Thursday, June 30, 2011

Did you know, that ... (Part 67)

... you can tap Yoruba Shrine to let an Edged Illusion or Shattering Crescendo action fail, even if only one of the targeted vampires is an Assamite?


Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Memorable Quotes (Part 116)

"The thing that trips me up the most is when winning becomes too important. When I'm able to just relax and play is when I'm the most effective." -- Matt T. Morgan (NAC 2011 Winner)

Monday, June 27, 2011

Gelsenkirchen VtES League 2011: June 22nd

Before (hopefully) a large number of tournament reports of the NAC 2011 will flood the VEKN forum, I wanted to show you the decks of the Gelsenkirchen VtES League 2011 from the meeting on June 22nd, 2011.

Left: Ralf played a new deck, based on Nergal & the Great Beast (and some other Baali from G4/5). But since he was the starting player and no Nergal showed up in his starting crypt, he decided to move Anazir to the ready region. But without being able to fully utilize the potential of the library cards (i.e. Anazir had the wrong disciplines), a Great Beast only showed up very slowly. And since he could only play one Villein successfully, he was ousted quite quickly by the Martin's Malkavians/Malkavian antitribus. Therefore no VP (and no picture!)..

Left: Kinner played a Celerity Gun deck based on the weenie/mid-cap vampires from group 2 (and 3?). Initially it looked got, he got his guns and had enough combat mojo, but then two of his three vampires (those with guns of course) were "gifted" with a Sensory Deprivation. But eventually he drew a Fame, and managed to torporize the famed vampire, this allowed him to oust his prey, and suddenly he had all the forward motion he had lacked a good part of the game.

Left: The deck Zille played was his well-known Gabrin & Friends Bleed deck. In the beginning he really had to struggle against the Celerity Gun deck behind him, but things looked better when he used his defensive part of his deck (i.e. the Sensory Deprivation) against his predator. He tried to lunge against his prey, but when his Week of Nightmares was canceled by Sudden Reversal he simply lacked the ousting power to oust the Brujah before him quickly. One or two turns he was so weakened by the pool loss of the Fame, that he was ousted by Kinner, even though his predator had only minion (Jimmy Dunn) who could act.

Left: Another well-known deck was the New Brujah Vote deck played by Thomas. While not being serious pressure, he was building up quite nicely, having three titled vampires in play (Dmitra, Karen Sudela and Tara) eventually. But he lacked some forward momentum initially, and so he could oust his prey only after he had put a New Carthage in play and only after his prey already had scored a VP.

Left: Martin finally played his Malkavian/Malkavian antitribu Dementation Bleed deck. An early Jackie allowed him to bleed hard in the first few rounds (using Kindred Spirits and/or Eyes of Chaos, but then his bleed modifiers didn't show up in sufficient quantities and it took him some turns to finish off Ralf's Baali. Weakened by a back rush of the Great Beast and careless block of a Brujah by Gem Ghastly didn't leave him enough vampires (and time) to oust his second prey.

The heads-up was witness to an interesting stand-off between Thomas' Brujah and Kinner's gun-wielding vampires. While Thomas had the superior bleed and vote potential, Kinner managed to send all of Brujah to torpor quite quickly, and Thomas yielded the game with no ready minions available about ten minutes before the time limit.

Result: Kinner 3 VP GW, Thomas 1 VP, Martin 1 VP

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Results Polish EC Qualifier 2011

On June 25th, 2011 the Polish VtES EC Qualifier 2011 was held in Bydgoszcz, Poland with 34 players attending the qualifier tournament. The final standings after 3 rounds and the final were as follows:
1. Pawel Kosz (POL) -- 2 GW 5.5 -- 4 VP -- Malkavian/Malkavian antitribu S&B
2. Marcin Watras (POL) -- 2 GW 11 VP -- 1 VP -- Tupdog multirush
2. Tomasz Kowalewski (POL) -- 2 GW 11.5 VP -- 0 VP -- Saulot
2. Michal Kaszubski (POL) -- 2 GW 6 VP -- 0 VP -- Malkavian Rachel Brandywine PRO
2. Michal Kurzycki (POL) -- 1 GW 7 VP -- 0 VP -- Malkavian(?) S&B
Congratulations to Pawel for his win of the Polish ECQ 2011. You can find the final standings and the tournament winner's deck in the Polish VtES Forum.

Results Croatian EC Qualifier 2011

On June 25th, 2011 the Croatian VtES ECQ 2011 was held in Osijek, Croatia with 17 players attending the final tournament. The final standings after 3 rounds and the final were as follows:
1. Denes Kocis (CRO) -- Ventrue Lawfirm feat. Arika
2. Nikica Novakovic (SRB) -- Ventrue antitribu G3/4 Grinder
2. Milos Krstic (SRB) -- Nana Ashur/Ani Combat
2. Ivan Gudelj (CRO) -- Akunanse No Secrets
2. Roko Veic-Sukreski (CRO) -- Tremere antitribu Toolbox Ally
Congratulations to Denes for his win of the Croatian ECQ 2011. You can also find the tournament winning deck on

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Did you know, that ... (Part 66)

.. that when you're choosing to pay for your allies or weapons after a Kindred Segregation or Peace Treaty has been played (by another Metuselah) and you have played Poison Pill, the other player loses as much pool as your paying for keeping your assets. That's the case because paying for the allies or allies is considered loosing pool (as if you were targeted by a Kine Resources Contested or Anarchist Uprising).

