Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Results Austrian ECQ 2009

On September 20th, 2009 the VtES Austrian EC Qualifier was held in Vienna, Austria with 15 players attending the qualifier tournament. The final standings were as follows:
1. Martin Major -- 1 GW 3.5 -- 4 VP -- Animalism Rush
2. Jakob Sievers -- 2 GW 7 VP -- 1 VP -- Weenie DEM Bleed
2. Gyula Erdos -- 2 GW 7 VP -- 0 VP -- Potence Princes
2. Sara Vadasz -- 1 GW 5.5 VP -- 0 VP -- Saulot Weenie Auspex
2. Richard Utner -- 1 GW 4.5 VP -- 0 VP -- Weenie Obf Vote
Congratulations to Martin for his win of the Austrian ECQ 2009. You can find the tournament winning deck in the VtES Usenet Newsgroup as well as a tournament report.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Blog for NAC 2009

Since 2009 (for the first time ever) I am able to take part in the North American VtES Championship tournament, I would like to share the results, impressions and some pictures on a separate blog. So here's the link to blog, which I plan to update on a regular basis:

Go take a look and enjoy.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Week of Nightmares starts .. NOW!

The Week of Nightmares is the prelude to the North American VtES Continental Championship. It's a whole week of VtES -- a series of tournaments switching between regular constructed tournaments and alternate formats like create-a-clan tournaments or storyline events. The Week of Nightmares starts on September 28th, 2009 and leads over to the NAC 2009 on October 2nd with the Last Chance Qualifier. The whole Week of Nightmares as well as the NAC 2009 takes place in Atlanta, Georgia.
  • Monday 28th of September
    • 11 a.m. start -- Blessed Audience
      Mini-Qualifier, 2R + F

    • 6 p.m. start -- Reindoctrination

  • Tuesday 29th of September
    • 11 a.m. start -- Consume the Dead
      Mini-Qualifier, 2R + F

    • 6 p.m. start -- Fire on the Mountain
      Eden's Legacy Storyline

  • Wednesday 30th of September
    • 11 a.m. start -- Masai Blood Milk
      Mini-Qualifier, 2R + F

    • 6 p.m. start -- Bind the Night-Walker
      Sect War variant
      Draft plus, $15 entry fee

  • Thursday 1st of October
    • 11 a.m. start -- Earth-Feeder
      Mini-Qualifier, 2R + F

    • 6 p.m. start -- Excellent Thirst
      Jyhad Draft, 2R + F
      5 Boosters, $7 entry fee.
Read more on the Week of Nightmares and the NAC 2009 on Lasombra's NAC 2009 webpages.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Results "Dusk and Her Embrace" VtES Tournament in Bochum

Here are the results of the "Dusk and Her Embrace" VtES Constructed tournament in Bochum, Germany after 2 rounds and the final. The tournament was played on September 27th, 2009 with 10 players participating. Since the number of players was below 12, the multi-deck rules were used. Here are the standings after the final round:
1. Jelmer W. -- 0 GW 1.5 VP -- 1 GW 3 VP -- Malkavian '94 S&B w/ Claws of the Dead
2. Didi R. -- 1 GW 5 VP -- 2 VP -- Ravnos No Secrets from the Magaji Wall
2. Markus H. -- 1 GW 4 VP -- 0 VP -- Obf/Pre Weenie Bleed
2. Ralf L. -- 1 GW 2.5 VP -- 0 VP -- Tzimisce Wall
2. Rene de W. -- 1 GW 2.5 VP -- 0 VP -- Qui/Cel Anarch Rush Combat
Congratulations to Jelmer for his victory in the tournament. Take note that the decks shown above are those played in the final round, not necessarily during the whole tournament.

