What’s that in the sky? Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No! It’s… some kind of weird blood-sucking creature and it’s coming right for me OH NO!
The Strigoi have long been feared among Carnevale players. They’re fast, they’re deadly, and they just won’t stay dead!
Well, that’s not about to change with Blood on the Water, where they’ll also be attacking from above! [insert “theyflynow.gif]
Carnevale’s newest campaign book pits Vlad against the Doctors in a campaign to see who exactly is the most evil faction in the game. Oh and something about the Doctors making zombies or something? I don’t know.
Anyway, the Strigoi are receiving the same treatment as everyone else: a new box of models, and a whole faction’s worth of balancing!
Faction Command Ability
Starting off the proceedings, we’re looking at the Strigoi faction Command Ability, and it is completely new!
Previously the Strigoi ability allowed them to move a bit faster – something they didn’t need before, and definitely don’t now they have wings!
Instead, Necrotic Mist does something altogether more useful. You see, Strigoi have some of the fewest ranged weapons of all factions, and barely any armour either. So at a distance, they’re rather vulnerable. This Command Ability gives all friendly Vampires within 6″ a Hidden counter, which is a brand new thing! Hidden counters make you completely invisible from over 6″ away, provided you’re in cover. That evens the playing field a little! If Strigoi can’t shoot, they now can’t be shot either!
We can’t look at the faction without focusing on Vlad first. He would be mad!
Vlad I’m afraid has been nerfed a little. Sorry everyone that relied on him to win entire games on his own! Although not really sorry, because he’s 3 Ducats cheaper at least.
Vlad has lost some of his skills, although gains a whole bunch of re-rolls. And while he has 1 less point of Attack, his Wallachian Halberd has gained +1 Damage, so it’s not all bad. His Transformation Command Ability also works a little differently now. It’s more like an instant teleport rather than an ongoing skill. Which is actually much more useful, as he can carry on attacking after!
There’s one glaring omission from his Character Abilities though: he no longer has Vampiric Attack! :O
But if you read over to the end of the card, you’ll find out why. Vlad is an extremely picky eater. He won’t drink the blood of just anyone. He gains Vampiric Attack (1) when fighting Heroes, and a colossal Vampiric Attack (3) when fighting Leaders. However, Henchmen? He’ll just cut them into pieces.
It’s not just Vlad that’s been paying attention to his brides recently (although maybe he hasn’t been paying extremely close attention to them – see BotW for details, Carnevale fans!). We at TTCHQ have also given them a closer look.
I know what some of you are thinking, and no they are not Henchman choices.
But how about unique profiles for each of them?
That’s right, Ceres, Cibele, and Miriam have all received their very own character cards. Each bride is 19 Ducats, and each brings something different to the table.
Ceres here has the most Character Abilities! She’s all about sneaking around, running away, and getting into the fights she wants. With Vampiric Attack (2) you can bet she’ll do a lot of damage when she decides to join the fray!
We’re not showing the rest of them off here (got to keep you waiting), but Cibele uses her knowledge of African sorcery, and Miriam has learned to command people around. Each of the Brides has a unique Command Ability as well, which only affects the other Brides. They’re not game breaking moves, but do reward you for taking more than one.
Speaking of sorcery, let’s have a look at some of Vlad’s followers, the Romani.
The Tarot Reader has become a little wiser, falling completely into her role as an elevated Mage (2) Hero choice. With MIND 5 and Expert Sorcerer (1) she is a very capable magic-user.
Her Cartomancy skill has been streamlined as well, simply replenishing Will Points whenever she casts Cantrips, which can keep her useful until the end of the game.
Romanis have become a little less survivable thanks to their loose clothing and lower Life Points. But they’ve also dropped to 9 Ducats, which is equal to a Citizen!
All Romani also have Slippery now, and with the changes to the ability, that means they can all disengage from enemies without even having to roll. You can put them in more danger than before and not have to worry about getting away again.
The core of the gang, the Strigoi themselves! Each has had a few little tweaks.
The Reaper for example is a little less offensive and less survivable (thanks to being basically naked). He’s cheaper though!
He also has Aerial Attack, which is a brand new ability. Basically, if you fall into base contact and base an attack from above, you don’t suffer any damage from the fall! That makes Reapers incredibly useful, although to get the best out of them, you’re going to have to work for it.
