In an attempt to write a list that isn't tailored to the nasty WoC list I know is one of my upcoming games I have come up with the following list, although I have some reservations about it still.
Vampire Lord - 440
- MotbA, Dark Acolyte, Summon Ghouls
- Crown of the Damned, Earthing Rod, Crown of Command
Vampire BSB - 215
- Forbidden Lore, Summon Ghouls
- Dispel Scroll, Flayed Hauberk
24 Ghouls - 208
24 Ghouls - 208
14 Ghouls - 136
26 Grave Guard - 387
- Full Command, Great Weapons, Banner of the Barrows
4 Fel Bats - 80
Varghulf - 175
Varghulf - 175
Lord and BSB join GG, Necromancers sit in the Bunker.
So its pretty much all about the Van Hels here. The Lord is the main caster and can fight a little and is fairly well protected. The GG are the main hammer but the big ghouls units do their work as usual. Varghulfs in general will work together as a flanking unit to help break tied up units.
There are a few things I'm still not sure about mainly the hero setup.
1. Lord. HoC is almost too good to give up but hiding a Vamp Lord at this level feels a bit wrong and he can still do some damage despite being my primary caster. Also is SoM a waste here?
2. Necromancers. At level 1 their efforts will get dispelled by high level casters a lot. Am I better off with a single Vampire with DA. Downside is no guaranteed VH with that route.
3. Wight King. Adds damage to the unit but I could drop him and 1 necro for a Vamp BSB who would then give me more casting options as well.
I could trade up the WK and a Necro for a Vamp BSB with the Book of Arkhan, Dark Acolyte and Summon Ghouls to give the list more buffing power or even the Book and MotbA to guarantee magic superiority.
At this point suggestions are more than welcome for the list.
That list is really screaming out for the Helm on the Lord. It's almost mandatory now to make an effective VC list. I would lose one of the necromancers. I would also ditch Dark Acolyte for Forbidden Lore. The loss of +1 to cast/dispel is not huge and I think the benifit of getting all the vampire spells is better.
With the magic phase I find its a case of teasing out your opponents dispel dice. So lots of small magic casting on two or three dice to allow you pull out dice for that spell you need to get. And it forces your opponent to make choices about what to stop as they generally can't stop everything.
A thrall with MotB is less useful given that only thrall can use the two dice generated by MotB. Which pretty much limits his use to invocation. I personally would go with Forbidden Lore (Vampires) and Summon Ghouls. And give the thrall a dispel scroll. You can also make this character the BSB. This would allow you to ditch the wight & two necromancers from your list. The points saved could be used to add either bats or wolves, which are useful for both warmachine hunting or as initial deployments to see where your opponents deploys. Or you could replace one of the Varghulfs with wraiths or the black coach. My lists never leave home without the coach.
Made a few changes.
Only problem is this means the lord is now basically a bunker lord, which for his stats seems a shame. Guess we can't have it both ways though. Does mean the bunks is vulnerable in the games I don't get first turn.
Also still unsure about forbidden lore vs dark acolyte on the lord. It seems overkill on a character who rolls 4 spells since the likelihood of not rolling either a 2 or a double is very small. I just managed 50 rolls in a row that give me VHDM.
I don't actually own a Black Coach, although that's something I will rectify at some point. I think it may actually be the only VC model from the past 5 years I don't have. However first priority is more GG and Ghouls.
The scroll/black pariapt combo is illegal now. A wizard can only choose one magic item from each category. And both dispel scroll as black pariapt are arcane items.