Monday, May 31, 2010

Results Spanish EC Qualifier 2010

On May 30th, 2010 the Spanish VtES EC Qualifier was held in Barcelona, Spain with 56 players attending the qualifier tournament. The final standings were as follows:
1. Yannick Gibert (FRA) -- 4 VP -- Ventrue antitribu Toolbox
2. Benoit Patrick (FRA) -- 1 VP -- Imbued
2. Genis "Nisu" Prats (ESP) -- 0 VP -- Amaravati vote
2. Alejandro "Andrialfo" Rodriguez (ESP)-- 0 VP -- Ventrue antitribu
2. Gabriel "Cliff" Ron (ESP) -- 0 VP -- Aksinya Masters
Congratulations to Gibert for winning the Spanish ECQ 2010. You can find a tournament report (in spanish) in the spanish VtES forum and the tournament winning deck in the VtES Usenet Newsgroup.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Results Belgian EC Qualifier 2010

On May 29th, 2010 the Belgian VtES EC Qualifier was held in Brussels, Belgium with 31 players attending the qualifier tournament. The final standings were as follows:
1. Izaak Havelaar (NED) -- 2 VP 8 VP -- 2.5 VP GW -- Edward Vignes Bleed
2. François Greiner (FRA) -- 2 GW 7 VP -- 1 VP -- Inner Circle Vote
2. Erol Ongun (GER) -- 2 GW 9 VP -- 0.5 VP --Tryphosa/Maris Streck Bleed
2. Michael Heyder (GER) -- 3 GW 9,5 VP -- 0 VP -- Tremere feat. Malgorzata Vote
2. Karim Baloul (FRA) -- 2 GW 7 VP -- 0 VP -- Nosferatu w/ Fortitude G1/2 Royalty
Congratulations to Izaak for winning the Belgian ECQ 2010. You can find a tournament report and the winning deck in the VtES Usenet Newsgroup , a tournament report by the winning player in the dutch VtES forum (in english), and another tournament report by the 6th placed on VEKN France (in french).

Friday, May 28, 2010

Swedish National VtES Championship 2010

The 2nd Swedish National VtES Championship will be held on September 11th - 12th, 2010 in Orebro, Sweden. The event is a two-day featuring both a constructed and draft tournament.
  • Swedish VtES Nationals 2010
    • Location: ABF Örebro, Drottninggatan 38, 702 22 Örebro
    • Date: September 11th, 2010
    • Time: 11:00 – 21:00
    • Fee: 50 SEK
    • Format: Constructed: 3 rounds + final round
    • Organizers: Isak Bjärmark Esbjörnsson

  • Swedish VtES Draft Nationals 2010
    • Location: ABF Örebro, Drottninggatan 38, 702 22 ÖREBRO
    • Date: September 12th, 2010
    • Time: 11:00 – 21:00
    • Fee: 220 SEK
    • Format: Draft: 2 rounds + final
    • Organizer: Isak Bjärmark Esbjörnsson

  • Travel: The easiest way to get to Sweden is by plane; either to Arland (ARN) or Skavsta (NYO) and then get on a bus/train to Örebro. If you want anymore help with the getting here, send the organizers an email.

  • Accommodation: If you need a place to sleep, please contact the organizers and they'll either help you find some hotel or they'll get you a local player to host you. The venue is alcohol free, so no drinking during the tournaments.
E-mail the organizer, Isak Bjärmark Esbjörnsson (national coordinator Sweden) at isakbe [att) gmail (dott] com, for more information or where help is necessary. You can find more information in the VtES Usenet Newsgroup.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Memorable Quotes (Part 77)

"Everything is going down the drain .."
-- Johannes (german VtES player), during the German ECQ 2010
after 30 seconds in the game, when his prey played Zillah's Valley.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Results English EC Qualifier 2010

On May 15th, 2010 the English VtES EC Qualifier 2010 was held in Burton-on-Trent, England with 29 players attending the qualifier tournament. The final standings were as follows:
1. John Best (ENG) -- 1 GW 6 VP -- 4 VP-- Kiasyd Stealth Bleed
2. Tiago Brum (POR) -- 2 GW 8 VP -- 1 VP -- Ventrue Grinder
2. Phil Tompson (ENG) -- 2 GW 6 VP -- 0 VP -- Toreador Antitribu Anarch Stealth Bleed
2. Johnny (ENG) -- 1 GW 5.5 VP -- 0 VP -- Malgorzata Stealth Bleed
2. Hugh Angseesing (ENG) -- 1 GW 4.5 VP -- 0 VP-- EuroBrujah Bruise & Bleed
Congratulations to John for his win of the English ECQ 2010. You can find the final standings in the VtES Usenet Newsgroup, a short tournament report in the English VtES forum and the VtES Usenet Newsgroup.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

VtES Continental Qualifier T-Shirts 2009 & 2010

For those who haven't seen them, these are the motives for the VtES Continental Qualifier T-Shirts 2009 & 2010.

Left: The 2009 Qualifier T-Shirt.

