VC: public playtesting comments

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    • Sure, it was a "I have 5 points to spare and nothing else to take" - pick. It can be (and already was) a life-saver though. I almost always have lightning reflexes (and I have it definitely in the round I need it) and there are a lot of Characters with high initiative out there where 5 S7 attacks can make the difference between life and death.

      I'm open for suggestions though :)
    • List:

      420 Vampire Count, Level Three (Death), Mithril Mail, Mask of Innocence, Talisman of Supreme Shielding, Halberd
      130 Necromancer, Level Two (Necromancy), Unholy Tome, Dragonfire Gem
      125 Necromancer, Level Two (Necromancy), Dispel Scroll
      85 Fell Wraith, Great Weapon, Skeletal Steed with Light Troops

      210 40 Skeletons, Spears, Full Command
      210 40 Skeletons, Spears, Full Command
      195 20 Ghouls, Full Command
      40 5 Dire Wolves

      40 2 Great Bats
      40 2 Great Bats
      60 2 Phantom Host
      60 2 Phantom Host
      100 5 Barrow Knights, Standard Bearer
      100 Cadaver Wagon, Bring Out Your Dead
      95 Cadaver Wagon, Bone Pyre

      360 6 Vampire Knights, Full Command, Holy Icon
      230 Altar of Undeath, Dark Tome
      ====
      2500

      Currently in a tournament.

      R1: Dwarves (no war machines, almost everything vanguards or scouts, everything shoots - 2x miners, 2x copter, rangers, big block of throwing weapon warriors, 2xXbow dorfs). He gets the first turn and sprints into my face. Vampire politely avoids his Shieldbearer lord. Skeletons pin the warriors, second unit goes on a rampage through assorted things, eventually the knights manage to smash from one flank to the other to assist the vampire lord and ghouls (and mages who wish I'd bought another bunker for them) AND the barrow knights... basically, throw your entire army at something and it is likely to die. Decent-ish win - 900 VP or so?

      R2 Infernal Dwarves (war machines, Flintlock guys in big block, some chaff, K'dai, flying Lord): He castled in a corner. His flying monster and K'daii were unstoppable, but I managed to ram through his castle. First wave of Skeletons died, second (with general) succeeded... but lost too much assorted stuff to unstoppable monsters, so lost by about 150 VP.

      R3 Lizardmen (Saurian unit, Cuatl + temple guard, Taurosaur hero, Thyroscutus, skink chaff): I deployed centrally, pushed slightly away from one flank by a building. He castles in a corner. I push heroically to get into combat from the wrong flank, Deathsnipe his Taurosaur, Saurus block smashes skeletons w/out general, tries to do same to general's unit, but it's been swollen in size (some early invocations) and has a vampire. Kill everything but the TG deathstar (couldn't actually GET to it), lose assorted stuff, win by 300 VP.

      Second Cadaver Wagon is NOT pulling it's weight, I can never get it near enemy wizards. Assorted chaff is mediocre (leadership bubble is tough, and I haven't been feeling much need to chaff people up, although a few clutch times have been good).

      Death magic is TERRIBLE. I tried to build to get the -3 Ld on steadfast blocks, but... the spells are just so very bad. Except for -1 S/-1 T, that one is a backbreaker... but everything else... okay, death snipe was good once, but that was basically sheer luck. Ld 10 generals abound. Shoulda just gone with Necromancy and forgotten about that silly -1 Ld power (commandment maybe...).

      Anyway. Skeletons need more support to work. Vampire isn't doing bad, but 40 skeletons with a buff spell isn't quite getting there.

      Background Team

    • Unstable for VC

      I'm not sure if this is the correct place for this but I wanted to suggest a possible change to the unstable rules for the Vampire Covenant.

      One of the issues I have when playing the Vampire Covenant (really it can be applied to unstable in general) is that it deters you from making multi-charges or flank charges. Which I feel is a core tenant of the game. Basically if you have an enemy unit engaged with skeletons/zombies you don't want to flank the engaged unit due to the fear of that unit suffering from unstable. This seems counter intuitive to a player wanting to press his advantage by flanking a unit which is already engaged. Also I'm not sure what the narrative explanation for this rule is. You beat the skeletons/zombies so bad the flanking unit worries itself to death?

      A possibly fix for this would be to have units suffer unstable wounds equal to their invocation stat if they lose combat. Thus elite hard to raise units would suffer less from unstable and cheaper easier to raise units suffer more from unstable. Which makes narrative sense as the more elite units in the Vampire Covenant tend to be more self sustaining than the raised rank and file.

      Basically I could see flank charging with knights or a Varkolak into the side of an already engaged enemy if I knew no matter how bad the dice were my unit wasn't going to get completing destroyed by unstable.

      The group that I play with really likes this idea and I will give it try and let you know how it turns out.

