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Vampire Teams

Although Vampire teams include a number of extremely capable players, they are let down by the unreliability of the Vampires. While they should be concentrating on the game, their attention often wanders to their hunger and before you know it they are off for a quick bite!

Overview:

Vampires look really good at first glance and they have the potential to be one of the best players in the game. They are the only players who start with ST4 and AG4, couple that with Regenerate and Hypnotic Gaze and you can see why. These great players are backed up by cheap Thralls to flesh the team out. They are probably the best equiped team for breaking a cage, two Vampires working in tandem can usually get through to the ball carrier. Utilise Hypnotic Gaze well and you can really surprise the opposition.

Unfortunatly the Vampires are hindered by Bloodlust, this can make them really unpredictable and sometimes fatal to your own players. Neither of the player types start with any ball handling or blocking related skills as well. The team rerolls are also expensive and this team really needs them. The more Vampires you have on the pitch at a time the more unmanageable the team becomes.

They are very much not a team for beginners. They probably are one of the hardest teams to coach, that goes for experienced coaches as well. Vampires are capable of things other teams aren’t but they require a lot of planning and management to use successfully. I would highly recommend a rookie coach to start elsewhere as they are guarenteed frustration.

Strengths:
  • ST4 AG4 Vampires
  • Cheap Lineman
  • Hypnotic Gaze
Weaknesses:
  • Expensive Rerolls
  • Bloodlust
  • Lacking Skills

vampire

44 Responses to Vampire Teams

  1. Sneezeguard July 2, 2009 at 2:21 pm #

    I play in a very Bashy league, mostly Dwarf, Orc, and Chaos teams. I was thinking of trying something new next season (I currently play Dwarf). Vampires attracted my attention of the AG4 teams and seemed interesting to switch to next season. I’m not looking for anyone to try and convince me out of the choice (I realize it’ll be tough going), I’m just looking for some advice about bringing a rookie Vampire team into a hard hitting league. Skill acquisition or playstyles I should keep in mind.

    • Coach July 2, 2009 at 3:03 pm #

      Very tough choice, start with a lot of rerolls. Vampires you can do pretty much what you want with. Keeping thralls alive, Wrestle and Fend are key. The opposing teams are going to be loading up on block and guard, wrestling them down will cause them a pain. Fend will help prevent getting done over by Piling On and give you less dodges to do. Both skills will slow the other team down. Hypnotic Gaze will give you easy access to blitzing the ball carrier as well, learning to utilise it properly is the key and can be devastating, especially against those opposing teams.

      Don’t overload on vampires, three on the pitch is more than enough or you will just eat through your rerolls and thralls. Vampires aren’t really what I’d class as an agility team, nor are they overly bashy either, they are bit of a unique team to play. Don’t be expecting to play them like elves though.

      Good Luck!

  2. alt-f4 October 9, 2009 at 2:11 pm #

    Blood Lust maybe needs some explanations
    Blood Lust is triggered on a roll of 1 after Action declaration for the player. The Vampire must Move instead of the declared action. If he finishes his move next to thralls of his team, he attacks one of them (no turnover except if the thrall carried the ball). Else, the Vampire is put in Reserve and a turnover happens. The Vampire is allowed to do anything he could normally do while taking a Move action.
    - May the Vampire coach choose the target or the turnover ? What if the only thrall reachable is the one carrying the ball ? May the coach then decide whether keeping the ball in hands and put the Vampire in Reserve or biting the thrall and lose the ball (both ending up in turnover) ? I suppose : Yes
    - May the Vampire coach decide not to move at all, put the Vampire directly in Reserve and take a turnover ? I suppose : Yes
    - Must the Vampire move towards a thrall by the shortest way ? I suppose : No
    - May he use Hypnotic Gaze before biting the thrall (a Move action is needed to make an Hypnotic Gaze roll) ?

    • Coach October 9, 2009 at 4:10 pm #

      Yes you can use Hypnotic Gaze before biting a Thrall. I’m holding off on doing the Vampire team and related skills until LRB6 is finalised which will probably be out around the end of November.

  3. Blackhandsaint December 14, 2009 at 6:37 am #

    So, does hypnotic gaze prevent an opposing player from acting in his next turn or does the effect end as soon as the vampire’s team is over?
    For example:
    Vampire uses hypnotic gaze on human lineman and succeeds. The vampire’s team then suffers a turnover and it’s the human team’s turn. Does the afflicted lineman get to act as normal or does he still have the restrictions placed by hypnotic gaze on him?

