to the very good maneuvering by the opponent, and the total lack of gameplan by yours truely. At the end of the game, it was 1700VP to 300VP against, quite the massacre.

The key to the lizardmen victory was one key failed charged by the Grave Guard, which allowed them to swing around and roll up the VCs flank. It didn't help that my general was part of the flank being rolled. The MVP in the game was my Caster Vampire who, with only a sword of might and her good looks, was able to kill a charging Scar Veteran. Regenerating units were also very useful as eveything else was being destroyed left and right.

Two more campaign turns left, with the Lizardmen 12 points against the VCs 6. The next game will decide if victory remains within reach for the VCs.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Willpower where art thou?

It seems that I have lost all willpower and bought a Varghulf solely on the great reviews of the unit. I don't really like the model, but if it paints up like the Dire Wolf models that I used to hate, then I should be able to make something of the paintjob. First tho, I'll need to obtain some green stuff to fill the horrendous seams apparent on the various joints.

Happily, with the Varghulf, I have received the Vampire models for my General and Scouting vampires, which I will paint up shortly.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Monique deNoir

I recently acquired Monique DeNoir, a character from the Dark Heaven model line from Reaper.

The model is very nice (to my eye at least) and a suitable centrepiece for my shambling horde army. I have written her up as a Hero and Lord level character, to represent the experience gained throughout a campaign that I am currently in.

  • Monique deNoir, Vampire w/ Infinite Hatred, Beguile, Flayed Hauberk and Sword of Might (or Sword of Kings if I'm not fielding a Wight King) or
  • Monique deNoir, Vampire Lord w/ Wizard Level, Red Fury, Infinite Hatred, Beguile, Flayed Hauberk, Crown of the Damned, Blood Drinker
Of course she is an in-you-face kind of Vampire, very beautiful when she is angry. Looking out for her well being is her personal retinue of Grave Guard:
  • 20x Grave Guard w/ Champion, Standard Bearer w/ Banner of the Dead Legion
She should provide some punch while the Grave Guard back her up with numbers (and the odd killing blow).

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Kicked off a campaign today

Today marked the first playtest campaign session for a WHFB conversion of the Battlegrounds: Fantasy Warfare Kingdoms campaign system.

Two 1000 point games were played with army lists created *after* the scenario was determined. This resulted in new, more task-oriented army lists on both sides.

I'm happy to report that in both sessions, my Vampire counts were up to snuff and were able to draw both games. (Instead of the standard Massacre! against.)

Current campaign standings are 7VPs for the Lizardmen, and 5 VPs for Vampire Counts with 3 more campaigns games to go.

What I like the best about this campaign system (aside from the various new scenarios offered) is the fact that campaign performance doesn't affect your army composition. This completely sidesteps the runaway leader effect that kills most campaigns a few sessions in.

A few tweaks will be applied to the conversion rules before they are made public, but I don't plan on keeping the campaign document secret for too long. :)

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Are VCs really broken?

I was reading a bit on and I came across a post from someone in the middle of a "The top 3 armies are broken"

"I wish my vampire counts army performed as well as it does on the Internet."

That is my feeling as well. Apparently I am running a broken army because I am a bad person and the army needs to be nerfed. Well If you consider my track record, I disagree. There are at least 2 ways that I can think of that will defeat a Vampire Counts army every time.

  1. Shut down the VC magic phase. The base VC core troops are expensive and useless in combat. The only reason that enemy units get overcome by a Skeleton unit (for example) is that the vampires can raise them back up through magic. Shut them down, make them work for each Invocation that goes off and the match is 90% yours.
  2. VC armies are *very* character dependant. Kill the characters and then point 1 above becomes a non-issue. Vampires are much easier to kill than before, and that goes for the Vampire Lord as well.
I play against Lizardmen quite a bit, and let me tell you, I struggle just to tie against them. There *are* ways to defeat the VCs, but the are so different than most armies that you have to shift your gameplan to do so.