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BA - 8th Edition Review: Strigoi

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Disciple of Nagash

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Hmm, looking at the list I really think we should remove the options for Necromancers - I can't see the Strigoi allowing them to join their forces. It would also balance the overall synergy of the army in regards to the characters. I would even be tempted with the removal of the Grave Guard to also remove the Wight Kings as well.

I can understand what you are trying to get at Caleb, but having being involved with the whole discussion I know why we went that way. We found that with the new items available the Strigoi could be outclassed in many areas. One of the main things was that they lack the ability to get a lot of Static CR like other armies via lack of standards or magic banners etc. So that is why the vampires we made more offensive to allow them to try and balance CR via kills.

I personally would want to playtest before any more changes are made, and if we do find they are OP, then of course we can scale them down.
 

Sweeney Todd

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Caleb Astar said:
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.
:rolleyes: You're making the same arguments that somebody else already did several pages back(was it Grish or Dancey? Forgot already) so I'm going to answer in pretty much the same way. Your direct comparison to a standard VC vampire lord is invalid because it's a different army and hence exists in a different context. Also, as this army has no shooting and can't even rely on magic, unlike vanilla VC, you better have something to compensate like a truckload of face-smashing ability.

Caleb Astar said:
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.
As for Varghkin being only T4, yes, it is ONLY T4 and a Large Target as well. The difference being that you seem to imply it's a nonexistent weakness whereas I consider it to be a bloody big one. T4 is low enough that the Varghkin can be reliably shot to death with small arms in one shooting phase. Not to mention magic. And to get the Varghkin you're trading away some of your already measly magic ability.

That aside, I do understand that Varghkin could very well make actual Varghulfs obsolete if left unchecked. That's why we have a limitation on the number of Varghkins and Ancient Beasts one can take.

Caleb Astar said:
I add to the list Child of Morrslieb (which can destroy a magic phase and enemies' casters for 50pts)
Magic Resistance is bloody useless in 8ed. Yes, Child of Morrslieb allows you to ruin one of your opponent's magic phases. In the era of Purple Sun and Dwellers Below, and with no access to Dispel Scrolls, you're going to need it.

Caleb Astar said:
, and Blood rage (some kind of infinite frenzy for a unit for 30 pts? Here I come).
Not unheard of. Refer to the Warriors of Chaos armybook, and look for Banner of Rage.

Caleb Astar said:
the VC army book already have what is needed for each bloodline,
I, and probably the majority of the contributors over at this section would beg to differ. The current Chaos Space Marines codex for 40k is widely reviled(even on popular wargaming blogs like Bell of Lost Souls) for reducing the number of options in that army in the name of streamlining/vanillafication, and hence rendering the army extremely boring. The current VC armybook was a step in the same direction for the VC army, though not as extreme.

You can't have a proper bloodline army without its own dedicated pool of vampiric powers, otherwise that's like asking for ice cream without the cream.

It seems you disagree with a key part of this project's raison d'etre.

Caleb Astar said:
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.
Once again I beg to differ. The bonuses each vampire gets is dwarfed when you compare it to the lack of access to magic equipment of any kind

EDIT: Ninja'd by DoN. :(
 
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You're making the same arguments that somebody else already did several pages back(was it Grish or Dancey? Forgot already) so I'm going to answer in pretty much the same way. Your direct comparison to a standard VC vampire lord is invalid because it's a different army and hence exists in a different context. Also, as this army has no shooting and can't even rely on magic, unlike vanilla VC, you better have something to compensate like a truckload of face-smashing ability.
Well, your argument still is that I can't compare because it is not the same army. I thought he answered that too, and he was right. Am I supposed to compare this lord to an elf? I think VC army book is the closer point of comparison we can have, so I use it.

As for Varghkin being only T4, yes, it is ONLY T4 and a Large Target as well.
It still is, comparing to Varghulf, -1 T to gain +1WS, +2S, +4I, +1 Regen and a 5+ ward and Fly. Not that bad.

When I see a 175 pts monster and my feeling is "Ouh, I'd better face a dark elven Hydra", that doesn't sound good.

The problem maybe is that Strigoi vampires gain +1A, +1W, 5+ ward, hatred while their cost remains the same. That makes them pretty powerful for their price.

Yes, Child of Morrslieb allows you to ruin one of your opponent's magic phases. In the era of Purple Sun and Dwellers Below, and with no access to Dispel Scrolls, you're going to need it.
Necromancers can take Dispel scroll. And Strigoi army is quick enough to start taking down casters in 2nd or 3d turn. Do they really need such an antimagic power? Not to mention they can take it multiple times.

