TV1000 Vampire Starting Roster

Vampire Starting Roster Overview:

Starting a Vampire team perhaps has more pitfalls than any other race in Blood Bowl. To the rookie coach Vampire players look brilliant and you can load up on six of them! Doing that though will mean you can’t afford those expensive rerolls that Vampires need to operate with. It will also mean that you have seven (or eight) Thralls to start out with. With six Vampires on the pitch rolling for Bloodlust you will fail at least one a turn.

That is one Thrall a turn at least getting stunned from your own team! Of you fail to bite one then it is a turnover and your Vampire runs off the pitch to feed on the crowd. If the opposing coach is correctly targeting your Thralls to whittle them down, your team is going to be even more uncontrollable than how it started the match and they weren’t exactly a picnic to coach then!

To avoid the above happening you need to avoid the urge of taking lots of Vampires right away, even an experienced Vampire team might stop at four, rather than getting all six. Your rerolls are expensive as well and vital to the team. You don’t have any core skills on your players so you can’t get away without having rerolls to back your players up. Thralls despite their cheap price are still quite versatile players and can do a lot with a reroll backing them up. As the Thralls can perform, a little assistance from some Vampires and a lot of rerolls can make a very effective team.

Remember the cost of the rerolls double in price after team creation, making your already expensive rerolls very costly to get later. They can’t get killed unlike an expensive player and even a Vampire is cheaper to save up for than a reroll once you get started.

Reroll Heavy TV1000 Vampire Starting Roster:

QuantityPlayer / ItemCost

This is my standard way of starting a Vampire team. Two Vampires can cope well enough against other rookie teams as they are very versatile players. As I already mentioned, Thralls are very good for the money. Starting with a lot means there should always be one nearby to bite if you don’t want to (or can’t) use a reroll. It will also force you to use them and not rely on the Vampires to do everything which should help them get some skills. If you neglect to skill up your Thralls then you will eventually start to struggle against other developed teams.

Having five rerolls to start with seems a bit crazy compared to most other teams. Vampires however need them and you will find that it gives you more freedom to do things. You will also more likely have some later in a drive, so you can attempt more dodges and other agility rolls with your Thralls as well as the Vampires. There is 70k left over which you can use to customise the roster and what you pick will depend on the environment you are creating the team in.

A Sixth Reroll:

There is exactly the right amount left to get a sixth reroll on the team. I don’t usually bother as with sometimes with five you will end a drive with more than one left over. You start to get to a point where they lose their cost effectiveness. There are enough drives though where you will need all five to justify that many. If you are joining an existing league facing more developed teams then a sixth could be valuable. Your opponents are more likely to be able to force you into tighter spots. Don’t forget though that you might also be able to use inducements to get an extra reroll instead.

Seven Fan Factor:

You have probably seen from other articles that I don’t usually advice spending money on Fan Factor at team creation. If you are entering a league facing all new teams, then I think it can be worth while. If other teams aren’t taking any then you will usually get at least +1 FAME if not +2. This means extra income for you towards replacing Thralls and saving for more Vampires. It will also help you get more rerolls on the kick off table (and win Throw a Rock and Pitch Invasion). Extra rerolls are brilliant for Vampires and importantly means that the opponent is much less likely to get them. This is my preferred choice for spending the money and I personally am likely to do the same when joining an existing league. Fan Factor is something that you can’t purchase later on as well.

An Apothecary:

While nice to start with one you only have two expensive players that you might lose and they come with Regeneration making that less likely to happen. I’d rather purchase one after team creation from winnings.

A Tenth Thrall:

This would give you a reserve player so you are less likely to get outnumbered. With AV7 on most the team that may well happen. If you are fortunate to still be in a position of a full team, then you can also look to start fouling and not worry about being sent off. Most other starting teams will only have eleven to start with, so you may be able to get the numbers in your favour. You will also have an extra 30k left which you could save, or put into Fan Factor (note that 3 doesn’t give you the advantage that 7 would), or get a Coach and a Cheerleader to help win those kick off rerolls.

