Warhammer Army Project/Zombie Pirates of the Vampire Coast

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Zombie Pirates of the Vampire Coast: Warhammer Army Project, 9th Edition Tactica[edit]

Created by Mathias Eliasson, this project was a homebrew attempt at giving many of the units, nations, and factions that never got Armybooks of their own (and those left behind and never got one in 8th Edition) such a thing.

It should also be noted that Eliasson is continuously updating his work, so don't expect this page to stay current forever. If anyone wishes actually to update this page and the items that need it, later on, go ahead.

Why Play WAP Zombie Pirates of the Vampire Coast[edit]

it went from being an old White Dwarf article to an explosive reemergence in Total War: WARHAMMER as a proper faction. The Vampire Coast is when you cross the shambling unbreakable lines of the Vampire Counts with the firepower of the Empire or Sartosa.


  • Vampire Counts fused with the Pirates of Sartosa
  • Your zombies' shooting is about as good as it can without something like Khalida.
  • Tons of cheap resurrectable S4 Ap firepower.
  • Tons of supporting melee fighters with High Strength attacks
    • Lot of DPS from your Zombies for the fact they can use pistols and bigger guns.


  • A minimalistic armybook when compared to other Army Project Factions.
  • Expensive Vampire Necromancers, no cheaper humans
  • Your ability to always hit on a 5+ doesn't come from magic self-guiding arrows like the tomb kings but an ork dakka method of complete disregard for gun safety. A zombie with waterlogged gunpowder and flintlocks is not Osha approved. You are at resurrecting models but you're losing models every time you shoot a gun.
  • You're going to take a lot of casualties with how much little armour your front line troops get (at least skeletons get light armor and shields)
  • No fast swiftride. You have Dogs and flying bats but no proper melee unts that move faster than 6". Units of ogres get by on this fine with the ability to still quickly close the board but even they a few faster units in the roster to quickly capitalize on opening.

Army Special Rules[edit]

  • Undead: Animated Construct with Fear, Immunity to Poison, and Unstable. They can't march or charge unless within 12" of the General. They can never flee from combat, which might matter depending on what you use. Fortunately, none of your vampires are Undead and thus can operate without worry.
  • Vampiric: Vampire rule part 1. Grants Fear and Immunity to Psychology. All enemies must also re-roll to wound them (unless it's magical, flaming, or a Killing Blow). Make your Vampire warrior/mages harder to kill. Unfortunately, because of 9th Unstable rule, they can't join most units, so there are no cheap bunkers (still, 9th has been kind for buffing lone foot characters).
  • The Red Thirst: Vampire rule part 2. Whenever a model with this rule kills in CC, they recover a wound on a 5+ on a d6. Unfortunately, this is useless against other Animated Construct, Daemonic, and Forest Spirits. You don't need to say why healing wounds is good.
  • The Generals of Undeath: by rules, you must have at least one necromancer in your army. But then you grab a few more if he becomes like his minions. When you lose your general or have any (un-)Living necromancers, the army's undead parts need to make an Ld test each turn or lose as many models as the test was failed by.
    • When taking multiple necromancer casters, you only have vampire casters, so they are all hard to kill but more expensive than other armies; as you don't have a cheaper opinion, you can hide in the back.
  • Zombie Pirate: Despite having a BS of 1, Your Undead always hit on a natural roll of 5+, but they will shoot themselves on a Natural 1.
    • As a trade of having swarms of extremely cheap, resurrectable, and decently accurate black powder, You're going to lose a lot of zombies from just firing (it's a 1/6 chance to hit yourself for each shot) in addition to enemy attacks. Shooting Zombie Units will shrink every turn despite necromancy.


Lore of Necromancy[edit]

Lore Attribute: Curse of Undeath: After casting a spell, one undead unit within 6" can restore a wound. Really, this is to bolster any monsters or characters that need the pick-me-up.

