Saturday, April 30, 2011

VtES History: White Wolf Ends The World of Darkness

White Wolf® Ends the World of Darkness® with the unprecedented Time of Judgment(TM)

Atlanta, GA; July 26, 2003 -- After 12 years of buildup, White Wolf Publishing is bringing its award-winning World of Darkness to a climactic end in an unprecedented series of game supplements and tie-in novels. This is the Time of Judgment.

At a special announcement today, held as part of the Gen Con Game Fair in Indianapolis, IN, White Wolf Publishing brought the exciting and cataclysmic news to its fans and the entertainment community at large. Over the first three months of 2004, the Time of Judgment will unfold and bring a finale to the entire World of Darkness and its trademark games -- Vampire: The Masquerade®, Werewolf: The Apocalypse(TM), Mage: The Ascension®, Hunter: The Reckoning®, Demon: The Fallen(TM), Changeling: The Dreaming(TM), Mummy: The Resurrection(TM) and Kindred of the East(TM). Four hardcover game supplements will allow World of Darkness players and Storytellers to tell their own tales of the Time of Judgment. These books will be accompanied by three tie-in novels and special releases for both Mind’s Eye Theatre(TM) (White Wolf’s popular live-action roleplaying game) and Vampire: The Eternal Struggle® (White Wolf’s collectible trading-card game).

"We’ve been building to this point for years," said Justin Achilli, Intellectual Property Manager for Vampire: The Masquerade. "It’s time to put up or shut up." Indeed, even the very first edition of Vampire, released to acclaim in 1991, included prophecies of Gehenna, the vampires’ version of Armageddon. In 1998, that game’s revised edition ushered in the Final Nights(TM), a multi-year build up to the Time of Judgment. Every year thereafter brought a major step toward the brink of apocalypse. The Year of the Reckoning(TM) brought an end to Wraith: The Oblivion(TM) and ushered in Hunter: The Reckoning, a game chronicling humanity’s last stand against the monsters lurking in the shadows. Similarly, the Year of the Damned(TM) saw the arrival of demonic forces writ large as the gates of the biblical Hell opened, setting the stage of Demon: The Fallen. "An apocalypse is only exciting and terrifying if it can actually occur," said Mike Tinney, White Wolf’s President. "Our fans have come to expect top-notch storytelling from the World of Darkness, and a great story needs a great ending. It’s time to deliver."

"This really is the Apocalypse," said Ethan Skemp, Line Developer of Werewolf: The Apocalypse. "The final battle Werewolf has been leading up to since the get-go. A lot of fans have become jaded by supposedly earth-shattering events in comics and games that end up just returning to the status quo. This is not one of those." Indeed, after March of 2004, White Wolf will cease publication (and reprinting) of game books set in the modern World of Darkness. (The Dark Ages(TM) product line -- White Wolf’s medieval horror setting -- will continue as normal.)

"Many other publishers have released new editions of their games over the years. Some with more success and fanfare than others. That’s not what’s happening here," said Tinney. "In this case we’re delivering on a promise we made when Vampire first released in 1991. This end is real and this World of Darkness will never be seen again. What will ultimately follow is going to be wholly different. A new and compelling setting."

White Wolf Fiction will be an integral part of this cataclysmic event. The Time of Judgment Trilogy(TM) chronicles the end of the World of Darkness, with one book focusing on each of the three core games -- Vampire, Werewolf and Mage. As with game products, fiction releases have presaged these events for several years. "Back in 1999 and 2000, the Vampire Clan Novel(TM) series was a big part of launching the Final Nights," explained Philippe Boulle, Managing Editor of White Wolf Fiction. "The conclusion of 2001 and 2002’s Werewolf Tribe Novels(TM) showed just how close the Apocalypse is. These plot threads all come together in the Time of Judgment."

White Wolf’s live-action roleplaying line will also play an important part in the Time of Judgment. White Wolf will release Laws of Judgment(TM), which will provide all the tools for live-action players to tell stories of the end of the world. Similarly, White Wolf will release a special addition to its popular Vampire: The Eternal Struggle trading-card game based on the Time of Judgment. "The Gehenna expansion allows VTES to partake in this exciting storyline," said Steve Wieck, White Wolf’s Director of Card Projects. "We’re committed to continued support of VTES, and this set of boosters is only the first part of that."

White Wolf’s licensing partners are also getting involved in this event. Activision® will release Vampire: The Masquerade -- Bloodlines, the second Vampire computer game, with a storyline tied directly to the Time of Judgment. "This will add extra excitement for those who are playing the tabletop game or reading the novels," said Chris McDonough, White Wolf’s Director of Computer Projects. "The computer game gains an epic scope from that connection. There are unique insights into the Time of Judgment that can only be uncovered through this game."

