thralls; you can set up a Vampire Lord within 6" of Neferata. This model is added to your army, but cannot attack in that combat phase. Frightful Touch: If the hit. of the Vampire Counts. There are those who, paying too much heed to the romantic poems of Dvorjetski and Sierck, see them as beautiful mysteries, and those. Vampire Counts are a fun army to play but boy are they hard to play. This army is not recommended for beginners. They lack obviously OP.
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These guys ride around looking for challenges to their manliness, drinking the blood of what they kill. Glittering Robe: It's usually better to pin enemies with Spirit Hosts and then flank later with another unit so, in essence, the Cairn Wraiths are to the Spirit Hosts as the Varghulfs are to the Vargheists. It is equipped with a Chill Dagger that freezes the heart of its victim with the merestscratch. Do you really need a Ward Save this bad? Use it situationally.
Unholy Lodestone: You can add 1 to the casting rolls for Death Wizards from your army that are within 18" of any Corpse Carts with an Unholy Lodestone. A Mortis Engine is a single model. The Mortis Engine is watched over by a deathless Corpsemaster, who attacks any who approach too closely with a gnarled Mortis Staff. He is protected by a swirling Spectral Host that fights with shimmering Ethereal Weapons, while above the Mortis Engine a cloud of Tomb Banshees scream a Wail of the Damned, cursing those who hear it to a maddening demise.
The Mortis Engine cages an ancient Reliquary with a dark aura that can be unleashed to devastating effect. Some also carry Blasphemous Tomes a boon to nearby practitioners of death magic and a curse to all otherspellcasters.
Wail of the Damned: The cacophony raised by the Tomb Banshees circling a Mortis Engine is enough to freeze the blood in a mortals veins. In the hero phase, roll two dice for each enemy unit within the range shown on the damage table. If the total is higher than that units Bravery, it suffers D3 mortal wounds.
The Reliquary: Once per battle, in the hero phase, the Corpsemaster can unleash the energies stored by the Reliquary. When he does so, roll four dice. Each unit within that many inches is struck by a wave of necromantic force. Death units that are struck heal D3 wounds, but any other unit suffers D3 mortal wounds.
Blasphemous Tome: You and your opponent must subtract 1 from the casting rolls of all other Wizards that are within 12" of any Mortis Engines with a BlasphemousTome. Krell is a single model. Champion of the Dead: You can add 1 to all hit rolls for Krell when he targets aHero. Black Axe of Krell: Roll a dice at the end of the combat phase for each enemy model that Krell wounded but did not slay.
If the result is greater than the number of wounds that model has remaining, it isslain. Lord of Bones: If Krell uses this ability, pick one unit of Skeletons within 18". All models in that unit make one extra attack with each of their weapons until your next hero phase.
Armour of the Barrows: Halve any wounds or mortal wounds inflicted on Krell rounding fractions up. Skeletal Steed. Some Wight Kings ride a Skeletal Steed.
They move 12" rather than 4", and their steed attacks with its Hooves and Teeth. Infernal Standard: Infernal Standards are saturated with death magic, which can sustain the undead.
Roll a dice each time a Death model from your army is slain within 9" of an Infernal Standard. On a 6, the magic of the Infernal Standard sustains that warrior and the attack that slew him is ignored. In your hero phase, a Wight King can plant his standard; if he does so, you cannot move him until your next hero phase, but until then the Infernal Standards influence is extended to18".
Beheading Strike: If the wound roll for an attack made with a Baleful Tomb Blade is 6 or more, that attack inflicts D3 damage rather than 1. Skeleton Legion: Models in this unit make 1 extra attack with their melee weapon if their unit has 20 or more models. They make 2 extra attacks instead if their unit has 30 or more models. A unit of Skeleton Warriors has 10 or more models. Some units are equipped with Ancient Blades, whilst others go to war with Ancient Spears.
The leader of this unit is a Skeleton Champion. A Skeleton Champion makes 2 attacks rather than 1. Icon and Standard bearer. Models in this unit may be Icon Bearers or Standard Bearers. You can return D6 slain models to this unit in your hero phase if it includes any Icon or Standard Bearers. Serve in Death: You can add 1 to hit rolls for units of Skeleton Warriors that are within 18" of a DeathHero from yourarmy.
Crypt Shield: You can add 1 to save rolls for a unit carrying Crypt Shields against attacks that have a Rend of -. Tomb Shield: A unit carrying Tomb Shields can create a shield fortress instead of running or charging in its turn. If it does so, add 1 to save rolls for the unit until its next movement phase.
Death Wizards know the Raise Skeletons spell, in addition to any other spells they know. Raise Skeletons. Raise Skeletons has a casting value of 5. If successfully cast, you can set up a unit of up to 10 Skeleton Warriors within 18" of the caster and more than 9" away from the enemy.
If the casting roll was 10 or more, set up a unit of up to 20 Skeleton Warriorsinstead. A unit of Grave Guard has 5 or more models.
Others are instead equipped with two-handed Great Wight Blades. Cursed Weapons: If the wound roll for a model from this unit is 6 or more, that attack inflicts double Damage. You can return D3 slain models to this unit in your hero phase if it includes any Standard Bearers. Crypt Shields: Death Wizards know the Raise Grave Guard spell, in addition to any other spells theyknow. Raise Grave Guard. Raise Grave Guard has a casting value of 5. If successfully cast, you can set up a unit of up to 5 Grave Guard within 18" of the caster and more than 9" away from the enemy.
If the casting roll was 10 or more, set up a unit of up to 10 GraveGuardinstead. A unit of Black Knights has 5 or more models. They ride Skeletal Steeds that lash out at the enemy with their Hooves andTeeth. Hell Knight. The leader of this unit is a Hell Knight. A Hell Knight makes 2 attacks with its Barrow Lance instead of 1. Standard bearer. Spectral Steeds: Black Knights can move across scenery but not enemy models as if they could fly. Deathly Charge: Add 1 to the wound rolls and Damage for this units Barrow Lances if it charged in the sameturn.
You can add 1 to save rolls for this unit against attacks that have a Rend of -. Death Wizards know the Raise Black Knights spell, in addition to any other spells they know. Raise Black Knights. Raise Black Knights has a casting value of 5. If successfully cast, you can set up a unit of up to 5 Black Knights within 18" of the caster and more than 9" away from the enemy. If the casting roll was 10 or more, set up a unit of up to 10 BlackKnightsinstead.
A Ghoul King is a single model. He is a terrifying opponent possessed of inhuman strength and agility, who rips his victims apart with his Gore-slick Talons andFangs. A Strigoi Ghoul King heals D3 wounds at the end of each combat phase in which he slew any models. A Strigoi Ghoul King is a wizard. Black Hunger. The Ghoul King stokes the necromantic energies flowing in his followers rotten veins, raising their hunger to terrible new heights.
Black Hunger has a casting. If successfully cast, pick a Flesheater unit within 18". That unit can make 1 extra attack with each of its melee weapons until your next hero phase. Lord of the Flesh-eaters: If a Strigoi Ghoul King uses this ability, then until your next hero phase you can add 1 to hit and wound rolls for Flesheater units from your army within 18"ofhim when they attack in the combatphase. Unholy Masters: You can re-roll hit rolls of 1 for units of Crypt Ghouls that are within 15" of a Ghoul King from yourarmy.
A unit of Crypt Ghouls has 10 or more models. They frantically tear into their victims with Sharpened Teeth and FilthyClaws. The leader of this unit is a Crypt Ghast. You can add 1 to wound rolls for a CryptGhast. Ravenous Corpse-eaters: Crypt Ghouls make 3 attacks with their Sharpened Teeth and FilthyClaws if their unit has 20 or moremodels. Death Wizards know the Summon Ghouls spell, in addition to any other spells they know.
Summon Ghouls. Summon Ghouls has a casting value of 5. If successfully cast, set up a unit of up to 10 Crypt Ghouls within 18" of the caster and more than 9" away from the enemy. If the casting roll was 10 or more, set up a unit of up to 20 Crypt Ghouls instead.
A unit of Crypt Horrors has 3 or more models. They fight with Clubs and SepticTalons. Creations of the Ghoul Kings: You can re-roll failed hit rolls for a unit of Crypt Horrors if it is within 15" of a Strigoi GhoulKing from your army. Ravenous Flesh-eaters: Each time you make a wound roll of 6 for a Crypt Horror, that attack inflicts 3 damage instead of 2. Death Wizards know the Summon Crypt Horrors spell, in addition to any other spells they know.
