Isabella von Carstein vampire counts 8th edition warhammer special character
In the game
Isabella is a hero level special character for vampire counts armies in 8th edition warhammer. She is the equivalent of a vampire. She is a level 1 wizard who must take spells from the lore of the vampires and comes with both set magic items and vampiric powers. There are no extra mount or equipment options available to Isabella.
Isabella carries the enchanted item the blood chalice of bathori which allows her to restores wounds both to herself and other vampiric characters in the same unit, she also has the beguile vampiric power (the effects of which have changed in 8th edition). Isabella also wears heavy armour.
Differences from 7th edition
Isaballa's stat line is now much improved now being the same as a standard hero level vampire rather then her lower stat line that she had in 7thedition. This now gives her 4 strength5 weapon skill 6 attacks a big improvement on the 2 strength 4 weapon skill 4 attacks she had previously. The effects of the chalice of bathori remain the same as they were in 7th edition.
The beloved in death special rule (previously beloved of vlad) grants the same bonus of hatred and frenzy to the survivor if either Vlad or Isabella is slain. Better then in 7th edition it also grants them both the always strikes first special rule if they are in the same unit. It no longer makes Isabella worth double victory points either.
All these improvements though come at a cost Isabella's points cost is now much higher then previous.
Pros and cons
Pros are that with an much improved stat line Isabella is now a more viable choice to accompany Vlad von Carstein into battle. The also have great synergy together with the beloved in death special rule that they both have.
Cons are that Isabella is not that difficult to kill with a toughness of 4, 2 wounds and only the save from heavy armour even poor troops can kill her with a lucky roll (proving of course they survive long enough to do so). Also if you are not fielding Vlad in your army then it is easily possible to supplement her with a hero level vampire with a better selection of magic items, basic equipment and vampiric powers tailored to a more specific role.
The main tactical use of Isabella is the boost from synergy that both she and Vlad von Carstein get due to the beloved in death special rule. This gives both of them the always strikes first special rule and the added combat prowess and protection that comes with both being in the same unit. The chalice of Bathori is also useful as it gives you yet another way to restore lost wounds to either Isabella or Vlad (or indeed other vampiric characters). As they must both choose spells from the lore of the vampires the effects of the lore attribute the curse of undeathfurther enhances their wound healing potential.