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Vampire Coast Unit Re-balance suggestions. (Campaign)

steam_164564830275FhGjHyesteam_164564830275FhGjHye Registered Users Posts: 4
edited September 8 in Warhammer Battle Feedback
I'll give a brief overview of the units then make some suggestions. I'm not familiar with how things perform in multiplayer so I'm only making recommendations based on what I'd like to see changed in the Immortal Empires campaign.

Worth using:
- Zombie pirate gunnery mob (handguns) - Easy to source from raise dead pools, decent ranged damage. The backbone of early game armies. However, requires line of sight which can be difficult to gauge or simply difficult to get due to the terrain on many maps, especially in settlement battles.

- Zombie pirate deckhands mob - very easy to source from raise dead pools, just a meat shield, 160 entities which matters for building bigger raise dead pools. The ablative armour of early game armies.

- Depth Guard (dual axe) - relatively fast, good for clearing low tier units quickly, has some sustain due to "The Hunger". However, hard to source due to coming from a tier 4 building and vulnerable to archer fire/ prioritized by AI with archer fire.
- Fell Bats - fast, archer harassment, easy to source in raise dead pool.

- Deck gunners - an upgrade to handgun gunnery mobs. Long range, high damage, have shield-breaker. However, low rate of fire, hard to source, lower entity number than handgunners, meaning less shots per volley, and half the health of handgunners, meaning they're more vulnerable to any units that manage to break through the front line or unit summons like "the menace below" or the various demons of chaos and their summons. Also suffers the need for a line of sight.

- Necrofex Colossus - Long range artillery that can survive in melee. Is a single entity and can therefore benefit a lot from Invocation of Nehek. However, prioritized by AI ranged units and burned down quickly due to large size. Hard to source as it's from a rank 5 building and doesn't seem to appear in raise dead pools.

- Terrorgheist - fast, deals decent damage, has bound breath ability, regenerates, is a single entity. However, prioritized by AI and quickly damaged by archer fire due to large size. Relatively low mass, equal to that of monstrous infantry rather than other monsters and can therefore be bogged down more easily. Hard to source since it's from a tier 5 building.

Limited usefulness:
- Zombie pirate gunnery mob (hand cannons) - high damage ranged unit. However, shorter range than handgunners or deck gunners and hard to source. Also need line of sight.

- Bloated corpse - Limited use as a high risk, high reward unit and easy to replace from raise dead pool. However, often causes friendly fire, needs replaced with every use, slow and easily intercepted.

- Depth guard (polearms) - just inferior to the dual axe variant. Too slow to effectively counter cavalry (they just move around the unit, you can only catch them if you actively move into them as they're trying to pass you, meaning brace and charge reflection never activate), requires a tier 5 building instead of tier 4, armour piercing damage isn't significantly better than dual axe, increased melee defense doesn't play to the unit's strengths as a damage dealer.

- Mortars - long range, decent damage, can hit multiple entities. However, low accuracy, very long reload time, seems to have a smaller explosion radius than Total War Warhammer 2... also less useful since sieges now have build-able towers and players can't just bombard enemy units until all the ammo is used up. Enemy now priorities with archers once they get close enough too.

- Queen Bess - a better version of the mortar but even more prone to archer fire. Will often get broken before spending even half it's ammo. Much higher upkeep and very difficult to source since it's a regiment of renown. Quite inaccurate and can waste a lot of ammo and shots.

- Mournguls - play a cavalry kind of role but without much speed. They use stalk to get a surprise attack but often don't do enough damage very quickly due to low entity numbers. They take a lot of damage quickly due to their large size and low melee defense. Despite having decent HP and "The Hunger" they never seem to last long.

- Zombie pirate gunnery mob (bombers) - They're actually alright as a backup to the front-line, however they do a lot of friendly fire damage and are hard to source.