      If anyone else wants to try it feel free or if you have a suggestion that may be better I'm all ears. :thumbsup:
    • Currently I am not certain about Grave Guards... it seems like Winged reapers are almost always a better choice. It also seems like playing quick units is the most effective way of playing, which I don't mind.
      The Grave Guard appears to do nothing most of the time, they can't take a hit, their output is mostly..."okay" at best and they cost quite a lot...I am not certain though, possibly I play them wrong. (to be honest, they definitely seem to be to most boring choice atm)
    • I had a game last night against some Beast Herds. Newer player to 9th Age, but a veteran of 8th and a competent general. I ran:

      [420] Vampire Count: brotherhood of the dragon, level 2, path of necromancy, blessed sword, hardened shield, potion of strength, talisman of supreme shielding, crimson rage, general

      [130] Barrow King: tullius’ teeth
      [125] Necromancer: level 2, path of necromancy, dispel scroll

      [375] Ghouls x 39: standard, champion
      [81] Zombies x 22: standard, musician
      [60] Bat Swarm x 2
      [40] Dire Wolves x 5
      [40] Dire Wolves x 5
      [40] Dire Wolves x 5

      [473] Barrow Guard x 39: halberds, standard, champion, banner of the barrow kings
      [265] Vampire Spawn x 6: champion
      [105] Cadaver Wagon: endless horde, bone pyre

      [180] Vampire Knights x 3: blood ties
      [165] Winged Reapers x 2: paired weapons

      TOTAL: 2499

      versus

      Beastlord: sword of strength, 2+ rerollable armor, crown of horns
      Chieftain BSB: totem bearer, 2+ armor
      Soothsayer: Lvl 2, wilderness, dispel scroll

      Wildhorns x 30: paired weapons, throwing weapons, full command, blooded horn totem
      Wildhorns x 30: paired weapons, throwing weapons, full command, blooded horn totem
      Mongrel Raiders x 10
      Feral Hounds x 5
      Feral Hounds x 5
      Feral Hounds x 5

      Longhorns x 30?: halberds, full command, banner of discipline
      Minotaurs x 9: paired weapons, full command, flaming banner

      Ghortach
      Beast Giant: looted booze

      We had flank attack with hold the ground for the secondary. I was the defender and chose to deploy my whole army first since I have a fairly fixed deployment with my leadership bubble. I put my two hordes in the middle, zombies behind them, Knights on one flank, Reapers on another, chaff on either flank to divert, and my Spawn behind my lines to move around to wherever they were needed. He deployed his Longhorns, Minotaurs, and Ghortach all on one flank with one unit of Wildhorns in the center and the other on the other side of a building on the other flank with chaff interspersed around the field.

      After vanguarding all of our dogs up, I opted to clear his out early and sent my Knights against one pack and my Reapers against another. He held with both and my Reapers made it in, but my Knights failed their charge. I pushed my hordes forward, but made a point to keep out of range of his Longhorns or Minos as a combo charge from either of those would be bad news for me. My Spawn moved over to the right flank behind a unit of Wolves to threaten his Beast Giant that had vanguarded up. In magic, I Gazed one of his Hound units to death and buffed up my Winged Reapers with Curse of the Undead as there was a chance his Ghortach could make a charge into them once I wiped the dogs (which I obviously did).

      The Ghortach did try the charge, but failed it (needing a 7) and his Giant charged my Dire Wolf unit that was in front of my Spawn. He moved his Minotaurs and Longhorns up cautiously and swung his Wildhorn unit on my left flank in as much as he could. In magic, he managed to get Beast Within through on his Giant, who killed my dogs and overran into my Vampire Spawn.

      I started turn 2 off with a charge from my Barrow Guard into his remaining Hound unit, hoping for a long overrun into his Wildhorns or at least getting up in their faces as he didn't have any countercharges set up and I knew I'd win that matchup. My Wolves chaffed up his flanking Wildhorn unit, but I wasn't able to fit them in quite the way I wanted and had to give him an overrun into the second wolf unit and my Reapers flew around to the far right flank out of sight of his Gortach. In magic, he burned his scroll and was able to shut me down aside from an Invocation on my Zombies to at least get the Cadaver Wagon bonus. My Barrow Guard chewed through the dogs, but weren't able to make the overrun into the Wildhorns and my Vampire Spawn barely killed the Giant before he got to strike.

      He charged his flanking Wildhorns into my Wolves, but opted against any further charges, instead just positioning his central Wildhorns take take my Barrow Guard charge, moving his Longhorns around to threaten the Barrow Guard's flank if the Wildhorns held, and moving his Minotaurs up into easy charge range of my Ghouls while keeping the Ghortach back to threaten my Reapers if I went into the Minotaurs' flank. I kept most of his magic phase shut down, but did have to let off a Gnarled Hide totem (distracting) on his Longhorns. The Wildhorns easily killed the Wolves and overran into the second unit.

