|Emblematic Mana:||Body Mana|
|World Spell:||River of Blood|
the strongest legion compare to the might of a Vampire Lord? Perhaps their enemies are willing to dismiss the ugly rumors as just that to avoid the danger of sharing the fate of the sad Calabim humans.
Your vampires (gained at Feudalism, or through Losha Valas at Fanaticism) can be fed either through building a couple of big farm cities, or simply by taking over enemy cities and gobbling up their entire population (bon appetit). Spread the gift of Vampirism to as many of your units as you can (your Moroi units can gain vampirism earlier than other units) and take over the world. With their unique Breeding Pit building, the Calabim also have synergies with the use of slave labor - whenever your citizens aren't being used for vampire food, they can be whipped away for production. (Your citizens may feel a bit unhappy, but they'll be dead soon enough anyway.)
The Calabim World Spell, River of Blood, grants 2 population in each of your cities, while reducing the population of all other cities in the world by 2.
For the Calabim, once they have a foothold on their Birthright, either through Losha Valas or standard Vampires, they can become nigh unstoppable. With a Breeding Pit, Granary and Smokehouse all set up in your primary feeding cities it will only take a couple of nice farms to ensure that you are gaining a population each turn. Feed your Empire and slaughter your foes, then eat their population and leave the now useless City unguarded to dispose of it. Like a swarm of Locusts, you can spread across Erebus from your Empire and leave nothing in your wake but the Barbarians. Each of the true Vampiric Units is capable of casting a small arsenal of spells. With Haste to reach the enemies sooner, Regeneration to keep your dinne.. err, support troops, alive between fights, and Spectres to soften up the few defenders capable of withstanding your assault. But for the Vampire Lords there is a further Treat, they can make use of Lichdom to become full fledged Arcane units, but far stronger than any Archmage could hope to be on his own.
1. It's all about the vampires. OK, it's a champion that's 50% more expensive than normal, and -1 base strength: how is that a good thing? The answer is that vampires are born with the ability to cast Haste and summon skeletons. With one promotion, they can summon spectres. They can also Feast their way to essentially infinite experience. Think of these guys as heroes that get buckets of promotions in a few turns instead of 100. The other ability of vampires is the Gift Vampirism spell, which gives Vampirism to any level 6 unit (or level 4 Moroi, the Calabim Axeman unit). This gives the target unit an extra 10% strength, faster healing, and the ability to Feast (see below). No summoning ability, though: that would be just too much.
2. Governor's Manor ASAP. The governor's manor provides a hammer for each unhappy face in your city. This is huge: your early size-4 cities will have an extra five hammers from the governor's manor (4 unhappy from "it's too crowded", 1 from "some buildings are making us unhappy"). The tech that enables the governor's manor building (Code of Laws) also enables the Aristocracy civic, which, combined with Agrarianism fits the Calabim like a glove (Aristograrian)
3. Population = power. As stated above, each population point is worth another hammer to your governor's manor. Also, the Feast spell lets you convert city population into experience for your vampires. The bigger the city, the greater the experience gain; for example, feasting a size 15 city down to size 10 will give 50 experience.
The Calabim have a unique building called the Breeding Pit that gives +2 food, -1 health, and +20% retained population after growth (meaning your cities can grow back to normal size more quickly after feasting or whipping). Worst case, this is +1 food; with enough health resources (see tip #10), it's an extra person. It can be worthwhile for Calabim cities to grow into unhappiness, since the extra population will provide some benefit even while it's rioting.
Sanitation and Construction are great techs for the Calabim, since they allow for more productive farms and fresh water propogation via farms, respectively. Farm every tile you can; more food = faster growth after whipping or feasting, and each farm gives commerce under Aristocracy. Sanitation also enables the Public Bath building, which gives a whopping +3 happy at the price of -1 health.
4. Summons are the ultimate cannon fodder. Attack sequence: move adjacent to target, summon one skeleton per vampire. Next turn, summon one spectre per vampire, cast enchantment spells (Enchanted Blade and Shield of Faith are nice, since they work on both living and undead units). Attack with the summoned units: if they die, so what? Their death doesn't increase your war weariness, and you can summon some more next turn. Now, kill the softened-up units with your vampires. This won't work against really tough targets unless you have lots of death mana:
5. Spectres love Death mana. Spectres have death affinity, which means their strength increases by +1 for every death mana node you control. Create three death mana nodes and your summoned troops are suddenly twice as powerful. With lots of death mana (see tip #10), empower 5 (easy enough to Feast combat 5 onto your vampires), and some additional buffs, your disposable summons can do some damage to pretty tough opponents. Using Death mana will give a diplomacy penalty with lots of AI leaders, but you're going to kill them anyway, right (see tip #10)?
