Aim of this list is to make a competitive build themed around the Vyrkos sub faction, for War in the Heartlands 23/24 Oct 2021.
Soulblight Gravelords Allegiance
Deathless Minions. Roll a dice each time you allocate a wound or mortal wound to a friendly unit wholly within 12″ of a friendly hero or gravesite. On a 6+, that wound or mortal wound is negated.
Generally you will get this on every unit as the bubbles from heroes and gravesites will be large, doesn’t seem much at first but over the course of a game it keeps everything alive a little bit longer. Consider your placement of Gravesites carefully and try to anticipate where you may be fighting and not in range of heroes.
Deathly Invocation. At the start of your hero phase, you can pick up to three different summonable units wholly within 12″ of a friendly HERO to heal up to D3 wounds allocated to that unit or, if no wounds are allocated to it, you can return slain models to that unit.
Locus of Shyish. If the unmodified casting roll for a friendly Wizard attempting to cast a spell from the Lore of the Deathmages or the Lore of the Vampires is 9+ and that spell is not unbound, after the effects of that spell have been resolved, you can immediately resolve the effects of that spell for a second time.
Not something you can rely on happening (Odds are 10/36) but really nice on some spells as you can affect multiple units or the same unit twice, more details in spells section.
Reanimated Horrors. Subtract 1 from the Bravery characteristic of enemy units while they are within 6″ of 1 friendly deadwalkers unit or subtract 2 from the Bravery characteristic instead of 1 while they are within 6″ of 2 or more friendly deadwalkers units.
Another nice to have that you don’t think about too much but can cause extra failed battleshock tests. Consider this in your movement phase if you’re likely to be in combat it can make a surprising difference.
Endless Legions. At the end of the battleshock phase, count the number of enemy units that were destroyed during that turn and roll a dice, adding the number of destroyed enemy units to the roll. On a 5+, you can pick 1 friendly deadwalkers or unit in your army that has been destroyed. If you do so, a new replacement unit with half the number of models in the unit that was destroyed (rounding up) is added to your army.
Really nice after the first FAQ, as it triggers in both yours and your opponents turns, if you get a unit back in your opponents turn you can then move and charge in your turn! great with zombies as they can go above maximum size so 10 can soon become 20 or 30 if they get in buffed against the right unit!
The Strength of The Wolf Is the Pack. You can reroll casting rolls for friendly VYRKOS DYNASTY VAMPIRE WIZARDS.
This is great for ensuring your spells get off, but also can be used to fish for high casting rolls to make them harder to dispel or try to get the double effect on a 9+.
The Strength of the Pack is the Wolf. Add 1 to wound rolls for attacks made with melee weapons by friendly deadwalkers units while they are wholly within 9″ of any friendly Vampire heroes.
Artefacts, Command Traits & Abilities
Your VLoZD now counts as 14 models on objectives, this makes him great at taking objectives from the enemy even if they have 20-30 models on it with his damage output he should kill enough to take it. Particularly handy against Sons of Behemat in combination with zombies piling in 6″ to get 34 models on the objective.
This is used on the Lance to potentially double the attacks on the charge, great synergy with +2 damage and extra rend on the charge the VLoZD gets anyway.
Belladamma Volga – Pack Alpha. You can use this command ability at the start of your hero phase. If you do so, pick 1 friendly DIRE WOLVES unit wholly within 12″ of this model. Until your next hero phase, that unit is eligible to fight in the combat phase if it is within 6″ of an enemy unit instead of 3″, and it can move an extra 3″ when it piles in.
Radukar the Beast – Mustering Howl. You can use this command ability once per battle at the end of your movement phase. If you do so you can add 1 unit of 10 DIRE WOLVES to your army. The unit must be set up wholly within 12″ of this model and more than 9″ from all enemy units.
A free unit of 20 wounds, excellent to run Radukar forward and then put these in front of the enemy to chaff them up, protect your back line from reserves, protect your heroes or combat units or just to sit on an objective.
