Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Deck of the Month: March 2009: Guillaume Powerbleed

This month's deck is the tournament winning deck "Guillaume Powerbleed" played by Tomasz Pietkiewicz. This month's competition was tough with Erik Torstensen's Malkavian Petra Resonance deck and Will Kristoff's Four Skills of Fury deck.

As Tomasz has noted this deck is a slight variation of Erik Torstensen's version. The deck is basically a powerbleed deck, whose minions can bleed for 6 pool damage per turn ("Govern the Unaligned" plus "Conditioning"). For lunging the deck can build the "perfect" hand with the help "Guillaume Giovanni's" special ability and a number of "Storage Annexes".

Czestochowa by Night
Czestochowa, Poland
March 21, 2009
23 players

Tomasz Pietkiewicz's Tournament Winning Deck

Deck Name: Guillaume Powerbleed
Description: This is a modified version of a deck designed by Erik Torstensson. Martinelli's Ring was a metagame choice (it appeared I predicted the metagame correctly, but the Ring was of no use during the tournament).

Crypt [12] (avg=6.8):
5 Guillaume Giovanni
2 Raphaela Giovanni
1 Don Michael Antonio Giovanni
1 Gualtiero Ghiberti
1 Prejudice
1 Primo Giovanni
1 Lia Milliner

Library [90]:
Master [37]:
1 Anarch Troublemaker
1 Blind Spot
1 Misdirection
1 Pentex Subversion
1 Dis Pater
1 Coven, The
1 Giant's Blood
1 Insurance Scam
2 Vessel
1 Barrens, The
1 Powerbase: Los Angeles
1 Metro Underground
1 Dummy Corporation
1 Filchware's Pawn Shop
1 Information Highway
1 Powerbase: Cape Verde
1 Therbold Realty
8 Storage Annex
1 Morgue Hunting Ground
1 Monastery of Shadows
3 Secure Haven
6 Parthenon, The

Action [11]:
1 Dominate Kine
10 Govern the Unaligned

Equipment [2]:
1 Martinelli's Ring
1 Palatial Estate

Action Modifier [24]:
7 Call of the Hungry Dead
7 Seduction
5 Conditioning
3 Spectral Divination
2 Shroud of Absence

Combat [6]:
6 Spiritual Intervention

Reaction [9]:
8 Deflection
1 Obedience

Event [1]:
1 Anthelios, The Red Star

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Poll Results: "What's your favourite VtES Storyline event?"

Here are the results of the latest poll which VtES Storyline event the readers of this blog liked the most. 113 readers of this blog have voted in this poll.
  • Prophecy League -- 16 (14%)
  • The Return of Nergal -- 14 (12%)
  • Milleniumn Cultists -- 11 (9%)
  • Infernal Plague -- 10 (8%)
  • Black Miracles & Lies -- 7 (6%)
  • Anarchs & Alastors -- 6 (5%)
  • Lambach's Legion -- 6 (5%)
  • Baltimore Storyline -- 4 (3%)
  • Eye of Hazimel Storyline -- 1 (0%)
  • Have never played one. -- 29 (25%)
  • Don't like Storyline events. -- 9 (7%)
A large number of readers (32%) either didn't like Storyline or never played in one, this number I find surprisingly high, especially when I'm looking number of storyline events and for how long they have been around. The most liked Storyline event is the "Prophecies League" (14%), closely followed "The Return of Nergal" (12%).

You can find more information on the VtES Storylines on the official Storyline website.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Why Amaranth?

You could ask yourself "Why Amaranth?", but as always advertisement gives a straight answer:
"Amaranth proves to be a winner for kids and adults alike!
Whether you are young, or just young at heart, you can’t go wrong with foods that taste this good while packing in this much nutrition!
Please take note that this is not just plain Amaranth, it's Puffed Amaranth.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Memorable Quotes (Part 37)

"I must admit I got a perverse pleasure out of Josh (Duffin, who was playing Arika w/ PTO) saying that my deck was broken, that War Ghoul was broken .." -- Tom Mickle
Reference: Lasombra Tournament Winning Deck Archive

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Results from the "VtES 2009 Nossies" Awards

The VtES 2009 Nossies Awards is an online award the VtES blog Charlotte by Night has introduced in 2008 to allow fans of Vampire: The Eternal Struggle to vote and acknowledge the best new VTES cards from the past year.

The voting for the VtES 2009 Nossies Awards has ended March 21st, 2009, with the following winners by category:
Read the full & illustrated post on the Charlotte By Night blog

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Ousting with Combat Decks

I'd like to explain here what options a combat deck (especially rush combat) deck has to make significant pool damage by hurting its prey's minions. I won't discuss the Bruise & Bleed or Bruise & Vote strategies, since they use bleed and political actions for pool damage, where I want to detail which cards can be used to damage a prey's pool damage directly when using a combat angle.

