I've discussed the contents of the box pretty extensively in the WIP post, so won't rehash that. Suffice it to say, each box has 12 knights that really only handle headswaps well, 12 nice horses with lots of body/head options, and sadly only two barding options at 6x each. The second box was purchased so I could at least make two uniform, armored regiments.
The Italian-style barding was used for AOE2-inspired Cataphracts (KoM Knights), one of the projects that "distracted" me. The Germanic-style is going to be used for the Soul Reaver Cavalry, which will leave me with some spare models. The remaining models will be a bit mismatched (barding-wise), so was pondering using them unbarded, or maybe as troops for something... but I have no plan, so I'm content to let the spare models sit for now. Table-ready now for the nefarious Undead, is a Vampire Lord, and a Regiment of Soul Reaver Cavalry.
Mounted Vampire Lord
Their Defense was originally 6 in Second Edition, later moved down to 5 from Clash of Kings updates. The lower Defense sticks in Third Edition, and they got a few other changes with the new edition as well. Their Speed was decreased by 1 (down to 6, on par with things like speedy elves) and they lost their innate little Surge. In return, they got a points deduction and a lot of special rules, making them very fighty characters who can still pick up some spells for a price, should you wish. They're still a pretty expensive pick, so I wouldn't spam them on the table, but as a very powerful combat hero (great stats, lifeleech, Inspiring), I think they can prove useful in an Undead list.
Mounted Heroes are versatile as they can charge in any direction, which has been helpful in dealing with fliers. Undead have many Shambling units, which also counter Fliers pretty well (spend movement positioning, then Surge your way into the enemy flier), so their role probably won't be that kind of defensive support. Instead, I think they will be instigators and force-multipliers.
With their small frontage, they should be able to sneak in alongside larger units and slip some extra damage in; being a mounted individual (with Duelist!), they should be able to hunt characters, war engines and disrupt back lines pretty effectively; Mighty, coupled with their good combat-oriented stats should let them charge/pin/delay something in a pinch, setting you up for good charges on the following turn, as they are unlikely to yield. They are also Inspiring, so whatevever they do, if there are Undead around, there will be a bit of a passive buff thing going on too. Yeah, I think there is a roll for them. I still haven't gotten a game of 3rd Edition in yet, and haven't really followed the new scene or meta online much though... so hey, take this paragraph with some big reservations.
|The vampires ride! I like the nosfaratu-looking guy in the front on the right. Just looks so jazzed to be a part of things!|
Soul Reaver Cavalry
I don't think I ever faced them in Second, though I did play against the infantry. I knew both hit incredibly hard and could stick around longer than I'd like with that Lifeleech 2. However, I didn't realize until now that the cavalry had Defense 6. Sheesh! Kinda glad I didn't hobby these up sooner...
With 3rd, the vampire cavalry got bumped down to Defense 5 and lost a point of Thunderous Charge. In return, they got a nice points reduction. Oddly enough, they are priced the same as their infantry counterparts, so you can make a neat decision between attacks and movement. The Regiment costs 250 points now, still quite a significant investment, but the vampire soldiers (particularly the cavalry) are more manageable to squeeze into lists now if you so desire.
Glad these guys are done! My Undead collection is pretty spammy overall, so I'm glad I have another unit to add in. The whole army could still use some rebasing; and I still want to rethink their heraldry/colors at some point. My intention was to do this over the winter with my girlfriend's input, or have her do most of the touchups since she liked playing the Undead and did already paint up all the many, many zombies... but there ended up being zero interest over the snowy months. With stay-at-home though, she's starting to take a tiny bit of interest in hobbying again, so we'll see what happens! The Undead may have some reinforcements coming soon.