Right: The 2010 Qualifier T-Shirt.

Poll Results: "My opinion on self-ousting in VtES is .."

Here are the results of the latest poll what the readers think about self-ousting in VtES. 187 readers of this blog have voted in this poll:
  • The rules are fine. -- 46 (24%)
  • Self-Ousting is not an issue. -- 38 (20%)
  • Self-Ousting should be prohibited! -- 53 (28%)
  • I'd go with LSJ's proposal. -- 14 (7%)
  • A different rule change is necessary! -- 8 (4%)
  • I don't really care. -- 28 (14%)
In total there's approximate a 60%/40% split between those who are content how self-ousting is handled in VtES (or at least they don't care about it), and those who would like to see a rules change for handling self-ousting better.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Bochum VtES League 2010: May 21st

Here are the decks of the Bochum VtES League 2010 from the meeting on May 21st, 2010 (prey is from left to right, from top to bottom):

Left: Hardy played his well-known and -feared Weenie Computer Hacking/Dominate bleed deck.
Right: With his Nergal Powerbleed deck Ralf didn't have a real chance against Hardy's aggressive bleed deck, and was ousted quite quickly.

Left: Michael played his War Ghoul deck, and did have good chance to win the table with a whole lot of ready minions.
Right: The deck Didi used that day was a high cap Tremere vote deck, which he used to split the table with an Anarchist Uprising.

Result: Didi 2 VP, Hardy 2 VP

Left: During a casual game afterward Michael showed what pre-combat action really means.

Right: In the same game, after a short while Michael had the Town Musicians of Bremen on one of his Laibon vampires.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Dutch EC Qualifier 2010

The Dutch VtES EC Qualifier 2010 will take place in Utrecht, Netherlands on June 26th, 2010. Here are the details for this constructed tournament:

  • Saturday, 26th June 2010
    • Doors open/registration: 10:00 h
    • Start first round 11:00 h
  • De Korenbeurs
    Croeselaan 91
    3521 BL Utrecht
    The Netherlands

  • Since the location is a cafe/restaurant, it is not allowed to bring your own
    food or drinks.
    Parking space is available and day tickets can be bought at the bar for €6.
Round system:
  • 3 rounds, plus final (time limit: 2 h each)
Entrance fee:
  • 5 Euro
  • Please register in advance by sending me a PM, e-mail or by replying in the relevant post on the dutch VtES forum. Any questions you might have concerning the tournament can be asked in the same way.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

VtES Live in Concert

The Gothsicles performing "INFL8-R" and "Everyone Should Play V:TES ('Cause Somebody's Gotta Be Worse Than Me)" at Kineyik 3.0 festival at Usine C (Montreal, Canada) in front of 1000+ people. Special guest appearance from Ben Peal included:

You can find the lyrics for the song in the Everyone Should Play V:TES article posted earlier here.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Memorable Quotes (Part 76)

"Anybody building a rush deck without Fame should switch to Pokemon."

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Wider View or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Card

Playing this wonderful card more and more, I consider Wider View as one the best cards in the previous years. And there are a number of reasons for making that statement:
  • If you just look at the card as pool gain, it is well balanced. If compared to Ascendance, which also gives you pool, Wider View is a trifle, but on the other hand has the additional cost of the four transfers. The card is also not easily abusable, since there are very few cards that grant you 8 (or more) transfers. So playing multiple Wider Views in the same turn are somewhat hard to cash in during the same, even gaining four pools for two copies are not easy to accomplish for most decks.
  • The card is not dead weight in the late game. Whereas you have a discard the x-th copy of Information Highway in the late game, Wider View can easily be played late in the game. Since it's a trifle, it doesn't block your regular master action, and usually you don't need the four transfers late in the game, you can burn the Wider View for net gain of one pool.
  • But best of all, is certainly that Wider View can help a lot of decks with managing their crypt. For example:
    • Tupdog decks can fish for a Tremere antitribu, or for another Tupdog copy, most often without even losing a single turn.
    • Decks who rely on Aabt Kindred can easily get their copy of Nefertiti, to enable these snakes making directed actions. Followers of Set have certainly access to a lot of cards regarding crypt management (Summon the Serpent, Mesu Bedshet, etc.), but Wider View is still an viable option.
    • Even with a bad crypt draw (too many or no copy of the star vampire can easily) decks built around a star vampire can cycle through their crypt to draw more sidekick vampires or to draw the much wanted copy of that star vampire. Granted in the later case you have to draw it quite early on, but still it's one of the best options around.
So stop worrying about your crypt and vampire ratios, and pack some copies of Wider View. Very well done, LSJ.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Results "Battle Lines" Storyline Tournament in Bochum

Here are the results of the VtES Storyline Event "Battle Lines" in Bochum, Germany after 2 rounds and a final. The tournament was played on May 16th, 2010 with only 5 players participating. Here are the standings after the final round:
1. Hardy R. -- 0 GW 2,5 VP -- 1 GW 4 VP -- Daughter of Cacophony Vote (Bahari)
2. Ralf L. -- 1 GW 2,5 VP -- 1 VP -- Baali The Horde Bleed & Bloat (Bahari)
2. Didi R. -- 1 GW 5,5 VP -- 0 VP -- Baali Vote & Bloat (Bahari)
2. Martin E. -- 0 GW 1 VP -- 0 VP -- Samedi Reanimated Corpses Bleed (Loyalist)
2. Michael B. -- 0 GW 0 VP -- 0 VP -- Samedi Stealth Bleed & Bloat (Loyalist)
Congratulations to Hardy for his victory in the storyline tournament. So the Bahari the winning faction and the Daughters of Cacophony is the winning clan with The Embrace as their key minion.

