Friday, February 29, 2008

VtES Continental Championships 2008 News

A few updates on VtES Continental Championships have been announced the past few days:
  • In the Usenet newsgroup a reschedule of the VtES European Championship 2008 has been announced. The EC 2008 in Prague (Czech Republic) now takes places a week later than originally planned, i.e. the actual date is now from September 18th to 21st, 2008.

  • The website for the North American Championship 2008 is up. Here's a also the link to full announcement. The new website is both in english and french, since the NAC 2008 takes places in Montreal, which is situated in the francophone part of Canada.

VtES Clan Newsletters in February 2008

Only one clan newsletter (the faithful Ahrimanes) has been posted in the "" usenet newsgroup this month. Beside using a newgroup reader, you can also access the newsgroup by Google Groups.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Deck Archetypes: Palla Grande

(c) by White Wolf Inc.The "Palla Grande" deck has won numerous VtES tournaments in the past and the essence of this deck archetype is still untouched since the early tournament wins. The deck is basically a Breed & Bleed deck based on "Toreador antitribu" vampires and the master card "Palla Grande", which gives all "Toreador antribu" in play +1 bleed while the card is in play (which is usually three turns). Early on the deck tries to build up, generating pool and bringing new vampires via "The Embrace" into play. After the initial build-up which can last several turns, the deck then brings a "Palla Grande" into play, giving all of its "Toreador antitribu" vampires the above mentioned extra +1 bleed, and tries to overwhelm its prey with a superior number of vampires.

How to win with them
The deck is best summarized by the label "Breed & Bleed". At first it brings out a few vampires and plays a number of "Embraces" and occasionally a subsequent "Thin Blooded Seer". In addition the deck bloats with "Art Scam" and "Tribute to the Master" and/or "Blood Dolls" in the build-up phase. In the early and sometimes mid-game the deck tries to appear inconspicuos, all the while waiting for having enough minions (in comparison to its prey) and (hopefully) its prey going down lower on pool (e.g. by spending for equipment, locations or new minions).

(c) by White Wolf Inc.If the deck has build up enough momentum a "Palla Grande" is played, often preceded by "Anarch Troublemaker" in the turn before. So in the best case, the "Anarch Troublemaker" can be used to tap two potential blocker of its prey. Then the bleeding starts, this can be solely based on the "Palla Grande", but the bleeds can also be enhanced by using "Enchant Kindred", "Entrancement" or other cards requiring "Presence". To avoid damage to the bleeding vampires usually a "Dodge" is often used instead of "Majesty", since "Majesty" (although generally is the better card) cannot be played by the "Embraces" or the "Thin Blooded Seers". More importantly the deck usually packs some "Change of Target" to protect key vampires like "Jost Werner" from being caught in combat or to draw out "On the Qui Vive" and the like.

The deck archetype uses extensively cards requiring "Toreador Antitribu". The above mentioned cards "Palla Grande" for boosting bleeds and "Art Scam" to generate extra pool as well as "Patronage" for untapping (actively) its own vampires.

The deck can also take the bloat direction by playing "Foundation Exhibit" (another card requiring and "Consanguineous Boon". The first card to give all untitled "Toreador Antitribu" an additional vote, which the helps to pass the "Consanguineous Boon" to gain larger amounts of pool.

(c) by White Wolf Inc.Bleed defense
The deck always tries to spend on vampires (brought into play from the crypt) as little as possible, since it has other ways of bringing a whole lot of minions into play. This leaves the deck a comfortable pool cushion to start with. Also the bloating done by "Tribute to the Master" and "Blood Dolls" is used as defensive provision. Surprisingly not all of the different variants of the deck archetype pack "Auspex" based bleed bounce ("Telepathic Misdirection") or bleed reduction ("Telepathic Counter") into their decks, not wanting to dilute the offensive capability of the deck and relying solely on their bloat capabilities.

Vote defense
As with bleed defense the deck relies on bloating in the first place. "Delaying Tactics" is also seen in some of these decks, but not as widely spread as one would expect in deck with no inherent votes/titles. Decks featuring "Consanguineous Boon" also rely on "Foundation Exhibit", but this is rather weak defense since the card be removed so easily.

Combat defense
Combat defense is very weak, only offering a handful of either "Dodges" or "Majesties". Only the variant which sports "Vicissitude" has some pretty hefty hitback with "Chiropteran Marauder" and "Breath of the Dragon". The deck usually tries to withstand the onslaught of a combat deck by its minion's number, but faced with "Tension in the Ranks" or "Dragonbound" it's hard to survive for the "Toreador antitribu".

How to win against them
The first directive for stopping this kind of deck is, that you have to stop it before the wave (read: weenie horde) has been built up. One of the main weaknesses of the deck is the lack of stealth. All actions are at +1 stealth only, so persistent blocking is the way to go. If faced with blocking only a few of the actions, I would recommend to block either block the recruit or the hunt actions after the block in the early game, but this only makes sense if you put the acting minion to torpor.

Playing "Aranthebes, the Immortal" helps to a certain degree, but usually the bigger vampires will then try to remove the "Aranthebes" first, before the horde of smaller vampires bleed then. If if the "Aranthebes" stays in the game the weenies still bleed for one when the "Palla Grande" is in play.

The real killer is "Atonement", although it can be removed similar to removing an "Aranthebes", the ability not tap for blocking younger vampires is helping a lot. Give the minion with the "Atonement" a ".44 Magnum" or "Sniper Rifle" and the "Toreador antitribu" will have a hard time.

