Krell vampire counts warhammer 8th edition vampire counts special character
In the game
Krell is a hero level special character available for vampire counts armies in 8th edition warhammer fantasy battle. Whilst not present in 7th edition Krell makes a come back in 8th edition along with his partner in crime Heinrich Kemmler from another earlier edition of warhammer.
Notably Krell is also known as one of Nagash's minions and seems to have been beaten and imprisoned several times suggesting he is very difficult to ultimately destroy. He has a long association with the Lichemaster Heinrich Kemmler.
Krell is basically an enhanced wight kingwith increased stats and a unique selection of magic items and special rules. Krell has the champion of the dead special rule meaning that he must always issue and accept challenges (after all he was a khorne chaos lord in life) as an added bonus if Heinrich Kemmler is in his unit it also increases his killing blow to heroic killing blow in challenges. He wear the armour of the barrows and wields the black axe of Krell and is the only character who may now do so. Krell comes as he is and no other upgrades, options or mounts are available to him.
Pros and cons
With a toughness of 5 and 4 wounds Krell is tough to shift particularly for the weaker races such as elves, especially if you restore wounds to him with the curse of undeathlore attribute. The black axe of Krell is also excellent at killing both characters and monsters, indeed anything with multiple wounds. Even it they flee away or Krell dies the insidious magic of the black axe can still kill them! Krell can also have a psychological affect on your opponent as he is quite capable of killing anyone with both killing blow and the black axe of Krell and with 4 wounds he has a good chance of getting his chance to strike.
The armour of the barrows whilst at first glance seem decent really is not all its cracked up to be. Granting only a 4+ armour save means Krell will often get little or no save against many characters (and many other things as well), limiting the chance that it will destroy magic weapons they are wielding. Whilst decent in combat 3 attacks is still a bit lacking and if the enemy does not have more then one wound most of the effects of his axe are wasted, effects you have paid a lot of points for. Being unable to ride a skeletal steed also hinders Krell making him slow and unable to lead units of black knights often a place of choice for wight kings.
Krell is a character and monster killer first and foremost, he also performs well against monstrous infantry, chariots and other units with multiple wounds. Against rank and file however a wight king with a great weapon would likely fare as well and you could easily afford a superior vampire for the same points (against rank and file troops at least). This make Krell good against some armies but of more limited use against others. Krell also makes a good threat to help keep some control over enemy characters as many characters fighting him do risk dying meaning many wily opponents will try to avoid engaging him with them so thereby limiting there use.
Krell and Heinrich Kemmler do however lend themselves to a themed army based around one or another of their infamous exploits particularly as in 8th edition they seem to have teamed up with Mannfred von Carsteinas well. The minor synergy of Krell gaining heroic killing blow in challenges when Heinrich is present in the unit can also be useful.