Fell Bats Warhammer fantasy battle 8th edition Vampire Counts overview
What are fell bats?
Fell bats are a fearsome and loathsome sight, they are hideous bats of a gigantic proportion easily dwarfing a fully grown man. Like many other creatures of the night fell bats, and vampires share an affinity and some vampires grow to be able to control and command them. Fell bats are also naturally attracted to vampire counts armies as the vampires and necromancers darken the sky above and for the offer of plentiful and easy prey to feed upon.
In the game
In the game fell bats are a special choice for vampire counts in 8th edition warhammer. They are a cheap unit that starts at only 2 fell bats strong making them extremely cheap for a flying unit. Despite their size (being on 40mm bases) fell bats are war beasts so they neither have the stomp special rule and can be stomped themselves!
Fell bats have both the fly and of course (being in the vampire counts army book) the undead special rules, they are only average fighters at best which is further compounded by their large base size.
Pros and cons
Pros for fell bats is that they are cheap making them expendable (or at least less of a blow if you lose them), the fly special rule makes them maneuverable and fast. Remember the Summon Creatures of the Night vampiric power allows invocation of nehek to affect fell bats allowing you to increase the size of existing units beyond there starting size. The drawback of this is that as a fast unit fell bats are likely to be out of the range of the spell if you use the lower casting value.
Cons are that your fly move is cut short if your are not near the general and his "march" bubble, fell bats are also only average fighters and combined with a larger base will struggle against all but the most mediocre of enemy units. Dire wolves also perform a similar role and although they are less agile as they are unable to fly, they have the advantage of vanguard and of being slightly better when they charge due to the slavering charge special rule. Dire wolves are also core so count towards the minimum core you are required to have.
Fell bats are cheap meaning they can be considered expendable and so make an excellent unit for blocking and redirecting charges. The fact that they can fly adds to this as they can move over both friendly and enemy units to get in the right spot. They can also be useful as war machines and wizard hunters though they only stand an average chance of coming out on top against even war machine crews.
They can also be useful to take out units such as night goblin fanatics or mangler squigs for little loss in return, protecting your more elite and far more expensive units.
They can also be used as cheap "drops" when deploying hopefully forcing your oppenent to deploy a more critical unit and give you a chance to respond with a counter deployment or potential ignore them.