Today there is variety of cards in VtES which helps with reaching this goal, each with specific advantages and disadvantages:
  • (c) by White WolfFame -- The oldest card shown in this list, it is still one of the most viable cards for any combat deck. The card is more viable for a Rush combat deck than a Intercept combat deck, since the Rush combat deck will be able to target the famed vampire directly, while the Intercept combat deck has to wait for an opportunity to catch the fame vampire while acting. It is a popular strategy for Rush combat decks to rescue a torporized vampire, only to attack him again in the same turn.

    Pool Damage: 3 pool for torporizing a vampire, and 1 pool during the untap phase while the vampire remains in the torpor region.
    Pro: Significant pool damage when torporizing a single vampire.
    Con: It can happen quite often that the card will be contested since it so popular among combat decks. It can also backfire if you are low on pool yourself, since not only your prey is burning one pool during the untap phase, but everybody else as well.

  • (c) by White WolfTension in the Ranks -- This is usually a good addition to "Fame" in a combat deck, but as standalone ousting card it's just not making enough pool damage against most decks. Against certain decktypes "Tension in the Ranks" is simply devastating, for example a "Khazar's Diary" deck or a "Tup Dog" deck,

    Pool Damage: 1 pool each time a ready minion is burned or sent to torpor.
    Pro: Affects more than one minion, can be used not only against vampires, but also against allies.
    Con: Non-combat decks will remove that card by just just discarding two master cards. The effect can backfire if your vampires are low on blood and/or you're facing a combat deck as prey or predator.

  • (c) by White WolfDragonbound -- is the third major asset combat decks can use to eliminate its prey more quickly.

    Pool Damage: 1 pool for each vampire in torpor during the discard phase.
    Pro: Does the most pool damage continuously. Especially good for Intercept combat decks, since this forces the prey to rescue its vampires from torpor, which can be blocked and used to torporize another vampire.
    Con: The reduced handsize while the card is play is a significant disadvantage for combat decks, making a handjam with master cards (for example) more likely. The effect can backfire if your vampires are low on blood and/or you're facing a combat deck as prey or predator.

  • (c) by White WolfPath of Lilith -- targets only player which have been sent to torpor by non-Camarilla vampires. Unfortunately the damage generated by "Path of Lilith" is often too small/slow to outweight the disadvantages of the card (see below). If you have master card slot open, it may be worth a try, but the card should not be the main (or even sole) means of ousting.

    Pool Damage: 1 pool if the player has a Torture counter during his untap phase.
    Pro: Selectively damages players pool.
    Con: The pool drain for your prey is rather slow, and the card can usually removed rather easily by anyone with access to stealth. The other drawback is that it requires non-Camarilla vampires (which also rules out Ally combat decks) to produce Torture.

  • (c) by White WolfPredators Transformation -- since the card requires Abombwe it is rarely seen outside of Akunanse decks, but here it works wonders. Not only can it be used a stealth at inferior Abombwe, but it burns two pool when burning a minion not only in combat but also as (D) action, e.g. when diablerizing a vampire.

    Pool Damage: Two pool when burning a minion in torpor or as (D) action.
    Pro: Variable usage; hidden threat, not as visible as "Fame" or "Dragonbound".
    Con: Requires to burn a minion, not just send him to torpor; requires Abombwe.

  • (c) by White WolfHell-For-Leather -- is the newest addition, and somewhat similar to "Predators Transformation". Requiring an Anarch with Obtenebration it causes two pool damage, when torporizing or burning a minion in combat, and your own Anarch vampire is still ready. The only bad thing is that the other disciplines used for this card (Animalism and Celerity do not match very well with Obtenebration).

    Pool Damage: Two pool when torporizing or burning a minion in combat.
    Pro: Also usuable against allies; can be used multiple times in turn without much extra setup; only requires to torporize vampire, not to burn them..
    Con: Requires an Anarch with Obtenebration, so needs to some setup; poor crypt choice when trying find vampire with Animalism or Celerity in addition to Obtenebration
When compared to the beginnings of VtES there is now a wider variety of ousting methods available which directly related to combat . Not as many as most combat deck players wish, but it's a good basis. Combining several of those can inflict significant pool damage to your prey's pool without spending too many non-combat card slots. For example, a "Celerity Gun" deck can pack something like 2 "Fame", one "Tension in the Ranks" and one "Dragonbound" with diluting its main angle too much. For the future I would appreciate more discipline- or even clan-related cards that inflict direct pool damage when hurting other player's minions badly.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Next VtES Expansion "Ebony Kingdom"(Update)

More information about the next VtES expansion "Ebony Kingdom" is coming up on the internet.
Blood of Africa!

