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New Vampire Counts Army 2008 and Spearhead Boxed Set Review - 2nd Impressions

Here are a few second impressions of the Vampire Counts army book.

1) Ranged Missile Attacks

It took me a day to notice this but Vampire Counts have no ranged weaponry at all*. Yes, that's correct, no bows, crossbows or cannons or bolt throwers - nothing !

*the Tomb Banshee has an 8" scream but that's all.

I guess this is quite in keeping with the character of the army and means that a Vampire Counts army really is for the gamer who likes to adopt an attacking style of play.

2) Exactly how slow is a Vampire Army ?

The other thing I noticed last night was how you can overcome the slow moving nature of the army through your unit selections. It would mean your main combat units staying close to your general and therefore able to march move and your fastr movers spreading out on the flanks. Also, there are a wide range of flyers available to the Vampire Army.

the faster movers in the Vampire Army (M=movement)

Bat Swarms (flyers)
Dire Wolves (M9)

Fell Bats (flyers)
Black Knights (M8 skeletal steeds : all terrain treated as open)
Spirit Host (M6 : all terrain treated as open)

Varghulf (M8)
Cairn Wraiths (M6 : all terrain treated as open)
Black Coach (M8)
Blood Knights (M8 -1 for barding)

Lords can be made very quick, either by giving them the Vampiric flying power (30 pts) or by giving them a...

  • Nightmare (M8 normal steed movement)
  • Hellsteed (a flying Nightmare for just 30pts, i.e. 10pts more than a nightmare)
  • Abyssal Terror* (flying monster)
  • Zombie Dragon (flying monster)

* a term in the VC book for a whole number of possible mounts which all share the same profile (Ws4, Str5, T5, W4, A3). These mounts are often constructs raised from a variety of dead animals or even straight from the chaos wastes.


So, it seems now that my first impressions about movement rate might have been somewhat wide of the mark. While the loss of a march move is indeed a blow, it :-

1) can be compensated for by your unit choices
2) can be negated for key units by the position of your general
3) will not matter in any case once you are within 8 inches of the enemy

I guess not having a march move just allows the enemy to have more "pops" at you with their ranged weapons. So engage those units with flyers as quickly as possible.

Hmmm... now I think about it Vampires are not as slow as I first thought !
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