- Syreens - low health, relatively low stats, no armour. They rarely last very long despite their 55% physical resistance. Not easy to source either. They can't hold a line themselves and they're not very good for supporting a front line since their charm ability that inflicts -8 melee attack doesn't matter much when your front-line has only 15 melee defense anyway and holds the line by having raw health. Their fairly high speed can make them useful for attacking archers but their low melee attack means they don't deal with them very quickly.

- Scurvy Dogs - fast but weak. Good for capturing points and attacking archers. However they'll die very quickly upon contact with most enemy units.

Not worth using:
- Zombie pirate gunnery mob - less entities and health than a deckhand mob, no armour piercing like a handgun mob. The worst of both worlds. Too slow to skirmish, despite having "fire whilst moving", and has a cone of fire rather than a circle.

- Zombie pirate deckhands mob (polearms) - meat shield chaff like normal deckhands mob but harder to source due to not appearing in basic raise dead pools.

- Rotting promethian gunnery mob - Slow, 12 entities with the same missile strength as the hand cannons (who have 120 entities), hard to source as it's from the highest tier of it's building chain. Few entities of large size and are damaged very easily by ranged units. They don't do great against infantry either, but do last a bit of time due to their high armour value.

- Deck dropper (handguns) - Few entities (24), hard to source as recruited from a tier 4 building, low health and very vulnerable to missile fire (which often out ranges them).

- Deck dropper (bombers) - Short range, few entities, very low armour piercing damage, low health and vulnerable to missile fire, difficult to source as a unit from a tier 4 building.

- Carronades - similar to mortars but require a line of sight and have a smaller area of effect. Very inaccurate and slightly harder to source. Good for destroying vulnerable towers in siege battles, but that's a niche use. Supposed to be anti-large but isn't accurate enough, so rarely hits most large single entities. Can damage cavalry but due to their higher entity numbers taking out one or two per volley doesn't make much of a dent and gunners are simply better at dealing with the cavalry.

- Rotting Leviathan - Very big, easily burst down by ranged units. Hard to source.

Never worth using:
- Rotting promethians - same as the rotting promethian gunnery mob unit but without the ranged attack. Simply worse in every way but just as hard to source.

- Animated hulks - Stats don't seem to matter, they simply don't manage to achieve much. They should have decent speed and high damage but rarely seem to do much damage while taking lots of damage themselves. While a lower tier than the mournguls they're often just as hard to source but mournguls perform better.

- Deck droppers - low entity numbers, very little armour piercing, low range, vulnerable to ranged attacks. Hard to source due to being from a tier 3 building. Bats are better and tier 1 from the same building.

The main issue with the vampire coast's unit roster is that the units worth using tend to be Tier 1 or Tier 5. The middle tier units simply don't have much of a place.

I'll go through the units that I think need improved and recommend ways to improve them. However, some of the issues with certain units and their effectiveness is due to the behavior of the AI and may not be fixable.

Limited usefulness:
- Depth Guard (polearms) - These units don't fulfill their role due to AI behaviour. They can't brace to defend ranged units since the AI will just circle around them, it's also not feasible to have 6-8 units of your army dedicated to flank defense by fully surrounding the back and sides of your army with these units.
There's a phrase: "shoot your monks" that's popular in tabletop game designing. In such games the 'monk' character can reflect projectiles. The person running the game can be tactical and never shoot at the monk, but that invalidates the strength of the character and doesn't allow them to fulfill their role, meaning that a player playing the monk won't have as much fun. This design philosophy should be adopted when it comes to situations like this. Charge at your anti-charge units.
The only way I can think to work around this without changing the AI is to give polearm units stalk and unspottable when braced. This way they are essentially lying in wait to ambush unsuspecting cavalry that's charging at archers.

- Queen Bess - The cannon gets destroyed way too easily due to it's huge size. I'd recommend making the cannon unbreakable but having enemy archers target the Queen Bess crew instead. (This basically means the unit is useful until it's actually destroyed, instead of the cannon popping with half it's ammo left and a full crew just standing about without a cannon to use. It also means the player can use invocation of nehek to recover the unit if it does get damaged.)