Pictures from the "Battle Lines" VtES tournament in Bochum

Here are the pictures from this weekend's VtES Storyline tournament "Battle Lines" (on May 16th, 2010) in Bochum, Germany.

Left: The participants of the Storyline tournament during round 2.
Right: Hardy's winning deck based on the Daughters. He sealed the victory with two Benefit Performance (for 18 pool total) in a single turn in the heads-up.

Left: Michael's choice was a Samedi Stealth Bleed deck. He suffered from too many Stealth cards (~40) in his deck.
Right: Didi's Baali vote deck was probably the strongest in the tournament. He suffered from a terrible handjam with master & stealth cards in the final.

Left: Ralf played a Baali deck based on Tend the Flock and The Horde. In the end the bleed power was not enough to oust Hardy in the heads-up.
Right: Martin choose to play a Samedi Reanimated Corpse deck. In the final he was a tad too slow to be successful.

In the end the storyline tournament was fun to play. I have seen quite a number of new cards from the "Heirs to the Blood" expansion, and you could also see what the Bloodline clans would be capable of, if they had full set of vampires (in each group) like the regular Camarilla or Sabbat clans. And it became quite clear to me, why the Baali need to pay the pool to untap in regular games. ;)

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Poll: Your Opinion on Self-Ousting

Currently there are several topics in the VtES Usenet Newsgroup where VtES players discuss the issue of self-ousting in the game. There some (but in my opinion not too many) situations in past games where this was an issue, and therefore I am not for any radical changes to the existing rules (including the rules changes that have been proposed in the newsgroup, although I haven't read all of the posts).

Personally, I would just like to see a little rule additions in the game. That is, that you cannot deliberately reduce your pool to zero (or less); that is a player cannot transfer out himself, or pay cards that would cost him all of his pool. Yes, there's Dragonbound, Army of Rats, etc. as "loopholes", but in the end some other player has (or had) to take a deliberate effort to oust the player in the "lost position" (whatever that exactly is). This might only result in an additional full round around the table (or more likely somewhat less), but this can still make a difference for course of the game without changing the rules radically.

The proposal of the other participants in the discussion are often too complicated and/or require the intervention of a judge (e.g. to declare whether a player is a "lost position" or not). Both alternatives are not really acceptable for me. And in the end, you cannot really prevent people from being idiots, morons or just suicidal in the game with a written set of rules.

To get an estimation, what the players think about the self-ousting issue, I have created a poll with some basic opinions about self-ousting in VtES.

A Brief History of VtES

From Jyhad to Heirs to the Blood: the VtES rulebooks:

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Pictures from the "Trading Card Day 2010" VtES tournament

Here are the pictures from last weekend's tournament (on May 8th, 2010) in Bad Nauheim, Germany. The tournament was part of the Trading Card Day 2010 in the Alte Feuerwache:

Left: The Alte Feuerwache in Bad Nauheim is a youth center, used for a large number of different activities.

: This is round 2 table 2 of the tournament.

Left: The final table with Raphaela, Julian, Cassian, Ralf and Rudolf (the winner of the tournament).

Right: A closeup of the final table, somewhat early in the game.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Rawhide (or the "Tup Dog" song)

With any further ado I present the official Tup Dog song:
Rushing, rushing, rushing
Rushing, rushing, rushing
Rushing, rushing, rushing
Rushing, rushing, rushing


Rushing, rushing, rushing
Though the pools are swollen
Keep them doggies rolling

Bleed and vote and weather
Hell-bent for leather
Wishing my Sire was by my side,

All the things I'm missin'
Good rushes, hittin' and missin'
Are waiting at the end of my round.

Move 'em on, head' em up
Head 'em up, move' em on
Move 'em on, head' em up

Cut 'em out, ride 'em in
Ride 'em in, let 'em out
Call 'em out, ride 'em in

Keep moving, moving, moving
Though they're disapproving
Keep them doggies moving

Don't try to understand 'em
Just rush, hug and brand 'em
Soon we'll be killin' high and wide

My head's calculatin'
My real fame will be waitin'
Be waiting at the end of my turn
Move 'em on, head' em up
Head 'em up, move' em on
Move 'em on, head' em up

Cut 'em out, ride 'em in
Ride 'em in, let 'em out
Call 'em out, ride 'em in

Move 'em on, head' em up
Head 'em up, move' em on
Move 'em on, head' em up

Cut 'em out, ride 'em in
Ride 'em in, cut 'em out
Call 'em out, ride 'em in

Rushing, rushing, rushing
Rushing, rushing, rushing
Rushing, rushing, rushing
Rushing, rushing, rushing

Also heard from the Blues Brothers and the Dead Kennedys.