Reference: VtES Usenet Newsgroup.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Memorable Quotes (Part 115)

"Please please please shhhhhh about Art of Memory
Right now, I think there are maybe a half a dozen people on the tournament scene who really know what the value of that card is. Good. We only have to eliminate four other people and the tech is ours alone!" -- TryDeflectingThisGrapple (US VtES Player)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Barbed Wire Project

The Barbed Wire Project (BWP) was an initiative started by Preston Poulter in 2005 to provide beginners with a number of decks which are somewhat cheap (consisting mostly commons), but still playable and sturdy. The name Barbed Wire Project derived from an early advertising slogan for barbed wire in the late 19th century, which cited as barbed wire as
"Light as air.
Stronger than whiskey.
Cheaper than dirt.
With the help of the community on VtES Newsgroup he came up a number of (more or less) ingenious decks. From time to time Preston sold (and still) sells these decks on eBay. The deck consist of 60 library and 12 crypt cards, examples look like this:
Please take that there no definitive deck lists for each of these decks, since they can vary in the crypt and/or library composition.
Preston also has made some nice videos (although the sound is awfully silent) on YouTube where he's playing some of these decks against each other:
Reference: VtES Usenet Newsgroup

Announcement Spanish National VtES Championship 2011

The Spanish National VtES Championship 2011 will be held in Sevilla, Spain from October 29th to 30th, 2011. The championship is a two day event, first a last chance qualifier will be held and then the actual championship tournament.
  • Location:
    Hotel Eurostars Sevilla Congresos
    Avenida Alcalde Luis Uruñuela s/n, East
    41020 Sevilla
  • Schedule/Format:
    • Saturday, 29th: Last Chance Qualifier. 25% of those classified (rounded up) will be qualified for the national tournament the following day.
    • Sunday, 30th: National Championship. Only those players may participate players who have obtained a place for it in one of the official national qualifiers or the last chance qualifier as well as the first 5 players in the Spanish ranking.

  • Remarks:
    • If you have obtained a place in on of the national qualifier tournaments you do not need to participate in the last chance qualifier.
    • Also on Sunday 30th, a tournament will be held as an alternative to the national tournament participation for those who wish to participate.
More information can be found in the Spanish VtES Forum.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Results Italian EC Qualifier 2011

On June 19th, 2011 the Italian VtES ECQ 2011 was held in Bologna, Italy with 42 players attending the final tournament. The final standings after 3 rounds and the final were as follows:
1. Alessandro Donati (ITA) -- 2 GW 7 VP -- 3 VP -- Giovanni Powerbleed DOM
2. Dennis Floreano (ITA) -- 1 GW 6 VP -- 2 VP -- D'Erlette/Nephandus Trick
2. Danilo Torrisi (ITA) -- 3 GW 11 VP -- 0 VP -- Tupdog/Rock Cat/Nephandus
2. Enrico De Stefano (ITA) -- 3 GW 9 VP -- 0 VP -- Ravnos Carnival w/ Embraces
2. Nicola Lonardi (ITA) -- 2 GW 7 VP -- 0 VP -- Toreador antitribu/Embrace/ Palla Grande
Congratulations to Alessandro for his win of the Italian ECQ 2011. You can find the final standings on Italy by Night.

Great Lakes (Origins) NAC Qualifier 2011

Kicking off the Week of Nightmares 2011, on June 19th, 2011 the VtES Great Lakes (Origins) NAC Qualifier was held in Newark, Ohio with 24 players attending the qualifier tournament. The final standings were as follows:
1. Sven Randy Rudstam (SWE) -- 3 VP -- Gangrel Tap&Bleed
2. Rodd Closson (USA) -- 2 VP -- Malkavian antitribu G3/4 Dementation Bleed
2. Brad Cashdollar (USA) -- 0 VP -- Toreador Cel Gun Wall
2. Sarah Ritzius (USA) -- 0 VP -- Malkavian antitribu G2/3 Dementation Bleed
2. Pascal Bertrand (FRA) -- 0 VP -- Ishtarri No Secrets from the Magaji
Congratulations to Randy for his win of the Great Lakes (Origins) NAC Qualifier 2011.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Week of Nightmares 2011 about to start!

The Week of Nightmares is the prelude to the North American VtES Continental Championship. It's a whole week of VtES -- a series of tournaments switching between regular constructed tournaments and alternate formats like create-a-clan tournaments or storyline events. The Week of Nightmares starts on June 19th, 2011 and leads over to the NAC 2011 on June 23rd with the Last Chance Qualifier. The whole Week of Nightmares as well as the NAC 2011 takes place in Columbus, Ohio. during Origins 2011. The schedule for the Week of Nightmare 2011 looks like this:
  • Sunday, June 19th 2011
    • Great Lakes Regional Qualifier
      Comic Shop Plus
      235 S 21st Street
      Newark, OH 43055 USA
      3R + F
      1pm to 9 PM
  • Monday, June 20th 2011
    • Guardtowner Event #1
      3600 Trabue Rd
      Columbus, OH 43204 USA
      2R + F
      11 AM to 5 PM
    • Guardtowner Event #2
      2R + F
      6 PM to Midnight
  • Tuesday, June 21st 2011
    • Guardtowner Event #3
      2R + F
      11 AM to 5 PM
    • Guardtowner Event #4
      Draft/Limited event
      2R + F
      6 PM to Midnight
      $8 entry fee
      3 packs 3rd Ed + 1 pack Black Hand
      20 card min deck, 4 card crypt and 2 recursions
  • Wednesday, June 22nd 2011
    • Guardtowner Event #5
      2R + F
      11 AM to 5 PM
    • Guardtowner Event #6
      2R + F
      6 PM to Midnight
More information on the Week of Nightmares and NAC 2011 can be found on Lasombra's NAC 2011 and the event calendar on

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Did you know, that ... (Part 65)

.. you cannot use Taste of Vitae when a vampire you control is in combat with an ally. OK, maybe you know that already, but in addition, you are also not even allowed to play the card when in combat with an ally.