      My Barrow Guard went into his Wildhorns and I declared both the Winged Reapers into the flank and the Ghouls into the front of the Minotaurs. Both units needed a 6 to make the charge and they both made it! He had his Minos positioned right behind a water feature though so unless I was able to kill 7 Minotaurs and drop him below 1 rank, he'd still be Steadfast even if I won combat. In remaining moves, I sucked it up and sent my Vampire Knights in to act as chaff against his Longhorns with the Vampire Spawn unit behind them to keep him from going into my Zombie bunker on an overrun. In magic, I was able to get off both Dance Macabre AND Curse of the Undead on my Ghouls, but my Zombies were sadly out of position and unable to give anyone the Cadaver Wagon bonus except the doomed Vampire Knights. Even unbuffed though, my Barrow Guard were able to chew through the Wildhorns, dealing around 11 wounds and only taking 1 back, clearing out his Steadfast and breaking the unit. I opted to restrain pursuit and turned to face the advancing Wildhorns who had killed my Wolves and were threatening a long flank charge on my Zombies. Moving on to the big combat, my Vampire Count went first and manage to do NINE wounds alone, which were followed up by several more from the Reapers and Ghouls, totaling up to exactly the 7 dead Minotaurs I needed to take away his Steadfast! He autobroke and my Reapers overran into his Ghortach. I was hoping my Ghouls would be able to get in as well, but the angle was off and I had to stop an inch away.

      He made the charge with his Longhorns into my Vampire Knights, but failed with his Wildhorns trying to get into my Zombies. He did manage to rally his beaten Wildhorn unit and got off a Blooded Horn totem (+1A and AP2) on his Longhorns. In combat, my Reapers whiffed their attacks and only got a single wound on the Ghortach, being promptly eaten for their failure. The Vampire Knights managed to kill off 4 or 5 Longhorns, but were themselves cut down as well. The Longhorns opted not to overrun into the Vampire Spawn and get rear charged by Barrow Guard, instead reforming to face my Ghouls.

      My turn 4, I charged my Ghouls into his Ghortach, my Barrow Guard into the remaining full-strength Wildhorns, my Spawn into his rallied Wildhorns, and cast Dance on my Ghouls. All three combats worked out quite nicely with the Barrow Guard killing off around 15 Wildhorns and only taking a single wound again and the combination of the Count and Ghouls bringing the Ghortach down, which let me turn my Ghouls to face the Longhorns.

      I had moved my Bat Swarms up to chaff his Longhorns, so he took that charge, got Blooded Horn off again, and wiped out the Bats, turning to face the Ghouls.

      I sent my Ghouls into the Longhorns, buffed them up with Curse of the Undead, and over this round and the next round of combat, broke the unit and ran them down to end the game with a 20-0 win for the Vampires!

      Post game, I think my opponent definitely made some mistakes with underestimating what some of my units could do, spreading out his deployment, and giving me that combo charge on his Minotaurs. I think my only real mistake was poor positioning of my chaff on the left flank, but it ended up working out okay so I'm not complaining. All of my units performed pretty well with the only real losers being the Vampire Knights, who still served a useful role and thinned out the Longhorns, so not the worst use of 180 points. MVPs were the Blender Lord in with the Ghouls and the +2 to hit Barrow Guard. In my previous games using Barrow Guard, I hadn't brought the Cadaver Wagon or a King with Teeth and they didn't do so hot, but with the right support I'm a pretty big fan now!
      My battle reports:
      VC Bloody Battle Blog
    • Ok last night i played a game vs UD (he had 3*3 stalkers and 2 catapults and 2 caskets), i was really eager to try VC on colosal zombie dragon (BD with crimson and crystal) he died 2 times in first turn), first time to 3 stalkers and second time to 1 catapult and some random chariot archers, now my question is how the f... is it balanced that model 700+ points dies to not so much random effect?

      Btw im veteran player from 4 ed, played on GTs 6 edition. These rules are supposed to be balanced and all models are supposed to see table in certain builds, am i right, if so plz address issue regarding ridden dragons and make them useful at least a little bit they dont have to die in 1 or 2 turns :D
    • That is one of the problems, ofc i was quite aware of what can happen and that is not the problem. I have no problem losing model, the problem is that its 700+p died to either 1 unit stalkers 150p or 1 catapult and random archers again less then 300p.

      So if im paying model for stats they should be ok, and he should live to give me chance so i can use him, this way its not usable (and im not talking about only competitive play).

      How about do something for those guys that want to use mounts and create them to be useful a littlebit, if we had item that provides 4+w to whole model for lets say 60p would it break game that much really? Its just 50% better survivor ability then what it is now and it could make it possible to see him on field or 35 points for 4+w vs shooting only and that it can be take only if mounted.