Summon Crypt Horrors has a casting value of 6. If successfully cast, you can set up a unit of up to 3 Crypt Horrors within 18" of the caster and more than 9" away from the enemy. If the casting roll was 11 or more, set up a unit of up to 6CryptHorrorsinstead.
A unit of Varghulfs has any number of models. They rip their prey apart with Immense Claws and Dagger-like Fangs. Bestial Fury: If there are at least 10 enemy models within 3" after a Varghulf piles in, it makes 6 attacks rather than 4 with its ImmenseClaws. Feed on Dark Magic: A Varghulf heals a wound each time a Death Wizard successfully casts a spell within 18".
Monstrous Hunger: A Varghulf heals D3 wounds at the end of each combat phase in which it slew any models. Death Wizards know the Summon Varghulf spell, in addition to any other spells they know. Summon Varghulf. Summon Varghulf has a casting value of 7. If successfully cast, you can set up a Varghulf within 18" of the caster and more than 9" away from the enemy.
A Cairn Wraith is a single model. It attacks with a twohanded ReaperScythe that harvests the souls of the enemy with each fellsweep. Reaped Like Corn: You can re-roll failed hit rolls for a Reaper Scythe if the target unit has five or more models. Ignore the weapons Rend when making save rolls for a CairnWraith. Death Wizards know the Summon Wraith spell, in addition to any other spells theyknow.
Summon Wraith. Summon Wraith has a casting value of 5. If successfully cast, you can set up a Cairn Wraith within 18" of the caster and more than 9" away from the enemy. The model is added to your army, but cannot move in the following movementphase. A Tomb Banshee is a single model. It is equipped with a Chill Dagger that freezes the heart of its victim with the merestscratch. A Tomb Banshee can also emit a Ghostly Howl to petrify its enemies. Ignore the weapons Rend when making save rolls for a Tomb Banshee.
Ghostly Howl: The otherworldly wail of a Tomb Banshee is enough to freeze the blood in a mortal mans veins. When making a Ghostly Howl attack, pick a target, roll two dice and add the scores together; if the total is higher than that units Bravery, it suffers a number of mortal wounds equal to the difference. Death Wizards know the Summon Banshee spell, in addition to any other spells they know.
Summon Banshee. Summon Banshee has a casting value of 5. If successfully cast, you can set up a Tomb Banshee within 18" of the caster and more than 9" away from the enemy. The model is added to your army, but cannot move in the following movement phase. A unit of Spirit Hosts has 3 or more models. The spirits rend the souls of mortals with their Spectral Claws andDaggers. Ignore the weapons Rend when making save rolls for a Spirit Host. If the hit roll for an attack made by a Spirit Host is 6 or more, the spirits frightful touch stills the victims beating heart, immediately inflicting 1 mortal wound instead of its normaldamage.
Death Wizards know the Manifest Spirits spell, in addition to any other spells theyknow. Manifest Spirits. Manifest Spirits has a casting value of 5. Ifsuccessfully cast, you can set up a unit of up to 3 Spirit Hosts within 18" of the caster and more than 9" away from the enemy.
If the result of the casting roll was 10 or more, set up a unit of up to 6 Spirit Hostsinstead. A unit of Hexwraiths has 5 or more models armed with glowing Spectral Scythes and riding Skeletal Steeds that lash out at the enemy with their Hooves and Teeth. The leader of this unit is a Hellwraith. AHellwraith makes 3 attacks rather than 2 with its Spectral Scythe.
Ignore the weapons Rend when making save rolls for this unit Spectral Hunters: After a unit of Hexwraiths moves in the movement phase, you can pick an enemy unit it moved across. Roll a dice for each Hexwraith that passed across it; for each roll of a 6, that unit suffers a mortal wound.
Death Wizards know the Summon Hexwraith spell, in addition to any other spells they know. Summon Hexwraiths. Summon Hexwraiths has a casting value of 6. If successfully cast, you can set up a unit of up to 5 Hexwraiths within 18" of the caster and more than 9" away from the enemy. If the casting roll was 11 or more, set up a unit of up to 10 Hexwraithsinstead. A Black Coach is a single model. It is driven by a Cairn Wraith armed with a massive two-handed Reaper Scythe, and is pulled along by black-boned Nightmares that lash out at the foe with their Hooves andTeeth.
You can re-roll failed hit rolls for a Reaper Scythe if the target unit has 5 or more models. Evocation of Death: In your hero phase, roll a dice for each Death Wizard from your army within 12" of this model. For each roll of 6, the Black Coach gains a level of power for the rest of the battle.
The levels are cumulative, and grant the following abilities: First Level: Gleaming Scythes. After the Black Coach makes a charge move, select an enemy unit within 1". That unit suffers D3 mortal wounds. Second Level: Unholy Vigour. The Black Coach has a Move of 14" instead of 10". Third Level: You can add 1 to all hit rolls for the Black Coach. Fourth Level: Howling Winds. The Black Coach can fly.
Fifth Level: Nimbus of Darkness. The Black Coach can attempt to unbind a spell in each enemy hero phase as if it were awizard. A Terrorgheist is a single model. It smashes foes into the dirt with its Skeletal Claws and rips them in half with its Fanged Maw.
Strigoi Ghoul King. Some Terrorgheists are ridden by a Strigoi Ghoul King. Bound by Necromancy: A Terrorgheist heals a wound in each of your hero phases, or D3 wounds if it slew any enemy models in the previous turn.
When a Terrorgheist is finally destroyed, it explodes into a multitude of bats that feast on those nearby. When this model is slain, inflict D3 mortal wounds on each unit friend or foe within 3" of it before removing the model.
Death Shriek: The terrifying shriek of a Terrorgheist is enough to stop a mans heart. When making a Death Shriek attack, pick a target and roll a number of dice as shown in the damage table above.
Add the scores together; if the total is higher than that units Bravery, it suffers a number of mortal wounds equal to thedifference. A Strigoi Ghoul King mounted on a Terrogheist is a wizard. The Ghoul King calls out to his cannibalistic kin lurking in the dark corners of the battlefield. Grave Call has a casting value of 6. If successfully cast, you can add D6 models to every unit of Crypt Ghouls within 9" roll for eachunit. Death Wizards know the Summon Terrorgheist spell, in addition to any other spells they know.
Summon terrorgheist. Summon Terrorgheist has a casting value of If successfully cast, you can set up a Terrorgheist within 18" of the caster and more than 9" away from the enemy. Feast on Flesh: If a Terrorgheist ridden by a Strigoi Ghoul King uses this ability, pick a Flesh-eater unit within 18".
That unit can run and charge during this turn. A Zombie Dragon is a single model. It rips apart its foes with its Sword-like Claws and fanged Maw, and its Pestilential Breath can strip flesh frombone. Vampire Lord. Some Vampire Lords wield a Deathlance for maximum damage on the charge, whilst others slash their foes with a Vampiric Sword. Many also carry an Ancient Shield, and a few also bear a Chalice of Blood. Pestilential Breath: Roll a dice when you attack with the Zombie Dragons Pestilential Breath.
If the roll is equal to or less than the number of models in the target unit, the attack scores a hit without needing to make a hit roll. A Zombie Dragon ridden by a Vampire Lord heals a wound at the end of each combat phase in which it killed anymodels. Chalice of Blood: Once per battle, in your hero phase, a Vampire Lord with a Chalice of Blood can drink its contents and reinvigorate his undead flesh. When he does so, this model heals D6wounds. A Vampire Lord on Zombie Dragon is a wizard. He can attempt to cast 1 spell in each of your hero phases, and attempt to unbind 1 spell in each enemy hero phase.
Blood Boil. The Vampire Lord utters a curse that causes his foes blood to boil in their veins. Blood Boil has a casting value of 6. If successfully cast, pick an enemy unit within 18". That unit suffers a mortal wound. If a model was wounded, but not slain by this spell, roll another dice: If the model is still not slain, roll. Keep repeating this until either the model is slain or you fail to roll a 4 or more. Death Wizards know the Summon Zombie Dragon spell, in addition to any other spells they know.
Summon Zombie Dragon. Summon Zombie Dragon has a casting value of If successfully cast, you can set up a Zombie Dragon within 18" of the caster and more than 9" away from the enemy.
Dread Knight: Until your next hero phase, you can re-roll failed hit rolls for that unit. Abilities Unbreaking Ranks: Deathrattle Hordes close ranks with a singular will, making it difficult for enemies to break through to attack their vulnerable flanks. You can reroll save rolls of 1 for a unit in a Deathrattle Horde whilst it is within 6" of any other unit from its battalion. If this bothered Vlad, he gave no sign of it.