  • Signature: Invocation of Nehek: (CV 6/12/18) Always, always, always take this, especially on your Lords. If undead units surround you, they all recover 1d6+Level wounds worth of models. Even characters and monsters recover a wound, and if you really need it, you can spend the attribute on them.
  1. Vanhel's Danse Macabre: (CV 5/10) Let one Undead unit (or all within 12 if boosted) make a normal move if unengaged. Good with guns for that repositioning.
  2. Hellish Vigour: (CV 8/16) Let's an undead unit ASF and re-roll to hit in cc. Make Zombie Crew and your Monstrous beasts more dangerous, letting those high-strength attacks land.
  3. Gaze of Nagash: (CV 9/12) Basic magic missile. You don't need it because you're more worried about your toys and because Curse of Years does more damage. At the least, it can pick off stragglers.
  4. Raise Dead: (CV 9/14) Instantly summon a horde of zombie deckhands 2d6+3 corpses strong, no upgrades included. If you augment, you can raise zombie gunners (with pistols). The best part of this is that they can't be dispelled, and they never award VP for dying.
  5. Curse of Years: (CV 12+) Hex. Your deadliest spell. Each magic phase, the targeted unit needs to roll a d6 with an increasing likelihood of taking wounds without taking armour saves.
  6. Wind of Death: (CV 15/25) Magical Vortex. Yours has a bit of an edge since it immediately deals d6 S3/4 armor ignoring hits for each model it crosses over, allowing you to possibly wipe out mobs of State Troopers. Like most Vortexes, a fun spell but you have more reliable spells to invest power dice into.

Lore of the Deep[edit]

Lore Attribute: Kiss of the Deep: A follow-up insult to any offensive spells you make. After resolving a Lore of the Deep spell's effect on an enemy, they also suffer d6 S1 hits that bypass armor. Peppers in an extra kill or two on each spell casted, including the hexes.

  • Signature: Tidecall (CV 8): Your caster uses an S2 breath weapon, which also forces any enemy they hit to take -d6" to their movement, and they get disrupted. It has a chance of saving you from an infantry charge but, more importantly, making sure that bigger enemy unit takes that Lowered Leadership test when your smaller Vampire captain and Monsters dice them up.
  1. Denizens of the Deep (CV6/9): A basic magic missile, it deals 2d6 S3 hits (+ the damage from Kiss of the Deep) to an enemy unit within 24" (48" if boosted).
  2. Eye of the Storm (CV 8): This augment buffs the wizard's unit, making anyone nearby take d6 S5 hits at the start of the next magic phase. This also makes all shooting take -1 to hit the unit (and can even foil anything that auto-hits). This penalty is also imposed on the unit itself, but they don't care, they're Zombie Pirates.
  3. Watery Grave (CV 9/12): One enemy unit within 18" is now always in dangerous terrain. For every 4" that unit moves, you make the odds of them failing the check improve by +1, which will seriously fuck over any cavalry or beasts.
  4. Fog of the Damned (CV 10/13): One enemy unit within 24" (48" if boosted) is now constantly suffering a -1 penalty to WS and Ld. ALWAYS. This will require a wizard to spend a precious die to dispel if they don't do it the first time. A point of WS and Ld can mean the difference between killing a zombie tarpit or running away from them.
  5. Stromfels' Jaws (CV 14/17): You have a small pieplate artillery (large if overcast) with a range of 18". Anyone inside the template eats an S5 hit with Multiple Wounds d3. It can be another means of taking out Calv and monsters.
  6. Kraken's Pull (CV 15/25): Magical Vortex. All models it passes over must pass a Strength check or take a wound that bypasses armor, and the survivor's movement is reduced by half. Effective at clearing enemies and giving the handguns more time to shoot(if the vortex moves how you want it). Likely skip as having more necromancers is more important than an lv4 wizard.


  • Grenades: 6" S5 Ap(1), Quick to Fire. A Very short-range high strength and cheap-range weapon. It is cheap for the expendable zombie line to inflict damage against enemies with high defenses.
  • Blunderbuss: 12" S3 Ap(1), Move or Fire, Multple Shots(3), Quick to Fire. Short-range but shreds a lot of cheap enemy infantry (including the zombies shooting the guns).
  • Swivel Gun: 36" S6 Ap(1), Move or Fire. Serious damage long-range gun, a group will mow up the wounds of high armour units but will take concentrated fire to kill one monstrous model
  • Volley Gun: 18" S4 Ap(1), Move or Fire, Multple Shots(d6). Mass handgun-equivalent fire for cheaper.