The Time of Judgment begins on January 14th, 2004 with the release of the first game supplement in the apocalyptic series. The entire rollout (including lead-in products) is:
  • Late 2003
    • Lair of the Hidden(TM) (ISBN 1-58846-242-0) -- a supplement for Vampire: The Masquerade detailing a cult of Inconnu who hide secrets of Gehenna. (August 2003)
    • The Red Sign(TM) (ISBN 1-58846-245-5) -- a supplement for Vampire: The Masquerade and Mage: The Ascension in which mages dare to lift the Curse of Caine. (November 2003)
    • Days of Fire(TM) (ISBN 1-58846-762-7) -- a fiction chapbook for Demon: The Fallen in which Lucifer’s prophecies are revealed. (December 2003)
  • January 2004
    • Gehenna(TM) (ISBN 1-58846-246-3) -- a 224-page hardcover game supplement detailing the end of Vampire: The Masquerade.
    • Vampire: Gehenna--The Final Night(TM) by Ari Marmell (ISBN 1-58846-855-0) -- the first novel in the Time of Judgment Trilogy tells the story of the end of Vampire: The Masquerade.
  • February 2004
    • The Apocalypse(TM) (ISBN 1-58846-323-0) -- a 224-page hardcover game supplement detailing the end of Werewolf: The Apocalypse.
    • Werewolf: The Final Battle(TM) by Bill Bridges (ISBN 1-58846-856-9) -- the second novel in the Time of Judgment Trilogy tells the story of the end of Werewolf: The Apocalypse.
  • March 2004
    • The Ascension(TM) (ISBN 1-58846-417-2) -- a 224-page hardcover game supplement detailing the end of Mage: The Ascension
    • Mage: Judgment Day by Bruce Baugh (ISBN 1-58846-857-7) -- the last novel in the Time of Judgment Trilogy tells the story of the end of Mage: The Ascension.
    • World of Darkness: Time of Judgment(TM) (ISBN 1-58846-475-X) -- a 224-page hardcover game supplement detailing the end of Demon: The Fallen, Hunter: The Reckoning, Mummy: The Resurrection, Kindred of the East and Changeling: The Dreaming.
    • Laws of Judgment (ISBN 1-58846-521-7) -- a trade-format game supplement for Mind’s Eye Theatre.
  • May 2004
    • Vampire: The Eternal Struggle -- Gehenna (ISBN 1-58846-626-4) -- a new booster set for Vampire: The Eternal Struggle featuring cards based on the Time of Judgment.
An all-new World of Darkness launches in August of 2004.

Since its entry into the roleplaying game market in 1991, White Wolf Publishing, Inc. has grown, maintaining an average market share of 26%. With collective book sales in excess of 5.5 million copies during this time, White Wolf is one of two undisputed worldwide publishing leaders of pen-and-paper roleplaying games. White Wolf properties have been licensed to television series, comic books, action figures, professional wrestlers, a myriad of merchandising, replica props and weapons, interactive media events, coin-operated arcade games and, of course, video games. More information on White Wolf can be found at

Friday, April 29, 2011

Result Russian National VtES Championship 2011

On April 23rd, 2011 the Russian National VtES Championship 2011 was held in Moscow, Russia with 21 players attending the final tournament. The final standings after 3 rounds and the final were as follows:
1. Kirill Samoilov (RUS) -- 2 GW 9 VP -- 1.5 VP -- Weenie Presence Tap&Bleed
2. Konstantin Zaharov (RUS) -- 3 GW 10 VP -- 0.5 VP -- Euro-Brujah
2. Sergey Simonov (RUS) -- 1 GW 5 VP -- 0.5 VP -- Imbued
2. Pavel Khachikyan (RUS) -- 1 GW 4 VP -- 0.5 VP -- Mary Ann Blaire G4/5 Princes & Lawyers
2. Andrey Kashpar (BLR) -- 2 GW 9 VP -- 0 VP -- Giovanni Allies/Khazar's Diary
Congratulations to Kirill for his win of the Russian Nationals 2011. A mini-tournament report and the tournament winning deck have been posted on the VEKN website. Even more information can be found on the LiveJournal VTES in Moscow webpage (in Russian).

Plus the prize support was really nice as you can see on the right!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Real Bauble

After seeing the promotional poster for 2007 movie Planet Terror, it was clear, how the artwork for Bauble should really look like:

Gelsenkirchen VtES League 2011: April 27th

Here I wanted to show you the decks of the Gelsenkirchen VtES League 2011 from the meeting on April 27th, 2011, but unfortunately the camera batteries were empty, so I just can give just the deck descriptions.

In contrast to many, many of the previous league games all of a sudden we had four (out of five) combat(ish) decks at the table. The individual decks played were the following:
  • Thomas played Brujah G4/5 Vote/Combat deck. Most of the game he had to cope with only two Brujah (Dmitra Ilyanova & Karen Sudela) in play and the fact he gave up the title of the Brujah Justicar to Jaroslav Pascek (controlled by Martin) didn't help either. He ended the contest voluntarily since he knew Martin (his grandprey) heavily relied on Second Tradition: Domain, and was wary that Martin was ousted to quickly when Pascek lost his title. Without the Justicar title for Dmitra title he had some problems passing votes during the game, but that was easily compensated by an early Tension in Ranks and a Fame on Gloria Giovanni.
  • The now-classic Giovanni Speed Shambling was utilized by Zille this time. He had a good start with some two early Shambling Hordes and put Martin under great pressure by torporizing (Elihu) or (almost) emptying (Jaroslav Pascek) Martin's vampires. But when he missed the oust, his lack of defense and a Tension in the Ranks in play took its toll, and he was ousted himself by Thomas.
  • Martin had a new deck at his disposal, a Pot/Pre/Dom deck which relied heavily on Second Tradition: Domain and striking with melee weapons in combat. For this he tried to use both Jaroslav Pascek and Elihu initially. He lost Elihu almost immediately when he lacked a proper melee weapons (with numerous Concealed Weapon in his hand of course) ran into a Trap by a Shambling Horde. This stopped almost all of this forward momentum, but when Virginie, Prodigy showed up later, he was able to bounce a bleed to Kinner. This together with a Fame in play allowed Martin then to oust Kinner relatively easy. The rest of the game Martin tried to stay alive, since with only two minions (low on blood) and about 6-8 pool he was always in the range to be ousted in one or two turns.
  • The only non-combat deck at the table was the well-known Toreador antitribu Anarch Stealth Bleed deck so often before played by Kinner. He had a good start having no initial pressure from his predator and put a significant dent in Ralf's pool by bleeding several times for 2 to 3 (using Undue Influence and Power of One). But then he was stopped cold when Ralf had built up his wall with a No Secret on the Magaij. With only limited access to stealth (3 at most) he was also denied pool gain, and a well timed Deflection from Martin as well as a famed vampire in torpor sealed his oust by Martin.
  • Ralf played an Animalism No Secrets Wall deck based on mixture of weenies with Animalism and midcap Magaji (also with Animalism). At first his blocks (if any) and attacks with Powerbase Luanda on the Toreador antitribu behind him were foiled by a number of Strike: Combat Ends, but when Ralf put a Channel 10, a Raven Spy and a No Secrets from the Magaji (on Umdava) in play, he was (rather) safe from Kinner's Undue Influence bleeds. In the end Ralf needed too much time building up, and the game timed out when he finally managed to put some pressure on his prey (torporizing Karen Sudela and putting a Army of Rats in play).
The endgame saw three combat decks, and Thomas was very close to making the game win by ousting Martin. Dimitra was in combat with a famous Jaroslav Pascek, and just need to play a Pursuit to torporize Jaroslav, when game timed out. He was 10 seconds shy of the oust and the game win.

