To keep it short and simple. This is how I would like to have a rework of Vampire Counts. Some new stuff is also there. Now, something “small” first.
- Vlad and Isabella starting position should be moved to Castle Drakenhof
- Strigoi, Lahmia, Necrearch and Blood Dragons need each 1 playable Legendary Lord. I would go for Ushoran, Neferata, Zacharias and Red Duke
Time to go to the big parts but everything that comes now is written as if the points above are actually really happening. Do not forget that.
Admittedly, not such a big point either but there is something I really want to talk about. It is about the buildings that are marked in the picture below.
As you can see, all three lines start only with T4 but since even the Engineering buildings from the Dwarfs got a T3 version with their rework, I think these buildings should get one too. That would then of course also mean to rebalance their effects. Which is something I did also think about but that said, I think the one for the Wraiths should simply get moved done so it is no longer T4 and T5 but T3 and T4. It is much cheaper anyway. The other two, however, definitely need a T3 version and as such, a rebalancing of their effects which could look as follows:
- Generates Income +200/+400/+600
- Allows recruitment of Vampire Hero
- Public Order +2/+4/+6
- Vampire Hero capacity +1/+2 starting at T4
- Vampire Hero recruit rank +2/+4 starting at T4
- Generates Income +200/+400/+600
- Allows recruitment of Necromancer
- Lord recruit rank +1/+2 starting at T4
- Research Rate +4%/+8%/+12%
- Necromancer capacity +1/+2 starting at T4
- Necromancer recruit rank +2/+4 starting at T4
- Local recruitment capacity +1/+2 starting at T4
This does not include recruit-able units or garrisons on purpose. It is really mostly just playing around with number, the basic effects and how they are either faction-wide or province-wide would remain the same as they are now.
With that done, this point is a bit of a stand-alone. I will mention changes to effects of buildings later on but they are not related to this. These changes to the building tree is something I want regardless of everything else in this post.
Manfred von Carstein
The only Legendary Lord of the Vampire Counts that needs, as of now, a more significant rework in my opinion. Kemmler, Vlad and Izzy just got touched with S&F and Ghorst is, well, Ghorst. However, I have honestly no idea when exactly was the last time, if ever, that Manfred got anything bigger then some small balance changes. To a degree I can even understand that he was not touched. I mean, his current skill tree is really big but it is not the good kind of big. Frankly, it is kind of bloated. Manfred has the generic yellow melee tree, the complete Lore of Vampires with all the extra skills and he has all spells from the Lore of Death but with no extra skills like Earthing, for example.
Now, while I agree that Manfred needs a rework of his skills, I am not so on board with combining his two lores. I mean, yeah sure, it looks kind of bloated but this is also something that makes him stand out. Unique even and from what I understand CA did actually look into the armybook to go this way. So, here is my idea: Why not leaving him both lores of magic but making them even compared to each other? To put it simple, why not make them like this?
Here you have all the spells and the related Loremaster trait at the end of it. Granted you are missing the other three skills that come with that but we are not finished yet. That said, why did I decide to keep both lores? Well, partly it has something to do with what I wrote above but another part is that I do not really think that this freedom to pick all spells from 2 lores should be taken away. Not when there are, lets say, better options. You will see on this part when we get to the faction and lord effects further down below. By the way, Lore of Death was taken from the Dark Elf Sorceress Lord from my game. Will happen a few times more.
Now, coming back to his skills, not only did Manfred lores of magic being getting a change, his melee tree did too. Admittedly though, it got also shortened. A lot. It is pretty much a copy-paste of the Necrearch line except for the very last skill.
Okay, here is the thing. This was done under the assumption that Vlad and Isabella have been moved to Castle Drakenhof but Manfred has not been moved. That now means you would have 3 vampires starting from the very same location. Lets just say Ghorst does not exist for now. You have Vlad and Isabella who are already melee/caster hybrids. Do we really need another one? Just because it is a vampire? I do not think so. I rather much prefer if Manfred gets reworked in a way to shifts his focus on his magic, on his spells and not so much on his fighting side of things.
Now, you have seen Manfred changes to his spells and his melee tree. The next one is a complete new one for we are now reaching his personal skill tree.
Lets start from left to right, since the last 3 do not really need any explaining I hope. I mean, they have been around long enough now, right? That said, as you can see, Earthing and Magical Reserves have not been removed, they just got moved. Now, on the skills.
Travelling Scholar: This one is kind of taken from Manfreds lore where it is mentioned that he travelled to Nehekara to learn and study the dark arts. This skill would improve his speed, his campaign movement range and his chance to find items after battle.