    • Coach December 14, 2009 at 7:58 am #

      The Lineman remains hypnotised until he takes an action and is free to do so at any point during his turn. Until he does though he obviously has no tackle zone so can’t assist or cancel assists for blocks. He also can’t catch any bouncing balls if they scatter onto him. If you don’t take an action with him and you suffer a turnover with someone else on the Human team, then the Human Lineman still is hypnotised during the Vampire’s turn and again will continue to remain hypnotised until he is hit or takes an action himself.

      You can do a move action with the Lineman and then end his action without actually moving him if you just want to get his tacklezone back and don’t want to do anything else with him later in the turn.

  4. Thanatos December 14, 2009 at 11:48 am #

    I’m not quite sure what they mean by Move Voluntarily.

    Can you declare a Move Action and then move 0 squares?

  5. Coach December 14, 2009 at 11:52 am #

    Yes you can, though obviously that is all that player can do for that turn if you do that. If doing it on Bonehead (or whatever) players, they still have to roll for Bonehead as well.

  6. Blackhandsaint December 14, 2009 at 6:37 pm #

    Thanks, Coach! I actually played my first game of Blood Bowl yesterday with a Vampire team against a friend who was using Humans (it was also his first time) and the question came up. I know vamps are supposed to be very difficult, but I had a great time and really enjoy their playstyle (quick and unpredictable as far as I can tell). My only real issue was my thrall survivability (two casualties and two KO’s). Any tips for that? My team is x8 thralls, x3 vampires, and x5 re-rolls. I actually managed to play my friend to a draw (1-1) and I have 70k in winnings with two thralls missing the next match. Any more advice? Thanks!

  7. Coach December 14, 2009 at 8:16 pm #

    Thralls are going to get hurt, don’t worry about it they are cheap. Just make sure you have a plan for which one you are going to bite when you fail Bloodlust, you don’t want to bite your skilled Thralls.

    As you will get two Journeymen Thralls for the next game, don’t spend the money on replacing them yet. Get an Apothecary and save up for another Vampire. You have to use the Apothecary before Regeneration (it isn’t worth using it on unskilled Thralls) so save it for Stat decreases or dead rolls on the Vamps. If you get really good Thralls at some point (like +ST) you can use it for them as well.

  8. Blackhandsaint December 14, 2009 at 10:38 pm #

    I actually think I’ve managed to master bloodlust movement; all you have to do is keep a few thralls free, a few locked in tackle zones, and a couple at key locations and your vamps will have plenty of options if bloodlust hits. However, I don’t know if another vampire will be such a great idea. Regen and apothecary stacking seems to cover their survivability pretty well and four vamps on the pitch sounds a little unmanageable (one less reliable player who can be bitten+increased biting) without some serious reserves to back them up. However, I’ll consider it once I get enough funds. I think I’m leaning toward getting an apothecary and banking the 20k left over for a later date. Thanks for the advice, Coach!

  9. Blackhandsaint January 17, 2010 at 9:25 pm #

    Wow! I just read through the new rules for bloodlust and it looks like the vampires have gotten a serious buff. Being able to complete an action while under bloodlust is pretty nice and only inflicting Badly Injured on a casualty roll eliminates some of the nail biting for my team. However, it still seems like taking pro on a few vampires to mitigate this is still a good idea.

  10. Coach January 17, 2010 at 10:57 pm #

    They sure did some nice boosts, though the changes mean there is even less reason to take Pro, I rarely gave a Vampire Pro before.

  11. Blackhandsaint January 18, 2010 at 1:46 am #

    Really? Hm, I suppose with the new rules there is less reason to take pro, but it still  seems like vamps can rip through their own team pretty quickly. How many vampires would you recommend having on the team? Four seems to about all one can handle.

