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PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2015 8:39 am 
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I have brought shame to ulthuan with another crushing defeat at the hands of a vampire list consisting of 2 terrorgheists and a black knight bus containing lord with red fury, nightshroud and 2 other vamps. We play at 3000 pts uncomped (although we are looking at using 2400 with ETC comp in the future). Other armies in our group include WoC and Dwarfs and they too can't seem to beat vampires.

What tactics do people use to deal with this deadly combination? In the last game I deployed deep in my zone to avoid turn 1 screams and attempted to use bolt throwers, sisters and handmaiden to shoot terrorgheists and the bus while they advanced. The problem is they were all over me before I could do any real damage; the fact that we had lots of buildings and forests but no hills didn't help my cause! I got Fiery convocation off on the bus but that still didn't kill enough and I prioritised dispell of invocation of nehek where possible. I had a white lion block with botwd, alarielle, loremaster, sea helm bsb. His bus (at about half starting number of knights) charged my white lion block, with support from a terrorgheist and decimated it in a turn. My lone frostheart was screamed off in 2 turns (I failed a LD test rerollable with inspiring presence to march to safety!) and the rest of the army drowned in zombie chaff. I hoped to get arcane unforging off on his lord but he was able to dispell this. While my luck wasn't great I think even with better luck I would have lost.

My friends think that if I had used a silver helm bus and star dragon list I may have stood more of a chance on this matchup. I'm not so sure and I thought the list I used was pretty powerful.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2015 10:38 am 
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How many redirectors did you have Galdor?

Which Lore(s) did you go for on Alarielle?

Edit: OK I've re-read, you went for High.

I feel your strategy was pretty sound. I'd be tempted to stick an eagle in front of the bus each turn to avoid him getting as much joy from Vanhels, then switch to Reavers if you have them. If he gets first turn prioritise dispelling Vanhels on his bus, maybe even scroll it. Might be worth Vanguarding a unit of Reavers (maybe even two) to almost 12" in front of his bus and switch to 5 deep (presenting your flank to him) to hamper his turn 1 march. If his list has Wolves, consider fielding a unit of 5 Shadow Warriors and Scout it front and centre to stop his Vanguarding interfering with your own. If he charges these forward units with anything turn 1 (except the bus), Hold. This will create a roadblock for the marching bus. As soon as the bus declares a charge on anything (only in his first turn if he goes first), Flee, this will give it a failed charge. Any of these units that contributes to slowing the bus down has done a good job, even if it dies.

Consider adding another Mage or two on Light. Declare you will generate all Alarielle's spells from that Lore. Roll spells for the Mage(s) first, swap Banishment for Shem's if you roll it, otherwise keep whatever you roll. Then roll Alarielle's dice and select Banishment. Strength 6/7 (the Loremaster knows Shem's so ups the Strength) is going to hurt that bus with 3d6 hits, especially as the Everqueen can cast it twice in a turn of your choosing. On other turns 2d6 S6 from Shem's could be helpful, hopefully the RBT can pitch in if you can take the Terrorgheists down by mid-game.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2015 10:52 am 
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My brother plays vampire counts and likes his large vampire-led black knight unit as well. I try to avoid that unit all game because so far the vampire has killed everything I've managed to get in close combat with him. This includes dragons and phoenixes.

I usually use lore of shadow(lvl4) and lore of metal(lvl2) And I find there are some useful stuff in those lores. The funniest is probably my purple suns always scattering into a terrorgeist. But in general the Metal lore seems to be able to put the most hurt on the black knight bus. The signature can remove a lot of black knights, permanently reducing armour saves are great, especially on all the vampires. And turning a few knights into gold, granting stupidity to the unit and around can have hillarious results in the vampire players next turn :lol:

One thing Terrorgeists don't like is to be charged and caught in combat. Preferably with something with a little inbuilt combat resolution, so perhaps a unit of 5 dragon princes with a champion and a banner(maybe even the flaming one) could work as terrorgeist hunters. Sisters should also be fairly good at putting some wounds on terrorgeists, But I'v never used them even though I have 5 painted.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2015 12:45 pm 
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Thanks for the replies so far. Some good ideas there. I hadn't thought of the Lore of metal!

