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Nightstalker

From the dark gothic recesses of ancient brooding castles, draped in black velvet, and probably listening to Bauhaus, the children of the night come to drink deep from Smash Up! Draining the very life from their victims, these cursed souls will gain power upon destroying your opponents’ minions.

- Monster Smash rulebook

The Vampires are one of the 4 factions from the Monster Smash set.

The Vampires gain +1 power counters from the destruction of minions.

Cards Edit

Vampires

The Vampires have the usual 10 minions and 10 actions. The total minion base power (not counting any abilities) is the usual 30 or an average of 3 per minion.

Minions Edit

1x The Count - power 5 - Ongoing: After another player's minion is destroyed, place a +1 power counter on this minion.

2x Nightstalker - power 4 - Destroy a minion of power 2 or less here to place a +1 power counter on this minion.

3x Heavy Drinker - power 3 - You may destroy one of your minions to place a +1 power counter on this minion.

4x Fledgling Vampire - power 2 - After you play this minion, if another player has more power here than you do, place a +1 power counter on this minion.

Actions Edit

1x Big Gulp - Destroy a minion of power 4 or less.

1x Buffet - Special: Play after a base scores. If you were the winner, place a +1 power counter on each of your minions.

2x Crack of Dusk - Play a minion of power 2 or less from your discard pile as an extra minion. Place a +1 power counter on it.

1x Cull the Weak - Choose your minion. Discard any number of minion cards from your hand. For each minion discarded, place a +1 power counter on that minion.

2x Dinner Date - Place a +1 power counter on your minion. Destroy a minion of power 2 or less at that minion's base.

1x Mad Monster Party - Place a +1 power counter on each of your minions that does not have one.

1x Opportunist - Play on a minion. Ongoing: After another player's minion is destroyed, place a +1 power counter on this minion.

1x Summon Wolves - Play on a base. Ongoing: At the start of your turn, place a +1 power counter on this card. If you have a minion here, counters on this card add to your power total.

Vampires

Bases Edit

Strategy Edit

This section was adapted from a post by Lasher Mayfair in the BoardGameGeek forums.[1]

Vampires are sadly one of the weaker factions out there. Aside from what was already said, they seriously lack a way to protect their minions. As it stands, you can farm power counters on The Count or on the minion with Opportunist on it, only to have them be destroyed or otherwise disposed of by the enemy. Most of the time, I see The Count only used for the burst, and not for its ability, because it simply takes too long for the ability to compensate not having used your strength 5 minion for breaking a base.

Summon Wolves is a nice card, but takes too long to be really strong. It is good to play it on a base everyone is ignoring due to a more pressing concern, so you have some power already built up when you do get there.

Buffet is rarely ever used, but when it is, it can be truly overwhelming. I've seen the vampires played 6 times so far, of which they only won one game. The one time they won, I had enough minions on the board to use Buffet to win two bases on my last turn. In that game, I played a minion and Mad Monster Party to give +1 power counter on all my minions that did not already have one, broke a base, played Buffet, broke another base. Using Buffet to win two bases at once is the best ideal usage of that card, unfortunately you rarely have enough minions on other bases when you win a base, so this requires some planning ahead to pull off. Otherwise, this is a card that is often used rather underwhelmingly for only a couple tokens, or else not used at all, and even discarded due to hand size limit.

Talking about Mad Monster Party, I think it is a shame it only works on minions that do not already have power counters (unlike the much stronger Mad Scientists Jolt), since your vampire minions often gain a single power counter when played (or in case of The Count, soon after that). This also means that if one wants to combo it with Buffet, Mad Monster Party needs to come first. Overall, all but 2 of your actions give power counters to your minions, so having many minions with no power counters is rare. Mad Monster Party is best used with your other faction's minions (that do not gain power counters except through your Vampire actions) and can ideally provide a nice burst for taking down a base.

Crack of Dusk is a very nice action, it will give you at least +3 on a base, +4 if used well in conjunction with Fledgling Vampire. It is at its best when paired up with a faction with strong power 2 minions.

Cull the Weak is amazing, but only if kept for your last turn. You do not really want to discard many minions in your hand as that would seriously hurt your next few turns. However, when the game is almost over, you don't really care and you can use it to give yourself a very good boost. When coupled with Zombies or Ghosts, you can make use of it at other times as well. Obviously, it gets better with factions that give you card draws.

