What to Expect from Total War: Warhammer's Vampire Counts
Total War: Warhammer gave us another look into their first foray into the Warhammer universe today with their cinematic trailer for Vampire Counts. And the undead armies of Sylvania have never looked better! Let's take a look at each of the new units and talk about how it may translate into the game.
1. Mannfred Von Carstein
The big bad himself. Fans have been theorizing whether the vampire shown in Total War: Warhammer's first trailer was in fact Mannfred or just some bald vampire, but today's trailer clears up any doubt. Mannfred will be the main "hero" of the Vampire Count army.
Having recently freed his collected undead army from being imprisoned in their own home of Sylvania, Mannfred is leading his army across the human Empire in a search for ancient relics to reanimate an ancient necromancer known as Nagash, whose arrival will drastically lower humanity's chances for survival.
In game, it seems Mannfred will be a fierce fighter with the ability to raise the enemies' dead to fight for him.
2. Tomb Banshee
A banshee heralds Mannfred's arrival on the battlefield. Not too different from the iconic banshees of Irish folklore, they are known as an omen of death and feared for their piercing wails. In the Warhammer universe, they are used by the Vampire Counts as near unstoppable weapons, passing through solid walls to attack defenders under siege with ear-splitting cries -- and in rare cases, the ability to steal souls by merely knowing their victim's name.
3. Skeleton Warriors
Your typical cannon fodder, skeleton warriors are exactly what they sound like. Though neither particularly skilled at combat nor quick on their feet, they are plentiful and obedient. Perfect for throwing wave after wave at your enemy and crushing them with sheer numbers. In the trailer it seems Mannfred summons them from beneath the enemy forces, effectively using them as shock troops. This will be perfect for tying up your enemy's ranged fighters if available as an in-game tactic.
4. Giant Bats
Yet another unit type that lives up to its name, the giant bats of the Vampire army are most likely going to be used as a distraction. While not particularly powerful compared to most other units available to the undead, they share the same benefits as the skeleton warriors in that they are countless. These units will likely be useful in swarming and tying up enemy fliers with their sheer number, and eating ranged attacks to protect the more important units, like how Mannfred uses them in the trailer.
The last of the cannon fodder troops that we'll be discussing today, and they don't get much worse than this. Zombies in tabletop Warhammer are just the worst. On the plus side, they're essentially free! Zombies are, as you probably guessed, the risen dead of your enemies turned against them. Once again, they're mostly useful for sucking up damage and swarming the unwary.
See those ghastly green dudes on horseback beside Mannfred after he's given his speech about bringing your end and whatnot? Those are hexwraiths. Now, if you thought the banshee was bad for stealing your soul by knowing your name, these guys can turn your blood to LITERAL ice and can pull the soul from your still-living body with their wicked scythes.
Yeah, not fun.
These guys will likely be a special unit, due to their insane potential. Or maybe they'll just be cavalry and run enemy infantry down. Either way, they're something to fear on the battlefield.
7. Wights / Wight Lord
While most undead are created through necromancy, Wights are born of malicious intent and live (die?) to kill. Not to be confused with clumsy and mindless skeletons, Wights were once powerful warriors who have either chosen willingly to serve alongside the Vampire Counts, or have been compelled by dark magic to fight on their behalf. The trailer shows them in large number, and they will likely be the backbone (get it? bone?) of the Vampire Count army.
Not every vampire is as handsome as our pal Mannfred here. Vargheists are what vampires become when they completely give themselves over to the bloodlust curse that all vampires suffer. These units are typically rare, and will likely be the hero-killers of the Vampire army. It would be wise to kill them quickly if you're fighting against them, or keep them protected if you're fielding them in battle. They are not to be trifled with.
Take a Vargheist and give it a bunch of steroids. Congratulations! You've essentially made a Varghulf. As you can probably tell from the trailer, these guys are huge. This is a true embodiment of a vampire, and they are constantly looking to feed. Their claws can tear through metal like butter, and their fangs are capable of completely severing through armor & flesh. These big dudes are gonna be your siege breakers. Throw them into the enemy front lines and watch the fun begin.
10. Zombie Dragon
The zombie dragon is another example of undead brand loyalty in that it is exactly what the name implies. Having a dragon on your side is never a bad idea, especially when trying to win an aerial battle. This dragon is either its own entity with a unique vampire count riding it, or quite possibly Mannfred VonCarstein's mount. This will definitely be a hero unit.
So far, Creative Assembly seems to be living up to their promise of staying true to Warhammer's immense world, and it will be exciting to see what else lies in store for us when the game releases on May 24th.