Total War Warhammer/Tactics/Vampire Coast
This is the tactics page for the Total War: Warhammer version of the Vampire Coast.
Why Play the Vampire Coast
Do I really need to explain? This trailer should do all the explaining for me!. OK, fine!
- You love vampires, but want something a bit different from the gothic style normally associated with them.
- Because you don't find it weird at all CA added a naval themed faction in a game with no naval battles.
- Cause you loved Pirates of the Caribbean but really wanted the bad guys to win.
- You pirated the game and find playing as pirates, even undead ones, fitting.
- You really, really like Alestorm.
- Range, Range and yet more Range: You are one of the 3 gunpowder factions currently in game, and of the 3, you lean the most heavily into them. You have a gun for every type of occasion! Cheap guns, long range guns, multi shot guns, flying guns, guns on monsters, artillery, GUNS FOR EVERYONE!
- Monsters: And lots of cool ones that can fill a variety of roles. You can bring sturdier crabs to help with the frontline, stealthy flankers, cheap sacrificial monsters, ones that are great from range and up close, you have a monster for every occasion.
- Cheap Frontline: Zombies don't really ask for paychecks, even zombies who are actually sentient enough to talk! Because of this, you can usually bring a crap load of them and drown the enemy in bodies, then use their bodies to fill up your ranks again when the battle is over.
- Bonus for the fact that Zombie Deckhands with polearms are slightly more killy than regular zombies and get Anti-Large, making them one of the better expendable meatshields.
- Aquatic: Pretty much everything has it, you're a pirate faction after all. This means you have an army that doesn't need to worry about swampy maps or ones with a lot of water because you ignore all the penalties and get some benefits in water too.
- Magic: You have Lore of Vampires, which is already one of the best lores in the entire game, and can carry you throughout most games just fine. Honestly you don't need to look at their other lores because of just how goddamn strong this one is.
- Harassment: You got extremely good harassing troops in fell bats and doggies, meaning going for skirmishers and artillery is something a skilled player can do really well.
- Armour Piercing: Almost your entire roster deals AP damage, both ranged and in melee. Big armoured units and monsters are no challenge to you.
- Weakness to Ranged: While you love to sit back and shoot the enemies to pieces, you REALLY hate it when the enemy is capable of shooting back. Downside of gunpowder is then they don't have much range, so if the enemy shoots first you are at a disadvantage. Combine this with the fact that your units either have low armour, low model count, or both, and NOTHING in your army has a missile block chance, and missiles can be devastating. Ironically, archer spam is one of the better ways to fight this gunpowder army.
- Immobility: You don't have it as bad as the Dwarfs, but you're pretty slow. No cav or inexpensive monsters and a reliance of guns and artillery means you will not be moving much in your average game.
- Weak Frontline: There's a reason your frontline is so cheap, and it's that they are garbage in a fight. They get decimated by most tier-one infantry and are meant to hold, not to kill. Even Depth Guard aren't really that cost effective after all the nerfs that went their way, so expect your guns and monsters to carry.
- Everyone Needs to do their Job: Unlike more beginner-friendly and more so then the empire, VC units heavily rely on every unit fighting against its appropriate matchup, or else everyone dies. There are strong synergy but if that gun bunker cracks it's all over. Need Deckheands and Prometheans need hold the enemy and absorb the damage, Your blender troops need to kill what's caught in the holding line, and your guns need to kill threats like other guns and monsters before they kill your bunker. If someone slips up, the game may be over
- Undead: Almost any unit you have is undead. Who would have guessed. There are just two exceptions: The Sartosan Pirates and Sartosan Free Company that are exclusive to Aranessa Saltspite, and Aranessa herself.
- Aquatic: Being the only truly maritime faction means that every unit is Aquatic; they fight better in watery areas, such as puddles and swamps.
- Extra Powder: A special rule for all of your ranged units that gives you 30% more damage when you're above 80% of your ammo. This makes your opening salvo your most effective, and goes a long way toward softening up enemy units right off the bat. It's also the reason the Gunnery Wight is such an essential hero: his ability to restore lost ammo can keep your units above the threshold for more high-powered shooting.