A Third Vampire:

The last option you have would be to use it to upgrade one of your nine Thralls into a third Vampire. This gives you an extra one of your fantastic players, though at the risk of causing more Bloodlust. If you start with only two, then usually by the time you get a third you will have some skills on the others which makes them more reliable. Having three rather than two though gives you some back up if one gets injured or knocked out. This is probably my second favourite choice behind starting with the Fan Factor. Three Vampires is much harder for the opponent to deal with than two, provided they don’t get out of control.

Alternative Rosters on Page 2…

28 thoughts on “TV1000 Vampire Starting Roster”

  1. That was a very nice article Coach.  It covered a couple things I hadn’t considered and overall just makes me feel a bit more comfortable with the idea of trying out a Vampire team.  Very well done. =D

  2. Had some success with a 3 vampire, 10 Thrall, 3 RR and Apoth to start. As those thralls are going to be carried off the pitch in droves so starting with a bench is a pretty handy thing to have.

    • Starting with 13 players and an Apothecary certainly could work, the lack of rerolls might be an issue though. The advantages my suggestion has is that Thralls are cheap and you can afford to get a bench fairly quickly. If you took the Fan Factor and are getting money from FAME as well then it isn’t unreasonable to be able to get a Thrall a game.

      On the other hand for you to save up for more rerolls is going to take much longer, by the time you have done that I could have the Apothecary and the extra two Thralls you started with, an extra reroll and 10k left over. I did neglect to mention purchasing options, I’ll edit it when I get the time to elaborate on that.

  3. Good article; I was all for trying the Vampires for those sweet 6 4 4 8 players, but having played with the Goblins I’ve learned that I’m rarely having fun if I’m sweating on a 1 in 6 not showing up to ruin my day.
    I think I’d be tempted to grab the above 4-vamp roster and leave two on the LoS as roadblocks/muscle. The added strength and armour would be useful just for preserving numbers, they can only eat re-rolls if you’re moving them and as a bonus they might distract the coach and disrupt his plans just by being there.
    “your Vampire runs off the pitch to feed on the crowd”
    I do hope the new Cyanide game has animated cut-scenes to this effect..

  4. I tried starting with six Vampires and failed hard (note: anything but a newbie), so I’m much more inclined to go for four next time, and this article does give some good advice in that regard. I can see how three Vampires could work at a push, but two? Really? I can’t begin to imagine how bad the other coaches in a league would have to be for two Vampires to cause anyone a problem – even without just one bad dice roll which could be all that’s needed to lose 50% of your good players.

  5. As I mentioned Thralls with Rerolls are much better than people give them credit for. There are many teams that “get by” with only two good players. Wardancers for example on the Wood Elf team, sure they have other Elves backing them up. Key use of Hypnotic Gaze even if you have one Vampire on the pitch can cause plenty of problems.

    Not utilising Hypnotic Gaze to its full potential is probably one of the key reasons people struggle with Vampires. That along with Bloodlust and loading up on Pro too early.

  6. That might be underselling the Woodelf team just a bit there Coach.  I hardly think Linemen with 7/3/4/7 are just “getting by.”  On another team that kind of spread could be a positional player.  Wardancers are not the only two good players on a woodelf team.
    Honestly I don’t know how I feel about the 2 vampire team.  I don’t think I’d ever pick it (I’d rather run 3/4 vamps) but I suppose it might work if you use them both very well and don’t have a disaster happen (like one getting KO’d or heaven forbid injured).  After all even basic human likemen are better then thralls (and lets not get into some of the crazyer linemen like Elves, Norse, or Dwarves.

  7. I like having more thralls to start off with as a)makes it more likely come the second half you’ve still got something resembling a team on the pitch and b)it’s easier to take the bloodlust bite the thrall (having moved one where you wanted the vamp to go anyway) knowing there’s plenty more where they come from and then saving that rr for something important like a gaze or hand off. My main worry starting with only 11 players would be getting trapped into a nasty injury spiral for a couple of games forcing you to rely on loners until you’ve got enough money to replace your injuries and still have some spares. Which would make those initial games just a bit more trickier. Still I do like the look of the 4 vampire, 7 thrall, 4 rr balanced build and would probably use that one in future.