Results Hungarian National VtES Championship 2009

Copied from September 26th, 2009 the Hungarian National VtES Championship was held in Budapest, Hungary with 29 players attending the final tournament. The final standings were as follows:
1. Csaba Greguss (HUN) -- 1 GW 3 VP -- Lasombra S&B w/ Black Hand Tech
2. Balazs Sebestyen (HUN) -- 2 VP -- !Tremere Hexaped Bleed
2. Richard Farkas (HUN) -- 0 VP -- Lasombra Nocturn S&B
2. Jakob Sievers (AUT) -- 0 VP -- Edward Vignes Bleed
2. Gyula Erdos (HUN) -- 0 VP -- Animalism Rush)
Congratulations to Csaba for his win of the Hungarian Nationals 2009. A tournament report and the tournament winning deck have been posted in the VtES Usenet Newsgroup.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Did you know, that ... (Part 36)

.. "The Coven" still untaps in your predator's untap phase after you used it a second time in your turn with "House of Sorrow" and passed it to your predator?

This is simply because the cardtext of "House of Sorrow" clearly states that the card untapped by "House of Sorrow" doesn't tap in your (i.e. not your predator's) next untap phase. If you're not in two player game, this is still to your advantage since you will get "The Coven" back after your next untap phase. This way you can effectively use "The Coven" twice during each of your turns without suffering the disadvantage that the card doesn't untap next time you control it.

Reference: VtES Usenet Newsgroup

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The "Tup Dog" Song

Here's the Tup Dog cover song, the original sung by a guy similar to Reverend Djoser Jones. Again thanks to KevinM for the inspiration.
You ain't nothin' but a Tup Dog
Rushin' all the time.
You ain't nothin' but a Tup Dog
Burnin' all the time.
Well, you ain't never oust a prey
And you ain't no friend of mine.

Well they said you are tier one
Well, that was just a lie.
Yeah they said you are tier one
Well, that was just a lie.
Yeah, you ain't never oust your prey
And you ain't no friend of mine.

You ain't nothin' but a Tup Dog
Rushin' all the time.
You ain't nothin' but a Tup Dog
Burnin' all the time.
Well, you ain't never oust your prey
And you ain't no friend of mine.

Well they said you are tier one
Well, that was just a lie.
Yeah they said you are tier one
Well, that was just a lie.
Well, you ain't never oust your prey
And you ain't no friend of mine.

Well they said you are tier one,
Well, that was just a lie.
You know they said you are tier one
Well, that was just a lie.
Well, you ain't never oust your prey
And you ain't no friend of mine.

You ain't nothin' but a Tup Dog
Rushin' all the time.
You ain't nothin' but a Tup Dog
Burnin' all the time.
Well, you ain't never oust your prey
You ain't no friend of mine.

Dedicated to all Rush Combat decks.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

"Heirs to the Blood" Launch Kit

For the upcoming VtES expansion "Heirs to the Blood" there will be a Launch Kit (WWP02938) available on the release date of "Heirs to the Blood". The content of the launch kits consists of the following items:
  • 2 Starter displays "Heirs to the Blood"
  • 1 Booster display "Heirs to the Blood"
  • 18 "3rd Edition" booster packs.
  • 18 "Keepers of Tradition" booster packs.
The promotional item this time will be a (more or less) fancy VtES tablecloth. The official retail price for the launch kit is $299.

Monday, September 21, 2009

NAC 2009 Pre-Registration Duration Extended

The pre-registration deadline for the NAC 2009 tournament has been extended from September 15th to September 25th. So you can still pre-register on the registration page on Lasombra's NAC 2009 website until the end of this week.

For more details on how to register refer to the registration page.

Poll Results: "Do you plan to attend one of the Continental Championships?"

Here are the results of the latest poll, if the readers plan to attend one of the Continental Championships (NAC/SAC/EC/AC) this year. 140 readers of this blog voted in the poll:
  • Yes, even more than one. -- 6 (4%)
  • Yes, one of them. -- 29 (20%)
  • No, not enough time. -- 18 (12%)
  • No, not enough money. -- 53 (37%)
  • No, I am not qualified. -- 16 (11%)
  • No, I have other plans. -- 5 (3%)
  • I am not interested in those. -- 13 (9%)
So only a minority of the readers (35%) actually plan to attend of the championship tournaments, while the majority of the players will not attend. The reason most often named is lack of money, which I can totally understand, since most players not only have to fund the expenses for accomodation and food, but also for travel, often a flight.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Results Czech EC Qualifier 2009