Radukar the Beast – Call to the Hunt. You can use this command ability at the start of the combat phase. If you do so, pick 1 friendly model with this command ability that made a charge move in that turn. Add 1 to the Attacks characteristic of melee weapons used by friendly SOULBLIGHT GRAVELORDS units wholly within 18″ of that model until the end of that phase. The same unit cannot benefit from this command ability more than once per phase.
A fantastic ability which is a force multiplier in the list, ideally you charge Radukar in to something that will definitely die to him so he can keep charging every turn. This works on his own attacks and add a decent amount of output to the VloZD (especially with Sangsyron). It’s decent on the Blood Knights but the ideal unit is Zombies as it doubles their output of MW, combined with the next ability…
Vampire Lord – Crimson Feast. You can use this command ability in the combat phase. If you do so, pick 1 friendly SOULBLIGHT GRAVELORDS SUMMONABLE unit wholly within 12″ of this model. Add 1 to the Attacks characteristic of that unit’s melee weapons until your next hero phase. The same unit cannot benefit from this command ability more than once per phase.
This adds a further attack to the Zombies so combined with Radukars aura they’re on 3 attacks each! Currently this can stack from yours and the enemies turn as it lasts until your next hero phase, so on your opponent’s double turn it could build up to +3 attacks!
Radukar the Beast. A mid tier hero combat wise, he has decent damage output with some chance of MW which is a nice tool but not super reliable. He’s reasonably durable with -1 to hit. His main reason for inclusion in the list is that he summons 10 Dire Wolves for 1CP (making him effectively a 180 point hero), allowing him to run forward and summon them in to great blocking positions; and an amazing +1 attack 18″ aura when he charges! This is a huge bubble that affects most of your unit and is especially great on zombies and the VLoZD. He can also be used as a harassing unit and ideally you want him to charge and kill every turn to get the most out of his aura.
Belladamma Volga, First of the Vyrkos. A two cast wizard with +1 to cast (rerolls in Vyrkos) and two great spells on her warscroll, she also palms off wounds to nearby dire wolves making her hard to remove. In this list she should be used offensively to support Radukar/VLoZD/Blood Knights with her exploding 6’s aura as it’s only 12″.
Vampire Lord on Zombie Dragon. Fast, fighty and reasonably tanky. In this list it’s the General and armed with Sangsyron. Combined with flaming sword, Radukar’s +1 attack and Bellas aura his damage potential goes through the roof. Great candidate for +1 to hit in the combat phase and use finest hour when you really need to go off. 30+ damage with mostly rend -2 is quite achievable.
Vampire Lord. Essentially an escort for zombies to provide his +1 attack buff to zombies (or wolves in a pinch), Rally and heals as required. Not too easy to just pick off with 3+/6++ but will dies if properly targeted; ideally try to get him in cover as well and stay within 3″ of the unit for -1 to hit vs shooting.
Dire Wolves. Reasonably good value for a 20 wound unit, in the list primarily as a bodyguard for Belladamma, they’re the same movement as her which helps keep her safe where you need her. In a pinch they can take attack buffs from the heroes in place of the zombies and do some reasonable work against lightly armoured targets.
Deadwalker Zombies. Cheap and disposable but supremely buff-able. Their inherent 6″ pile in means you can easily avoid monstrous rampages by running up to within 6″ and then just pile in. They’re best used against 1W models as they get to add a new model to the unit on a 2+ for every enemy model slain, this can quickly pump the unit up! With extra attacks on them from Radukar and the Vampire Lord they’re suddenly churning out MW and can be used to take out tough or high armoured targets, 10-15MW is easily achievable from a unit of 20 on +2 or +3 attacks.
Blood Knights. A versatile unit that can be buffed up offensively or defensively as needed. Their damage output on the charge is reasonable and with +1 to hit and an extra attack they can start doing real work. Equally +1/+2 save from all out defence and/or mystic shield make them great tanks essentially on a 1+/6++ re-rolling 1’s on the ward. Main use in this list is as chaff clearers and objective defence sometimes deploying them on the front line as an anvil to take an alpha.
Fell Bats. Useful utility unit for objectives and battle tactics or screening the Heroes. In the list to cover Savage Spearhead primarily and can also be used to counter an unleash hell if required.
