Vampire Counts tech tree

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The Vampire Counts tech tree consists of technologies that unlock new advantages throughout the game. Research takes place constantly, but the rate at which discoveries occur can be increased by using heroes to spy or building additional research buildings at your settlements.

Tech tree[edit | edit source]

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Technologies[edit | edit source]

Tech Prerequisite Cost Effects Description
Wh main vmp beasts.png De Noirot’s Blasphemous Bestiary
For centuries, this tome of beasts has been required reading for Necromancers who wish ultimate control, training and mastery of the dread creatures that lurk by the graveside.
Wh main vmp corruptor of the forests.png Corruptor of the Forests
The darker and more haunted the forests become, the better the habitat for fell creatures.
  • Recruitment cost: -10% for Fell Bats and Dire Wolves units
  • Upkeep: -10% for Fell Bats and Dire Wolves units

To blight the trees, blacken and twist them, is to create the perfect surrounding for creatures that skulk with the Undead. This may be wolves with black hearts or those who are dead already, or Fell Bats resting between feedings of blood and the bodies of domestic cats.
Wh main vmp master of the swarm.png Master of the Swarm
To become Master of Swarms is to dominate each creature within the flock, so they sway to his control.
  • Armour-piercing damage: +1 for Fell Bats units
  • Armour: +20 for Fell Bats units
  • Melee defence: +5 for Fell Bat units

De Noirot's tome contains many rants about entering the minds of the fauna and dominating each creature, forcing them to work as one. There are more efficient ways. By taking control of the most powerful of these creatures the lesser beasts will follow - the true secret to how Vampires can summon and be enveloped by such swarms.
Wh main vmp leader of the pack.png Leader of the Pack
Contained in this passage of De Noirot's tome are methods of usurping the alpha beast of the pack.
  • Weapon strength: +5% for Dire Wolves units
  • Speed: +10% for Dire Wolves units

To glean obedience from the notoriously feral Dire Wolves is to become the alpha whom they follow. The iron will of Vampires and Necromancers alike can achieve this through strength of mind, but the bestiary provides other, more efficient methods to make the hounds eager to join the fray and fight on the reader's behalf.
Wh main vmp invoke animalistic hunger.png Invoke Animalistic Hunger
When Vargheists emerge from their tomb-like cocoons, they have a great hunger - this cantrip ensures it never slakes.
  • Melee defence: +5 for Vargheist units
  • Speed: +10% for Vargheists units

Vargheists were once true von Carsteins, but they have long since lost their noble trappings, becoming desperate beasts and useful tools for Vampires that retain their intellect. According to the bestiary, there is a cantrip that ensures that Vargheists will forever hunger - a despairing hunger that keeps them fierce and desperate to eat.
Wh main vmp beastmaster.png Beastmaster
There are words of power to control Vampires that have been lost to the bestial side hidden within them.
  • Recruitment cost: -10% for Varghulf and Vargheists units
  • Upkeep: -10% for Varghulf and Vargheists units

Vampires deprived of blood inevitably start to change, their human form slipping to reveal the true monster underneath. They become more bestial, feral creatures. These half-breeds can be controlled by a Vampire that is fully in control of his form or even a Necromancer, when the right words of power are spoken. The beasts are drawn to beings with such dominance.
Wh main vmp blood hunts.png Blood Hunts
Beasts that are already blooded, that know the thrill of hunting living things, will always be the superior breed.
  • Unit experience: +2 for all units recruited from the Forest building chain
Long is the tradition of the blood hunts. The Midnight Aristocracy do not seek out game or boar, like their mortal peers in the Empire. No, it is the smallfolk that are hunted for sport, set loose in the forests with Dire Wolves and Varghulfs quickly on their scent. A terrifying way to die, but that matters not because it makes for better pets.
Wh main vmp fresh prey supply.png Fresh Prey Supply
A fresh supply of meat or at least knowledge of where to find it, usually some poor Sylvanian hamlet, keeps these beasts pliant.
  • Armour: +10 for Varghulf units
  • Weapon strength: +5% for Varghulf units

