Total War: WARHAMMER Wiki
Total War: WARHAMMER Wiki

The Sternsmen (Grave Guard) is a Vampire Counts melee infantry unit. Only the most basic memory survives: to fight, and better than their other Undead cohorts.


The barrows and cairns that dot the wilderness of Sylvania are the last remnants of an age of barbarism that was old when Sigmar himself was young. It was the fashion of those times to bury the dead in their full panoply of war, so that the departed might meet the afterlife sword in hand and head held high. Little did they know how literally their wish would come true under the reign of the von Carsteins. The lintels of these resting places were engraved with runes that kept their occupants safe in the slumber of death, but in recent times, these sigils have been defaced to such an extent that even a full moon can summon the warriors within from their tombs.

Across Sylvania, the vast majority of these burial sites lie empty; their one-time occupants forced to lend their armoured might to the roaming hordes of the dead. The skeletal warriors that form the Forgotten Legion, however, are a notable exception. In life, they were the honour guard of Verek the Blade, first castellan of Sternieste and battle chieftain of the original Sternsmen. In death, they are bound by magical oath to defend the castle grounds against any who would attempt to conquer them. Neither Verek nor his warrior tribesmen can leave the fortress' shadow whilst it still stands. As Mannfred knows full well, the Forgotten Legion will rise up against any who near the keep with hostile intent in their heart – something that Volkmar and his crusaders have in abundance.


  • Anti-Infantry: Anti-infantry units have an advantage against targets that are smaller than a horse. This advantage can be a damage bonus against small targets, superior weight used to smash through lighter enemies, or an explosive attack from range that effects a large area.
  • Armoured & Shielded: Armoured units can block damage from any source apart from Armour-Piercing damage. Shields have a chance of blocking arrows, bolts, rifle shots and similar small arms fire - but only in a forward facing arc.
  • Charge Defence Against All: When standing and bracing against a charge this unit will negate the enemy's charge bonus.
  • Regeneration: Regeneration allows a unit to heal while in battle. Fire is known to harm this healing process, so be warned that flaming attacks will cause more damage to units with Regeneration.


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Beefed up Grave Guards with Charge Defense vs. All and Regeneration. If fielded, they should be at the center of your main infantry line (behind any zombie meat shields of course).

You almost can't go wrong with including them in your army. They will outlast almost every infantry engagement and can endure longer than any other Vampire Counts unit.