Dread knight 8th edition warhammer vampire counts vampiric power overview
The dread knight vampiric power returns in 8th edition warhammer fanasty battle and is considerably different from in 7th edition. Gone is the barded nightmare, heavy armour, shield and lance that previously turned your vampire into a knight, these items are now available to all vampire heroes and vampire lords as standard equipment.
In 8th edition dread knight grants the vampire with it an extra +2 to their already considerable weapon skill, this makes a vampire lord weapon skill 9 and vampire heroes and Strigoi ghoul kings weapon skill 8. They must also issue and accept challenges wherever possible unless either Krell or a vampire character with higher leadership is present. At present it is not clear if this allows the vampire counts player the option of simply not issuing a challenge at all if a higher leadership vampire is present.
none of the special characters in the vampire counts army book have this special rule although Konrad von carstein has an higher then average weapon skill for a vampire hero. Though this is not as high as a vampire hero with this vampiric power neither is he forced to issue or accept challenges.
Pros and cons of dread knight
Pros are that it increases your vampire characters weapon skill making them more likely to hit their opponents and it less likely that they can strike them back in turn. It also synergises well with the additional minus to hit from a zombie dragon mount or the magic armour glittering scales from the main warhammer rulebook. the coven throne mount can also work well as its battle of will special rule can reduce the enemies weapon skill by 1.
Cons of dread knight are that the vampire with this vampiric power must both issue and accept challenges. Whilst powerful fighter in their own right there are still some characters out there that can stand toe to toe with them. There are also some special characters such as the daemons of chaos Skulltakerwho become more powerful and deadly in challenges. There is also magic items such as the empire's enchanted item van horstman's speculum that makes the character using them much more powerful in challenges.
Any unit with a champion can also tie your vampire character with dread knight up for a round, whilst you will still get the combat resolution from overkill it does prevent you slaughtering the rest of the champions unit for a turn. It can also be overkill against some armies with lower weapon skills as you may already hit any model in the army easily enough, remember though it may make you harder to hit in return however though.