Not unheard of. Refer to the Warriors of Chaos armybook, and look for Banner of Rage.
Can't compare, it's not the same army:tongue:

Being serious, I suppose you're right here.

...
It seems you disagree with a key part of this project's raison d'etre.
Maybe. I thought that bloodlines needed special powers, then I had a look on all the lists, and tried one of them (updated to 8th). The result is simple: the powers are not balanced (and that's not a shame, it takes time), so that there is only a few builds available, and vampires are far less versatile than VC book's ones.

Really, don't you feel Red fury, Eternal hatred is enough to represent a blood dragon? That MotBA and Dark acolyte perfectly fit a Necrarch (by the way, that Vargulf is exactly what you mean by a Varghkin thrall) with no need to create much more powers? Do we really need new powers, that will be a pain to balance?

I fully agree on the SCM codex, but the VC book (at least for characters) is the opposite: 18 powers for our vampires + 100pts of magical equipement, that's better than the personnalisation in the V6 book. You can't change the bloodline to change play style, it's true, but you can mix all of them, and create new vampires that could not exist in 6th Ed. In fact, bloodlines lists decrease the options for an army.

I know it's not the point here, and I stop, but I wanted to explain my point on this. I'll post something on this soon.
 

Grish

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I raised the points on Varghkin and Ancient Beast awhile back. If you haven't read those arguments Caleb, go for it. And yes, I agreed with you; the Varghkin is over powered, Ancient Beast less so. So is hydra, so is Abomb. And you didn't mention the LD7 varghkin vs. LD4 Varghulf, which makes a difference when marching/flying, and didn't mention the Large Target which means more when being targetted with Small Arms fire. I would be happier with the Varghkin being S6 T5 (to me, T4 is not enough for a large target, and S7 is too much). Even S6 w. Armour Piercing I would be happier with. Dropping it to regular Regen would be better as well, and then personally I'd be happy. A strong monster, but not overwhelming. The I is a big deal as well in this edition. And the fact that it's a character is a downer; it can be challenged when Wizard hunting, and a bad set of rolls can cause it to go 'poof'. I still don't think it could go toe-to-toe with an Abomb or a Hydra, not with the sheer amount of wounds they have. And it doesn't have to; it's much more mobile, not really it's purpose, plus the ton of poisoned attacks of ghouls should hurt those things. Losing the Wizard lvl in 8th doesn't mean much. Might mean an extra 2 channeled dice all game, big deal.

The powers in the book are not sufficient to make a Strigoi vampire. You have played 6th Ed, you would know what we mean I would think, and know the flavour of army we're going for.

That said, it absolutely has to be balanced. An unbalanced army will not see much playing, either over or under powered. I don't think the Strigoi can easily take down wizards 2nd and 3rd turn. A smart player wouldn't allow it. Bunkers, moving out of range, tying units up... A wizard hiding in a block of RnF (doesn't matter what kind) is fairly safe against everything barring the Varghulf as it can't be challenged. Static Res is the answer to the fast moving Strigoi, which it always has been, and they will resort to picking off support units.

Hatred is definitely a Strigoi power, not a Blooddragon. Think of strigoi as hulking masses of muscle and toughness, driven insane. Blood dragon are master martialle fighters, calm and calculating. Both are terrific fighters, and poor in magic.

And the fact is, yes we need new powers to balance things. You can't make a Lahmian, a Strigoi, or capture the feeling of a bloodline with the current army lists. Only a Blood Dragon Lord and a Necrarch. Von C doesn't fit that well either, but he's definitely doable.

The fact is, almost all VC lists look very much the same, play very much the same. We've got some passionate people concerning the bloodlines, and they wanted to recreate their feel, but even go further and have an entire feel to their army. I'm not passionate at all about the bloodlines, but I know what their after, and am trying to help it along and keep it balanced and fun. It's better to have an underpowered list that people find it fun to play against and have fun playing with than an overpowered list, for sure.
 
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That's kind of the point, I think, and goes back to the reason for the project in the first place. We're not TRYING to make a Strigoi army as versatile as a normal VC army, we're trying to make a VC army with options that perfectly represent the flavor of the Strigoi bloodline. That, inevitably, means narrowing its focus a little bit. The same with Blood Dragons, Lahmians, etc.