Battle Regiment. Keeps the list down to 2 drops, which in a lot of cases is enough to decide on the first turn. This is important as whilst the list can handle a turn one alpha or can take being given the first turn fairly well, it doesn’t like being double turned too much as it opens up your heroes to being killed and then you struggle to have any good damage output.
Generally you will always want to give away the first turn as the list doesn’t have the projection for a decently offensive turn one without overstretching and risking units. Taking the second allows you to focus your attacks where the enemy is weakest and gives you the potential for a double turn which will allow you to often overwhelm your opponent by destroying their weaker units, support etc so they can’t fully recover; all the while you should still have plenty of control on the objectives.
Magic, Endless & Realm Spells
Invigorating Aura. Casting value of 8. Add 1 to the roll for each friendly SOULBLIGHT GRAVELORDS HERO on the battlefield. If successfully cast, pick 1 friendly SOULBLIGHT GRAVELORDS SUMMONABLE unit wholly within 18″ of the caster. You can either heal up to 3 wounds allocated to that unit or, if no wounds are allocated to it, you can return a number of slain models to that unit that have a combined Wounds characteristic of 3 or less. The same unit cannot benefit from this spell more than once per turn.
Emerald Lifeswarm. This endless spell is summoned with a spell that has a casting value of 6 and a range of 6″. If successfully cast, set up the endless spell wholly within range of the caster. This endless spell is a predatory endless spell. It can be moved up to 8″ and can fly. After this endless spell is set up and after it has moved, the commanding player can pick 1 unit within 1″ of it. They can heal up to D3 wounds allocated to that unit or, if no wounds are allocated to it, they can return a number of slain models to that unit that have a combined Wounds characteristic of D3 or less.
In the list to capitalise on the healing aspect, you can use it to return 6-12 models back to the zombies or even a couple of blood knights if you roll 5+ in your turn alone. Also nice for the heroes if required combined with The Hunger and Heroic Heal they can suddenly be back to full strength. Generally cast it first turn as you’ll likely have spare casts due to range limitations, you can dispel and recast if you need to change position or get extra heal in the right place.
Curse of Exsanguination. Casting value of 6. If successfully cast, pick 1 enemy unit within 18″ of the caster that is visible to them. That unit suffers 1 mortal wound. If that mortal wound is allocated to a model in that unit and not negated and that model is not slain by that mortal wound, you can roll a dice. On a 4+, that model suffers 1 mortal wound, and you can roll another dice if that mortal wound is allocated and not negated and the model is not slain. Keep rolling dice in this way until either no mortal wounds are inflicted, the mortal wound is negated, or the model is slain.
Not particularly great however if you have a spare cast the range is nice to ping off a few wounds off something, if you roll well it can spike hard!
Flaming Weapon. Casting value of 4. If successfully cast, pick 1 of the caster’s melee weapons. Add 1 to Damage characteristic of that weapon until your next hero phase.
And easy buff spell you basically guarantee casting with the Vyrkos reroll. Make the VLoZD lance 5 damage on the charge which is very effective combined with the other aura buffs available.
Soulpike. Casting value of 6. If successfully cast, pick 1 enemy unit within 18″ of the caster that is visible to them. Until your next hero phase, if that unit makes a charge move, roll a number of dice equal to the charge roll for that unit. For each 4+, that unit suffers 1 mortal wound. The same unit cannot be affected by this spell more than once per turn.
Underrated but useful tool spell, it can put units off charging especially heroes that already have taken some damage. The chance of a high spike on the rolls might seem to risky!
Lycancurse. Casting value of 7. If successfully cast, pick 1 enemy unit within 18″ of the caster that is visible to them. That unit suffers D3 mortal wounds. If any models in that unit were slain by this spell, before removing the last slain model, you can add 1 unit of DIRE WOLVES to your army. The number of models in the new unit must be equal to the number of models in the enemy unit that were slain by this spell. Set up the new unit within 3″ of the slain model’s unit, and then remove the slain model from play.
An excellent spell although better with increased range. Can be used to lock ranged units in to combat so they can’t shoot in their turn without something dealing with them first. Can also be used to stop unleash hell in your charge phase. They can be retreated from combat in your turn to chaff up something or take an objective. You can cast on one unit and place them to tag another unit as only one model needs to be within 3″ so if you summon three that has about 10″ range! Their uses are many and varied.