On August 15th, 2009 the VtES Czech EC Qualifier was held in Prague, Czech Republic with 18 players attending the qualifier tournament. The final standings were as follows:
1. Vit Holoska (CZE) -- Rachel Brandywine Madness Network
2. Jakub Rypar (CZE) --
2. Martin Miller (CZE) --
2. Tomas Vomacka (CZE) --
2. Peter Ducai (SVK) --
Congratulations to Vit for his win of the Czech ECQ 2009. You can find the tournament winning deck in the VtES Usenet Newsgroup.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

VtES Storyline Kit for "Eden's Legacy"

Along with the announcement of the upcoming VtES Storyline "Eden's Legacy" on the White Wolf website, the contents of the acompanying storyline kit have been disclosed. The storyline kit contains the promotional cards as described in the Eden's Legacay rules.
  • 6x Codex of the Edenic Groundskeepers
  • 3x Motivated by Secrecy
  • 3x Motivated by Knowledge
  • 3x Motivated by Jyhad
  • 3x Motivated by Gehenna
  • 5x Yazid Tamari (Advanced)
  • 5x Menele (Advanced)
  • 5x Crusade: Aragon
The storyline kit is good for 5 players and will available for $10 in the usual internet shops soon.

Results Swedish National VtES Championship 2009

On September 12th, 2009 the Swedish National VtES Championship 2009 was held in Örebro, Sweden with 44 players attending the tournament. The final standings were as follows:
1. Joni Huumonen (FIN) -- 1 GW 6 VP -- 4 VP -- Potence Rush
2. Alexander Båskman (SWE) -- 1 GW 6 VP -- 1 VP -- Obfuscate Ventrue & Friends
2. Adam Esbjörnsson (SWE) -- 2 GW 7 VP -- 0 VP -- Obf/Aus G1-2 Princes First Tradition/Parity Shift
2. Erik Löf (SWE) -- 2 GW 7 VP -- 0 VP -- Malgorzata Crypt Engine/Bleed
2. Erik Torstensson (SWE) -- 1 GW 7 VP -- 0 VP -- Animalism Control deck /w Nana Buruku)
Congratulations to Joni for his win of the 1st Swedish Nationals 2009. You can find a tournament report and all five finalist's decks in the VtES Usenet Newsgroup.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Poll Results: "How many Bang Nakhs would you like to see in the "Heirs to the Blood" starters?"

Here are the results of the latest poll, how many Bang Nakhs would the buyers like to see in the "Heirs to the Blood" starters? 121 readers of this blog voted in the poll:
  • More! I want more! -- 20 (16%)
  • One would be too many! -- 52 (42%)
  • I want Berettas instead. -- 10 (8%)
  • Or Pokers, or Meat Hooks! -- 10 (8%)
  • That's a silly question. -- 29 (23%)
Although a tongue-in-cheek question (as 23% of the voters duly noted), most players strongly object to putting "Bang Nakhs" into the next VtES starters .. at least for the present and upcoming decade if you ask me.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

VtES Utopia

Thanks to a joint effort on the IRC channel #vtes (many thanks to KevinM) here's a song about a VtES utopia, based on a song by a certain mop top band member:
Imagine there's no Vessel
It's easy if you try
No bloat to bother with
Before us only preys
Imagine all the players
Playing for the win.

Imagine there's no Dominate
It isn't hard to do
No Govern or Deflect
No Mind Rape too
Imagine all the players
Playing for the win.

You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope you'll play with us
And the game will live as one.

Imagine no Deflection
I wonder if you can
No need for bounce or reduce
Getting all the VPs you can
Imagine all the players
Playing for the win.

You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope you'll play with us
And the game will live as one.

And: Play. The. Game.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Requirements for Multi-Discipline Cards

When looking at the requirements of multi-discipline cards (i.e. those cards that require two discipline simultaneously) in VtES I observed a certain tendency toward certain disciplines. To confirm my suspicion I compiled the following statistics:
As you can see, the single-clan discipline (and the few bloodline disciplines) lag a little bit behind the other disciplines as expected. What's quite surprising is the large number of multi-discipline cards which require Auspex. Actually, out of 41 multi-discipline cards there are 21 cards that require Auspex.

The statistics are based on all expansions up and including "Ebony Kingdom".

