Maximise your Vampire Lords survival with magic items and vampiric powers in warhammer 8th edition
Why make your Vampire Lord hard to kill?
There are several reasons to make your vampire lord as hard to kill as possible especially if he is also your general. Although crumbling when the general dies is no longer as game finishing as it was in 7thedition as another wizard with the lore of the vampires can take over it can still serious damage your army. Several powerful units have low leadership such as cairn and hex wraiths, terrorgheist, black coaches and other beside will likely suffer substantial damage or be destroyed altogether.
Making your vampire lord hard to kill can help prevent this as well as denying your opponent victory points. Vampire lords are also potent fighters regardless of what they are armed with though remember to equip them with basic heavy armour and shield if they do not have a magical equivilent.
Out of the special characters Vlad von Carsteinis potentially quite hard to kill, he also has the magic item the carstein ring. The carstein ring grants him both a 4+ ward and the chance to return back to unlife on the roll of 2+ as long as he can appear in a nearby unit.
Choice of mount
Mounts gives you several advantages increased mobility from flying or a high movement value, they also increase your armour save. Mount choice will usually be dictated by the enemy you are facing, when facing armies with a lot of shooting and war machines it is important your Vampire Lord has the ability to shelter in units where he is safe (or at least safer) from stone throwers, cannons and other war machines. It can also be worth taking your Vampire Lord on foot against extreme shooting armies such as the empire or dwarfs.
Two mounts available to vampire lords also provide additional protection zombie dragons make the vampire lord harder to hit, the coven throne can also have a similar effect making your vampire harder to hit and even has a small chance of causing the enemy to attack themselves. Against skaven armies or in storm of magic bear in mind the dreaded 13th spell, also remember being on a cavalry mount efficiently protects you from this.
There are several magic items that can help in making your Vampire Lord tough to kill, these are mostly magic items and talismans, out of the vampire counts book the only item worth mentioning is the Nightshroud. The Nightshroud adds to your armour save (so potentially giving you a 1+ armour save) and causes attackers to lose any strength bonuses from mundane or magical weapons as well as gaining the always strikes last special rule giving you the chance to cut them down first.
A ward save is always useful and either the armour of destiny or the talisman of preservation both grant a 4+ ward save. The armour of destiny works out slightly better as you can combine this with the dawn stone (for re rolling armour saves) or another talisman.
The enchanted items the potion of toughness and the healing potion can also be useful as can the feather toe torc against enemy lords riding dragons or similar mounts.
There is even a couple of magic weapons that can be useful warriors bane, can reduce a powerful enemies number of attacks. The fencers blades make you weapon skill 10 but remember they are a paired weapon so you will lose the protection of a shield.
There are several vampiric powers that can make your vampire lord harder to kill. First off flying horror can be useful if your vampire lord is on foot, this allows you to fly giving you the option to "get out of dodge" as it were. Curse of the revenant gives you an extra wound, this makes you harder to kill as well as giving you more time to regain wounds from the hunger or the curse of undeath.
Aura of dark majesty, fear incarnate and beguile can make your enemy more likely to fail fear tests so making your vampire lord harder to hit and wound.
Dread knight is also an option making you weapon skill 9 it does however force you to accept challenges so should be considered as a double edged sword as you may end up in a fight you would have rather avoided.
A possible combination
Here is a potent combination there are many others but hopefully this will give you some insight
- Vampire Lord (additional magic levels optional)
- Shield, barded nightmare
- Armour of destiny
- Dawn stone
- Warriors bane
- Potion of toughness
- Curse of the revenant
- Aura of dark majesty
This combination would give your Vampire Lord a 2+ armour save that is re roll able followed by a 4+ ward save should that not save you. Warriors bane reduces the number of attacks a powerful enemy will have, and the potion of toughness can protect you for a turn giving you a toughness of 8 for 1 turn useful for enemies with charge only/one use weapons such as lances or the potion of strength. Curse of the revenant gives him one more wound for a total of 4. The combination of aura of dark majesty and beguile means your enemy is more likely to fail their fear test (making it 5's to hit the vampire) also you can force one model to take a leadership test at -4 or be forced to re roll to wound.