|Emblematic Mana:||Body Mana|
|World Spell:||River of Blood|
prolonged at the expense of others, and by this act Alexis and Flauros have created a decadent vampiric aristocracy. Their battlefield success comes at a price they are only too happy to pay – the blood of their human thralls kept in miserable conditions to serve as little more than cattle. This secret would surely incense all honorable nations of Erebus, but could even the strongest legion compare to the might of a Vampire Lord? Perhaps their enemies are willing to dismiss the ugly rumors as just that to avoid the danger of sharing the fate of the sad Calabim humans.
Your vampires (gained at Feudalism, or through Losha Valas at Fanaticism) can be fed either through building a couple of big farm cities, or simply by taking over enemy cities and gobbling up their entire population (bon appetit). Spread the gift to as many of your units as you can (your Moroi units can gain vampirism earlier than other units) and take over the world. With their unique Breeding Pit building, the Calabim also have synergies with the use of slave labor - whenever your citizens aren't being used for vampire food, they can be whipped away for production. (Your citizens may feel a bit unhappy, but they'll be dead soon enough anyway.) The Calabim World Spell, River of Blood, grants 2 population in each of your cities, while reducing the population of all other cities in the world by 2.
For the Calabim, once they have a foothold on their Birthright, either through Losha Valas or standard Vampires, they can become nigh unstoppable. With a Breeding Pit, Granary and Smokehouse all set up in your primary feeding cities it will only take a couple of nice farms to ensure that you are gaining a population each turn. Feed your Empire and slaughter your foes, then eat their population and leave the now useless City unguarded to dispose of it. Like a swarm of Locusts, you can spread across Erebus from your Empire and leave nothing in your wake but the Barbarians. Each of the true Vampiric Units is capable of casting a small arsenal of spells. With Haste to reach the enemies sooner, Regeneration to keep your dinne.. err, support troops, alive between fights, and Spectres to soften up the few defenders capable of withstanding your assault. But for the Vampire Lords there is a further Treat, they can make use of Lichdom to become full fledged Arcane units, but far stronger than any Archmage could hope to be on his own.
See this thread for a discussion of Religion and other Calabim details (v0.31)
Taken from Top Ten Tips for Your Favorite Civs
1. It's all about the vampires. OK, it's a champion that's 50% more expensive than normal, and -1 base strength: how is that a good thing? The answer is that vampires are born with the ability to cast Haste and summon skeletons. With one promotion, they can summon spectres. They can also Feast their way to essentially infinite experience. Think of these guys as heroes that get buckets of promotions in a few turns instead of 100. The other ability of vampires is the Gift Vampirism spell, which gives Vampirism to any level 6 unit (or level 4 Moroi, the Calabim Axeman unit). This gives the target unit an extra 10% strength, faster healing, and the ability to Feast (see below). No summoning ability, though: that would be just too much.
2. Governor's Manor ASAP. The governor's manor provides a hammer for each unhappy face in your city. This is huge: your early size-4 cities will have an extra five hammers from the governor's manor (4 unhappy from "it's too crowded", 1 from "some buildings are making us unhappy"). The tech that enables the governor's manor building (Code of Laws) also enables the Aristocracy civic, which, combined with Agrarianism fits the Calabim like a glove:
3. Population = power. As stated above, each population point is worth another hammer to your governor's manor. Also, the Feast spell lets you convert city population into experience for your vampires. The bigger the city, the greater the experience gain; for example, feasting a size 15 city down to size 10 will give 50 experience.
The Calabim have a unique building called the Breeding Pit that gives +2 food, -1 health, and +20% retained population after growth (meaning your cities can grow back to normal size more quickly after feasting or whipping). Worst case, this is +1 food; with enough health resources (see tip #10), it's an extra person. It can be worthwhile for Calabim cities to grow into unhappiness, since the extra population will provide some benefit even while it's rioting.
Sanitation and Construction are great techs for the Calabim, since they allow for more productive farms and fresh water propogation via farms, respectively. Farm every tile you can; more food = faster growth after whipping or feasting, and each farm gives commerce under Aristocracy. Sanitation also enables the Public Bath building, which gives a whopping +3 happy at the price of -1 health.
4. Summons are the ultimate cannon fodder. Attack sequence: move adjacent to target, summon one skeleton per vampire. Next turn, summon one spectre per vampire, cast enchantment spells (enchanted blade and shield of faith are nice, since they work on both living and undead units). Attack with the summoned units: if they die, so what? Their death doesn't increase your war weariness, and you can summon some more next turn. Now, kill the softened-up units with your vampires. This won't work against really tough targets unless you have lots of death mana:
5. Spectres love Death mana. Spectres have death affinity, which means their strength increases by +1 for every death mana node you control. Create three death mana nodes and your summoned troops are suddenly twice as powerful. With lots of death mana (see tip #10), empower 5 (easy enough to Feast combat 5 onto your vampires), and some additional buffs, your disposable summons can do some damage to pretty tough opponents. Using Death mana will give a diplomacy penalty with lots of AI leaders, but you're going to kill them anyway, right (see tip #10)?
6. Be Flauros. Financial and Organized (half-price governor's manors!) are great traits for someone who's planning to conquer the world (see tip #10). Alexis's traits (Aggressive and Philosophical) run exactly counter to the way I play the vampires: who needs free combat 1 when you can get all the promotions you need by feasting? And the high-food cities that could support specialists are exactly the ones that are ideal for feasting. Decius is an interesting alternative, but I usually need all the financial help I can get:
7. Don't crash your economy. Governor's manors only provide half the city maintenance reduction of regular courthouses, and the Calabim can't construct the buildings that give extra research per city (Elder Council and Alchemy Lab). It's pretty easy to overexpand and reach the point where your research is stagnant and your troops are revolting. One of your research priorities is Education; spam cottages if your economy is in trouble (or take over some of your neighbor's cities). Once you get Aristograrianism cranking, your money troubles should be over.
8. Pick the right moment for your world spell. The Calabim world spell increases the population of all Calabim cities by two, and decreases the population of all other cities by two. It's a nice double-edged sword, helping you and hurting your opponents. There are two schools of thought on this spell: cast it as soon as your capital reaches size 3, giving you an early game boost and your opponents an early setback. Or, wait until mid game when you've connected a couple new happy resources or built some public baths and all your cities are at least +2 happy. I usually shoot for the latter timing.
9. Burning Blood is nice, but use it carefully. When you're attacking at long odds with a Moroi, the Burning Blood spell will give +20% strength, +1 move, and blitz. Beware, though: if it survives, there's a 20% chance per turn that the unit will turn into a barbarian and attack your units (and a 10% chance that it will lose the burning blood promotion, but that never seems to happen).
10. Conquer the world. More happy and healthy resources = bigger cities = more hammers and more powerful vampires. More death nodes = stronger spectres.