What also slows the deck down is packing a number of "Washes" or "Sudden Reversals". When played against the "Anarch Troublemaker" or the "Palla Grande" it does not stop the horde of vampires from bleeding you, but they do it less effectively.

(c) by White Wolf Inc.Key Cards
  • "Palla Grande" -- the name giver of the deck, adding +1 bleed to all "Toreador antritribu" while the card is in play.
  • "Embrace" -- a way to recruit more "Toreador antribu" vampires, albeit not a cheap one.
  • "Change of Target" -- the key for acting without stealth, though it does not make the action succesful, the card at least prevents a subsequent combat.
  • "Art Scam" -- basic pool generation for the deck.

Notable Examples & Variations
There are several variants to this deck. all adding a specific flavour to the basic deck archetype, ranging from stealth enhanced variants to those adding the "War Ghoul" ally.
  • Basic variant "Bleed & Breed" variant -- see description above.
    • "Jost on GHB" by Bram Vink -- see complete decklist below.
    • "Second Chance to Embrace" by Christian Chenard -- the NAQ 2006 winning deck.
    • "Baratas '07" by David Magri da Silva -- adds Gehenna Events to slow down other decks, since the deck itself plays no cards requiring disciplines.
    • "Palla Grande" by César Brera -- adds more reaction cards to have some defensive capabilties.
    • "Simply Irresistible" by Gines Quinonero-Santiago -- also has some defensive capabilties, but added a large number of "Entrancement" doubling as bleed cards as well as offensive against the popular ally decks in general and Imbued decks in particular.
    • "Palla Grande" by James Messer -- adds some allies (most notably a number of "Procurers").
  • Variant w/ "Foundation Exhbit" and "Consanguineous Boon" -- uses these two cards for generating vast amounts of pool.
  • Variant w/ "Vicissitude" -- adds stealth modifiers as well as combat cards based on "Vicissitude".
  • Variant w/ "Vicissitude" & "War Ghouls" -- mixes the "Palla Grande" with the "War Ghoul" deck archetype to remove any blockers/bouncers before starting to bleed for real.

Sample Decklist
Gather: Utrecht
Utrecht, Netherlands
September 6th, 2003
29 players

Deckname: Jost on GHB
Created by: Bram Vink

Crypt (12 cards) - [avg=4.83]
4 Jost Werner
1 Ian Wallingford
1 Sheila Mezarin
1 Creamy Jade
1 Mercy, Knight Inquisitor
2 Remilliard, Devout Crusader
2 Carter

Liberary (90 cards)
Master (32 cards)
4 Anarch Troublemaker
1 The Coven
1 Fetish Club Hunting Ground
8 Life in the City
5 Misdirection
5 Palla Grande
4 The Parthenon
4 Tribute to the Master

Action (19 cards)
1 Art Scam
9 The Embrace
4 Mind Numb
3 Revelation
2 Entrancement

Action Modifier (9 cards)
9 Change of Target

Combat (12 cards)
5 Fake Out
7 Majesty

Reaction (18 cards)
7 Telepathic Misderection
8 WwEF
3 Delaying Tactics

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Did you know, that ... (Part 9)

.. you can play "Target Vitals" when choosing "Catatonic Fear" (at superior "Presence" as a strike, and the opposing minion then takes 3 damage (provided "Target Vitals" is not canceled) after the combat. The damage is not even preventable since the damage is inflicted outside of combat.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Mighty Nakhthorheb

Mighty Nakhthorheb
All is revealed at once
Cannot be stopped

For more VtES haiku/senryū check Lasombra's website who has collected dozens of these little poems over the years.

How to prepare for a Qualifier

This one has to be immortalized!! On the basis of the Rifleman's Creed XZealot made a transcription to VtES deck building in general and to preparation for a Continental Qualifier Tournament in particular.

Well done, XZealot!

"How to prepare for a Qualifier"
  1. This is my deck. There are many like it, but this one is mine.
  2. My deck is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it as I must master my life.
  3. My deck, without me, is useless. Without my deck, I am useless. I must play my deck true. I must play better than my enemy who is trying to oust me. I must oust him before he ousts me. I will ...
  4. My deck and myself know that what counts in this game is not the cards we play, the noise of our politics, nor the smoke of our deception. We know that it is the oust that count. We will oust....
  5. My deck is human, even as I, because it is my game. Thus, I will learn it as a brother. I will learn its weaknesses, its strength, its parts, its combinations, its rhythms and its patterns. We will become part of each other. We will ....
  6. Before Caine, I swear this creed. My deck and myself are the defenders of my pool. We are the masters of the Jyhad. We are the saviors of the game.
  7. So be it, until victory is mine and there is no enemy but the next table of players!!

Norman S. Brown, Jr
Archon of the Swamp

Monday, February 25, 2008

German VtES EC Qualifier 2008 announced

The Baronies of Frankfurt invite you to the 8th German VtES Continental Qualifier in Frankfurt a.M. on Saturday, April 19th, 2008. We expect around thirty bloodthirsty Methuselahs to battle out those worthy to venture to the European Championship 2008 in Prague, Czech Republic (and other continental championships of course).