6. Be Flauros. Financial and Organized (half-price governor's manors!) are great traits for someone who's planning to conquer the world (see tip #10). Alexis's traits (Aggressive and Philosophical) run exactly counter to the way I play the vampires: who needs free combat 1 when you can get all the promotions you need by feasting? And the high-food cities that could support specialists are exactly the ones that are ideal for feasting. Decius is an interesting alternative, but I usually need all the financial help I can get.
7. Don't crash your economy. Governor's manors only provide half the city maintenance reduction of regular courthouses, and the Calabim can't construct the buildings that give extra research per city (Elder Council and Alchemy Lab). It's pretty easy to overexpand and reach the point where your research is stagnant and your troops are revolting. One of your research priorities is Education; spam cottages if your economy is in trouble (or take over some of your neighbor's cities). Once you get Aristograrian cranking, your money troubles should be over.
8. Pick the right moment for your world spell. The Calabim world spell increases the population of all Calabim cities by two, and decreases the population of all other cities by two. It's a nice double-edged sword, helping you and hurting your opponents. There are two schools of thought on this spell: cast it as soon as your capital reaches size 3, giving you an early game boost and your opponents an early setback. Or, wait until mid game when you've connected a couple new happy resources or built some public baths and all your cities are at least +2 happy. I usually shoot for the latter timing.
9. Burning Blood is nice, but use it carefully. When you're attacking at long odds with a Moroi, the Burning Blood spell will give +20% strength, +1 move, and blitz. Beware, though: if it survives, there's a 20% chance per turn that the unit will turn into a barbarian and attack your units (and a 10% chance that it will lose the burning blood promotion, but that never seems to happen).
10. Conquer the world. More happy and healthy resources = bigger cities = more hammers and more powerful vampires. More death nodes = stronger spectres.
Other considerations Edit
Unhappiness and Feasting Edit
For details on the mechanic, see the Temporary Unhappiness chapter on Happiness wiki page.
Mobility and living units Edit
Vampirism does not steal life, but change it. So Vampire, Vampiric Paladins, Vamp Lord are live units, can be Hasted and Regenerated, and will die in large number during Armageddon. Do not underestimate the usefulness of the Body spell for Vamps. On the contrary, Vampiric Lich, Vampiric Eidolons and other evolutions are not alive and lose the synergy with Body enchantments. So your fast moving division will avoid non living catapults and Lich. An army of Vampires, Mages, adepts, Moroi and other living units, promoted with Mobility and Raider is incredibly fast. Wait unitl you do run out of movement and then cast Haste and you will be able to move again. If you have some hill giants they will regain also the ability to bombard, like living catapults. If not you will need firemages or sheet strenght of summons. And then cast Regeneration to heal while moving. The feeling is the same of a Tank rush in vanilla Civilization.
Alexis and the Moroi rush Edit
Flauros is generally preferred as a Leader. But comparison is difficult to make, because Alexis is a warmonger and Flauros is a builder. So any comparison between the two leaders is essentially a warmonger vs builder debate.
The main reason that most people think Flauros is better than Alexis is because they try to play Alexis the same way they play Flauros. To head for Code of Laws early and switch to Aristocracy is a good for Flauros but bad for Alexis. Trying to play Alexis as if you were Flauros will lead to failure (or extremely sub-optimal play).
Alexis should start beating her opponents to a pulp as soon as possible, starting with a Bloodpet or Moroi rush, and keep going. Flauros usually waits until Vampires before any serious conquests.
City States vs Aristocracy Edit
Therefore the early civic to use for Alexis is usually City States, not Aristocracy. City States is better suited to rapid conquest due to lower maintenance costs. Aristocracy hurts :food: and :hammers: production, which is crucial for a warmonger. City States+Agrarianism+Slavery is a good combination especially with Breeding Pits.