The increase in customization and number of options comes not in each bloodline by itself, but when you take all of the bloodlines as a whole, you get 6 separate army lists, each with its own powers, each still a VC army, but able to be played in ways that the regular VC book won't allow. So while each indivdual bloodline has inarguably less variation in style of play than the normal army, the wide range of options that a set of different army lists opens up is what compensates.

And in regards to you playtesting one of the lists, which one was it? I've only played Blood Dragons so far, and I didn't find them to be OP at all.
 

Sweeney Todd

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Grish said:
I raised the points on Varghkin and Ancient Beast awhile back. If you haven't read those arguments Caleb, go for it. And yes, I agreed with you; the Varghkin is over powered, Ancient Beast less so. So is hydra, so is Abomb. And you didn't mention the LD7 varghkin vs. LD4 Varghulf, which makes a difference when marching/flying, and didn't mention the Large Target which means more when being targetted with Small Arms fire. I would be happier with the Varghkin being S6 T5 (to me, T4 is not enough for a large target, and S7 is too much). Even S6 w. Armour Piercing I would be happier with. Dropping it to regular Regen would be better as well, and then personally I'd be happy. A strong monster, but not overwhelming. The I is a big deal as well in this edition. And the fact that it's a character is a downer; it can be challenged when Wizard hunting, and a bad set of rolls can cause it to go 'poof'. I still don't think it could go toe-to-toe with an Abomb or a Hydra, not with the sheer amount of wounds they have. And it doesn't have to; it's much more mobile, not really it's purpose, plus the ton of poisoned attacks of ghouls should hurt those things. Losing the Wizard lvl in 8th doesn't mean much. Might mean an extra 2 channeled dice all game, big deal.
I'm all for making the Varghkin S6 T5 instead of S7 T4. I understand and support T5 being too low to justify a proper Large Target.

That aside, I won't mind even if Varghkin was dropped completely. I'm concerned about Varghulfs being rendered obsolete by this, as said before. So if this power is found to be broken, and/or nobody takes Varghulfs because of this, then we could just give this option the chop.

Caleb Astar said:
Really, don't you feel Red fury, Eternal hatred is enough to represent a blood dragon? That MotBA and Dark acolyte perfectly fit a Necrarch (by the way, that Vargulf is exactly what you mean by a Varghkin thrall) with no need to create much more powers? Do we really need new powers, that will be a pain to balance?

I fully agree on the SCM codex, but the VC book (at least for characters) is the opposite: 18 powers for our vampires + 100pts of magical equipement, that's better than the personnalisation in the V6 book. You can't change the bloodline to change play style, it's true, but you can mix all of them, and create new vampires that could not exist in 6th Ed. In fact, bloodlines lists decrease the options for an army.
Why's my Necrarch wearing armor then? Why's my Blood Dragon packing a Power Scroll? Don't fit the fluff for sure.

The current VC book is not the opposite of the current CSM book. It is exactly the same in the sense that they went in the same direction. The current CSM book allows you to mishmash by fielding cult troops in any combination, so long as you fit within the standard FOC, sliced away the vast majority of the wargear options(and hence the standard Chaos HQs' customizability) and completely removed the legion rules. that created very different sub-armies within one book.

The current VC book did the same. It allows you to create mishmash vampires at the expense of 'uniqueness'. Sure, you can vaguely approximate Blood Dragons, Necrarches and so on. However, the little things that helped define each army list were taken away. The +2WS that Blood Dragons get in their custom armylist is exactly what they got back in 6ed. The same goes for Strigoi getting +1A, Hatred, 5+ Ward and zero equipment options. The problem that the current CSM book has, of the same few options being used again and again is something the VC book shares as well.



Funny how I support this project when I'm possibly the only one who never personally played 6ed VC. Back then I played only 40k and was waffling on starting Fantasy.
 
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Well, so hard to be clear enough on a forum.

When I came to versatility, I answered Sweeney Todd. I know the 6 army lists will make a lot of options, but I still think we can have a few more different vampires in a single bloodline. After all, in the 6th Ed. books, we had very few informations about each one. But that's not really the point here.

We're quick to idealize something, but I just looked at the 6th edition army book, and did not found such typical bloodline powers. What were the Strigoi powers?
- Infinite hatred, Ghoul invocation and Fly. Half of the powers, that all are in the 7th Ed. book (even if the second got changes, to be more useful);
- Regen: not very useful in 8th Ed, because of the vampire ward save;
- other powers are +1F and +1E.