As stated by others, the vampire ability to destroy other players' minions of power 2 is not that amazing, but it is something they are good at and their Big Gulp can even destroy a minion of strength 4, nice for getting rid of that Mole or Archmage that is being just a little too useful.

The benefit of Heavy Drinker, that most people are not seeing is that you can destroy your minion that is on another base. Destroying a minion on another base for plus one power counter on the Heavy Drinker could actually make the difference when breaking a base, or you could use this ability to make some use of a minion that has been moved to some useless base like the Ninja Dojo.

The bases where Vampires really shine are Cave of Shinies and Field of Honor, for obvious reasons. If either of them shows up, farm them as much as possible, unless your other faction allows you to have even better things to do. Other good bases are Faceless City (card draws that you do not normally get), Egg Chamber (protecting your minions from being destroyed is nice, and especially useful if you have The Count or Opportunist in play), Crypt (more benefits from your destructions), Golem Schloss (if you can combo its effect with Buffet and/or Mad Monster Party to break another base with it) and R'lyeh (since you can replay your weak minions from discard and easily kill other players weak minions, you are likely to benefit from it more than others).

Overall, Vampires have a solid burst when using Crack of Dusk, Mad Monster Party or Cull the Weak, though their burst is definitely not one of the best. They are good at killing their own minions and other players' minions of power 2 or less. They can make a truly amazing finale to the game, with Cull the Weak and Buffet being excellent end game cards, thus breaking two bases on their last turn is a real possibility. They combo well with factions that have strong low power minions for replaying from discard, who have a good card draw to complement vampires not having any or who are very good at using power counters. They have no card draw and virtually no ability to play extra cards, so pairing up with a support faction is necessary, although there are some exceptions to this due to strong card synergy. Oddly enough, I find that the best synergies come from other non-support factions, but in the absence of the below combinations, complementing Vampires with a support faction is strongly preferred.

Synergies Edit

Strong combos for Vampires are the following, in no particular order:

Robots: Replaying Microbot Alpha or Microbot Fixer from your discard pile... Need I say more? Also, extra minion plays make Mad Monster Party and Buffet much more awesome.

Tricksters: Killing your own Gremlins is awesome as are extra minion plays. Giving just one more power counter to the Leprechaun makes him much stronger, and Brownie is a great target for Opportunist and for extra power counters, since enemy players are rarely willing to pay the price for affecting the Brownie. Beware however, that you will be painfully short on cards.

Pirates: Giving Opportunist and other extra power counters to your First Mates, then replaying them from discard if they are destroyed. Also, Full Sail can beautifully complement an end game finale, considering how it can be used for breaking two bases. I played this combo, but sadly, my First Mates were getting killed too much, and the awesome Giant Ants Zombies proved stronger as a consequence... but it was solid, though its shortcoming again emphasizes the weakness Vampires have of not being able to protect their minions.

Dinosaurs: It is awesome to resurrect War Raptors and play them in pairs, making a burst of 9 using mere power 2 minions, in addition to the busts Dinosaurs and Vampires can otherwise do on their own.

Wizards: Lots of power 2 minions, a good draw and ability to play many cards, all complement Vampire strengths and weaknesses.

Aliens: This is so far the only Vampire win in my group... You can use Terraforming to get Cave of Shinies, or whatever base your Vampires desire, you can use Crack of Dusk on Collectors as an additional way to get Invaders back in hand. Your hand filling up due to taking Invaders and Scouts go back into your hand is great for when you'll want to play Cull the Weak.

Ghosts: Just dump all the weak Vampire cards when discarding and use their strong actions, Crack of Dusk, Mad Monster Party and Cull the Weak to complement the awesome Ghost bursts. Cull the Weak is especially good because it lets you discard cards when you need to.

Elder Things: You can easily get power 2 minions in play, so you'll have less trouble paying the price for the Elder Thing, and your power counter giving actions will make it much easier to play the Shoggoth. Playing Byakhees from your discard is great to flood your enemies with madness and to have disposable creatures around for the Elder Thing.

Super Spies: There are so many poor Vampire cards that spying on your deck is awesome. Vampires have actions that work beautifully with Mole, and using Base Is Not Enough to win a base you were not too involved in can give you the opportunity you need to make a strong use of Buffet. Try to win the game before having to draw all those weak cards you spied away. Alternatively, use smart deck management with Discards Are Forever to get as many poor cards as possible out of your deck and reshuffle rather than draw them. For My Eyes Only, when you have 3 or 4 cards left is also great.

