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Necromancer Rules and Tactics (Vampire Counts Characters)

Necromancers are the poor man's Vampire. They are cheap in points (55 pts) and are always level 1 wizards (they cannot be upgraded). There is one big difference with Necromancers, they are very poor fighters (the only profile attribute that sets them apart from other humans is their 2 wounds).*

* Necromancers are in fact humans (somewhat bitter and twisted humans but humans nonetheless).

Necromancers are somewhat different to other human spellcasters in that you can pay points for extra necromancy spells (15 pts each).**

** important note: There are three necromancy spells. All of them can be cast multiple times by the same necromancer/vampire providing he knows the spell and has the power dice to attempt a casting roll. The Invocation of Nehek can even be cast multiple times against the same unit (to bolster unit strength). Vampires always know the Invocation of Nehek spell plus any other spells they might be allowed to randomly select before a game begins. Necromancers on the other hand can select their Necromancy spells before a battle begins, they do not have to randomly roll for them.

So why would I want to use a Necromancer rather than a Vampire ?

Well, first of all Necomancers work out a lot cheaper if all you plan to do is have them cast spells. Vampires really need to be involved in the thick of the action to make them worth their points value.

For 100pts you can take a Necromancer with all 3 necromancy spells. Because he is only a level 1 wizard you will need to let him dip into the army's power dice to allow him to cast several times.

Necromancers can also be mounted on a Corpse Cart (which is treated like a monstrous mount). This will provide the wizard with some protection from ranged weaponry but it's not as good as placing him in a unit where he cannot be targetted at all by normal weapons (if you assume the 'Look out Sir!' rule will nearly always work)

Unfortunately, the Corpse Cart does not move any faster than the standard rank and file units either so you can't use it to propel your Necromancer quickly around the battlefield.

Actually, I'm struggling to find good reasons to mount your Necromancer on a Corpse Cart (any ideas anyone ?)

If afraid there are more reasons to not take a Necromancer than to take one. Vampires are significantly better in all areas. All Vampires know the Invocation of Nehek spell and then roll on the Vampire Lore table for other spells. So, a Vampire hero will be guaranteed to know invocation and raise dead (the 'default' Vampire Lore spell). All the Necromancer gives you is the ability to select Vanhel's Danse Macabre. The Vanhel's spell can help move your troops more quickly, charge them into combat and gives them always strikes first with mis hits re-rollable, so it's a very useful spell indeed.

Rather than go through all the reasons not to use a Necromancer I will say this...

If you plan to make the Vanhel's Danse Macabre integral to your plans then take Necromancers but no more than 2 of them.

The Vanhel's spell costs 7 pts to cast and the Necromancer will need at least 2 dice to cast it, ie his own dice and one dice from the army pool (giving him a 50% of success, ignoring dispels, miscast and irresistable force).

If you do take 1 or 2 Necromancers then you will need to take other Vampires and invest in magic to cast as many spells and bound items as possible to use up your enemy's dispel scrolls and dice. If you don't then your Vanhel's Danse Macabre plans are unlikely to work very often.

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