Result: Thomas 1.5 VP, Martin 1.5 VP, Ralf 0.5 VP. This was also the first timeout in a long time in league game in Gelsenkirchen.

Results Swedish EC Qualifier 2011

During GothCon XXXV on April 23rd, 2011 the Swedish VtES EC Qualifier was held in Gothenburg, Sweden with 37 players attending the qualifier tournament. The final standings were as follows:
1. Erik Torstensen (SWE) -- 3 VP -- Girls will find aids
2. Magnus Karlström (SWE) -- 2 VP -- Bridges is Vignes
2. Henrik Klippström (SWE) -- 0 VP -- Arika & Friends Mindrape
2. Michael Holmström (SWE) -- 0 VP -- Kiasyd Stealth Bleed w/ Masters
2. Ivan Marin-Rivas (SWE) -- 0 VP -- Nana Buruku Ashur Tablets Rush Combat
Congratulations to Erik for his win of the Swedish ECQ 2010. You can find a tournament report and decklists for all finalists on the VEKN website.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Memorable Quotes (Part 110)

"We will discuss your breach of the Masquerade later" -- Tusk, Talebearer of Clan Nosferatu

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

VtES Trifles (Part 1): Original Quotes

The original Jyhad cards contained a number of quotes from various sources like music, movies or television, but unfortunately in a world of patents, copyrights and trademarks Wizards of the Coast forgot to ask the copyright owners in the first place. And because of these copyright infringements WotC had to replace a lot of the flavour texts on Jyhad cards in the followup expansion Vampire: the Eternal Struggle.

Some examples for these quotes are the following cards:
  • Aaron's Feeding Razor -- "These are my friends. See how they glisten. See this one shine... How he smiles in the light. -- Stephen Sondheim, Sweeney Todd
  • Majesty -- "Bow down before the one you serve." -- Nine Inch Nails, Head Like A Hole
  • Owl Companion -- "The Owls are not what they seem." -- Special Agent Dale Cooper, Twin Peaks
  • Hellhound -- "As I started across the broad empty field, I heard the first howling. -- Anne Rice, The Vampire Lestat
Reference: VtES Usenet Newsgroup.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Announcement Belgian EC Qualifier 2011

The Belgian VtES EC Qualifier 2011 will take place in Brussels, Belgium on June 4th, 2011. Here are the details for this constructed tournament:
  • Date: Saturday, June 4th, 2011
  • Time Schedule:
    • Registration: 11:30
    • First round starting time: 12:00
    • Expected finishing time: 21:00
  • Type of Event: National Qualifier (Qualifying for this event is not necessary, everyone is welcome to participate).
  • Format:
    • Standard Constructed, detailed rules can be found on the VEKN Tournament Rules webpage.
    • Number of rounds: 3 rounds + final
    • Time limit per round: 2 hours
  • Address of Event:
    The Outpost
    Rue de la Tribune 8
    1000 Bruxelles
    (Note that it is not allowed to bring your own drinks into the shop, these are available at moderate prices)
  • Entry fee: 4 euros

  • Pre-registration:
    Pre-registration is very useful to ensure appropriate prize support and a timely start of the tournament. If you intend to participate, please sign up as soon as possible by mailing to: dennis (/underscore/) devriendt (/at/) hotmail (/dot/) com

  • Travel:
    • By train: The Outpost is situated less than 10 minutes walking from Brussels Central Station (Gare Centrale).
      Take a look at the map (the Central Station is in the lower left corner).
      If you arrive from Paris/London, you will end up at Brussels South Station (Gare du Midi). From there, take the metro line 2 or line 6, direction "Simonis (Elisabeth)", get off after about 8 minutes at the stop "Madou", then walk 5 minutes to the Outpost. The metro stop Madou is shown in the upper right part of the map (zoom in once to see it more clearly).
    • By car: there is usually plenty of free parking space around Rue de la Tribune.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

The Vampire Bat (1933)

The Vampire Bat is an American horror movie released in 1933 and starring Lionel Atwill, Fay Wray, Melvyn Douglas and Dwight Frye.

Plot Synopsis: When the villagers of Kleinschloss start dying of blood loss, the town fathers suspect a resurgence of vampirism. While police inspector Karl remains skeptical, scientist Dr. von Niemann cares for the vampire's victims one by one, and suspicion falls on simple-minded Herman Gleib because of his fondness for bats. A blood-thirsty mob hounds Gleib to his death, but the vampire attacks don't stop.

Friday, April 22, 2011

VtES History: White Wolf Announces VtES - Camarilla Edition

White Wolf Announces Vampire: The Eternal Struggle - Camarilla Edition

ATLANTA, Ga. - White Wolf announces the August 2002 release of The Camarilla Edition, the new base set for the Vampire: The Eternal Struggle card game. Vampire: The Eternal Struggle charted in the top ten card games in Comics & Games Retailer in April 2001.

"More than just an expansion, The Camarilla Edition will be a new stand-alone edition of the base set," said project coordinator Steve Wieck. "This set is the fourth to be released by White Wolf for Vampire: The Eternal Struggle."

The Camarilla Edition features over 300 cards available in booster assortments from which players will be able to get all the cards they need to play. The set includes 100 new vampires (all of which can be found in the boosters) and several new library cards. In addition, six pre-constructed decks will also be released so that players can get started quickly. The Gangrel are not a part of this set, but they will be prominently featured in the subsequent expansion, The Anarchs.