The tournament will be held in this location:
Saalbau Bockenheim
Schwälmer Straße 28
60486 Frankfurt am Main

Constructed Tournament: 3 Rounds + Final Round
Time limit: 2 hours
Fee: 6 Euros
Head Judge and Organizer: Joscha Düll

Be sure to be there. We look forward to see you then.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Results of "Dark Cellars II" VtES tournament (Utrecht)

These are the results of the "Dark Cellars II" VtES Constructed tournament in Utrecht, Netherlands after 3 rounds + Finals. The tournament was played on February 22nd, 2008 with 10 players participating. Here are the standings after the final round.
1. Peter B. -- 1 GW 6 VP -- 1 GW 2,5 VP -- Nakthorheb Setite Temptation & Bleed
2. Emilano I. -- 0 GW 4 VP -- 1,5 VP -- Rachel/Gregor Homunculus Madness Network
2. Emile B. -- 1 GW 6 VP -- 0 VP -- Pre/Cel/For Laibon Vote feat. Victor Pelletier
2. Michael H. -- 1 GW 3,5 VP -- 0 VP -- Tremere/!Tremere Shambling Hordes Toolbox
2. Ed T. -- 0 GW 2,5 VP -- 0 VP -- Tariq eats the World
Congratulations to Peter for his hard fought victory in the final round. The decklist of the winner can be found in the dutch VEKN forum and the internat. Usenet newsgroup.

The place we played at, the "Joker" in Utrecht. Ed leaving the "Joker" during a break.

Round 1, Table 1: Hardy, Ed and Peter watching Jeroen's Malgorata bloating.

Round 1, Table 2: Michael, Emile, Emiliano and Herman having fun while Bart is figuring out what to do next.
Round 2, Table 1: Hardy's Daugthers of Cacaphony are up for something. Michael is contemplating how to stop the horde.

Round 3: Paul, the tournament's organizer (on the right), watching the two tables being in full gear.

Final Round: Peter's Setite in the heads-up against Emiliano's Malkavian Princes.

Friday, February 22, 2008

VtES Quiz (Part 3)

Here's another quick quiz of 10 questions on VtES (off-site on "Quibblo") on some (random) VtES related topics. It's just for fun, no prizes to score. Just try not use a deck builder program or card database program for solving the questions. It's definetely more challenging/fun that way.

Here are also the answers of the questions of the second quiz along with the percentage of correctly given answers for each question. To avoid spoilers I have inked the answers black, so that they are "invisible" unless you mark the text below:
  1. B. "Patrol" & "Soar" had their artwork exchanged in "Bloodlines". The artwork was un-switched in "Legacies of Blood". [51%]
  2. E. "Camille Devereux" was the vampire in question showing an image of "Stephanie Seymour". [80%]
  3. A. "Uncoiling", the other events are either "Government", "Gehenna" or "Inconnu" events. [54%]
  4. C. "Palatial Estate" is not a hunting ground. [80%]
  5. B. "Salubri antritribu" do not have non-unique vampires in their crypt, the non-unique vampires of the other clans are: "Tupdog", "Fida'i", "Hermana Hambrienta Menor", "Hermana Hambrienta Mayor", "Aabbt%20Kindred") [77%]
  6. E. You need an "AK-47" that makes 2 damage and has a built-in additional strike to kill "Carlton van Wyk" in a single round of combat without any other card or special ability. [46%]
  7. A. "Eze, The Demon Prince" has neither +bleed nor +strength. [71%]
  8. D. "Meat Hook" can be used once each round; all other weapons only once per combat. [66%]
  9. E. All of the above allies are werewolves. [69%]
  10. D. Your influence phase ends, when you move one or more vampires to your controlled region or when you choose not to move any. [49%]

Changes in Continental Championships & Qualifier Rules

The VEKN Championship & Qualifier Rules have been altered somewhat for the 2008 VtES tournament season on short notice this week. The most significant changes are that:
  • the top 33% (not the top 25% as before) of the Last Chance Qualifier (LCQ) during the Continental Championship weekend qualify for the main event. For the Australian Continental Championship even top 50% of the LCQ qualify.
  • finalists of National Championships (NC) qualify for the Continental Championship.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Results French EC Qualifier 2008

On February 16th, 2008 the Special VtES French EC Qualifier was held in Cannes (France) with 25 players attending the qualifier tournament. The final standings were as follows:
1. Pierre-Denis "P2" Brouillet -- 2 GW 6 VP -- 1,5 VP -- Laibon Vote
2. Jonathan "Synesios" Sinien -- 1GW 4,5 VP -- 1,5 VP -- Harbinger of Skulls AUS Wall
2. Pierre "Stone" Tran-Van -- 1 GW 6,5 VP -- 1 VP -- !Malkavian "Kindred Spirits" Bleed
2. Axel Ménar -- 2 GW 6 VP -- 0 VP -- Tupdog / Antonio D'Erlette Nephandus
2. Johannes Walch -- 1 GW 5,5 VP -- 0 VP -- Law Firm Class of 94'
Congratulations to Pierre-Denis "P2" Brouillet for his win of this special French ECQ 2008. P2's winning deck & those of the other finalists can be found in the french VEKN forum. A short report of the finals was posted on the Usenet Newsgroup.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Memorable Quotes (Part 3)

"Give complete hypothetical card text if you want hypothetical rulings." -- LSJ

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

VtES Storyline History

White Wolf organizes so-called storyline events for VtES about once every year since 2002. The storylines each feature a particular theme or an event often with special rules and/or extra promo cards. Over a period of one to two month storyline tournaments are then held throughout the world in which these rules are in effect. The name of the winning clan of a tournament as well as a report is sent back to White Wolf. Then White Wolf determines which clan was victorious in a majority of tournaments. Together with the reports the outcome of the storyline is determined and the winning clan receives a vampire with the special feature or a card related to the storyline for the clan as promo card or card in the next expansion.
General information about the storylines can be found at White Wolf's official site.