Reference: VtES Usenet Newsgroup.

Announcement French National VtES Championship 2011

The French National VtES Championship 2011 will be held in Angers, France from August 27th to 28th, 2011. The championship is a two day event, first a last chance qualifier will be held and then the actual championship tournament.
  • Schedule:
    • Sat, 27. August 2011: Last Chance Qualifier
    • Sun, 28. August 2011: French National Championship
  • Location:
    MJC La Chesnaie
    Allée des chataigners
    49240 Avrillé
  • Accommodation:
    • The organizers are currently negotiating with hotels, there will be more info very soon. But accommodation is definitely not a problem in such a touristic city as Angers.
  • Travel
    • Angers is close to Nantes and its international airport (1h drive) on the Atlantic coast, and Paris (2h 30 min drive, 1h 30 min by train from Paris Montparnasse station). Also to mention 1h 30 min drive from Poitiers, a city that has an international Airport, dedicated to low cost flight.
More information can be provided by sending a personal message (PM) to the organizers on

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Deck Archetypes: Weenie Computer Hacking

No other deck archetype is more hated than the Weenie Computer Hacking deck, at least if you're the prey of it. As a prey of a Weenie Computer Hacking deck you know you need nothing short of a miracle to survive this predator (unless you play weenies yourself). But even then you're stuck with defending against this very aggressive predator.

One player named his deck of this type "Friendmaker" to sarcastically indicate his deck never makes any friends at all. Ever. The deck is a straight forward bleed deck based on its namesake Computer Hacking. It has generally little defense, and needs to oust its successive preys in as few turns as possible. The deck can only go downstream, and it has very little bargaining power, only relying on its own brute force approach. So if another player asks for a deal, usually the player can deny any deal (or he just lies through his teeth), since the deck needs to go forward fast and it can only go forward.

How to win with them
The mission statement of the deck archetype is quite simple: "Bleed. Every single action. Every single turn.". In practice it's a little bit different. The first few bleeds usually go unblocked, because of the lack of minions in your prey's ready region. But after the vampires get blocked (and they often will), they usually need to hunt, so you need to influence extra vampires beyond the initial four to increase pressure during the course of the game, etc.

In the beginning don't be shy to bleed hard and fast like there's no tomorrow, ditch the combat (or reaction) cards if your prey (or predator) doesn't have any minions immediately to get the bleed cards you need to oust him.

If you're influencing vampires, one important thing is, that you should always consider using your transfers to the maximum. For example if you have one 1 or 2 capacity vampire in your crypt left, and you have 4 transfers, you should consider spending the 4 transfers to move another weenie from your crypt to your uncontrolled region, in order to move two vampires at once to the ready region during your next turn. This effectively saves you one or two turn before bringing the second minion. This is quite essential for a deck that needs to move forward fast. For that reason, Information Highway is an incredible important card for the deck (and Effective Management to a lesser degree). For the same reason Dreams of the Sphinx is an incredibly good card, especially if your crypt mainly consists of capacity 1 vampires. It allows you to speed up moving new vampires to the controlled region and thus keeping the pressure on your prey.

The mid- and especially the end-game is not the easiest part for the deck. You have to have a superior number of vampires compared to those of prey and try to overrun your second and third prey. Since your second and even more so second prey now had some time to prepare in terms of moving vampires to their ready region and setting up other resources, it becomes increasingly hard to perform enough successful bleeds to oust.

Since defense is rather weak the best answer for the deck is still a relentless offensive. And this is when the deck often fails since the pressure from its predator becomes too much and/or the offensive breaks down when too many vampires are burned or set to torpor. So with the deck it's always do or die, and after the first prey it's more often than not die.

Crypt Composition
Every weenie without a severe disadvantage is eligible for the crypt selection. The smaller the capacity of the vampire the better, so either capacity 1 or 2 vampires will do the job.

Variations of the deck either use Obfuscate to be able to pass more actions, or a discipline which allows to enhance the bleeds, e.g. Dominate or Presence. When using these discipline the average capacity of the decks goes up, i.e. usually vampires of capacity 3 or 4 are used. This also immediately slows down the rate of vampires the deck is able to move into the ready region. So one it's one strategy to make the crypt consist half of vampires with the selected discipline and the rest regular capactity 1 or 2 vampires.

Bleed defense
If the deck has included some small capacity vampires with Dominate, bleed defense is comprised of a few Deflections. Otherwise the defense is the large pool the deck keeps by playing only small capacity vampires and by (hopefully) gaining pool for ousting in rather quick succession.

Vote defense
As with bleed the defense is very light. Just a couple couple of Delaying Tactics, maybe 2 to 4 of them, and the aforementioned large pool sack the deck sits on.

Combat defense
If any combat defense at all, the deck just uses a few Fake Outs and Dodges, but only in very small numbers in order to reduce the chances to clog on non-bleed cards.