- Loyalty: Your Lords aside from Legendary ones have the same Loyalty mechanic as Dark Elves and Skaven do, so be cautious when disbanding units and picking targets.
- Pirate Fleet: Your Legendary Lords work like the Horde Factions of the game do; meaning that you can accumulate Population Surplus on your LL armies and build certain buildings directly on your army, essentially making them a mobile city with 10 slots. This can be used in a variety of ways, but essentially allow your main army to act much more independently than other factions armies do because they aren't as reliant on the settlements and territory your faction holds.
- Infamy: Maxing out your Infamy is your main campaign goal, this is achieved by killing enemy armies, razing and sacking settlements and stomping the competition (other Pirate Factions and the rogue pirate armies that roam the seas). In addition to that, increasing Infamy and beating the miniboss armies that come your way, Infamy also gives you Verses of the Lost Sea Shanty, powerful buffs for your entire army. Some technologies also cost Infamy.
- Pirate Coves: you can set up small outposts in enemy settlements after successfully attacking them or with heroes. Said outposts can either spread vampiric corruption or siphon money out of the enemy's coffers into yours. Although the latter building is bugged since the last WH2 update and you should refrain from using it because it'll never make back its exorbitant costs.
- Luthor Harkon (The Awakened) : The worst Vampire you'll ever hear of, but will still do so nonetheless. Ol' Arch Commodore Luthor commands the main part of the Vampire Coast and ironically spends most of his time trying to hold onto his little fiefdom in northeast Lustria. The Lizardmen hate your guts with your innate diplomatic malus against them but with clever planning you can easily ally with the Skaven down south and exterminate the lizards. You are the premier Vampire Coast faction but you'll spend more time fighting on land than at sea which is... odd. This is mostly due to the fact you're hemmed in at sea from both north and east by another two Vampire Coast main factions, and you do not want to have to fight them that early...
- Luthor on the battlefield is a hybrid combat lord who has no Lores of Magic to command at the beginning of the game, which is unusual for an vampire lord. This is due to his fractured mind that schizophrenically switches from personality to personality, changing his battlefield stats and abilities at a whim. One minute you're ripping through a hapless unit of Saurus Warriors as the Mad and the next you're running away in terror as his Coward personality takes over. Later on in the campaign you will be able to unlock the Lore of Deeps for him, which will improve his usefulness.
- Count Noctilus (Dreadfleet): The arch-nemesis of Captain Roth returns to wreak terror across the Great Ocean. Starting smack in the middle of the seas in the Galleon's Graveyard your starting position is nearly unassailable and is the perfect lair for you to strike out at targets of opportunity. Noctilus is the true star of the Vampire Coast for one very simple reason - he buffs and makes cheaper the best unit the roster, the mighty Necrofex Colossi. Despite your promising prospects in the lategame it can get a little difficult to find suitable targets early on without bringing down the full might of their alliances down on you.
- Count Noctilus is the grand admiral that leads from the front with his Anti-Large AP pike and is arguably a contender for the cheesiest doomstack army as Noctilus himself can mount a Necrofex Colossus to lead nineteen other Colossi in an unstoppable tide of cannonball rape. Oh, did we mention he also has access to the Lore of Vampires and Shadow? No? Well he does, to add to his already insane bevy of options for himself and his army. If you're not building or planning to build Necrofex for Noctilus, you're doing it wrong.
- Aranessa Saltspite: Aranessa holds the dubious honour of being the only Vampire Coast LL with no access to spellcasting (but makes up for it with a really, really great backstory). She herself is a bit in an odd niche, being a rather flimsy single-target damage dealer that has a ton of trick up her sleeve. What makes her particularly interesing is her netting ability that keeps any unit you choose from going anywhere. In combat she is... alright. Nothing all that groundbreaking and she will get her ass handed to her by almost any dedicated combat lord.
