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Warhammer Battle Reports 7th / 8thNauticans / Design Fantasy Gallery

Vlad von Carstein Rules and Tactics (Vampire Counts Army Special Characters)

Vlad von Carstein is, in my opinion, not hard to kill... he's extremely hard to kill. Vlad is not only a very good fighter with a toughness of 5 and ward save of 4 but if you are lucky enough to strike him down and take away his last wound* you still only have a 17% (1 in 6) chance of destroying him ! **

* Vlad's magic sword Blood Drinker can make it difficult to take away his last wound because each unsaved wound Vlad inflicts restores one previously suffered wound.

** only applicable to the 1st time Vlad is taken down to zero wounds.

Vlad wears the Carstein ring, an ancient hierloom that in unison with his sword Blood Drinker makes him all but unkillable if the Vampire commander uses him wisely and thereby denies the enemy of a large slice of your victory point clotted blood cake (yuck !)

Now, seeing as it's fairly safe to launch Vlad into the thick of combat let's see just how good he is (he needs to justify the meaty 490 pts you have to pay for him)

Vlad has the same profile as a standard Vampire Lord except he has 5 attacks (1 more than usual). He has strength 5 attacks which is good (not great) but a lot of the time he will be rerolling failed to wound rolls (if the enemy fails a leadership test -4***)

*** yes 4 not 3. Enemies fighting Vlad already suffer a -1 to their leadership thanks to his Aura of Dark Majesty.

This means that against standard rank and file (say leadership 7) Vlad will nearly always reroll failed to wound rolls. Even against Lords and Heroes Vlad will stand a very good chance of getting these rerolls and should on average cause almost 2 unsaved wounds (against an opponent with weapon skill 7, toughness 5, armour save 4+). That means Vlad should recover almost 2 lost wounds per combat phase.

To reduce Vlad to zero wounds the enemy really needs to employ some sort of magical item, spell or a hideously powerful monster !

Here's the best bit...

Even if Vlad is taken down to zero wounds he will only die if he rolls a 1 to see if the Carstein Ring restores a wound. If the Carstein ring works then Vlad can be ressurected in any other friendly undead unit on the battlefield. This is extremely cool and an awesome attribute because:-

1) it gives you the chance to restore Vlads wounds by using his Sword of Unholy Power against weak combat opponents.

2) It enables you to deliver an unexpected threat to your opponent and may disrupt his tactics and force him to rethink his plans.

3) It allows you to add Vlad to a unit so they can benefit from the Vampire rule (ie march move)

On top of all of this Vlad von Carstein is a level 3 wizard who knows 3 of the Lore of Vampire spells plus invocation, he adds +1 to combat resolution and he causes terror ! Not bad heh ?

Vlad von Carstein's weaknesses.

The greatest weakness Vlad has is that he is not mounted and cannot take a mount of any kind. This reduces his flexibility on the battlefield and means he cannot be moved quickly to counter enemy threats.

The other big weakness is that in a game of less than 3000pts Vlad must be your general. Vampire Count armies really need their generals to stay alive otherwise they quite literally fall apart.

Because Vlad is first and foremost a fighter he stands a much higher chance of being slayed in combat than say a magic orientated Vampire Lord who stays out of combat. You can fairly safely allow Vlad to be slain once but after that he needs protection* and will be very vulnerable to weapons and magic that can target individual heroes like the Hochland rifle.

* while he can only use the Carstein once to ressurect himself he does continue to benefit from the 4+ ward save it bestows.

Vlad is a great character, I heartily recommend you use him.

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