Some stand outside the Thirteen, ancients who adhere to even older traditions. They are the Laibon, the vampires born in the heart of Africa, inheritors of secrets unknown to Camarilla or Sabbat. They too have joined the Eternal Struggle — and they intend to thrive there.
Various online shops show more details of the expansion, e.g. Fantasiapelit (Finland) and Walch & Nusser (Germany). As expected the new expansion is a mini-expansion with 60 new cards, that is 20 new rares, 20 new vampires and 20 new common cards. The pre-release kit seems to consists of two "Ebony Kingdom" booster display, two "Legacies of Blood" starter displays and 40 promo cards (TBD) . The release date though is still unconfirmed, the White Wolf release schedule lists shows a range of April to June 2009, while Walch & Nusser show a release date of May 13th, 2009.

In addition, White Wolf is going to release a VtES Draft Kit (for 8 or more players). The draft kit will be released in April 1st, 2009 (no joke!) and will contain:
  • 1 VTES Lords of the Night Booster Display
  • 1 VTES 3rd Ed Booster Display
  • 1 VTES Kindred Most Wanted Booster Display
  • 1 VTES Sword of Caine Booster Display
  • 8 VTES Promo: Rubicon
  • 8 VTES Promo: Fourth Cycle
  • 8 VTES Promo: Rogue
  • 8 VTES Promo: Marrakesh Codex

Thursday, March 19, 2009

My Game

And now, the end is near
And so I face the final ousting
My prey, I'll say it clear
I'll break the deal, of which you're certain
I've joined a game that's full
I played each and ev'ry tourney
And more, much more than this, I did it my way

Combats, I've had a few
But then again, too few to mention
I did what I had to do and saw it through without exemption
I planned each called vote, each careful block along the byway
And more, much more than this, I did it my way

Yes, there were turns, I'm sure you knew
When I got bled more than I could chew
But through it all, when there was doubt
I ate it up and took the damage
I faced it all and I stood tall and did it my way

I've cursed, I've laughed and lied
I've had my fill, my share of losing
And now, as deals are off, I find it all so amusing
To think I did all that
And may I say, not in a sly way,
"Oh, no, oh, no, not me, I did it my way"

So what's his hand, what has he got?
If not himself, then he has naught
To do the things I truly need and that's no action with stealth and bleed
The record shows I won the game and did it my way!

Yes, it was my game!

VtES Event Calendar Error

As Oscar Garza (White Wolf Organized Play Coordinator) has posted in the VtES Usenet Newsgroup there has been error with the Event Calendar on the White Wolf website:
For those of you who have entered events since the 13th this month, I suggest going through and double checking the date and details. There was a calendar error that listed the event on the day of entering and not the day intended. If your event is not listed or is listed incorrectly please contact me.
Oscar J Garza III

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Memorable Quotes (Part 36)

"Life is not fair, and neither is VTES." -- XZealot's answer on the question of fairness of massive "Freak Drive" decks.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

VtES History: Backing A New Look

Wizards of the Coast to Alter Card Backs in Vampire Game

Renton, Wash. (April 26, 1995) -- After reviewing customer comments, Wizards of the Coast, Inc. has decided to change all card backs in the newly named Vampire: The Eternal Struggle(TM) (V:TES) Deckmaster(TM) game. When the game -- formerly titled Jyhad(TM) -- debuts this summer, the cards will have the game's snake "biohazard" symbol and the new name on a green marble background. The old card backs featured the word Jyhad on green marble.

"Changing the card backs doesn't affect how the game is played. Although you'll be able to see the back of the tail card in your opponent's hand and the top vampire in the crypt, you won't know what the cards are," says Matthew Burke, V:TES Project Coordinator. "Changing the card backs doesn't make Jyhad cards obsolete."

The Duelists' Convocation will allow both Jyhad and V:TES cards in tournament play. Under Convocation rules, players will be able to use any combination of card backs during tournaments. The creator of the card game, Richard Garfield, agrees with using the two sets in tournaments. "I think the Duelists' Convocation rules allowing the use of both card backs goes a long way toward making the [Jyhad and V:TES] cards compatible," says Garfield.

Wizards of the Coast realizes that by allowing both cards in tournaments, some players will take advantage of the different card backs and use some of one design to mark their cards. The Duelists' Convocation plans to crack down on dishonest competitors. "We will instruct Judges to look for this sort of behavior during tournaments. If the Judge finds a player is cheating by marking cards, the Judge will interpret this as a declaration of forfeiture," says Steve Bishop, Director of the Duelists' Convocation.