God King early was good in old version of the game. In version 0.40 and following researching Mysticism too early is bad because the Calabim can't build Elder Councils, which severely decreases the economic value of Mysticism. Only research Mysticism when you are ready for religion or Knowledge of the Ether.
But what if you're stuck alone on a continent with nobody to conquer? I would still advocate City States for REXing (Rapid EXpansion), with the possibility of a switch to Republic for the Altar or Cultural victory. The problem with Aristocracy is that it lowers food production, which affects your ability to allocate specialists. Plus Aristocracy and is extremely painful to switch out of once you've based your economy on it (see Aristograrian).
Since Alexis is Philosophical (+100% in all cities), specialists and great people (GP) play a large role in the economy. However, a particular handicap of the Calabim is the lack of Elder Council and Alchemy Lab. Which prevents the Calabim from running a lot of Sages.
Some handy techs to lightbulb.
- Hidden Paths
- Corruption of Spirit
- Religious Law
- Way of the Forests
- Way of the Earthmother
In most games the Currency-Mathematics-Taxation bulbs are the most useful. If playing AV, use the Corruption of Spirit-Priesthood bulbs to get early Ritualists. Most of the time Great Sages should be used to build Academies, except maybe for bulbing Alteration. Building the Great Library can be worth it, especially if you plan to take the OO or AV religions. Even though I included Hidden Paths and Way of the Forests, FoL is not the ideal solution for Calabim.
Message from the Deep isn't worth bulbing.
Feudalism vs Fanaticism Edit
The obvious path to access vampirism is to unlock Vampires with Feudalism, but you may alternatively beeline Fanaticism, that lies in a very different path, to unlock Losha Valas and then gift vampirism to your existing units. Clearly you'd want to research both eventually. Fanaticism caters to heavy warmongering but Feudalism caters to a more balanced style of play.
Feudalism si suited to a builder style and so to Flauros.
- When you will gain ability to build Vampires, you will have to face the production costs: 180 compared to 120 for Champions and 60 for Moroi.
- A builder start is mandatory to provide a strong economy, essential because Vampires are very expensive . Trade (a builder tech) is a requirement for Feudalism.
- Few lvl 4+ Moroi
- Empyrean or Council of Esus religions
- Many lvl 4+ Moroi, from early warmongering!
- AV or Order religions.
With Fanaticism, your military strength will be concentrated in Losha and a group of vampiric Moroi. Whereas with Feudalism, it will be more evenly spread out among easily replaceable Vampires.
Feudalism allows vassals states, but Fanaticism brings you closer to Eidolons (Malevolent Designs) and Bruja (Rage). Vampiric Eidolon and Bruja are seriously badass dudes.
Vampire vs Vampiric Moroi:
The 4 numbers in the columns represent modified strength for no metal, bronze, iron and mithril weapons, respectively.
VAMPIRIC MOROI | VAMPIRE | % DIFFERENCE | | Combat IV 8.4 | 9.5 Combat IV | +13.1% + 10.5 | 11.4 + | +8.6% Burning Blood 12.6 | 13.3 Vampirism | +5.6% + 16.8 | 17.1 | +1.8% Vampirism | |
This is just an example to illustrate the cost/benefit ratio of Vampires vs vampiric Moroi so it clearly isn't a real game situation. I used Combat IV (level 4 Moroi) for easy comparison, but promotions like Shock, Cover and City Raider actually reduces the strength difference between Vampires and Moroi because they're not strength bonuses but strength penalties to the opponent. Considering that a Vampire costs 3 x the cost of a Moroi, for melee combat gifting vampirism is more efficient if you have alot of lvl 4+ Moroi. It yields instant vampiric unit without any additional cost. Whereas upgrading to/training new Vampires requires considerable investment. But of course Vampires have spells as well.
Vampire upgrade path Edit
Bloodpet --- Moroi --- Vampire ------- Vampire Lord / \ / \----- Paladin/Eidolon Radiant Guard -- \ \--- Knight \ -- Brujah / Slave --- Lunatic ----
Gift Vampirism is a distint procedure, it is free but it requires lvl6, lvl 4 if Moroi. Note that Druids may not be upgraded from Vampire: you have to build them (or better to upgrade from a priest), reach lvl.6 and gift Vampirism.