Under a Killing Moon. Casting value of 6. If successfully cast, until your next hero phase, if the unmodified hit roll for an attack made with a melee weapon by a friendly SOULBLIGHT GRAVELORDS unit wholly within 12″ of the caster is 6, that attack inflicts 2 hits on the target instead of 1. Make a wound and save roll for each hit
A really great buff that works best on the VloZD and Blood Knights, especially combined with Radukar’s extra attack aura. Also Protects against negative 6 to hit abilities as well. This should be cast every turn.
Vile Transference. Casting value of 7. If successfully cast, pick 1 enemy unit within 3″ of the caster that is visible to them. Roll a number of dice equal to that enemy unit’s Wounds characteristic. For each 6, that unit suffers 1 mortal wound and the caster can heal 1 wound.
Really useful tool spell after the second FAQ, against anything 15 wounds or more it really starts to do some work especially if you get the double cast off on a 9+. Maximum effect against Mega Gargants rolling 35 dice maybe twice!
Essentially you get your spell buffs up and move in to the enemy with the Zombies supported by the Vampire lord and Radukar. If a unit dies you don’t worry, you’ll likely get 10 back in a summon after a turn or two and they can still have decent output buffed. Send Zombies in to chaff to gain extra models then in a following turn pile in can put them in to something more meaty.
The VLoZD, Radukar and Belladamma (with her wolves) should stick together as a power team with great damage output, a unit of Blood Knights can follow them to support. Radukar’s +1 attack buff is in a 39″ bubble so generally if he’s in combat everyone is getting the buff.
Otherwise the Blood Knights should be kept in the rear or used up the flanks depending on how mobile your opponent is and whether they have reserves. They can also be used as an anvil to take a turn one alpha strike, with All out Defence they can take a lot of punishment and if you have zombies behind them ready to be buffed and pile in 6″ it can put you in a great place. Essentially pile in the Knights to one side to create a gap for the Zombies.
If you lose part of the list you can mostly switch your tactic to buff/use what is left. Ideally don’t throw the VLoZD away if you don’t have to, it’s better to reserve it for a turn and use it for objective capping and precision damage application.
Sons of Behemat. A difficult match up but there are some plays. If you get the first turn then chaffing them up is the way forward, you have enough fast units to put in their way. Watch out for Longshanks as they can move/run/retreat over your units, however with their base size and needing to stay outside of 3″ they need to move a minimum of 12″ just to cross a single rank unit so in reality they will need a decent run to make it. if you sit at 7-8″ with two ranks of wolves they likely cant do it.
If they take turn one and move on to the objectives you’re probably in for a harder time. If any of the Megas have a ward save probably ignore that and focus on the others. If you charge in with the Radukar/VLoZD (ideally with mystic shield and all out defence) and have 20 zombies 5-6″ away you can fight with Radukar/VLoZD, tank the return hits then pile in with the full 20 zombies (buffed with +2 attacks). You can have a second unit of zombies at 6″ if you want a second go. Then with heals etc you should be able to do this to a second mega in another turn.
You can do similar with the Mancrushers especially singles are easy to take out this way. Just watch out for your positioning as with pile in they could bring their 3″ weapons to bear on the zombies. Ideally use terrain to your advantage or pin with Radukar and VLoZD either side with a nice gap to move in the zombies.
Vile Transference on Belladamma is perfect here, hopefully she survived combat and can cast it for 35 dice with 6s causing MW and healing, 70 on a 9+ cast!
You don’t want your zombies attacked by anything as they will just die, so make sure you get at least one good buffed pile in from them. VLoZD, Radukar, Blood Knights will generally tank them well with +1 save (definitely on +2 save) so use them to take a hit if needed.
A final tactic that can work if a Mega is on an objective, using the 6″ pile as above with Zombies/Wolves you can actually outnumber them on the objective (Takers obviously harder but can be done), however this will likely leave you exposed so use it sparingly when needed.