Vampire: The Eternal Struggle fans throughout the world lauded the return of their favorite card game in October 2000 when Sabbat War marked the first new release since 1996. Sabbat War has since sold through two entire print runs, and the subsequent Final Nights expansion has nearly sold out its initial print run as well.

Look for Bloodlines in stores now and The Camarilla Edition in August 2002. Vampire: The Eternal Struggle's Final Nights is available in limited quantities through some distributors and retail outlets.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Mishaps In Other Games

Not only for VtES (see "VtES To Cease Production") bad things happen from time to time, butto other (card) games as well. In this and the past week two major incidents for the greater card game community happened:

For Magic the Gathering the new expansion New Phyrexia is scheduled for publication on May 13th, 2011. Unfortunately for Wizards of the Coast/Hasbro about four weeks before this release date the (so called) "godbook" was leaked to the public (apparently by internal sources) on April 19th, 2011.

In article on the official Magic the Gathering website Mark Rosewater explained some time ago what a godbook is used for in development:
"For example, we conduct a particular kind of market research called a "godbook study." A "godbook" is just a printout of all the cards. We ask a statistical sampling of hundreds of players to pick their favorite and least favorite cards in several categories (card mechanics, art, names, and flavor text) from memory. Then we show them a random portion of a set's godbook and ask the same questions. We take the data from the first part (what we call an open-ended survey) and combine the data with the second part."
Despite (more or less) immediate measures (forcing other sites to remove links to the godbook, securing IP addresses of participants of the IRC channel where the leak happened, starting to sue the offenders, etc.) the damage was done, and the contents of the whole set was spoiled. So usually the marketing efforts and the hype usually generated before the release of a new set is now null and void, and WotC may see some negative effect on sales for the set.

More significant was the shutdown of several major online websites (namely PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker and Absolute Poker) for American poker players by the FBI on April 15th, 2011. The FBI seized the domains of these poker sites not because online gambling is prohibited by law per se, but because the US has a law that made it illegal for payments to be processed by American banks (Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 (or UIGEA)). The online poker companies were charged with bank fraud, money laundering and illegal gambling offenses by the Department of Justice, and the DOJ even went as far as arresting top managers of these companies.

At first the online poker websites have show disclaimers from the FBI, that their domains have been seized (see below), but at least two of the websites are now redirected to non-American domains (using and instead of the respective .com domains), but US players are still excluded from online play on these sites.
All three companies have pulled out of the American market, at least until the issue is resolved in court.

Memorable Quotes (Part 109)

"Poker is 100% skill and 50% luck." -- Phil Hellmuth (professional poker player).
More quotes by Phil Hellmuth can be found on Poker Listings blog.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

EC 2011 Facebook Presence

After the EC 2011 Website for the VtES European Championship 2011 went online a few days ago, the organizers have also added a Facebook presence, which can be accessed by the following to links:
The VtES EC 2011 is held from November 11th to 13th in Warsaw, Poland. More links:
Post Scriptum: And the organization team also came up with a very nifty logo for the EC 2011 (see above).

Announcement Dutch EC Qualifier 2011

The Dutch VtES EC Qualifier 2011 will take place in Utrecht, Netherlands on May 21st, 2011. Here are the details for this constructed tournament:

Date & Time Table:
  • Saturday, 21st May 2011
    • Doors open/registration: 10:00 h
    • Round 1: 11:00 -- 13:00
    • Lunchbreak: 13:00 -- 13:30
    • Round 1: 13:30 -- 15:30
    • Round 1: 15:45 -- 17:45
    • Round 1: 18:15 -- 20:15
    • Celebrate your victory: 20:30
  • 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:
  • 4 Euro
  • Please register in advance 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.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Danger! Danger!

Leaves of the Flamboyant TreeLike in any other game (and trading card games especially) players in VtES have sometimes the tendency to perform flashy actions in order to just show what your deck is capable of or how cool your deck is. For example, you might attack the cross-table red list vampire in order to show how good your combat abilities are or you might call a Diversity to gain three pool, when it gives you prey or predator even more. And the borderline between a flamboyant play and outright stupidity is very thin. Sure it's cool to equip Jake Washington with an Assault Rifle and let him shoot at other minions with Caseless Rounds, but more often than not he's easily killed as usual ..

While it is ok to play in a more flamboyant way in casual games, since we're still playing for fun (are we?), it is crucial to avoid these plays in tournaments. So when it itches you to use Graverobbing on your crosstable buddies' Brunhilde and Golconda her in the next turn, it might be wiser to use the Golconda on your prey (and oust him) and save the Graverobbing for later time. Just ask yourself. "What would Ben Peal do?" (or any other reasonably good player).

On the other hand, at times it is a good thing(tm) to do these kind of things. For example, when you have an aggressive predator with a lot of damaging votes it might be a good idea to torporize or even burn one of his vampires in the most dramatic style to impress and convince him of your combat abilities. Then you might strike a deal that you're both not overly aggressive for a couple of turns.

Reference: The Danger Of Cool Things by Chad Ellis is a longer article about the same topic with regards to Magic: The Gathering.