Calabim do not have an exclusive religion of choice. They can go with whatever religion provides the biggest diplomatic benefit or suit your victory condition. But some synergies and nice strategies are possible.
With that said, Council of Esus (CoE) is probably the least useful religion for Alexis because there's no CoE temple to allow more specialists.
Octopus Overlords Edit
The biggest benefit of OO is the Tower of Complacency (ToC) for your "Feasting City". The ToC yields the best long-term feasting potential out of all religions. OO is also good if you want to run more Sages.
- OO allows Drowns/Cultists/Stygians for a strong naval presence, whether it is for coastal defense or assault.
- OO conserves your evil alignment, giving you access to vampire Eidolons.
- OO Temple, Shrine and Asylums allow extra Sages.
- The Lunatic is a fun unit but sucks compared to other Calabim units. However the Slave-->Lunatic-->Brujah upgrade path is interesting.
The major drawbacks of OO are that Saverous/Drowns/Stygians can't become vampires (they are undead or demons), and Hemah is fairly deep in the arcane line of techs. OO is an easy to religion to found since the AI rarely beelines it. It allows for more Sages and has a certain synergy with Slavery (Slave-->Lunatic). Obviously it's great for maps with a lot of water.
Ashen Veil Edit
Lore wise, Ashen Veil and sacrifice the weak fit fine. This gives big cities for the vampires to feed.
Of the late religions, AV is probably the best for a warmongering Alexis. The Sacrifice the Weak/Slavery combo is ideal for a warmongering economy as it allows newly conquered cities to get up and running quickly. This is in addition to Breeding Pit and Governor's Manor that already minimize the cost of whipping.The Priesthood/Fanaticism/Malevolent Designs research sequence nets you tons of goodies (or baddies rather ). Plus Malevolent Designs can be obtained earlier with the Infernal Grimoire. Sacrifice the Weak helps cities recover from feasting faster. Av's main disadvantage is of course hell terrain and the AC increase, but that's a small price to pay compared to the benefits.
It is ironic to use Order as a religion for a Vampire Empire. But history is often ironic.
Order has a lot of synergy. Calabim don't get as much maintenance reduction from governor's manors, so the basilicas are really handy to have. Plus, the unyielding order of the high priests means that those size 40 cities you grew for feasting don't have to worry about happiness problems. On the other hand, it removes all unhappiness in the city, and has the side effect of negating the governor's manor production bonus. Likewise with building the Tower of Complacency if you pick OO. Unyielding order is still probably good for main food cities though.
Social Order is the special civic of The Order (availabe at Religious Law). It gives +1 per Military Unit and +1 from Basilica and Manor each. Only the Calabim really benefit from Social Order. For other civs, it only helps a little to raise your cities from 20 pop to 30 pop. For the Calabim, it mean not only +10 xp for vamps, but +10 production in every city from the Governor's Manor. The production benefit is better than Arete, the xp benefit is better than any combination of xp-granting civics, and you're still working more tiles for a better economy.
In fact, the only thing about Order that DOESN'T synergize well with the Calabim is Sphener (who can't be vamped, hasted, or regenerated) .
This Bless is a great spell for buffing your already powerful vampires, and it closes the base power gap between them and normal champions. This is more useful for Vamps than any other Priest spell, because they already have Spectre summons and so they don't need Tigers or RoF very urgently.
You can also vampirise Valin, which works nicely.
Vampiric Paladins are MUCH better than Vampiric Eidolons because they can be Hasted and they can be Regenerated. Do not underestimate the usefulness of the Body spell for Vamps. Only Order can get you Pals, by giving you good alignement. Of course you may switch religion after you have gained them.
First and foremost Order is a religion of governance, not conquest. So in general it's more beneficial to Flauros than Alexis. With Alexis the main problem is the lack of Slavery and no whipping. This is less a problem with Flauros because he gets Governor's Manor for 1/2 :hammers: cost and relies more on that to get production running.
Religious Law is needed for Social Order and Basilicas, which forces you to divert away from Fanaticism-line research, preferred by Alexis.
If the evil Calabim convert to Empyrean they become neutral, meaning they can upgrade Vicars to Druids that can cast crown of brilliance, and eventually vamp them when they hit level 6. Better than vampiric paladins if you ask me.
Of course you have to avoid order to remain neutral. And as a neutral you can still (ab)use the Undercouncil.