  12. wheaty January 22, 2010 at 12:15 pm #

    how many on a team or how many on the field. i would agree 4 on the field pushs the luck meter a bit but 4 or 5 in a roster isnt to bad, 6 can leave a lot of dosh warming the bench though

  13. trentusdementus February 12, 2010 at 9:37 pm #

    I run with four Vampires on the field (and one on the bench for a total of 5 Vampires and 10 Thralls) and rarely reroll bloodlust. Just remember to keep a thrall where the Vampire is, or where the Vampire will be (love the LRB 6), as they can feed before or after their declared action. The abundant selection of skill ups ensures that experience only makes this team a powerhouse and they get very dangerous very quickly. I find Hypnotic Gaze to be the most reliable cage breaker in the game (since it doesn’t have to be declared) and Vampires can mix it up with the bashy and agile teams equally well. Try not to sustain a drive or you’ll run the risk of eating all your Thralls (buy as many as you can afford up to 15 players). Don’t worry, Vampires can score very quickly when they have to.

  14. trentusdementus February 12, 2010 at 9:38 pm #

    And don’t forget to buy an Apothecary!
     

  15. Woodygood March 12, 2010 at 2:07 pm #

    Are Vampires able to use an Apothecary.  My understanding is that they are of an undead nature and per the rules the undead are not able to use an apothecary.  Also if they can’t have an apothecary then do they get a Necromancer for free instead – as undead teams do.  I’m confused because if they get a necromancer then they should be able to then get a Zombie (raise the dead option) - but zombies are not allowed for vampires :(

    • Coach March 15, 2010 at 9:59 am #

      Vampires can use an Apothecary now, they have never had the option to raise the dead and get free zombies. The same way you can use an Apothecary for a Troll that already has Regeneration.

  16. Count Von FruityPants April 19, 2010 at 5:21 pm #

    I disagree with the idea you dont need Pro on vampires, LRB6 or not. You can only use 1 team reroll per turn, so if you have several vamps on the pitch you’ll need Pro for the 2nd one that fails bloodlust. And if they dont fail it, then its a partial compensation for the lack of ballhandling skills.

    • Coach April 19, 2010 at 5:33 pm #

      Just like any other team if you have used a reroll already in your turn you adjust your plans and perhaps don’t attempt rolls that you would otherwise. Take dodging elves, if you still have a reroll left you will attempt those 2+ quite often, use the reroll up and you may decide to leave the rest.

      You also don’t have to reroll Bloodlust all the time, you can opt to bite an already prone or stunned Thrall for example. Sure there are times having Pro can be handy, but you have to give up a lot of more useful skills to get it, coupled with the fact it fails half the time as well (and you can still then fail the roll you are rerolling with it), I don’t think it merits a high priority choice on a team that is so skill light.

  17. Joe April 27, 2010 at 4:45 pm #

    If not Pro, then what would be your top skills to get for the vamps?  I’m assuming block would be #1 on the Thrall list…

    • Coach April 27, 2010 at 5:02 pm #

      Standard core skills, Block, Dodge, Side Step etc. Thralls, Wrestle and Fend. If you want more discussion on it please feel free to sign up on the forum or wait for the specific articles.

  18. dwbailey May 6, 2010 at 4:43 pm #

    I just made the championship game of my league with vamps and I did not give a single one pro.  I really agree that the team is too light on skills to waste one on Pro.  Now I totally went into the season expecting a difficult time and treating my thralls like they were food that were meant to be eaten.  The apoth was not allowed to work on any thrall (except the thrall my leaguemates deemed super thrall after he got +1 str and block) and I can count on one hand the number of times I spent a reroll on a blood lust.  It took alot of careful positioning and usually a minute or more had clicked off the clock prior to me moving a figure. but being able to feed and still complete the action was key.  I had 10 thralls and 5 vamps on my final roster.  I only played with 4 on the pitch at a time, (the doubles Pass vamp on offense and a hitter on defense)  By the end of the season all 4 non QB vamps were blodgers and one had +1 ag.  They gave my opponents fits.  Wrestle worked very well on thralls, as did guard on doubles because that way they were next to the target for the hit and to be food if necessary.  I went through 9 thralls on the season due to injuries or death but they were cheap.  Overall, being skilled seemed to work better than being able to reroll the blood lust.  Smart opponents began targeting the thralls, which is why so many were injured, but since you can still feed on prone or stunned thralls it was ok.  A fun team, that can make both you and your opponent crazy.  Awesome when they work and painful went they don’t.

    • Coach May 6, 2010 at 6:04 pm #

      Sounds exactly the way I feel Vampire teams are optimally played. Well done and thanks for your input. Good Luck in the Championship game!

