You all know me. I’m a Vampire Counts man to the bone. I don’t entertain any of this twittering, wittering and doo-dah-de-lally about how ‘splitting the Undead was the worst decision GW ever made’. I like the Tomb Kings and I wish I’d had the money to buy into them during eighth edition when they had all those lovely kits, but that’s beside the point today.
The point is, I’m a loyalist. But…
… as I find myself putting together 3000 point lists for the purposes of chasing Mr. Ben Panting, Esq. back across the Border to whence he came, I find myself really wanting to use the fourth edition Warhammer Armies: Undead list.
OK, so I can’t cower behind Call Winds in a proper old-fashioned Undead army, and neither the Black Coach nor the Spirit Host will be making an appearance, but there are… rewards.
It’s the special characters, you see. Vlad and Isabella and Mannfred as they’re presented in the fifth edition book are good, but they’re not good enough. Their selections of powers and items are… OK, but there are essential support items and nice-to-have fun stuff that has to go onto a generic character if I want to include it.
Whereas in fourth edition, the special characters have some items set… but they also have free slots. They can be customised, integrated into the army build as a whole. They don’t need to be weighed against the flexibility of the generic options. And Isabella is still a proper Countess, i.e. a spellcaster.
Vlad von Carstein – 500
Sword of Unholy Power, Carstein Ring
(Summon Undead Horde, Wind of Death)
Isabella von Carstein – 290
Ruby Chalice, Staff of Damnation
(Dark Magic spell: to be drawn randomly)
Mannfred von Carstein – 587
Skull Staff, Dragon Blade, Dispel Scroll
(Vanhel’s Danse Macabre, Raise the Dead, Gaze of Nagash, Hand of Dust)
18 Skeletons – 196
Spears, shields, standard, musician
5 Skeletons – 55
5 Wights – 294
Skeleton Steeds, spears, shields, heavy armour, standard, musician
5 Wraiths – 375
2 Bat Swarms – 200
Zombie Dragon – 500
The army deploys in oblique line, with the Crossbows (never gonna move) at one end, and the rest escalating in increasing order of hastiness. Skeletons (led by Vlad and Isabella), then Wraiths, then Wights, then the Dragon, assuming he doesn’t have anything better to do like fly high and descend like the fist of ages. The Bat Swarm runs interference, racing across the line to deflect anything I don’t feel like fighting until it’s had a few doom spells shoved down it.
You could probably shit better lists than this but that’s not the point. The point is to walk my old collection back an edition and slap three special characters on the board without that nagging voice going “but generic characters support the army better” in the back of my head. I agree it’d be nice to have some Skull Chuckers. Buy me some and I’ll fit ’em in somehow. I’d like the Mantic ones please, they fit the aesthetic of this army better.