Now, you know that the Empyrean get Radiant guards, an axemen comparable unit that gets to use metal weaponry, doesn't require a building, and has channeling 2 + sun 2 (blinding light). Now, Radiant guards upgrade one of two paths - Rathas or champions. Hmmm....what's the Calabim equivalent of the champion? Oh, yes, it's the vampire. In a city with a governor's manor, and feudalism, all your Radiant guards upgrade to vampires, for a mere 125 gold each. So let's see, that's a unit with free body 1, death 1, sun 2, channeling 1 + 2, that can use metal weapons, and can feast for xp? Hell yes, sign me up!
There's only one little problem. NEVER pasture horses, EVER. Because as soon as you get horses, your Radiant guard become obsolete, and all you can build are Rathas.
If you use workes on auto and you can not avoid horses you have to build a number of Radiant Guards BEFORE you research feudalism.
A city can build radiant guards unless it can also build everything radiant guards can upgrade to.
At feudalism, governor's manor + horses = no RGs.
So build Manors, build radiants while researching something like fanaticism or religious law, once you have a number that satisfies you, research feudalism and upgrade them to vampires.
Runes of Kilmorph Edit
The :gold: and :hammers: boost of RoK is undeniable and yields strong pre-vampire benefits.
RoK is the most compatible religion for an early Moroi rush (though not a rush properly speaking). Mines of Gal-Dur, Bambur (Enchanted Blade) and Shield of Faith turn Moroi into true killing machines.
RoK Temple allows extra Merchant, the Shrine allows extra Engineer.
Unfortunately, RoK does nothing to increase your food for vampire feasting. Therefore your vampires will be of lower level than possible with OO/FoL/Order. This can be compensated by having more units, since the RoK economic base can produce and support more units.
Another big disadvantage is that RoK changes your alignment to neutral, making Eidolons/Paladins unavailable. Druids are available, but they require researching the recon line and do not upgrade directly from Moroi or Vampires. In addition, Druids needs to wait for lvl 6 to acquire vampirism.
On the other hand RoK also give you access to the Altar of Luonnotar.
Essentially, RoK really helps your melee units.
Order / Runes of Kilmorph Edit
Go Order to turn good, and switch to RoK in the midgame to pick up the mines if I don't have iron, and to get 4 Stonewardens to 26xp, vamp them, and turn them to Paladins. That way you keep 4 shield of faith casters when you go back to Order for the late game.
Empyrean/Order/AV/Runes of Kilmorph Edit
Performing a bit of Relgion Hopping, you may get all the best of the catalogue.
Druids and Paladins will remain with you: only religious heroes (Chalid, Yvain, etc.) and the high-priest units leave if you change religion. The abandon code only checks for religion and civics, not alignment.
You may skip Order, the less important, or may add FoL for just the time your few remaining forests go anicent.
Fellowship of Leaves Edit
I'd only recommend FoL if specifically going for a religious or cultural victory.
FoL has some sweet advantages. The extra food:from ancient forests (non-pillageable) reduces the need to farm, freeing your Workers for other stuff. But the biggest benefit is that FoL allows you go grow many huge cities for you to Feast on, though unrest becomes an issue with repeated feasting.
Unfortunately, FoL requires research down the recon line for most of the religion specific units. All the FoL heroes are fairly deep in the recon line. This takes away from your main line of research, which is vampire research. So you have to choose between forgoing FoL units or delaying vampires.
Since FoL yields large cities, it allows you to easily generate GPP in parallel. FoL is also good if you want an economy with a stronger lean toward SE.
Like OO, FoL conserves your evil alignment for Vampire Eidolons. But if you plan to stay FoL and gain the reliogous heres, you may as well become neutral (switching rapidly to Empyrean) to gain Druids.
FoL Temple and Shrine allow extra Bards, useful for cultural victory.
Because Hidden Path can be bulbed with a Great Prophet it's fairly easy to gain access to Guardian of Nature early. This indirectly increases production by allowing larger cities and alleviating the need to build health and happiness buildings.
See also Edit
"Calabim Guide 0.40 - Alexis": http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=313175 (v0.40)
"Vampires! The Musical.":this thread (v0.31)
"Calabim - What religion?": https://forums.civfanatics.com/threads/calabim-what-religion.312247/