Vampire counts character mounts in 8th edition warhammer fantasy battle
The mounts available to vampire counts
There are eight different mounts available to vampire counts characters in 8th edition warhammer fantasy battle. There are now three monster options the new terrorgheist and two old favourites the zombie dragon and abyssal terror. Three are now war beasts and make the model cavalry models these all return from 7th edition too and they are nightmare, hellsteed and skeletal steed. Also in 8th edition is a new chariot mount with other special rules the coven throne, the corpse cart also makes a reappearance as a mount for both necromancers and master necromancers and is now also a chariot.
The terrorgheist is available both as a rare choice monster on it own and as a mount for the strigoi ghoul king. It is a powerful mount combiningits death shriek ability with the combat prowess of a strigoi ghoul king, there is not much that can withstand this combination for long.
Like the zombie dragon though with an expensive strigoi ghoul king atop it the terrorgheist will become a target for enemy spells, shooting and war machines.
Only the powerful vampire lords have the option to ride upon the mighty zombie dragon. The zombie dragon is a powerful mount and has the pestilential breathe, scaly skin, terror and swarm of flies special rules. These improves its offence with a breath weapon and its defence as any models in base contact are at -1 to hit, combine this with a failed fear test and the enemy needs rolls of 6 to hit.
The main disadvantage of zombie dragons is with a points heavy vampire lord atop they will become a target for well anything and everything the enemy can throw at them. Cannons in particular can be a gauntlet to be run against empire, dwarf and now ogre kingdom players and it is worth careful consideration before taking them against these opponents.
Nightmares are powerful mounts ridden only by vampire hero's and lords they are also ridden by the rare choice cavalry unit blood knights. With a good stat line (for a mount) they also come equipped with barding so increasing your vampires armour save considerably. The special character count mannfred and his hero version mannfred the acolyte can also ride atop a barded nightmare.
Hellsteed's have a unique advantage over nightmares and this is that they can fly making the vampire riding upon them extremely mobile. With identical stats to a nightmare they lose out slightly by not having barding so giving the rider a lower boost to their armour save then nightmares. Hellsteed's can be taken by hero level vampires, vampire lords and master necromancers. The special character count mannfred can also ride atop a hellsteed should he (or you) choose too.
The skeletal steed is a mount available to both wight kings, necromancers and master necromancers. Although stat wise it is worse then the vampire's nightmare it has some advantages, barding (which it comes with) does not reduce its movement and it may move as if it were ethereal. This means it also does not hinder units of black knights should you choose to join them.
Available as a mount for both necromancers and master necromancers as well as a special choice. Advantages for a necromancer with the lore of the vampires is immediately apparent as whenever he casts invocation of nehek (or another augment spell) it will immediately trigger the vigour mortis special rule giving all friendly undead within 6" the always strikes first special rule. It also gives the necromancer more potential in combat with impact hits and 2D6 attacks. Also if you take the unholy lodestone upgrade it again centralises the effects on the model.
Disadvantages are that as a chariot it can no longer march, though if your general is nowhere near this is not a problem. It also makes the necromancer and corpse cart a more tempting target for ranged attacks such as spells and war machines.
Abyssal terror's can be taken as mounts for vampire lords, hero level vampires, master necromancers also the special character count mannfred and his hero version mannfred the acolyte can both select one as a mount.
Differing from 7th edition there are now two upgrades available to abyssal terrors these are poisonous tail giving it poisonous attacks and sword claws which give the abyssal terror the armour piercing special rule.
The coven throne is a new addition to the forces of the vampire counts in 8th edition. Both hero level vampires and vampire lords may select these as mounts. It offers additional protection for your vampire as it comes with a ward save and the battle of wills special rule. Battle of wills potentially makes the coven throne and riding vampire harder to hit by lowering weapon skill or forcing re rolls to hit, there is even a small chance that it will cause the enemy unit to attack itself! Battle of wills is a leadership based roll off so the higher your leadership is and the lower the enemies the more likely that they will fail.
It also adds to your vampires combat prowess with 4 strength 5 always strikes first attacks and impact hits from being a chariot. This can be further enhanced by the scrying pool bound spell will grants the entire model either re rolls to hit or wound. The coven throne has similar disadvantages to the zombie dragon and terrorgheist as it will likely become a target for everything the enemy can throw at it. It is also slower then either as it is a chariot so cannot march and does not fly.