The Starved Dhampir has seen some extreme quality of life changes! Rather than having to keep track of constantly changing stats, her Rejuvenated ability now only works when she’s on full Life Points. Although to balance that out, she only starts the game with 5! You’re going to have to be extremely careful with her in order to get the most out of this insanely cheap Henchman choice. No, that’s not an error: she only costs 7 Ducats.
One thing that die-hard Strigoi players may have noticed already is the change to Fangs. The good news is that Fragile Fangs are a thing of the past. It’s just Fangs now. The bad new is that they’re no longer Aquatic. Sure you can bite someone underwater, but all that blood is going to wash away before you really get to taste it! Sorry Strigoi players, you’re going to have to avoid the water for now…
Alright, that’s enough about the old Strigoi for now (I know, I haven’t even told you about the massive change that will make you want to use Thralls). There’s no stopping this ride, we’re heading on to look at the new box: the Airborne Cannibals.
For those not in the know, Strigoi are what they eat. The more of a particular thing a Strigoi eats, the more they become like that thing. These Strigoi have been forced to feed exclusively on their own kind, and it’s turned them into feral beasts!
The Strige was a model released in the Kickstarter, but on Friday will be available to the rest of us for the first time. They’re tricky Hero choices for the Strigoi. They’re extremely fast, extremely dangerous, but not very survivable. Even moreso than regular Strigoi!
With wings that give Flight, the Strige can strike anyone anywhere and not have to worry about silly things like climbing or jumping. They’re not tough, but with Hunter as well, you’ll want to gang up on a larger enemy, drain it of blood, and then fly off before it can hit you back.
What happens when a Strige carries on eating more Strigoi though? They descend down a dark path…
The Strzyga is the next step in the chain. Although it’s a chain that sends the Strigoi backwards evolutionarily speaking. More feral and barbaric than the Strige, the Strzyga has grown massive, its wings barely able to keep it aloft.
Although they do still allow the Strzyga to fly, it is slower than its smaller cousin. But with Expert Offence (2) and Monstrous Claws that do +1 Damage and -2 Penetration, I’m not sure you’ll really care! With a huge 14 Life Points as well, this is one tough foe – and that’s before you realise it can fly!
Vlad is a bad man. Or vampire. Or demon. I don’t really know what he is. But he’s not nice. He has no attachment to humanity anymore, and cares little for his Strigoi either. That’s why he’s quite happy for Harpies to exist. Children who are turned into Strigoi and then raised as cannibals, the Harpies are true visages of the monster Vlad is.
The Harpies are Henchman choices for a Strigoi gang, and at only 6 Ducats you shouldn’t expect them to do much! They’re fast and have wings, but are also Mindless, so you’re best snatching Objectives and then taking them to an adult who actually can do something with them.
One important thing to note: Harpies are so beneath the rest of the Strigoi that they don’t even have the Vampire keyword, which means they won’t get affected by a lot of skills.
Alright, it’s time for the momma Strigoi! The Stryha Crone was one of the first pieces of art we teased for Blood on the Water, and here’s her rules! A smarter Strige than most, the Stryha is allowed to feed on whatever she wants and gets the first choice of scraps, forming an amalgam of a monster.
With elongated talons and vast wings, this Leader is already a strong combat character. She also commands her forces well, giving 3 friendly characters Infiltration. Useful for the Airborne Cannibals as it gives them an early advantage, staying out of the way of fast opponents.
The Crone also has a chameleonic Natural Camouflage, which not only helps her with Concealment (+2), but is a gift she can bestow onto friendly characters with her Command Ability. Combine that with the new faction Command Ability and you have a lot of extremely hard to hit Strigoi.
She’s fast, she’s dangerous, and you’ll never have a problem seeing your gang to use Command Abilities when you can fly!
So who’s excited? Are you keen to fly circles around your opponents? Or are you rubbing your hands together gleefully to field all three unique Brides in your gang? You can make a pretty crazy list with Vlad, 3 Brides, 2 Harpies and a Starved Dhampir that will come to 103 Ducats. Offer your opponent an Ill Tide and see how it goes!
All of these new goodies (and updated goodies) will be live later today! 3pm is pre-order time, and we’ve just about got time to check in on the Doctors before everything goes up on the TTCombat webstore.