As a player you can always count on having a (hopefully) small numbers of vampires in torpor. There is also always the question whether to rescue your own vampires or not (other players certainly won't). Usually it's not worth the action or you can't spare the blood, e.g. if you have one vampire in torpor and another ready vampire with two blood. When rescuing the vampire from torpor, the rescued vampire has to hunt, and the rescuing vampire has to hunt next turn. These actions (or at least two of them) could be bleed actions instead. So rescuing a vampire should only be done, when for example, you don't have the proper bleed cards, or you need get one vampire out of torpor to prevent dying from a Dragonbound. Otherwise it is often more efficient to leave the vampires in torpor, and just keep bleeding and moving more minions from the uncontrolled region to the ready region.

Some variations play (cheap) weapons like Wooden Stakes or Saturday Night Special, either to scare blockers or to keep their own vampires alive. While the idea is viable, it has the drawback that this takes up valuable space in the deck, and can lead to serious hand jams, especially since you need to play Concealed Weapons to save actions needed for bleeding.

Generally speaking the "Weenie Computer Hacking" is not a really good one (and maybe never was one). While it helps you securing one victory point or two most of the time, it's very hard to achieve a game win with the deck on a regular basis. Nowadays with Villein being played so frequently (or other pool gain via Liquidation/Ashur Tablets for example), it has become increasingly hard for this deck type to be successful. And if you look at the tournament winning deck archive, you'll actually find very examples of this deck type compared to but you'd expect.

How to win against them
There are several silver bullets for slowing down a "Weenie Computer Hacking" deck, most of them added during the last few expansions:
  • "Aranthebes, The Immortal" -- the oldest anti-weenie card named here, it reduces the bleed of vampires with capacity of 4 or less by one. That is not much for a powerbleed deck, but a significant reduction for a deck that relies on bleed actions for 1 or 2. Even more so since the deck often only has vampires in its crypt which cannot remove Aranthebes.
  • "Gran Madre di Dio, Italy" -- this delays the weenies greatly, they come into the play tapped, loose a blood, and need usually need to hunt (barring Life in the City). In the end vampire of capacity 1 can only act two turns after he was influenced to the controlled region.
  • "Scourge of the Enochians" -- the great weenie killer of 2008. Even if only used by prey and predator uses it to destroy the deck's minions this one will surely slow it down significantly and eventually destroy it.
  • "Neonate Breach" -- another silver bullet against weenie decks, more effective than Kine Resources Contested in that your able to put the (four) pool damage to more than one opponent at the table.
If you're the prey of "Weenie Computer Hacking" deck you strongly consider back ousting your predator. Your predator is an aggressive one, he will not slow down nor is capable of redirecting his aggression elsewhere. So back ousting is always one option, and most the time even a good one, if if you have the means for it (most of the time this voting or rushing).

If you cannot back oust, you should save as much pool as possible (i.e. avoiding spending pool on master cards). To stop the "Weenie Computer Hacking" deck, you need to stop its minions by blocking them. So you should avoid unnecessary actions, e.g. equipping or hunting, which don't have an immediate benefit. If possible you have more minions to your ready region, but only if they are somewhat cheap or if you're able to recoup the blood from the vampires very soon thereafter.

As a predator, you usually have any easy prey, that is a prey which has no to little defense. But you need to hassle your prey constantly in order to prevent it from having more and more vampires in the ready region. This can be done in couple of ways, either by putting the vampires into torpor (i.e. by rushing them) or by damaging its pool. The later has to be done with significant force, that is one or two bleeds for one or two won't do since the amount of pool the "Weenie Computer Hacking" deck has is just too big (especially in the beginning).

In way being the predator of this deck type has its advantages. Your prey will be target number one on the table, and while he's most surely kill his first prey, he will often have problems ousting his second one, and that's the opportunity you'll have to exploit. You can ask for assistance of your new grand predator and maybe even your predator (when your prey is close to ousting its second prey).

If you're the grand prey of "Weenie Computer Hacking" deck you should always take into consideration that you will very likely get a new predator very soon. So if you have the means to harm your grand prey (e.g. by voting or rushing) even if that deck is not your predator then. Of course, you should ask for non-aggression by your doomed-to-be-ousted-predator in exchange for that (at least of the time being).

Key Cards
Notable Examples & Variations
Sample Decklist
Deck Name: The Friendmaker
Author: Kevin Scribner
Description: See also Jyhad Deck Archive

Crypt (Capacity min=1 max=3 avg=1.85; 13 cards)

1x Antoinette DuChamp 1 cel pre Caitiff:2
1x Brooke 3 dom tha !Tremere:2
1x Cameron 3 dom pot Lasombra:2
1x Christine Boscacci 2 dom vic Pander:2
1x Jing Wei 3 dom tha Tremere:1
1x March Halcyon 1 for Pander:2
1x Marciana Giovanni, Investigator 2 dom Giovanni:2
1x Mustafa Rahman 2 dom Tremere:2
1x Navar McClaren 1 ani Caitiff:1
1x Ohanna 2 dom Malkavian:2
1x Royce 1 dom Pander:2
1x Samson 2 dom !Ventrue:2
1x Smudge the Ignored 1 -none- Caitiff:1

Library (90 cards)

Master (30 cards)
4x Anarch Troublemaker
1x Barrens, The
4x Effective Management
1x Gird Minions
8x Information Highway
6x Misdirection
4x Parthenon, The
2x Tribute to the Master

