Am I insane? Have I been kissed by a vampire? No. Doing this work has one reason in mind: Giving bloodlines justice! Right now, we have practically no one but Carsteins playable, Vampire Cost does not count, while there are so many more bloodlines who could and should be part of this game. That is something that bothered my for a while now. So, I will try to do some suggestions about this.
Now, before I start I have to say that, for the purpose of this, Vlad and Isabella will both be moved and start from Castle Drakenhof as well. That is absolutely necessary here.
The first point, the most important point. As we all know, there are 5 Bloodlines. Von Carstein, Necrearch, Lahmia, Blood Dragon and Strigoi. Each bloodline would be given only 1 starting position. That would be 5 starting position, 6 if we add Kemmler to it and I think that is more then enough. Partly because I think that other bloodlines will not get more then one Legendary Lord in general, IF they get one at all but also because not every lord needs a unique starting position.
Also, each bloodline will be given a set of campaign effects that would work alongside the campaign effects of each lord. Nothing big, just a minor extra but with a de-buff of some sort.
I mean, just because I think we will not see more then 1 LL for the other bloodlines does not mean it will be like this and it does not have to be another Vampire.
Also works only as long as the starting LL is a vampire. Ghorst for example, would not be effected. Partly because I wanted to further separate the gameplay between an undead Vampire and a mortal Necromancer and partly because the Necromancer or any other mortal, as a servant, would neither have all the powers or restrictions of his undead master.
Lahmia: Cheaper heroes and improved diplomatic relationship with a lot of factions BUT lords are more expensive.
Von Carstein: Increased campaign movement range and more income and Public Order from repression buildings BUT the Empire will dislike you even more then they would already do anyway.
Necrearch: Gain a bonus on research rate and Raise Dead becomes cheaper BUT their armies do not move so far.
Blood Dragon: All characters get an increase to Melee Attack and Melee Defence and cavalry gets increased Charge Bonus BUT all spells cost more Wind of Magic
Strigoi: Increased Melee Attack and Leadership for Crypt Ghouls and Crypt Horrors and adjacent provinces will suffer from vampiric corruption from the get got BUT the other bloodline factions will hate you.
Also the costs of Blood Kiss to unlock the Bloodline Lords would be changed. For your own bloodline, it remains as it is but for the other bloodlines the price would increase. Not sure how far but definitively more then one or two, at least for the second and third awakening and if play Strigoi Empire the cost would increase even more. After all the other bloodlines really
Legendary Lords, Lords, Heroes
Another important part is the fact that the Vampire Counts have, as of now, a problem with the Lord choices. I mean, we have the Vampire Lord, the Strigoi Ghoul King and the Master Necromancer. On top of that we have Bloodline Vampire Lords and once you get the Blood Kisses stocked up, you have pretty much no need for regular lords anymore. I mean, 15! special lords who may play differently but who needs more then 15 Armies anyway? Not even counting the Legendary Lords you may get.
Now, that was giving me a bit of a headache. How can I make all lords “useful” in the game? I mean, sure, everybody getting new skills was not only fun working on but would also help the cause. But I had a feeling that it was not enough. I had a few ideas and some back and forth but then I thought, why not separate them? And that is what I finally went with:
Master Necromancer gains additional recruitment ranks through Necromany buildings with +1 at tier 5.
Vampire Lord and Strigoi Ghoul King gain additional recruitment ranks through Vampire Lair buildings with +1 at tier 5.
Bloodline Lord do no longer gain additional recruitment ranks through regular buildings but landmarks, techs and so on are still affecting them.
Lahmia, Necrearch, Carstein and Blood Dragon can no longer recruit the Strigoi Ghoul King. There is only the Vampire Lord and the Master Necromancer for them now.
The Strigoi on the other hand can no longer recruit the normal Vampire Lord and have only the Strigoi Ghoul King and the Master Necromancer.
Kemmlers Barrow Legion has only the Master Necromancer as generic lord but in exchange they get Lord recruitment rank +2 for each Necromancy building at tier 5. LEGENDARY LORDS
The Legendary Lords of the Vampire Counts are, so far, in a good spot. More or less. The only thing I would change is that Mannfred, Vlad and Isabella are now getting ALL the skills and mounts of the Von Carstein Lord on top of the skills and mounts they already have. They are Von Carsteins after all and I would expect something similar for all future Vampire LL. So that Red Duke, for example, would get ALL the skills of the Blood Dragon Bloodline Lord and yes, I know, I gave Vlad a monstrous mount. Honestly? I! Do! Not! Care! He is the first of the Von Carsteins and when his children can ride undead horses and dragons, so can he! Simple as that!
Only Ghorst gets nothing out of it, not a vampire of the Von Carsteins after all but he, too, gets his share of the skills I came up with below.
I also took a look at their campaign effects and lord effects. Mostly because for the sake of taking a look at everything but, again, I had ideas for some changes. Pretty much everyone got something but for some LL it was obviously bigger then for others.
Now, why changing so much about LL in the first place? Simple but when 4 LL start from the same place they should play differently. For other races, where not every lord is also a caster, that is easier to achieve but Vampire Counts need more work in that regard.