Besides changing the card backs, Wizards of the Coast is also adjusting the game's rules. "We rewrote and reformatted the rules for easier reading," says Burke. "We also have added new variant rules to increase the pace of the game for those who want to play quick sessions." The new version of the rules will appear in instructions that accompany each V:TES starter deck and also in a new player's guide, Darkness Unveiled(TM). The guide is due out this September.

One month prior to that, the game's first expansion set, Dark Sovereigns(TM), will be released. More than 100 cards will make up this expansion, which explores the rich myths and folklore of vampires in Europe. The set will also introduce players to new vampires and new categories of vampires.

Earlier this year, Wizards of the Coast signed a contract with White Wolf, Inc. to change Jyhad's name to Vampire: The Eternal Struggle after recognizing that the game's title wasn't always distinguishable as vampiric. The card game, in which players are vampires fighting an ancient war, is based on White Wolf's storytelling game Vampire: The Masquerade(TM).

Wizards of the Coast is a young game company based in Seattle, Washington. The company created a worldwide sensation when it released its first trading card game, Magic: The Gathering(TM), in August 1993. Since then, more than 500 million Magic cards have sold around the globe. In April 1994, Wizards of the Coast opened a second branch in Glasgow, Scotland. Several months later, the company expanded into a third office in Antwerp, Belgium. The company currently employs close to 200 people in its three locales.

(Magic: The Gathering(TM), Jyhad(TM), Deckmaster(TM) and Darkness Unveiled(TM) are trademarks of Wizards of the Coast, Inc. Vampire: The Masquerade(TM) is a trademark of White Wolf, Inc.(TM). Vampire: The Eternal Struggle(TM) is a joint trademark of Wizards of the Coast and White Wolf).

Carrie Thearle
Media Relations
Wizards of the Coast, Inc.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Did you know, that ... (Part 29)

.. if "Julio Martinez" is equipped with "Kaymakli Fragment", and plays "Drawing out the Beast" against the opposing vampire in combat, that vampire cannot strike to steal the "Kaymakli Fragment" via its cardtext. The strike to steal the "Kaymakli Fragment" is considered using equipment, which is not allowed for the opposing vampire as per cardtext of "Drawing out the Beast".

References: VtES Usenet Newsgroup

Saturday, March 14, 2009

"VtES 2009 Nossies" Awards: Final Vote

The VtES 2009 Nossies Awards is an online award the VtES blog http://www.charlottebynight.com/ has introduced in 2008 to allow fans of Vampire: The Eternal Struggle to vote and acknowledge the best new VTES cards from the past year.

On March 14th, 2009 the final voting for the VtES 2009 Nossies Awards has begun. Until March 21st, you can cast your vote in the
following eight categories on http://charlottebynight.com/?p=691:
  • Best Card of the Year
  • Best Vampire in a Leading Role
  • Best Vampire in a Supporting Role
  • Best Artwork in a Library Card
  • Best Artwork in a Crypt Card
  • Best Event
  • Best Ally or Retainer
  • Best Equipment

Thursday, March 12, 2009

French VtES Draft Championship 2009

This year's French VtES Draft Championship is organised by the "Sabbat In France" team, and will be held in Lille, France on Sunday 12th of April 2009, during the "Les Croisades d'Unnord" exhibition (for any extra information, follow the link: http://croisades.free.fr)

With Eurodraft's rousing success, we're setting a bigger challenge, and, for 20 euros, we offer a 10-booster draft (5 Third Edition and 5 Keepers of Tradition). The price includes entrance fees to the whole event.

Yep, the one thing you have to do is book a ticket to Lille - Eurostar is perfect for that. There'll be a free dormitory (bring your sleeping bags), with showers, but feel free to go to a hotel.

Sabbat In France is not only organising the French Draft Championship, we're also making those days a true Shti week-end !
  • Saturday 11/04/09 - Welcome Day
    • Morning : come and visit the exhibition and meet SIF team in the flesh.
    • About 2:00 pm, we'll start moving to some folk pubs and estaminets in Lille, playing Double Duffin Draft for the most addicted!

  • Sunday 12/04/09 - French Draft Championship
    • Become France Champion in a day!
    • Registration from 10:30 am to 11:00 am
    • Results from this tournament will be included in the Rowan Ring Tour.

  • Monday 13/04/09 - Storyline Du Nord
    • Vlad, our Alastor for Lille's region, will organise a Storyline tournament - more info to come.

For any further information, registration, or anything else, please ask over here: Sabbat In France

The Sabbat In France team.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

NRA Explained

(c) by White Wolf Inc.Technically VtES has no strict No-Repeat-Action (NRA) rule, that is a minion can take multiple actions per turn in principal (provided he can untap between attempting the different actions), but there are some restrictions.