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Deck Archetypes: Ventrue Lawfirm

The Ventue Lawfirm deck archetype is along with the Malkavian Dominate Obfuscate Bleed deck of the oldest existing and sucessful deck types in VtES. Lately the Ventrue Lawfirm has seen a tremendous comeback due to the new crypt choices that came along with the "Keepers of Tradition" expansion. The name derives from the Ventrue appearance as politicans and lawyers, and their ability to set and push a political agenda.

How to win with them
(c) by White WolfThe deck has three angles with provide you with the necessary flexibility to adapt to the table dynamics in most cases. The deck can
The basic gameplan of the deck is a three stage approach:

Early in the game cards like "Govern the Unaligned", "Enchant Kindred" provide extra influence to speed up bringing vampires to the ready region. For the same reason (and because deck's crypt is composed of mid- and high-cap vampires) the deck packs a few (but not too many) "Zillah's Valley" and "Information Highway". At the same time "Minion Taps" -- or nowadays "Villeins" -- are used to regain pool that has been spend on vampires. This is usually the most critical phase for the Ventrue Lawfirm deck, a failed "Minion Tap" that is canceled by "Sudden Reversal" or "Parity Shift" that is suspended by "Delaying Tactics" can bring down the Lawfirm's deck to very low pool level.

In the middle game the decks purpose is to befriend with another deck crosstable that has also vote power, in order to help each other oust their respective prey. During this phase the deck is mainly keen on voting since it now has considerable vote power by either permanent titles, Presence-based action modifiers (like "Awe" or "Bewitching Oration") and finally permanents like "Ventrue Headquarters".

(c) by White WolfIn the late game with three or less players the deck's goal is to overun the other decks by sheer number of minions/actions. Often the extra pool gained by ousting players or "Parity Shift" is used for bringing new vampires in play. So it is a common sight that the Lawfirm deck has 4 to 5 mid- to high-capacity vampires in play during the late game.

Two other building blocks for a successful Ventrue Lawfirm deck are "Freak Drive" for multiple actions, and "Second Tradition: Domain". "Second Tradition: Domain" is often the only wake-type card, and gives the Ventrue princes the ability to stop a "Bowl of Convergence" or "Carlton van Wyk" from being put into play. It's not so good against a bleed action if you want to actually bounce a bleed to your prey, since you first have to block, which don't actually want to happen. And even if you manage to bounce the bleed then it has cost you two blood effectively.

Crypt Composition
(c) by White WolfIn the past the best choice for crypt were the group 1 & 2 vampires since they provided a large variety of mid- to large-capacity vampires with titles (2 votes or more), to be exact there are eight Ventrue that fit the profile. The core vampires are "Sir Walter Nash", "Timothy Crowley", and "Emerson Bridges" on the lower and "Arika" on the upper range.

With "Keepers of Tradition" and the advent of the group 4 & 5 a competitive selection of titled Ventrue vampires is available, but the average capacity of these nine vampires is somewhat lower than those of the group 1/2 vampires. In addition the G4/5 Ventrue have number of useful specials most G1/2 Ventrue lack. Also there are number of Toreador titled vampires like "Montecalme" and "Epikasta Rigatos" who fit into the crypt almost perfectely (they lack Fortitude though).

Bleed defense
Nothing really exciting here, just the plain old "Deflection", which today is complemented by "Murmur of the False Will", and the bloating capabilities as described above. Also if the prey is being too strong you have also the means with "Parity Shift" and "Kine Resources Contested" to oust your predator.

Vote defense
The inherent titles, mostly Prince and Justicar titles, as well master cards like "Ventrue Headquarters" and "Elysium: Versailles" are the main vote defense. Very rarely you can see "Delaying Tactics" as vote defense. Also vote decks often don't have access to too much stealth, so blocking with "Second Tradition: Domain" can also prevent the referendum from taking place.