Announcement Danish National VtES Championship 2011

The Danish National VtES Championship 2011 and the Danish European VtES Championship Qualifier will take place at the same weekend. The two tournaments are scheduled to place in Copenhagen, Denmark on May 14th and 15th, 2011. This should give everyone a chance to qualify for the EC, to play lots of VtES and to have fun/drink beer. Everyone, of course, is welcome to participate, and the organizers hope that as many players can make their way to Copenhagen as possible. For more information you can contact the organizer by sending an email to "c [/dot/] nislev [/at/] gmail [/dot/] com".
  • Date: May 14th (Saturday) and May 15th (Sunday), 2011
  • Time Schedule:
    • Registration: 11:30 (Saturday) and 10:00 (Sunday)
    • First round starting time: 12:00 (Saturday) and 10.30 (Sunday)
    • Expected finishing time: 21.00 (Saturday) and 19.30 (Sunday)
  • Format: Standard Constructed, detailed rules can be found on the VEKN website.
  • Number of rounds: 3 Rounds + Final
  • Time limit: 2 hours per round
  • Location:
    Københavns Brætspilsklub
    Jagtvej 59B
    Press the buzzer labeled "Brætspilsklubben", then enter the gate, cross the yard and walk down the stairs in the right hand corner.
  • Pre-registration: Please pre-register by email to "c [/dot/] nislev [/at/] gmail [/dot/] com" so we have an idea about numbers for prize support and other purposes.
  • Travel: is a very good site for public transport (there is a link for English version of the site).
    • By air: Catch the metro from Copenhagen Airport to Nørreport Station. Walk 5 minutes and catch bus 5A towards Husum Torv. Stop at Nørrebros Runddel which is 2 minutes from the venue.
    • By train: From Hovedbanegården, walk to Vesterport Station and catch Bus 5A towards Husum Torv. Stop at Nørrebros Runddel which is 2 minutes from the venue.
    • By car: There should be parking space close to the venue.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Gelsenkirchen VtES League 2011: April 13th

Here are the decks of the Gelsenkirchen VtES League 2011 from the meeting on April 13th, 2011 (the next prey is from top to bottom):

Left: Zille played his rather pesky Kiasyd Stealth Bleed deck. Pesky for its prey because of the heavy Dominate bleed flavoured with some Song of Pans. Pesky for its predator (at least when performing directed actions) because of a number of Faerie Wards. Initially the Kiasyd had little pressure, so they could go full forward, and we all know what that means . The Arcadian and his friends (more or less) easily ousted Martin and then in the heads-up Thomas as well.

Left: A modified version of his Ventrue Obf Vote deck was the choice of Martin to play. But even with Marcus Vitel and another Prince (iirc), Martin had problems passing his votes initially against the Kiasyd Priscus and the Brujah Princes, only Scout Youngwood on the other side of the table is supporting his votes. In the mid-game he ended up with a bunch of action modifiers, but no votes to call. So the Ventrue were squashed between the blocking Brujah and the bleeding Kiasyd.

Left: Thomas had a very good start with his New Brujah Vote/Combat deck (although he later regretted somewhat not bringing up Dmitra instead of Count Germaine), and not only put a Fame on his prey's Janet Langer, but put her to torpor immediately. Afterwards he was a building up quite nicely, even moving a third Brujah to the ready region after ousting Ralf, but the lack of decent intercept against his new predator was eventually his downfall.

Left: Ralf played a Daughters of Cacophony Shattering Crescendo deck, but because of the immense pressure early on never got into the game. He managed to successfully perform a Shattering Crescendo on The Arcadian and an Anarch Convert, but otherwise was busy defending against the New Brujah. But unable to bloat nor to perform undirected actions without being blocked by the Brujah, these attempts were futile, and he was ousted by Thomas.

Result: Zille 3 VP, Thomas 1 VP

Bochum VtES League 2011: April 15th

Here are the decks of the Bochum VtES League 2011 from the meeting on April 15th, 2011 (the next prey is from top to bottom):

Left: The deck Hardy played was his New Brujah Vote deck. He brought up quickly Hektor and Karen Sudela, but somehow lacked .. well almost everything, no vote, no rush and just a little combat. he had his prey (Michael) under control, but lacked the final punch to oust him when Ralf became his new predator. And so he was ousted very quickly, since the two intercept provided by Second Tradition: Domain wasn't good enough to stop the bleeds by Cybele and Co.

Left: Michael played a new deck after being challenged to make good use of Hell-For-Leather. In principal he had a good start, which he proved when dunking Normal to torpor, but then his first attempt to to play Govern the Unaligned ended with Banjoko being Decapitated. After that he tried to get rid of his predator's Hektor by rushing him, but that also ended in a disaster, i.e. Henry Lavenant was torporized. After moving the third mid-cap Lasombra to the ready region he was in very weakened state.

Left: Markus returned to the Bochum VtES League after a year's absence and he played an old school Malkavian Royalty Vote deck. Initially he was able to put some pressure on Ralf with a Conservative Agitation and a Kine Resources Contested, but afterwards lacked the necessary punch to oust him. He called two very interesting votes, a first he banished one of his own vampires (Normal) after he realized that banishing one of his predator's minion wasn't the smartest idea, and a Justicar Retribution against Mistress Fanchion, who was promptly burned since the Brujah looked the other way.

Left: Ralf played a Big Cap Villein/Zillah's deck which relied on a number of big vampires with an inherent (or payed for) +1 or +2 bleed. After Mistress Fanchion was brought to the ready region in turn 3, Cybele entered play in turn 4, Ralf was able to oust Sascha in turn 5. Afterwards, Ralf had an easy game, since he was able to overcome the +2 intercept of the Brujah quite easily and then had an almost unobstructed oust of Michael, who was already weakend by both his prey and predator. In the heads-up with Markus it was clear, that each player couldn't block the other. So Ralf won because he was able just to bleed harder in the final confrontation.

Without a picture is the Lasombra G2 Toolbox deck Sascha played, he was ousted just in 5 turns (with a Villein in his hand, of course).

Result: Ralf 5 VP

EC 2011 website now online

The EC 2011 Website for the VtES European Championship 2011 is now online. The EC is held from November 11th to 13th in Warsaw, Poland.

More links:

Friday, April 15, 2011

Did you know, that ... (Part 60)

.. when an acting vampire is blocked by Unleash Hell's Fury, he can still play Change of Target (and untaps), but still takes the damage from Unleash Hell's Fury (and Unleash Hell's Fury burns afterwards).

The reason that he can play Change of Target is that he's he acting player, so he's allowed to play a card before the result of the block is resolved (usually combat). On the other hand, Change of Target is only playable if the action was in fact blocked successfully and therefore the effect of Unleash Hell's Fury triggers, that is it inflicts one aggravated damage and is burned then.