If the Varghulfs and Vargheists' ravenous appetites cannot be kept in check between battles they can become burdensome to control. Wise masters will keep a supply of fresh, preferably still-living prey, ready should the Vampires beasts become all but impossible to control. This maybe a cage of 'breathers' kept within reach for such an occasion or even simply the location of a farmstead or hamlet. Either way, the poor subjects are doomed.
Wh main vmp fuelled by fear.png Fuelled by Fear
A Terrorgheist feeds by terrifying its prey into paralysis, this invocation invigorates the monster further.
  • Charge bonus: +20% for Terrorgheist units
  • Melee attack: +5 for Terrorgheist units
  • Weapon strength: +5% for Terrorgheists units

The titanic and monstrous Terrorgheists haunt caverns deep in Sylvania's wretched forests and mountains. They are not easy creatures to dominate - only the most determined beastmaster will try - and yet De Noirot discovered a means to enhance these monsters, making them even deadlier and more terrifying when on the hunt or in battle.
Wh main vmp binding.png Liber Necronomica
A text of powerful binding and one of the Nine Books of Nagash. It contains countless rituals to ensnare wrathful spirits, summon ghoulish creatures and imbue such fell things with dread power.
Wh main vmp invocation of usthoran.png Incantations of Ushoran
Ushoran was the first Ghoul King; his spirit can be invoked with the right words, and his children summoned.
  • Recruitment cost: -10% for Crypt Ghouls and Crypt Horrors units
  • Upkeep: -10% for Crypt Ghouls and Crypt Horrors units

Ushoran was one of the first Vampires, a great warrior and diplomat of Lahmia. However, that was many millennia ago. Over his long life the Vampire rose to greatness, but suffered damnation as a ghoulish Vampire creature, the progenitor of the Strigoi. A specific ritual is said to summon his spirit and imbue all of Ghoul-kind with his hunger.
Wh main vmp cannibalistic rituals.png Cannibalistic Rituals
Bestial chants around fell markings, eating their own, ghoulish kind.
  • Weapon strength: +10% for Crypt Ghouls and Crypt Horrors units
  • Speed: +5% for Crypt Ghoul and Crypt Horror units

Ghouls and their larger kin mainly hunt in packs. They may have once been of men, generations ago, but are now little better than beasts. Yet by inscribing a disgusting mark of power on the ground and eating one of their own - usually the weakest of the pack - the Ghouls' claws grow even deadlier.
Wh main vmp soulbinder.png Soulbinder
Using a litany from a language not spoken for generations, the speaker can bind malevolent spirits to his cause.
  • Recruitment cost: -10% for Cairn Wraiths and Hexwraiths units
  • Upkeep: -10% for Cairn Wraiths and Hexwraiths units