Action (22 cards)
22x Computer Hacking

Action Modifier (8 cards)
4x Command of the Beast
4x Conditioning

Reaction (22 cards)
8x Deflection
8x Delaying Tactics
6x Wake with Evening's Freshness

Combat (8 cards)
8x Fake Out

Created with Secret Library v0.9.3. (Jun 12, 2011 18:43:30)

Results Sydney AC Qualifier 2011

On June 12th, 2011 the VtES Sydney Australian Championship Qualifier 2011 was held in Sydney, Australia with 17 players attending the qualifier tournament. The final standings after 2 rounds and the finals were as follows:
1. Stewart MacLeod (AUS) -- 1 GW 2.5 VP -- 3 VP -- True Brujah G5/6 Toolboxish Vote
2. Michael Tomkins (AUS) -- 1 GW 3.5 VP -- 1 VP -- Brujah G4/5 Anarch Chameleon
2. Simon Reed (NZL) -- 1 GW 3.5 VP -- 1 VP -- Giovanni G2/3 Shambling Hordes
2. Chris Arthur (AUS) -- 1 GW 5.5 VP -- 0 VP -- Gangrel G1/2 Wall feat. Mirembe
2. Steve Harris (AUS) -- 1 GW 4 VP -- 0 VP -- Assamites
Congratulations to Stewart for his win of the Sydney ACQ 2011. You can find the winner's decklist and a tournament report in the forum.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Results Portuguese EC Qualifier 2011

On May 21st, 2011 the VtES Portuguese EC Qualifier was held in Lisboa, Portugal with 18 players attending the qualifier tournament. The final standings after 3 rounds and the finals were as follows:
1. Igor Pereira (POR) -- Weenie Celerity with Sticks
2. Tiago Brum (POR) -- Boys Will Find Inner Peace
2. Marco Fernandes (POR) -- Tup Dogs
2. Nuno Moure (POR) -- Hardestadt Pure Rush
2. Luis Santos (POR) -- Weenie Celerity with Sticks
Congratulations to Igor for his win of the Portuguese ECQ 2011. You can find the tournament winning deck and a tournament report in the forum.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Gelsenkirchen VtES League 2011: June 8th

Here I wanted to show you the decks of the Gelsenkirchen VtES League 2011 from the meeting on June 8th, 2011. For another time we had a visitor (Martin V.) from Slovakia, who's currently staying in Germany because of his job ..
This time we had a 6 player table, so the time-limit was set to 2.5 hours.
  • Thomas (as last week) tried to win the game with an Aabbt Kindred Anarch Vote deck. Despite having a Protected Resources in play, his situation was hopeless most of the time, especially when an Inner Circle member (Arika) and a Priscus (Omme Enberbenight) showed up in his predators and respectively prey's ready region. Unable to pass any damaging vote, he refrained to bloat with Mesu Bedshet and Consanguineous Boon (passed with the help of everybody but his predator). But despite his efforts he ousted himself, when the table (in fact, Didi) denied him another Consanguineous Boon. I don't think it would have made such a big difference, because there were already four big vampires (Ventrue) sitting in his back, threatening to oust at any subsequent turn.
  • After quite some time Zille decided to play his Kiasyd G5/6 Stealth Bleed deck again. Since he was quite save from the Aabt Kindred beside him, he was able to focus his actions on his prey quite quickly, and soon put Didi under pressure, but held back his bleeds, since he was afraid of bleeds being redirected to his grandprey (Ralf). When Zille eventually contested Isanwayen with Didi, he began putting Didi under real pressure, and after very few turns he managed to oust Didi.
  • Didi (back to Gelsenkirchen a quite some time) played a Kiasyd Toolbox deck with strong wallish angle, unfortunately build on the same group(s) as his predator. In the beginning, he tried to build up but was hindered by Ralf's Garou blocking equip actions and attacking Pherydima. After his third vampire, Isanwayen, was contested he was really close to being ousted for some turns, but with the help of Pherydima's special he held out courageously. But eventually he was ousted not at least because he didn't draw a single untap/wake-type card in the whole game.
  • A classic Renegade Garou rush combat deck (based on the group4/5 Gangrel was Ralf's choice for the game. Initially with two Renegade Garous and with the help of a Mr. Wintrop and The Unmasking he was able to hold off Didi. He then turned to prey, put a famed Gloria Giovanni into torpor twice, but wasn't able to go forward full throttle, since a lone Shambling Horde was protecting his prey effectively. After Didi got ousted, things started to look very grim. Zille managed to steal a Renegade Garou with Far Mastery, and ousted him within two turns. because he had no more reason to hold back and with the necessary stealth at his hand The Unmasking was no longer a problem.
  • A Samedi/Giovanni Reanimated Corpse/Shambling Hordes deck was played by Martin E. Although it looked good initially for Martin, when recruited a Shambling Horde and a Reanimated Corpse, Martin was never able to put significant pressure on his prey. This was mostly because his prey had put an Island of Yaros in play, which allowed Arika and her friends to easily kill the Reanimated Corpse (of which Martin didn't have enough in play at the same time), but more importantly Arika was able to Banish an almost empty Baron. So Martin tried (and succeeded most of the time) to get the Edge, and bloated a bit with the help of Off-Kilter.
  • Martin V.'s choice of deck was a very solid Ventrue Obf Vote deck based on Arika (naturally). He was really sitting in a sweet spot, with very little pressure from behind, and prey that almost incapable of defending himself (at least if the action had at least +1 stealth). The only real problem Martin was having was time. It took him quite some time to move two vampires into the ready region, and his prey was (almost) as fast bloating as he was putting damage to him via bleeds or Parity Shift. Finally Martin managed to oust Thomas' Followers of Set deck.
About 30 minutes before the timeout, the table was down to a four player table (Thomas and Didi being ousted first). Ralf was ousted very soon after, which allowed Zille just the necessary pool cushion to save his 2 VPs into the timeout. When timeout finally came, Martin V.s turn had just started and he would have ousted Zille in the very same turn.

