Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Best Magic Item - Vampire Counts

This is the second in an occasional series looking at the 8th Edition Army Books and the race specific magic items they contain.

Generally I think you find that the Common Magic Items found in the rulebook offer better utility but the race specific items can offer something you otherwise would get.

In the Vampire book there are 3-4 items that I could potentially see myself using. However in most cases these direct you towards an extreme build to achieve maximum benefit. Two items that fall into this category are Skabscrath and Banner of the Barrows. Skabscrath is best in a list that maximises the number of Death Shrieks but at 75 points is expensive and leaves little in the way of protection for your Lord. The Banner of the Barrows gives wights +1 to hit but requires a significant points investment in the base unit to best utilise. It is further affected by the low number of attacks wights have.

So for me the best Vampire Counts Magic Item is the Book of Arkhan. At 25 points it is relatively cheap although it does take up an Arcane Item slot. What do you get with the Book? A Bound Level 3 casting of Vanhel's Danse Macabre. The spell moves one unit in the Magic Phase and gives re-rolls to hit in the combat phase until caster's next turn.

This is a great item to drag out Dispel Dice. You can throw one die at it and get it off 67% of the time. However once you've got it off your opponent is torn between using one or two dice to stop it. If he only rolls one then it goes off a third of the time. On an important combat your opponent can't take that risk and so will throw 2 dice to stop it.

Alternatively you can keep it until last knowing you'll only need one die to get it off and that will impact your opponent's defense throughout the Magic Phase. Especially if you make it known that you have the option.

So a relatively cheap item but one that acts to enhance your other strengths. Well worth 25 points if you have them available.


  1. i also would highly rate the night shroud, i almost never take an army without putting it on my wight king bsb. his high toughness and not allowing the enemy a strength bonus means he can tie enemy characters up long enough for the vampire to decimate the unit. having them always strike last means they hit at the same time as a great weapon, so you get to smack him at the same time at strength 6

  2. what are your thoughts on the rod of flaming death? im quite a fan

  3. In both case guys I think that there is better use of points in CMIs. However neither RoFD or Nightshroud are bad options - just I think I'd spend points elsewhere

  4. what are the better CMI options than nightshroud and rod of flaming death? especially as ROFD is enchanted rather than arcane.

    1. On a Vampire Lord I'd spend the points on 4+ Ward (45) and a decent weapon e.g. Ogre Blade (40) and then the OTS (15) - all CMIs

  5. I like the rod of flaming death as well - a bound spell flame cage. Pretty useful and has some utility

  6. that's why i said you put it on the wight king in the same unit, and use the wight king to tie up enemy heroes in challenges so the vampire can go to town on the enemy unit