Past Storyline Events
  1. "The Baltimore Storyline" -- February 2002 -- Prelude.
    • Description: "The Baltimore Storyline" was based on White Wolf's clan novel series. The series included the powerstruggle for the control of Baltimore between the different vampire sects. The first storyline events only had sparse rules additions, and besides the crypt which must be clan-based, the only difference to a regular constructed tournament was, that players were allowed to add the promo card "The Meddling of Semsith" to their decks.
    • Winning Clan: "Lasombra", close second: "Ravnos".
    • New Card: " The Meddling of Semsith".
    • Resulting Card: "Baltimore Purge".

  2. "The Eye of Hazimel" -- November 2002 -- Storyline Rules && Prelude.
    • Description: "The Eye of Hazimel" storyline featured the struggle for the control of the "Eye of Hazimel", a mythical, powerful artifact, similar to those events that took place during White Wolf's Clan Novel series. In addition to the clan-based crypt rule, special rules were included which resembeled the struggle for "The Eye of Hazimel" as a center piece of the tournament.
    • Winning Clan: "Tzimisce".
    • New Card: "Eye of Hazimel".
    • Resulting Card: "Fiendish Tongue", and the promo cards for the next Storyline Event.

  3. "Lambach's Legion Storyline" -- September 2003 -- Storyline Rules & Results.
    • Description: This storyline featured Lambach's efforts to raise a legion of loyal Tzimisce followers, for purposes known only to him. For this the new card the advanced version of "Lambach" and "Legion" could be included in the deck.
    • Winning Clan: "Giovanni".
    • New Card: "Lambach" and "Legion".
    • Resulting Card: "Siphon"
  4. "Prophecies of Gehenna" -- 2004 -- Storyline Rules && 12 individual rules.
    • Description: The storyline's focus were the final nights in advance to the coming of Gehenna, the Armageddon in the "World of Darkness". Instead of a single tournament, the event was played in a league format. There were 12 rules affecting the whole game, of which two rules were in effect during any given of the 11 league rounds.
    • Winning Clan: not tallied worldwide.
    • New Card: "Prophecies of Gehenna" and "Erciyes Fragment".
    • Resulting Card: n/a
  5. "Infernal Plague" -- October 15th to November 30th, 2004 -- Storyline Rules && Prelude.
    • Description: The "Infernal Plague" storyline prominently featured Barbaro Lucchese’s and his efforts to spread infernalism within the Camarilla, the Sabbat and the other sects. The tournaments rules mainly based on an auction where players could receive a bonus to their initial pool if they choose to be on the infernal side.
    • Winning Clan: Toreador (infernal) and "Ventrue" (non-infernal).
    • New Card: "Barbaro Luchese", "Port Authority".
    • Resulting Card: "Helena (Adv)", "Alan Sovereign (Adv)".
  6. "Infernal Plague: The Return of Nergal" -- October 1st to December 18th, 2005 -- Storyline Rules && Deck
    • Description: After the incursion of the infernals into the ranks of Camarilla and Sabbat, "Nergal, the Prince", and the efforts to stop Nergal and his infernals minions. In the final round of the tournament, the currently leading player could play a specially constructed deck and try to win against the other four players of the final table.
    • Winning Clan: "Nergal, Prince of Hell" deck (Toreador).
    • New Card: "Nergal".
    • Resulting Card: "Nergal (Adv)"
    • Additional Cards: "Nergal, Prince of Hell deck"
  7. "Reverend Adams & the Millenium Cultist" -- November 2006 to January 2006 -- Storyline Rules && Rules Update
    • Description: This storyline centered around Reverend Adams, a Caitiff (clanless) vampire. The Reverend's Millenium Cultist group causes great turmoil among Sabbat and Camarilla alike, while trying to control him, both sides try to take advantage of him and his followers to their own ends. Throughout the storyline tournament players could take control of the Reverend, and play cards from the specially prepared deck when controlling him.
    • Winning Clan: Ventrue.
    • New Card: "Reverend Adams".
    • Resulting Card: "Reverend Adams (Adv)" (not yet released).
    • Additional Cards: "Millenium Cultist" deck
Build-Your-Own Storyline
In addition to the official storylines, a Prince or playgroup may write, organize and play their storylines based on the classic "World of Darkness". This concept is known as "Build-Your-Own Storyline". The editor, which can be any player, designs a story or theme on which the BYOS is built around. Based on this background story he devices a set of particular rules for a local tournament in which other players may participate in as in any other regular Storyline tournament. The outline on how to build one's own storyline can be found here.

Examples for "Build-Your-Own Storyline" tournaments:
Future Storyline Events
White Wolf has announced that in 2008 a new Storyline Event will be held, this time revolving around the "Anarch" movement in the "World of Darkness".