  8. In our friendly league, one started with the 4 vamps, 4 re-rolls start (I think). In the beginning he had a hard time, but he was also on the learning curve of the game. Now I think it pays off, since he doesn’t have to save up as much to get more vamps (compared to the 2 vamp start). Getting a Pro or two on the vamps also gives a lot more stability and the amount of cage opening and general annoyance that 4 possible hypnotic gazes can do, is just frightening.

  9. So there is a lot of discussion on how many Vamps to start the team.  What I am most confused with is how to grow the team.  When do you start adding more Vamps to the Pitch?  What conditions do you think have to be met before you will buy a new one?  Do you ever take it up to 6?  How many thralls do you think is the sweet spot, regardless of team value?

    • I would say a mix of 10 Thralls to 4 Vampires is probably best, though by no means definitive. I would get some more Thralls first of all, they are cheap so it is easy to afford them. It will help prevent you getting out numbered and also mean running out of options to bite shouldn’t happen. You may also need to be replacing injured Thralls (though at a lower rate than under older rules).

      The big question is when to get an Apothecary, the Vampires are really the only ones worth using it on and they have Regeneration anyway. I’ve played a short league without taking one at all, though obviously there is value in getting one. I think getting one early is more attractive now that you can keep a KO on the pitch as well.

      I personally wouldn’t take the team up to six Vampires, though if you have a very highly developed team where they all have Pro, then it could be a workable option.

  10. Needing a good challenge, I’m trying an experiment in the Single Player campaign in the Cyanide game. Started a new campaign on hard and spent my starting cash on:

    10 x Thrall 400k
    1 x Vampire 110k
    7 x Re-roll 490k

    The first few matches have been really tough, but don’t sell Thralls short. They may not be great BB players, but they get the job done, especially with the help of all of those re-rolls. I have needed all 7 quite a few times.

    Although the first several matches have been incredibly difficult, it is starting to pay off… in 1 more match I will be able to bump the roster up from 2 to 4 Vampires, with the added bonus of having a core of 7 Thralls that have already gained a couple of skills. The rookie Vampires should skill up pretty quickly and I think I’ll have a very solid team.

    Not for the faint of heart! I think I chewed off all of my fingernails in an early match against Chaos, but managed to squeak out a 2-1 victory in the end. With a re-roll a turn I’ve been able to take some more risks on the pitch, and even a single vampire can really help with cage-breaking if used prudently.

  11. I don’t understand the logic, of playing with a VAMPIRE team and only using 2 of the 6, i know 6 is not optimal, but i found the most successful starting roster was having 4. numbers may be a little light at the end of the game, but i’d rather have 2 Vamps on the field than 4 Thralls.

    • The logic is that you can afford more rerolls at the start which helps the team win more from the outset. If you just have four Vampires left then they are quickly going to end up leaving the field due to Bloodlust.

  12. While I agree that the logical nature of things dictates running more re-rolls, I can’t see anyone experienced taking the vampire team for anything other than a fun, fluff-filled time. So thematically, the 4 Vamp option seems to be the best.

    Having used the 2 Vamp, 3 Vamp and 4 Vamp options, the 4 Vamp option seems to be the best, as while you are risking more blood-lust rolls, you are also not putting the pressure on a couple of key players. When I had two vampires, I found myself having to use re-rolls to stop Blood-lust or having to open a hole in my defensive or offensive line which could be and was attempted to be exploited.

  13. Vampires are the punch of the team, start with too few and your options are limited at best, I think 3 is a minimum for a starting team, more would hurt too much on missing rerolls and fewer means a too great lack of punch.

  14. 4/4 is the way I usually go. I picked up a 5th before game 3 in one of my leagues for some reason but I usually wait until the first 4 have blodge.

  15. Hi coach,

    I want to run 12 thralls, 2 vampires and 4 rerolls.