Result: Zille 2.5 VP & GW, Martin V. 1.5 VP, Martin E. 0.5 VP.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

"The Rosery" VtES Tournament in Darmstadt, Germany

On Sunday, June 19th, 2011 the VtES Constructed Tournament "The Rosery" will take place in Darmstadt, Germany. The details are as following:
  • Date: Sunday, 19th of June 2011
  • Time:
    • Begin: 14:30
    • End: 20:30
  • Location:
    Paladin's Place
    Kirchstraße 21
    64283 Darmstadt,Germany
  • Rules: Standard Constructed Tournament
  • Format: 2 rounds + finals
  • Entry Fee: 3 EUR
  • Remarks:
    • More information can be found in the German VEKN forum.
    • Pre-registration is not required, but highly appreciated.
    • The multi-deck-format will used if less than 12 players participate.

Results New York City NAC Qualifier 2011

On May 28th, 2011 the VtES New York City NAC Qualifier was held in New York City, New York with 10 players attending the qualifier tournament. The final standings after 3 rounds and final were as follows:
1. Selen Turkay (USA) -- 1 GW 6 VP -- 5 VP -- Weenie Dementation
2. Wayne Chin (USA) -- 1 GW 3 VP -- 0 VP -- Followers of Set Cryptic Mission
2. Shawn Stanley (USA) -- 1 GW 3.5 VP -- 0 VP -- Personal Involvement?
2. Peter Oh (USA) -- 0 GW 3 VP -- 0 VP -- Ventrue antitribu
2. Jen Goldberg (USA) -- 0 GW 2 VP -- 0 VP -- Lasombra/Kiasyd Bleed
Congratulations to Selen for her win of the New York City NAC Qualifier 2011 (for the second time after 2010!). You can find an extensive tournament report on

Thursday, June 9, 2011

A Different Kind of Madness

As it has been noted on a few of days ago, there's currently an EBay auction going for the VtES card (two) Enkil Cog. And the price is rather high.

Nothing new, you may say, but if you look at the price you find it rather high. I mean, yes, the card is really good (for those playing vampires with capacity 10 and beyond), and yes it has is share in number of tournament winning decks (88 of them according to the Secret Library) ..

And yet the madness is the price. $449?? That's at least 4-5 higher than any single VtES card (I have heard of) has been sold for. And let's face it, VtES is not Magic the Gathering, where you can win at least some cash prizes in major tournaments.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

VtES History: White Wolf Announces Player's Guide and Legacies of the Blood for VTES

White Wolf Announces Player's Guide and Legacies of the Blood for Vampire: The Eternal Struggle®

Atlanta, GA, March 9, 2005 -- White Wolf Publishing Inc. announces today that will release a Player's Guide for its popular Vampire: The Eternal Struggle (V:TES) collectible card game this summer, as well as a new expansion for that game entitled Legacies of the Blood this autumn.

The V:TES Player's Guide, available in August provides the ultimate V:TES reference for new and experienced players alike. It offers a comprehensive survey of deck building, as well as an array of sample decks and deck archetypes. It also includes strategy articles by two of the world's top players and a visual encyclopedia of the entire Vampire: The Eternal Struggle card catalog (over 2,000 card images).

Available in November is Legacies of the Blood, the next expansion for V:TES. It focuses on vampires of smaller clans and bloodlines, and introduces those native to sub-Saharan Africa, who first appeared in the roleplaying book Kindred of the Ebony Kingdom . Fans can choose from eight-deck starter displays, one of four individual 90-card starter decks, individual 11-card booster packs, or 36-pack booster displays -- all of which provide new minions and new strategies to bring to bear in the Eternal Struggle. Starter decks are all balanced for beginning play and feature one of the Ebony Kingdom clans, making them perfect for new players. More experienced players can look forward to the support Legacies of the Blood provides for the smaller "clans" introduced in 2001's popular Bloodlines set, including the Ahrimanes, Blood Brothers and Samedi.

The V:TES Player's Guide and Legacies of the Blood will be available in book, game, and hobby retailers, as well as online at in the latter half of 2005.
  • Vampire: The Eternal Struggle Player's Guide -- WW2699; ISBN 1-58846-648-5; MSRP $34.99; Releases August, 2005
  • Vampire: The Eternal Struggle: Legacies of the Blood Starter Display -- WW2691; ISBN 1-58846-641-8; MSRP $79.92; Releases November 1, 2005
  • Vampire: The Eternal Struggle: Legacies of the Blood Booster Display -- WW2692; ISBN 1-58846-642-6; MSRP $107.64; Releases November 1, 2005
Vampire: The Eternal Struggle is the premier collectible card game (CCG) of intrigue, strategy and horror. Designed by Richard Garfield (designer of Magic: The Gathering®) based on White Wolf's award-winning roleplaying game Vampire: The Masquerade®, the game puts players in the roles of vampiric ancients using their minions to move against each other. Vampiric society is divided into clans, each with their own special combination of preternatural powers. Political negotiations, combat and resource management are all key parts of the play experience. V:TES recently marked its tenth anniversary and was named the world's best multiplayer CCG by InQuest Gamer. Organized play occurs worldwide under the banner of White Wolf's Vampire Elder Kindred Network (VEKN). More information is available at

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 for pen-and-paper roleplaying games. White Wolf properties have been licensed for television series, comic books, action figures, console and computer video games, coin-operated arcade games, professional wrestlers, replica props and weapons, interactive media events, and a myriad of merchandise. More information on White Wolf is available at .

