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Here's a faction ability that bugs me, and since Kruger's Journals are the next item on the Warlord To Do List, I might as well put this out there for discussion.


I like the ability as far as fluff goes - it's very cool, very unique.


What I don't like is how it makes it so easy for the vampires to heal themselves. The problem is compounded by the very good DV and MAV values of the vampires. Specifically I'm thinking of Vandrian, Elsabeth, Judas, and the Crimson Knights. These models are tough to injure, but have no trouble killing enemy models. This gives them ample amounts of corpses upon which to feed and heal. Anybody who's tried to kill Judas can attest to the difficulty of the attempt. It'll take you all of a good troop to do it, however Judas will be killing and feeding off of that troop - which means that after you've spent a whole troop, he's down one, maybe two tracks.


I'm not sure how this could be addressed without ruining the fun and flavor of the vampires. Lesser stats would do it, but I think the great stats are part of the flavor (since the vampires are supposed to be pretty much THE biggest threat in Taltos).


What if vampires could only heal as part of a coup de grace? As opposed to as part of a loot? The difference being, you can loot any corpse, any corpse at all that has died during the game. But you can only coup de grace a stunned model. That would help to some degree, since the final part of any game versus a vampire army consists of chasing the two or three of them that are left as they run around sucking on everything that ever died, and there's nothing the two or three of your models that are left can do to stop them since your models don't have free healing lying on the ground.


See, sometimes the vampire player will hold off on the coup because the vampires nearby are at full health, run the chance on the tough roll, knowing that he'll be wanting the corpse to be there for later. Having it be a one shot chance will significantly reduce the number of free healing opportunities there are for the vampires.

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It probably bears a closer look, and I like your suggestions so far. Playtesting as a house rule would be helpful, I'm sure. Also, making it like a coup de grace action would fit the faction fluff a little better. After all, vampires need living, breathing, heart-pumping victims to feed, not corpses, right? Without the pump, there's nothing from the well. Also, it's the life essence more than the blood itself the vampire is feeding on. If not, they could fill a wineskin with blood, carry it into battle and take a sip whenever they need healing. You'd almost never take them out.


Under the old system, I got stomped twice by Crimson Knights alone, much less with Judas. He was there the second time, but he was never really involved. If he and his vampiric bunch are that much tougher now, I don't really want to see what they would do to my dwarves, especially now that Bane is somewhat nerfed.


Here are some other thoughts -- what if vampiric feeding was not instantaneous, and/or left a vampire somehow more vulnerable to attack? He/she's stopping in the middle of combat to do quite a bit more than pick up a weapon, open a pouch or other simple loot action. Even CDG is one quick attack, hardly any effort at all. Vampiric feeding seems to me like it would be like a more time-consuming CDG, wherein the attacker is finding the right spot, moving armor and such out of the way, and draining a (should be 'still living') victim. This should not be as instantaneous as a boot to the head. How about a DV penalty / attacker bonus while the vampire's hunger distracts him? How about each troop with a feeding model burying an activation card for the next round?


Just thinking out loud, here.

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I like your ideas GreyHorde. Speaking of Dwarves - every last dwarf has Tough, so actually the dwarf list wouldn't fare *much* better against the vampires. Certain factions would do far better because of having less Tough models.


Really, my big gripe is that they can feed off of anything that has fallen, regardless of how long ago it fell, and your thoughts on the fluff of it, with the vampire feeding off the life essence, and the pumping heart, makes alot of sense and can easily work into the game mechanics.


Ick, vampires really are gross if you think of it that way.. pumping heart and all...

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Now that all of the Beta testing is out of the way (FINALLY! WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! :lol:) I know that I played a lot against an all vampire army. Yes, the vampires hit harder and have higher DVs than most models. If you want to think of the stats (I'm ignoring the feeding for a moment), then think of them along either movie or comic book terms.


1) How many times have you seen a vampire exhibit superhuman strength in a movie? Jumping. Running. Knocking someone through 4 or 5 walls. :lol: And they usually tend to be pretty decent fighters in hand-to-hand as well. (I would hope so, after being alive like 4,000,000,000,000 years or so! :lol:)


2) How many times have you seen a vampire get knocked around while seemingly not sustaining any damage? Hence, they are tougher than everyone else!


Look at what Reaper tried to do with each faction and model type as a whole. Skeletons have really crappy DV. The Dwarves tend to have an ok DV, but have more damage tracks than the common model. On and on. From a total fluff standpoint, I think what Reaper did with the stats worked out quite well. :upside:


With regards to the vampiric feeding, even if they feed off of one corpse that had like 8 damage tracks, they can only heal one wound. When I played against them during beta testing, one of two things would occur: 1) there would be corpses everywhere, but not a vampire needed healing (at the time); or 2) there were corpses everywhere, but the vampires that needed healing couldn't get there because they were getting beat up by my troops. :devil:


Personally, I could care less if vampiric feeding changes or stays the same. Regardless of whether or not Judas has taken one wound or two, he's still a booger to hit when wearing Greater Magical Armor. I don't care what anyone says. <_<


