Vampire Counts

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"It was a dreadful place; a land perpetually shrouded in gloom and mist, where abandoned castles glared down like hungry ogres on the dismal roads; where sullen villagers, some bearing obvious stigmata of mutation, mumbled dark warnings against going abroad by night; and where, one evening, a red-eyed, pale-faced nobleman studied us hungrily through the curtained window of his night-black coach, for all the world like a Bretonnian epicure inspecting his next meal... Of all the awful lands that I had then journeyed through, I have no hesitation in saying that Sylvania was easily the most dire."

- From My Travels With Gotrek, Vol. IV, by Felix Jaeger. Altdorf Press, 2505

Overview[edit | edit source]

Vampire Counts
Vampire Counts.png
General data
TypeMajor race
CategoryVampire Counts
RulerMannfred von Carstein
Playable subfactionsVampire Counts.pngSylvania
Von Carstein.pngVon Carstein
The Barrow Legion.pngThe Barrow Legion
Starting territory
Starting location
Racial capital
  • Prefers Temperate, Desert, Jungle, Wasteland
Regional Occupation
  • Can only occupy temperate lowlands, alongside humans
Distinct features
?Binding and CrumblingVampire Counts units are fearless undead that never rout, but can crumble into dust if losing badly
Icon raise dead.pngRaise Dead:New units can be instantly raised from the dead in any province. Famous battle sites provide bonuses to the quantity and quality of options available.
Icon vampiric corruption.pngCorruption:Vampiric corruption can be spread in enemy territory, leading to public order problems and even vampiric rebellions.
Bullet vmp units.pngUnitsLarge numbers of weak, expendable infantry. Many flying monsters. Reliant on magic and lords. No ranged units.

The Vampire Counts is a race introduced in Total War: Warhammer. The Vampire Counts race is playable in campaign, multiplayer and custom battles. They have 5 legendary lords, split over three factions:

The faction of Sylvania has Mannfred von Carstein and Helman Ghorst.

The faction of Von Carstein has Vlad von Carstein and Isabella von Carstein.

And the faction of The Barrow Legion has Heinrich Kemmler. (Added in Total War: Warhammer II)

The Vampire Counts are a collection of immortal vampires and twisted human necromancers. Using dark magic, they raise the dead and summon creatures of the night to march upon the lands of the living, seeking to dominate the world. Their armies consist of hordes of Zombies and Skeletons, backed up by ethereal ghosts and huge bat-like monsters. Vampire Counts units never rout or break; but they also have no ranged units.

How they Play[edit | edit source]

A summary of Vampire Counts gameplay:

  • Units: Large, varied roster featuring hordes of expendable undead infantry backed up by ethereal units and bat-like monsters. All lords are spellcasters.
  • Regiments of Renown: These are unique, more-powerful versions of regular Vampire Counts units.
  • Binding and Crumbling: In battle, units never rout. Rather, they will crumble into dust if losing badly.
  • Raise Dead: In campaign, units can be instantly recruited anywhere by raising the dead. Large battle sites provide more and better units to raise.
  • Vampiric Corruption: In campaign, vampires spread their influence, harming other factions. However, they take attrition in areas with low vampiric corruption.
  • Dark Magic: Vampire Counts use dark magic instead of gold, though it functions the same.
  • Bloodlines and the Blood Kiss: Vampire Counts are able to collect a special currency when defeating and subjugating other factions. This currency is used to unlock powerful Bloodline Lords and faction wide buffs in the form of Forbidden Dark Arts. (Total War: Warhammer II only)

Background[edit | edit source]

In the forsaken lands of Sylvania, the Undead battalions of the Vampire Counts gather. Upon fen and moor, creatures of darkness that have haunted the nightmares of Men for millennia break free from ancient cairns and age worn mausoleums, thundering the ground beneath them and eclipsing the moon as they spread their tattered wings and take to the skies. In the eternal gloom of ancient tombs can be heard the scrape of bone on bone, wordless moans, and the clank of rusted armour. The unliving host advances, a tide of resurrected corpses, driven on by necromantic magic and the immortal will of the Vampire Counts.

The presence of the living dead is a corruption upon the face of the world and as they expand their holdings, the very land they occupy is transformed. Their advance is heralded by encroaching mists no wind can displace, trees twisting and buckling as though in agony, and a gathering darkness of supernatural perpetuity. In battle, they are a fearsome force to behold. Legions of moldering soldiers wear down their enemies without fear or hesitation whilst colossal, contorted aberrations and bat-winged beasts crush all who dare stand in their way.

All tremble before the unliving masters of Sylvania, for they are a blasphemy against nature and reason. Those that attempt to stem their relentless onslaught will soon learn that there are fates in this world that are worse than death. The Midnight Aristocracy are masters of Death Magic and Necromancy and those that fall before their might will soon rise again. Where once stood defiant enemy soldiers now stand twitching corpse-puppets devoid of any determination save to serve the morbid fiends that now command them.