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Did you know, that ... (Part 8)

.. in a combat initiated by "Taunt the Caged Beast" (at superior "Animalism") neither minion is acting. Therefore the acting player's prey goes first in the resulting combat, and the acting player's predator goes second when announcing cards or effects.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Upcoming VtES European Championship Qualifier 2008

Here's a list of the upcoming ECQ tournaments for VtES, mostly taken from the WW event calendar.
  • French ECQ -- Cannes, France -- February 16th, 2008
  • Czech ECQ -- Prague, Czech Republic -- February 23rd, 2008
  • Polish ECQ -- Gdansk, Poland -- March 1st, 2008
  • Swiss ECQ -- Geneva?, Switzerland -- March 22nd, 2008
  • Swedish ECQ -- Gothenburg, Sweden -- March 22nd, 2008
  • Slovak ECQ -- Bratislava, Slovakia -- April 12th, 2008
  • German ECQ -- Frankfurt a.M., Germany -- April 19th, 2008
All this culiminating in the European VtES Championship 2008:
  • 2008 European Championship -- Prague -- September 11th-14th, 2008

Thursday, February 14, 2008

White Wolf Quarterly Winter 2007/2008

The new White Wolf Quarterly for winter 2007/2008 has been released. It contains a 2-page- interview with the new VtES Storyline Event Coordinator, Ben Swainbank, where he talks about the past and future of the Storyline Events, and his background as a VtES player. In addition there are three pictures taken from the next (mini-) expansion "Twilight Rebellion", but no information about the cards or the contents of the new expansion.
You can download the new WW Quarterly from White Wolf's website. But be aware, that the PDF is about 24 MByte large.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

VtES Quiz (Part 2)

Here's another quick quiz 10 questions on VtES (off-site on "Quibblo") on some (random) VtES related topics. It's just for fun, no prizes to score. Just try not use a deck builder program or card database program for solving the questions. It's definitely more challenging/fun that way. (Hopefully I have all my answers right).

Here are also the answers of the questions of the first quiz along with the percentage of correctly given answers for each question. To avoid spoilers I have inked the answers black, so that they are "invisible" unless you mark the text below:
  1. D. "Sandra White" & "Smudge". [72%]
  2. C. "Nocturn" is a demon, not a wraith. [68%]
  3. D. "Last Stand" cost 6 pool, all other cards cost 5 pool. [72%]
  4. A. "Gharston Roland" does not have "Protean". [42%]
  5. D. "Antoinette DuChamps" was misprinted, capacity and group were changed. [52%]
  6. D. "Nergal". [60%]
  7. B. "Swallowed by the Night" (with the LotN release) has two different art works, not three. [35%]
  8. E. "The Summoning" only allows to put a retainer to your hand. [50%]
  9. C. 5 library cards have been changed. [38%] (Sorry, the question wasn't clear enough on the library restriction).
  10. E. In "3rd Edition" both the printer and quality control at White Wolf fumbled, and thereby the reversed card backs were introduced, much to the dismay of players (and White Wolf). [85%]

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Memorable Quotes (Part 2)

"A wall deck's purpose is to defend Smiling Jack." -- Jay Kristoff

Monday, February 11, 2008

VtES Rules: "Street Cred" Q&A

(c) 2007 by White Wolf Inc.Lately a number of questions came up regarding "Street Cred", so here's a short "Questions and Answers" summary, for the card. Most of the information is taken from the Usenet newsgroup "":

Q: Can I order the effects of "Street Cred" and "Taste of Vitae" at the end of a combat round (i.e. after the press step)?
A: Yes, you can. So you can either play "Taste of Vitae" first, if you are at 0 blood after the strike resolution or can play "Taste of Vitae" later to recover blood spent on "Street Cred".

Q: Can I play "Street Cred" if my vampire goes to torpor?
A: Yes, this is possible. This is in contrast to "Taste of Vitae" or Amaranth" which cannot be played by minions who are burned or going to torpor by cardtext. "Street Cred" does not have such a cardtext, therefore it is allowed.

Q: Can I play more than one "Street Cred" per turn?
A: Yes, but according to the card text, it can only be played by different vampires in a given turn. Neither additional rounds (e.g. via "Trap") or additional combats (via "Psyche") help circumventing this restriction that only one "Street Cred" may be played per vampire per turn.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Nergal Jr.'s Bad Habit

After the two storylines based on "Nergal", the promo cards of both the base and the new advanced version of this Baali, I'll have to show this: "Nergal Jr." is a character from the animated show "The Grim Adventures of Bill and Mandy". To quote Wikipedia:
"Nergal Junior is the son of Nergal and Aunt Sis. He has the power to shapeshift. When he takes another's shape, he keeps his lime eyes, glasses, green tongue and sharp, yellow teeth. His true form is freakish and grotesque, and was never seen on-screen until in the episode "The Most Greatest Love Story Told Ever". Like his father, he is lonely and can't find friends, and because of his desperation, he developed evil tendencies and terrorizes everyone who stands in his way."

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Did you know, that ... (Part 7)

.. when vampire with +1 strength who hits another minion with "Quick Jab" and one damage is prevented by the opposing minion, there is no remaining damage?

Friday, February 8, 2008

Poll Results: "Do you participate in VtES tournaments?"

Here are the results of the latest poll if the readers of this blog participate in VtES tournments:
  • I even fly to other continents for attendance! -- 3 (6%)
  • I play on championships & qualifiers if possible. -- 25 (55%)
  • I play in local tournaments only. -- 13 (28%)
  • I play casual/internet/.. games only. -- 4 (8%)
  • I do not play at all (just collecting the cards). -- 0 (0%)
So most of the readers are attending also non-local tournaments (61%), whereas only a minority choose to play in local tournaments or casual "only" (38%).