White Wolf, Vampire, Vampire the Eternal Struggle and Vampire the Masquerade are registered trademarks of White Wolf Publishing Inc. Legacies of the Blood, Vampire the Eternal Struggle Player's Guide, Bloodlines, Kindred of the Ebony Kingdom and Vampire Elder Kindred Network are trademarks of White Wolf Publishing Inc. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Gelsenkirchen VtES League 2011: June 1st

Here I wanted to show you the decks of the Gelsenkirchen VtES League 2011 from the meeting on June 1st, 2011, this time with photos again. This time we had a visitor (Martin V.) from Slovakia, who's currently staying in Germany because of his job ..

Currently popular are vote decks (for whatever reasons), so three vote decks (and the other two decks had titled vampires as well) were present during that session.
  • Thomas played a quite interesting Aabbt Kindred vote deck based on Anarch Barons to make the voting work. The deck is usually incapable of taking any directed actions (actually I don't know anymore if Nefertiti is present in the deck). The deck did fine most of the time bringing up new Aabbt Kindred by using Mesu Bedshet and building up in general (see the picture). But since there were a lot of votes around of tables, he was most of the time only able to push votes through when he had a vote push card (like Bewitching Oration ) in his hands. He put some damage to Martin, but with both Ancient Influence and Reins of Power being passed during the game, he was not able to oust Martin.
  • Martin (E) played Brujah G2/3 Bruise/Bleed deck. Most of the game Martin's biggest problem was that his prey's Akunanse could not only deliver damage (almost) as good as the Brujah, but since they prevented most of the damage he was having problems keeping his own vampires out of torpor. Eventually he managed to put his prey's Nestor Kaba (with Fame) to torpor but that was clearly not enough to oust (the other) Martin.

  • The other Martin (the one from Slovakia) was playing an Akunanse toolbox deck, which was able to bleed, rush and fight (mostly using Animalism). In the beginning he was able to put some pressure on Zille by bleeding (sometimes using Deep Song). But he was not able to effectively attack the Toreador by rushing them, since they often used Majesty to escape combat. In the end his prey out-bloated him, and he was also unable to secure a full victory point.

  • A classic Toreador Grandball (feat. the famous triple-A vampires) deck was used by Zille this time. In the beginning things looked grim for him, since Martin as his predator was bleeding him hard, and by bringing up Anson and Alexandra first his pool was down to about 5. But after Ancient Influence was played by him, plus several Voter Captivations and a Villein on Alexandra he was doing nicely. But like the other players he couldn't pass his votes easily. Also, instead of bleeding Ralf (who didn't play any bounce), he traded the Powerbase: Montreal with his predator each and every turn in the mid- and endgame.
  • Ralf played an Istarri Vote deck, who also competed for the political Dominance. While he was doing well, when it came down bloating (via Villein) and to passing votes (using Perfect Paragon), Thomas (as his prey) was actually spending little on his vampires, and kept bloating via Con Boon, and so he was not really in ousting range for most of the game.
In the end, the game didn't really move forward, and so nobody was really in ousting range. And all the bloating and in comparison to that not enough forward motion made the table finally go to the timeout. About 10 minutes before the timeout and after a Reins of Power had been passed, all players agreed on stop playing. Funny fact was, that each of the votes decks was using different vote push cards. Ralf used Perfect Paragon, Zille used Awe and Thomas was using Bewitching Oration.

Result: Thomas 0.5 VP, Martin E. 0.5 VP, Martin V. 0.5 VP, Zille 0.5 VP, Ralf 0.5 VP.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Deck of the Month: May 2011: Turbo Nergal

This month's deck is the tournament winning deck "Turbo Nergal" played by Tomàs López Jiménez. The deck is rather new mutation of an Turbo deck (at least this is the first time it came to my attention), this time not based on the Soul Gem of Etrius and Daring the Dawn uses the Eternal Mask and Call the Great Beast instead (with Nergal as the key vampire). The best description how the deck actually works is given by the player of the deck himself:
Nergal Bleed, Nergal call the Great Beast, Nergal activate the Great Beast (Nergal burn), Great Beast bleed, Great Beast Eternal Mask to Nergal with all the blood and daring inferior (Great Beast burn). Repeat until game win.
The only drawback of the deck is its repetitiveness (due the small number of different cards) and complete devotion to the combo, which may led to a rather boring games (even for the players). On the other hand I appreciate the original idea and the execution of the idea which led to the tournament win.
Deck Name: Los susurros del Baali: Turbo Nergal
Los susurros del Baali
Badia del Valles, Spain
May 15th, 2011
25 players
3R + F

Nergal Bleed, Nergal call the Great Beast, Nergal activate the Great Beast (Nergal burn), Great Beast bleed, Great Beast Eternal Mask to Nergal with all the blood and daring inferior (Great Beast burn). Repeat until game win.

