WFB: Revamping Lord Ruthven


I have now played a game or two with the Vampire Counts. Here’s the 1500 point list I used in the one that wasn’t a total embarrassment (and considering I forgot to set up 90 points of my army or enforce the taking of any Fear tests for the first four turns, imagine how embarrassing the other one must have been – or just click the link, y’know?)

Here’s the list I ended up using (badly).

Lord Ruthven – Vampire Lord
– additional hand weapon, heavy armour
– Nightshroud, Talisman of Endurance, Potion of Strength
– Aura of Dark Majesty, Beguile, Dread Knight

Carmilla – Vampire
– extra magic level, heavy armour, shield
– Talisman of Preservation
– Dark Acolyte

Guildenstern – Necromancer
– extra magic level, Master of the Dead
– Staff of Sorcery

Templehof First of Foot – 24 Skeletons
– full command group
– Lichebone Pennant

Templehof Levy – 20 Zombies
– standard and musician

Templehof Militia – 20 Zombies
– standard and musician

10 Ghouls
5 Dire Wolves
5 Dire Wolves

Templars of the Black Cross – 20 Grave Guard
– great weapons
– full command group
– Banner of Eternal Flame

Spirit Host
Spirit Host

Now, there’s a thing or two wrong with this list, from my point of view. The main thing being Ruthven himself. While he is not bad at what he does, what he does is alien to how I used him in his previous incarnations (as an army-wide support piece with an auxiliary mopping-up-in-combat role, rather than as a dedicated killing machine). So he needs a quick nudge in the mechanical department.


At 1500 points I have 375 to spend on Lords. After I’ve bought a Lord, two magic levels, either a shield or an additional hand weapon and some heavy armour, that’s… whoa, 75 points. Maybe only a level 2? That gives enough for the Nightshroud, a Talisman of Preservation, and Aura of Dark Majesty… but y’know, I still don’t feel like it’s living up to all that a Vampire Lord is capable of.

You know what? Sod this. 1500 points is beneath his dignity. As much as I like the idea, I think I want my big scary gets-fiction-written-about-him Lord to be, well, a bit more effective than that.

The basic kit I’m after is two magic levels, heavy armour, and either a board or an extra sword, which leaves me 200 points to play around with items and powers in.

Powers-wise, Aura of Dark Majesty has been the only one I’ve really found a use for in his current role, so let’s try building around some psychology instead. Fear Incarnate and Beguile, on they go. He’ll be going in a Skeleton unit with the Screaming Banner too, I should think.

In terms of items, the Nightshroud is staying, and I think I want a better Ward, all things considered, so let’s just go with the Talisman of Preservation straight off the bat. That’s a 3+/4+ and he’s hovering around the low 400s in terms of cost, which is pretty much what I used to pay for a Vampire Lord back in the day. Now, to stick with Dread Knight and make the most of the challenge shenanigans offered by the Nightshroud and Beguile, or not? Let’s go with it, he is meant to be some sort of gentleman and commander of a Knightly Order, duelling fits that and his Mordheim legacy too, and while he may have problems cracking heavy armour, his layers of defences and debuffs mean he probably won’t be going anywhere very fast either.

At this stage he costs so much that upgrading to a level 4 wizard and adding Summon Creatures of the Night takes him to a round 500 points. He definitely won’t be coming out for any old game, but at least now he looks like he was worth the effort of resurrecting in the first place…

Oh, and by the way, I’ve also been painting up some new toys – like this Corpse Cart, which had been partly painted and assembled in a less than optimal fashion by someone whose name might conceivably be Robbie (sides on before corpses, and painted after attachment – oh, and he’d lost the Corpsemaster too, meaning I had to go out and find a new model to sit on the back of the cart).

You may now commence belching

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