Thursday, October 4, 2007

Short Chain Combat & More

David Cherryholmes coined the term & concept of "Short Chain Combat" (SCC) in a usenet newsgroup article. It is a concept that should help decks which use a light combat module, e.g. bruise & bleed decks or toolbox decks. It is not a formula for building dedicated combat deck, but IMHO gives some very good hints if a combat module is going to work or not.
The nucleus of the original concept is this (quoted from the original article):
  1. You must confine your combat to being just good enough, not uber.
  2. "Good enough" can be defined as doing 3 normal damage or 1 aggravated damage with two cards, and foiling at least one of the following:
    a) Dodge
    b) Strike: Combat Ends
    c) Hitback
    d) Damage prevention
  3. More elements (ie moving parts) can and should be included, but any two should satisfy 1) and 2) above.
If SCC is satisfied, the combat portion of your deck should be achievable in 30 to 40 cards, yielding about 15 combats or a total table loss of 45 blood, discounting the rescue costs that may or may not exist. This leaves about 10 more slots for cards that are good but need not be played every combat: weapons, "Concealed/Disguised Weapon", "Taste of Vitae", "Provision of Silsila", "Draught of the Soul", etc. Alternatively, you may use those 10 slots for light reaction/wake/intercept. Add approximately 20 action cards and 20 or fewer master cards and you have what should be a functional combat deck. Also note that the reduced card flow raises the "gag threshold" of master cards that a combat deck can acceptably play.
Examples of SCC packages
Non-Examples of SCC packages

Complimentary Short Chain Combat

Later Karl Schaefer extended the SCC tactics to the concept of "Complimentary Short Chain Combat" on the "Path of Blood" forum. Here's the base concept:
My theory is that you take two different SCC chains that have a common piece, for example "Carrion Crows"/"Aid from Bats" and "Carrion Crows"/"Scorpion Sting". What you have here are two different SCC chains that each use Carrion Crows. By combining the chains, you can add versatility to your combat without severely overloading your combat package.
Consider the following example where your prey is extremely dodgy and your predator does a lot of damage at close range. In any given combat, you can play "Carrion Crows", but for your prey you'd want to use "Scorpion Sting" and for your predator "Aid from Bats". By combining these two chains, you can effectively exploit multiple weaknesses as you encounter them on the table. In a situation like this, I might imagine the combat package would be something like:

Examples of CSSC packages

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