According to the VtES rulebook, you're restricted for each vampire/minion you control in your turn in the following way:
  • 6.1.1. Bleed -- [..] A minion cannot perform more than one bleed action each turn, even if he untaps.
  • 6.1.6. Action Card (or Card in Play) -- [..] A minion cannot perform an action with the same action card or via the same card in play (including from the minion's own card text) more than once each turn, even if he untaps.
  • 6.1.7. Political Action -- [..] A minion cannot perform more than one political action each turn.
As simple as the above listed rules sound there are some complications involved that need clarification:
  • An action is only considered to have been taken/performed if it resolves by either being blocked or by being successful.
  • An action that is canceled (before it enters the resolution stage) is not considered taken, and a vampire can attempt the same action again. Examples for cards that cancel an action card before resolution are "Direct Intervention" or "Determine".
  • Multiple copies of a card in play with the same name are treated as separate cards. For example: Your prey has vampire with two "Haven Uncovered" on it. One of your vampires can attack that vampire twice via the two separate "Haven Uncovered" (provided he can untap between the actions).
  • The action to put a card in play is different than the action provided by the card. For example: Putting "Call the Great Beast" into play and putting a ritual counter to the card are considered different actions.
  • A minion that attempts an action but then that action is taken over by another with "Mask of a Thousand Faces" is not considered to have taken that action and is not prohibited from taking that action later in that turn.

Multiple Actions Allowed
On the other hand the rules do not restrict your minions from
  • hunting more than once.
  • rescuing or diablerizing a vampire in torpor (even the same!) more than once.
  • equipping different types of equipment.
  • recruiting different types of allies.
  • employing different types of retainers.
If you use different ways of equipping, employing or recruiting you can even put multiple copies of the same card into play with the same minion. For example, you can use "Jack of Both Sides", "Muricia's Call" and a "Raptor" itself card to recruit three "Raptors" in a single turn.

(c) by White Wolf Inc.Endless Loop
With the hunting and diablerie action being repeatable for a (theoretical) infinite number of times, there's also a chance of provoking an endless loop of actions in the game. Imagine you control an empty "Henry Taylor" which is required to hunt in his own turn. So "Henry Taylor" hunts, is blocked by a Magaji with "No Secrets From the Magaji". In the resulting combat "Henry Taylor" plays superior "Earth Meld" and untaps. He then puts the "Earth Meld" played on the top of his library. But with a second "Earth Meld" in his hand, the endless loop is started again when "Henry Taylor" is forced to hunt again. Section 4.9 "Infinite Loops" of the VEKN tournament rules addresses this problem:
When a loop is detected (meaning game state has been completely restored to a previous state and could be repeated without limit except for the round's time limit), the activity cannot be begun again (until and unless game state changes). This includes actions, sequences of combats, rounds of combat, and everything else. Note that game state includes all players' hands, ash heaps, and libraries, as well as available maneuvers and presses from cards in play, and master: out-of-turn plays.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

BYO Storyline Melbourne: "What Lies Beneath"

VtES Storylines -- custom and official -- are the real deal right now. The Melbourne (Australia) came up with the following Build-Your-Own-Storyline named "What Lies Beneath".
Gehenna approaches. The baleful light of Anthelios burns brightly in the night sky. The Thin Blooded walk in the day. The Masquerade is torn asunder. An Ancient moans in fitful slumber, tormenting Caine"s children with visions of the bloodshed to come.

The streets are awash with the blood of Kine and Cainite alike, as each sect vies for dominance in a world that rapidly approaches its ending. All eyes turn to a nameless city upon the shores of a blackened sea, beneath which is rumoured to slumber one of the Ancients - perhaps even a childe of Caine himself. Methuselahs bend their wills towards seizing control of the city and preventing the rise of that which slumbers beneath, heedless of the cost to powerbases meticulously constructed over the previous millennium. These are the last nights of the Jyhad - what is there left to lose?

Which sect will rule this city in its Final Nights?
This is a custom storyline event for Vampire: the Eternal Struggle to be conducted throughout regular playgroup sessions in the first half of 2009.


1. Crypt Construction

1.1a The storyline is to be conducted over 12 games. At the start of the storyline season, each player will elect a sect that he is representing. In addition to the standard storyline crypt construction rules (see 1.1b) 75% of each player's crypt must belong to the sect he/she has chosen to represent.

1.1b Crypts must be constructed using standard Storyline Tournaments rules -- i.e. at least 75% of your crypt must belong to a single clan.

