Monday, March 4, 2013

Vargheists Are Okay

Before I pulled out my Vampire army from the crypt it had been occupying since 2009, I had heard a lot of internet wisdom (as well as live gamer talk) that Vargheists were crap. The general theory was that they had nothing on their box-mates the Crypt Horrors and that I would be foolish to use them.

I've now played about ten games with the new book and my personal experience is that this view couldn't be further from the truth. Yes, they are fragile - T4, no save - and they are Frenzied but they are also Vampiric, Flyers and have four Str 5 attacks. Certainly they are situational but if you are sensible with them (and present multiple threats), I find them reasonably survivable.

I do however think they are list dependant. I use them in a "fast" list where there are eight units that can move 14+ inches a turn.In a footslogging list I think that they would be a clear target. Where they really excel is in their cost. I field two units of three, each costing 138 points. They are therefore largely expendable in the scheme of things.

For me it's been a case of trying things out for myself and see if I can get some utility where others have dismissed them. It's a salient lesson in always question the conventional wisdom.

And they are a far nicer build than the Crypt Horror too!


  1. Don't encourage Hagen to look for knowledge the rest of planet missed . . .


  2. I'll believe it when I see you pushing Yeti's around Pete! Varghiests do have uses thought, what do you think about hexwraiths? Did you listen to Russ Veal using 2x10's? They could be horrible for some lists to deal with.

  3. I think Pete's comment about list contex is the telling one. As part of an overall list and with a specific role in mind these would be pretty useful.

    In the right list and with the right general most units can add value. A hex wraith bus list might be pretty horrible to deal with if the main bus has the right supporting units so it gets to do it's job.

    There's a thread on about building a list by committee. It sounds like the perfect way to design a camel.

  4. I've been running hexwraiths for a while now, and they are very hit or miss. In NZ, more miss than hit. Against some opponents they are solid gold (looking at you OK) and draw far more attention than they should while the knight bus does it's thing. Against several popular armies they are easy points (Empire, HE, Skaven, Daemons......and WE), and the other armies usually bring some counters for other jobs that work against hexies, whether is it fast characters with magic weapons or ranked infantry that kill the hexies with combat res. As soon as they leave the generals bubble they are very ineffectual with only 8 movement. WS3 ASL is the other big issue.

    Don't let all that get you down though. While not bad choices they are outshone by other items in the special section that are less match up dependant. If you had more control over your opponent, for example in a team tournament, they would be well worth adding in especially in large numbers.

    Taking a minimum unit of 5 is still working out well for me, not so much of an investment so not stuffed against certain opponents, and incredibly useful against some others. Investing more in that is really gambling if you are in a tournament setting. They are great for clearing chaff and scaring people, and contributing combat res when you have locked the magic weapons on another flank.

  5. Again I think Hexwraiths have some utility but as Ryan says they are susceptible to bad match ups. In a Teams event they would be much better if you can get the right matchup.

    When you can dictate the match up then I believe that a big unit could cause real damage. But otherwise they are a bit paper/scissors/rock.

    All that means is you need to tailor your tactics - unlucky kids, they are not point and click

  6. Agree the hexwraiths might be fragile but they are not for combat they are for doing the hokey kokey through units a couple of times using the fast cav swift reform and deleting units that way. Isn't it an auto S5 hit per model? Pretty tasty

    1. Sure. But unit is deleted by magic missile

    2. Harder to pull off in a game than it sounds on paper. You must clear the unit with an additional +1" from front of your base to rear at the end. Canny opponents are able to avoid this with distance and supporting troops. Especially difficult with the targets they like to hit are often as mobile as they are, knights and monsters etc. Even considering free reforms.

      You could hit the front, free reform and move backwards but again hard to get out of charge arcs for retaliation. Static res is their biggest enemy, even more than magic missiles.

  7. I am going to build a few Hex wraiths and vargheists for my Vamporcs so this is a great thread for me. Obviouly they'll double as boar boys and river trolls!

    I think the Hexwraiths will be the backbone of my army in 1 build and taken in quite big numbers with the whole army designed to support them..... And you can watch me use them on the bottom tables of several tournaments!

    1. Hexwraiths dominate against Ogres, especially against the standard build. Large numbers will carve through mournfang, ironblasters, and unsupported ogre blocks with ease. Great against OnG also.

      They are really fun to use but unforgiving, have fun and don't be dissuaded if they don't perform well one game!

      Don't forget to use the "You know you can't touch my ghost knights bro" line whenever possible.