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Strigoi ghoul king 8th edition warhammer fantasy battle vampire counts overview

Updated on February 18, 2012

What are Strigoi ghoul kings?

The ancient creatures known as vampires were created long ago by the machinations of the great necromancer Nagash and his ilk. Many of these initial vampires initiated dynasties and minor empires that have lasted in some form down the ages those creature of the night that they made into vampire through the dark kiss taking on either their name and heritage or indeed both.

The Strigoi dynasty was founded by Ushoran the lord of masks an ancient warrior and diplomat of Nehekara the land of the tomb kings and he carved an empire for himself in the area now known as the badlands. His capital city was known as Mourkain and lasted for many ages, however it was constantly beset by the war like orc and goblin tribes who returned time and time again to wage battle against them. Eventually Mourkain fell crushed between warring humans on one side and rampaging orc marauders on the other, his city fell and Ushoran is believed slain.

However not all of his bloodline were destroyed many fled scattering across the lands of the old world. The Strigoi vampires had been arrogant and ruthless when they held power and their brethren from other bloodlines either shunned them or actively sought to slay them remember grievances long forgotten by the living. The Strigoi were forced to live a persecuted existence hunted by man and his allies and their fellow vampires alike.

Over the centuries the once proud Strigoi vampires found themselves hiding in dark and dismal graveyards and desolated places, many lost the last threads of their sanity and this constant hidden and hunted existence wrought changes to their physical appearance. Living amongst the dead Strigoi vampires often found they attracted a "court" of ghouls who they could command. Leading their new found minions into battle and having devolved to only a step above them the Strigoi ghoul kings again march forth to war against foes both living and dead.

In the game

In the game Strigoi ghoul kings are a powerful lord level character with a lot of decent abilities and special rules already inbuilt. They have the poisoned attacks, regeneration (5+), hunger undead, vampiric and infinite hatred special rules as "basic" equipment. Unlike other vampire heroes and vampire lords, Strigoi ghoul kings cannot wear mundane armour this also prevents them from selecting magical armour. Other then this restriction Strigoi ghoul kings may take both magic items and vampiric powers. Strigoi ghoul kings are the only characters that can ride a terrorghiest and this is the only mount option available to them.

Although a new character the Strigoi (the spelling may have been different back then too) bloodline was an option for vampires way back in 6th editon warhammer fantasy battle, you could also use vampiric powers to recreate them to a degree in 7th edition. Apart from the von Carstein special characters the Strigoi ghoul king is the only bloodline to get a specific character type. They are now the only vampire count character who now get infinite hatred.

Pros and cons

Pros are that you get an excellent fighting character with good abilities that can be further enhanced with a few magical items or vampiric powers. A nearby mortis engine can also boost the Strigoi ghoul kings regeneration to 4+ if you have one, a cheap upgrade here is the dragonsbane gem for minimum points expenditure giving a 2+ ward save vs fire and ensuring you get either this or your regeneration save. Strigoi ghoul kings are also good for keeping the points cost of your lord down to a more acceptable level.

Cons are that they cannot wear armour which also precludes them from wearing magical armour, it is possible to make a more survivable and powerful vampire lord (though this is also reflected in the point costs). Strigoi vampire are only level 1 wizards and this cannot be upgraded, this means you will be looking elsewhere for magical support.

Tactical uses

Strigoi ghoul kings and master necromancers make a good combination and effectively splits your lords into a wizard and a fighter rather then having an all powerful but highly expensive vampire lord (and occasionally vulnerable). It also means you can keep your magic where you need it (near your troops) whilst sending your combat lord off into the fray.

Strigoi ghoul kings can also make a good second choice after a vampire lord in larger games where the better magical items may have been taken as the Strigoi ghoul king comes tooled up ready to fight. The ghoul king also makes a good leader for armies with a strong ghoul theme containing units of ghouls and crypt horrors.

What is your opinion on the Strigoi ghoul king?