Damn, where are the so typical powers I can't feel a Strigoi without? The most important of them are in the 7th book, and the others make characters stronger, but are so common... Stats increases, and that's it.

The basic rules of this bloodline, about half of the powers, and the optionnal army list made them unique. You have created an optionnal list that fit them, you used their basic rules (+1A, hate, no magical items and so on...), you got the needed powers in the VC book, why creating new ones?

I totally agree with you when you say the VC book don't let us make Strigoi vampires. It lacks this special rules, and that's a need to put them in your list. But when it comes to bloodline powers, I have the feeling I've got more choices in the 7th book than in the 6th one, and then I can make a Strigoi with ease.

I still need your optionnal army list, I still need the special rules for a bloodline. I don't need new powers.

Why do I insist on this point? Because VC books powers are more balanced, and less questionable by our opponents than the new creations.

Caleb, just my two cents after all, cause I like your work xD

PS: Good point about challenging Varghkin, I forgot.

PPS: I played Blood dragons, and didn't feel them OP at all, I found them a little bit underpowered in fact. But once again, their characters have some unbalanced powers (didn't say OP, some are too weak, as Defender, or too strong, has Unliving-"My lonely knight make you flee without help"-legend).

PPPS (would he stop one day?): for sweeney todd, look at this post. I explain that's not the +2WS, or the +1A/Hatred that make a problem, but the bloodline powers, and only them. By the way, Necrarchs in 6th could wear magical armor (who's gonna pay them Avatar of death after all?), and blood dragons in the 8th army list can take power scrolls, but it doesn't really matter :tongue:
 

Sweeney Todd

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Caleb Astar said:
I still need your optionnal army list, I still need the special rules for a bloodline. I don't need new powers.
Let's assume for a moment that what you suggest becomes reality. So in a Blood Dragon army, you would have Skellies(maybe Veteran, maybe not)and GG for Core, and lots of knights for Special. That's cool, fits with the theme and the direction the army is supposed to go in.

Now the problem would be the vampire thralls and lords, the thralls especially. With the vanillafied vampiric powers pool, there are extremely few viable combat builds. So you would see the same vampires running around again and again. Every Blood Dragon Lord would have Red Fury and Infinite Hatred, and every thrall would have Infinite Hatred. This problem is exaggerated by the bias the particular bloodline army would have as compared to generic VC. The moment you take a casty lord or thrall is the moment you completely obliterate any pretense whatsoever of theme/fluff. And that's what the bloodline-specific powers are about, providing more options while keeping within the theme, because the generic VC book in its bid to accomodate everything leaves you with next to nothing when you have something very specific in mind.

In short, as the bloodline armies diverge from the main book, there would be a glaring mismatch between the generic powers pool and the army itself. The creation of seperate bloodline armies necessitates the creation of a pool of vampiric powers for each bloodline. Otherwise it'd be ice cream without the cream.

Caleb Astar said:
Why do I insist on this point? Because VC books powers are more balanced, and less questionable by our opponents than the new creations.
This is true in the sense that others are more likely to accept it if the generic VC vampiric powers are used instead of the custom ones we have here. However I disagree with this on the principle that this argument can be used against any homebrew army whatsoever, and even Forgeworld rules. If we took this argument to its logical extension, homebrews would have no right to exist, thus this project should be shot on sight as well.

By the way, I find it ironic when people hold up GW's official rules as 'balanced'. The very presence of 'codex creep' runs counter to the concept of gameplay balance. And the change in rules of 8ed as compared to 7ed can be considered a step backwards when it comes to balance. Perhaps our rules may be broken. But it doesn't mean that GW, by dint of being the ones who make the official ruleset, are any better.
 
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Never said GW's rules were balanced, they are "more" balanced, not the same.

I understand your point, but (for the moment), I can't see anything in bloodline armies that fit what you search. In a Strigoi army, everyone's gonna have an Ancient beast as Lord, and a Varghkin, just as everyone is gonna have a Red fury + Infinite hatred lord with VC book. Sometimes, you will have a vampire with other powers, just as a Scout vampire, or a knight could come with VC powers. Nothing really changes, cause as powers are unbalanced (imo), some builds are far better than others.

For now, I suppose it would be better to come back to the list on itself, as the talk becomes less and less related to the Strigoi list. On this subject, I still find lords a little OP, and that more units should count toward minimum core units.

If your point is to make new bloodline powers, I understand it.

