Ok, in that case Dancey as your fluff is preferred, could you write the fluff for the following two powers?
Untouched by the Arcane - 50pts (One per army) <insert new fluff...> Vampire gains MR(3) and magical attacks. Once per game he can focus his aura - The user must declare this at the start of the enemies magic phase, for the remainder of that phase any doubles will result in a miscast, although only a double 6 will cause Irresistible Force.
Hatred of the Arcane - 25pts <insert new fluff...> The vampire gains MR(2) and magical attacks.
Child of Morrslieb(Just a suggestion, the new fluff doesn't quite fit the name) Through the years of living in the presence of corrupting warpstone, tiny fragments of the essence of the moon Morrslieb have matastisized itself within the body of this vampire. As it spreads through the body and mind the Strigoi vampire develop a powerful resonating field of anti-magic. Its claws gleam with a sickly green aura capable of rending creatures not of this world.
Hatred of the Arkayne(Used the term from the VC book to "VC it up") Having fought the vile Skaven for many years the vampire have felt the bitter sting of their fell weaponry. Each blow, a new scar. Each bite, a foul meal. Finally, the vampires body will instinctually react towards the baleful energies unleashed upon it. A perculiar side effect of these encounters and unorthodox diet, even by Strigoi standards, a thin layer of warpstone dust will eventually settle on its claws, fangs and tough skin.
I had a look on your work, and really like the vengeance riders. However, the Screech rule seems odd to me. Is a ghoul riding a fell bat scarrier than a blood knight charging and yelling at the enemy's soldiers, or than a vampire lord than just took a bloodbath in another unit?
Moreover, a rule for an unit that is really scarry when it charges already exists, it's the terror rule. That's why I would remove the screech rule to use the core rules: fear on itself, or terror if you really think this batguys should be a nightmare vision.
Fear without anything else would be enough, imo. I can't understand why this unit have to be a-little-bit-scarrier-than-others-but-not-enough-to-have-terror. It's just another special rule, easy to forget during the play, that is unnecessary to represent what this unit is.
I think Caleb has a good point, one I've stressed in the past.
In perspective, what do you think the psychological effects would be of the thundering charge of Blood Knights? Grounding shaking on the hooves and massive combination of flesh and armour coming your way. Seems I read it a bit too fast as well, having the mod apply for the entire turn makes little sense. It should only apply on the charge as once they're down and combat starts I can't see trained soldiers being demoralized by a flying unit(in warhammer they're quite common as well) and I do believe after the initial slaughter of the unit they would be as scared anymore. Let's face it, the unit itself is not composed of particularly scary fighters.
In an another example I'd think models not ItP would find a unit spirit hosts far more frightening.
If we keep it, it should only apply on the charge. Not the entire turn as it is the charge that is causing the confusion after all.
This would be just the fear test as once the combat starts the significance of their suprise attack would have been lost after that. After the charge, everything reverts back to normal. It should not affect any subsequent tests, IMO.
So you think we should change the wording to just be "-1 to all fear tests caused by this unit in the turn it charges"?
And IMHO, I think this unit DOES need some ability along these lines if we want it to be on par with similar units from other armies. For example, Pegasus Knights have amazing stat lines + hvy armor, Teradons have poisoned RANGED weapons +S4 rock drops and attacks, all this unit has without an extra ability is two CC poisoned attacks and two completely average attacks from the Fel bat. The reasoning behind this particular ability fluffwise was that supersonic noises have been proven to cause discomfort/nervousness/fear, so it seemed logical that the hypersonic screeches of the giant bats, combined with the threats the ghouls would be yelling, WOULD in fact be slightly more terrifying, on a subconscious level, than a charge by normal units.
Just my 2 cents, I'm sure whatever everyone agrees on will be fine.
After reading, then re-reading I personally think we should scrap the Screech rule.
We need to remember what we are getting - which is an upgraded flying unit that as a lot of attacks per base and can also be used to bait very effectively. No other Undead related list has the ability, and as such it means this is a very potent unit. So it easily justifies its points and the Screech is just something on top that is not needed.
Don't know, I suppose we must compare them with fell bats: - they have twice more attacks, with poison for the ghoul's ones. That makes them awesome war machine-killers, as one of them is more powerful than 2 fell bats; - T4 make them more resistant to ranged and close attacks.
This vengeance riders become awesome at taking down war machines, but that's not all: they can charge unit's back easily with enough firepower and resistance to be useful, unlike fell bats. They can also front and destroy light cavalry or light shooters units.
I don't know what is the Free will rule, but vengeance riders seem far more versatile than fell bats.
On the other hand, VC book give us a model that costs around 30 pts, the Black knight fully equipped. I do think that VR are more dangerous.
Army list seems quite well. Ghouls really are a dangerous unit, and having an option to make them skirmishers is cool. However, that stille make only one choice to count toward Core requirements: ghouls. And that don't create much tactical options. If it were me (and it is not, I agree), I would have given the scout option to the skirmirshers ghouls (and increased their price by the way). Fell bats could also count toward minimum core required: as it's a bad idea to make a full fell bats force, I suppose that wouldn't be OP.
Special units are balanced, I think. Court of the ghoul king is a pretty good idea, I would just make their rules less complicated: with their frenesy and poisoned attack, Hatred is enough to make them useful. Strigany are cool, I just wonder why there is a 0-1 limitation. They aren't that crazy, after all. Skeletons and zombies are of little interest in special units, but they still are in core, so I don't see any problem. The most awesome is the possibility to have Varghulf on special and then spam them: I like it.