Booty of the Vampire Coast[edit]

  • Kraken Fang: 30pts. Magic Weapon. Additional hand weapon that deals Ice Attacks, which is great for challenging monsters with your miserable lot and low initiative.
  • Dirty Serpent: 30pts. Magic Weapon. +S1 and AP(3). The fusion of BLADE OF SEA GOLD and SWORD OF MIGHT. Easley penetrates high toughness and armour save characters.
  • Armour of the Depths: 50pts. Magical Armour. This medium armor is pricy, but it grants a 5+ Regen, and enemies must take a -1 to hit the wearer in melee. Not bad for a melee build.
  • Sea Dragon Buckler: 20pts. Magical Armour. This buckler gives a 5+ save against shooting and a 6++ Ward. It's...difficult to recommend. A character being shot at directly is rarely a thing, and you could spend/save points on armour that can also be used in melee.
  • The Ebony Skulls: 35pts. Arcane Item. If you need more zombies, it's a PL4 bound item that casts Raise Dead.
  • Ex-Parrot: 20pts. Talisman. You get a little Polly, and what's wrong with that? It even grants Magic Resist 1 and a 6++ Ward against magical attacks. Extra Defense from sniping spells and when dueling other characters.
  • Blackeye Pearl: 20pts. Enchanted Item. Grants the model sniper, which is quite handy for a pistol captain (or Gunnery Wight with Volley Gun). Additionally helpful is exposing all magical items and hidden models on one unit within LoS each turn.
  • Firewater: 20pts. Enchanted Item. Some of the fiercest rotgut, this gives you a single-phase (combat or shooting) where you can getS3 flaming breath weapon. Delete some chaff with a pie plate.
  • Black Buckthorn's Treasure Map: 10pts. Enchanted Item. Adds +1 when rolling to determine which side of the map you deploy from. This can matter for a shooting army.
  • Skull and Crossbones: 35pts. Enchanted Item. This particular banner grants Terror and Vanguard. Get a unit into Blunderbuss range or put Depth Guard into a flanking charge.

Army Units[edit]

Lords & Heroes[edit]

Special Characters[edit]

  • Luthor Harkon: 285pts. The great grandpappy of the vampire pirates. It can be the General despite not being a wizard. He's okay for a beatstick, considering he's an admiral with heavy armor, but he also has Magic Resist 3 on behalf of some pocket Slann Gold and Generates a lot of Dispel Dice. Perhaps the most troubling aspect is his split personalities, on tier with Marius Leitdorf in the potential for self-harm (about 1/2 time nothing happens (Your really likely to pass your Stupidity roll), 1/6 Frenzy, 1/6 Hatred), Through will gain Regen(4+) when on his last wound. Also harmful is his lack of casting, so you will need some captains to cover you.
    • Useful if you want a melee general and want to stop the enemy's magic phase.
  • Count Noctilus: 330/605pts. Noctilus is who you pick if you want an all-rounder leader in Full plate and don't want to put up with Luthor's shit. Though his martial prowess is weaker, he has Ld 10 and is a level 3 caster who can simultaneously use Necromancy and Shadow spells. It can also be mounted on a Necrofex Colossus to improve his Attack, Defence, and Casting. You can already see all the monster shenanigans Noctilus can get up to with how much out of movement abilities lore of Shadows.
  • Cylostra Direfin: 185pts. The undead minstrel is incredibly flimsy, but that's fine for a wizard. Being a ghost means that she gets Hover, Terror, and Ethereal, letting her move around more freely so she can cast (though she's limited as a Level 2 Deep caster) and use her super-Syreen call that paralyzes all enemies within 12". Fielding her makes the situation of defending her a bit peculiar because of her abilities, so make sure she's near some hardy guys like the Depth Guard.
  • Vangheist: 110pts + 12ppm. You're not buying Vangheist because he's a leader. He's not even that good at fighting. He is good at being a massive DISTRACTION CARNIFEX. See, he comes with 10-30 ghastly crewmembers From Special Allowance who are also Undead and Ethereal. They're utterly flimsy, but you'll have a Necromancy captain to rez all the troops you can.
  • Skretch Half-Dead: 45pts+5ppm. Take Vangheist, and then make him a zombie-Skaven. A crew of zombie-clanrats (Deckhands with a Quick M5 and I3 that use Core Allowance) is considerably cheap to field in large quantities.

