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Konrad von Carstein Rules and Tactics (Vampire Counts Special Characters)

I like Konrad von Carstein because he's mad and a very dangerous Warhammer hero character. I think a Vampire should probably be cool and calculating (like Christopher Lee in the old black and white Count Dracula movies) or a stark raving looney - like Konrad.

Konrad is in a permanent state of either stupidity or outright fury (ie frenzy +1 attack).

Konrad can have quite a few attacks, more than a normal hero level character. He has 3 basic attacks on his profile, can use a second weapon for another attack and has a 50% chance of going into a frenzy and having a 5th attack (and we're talking about strength 5 attacks) Best of all though... Konrad has infinite hatred which means he always re-rolls all missed hits (so it's more like having 10 attacks !)

Attacks are more important to Konrad than some other characters because they increase his chances of wounding the enemy and going insane with bloodlust (he has Red Fury and gets another attack for every unsaved wound inflicted by his original attacks)

Not only that but each unsaved wounding blow causes 2 wounds rather than 1 thanks to his magic sword (which can be used at the same time as his additional hand weapon).

Let's take a typical scenario of Konrad facing an enemy hero level character with the same weapon skill, toughness and an armour save of 4+. When frenzied Konrad will on average gain an additional 2 attacks (by causing unsaved wounds from his 5 original attacks). This should deliver, on average, 2.92 unsaved wounds (that's 5.84 wounds inflicted - thanks to his sword).

Let's face it, that will be more than enough to kill nearly all enemy heros and even Lords (even if they had a 4+ ward save or regeneration !)

So what are Konrad's weakness ?

Well, first and foremost when he's not frenzied he's stupid although this is very easily counteracted by getting him quickly into combat and keeping him close to your General. A creature subject to stupidity will forget he/she/it is a gibbering, mouth foaming idiot whenever they're busy in a fight (although that same creature will still be subject to frenzy)

Konrad is a fighter and only a fighter. Unlike all the other Vampire characters, Konrad cannot cast spells (even when he's not stupid) because he doesn't know any.

Secondly, Konrad is only a hero level character and thus gets only 2 wounds. This should not be an issue when he gets to strike first (his initiative is 6) but you need to be very wary about letting the enemy charge him and I probably would not use him at all if I was expecting to face High Elves with their always strikes first rule.

Konrad is vulnerable, there's no doubting that. He has a toughness of 4 and heavy armour but this will be next to useless against any enemy charging him with lances or great weapons.

For this reason, you might want to try positioning Konrad an inch behind your other units. This will protect him from missile fire and enemy charges. Then, when the unit in front of Konrad is engaged, use Konrad to charge into the enemy flank. He should add a few handy kills to your combat resolution.

With regards to his stupidity, this will inevitably slow Konrad up if he's used as an independent character and leaves the 12 inch safety of his general's field of leadership*. Stupidity will not be an issue once Konrad is in combat because once engaged in a fight a model loses it's stupidity as it suddenly remembers why it is on the battlefield.

* note Konrad only has a leadership of 6 so can easily fail stupidity tests.

Konrad's Frenzy is a double edged sword. Sure it's great to get +1 attack when in combat but it can be used against you by a wily enemy who can force Konrad to charge units when you might prefer him not to. A smart enemy can even use flyers or cavalry to force a charge and then run off leaving Konrad exposed to missile fire or a counter charge.

If you use Konrad then make sure he stays within your general's field of influence, if you deploy him as an independent character. If you put him in a unit either make this the same unit that your Lord level character is leading or make sure the unit Konrad is leading stays close to your Lord. **

** Try to get Konrad into battle at the same time or before your Lord. If you lose your Lord then Konrad can all too easily fail his stupidity test (which will also affect any unit he is leading - because they simply won't understand his garbled nonsensical orders).

Konrad reminds me a little bit of a human chariot. He can have a big impact on a Warhammer game thanks to his close combat prowess and, I think, he's well worth the 145 pts, just protect him from dem arrers !

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