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New Vampire Counts Army 2008 Spearhead Review - First Impressions

The Vampire Counts Army is hard to kill !

I acquired the Vampire Counts rules yesterday and these are my very initial opinions on what I have read so far.

The Vampire Army wide Special Rules.

  • Immune to psychology

  • Cause Fear

  • Unbreakable but suffer extra wounds for lost combats

  • Cannot march move except if within 12" of general or 6" of a vampire

  • Will lose 1 less wound if defeated in combat or general dies if within 12" of Battle Standard

  • Will beging to crumble to dust (or pulp and mush for Zombies) if the general dies (or rather is sent back to the realms of the dead !)

The general make up of the army

The Vampire army is well balanced with a variety of toughnesses, strengths, movement rates and attacks.

The individual units benefit from several special rules and attributes.

There are a very wide range of options allowable for Vampire characters which can use any mix of Vampire powers (there are 18) and magical items (there are 40 including banners and arcane items). Multiple vampires can have the same mix of Vampire powers (Lord level Vampires can have up to 100 pts magic items + (yes plus !) 100 pts vampire powers.

Important tactical considerations

  • With the exception of dire wolves, flying creatures and cavalry, this army is slow moving.

  • There are a lot more tactical and army selection options available than many of the other Warhammer Armies.

  • Characters can be made very combat or magic oriented and are the key to your success.

  • Given the range of customisation available you can suprise your enemy. No 2 battles need be the same.

  • The general must be kept alive, just like the Tomb Kings Hierophant.

  • The Vampire army can easily bolster units with new rank and file. A unit does not become worthless until it really has been wiped from the battlefield.

Overall First Impressions

This is definitely one of the harder armies to beat in the Warhammer World.

It is very strong in magic and very well rounded bringing a wealth of tactical options.

The army is quite reliant on key characters, especially the general and you will porbably rarely see this army fielded without a battle standard.

My current opinion is that the best armies equipped to deal with Vampires are high rank and file armies (like Skaven or possibly even Orcs and Goblins) or possibly more maneuverable knight based armies and other fast movers.

Enemies will need to bring the fight to the Vampires (if they don't bring it to you first !), I do not think you will defeat a Vampire army solely with ranged weapons, because units can be rejuvenated quite easily.

Vampire opponents will need some means of countering Vampiric spells - dispel scrolls and high numbers of dispel dice are the order of the day for anyone serious about trying to beat a Vampire army. It will be interesting to see how Vampires cope with High Elf armies strong in magic.

That's it for now. More from me very soon.

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