      I think that creating rules for ETC and some team tournys is bad and that rule council should try to create books for singles and then books could be more balanced. Just my 2 cents.
    • If you are going to run a Zombie Dragon, I feel like protecting him has to be priority #1 starting with his kit. Here's the version I plan to run once I get around to it:

      [775] Vampire Count: von karnstein, storm caller, level 3, path of shadow, blade of red thirst, lucky shield, gemstone amulet, potion of swiftness, unholy tome, colossal zombie dragon, general

      Storm Caller is crucial for that -1 to hit from shooting and a round of Lightning Reflexes never hurts. Shadow will give me a good different mix of spells including an initiative debuff to help make sure I get my licks in first. The Blade of Red Thirst will likely get me back any wounds I might lose before making it into combat and keep me strong if I have to enter a grind. Lucky Shield and Gemstone Amulet are the best protection a Ridden Monster can get and will hopefully save me from the first ordnance shot or two. Potion of Swiftness just in case I end up against someone faster, I can still regen those wounds with the Blade. Unholy Tome for the extra boost to combat and a chance at Cheating Death if I get it off.
      My battle reports:
      VC Bloody Battle Blog

      The post was edited 1 time, last by smashthedean ().

    • RatGod wrote:

      That is one of the problems, ofc i was quite aware of what can happen and that is not the problem. I have no problem losing model, the problem is that its 700+p died to either 1 unit stalkers 150p or 1 catapult and random archers again less then 300p.

      So if im paying model for stats they should be ok, and he should live to give me chance so i can use him, this way its not usable (and im not talking about only competitive play).

      How about do something for those guys that want to use mounts and create them to be useful a littlebit, if we had item that provides 4+w to whole model for lets say 60p would it break game that much really? Its just 50% better survivor ability then what it is now and it could make it possible to see him on field or 35 points for 4+w vs shooting only and that it can be take only if mounted.

      I think that creating rules for ETC and some team tournys is bad and that rule council should try to create books for singles and then books could be more balanced. Just my 2 cents.
      Yeah, no. It sounds like you're trying to make a square peg fit into a round hole here. That UD list is going to trounce most monsters, period end of story.

      Try running a more infantry style list and watch the tables completely turn.
    • smashthedean wrote:

      If you are going to run a Zombie Dragon, I feel like protecting him has to be priority #1 starting with his kit. Here's the version I plan to run once I get around to it:

      [775] Vampire Count: von karnstein, storm caller, level 3, path of shadow, blade of red thirst, lucky shield, gemstone amulet, potion of swiftness, unholy tome, colossal zombie dragon, general

      Storm Caller is crucial for that -1 to hit from shooting and a round of Lightning Reflexes never hurts. Shadow will give me a good different mix of spells including an initiative debuff to help make sure I get my licks in first. The Blade of Red Thirst will likely get me back any wounds I might lose before making it into combat and keep me strong if I have to enter a grind. Lucky Shield and Gemstone Amulet are the best protection a Ridden Monster can get and will hopefully save me from the first ordnance shot or two. Potion of Swiftness just in case I end up against someone faster, I can still regen those wounds with the Blade. Unholy Tome for the extra boost to combat and a chance at Cheating Death if I get it off.
      Nice build. I'm sure you know this but the "regen" or vampiric from the blade happens after close combat phase so you still have to get through a round of combat with whatever wounds you had before. Hopefully you would heal in the magic phase though... wow that is a lot of points though. Equally scary for both players: Vamp player - that could easily give up 1k points if it dies. Opponent - that could munch through an army!
    • Runkalunk, im not sure whats your point, since isnt it possible to run all models, isnt that a point? And its not true that UD are only created anti monster, there are 2 types of dwarfs, empire, even old bretonia, UD they all deal very easy with ridden monsters. Now if its team tourny yes dont pair with them but what about singles i should auto lose?

      And to others yes i know about von karstain and that built or different one with potion of str but i want red dragon on zombie dragon, and just cant use him :D
    • My point is that just because you want something to work doesn't mean that it's going to work. of course ninth age aims to have all unit entries viable, but your build is just strikingly subpar in the face of that UD list. You either need to spend a lot of points protecting the dragon or just drop it altogether. You can't complain about it being weak when you're trying to ram it into the face of stuff that literally excels at killing its unit type.
    • ya, if you play aggressively against an army that hard counters your list you deserve to lose. The better strategy is to keep the monster in the back safe and sound.
      “You can never know everything, and part of what you know is always wrong. Perhaps even the most important part. A portion of wisdom lies in knowing that. A portion of courage lies in going on anyways.” -Lan Mandragoran, EotW


      Dovie’andi se tovya sagain.