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Finally, Vamps vs Crusaders


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At long last, the Vampires came out to play. Greenie fielded a pretty strong-looking Crusader list. I did something I've always wanted and built a pure Vampire army - if it's on the table, it's a Vampire! Briarkiss + Osric + 5 Crimson Knights. Athak + Vandrian + 5 Crimson Knights. 1000 points. I hadn't played vampires at all in 2.0 yet, so this was going to be an interesting decision. When Vampires fight Crusaders, there isn't a lot of clever moves on either side. Mostly, it's a rush to the middle and let the blood fly. Yesterday was no exception. We were almost all in base contact at the end of turn 1. Turn 2 I get the benefit of going first with my entire army, despite his cards outnumbering me and having a Spy. Vampires do some awesome killing and Feeding. It was cool for me to take wounds, then heal them right back up. The only failure was Athak who was killed without wounding anyone. And I got my very first ZOMBIE from that fight. I'm using Graveyard Doctrine, by the way. I just love the idea of having a ZOMBIE pop up. Crusaders counter attack and I start losing models. By the beginning of turn three, I think I'm going to lose. CRusaders usually take a beating up front, then hang on til the end and win. So we traded blows for a few more turns. Turn four it was apparent I was winning. Turn five we called it because I had total control and his guys were ready to flee the field.

Thoughts: Vampire army is tough in every way and loads of fun. It's got zero flex, though, so I can see it losing in a lot of games. Greenie didn't bring the right Doctrine against me, either. Bad luck on his part and good luck on mine really did him in. I made loads of Tough checks, including a single Crimson Knight that held up Duke Gerard almost the entire game. I got three zombies out of the battle, one of them a zombie war dog! They didn't do any damage but they sure were fun. I have to try this army again soon, maybe with some magic.

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<rant>

 

It wouldn't have gone much better. With my entire left flank killed, fed on and several turned to zombies I had no chance. And after beign 0-6,7 or even 8 I have a really nasty taste in my mouth regarding Crusaders. I should have looked at the stats and not the models when I picked a faction. I have tried everything under the sun even using one of Warwicks lists against WildBill to no avail. To make things worse, I putzed around with Army Builder and made a list that looks 150% tougher with Reven. Crusaders have nothing going for them.

 

</rant>

 

:angry:

 

The best unit in the army (to me its the pegasus riders) can only do 1 point of damage each turn. Why? B/C if they land and fight instead of swift attack they get slaughtered. We don't have any provoke SA to keep the important units around. Justicars are 47pts and you have 2 attacks at a 5? nearly every unit in reven hits on a 6 or higher thats not a goblin. Our only disable unit has MAV 3???

 

I am surprised that Crusaders have any land left at all in the fiction b/c they sure can't hold it in a fight. Maybe they have really good diplomats.

 

 

Oh, and 90% of this is just frustration so take it all with a grain of salt. But being a former NCO I have allways told it like it is.

 

 

 

Now to go off and buy some goats for the pagan dice ritual I plan to try next so I won't roll as many 2's......

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Without my abundance of Tough rolls, it could have been a victory for Crusaders. I tied Greenie's biggest fighter up with a single vampire that would not die. And I was slapping one or two wounds back each turn.

While Swift Attack/First Strike/Shock combo on the Prg Riders is cool, it can only deal 1 point per turn. I would land them and take the hits. Use their Flying to hit the prime models, mages and healers and support. Alas, my entire army was hard targets. All I brought were Vampires, after all. And you took me on one-on-one in a lot of cases. You'll lose doing that. Crimson Knights are, in my humble opinion, the absolute best Soldier model in the game. They cost a ton, of course, but they can kill nearly anything one-on-one. Since Crusaders don't have big tank Soldiers, you're going to have to double of triple team a Crimson Knight. Bring Standards (ALWAYS) so you can break base contact when I try to base you one-on-one. If you control the flow of battle, you'll deny me the advantage of bringing nothing but tanks. And bring a mage.

I still believe Crusaders can be very tough, but they are a finesse army. Once you learn the best way to use them, you'll be winning and I'll be complaining.

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Now to go off and buy some goats for the pagan dice ritual I plan to try next so I won't roll as many 2's......

Sound kind of like the fight I had the other day. It started off well, with my big beastie ate the Witch Queen (which alone paid for him), plus one elite soldier. Then my dice mojo took over. He saw another opportunity and attacked the Darkspawn mage. I needed 3 or higher to hit.....I rolled a 2. To my amazement, the mage failed to slay my beast with his defensive strikes. Next turn I got another shot, and rolled another 2. Second time around my poor beastie didn't fare so well on the defensive strikes. Sigh........Let me know if your pagan dice ritual works. If it does, I want details so I can run my own!

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Without my abundance of Tough rolls, it could have been a victory for Crusaders. I tied Greenie's biggest fighter up with a single vampire that would not die. And I was slapping one or two wounds back each turn.

While Swift Attack/First Strike/Shock combo on the Prg Riders is cool, it can only deal 1 point per turn. I would land them and take the hits. Use their Flying to hit the prime models, mages and healers and support. Alas, my entire army was hard targets. All I brought were Vampires, after all. And you took me on one-on-one in a lot of cases. You'll lose doing that. Crimson Knights are, in my humble opinion, the absolute best Soldier model in the game. They cost a ton, of course, but they can kill nearly anything one-on-one. Since Crusaders don't have big tank Soldiers, you're going to have to double of triple team a Crimson Knight. Bring Standards (ALWAYS) so you can break base contact when I try to base you one-on-one. If you control the flow of battle, you'll deny me the advantage of bringing nothing but tanks. And bring a mage.

I still believe Crusaders can be very tough, but they are a finesse army. Once you learn the best way to use them, you'll be winning and I'll be complaining.

