In a few months’ time I’m going to Upminster to play some sixth edition WFB and it’s… unlikely… that I’ll get my Tomb Kings done in time, so it’s time to break the Vampire Counts out again.
The holy word demands a 500 point Border Patrol force for the first round, and a 1500 point force for the rest. We’re playing four different scenarios as well (Pitched Battle, Breakthrough, Meeting Engagement and Capture), but I’m going to think about those later. When I’ve bothered to look them up.
Vampire Thrall: heavy armour, shield, Tomb Blade: 121
21 Skeletons: spears, flag waggler, drum bonker, boss skeleton with a hat: 219
10 Ghouls: 80
4 Fell Bats: 80
I figure there are two ways to approach Border Patrol as a Vampire Counts player: you bring a Necromancer and attempt to play your normal game, or you rejoice in the permission to take a Vampire Thrall as your General and build around not really needing the magic phase for once. Hence all this caper. One nice big unit of skelliebellies to lumber across the field and some nice independent Ghouls and Bats who can naff off and do their own thing.
Obviously there are nastier things one can do in Border Patrol (Necromancer with the Cloak of Mists and Shadows, huge Spirit Host, token unit of Zombies to Invoke into) but I’d kind of like to keep some friends. At least, I’d like to keep some friends until round two.
Necromancer: level 2 wizard, Rod of Flaming Death: 150
Necromancer: level 2 wizard, Book of Arkhan: 125
Necromancer: level 2 wizard, Spell Familiar: 115
19 Skeletons: spears, banner waver, bongo beater, challenge acceptoriser: 201
10 Skeletons: 80
8 Ghouls: 64
2 Bat Swarms: 120
8 Black Knights: barding, wafty thing, tooty wand, one slightly larger plume: 240
4 Fell Bats: 80
2 Spirit Hosts: 130
Black Coach: 200
Now. Some of you are probably already counting the power dice this list brings to the table and readying the pillories, pilliwinks and pinchy objects to hound me back across the Welsh border. Hear me out. Yes, it’s going to bung a lot of spells around, but I do feel I’ve made several concessions across the board as a whole.
Firstly: no Dispel Scrolls. Because sod Dispel Scrolls. I’ve never liked them, I never know when to use them, so I’ve spent the points on most of another Swarm base instead.
Secondly: no Power Familiar or Black Periapt either. Nine power and six dispel dice is a good, easy to manage spread for three level two wizards; it means they’re all bunging out one spell with all the dice they can carry, and they can probably stop two incoming spells a turn. Eight and five is harder; more active decisions have to be made.
Thirdly: no redundancy! None of that “two units of five Dire Wolves” or “two units of three Fell Bats” or “two units of six Black Knights” tuning that gives a list resilience and allows it to apply the same kind of pressure in multiple points and force decisions in target priority. Mostly because I don’t actually own any of that stuff apart from the Dire Wolves, and I’m not bringing any Dire Wolves because I use too many Dire Wolves.
Fourthly: Black Coach! I’m still not sure about this thing. It’s basically a 200 point gamble on your opponent failing some terror tests or even caring about terror tests to begin with, and on that unmodified d6 roll for the number of impact hits doing anything. But I like to have a strong central vampire presence of some sort in my army and a lone Thrall just isn’t really doing it for me, so the Black Coach gets another chance.
Fifthly and finally: it’s not the Sylvanian Nightmare, and you have no idea how tempted I was to shell out on some Blood Knights so I could actually jam three mounted armoured-up Vampire Thralls into one unit of Black Knights with Magic Resistance, summon a potential eighteen Dire Wolves behind the enemy, and giggle as the rest of the army (three swarms and two Black Coaches) met them coming the other way. It could have been so much worse.
So. Whatcha think?