The count cherished his tenants as a peasant family cherishes a beast they are fattening for the Midsummer feast. After decades of rule by mad Otto, this new order was welcomed by all save the most paranoid. Mter several months, however, dark things began to happen. Young men and women from the villages began to disappear. The living dead gathered at the borders of each settlement in growing numbers. These were small forces at first, and they came after only those who disobeyed the count's authority.
If any rebellious Sylvanians escaped the clutches of the Undead, then they quickly fell victim to strange accidents. Only those who had sworn allegiance to Vlad von Carstein seemed immune to these depredations. Soon, the renegade nobles of Sylvania were queuing up to swear fealty to him. Within ten years, Vlad was more firmly in control of unruly Sylvania than the Elector Counts were of the largest states in the Empire.
Some remarked that such was Vlad's success as a ruler he should in fact sit upon the Imperial throne. Mter all, the von Carsteins were an ancient family that could trace their lineage back to the founding of the Empire. Generations later, Vlad and Isabella still presided over the lands, unchanged by the years. At first, few paid attention to their longevity.
The lives of peasants had always been squalid and short, and nobles had always enjoyed vastly longer lifespans. However, when the oldest woman of Drakenhof insisted that her grandmother had been a girl when Vlad von Carstein came to the throne, even the most dim-witted peasantry began to surmise that all was not as it seemed. The spreading rumours drew more and more Witch Hunters to Sylvania. Those who chose to investigate the von Carsteins were never seen again.
Yet worse was to come. The mysterious disease that had first laid low Isabella von Carstein struck other noble families allied with the count. Soon, every castle in Sylvania was home to long-lived, nocturnal folk, pallid of aspect and merciless in their rule. The number of the living who went missing became more and more noticeable. The temples to Sigmar, Taal and Ulric were closed, the Priests of Morr were driven from the region and the dead were left untended to pile up at the sides of the roads.
Grim watch po ts were set up along the border, and few were allowed to cross- either into or out of Sylvania.
When catastrophe struck the Ostermark capital of Mordheim in the year , Vlad was swift to act. A great meteor of warpstone had destroyed half the city, and shards of raw magic littered the ruins. As the claimants to the Imperial throne sent mercenary forces to seize this new source of power, so too did Vlad send dark minions forth into the ruins. It would be another decade before the strange seeds harvested from that blighted city would bear fruit.
Vlad Marches Forth On Geheimnisnacht in the year 20 1 0, Vlad von Carstein revealed the nightmarish truth to the world. The Count of Sylvania stood upon the battlements of Castle Drakenhof and intoned a terrible incantation he had taken from one of the Nine Books of Nagash.
Fuelled by the warpstone recovered from Mordheim, Vlad's magic flowed over Sylvania, coiling through unguarded Gardens of Morr and pooling in open peasant graves. Across Vlad's lands the dead awoke. Skeletons clawed their way through the peaty soil; Zombies stirred in their muddy holes; Ghouls loped from their crypt lairs to worship their new master. With this act, Vlad von Carstein had thrown down the gauntlet to the Empire.
The Wars of the Vampire Counts had begun. Vlad offered the same bargain. Before the battle. At every village and town he came across. They crossed the River Stir and headed for Talabheim. Army after army was sent to check his advance but the result of every battle was the same. At Bogenhafen Bridge. The great city was surrounded by a leagues-long ditch edged with sharpened stakes. With the army of Talabecland smashed. Vlad led the final attack himself at the head of his Black Knights.
Herman Posner. They did not stop the von Carsteins and their allies for a moment. The Knights of the White Wolf and Knights Panther were scattered by Vlad's Undead creatures and winged giants that swooped down from the skies. At first. Vlad was cut down by Jerek Kruger. Ottilia's forces were encircled. I As he watched his men executed and then raised up once more as Zombies. Schliffen was immediately torn limb from limb by Konrad von Carstein. Many surrendered.
Baron ofWaldenhof. At Bluthof. At the Battle of Schwarthafen. None of the precautions taken by the defenders worked. Ottilia's general ordered the attack. Vlad was seen ordering the execution of prisoners outside the gates of Bluthof. Nothing seemed to stop Vlad. Vlad von Carstein returned. The soldiers of Middenheim retreated to the city and destroyed the causeways leading up to the gates. With Vlad seemingly destroyed. Perhaps stranger still. Vengeful spirits and spectral horsemen swept through the Talabecland lines.
Posner threw himself at Vlad's mercy. Vlad's Undead legion grew ever larger and stronger. Hans Schliffen. Vlad turned his attention even further westward. Content that the Graf of Middenheim's army posed no more threat to his ambition.
Crossbows and bullets cut a swath through the legions of Undead as they crossed the ford. His followers butchered every captive. Within the hour. Knightly charges destroyed hundreds of walking corpses but still thousands more pressed onwards in an unstoppable wall of flesh and bone. Vlad von Carstein was leading another army to war. Great siege engines built of. That very night. Vlad turned his attention eastward and fought along the Old Forest Road through Hochland and into Ostland.
Schliffen broke free from his captors' grasp. Three days later. The Undead force blackened the horizon with its numbers. Grand Master Kruger's smashed and bloodless body was found at the foot of the Middenheim spire.
Ottilia's general. At the Battle of Essen Ford. With the northern provinces overrun and their armies smashed. Altdorf Besieged By the winter of 1. Vlad ravaged Middenland to further swell his forces. Embattled against a seemingly endless horde of the dead. Faced with the power of Vlad and his fellow Vampires.
Vlad turned south and made for Reikland. Though fearful. Vlad von Carstein promised the humans clemency if they surrendered. Yet within a year. The Sylvanian armies headed northwest.
His warmongering took his army as far south as Nuln and the Grey Mountains. Wilhelm dispatched an agent to the Vampire Count's camp. His name was Felix Mann. Sensing that the end was near. He led a huge army that ravaged the length and breadth of the Empire.
Konrad had once ordered his crossbowmen to use every cat in his domain as target practice. Unable to face eternity without her husband. All could claim to be von Carstein's direct heir.
With the Blood Knights in his vanguard. Mann made his way to the heart of the Sylvanian camp. Mannfred disappeared. The last casualty of the Battle of Altdorf was Isabella von Carstein.
On the towering battlements. Fritz von Carstein was killed on the field of battle while attempting to besiege Middenheim. Vlad gave his usual ultimatum. So great were the casualties inflicted on the men of Altdorf that no pursuit was possible. Wilhelm charged his foe headlong and flung himself and Vlad over the battlements. The master thief Mann slipped the ring from von Carstein's fi n ger and fled.
Hans perished when Konrad instigated a quarrel with him over who was the toughest and then slew him. After Pieter's death.
With Count Vlad destroyed and his armies crumbling. Even when he had walked among the living he had the reputation of being a blood-mad butcher. Skeletons and Reiklander Swordsmen hacked at each other. Heart in mouth. Vlad gained the upper hand. Though Konrad's behaviour was neither honourable nor noble.
By stealth and trickery. No one knows what became of him. At the centre of the vast struggle that engulfed the city. He tried his mother for the crime of having given birth to him without his consent. Rumour at the time sugge ted that Mannfred had led van Hal to Pieter's lair. That same day. None could stand against the raw power of Konrad the Beast's armoured host.
Ludwig would have pressed into Sylvania and taken the fi g ht to the evil scourge at its heart but the other claimants to the Imperial throne j oined forces against him. Archers and mortars took a heavy toll on the Sylvanian army. Lacking skill at necromancy. Konrad defeated every foe sent against him. Wilhelm cloistered himself within the Great Temple of Sigmar. A vicious power struggle erupted.
Konrad saw that the moment was ripe and unleashed his Blood Knights and the Drakenhof Guard. Imperial heroes armed with ancient weapons taken from the vaults of the city cut down the Vampire aristocrats. Konrad's ambitions paled in comparison to Vlad's. When he woke. So the pernicious lords of Sylvania were able to regain their strength.
At Kleiberstorf. He offered power and riches to his captive wizards and they acceded. On at least two occasions. The two fell together. Mter three days of prayer he emerged once more. Konrad had ordered peasant villages put to the torch because he didn't like their smell.
With an awful scream the count expired. As Dark Magic whipped around the soldiers. Konrad had her bricked up in a tower. Panic began to spread as the unnatural gale slew more and more men.
In a moment of rare clarity. Konrad pursued them for five days. For more than forty years. Faced with insubstantial terrors and armoured Vampires charging them. Vlad was enraged and ordered an immediate attack on the city. His task was to steal the Vampire Count's ornate ring. Acquiring the power and longevity of a Vampire did nothing to strengthen Konrad's already shaky grasp on reality.
