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Mannfred the Acolyte Rules and Tactics (Vampire Counts Special Characters)

Mannfred the Acolyte is a great character although he has not yet achieved his full potential at acolyte level.

Mannfred has the same standard profile as all the other Vampire Counts Heroes. With Walking Death (+1 to his side's combat resolution) and an additional magic level (Dark Acolyte) any other Vampire hero would cost 155pts. However, Mannfred also knows all the spells from the LORE OF Vampires and he has a magic sword. Mannfred costs 185pts so here's the question you need to ask...

"Is it worth spending an extra 30 pts for Mannfred's magic Sword of Unholy Power and the extra spells he knows ?"

So, let's see what Mannfred gets in addition for those 30pts.

The Sword of Unholy Power... Mannfred an extra power dice in his next magic phase or dispel dice in the enemy's magic phase for each wound he inflicts. There are 2 combat phases (yours and the enemy's) so this should equate to 2 extra power dice or dispel dice in each of Mannfred's magic phases if he fights an average weapon skill, toughness 4 opponent (providing he's not challenged by another hero / lord and loses his life !)

In Mannfred's magic phase this will give him 2 power dice, enough to successfully cast innvocation of nehek once more on his unit. Let's assume the enemy are able to dispel 50% of your spells, and that Mannfred only survives 3 combat rounds and, on average gets to use 1.5 magic phases while in combat. This will mean Mannfred will raise 50% x 1.5 x D6 skeletons (an average of 2.625). If they are skeletons with spears they will cost 9 points each, 2.625x 9 = approximately 24pts.*

* note raised undead are not worth the same for Victory Point calculations as undead that are taken into battle from the start.

With the additional spells Mannfred gains (eg. Gaze of Nagash and Curse of Years - both casting power of 8) he can have a couple of attempts to cast before he enters a combat. Taking these 2 spells as an example Mannfred will have roughly a 40% chance of success on each attempt - before dispels are taken into account.

So, given that I have been quite harsh on Mannfred assuming he will not last long in combat, he has still proven to be a worthwhile investment in comparison with a similarly equipped Vampire hero.

Mannfred is, by my reckoning, a worthwhile addition to your forces.

Mannfred the Acolyte Tactics

Target the enemy's flanks with his unit where it's less likely you will encounter enemy Lord and Hero level characters. This will keep him alive longer and allow his to cast more spells and take best advantage of his Unholy Sword of Power. In a flank position you are also more likely to get an opportunity to target enemy missile troops, scouts and war machines with the Gaze of Nagash and the Curse of years. **

** Mannfred is unlikely to be able to cast the remaining higher power 12 spells because he can only use 3 power dice which will give him an average casting result of 10.5.

One last note and it's an important one !

You can only take one Mannfred so if you really want to concentrate on magic then don't take Mannfred the Acolyte, take Count Mannfred the Lord level character instead - more about him in a later post.

Thanks for reading.

errata: many thanks to my blog reader 2000AD who spotted an error with regards to the power dice generated by Mannfred. The error has now been corrected.

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