Announcement US National VtES Championship 2011

The VtES US National Championships 2011 will be run by Norman S. Brown at the Grand Masquerade event in New Orleans. The Grand Masquerade has been labeled as "The Vampire: The Masquerade 20th Anniversary Convention" and takes place from September 15th to 18th, 2011. An event schedule for the Grand Masquerade is not yet listed, but will (hopefully) follow at a later time. The most significant event of the Grand Masquerade this year is the release of the Vampire: the Masquerade 20th Anniversary Edition

The new date for the US National Championship is a significant change from the initial plans where the US nationals were designated to be played as part of the Week of Nightmares/North American Contintental Championship (June 22nd to 26th, 2011) during Origins.

Quote from the Grand Masquerade website:
The Vampire: The Masquerade 20th Anniversary Convention

Due to the incredible success of The Grand Masquerade 2010, White Wolf invites all World of Darkness fans to join us for The Grand Masquerade 2011, September 15-18 at the legendary Hotel Monteleone in New Orleans. In cooperation with The Camarilla Fan Club, One World by Night, The Garou Nation, The Wrecking Crew and The Elder Kindred Network, the gala affair will celebrate the historic 20th anniversary of Vampire: The Masquerade.

A defining moment and not-to-be-missed event, The Grand Masquerade 2011 brings together the glamour and style from Grand Masquerade 2010 and blends it with the historic intimacy of the very center of the world’s most iconic vampire city, the New Orleans French Quarter.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

VtES History: The Sensible Players Tournament Rules

Originally the basic VtES(Jyhad) rules were written by Wizards of the Coast (WotC) and the tournament rules by the DCI ("Duelists' Convocation International, the organization that sanctions official tournaments of WotC games). A major step to the VtES tournament rules as they exist today was the publication of The Sensible Players Tournament Rules (as published by Adrian Sullivan) on March 15th, 1996. The biggest change to the existing DCI tournament rules was the introduction of the so-called Golden Tenets, which stated that no minion can take the same action twice and that vote card pushing was only allowed once per player per political action.

Here's the relevant change/diversion from the then official VtES tournament rule:
  1. Revisions from official rules: The following rules are contrary to official policy.
    1. There is NO restricted list.
    2. The "Golden Tenets" of Jyhad will be used:
      1. No minion can take the same action type twice in a turn (regardless of untapping).
      2. A minion may only use one political action card during a vote (including the calling vote).
    3. Redefinition of (D)-Action:
      Actions directly affecting another player are called directed actions. Actions not directly affecting another player are called non-directed. A directed action can be taken upon oneself, causing the action to become undirected. Some directed actions specify who the action can be directed at.

    1. No minion can attack a minion controlled by the same player.
    2. Darius Styx's special must always target another player.
Reference: VtES Usenet Newsgroup

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Memorable Quotes (Part 108)

"'Choose up to 13 widgets'" is very clear, never means anything else, and is not an odd phrase nor an idiomatic expression. The individual words each use exactly their individual meanings. A logical mind would not try illogical contortions of the language to wring other meanings from the text.

You may choose 1. You may choose 2. Indeed, you may choose any number up to 13. You may not choose 14, of course, since 14 is not found on your way up to 13. You may choose 10, of course, since 10 is found on the way up to 13.
" -- Part of LSJ really lengthy answer on how the card text of Ashur Tablets need to be read.
Reference: VtES Usenet Newsgroup.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Bound By The Dragon

I am really in a love-and-hate relationship with the VtES card Dragonbound since it was first published in the Gehenna expansion back in 2004.

First, I really liked the card. It was the third in the trio of cards that are canon for combat decks, namely Fame, Tension in the Ranks, and then Dragonbound. All three cards deliver pool damage to your opponents as consequence of your combat activities. And timed properly they can guarantee, that you can oust your prey or even make the game win then.

Afterwards my love for the card really cooled down, initially because of the handsize reduction when playing the card. You don't want to play Dragonbound early on, but if you keep the card then your handsize is effectively reduced by one, too. When you finally play the card your handsize is permanently reduced by one. And most combat decks, intercept and even more so rush combat, need a decent handsize.

But the timing issues irritated me more and more. You have to draw the card at the right time and play it at the right time, whereas a card like Fame you can play and decide to torporize the vampire later on.

Finally the damage of Dragonbound is rather harsh, but in contrast to Fame the damage is not primarily directed at the prey, and therefore can do more harm than good if playing the card not timed properly.

In the end, for me the timing issue is the final nail in the coffin for not playing the card on a regular basis in combat decks anymore. At least until somebody convinces me of the contrary. Maybe (only maybe) it is an idea to use either recursion (via Ashur Tablets or Sudario Refraction) or use a card like Storage Annex to handle the timing issue ..

P.S.: The picture on the top right shows the front of the t-shirt issued by the Boston playgroup in Boston. Coincidentally I saw a German VtES player wearing said t-short during the last tournament I attended in Germany.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Results NAC Northwest Qualifier 2011

On April 2nd, 2011 the VtES Northwest NAC Qualifier was held in Seattle, Washington with 17 players attending the qualifier tournament. The final standings after 3 rounds and finals were as follows:
1. Grayson Nootenboom (USA) -- 2 GW 7 VP -- 1.5 VP -- Giovanni Bleed
2. Chris Pond (USA) -- 2 GW 7 VP -- 0.5 VP -- Gangrel/Nos Vote
2. Chuck Shriner (USA) -- 2 GW 7 VP -- 0.5 VP -- Arika Bleed/Vote
2. Geoff Conn (USA) -- 2 GW 6 VP -- 0.5 VP -- Magaji Vote
2. Raj Giri (USA) -- 2 GW 7 VP -- 0 VP -- Daughters of Cacophony Vote
Congratulations to Grayson for his win of the Northwestern Qualifier 2011. A full report on the event (as given by the tournament winner) can be found on FreakDrive.