Konrad faced the army of Averland. Konrad von Carstein was completely mad. Mter an hour of combat. Vlad was impaled on a wooden spike at the wall's foot. Pieter was slain in his coffin by the Witch Hunter Helmut van Hal. Konrad enslaved any magicians he could capture and forced them to do his bidding. Vlad at last proved vulnerable.
The Undead army surged forwards under the burning will of the Vampire Count. Konrad cut down the Runesmiths and fed on their spilt blood. After Konrad's death. Mannfred deemed it was time to strike. Konrad was so unwaveringly vicious that. In the chaos that followed their mutual destruction. Enraged that his devious plan had failed. Mannfred ordered a hasty retreat. This battle was most notable for the infamous scene of treachery where Ludwig's son and successor.
Where Vlad had ruled through his iron will and raw power. Then the Grand Theogonist. In the infamous Winter War of 2 1 3 2. When vicious civil war again wracked the Empire. Kurt III. Mannfred became the undisputed ruler of Sylvania. Mannfred marched his army along the Reik to Marienburg. Konrad also instigated war with the Dwarfs.
While Konrad ravaged the Empire. The Dwarf King challenged Konrad to single combat. For a full decade. Mannfred's armies marched through the snows towards Altdorf. Even Helmut's son. Konrad wandered away from the battle. Helmut of Marienburg was the prime candidate. He spent many long months in the wild places of the Empire. But then. Mannfred von Carstein's Undead legions crossed the Sylvanian border in the depths of winter. Konrad slaughtered his way from Averheim to the Howling Hills.
Undead armies raided outlying settlements connected with Zhufbar. Konrad was so incensed he ordered his army to attack the combined forces arrayed against him. Konrad's Necromancers had betrayed him and fled. Helmut's skin began to peel away and one of his eyes dropped out. Robbed of their sustaining energy. With the summer campaigning season over.
As before. Within the next hour. It was only Konrad's raw will and innate Vampire abilities that kept any semblance of his army animated. Harkon killed the Dwarf King after a bitter duel and gorged himself on the royal blood of his foe. Led by the King of Zhufbar. Konrad's army fared badly at first. As they gained magical ascendancy. Even as support for him was gathering in the council hall. In a mad fit. Grim Moor marked the second alliance to face Konrad von Carstein.
Mannfred studied the art of necromancy. He looked set to become not a Vampire Count but a Vampire Emperor. Mannfred defeated several hastily assembled Imperial armies that attempted to block his path.
The Sigmarite high priest had brought forth the evil Liber Mortis from the deepest locked vaults of his temple. Helmut began to act erratically.
The first time was at the Battle of Four Armies. Konrad rode forth to meet them. While the Blood Knights smashed into the disciplined ranks of the Dwarfs.
At Nachthafen. Mannfred used his necromantic prowess and devious manipulations to forge his armies. A conclave of the Elector Counts assembled at Averheim to decide the matter. As the incantation continued. Konrad's Necromancers were able to resurrect the fallen warriors of the Undead army and. Some Vampires claim he was awake when the Carstein Ring was stolen.
Konrad remained confident despite these setbacks. He launched an all-out attack on the right flank of the Dwarf army. Victory followed victory and. Mannfred's power over his minions began to weaken. When Mannfred's much-enlarged force reached Altdorf. Seeing his followers crumbling to dust. The Dwarfs fought on resolutely. He sought out Vampires from beyond the borders of Sylvania and bribed.
He journeyed into the Lands of the Dead in search of the secrets of unlife. Triumph filled Mannfred. Hidden from mortal sight. Mannfred intended to lay siege to the port city and then sail his Zombie fleet within to attack from another direction. On and on the campaign raged. Mannfred was brought to battle at Hel Fenn. The armies of the Empire were relentless and. Thus ended the reign of Mannfred. Mannfred saw that victory was beyond him and attempted to flee.
Mannfred oversaw the construction of mighty war machines. Mannfred's unliving host continued to retreat into the swamps. A few days later. Mannfred retreated into Sylvania to escape pursuit. The Hidden Threat Worse still. Yet Mannfred escaped and within the month had seized the town of Felph and created a new army. Who knows how many noblewomen are secretly queens of undeath.
When the army of Ostermark lay siege to Felph. Mannfred was forced to lift the siege of the port and retreat. Eventually he was brought to battle in the eastern reaches of the great marshland. Or so it seemed at the time. Mannfred's army was vast. Determined not to make the same mistakes as they had before. Warriors despatched by the High King of the Dwarfs aided in the fighting.
The first time. Though the Elector Count was wounded badly. At Horstenbad. Mannfred unleashed a magical storm that killed whole regiments with bolts of purple lightning. So began a long cat-and-mouse chase. Despite a long search. Yet Mannfred had not reckoned on the determination of his foes. The Elector Count of Stirland. To this day. Dwarf and Man. Mannfred had sworn a dread pact with the corrupted wraith-wizards that yet served Nagash in the South.
Each time. These visits were typically fraught and tense occasions. Heinrich Kemmler. Under a full moon. Mannfred would not make the same mistake. Though great progress had been made. The embittered Necromancer would take any chance to grind the civilisation he had left behind into dust.
War would come to the forces of order once more. To ensure he did not offend the Dwarf High King by sending some mere functionary. Dwarf Kings are easy to offend. In the wake of the Chaos invasions. Thorgrim Grudgebearer.
N agash had become more like a god than a man. The Vampire Count was content to gather his strength once more and wait for the moment to strike. At a gruff command from Elder Thane Orgrimm. Finubar sent his astonishingly beautiful daughter. As the drama played out. As the princess'. Hidden in the dark valleys were two great armies of Undead with Mannfred leading one and Heinrich Kemmler the other. Out from the gates of Karaz-a-Karak marched a great throng of Dwarfs.
Locked in the wars with the evil Dark Elves.
The greenskin tribes had gathered in force. Over the years leading up to his re-emergence. They had passed less than ten leagues before the Ore tribes sprung their ambush. A Diabolical Plan As the twisted forests of the Old World turned from verdant green to a ragged mass of brown. Princess Aliathra could charm an angry Manticore's head into her lap.
Mannfred travelled far and wide to secure allies. Mannfred travelled northwards from the deserts of Nehekhara into the lands of fair Bretonnia. The forces of darkness were ready to spring their trap. The Elven delegation entered Karaz-a-Karak in good order. It would take the rituals of ancient Nehekhara combined with the sacrifice of a powerful and innocent soul to achieve a true resurrection. Mannfred's mortal agents had spread word of the Elven presence far and wide.
The von Carsteins had secredy been working towards this same goal for centuries. Yet the von Carstein's plans were ambitious indeed. His studies with the disciples of Nagash. In return for their secrets. Aliathra's princely consort. Elves and Men. Mannfred's mastery of the nefarious magical arts saw him carve a bloody path The Worlds Edge Mountains are infested with greenskins.
But the passage of time is of litde consequence to one with immortality in his blood. The deafeningly shrill cries of the vile creatures burst the eardrums of the Elf warriors below as the beasts and their Strigoi riders plummeted downwards to feed. Worst of all. Krell at their head. Their Longbeard brethren. To the amused distaste of the Elven warriors. The anarchy that followed was the antithesis of the ordered defence mounted by the allies earlier that day.
The situation looked grim indeed. To the rear. As the sun began to disappear behind the mountains. A great phalanx of heavily-armoured Wights marched up from the valleys below. Krell had slain Thane Orgrimm in personal combat. Swordmasters closed protectively around her. It was then that Kemmler cemented his reputation in the eyes of the von Carsteins forever. The skies suddenly darkened as whirling swarms of bats thundered out from caverns and cracks in the mountainsides.
Out from the clouds came a trio of gigantic. From the river that ran through the valley's centre stalked a cleverly concealed army of Skeleton Warriors. To the fore. From above came flock upon flock of giant bats. Mannfred's skeletal horde bristled with hundreds of Elven arrows sticking from eye sockets and spines but.
They left the cold white shells of dead Dwarf veterans behind them. One was swiftly intercepted by Yluthian upon Everswift. It was only when a full half of the Ore tribes had expended themselves that Mannfred made his move.
It was too much for the Dwarfs. Some of the deathly cavalrymen. As the Lichemaster chanted. Plunging from the mountain peaks upon a Zombie Dragon of awesome size. Its cooling corpse tumbled toward the valley below. Magical power crackled around the Dragon Princes as the remains of the Elven delegation fought with the fury of Khaine in order to secure their princess' escape. Kemmler had brought the falling cadaver under his control before the beast hit the stony ground.