There are many dead languages in the world, some of which have been recorded and etched in dried blood on the pages of the Liber Necronomica. One such litany, when uttered using the exact pronunciations, can summon ethereal hosts to the speaker. However, if just one syllable is misspoken the summoner will be devoured by the spirits, rather than have them serve him.
Wh main vmp infuse the tireless horde.png Infuse the Tireless Hordes
This incantation quickens the pace of the hordes over great distances. Forever marching, never tiring.
  • Campaign movement range: +10%
The dead do not tire, nor do they need sustenance - that is an affliction of the living. Nevertheless, they are bound to travel only as quickly as they can put one rotting leg in front of the other. Infusing the hordes with this incantation will speed up the Undead marchers, although has to be limited lest their legs be worn away!
Wh main vmp strigoi legacy.png Strigoi Legacy
The book implants racial memories of Mourkain, Ushoran and Kadon to haunt the creatures' waking dreams.
  • Unit experience: +2 for Crypt Ghouls and Crypt Horrors unit recruits
The legacy of the Strigoi runs deep among Ghoul-kind for it was at Mourkain, capital of the Strygos Empire, when they were at the pinnacle of their power. Now, the remnants of that bloodline scavenge amidst the Ghouls, awaiting a return to greatness. It is a racial memory that can be implanted into all Crypt Ghouls, if the correct rituals are used.
Wh main vmp nightmarish reaping.png Nightmarish Reaping
Behold the reapers - summoned from their cairns to enact the doom of all mortals!
  • Weapon strength: +15% for Cairn Wraiths and Hexwraiths units
A Necromancer must be confident in his abilities to summon Wraiths back from the dead. For, unlike other minions, they hold on to a vestige of intelligence and cunning, and will happily reap the summoner's dread soul if not properly bound. However, a further unholy psalm spoken during the summoning can make these spirits even fiercer and more determined to harvest the spirits of the living.
Wh main vmp unliving siege engines.png Unliving Siege Engines
The enemy should fear the war engines of the dead, as screaming skulls fly over the ramparts!
  • Leadership: +10 when laying siege
  • Leadership: +10 when under siege
  • Enemy siege holdout time: -1

To be besieged by the dead is to know that the enemy can wait for eternity for your capitulation, should they wish; they do not need to eat, nor will they suffer thirst or disease. But its their war engines that can really shatter a siege - machines of bone that launch the laughing skulls of giants or fire bolts of necromantic energy against the castle walls.
Wh main vmp enshrine ancient lords.png Enshrine Ancient Lords
To enshrine an Ancient Lord of the Horde is to show the mortals just how fragile their own petty lives are.
  • Attrition: -20% casualties suffered from non-Vampire Count territory attrition
  • Raise dead cost: -5%

An Undead horde is not made purely from the freshly-dead, many have ancient Chieftains in their ranks. Enshrining or glorifying such creatures, be they Wight Kings or Skeletal Champions, has little effect on the Undead creatures they fight, but can have a morale-sapping effect on mortals still laden with fragilities such as pride and cowardice.
Wh main vmp spirit shackles.png Spirit Shackles
Shackling Wraiths via arcane means keeps their spirits tethered longer to the mortal plane.
  • Unit experience: +2 for Cairn Wraiths and Hexwraiths unit recruits
The Liber Necronomica has many rituals that not only summon spiritual malefactors, but shackle them to the Necromancer's will also. This keeps them convalescent far longer than intended in the initial summoning. The Wraiths' malign, if stilted, intellect will no doubt learn from prolonged exposure to their summoner's foes.
Wh main vmp blood.png The Lahmian Book of Blood
Said to be transcribed from scrolls of Neferata herself, this grave codex instructs recently-sired Vampires in the art of infiltrating, influencing and spreading the Vampiric curse across the world.
Wh main vmp serve in life and death.png Serve in Life or in Death
Fear is a great motivator. The living within the captured settlement must appease their new lord.
  • Income from Repression buildings: +15%
  • Growth: +10

As a Vampire's forces take control of mortal settlements, the living must quickly adapt to their pitiful new lives, for they may not be living for much longer. The Undead Lord could demand that all be slain and risen as zombies by the next moon rise. But Vampires that cling to their noble trappings prefer to have some 'breathers' about - to terrorise and dominate. Ask the smallfolk of Sylvania...
Wh main vmp baleful rituals.png Baleful Rituals
The Vampires' baleful rituals are enacted to ensure the spread of Undeath.
  • Vampiric corruption: +2
The Book of Blood contains evil rituals designed to spread Dark Magic ever outwards. Such incantations are performed at Morrslieb's height, with the leering face of the dark moon staring down into the Vampire Count's gothic castle. With a deathly thrum - like that of a Mortis Engine - the ritual concludes and so the touch of Vampiric corruption spreads, withering flora and bringing death and famine.
Wh main vmp blood is power.png Blood is Power
As the industry of Undeath grows, so do the dwellings of its Dark Lords. It is blood that drives this dread economy.
  • Income from cities: +15%
  • Growth: +15