  19. Gio July 21, 2010 at 4:42 pm #

    Just a quick question: Rules say the vampire may continue with the declared action; so if a block was declared and there’s a thrall next to the vampire after blocking, then the Vampire can feed off that thrall and not cause a turn over, right?
    A friend insists on that if you declared a block (or blitz) you have to take a move action instead…

    • Coach July 21, 2010 at 4:52 pm #

      You can choose to do a Move action instead, if you were doing a Block and either started the Block next to a Thrall on your team, or would follow up next to one, then you can indeed bite that Thrall after the Block. If you fall over when doing the Block though it is a turnover and you can’t bite the Thrall and your Vampire will go to the reserves.

      Note that you MAY do a move action instead if you can’t end up next to a Thrall as a result of taking Block action. The older rules for Bloodlust you had to do a move action and you lose the Block or Blitz action. This was changed as people thought Vampires needed to made easier to play. So he used to be correct but now he is not!

  20. Lemonfly August 12, 2010 at 3:39 pm #

    Thanks for your input Coach.
    Next Season is going to be my first one with a vampire team.
    4 Vamps 7 Thralls and 4 RR on the starting line up.

    Hoping for a little bit of luck to get this 4 thirsty Vamps managed
    straight away.

    My Dark Elves ended up with a 29-8 win/loss-series, so a new challenge is found ;-) 

    Hope to feed on your experience again in near future.

  21. Matt August 19, 2010 at 8:37 pm #

    Two Question. Under LRB 6 what is the sequence of a Block or a Blitz for a Vampire that failed Blood Lust; Is it bite then block or block then bite? All other actions like Pass, hand off, Score all seem to require bit before action?
     
    What happens to a vampire If they fail a dodge or go for it and was affected by blood lust. Straight to the reserves?

    • Coach August 20, 2010 at 12:27 am #

      The Bloodlust rule states all the exceptions that happen after the bite, this is to to prevent certain situations cropping up. Like scoring and then not having to bite, or throwing the ball away to safety and then biting. Everything else you do before the bite which would include Block or Blitz actions.

      If you fail something before you bite that ends your turn, which means you failed to bite a Thrall to avoid getting sent to the reserves. So if you fail a dodge or go for it then that already is a turnover and your Vampire goes to the reserves. The same would happen if you failed anything else that causes a turnover before you bite, like rolling attacker down on a block. Hypnotic Gaze failing doesn’t cause a turnover so you can still do that and then bite a Thrall if you are stood next to one. Even if you fail something that causes you to fall over and you are in a square next to a Thrall you can not then bite them as a turnover has occurred which ends your action.

      Hope that clears it up for you.

  22. Matt August 20, 2010 at 2:10 pm #

    For the exceptions you can continue as normal including moving right?  ie
     
    You move to the end zone with a Vamp and a thrall next to the Vamp and have to bite before you actually score or can you bite anytime during your movement towards the end zone?
     

  23. Coach August 20, 2010 at 3:10 pm #

    Biting ends your movement, so you would want to be standing in the end zone before you bite if you wanted to score.

  24. Angelus January 17, 2012 at 12:04 pm #

    What I like about Vampires is that they have a possible 6 star players
    Many teams have specialists of which they can only field a few but the Vampires start off at a good base and can be turned in specialists as needed/desired and not limited to just a few.
    1 injured specialist can really handicap a team but if you have 6 this is no longer an issue, even a basic vampire is good at most tasks. They collect experience quite fast too
    Their hypnotic gaze is a great asset that can paralyze big opponents and their strength 4 means that normal opponents arent much trouble for blocking.
    Also, the hypnotic gaze counts a bit like additional blitzes, opening the way through a defensive line which would otherwise require several blitzes to do or forcing you to first move up and only next turn throw blocks to open the way. as such of all teams, Vampires can infiltrate the farthest into a defensive line in a safe way (a failed hypnotic gaze isnt a turnover, a failed dodge is)
    They really offer a chance at regular 2-turn touchdowns.
    Regeneration also keeps them in the game much longer on the long run, being less prone to injuries.
    as even prone thralls can be used to satisfy their blood lust, it isnt much of an issue and depending on situations, several vampires can feed on the same thrall. as such fielding 5 vampires at once isnt really a problem, the more bites needed is more than offset by the punch that extra vampire brings into the game.
    ideally, you would use 3 vampires to form your attacking group to open a gap in the opposing defense line, you would put the 4th on the LOS close to that group (can tie down/knockdown any opponents here to hold up their offense) and the 5th on the other side of the field who can possibly make its own breakthrough if the opponent focuses on stopping your attack group and leaves him be. best way to field them is to operate them in pairs vampire/thrall, for your attack group, put your vampires at the front and their thrall behind them. move a thrall first to tag 2 opposing players and then have 2 vampire take those players down (blitz/hypnotic gaze), then sprint a thrall through further and follow-up with the 3rd vampire.
    do make sure to move/act with your thralls first when possible, so even if you must bite em, they did perform their turn.