Generic Characters[edit]

  • Vampire Fleet Admiral: Your big characters are strong and relatively tough. It has a lot of versatility in gear and is a Shadow, Death, Necromancy, or Deep caster.
  • Vampire Fleet Captain: Your smaller but as dangerous lesser Vampire. It's pretty expensive to be your only Lv1 wizard option and not throw them into melee, but you have to make do for a backup Necromancer.
  • Gunnery Wight: Starts as a barest-bone character that is also undead and given a variety of gear (Stuck with a max of Light armour). They can significantly reduce crumbling for zombies outside generals aura, grab a big enchanted weapon for additional DPS, Or be a Battle Standard while staying behind with a Hand/Swivel/Volley gun.


  • Rotting Promethean: Only Increases the speed of Wights, But also greatly improve The Defences of any character, Adding High damaging KB attacks, and let them ride with other Promethean and Animated Hulk units.
  • Necrofex Colossus: Count Noctilus Only.

Core Units[edit]

  • Zombie Pirate Deckhands: Zombies but with weapons. 4ppm, They hit last and bad WS of 2, but you can take many of them to hold enemies in place. You want Bucklers to hold longer but can take TWH(free with 2 attacks and a parry(6+)) or Polearms(5 points for an S4 meatshield) instead of in the rare circumstance you want to kill things over holding the line.
  • Zombie Pirate Gunners: Most armies would have to pay more for blackpowder weapons while getting a -2 discount for Tomb Prince Archers with S4 Ap(1) weapons. They are prone to shoot themselves, but necromancy will remedy that. The default Pistols give them decent firepower on the move, charge, and in melee. Grenades Are better at penetrating Higher armour save units at the trade of being a merely 5ppm minor distraction in melee. Handguns have a better range than pistols (24" instead of 12"+M4"), so there is less of a need to move them. The Blunderbuss is short-range but would make Orcs Reconsider when charging or merely standing in front of you.
  • Scurvy Dogs: Fast-moving Vanguard Undead hound Flankers. They will not inflict significant damage but are important for setting up flanks and catching lance charges.
  • Razortooth Rats: Like Skaven Rat Swarms but Undead. They are cheap source wounds that hold up the enemy but don't do that much damage without a spell augment. Their main selling point over Deckhands is that they don't block line of sight so they can haply shoot over their heads.

Special Units[edit]

  • Deck Droppers: Bats carrying zombies sounds cool, right? Well, here's the issue: They can't fly far. Due to being Animated Constructs, they cannot go very far unless they are near a general or necromancer (only a mealy 21" for vanguard and move). It's still beneficial to have a unit shoot and charge into enemy flanks. Pistols as a balanced choice and ok in melee with 4 attacks per model + a pistol shoot on the charge. They could swap pistols for grenades to deliver stronger shooting attacks at a shorter range with their speed (Undead can use Feigned Flight and Fire & Flee charge reaction). The Handguns have a longer range if you never go to melee and pick off enemies far in the back.
  • Deck Gunners: Zombies Big gun platforms, comes as Anti-armour Swivel Gun or Anit-infantry Volley Gun(this can kill the unit if you roll too many 1s). Use necromancy to keep them up and not be in the enemy's line of sight.
  • Bloated Corpse: These walls of rotten flesh are made to hold up the enemies. Not only are they tougher than regular zombies with 2 wounds and T4, but even if they do die, they will explode and potentially harm anyone near them on a failed Toughness check. The issue with that power is that the blast is tiny (being a small pieplate) and won't mean a thing if they're getting shot at by elves and dwarfs (still a turn of shooting not at your better undead).
  • Animated Hulks: Bloated Corpses except much better and a proper unit. They're faster, tougher, and capable of throwing out d3+1 attacks, thanks to lessons from Davey Jones from Pirates of the Caribbean. They are your slow cavalry unit, helping your Deckhand win the infantry fight with their higher Str.
  • Rotting Prometheans: You have large (but not giant) enemy crabs. a massive 15pt upgrade to Animated Hulks. They're very hardy with 4+ natural armor save and T5, and with Killing Blow, they have a chance to eat up the troops arrayed against it, especially penetrating the armour of tied-up knights. It fills the role of Defensive Anti-calvary.
    • with Gunnery Mob: add impact hits, and ridden by two zombies with handguns that fire in 360 degrees. The zombie riders make SUPPORTING instead of the crabs, so the calvary version works better at maximizing the DPS that a small unit of Prometheans can dish out.
  • Carronade: 85pts. You can drag out the broadside cannons of a ship. Like any cannon, they take out ranks of elite warriors and monsters or units that wandered too close into GRAPESHOT range.
  • Mortar: 100pts. Take a stone thrower and make it a blackpowder weapon. The mortar is only effective at long range, but it does so with a decent ability to flatten whatever mobs you fire it on. I mention mobs in particular as they won't worry too much if you miss the center because S3 is still fairly deadly to them, especially when including Armor Pen 1 and Multiple Wounds d3.

