Maximise your vampire lords combat prowess with magic items and vampiric powers in 8th edition warhammer fantasy battle
Why make you vampire lord a monster in melee combat?
Vampire lords are arguably the most powerful characters in 8th edition warhammer (they have an appropriate points cost to boot) enhancing their already fantastic combat prowess even further makes a lot of sense. There is not many foes a vampire lord with the right equipment cannot tear to shreds, they out match nearly all other lords and are quite capable of taking even a greater daemon to the cleaners if provided with the right equipment. This can be further enhanced by placing your vampire lord with a powerful unit such as grave guard, black knights or even the notorious blood knights.
Simply put vampire lords can beat any foe in the right circumstances and with the right equipment. There does need to be a degree of balance though whilst you may destroy many and numerous foes you should give some consideration to if they could kill you back. Some elite troops and those with killing blow may be able to either wound or kill you if given the chance to retaliate in turn.
Choice of mount
Vampire lords have a choice of no less then 5 different mounts, for this combination you need to consider which will get him their in the fastest time, draw the least incoming fire and spells as well as providing some degree of protection. Sadly this puts the abyssal terror straight out unless you are on a tight points budget. Also so consideration should be given to taking him on foot.
Both the barded nightmare and the hellsteed make the vampire lord a cavalry model, this enables him to lurk in cavalry units of black knights or blood dragons without making himself a target. This also gives you some degree of protection if a combat goes badly as it will protect your vampire lord to a degree from crumbling The barded nightmare is less maneuverable but increases his armour save by more making him more survivable. The hellsteed gives a lesser bonus to his save but has the added advantage of being able to fly whilst still being able to lurk in cavalry units.
More then vampiric powers magic items need to be tailored to the foe you are facing, this is because some foes are tougher, faster or are better protected. Also some items may be too over the top against some armies, for example all elves (dark, high or wood) are only toughness 3 with a few exceptions, the vampire lords base strength of 5 is more then sufficient in most cases here. Your choice of vampiric powers will also play a bearing on the magic items you take.
Obvious choices are therefore those that increase your number of attacks and strength, other options such as the other tricksters shards (forcing ward saves to be re rolled) are also worth considering. Although an armour the nightshroud is worth some consideration as it causes your opponents to gain the always strikes last special rule which in turns means you are more likely to both attack first and have re rolls against your foes.
The first power that springs to mind here is the fantastic and deadly red fury, this grants you an extra attack for every wound that you cause potentially doubling the number of attacks that you have. On a vampire lord geared for combat this is a must have. The next vampiric power up is quickbloodwhich grants the always strikes first special rule this enables you to strike before your opponent or at the worse simultaneously, it has the added benefit of often granting re-rolls to hit.
Red fury and quickblood will have taken up most of your vampiric powers points allowance, there is however one more worth considering dread knight. This vampiric power is situational as a vampire lord already has a high weapon skill of 7 this vampiric power however increases it to 9. There is a drawback however as it forces you to both issue and accept challenges which can place you in peril or limit the damage you can do to a unit when a champion issues a challenge.
A possible combination
Here is a potential combination for a vampire lord who will be deadly in combat
- Vampire Lord, additional levels optional
- Zombie Dragon, heavy armour and shield provides some protection 5 additional attacks from the zombie dragon and potentially thunderstomp.
- Red fury, absolute must have.
- Quickblood, pretty good asf is an excellent special rule plus potential re rolls to hit.
- Sword of Bloodshed, an extra 3 attacks for a total of 8
- Potion of strength, a boost to your strength for one turn vital for taking down really tough foes or those with good armour saves.
- There is a few points left over for some minor protection such as the dragon helm, charmed shield or seeds of rebirth.
The dragon helm and seeds of rebirth combination increase your save to 2+ and gives you a 2+ ward vs flaming attacks. Seeds of rebirth gives you a 6+ regeneration which is increased to 5+ with a nearby mortis engine.