Aliathra gave a triumphant shout and the entire spearhead of cavalry galloped into the night air as if a bridge of mist had formed beneath them. You should leave the Hexes to do their thing alone. The first of three designated hammers, representing the jack of all trades which has the speed of the Terrorgheist without being as flimsy.
They are Vampiric, so they cannot crumble. They compete with Empire Outriders and High Elf Swordmasters for the title of premier glass cannons; these guys do pack considerable punch at break-neck speed. They can hunt War Machines if they must, but they really work better hitting flanks and hunting enemy support troops. Be careful though, because they are Flyers they're also Skirmishers. Keep this in mind when you send them out into the juicy flanks as they cannot disrupt enemy Units.
The other Monstrous Infantry unit, little more than super Ghouls. This unit is an anvil with a bite, pure and simple, but crumbling and a limited offensive capability does force you to take Units of at least 6.
A unit of 18 in a horde does have good punch however and is very hard to get rid of, but will be expensive points, with the upgrade to champion for a unit that ultimately works best in a points denial role.
Work best with a Mortis Engine if the thing doesn't get blown up and Invocation spam from a caster using them as a bunker. Don't skip them over, but they aren't something to drool over either. Alternative Take- While Crypt horrors may not be the most offensively powerful unit on this list, they can be made into one of the most powerful units in the game with some magical buffs.
Unlike Grave Guard, they are monstrous infantry, and therefore gain all of the additional attacks of the rear ranks. With three attacks each, at S4 and poisoned, they can make a Very mean hammer. Buff them with the right spells however Staff of Damnation, i'm looking at you and the effect can be multiplied hugely.
Further, they have neither the Vampiric or the Large Target or Ethereal rules, so they can be quickly and easily healed back up to strength by the Invocation. This is not always viable, but for those gamblers looking for a death star unit, look no further. They are a Swarm, meaning they are Skirmishers, they are Unbreakable, and are Unstable like the rest of your army.
Their special abilities are Hover permanent 10" movement and swiftstride for charging and Cloud of Horror which grants Always Strikes Last to any enemy in base contact with them, which is awesome considering most of your army has terrible Initiative.
Your go-to for Warmachine hunting. Cost 16 points each and must be fielded in Units of 2 or more. Count as War Beasts meaning they get Swiftstride roll 3d6 when charging, discard lowest and add it to their Move and do the same when fleeing as well as Fly.
Ah, the Spirit Host. Sadly, as a Swarm they also die from Combat Resolution like everything else in the army. These guys are extremely cost-effective Monster and Cavalry tarpits while they last just make sure whatever you are facing does not have magic attacks , and can also be used to dissuade a flank charge by something nasty than to actively hunt their targets, otherwise they may get too exposed to infantry their bane thanks to that Combat Resolution damage or outmanoeuvred.
That said, don't mind losing a Unit to magic or infantry if you have to: Why give a damn? The Vargheist's meth addict big brother, and the only hammer you really want to meet anything head-on. You have 3 more points of M, 1 more point of WS, one more point of Toughness, one more Wound each, two more attacks each, but 3 points less Leadership though it's Vampiric. It's a Monster, so it also has Thunderstomp. All in all, the Varghulf is a decent choice, as it's statline is pretty nice and it's decently killy in addition to that Regen and Terror, especially considering he lacks Frenzy so he won't jump into combat without being given the order, he's also harder to kill, and sucks up less points than a Terrorgheist so a lucky cannonball won't eat up a large chunk of your points.
His main detriment is that he eats up Rare points, if that doesn't bother you then go right ahead, otherwise a properly built Terrorgheist can do the job just fine though will cost more. There are a lot things to remember about the Blood Knights. You can take them in Units of 4 or more. However, don't forget that they have a big weakness - due to being Vampiric, they receive only one wound back per cast of Invocation of Nehek, which, combined with their cost and sometimes harmful Frenzy, makes them inferior to Black Knights in the eyes of many players.
A point Chariot. For just points and a little patience, you can get one of the most amazing fucking models crunch-wise in the entire game. Death Shriek has an 8" range that requires Line of Sight oddly enough and can target something regardless of if you or it are in Close Combat. You roll 2d6 and add the Wounds the Terrorgheist has, and for each point that the result exceeds the target Unit's Leadership they suffer 1 Wound with no Armor Save and it counts as a Magical Attack, which isn't that great against LD high armies, a Strigoi Ghoul King can help somewhat, but that makes it a cannonball magnet.
It can also be upgraded for 10 points to be Infested ew! It can also take Rancid Maw for 15 points which grant it Poisoned Attacks not for it's Thunderstomp though.
Its main weakness however is that it is fairly flimsy, especially if your opponent has Flaming Attacks or brought some nasty ranged options, this combined with their relative vulnerability in Close Combat and their huge base size means they are tricky to actually move about. Not everyone likes them, but they remain one of the best choices tied with the Black Coach available to Vampire Counts owing to the fact that it is the army's most flexible option.
It's ready for battle from the beginning unlike the Coach, allowing you to go on the offensive in a prompt manner. It's purely a support unit.
It's offensive abilities are abysmal unless you charge it into a flank despite it getting a lot of little bird peck attacks, but it has decent survivability. Here's where you factor in it's abilities. It looks awesome, the crunch seems awesome, then you put it on the field and a Dwarf with a flaming cannonball blows it to hell before it can move. If you want to use it effectively, you NEED some distraction units, either war machine hunters or faster melee units to take the artillery off of you, or you actually want it to get shot so that your hammers don't get shot by those same cannons.
The expensive, damage-dealing alternative to the spirit hosts. Must be fielded in units of 3 minimum, 10 maximum. The unit Champion is actually a Tomb Banshee. Exact same stats and abilities as their character equivalents. All in all you are getting a bulk discount by taking them in the Rare section, as well as saving points for more Vampires, Necros, or Wights in the Hero slot.
What's not to love? That being said, they DO take Rare choice points and unlike the Spirit Hosts you can't afford to just let them get killed by a magic missile and forget about it. It's usually better to pin enemies with Spirit Hosts and then flank later with another unit so, in essence, the Cairn Wraiths are to the Spirit Hosts as the Varghulfs are to the Vargheists.
If you really get in good, you can take advantage of the fact these little Ethereal buggers can go straight through terrain to stay in Charge distance of the enemy while staying safe from being Charged, which can tie up a lot of troops by forcing the enemy to either continue facing them or just bite the bullet and say goodbye to everyone on the side or back of the Unit. Upgrades Vampire Lords and Vampires can take. The former can take points, the latter Vampire hero BSBs can still take this, so there's also that.
WAIT- it could technically grant access to the lore of life. In massive points games, you could therefore have access to every single lore!!! The Magic Phase of Warhammer Fantasy is basically a glorified game of chicken arbitrated by dice. Approach Lore of the Vampires from this perspective: The short answer: These three spells are the core of what makes the Vampire Counts terrifying: They're all cheap spells low casting values for what they do, combined with the ability to reduce their casting values with different options in your army and have effects that dictate the flow of the game.
Taking a Level 4 Master Necromancer or the Hero level Mannfred in games where you can't afford a kitted out Vampire Lord caster is always your best bet. The Magic Phase is where Vampire Counts have a huge advantage: The lore attribute, Curse of Undeath, allows you to allocate one healed wound to the caster or a model within 12 inches of the caster of any spell in the lore.
For great times late game cast spells around your Coven Thrones to keep that rape train running and make your opponent cry as the ladies cause their troops to hit themselves. Early on it's the primary way to keep your Mortis Engine from self-destructing.
This can be a useful lore on a Vampire as it comes with several Hexes and damage spells that increase the effectiveness of your own Units by reducing the stats of enemy units, firing off cannonball lines of pain, or dropping nasty templates. This lore will only really be seen in games over points as Lore of Vampires takes priority on at least 2 Wizards, preferably the higher level ones.
The spell lore, Smoke and Mirrors, allows the spellcaster to switch places with a friendly character of the same model type within 18 inches which can be useful for getting them back and forth in your mage bunkers, but that's situational at best. Short-ranged sniper magic is a good way to describe most of this lore. For each 5 or 6, add a die to your Power Dice for next turn. With a Vampire upgrade meaning only Vampire casters can do this that rings in at 25 points, you can take any Lore from the Core rulebook other than Lore of Life.
This generally isn't ideal since the default Lores are pretty well suited to the army and don't burn 25 points, but by no means is it a BAD idea to do.
Also great for fluff lists or throwing your opponent a curveball. Turning the spell lore most popular with Sigmarites and Witch Hunters against them? Hell yeah!