I decided that Manny the Backstabber should be THE caster among casters of Von Carstein. That is why he got the skills I gave him and that is why I decided for the following campaign and lord effects, though he is the only one who gets a big change to both:
Blood Kiss +1 – remains
Leadership +10 when fighting humans – moves from Lord Effect and now applies to all armies.
Wind of Magic Power Reserve +30 – remains
Physical Resistance +10% army-wide – NEW
First of the Von Carsteins and, at least for me, he always seemed like a Leader more then anything else. Now, you have already seen his skills, with the moved and changed Circle of Undeath and as far as his effects go, the Campaign Effects remain unchanged but he gets an addition to his Lord Effects and grants now additional Leadership of +10 to Sylvanian Levies in his personal army.
Honestly, IF she gets all the skills from the Von Carstein Lord I really doubt she needs much else anyway. Her combination of Vampire Heroes and units of the Forest building chain has its very own charm and I like it a lot.
Remains greatly unchanged but Fell Bats in her army now have “The Hunger”.
For many Ghorst is a mistake. For me, he is not. Or let me be more clear, his campaign effects of Replenishment rate +20% and Research Rate +20% are his saving grace and I admit they would have been better suited for a Necrearch but it is how it is. Ghorst is here and Ghorst will stay. Granted, these effects work only if you choose him as your starting Legendary Lord but his only competitor is Manfred so it is not that bad.
His campaign effects would remain as they are but his Lord Effects would get the addition of recruitment turn time reduction for Corpse Carts and Mortis Engines in his local province.
He got some new skills and his campaign effects now grant additional recruitment ranks to Necromancer heroes and Master Necromancer. Was thinking about a +4 for heroes and +2 for lords. At his current location the price for Necromancer heroes is highly decreased too. LORDS
I already told a bit about the restrictions in terms of recruitment for each faction but I decided to go even a step further. The current Vampire Lord will pretty much cease to exist as he is now, most of the time. Instead, the model remains more or less but the stats will be a copy-paste of the Bloodline lords. The exact model and the skill tree, which contains only a few of the skills of the Bloodline Lord and with a higher level requirement too, will depend on the bloodline faction you choose. That is all mentioned below and everything else as far as skills as concerned will be taken from the current Vampire Lord. Strigoi Ghoul King remains model-wise but will have a few of the bloodline lord skills and would also have the Melee Attack of the Bloodline lord, though the other stats would remain.
The Master Necromancer gets a few skills too and, since 8th edition armybook says it can happen, would get the Lore of Death as well. Honestly, why Master Necromancer was not having Lore of Death from day 1 is a bit beyond me. I admit I did not know this until today but this would have helped him a lot while being compared to the Vampire Lord and later on the Strigoi Ghoul King. I mean, if all three Lords have the same selection of spells, why should I choose the lord that can do the least otherwise?
Now, why am I making such a difference between the Strigoi and the other bloodlines when it comes down to the stats? The reason is simple: The Strigoi Lord is the only one who is a straight upgrade to the normal Ghoul King stat-wise as he has 10 more Leadership and Melee Defence and 21 more Melee Attack. Von Carstein is a straight copy-paste from the Vampire Lord stat-wise and the other 3 bloodlines have some stats that are better and some stats that are worse then their generic counterpart.
In case some of might wondering about the thing with the skills and the bloodlines, I decided to view Vampire Lord and Strigoi Ghoul King as the younger, weaker and less experienced version compared to the older and more powerful Bloodline Lords. That is why they share the stats but do not have all the skills. HEROES
There is not much to say about the heroes to be honest. All I have done with them is what you can see now. Honestly, the heroes are in a pretty good spot as of now. Sure, more skills is always good but beside from that? Not much to do.
The tech tree of the Vampire Counts is already very good but I thought that it would lack in some regards. Granted I am still not very happy about Counts using a Book of Nagash while the Tomb Kings are supposedly hunting them all at the same time. So I added a few techs here and there. They are the only ones who have their effects written out.
Let me say this one thing straight upfront:
I fully expect another DLC for the Vampire Counts at WH3. In the past I firmly believed that Neferata would be the Legendary Lord of choice in this case. But with Mourkhain now a thing I am not so sure now and I have to say that I would prefer Strigoi anyway.
Now, what comes below has nothing to do with the sentences above. This will be all about potential Legendary Lords for each bloodline and potential mechanics and I would add these at once. Lahmia
Legendary Lord: Neferata – Who else?
Personal Mechanic: Gets a few Tomb King units. I would go for Chariots, Tomb Guard and Ushabti
Vampire Cults – Big as a Pirate Cove of the Vampire Coast but can be build everywhere. Would have three different options.
Mortal Gathering: Would generate a small amount of money per turn and make the region visible
Newborn Hideout: Would increase recruitment capacity for heroes Vampire and Necromancer and generate vampiric corruption.
Corrupted Brothel: Would increase diplomatic relationship with faction owning the settlements and increase income through trading
Behind the Throne – copy-paste of the Intrigue at Court of the High Elves Strigoi
Legendary Lord: Ushoran – In the past I was unsure if Ushoran or Vorag would have better chances but with Imrik starting at Vorags Fortress that seems out of question now.
