Wednesday, January 20, 2010

VtES Battle Arena: Rules

The Battle Arena Rules are rules for playing VtES combat duels. The format is especially suitable for internet forums like they are in common use for VtES in various countries. The only drawback perhaps is that other forums users might be annoyed to see an increased number of posts due to Battle Arena matches.

The rules assume that there's a subforum for the Battle Arena matches as well as Battle Arena administrator. The Battle Arena administrator is merely there for starting a match (and recording the results).

1. The Basics
And so it begins ..
1.1 Only crypt and library cards existing in Vampire: the Eternal Struggle (VtES) may be used.
1.2 You and your opponent agree to a capacity which you use in the match.
  • For the moment, only capacities of 5 and 6 are allowed.
  • Both vampires must be of same capacity.
  • The actual "crypt" capacity of the vampire counts, not the "in play effect" capacity. Example: "Tariq, The Silent" counts as vampire with capacity seven.
1.3 In addition to your vampire, you must have chosen a hand of seven cards. Only combat, equipment and (animal) retainer cards are allowed.
2. Starting a Match
Who wants some?
2.1 Start a new thread at the Battle Arena subforum stating which capacity you want to use and send a Private Message (PM) to the Battle Arena administrator straight away, so that the fight can be started as soon as somebody steps up (and not the next one you pop around). The PM must clearly state what cards and vampire you have chosen for the fight. The PM shall have the same title as the thread so it's easy to tell what game you use the stuff for. Note that the details of your hand remain available in your sentbox.
2.2 The Battle Arena administrator randomly decides who goes first (and is thereby the active player and having first priority throughout the rest of the game) after both you and your opponent has PM'd hand and vampire choices.
2.3 When you finish a fight, the winner must report the result to Battle Arena administrator in a PM (subject line is the match’s topic, just like when you PM your choice of vampire and hand). Just a winner and a looser will do it.
3. Gameplay
You die now!
3.1 Combat proceeds as per the normal rules of VtES:
  • Before Range -- each player play cards during the before range-step, with the controller of the acting minion (as determined randomly by the Battle Arena administrator) having first opportunity to play cards.
  • Range -- determine the range. Default range for each round is close unless card text allows otherwise (i.e. "Fear of the Void Below").
  • Pre-Strike -- where cards such as "Immortal Grapple" and "Blood of Acid" are played.
  • Strike -- determine your strike.
  • Strike Resolution -- damage prevention, etc
  • Press Step - to press continue or end combat. The rules of the Battle Arena assume that each round has a press to continue, same as if a "Trap" had been played but whose effect doesn't end if three (or more) rounds.
  • Post Press Step - Playing "Taste of Vitae" and similar cards.
3.2 Throughout the combat, state clearly at which level you play the cards e.g. "Immortal Grapple" at superior or "Rigor Mortis" at outferior.

Additionally, when using rather obscure cards (i.e. "Mythic Form"), it helps to post the text of the card. Can always ask the good old Battle Arena administrator by PM for a reminder to be posted.
3.3 It is also good Battle Arena etiquette to give a reminder of the blood left on one's vampire at the end of each strike resolution (after the prevent phase), at the end of each round and after playing cards that cost blood. Example: "Guido" plays "Entombment" at superior" (3/5).
3.4 Throughout the matches, taunts and assorted trash-talking are more than welcome.
4. Additional rules of the Battle Arena
We are 'special' around here!
The following rules are usable in the Battle Arena:
4.1 Vampires have now access to the following cardless strikes:
  • Strike: this striking vampire burns two blood to become Anarch. Only usable by a non-titled vampire.
  • Strike: this striking vampire burns one blood to become Black Hand. Only usable by a Sabbat vampire.
4.2 Weapons are allowed although you will need something like "Disguised Weapon" or "Concealed Weapon" to bring them into play. The cost of the weapon is paid in blood by the vampire and is equal to the pool cost of the weapon + 1, e.g. playing "Disguised Weapon" on an "Ivory Bow" will cost the vampire 2 blood. Weapons costing only blood are not affected by this rule and keep their original (printed) cost. Note that combat cards that count as equipment while in play, such as "Weighted Walking Stick" and "Zip Gun", do not follow this special rule either and are played according to the regular rules.