Australian Continental VtES Championship 2010

The Australian Continental VtES Championship 2010 will be held on June 13th, 2010, at the Prince of Wales hotel in Nundah, Queensland.

Prince of Wales Hotel
1154 Sandgate Rd,
Nundah, Queensland, 4012
(The event will be held in a private room above the sports bar.)
  • The tournament follows the VEKN Tournament Rules.
  • All players must be pre-qualified at one of the qualifying events held previously.
  • Registration: 09.30am
  • Start 1st round: 10.30am.
  • The event will be 3 rounds of 2hr each, with a final round of 2.5hrs.
Fee & Prize Support:
  • The event cost will be $20.
  • Prizes of boosters, promos and plenty of other gear will be provided.
If you require any further information on the event or suggestions for accommodation, please don't hesitate to contact Steve Harris (Prince of Brisbane). The full post of the announcement can be found in the VtES Usenet Newsgroup.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Memorable Quotes (Part 75)

Most important rules in VtES:
  • 1st Rule: Play to Win!
  • 2nd Rule: Maximize your VPs!
  • 3rd Rule: Oust the Frenchman!
-- not so anonymous english VtES player.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Top Decking Skillz

During one of the games on last Friday (May 7th, 2010) one of the players in my playgroup (Hardy) showed some top decking skillz extraordinaire. While on four pool he was the target of a Neonate Breach by his prey (rightfully so of course, because he was playing a Khazar's Diary deck). This would have surely ousted him, but then he played one On the Qui Vive on each of his four of his ready minions, just to reveal a Delaying Tactics that saved him .. but only for that round, because when it was his predator's turn, his predator dropped a Palla Grande and ousted him with his two Toreador antitribu. Too bad he couldn't wake and bounce one of the bleeds, because none of his minions could play another On the Qui Vive that turn ..

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Results TCG Day 2010 VtES Tournament in Bad Nauheim

Here are the results of the local VtES Constructed tournament during the TCG Day 2010 in Bad Nauheim, Germany after 2 rounds and the final. The tournament was played on May 8th, 2010 with 10 players participating. Here are the standings after the final round:
1. Rudolf G. -- 1 GW 4 VP -- 4 VP -- Weenie Dom/Obf & Allies w/ Flash Grenades
2. Raphaela B. -- 1 GW 4 VP -- 1 VP -- Nakhthorheb & Friends Bleed/Enticement
2. Ralf W. -- 1 GW 5 VP -- 0 VP -- Maureen & Friends Heralds of Topeth
2. Cassian H. -- 1 GW 2.5 VP -- 0 VP -- G4/5 Malkavian antitribu Bruise & Bleed
2. Julian S. -- 0 GW 1.5 VP -- 0 VP -- Followers of Set/Giovanni Bleed
Congratulations to Rudolf for his victory in the tournament. You can find the tournament winning deck in the VtES Usenet Newsgroup and the final standings in the German VtES forum.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

German ECQ 2010: Tournament Report & Pictures

During the last weekend the German VtES EC Qualifier 2010 was played in Ludwigshafen, Germany. Johannes and Andreas were organizing the event smoothly as usual, and it was a pity that only 27 players showed up. A pity especially, if you consider that with 6 French players and one player from the post-colonial British empire, only 20 German players showed up.

Since I reached the finals of the German ECQ (for the second time after last year in Bochum), I decided to write a short tournament report. In the end, it became a wee bit longer than I anticipated. Before the tournament I had two decks that I considered fair choices for gaining a VP or two. The first deck was a version of Randal Rudstam's Protean/Animalism Tap & Bleed deck (featured as Deck of the Month April 2010). The second deck is variant of the Nordic deck creation surrounding Cybele, some Inner Circle members and large number of master cards. In a moment of clarity before the tournament, I decided to give the Cybele deck a go. One of the reasons was that I had played the Pro/Ani Tap&Bleed deck in a tournament on the weekend before the ECQ, the other that I deck is really fun to play.

Some remarks on the Cybele deck: basically the deck is stealth bleed deck with a few extra votes, which can turn the tide later in the game when (and if) vote lock is achieved. There are several aspects of the deck that makes it really strong:
  • the ability to bloat -- the amount of pool the deck can generate is quite high, my guestimation is that I can generate an average of 4-6 pool each turn, starting very early in the game with only Cybele in the game. When doing a quick calculation of the pool gained (without pool for ousts) in the first round of the tournament I came up with 48 pool gained. This makes the deck rather hard to oust, if you're not able to remove the key vampires. On the other hand, when you look at the number of the master cards, 50 master cards seems quite high, but there's a fair amount of trifles among them, and you want to play 3-4 master each master phase. At the same time you need extra master cards to discard when Aksinya is using her special ability to redirect a bleed against you. More often than not, I didn't have enough master cards in my hand to make full use of my master phase actions.