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      Vaako 4 years ago

      I agree that as a Lord choice to lead an army, they just don't do it for me. They are weak in magic and still run the risk of dying in close combat thereby putting your whole army at risk.

      However, as Arioch points out, the Master Necro and Ghoul King is a pretty awesome combo. The Necro can be protected in a Bus behind your lines away from combat whilst the Ghoul King can go to town on the enemy in combat.

      This would be an example of such a combo :

      Master Necromancer (Vampire lore lvl 4) … 200 pts

      - Black Periapt (Stores 2 dice at the end of a magic phase) … 55 pts

      - Talisman of Preservation (4+ ward save) … 45 pts

      Special rules

      - Undead (Unbreakable, Unstable, Fear. Can only "Hold" on charge reaction)

      Total : 300

      Strigoi Ghoul King (Vampire lore lvl 1) … 260 pts

      - Red Fury (extra attack for each unsaved wound) … 50 pts

      - Aura of Dark Majesty (All enemy get -1 to LD within 6") … 25 pts

      - Beguile (Ld test at -3 or re-roll to hit of enemy) … 15 pts

      - Skabscrath (Grants Devastating Charge,Frenzy,Flaming attacks, Death Shriek) … 75 pts

      - The Other Trickster’s Shard (Friend or foe re-rolls successful ward saves)… 15 pts

      - Dragonbane Gem (2+ save against flaming attacks)… 5 pts

      Special rules

      - The Hunger (If Lord kills enemy, D6 at end of combat phase. On a 6, recovers wound)

      - Undead (Unbreakable, Unstable, Fear. Can only "Hold" on charge reaction)

      - Vampiric (No wounds from general crumbling, Can march move)

      - Regeneration (5+) (Regeneration save, negated by flaming attacks)

      - Eternal Hatred (Re-rolls all failed combat attacks)

      - Poison Attacks (On unmodified 6 to hit, wounds automatically)

      - Devastating Charge (+1 A when charging)

      - Frenzy (+1 A until lost combat, must pursue/overrun)

      - Flaming Attacks (Negates Regeneration)

      - Death Shriek (8", 2D6 + W - Ld of target, no armour saves)

      Total : 445 pts

      I really like the King with a Skabscrath. Take a look at the plethora of special rules he comes with!

      There is a lot of synergy going on with his vampiric powers and as he is not the general, you do not have to spend too many points on protecting him. He does, however, make it hard for his opponent to hit him, especially if you field him in a unit that has the BSB with Fear Incarnate, Aura of Dark Majesty and the Screaming Banner. For added protection, you could increase his WS to 8 with the Dread Knight vampiric power but that is a double-edged sword with the challenge constraints.

      You will have noticed that I did not give him the ever popular quick-blood. This is because he can re-roll his attacks natively thereby rendering ASF only half as useful for 30 points. He also has a massive 8 Initiative so the chances are that he will be striking first, whatever the circumstances, are high.

      6 (potentially 7) re-rollable S5 Red Fury attacks is pretty deadly against rank-and-file and against most characters however it lacks strength against tougher monsters. With poison attacks and the ability to re-roll your attacks, you can get 1 or 2 unmodified sixes and therefore compensate for your "low" strength. I would have liked to give him some sort of strength bonus to be as flexible as possible but it just didn't fit into the points allocations.

      This combo works really well with a Mortis Engine equipped with the Blasphemous Tome upgrade in the vicinity. The Necro benefits from increased magic capabilities and the King gets a beautiful 4+ Regen save/2+ flaming attack save.

      Unfortunately the points costs make this a viable option only in 3000+ point battles but in my opinion, worth trying out.

    • Arioch profile image

      Gordon D Easingwood 5 years ago from Wakefield, United Kingdom

      To be fair that was also my intial opinion but after forcing myself to try one a few time they have grown on me, sadly a vampire lord is just a better choice alround a lot of the time.

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      Count Jondi 5 years ago

      My opinion is that they suck, and are the only model in the entire book i would never use.