  25. Guru March 7, 2012 at 11:04 pm #

    BEST TEAM IN THE GAME. I play with all six Vampires on the pitch and I went undefeated with these guys. If you are afraid of too many vampires, then don’t play the team.

    Let’s do the math. Six vampires each having a 1 in 6 chance to fail. That averages out to one vampire a turn. Which means five strength four, agility four players will be active EVERY TURN. What other can offer that? You ever have to knock the ball out of a black orc? saurus? flesh golumn? pretty fricking difficult. but those players are agility two or less and need a lot of luck to get the ball. Vampires do it on a 2+. What team can offer that?

    Now I’ll have about one turn where three of my vamps fail and eat three thralls and my opposition walks around the field unopposed. I’ve also had not one, but two vampires on breakaway touchdowns, decide to turn around and sprint back into the middle of the pitch. UGH. If you are terrified of bloodlust, remember it does not trigger if they are not activated. So a vampire with strength 4, block, guard, on the line of scrimmage is pretty amazing.

    Now on to the strengths. Big teams can’t compete with the agility four. And fast teams find it impossible to get the ball away from a strength 4 player. Not to mention that i have six of them, so my opposition can’t focus on taking one or two players out. Man marking doesn’t work because of the same reason. Also, who wants to man mark a ST4 guy? Hence why shadowing is amazing!

    Then you have to add on hypnotic gaze!! It is basically a free blitz for each vampire AND It is the wire cutter against any cage. Kind of hard to use guard if you don’t have any tackle zones.

    That is vampires at ROOKIE STATUS. they have access to a large list of adveancement skills. Want a bruiser? use strength skills. Want a ball handler? use agility. Want a combination? I personally used a different skill for each level up (and trust me, you will get plenty of level ups) and found some nasty combinations. Grab to pull players in between of vampires. If one gets a movement upgrade, give that one shadowing. And several others that i didn’t find yet. the possibilities are endless.

    All in All. If you are a flexible coach, you can become unbeatable with this team. You will find oppositional coaches basically sitting back and hoping you tear your own team apart. Because if you don’t there is not a single team that can match the strengths of this team.

  26. iippo May 29, 2013 at 10:54 am #

    These are some interesting opinions.

    So far ive only played the 3 vamps / 5rr roster for 3 matches (1-1-1), but am soon starting a fresh tv1000 roster in a mixed league.

    Not certain yet, whether i am going to go with the same roster or the “4/4″ roster. Might be i go with the latter as there are many developed teams in the league already.

    …also although i havent played quite much with the vamps yet, i have -initially- the feeling that massing the vamp team with pro “might” be good idea and an going to try that route first time around. Block-pro-dodge/xxx.

    I want 5 or 6 vamps on the pitch and i dont want to buy those expensive 140k rerolls, so i figure pro should bring some stability in that regard as well. hypno+pro also negate to some extent the loss of guard and dodge as well.

    One lots a lot of dice in BB – and with Vamps even more so. Thus i have feeling pro shouldnt be all that bad choice in vamp heavy vamp team. …i would certainly forget about the pro if my goal was only 3 or 4 vamps on the pitch – but where would the point be in that?

  27. drake June 2, 2013 at 4:36 am #

    i find the vampires one of the worst teams for three reasons, 1. the thralls are crap, 2. The Vamps are too unrealible and 3. it’s hard to win a game when my all my linemen are either getting their blood sucked or their sucking my other guys blood

  28. Lockmund September 21, 2013 at 2:08 pm #

    I recently returned from Chaos Cup in Chicago, where I managed to go undefeated. (Sounds so much better than played a bunch of draws, doesn’t it?) I’ll be the first to admit that I was quite lucky with the dices, but since I used tactics that are somewhat different from those suggested above, I wish to share them.