1.2 Imbued are not a clan.

1.3 For the purposes of tournament reporting and tallying victories, each deck's sect will be recorded (as well as their clan). Sect status is based on the clan that composes 75% of the crypt. The sect breakdown is as follows:
  • Camarilla
    • Brujah
    • Gangrel (see 1.4 below)
    • Malkavian
    • Nosferatu
    • Toreador
    • Tremere (plus Gargoyle slaves -- see 1.5 below)
    • Ventrue
    • Caitiff
  • Sabbat
    • Lasombra
    • Tzimisce
    • Brujah antitribu
    • Gangrel antitribu
    • Nosferatu antitribu
    • Malkavian antitribu
    • Toreador antitribu
    • Tremere antitribu (plus Gargoyle slaves -- see 1.5 below)
    • Ventrue antitribu
    • Pander
    • Ahrimanes
    • Blood Brothers
    • Harbingers of Skulls
    • Kiasyd
    • Salubri antitribu
  • Independents and Laibon
    • Akunanse
    • Assamite
    • Followers of Set
    • Giovanni
    • Guruhi
    • Ishtarri
    • Osebo
    • Ravnos
    • Gangrel (see 1.4 below)
    • Abomination
    • Baali
    • Daughters of Cacophony
    • Gargoyles (see 1.5 below)
    • Salubri
    • Samedi
    • True Brujah
    • Anarch (see 1.7 below)
1.4 Gangrel -- As clan Gangrel have changed from being a Camarilla to Independent clan over the course of V:tES, the sect of a Gangrel deck for the purposes of 1.3 is determined by the majority affiliation of Gangrel within the crypt. So, if a deck had nine Camarilla Gangrel and three non-Camarilla Gangrel, the deck's sect would be Camarilla. If there is an even split between sects (for example, six Camarilla Gangrel and six Independent Gangrel), the player must declare their chosen sect at the beginning of the game. Note that this has no in-game effect on Gangrel's default sect status (which remains Independent).

1.5 Gargoyles -- Gargoyles who are Tremere slaves may be counted as Tremere for the purposes of achieving the 75% clan rule. Thus, a crypt could legally include eight Tremere and four Gangrel Tremere slaves. Similarly, Gargoyles who are Tremere antitribu Slaves may be counted as Tremere antitribu for the purposes of achieving the 75% clan rule. Gargoyles without the Slave trait (regardless of their individual sect status) are counted as Independent Gargoyles, and may not be considered Tremere or Tremere antitribu for the purposes of storyline crypt construction.

1.6 Laibon -- For ease of tallying, Laibon are included with the Independent sect tally. Laibon are, however, considered a distinct sect within the game.

1.7 Anarchs -- At the end of the Storyline game or when a Methuselah is ousted, if at least 75% of a Methuselah's controlled vampires possess the "Anarch" trait, that Methuselah may change their designated sect to "Independent.(Anarch)" at their discretion.

2. Special Rules

2.1 The Storyline tourney will introduce two new types of cards:

2.2 City Regions

2.2.1 At the start of the game, three Region cards are placed, face-up and uncontrolled, in the centre of the table. These cards represent unique areas of control within the city, larger than a single location card. These are as follows:
  • Downtown Tunnels -- This card may be tapped to allow a vampire you control to tap and enter combat with any minion controlled by another Methuselah as a D action. This action cannot be blocked by a younger vampire or ally. If this card is untapped at the beginning of your turn, a vampire you control may gain two blood from the blood bank.

  • Nightlife District -- This card may be tapped to allow a reacting vampire you control to burn one blood and untap with +1 intercept. If this card is untapped at the beginning of your turn, a vampire you control may gain two blood from the blood bank.

  • Uptown CBD -- This card may be tapped during a referendum to give an acting or reacting Vampire an additional 3 votes. If this card is untapped at the beginning of your turn, a vampire you control may gain two blood from the blood bank.
2.2.3 In order to take control of a Region, a Methuselah must have five control tokens on the Region. Once five control tokens are placed on a Region by a given Methuselah, all control tokens on that Region burn.

2.2.4 Any vampire may take a Control action to place control tokens on a Region. The amount of counters placed by such an action is equal to half the acting vampire's capacity, rounded up. (i.e. 10 and 11 caps can take control of a Region with a single action, whilst 1 caps can only place a single control token per action)

2.2.5 No effect may prevent or "interrupt" the control (or change of control) of a Region from occurring, beyond cancelling or blocking the action to add counters.

2.2.6 Whilst a Region is uncontrolled, the Control action is undirected. Once a Region comes under a Methuselah's control, the Control action becomes directed at the Methuselah who controls it.

2.2.7 Placing control counters is a specific action restricted by the NRA ruling.

2.2.8 No actions or effects, beyond those specifically listed above, may add or remove counters on a Region. Similarly, no actions or effects beyond the untap phase and the specific Region card text, may tap or untap a Region. Note that, while Regions are notionally similar to Master cards and Locations, "Region" is a specific card type and lacks the "location" text. As such, cards that would normally target or affect a master card or location cannot target or affect a Region.