Thursday, February 7, 2008

"Twilight Rebellion" Artwork Preview

On Lawrence Snelly's Blog you can find the artwork for four of the vampires that come with the next VtES expansion "Twilight Rebellion". Lawrence took the pictures from some the attendants of the NAC2007 in Los Angeles, and these vampire portraits are the results of it. Great idea, great pictures ...

Also Heather Kreiter has put her artwork for "An Anarch Manifesto" and "Blade Clot" on her website.

Results Northeast NAC Qualifier 2008

On February 2nd, 2008 the VtES Northeast Regional Qualifier was held in Providence, RI (USA) with 27 players attending the qualifier tournament (during TempleCon 2008). The final standings were as follows:
1. Ben Swainbank -- 2 GW 5 VP -- GW 4 VP -- Khazar's Diary
2. John Eno -- 2 GW 6 VP -- 1 VP -- G3/4 Assamite Breed/Boon S&B
2. Jen Goldberg -- 1 GW 7 VP -- 0 VP -- G2/3 !Malk/Malk Obf/Dem S&B
2. Dave Clooney -- 1 GW 5 VP -- 0 VP -- Xaviar Rush
2. Jason Wolfson -- 1 GW 5 VP -- 0 VP -- G2/3 !Malk/Malk Obf/Dem S&B
Congratulations to Ben for his win of the NERQ 2008. Ben's winning deck & the John's runner up deck have been posted in the Usenet Newsgroup here, pictures from the event, which took place during the 2008 TempleCon, can be found here.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

VtES Quiz (Part 1)

Here's just a quick quiz 10 questions on VtES (off-site on "Quibblo") on some (random) VtES related topics. It's just for fun, no prizes to score. Just try not use a deck builder program or card database program for solving the questions. It's definitely more challenging/fun that way. (Hopefully I have all my answers right).

Monday, February 4, 2008

VtES Promo Cards 2008

A number of new VtES promo cards have been released last weekend. The first distribution was among VtES players on last weekends' TempleCon, which took place from February 1st-3rd, 2008 in Providence, Rhode Island.
Cloak of the Abalone [Promo-20080203]
Cardtype: Equipment
Unique equipment.
Toreador and Toreador antitribu cannot block this minion.
Artist: Brian LeBlanc

Convergence [LotN:Promo]
Cardtype: Master
Clan: Pander
Move 1 blood from each ready Pander you control to a Pander in your uncontrolled region.
Artist: Brian LeBlanc

Nergal [Promo-20080203]
Cardtype: Vampire
Clan: Baali
Level: Advanced
Group: 5
Capacity: 10
Independent: Reaction cards cost an additional blood when Nergal is acting. Once each action, Nergal may burn 1 blood to get +1 stealth. Infernal.
Artist: Ron Lemon

Path of the Void [Promo-20080203]
Cardtype: Master
Cost: 1 pool
Unique master. Path.
Put this card on a vampire you control. This vampire gets +1 stealth, -1 bleed, and can inflict 1 damage on any minion as a (D) action. During this vampire's untap phase, his or her controller must discard a master card or tap this vampire. Burn this card if this vampire commits diablerie. A vampire can have only one path.
Artist: Brian LeBlanc

Reliquary: Shango Remains [Promo-20080203]
Cardtype: Equipment
Clan: Assamite
Choose an Assamite in your ash heap or burn 1 pool to choose an Assamite in your uncontrolled region. Remove that Assamite from the game or burn this reliquary. Once per turn, if this Assamite is ready, he or she may burn 1 blood to give you +2 hand size for the remainder of the turn; this ability cannot be used during combat.
Artist: Andrew Trabbold

Sound of a Breaking Oath [Promo-20080203]
Cardtype: Action/Reaction
Discipline: Auspex & Dominate
[aus][dom] [ACTION] +1 stealth action. Put this card on a minion you control. If an action to steal the minion with this card is successful, this minion is burned instead and the acting minion takes 1 unpreventable damage.
[AUS][DOM] [REACTION] As above, but play when an action to steal a minion you control is successful.
Artist: Jeff Laubenstein

Treaty of Laibach [Promo-20080203]
Cardtype: Master
Clan: Follower of Set/Tremere
Unique master. Requires both Follower of Set and Tremere.
Put this card in play. Each Follower of Set is considered to have a level of Thaumaturgy [tha] equal to his or her level of Serpentis [ser]. Each Tremere is considered to have a level of Serpentis equal to his or her level of Thaumaturgy.
Artist: Torstein Nordstrand

Walks-With-Might [Promo-20080203]
Cardtype: Ally
Cost: 2 pool
Unique werewolf with 4 life. 0 bleed, 3 strength.
Master cards cost you an additional pool. Walks-With-Might gets +1 intercept against Followers of Set. Each strike or damaging effect made against him inflicts 1 less damage on him.
Artist: Brian LeBlanc

Deck Archetypes: Nosferatu Royalty

(c) by White WolfThe classic "Nosferatu Royalty" deck is a political deck based on the Group 1/2 Nosferatu Princes and Justicar. The decks uses political cards like "Parity Shift" and "Kine Resources Contested" to oust its prey as well as a variety of other cards that require Camarilla a prince or justicar as support. The deck is quite solid since the crypt selection offers relatively cheap Nosferatu princes, who in addition all have "Obfuscate" to make the political actions more likely to be successful.