From blood comes wealth, stature and power. Dark Magic may be the thing Vampires seek, but it is the blood of the living that sustains them. The Lahmian Book of Blood is full of Neferata's teachings on how to control her kin. The retention and giving of blood ensures loyalty, power and wealth.
Wh main vmp hexxenacht sacrifices.png Hexensnacht Sacrifices
Witching Night is the best time for ritual sacrifice, for evil gods are awaiting such gifts at year's turn.
  • Income from Vengeful Spirit buildings: +30%
  • Hero recruit rank: +2 for Wight Kings
  • Hero recruit rank: +2 for Banshees

Hexensnacht is also known as Witching Night, an evil phase of Morrslieb that marks the new year. Creatures of Chaos and darkness are invigorated at such a dark time, Tomb Banshees are imbued with extra strength and murderous need, and Wight Kings stand even more ready to harvest the living.
Wh main vmp spread vampire covens.png Spread Vampire Covens
The tenets of Lahmia encourage Vampires to inveigle themselves into the mortal populace.
  • Vampiric corruption in adjacent provinces: +1
Ever since Queen Neferata created the Elixir of Life there have been Vampires hidden in mortal societies. The Lahmians have always done it best, by inveigling themselves into high societies of the living and then subverting those in true power. While the Vampire Counts strike out from Sylvania, there are conclaves within other nations, allowing a fifth column to rise during the wars to come.
Wh dlc2 vamp turn knightly orders.png Turning Knightly Orders
Defeated mortal Knights who fought valiantly are, on occasion, granted the Blood Kiss.
  • Charge bonus: +15% for Blood Knight units
  • Melee attack: +5 for Blood Knight units
  • Melee defence: +5 for Blood Knight units

The Knights of the Order of the Blood Dragon were amongst the first to be turned to Vampirism. Walach Harkon, apprentice to the legendary Vampire warrior Abhorash, challenged them to single combat, defeated each Knight one by one, and turned the ones that impressed him with their martial skills. Many others have since suffered a similar fate, forced to swear unholy oaths of fealty to a new Vampire liege and fight eternally in his name from atop their evil Nightmare steeds.
Wh main vmp infiltrate noble houses.png Infiltrate Noble Houses
Some Vampires are masters of disguise, using their charm and magic to infiltrate powerful organisations and noble houses.
  • Diplomatic relations: +10 with all factions
Arguably, Vlad's greatest triumph was not the siege of Altdorf but before the Vampire Wars even started, when he spread his bloodline among the nobles of Sylvania under the Empire's nose. When he revealed himself it was largely too late for the Templars of Sigmar to react, the von Carstein powerbase had been established and has stubbornly refused to die out ever since. It is a viable strategy to this day.
Wh main vmp blasphemous disciples.png Blasphemous Disciples
As a Vampire grows in dark majesty, others of evil intent will flock to this master, for they also crave power.
  • Hero recruit rank: +2 for Vampires
  • Hero recruit rank: +2 for Necromancers

A Vampire may gain followers in several ways - although he may simply create them by imparting the Blood Kiss to those he deems worthy, others may be drawn to his rise in power and stature. A test of their loyalty will whittle out the chaff from the useful. Those who pledge their allegiance may then be tasked with the continued quest for power, or so say the scriptures within the Book of Blood.
Wh main vmp vampiric revivification.png Vampiric Revivification
Returning to the sanctuary of his Black Coach, the Vampire will begin the Lahmian art of rebirth.
  • Charge bonus: +10% for Black Coach, Corpse Cart, and Mortis Engine units
  • Armour: +15 for Black Coach, Corpse Cart, and Mortis Engine units