- Aranessa leads the Pirates of Sartosa, located on not-Sicily in the city of the same name. She has unique access to the only two mortal units of the Vampire Coast roster which gives her an edge over the other VC factions in the early game. She plays largely the most like a true pirate faction; hitting targets of opportunity, establishing pirate covens and raiding the coast line of Ulthuan.
- Cylostra Direfin: Clyostra is currently the only ethereal lord in the game. Does it make her as tough as Cairn Wraiths or Hexwraiths? You wish. She's your standard caster LL, with good access to the Lore of the Deeps. She holds up fairly well in combat, and can even take a Rotting Leviathan as mount. However, she comes with some cool boons that make her a force in her own right. She starts with a cursed Bretonnian Paladin that has the stats of a regular Paladin except that he is Ethereal and pretty much unstoppable early on. She can also summon Ethereal Grail Knights. Yes, you read that right. Summoned. Etheral. Fucking. Grail Knights.
- Unfortunately, her faction has by far the hardest start of any of the Vampire Coast Factions. She leads The Drowned on the small Peninsula in the Isthmus of Lustria, smacked in the middle between Morathi and Lord Mazdamundi. Unlike the other three VC factions, your initial situation is rather peculiar and you have to build a resonably good basis in Lustria before you can even think of raiding your enemies.
- Vampire Fleet Admiral: There is no sexism in undeath, you can either get a halberd wielding dude Admiral or a Cutlass and Pistol wielding lady Admiral. They make up for being the sole generic Lord option for your faction by being pretty good on their own; even more so if you put them on a rotting Promethean. Combined with their extremely potent spellcasting with options from the three best Lores in the game they make for terrifying opponents.
- Vampire Fleet Captain (Vampires, Deep, Death): In contrast to your other heroes, the vampire captain is obtained by normal expansion, meaning you can easily field plenty of them. While they are alright in melee, they are best used to get more access to the lore of vampires to assist your lords (especially the legendary lords that lack spellcasting ability). In the campaign, they have the unique ability to create pirate coves as a hero action. The ability is quite expensive, and the price goes up for each cove you have, but it can be extremely useful to get a cove in a port without having to siege the settlement.- can choose ap anti-large or ranged hybrid. I generally recommend the anti large because the ranged output is quite weak but personal preference. Can mount a giant crab which I always recommend.
- Mournghul Haunter: The Mournghul Haunter is your best (arguably your only) melee hero. Although it doesn't bring nearly the utility that the other two can provide, the Haunter is still useful as a beatstick. Deceptively fast with vanguard deployment and stalk, as well as sporting a very high melee defense stat and regeneration, the Haunter works best to intercept and hold enemy lords/heroes while the rest of the army gets in position to finish them off. His chilling aura debuff is great for keeping his target locked in combat, and his regeneration allows him to stay in the fight even against tougher foes. Just don't send him in unsupported; he doesn't do enough damage to win most fights on his own. Also take in mind that while he's a hero, he's got a much larger model, meaning about 12 infantry models can attack him at once, versus the 4-5 normal foot heroes tank. Absolutely hilarious in a nineteen model doomstack.
- Gunnery Wight: By far the best support hero you have on offer, despite his outlook being very deceiving. Sharing the statline, combat role and unit profile of a Dwarfen Master Engineer (and most of their passives), Gunnery Wights are best utilized as your backline artillery support unit. The Black Powder mechanic gives you tremendous bonuses when your units have a lot of ammo left and Gunnery Wights most crucial ability is theirs to replenish ammunition to any ranged unit you have on the field, as well as giving some nice passive bonuses for ranged units and some AoE grenade abilities to keep faster units away from your precious cannons. So, do they have a downside? Quite frankly, in the campaign, you will never have enough of them, since the only way to increase your hero cap isn't though teching up or expanding - but exclusively through your pirate coves. Random events occasionally can give you one for free, but this is just a very small remedy for the problem that the supply is short and the demand very, very high.
