Warhammer 8th edition Vampire Counts changes from 7th Edition
The Old Faithfuls Return
With the release of the new 8th edition Vampire Counts book for Warhammer all the old favourites (and not so favourites) have returned. In keeping with 8th edition most of these units have been revised tweaking points costs, stat lines and special rules. Some units such as Dire Wolves (now count as core) and Corpse Carts (now special) have had their slot moved
The New and the Resurrected
With the advent of 8th edition there is the addition of a plethora of new units and therefore mostly new models. Two old favourites Heinrich Kemmler and Krell have also returned as special characters to reap discord around the Warhammer World.
In characters the additon of Master Necromancers and Strigoi Ghoul Kings give you more variation in magic and for combat lords. Vampires can also ride atop the Coven throne as a new mount.
The rare section also has a new edition in the form of the potent arcane Mortis Engine.
There are several minor rules changes probably the most beneficial is the ability of another wizard using the Lore of Vampires to take over if your general should ever bite the dust and be slain. Whilst this still means your army takes 1 rounds of crumbling it then stops as the new wizard takes over.
On the negative the bubble that Vampiric units gave that allowed nearby undead to march has gone only the general now grants this ability as before with a 12" radius meaning it is more vital to keep your lord at the heart of your forces.
Characters can also now only heal wounds through specific abilities and spells that cleary stat that they can (don't worry though the Lore of Vampire attribute allows you to do this) this means you cannot heal them with Invocation of Nehek except with the Lore attribute.
Also gone is the rule that every Vampire has Invocation of Nehek, it is now the default spell in the Lore of Vampires, on the plus side every Vampire now has access to the Lore of Death and the Lore of Shadow alongside the Lore of the Vampires. Necromancer can access either the Lore of the Vampires or the Lore of Death, so no more choosing your spells or paying for them either.
So in overview 8th edition Vampire Counts have better survivablity at the cost of a slower moving army.
Lore of the Vampires
Most of the now rewritten Lore of the Vampires is an improvement with Invocation of Nehek as the default spell and a Lore attribute that heals a wound to the wizard or another friendly model within 12" on every successful casting.
Necromantic spells that allowed "spam" casting previously have also gone now.
All of the old spells make a comeback with the exception of Summon Undead Horde (no longer needed with an improved Invocation of Nehek) in exchange you get the spell Hellish Vigour an augment spell allowing the target(s) to re roll to wound.
Invocation of Nehek has changed as it is now an area effect and has different casting values allowing you to increase the size of this area, you also heal more wounds back to cavalry and war beast units Vampiric, Large targets and Ethereal units are still limited to 1 wound per casting of the spell though.
Vanhel's Danse Macabre has changed slightly for the worse as the movement can no longer be used to perform a charge, it does however having a higher casting value that is an area effect.
Wind of Undeath has changed entirely to a magical Vortex Spell that seems situational as when to use as it hits every unit touched for a random number of hits, against army's with many small units it is potentially lethal if you have a good position.
Magic Items and Vampiric Powers
Here it is sad to say a few of the better Vampire Counts magic items have gone such as Blooddrinker and the Drakenhof Banner are no longer. There is in fact no new magic items however some previous items have been massivley changed and all at least have had minor changes.
Happily many of the Vampiric Powers have returned (in an additional allowance to magic items too still) again some of the abilitiys have been tweaked. Red Fury remains unchanged though Infinite hatred is now a special rule for Strigoi Ghoul Kings, thankfully this has been replaced with Quickblood granting the Always Strike first special rule. Also with the addition of equipment available to Vampires from the list your no longer have to waste points on Vampiric Powers that granted armour, weapons, mount or all three.