Lumineth Realmlords. You will likely have to tank a round of shooting, if they’ve taken first turn you will hope for a double and then you’ll likely have the upper hand. Deploy as far forward as you can there’s no point trying to avoid them, maybe try to keep the VLoZD out of range if you can but most of your heroes can tank some shooting with the bodyguard ability on Belladamma and -1 to hit on Radukar. With healing and summoning dead units you aren’t too worried if they take out a unit or two.
In your turn hopefully get Lycancurse on their main ranged unit (fish for a high casting roll with the reroll) or charge in some wolves to stop unleash hell, you can also pile in from 6″ with Belladamma’s command on the Wolves or using the zombies. Once you get in to their army you should start to gain the upper hand.
Tzeentch (Archaon). Generally you want to summon wolves using Belladamma and tie Archaon up with them, use your units of wolves or zombies to stop him moving around easily and don’t present any good targets. Meanwhile your hero team can move around deleting everything else quite easily. If you can get away without casting spells, don’t; this will keep their summoning lower.
Replace Blood Knights with Vargheists and add Umbral Spellportal. You can replace just one unit or both if you prefer. This gives you a less flexible force overall as the Blood Knights can fulfil both hammer and anvil roles, but gives you a harassing unit or two to deploy in reserves which can be great for keeping the enemy from fully committing on to objectives. Varghiests benefit nicely from Radukar’s +1 attack and +1 to hit to become support hero hunters or clear up patrol mid game. They can also be used for an easy Savage Spearhead. Essentially they’re a distraction Carnifex that has to be dealt with compared to the reliable workhorse of the Blood Knight.
This build’s main benifit comes from the Spellportal which allows turn one cast of Lycancurse on a ranged unit up to 37″ away or the ability to cast Vile Transference on high wound units without being in combat. Basically helps against the current meta threats Sons of Behemat and Lumineth Realmlords.
You could also swap out the Fell Bats or Lifeswarm for Portals.
Prized Sorcery. A fairly easy choice as you have three wizards, one of which has the ability to pass off damage to other units.
Aggressive Expansion. Control 2 objectives not wholly in your territory.
Bring it Down. Kill a monster.
Depends on the enemy list, there’s enough damage output in the list to deal with any non-god monster but it’s potentially risky and can depend on the dice.
Generally only do this against a weakened monster and ideally use the VLoZD or Radukar with the Ream Spell to make him a Monster.
Broken Ranks. Kill a battleline unit.
Similar to the above but generally less risky, normally worth saving to mid/late game when there are reduced sized battleline unit around to clear up.
Ideally select an easy target and use VLoZD or Radukar the “Monster” for a bonus VP and ensure you don’t destroy all the battleline units too soon!
Conquer. Take an objective from opponent.
As the situation dictates you can normally tell if you’ll have the bodies to achieve this.
Use Hunter’s Snare VLoZD and/or swarm with zombies.
Ferocious Advance. Run three units.
An easy tactic to achieve early game with Belladamma, Dire wolves and Radukar (as he can run and charge). Or with Zombies, Vamp Lord and Necromancer as they don’t need to charge. No access to three monsters for a bonus VP unfortunately.
Monstrous Takeover. Contest objective with monster.
Fairly easy to engineer as the VLoZD is fast, but don’t just do it if it will pull your VLoZD in to a bad position, use this when he would be going to that objective anyway and there’s no enemy monster on it. Do this early game against ranged shooting/magic that could kill VLoZD . Similarly against SoB or a monster lists consider doing this early.
Savage Spearhead. Have two units in enemy territory.
Battleplan dependant as to whether this is good or not, sometimes the enemy territory will be away from the objectives. A good late game option with Dire Wolves, Belladamma, VLoZD, Blood Knights. Really easy if you have the Varghiest build.
Best case use VLoZD and use realm spell on another hero to become a monster for a bonus VP.
Slay the Warlord. Kill enemy General.
Depends on the enemy list, there’s enough damage output in the list to deal with any non-god Generals but it’s potentially risky and can depend on the dice.
Generally not worth doing unless general is an easy target or on low wounds. Use VLoZD or Radukar the “Monster” for a bonus VP.