- Damned Bretonnian Paladin (Cylostra Direfin only): An ethereal Bretonnian paladin unique to Cylostria Direfin's army. Don't kid yourself, this guy is nowhere near as powerful as the other ghostly paladin, but he is a welcome addition to an army in need of fast moving heroes. He's a decent duelist hero with enough melee power to make up for Cylostria's subpar fighting abilities (until she gets her rotting leviathan mount).
- Zombie Deckhand Mob (Regular, Polearms): Your fodder. They have next to no offensive capabilities but make up for it by being undead and having a tremendous body count of 160 models on large settings. Sure they won't kill much, but that's not their job, they perform the job of a meatshield really well and are cheap. Try to avoid the dual-sword variety; the added defenses of the polearm type make them a better meatshield and they have actual ap which is rare for chaff, and if you want damage (for whatever reason) the pistol gunnery mob is almost as good in melee and brings a shooting attack. Still raise dead mostly gives the regular so only use them if you must. otherwise you almost always want polearms.
- The Tide of Skjold (RoR): Upgraded sword-zombies with frenzy and perfect vigor while above 50% morale.
- Zombie Gunnery Mob (Pistols, Bombs, Handguns, Handcannons): The mainstay of your armies until the late game. These are the guys your Deckhands are supposed to keep the enemies away from. Their weapons are generally a bit below average as far as missile damage is concerned - until you realize that you have 120 of them in a single unit and good range on top of that. They are excellent missile infantry for their cost and the bread and butter of your faction. They come in four varieties. The Pistol Variant has low range but can handle itself well enough in melee. Bombers inflict fire damage at the cost of range (and being somewhat finicky to use). Handguns are basically a big blob of Imperial Handgunners and work pretty much the same, large Range, Armour Piercing. Handcannons on the other hand work a bit more like shotguns. They have a shorter range than Handguns, but blast anything that comes into their range and work the best up close, where their low accuracy doesn't hold them back as much. Always turn skirmish mode off for them. They're too slow to get away from melee combat anyway and work good enough as fodder if someone manages to catch them.
- The Black Spot (RoR): Handgunners with polearms, giving them decent melee defense and anti-large damage. Strictly better than the normal handgunners and the normal polearm mobs, but you are paying extra for a unit that can only do one of those two roles at once.
- Deck Gunners: Serious firepower for the lategame. They share a lot of similarities with Skaven Weapon teams. They offer tremendous firepower in exchange for a low unit count, but their high damage, AP and Shieldbreaking missiles make short work of nearly anything that get thrown in their general vicinity. also great range.
- Shadewraith Gunners (RoR): Ethereal deck gunners with magic attacks. The only downside (if you can call it that) is that they trade Shieldbreaking for a leadership debuff for whatever they're shooting at, so they work best blasting an enemy that's pinned in melee to maximize your fear effects.
- Depth Guard (Axes, Polearms): Sadly, not as great as they used to be. These are your elite line breakers, low model count, but insane melee capabilities and regenerating on top of that. Depth Guard with Polearms in particular make mincemeat of all Cavalry that is stupid or unfortunate enough to just look at them wrong. As always ap is so important that the polearm version outperforms the axe variant against almost everything you would actually care about. Still expensive and fragile but very effective especially with campaign skill buffs and magic support. You can pull off a frontline of polearms even if you want to.
- The Bloody Reaver Deck Guard (RoR): Polearm depthguard with the ability to temporarily gain 44% physical resistance, making them the best heavy tanking infantry you've got.
- Sartosan Pirates: Mixing it up are non-undead infantry with a pair of cutlasses for some early game DPS and movement speed. Running out of morale makes them rout, which will affect the morale of undead units as well. They have perfect vigor while the leadership is high, but the ability is much more noticeable on the free company.
- Sartosan Free Company: Like the Empire free company but better because these ones have perfect vigor as long as their leadership is above half. Only Aranessa can recruit these guys that must have huge balls or mushy brains to be seen siding with the undead. Due to the Vampire Coast's preference for gunlines that can also hold their ground, these guys often ironically perform your foot skirmishing role as they have considerably more speed. Running out of morale makes them rout, which will affect the morale of undead units as well.