- Mournguls - Increase speed to 60. (A simple change but this would allow the unit to get into and out of combat more quickly, allowing them to play as that hit and run cavalry style unit.)

- Zombie pirate gunnery mob (bombers) - Simply make one unit of these available in the basic raise dead pool.

- Syreens - Lean into a specialisation. Either increase their melee attack to 50, decrease their melee defense to 20, add chilling aura and change "charmed" to reduce defense by 8 instead of attack, making them an archer attack unit/ flank unit/ chase down unit.
Or increase their defense to 50, health to 9000 and reduce their melee attack to 15, making them a defensive unit that can replace your front line of deckhands mobs.
You could have both variants as "vengeful syreens" and "mournful syreens".

Not worth using:
- Zombie pirate gunnery mob - change missile damage to 4 base missile damage and 8 armour piercing missile damage. Increase health to 10,000. (This means they actually do reasonable damage to most units and their health makes them still useful as a meat shield. They're still inferior to both the deckhands mob and the handgunner variant in melee or ranged combat respectively but can function as a hybrid between the two.)

- Zombie pirate deckhands mob (polearms) - Make one available in the basic raise dead pool. Add stalk while braced. (This means they're easier to access and worth the player picking up instead of the basic deckhands mob. The stalk may allow them to be somewhat more effective at catching cavalry, but unspottable (as recommended for the higher tier depth guard (polearms)) might be too much for a lot tier unit.)

- Rotting promethean gunnery mob - Increase health to 12,000. Increase entities to 24. Add 30% missile resistance. Reduce weapon strength to 11 base and 30 armour piercing. (They're supposed to be a "Defender", so make them more durable, especially against archer fire due to their large size. Increased entities gives them more gunners and increases the strength of the unit compared to the other units in the ranged building chain as well as making it easier for them to draw other units into combat.)

- Deck dropper (handguns) - Increase entities to 60, increase acceleration speed. (This unit should be a harassing gunner unit. However, it's often easily and quickly shot down by enemy archers. It should therefore be a squishy but high damage unit. The increased entities increases the damage they can put out but without increased health they'll still be very vulnerable to archer fire. They also feel sluggish in responding to movement orders so increased acceleration would help players manage these units.)

- Deck dropper (bombers) - Increase entities to 60, increase acceleration speed, add "fire whilst moving". (A hit and run bomber unit, this should also be squishy but more able to deal damage. It also shouldn't have to stop and get peppered by archers while dropping their bombs since bombs don't exactly need accuracy thanks to their explosive nature.)

- Carronades - Increase accuracy so that it can reliably hit large entities like dragons, mammoths, etc at 2/3rds of it's max range. Add alternate grapeshot fire mode (like how eagle bolt throwers have multi-shot and large bolts). Grapeshot should be very inaccurate and fire 30 piercing projectiles that each deal 10 base damage and 30 armour piercing damage. (This would give cannons a more specific role as anti-large artillery while also allowing it to deal good damage to infantry. It would be an upgrade to the mortar but would require line of sight, therefore making it much less useful for anti-infantry in sieges and settlement battles. The damage numbers I've suggested are slightly less powerful than Deck Gunners.)

- Rotting Leviathan - +30% missile resistance, add regeneration. (The huge size of this unit makes it very easy to burst down with archer fire, especially armour piercing ranged fire, so some missile resistance would help. This unit is also designed to take a lot of hits. Therefore I think regeneration would be a good addition, as it would allow this unit to recover and would help it survive when it's being targeted. However, it would also introduce a weakness to fire, which adds a tactical element for the player to consider and fits the lore of the unit since it's an aquatic monster.)

