Vampire Lords 8th edition warhammer fantasy battle Vampire Counts overview
What are Vampire Lords
Vampire Lords are powerful undead, once mortal men in ages long past Vampires originate from humans that partook in the imbibing of an ancient powerful elixir created by the ancient Great Necromancer himself Nagash and his followers (and those who sought out and stole his secrets). These original Vampires also found they could create other Vampires through the Blood Kiss, though how this is done is shrouded in secret and mystery and something every Vampire keeps secret. Through humans slowly realising the monsters in their midst and turning against them the Vampires became abhorred and hunted, through numerous civil wars and battles in the ancient lands of Nehekhara the Vampires were scattered through the lands of the Warhammer world.
This elixir gave both immortal life but also a terrible thirst for blood and the life forces of the living, when first created Vampires must regularly feed but as they grow older they can do so less frequently (though many choose not too). As Vampires age they become more powerful both faster and stronger. Vampire being creatures of dark magic become more adept with wielding these powers both through the sheer saturation of their bodies with dark magic and study. Many Vampires also develop other supernatural powers learning to wield other lore's of magic or becoming warriors beyond compare far beyond the ken of any mortal race.
Vampires are conduits of dark magic, pools of it begin to gather around the vampire enhanced by the dark deed they perform. This attracts many evil creatures to the vampire from the restless dead to those who seek to become practitioners of the dark arts oft referred to as Necromancers to other Vampires. When the Vampire has gathered enough forces to him he will use them to pursue his own personal quest for power and leads them into battles against many foes.
In the Game
Vampire Lords are a powerful lord choice for Vampire Counts in 8th edition warhammer fantasy battle. A Vampire Lord will also be your general if you have one as they are the highest leadership character available to Vampire Counts armies, unless you are playing a high points value game where you can afford 2 or more allowing you to choose which one is your general.
At their disposal Vampire Lords they have a massive selection of magic items, Vampiric Powers and mounts. Vampire Lords are also level 1 wizards with the option to boost this up to level 4. There are many myriad and powerful combinations of these and lots of fun to be had trying out different combinations.
As a bonus in 8th edition over 7th Vampire lords now have access to normal equipment as standard without having to resort to spending points on expensive Vampiric Powers to gain it. A further bonus is the addition of the Hunger special rules which gives every Vampire a chance to regain a wound whenever they kill an enemy in melee combat.
There are also two special character Vampire Lords Vlad von Carstein and Count Mannfred (von Carstein) with their own unique magic items and abilities.
Pros and cons
There are many pros to Vampire Lords as powerful fighters with an excellent base stat line and the ability to be anywhere between level 1 and 4 wizards with a host of magic items, Vampiric Powers and mounts to choose from you can have a field day equipping your Vampire lord to take on any foe and win. Combining both martial prowess and magical might a well used Vampire Lord can be the bane of any foe.
There are two mains cons to Vampire Lords the first is the cost with a high base cost combined with a selection of mounts and the options of both magic items from the main Warhammer rule book and those contained in the Vampire Countsbook. Add to this the then further selection of Vampiric Powers and additional magic levels and you have an extremely powerful model with a points cost to match.
The other issue is in lower points cost games your Vampire lord is likely to be your general and it is only him that allows other nearby units to march, depending on your army composition you may need this movement boost to get your forces into the positions you want. Also your army crumbles when the general is slain, less potent then in 7th edition as another wizard with the Lore of Vampires can take over it can still cause a lot of damage to lower leadership elite units such as Cairn Wraithsand Terrorghiests for example. This creates a dichotomy where you want to keep your Vampire Lord safe whilst still using him to inflict as much damage as possible.
Vampire Lords are a powerful lord level character and can be customised well to maximise their effective depending on the army you are facing. Vampire Counts with the addition of the Quickstrike and red Fury vampiric powers can easily be argued to be the most powerful fighters in the Warhammer fantasy battle game.
With this vast selection of magic items and abilities you can tailor your Vampire Lord how you want extra attacks if you foe has low toughness or an weapon that increases your strength against tougher or high armour save enemies. If you are going for a combat based Vampire Lord Red Fury and Quickstrike are almost must haves.
Vampire Lords can make powerful wizards too and this works well if combined with magic items and Vampiric Powers that enhance combat prowess, however if you intend to use them as wizards your should seriously consider instead having a Master Necromancer instead.
Whilst making your Vampire Lord as deadly as possibly remember some protection as well, as a few lucky blows could spell disaster for him a high armour save and/or ward save can often save you from this. With a potential weapon skill of 9 with the Dread Knight Vampiric Power combined with the minus to hit from a Zombie Dragon and/or the Glittering Scales magic items can make the Vampire Lord extremely difficult to hit.
Choice of mounts should also take into account the army you are facing being mounted on a Zombie Dragon or Coven Throne or even a Barded Nightmare (if in an infantry unit) can make you a target for every war machine the enemy can muster