The art of rebirth is a Lahmian technique, although one practised by Blood Dragons and von Carsteins, where a Vampire that has expelled much of his power or is particularly dehydrated is covered in the blood of a hated enemy to allow his complete revivification. This can take place in the his tomb or some other sanctuary, such as his Black Coach when on campaign.
Wh dlc2 vamp delusions of grandeur.png Delusions of Grandeur
As its dark empire rots, the Midnight Aristocracy clings to pride and the fineries of nobility ever more strongly.
  • Recruitment cost: -5% for Black Coach, Corpse Cart, Mortis Engine, and Blood Knight units
  • Unit experience: +2 for Black Coach, Corpse Cart, Mortis Engine, and Blood Knight unit recruits
  • Upkeep: -5% for Black Coach, Corpse Cart, Mortis Engine, and Blood Knight units

All Vampires were once men, with hopes, dreams and families of their own. Though the Blood Kiss has turned them into twisted monsters, few can forget their past, mortal lives. Clinging to their old heraldic symbols, each one is clad in fine silk befitting of a lord or lady, and bestows titles of nobility upon their underlings. Although their ancestral castles crumble, each still boasts an opulent throne room from which the Midnight Aristocracy holds court.
Wh main vmp descipher nehekhara manuscripts.png Decipher Nehekhara Manuscripts
The Book of Blood contains indexes and lexiconical keys for deciphering ancient manuscripts said to hold true power.
  • Income from Forbidden Libraries and Necromancer's Towers: +30%
Within the pages of Neferata's tome are strange indexes and word keys - the very tools that Neferata herself used to decipher Nagash's teachings. Of course, her methods were not entirely foolproof, as the Elixir of Life was a flawed creation. Yet the power to decipher the ancient manuscripts enables Vampires to learn secrets not recorded since Lahmia was at its height.
Wh main vmp puppet master.png Puppet Master
Pulling all the strings, his puppets are willing tools, ready to be used at their master's command.
  • Hero action cost: -33%
  • Hero recruitment cost: -33%
  • Leadership: +10 for Icon general.pngLords and embedded Icon hero.pngHeroes
  • Lord recruit rank: +2
  • Lord recruit rank: +2

Neferata, in her supreme arrogance, or perhaps a desire for recognition, wrote down her methods for ultimate control in the Book of Blood. At the height of her power, she was the spider at the centre of the web or - to use a more common analogy - the puppet master pulling the strings of her willing servants, as well as those not so... 'pliant'.
Wh main vmp incantations of nagash.png Incantations of Nagash
The darkest chapters within these pages are the incantations of Nagash, rituals that only the most powerful Vampires dare attempt.
  • Income from Vampire Crypts and Vampire Keeps: +30%
The incantations of Nagash are the darkest of fell rituals, not to be used lightly if at all. For while they may ease the burden of Unlife, they can also act as a siren call to their original author. Nagash has been gone long from this world, but should he ever return then doom awaits us all!
Wh main vmp bones.png The Book of Arkhan
Also known as the Tome of Bone, this dread volume, authored by Arkhan the Black, is filled with his secrets for instilling vigour and other deathly abilities into zombified and skeletal vessels.
Wh main vmp bond of bones.png Bond of Bones
Speaking this Dark Magic mantra will bring forth yet more skeletal remains.
  • Recruitment cost: -10% for Skeleton Warriors and Skeleton Spearmen units
The Bond of Bones is a mantra first concocted by Arkhan the Black. When added to the traditional summoning rituals, Dark Magic becomes much stronger when seeking out skeletal remains. The cost, for there is always a cost in Dark Magic, is a sliver of the spellcaster's already maligned soul.
Wh main vmp distribute grave gifts.png Distribute Grave Gift
The armour many soldiers are buried with is brought back to the surface - a gift from the grave.
  • Armour: +10 for Skeleton Warriors and Skeleton Spearmen units
Those warriors who died in battle and have not had their arms and armour plundered may be buried with it - even if that means being flung into the same charnel pit as the rest of their regiment. This small invocation ensures such buried plate and mail rises to the surface at the same time the skeletons claw their way out of the grave.
Wh main vmp defiler of the ancient barrows.png Defiler of the Ancient Barrows
Guided by Arkhan's text, the Necromancer enters the barrows he plunders, invoking ancient curses as he goes.
  • Weapon strength: +10% for Skeleton Warriors and Skeleton Spearmen
  • Upkeep: -10% for Skeleton Warriors and Skeleton Spearmen