While Fire is probably the bottom of the Lore tier list, it isn't by much. Lots of S4 damage that gets better the more dice you pump into it, and it's devastating against models with Regeneration, and those nasty Wood Elves and dusty old bones Tomb Kings. The lore attribute, Kindleflame, reduces the casting difficulty of each Lore of Fire spell when targeting a Unit you've already hit with one by D3. The spells themselves are not difficult to begin with, allowing a level 4 Wizard to unleash hell on a budget.
Using Black Periapt, this is perhaps the army best at using this lore in fact. Remember that the Vampire Counts set up shop in Albion and Lustria , which is a good fluff basis. Strigoi, or frontier Vampires works too. Lore of Beasts is one of the better Lores in the game. Contains some good and cheap Augments and a Hex that really help bulk up VC troops, and one of the potentially most risky and broken combos in the entire game. It's absolutely fucking boring and pretty much a non-factor.
For your self-respecting Vampire Dwarf list. A fairly decent Lore, although it's generally overshadowed by the darker Lores and Life. The main benefit of this Lore is for low survivability armies or against highly armored armies, and as such this is a good Lore for VC. The Lore Attribute, Metalshifting, means your rolls to wound are equal to the opponent's armour save, and the hits are also flaming and armor-ignoring. As a result, this is a good Lore for killing heavily armored stuff in addition to being fantastic against armies like Warriors of Chaos, but on low armour armies it's not nearly as good.
Taking the spell lore utilized to cleanse the world of the Undead as a Vampire? Lahmians infiltrated the Sisters of Sigmar long ago, and there's also non-evil Vampires running around mostly those who have self control combined with the aforementioned hatred of Chaos. This lore is actually a solid choice, as it helps get around some of the shortcomings of the Vampire army. Who's better at astrology and astronomy than a race who spends all their waking hours at night?
What's a better profession for a long-lived master of the undead in a world where you can actually read the future or at least possible futures and big events with star charts, and with a moon that causes necromantic magic to grow stronger or weaker? As for the crunch, this isn't an ideal choice considering your other options.
To begin with, it has one of the least useful attributes of any lore- it does some free hits to a spell's target if that target happens to be flying. Although 7e removed the previous Bloodline traits, they managed to survive in the way that you can kit out Vampire Lords and Vampires with Vampire upgrades that reflect the various attitudes of the families.
Invoking a Bloodline army is mainly for fluff, although the army choices reflecting the Bloodlines are still thankfully complimentary of each other.
Fluffwise this was explained in Ulrika the Vampire by saying that when Vamps fuck, they tend to bite and share blood which makes Bloodlines act like each other combined with the fact that as time goes on the younger recruit Vamps have much more in common than their former kinsmen than their Bloodline progenitor that they'll probably never meet face to face. Taking a specific Bloodline rather than just picking and choosing arbitrarily can simplify your listbuilding process if you're unsure, can make the game a bit more fun if you enjoy the fluff, and can earn you a bit of respect from your fellow players as someone into the army rather than just into the strength tier of the army.
Lahmians are the first of the Bloodlines. Mostly but not entirely consist of female vampires, they organize into a network of spies from all races and nations of the world controlling as much as they can from behind the scenes.
Most Bloodlines dream of world domination; the Lahmians are already there, and they plan to keep it that way.
They all answer to Neferata, who is essentially a bisexual Cleopatra. Their army mainly consists of things they can hide or summon from anywhere due to them keeping appearances as civilians in various professions and social levels, meaning you stock up on ghosts, dogs, bats, and skeletons. Centerpieces should be the Black Coach and the Coven Throne.
The vamps themselves are mostly magic-heavy. Blood Dragons are the martial Bloodline. Founded by one of the biggest badasses in either Warhammer universe, the Blood Dragons are made up of mounted Vampire Lords and Vampires, Blood Knights, Black Knights, and whatever you want to use in your Core.
These guys ride around looking for challenges to their manliness, drinking the blood of what they kill. If the fight is worthy enough, they're cured of the negative aspects of vampirism blood thirst, weakness to sunlight, running water, and so forth.
Their numbers are increasing and nobody knows if their leader has plans of conquest, taking his place as Khorne's superior, or whatever else may be in plans.
Most of them aren't outright evil, just looking for a fight with the biggest guy around. Stay fighty, keep away from Ethereal options or spellcasters keep your Vamps in the Lore of Vampires and spamming Invocation as a battle cry so they can take over as general however. Necrarchs are the most magic-heavy Bloodline.
As time goes on this Bloodline has become less and less focused since Lahmians took over as the magic spammers, Strigoi were introduced to become the brutes, and Mannfred stole their entire plot. In fact, they work better as the explanation of why your Strigoi brought Necromancers and spellcasting Vamps than a Bloodline to themselves. Despite this they're still fun, and since Nosferatu is STILL the most frightening example of a Vampire the Bloodline that looks like his family to the last is likely to stay.
More the mad scientist group than anything else, they're equivalent to the Skaven clans Clane Skyre and Clan Moulder for Vampire Counts. They're neutral with most of the other Bloodlines and provide support as needed to advance their cause. They play behind the scenes, creating abominations of new kinds and mass producing existing types like Zombie Dragons. They're differentiated from Strigoi by taking spellcasters at all. Strigoi are a newer Bloodline, introduced in 6e. If you haven't seen the movies 30 Days of Night and The Descent, add that to your "to do" list.
Those best exemplify this Bloodline. Vicious killing machines, pitiless and animalistic. Mostly Vampires turned by any Bloodline that gave into the bloodthirst, Strigoi Vampires not only drink blood but also eat meat The Strigoi that can think coherently is rare, but they're even more scary fuckers than their kin.
Kit out vamps to be fighty. A fully Strigoi list will be dangerously low on spellcasters unless you bring fighty Vamps all on Lore of Vampires spamming Invocation like with Blood Dragons.
Von Carsteins , the army based more on Dracula and his wives. Their characters tend to be parodies of nobility, be they Starscream style plotting bastards , Caligula style insane inbred manchildren , or similar style characters. According to Vlad they're the second oldest Bloodline being descended from Vashanesh, the husband of Neferata and it's possible that he himself is Vashanesh Most other Bloodlines treat it as bullshit either way and consider them the nouveau riche Bloodline of children fucking things up since before they declared war on the Empire and the world Vampires were a threat similar to Skaven in that most humans didn't think they really existed, and knowledge of them was sparse and being a bunch of little shits since von Carsteins are very hostile to the other Bloodlines particularly Lahmians and Necrarchs due to seeing them as rivals, and outright manipulative of Strigoi.
Generally speaking, the von Carstein army will contain any of the options in the Vampire Counts army at will. They're more defined by what named characters you bring along and what you have more of. Vlad and Isabella early in their war on the Empire will probably bring along skeletons more than anything else, since Sylvania is mostly on their side and they've pilfered the ancient tombs of the land to make their army as well as Black Coaches used by the nobility they've turned into Vampires.
They'd pick up things like Zombies and Corpse Carts as time went on and more cities fell to them. Mannfred specifically brought in Vampires and minions directly from other Bloodlines into his forces, although by and far he relied on mass blocks of Zombies and anything he could use to bolster them.
As for OCs, anything works. GW sells special bits to customize to look more "von Carstein", but despite them looking kind of neat they don't actually look more "von Carstein" than anything else really. Sartosa are a new Bloodline from special models made up of pirates, with their fluff originating in a issue of White Dwarf.
Luthor Harkon was a Vampire of an unknown Bloodline who was shipwrecked in his coffin. Vikings took him aboard thinking it was a floating treasure chest, and he turned them into his zombie crew.
He took his crew to Lustria and found a temple filled with gold and a room sealed with magical glyphs. The glyphs were designed to defend against Chaos, and although they didn't kill him they drove him insane and gave him a large number of different personalities.
He can no longer use magic, but the strange magic of the gold empowered his undead minions and increased their intelligence greatly to the point that they can use firearms.
He has increased the size of his forces to the point that they now populate a large city of the undead off the coast of Lustria which has successfully repelled everything the Lizardmen have sent at him.
The exact intelligence and self-sufficiency of his zombies is unknown but apparently the site is now a trading port so it may be that they are a race of quasi-friendly undead now. In Dreadfleet , the main human character's family was slaughtered by the Vampire Noctilus during a raid on Satrosa, meaning that there is also living humans there as well.
Harkon trawls shipwrecks to increase the numbers of his minions as well, and has a fleet of ships. He also apparently has the most powerful cannon ever designed by the Empire,called "Queen Bess". The way his army is described can't be fielded by the Vampire Counts army book. So yeah, feel free to make a Bloodline if you feel so creative. There was originally 11 "firstborn" vampires, of which we only know about giving you potential for a new major faction of your making.