2.2.9 A Region is never considered "played", as they begin the game in play (albeit uncontrolled). They can never be removed from play.

2.3 Events

2.3.1 Five Unique Event Cards will be created for the Storyline event. These are as follows:
  • Ancient's Nightmares -- Storyline Event. Each Methuselah burns 1 pool during his or her untap phase.

  • Citywide Quarantine -- Storyline Event. If a vampire moves to the controlled region from the uncontrolled region, the controlling Methuselah burns 1 pool. Additionally, vampires have -1 stealth. An acting vampire may ignore this effect of Citywide Quarantine by burning 1 blood as the action is announced.

  • The Hunger -- Storyline Event. Vampires may not hunt as normal. Any vampire may steal 1 blood from another vampire as a hunt action. If this action targets a vampire controlled by the same Methuselah, this action is at +2 stealth.

  • The Rising -- Storyline Event. A Methuselah may only gain pool if he or she controls the Edge. If a Methuselah who does not control the Edge would gain pool by any means, this pool goes to the blood bank instead. A Methuselah who has a Victory Point is immune to the effects of The Rising for the rest of the game.

  • (Note that The Rising does not prevent a Methuselah from gaining pool from a successful oust, as the victory point is gained prior to the pool.)

  • Thirst of the Father -- Storyline Event. At the beginning of your untap phase, each tapped vampire you control burns 1 blood or remains tapped. You may burn X pool during your master phase to untap X vampires that remained tapped by Thirst of the Father's effect.
2.3.2 At the start of the game, these five Storyline Events are shuffled and placed face-down in the centre of the table. At the end of the final Methuselah's discard phase of turn 2, one Storyline Events is chosen at random, turned over, and put into play. This effect also occurs at the end of turns 6, 10, 14 and 18 (i.e., every four turns after turn 2, until the last Storyline Event is played)

2.3.3 While these Events are considered "played", they are not considered played by a given Methuselah, and once in play are not considered to be controlled by a given Methuselah.

2.3.4 Storyline Events cannot be cancelled as they are played, nor can they be removed once in play. Face-down Storyline Events are also not considered to be "in the game" or in play, or in a library or ash heap. No effect can reveal a face-down Storyline Event.

3. Banned And Un-Banned Cards

3.1 In addition to the standard list of banned cards, the following cards cannot be included in storyline decks:
  • Recalled to the Founder

4. Tournament Structure

4.1 The storyline games will be played at regular VTES sessions. We will devote one game every session to be a designated Storyline match and tally the results.

The winning Sect will be the focus of a storyline Event scheduled for the second half of 2009. Players of the winning Sect will win fantabulous(TM) prizes!

Thanks to Jason Ryan, Prince of Melbournce for providing the information.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Memorable Quotes (Part 35)

"Luck is not a factor.
Hope is not a strategy.
Fear is not an option."
-- James Cameron
Applies not only to film making, but also very true, when building and playing VtES decks.

Friday, March 6, 2009

More info on the "Rise of the Imperator" Storyline Event

Faced with increasing threats from an anarch revolt, the deadly Sabbat, and their own internal strife, the Camarilla's Inner Circle has agreed to appoint a military commander – an Imperator. The new Imperator will have the mandate to enforce the traditions and maintain discipline among the Kindred, and be granted broad powers to fulfill this mission. Who among the clans will have to power to seize this exalted position? Who will have the strength to keep it?
Ben Swainbank, VtES Storyline Coordinator, has revealed the details of the upcoming 2009 Spring VtES Storyline "Rise of the Imperator". Both the full rules and introductory fiction now online as PDF files on the VtES storyline website:
This storyline event will take from April to June 2009. Earlier this week already information on the order form for the storyline event kit has been published.

Bloodlines Disciplines

After having posted the discipline summary for the major VtES clans, here's the summary for the bloodline clans:

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Did you know, that ... (Part 28)

.. that a contested card attached to a vampire is still considered contested, even if that vampire himself is contested. This because the cards on a contested card are out of play, except with respect to being contested themselves.

Reference: VtES Usenet Newsgroup

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Deck of the Month: February 2009: Broken Brujahs

This month's deck is the tournament winning deck "Broken Brujahs" played by Martin Major. Basicially it is an "Alastor" deck, but has access to alternate damage sources ("Heroic Might" & "Preternatural Strength") and a strong bloat component with the 7 "Vessels" and the Dminitra's special ability.