When entering the barrows of ancient warriors the trespasser must tread lightly, for their maybe booby-traps or more eldritch obstacles to prevent raiders. Even previous raiders who failed in their ransacking attempts come back to life as guardians - a bitter irony. However, defiling the barrow - using a guide within the Book of Arkhan - reveals secrets that can prolong the term of the ancient risen.
Wh main vmp risen champions.png Risen Champions
Summoning long-lost warriors to join your shambling dead boosts the yearning hordes' capable champions.
  • Unit experience: +2 for Skeletal and Zombies unit recruits
Hordes of Zombies and Skeletons rely on their numbers to overwhelm the foe, rather than skill-at-arms. Arkhan's book contains inscriptions that will ensure that champions of the past rise again to join the hordes. This ensures that martial prowess, as well as numbers, can bring about victory.
Wh main vmp raise newly dead.png Raise Newly Dead
A single-word boon, spoken during the ritual, will harden the skin of corpses as they jerk back to life.
  • Armour: +10 for Zombies units
  • Melee attack: +3 for Zombie units
  • Melee defence: +3 for Zombie units

Arguably, the simplest Dark Magic rituals raise the newly dead as Zombies. Even then, a Necromancer must have been steeped in the Dark Arts for years. Yet hidden in the annotations of Arkhan's book is a single word invocation that toughens up Zombies' skin - a useful boon if the reader knows where in the tome to look.
Wh main vmp master of the putrid horde.png Master of the Putrid Horde
Contained within, the secrets of holding together - quite literally - a rotting horde of Zombies.
  • Speed: +10% for Zombies units
  • Recruitment cost: -25% for Zombies units
  • Upkeep: -20% for Zombies units

While not the best vessels for war, Zombies are a ready and easily accessible source for any budding Necromancer, especially during battle - as fresh corpses are constantly being 'created'. Those who wish to delve deeper can keep the newly-dead from rotting away by reading a whole sub-chapter in Arkhan's book on the subject, and so become an expert in the putrid hordes.
Wh main vmp risen standard bearers.png Risen Standard Bearers
To raise the ragged banners above the legions can be taxing, for they may have been enchanted by other sorcerers.
  • Leadership: +5 for Skeletal units
The mouldering banners of the von Carsteins and other bloodlines may sit hanging in decrepit castles, but standards fallen in battle are surprisingly hard to hoist again with skeletal hands - for the old gods, and even Khorne, find it an affront to the act of battle. Within Arkhan's Black Book are cantrips to ease such gods' wrath.
Wh main vmp unearth cursed wightblades.png Unearth Cursed Wightblades
A small cantrip can locate ancient blades upon an ancient battlefield long thought lost to time.
  • Weapon strength: +10% for Grave Guard and Black Knights units
The Old World is littered with the detritus of war; armour, swords, axes can all be found by simply digging at the site of the battle - and such places are easy to stumble upon! It is harder is to find blades with ancient qualities, blades blessed by forgotten gods. This cantrip finds them, allowing the Necromancer to arm his more capable warriors with the best antiquity has to offer.
Wh main vmp dread animator.png Dread Animator
The dread animator can wake the most stubborn of ancient warriors from their deathly slumber.
  • Armour: +5 for Grave Guard and Black Knights units
  • Recruitment cost: -10% for Grave Guard and Black Knights units
  • Upkeep: -10% for Grave Guard and Black Knights units

The Dread Animator is a shadowy presence appearing just above the left shoulder of a Necromancer. For an undisclosed price, he will whisper secrets into the spellcaster's ear that will invigorate even the most stubborn Wight back to his mortal remains for service in the Necromancer's legions.