Werewolves: Crack of Dusk on Howler and extra ways to destroy your enemies. Leader of the Pack and Moontouched work better with power counters around, and Unstoppable can protect your Count from being destroyed.

Giant Ants: Ants love power counters, as well as Crack of Dusk on Soldier for 4 strength in mostly power counters. Giant Ants are the main faction here and Vampires are turned into a super support faction that dishes out even more power counters, while adding a little control that the Ants lack. Also, having Drones around makes the Count and Opportunist far stronger. Buffet is really awesome when you also have We Will Rock You, Under Pressure and We Are the Champions, to make for a totally overpowering chain of base breaking. This combo is absolutely awesome, to the point that it should never happen in a draft situation.

Mad Scientists: While this combo has a serious lack of card drawing that will hurt like hell, they are both power counter factions and mad scientists can benefit from the power counters vampires provide them with, especially if they go on The Monster. Uberserum can nicely protect The Count if necessary, Opportunist can be used to great potential when played on The Monster. Killing Igors is fun, if you have one on a different base, then Heavy Drinker adds a 5 power burst, before considering your action or extra minion play. There are many ways of playing extra minions, making all those actions that add power counters everywhere quite useful. Angry Mob is yet another great final turn action, while you can sadly not do multiple actions in a single turn, Angry Mob is better than Cull the Weak. I have seen this combo played in a two player game against Giant Ants Werewolves. While it managed to stand its ground, the other combination proved stronger.

FAQ Edit

Questions on The Count Edit

Q: I have The Count in play. If I take control of another player's minion and destroy it, does it trigger The Count's ability?

A: No. Since you took control of another player's minion, it's no longer another player's minion", but "your minion". So if it's destroyed, it doesn't trigger The Count's ability.

Rule 1: "Your minion" means "a minion that you control".

Rule 2: "Other players" on a minion or action means everyone except the controller of the minion or action.


Questions on Nightstalker Edit

Q: When I play Nightstalker, do I have to destroy a minion?

A: No. While it doesn't say "you may", "Do X to do Y" abilities imply that doing X is optional.[2]

Rule: When a card says "Do X to do Y" or "You may do X to do Y", doing X is optional in both cases.

Q: Can I choose to destroy a minion that cannot be destroyed?

A: Yes, you can choose a minion that cannot be destroyed. In that case, the minion does not die, but Nightstalker does not get a +1 power counter.

Rule 1: The card you target may be immune to the effects of the ability you are performing, but it is still a valid target.

Rule 2: When a card says "Do X to do Y" or "You may do X to do Y", you need to completely do the effect stated as "X" before you do the effect stated as "Y".

Q: Mimic is currently power 2. I play a Nightstalker on its base, can I immediately destroy Mimic with Nightstalker's ability?

A: No. As soon as Nightstalker is in play, Mimic changes its own power and becomes power 4.

Rule: An Ongoing ability lasts for as long as the card is in play.

Q: If I destroy a power-2 minion on Nightstalker's base using another card (e.g. Big Gulp), does the Nightstalker also gets a +1 power counter from the destruction?

A: Not with its own ability. Nightstalker's ability is an on-play ability, so when you play it, you resolve it once and it no longer has an effect.

Rule: On-play abilities are resolved only once and have no further effect.


Questions on Heavy Drinker Edit

Q: Can I get the bonus from Heavy Drinker if I try to destroy a minion but use Drone or something to save him?

A: No. The minion wasn't destroyed, so you don't get a +1 power counter.

Rule: When a card says "Do X to do Y" or "You may do X to do Y", you need to completely do the effect stated as "X" before you do the effect stated as "Y".

Q: I take control of a minion, and then play Heavy Drinker to destroy that minion I took control of, does The Count or a minion with Opportunist get the +1 power counter?

A: No. Since you took control of another player's minion, it's no longer another player's minion", but "your minion". So if it's destroyed, it doesn't trigger either The Count's ability, or Opportunist's ability.

Rule 1: "Your minion" means "a minion that you control".

Rule 2: "Other players" on a minion or action means everyone except the controller of the minion or action.


Questions on Fledgling Vampire Edit

Q: If I play a Fledling Vampire with Crack of Dusk on a base where another player has a total power of 3, how many power counters are placed on Fledgling Vampire?