Rare Units[edit]

  • Depth Guard: A unit of Foot Vampires in Full plate armour. They will tear up most smaller units that try to get into your guns. They are better than Animated Hulks, but you can't raise their dead models with Necromancy. The THW carves infantry with A3 each, while the polearms penetrate heavy armour.
  • Syreen: 70pts. the Sea version of the Land Tomb Banshee. Not a Fighter, but an Ethereal LD Debuffer, Having Terror and causing one enemy to lose -3 Ld if they fail her Ld test. You would go par her with a Warmachine or Animated Hulks to cause important units to flee.
  • Rotting Leviathan: 250pts. a large Promethean, a meaty (S6 T6 W6 armour 2+) and -1WS to Enemies in melee contact (Animated Constructs ignore) 5 Zombies with handguns. They are about holding the line with the deckhand and killing monsters in melee compared to the Colossus.
  • Necrofex Colossus: 270pts. They are A big infantry supporting monster, a cannon with legs, and a Death/Necromancy booster. Better at killing infantry than the Leviathan but with less protection.
  • 0-1 Queen Bess: 250pts. A massive great canon. can't move but uses a small template instead of a marker, cutting a bigger swift of destruction as the ball lands and bounces

Regiments of Renown[edit]

Building your army[edit]

Buying your Army[edit]

as it stands, your going to have to kitbash.

If your going pure GW product, buy a lot of empire/freeguild, paint them deathy, and add zombie parts.

Use the already existing vampires models or kitbash with empire, Inquisitor, and Commisoar parts.

Army Composition[edit]


  • Shadow: Grants additional mobility to your mounted vampires, especially Count Noctilus on his colossi. Debuff is useful as your Zombies are unlikely to inflict or take much damage otherwise. Penumbral Pendulum and Pit of Shades are just more firepower to have. Can skip Okkam's Mindrazor, could save money in an army with low Ld.
  • Death: A good choice, with buffs and debuffs inaction of generating more dice, though you've got to be pretty close to an enemy for some spells. Doom and Darkness synergize well with your Fear causing units. Soulblight makes hitting things easier. Purple Sun may not be good if it hits more of your own Low Initiative units than the enemy.
  • Necromancy: A lore so important that's it's mandatory (take two casters). It resurrects zombies, so you still have troops despite the low defenses and constant attrition. The DPS spells are utility but can be dropped for healing. Vanhel's Danse Macabre and Hellish Vigour helps your zombie chaff fight better in melee, but Vanhel's Danse Macabre is better suited in helping your guns move into position. Raise Dead will conjure a unit of Deckhands or Gunners to tie down enemies and allow flanking.
  • Deep: Your DPS lore but also gives your Shooting troops more time to do their job. Eye of the Storm helps protect a unit of deep guard or Promithiens from ranged attacks. Watery Grave and Tidecall stop enemies that think they can charge or flank you. You probably only need an Lv1 or 2 to get their job done. At the lord levels, you get access to scatter templater attacks.


External Links[edit]

The Project's website

Warhammer Army Project Tactics Articles
General Tactics
Forces of Order
Forces of Destruction