Vampire Lord – level 4 wizard; shield and heavy armour; Talisman of Preservation, Nightshroud; Aura of Dark Majesty, Fear Incarnate
Carmilla von Wellmitz
Vampire – level 2 wizard; shield; Battle Standard; Armour of Destiny; Dark Acolyte, Summon Creatures of the Night
Emmanuelle von Carstein
49 Skeletons – spears, command group, Screaming Banner
40 Zombies – standard and musician
10 Dire Wolves
Order of the Black Cross
12 Black Knights – lances, barding; command group; Banner of Eternal Flame
2 Fell Bats
2 Fell Bats
2 Fell Bats
Black Monks of St. Herod
Spirit Host – 5 bases
I know, right?
The thing is, I am occasionally struck by this perverse desire to try and use things, and I just can’t seem to hypnotise people into playing sixth edition again, so this is where we end up. I can just about scrape 2000 points with the Core that I have, if I put every single model on the table and forgo raising new Zombie units, treating the Lore of the Vampires as a way to get casualties back up instead.
Lord Ruthven is an odd duck; footslogging Vampire Lords are generally sub-optimal, just because they’re expensive, slow, and generally a bit behind in the armour save department. However, I like the model far too much to replace him, and I don’t think I can get away with using him as a proxy for a cheaper, more combat-oriented Ghoul King. Besides, at 2000 points I sort of feel that four magic levels are obligatory (if only to keep enemy magic off my back to an extent). He’s been loaded up with stuff which a) attempts to make something out of the Psychology rules and present him as more of a support piece and b) keeps him alive in the event that combat is actually a thing which occurs.
Carmilla is backup. Another Lore of the Vampires caster, another 4+ ward, and a focus on Invoking power since she’s only a level 2 and her spells are easier to shut down. Plus, if she ends up in charge, the efficient Invocation will be needed in order to recover from the death-of-the-general crumblage, agin which her Battle Standard also helps to insulate.
Emmanuelle runs around howling at things that need to be howled at, or hides in an infantry unit to wail into their close combat opponents and help whittle them down a bit. She can also, in a pinch, maybe tarpit a big scary monster that can’t hit her or kill her with static combat resolution points.
Core is simply every Core model I own, dumped on the table, with whatever upgrades are necessary to hit 500 points. The Screaming Banner and Ruthven’s Bloodline powers may enforce some sort of effect out of Fear tests and help the Skeletons in combat; the Zombies are pretty much on their own as tarpit central (although I don’t think they’re actually very good at that now that more models get to fight in a punch-up). I guess the Dire Wolves screen the Knights or go wizard-hunting like they used to…
In Special, where most of my points have customarily been spent, we find the army’s blunt instrument, the traditional Black Knight brick with the as-good-as-mandatory Hydra Hurting Banner. I used to favour the Banner of the Barrows, but honestly, it might as well have been called the Banner of Missing on Twos, so I’ve gone for some more mileage out of the attacks which do hit home.
We also find the army’s redirectors – three entirely disposable pairs of Fell Bats, doing the job that my four kajillion units of Dire Wolves used to do, i.e. being sent out to get in the way of things, marchblock things, attack vulnerable war engine things, and maybe get beefed up with a couple of Invocations and used for some desperate attempt at actually hurting things.
The big Spirit Host is something of an experiment. I’d cheerfully swap them out for a Terrorgheist if I owned one; hell, I’d be tempted to swap the Knights out for another Terrorgheist if I owned two! However, I don’t own any Terrorgheists, so these go down with the order to be quite fast, have a goodly quantity of attacks, and potentially flank things that are in combat with Skeletons or Zombies. I don’t even know if that’s worth doing any more, what with Steadfast, but Incorporeal flank charges used to be decent ideas.
Frankly, the whole business of Vampire Counts used to be a decent idea. I dunno. It’s an army list. It might work.