My list was basically:
Alarielle who chose to roll for spells from high
Loremaster
Sea helm bsb
All of which went in a unit of 27 white lions with botwd

For core I had a unit of 9 silver helms, archers, 3 units of reavers. I also had a unit of 5 dragon princes (who failed a leadership test and were forced to charge his bus due to altar of khaine). I then had 3 bolt throwers, handmaiden with Reaver bow and 9 sisters for shooting.

In hindsight I should have probably used light magic to get banishment on his bus and terrorgheists. He had a unit of hexwraiths which provided cover for his bus as well as lots of dire wolves which were pressuring me on turn 1.

A major issue I have against him is that he always out deploys me due to having so many units of zombies, spirits hosts, bat swarms etc. I have deployed all my units before he has even put down a Tg. I could try bringing eagles to increase my drops but even then I'm not sure I would have enough. His chaff seems endless..


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2015 1:05 pm 
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The Wolves can stop you charging but they won't kill anything because of ASF. Archers should take them down quickly or as said Scout and Vanguards to keep them back. DP's forced to charge bus sounds bad, how unlucky was it?

Certainly the Hexwraiths need dealing with but they won't hamper Banishment on the bus. Unboosted Shem's and Fireball should decimate them, followed by Sisters. Does depend how many he's got though.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2015 6:47 pm 
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Hi, I play both armies and I can tell you that a giant BotWD White Lions Deathstar will put fear into his knights bus. The Terrorgheists will also do no damage against them, and his Vampires with Ogre Blade will bounce off. Then you flank in, and kill the unit via making him crumble since White Lions annihilates his bus. Don't even bother with the Lord unless you have Lore of Shadows and have Mindrazor.

A large unit of Archers do wonders vs. the Terrorgheist, especially when combined with Withering from Shadow. In 3K uncomped, I would take 2x Phoenixes and a WL BotWD Deathstar, BoH Shadow Mage with 4+ Ward, a BSB with Reaver Bow and Potion of Strength, and fill the rest in with shooting, a unit of PG and whatever else.

Kill priority should be: Kill his chaff, put your BotWD White Lions into his Lord's bus with a Frostheart hopefully, and then flank it mindrazor with Archers. Boom, the game is won.

PS - Don't commit your Frosthearts so early, you don't need to because he has no shooting. Terrorgheists' threat range is 28" with scream, so deploy accordingly and you should be fine. Plus, they can't even hurt you if you charge them and you should be able to kill them with a single charge from the bird, or at least put enough wounds that their screams are crap afterwards. That, or they just outright die from combat res.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2015 7:06 pm 
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Hmm, I'd kind of assumed these Vamps didn't have magic weapons, judging by the ease with which they went through Galdor's unit HERO. He also had a T-stomping Terrorgheist in there too of course.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2015 7:12 pm 
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Unfortunately for me my friend is usually well prepared for Botwd and never brings magic weapons on his Vampire Lord and Vampire heroes :(

He usually always strikes first against them too. The nightshroud is also a major problem as it reduces them to S3.

I like the Mindrazor idea. It's just making sure I get it off at the critical moment!


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2015 10:36 pm 
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Galdor wrote:
Unfortunately for me my friend is usually well prepared for Botwd and never brings magic weapons on his Vampire Lord and Vampire heroes :(

He usually always strikes first against them too. The nightshroud is also a major problem as it reduces them to S3.

I like the Mindrazor idea. It's just making sure I get it off at the critical moment!


Switch it up with Phoenix Guard then. A natural 4+ ward really hampers VL's ability to do work on the unit. Throw 6 dice Mindrazor on the unit until it vanishes. Gloves off, just go hard with Shadow since I think it's the best lore vs. VC by far. Pit the Terrorgheist until it disappears, the base is huge so you're most likely going to hit if it goes through.

The White Lions are also S4 base. They're buff elves.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2015 10:57 pm 
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Oh yes, my mistake, strength 4. Not bad for elves!


