A Tactical Look – Vampiric Aristocracy

So what does an aristocratic vampire do exactly? How do you defend against such fancy vampires. Let’s find out  in todays tactical look.

With a mix of new characters and old the Vampiric Aristocracy box expands the tactical options available for servants of Dracula. We’ll go into each of these and talk about how best to use them or deal with them if you’re on the other side of the table.

Lewis has already gone over these a bit in his rules article full of the changes Strigoi are getting,  but it can’t hurt to give the new box an article all of its own.

Highborn Servant

As far as Strigoi servants go, the Highborn Servant is one of the more capable, and wealthy available. With good stats across the board, but lacking in Mind you’ll be wanting to keep her in line of sight to one of your other Vampires while she goes about her business.

As befitting her substantial wealth, her sword and pistol are quality weapons. +1 Damage on the sword is nothing to sniff at, giving her a solo damage potential of 7.  This is great for mopping up stray characters and can even put a considerable dent in out of position support characters.

In lieu of cheaper weapons like a Crossbow the Highborn Servant totes a high quality pistol. This fancy firearm reduces the targets armour by 1 and can be shot twice before needing to be reloaded. If you’re lacking ranged power then the Highborn Servant can cover that base and not be stuck when caught in melee combat.

Bankroll is an ability that can certainly change the tide of a game. Being able to get back your Climbing Tools or Leather Undershirt can be super handy in the right situations. Though be aware some equipment can’t be used again in this way, such as Gondolas, or Intercepted Documents (as you’ve gone past deployment when Bankroll happens).

You can be quite aggressive with this hero choice, not needing much in the way of support to get good damage out. Don’t be afraid to send her out alone to take out key characters. In the same vein if your opponent is being aggressive with their Highborn, make sure to gang up on her, she may have Parry but is no duelist and should fall to a couple of characters with little effort.

Hulking Moroi

The heavist hiting character in the new box is the Hulking Moroi. This brute is the kind of thing you point in the direction of the people you don’t want to see in one piece anymore.

With the same statline as the Highborn Servant and 15 life this large lad fills the same sort of niche as the Ugdru does for the Rashaar. Well, that is if the Ugdru was a roided up feral vampire with claws that could put a Lion to shame.

You’ll be needing that 15 Life, as with other vampires, the Moroi substitutes blood for will. Crazed means you’ll be needing to use frenzied on every attack, but as long as you deal damage you can gain that right back with Vampiric Attack. Subtlety is lost on this hulk so no need to play him with any. Point him towards a character you don’t want to see anymore and make sure you get the charge in. With First Strike (2) you’ll be missing out on a bunch of potential damage if you don’t get the bonus.

Dealing with this thing follows the same method as taking down any other large monstrous character. Make sure to be the one to charge it, as you really don’t want to be on the receiving end of a Moroi charge. Hunters will be a good pick to start a fight with this thing (he’s actually on a 40mm base, not a 30 like the builder and stat sheet currently state) getting bonus penetration when attacking characters on larger bases. Despite having Vampiric Attack (1) the Moroi will be using at least 1 of its life every time it attacks, meaning it can’t recover more than it spends and will, eventually, run out of life if you can keep chipping away at it.

Starved Dhampir

Wow, that’s a cheap vampire! Only 1 more ducat than a Newborn, though she’s not that much better. In fact she’s got less Life, Move, and Dexterity than a newborn, what the hell? Frenzied and Vampiric Attack (1) are pretty standard vampire fare, but Rejuvenated seems interesting. Being able to increase stats every time you replenish life from Vampiric Attack you get to boost a stat could lead to some interesting ways to play this.

Ok, so you’ll need to get the Starved Dhampir into a scrap to make use of Rejuvenated, so pair her up with something like your Nosferatu to get them into a good position for a charge. Alternatively a shovel toting Thrall moves at the same pace, donates blood if needed and brings, well, a shovel with stun. Being able to hit your quarry will be much easier if they’re more concerned with shovel induced tinnitus.

Now you’ve gotten your Dhampir into combat and gained a few stats from Bloodletting, whatever do you spend them on? Well, here’s a couple of suggestions you might find some use.

Objective Runner: Load her up with a 2 points of Movement and Dexterity then send her after objectives. She’s not mindless so she’s quite capable of late game scoring. 6 Movement and 5 Dexterity is enough to get you all over the board.

All in attack: Put as much into Attack as fast as you can, the more attack you have the more you’re likely to get more damage in. More damage means more regeneration from Vampiric Attack, which means more stats, for more damage. I think you can see where this is going, and if you want to ge there faster, use Nosferatu support.

Dealing with this character should be easy enough, just make sure you get hits in first, while she’s weak. While her Protection will never get better, she will be harder to hit if going for Dexterity off the bat. She won’t be on a net positive gain from Vampiric Attack so that 7 life can be taken off in a couple of good attacks.

Nosferatu

The Nosferatu is one of the original Strigoi characters and one of the last few from our kickstarter to be released (don’t worry the actual last 3 will get their time in the spotlight, too). They’ve also seen a pretty drastic change from their original incarnation, changing from hypnotising infiltrators into shadowy manipulators.

With the exception of their Dexterity, the Nosferatu have pretty low stats, a bit out of place with the rest of Vlad’s contemporary vampires. That shouldn’t matter too much though, these vampires are here to support, not to fight (though no one will stop you if you do). They might be able to deal out a couple of points of damage on low Protection targets, or help gang up on choice characters, but shouldn’t be something you rely on.

The big draw to Nosferatu is the 2 Command available in the Henchman slot. You could use these on out of sequence actions for the Heroes you really want to make use of. Or you could use them on its own command ability, Shadow Walker. This lets you move one of your vampires from within 1″ to up to 8″ away. Make sure to place your teleported vampire somewhere they can charge into combat, but not get charged themselves.

Dealing with these things is, again fairly simple, as long as you can get them out in the open. They aren’t going to be causing much damage by themselves and you could potentially force a defensive teleport out of them. With only 9 Life a few good attacks will put them down. Taking Nosferatu out with ranged attacks is ill-advised due to Concealment (+2).

Phew, that’s a lot of ways to get the best out of the Vampiric Aristocracy box, though I’m sure I’ve missed a few. This box brings a lot of options for a Strigoi player and a lot to think about for the opponent of one. If this article has piqued your interest about this newest box, you can pre-order it here. Or take a look at the rest of the Strigoi faction here!

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