Unique weapons will immediately contest. Vampires will pay a blood at the beginning of each round prior to playing any 'before range' cards to keep contesting the card or may decide to yield (acting chooses first). Control of the weapons returns at the beginning of the following combat round.
4.3 The library and crypt are assumed to be empty at the beginning of the fight. Cards played during the fight go to the ash heap normally (for the purpose of cards referring specifically to the ash heap i.e. "Reality Mirror").
4.4 (Animal) Retainer are allowed in a similar fashion as weapons regarding to cost. Of course, you need a way to put the retainer unto the vampire, e.g. by playing "Pack Alpha").

5. Ending the fight
You can pick up your teeth now!
5.1 In the Battle Arena, victory is achieved by sending the opposing vampire to torpor. If both vampires enter torpor during the same strike resolution the match is tied.
5.2 If the match is ended by a Combats Ends either player must reset the combat (e.g. by "Psyche" or "Telephatic Tracking" or the player playing Combats Ends has lost the game. Similarly, should a player press to end combat with no one restarting combat, said player looses the match (and gets to be called a wuss)
6. Other Stuff
We are not finished yet!
6.1. Banned Cards:
5.4. Erratas:
  • Improvised Tactics: Playable during any round
The original Battle Arena are from the former VtES UK Forum. I don't know who invented the format and wrote the rules initially. But many thanks anyhow!


mattgreen said...

Pierre Rebstock (TPOTH) wrote and organised the first games of battle arena. It is a fanastic forum game.

Maegnar said...

What about Serenading the Kami? :) not playable since it's an action mod?

extrala said...

Correct. Only combat cards (and with the help of combat cards retainer and equipment cards) are allowed.

Action Modifiers like "Serenading the Kami" or "Uncontrollable Rage" are not allowed.

Zappo said...

I probably miss something, but how this can be fun? 7 cards on hand, visible to both players, one known vampire... The person who first shows his choice must lose. Its paper-rock-scissors game, as I see it.
"I play Carrion crows, Trap, Apparition, Apparition, Drawing out the beast, pack alpha, murder of crows"
"So I will play Selective silence, Sideslip, Blur and 3x Blood sweat"
And so on - the first player (he who seeks competition) can never win...

extrala said...

The cards of the opponents are not visible for the other player, only the player himself and the judge/administrator (sent by personal message (PM) or email).

But yes, sometimes the games are sometimes like Rock-Paper-Scissor in the sense, that you are vulnerable to certain tactics of your opponent. Just like in regular VtES.

I will show a play example later today, and some sample decks tommorrow.

Maegnar said...

What about Rotschreck?

extrala said...

"Rötschreck" is not allowed, since it's not a combat/retainer/equipment card. The same applies of course to other (master) cards (Frenzy, Battle Frenzy, ..) that do not belong to the three above mentioned card types.

Rhavas said...

It seems like Protean is the unbalanced discipline here. Skin of Marble, combined with the ability to play Wolf Claws or Claws of the Dead when you know your strike has landed makes for a pretty tough combo to beat.

extrala said...

While "Flesh of Marble" and "Claws of the Dead" are strong, in a typical battle they are not too strong.

Stronger cards discplines are those providing damage prevention each turn (e.g. "Apparition") and cards that provide other permanent effects like "Torn Signpost" or "Bone Spur".

Remember you don't need to beat your opponent in the first round.

PierreRebstock said...

Hey! I'm glad to see the rules still exist somewhere in cyberspace. I created Battle Arena a long time ago now, probably needs some updating with regards to the new cards (or does it?).