Monday 18 January 2016

Vampire Counts Army Showcase

This week's battle report on the blog will be a first, in that it will be a fantasy game featuring my Vampire Counts. Before that, I thought I would get to something I have been meaning to do for a while and showcase my vampire counts army.

I first got into the Undead back in 5th edition, with White Dwarf 211 that showcased the new Undead studio army and gave an in-depth tutorial on how to paint skeletons using the Eavy Metal method. The new studio army looked so good that it tempted me to the black arts and my budding undead army began. My love of the models was further cemented when they released the Red Baron vampire lord model, which I thought was (and still is) an amazing model.

With the release of End Times, I decided to get back in to fantasy as I always loved the Undead and Nagash. I chose the Vampire Counts over the Tomb Kings as I preferred the aesthetic of the Vampire Counts over the Tomb Kings (but do miss my Screaming Skull catapults and Chariots). Fortunately, the rules for End Times allow a combined Undead army, so if I really wanted, I could have them in my army.

When I re-started my collection, the first model I had to purchase was the Vampire Lord. This is still a great model to me, and I was glad I picked it up again. I decided to have a green colour scheme to my army to contrast the bone of the skeletons (plus, almost all my armies have some form of green colour scheme).

The basis of my army is three units of skeleton warriors. I painted these up quite quickly using a simplified version of the scheme from White Dwarf 211. I was surprised how quickly I got these painted up, with all three units being completed in the space of about a month. When I first started the army, I wanted to get it painted very quickly and get it on the tabletop.

My zombies provide a bit of additional colour to the army. These models took longer to paint up, mainly due to the different colours. Zombies are so cheap that they are easy to run in a horde for additional attacks and really easy to raise again as they get an additional D6 zombies for each raise spell cast. I still have one unit to paint up and hope to get these done this year.

The next unit is my Black Knights, painted in a similar fashion to the skeletons in the army. These are a mixture of the new Black Knight models and older Mounted Wight models from 5th edition fantasy.

Next up, I have my Mortis Engine. This is a great model and provides many useful bonuses to my army in the game. I still have to finish the base for this model.

On a similar theme to buffing the army, the corpse cart provides more additional bonuses to the army as well as being a really nice model too.

Finally, on the painted models, I have my vampire on foot and a Necromancer, both powerful and useful characters on the battlefield.

I have a variety of unpainted models in the army including Dire Wolves, Crypt Horrors and the Terrorgheist.

A big shout out to Imperator Guides. I made a lot of use of their Vampire Counts fantasy tactica when building my army. This is a really useful source of information and great for a player getting back in to the game after a long absence.

This is one of my few armies where I have done something with the bases. Normally, I will just paint the edge of the base and put flock on it without treatment. My Vampire Counts army uses flock on the base, but I then drybrush with a light brown and bone colour, then add static grass to the base, as well as the movement trays.
As many of you will know, a good base really adds to a model and can bring a whole army together on the battlefield. I kind of wish I had done something similar with my other armies, just to raise the bar on them a bit.

The fantasy models are a lot more fragile than the ones that I am used to for 40k. There is a tendency for some of the arms and weapons on the skeletons and zombies to snap off during transport or even during painting if the drybrushing is particularly heavy. Fortunately though, Vampire Counts are one of the few armies where missing limbs do not look out of place!

One thing I would like to do in the future is to go back and take a look at magnetising the bases of my units. It can be difficult to rank up some of the units and to keep them in place as you move the units around the table. Magnetising the units to the movement tray should hopefully help with this.

Hope you have enjoyed this look at my fantasy army, the battle report will be up later this week.

I hope to get my missing units painted at some point this year. If I manage this, I may have achieved the holy grail of gamers; a fully painted army! Given the current state of warhammer fantasy (or Age of Sigmar), I doubt I will be buying much more for the army in the future, so actually have a chance to get it fully finished. 


  1. My goodness mike that is one sweet army! The vampire counts were my first love way back in the 90's as a nipper and I would have loved to collect an army of them if I hadn't got so into 40k.

    I think this is my second favourite army of your after your imperial guard, they look absolutely cracking :)

    1. Cheers Rob! Just my Orks left to showcase now.

      Hopefully I can show them again when I finally get the unfinished units painted up.

  2. Those look great. A good Undead force has such an imposing overall look and aesthetic, and this really nails it.

    What are people doing for Fantasy in your area, btw? AoS, sticking with 8th, Kings of War, one of the various fan systems like 9th Age, or something else entirely?

    1. Cheers WestRider!
      It seems to be a mix of 8th edition and Age of Sigmar at the local club. I've not heard anyone mention 9th Age or Kings of War at the moment. I downloaded the free rules for Kings of War and might give them a go at some point.

      Do you play any fantasy yourself?

    2. I haven't for years. Used to run Skaven and Dwarves. Frankly, I was pretty bad at it, and it just got too frustrating, so I sold those off. AoS actually kind of has me interested again, but no one in my immediate area is playing it, so I dunno if anything's going to come of it.

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