Combat defense
(c) by White WolfThe combat defense can be quite diversive in the deck with all three disciplines being used. First and foremost is "" and to a lesser extent other Presence-based "Strike: Combat Ends". This also allows the Ventrue if blocked to perform another action, e.g. voting after bleeding, or move blood on a vampire in the uncontrolled region via "Govern the Unaligned" or "Enchant Kindred". "Majesty" is almost always included in the deck in abundance, so 10 or more Majesty are not an uncommon sight. The other combat defenses are not that regularly seen. A good option is "Obedience", since the Ventrue have a quite high average capacity. so it's somewhat likely that the acting vampire is younger. On the other hand "Obedience" can only be used when reacting (and not against allies), so the number of this card shouldn't be too high in comparison with "Majesty". Fortitude damage prevention like "Rolling with the Punches" or "Soak" are sometimes added, especially if one expects a somewhat combat heavy environment.

How to win against them
Blocking early on "Enchant Kindred" and "Govern the Unaligned" can be crucial, since this denies the Lawfirm deck its much needed buildup. When the deck has three or even four of it's rather high capacity vampires on the table, it's hard to stop them with all the multi-actions capabilities (via "Freak Drive" or "Majesty") available.

When playing a bleed deck, you neither need to go all-out with bleed actions, or you need to remove the bounce cards via "Revelations" or "Precision". If you're bleeding only once or twice a turn, the Lawfirm deck can easily bounce one or two bleeds, and recoupe the lost blood with "Voter Captivation" and/or "Villein". Swarm Bleed with weenies or allies on the other hand is something the Lawfirm deck does not like, since the "Deflections" won't help that much, and contiously bleed with 4+ minions each turn can wear the Ventrue deck down, especially in the early part of the game.

A combat deck that wants to have a chance against the Lawfirm either needs an abundance of attackers, e.g. weenies or allies, so that the large numbers of "Majesty" or "Obedience" won't work, or a way to deal with strike combat ends. Usually these are "Immortal Grapple", "Psyche" and "Telepathic Tracking".

Other vote decks usually have a hard time against the Lawfirm deck, since the Lawfirm deck has high number of permanent votes. You can overcome this obstacle with vote pushing cards, but eventually you either need to obtain the vote majority over the Ventrue, or take out the Ventrue deck entirely. Both ends are not esay to accomplish and you might wanna team up with another player at the table who also has some permanents votes.

In general there are two distinct distinct type of decks that the Ventrue Lawfirm doesn't like, which are
  • walldecks with abundance of untap capabilities or cards that allow to react as if untapped like "No Secrets from the Magaji".
  • combat decks that can work around "Strike: Combat Ends" frequently as stated above.
Key Cards
Notable Examples & Variations
The most notable variant is the one with the addition of the Obfuscate discipline for the additional stealth when calling a political action. This narrows the crypt down to the g2/3 Ventrue with Obfuscate, but there are at least four usuable choices, that is "Arika", "Queen Anne", "Markus Vitel" and "Catherine Dubois".

Sample Decklist
Enero Sangriento
January 25, 2009
Badia del Valles, Spain
34 players
3R + F

Sergio Gracia's Tournament Winning Deck took 4 Game Wins

Crypt [12 vampires] Capacity min: 1 max: 9 average: 5.91
2x Emerson Bridges 8 DOM FOR PRE pot Prince Ventrue:1
2x Sir Walter Nash 7 DOM FOR PRE Prince Ventrue:1
2x Anarch Convert 1 Caitiff:0
1x Wilhelm Waldburg 9 DOM FOR PRE aus cel Prince Ventrue:2
1x Anson 8 CEL PRE aus dom Prince Toreador:1
1x Timothy Crowley 7 FOR PRE ani dom Prince Ventrue:1
1x Rake 6 PRE aus cel pot Prince Brujah:1
1x Ranjan Rishi 5 DOM PRE for Ventrue:2
1x Courtland Leighton 4 dom for pre Ventrue:1

Library [77 cards]
Action [14]
4x Enchant Kindred
2x Entrancement
6x Govern the Unaligned
2x Mind Numb

Action Modifier [24]
2x Awe
2x Change of Target
2x Conditioning
2x Daring the Dawn
1x Day Operation
2x Foreshadowing Destruction
9x Freak Drive
4x Voter Captivation

Action Modifier / Combat [1]
1x Force of Personality

Combat [8]
8x Majesty

Equipment [1]
1x Heart of Nizchetus

Event [1]
1x Scourge of the Enochians

Master [9]
1x Anarch Troublemaker
1x Coven, The
1x Dark Influences
3x Dreams of the Sphinx
2x Pentex(TM) Subversion
1x Ventrue Headquarters