- Syreens: Damned spirits of the deep shanking unfortunate living sailors since forever. Ethereal infantry with decent melee stats, their ability to shrug off normal frontline damage is not to be denied but they will die to a single breath or vortex. Tricky to use effectively and for the most part avoided in most army compositions.
Monsters, Flying Units & Cavalry
- Bloated Corpse: A one-use suicide unit that walks up to enemies and then blows up that is in general a mixed bag. On the one hand exchanging a cheap ass disposable unit that you often can get instantly with Raise Dead to delete a unit of Chaos Knights or Black Orcs is satisfying and useful in a pinch. On the other hand they can also delete your guys and enemy ranged forces will focus fire them into premature detonation if you let them.
- Deck Droppers (Pistols, Handguns, Bombs): These are basically flying Gunnery Mobs with the glaring weakness that their unit count is miniscule and the survivability really bad. They can have a niche as skirmish units to distract fat flying monsters like Dragons or Terradon Riders, but their use outside of this niche is fairly limited and a unit of Gunnery Zombies does their job a lot better at this than they do. If you really want to use them, the bombers are the best choice; the low range and awkward shooting arc are both solved by the superior speed and height of the deck droppers.
- Saltlord Scuttlers (RoR): The best deck-droppers by far and often the only ones worth taking. Their bombs sunder enemy armour, making them a great surgical tool for swooping in and weakening a specific enemy.
- Animated Husks: Fat blobs with Frenzy. That's basically it. They are your beefy monstrous infantry, and provide you with much needed early AP damage, but their usefulness tanks once dedicated Infantry Killers or units with bonuses against large arrive on the scene.
- Mournghuls: These things are really nice and work best as a substitute for cavalry. Vanguard deployment means they can chase off enemy skirmishers quickly and they get regeneration as long as they are in melee. Sadly, their lack of armour makes them rather fragile, but they a solid unit throughout the midgame.
- Night Terrors (RoR): Mournguls with terror and rampage. Terror is nice, but rampage is hard to justify on such a fragile unit. And it's not like you don't have other units that cause terror.
- Rotting Prometheans: If you need a point to not budge, these are your choice. They tank damage like crazy and dish out good AP damage on their own. They are not very fast, but their durability makes up for that.
- Rotting Promethean Gunners: It's Rotting Prometheans with two Handcannoneers on top. Surprisingly durable, and the additional AP damage from its riders works wonders. The Gunners will keep firing even when they are melee and shred most foot units except the most elite ones (Think Phoenix Guard or Chosen) to pieces in quick order. Combine this with their obscene armour value of 120 and you got your dedicated frontline melee unit. these DO NOT benefit from campaign boosts which specify the regular version, which means they tend to be much less durable than the basic version. likely not worth the trade off in campaign.
- The Lamprey's Revenge (RoR): Rotten Promethean gunnery mobs with regeneration, just in case the normal variety wasn't tanky enough for you. With the right magic support this unit can hold the line against almost anything.
- Rotting Leviathan: Your dedicated frontline melee monster, and a really good one to boot. It has everything you could ask for: Armour, AP damage, huge unit size and looks great on top of that. It's very slow and any opponent worth his two cents will use Anti-Large infantry or AP missiles against it; however, drawing fire away from your main force is again a quality in itself, don't you think?
- Necrofex Colossus: The big things from the trailer. And wow, they are not messing around. Necrofexes can altogether replace your artillery by the time they become available. They fire 3 cannon balls with good accuracy over massive distances and can hold their ground really good in melee. Get them. There is no excuse. GET THEM.
- The Gallows Giant (RoR): A necrofex colossus that trades the three canons for a goddamn flamethrower, allowing it to torch swaths of enemy units all at once. It should be noted that the Gallows Giant is shorter range than other Necrofex Colossi, cementing it's role as a frontline brawler.