How to win with them
The deck's crypt is built on the relatively cheap Nosferatu princes and justicar. The capacities of the Nosferatu royalty (Prince/Justicar) in Group 1/2 are 5, 7, 7, 8, 9, which is the lowest average of all Camarilla clans in these groups. Among these "Nikolaus Vermeulen" excels, since his special ability to put 1 blood from him to an uncontrolled Nosferatu allows to speed up influencing additional Nosferatu or at least indirect pool recovery. So often "Nikolaus Vermeulen" is the first vampire of this deck that is moved into controlled region. The deck can also add other non-Nosferatu princes with (superior) "Obfuscate" like the Ventrue "Suhailah" or the Malkavian "Gilbert Duane". Another option is to switch to group 2-3 and add the Malkavian Justicar "Maris Streck", whose special ability gives the Nosferatu princes together with "Second Tradition: Domain" some decent intercept capabilities.

The deck's main weapon are the political actions "Parity Shift" and "Kine Resource Contested". Due to the nature of the "Parity Shift", it is not only used for damaging its prey's pool, but also pool gain for the deck itself. To be able to play the "Parity Shift" throughout the game, the deck constantly influences out new vampires or buys equipment for its minions. For killing its prey the vampires either bleed (usually for one) or play a "Kine Resource Contested" as the finishing move. Sometimes also the deck sports "Judgement: Camarilla Segregation", but this can backfire if your grandprey or grandpredator have not only Camarilla vampires and they no pool gain or are under pressure anyway.

(c) by White WolfFor making the political action successful the deck uses "Obfuscate", especially "Forgotten Labyrinth", "Lost in Crowds" and "Elder Impersonation", making it very hard to block for all decks except very dedicated intercept decks. In terms of making the actual vote/referendum a success, the deck relies almost exclusively on the titled-based votes of its vampires, with "Legendary Vampire" and (less often seen) "Animal Magnetism" as the exceptions to this rule.

Another important angle of the deck are the "Tradition" cards that require a Camarilla Justicar or Prince. "Second Tradition: Domain" offers an untap as well as +2 intercept for blocking; "Fourth Tradition: Hospitality" allows vampires to be refilled after paying the Obfuscate cards or being damaged in combat; "Third Tradition: Progeny" gives the Nosferatu in this deck additional minions, either for the occasional bleed or as chump blocker.

The whole deck can be moved into the direction of the "Breed & Boon" deck archetype by adding a couple "Third Tradition: Progeny" and "Consanguineous Boon", giving it additional minions as well as some more decent pool gain.

Bleed defense
This is definetely the deck's main weakness. The lack of bleed bounce disciplines makes it vulnerable to Stealth&Bleed or Powerbleed decks. Some deck variants play "Second Tradition: Domain" to compensate this deficit, thus providing both untap and +2 intercept to princes and justicars. Other variants do not play reaction cards at all, instead they rely on the decks ability to play "Parity Shift" backwards against the aggressive predator in order to compensate the pool loss and punish the predator at the same time. If necessary the deck will even go so far, to oust its predator if pressed too hard.

Vote defense
The deck relies primarily on its vampire's inherent title, and to some extent the ability to block political actions using "Second Tradition: Domain".

Combat defense
This is where the various deck variants have their greatest differences. Some decks decide not to pack any combat cards at all, concentrating on the actions and the subsequent vote. This usually works better in a tournament environment where combat is less often seen as is casual games. The other half of the decks do have a moderate amount of combat cards. Either fight back with "Potence" (e.g. "Thrown Gate" or "Pushing the Limit") and/or use "Animalism " for using "Carrion Crows" and "Aid From Bats". This is usually enough to keep no-combat-orientated decks at bay, but usually they'll lose the fight against a dedicated combat deck.

(c) by White WolfHow to win against them
The deck relies heavily on its titled vampires, since it almost never features an action modifiers which give additional votes (like "Animal Magnetism") or which prevent other vampires from voting (like "Closed Session"). Therefore if these vampires are removed, e.g. by combat or by votes, the deck will have problems bringing making the votes successful.

Bleed decks have usually an easy task going forward, since the Nosferatu do not have more +2 intercept in this deck, and lack any bleed bounce. But as bleeder you must fear the retaliation of the Nosferatu Royalties, i.e. they are playing "Parity Shifts" or "Kine Resources Contested" upstream.

A good defense against the deck is not block their political actions, since it's quite of hard to block the political actions +1 stealth in addition to the "Obfuscate" stealth cards the Nosferatu can play.

Secondly, if you use "Delaying Tactics" against the "Parity Shift" the deck cannot play another one for the current turn. This can be crucial for the Nosferatu, if for example they have lowered their pool before in order to be able to play the "Parity Shift" .