Generally speaking, Vampire Counts really have two strategies; magic, and melee. This makes them a lot easier to play than most armies, and while many choices form a nice synergy together there's less risk at making a "wrong" decision. Anyone can benefit from a Corpse Cart ASF, Mortis Engines still pick away enemy troops, keep a Black Coach intact long enough and it will pick up enough abilities to tear into your enemy regardless on whether you took a magic-heavy or light list.
Fielding lords The first thing that is apparent in the VC army is just how balls out powerful a Vampire lord can be, the only other generic lords in the game that can go head to head with them and survive with any frequency are Chaos lords. While tempting as this may be it is tactically unsound. In the current edition of Fantasy, for various reasons numbers are more important than individuals with high killing power.
With Vampires its about value for points be it in survivability, magic superiority, killing power, or battlefield advantage. I7 means regular re-rolls to hit. Give him the giant's blade, and that's S8. Take the razor standard nearby, and you are ignoring armour.
Red fury an dread knight is just the icing on the cake. Against this, every character without a good ward save will die though the ones that do have one and ignore armour will wreck him. Ultimately, you must decide if you're going to use your characters for killing or casting. It's certainly possible to do both, but in almost every scenario it's better to divide those tasks between two characters.
Forbidden Lores can be very useful; after all, Time Warp and Danse Macabre both cast on the same Unit can put a Terror-causing Unit into the opponent's start area, Iceshard Blizzard take take yet another point away from your foe's LD while weakening those wretched shooting attacks you don't get, Final Transmutation on top of a crippled LD score can cripple his entire strategy, Pann's Impenetrable Pelt can turn an already impressive combat Vampire Lord into an untouchable monster, and so on. Just remember that the more casters in Lore of Vampires you can manage, the longer your force will probably survive.
Ghoul Kings still have a great Initiative score at 8, meaning it will go first no matter what against most units and characters other than elves. Oh, and taking Quickblood? Another fairly cost-efficient way to field him is taking the Book of Arkhan Vanhel's Danse Macabre as a bound spell, which grants an extra 8" to move for his unit and re-roll for failed To Hit rolls, ideal for ghouls and the Dragon Bane gem, as well as taking the Vampire upgrades Red Fury, Beguile, and Fear Incarnate.
This will get his unit straight into combat where they'll tear the shit out of whatever they meet and is a psychology nightmare. Only take Dread Knight if you want him stuck against a unit champion or if you're chasing lone models and warmachines-then again, overkill against a unit champion is also pretty okay.
The above set-up would set you back or points, depending whether or not you take Dread Knight and nets you a really versatile character. Troops, So Many Troops Unless you are intentionally fielding a small high-value force you will probably outnumber your opponent.
This is because Skeletons and Zombies are cheap, spammable, and you can end up with more then you started with and if you don't then you are doing it wrong. Regardless of this fact, a horde of troops can hold anything that's not packing some serious killing power in place until they have been whittled down to nothing or you bring something bigger to finish the job the twice-redshirts started.
Something else about skeletons, is that unlike Zombies, Skeleton Warriors can take 25 points worth of magic standard. A good option is a horde carrying Screaming Banner enemy units taking Fear tests in combat with the unit carrying the banner roll an extra dice and discard the lower one marching with a Vampire who has the Supernatural Horror causes Terror and Fear Incarnate enemies that pass their Fear test must reroll it and cancels out their Stand Your Ground from their BSB.
Suddenly you increase the enemies chance of failing a test radically. You can also take Banner of Eternal Flame to push your horde up against anything with a regen save. Make sure to watch out for Lords, Heroes, and things with a save against flaming attacks.
Ghouls on the other hand are your hammer in the Core selection, a unit of 20 will pack 16 poison attacks in a 5wide formation, unfortunately they are twice the cost of skeletons making a basic horde 10x4 over points. Dire Wolves generally have no role other than directors, and if you aren't taking Fell Bats or Cairne Wraiths Rare version are probably you're poor man's option in those roles. That being said, they work fantastic as redirectors. Most armies can benefit from having a Unit of on each side, but generally it's a useless practice to field a massive army of them unless they're just there to soak up points.
A small problem is that everything in the Core slot is slow, except for the Dire Wolves and as with most fast units, use them for flanking if you want them. Their high movement speed and head start in the game means they can rip into an enemy's warmachines before their troops have come into range of anything, and they can get almost anywhere on the map in a hurry.
Fell Bats get the honor of being the warmachine hunters. Special is most likely where you'll spend your time changing your mind, trying to come up with special combos to use. Barring the Mortis Engine, the Rare section is essentially a list of the strap-on varieties you can peg your opponent with.
Every option still not the Mortis Engine is the biggest hammer in your army. Each of them is squishy for their points as well, so take them with a plan for use which involves getting them into position.
The Engine itself is nice for it's passive damage-dealing, but is probably best taken to bolster your anvil if it has Regeneration and pimp your magic.
Also if you can source some more square bases, each mantic zombie frame is supposed to only make 3 of them, but can easily make 4! Just be warned. Mantic produce ugly, crap quality minis. But skeletons on the other hand are well made and look really good. If you must use legit GW products, go for the battalion box set as you are going to need a lot of Skeletons, Zombies and Ghouls.
The new battalion box dropped the Zombies and replaced them with Dire Wolves - still a good buy. The army box is also good as it gives you a good selection of heavy hitters in addition to the core.
This is one of the other great advantages the army, as those extra models are essentially free points. Boost a few units and all of a sudden what started off as a pt game has suddenly turned in to a v game. Avoid any of GW 's overly-expensive kits for the likes of Blood Knights. Instead, either buy Brettonian knights and adapt them, use Dragon Princes, or, if you're feeling particularly vicious , break open some Dark Eldar bitz and use them for conversion-fodder for damned near any WHFB armored cavalry unit.
The angular Dark Eldar armor works especially well when paired with more conventional fare, since it matches the style used by most Vampire Counts units. Von Carsteins are the main focus, leading undead armies and using their magic to keep them up to steam-roll whatever they come across, and this is the idea behind Vampire Counts in general, but it does have many variations. Blood Dragons are the least magical by vampire standards. All combat vampires on steeds, add blood and black knights to your heart's content and take preferred core.
Wolves will keep up with the army while zombies and skeletons will give you the angles to get your knights into flanks. For added silliness add hexwraiths for a turn one charge into the biggest non magical unit and watch it burn! Other Thoughts on Blood Dragons: Vargheists are your friend if you like blitzkrieg tactics. Vargheists provide the kind of blitzkrieg you need to neutralize unpleasant tricks your opponent might have like heavy chariots Stegadons, for example and caster bunkers on the first or second turn of the game.
You probably shouldn't rush them into enemy lines if you can help it, but sometimes it's vital to do in order to retain control of the course of the game. If you're antsy about their Frenzy rule, take a 5-strong unit of Dire Wolves.
Run the wolves in front of the Vargheists to screen them so they don't charge anything you don't want them to. Keep in mind that the Vargheists, being flyers, are also skirmishers, which means they can freely reform at any time.
They're much more straightforward to get into the combat you want them to be in than blood knights. Don't take Dread Knight for this set up, or else your Vargheists will get to stand around uselessly. Might be obvious, but bears mentioning. Blood Dragons-style armies rely very heavily on combat resolution. Vampiric units are hugely expensive, but also very effective.
Pick your battles carefully, because a failed combat resolution can be very unpleasant, and an overwhelmingly successful combat resolution can cause your opponent's army to rout. Being able to read how a combat is going to resolve is a very important skill to learn for these armies. Against units that are Immune to Psychology or that have very sturdy morale like Lizardmen , you have to adopt tactics based on inflicting the largest possible amount of casualties rather than tarpitting.
Yes, they're expensive, but having your Vampires die on you is way more inconvenient than losing a bit of killing power which your Vampires already have in spades with their statline and Quickblood.
Incidentally, you should also be taking Quickblood on every combat Vampire period. All the ward save has to do is keep them from losing that last wound until you can cast more Lore of the Vampires spells or trigger The Hunger and heal them back to full Wounds again. In my experience it's very effective at doing this and has quite literally decided several of my games in my favor by very slim margins.
Anecdotal, I know, but give it a shot. Lahmians are the magic heavy build, still an all vampire list with a coven throne instead of a dragon and black coaches replacing blood knights. Add huge bricks of zombies and skeletons and push forward.