- Fell Bats: Your old friends from the Vampire Counts, it's exactly the same unit. Really fast, really squishy, really good at chasing off the enemy backline or annoying flying monsters.
- Scurvy Dogs: They differ very little from Chaos Wardogs or Vampire Counts Wolves. Fast and flimsy, these undead pups are ideal for tying down opposing skirmishers or chasing routing units off the field.
- Deathshriek Terrorgheist: Now there's a letdown one didn't expect, but this is more due to how amazing the other monsters in the Vampire Coast roster is. The Terrorgheist isn't really that spectacular, needs a lot of babysitting and can't hold itself up against Dragons and the like - you're better off skipping it, it performs too badly for its exorbitant price tag.
- Mortars: Inaccurate as hell, but will absolutely wreck infantry regiments if a proper shot lands. Due to the Extra Powder mechanic these guys are best employed dealing with elite infantry in the opening stages of a battle as the extra damage will definitely help. Good for splatting archers.
- Carronades: Great cannons hauled up from the deep and put into use under an undead crew. Flat arc-like nearly every other cannon in the game, excellent for mulching cavalry and monsters at range.
- Queen Bess: Go home Hellcannons, the new FUCK HUEG howitzer on the block is here and boy is she a beauty. Has really bad reload speed but that won't matter when an entire unit crumbles in one shot from this mammoth of an artillery piece. Extra Powder gives even more cheese to this dripping-wet curd-maker, letting you select which units to make completely irrelevant from the very start of the battle. She works best to punish infantry blobs (especially if not given constant evasive micro) but struggles to hit fast-moving skirmish targets. Be careful in Multiplayer matches, this cannon is exceptionally vulnerable to getting sniped by opposing artillery and can very easily be gimped early in the battle if unattended. Protip: Combined with the Gunnery Wight passive abilities, Extra Powder and Spiteful Shot from the Lore of the Deep transforms her shots into pinpoint-accurate cruise missiles against infantry or anything that stands still.
General Battle Strategies
You are the Tau of Total War Warhammer. Sure you will fall apart extremely fast if the enemy can get into melee with you, but the hard part is going to be surviving long enough to get there in the first place. Coast have been the kings of the competitive meta ever since they came out... until their nerfs finally caught up with them and now they're considered decent but not unbeatable. There are plenty of people who pick up this faction for their old reputation only for it to turn out they can't actually protect a gunline to save their lives. However, a GOOD Coast player can be one of the most frustrating things to fight in the game, and here's how you become that:
- Beastmen: Just shoot them. Jokes aside; the beastmen aren't a difficult matchup for you: you've got plenty of high-damage ranged attacks, both your depth guard and your deckhands can take polearms to counter their larger threats, and your monsters can easily stand up to theirs. Sure, they'll be running circles around you, but they can't outrun your bullets.
- Bretonnia: Going against Bretonnians is a difficult one. Their Knights will run circles around you and there is little you can do about it. Prepare to get flanked a lot and your artillery being pretty much worthless. That being said: Their Peasants are no match for your melee troops, even Deckhands hold up okay-ish against them. While the Knights are their biggest advantage, their flying cavalry is no match against permanent gunfire and you got some decent flying options of your own against them. The few times Terrorgheists can shine in your roster is neutralizing big flying threats like Royal Hippogryph Knights and Louen Leoncoeur. Their Knights have also no real answer to your big monsters. Hold your ground, force your opponents into chokepoints and you'll out on top.
- Grand Cathay:
- Dark Elves: Depends very strongly on what you're going up against. The big challenge here is to not play into the Dark Elves strengths and lock them into prolonged encounters where they are in no way equipped to hold out for long. Rely on your ranged options to whittle their terrifying melee line down and shut down their fast units wherever you can, be it with your monsters, Mournghuls or just Deckhands.