Wild Bill :blues:

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It was my assumption that Vampirism was the Necropolis' answer to the Heal SA, which also only heals one point. I only know about the Elves, but I'm assuming that the other good armies have clerics with Heal. When you think that a cleric for a such an army can use an action to heal one wound on another model, it doesn't seem that unbalanced. Each ability has its own restrictions


And Bill makes an interesting point: the corpses that litter the battlefield all of the sudden become a resource, something that the person playing against the Necros need to keep the vampires away from. Just adds another layer of strategy to the fight. More strategy = more fun, imo. ::D:

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Good points, all. And sure, WB, those superhuman attributes are what make vampires tough in the movies & comics, and tough to play against on the tabletop, but I don't recall ever seeing one with the ability to instantly drain a corpse. They always need living victims, and it takes time. Again, I'm not arguing, just tossing around some ideas that might fit the fluff and keep 'broken' rules at arms length. Is there a way to make Vampiric Feeding a bit more sensible? Maybe if, while feeding, the vampire cannot make Defensive Strikes because it's too busy/lethargic/bloated...?


Is it balanced by Healing? I haven't been able Heal anything, yet, so I don't really know. I was too busy throwing entire troops and magic, trying to stop Crimson Knights, to care about 1 point for 1 model. Sure, I understand the ideal strategy is to keep bodies away from the vampires, eliminating the resource, but how is that realistically accomplished? How does one take out those rough, tough vampires without losing models in the attempt? They almost have to be engaged b2b, in melee, which means the vampire acts like the Energizer Bunny, knocking down other toys and stealing their batteries so it can keep going and going... I'd love to know how to thump vampires at a distance and keep corpses away from them, but with high DV, Deflect, MD and other stuff, they stay rather well protected from anything but stacked melee attack modifiers. That means b2b, which means almost certain death/stun for a few models, which means the vampires Feed. High DIS means the vampire, especially Judas, walks away from b2b contact on one movement and feeds in the next. The cycle continues. Am I missing something?


I'll add one other thought I had, but forgot to post earlier...don't vampires ever get...well...full? How about maxing out after regenerating a damage track or two, or three? That alone would help to avoid the scenario where you spend a troop or two knocking down a vampire, only to have him stand around Feeding and Defensive Strike-ing all day. They would just reach the point where additional Feeding just won't do any good. They'd still be tough, but not quite so nearly invincible. Yes? No? Maybe?


Again, I don't really know how it works in the new system. One point at a time, with no limit or restriction on source of the corpse, seems a bit much. Here's a question for either old rules or new: can Vampiric Feeding be used on any corpse, or did the victim have to be living when it was standing up and fighting? In other words, can it be used on the corpse of an Undead model? For example, if Judas and Elsbeth are standing next to each other, and Elsbeth is stunned or killed, can Judas feed on her? Or does he have to find a non-Undead dead...I'm confused... :wacko:

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I'm a bit confused. I think Vampires faction ability actually fell into balance with the newer stats/abilities...


Now vampires have to feed multiple times instead of just once to reach their Prime. Before this was half of Judas' health, now it's just a drop in the bucket. By including more Damage tracks they have effectively cut the effectiveness of each feeding by half.


You have fewer models on the board with the new rules. This means fewer chances for them to feed.


The two above create a major nerf, fewer models and more Damage Tracks means that overall that healing has less of an affect.


They are also limited to 2 heals each round(two Coup de Graces). Before this was enough to heal almost anymodel to full. Now it doesn't even get their adepts to full from their last DT.



Fluff Sense:

Vampires don't only feed off of blood, they feed off the life force of the living. This is probably why they can feed off golems and since undead have no life force they are immune.


Who is to say how quickly the life force of a barely living or recently dead victim remains in the body... Reaper. And so far they said it lasts the whole game which is simple, easy, and fun. I would also assume that rounds last only a matter of seconds or minutes, similar to the dnd 1 round = 6 seconds. So in actuallity those games we play that take 3 hours, took only 7 minutes of game time. So that dead model hasn't been dead very long.




Note: I do not play a Necropolis army, I only play against them.

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And remember that Emmel also clarified, feeding on a Chattel, kills the Chattel, and only heals a single point of damage. So that right there helps balance a few things too.


Although I sort of like the idea of sipping on the Chattel with 1 point damage to a Chattel = 1 point healing to a Vampire.


My solution to Vampiric Feeding:

  • Vampires can no longer feed on Corpses.
  • Vampires can only feed upon Chattel, which they have bred/collected/culled for that specific purpose.
  • Vampires in b2b contact with a Chattel (note it doesn't have to be friendly) spend a Non Combat Action to Feed upon the Chattel, healing a single point of damage and causing a single point of damage to the Chattel.
  • Chattel are Adept.