In Battle[edit | edit source]

Unit Roster[edit | edit source]

Main article: Vampire Counts unit roster

Vampire Counts armies are made up of large numbers of slow-moving, expendable undead infantry (eg: Zombies), supported by a few powerful elite units (eg: Blood Knights) and large bat-like monsters (eg: Terrorgheists and Varghulf). As such, they tend to outnumber their enemies. Vampire Counts can recruit many flying units. This includes character mounts such as the Zombie Dragon. The army also has access to a significant amount of ethereal units (eg: Cairn Wraiths) which are highly resistant to non-magical damage. Almost all Vampire Counts units cause fear, and some cause terror as well. Unlike every other faction, Vampire Counts have no ranged units at all, including no artillery. Exceptions to this are the Sylvanian Handgunners and Sylvanian Crossbowmen, being able to be recruited if you progress in the Von Carstein bloodline. (Total War: Warhammer II only)

The army is heavily reliant on its powerful lords (for instance, units may crumble if the lord dies). All Vampire Counts lords are spellcasters, and many are powerful melee fighters as well. Additionally, the army is heavily reliant on spells to summon new units, heal friendly ones and damage the enemy.

Vampire Counts spellcasters have access to the Lore of Death, Lore of Shadows and their own unique Lore of Vampires.

The Followers of Nagash faction of Tomb Kings has access to some Vampire Counts units.

Regiments of Renown[edit | edit source]

Vampire Counts have several Regiments of Renown available. These are elite, unique versions of standard Vampire Counts units.

Binding and Crumbling[edit | edit source]

Vampire Counts units are undead – they are fearless and will never rout from the battle. However if their lord is killed or if a unit is losing very badly, then they will start to lose Binding, and eventually crumble into dust (take damage over time).

Vigour[edit | edit source]

For Vampire Counts units, vigour/fatigue levels have different labels. This represents the fact that undead units never get tired, but the magic sustaining them can deplete.

In the Campaign[edit | edit source]

Vampire Counts are a normal, non-horde faction who occupy settlements and control provinces.

Legendary Lord choices[edit | edit source]

Vampire Counts players can choose from the following lords when starting a campaign. See the individual lord pages for information on their various bonuses in campaign.

Sub-Factions[edit | edit source]

Dark Magic[edit | edit source]

This should not be confused with the Lore of Dark Magic, which is a selection of spells for the Dark Elves in Total War: Warhammer II.

For the Vampire Counts, money is referred to as Dark Magic, and the treasury is referred to as Total Dark Magic. This is because Vampires and Necromancers have little need of money to pay troops, instead they use magic to raise undead armies.

Blood Kiss[edit | edit source]

Icon blood kiss.png Blood Kisses are a new type of currency in Total War: Warhammer II, introduced as part of the Aye-Aye! Patch. It is used for unlocking various Bloodline Lords. You gain a Blood Kiss each time you make another faction into your Vassal, defeat a faction ruler in battle (not just Legendary lords, but also people like Bohemond or Surtha Ek who are NPC faction rulers), or assassinate an enemy Hero. Additionally, Mannfred von Carstein and Vlad von Carstein now begin the game with some of the currency.

Bloodlines[edit | edit source]

Icon bloodlines.pngBloodlines is a new feature added in Total War: Warhammer II, introduced as part of the Aye-Aye! Patch. You utilize the new Blood Kiss currency to unlock new Bloodline Lords and powerful faction effects.

Raise Dead[edit | edit source]

Mannfred Von Carstein about to raise the dead in campaign.
Main article Raise Dead (mechanic).

Icon raise dead.pngRaise Dead allows Vampire Counts armies to instantly raise units anywhere on the campaign map. This replaces the normal global recruitment pool that other factions use. This allows Vampire Counts to reinforce very quickly after a battle, especially when it is combined with normal recruiting/reinforcement.

Most of the time Raise Dead is limited to only a few basic units (eg: Zombies) per turn. However, if the player moves their army to the site of a major battle fought earlier in the campaign, the number of units they can Raise will be increased, and more elite units will be available (eg: Hexwraiths, Grave Guard, Vargheists).

The sites of major battles will be marked on the campaign map with a glowing blue circle and a Icon raise dead.pngbattle site marker, which shows what turn the battle was fought, the number of casualties etc.

Vampiric Corruption[edit | edit source]

Main article: corruption.

Icon vampiric corruption.pngVampiric corruption is spread across the land by all Vampire Counts factions. It represents the growing influence of vampire covens and dark magic on the land.

Vampiric Corruption harms most other factions (negatives to growth and public order, including the possibility of generating vampire counts rebellions), and benefits the Vampire Counts. However it is also a limitation: if a Vampire Counts army moves into an area with low vampiric corruption, they will take attrition damage. Additionally, if corruption is too low, Vampire Counts may suffer a rebellion of the native population.

Buildings[edit | edit source]

Main article: Vampire Counts buildings

Technology[edit | edit source]

Main article: Vampire Counts tech tree

Vampire Counts factions have a tech tree split into 4 branches, each revolving around a different book of dark magic.