Never worth using:
- Rotting prometheans - Increase health to 12,000. Increase entities to 24. Add 30% missile resistance. Reduce weapon strength to 11 base and 30 armour piercing. Make available at Tier 2 of the monster buildings, reduce their turns to recruit to 1, reduce their cost to 800 and their upkeep cost to 200. (Like the rotting promethean gunnery mob, these changes would make them more durable and better suited to the role they're supposed to fill. Making them cheaper and available earlier in the game means that they're worth using in the early game until the player can swap them out for rotting promethean gunnery mobs.)

- Animated Hulks - Increase armour to 60 and increase charge bonus to 30 and increase mass to 2000. (They need a little more survivability, which armour would offer them. However their main role seems to be supplementary to the front line. So giving them additional charge bonus means that they'd be better for crashing into the back of an enemy line. It also suits the unit as they're massive hulking ogre corpses. The increased mass wouldn't make too much of a difference but would make it slightly easier to pull them out and ready them for another charge. Having them able to wade through and disrupt lines would also be good.)

- Deck droppers - Increase entities to 60, increase acceleration speed, add 360^ targeting. (Like the other deck dropper units, the increased entity size would increase their damage to be on par with other ranged units. The acceleration would make them feel a bit better to control and the 360^ targeting would allow them to skirmish effectively.)

All in all I think these changes would bring the whole roster up to at least the level of "limited usefulness". This would give players a lot more variety in their unit choices and army compositions. Most of the changes are very minor, but should be just enough to enhance the unit's strengths to the point where it's viable in a specific role.
Post edited by steam_164564830275FhGjHye on


  • Asamu#6386Asamu#6386 Registered Users Posts: 1,548
    So, you're clearly talking about campaign here.

    In MP, vampire coast is currently one of the stronger factions.

    Animated Hulks at 500 are one of the best units in the game, and if anything, probably need some nerfs or an increased cost. Rotting Prometheans are also very good in MP.
    Basically, everything on your "bad" list is good in multiplayer, except maybe regular deck droppers (though they do have niche applications. Flying skirmishers are better off not being "strong").

    Necrofex Colossus, on the other hand, are one of the weakest units on the roster in MP (they don't need buffs though).

    Any buffs to the roster right now should be directed at campaign only mechanics or offset by increasing the cost of the buffed unit (since a higher cost is less impactful on campaign than in MP).
  • steam_164564830275FhGjHyesteam_164564830275FhGjHye Registered Users Posts: 4
    Asamu said:

    So, you're clearly talking about campaign here.

    In MP, vampire coast is currently one of the stronger factions.

    Animated Hulks at 500 are one of the best units in the game, and if anything, probably need some nerfs or an increased cost. Rotting Prometheans are also very good in MP.
    Basically, everything on your "bad" list is good in multiplayer, except maybe regular deck droppers (though they do have niche applications. Flying skirmishers are better off not being "strong").

    Necrofex Colossus, on the other hand, are one of the weakest units on the roster in MP (they don't need buffs though).

    Any buffs to the roster right now should be directed at campaign only mechanics or offset by increasing the cost of the buffed unit (since a higher cost is less impactful on campaign than in MP).

    Yeah, I think what you're saying here is fair. I haven't actually played multiplayer so I don't really know how things perform there as opposed to campaign. I'm surprised a lot of these units can succeed on multiplayer but if it's a case of cost vs effectiveness then I can see how that might make it different to the campaign.

    And yeah, the flying skirmishers should be weaker than the ground archers, but I feel the numbers I suggested for them were about right. Mostly it's down to the entity numbers. I suggested they do about the same damage per shot as the ground gunners but the ground gunners would have 2x the entities, and therefore 2x the damage.
  • eumaies#1128eumaies#1128 Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 9,508
    It's an impressive write-up, but maybe edit to say on top you're referring to campaign balance.
  • #210289#210289 Registered Users Posts: 167
    Include you are discussing campaign balance. Multiplayer balance you are almost dealing with the exact opposite issue, with bombers and animated hulks being their strongest units by far!
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