Personal Mechanic: The third Founding of Mourkhain – would work like Athel Tamara does.
Vorag would have gotten the mechanic to settle ruins but only with the limit like an undercity.
Strigany – Living units and heroes, creating a unique roster for the Strigoi. If it would really come down to this, I expect at least one units with Dual Weapons as per 6th edition armybook. To see in spoiler
But I hope for 3 units and one hero. A Dual Wielding variant, a Polearm variant, an archer variant and a hero that would work as a replacement of the the vampire hero. There is Strigany Mystic that would work. In that case they would have a unit capacity like Tomb Kings with own building chain from tier1 to tier 3. Dual Wield at tier1, Polearm at tier2 and archer and hero at tier3
Revenge of the Outcasts – For too long the Strigoi have been hunted from too many sides. The time has come to seek revenge, the time has come to switch the role from prey to hunter. Destroy the other bloodlines or conquer their starting territories to get powerful bonuses. They do not want to confederate with out anyway.
Necrearch: Massive boost to research rate and Wind of Magic Power Reserve
Lahmia: Massive boost to recruitment rank of characters and vampire corruption
Carstein: Massive boost to recruitment capacity for Strigani and income from settlements.
Blood Dragon: Increased Melee Attack and Melee Defence for all characters and allows recruitment of Blood DragonsVon Carstein
Legendary Lord: NONE – they have enough already.
Undead State Troops – To further empathise on how the Von Carsteins want to take over the Empire, they too can now recruit special units from imperial provinces. Each province gives one unit that got named with whatever came to mind and one campaign effect.
Sylvania: Drakenhof Guard – Grave Guard with Gold Shields + increased vampire corruption
Reikland: Emperors Guard – Armour Sundering Greatweapon Grave Guard + increased public order
Middenland: Drakwalds Shadow – Varghulf with Stalk and Strider + increased ambush success chance
Nordland: Ice Waste Howlers – Dire Wolf with Frostbite + increased income from raiding
Ostland: The Plagued Mob – Zombies with Poison Attack + reduced recruitment cost for infantry
Talabecland: Forest Rattlers – Skeleton Warriors with Strider + improved timber building
Stirland: Raiders of the Whine – Hex Wraiths with perfect Vigour + improved wine building
Averland: Eternal Defenders – Skeleton Spearmen with Defend Charge against all + turn time bonus when defending during siege
Wissenland: Blood Keep Veterans – Blood Knights with Armour Sundering + increased income from settlements
Hochland: Hochlands Nightmare – Terrorgheist with Wardsave + increased campaign movement range
Ostermark: Mordheim Survivors – Crypt Ghouls with Terror + increased Wind of Magic power reserve
Solland: Greenskin Haunters – Anti Infantry Skeleton Warriors + turn time bonus when laying siege
Marienburg: Mundvards Port Workers – Zombie Deckhand Mob with Polearms + increased income from ports and as a special increased diplomatic relationship with Vampire CoastBlood Dragon
Legendary Lord: The Red Duke – We have waited long enough for him
Personal Mechanic: The black Grail – Unlocks powerful campaign bonuses but only if you fill it first
Dark Chivalry – A twisted version of the Chivalry mechanic of Bretonnia. After all, the Blood Dragons too live after a certain code, just like knights. More or less at least. Necrearch
Legendary Lord: W'soran
Personal Mechanic: Possession – To put it simple, every time W'soran is defeated in battle, you can replace any lord you have with him in an instant. No matter how far away.
The Necrearch Laboratory – A Vampire Count version of the Mortuary Cult from the Tomb Kings.
I am a bit torn apart now if I want the new mechanics, at least some of them, to work with Blood Kiss currency or not. At one hand it could lead to interesting situation where you would have to decide if you want to use the Blood Kiss for the mechanic or to wait until you have enough for a Bloodline Lord, especially if you want the more expensive options from other bloodlines. On the other hand Blood Kiss as currency for some of the mechanics would look weird and in general would probably require new ways to gain it but I actually like the way it is now.
Now, how would I give the Vampire Counts all this new stuff? Simple, with a new DLC that would also feature Nagash. But it will not be a new race because a 4th undead race is not needed. Not even with Nagash leading it
Instead, Nagash comes with a mechanic like Kroak for the Lizardmen. However, Nagash would not be hero but a Lord and not only be a Lord but once you have recruited him he would turn into your faction leader. Gameplay-wise I can imagine him to be a Heinrich Kemmler on magical super-steroids. Raising Dead with a silver chevron from the get-go and spreading corruption like Grandfather Nurgle spreads Covid19 in our world. Also allowing recruitment of Morghasts and, depending if you play Vampire Counts or Arkhan, allowing recruitment of all Tomb King skeletons, chariots, cavalry and artillery, NO constructs or adding Blood Knights, Mortis Engine and Terrorgheist for recruitment.
The new Legendary Lords could be ones I suggested above and since we are already on it, why not giving the Tomb Kings someone too? Ramhotep the Visionary would be my choice.
And that is it. Got bigger then I thought.