 

Now if you recall I did that. Sent 1/2 of my army around your right and was constantly basing 2-4 vs 1 at a time. With Gerard I was only needing 2 for the buddy bonus with them. I would put one or two on each guy and then on your activation you kill a guy and feed. Even the double activation in turn 2 was not a deal breaker. My problem was two fold. 1. Dice. I could not roll anything to save my life..... and 2. Crusader infantry stink. I know that their cost is in their DV and damage tracks.....but my BEST foot soldier only has a mav of 5. My single ranged attacker costs twice that of any other comparable archer in another army.

 

So now that I have a full belly of goat ribs (hey waste not want not) hopefully my dice will be good to me....

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Justicars, enough said.....

 

Ok, Ill bite. Here's a run down of a Justicar. 47pts. 3 damage tracks, MOV 5 DIS 7, DV11, MD12 with deflect1 and tough/1. 2 attacks at a 5. At DV 11 they are getting hit left and right. And this DV only lasts on their first track. Now, I am not saying that for 47pts they are THAT bad. But without any provoke and our single model with disable having 1 MA at a 3 keeping them alive is impossible. I have tried running up to three Hospitaliers in the same troop to keep them around. I just wish Crusader's had SOMETHING better. And all those saying how wonderful Justicars are, look at Crimson Knights...Look at Isiri Arachnid Warrior's...

 

Or, here is a good example, Shield Maidens. For a measley 3 points more you get +1 MD Tough 2!!!! AND Rage AND Smite Reven......EVERYTHING else is the same stat wise. Same MAV everything.Since when is something that's only 3 points more, has double the tough, and 2 more SA's is balanced?

 

Here is another one I have been looking at. The Ogre Warrior. Now he is 5 points more. BUT he has +2 MOV, -2 DIS going for him stat-wise, so you could call that a wash. But for 5 points you get MAV of 6!!!! AND cleave and reach. A MAV of +1 makes a fairly large difference.

 

So is anyone seeing my point? I have really been thinking this through and until I finally sat down with the book and compared statlines side by side I feel justified in my opinion. Now, opinions are like something else we all have and you know how the saying goes so please bear in mind- thats what this is - MY opinion. Now, I sure will go to bat for these guys when Warlord 3.0 comes out in however long it takes, but until then they are going in their Sabol foam trays and going on the shelf. Hello Reven!!!!

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Well, if you want to give up on Crusaders, I won't belabor the point. However, they can be a strong army. I'll play them a few times and see what I think. Not every faction is for every player. I can't stand the Elves. I can't get my Overlords to work in 2.0. But my Mercs are right up my alley. So are Vampires from the look of things. So try out the Reven and see what you think. No one said you can't have both armies. Or more.

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Like Warwick, I wont begin to try and change your mind on the Crusaders, as I love the Reven too. But, I can say that our Crusader player in this area has been all but unbeatable, to the point that he started playing a different faction too cause it was too "easy"...

 

I'll just say thanks for deciding to try something different instead of just giving up all together.

 

Jason

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I don't think Crusaders are terrible but I do have to agree on the Justicars. For what you get they just don't seem worth it. I'd much rather have the 1.5-2 models of any other soldier choice in the list I could get for the points of one Justicar. I think the Knights are actually quite the bargain, and while I haven't fielded ivy crown or battle nuns they seem, on paper, to be quite the bargain as well.

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There is a trap in comparing two datacards side-by-side unless those models fill exactly the same role and have almost identical stat lines. Ogre Warriors and Justicars are very much not the same. Justicars have a better degradation on the DV, endure ranged attacks better, and are rarely denied their attacks due to Dis checks. Ogres are faster, hit harder, and cost almost 15% more per model than Justicars. That's Apples and Oranges. Crimson Knights vs. Justicars? Crimson Knights are better is practically every way... and cost nearly 40% more because of it. That's Apples and... Star Fruit, or something.

 

Your best comparison is the Shield Maidens and the Justicars. Yup, Shieldmaidens will make their Tough check about twice as often as Justicars... but that is still only 1 in 10 times more than the Justicars. Yup, they have Rage - which gives them a +1 bonus for 1 swing in activations when they Charge an opponent (an average Shield Maiden will get to use this SA once per battle). Realize that this means a Shield Maiden will score an average of .1 points of damage more per game than a Justicar (+1 bonus for one attack = +10% chance to hit = .1 points of damage statistically). Yup, they have Smite (Reven); if you are lucky enough to be facing Reven, that's great for a +1 MAV on every attack. Of course, there are 9 other Core Factions, and at least 7 more Factions yet to come. So unless you have a local Reven player you always face, your pure random chance (not accounting for sales data, which shows that some factions are clearly more popular than others) of facing Reven and getting to use that SA is 1 in 17, or about 6%. Yup, Shield Maidens have a MD that is 1 point better across the board. However, Justicars have a better DV on Track 2 (DV is used far more often than MD in the game), and a better Dis on Track 3. And Shield Maidens are 3 points more expensive per model.

 

You seem to have disdain for DV 11 soldiers, yet there are only 5 soldier datacards with a better DV (all of them DV 12 on first track), and all but one of them is a cavalry model (Crimson Knights are the lone exception) and all of them are at least 61 points, a minimum of 14 points more expensive than the Justicars. You seem to have an equal disdain for MAV 5 soldiers, yet there are only 7 soldier cards with better MAVs (all MAV 6). Note that there is a Crusader model (Lion's Lancer) that meets both of those criteria.

 

I suspect that there is nothing that anyone can say that is going to change your mind, so perhaps this post was a moot point. It is a shame that you feel the Crusaders aren't worth it.

 

~v

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