Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Did you know, that ... (Part 88)

.. did you know that a Nephandus takes damage when the opposing vampire plays Catatonic Fear even though damage against strikes or damaging effect made against him inflicts 1 less damage? The reason that Catatonic Fear deals damage against a Nephandus is that the damage of Catatonic Fear us delivered after combat whereas the damage reduction effect of the Nephandus is only applied to damage dealt in combat.

Reference: [LSJ-20080629]

REVERSAL: I think, I read LSJ's answer in the above reference not correctly in the first place. He's arguing that the strike was done in combat and the Nephandus' special effect is therefore applied. Thus the Nephandus does not take damage at all by the Catatonic Fear.

Cause & Effect: Episode 2.7

The seventh episode (of the second season) of the VTES webshow Cause and Effect has been broadcasted live this Tuesday (February 28th, 2012). Anders, Adam and Isak discussed different decks suitable for beginners' use and explain how they work.
The next episode is scheduled for March 6th, 2012 (Tuesday).

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Memorable Quotes (Part 135)

"It's a Swedish bleed deck, they bleed harder then normal bleed decks" -- Ralf (German VtES player) to Brian during the Legendary Vampire Tournament in Warsaw, Poland when Randal (SWE) with 3 minions ousted Pascal (FRA) with 18 pool left.
See the last tournament in Gothenberg, Sweden for more evidence.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Vampire OEMs

There are some library cards in VtES which directly reference a vampire (crypt card). These are:
And thanks to the Bochum playgroup (and commentators of this post) for helping build this list.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Announcement "Prince Erol's of Karlsruhe BDay Bash 2012" in Karlsruhe, Germany

The VtES constructed tournament named "Prince Erol's of Karlsruhe BDay Bash 2012" will be held in Karlsruhe, Germany on March 11th, 2012.

The tournament has been canceled (or in fact is moved to later date). Update will follow as soon as news have reached me!

Details are as following:
  • Date: March 11th, 2012
  • Place:
    Spiele Pyramide
    Waldstrasse 8
    76133 Karlsruhe
  • Format: VtES Constructed Tournament
  • Rounds: 3 rounds + final (2h each)
  • Timetable:
    10.30 -- Doors open & registration
    11.00-13:00 -- Round 1
    13:00-13:30 -- Lunch Break
    14.00-16:00 -- Round 2
    16.00-18:00 -- Round 3
    18.00-20:00 -- Finals
  • Entry Fee: TBD (either non or some small token, depending on the sponsoring)
  • Remarks: If the tournament will end up having less than 12 participants, we will reschedule it to be 2R+F only.
You get more information n the German VEKN forum, where you can can pre-register as well.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Deck Variations

Lately it came to my mind, how dependent we are on what we think or expect what a particular deck our opponent is playing in game of VtES. Currently I am playing an Ahrimanes bleed deck on a regular basis, and literally everybody is expecting a wall deck, even after I have bleed for 5 with Heart of the City and Aire of Elation. Although there are some block capabilities in the deck (mainly Speak with Spirits and Raven Spies) compared to a Weenie Auspex deck the block options are rather limited. And one road to success is to counter these expectations.

You can observe a similar phenomenon, if you are playing in a VtES league or play certain decks quite often (or over a prolonged time). Usually after the second or third time you play that deck, the other players will recognize it (by vampires played and/or distinctive library cards) and say things like, "it's this and that deck", and stuff as "it has no intercept", "it can fight very well, but cannot bleed significantly", etc. etc.

You can take advantage of these (sometimes) premature opinions, when you counter their expectations and have one or two variations of a deck at hand. This is similar to the module concept I have discussed a short while ago, but this time we make variations of the same deck by including a set of cards (instead of switching the same card module between different decks). As an example, I will show you two decklists for basically the same deck and the cards exchanged between the two decks.

What I did for that Ahrimanes deck was exchanging only the combat module, 8-10 cards in total (out of a 80 card deck).
It should make much of a difference for the deck's purpose as a bleed deck, since usually I use the Aid from Bats for avoiding combat (rather than inflicting damage) and the Presence based S:CE cards do any equally good, if not better job for this.