Hungarian Mini ECQ
V:TES - Mini Qualifier
Kismaros, Hungary
February 21, 2009
25 players
3R + F

Martin Major's Tournament Winning Deck with 3 VPs in the finals

Deck Name: Broken Brujahs
Created By: Major "Mephistopheles" Martin
Description: Alastor based bruise and vote

Crypt: (12 cards, Min: 14, Max: 36, Avg: 6,33)
4 Dmitra Ilyanova obf CEL FOR POT PRE 9 Brujah
2 Tara cel POT PRE 6 Brujah
2 Karen Suadela pre obf POT CEL pre obf 7 Brujah
1 Reginald Moore PRE 4 Brujah
1 Herbert Westin pot OBF PRE 5 Brujah
1 Garret pot pre 3 Brujah
1 Honest Abe pre 2 Brujah

Library: (90 cards)
Master (14 cards)
2 Monster
7 Vessel
1 Pentex Subversion
1 Fame
1 Carver`s Meat Packing and Storage
2 New Carthage

Action (10 cards)
4 Heroic Might
4 Preternatural Strength
2 Heart of the City

Action Modifier (15 cards)
5 Forced March
6 Bewitching Oration
4 Voter Captivation

Political Action (16 cards)
5 Parity Shift
5 Alastor
3 Anathema
3 Consanguineous Boon

Reaction (10 cards)
10 Second Tradition: Domain, The

Combat (18 cards)
5 Pursuit
5 Sideslip
8 Psyche!

Equipment (6 cards)
2 Helicopter
2 Assault Rifle
1 Sengir Dagger
1 Heart of Nizchetus

Event (1 cards)
1 Dragonbound

Results Great Lakes NAC Qualifier 2009

On February 28th, 2009 the VtES Great Lakes NAC Qualifier was held in Lansing, Illinois (USA) with 15 players attending the qualifier tournament. The final standings were as follows:
1. Matt Strehlow -- 2 GW 8 VP -- 3 VP -- Dmitra & Friends Vote & Bloat
2. John Flournoy -- 2 GW 7 VP -- 2 VP -- !Gangrel CrimethInc/Vote
2. Chris Berger -- 1 GW 5 VP -- 0 VP -- Daughters Anarch Vote
2. Catrina Albach -- 1 GW 5 VP -- 0 VP -- Kiasyd
2. Boris Zaretsky -- 1 GW 4.5 VP -- 0 VP -- Saulot Great Beast
Congratulations to Matt for his win of the GLQ 2009. You can find the final standings and the tournament winning deck in the Usenet Newsgroup.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

VtES Clan Newsletters in February 2009

One clan newsletter has been posted in the "rec.trading-cards.jyhad" Usenet Newsgroup this month. Beside using a newsgroup reader, you can also access the newsgroup by using Google Groups.

Next VtES Expansion: "Ebony Kingdom"

Though not officially announced, the next VtES expansion will be "Ebony Kingdom" according to new White Wolf blog (see also post below) . So the expansion will contain new cards for the four Laibon clans, and if this expansion follows the same pattern as in the previous years, it's going to be a 60-card mini-expansion. With 20 new vampires there would be 5 new vampires for the 4 Laibon clans, Akunanse, Guruhi, Ishtarri & Obsebo.

The actual release date is not yet officially determined, but Potomac Distribution (an online CCG shop) hints that it's going to be at the end of Q2/2009.

(Please take note, that this post does not have a "Humor " tag attached.)

White Wolf Website Reorganization

(c) 2009 by White Wolf Inc.White Wolf has reorganized its website on March 2nd, 2009 with regards to the community content. For VtES there are now three main webpages of interest to the VtES player:

Monday, March 2, 2009

Results "Dirty Magic" VtES Tournament in Utrecht

Here are the results of the Dirty Magic VtES constructed tournament in Utrecht, Netherlands after 3 rounds and final. The tournament was played on March 2nd, 2009 with 16 players participating. Here are the standings after the final round:
1. Michael H. -- 1 GW 4 VP -- 1,5 VP -- Malk Kindred Spirits w/ Extras
2. Peter B. -- 1 GW 4 VP -- 1 VP -- !Tor w/ Obf Vote/Bleed
2. Ralf L. -- 2 GW 9 VP -- 0,5 VP -- Rachel Brandwyne Madness Network
2. Didi R. -- 1 GW 6 VP -- 0,5 VP -- New Tzimisce Wall
2. Jeroen van O. -- 1 GW 4 VP -- 0 VP -- Assamite & Friends Vote
Congratulations to Michael for his victory in the tournament. You can find the tournament winning deck and a tournament report (in English) in the German VtES forum (requires registration).

Left: The bar of the NDC den Hommel, the tournament location in Utrecht.

Right: Casual game with Herman, Bart, Paul and Rene, played during the final round.

Left: The final round in early/mid-game. Peter's Toreador antitribu are already under pressure from Michael's Malkavian antitribu, while the rest of the table is slowly building up.

Right: The finalists, Peter, Jeroen, Michael, Ralf and Didi.