Crypt (Capacity min=1 max=10 avg=5.77; 13 cards)

2x Aimee Laroux 2 for pre Daughter of Cacophony:4
2x Andy 1 for Caitiff:4
1x Neel Ramanathan 3 ani for Ravnos:4
6x Nergal 10 AUS DAI FOR OBF PRE THA Baali:5
1x Rashiel 3 for val !Salubri:4
1x Rosemarie 3 mel FOR Daughter of Cacophony:4

Library (90 cards)

Action (27 cards)
11x Call the Great Beast
11x Eternal Mask, The
5x Scrounging

Action Modifier (56 cards)
12x Daring the Dawn
3x Elder Impersonation
5x Faceless Night
33x Freak Drive
3x Psychomachia

Combo (7 cards)
7x Sense the Sin

Created with Secret Library v0.9.3. (Jun 5, 2011 23:02:55)

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Results Belorussian EC Qualifier 2011

On May 22nd, 2011 the Belorussian VtES EC Qualifier was held in Minsk, Belorussia with 16 players attending the qualifier tournament. The final standings after 3 rounds and the final were as follows:
1. Alexander Loginov (BLR) -- 2 GW 6,5 VP -- 3 VP -- Ahrimanes Wall
2. Andrew Kashpar (BLR) -- 2 GW 6 VP -- 1 VP -- Maris Streck w/ Warghouls
2. Prischepa Konstantin (RUS) -- 1 GW 5 VP -- 1 VP -- Daughters of Cacophony G2/3 Choir
2. Maria Semenova (BLR) -- 1 GW 6 VP -- 0 VP -- Ventrue G2/3 Lawfirm
2. Alex Minov (BLR) -- 1 GW 4 VP -- 0 VP -- Toreador AAA Grandball
Congratulations to Alexander for winning the Belorussian ECQ 2011. You find the full results and more information on

Results Belgian EC Qualifier 2011

On June 4th, 2011 the Belgian VtES EC Qualifier was held in Brussels, Belgium with 13 players attending the qualifier tournament. The final standings after 3 rounds and the final were as follows:
1. Jelmer Wedholm (NED) -- 0 GW 2 VP -- 3 VP -- Giovanni G5/6 Bleed feat. Anu Diptinatpa
2. Martin Varga (SVK) -- 2 GW 7.5 VP -- 1 VP -- Tremere G2/3 Wall(lish)
2. Koen Tabak (NED) -- 2 GW 6.5 VP -- 1 VP -- Followers of Set G4 Bima
2. Peter Bouwman (NED) -- 1 GW 4.5 VP -- 0 VP -- Assamite G4 Bleed/Vote feat. Mukhtar Bey
2. Lucien De Prins (BEL) -- 0 GW 2 VP -- 0 VP -- Tremere antitribu G3/4 Nephandus Rush/Bleed
Congratulations to Jelmer for winning the Belgian ECQ 2011. A tournament report by two of the finalists and the tournament winning deck can be found in the Dutch VtES Forum (in English).

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Memorable Quotes (Part 114)

"Red lights, grey morning
You stumble out of a hole in the ground
A vampire or a victim
It depends on who's around
-- Stay (Far away, so close) by U2

Friday, June 3, 2011

Did you know, that ... (Part 64)

.. that Jerry's special ability, which allows him transfer from blood from other Blood Brothers of the Chicago Circle, even works with those Blood Brothers controlled by another player? So, effectively he can "steal" all of the blood of the Chicago Circle vampires at the table ..

Also take note of the fact, that he can use his special ability even if he's in torpor, since his card text makes no such restriction.

Reference: VtES Usenet Newsgroup.

Results French EC Qualifier (North) 2011

On May 28th, 2011 the first VtES French EC Qualifier was held in Paris, France with 22 players attending the qualifier tournament. The final standings after 3 rounds and the final were as follows:
1. Timothée Daudé (FRA) -- 1 GW 7 VP -- Kiasyd Stealth Bleed
2. Pierre Tran Van (FRA) -- 2 GW 7 VP -- Toreador Triple-A
2. Arnaud Baigts (FRA) -- 2 GW 5 VP -- Unnamed/Great Beast Shatter the Gates
2. Mathieu Subra (FRA) -- 1 GW 5 VP -- Followers of Set Temptation
2. Dean Garratt (SUI) -- 1 GW 5 VP -- Brujah G4/5 Toolbox?
Congratulations to Timotée for winning the French ECQ (North) 2011. You can find the tournament winning deck and the final standings on VEKN France.

Results English EC Qualifier 2011

On May 14th, 2011 the English VtES EC Qualifier 2011 was held in Burton-on-Trent, England with 25 players attending the qualifier tournament. The final standings after 3 rounds and the final were as follows:
1. Norbert Flasko (HUN) -- 1 GW 3 VP -- 2.5 VP -- Midcap G1/2 Presence Bleed
2. Hugh Angseesing (UK) -- 1 GW 6 VP -- 0.5 VP --
2. Sebastian Meurer (GER) -- 1 GW 3.5 VP -- 0.5 VP -- Ravnos Wall feat. Gabrin
2. Phil Thompson (UK) -- 1 GW 2.5 VP -- 0 VP --
2. Seamus O'Toole (UK) -- 0 GW 4 VP -- 0 VP --
Congratulations to Norbert for his win of the English ECQ 2011. The full standings and the tournament winning deck can be found in the English VtES Forum.