New Rules: The Vatican

Stalwart defenders and religious zealots? Sounds like the Vatican!

Carnevale’s first campaign book is almost here! With Blood on the Water we’ll be releasing new miniatures for every faction, and also updating the rules too!

The 2.2 version of the Carnevale rulebook will be releasing on Friday (and is included for free in Blood on the Water by the way), and with it, every faction is having an extensive balance pass.

The Vatican are laying low, and we’re shipping off to Malta to find the Knights Hospitaller engaged in a protracted siege for their lives and their home!

But meanwhile, all the other Vatican are having their rules updated…

Faction Command Ability

Like all factions, we’ve taken this opportunity to revisit and rebalance the Vatican’s faction Command Ability.

The Vatican’s Command Ability has been upgraded! Rather than rolling to see how many characters are affected, it simply replenishes 1 Will Point from every friendly character within 3″. It’s a smaller bubble, but the character using it replenishes 2 Will Points instead! I’m not sure any other faction has access to such a Will Point replenishment.


And who better to use this new ability than the Inquisitor? Well, actually the Inquisitor has undergone some changes…

For a start, that’s the excellent artwork of the Inquisitor from the Queens of the Adriatic box! She’s not looking happy, using her own blood to cast magic.

I say that, because the Inquisitor has received a new ability: Frenzied. That’s right, the Inquisitor can now use her Life Points to cast spells. With only 2 Will Points, she’s going to need to!

Luckily enough, thanks to changes to Stigmata, she gets a massive benefit from doing so! Using Life Points as Will Points not only casts spells or increases rolls, but the Inquisitor gains re-rolls if she does so! Including the Destiny Dice! Use Life Points on a Combat action, and her attack changes to Penetration -3 as well, which is very handy! Hahaha handy.

Oh and yes, this change does also apply to the Stigmatist!

The Exorcist has also seen some changes. Which is nice, because he was rarely used before! For a start, he’s a measly 20 Ducats, which puts him as one of the cheapest Leaders.

His Helm of Penitence was already great at stopping magic and also stopping characters within 3″ using Will Points. Which is even more useful now, because it means they cannot make Reactions!

However, the Exorcist has now gone one step further. Not only does he stop Will Point usage, but he also causes foes to lose them when he strikes. And if they have none left (Strigoi beware), his attacks do +3 Damage! It might take a little setting up, but he can become a true powerhouse.


Speaking of Will Points, why don’t we have a look at the Cross-bearing Deacon?

A bit of a mixed bag before, the Cross-bearing Deacon has been streamlined. While he’s lost his Command Points, his Righteous Zeal is infectious, making everyone Brave if they can see him! This is much more useful now, as Brave characters automatically pass Fear tests with no need to roll.

In addition, his Holy Relic has been re-tooled. Rather than acting like a Madman (using his Will Points instead of their own), characters now replenish Will Points if they’re close enough. It’s a massive 6″ aura as well. Almost every aura in the Vatican is now 3″, but that Holy Relic is pretty special!

The Executioner was seldom seen outside of the Vatican Starter Gang, but no longer! He’s only 12 Ducats! Although less of an outright powerhouse (and with basically no protection considering he’s barely wearing anything), he does have a very useful ability.

Bifurcation means the Executioner chops someone in half! If he scores enough hits (which isn’t always easy considering his axe is +1 Evasion), he halves their Life Points! The Executioner is fast going to become a highly valued target for foes of the Vatican.

Knights Hospitaller

The Vatican are set to receive some heavy reinforcements with Blood on the Water… if the Knights Hospitaller can escape the onslaught of Rashaar that is!

Led by the Knight Commander, this new character brings something to Vatican Leaders that they haven’t really had before: a dedicated fighter!

Make no mistake, the Knight Commander does one thing and he does it well: kill people in combat. Clad in full plate armour, the Commander is incredibly durable. Full Plate now gives Protection 6 and Universal Shielding (4), which means even charging from above isn’t a foolproof way to deal with this guy!

As a seasoned veteran of fighting Rashaar, the Knight Commander comes complete with Expert Offence (2) and Hunter, with a sword that does +2 Damage and -1 Penetration! He’s a true combat monster.

Add in a Command Ability that stops people from dying until they’ve had a turn, and a passive skill that allows friendly Hospitaller characters to re-roll the Destiny Dice, and you have a crazy good all rounder who only really suffers if you throw him in the water.

Although not in full plate, the Paladin of St Lazarus is probably even more survivable than most armoured knights! A Hero choice, the Paladin brings a whole lot to your gang.

First of all, that giant Warhammer gets +1 Damage and Stun, which is pretty useful! Expert Offence (1) allows a re-roll (and if you take the Knight Commander, you can re-roll the Destiny Dice), which means you’re going to be hitting for a lot of damage – especially on the second swing!

Of course though, we have to talk about Resurrection. As a fighter for the patron Saint Lazarus, the Paladin can get back up and keep fighting even after he’s been killed! All it takes is a successful MIND roll and he’s up again with 5 Life Points… and Berserk!

But what about the humble Knights of Malta? Although available during the Kickstarter, this is the first time these models have been released to the general public. And with that, they’re now a Henchman choice! An extremely pricey Henchman choice, but they’re worth it.

With some tweaks to their core stats, these characters have become some of the best defensive Henchmen in the game. Protection 4 with Expert Protection (2) thanks to their shields means they’re going to be sticking around for the whole game. Brave also helps them survive even longer.

They’re a rare Henchman choice with ATTACK 4, and +1 Damage as well! And with 2 Will Points, they can use them when they need to. Add in Companion to any other Hospitaller characters (including another Knight) and you’ve got a steady supply of replenishing Will Points thanks to the changes to the ability.

Last of all, we have a character who is actually fairly affordable! The Maltese Squire comes in at only 10 Ducats. He’s fairly good at climbing, which is great for someone armed with a crossbow. Unlike most Vatican characters, the Squire is best on the rooftop, giving support from above.

The changes to Reload mean that the Squire can move and shoot in the same turn, not needing to use an action to reload anymore, which makes this gawky teen a great Objective grabber. Companion also gives him a decent supply of Will Points, provided he can draw line of sight to a friendly Leader.

The Knights Hospitaller offer some extreme defensive gameplay to the Vatican, although with such high Ducat costs, you’re going to be quickly outnumbered. Luckily that’s how they like it! Find out more about the heroic Knights of Malta and their brothers and sisters in Blood on the Water, which – if we haven’t said enough already – is out on Friday!

When the pre-orders go live on the TTCombat webstore (usually around 3pm, so set your alarms), all of these rules will be updated on the Carnevale gang builder for free!

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