Nothing to say on rare units, wraths and spirit hosts have their place here. And for the vengeance riders, I already gave my opinion, I think they're not too good, and still useful.
Now, let's have a look on characters, and the first thing that came to me when I saw it was: wtf? I understand that balancing new powers is difficult, and that Strigoi are really special vampires, but this bloodline is totally overpowered.
Here is a vampire lord with Ancient beast of Strigoi (355pts) Crazy "I'm a dragon" Strigoi Lord - M 6 / WS 7 / BS 5 / S 6 / T 6 / W 4 / I 7 / A 6 / Ld10 And his ultimate skills of badassery: Ward 4+, Hatred, Red fury, Give hate to his unit, counts as BSB, Terror.
Ouch. Now, I try to make the same with the VC options: Ward 4+ (45pts magical equipement), +2A (40pts magical equipement), Red fury (50pts), Terror (25pts). My lord already costs 365pts, I still have 25pts of vampiric powers and 15pts on magical equip', but I still miss +1S, +1T, +1W, Hatred rule, BSB, the ability to give hate. Even blood dragon's army list doesn't let you create such monsters.
The same for a thrall with Varghkin (175pts) Biohazard vampire - M 6 / WS 6 / BS 4 / S 7 / T 4 / W 4 / I 6 / A 5 / Ld7 And his wtf-skills: Regen (3+), Hatred, Terror, large target, Thunderstomp, Fly, Bestial fury, Ward 5+
Would I make an offense by comparing to Varghulf which costs exactly the same? Better WS, far better Strenght (7? You mean like a stellar dragon?), Over-resistance (Regen 3+/Ward 5+, despite a Toughness of "only" 4) and Fly rule.
I add to the list Child of Morrslieb (which can destroy a magic phase and enemies' casters for 50pts), and Blood rage (some kind of infinite frenzy for a unit for 30 pts? Here I come).
That's the point where I disagree with the choice to create plenty of new bloodline powers: balancing them is terrible, the VC army book already have what is needed for each bloodline, and the new powers don't really create more options: all Strigoi lords will take Ancient Beast, and I can't even understand why Varghkin exists. If you want to use a big vampire beast, then choose some Varghulfs, that's why they exist.
I tried to be as honest as possible, and my thoughts are: - army list is ok, just needs some little options; - basic rules for Strigoi vampires are ok; - new bloodline powers, added to the 150 pts of vampiric powers, are completely unbalanced. A vampire that gets freely +1W, +1A, hatred and 5+ ward save doesn't need that much power.
Regarding the army list suggestion by Caleb, I agree, we should make either/both Fel bats and bat swarms counting core units. If you'll recall, the swarms at least were countable in the 6th edition list upon which all this was based (plus, admittedly, I absolutely hate the whole "core units that don't count" thing...).
Regarding the bloodline concerns...hmm...I can kinda see your point, but at the same time I have to say that without ANY options regarding equipment he can take, the Ancient Beast still isn't OP for the simple reason that he's going to be pretty much the only character in the strigoi army. I mean, other characters are limited to 1 nonvamp per 2000, and taking another vamp is going to mean you have a LOT of points tied up in non-troop choices, which is perfectly legal but can be hazardous, also. So effectively, that 1 Strigoi is going to be the entire character contingent, save for maybe one VERY lightly upgraded regular vamp or a necromancer to provide a little magic. In that sense, it makes sense to me for it to be that powerful. (Plus, maybe it's just me, but a 4+ ward save tends to get failed a lot...*sigh*). And secondary to mentioning the necromancer, you'll notice that despite the mad combat skills, he has absolutely no real possibility for magic upgrades, something that is VERY important for this army, obviously...so if some of his guys go down around him, chances are they're staying down, something you really can't say for any of the other vamp armies (no, not even the blood dragons, since they can take as many necromancers with IoN as they bloody well please.)
Just my 2 cents. In summation, I guess, I can see how the Ancient Beast COULD be over powered, but I think that taking the dynamics of the army as a whole into account, I think it's worth play testing before saying for sure that it is or isn't.
Well, I see what you mean. However, I still disagree
I'll choose for exemple a 3000pts army (kind of standard game in 8th Ed). Standard army list generally includes at least a Vampire lord, a Necromancer and a Wight king (not to mention lists with 2 vampires lords, and a lot of other lists using more heroes), for around 700 pts.
With a Strigoi army, I'll choose an Ancient beast lord (405 pts), a Varghkin (175 pts), and probably a Necromancer. I don't use that much points, and I don't need any Wight king: my vampires are crazy close combat roxxors, my lord already count as a BSB. I still miss Drakenhoff, but my units are good enough without it. I still have points for another vampire.
We can see than I have a slightly better magic support than the Blood dragon's list. Indeed, Blood dragons have no interest to take many Necromancers with IoN, cause that is the only spell they're sure they can use. It's the Vanhel's Danse that they miss, cause their thralls can't have it and their lord have very llittle chances to have it too, and it's far more powerful than IoN in 8th Ed. So, blood dragons won't spam necromancers: they don't have enough PD to use all of them, and no unit specially designed to spam them. What's the point in having 3 Necromancers when you only pass one spell (max) in a phase?
In the other hand, Strigoi lord has more chances to have the Danse, and he can use one magic support item on his necromancer, exactly like blood dragons do.
Even if I still think blood dragons are underpowered for the moment, Strigoi have at least the same magic powers, with better core units (by far) and monstruous devastating heroes and lords, which cost less points. I can't see any balance here.