thanks again for all the good info! what do you mean by vampire thrall?
Back in the previous vampires book a vampire thrall was the name of the Heroes choice vampire.It is still the easiest way to refer to a vampire taken as a hero choice.
The way to be a good vampire player is to just go full magic. Its what keeps all of the troops ticking. Don't bother with any bloodline or magic items that effect his CC potential. Just buy the items and bloodline powers that help his magic out.
The tactic i would go for is the bunker vampire. Pick a vamprie as a general. Kit him out very heavily for magic and raising models back. Put him in a unit of 15-20 ghouls. Ghouls are the hadest troop choice to kill at range as they are T4. This unit with the vampire inside will never enter combat.Its purpose is to provide a "bunker" for your vampire to pump magic out of. Give the vampire helm of commandment. There is a magic item thats called the "book of arkhan" or something. It give him vanhels dense macabre as a bound spell.
Give your skeletons spears! They will get lots of attacks then. Combine a unit with the hem of commandment (from the vampire) and vanhels dense macabre (cast by any wizard who knows it or with the "book of arkhan"). As long as the unit was in CC at the start of the turn the skeletons will get 10 attacks at WS6 (or 7 if the vampire is a lord) and will then get rerolls to hit that always strike first.
The army has to work together to win.
I would buy 2 vampires. More skeletons , aim for 2 units of 15 with spears , always buy more skeletons though as you will want to raise more in game! 2 Boxes of ghouls so that your vampire can hide in them. A vargulf. Finaly , get some dark knights , some poeple use the empire knights and combine them skeleton sprue as it makes the model completely plastic which means its less likely the break , light and cheaper.