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2015 8:26 am 
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At 3000pt you should be able to squeeze in a fighter in addition to your characters Have you tried one with the sword of anti heroes? If you know he brings a blender bus that sword may give you the edge in cc.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2015 8:45 am 
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Hi matrim, I actually had the sword of anti-heroes on my loremaster. The nightshroud meant that he was still only s4 but he did get the extra attacks. Giving him potion of strength in addition to that sword could have been pretty good though :lol: !!


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2015 9:31 am 
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Oh #-o
Just checked SoAH can work with mind razor St 10 7 attacks sounds good :twisted:


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2015 6:49 pm 
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Just my quick 2 cents from when I play against my VC buddy's BK bus. Nightshroud only affects "models" touching the lord, not the whole unit - so back ranks and sides will still be S6 (assuming hes in the middle).

Make sure you deal with the TGs first and isolate the BK bus. Try and hurt the bus from ranged as much as possible, but making sure you clear the other threats off the table is more important than killing some Black Knights.

Also when combat does come, what about making sure your characters are on opposite sides of the unit so he has to choose only one character to kill. You cannot Make Way after the start of the combat - so once he kills the lord he has to focus on the White Lions. Then if you put a FHP, or even an eagle on the flank...

I generally try and kill the Black Knights for combat resolution and let the vamps die from crumble. Once they are alone - they fall much easier. I never go toe to toe against them, make sure you have a flank charge ready and if he doesn't have magic weapons, he's probably always rocking a Lance - so make sure you get the charge on him if at all possible - use eagles & Reavers as needed to speedbump/redirect until you're ready.

And last off - what about putting the banner of Averlorn in there and giving Alarielle lore of Life? Apart from shield of thrones, all spells are useful(/awesome with throne of vines active) and at +8 to cast for regrowth, throne, earthblood, flesh to stone(wink-wink nudge-nudge)... Since you have a loremaster in there as well, you should have enough magic missles to deal with chaff (and spirit leech the Terrogheists who have LD4).


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2015 6:36 pm 
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I basically agree with what's been posted here.


Againt Deathstars we have a few options that can be used in conjunction with one another or used alone depending on the game.

1) An everlasting tar pit. Think Phoenix Guard here, maybe with a life/high wizard to further uncrease survivability. I run a unit of 24 strong with my archmage (High Magic) inside, in my competive 2400 lists. I usually throw them into anything I can't deal with and I know they can last multiple turns until I can flank them or win the fight somehow (static res). Another option could be a spear block with enough numbers and rankes to not flee. I've seen MSU lists sometimes run a unit of 40 spears so they can tie up a deathstar until the player is able to double flank it.

2) chaff/speedbumps. Obviously Reavers and Eagles can slow anything down for a turn. But so can things like Shadow Warriors and SH's and speedbumps like 5 WL's with a champion in Conga formation (Although you will lose sportsmanship for using that last one). You can also employ the double blocking maneuver, literally holding the enemy unit in place until the two chaff units are dead (You will lose sportsmanship for this as well)

3) Shooting & Magic. Another option is taking an offensive lore and multiple Bolt Throwers, allowing you to whittle down an opponent before engaging. Creating an enemy unit that you are able to defeat in combat. This is probably the most random of options we have though, and while potentially getting good results can also be completely innefective.

4) Avoidance. This is a basic tequnique. But one some players forget about sometimes. Depending on your army and the deployment phase it's possible you can avoid a deathstar unit for the entire game. Do this while whittleing away the rest of his army to win by a small margin. (Most tournaments will not reward this style of win though)

3)

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2015 7:37 pm 
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I'd be a bit nervous about holding forever with PG, given that the Vamp Lord probably has Other Trickster's Shard to help his Red Fury along. If you have Mindrazor with Power Scroll though say, looks a lot safer.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 06, 2015 7:51 am 
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Some good points, bloody nunchucks. I wonder if strategies 2 and 3 are the most useful for the blender bus in particular. I think avoidance altogether is more tricky as it is fast and he can always deploy his bus after my units are down! When I've used phoenix guard against it they have held it for a bit but the OTS, as SpellArcher mentioned, is a problem.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 06, 2015 2:25 pm 
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Sorry to barge in, but what's the usual setting for vampire lord with nightshroud?

