Skeleton warriors Warhammer 8th edition Vampire Counts overview
What are Skeleton Warriors
Skeleton Warriors are the long dead remains of warriors slain long ago in battles long forgotten something all to frequent in the violent and brutal world of Warhammer. Using Dark Magic Necromancers and Vampires can call these long dead warriors back to life to fight again.
Skeleton Warriors seem to have some faint recollection of their previous battles long ago and form up into units and battalions with standards and musician in a mockery of living units. Obeying their new masters whim these creations of undeath shamble forward to do battle with the enemy. Many are still clad in their rusted armour of old and wield the same weapons they did when they last lived, more skilled then the lurching Zombies, Skeleton Warriors fight with the last vestiges of their training that remains.
In the game
In the game Skeleton Warriors are a cheap reliable core infantry unit for Vampire Counts, cheaper now then in 7th edition they also come fully equipped with light armour and shields. You can choose between wielding hand weapon and shields to gain the Parry special rule or equip with spears for free for the extra attacks, each has its own merits.
Although better then Zombies, Skeleton Warriors are still poor fighters compared to most of their living counterparts though a failed fear role will occasionally make up for this.
Pros and Cons
Skeleton Warriors and Zombies perform similar roles for Vampire counts with a few differences Skeleton Warriors are slightly better and have a 5+ save with a possible Parry save or extra attacks from spears, Skeleton Warriors also allow you to have a Skeleton Champion allowing you to challenge allowing another character in the unit to escape a powerful character for a turn or just to reduce combat resolution. Skeleton Warriors are also restored in lower numbers by Invocation of Nehek. Skeleton Warriors also have the advantage of being able to take a magic banner.
Skeleton Warriors can stand toe to toe with other armies poorer troops (Empire foot soldiers, Brettonia peasants, Goblins) particularly if they fail their fear test and if they are under the influence of augment spells from the Lore of the Vampires.
Against them is their higher points cost and lower raising potential, also against more elite armies such as Warriors of Chaos the slightly improved stat line from Zombies makes little difference to the foe Skeleton Warriors fall before them as fast as Zombies would.
Skeleton Warriors have 2 main uses one as in a similar way to Zombies to bog down and hold up more powerful units whilst your more powerful forces go to work on the enemy, they can be much more effective at this then Zombies varying on the enemy army you are facing again other more elite armies they fare about the same.
Against armies with less elite units Skeleton Warriors stand a fair chance of winning combats particularly with the addition of a powerful combat character or the use of augment spells.
Lastly Skeleton Warriors make a better bunker unit for Necromancers and Vampires you want to concentrate on casting spells, a 5+ save and Parry makes them a little more survivable and the addition of a Skeleton champion is also useful.