  • the ability to bleed heavily -- even without cards most of the vampires (Cybele or the Inner Circle members) can bleed for 3 without using any library card. When using library cards, the bleed can be as high as 8 (Rafael de Corazon bleeding with Intimidation and Aire of Elation). Most preys cannot withstand this pressure for long.

  • the recursion -- this is the last key element. With Liquidation and Ashurs you can manipulate your library, ash heap and hand almost at will, giving you the cards you want. Even better you gain even pool for playing these cards.
And yes, I netdeck to some extent, and yes, in my opinion the Swedish players are among the best deckbuilders in the world of VtES.

Round 1: Johannes (Anson Vote Punisher) --> Ralf (Cybele Bloat & Bleed) --> Didi (Followers of Set w/ Dominate) --> Vincent (Dom/For Bleed Aim & Chain)

I had an almost perfect start with 2 transfers and a Zillah's Valley in my starting hand. So I could influence Cybele in turn 2, and started bleeding heavily in turn 3. Even better, Anthelios was out pretty soon, too, but was removed immediately by an Uncoiling played by Didi. After 24 minutes Didi was ousted by a Reins of Power called by Cybele for 5 pool dmg and by a bleed for 6 by Rafael de Corazon. In the mean time Vincent finished bringing out four weenie to midcap vampires with Dominate (and sometimes) Fortitude, and had began to bleed Johannes. Johannes had an interesting vote deck based on the old G1/2 Toreador with Anson as the star vampire. At this point, he only could pass his votes with the help of vote push, but he seemed to have plenty of it. Then I made a crucial error by moving an Anarch Convert into the ready region, because in the next turn Johannes called two Neonate Breaches to inflict 8 dmg to me. Luckily the following the turns were less harmful for me, since Johannes was only able to pass one vote per turn. Therefore I started to influence on Lutz von Hohenzollern, after realizing that Johannes' Protected Resources and Vincent's dom vampires were a match for quite some time in the future, so Aksyina Dachlau wasn't a good option for me. Johannes moved more and more small vampires to the ready region, mostly as defense against Vincent's many minions, but that brought him down to less than 5 pool. I decided then wouldn't go forward with bleeds in order not to help Vincent help ousting Johannes. Rather I wanted to let Vincent spent as many of his resources on ousting Johannes as possible. This slowed down the table, but in the end Vincent ousted Johannes with his five vampires, which was for me the sign to go full forward. I managed to bleed him for 7 and played an Anarchist Uprising for 5, leaving Vincent on less than 5 pool. In the following two rounds, I blocked the potentially big bleeders with DOM, and 15 seconds before the end of the game I could oust him with a bleed for 3 by Lutz, who succeed Cybele (who I had blown up with a Golconda), after tapping out all of his minions with Anarch Troublemaker and Misdirection.

Result: Vincent 1 VP, Ralf 3 VP+GW

Round 2: Ralf (Cybele Bloat & Bleed) --> Joscha (Weenie Dragon's Breath Rounds Graverobbing) --> Robert (Ventrue Antitribu) --> Ralf (Akunanse Abombwe Combat) --> Erol (MidCap Ani Wall)

This table was a nightmare. My prey was a weenie rush deck, which I cannot really handle, my prey was wall deck, which would be able to block my actions eventually. I decide to go real slow, and move two minions to the ready region at the same time, hopefully with hand full of Strike: Combat Ends cards. At first, most of us were not sure whether Joscha was playing a Weenie Dom bleed deck, or something different. But after initial bleeds for 1 by his many minions the answer to that question was clear. Robert was only a victim at this table, only able to move Owain Ewans to the ready region, who was attacked almost immediately. Ralf with his Akunanse deck built up a little bit, and had some minor skirmishes with Erol's Ani vampires, but nothing decisive happened on this front. Erol brought out vampire after vampire (eventually he had 6 vampires with ANI on the table), and put three intercept locations in play early on. Quite impressive. After Erol started bleeding (luckily mostly for one), finally I had enough blood on both Cybele and Adana de Sforza to move them to the ready region at once. At first things looked good for me, I managed to defend both Cybele and Adana with 3 Strike Combat Ends, and in the next round I could play 2 Villeins for massive bloat. In the end why leave that many blood on them, if Joscha's weenies eventually will graverob them anyhow? Joscha had a massive amount of minions and even more pool, so I started to bleed somewhat heavily. This scared Joscha somewhat, but his access to rush cards seemed to be limited at this point. But unfortunately I cannot prevent Joscha from stealing Adana in one of the following rounds. This made any upcoming political actions in my deck useless, since with Adana he had the vote lock on the table. Robert is ousted quite quickly then, and that put Ralf and his three Akunanse under immense pressure, especially because Robert's Owain had switched sides before Joscha had ousted him. Ralf's Akunanse defended bravely for 2 or 3 turns with a huge number of untap cards, but eventually had to succumb to the number of minions bleeding and attacking him. That left Erol completely without pressure and he started bleeding with most of his minions. This wouldn't oust me, since I could easily bloat at the same rate with Liquidation and Ashur Tablets, but it also prevented me from influencing a Inner Circle member to the ready region, so I have to be content with Aksinya as company for Cybele. I can land some more bleeds against Joscha, which is then in ousting range. Unfortunately I am the mercy of Erol, which I foolish tell, that he can prevent me from ousting Joscha by tapping both the WRMH Talk Radio and Rumor Mill against my Monastery of Shadows and Veil of Legions when Aksinya is bleeding. At first he declines to let me oust Joscha, but then time is running out, and Erol realizes he cannot oust me first, and then fight Joscha to the end within the time limit. So he's content with me letting oust Joscha, and taking 2 VPs for himself. In the end, he rushes Cybele (as my last ready minion) with a Deep Song and that's it for me.