The concept also works for slight changes, for example switch the two Direct Interventions in your deck to two Sudden Reversals next time. Again, the main purpose is to take away that sense of security the other players might and catch them off-balance. In the same spirit as for the modularity concept, you have to be careful not to change (or weaken) the main purpose of the deck.

On the other hand, a large scale variation doesn't work for all decktypes or clans. The Ahrimanes in the example are very useful for the concept of deck variations, since they have somewhat flexible disciplines (Spiritus in particular) and you can build a variety of different decks types based on this clan, from rush combat using Nose of the Hound & Animalism combat to stealth bleed using Presence and Spiritus.

Thursday, February 23, 2012


VtES Custom Deck Box

One of users on BoardgameGeek made these custom deckboxes for his VtES decks. The quality of the boxes is not that good (if you take a close look), but I highly appreciate the idea and the will to execute it.
You can see more details of the deckbox and and the digital blueprint on the Thingiverse website.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Cause & Effect: Episode 2.6

The sixth episode (of the second season) of the VTES webshow Cause and Effect has been broadcasted live this Tuesday (February 21st, 2012). Anders, Adam and Isak discussed library card recursion with the focus on card combo Ashur Tablets and Liquidation.

The next show is scheduled for February 28th, 2012.

Gelsenkirchen VtES League 2012: February 15th

Here I wanted to show you the decks of the Gelsenkirchen VtES League 2012 from the meeting on February 15th, 2012 with some quick remarks about the decks being played that evening.
  • Ralf-- Giovanni Shambling Hordes -- reasonable start, cautious to go forward against the Salubri antitribu, manages to get a VP with less than 3 minutes on the clock.

  • Martin -- Salubri Antitribu Toolbox -- reasonable start, can control his prey, but fails to oust his prey on 4 pool due to lack of one bleed card. Bad luck!

  • Thomas -- Euro-Brujah w/ Parity Shift -- bad start after his vampires go to torpor early on, with only 2 vampires ready (Donal and Anvil) barely manages to oust his prey (after surviving the onslaught of the Salubri antitribu).

  • Zille -- Classic Toreador Grandball -- very good start with Information Highway and Zillah's Valley, and later some votes, but then makes a significant mistake when blocking Volker with a famous Anson, which eventually cost him the game.

  • Michael -- Malkavian/Malkavian antitribu 3/4 Stealth Bleed -- not a straight bleed deck, has some extras with Sleep of Reason or Escaped Mental Patient; trouble initially with a strong Predator, nearly ousts his prey in his last turn, but fails to remove ~10 pool with his two vampires due to lack of bleed actions & action modifiers for all of them.

Result: Ralf 1.5 VP, Thomas 1.5 VP, Michael 0.5 VP

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Announcement Belgian National VtES Championship 2012

The Belgian National VtES Championship 2012 will take place on April 22nd, 2012 in Brussels, Belgium. Here are the details regarding the tournament:

  • Sunday, April 22, 2012
Registration: 11:30
First round starting time: 12:00
Expected finishing time: 20:45
Type of Event:
  • National Championship. Qualifying for this event is not necessary, everyone is welcome to participate.
  • Standard Constructed, detailed rules can be found on the VEKN Tournament Rules webpage.
  • Number of rounds: 3 + final
  • Time limit per round: 2 hours
Entry fee:
  • TBD
The Outpost
Rue de la Tribune 8
1000 Bruxelles
  • Note that it is not allowed to bring your own drinks into the shop); bringing your own food is ok, but food is available at moderate prices
More information (e.g. on travel & pre-registration) can be found in the Belgian VtES forum.

VTM 20th Anniversary Edition Companion

After the development and release of the Vampire: the Masquerade 20th Anniversary edition (or short V20) in 2011, Richard Thomas and Justin Achilli have started a project publishing the Vampire: the Masquerade 20th Anniversary Companion. This time the publication project has a different a different direction. Using the Kickstarter platform to gain the necessary funding for the publication of the book, the book will only be published if there are people willing to pledge at least $50,000 (in total) for the development of the book. There are several levels of support you can give, from a mentioning in the credits to obtaining a hardcover book & PDF version and finally an online chronicle session with Justin Achilli himself.
You can find more information on the project on the Kickstarter and Open Development websites for the V20 Companion.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Announcement English ECQ 2012