Political Action [15]
1x Anarchist Uprising
1x Ancilla Empowerment
3x First Tradition: The Masquerade
5x Kine Resources Contested
1x Neonate Breach
4x Parity Shift

Reaction [4]
4x Deflection

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Rules Team Rulings 09/09/09

LSJ, lead designer of VtES, has posted the latest rules team rulings for the game on September 9th, 2009 (09:09 AM) in the VtES Usenet Newsgroup.
As always, changes contained herein do not go into effect for santioned tournaments for 30 days. (So these become active on October 09, 2009.)

  • None
So please take note: These rulings are not in effect until after the North American VtES Championship 2009, but it will affect the European VtES Championship 2009.

UK National VtES Championship 2009

The UK National VtES Championship 2009 will be held on December 5th, 2009 in Reading, United Kingdom.

UK National Cup 2009
  • Location: Copa Bar, 76-78a Kings Road, Reading, Berkshire, RG1 3BJ
  • Date: Saturday, December 5th, 2009
  • Time: 11:00 – 21:00
  • Fee: ??
  • Format: Constructed: 3 rounds + final round
  • Organizers: Hugh Angeseeing
More information (directions, et. al.) can be found in the UK VtES forum (Anarch Free Press).

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Memorable Quotes (Part 51)

"Shouldity is in the eye of the beholder." -- LSJ (when answering to another player's assumptions).
Reference: VtES Usenet Newsgroup

Monday, September 7, 2009

Pictures from the Dutch ECQ 2009

Here are some of the pictures from the Dutch ECQ 2009, which took place on August 30th, 2009 in Tilburg, Netherlands.

Left: Round 1, Table 3: Minutes before an "Anarchist Uprising" blew up half of the table.

Right: The same table in a close-up, you can see the large variety of decks being played from Old School Anneke wall to a Spell of Life deck.

Left: Round 1, Table 5: This was an all-dutch table with a table split between Bart and Rene.

Right: Round 1, Table 6: The game saw players from three countries, with Hardy's Brujahs being victorious.

Left: The final table in Tilburg with 2 german and three players. The table was a rather slow one, with Koen (barely) victorious in the final minutes of the game.
Right: These are the most interesting blood counters I have seen in a while. Little vials with a red fluid in it.

Bochum VtES League 2009: September 4th

Here are the decks of the Bochum VtES League 2009 from the meeting on September 4th (prey is from left to right, from top to bottom):

Left: Sascha was playing his Malkavian Big Cap. Bleed deck, he also had played during last week's ECQ in Tilburg.

Right: After some time Hardy decided to play his Giovanni Khazzar's Diary deck again.

Left: Michael (as always) brought something completely new, a Gargoyle Permacept Wall deck. Although it lacked forward momentum, it stayed till the end.
Right: Nothing new on Ralf's side. He was playing his Tremere antitribu Nephandus deck.

Left: Martin played a rather aggressive Nosferatu deck, but couldn't get any permanents on the table until the end of the game.

Results DragonCon NAC Qualifier 2009

On September 6th, 2009 the VtES DragonCon NAC Qualifier 2009 was held in Atlanta, Georgia with 12 players attending the qualifier tournament. The final standings were as follows:
1. Robyn Tatu -- Lasombra S&B
2. David Cherryholmes
2. Jeff Brandon
2. Michael Perlman
2. Micah Ceithaml
Congratulations to Robyn for her win of the DragonCon Qualifier 2009. You can find a tournament report and the tournament winning deck in the VtES Usenet Newsgroup.

VtES North American Championship Qualifiers 2009 (Update)

Here's a list of the upcoming North American Championship Qualifier tournaments for VtES in 2009, mostly taken from the WW event calendar:
  • No more (regular) qualifiers scheduled before the NAC.
And the list for the NACQs already played:
All this culiminating in the North American VtES Championship 2009:

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Deck of the Month: August 2009: Tyebot's Chainsaw

This month's deck is the tournament winning deck "Tyebot's Chainsaw" played by Johannes Walch.