Result: Joscha 2 VP, Erol 2 VP, Ralf 1 VP

Left: Round 2 Table 1 with Didi, Andreas, Ela, Hugh and Lukas.

Right: Round 2 Table 2 with Joscha, Robert (not ousted, but "coaching" his predator), Ralf and Erol (not the proverbial red shirt).

Left: Round 2 Table 3 with Vincent, Rudolf, Yann and Cassian.

Right: Round 2 Table 4 with Johannes, Quentin and Johannes.

Left: Round 2 Table 5 with Michael, Mazni, Khaled and Sebastian.

Right: Round 2 Table 6 with Alf, Frank, Benoit and Jean-Bapiste.

Round 3: Cassian (Malkavian antitribu Royalty Bleed/Vote) --> Ralf (Cybele Bloat/Bleed) --> Yann (New Brujah Vote/Bloat) --> Erol (MidCap Ani Wall)

Another four player table and luckily the wall deck is sitting at the other end of the table, are my first thoughts. Both Cassian and Yann had a rather slow start, but I wasn't too fast myself. The only player having a turbo start (with starting Powerbase Montreal) was Erol, who immediately started bleeding with all of his Ani vampires (mostly for 1). This put Cassian with Alicia Barrows as his first vampire under immediate pressure. He discarded two Kindred Spirits early on, which gave me the impressions that he played a bleed-only deck, and not one with considerable amount of votes. Initially he was quite defensive and played a couple of The Call, managing to move Stavros out as well. I moved Cybele to ready region, and started to bloat a bit as usual. In the mean time, Yann moved first Dmitra Ilyanova, then Karen Sudela to the ready region. He bloated like crazy with some votes (My Kin against the World), but didn't put real pressure on Erol. Cassian became nervous by the low amount of pool he had and by the pressure that Erol put on him. Cassian then offered a deal to Yann, that they should first oust Erol (his predator) (who seemed to be first one to score a VP at the table) and then me. Yann happily agrees, and they both started throwing votes like crazy at Erol, giving him three pool dmg during every KRC and Conservative Agitation they found in their hands. I made a mistake(?) by playing a Pentex on the untapped Dmitria, and not on Karen Sudela. I wanted to bleed with both Akysina and Cybele that turn, and I wanted Dmitria out as blocker for that turn. Unfortunately I had missed that Erol's intercept capability was quite limited at this point, and Yann managed to oust Erol with a KRC during his turn. Now both Yann and Cassian started marching against me. Good grief! Since of them left me alone for those 2-3 turns before that, I was able to influence Lutz out, while still having a comfortable pool cushion. Initially both Yann and Cassian started out strong, giving me plenty to think about with some votes and (less bleed), but shortly after both of them run out of political actions. Yann even bled Cassian just to cycle some cards, even though he couldn't wake or bounce, and Cassian remained somewhat passive with bleeds since he feared that I would bounce the heavy bleeds to Yann. This gave me then the opportunity to move forward, even though I lost Lutz almost immediately by an Archon Investigation from Yann. I should have known that without any bounce, he was likely to have an AI or two in his deck. In the end the lack of vote cards they both had, and my ability to bloat and bleed sealed the deal, and I could oust first Yann, and then Cassian shortly after. A tough race to the game win, and with no small portion of luck for me.

Result: Yann 1 VP, Ralf 3 VP GW

Final Round:

So with 2 GWs 7 VPs I was at the final table, and for a long time I even had a choice where I would be sitting. I had quickly asked some other players what the other finalists were playing, since had only played against Joscha in the previous rounds. The players at the final table and their results & decks were:
  • Benoit -- 2 GW 7 VP -- Big Cap Stealth Bleed
  • Ralf -- 2 GW 7 VP -- Cybele Bloat/Bleed
  • Alf -- 1 GW 5 VP -- Dom/Pot Bruise & Bleed
  • Joscha -- 1 GW 5 VP -- Weenie Dragon's Breath Rounds
  • Andreas -- 1 GW 4 VP -- Osebo Aus/Pot Wall feat. Cesawayo
Alf choose to sit as Andreas' prey and Joscha's predator. This was the worst seating for Joscha (two combat decks next him), since he could be sure that both Benoit and I would not choose to sit next to Joscha's Weenie Rush deck. So my choice was quick, and I sat down as Alf's predator, and after some thinking Benoit choose to be my predator. Therefore the final seating order was this:

Benoit (Big Cap Stealth Bleed) --> Ralf (Cybele Bloat/Bleed) --> Alf (Dom/Pot Bruise & Bleed) --> Joscha (Weenie Dragon's Breath Rounds) --> Andreas (Osebo Aus/Pot Wall feat. Cesawayo)

The seating was quite good for me, since wasn't sitting next to the wall deck or the rush deck, what I didn't know was, how strong Benoit's deck really was or what his deck was actually built upon. I had a rather good start with an Information Highway, which made an early appearance of Cybele possible, and some bloating followed with Villein and Giant's Blood and two turns later another Villein. I started influencing on Aksinya (or so I thought), in order to make her my leverage against Alf when Benoit would be bleeding heavily later on. In the mean time Joscha moved with several against his prey or predator (can't remember which one), but he was punished heavily when Andreas/Alf's Potence minions hit the weenies to torpor. It became also apparent that he suffered some kind of hand jam with a lack of either Concealed Weapon or more likely the Saturday Night Special. Nonetheless he was able to bleed Andreas with a number of vampires, reducing Andreas pool to less than 12, when Andreas had only Cesawayo out.

Finally Benoit moved Rafael de Corazon to his ready region, and started showed the main angle of his deck in the following turn. Rafael bled with Flurry of Action with his first turn, and immediately put a Enkil Cog on him. Nasty. I thought, ok, he can do it once again, before I move Aksinya to the ready region, and then we'll see about, when I can bounce him both in his turn, and in my own turn to Alf. Benoit bled me again for 4 in my turn, but I only needed one additional pool on her. After moving the last and 9th blood to her, I flipped the vampire over, only to discover that it was another copy of Cybele .. Shock! I immediately thought "OK, a classic Bakija gambit, game over", when the other players informed me that with 9 blood Cybele wasn't moved to the ready region. But still that blood was tied to Cybele, and not on Aksinya. And to add insult to injury Benoit seized the opportunity and contested the Information Highway the next turn. I was in deep trouble, but could stabilize against Benoit's continued bleeds by bloating with Liquidations and Ashurs, but I wasn't able to put any real pressure against Alf (only an Entrancement of Carlton made me feel somewhat better) for a long time.

Left: Finale Table with Alf, Joscha, Andreas and Benoit.

Right: The different decks in the mid-game, in the turn Benoit moved Mistress Fanchon to the ready region.

Meanwhile at the other end of the table the situation had deteriorated considerable, because Andreas had moved Homa out, leaving him less than 5 pool, while Joscha suffered also when Alf put a Scourge of Enochians in play. Alf was clearly in the best position then, because he had two preys with considerable problems. Benoit on the other hand had bloated, but moved beside Rafael de Corazon, Suzanne Kadim and finally Mistress Fanchion to the ready region. This left him only for pool, which then ironically made him fear Cesawayo's Dominate, and he was rather passive for a round or two.

Alf seized the opportunity and finally managed to oust Joscha, whom nobody at the table really wanted to help, in fear that if he overcame his apparent hand jam, he might attack and steal the other player's vampire. This happened 25-30 minutes before the end of the game, just after I had figured out how to overcome my problem. I exchanged some master against a Golconda, and wanted to blow up the (almost) empty ready Cybele, and then be able to move the new Cybele to the ready region in the same turn. Then I would be able to play a new Villein on her, giving me enough pool to put Aksinya to the ready region in the next turn with the help of Zillah's Valley (and one pool already on her). Unfortunately Benoit washed the Golconda, and my attempt was delayed for full round. In the end of the game nothing really exciting happened, since with the number of players at the table (and minions on the table), it was then quite clear that Alf was going to win the qualifier as the only player with an oust in the finals.

Congratulations to Alf who seized the opportunity when having almost no predator for the most part of game, and sealing the win in this tournament.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Deck of the Month: April 2010: Singing in the Ground

This month's deck is the (nearly) tournament winning deck "Singing in the Ground" played by Randal Rudstam during the Swedish ECQ 2010. There were a lot of competition this month, with creations like Yannik Gibert's Anarch Spirit Marionette deck, or Otso Saariluoma's Shattering Crescendo deck.

The deck is a tap-and-bleed deck, but one you probably haven't seen before. The vampires in the deck should have both Animalism and Protean on the superior level, so they can rush and tap it's prey minions with Deep Song. In the resulting combat the acting minion is untapped by playing Earth Meld, never really intending to fight the opposing minion. Repeat one or two times, and your minions are free to bleed a prey with all minions tapped. In this situation the Codex of the Edenic Groundskeepers enters the scene , giving a +3 bleed if the player being bleed does not control a ready untapped minion. One the other hand, the deck can behave quite wallish with the Raven Spies and the Earth Melds.
Deck Name : Singing in the ground
Author : Randal Rudstam
Description : Deck from GothCon 2010.