- Dwarfs: This is without question your worst match up. Your bombers are going to do diddly dick to even the cheapest dwarf infantry, you have no chance at breaking the frontlines in an infantry grind even with Depth Guard, your monsters will die fast to slayers and guns and they do artillery boxes way better than you. What your cannons lack in quality compared to Dawi they make up for in numbers, so if you bring a crap ton of them you may be able to shoot out the artillery on the other side. After that, just shoot and hope you can shatter them before they reach the frontline. Use bats to mess up gyrocopters and just pray to stormfels you got enough artillery to take away their biggest advantage. Special mention to your ethereal units, especially Cylostria and her Ethereal Paladin pal; with only a few units that can deal any sort of magic damage, your ghosts can charge the enemy lines without fear.
- Empire: The Empire is a tough match-up for you because they have several viable builds that can counter you hard. They've got great cavalry, great skirmishers, and pretty good artillery; three of the things you don't like to fight against. This isn't to say they're unbeatable, they're infantry lines are frail and don't have much leadership, so you can scare them off the battlefield with your monsters and magic. You'll probably want to be more aggressive with the Empire than with most enemies; learn to love your anti-infantry Depth Guard and hand-cannoneers. Special shout-out to the rotten promethean gunnery mobs when fighting the Empire; their toughness and versatility is really useful against such a hard to predict foe.
- Greenskins: Greenskins have a surprisingly decent ranged game; especially with skirmishing wolf and spider cavalry that can run circles around everything you've got. Stock up on long range artillery and grab some bats and dogs to pin them down. Ironically, the scariest units in the greenskin roster aren't nearly as much of a problem for you as they are for others; you've got enough armour-piercing shooting and magic to cripple black orcs, rogue idols, and arachnarok spiders before they can reach your line. Just make sure you do shoot them, any of those units will turn your zombies into paste if they can get them in melee.
- High Elves: This has the potential to be a hard one for you as even their basic archer units are going to out range any guns that you have. Against literally any High Elf archer unit, mortars are going to be your best friends. Their lack of need for line of sight and high damage to low armour means that even Sisters of Avelorn are going to have a rough time getting to a point where they can start getting value. You should also grab Noctilus as the Necrofex + magic can devastate any Asur who isn't ready for it. Scurvy Dogs are also very useful for picking off routing units or catching archers out of position. In the melee grind bombers will be able to get their frontline off the field pretty quickly if they can avoid being blasted to kingdom come, so make sure that you have plenty of chaff. A Rotting Leviathan can hold for ages since the High Elves lack inexpensive ranged AP, so one or even two of them can be more than what the pointy ears can handle. They do have plague of rust though, so kill that mage if you can.
- Khorne: Stay the hell away. Like the WoC your guns will destroy them, but you better hope you have a front line able to hold long enough to blast anyone that gets close. In particular you should keep an eye on furies and Khorne's calvary before they take your ranged. On the other hand, given that Khorne has literally only two ranged units period and tends to blob up into big infantry mosh-pits; this might be an ideal match-up for the bloated corpse.
- Lizardmen: You're one of the few factions to have monsters that can savely engage their big Dinosaurs and come out on top, just by the merit of being absurdly tanky alone. Lizardmen are very slow and have a lot of trouble getting to your lines without being shredded to pieces in the process. While Saurus will utterly demolish Deckhands, the LMs poor ranged Arsenal works in your favor. Deck Gunners and Carronades snipe the big monsters from a comfortable distance. Just be careful to not be outmanveured by Cold Ones.
- Norsca: Norsca are a pretty easy match for you. Like the Beastmen, their speed and melee prowess is no match for your guns and polearms. Just be sure to bring a few cannons to deal with their mammoths and watch out for their chariots.