This is my reasoning:

  • Feeding off the dead bodies was always a chore to track and the tokens could quickly clutter up a table if there is a lot of carnage. With the multiple tracks, and possibility of extra damage markers also lying about, this helps keep the battelfield a little less cluttered. The whole question of "I looted that corpse, can Vampires still feed?" was always a pain, because people always wanted to argue it. Just get rid of it altogether.
  • Chattel are 27 points with three tracks, costing 9 points per track. Cure 1 costs 10 points, but grants the caster Range. The Vampire has to be in b2b with the Chattel. This is sort of a twisted version of Healer. Like a 10 point Cure 1, the DT of a Chattel is a consumable resource.
  • Why Adept? Chattel have the exact same stats as Hospitaliers (except for MAV/#MA) and some minor SA differences, but effectively function in the same role of the Hospitaliers using Healer, but they also have that edge with their better Combat.

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My only problem with your idea is that you only turned Chattle into very complicated Hospitilers. I would not want a Faction Ability to only make one of my grunts into something it's not;

Vampires should be ruthless and powerful. Both of which lend themselves to ripping apart the enemy and devourering what you can. Not sipping on grade A chattle.

That is wholey my opinion of course.




IF Vampiric Feeding had to be changed, here are my Proposals:

  • They cannot feed off of corpses. I agree with Qwyk on this, it's far too complicated and always fuel for a heated debate.
  • They can Only feed off of Stunned Models, OR Models that are on their last damage track.
  • Feeding is Always an Invoke Special Ability Action.
  • Feeding Kills and Coup de Graces whomever it is used on.
  • Victims that are alive before feeding get Defensive Strikes. If the vampire dies or becomes stunned, it does not heal.
  • Chattle can be feed off of also. They still completely die.

My Reasons are:

  • It stream lines everything.
    • Invoke action always, be it Chattle, Stunned, or Last damage Track.

    [*]It can be used on the move, but is not overpowering.

    • The largest flaw of the Reptus FA is that to make use of it a model must attack and stand still, I would make certain that this is not repeated in other factions.

    [*]Add that it works on Models that are almost dead.

    • This is to help balance out that they cannot feed off of corpses.
    • It adds ALOT of flavor to the vampires, it's one gruesome way to finish off a foe.
    • It remains balanced because the Model Still gets their defensive strikes from being attacked.

Is that bullet proof, probably not... But I like it...

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I don't think this really changes the purpose of Chattel, nor overly complicates them. They were there for some Melee, and Feeding Vampires. You rarely saw Chattel in non-vampire lists. This is really more of the same. Chattel are used for feeding, and melee. You just don't kill a Chattel flat out since they have multiple tracks.


Maybe combine the two.


My version, plus Vampires can Feed on a Stunned Model as part of a Loot Action to heal a single point of damage. <shrug>

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You rarely saw Chattel in non-vampire lists.

I think this is the reason I kind of over look Chattel, they aren't often used here. We have two vamp players and they were more likely to feed from a corpse... especially since I hardly ever played Chattle.


Yeah, I could see it being changed to inflict a single point of damage. That way Chattle stay up, Models on their Last DT die, and Stunned models are removed. It actually flows even better, since Chattle aren't an exception now.

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I'm leary of anything relating to models on their last DT, in part because you are giving the Vampire an automatic chance of success at the attack and kill, and because there are models with a single DT. So the Vamp would get an auto hit to kill, and heal a point


So I have a DV 11 Sir Danel on his last track, which would stand at least a 50% chance of not getting hit by a Crimson Knight on the Vamp's best day, suddenly get's auto-hit and killed by the Feeding. That would be a problem for me.


I think allowing Vampire to Feed on a Stunned Model as part of a Loot Action is sufficient along with the selective feeding on the Chattel.

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This is good. I was sortof afraid that by bringing it up, it might end up a situation where we couldn't come up with any good ideas and the ability either stayed the same or was destroyed. But I think these ideas are good and that a fair and fun change can be made.


@WB's statement about vampires in movies and comic books - Underworld?? Heck yes!! The trouble is, though, that in the game you can't have an uber unbeatable race that has all the cards in its hands, because the game's gotta be balanced.


re: feeding being an invoke and can be performed on a model on its last damage track: 2 things - there needs to be a roll involved, I don't want any vampires running around auto-killing anything - maybe it gets #1MA along with the invoke, if it hits and is still alive after defensive strikes it takes healing. 2, what about single track models? I'm pretty sure a vampire list would roll a goblin list with or without feeding, but I'm just saying.. what about in Grand Reven when there's a mix of goblins and others? Maybe include text to the effect of "multi-track models on their last track or stunned models" just so goblins don't become the new feeding frenzy. Maybe it's not a big deal, I don't know.

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As a Vampire player I get annoyed with all the tokens on the board. I don't like feeding on the dead. I like feeding on a Stunned model. So my suggestion is a Vampire can Loot a Stunned model, killing it and gaining a single point of health back. If the model doesn't have Tough and is on the last damage track, the Vampire can make a sinlge attack instead of his usual number, a grab and bite attack, a special attack that if it hits, kills the model and heals a point. That makes sense and is simple. No more tokens.

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