A: Two +1 power counters. First, you play Fledgling Vampire and resolve its ability (another player has more power than you, so it gets a power counter). Then, you place a +1 power counter on Fledgling Vampire because of Crack of Duck.

Rule: Do exactly what the card says.


Questions on Big Gulp Edit

Q:

A:

Rule:


Questions on Buffet Edit

Q: Who's the winner? The one with the most VP or the one who was in first place on the scored base?

A: The winner is the one who gets first place on a scoring base.

Rule: Do exactly what the card says.

Q: Can I play this card even if I'm in 2nd or 3rd place?

A: Yes, but you will not get any power counters because you were not the winner (i.e. in first place)

Rule: Do exactly what the card says.


Questions on Crack of Dusk Edit

Q: Do I have to play the extra minion immediately or can I delay it until later and finish doing the rest of the card when I do it?

A: Normally, extra minions are banked for later, but in this case, you can't do the rest of the ability without playing the minion, so you may have to play it immediately. TBD

Rule: TBD

Q: When is the power counter placed? Before resolving the minion's ability or after?

A: After. You resolve the card in order, so you first play the minion, then resolve its ability, and finally you place the +1 power counter on it.[3]

Rule: Do exactly what the card says.

Q: If I play a Fledling Vampire with Crack of Dusk on a base where another player has a total power of 3, how many power counters are placed on Fledgling Vampire?

A: Two +1 power counters. First, you play Fledgling Vampire and resolve its ability (another player has more power than you, so it gets a power counter). Then, you place a +1 power counter on Fledgling Vampire because of Crack of Duck.

Rule: Do exactly what the card says.


Questions on Cull the Weak Edit

Q: If I discard an Igor with Cull the Weak, can I place an extra +1 power counter?

A: No, Igor's ability is an Ongoing, so it must already be in play for you use its ability.

Rule: An Ongoing ability only becomes active when the card is in play.
Q: If I discard a Fan with Cull the Weak, do I draw a card?
A: No, Fan only allows you to draw a card if it was discarded through its own ability.

Rule: Do exactly what the card says..


Questions on Dinner Date Edit

Q: When I play Dinner Date, do I have to destroy a minion? Even my own minion?

A: Short answer: yes. If there are one or more minions of power 2 or less on your minion's base, you must target one of them for destruction, even if it's your own minion (it can even be the minion on which you placed the +1 power counter if it's total power is still 2 or less).
Rule 1: If the ability doesn't say "you may", you must do it immediately.
Rule 2: "A minion" means "any minion in play".
Q: Can I choose to destroy a minion that cannot be destroyed?
A: Yes, you can choose a minion that cannot be destroyed. In that case, the minion does not die
Rule: The card you target may be immune to the effects of the ability you are performing, but it is still a valid target.


Questions on Mad Monster Party Edit

Q:

A:

Rule:


Questions on Opportunist Edit

Q: I have a minion with Opportunist. If I take control of another player's minion and destroy it, does it trigger Opportunist's ability?

A: No. Since you took control of another player's minion, it's no longer another player's minion", but "your minion". So if it's destroyed, it doesn't trigger Opportunist's ability.

Rule 1: "Your minion" means "a minion that you control".

Rule 2: "Other players" on a minion or action means everyone except the controller of the minion or action.


Questions on Summon Wolves Edit

Q: Do the tokens on Summon Wolves count as Power Tokens on the minion I have played there, or just as if I had a minion of Power x on the base, where x is equal to the number of tokens?

A: Neither. It doesn't do anything to your minions, it just needs a minion on the same base to be useful. And it doesn't count as a minion. A comparable card is Aggromotive.

Rule: Do exactly what the card says.

Q: If I play We Will Rock You, does it affect the power counters on Summon Wolves?

A: No. We Will Rock You only affects minions and Summon Wolves is an action.

Rule: Do exactly what the card says.

Q: If I play a card on a base with an Ongoing (ex. Summon Wolves) does the card affect all players on that base? Or is the card effect only for me unless otherwise specified?

A: The card only works for you.

Rule: "You" on a minion or action means the controller of the card.

Trivia Edit

ReferencesEdit

  1. https://boardgamegeek.com/article/18778785#18778785
  2. https://boardgamegeek.com/article/17014769#17014769
  3. https://boardgamegeek.com/article/20694183#20694183

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