This rather toolboxy deck is a unique blend of a "regular" Imbued deck and a Giovanni ally deck with "Tye Cooper" and "Ambrosius the Ferryman" as their shining protagonists. The main offense are the many weapons the deck has, and especially "Talbot's Chainsaw". The chainsaw's disadvantage is then offset by Tye Cooper's and Ambrogino's immunity to non-aggravated damage.

Deck Name: Tyebot´s Chainsaw
Created By: Johannes Walch
Players: 15
Place: Mannheim, Germany
Date: 05/Sep/2009
Description: Is a toolboxy thing, a jack-of-all-trades. A little bit hard to remember everything. :) And you need luck, too.

Crypt: (13 cards, Min: 11, Max: 20, Avg: 3,92)
2 Lia Milliner dom nec 3 Giovanni
1 Primo Giovanni dom nec pot 4 Giovanni
1 Almodo Giovanni dom pot 3 Giovanni
1 Cristobal Ghiberti nec 2 Giovanni
2 Travis 'Traveler72' Miller DEF MAR 5 Martyr
3 Jennie 'Cassie247' Orne INN JUD VIN 5 Visionary
1 Eric 'Shophet125' Franco JUD INN 4 Judge
1 Francois 'Warder' Loehr DEF JUD 3 Judge
1 Jack 'Hannibal137' Harmon DEF JUD 4 Defender

Library: (85 cards)
Master (18 cards)
1 Direct Intervention
2 Haven Uncovered
1 Church of Vindicated Faith, The
1 Pentex Subversion
1 Failsafe
1 House of Sorrow
5 Liquidation
6 Angel of Berlin

Action (6 cards)
6 Sudario Refraction

Reaction (10 cards)
2 Poison Pill
4 Deflection
4 On the Qui Vive

Combat (8 cards)
2 Boxed In
4 Fake Out
2 Glancing Blow

Ally (5 cards)
2 Ambrosius, The Ferryman (Wraith)
2 Tye Cooper
1 Vagabond Mystic

Equipment (11 cards)
4 Talbot`s Chainsaw
1 Ivory Bow
1 Crusader Sword, The
1 Heart of Nizchetus
4 Leather Jacket

Event (4 cards)
2 Unmasking, The
1 Dragonbound

Power (5 cards)
5 Vigilance

Conviction (18 cards)
7 Strike with Conviction
5 Second Sight
6 React with Conviction

Saturday, September 5, 2009

"Heirs to the Blood" Information (Update)

Some information on the next VtES expansion "Heirs to the Blood" can be found in Game Trade Magazine #115:
Vampire: The Eternal Struggle CCG:
Heirs to the Blood Expansion

Power pulses in the vein! The descendants of Caine are many, and their blood is diverse. It may infuse a vampire with spiritual hunger, or stony endurance, or the maddening touch of the fae. Bloodlines arise and struggle for power against the entrenched clans. The blood will prevail.

A new expansion for V:TES, "Heirs to the Blood" features 170 new cards in booster packs, with four new starter decks featuring over 24 starter-exclusive cards!

According to the game distributors Walch & Nusser website the four starters will feature the following clans:
  • Lasombra / Kiasyd
  • Nosferatu / Samedi
  • Tremere / Gargoyles
  • Ventrue Antitribu / Salubri Antitribu
The 24 new starter exklusive cards imply that that the 4 new starters will contain 6 new vampires each.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Rustwurk: Vampire Etiquette

Another old strategy article originally pusblished on Rustwurk in 2002. This time LasombraKate (a.k.a. Kate Souza) gives you some tips on Vampire etiquette, but in fact these are generally beginners hints on how to better at playing VtES.
V:TES is a social game just as much as a strategic game. There are certain guidelines and tips one should follow when playing, and this goes for newer players just as much as veterans.

  • First, don't be discouraged. Like any card game, you will lose. In Vampire, you lose more than you win. It's inevitable. Vampire is a game of small victories. Smaller goals (e.g. ousting your prey) are far more accessible than say, sweeping the table your first game.