Support with shadow magic from the non lord vampires and at lest 2 with LoV. See ogres reduced to T2 and be dragged down by drastically inferior infantry, watch dwarves kill themselves when a coven throne charges them, or as you chariot with killing blow and impact hits run through cavalry that can't touch them because of ethereal. Alternatively, you can completely ignore the above advice, and man up to play a REAL magical Bloodline. The Lahmians stole the Necrarchs' collective thunder.
To quote from Jack Sparrow, you stole me, and I'm here to take myself back. To field a Necrarch army, you'll want just as many Necromancers as you have Vampires, and it is both fluffy and very crunchy to include Mannfred the Acolyte after all, who better to learn the ways of Vampiric magic from than the mad scientists of Sylvania?
A Lord on Zombie Dragon would be perfectly fine if you wanted to call him Zachariah, but you're not Lahmian, so give Coven Thrones a miss. Instead use the bits and bobs in that kit to build a Mortis Engine. You'll also want lots of Zombies, Skeletons, at least one Corpse Cart, and even a Black Coach wouldn't go amiss, what with all the power dice you'll be throwing around.
Then you should take as many casting items and Powers as you can cram in and drink your opponent's tears and blood when they kill your General, only to find that those who crumbled stand back up again as your exactly four bajillion other Wizards wave their hands and yell "I never liked him anyway".
Magic Build Advice: If you're taking Kemmler or a very magic-heavy Lord, consider taking a dirt cheap level 1 Necromancer with an MR 3 talisman to join the same unit as your Lord. Your Necromancer's sole function is to prevent enemy magic and miscast explosions for your Lord and his bunker though the extra die of channeling is a nice perk. If you have the hundred-odd points to spare, this is a very effective way of ensuring your Lord's continued survival.
Yes, I'm a huge fan of Ward saves. The theme of the Vampire Counts is 'lose your general, lose the game', so taking extra precautions to keep your General alive will always pay off.
Yes, crumbling isn't Game Over, but you lose a huge amount of point investment and tactical options when you lose your General. Speaking of ward saves, if any of your Lords or Heroes have a free Talisman slot, also consider a Dragonsbane Gem. The only substantial alternative to a magic-focused Lord is Mannfred the Acolyte.
A very cheap hero for what he does, Mannfred's Loremaster ability means that you never have to worry about spell selection which is the primary drawback of Hero-level casters. Being able to cast every spell in the Lore allows you much more freedom in your Lord choice because your strategy is no longer determined by which spells you roll out of Vampires.
Vampire Heroes and Generals You will want at least two characters that have lore of vampires in any game over points; this not only doubles your chance to channel but also gives you much needed redundancy in the army.
A block of Board 'n' Sword skeletons can hold most units in place for a few turns read: With a lvl4 wizard in support, the attacking unit will have to kill an average of 7 more skeletons per turn, and the bones will reduce the enemy's numbers in a meaningful way. Other Strategems and List-Building Analysis: Their huge bases mean that the combination of Strength loss, Always Strikes Last, and forcing rerolls of successful Ward saves means that it's very difficult to go toe to toe with them for just about anyone in the game Breath Weapon, Thunderstomp, and high strength attacks is a lot of damage.
Expect your opponents to target the Zombie Dragon with everything they've got. Remember, MR works against all magic, and all magical weapons even the cheap 5 point generic ones can be defended against using MR.
The above is not true, magic resist only works against damage caused by spells, not magic items. Yes, your Lord won't have perma-Strength 7 and be a zomgwtf death machine. He'll also outlive just about every other model on the table, which is more important considering how many points you're investing in him.
Quickblood, Beguile, and Red Fury is my typical set up for Vampire Powers on such a character, with the reasoning that Quickblood's rerolls and Red Fury plus Strength 5 7 with a lance on the charge will provide all the offensive might you need to be effective.
Beguile doesn't always work, but when it does it can be decisive for that extra bit of "fuck you, roll that 6 again", especially against big monsters that have low Leadership. For smaller games, chop Red Fury and the lance this should put you under for 2, point games before any of the magic items.
Keeping your Zombie Dragon alive retains way more damage output and overall effectiveness than Red Fury provides otherwise. Wizard level 1 is all you really need for this setup unless you're playing a game at 3, points.
Take Invocation and several supporting casters. Taking Fear Incarnate and Aura of Dark Majesty on a Vampire and using it in conjunction with a Terror-causing unit or hero is great unless your opponent is Immune to Psychology. A fun gimmick against things like the Empire and Bretonnia, but it's wasted if your enemies are immune. A lot of things are, sadly. If you haven't caught on by now, your army is very top-heavy. The majority of your points will be invested in just a few models. Your entire strategy revolves around utilizing these models and keeping them alive.
Used correctly, they will win the game. Used poorly, they'll get killed and then you're out half of your firepower. Herohammer, in other words, is still your bread and butter. Crypt ghouls have a MUCH higher offensive capacity than any other core unit you can field. Personally I never leave home without a strong block of them and a corpse cart. Corpse carts are excellent force multipliers and you can inflict absolutely sick amounts of Wounds in close combat with a good Dance Macabre and Always Strikes First on a horde of Crypt Ghouls with adjacent Cart.
Opponents who're expecting Vampire Counts infantry to suck in close combat will be obliterated by their carelessness against Crypt Ghouls. Yes, they're twice as expensive as skeletons and can't be raised over unit cap by Invocation. But you can't put a price on your opponent conceding the game after you annihilate his primary block of infantry in one overwhelming phase of combat.
Master Necromancers under 1,, Kemmler between 1, and 2,, Master Necromancer and Vampire Lord on steed or just more Kemmler for 2, to 2,, and Zombie Dragon for and up are your best choices. Are they the only choices?
No, obviously. But in each of those point ranges, Vampire Counts is a completely different beast due to various list-building options that become available or obsolete. Finding the lists that work for your style of play can be difficult, given that every points or so the demands your army is placed under are radically altered. In low point games, you're mostly going to be dealing with block infantry and approximately two or three nasty units. Your Master Necromancer is by far one of the cheapest level 4 wizards available to any faction, and using him to your advantage is crucial to pick up the slack in your limited damage-dealing options at that point range.
Bump it up to the 1,k range, and suddenly Lord-level wizards are more common. In games where your opponent doesn't field one, a Level 4 Lord is still a huge advantage, but you have to be prepared to have your spells contested. This means there's less room for error in the magic phase, and having a Loremaster like Kemmler is huge because you can't afford to not roll a certain spell like Dance Macabre.
Not having access to your core magical options could cost you the game almost by default if your opponent's also slinging magic around. Vampire Counts are hugely reliant on the force-multiplying power of a good Magic phase, and not being able to force multiply is suicide for your army. Once you get into the 2,'s, you'll find that it's possible to field lots of heroes and lords within your point constraints. Given how reliant your army is on these two types of characters, this is a huge piece of good news for you.
Being able to field multiple Level 2 Vampire front-line casters is very, very handy. In this range, you can more comfortably field a Vampire Lord than in previous point ranges, because your supporting casters can pick up the slack if you don't have a Level 4 caster Lord to do all the heavy lifting that's required to keep your army going. Still, having a level 4 caster is never a bad idea. Nothing is more irritating than having your Invocations dispelled consistently.
In 2, points and up, all sorts of crazy things get introduced into the game and the scale of battles increases considerably. There's much more flexibility in games this large and you're not quite as reliant on force multiplying magic to be successful. Still, all the things I've discussed remain true, their impact just isn't as decisive from turn to turn. Other thoughts: A Corpse Cart with Balefire combined with Kemmler means that you're going to be 2 points up on even a Level 4 Lord in the dispel phase.
Being 4 or 5 points over a Hero-level caster means you'll dominate their magic phase every single turn as long as you use your dice wisely. Creating margins of advantage like this is an important part of list-building, because it ensures you'll be able to control the course of the game when you need to.
Coordinating your picks to create and capitalize on weaknesses is an important concept of Vampire Counts list construction. Use flanking units to avoid bad combat resolutions. Vargheists in particular and cavalry in general are great at inflicting mass casualties and swinging a resolution in your favor.
Build your lists around which flanking units you're using. A list that flanks with Black Knights and Dire Wolves plays very differently than one that relies on a pair of Corpse Carts and a flock of Vargheists. I went over this in the magic section but I'll say it again. Vanhel's Dance Macabre is the most important spell for your army list after Invocation. If you really want to be sure, running Kemmler or Mannfred plus a Hero that has it either bound or rolled or both is the way to go.
Having zero ranged options outside of the Magic phase means that you must be in combat in order to win. Do you always want to rush straight in without thinking?