(c) by White WolfKey Cards
Notable Examples & Variations
There is no definitive version for this deck; the number of stealth cards may vary, the ratios of "Parity Shift" and "Kine Resource Contested" are different, and the amount of combat cards included is widely different. While checking Lasombra's TWDA, one could see that the French version of this deck archetype features more stealth, while the Americans are definetely including more combat cards into their deck.
  • "Legendary Nosferatu" by Kamel Senni -- strictly focused on "Parity Shift" with spending pool during the whole game, to make "Parity Shift" work almost all the time.
  • "Nosferoyalties" by Olivier Perez -- very similar version to the deck above.
  • "Nikolas's Crew" by Trey Morita -- uses Group 2/3 instead 1/2, and has large, diversified combat package.
  • "The Nosferatu Is Your Friend!" by Pekka Miettinen -- more combat orientated with "Thrown Gate" as main combat card.
  • "Cloaka Company" by Daniel Carretero Ferres.-- typically version of the archetype; favours KRC instead of "Parity Shift".
  • "Turbo Parity" by Daniel Carretero Ferres -- reduced to the decks basic stealth vote combination; total lack of combat & reaction cards.
Sample Decklist
Tournament name : Coupe de Paris 2007
Location and date : Paris, France - 03/04/07
32 players

The winner is Kamel Senni (Enters 3rd in final with 2GWs, 7VPs - Wins the final with 3 VPs) playing Legendary Nosferatu:

Crypt: (12 cards, Min: 19, Max: 35, Avg: 7)
1 Suhailah pot ser FOR OBF 9 Ventrue
3 Selma the Repugnant ani for OBF POT 8 Nosferatu
2 Nikolaus Vermeulen ani for obf POT 7 Nosferatu
2 Sheldon for ANI AUS OBF POT 9 Nosferatu
1 Dimple obf 2 Nosferatu
2 Calebros obf pot ANI 5 Nosferatu
1 Murat ser OBF POT 7 Nosferatu

Library: (73 cards)
Master (24 cards)
3 Specialization
1 Last Stand
1 Giant`s Blood
1 Temptation of Greater Power
1 Labyrinth, The
9 Zillah`s Valley
7 Legendary Vampire
1 Pentex Subversion

Action (3 cards)
3 Scrounging

Action Modifier (22 cards)
2 Faceless Night
5 Lost in Crowds
4 Elder Impersonation
3 Forgotten Labyrinth
8 Freak Drive

Political Action (20 cards)
1 Conservative Agitation
6 Kine Resources Contested
3 Banishment
10 Parity Shift

Retainer (3 cards)
1 Tasha Morgan
1 J. S. Simmons, Esq.
1 Robert Carter

Combo (1 cards)
1 Swallowed by the Night

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Memorable Quotes (Part 1)

"Nothing is faster than DI." -- The Lasombra

Saturday, February 2, 2008

"Twilight Rebellion" (Update)

(c) 2008 by White WolfThe launch kit for the upcoming VtES expansion "Twilight Rebellion" will contain the following for a limited draft tournament:
  • 2 booster displays of "Twilight Rebellion"
  • 2 booster displays of "3rd Edition"
In addition 16 promo cards come with the kit. The release date is according to the White Wolf (still) set to May 31st, 2008.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Did you know, that ... (Part 6)

.. if you used "Concealed Weapon" to equip with a "Sniper Rifle", you cannot set the range with the rifle. This is because you hadn't have the "Sniper Rifle" when you successfully blocked, and this is the requirement for setting the range as per card text of "Sniper Rifle".

Also, if the opposing vampire played "Terror Frenzy" or "Drawing out the Beast", you cannot set the range simply because both cards prevent you from using equipment at all in that combat at.

Deck of the Month: January 2008: Cats & Dogs

This tournament winning deck played by Miguel del Valle and posted in the Usenet Newsgroup, raised a lot of questions about how it really works works. At first glance it is obviously a rush deck with both the "Tupdogs" and the "Rockcats". But in fact the "Tupdogs"are in the deck only to serve a cheap blockers and more importantly as recruiters for the "Rockcats". On the other hand the deck is astonishingly a vote deck as well with the "Autarkis Persecution" as its main pool gain engine. For the decks success it is imperative that it attacks vampires with votes and puts them into torpor, even early in the game, even cross table. There are number of nifty tricks in the deck as well like the "Mark of the Damned" which is very good to either hurt your predator or in the 1-on-1 game (where your predator is your prey), since all the "Tupdogs" in your ash heap mean easily 5 to 10 pool damage.
Acquired Ventrue Assets Zaragoza
Zaragoza, Spain
December 15, 2007
Number of players: 21

Deck Name: Me pareció ver un lindo gatito
Created By: Miguel del Valle

Crypt [(17 vampires, average capacity: 2)
14x Tupdog POT VIS 1 Gargoyle:3
1x Shawnda Dorrit CEL obt pot pre 6 Brujah antitribu:4 priscus
2x Mata Hari CHI OBF aus for qui 7 Ravnos:4 2 votes

Library (60 cards)
Master (10)
3x Direct Intervention
1x Jake Washington (Hunter)
3x Memories of Mortality
1x Pentex(TM) Subversion
1x Waste Management Operation
1x Zoning Board

Action (2)
1x Arson
1x Concert Tour

Action Modifier (5)
5x Skin of the Chameleon

Ally (20)
1x Carlton Van Wyk (Hunter)
1x Gregory Winter
2x Mylan Horseed (Goblin)
1x Ossian
11x Rock Cat
3x Vagabond Mystic
1x War Ghoul

Event (3)
1x Dragonbound
2x Unmasking, The

Political Action (8)
7x Autarkis Persecution
1x Mark of the Damned

Reaction (4)
4x Bloodstorm of Chorazin

Retainer (1)
1x D'habi Revenant

Combat (7)
3x Disarm
4x Immortal Grapple