  • Play a clan you like, maybe not a clan that necessarily reflects your personality, but a clan you'd enjoy playing. I don't like to start off a game on the wrong foot (ahem, power gaming). Malkavian stealth-bleed, or weenie bleed may be wonderfully damaging, but does get boring. Obviously, make your first deck pretty simple, once you get a feeling for your playgroup and the game, make more complicated decks. I recommend not copying decks from decklists, because deck building is an important V:TES element. It's ok to look at decklists if you're confused about card ratios or cards to put in a deck, but avoid copying it card for card. It's so much more rewarding to build an original deck that wins than take it from a web page or another person.

  • This next point is self-explanatory: take the time to learn what cards do, and make sure you keep in mind what vampires you're matched up against. This way, you may be less surprised when you're sent to torpor or worse. It's easier to play when you know what obstacles you're facing.

  • Never put unnecessary pressure on your grand-predator or grand-prey. This only makes the game harder for you. If you hurt your grand-predator, your predator can put immense pressure on you. The same goes for hurting your grand-prey. If a bleed so happens to be deflected, it's never really wise to bump up the bleed when they don't block, or continue to stealth it when they try. Imagine how hard it is to bleed through your prey when they just gained six pool. Deflections should go to your prey, naturally, if a bleed has been deflected all the way around the table I usually deflect it to the person the bleed was intended for.

  • On the same token, it's never wise to conduct "cross table" actions. I mean that in the sense you shouldn't contest cross-table, rush cross-table, or heavily bleed at +6 stealth cross table. It's just not wise.

  • It's always a good idea to put some inkling of pressure on your prey. Newer players tend to act less, when forward motion is part of the game. Playing Vampire is circular, and somehow that affects you eventually. You can't be afraid to take forward action.

  • Listen to everyone at your table; try not to be a puppet or a tool. Other people other than your predator or prey usually have good ideas. It's usually good (although by all means not necessary) to have a cross table buddy. It's important not to take it too seriously though, as sometime soon, he/she will be your predator or prey.

  • Good sportsmanship is so very important as well. I try and think of it this way, many of the people I game with are friends, so I try not to say anything I'll regret the next day when I see them. So try not to be mean, yell at people, throw decks, or promise that you'll cross table them in every game they play. Bad things happen in V:TES much the same way they happen in Magic: The Gathering and other games. Your vampires will go to torpor, you will be blocked, and you will be ousted. If you don't think any of those things will happen, you have a lot to learn.

  • Last of all, and really it's the most important aside from good sportsmanship, don't be afraid to ask questions. It never bothers me or any one else really to clarify rules, give deck suggestions, or playing suggestions. We're here to help, especially new players. We want people to stay in the playgroup and to do well in games because it makes the game more enjoyable for everyone.

  • If you try and keep all this in mind when playing V:TES for the first few times, your games will go smoother, be more enjoyable and it will be more enjoyable to play with you.

    Kate Souza

  • Kate Souza is a local Seekonk, MA V:TES player.
  • Thursday, September 3, 2009

    Fall 2009 VtES Storyline: Eden's Legacy

    Ben Swainbank, the VtES Storyline Coordinator, has announced the details on the upcoming VtES Storyline event, "Eden's Legacy":
    A secret society is betrayed. As their secrets are revealed, the world's Methuselahs realize their sudden peril, and the opportunities before them. The clandestine struggle for control of the information unearthed by the order begins.

    The next chapter in the VtES Storyline starts in October, 2009. The rules and story introduction are available now:
    More details on this storyline event in particular and VtES storylines in general can be found on the official VtES Storyline website.

    Wednesday, September 2, 2009

    Poll Results: "Do the rules regarding contesting vampires need an overhaul?"

    Here are the results of the latest poll, if there is a need to overhaul the VtES rules regarding contesting vampires. 151 readers of this blog voted in the poll:
    • Yes, current rules suck! -- 9 (5%)
    • Yes, but only minor adjustments. -- 19 (12%)
    • No, rules are generally fine as they are. -- 35 (23%)
    • Stop messing with core rules. -- 67 (44%)
    • Contesting is not an issue. -- 21 (13%)
    Only a minority of the readers (17%) think that the contest rules need to be revised in a more or less fundamental way, while another portion (13%) think that contesting is not generally an issue. The majority of the readers (67%) do not want a rules changes with regards to contesting vampires.