- Ogre Kingdoms:
- Slaanesh: You'd think this would be a horrible match up for you because Slaanesh is a fast faction that can easily flank and overwhelm ranged units, but there is actually one thing that saves this matchup for you. That's the fact that Slaanesh really can't do shit against ranged fliers. Good Deck Dropper play can really be a nightmare for the Prince of Excess's minions. Get the pistol option with maybe one or two handgun versions and bring something like Luthor or fell bats to stop Furies and you will have an untouchable gunline. As for your ground forces, just get as many bodies as you can in order to bog Slaanesh down. Don't bother with artillery, it will just get eaten by Seekers or Hellstriders. Focus down the key targets like Soul Grinders, Keepers of Secrets or Heralds and just try your best to stay safe. Cycle charge Luthor around to support your inevitably doomed ground forces and to pin down important targets with your bat guns. If you can keep the Deck Droppers safe, this may end up being a decent match up. Another thing that Slaanesh will also learn to hate is your Bloated Corpses because Slaanesh has no ranged units at all. Not a single one. And those big blobs of extremely fragile units' speed will only serve to get them closer to the bloated corpse faster.
- Skaven: If there was ever a battle to bring the Queen Bess it's this one; skaven have massive blobs of weak infantry that will crumble in just a few shots. Beyond that, you'll want to be aggressive against the skaven; you can't out shoot their weapons teams directly, but your abundance of fear and terror effects will drive them away in short order. Mournguls are especially useful here, the can vanguard deploy to flank the skaven and have enough anti-infantry damage to chew through the chaff they usually use to protect those units. Just make sure to keep them hidden until they're ready to strike; they don't have the defenses to survive weapons team shooting.
- Tomb Kings: Tomb Kings are an interesting fight because they have many of the same strengths and weaknesses that you do. You'll both want to avoid infantry battles and stock up on bigger units to do the real work. They'll be faster but you'll shoot harder. Bunkering up with some Rotting Prometheans to deal with their chariots is a pretty safe bet. Just don't send your necrofex collosi against their necro-sphynxes; they'll be slaughtered in short order.
- Vampire Coast: This mirror-match can be more interesting than you'd think; whilst you can just use your normal tactics, you can do some clever things against other pirates. The enemy is most likely going to be building a gun-bunker with powerful artillery support, but that isn't the only game plan you have. Bringing a bunch of mournguls and syreens can make for a decent flanking division that can ruin the enemies day. Don't include Rotting Prometheans or leviathans, they have way too much AP shooting for those to be effective (on that same note, you should bring a few deck-gunners in case the enemy tries to bring the big monsters).
- Vampire Counts: You're going to want to play very defensibly against these guys; they'll eat you alive in melee. Fortunately, ranged combat is a foreign concept to the Vampire Counts and you'll have little trouble dealing with them from afar. Mortars and the Queen Bess can be especially useful here; the enemy chaff can't reposition fast enough to avoid your bombardments. Just keep some deckhands nearby to protect them from enemy flanking. Remember that the enemy has the Lore of Vampires as well, you'll want to spread your units out to mitigate the inevitable winds of death coming your way.
- Daemons of Chaos:
- Warriors of Chaos: Another faction your gunpowder units are going to eat alive, your first major concern is going to be shutting down any Hellcannons and Marauder Horsemen the WoC might be bringing to bear. If you do that, your artillery will wreak havoc among the Chaos lines. A majority of your army should avoid melee like the plague, but Rotting Prometheans and Syreens can get somewhat decent work done against Chaos Warrior forces while pinning them down. If you can keep it safe from being picked off, a Bloated Corpse or two can be a gimmicky, yet surprisingly effective and hilarious way to delete a particularly elite squad of infantry, like the Mirror Guard.
- Wood Elves: Their lack of shielding and armor means your missile units will mow down the tree-huggers with sickening efficiency, when they're in range. Generally, your main challenge is going to be cornering their forces in order to get into range, because Wood Elves can loose arrows at your Deck Gunners and Gunnery Mobs long before you can return the favor. Fortunately, your mortars and artillery will heavily discourage them from staying still for very long and a few packs of Scurvy Dogs can easily chase down rogue Waywatchers trying to outflank your forces. The biggest thing you'll need to keep an eye on is their cavalry. Have some Polearm Deckhand Mobs ready to sponge potential charges; a couple Wild Rider/Great Stag Knight charges will decimate your forces, but if you can gun them down before they make contact against your important forces, you'll come out on top in the end.
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