On the other hand, I propose to open a topic to put a new idea of blood dragon's list, inspired by your previous work. Then, we could continue to talk about the need of new powers, and I could explain my idea with an exemple. I don't know if I'm authorized to do so, so I prefer asking permission now.
 

Bishop

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Removing the Necro and Wight Lord seems like a decent idea. With the loss of Grave Guard there is no justification for the Wight Lord to stay.

I agree with the Varghkin being changed to +1S, +1T, instead of +2S (I'm pretty sure I suggested it originally :D ) The increased Toughness makes more sense on a big flying monster thing, and IMO Str 7 is overkill.

Maybe both the Varghkin and Ancient Beast are overpowered (especially when compared to normal VC builds). However, this is no where near a normal VC list. I'd say that it should be throughly playtested before making any other/unnecessary drastic changes.

In regards to the actual Varghulf being obsolete... we could consider dropping its point cost down slightly when taken in a Strigoi list. It's something which has been done before, in other variant lists. (See the SoC VC variant, and check out the Black Coach). Anyways, something like 150pts might work here.

@ Caleb - Some of the Bloodline armies have already been changed for 8th (Blood Dragons and Lahmians). No further changes should be made to these without significant playtesting (barring a gross oversight). Everyones input is what makes projects like this interesting. However, the work on some of these custom lists pre-dates a lot of the members on this site (myself included). In order to keep these projects moving forward, they must be done in this way, otherwise there would never be any progress.
 
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Well, DoN just asked if someone had something to say on the list. I did.

@bishop: I never asked to erase the current blood dragon's list, nor to put my list instead, just wanted to put a suggestion, maybe in another part of the forum if you prefer, just don't know if it's possible. Moreover, I'm sure giving new ideas is a way to make things progress.
 

Disciple of Nagash

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Caleb - your thoughts are more than welcome, I hope you do continue to help.

However if you do, one of the things you will have to accept with this project is that we are creating new powers, that was one of the basic premises.

Now I made my own feelings clear early, and after reading through the various comments, I think the following should be changed:

Not allowed to take Wight Kings or Necromancers
Varghkin changed from +2S to +1S & +1T

I don't think we should change any more without playtesting. Does anyone have any issues with that?
 
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However if you do, one of the things you will have to accept with this project is that we are creating new powers, that was one of the basic premises.
xD

This was just a little point in my arguments, and we made a few posts on it. That was not my goal. I still have reasons to think it's a false good idea, but it's not the place to talk about it.

I suppose it's time for playtesting.
 

Bishop

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Actually, given the amount of changes to this particular Bloodline I think these should be put to a vote!
 

Disciple of Nagash

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I would normally agree, however in this case that might be problematic. This list is very much removed from the normal VC lists, to the point they will play almost more like WE, with fast attacking units with little static CR. I think people may not realise the powers etc have been purposely designed to be over powered to counteract this and make the list playable.

Personally I think with the amount of discussion that has taken place we should just put it through and playtest it, allowing the final version to be voted through after playtesting review.
 
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Was just going over the list real quick, since it looks like we're ready to wrap this one up. Noticed we have zombies as a special choice? Leaving aside whether anyone actually brings zombies into battle for points, I'm fairly certain they won't if it's taking up special points. Plus, zombies are so simple for necromancers to create I kind of just figured they were an automatic core choice for every bloodline.

So I guess I'm requesting that we move zombies to core. I really don't think it'll have that much of an impact either way, honestly, but fluff wise it doesn't make a whole lot of sense IMO for any army to call them a special choice.
 

Bravo_10

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I see no problem with playtesting before a vote goes through. I'm interested to see how this army fares in combat before I place my vote.
 
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I concur with Bravo and DoN. Testing before voting seems like the most logical way to do it. (If only political elections could work that way...heheh.)
 

Bishop

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Montesque said:
Testing before voting seems like the most logical way to do it. (If only political elections could work that way...heheh.)
hehe.. indeed.


It was just that when these were originally created, everything was voted through. Given the huge amount of changes, I figured it might be in order.

I will yield to the majority if it decides to just push it through to the playtesting stage :D
 
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DoN, not sure if I'm allowed to post here but just to put everyone's fears to rest, this list plays extraodanarily well from my experience against Wood Elves. I've used both of the special units (Strigany and Court Ghouls) and it is nice to have a shooting phase, also nice to see the look on your opponents face when he says,
"Ghouls get HOW many attacks?!"
 
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