VtES North American Championship Qualifiers 2011 (Update)

Here's a list of the upcoming continental championship qualifier events for VtES taking place in North America in 2011, mostly taken from the VEKN event announcements and the VtES Usenet Newsgroup:
And the list for the NACQs already played:
All this culminating in the North American VtES Championship 2011: You can also find a list of qualified players on The Lasombra's NAC 2011 webpage.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Did you know, that ... (Part 59)

.. when you resolve the effects of Ashur Tablets (after playing the third copy you control), you have to show the one card you take back into your hand to the other players? This is because the ashheap is public information and the effects of a card being played have to be announced.

Reference: VtES Usenet Newsgroup.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

VtES History: Sabbat War Card Game Sells Out

Sabbat War Card Game Sells Out

Atlanta, Ga., October 20, 2000 -- White Wolf, best known for the roleplaying game Vampire: The Masquerade, announced today that the initial print run of the new Vampire: The Eternal Struggle card game, Sabbat War, has sold out from the publisher. Sabbat War will be available through retail channels beginning October 30, 2000.

Plans are being made at this time for an additional expansion entitled Final Nights that will follow the Sabbat War model. Final Nights is scheduled for a May, 2001 release.

"We knew Vampire: The Eternal Struggle was a winner, but we had no idea that the response to Sabbat War would be so strong," said White Wolf Marketing Director Tim Avers. "We produced Sabbat War to reward fans of the game, and they have rewarded us in return." Global pre-release events for the Sabbat War on Halloween weekend will give players a first look at this much-anticipated set.

Sabbat War is a standalone expansion for the Vampire: The Eternal Struggle strategy card game that was originally designed by Magic: The Gathering creator Richard Garfield. Sabbat War pre-constructed decks and boosters also allow new players to pit their undead minions against one another in a game packed with dynamic mechanics and social elements. For more information on Vampire: The Eternal Struggle and its official club, the Vampire: Elder Kindred Network, log on to

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Deck of the Month: March 2011: Para Bailar la Bamba

This month's race for the Deck of the Month was between three different Assamite decks. The Black Hand Assamite Bleed deck by Izaak Havelaar, the Assamite Bleed deck with Thucimia as superstar) by Csaba Greguss and finally the Assamite Laibon Vote deck by Riccardo Fabiani.

Although all three decks deserve being honored for their tech, I like the third one the best. As remark, it's interesting to note that although all three deck are based on group 4/5 Assamite the number of overlapping vampires is quite small (only Alu and Kamau Jafari are in two of the crypts).

So this month's deck is the tournament winning deck "Para Bailar la Bamba" played by Riccardo Fabiani. The basis is the well-known Assamite vote deck based on the Amaravati and Alamut combo for gaining vote majority. But instead of using Web of Knives Recruit or a number of small cap Assamite, this deck uses Olugbenga to put a large number of Bamba into plays. As the author in the deck description notes, the deck uses both Consanguineous Boon and Haquim's Law to bloat, and ousts using either votes (like Reckless Agitation) or swarm bleeds his prey when playing Khabar: Community and/or Veil the Legions.

Deck Name: Ita Qualifier Tour 2011 Genoa: Para Bailar la Bamba
Author: Riccardo Fabiani
Description:Ita Qualifier Tour 2011 - 2nd stage, Genova
February 27th, 2011
35 players

A breed and vote deck with Bamba and Amaravati, taking advantage of a good Laibon spread into the Assamite clan. The main idea is to breed enough Bambas, bleed occasionally to charge Alamut, bloat with Haquim's Law and Boon, then go for the killing with Khabar: Community and Veil the Leigion for bleed and big votes like Reckless.

Crypt (Capacity min=1 max=8 avg=5.58; 12 cards)

1x Alu 2 obf Assamite:5
3x Amaravati 8 ani chi DOM OBF QUI Assamite:4
1x Basir 1 qui Assamite:4
3x Kamau Jafari 4 obf QUI Assamite:4
4x Olugbenga 7 ani cel OBF QUI Assamite:4

Library (81 cards)

Master (18 cards)
3x Alamut
1x Ancestor Spirit
1x Black Throne, The
1x Coven, The
1x Dark Influences
1x Dreams of the Sphinx
1x Heartblood of the Clan
2x Khabar: Community, The
1x Perfectionist
1x Powerbase: Tshwane
1x Secure Haven
1x Underworld Hunting Ground
2x Vessel
1x Yoruba Shrine

Event (1 cards)
1x Uncoiling, The

Action (24 cards)
12x Bamba
8x Haqim's Law: Leadership
1x Khabar: Glory
3x Loss

Political Action (15 cards)
5x Consanguineous Boon
1x Kindred Segregation
6x Kine Resources Contested
2x Reckless Agitation
1x Secret Must Be Kept, The

Equipment (4 cards)
1x Gran Madre di Dio, Italy
1x Heart of Nizchetus
1x Kduva's Mask
1x Sargon Fragment, The

Action Modifier (19 cards)
4x Cloak the Gathering
4x Elder Impersonation
3x Forgotten Labyrinth
4x Lost in Crowds
1x Strange Day
3x Veil the Legions

Created with Secret Library v0.9.3. (Apr 5, 2011 23:42:24)

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Memorable Quotes (Part 107)

"You call, it's gonna be all over baby!" -- Scotty Nguyen (professional poker player).