Cursed Ones: Manfred already gives some bonuses to Grave Guard and Black Knights. Cheaper upkeep and improved recruit ranks on his faction effects to be precise. With this skill now, Grave Guards and Black Knights in his personal army would also get more Leadership and Frenzy.
Undead Cunning: Not entirely happy with the name but anyway. In the Lore Manfred is not only described as wandering around and searching for lost knowledge, he is described as being very cunning. Waiting, biding his time, acting from out of the shadows until he is finally going to make his move which is mostly backstabbing someone who is actually trying to save the world. Well, that is where this skill comes from and what better way to represent this then by going for Agent Actions? Cheapening their price and increasing their chance for his entire faction.
Now, as I already said, the other 3 skills should be widely known and thus do not require specific explanations. That said, we are still not at the end. There are two more skills I have left to show you and they should make pretty clear how Ghorst will be handled in this work.
As you can see, they are related to another and the first one is pretty much a combination of Earthing and Magical Reserves, except it adds much less to your reserves but this works only anyway when Ghorst is in Manfred army. The second one does also only work when Manfred is in Ghorsts army and gives Manfred a massive discount on Raise Dead.
And the cat is out of the bag. Yes, Ghorst is a Legendary Hero in this work and only when Manfred is your faction leader. Now, the thing is I do not believe in it.
Okay, here is the deal. I do not believe that CA is ever going to remove Ghorst or Isabella from being Legendary Lords in this game. Not happening, not at all. Especially not both of them and even if they ever do only one, I am afraid that it will be Isabella getting the kick. I am saying “afraid” because if it comes down to it I would much rather prefer they go after Ghorst.
Anyway, this concludes all of Manfreds skill and now you can see them all at proper place.
In case that anyone is wondering, the reason all the skills had the white place was becausse with my Dwarf work from last time, I took them from youtube streams. This time they are all from my game. There is also some work to be done with his Faction Effects and Lord Effects but we will get to them in due time. Ghorst
There is actually not even that much to say anymore. Ghorst would be turned into a Legendary Hero for Manfred and in terms of stats and skills would be you plain old Necromancer hero. Well, almost. I have taken a quick look over his unique skills and items and he keeps them all. They are mostly about buffing his stats anyway. That said, I would make a change to his skill that increases Research Rate. It would now be a skill with three points and every point would increase Research Rate by 10%. He would also get a new skill so that any army he is in gets the +20% Replenishment Rate. He would also keep his Lord Effects as his personal trait but otherwise really becoming a normal Necromancer.
Faction Effects & Lord Effects
I do remember that I said that Vlad, Isabella and Kemmler were fine and would not need to be touched and that remains true. The thing is, however, due to how certain things coming further down below are working, there needs to be a little change on their effects you can see on their faction selection screen. Now, for this one I am going to keep it a bit simple and show you a little Excel-Sheet here because I want do to a little side-by-side comparison here.
Well then, lets start with Vlad:
As you can see, Vlad did not get many changes except for one thing but Vlad is the only one out of the three Von Carsteins to the mortal levies. So, why should I wait for a bloodline lord? The change to Undying Love was needed however. With both related characters being Lord you would have to keep them extremely close to each other for this to work. Now you still have to keep them relatively close but they do not need to appear in the same battle any more.
As far as the “Von Carstein Bloodline Mechanic” goes, well that is something we will get back to in due time.
Next on is Isabella:
She pretty much got changed in the same way Vlad got changed, except she still has the special building to further empathize on the vampire hero but you can see another Faction Effect and Lord Effect on her. The Faction Effect has something to do with how you would get Bloodline Lords. The Lord Effect is actually something Manfred starts with right now, though it is not shown in the faction selection screen. Like some other things in his case.
Speaking of which:
Manfred is the one who got the most changes out of all of the three. He would no longer give a campaign movement bonus since Vlad does this too and since they both would now start from Castel Drakenhof, I decided one time was enough and Vlad could keep it. You see what Manfred got in exchange. The rest of his faction effects are changed the same way the effects of Isabella did, so no need for further commenting on that. However, he also got a massive change to his lord effects. At least it appears so. Truth be told, the cooldown time reduction and the ability are both things Manfred already starts with anyway. The only real new part is that you now know how to recruit Ghorst. Or lets say, if you want to do a number of missions and a quest battle, how start the recruitment of Ghorst.
That said, I was not mentioning it in the picture above but basically, Manfred would also get the ability to freely choose up to 6 spells from his lores. Cherry-picking without the need to switch during battle, so to speak.
That now concludes everything for named characters.