    First up, since this was a resurrection tournament, I never had to worry about lasting injuries. In fact, I placed my two vampire blodgers on the LoS.

    Wilhelm Chaney was glorious. He combines quite well with hypnotic gaze. In him I had a reliable way to get the ball free and with his speed he scored about a third of my TD. What may surprise you is that I scored another third with my thralls. They are after all just as capable as hobgoblins and with their numbers someone was often in a position to leg it.

    I played with three vamps and nine thralls. With Wilhelm that just left room for a single reroll. In the six games I played, I only once had the need for more. Thralls are cheap and I don’t think that I spent a single reroll on bloodlust, (but there were plenty of times when I was prepared to do so). One of my vamps relied on Pro and whilst it may be scary to reroll dodges and gfi that way, it still works half of the time. As a huge bonus you bite less and even gaze better if you haven’t used the skill earlier. He was also my second best option to blitz players with block.

    Never pass up the oppertunity for a free gaze! Even if your vamp is just finishing his move next to a lineman. A succesful roll often translates into a lineman doing nothing the next turn. If you have multiple options, target the assists, (not the one you think will block your vamp).

    To sum this up, vampires do not require a ton of rerolls in tournaments, and since those are so expensive, buy extra thralls instead. Leader is obviously nice if you can take it.

    • Coach September 21, 2013 at 2:39 pm #

      Thanks for your input, though I don’t agree with all of it. It does depend a lot on the tournament rules, and the money you saved on rerolls you spent on getting Wilhelm. Having played Vampires in a number of tournaments I much prefer to go with 4 Vampires which gives you the extra options for using Hypnotic Gaze which you pinpointed as being important (I think not using it much is the downfall for many rookie Vampire coaches).

      You can usually fit in 4 Vampires, 9 Thralls (same as you despite saying you save on rerolls to get more) and four rerolls, hopefully also able to take Leader if the tournament rules allow. Then taking Dodge on most the Vampires makes a rather flexible team. With so many tournament rulesets around these days though if anyone does want to discuss options feel free to create a thread on the tournament roster forum http://bbtactics.com/forums/naf-resurrection-tournament-tactics/

      The rerolls vs Pro debate will never see an end though!

  29. Lockmund September 21, 2013 at 4:16 pm #

    Thanks for the reply Coach. I would have loved a fourth vampire, but with 4 vamps and 9 thralls, I could only afford 2 rerolls (and have 60k over). Still, as you say, that depends on the tournament.

  30. PostAmnesia December 10, 2013 at 2:28 pm #

    How many vampires do you think is optimal?
    4 is too much?
    I’m still new to the game but I can make the team work with 3 vampires and 5 re rolls but don’t know if a 4th is a good idea

    • Coach December 10, 2013 at 2:57 pm #

      Four Vampires are more effective on the pitch than having three, especially once they’ve got skills. I’m yet to try with five, though I think it could be workable on a more developed team.

      • PostAmnesia December 10, 2013 at 11:10 pm #

        thanks, do you think I need more than 5 re-rolls if I use 4 Vampires?

        • Coach December 10, 2013 at 11:13 pm #

          No I think more that five isn’t necessary. You may like them early on but as they get Dodge and Block they will need a lot less rerolls to make them reliable. Once you get started if you need any more advice, create a thread on the forum and post your entire team roster.

          • Kjelstad March 7, 2014 at 6:16 am #

            I still recommend 4 vamps and four rolls to start. Once they all have blodge you can hire a fifth. thralls are food. I see people with five and six rolls, huge TV, and they roll lust every time. lust is not bad and you only roll it if you will need it to score or it will cause a bad turnover. just move thralls in place so you can get to them. even leaving the pitch is not always bad.

            I used to play them a lot in match making in the cyanide game but they are awesome in a perpetual league. not many teams are equipped to handle a 6448 blodger after two or three games. the only problem is trying the spread the spp around after you have that piece.

            The thing Coach says about needing less rolls after dodge and block is spot on. You can snack on the same thrall multiple times and with dodge he is usually easy to get to.

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