I really want to change Horrock for something better, perhaps another Janey Pickman and Robert Price but I have not look into it yet.
Planing on changing:
  • Perfectionist for Anarch Troublemaker
  • Canine Horde for Earth Meld
  • Sudden Reversal for Earth Meld
  • Camera Phone for Laptop Computer
And adding a Form of Mist.

Codex was key for ousting and Deep Song Earth Meld work as I had hope for the table win. And yet again Archon Investigation saved my ass and gave me a table win.

Crypt [12 vampires] Capacity min: 1 max: 7 average: 5.41667
2x Danielle Diron 7 ANI PRO chi for 1 vote Gangrel:3
2x Doyle Fincher 7 ANI PRO aus for obf !Gangrel:4
2x Horrock 6 ANI PRO vic Gangrel:3
2x Janey Pickman 6 ANI PRO for !Gangrel:4
2x Celeste Lamontagne 5 ANI PRO for !Gangrel:4
1x Leo Washington 2 cel pro !Gangrel:4
1x Anarch Convert 1 Caitiff:0

Library [76 cards]
Action [12]
2x Abbot
10x Deep Song

Action Modifier [6]
6x Freak Drive

Ally [2]
1x Carlton Van Wyk (Hunter)
1x Ossian

Combat [22]
1x Canine Horde
14x Earth Meld
4x Form of Mist
3x Pack Alpha

Equipment [3]
1x Camera Phone
1x Codex of the Edenic Groundskeepers
1x Heart of Nizchetus

Event [2]
1x Narrow Minds
1x Scourge of the Enochians

Master [13]
1x Archon Investigation
1x Direct Intervention
2x Dreams of the Sphinx
1x Giant's Blood
1x Heidelberg Castle, Germany
1x Jake Washington (Hunter)
2x Pentex(TM) Subversion
1x Perfectionist
1x Sudden Reversal
2x Vessel

Reaction [8]
4x Cats' Guidance
1x Delaying Tactics
3x On the Qui Vive

Retainer [8]
1x J. S. Simmons, Esq.
1x Owl Companion
5x Raven Spy
1x Tasha Morgan

Monday, May 3, 2010

Results German EC Qualifier 2010

On May 2nd, 2010 the VtES German EC Qualifier was held in Ludwigshafen, Germany with 27 players attending the qualifier tournament. The final standings were as follows:
1. Alfred Behrends (GER) -- 1 GW 5 VP -- 1,5 VP -- Pot/Dom Bruise & Bleed
2. Benoit Moyen (FRA) -- 2 GW 7 VP -- 0,5 VP -- Inner Circle Flurry of Action Bleed
2. Ralf Lammert (GER) -- 2 GW 7 VP -- 0,5 VP -- Cybele Girls Find Inner Hell
2. Andreas Nusser (GER) -- 1 GW 4 VP -- 0,5 VP -- Osebo Aus/Pot Wall
2. Joscha Düll (GER) -- 1 GW 5 VP -- 0 VP -- Weenie Dragon's Breath Rounds
Congratulations to Alf for his win of the German ECQ 2010. Pictures and report to be published soon after.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Results European Draft Championship 2010

Copied from are the results from the VtES European Draft Championship, which was played on May 1st, 2010 in in Ludwigshafen, Germany with 18 players participating. The standings of the final round were as follows:
1. Hugh Angseesing (ENG) -- 1 GW 4,5 VP -- 1,5 VP -- Weenie Pro/Ani/Pot Swarm
2. Sebastian Meurer (GER) -- 2 GW 8 VP -- 0,5 VP -- Malkavian Moving Wall (not S&B)
2. Ralf Lammert (GER) -- 1 GW 5 VP -- 0,5 VP -- !Gangrel/Gangrel Bleed
2. Vincent Ripoll (FRA) -- 1 GW 4,5 VP -- 0,5 VP -- Ventrue Vote/Bleed
2. Andreas Nusser (GER) -- 2 GW 9 VP -- 0 VP -- !Malkavian Stealth&Bleed
Congratulations to Hugh for winning the VtES European Draft Championship 2010. The draft was based on 5 Keepers of Traditions and 4 3rd Edition boosters. Photos to be published later.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Poll Results: "Would you like to see a reprint of HttB?"

Here are the results of the latest poll if the readers would like to see a reprint of the VtES expansion "Heirs to the Blood" (HttB). 215 readers of this blog have voted in this poll:
  • Hell, yes! -- 85 (39%)
  • Yes, but only the starters. -- 47 (21%)
  • Yes, but only the boosters. -- 5 (2%)
  • Maybe, sometime in the future. -- 17 (7%)
  • No, there's still enough around. -- 20 (9%)
  • No, I have enough. -- 23 (10%)
  • I don't care. -- 18 (8%)
A large majority (62%) of the readers would like to see an immediate form of reprint (starters, boosters or both), and another 7 percent sometime in the future. Only 19% are opposed to a reprint, while 8% don't really care about it.