I suppose the lord's weapon would be lance, since taking great weapon would take away his most valuable asset
: Red Fury + ASF combination.
In addition, wielding great weapon would worsen his armour save by 1 point.

If this is so, the lord would have Lance, Barded Nightmare, Shield, Nightshroud, 4+ Ward Save and The other trickster's shard. After the charge, the vamp lord would be hitting at mundane S5.

Personally, judging from my usual cavalry heavy HE list, the black knight bus with nightshroud lord is nothing more than annoyance. While the VC can outdeploy me with sheer number of units, it does increase my chance of seizing the initiative.(i.e. getting the first turn) And my army is generally as mobile, or more mobile than his.
VC has van hel's, but my archmage also wields high magic and walk between world, so even in magic phase
I don't suffer much handicap.(in terms of providing mobility) Not to mention using arcane unforging on the VC lord constantly.

When I play with 'typical' VC list with double terrorgheists and black knight bus, the terrorgheists usually
scream once and then receive full frontal charge from either DP bus or the 4-rank SH unit.
Black knights bus usually gets good beating from 7 bolt throwers(5 eagle claws, 2 eagle eyes : I usually play 3K points games) and 11 sisters. And then they are either blocked by shadow warriors, eagle, reavers, SH dart, and on occasions skycutters.

Now, I might have had games with VC players with relatively little experience, but serious lack of long range shooting for removing chaff is what truly enabled me to avoid the black knight bus.
(I doubt anyone would let their terrorgheists scream at reavers)
Do note that these games were against undead legion army with VC-heavy elements.
He had 2 casket of souls, giving his list more effective means of chaff control compared to 'normal' VC lists.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 06, 2015 8:34 pm 
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Ok, I just feel like I need to defend the PG because I've grown attached to them this year :D My area has a nickname for my unit (undying elves) beacuse I went to three GT's and several other tournaments and they never died.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

There are two different setups I run.


1) 25 (Full Co, Razor Standard) with a High Lore archmage inside, sporting BoH and ToP.

2) 25 (Full Co, Razor Standard/Gleaming Banner) with a beast/shadow mage nearby.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The math below will account for the Archmage giving the PG a 3++.

The first unit, lets say in this example is taking 15 S5 attacks at WS 6+ from Vampires. They will hit with 10 attacks, wounding with 8 of them. The PG will save 5 of them, resulting in 3 deaths. At 26 strong, they will be four ranks for at least two turns of combat. and losing a rank after each round there after. a deathstar will not usually start with as many ranks (5) nor will you be unable to kill enemy rank and file troops with your 16 S4 WS5, armour peircing attacks. This should usually stop you from ever fleeing. The above math also is accounting for "real" stats, using decimals the PG would only lose 2 a turn by the end of the math.

The math below will account for the Mage giving the PG +1S/T

Same as above, 15 S5 WS6+ attacks coming in. They hit with 10, this time wounding with 7, and the PG lose 4. Using decimals they only lose 3 by the end of the math, and this time the PG are hitting back with 16 S5 WS5, armour peircing attacks, surely doing enough damage to ensure that their 4 ranks are enough to keep them steadfast.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Even completely un-buffed the PG only lose four a turn, which is a lot but not enough to break them anytime soon. Especially if you are hurting the rank and files back and either reducing their ranks or making them actually lose combat and lose more models.

Life buffs to the unit or Shadow de-buffs or a Phoneix joining in only increase the survivability of the unit. This unit is a metaphorrical rock that I rely on again and again. Dreaded 13th/Dwellers is basically the only thing that scares me in the game against this unit, and most tournaments allow at least MR ward saves against spells like that so they end up fine. Sure they may be pillow fisted but who cares? Our lists don't use PG as a hammer, but the anvil.

Anyway, just backing up my thoughts. Usually with deathstars I use my chaff to speed bump them while fighting other things, usually engaging them around turn four where I can hopfully bring either a flanking unit or Phoenix to help out.

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