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This is the start of a new series, that will hopefully bring new ideas and tactics to the forums. Each week, a new topic will be posted up about a different unit in the army book. This gives you your chance to discuss the unit to its fullest. So, please leave your comment!
This week's topic is - Vampire Lord
What bloodline powers and magic items do you use? How do you use him? Is it worth making him a balanced character or focus on spell casting or combat? Do you mount him? What unit is he best used in?
Vampire Lord: Blood Drinker, Flayed Hauberk, Crown of the Damned, Master of the Black Arts, Red Fury.
This is the make-up for one of my favorite lords. The idea is you put him in a tough bunker unit of GG with the hatred banner and he just keeps bringing them back while slaughtering the enemy. With a 2+ AS and 4+ Ward, along with the ability to restore wounds, he's a fierce competitor in combat. Some players choose to refrain from Crown of the Damned due to the stupidity roll. With ld 10, I have NEVER failed this roll. I'm sure it's waiting until I desperately need to make it that I'll roll double 6s.
Master of the black arts provides him with 2 extra dice which help restore wounds or give him the added ability to cast some of the bigger spells before marching in headfirst. Red Fury along with hatred gives the lord extra killing power along with the restoration of even more wounds. This lord has lost the entire unit of GG around him and still come out of combat 'alive' against an entire unit of DE Blackguard once.
Vampire Lord: Sword of Might, Helm of Command, Walach's Bloody Hauberk, Master of the Black Arts, Dark Acolyte, Avatar of Death (Shield), Magic Upgrade
I like this set up because a +3 Armor Save and 5+ Ward save make him really tough too wound and with str 6 he will kill a lot of things in close combat. He is also a lvl 4 wizard and has 6 power dice all to himself, which allows him to raise his Grave Guard or other undead models within 18" with ease. I will no longer take the Crown of Stupid, because I have rolled stupid more times than it has prevented wounds. I will substitute DA and Avatar for Forbidden Lore when I have to have VHDM.
my favourite combo is, helm of command, skull staff, forbidden lore, master of the black arts, and summon ghouls. She is very fragile, and only has a high toughness to fend off wounds with, but that is fine with me since she never see's combat at all, and stays safe with a unit of ghouls behind the main force, I've only lost her once to a cannonball she couldn't dodge(if you can dodge a cannonball, you can dodge a ball, lol). she comes out with 5 power dice, and plus one to cast, and a plus 2 to cast when summoning ghouls, her main job is to support my 2 units of grave guard marching into combat, by keeping them at full strength, and when combat hits, she can cast vanhels to make them strike first and re-roll misses, and give a unit ws7. There is also a corpse cart near by with a lodestone, and making my units strike first.
She is a good general and helps support the entire army around her, just make sure to keep her safe and your enemies will have so many headaches dealing with zombies who pop up to re-direct chargers and sending them off in the wrong directing.
one of the downsides though is being very costly, coming up to close to a quarter of your army at 2000 points, once you add some other support characters you will find yourself running low on points quickly for other cool stuff that the vampire counts book is loaded with, and since she has no save you want to keep her out of combat, meaning her great combat stats are pretty much meaningless and are waisted points.