    At TV1000 I think having subs is great and seems balenced. Also against higher TV I can buy rerolls or extra vamp mercs.

    Good logic?

  16. I think this roster also deserves to be mentioned.

    330 3 vampires
    400 10 thralls
    210 3 rerolls
    50 Apo

    The big advantage is that you can play your vampires like they “should be” as early as game 1. With an apo you will rarely get a badly injured vampire, so you can feel free to gaze. The extra thralls are really useful to have and compensate for the limited number of rerolls.

    As we now have some control over who gets the mvp, you can make sure it hits a vampire, but don’t neglect a thrall with 1-2 SPP!!! Block, Wrestle, Kick, Dirty Player and most of all (on a double) Leader are all very nice to have early on.

  17. Yeah Lockmund, that is the Roster Stryke proposed. After playing one season with Vampires I think I agree.
    Having Thralls on the Bench is more important than the TRR.
    1 TRR is almost = 2x Thrall in TV. And if you use the TRR on Blood Lust, you don’t have one to back up the action. Since you are missing the core skills, you need to have a TRR ready.
    I personally think that 70k TRR is a bloat. Though Vampires eventually need 4-5 TRR’s to support unplanned things.
    As I see it, TRR has only on your turn an impact on the pitch. Having ST4 is always active.
    I don’t know if Leader is the best skill for a double on a Thrall. It saves 40k TV (extra Thrall) yet guard will make your blocking that much easier! So you won’t need to make 1 dice blocks but get 2 die instead.

  18. Well, I don’t want to turn this into a discussion about skills, it’s about the vampire starting roster after all. Still, the point in this case is that you are a bit starved for cash early on, so getting a fourth reroll is a lot more important than saving 40K in TV.

  19. what about Recommendations a list for a one day tournament please?
    I went up against a vampire team recently in a league and the player is in the play offs this weekend. it inspired me to run my own team and i love the challenge (far more than the challenge of Gobos, my previous team!)
    I have now played 3 friendlies with vamps: using 4 vamps + 3 RR vs wood elves was not successful, 3 vamps + 4 RR, vs Shambling Undead was also a tough match in which I lost. the same team (3+4) then went on to win against an experienced player with Lizzardmen
    Anyway, with a local,one day, tournament approaching where injuries and spp do not carry over to each game, Im wondering if it;s worth going ahead with 4 vamps or sticking to 3, with more re rolls. Any thoughts please !?!?!?

    • I’ve played quite a few tabletop NAF tournaments with Vampires and I believe that having four Vampires is the way to go. I also like to load up on rerolls, taking Leader on a Thrall if the tournament rules allow. That being said most tournament rulesets aren’t very friendly for Vampire teams.

      Having four Vampires means you’ve got more options to having one or two in a useful position. Two Vampires in combination near a ball carrier will often mean you’ve the option to try and hit them. One using Hypnotic Gaze to create a hole and the other running in to hit them. As for skills if they can only have one each then Dodge is my choice.

  20. Yeah, thanks, Coach.
    This tourni is 1m, bare-bones, no skills no expansions, no inducements.
    It just feels a bit wrong going in with only 11 players on the team, but that’s how to get 4 vamps, and 4 rerolls! Somethings gotta give. And any deaths are not permanent, everyone gets back up for the next game!
    Waddya reckon?

    • I’d be tempted to go to 3 rerolls and have a bit of a bench. Use the Vampires sparingly at the start of drives and be really tight with the rerolls early on. Minimise things like one die blocks unless there is a big upside etc. If you can get Leader at any point then great, that will get you an extra reroll but just 11 players will be really tough and 4 Vampires can make a big difference, even if you don’t even activate them some turns. Good Luck!

  21. Wow! Thanks, Coach. I wasn’t expecting that answer! I’ve spent the last 3 games getting used to starting with 3 vamps, in anticipation of a new league season. I better get some practice in with 4 and only 3 RR!!
    Smoke me a kipper I’ll be back in time for breakfast!


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