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