Inventory[edit | edit source]

Stances[edit | edit source]

Stances available to Vampire Counts armies:

Post-battle options[edit | edit source]

See Post battle options#Vampire Counts.

Settlement Options[edit | edit source]

Vampire Counts factions have these settlement options when they have captured a settlement:

  • Occupy
  • Loot and Occupy
  • Sack
  • Raze

They can also colonize ruins.

In Total War: Warhammer II, Vampire Counts can Treasure Hunt.

Commandments[edit | edit source]

See the article on commandments for a list of Vampire Counts commandments.

Climate Preferences[edit | edit source]

Vampire Counts climate preferences for settlements in Total War: Warhammer II:

  • Favorable: Temperate, Wasteland, Desert, Jungle
  • Unpleasant: Frozen, Savannah, Mountain, Island
  • Uninhabitable: Ocean, Chaotic Wasteland, Magical Forest

This does not apply to The Barrow Legion, as they have other preferences.

Regional Occupation (Total War: Warhammer I only)[edit | edit source]

Under the regional occupation system of Total War: Warhammer, Vampire Counts factions can only occupy temperate lowlands, along with humans. They cannot occupy Mountain/Wasteland areas, The Chaos Wastes or Norsca (region).

Starting Position[edit | edit source]

VC startpos.png

Vampire Counts start in Eastern Sylvania in both The Old World and Mortal Empires.

Victory Conditions (Total War: Warhammer I only)[edit | edit source]

Victory conditions for the Vampire Counts faction (Von Carstein faction has different conditions) in campaign:

The Old World Short Campaign:
The Old World Long Campaign:

Chaos Invasion[edit | edit source]

During a Chaos Invasion, the AI Vampire Counts factions remain neutral. That being said, dealing with Chaos is still part of their victory conditions.

Strategy[edit | edit source]

  • Vampire Counts heroes and buildings can generate Vampiric Corruption within campaign map provinces. Uncorrupted provinces will cause attrition to the travelling army, meaning sending heroes to pave the way for invasion is a wise choice. Corruption can also be generated in adjacent regions by certain buildings, and may trigger Vampiric rebellions.
  • Vampire Counts have no ranged units. Hit fast, hit hard, and close distance. Solid infantry, fast cavalry, and plenty of magical and terror units, combined with immunity to panic and excellent flying units means that the Counts excel in aggressive attacks and bold maneuvers. Use Fell Bats and Dire Wolves to tie up enemy ranged units and stop them firing. Fell Bats can even be used to screen, taking hits from enemy projectiles to protect the rest of the army.
  • Attrition? Vampire Counts don't care about death and you shouldn't either. Mastery of necromancy allows Necromancers to bring extra zombies into combat in battles, as well as instantly recruiting full units into the army on the campaign map.
  • Strong battle magic options, including raising of new units from the dead. Units cause fear, impacting enemy leadership. Crumbling: wavering is for the living. Vampire Counts units experience casualties over time and melee damage penalties when suffering from low leadership levels instead of routing.
  • Remember that some battle casualties are automatically raised from the dead post-battle, even in defeat. Don't be afraid to sacrifice some expendable units.
  • A weird but completely valid way to play the Vampire Counts is to completely ignore any high tier units, and only focus on Skeletons. This is possible, due to the fact that the Lore of Vampires has great damage spells and excellent support spells. The technology that makes this way of play possible is "Defiler of Ancient Burrows" which reduces upkeep of Skeleton troops by 100%, making them essentially free. This allows you to recruit armies with a lord, necromancer and 18 skeletons and still come out on top, due to the power of the Lore of Vampires. If played this way, a single Vampire Counts army can cost as much as 500 gold per turn, thereby making it the most cost-effective way to play them. This army misses a siege attacker, and a lord on a zombie dragon is recommended to speed up your siege attacks.

DLC[edit | edit source]

There are the following paid DLCs which has extra content for the Vampire Counts:

Minor factions (Vampire Counts)[edit | edit source]

On the campaign map, many minor factions are grouped together as Vampire Counts. These all have a diplomatic positive racial bias towards each other, and use units from the Vampire Counts unit roster.

Introduced in The Old World[edit | edit source]

  • Schwartzhafen was removed as a faction when the Von Carstein faction was added to the game, as they took over Schwartzhafen's previous settlements.

Introduced in Eye of the Vortex[edit | edit source]

  • The Strygos Empire was removed from the Eye of the Vortex campaign with the Tomb Kings update, but it still appears in the Mortal Empires campaign.
  • The Vampire Coast was removed as a Vampire Counts faction with the Aye-Aye! Patch, as they became a major race with their own subfactions.

Introduced in Mortal Empires[edit | edit source]

Videos[edit | edit source]

The Vampire Counts Trailer
Unit Guide by Zerkovich
Vampire Campaign Strategy Guide
Vampire Unit Roster Guide
Vampire Lords & Heroes Guide
Vampire Pros & Cons