Monday, April 4, 2011

Announcement Polish National VtES Championship 2011

The Polish National VtES Championship 2011 will be held on May 7th, 2011 at the club 4 Art in Gliwice, Poland . The details for the tournament are the following:
  • Type of Event: National Championship. (Qualifying for this event is not necessary, everyone is welcome to participate.)
  • Location:
    4 Art (1st Floor)
    ul. Wieczorka 22
    44-100 Gliwice
  • Time Table:
    • 10:00 -- Registration
    • 10:45 - 12:45 -- Round 1
    • 13:00 - 15:00 -- Round 2
    • 15:00 - 15:30 -- Break
    • 15:30 - 17:30 -- Round 3
    • 17:45 - 19:45 -- Finał
  • Entry fee: 30 PLN (8 Euro)
  • Format: 3R + final (2h time limit each)
  • Rules: Standard Constructed. Detailed rules can be found on the VEKN Tournament Rules webpage.
In case of any questions you can contact the organizer via izi79 (/at/) o2 (/dot/) pl or by post your questions in the Polish VtES Forum.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Bochum VtES League 2011: April 1st

Here are the decks of the Bochum VtES League 2011 from the meeting on April 1st, 2011 (the next prey is from top to bottom):

Left: Sascha played Lasombra G2 Toolbox deck with rather big vampires. After influencing out Angelica, The Canonicus and getting her beat to torpor, he was almost ousted but after playing a Govern the Unaligned and moving Alvaro, The Scion of Angelica(!) to the ready region, Sascha managed to stabilize.

It was interesting to see how often Alvaro was getting two blood, even with table where voting was always very tight.

Left: Hardy played a new(!) deck (something he hadn't for quite some time), a Baali G5/6 Vote deck. After having a very good start with two successful votes, a Reckless Agitation and a Neonate Breach, and bleed with Legal Manipulation, his deck stalled somewhat since he apparently drew neither new bleed nor Vote cards or a bleed card. Then he made a crucial miscalculation when he had his first VP just before his his eyes in playing a Condemnation Mute on Eze the Demon Prince controlled by his crosstable buddy Michael. This made vote for all parties at the table a whole lot more complicated.

Left: Ralf played a Weenie Laibon Vote deck feat. Lutz von Hohenzollern, only Lutz denied showing up for the whole game. Ralf only spent 10 pool during the whole game, so Hardy had really something to do to remove that pool. With no votes initially (wrong Kholo in his hand and no Lutz) Ralf sat in no good position, and recovered when a Akunanse Kholo showed up and Sascha had two titled vampires in play. Ralf made a serious blunder (just like Hardy before) when played the CardNameKvada's Mask on his Kholo vampire, so it was easy for Arishat to cancel that vampire's vote.

Left: The now-well known Guruhi Vote/Rush deck was played by Michael. Without significant pressure after he had influenced his first vampire, Eze, The Demon Prince, he managed to built up quite nicely, but was stopped somewhat when he couldn't pass his votes anymore (because of the Condemnation Mute on Eze) nor was he able to do something against Eternal Vigilance Alvaro claimed his own.

In the end the superior number of minions and the diminished pool in the early phase of the game took its toll and both Sascha and Ralf were ousted about 7 or 8 minutes before the end of the game with a single Reckless Agitation played by Hardy.

Result: Hardy 1.5 VP, Michael 1.5 VP

Friday, April 1, 2011

Duck of the Month: March 2011: Brujah Antitribu Attacks!

This month's deck is the deck"Brujah Antitribu Attacks!" played by Stewart Wylie. Although this deck is not a tournament winning deck (and it's not even from this century), it has dominated the local tournament scene in Cleveland, Ohio for a long period in the late 1990s. The deck is a classic Brujah antitribu toolbox deck with answers to almost any situation. In game of VtES it continuously surprises its opponents with cards perceived as subpar like Mistaken Identity or Excommunication.

Deck Name: Brujah Antitribu Attacks!
Author: Stewart Wylie

Crypt (Capacity min=2 max=10 avg=5.42; 12 cards)

1x Amelia 7 CEL POT PRE !Brujah:2
1x Bronwen 10 dom obt CEL POT PRE !Brujah:2
1x Dodd 5 dom pre CEL !Brujah:2
1x Frederick the Weak 2 pre !Brujah:2
1x Hugo 4 pre vic POT !Brujah:2
1x Jacob Bragg 3 cel pot !Brujah:2
1x Richter, The Templar of Du Mont 7 for pre CEL POT !Brujah:2
1x Rigby, Crusade Vanguard 5 aus pot CEL PRE !Brujah:2
1x Salinger 9 tha CEL POT PRE !Brujah:2
1x Sarah Brando 3 CEL !Brujah:2
1x Sela 6 cel obt POT PRE !Brujah:2
1x Victor Tolliver 4 pot CEL !Brujah:2

Library (77 cards)

Equipment (10 cards)
1x .44 Magnum
1x Gas-Powered Chainsaw
1x Hawg
1x Laptop Computer
1x Leather Jacket
1x Meat Cleaver
1x Pier 13, Port of Baltimore
1x Sawed-Off Shotgun
1x Sword of Judgment
1x Wooden Stake

Combat (27 cards)
1x Acrobatics
3x Blur
1x Burning Wrath
1x Decapitate
1x Fast Hands
2x Flash
1x Immortal Grapple
1x Lightning Reflexes
1x Manstopper Rounds
1x Pulled Fangs
2x Pursuit
2x Pushing the Limit
1x Sideslip
1x Taste of Vitae
1x Thrown Sewer Lid
1x Torn Signpost
2x Trap
4x Undead Strength

Action (15 cards)
5x Ambush
2x Bum's Rush
1x Distraction
3x Enchant Kindred
2x Legal Manipulations
1x Rave
1x Social Charm

Master (12 cards)
1x Amusement Park Hunting Ground
1x Barrens, The
1x Blood Doll
1x Celerity
1x Direct Intervention
1x Fame
2x Haven Uncovered
1x Mob Connections
1x Potence
1x Storage Annex
1x Tribute to the Master

Political Action (3 cards)
1x Autarkis Persecution
1x Excommunication
1x Templar

Action Modifier (1 cards)
1x Blood Brother Ambush

Reaction (7 cards)
2x Dread Gaze
2x Forced Awakening
1x Mistaken Identity
2x Wake with Evening's Freshness

Retainer (1 cards)
1x Mr. Winthrop

Ally (1 cards)
1x Survivalist

Created with Secret Library v0.9.3. (Apr 1, 2011 01:04:11)