The English VtES EC Qualifier 2012 will take place in Burton-on-Trent, England on May 12th, 2012. The tournament is part of the 23rd Beer & Pretzels Games Weekend, which takes place from May 12th to 13th in Burton-on-Trent. Here are the details for this constructed tournament:

10.00 AM -- Event Opens
10.15 AM - 11.00 am -- Registration
11.00 AM - 01.00 pm -- First round
01.00 PM - 01.45 pm -- Break
01.45 PM - 03.45 pm -- Second round
04.00 PM - 06.00 pm -- Third round
06.15 PM - 08.15 pm -- Final
Entrance Fee:
  • £6/7 including entry to Beer & Pretzels (which is £5 tbc)
Prize Support
  • Boosters and promos for everyone.
  • Original Ken Meyer artwork for winner (or potential artwork special).
  • Beer & limited food available at the venue
  • Nearby airports:
    • Manchester -- 90 mins
    • Birmingham -- 50 mins
    • East Midlands Airport -- 15 miles
    • London Stansted is approx. 3 hrs train.
  • Trains
    • Burton is approximately 2/2.5 hours by train from central London
    • Please see National Rail for more accurate public transport times.
For more details refer to the announcement on

A New Beginning

It don't know the date or the exact circumstances when the (now defunct?) VtES playgroup in Seekonk, Massachusetts put up the poster you can see above, but it strongly reminded about the abandonment of VtES by CCP now more than a year ago.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Prophecies

Hearken to the diviner's prophecies
Of blood-filled dreams and shortened nights
Of hunger risen to claim its own
Of arrogance turned to ash.

Within the get of Caine there is a hunger stirring
Once, twice, thrice the call to power and death
Will rend the souls of the Thirteen
This is the death without bloodshed
This is the grave that has no ghosts.

There will come a time
when an Elder Darkness will stir
deep below a city which has forgotten
and will surprise the Elder, its children

There will come a time
when an ancient hunger will awaken
deep in the northern woods
and consume her childer

On these signs, you must know,
that Gehenna waits, even at the door,
as an actor waits in the wings
It is coming! It is near!
As told during the VtES Prophecy League in 2004.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Cross-Table Buddies

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Black Hand Distribution

"In essence, the Black Hand is a sect within a sect, made up of the most dedicated and capable Sabbat members. Part paramilitary, part religion, part survivalist militia, these vampires wholeheartedly believe that Gehenna is coming. They do all they can to prepare for the rise of the Antediluvians." -- Wikipedia entry on the Black Hand
When looking for a suitable Black Hand vampires (and talking to my fellow VtES players on #vekn. I was examining the distribution of Black Hand vampires across the different clans:
  • 1x -- Abomination, Ahrimanes, Followers of Set, Harbingers of Skulls, Nagaraja, Pander, Samedi, Salubri Antitribu, True Brujah
  • 4x -- Brujah Antitribu, Toreador Antitribu, Tzimisce
  • 5x -- Lasombra, Malkavian Antitribu, Nosferatu Antitribu, Tremere Antitribu, Ventrue Antitribu
  • 7x -- Gangrel Antitribu
  • 8x -- Assamite
Why this emphasis on Gangrel antitribu and Assamites (in particular)? Is there some WoD reason I don't know about? Or is it a decision for giving more support to weak (perceived or not) clans?

And it's quite similar when looking at the number of Seraphs available to the different clans:
  • 1x -- Gangrel Antitribu, Nosferatu Antitribu, Tzimisce, Ventrue Antitribu
  • 2x -- Lasombra
  • 3x -- Assamite

Cause & Effect: Episode 2.5

The fifth episode (of the second season) of the VTES webshow Cause and Effect has been broadcasted live this Tuesday (February 14th, 2012). This time the hosts were joined by Hugh Angseesing (currently one of the best VtES players). The main topic of the discussion were Cryptic Mission decks as well as Hugh's efforts as playtesting coordinator for the upcoming VtES expansion.

The next episode is scheduled for February 19th, 2012.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Wall of Text

P.S.: Wall of Text is actually a mocking term indicating that a card (or rule) suffers from having too much text, making it unnecessarily hard to comprehend(for example, when an another player doesn't know the card or rule).

Monday, February 13, 2012

Results Portuguese National Championship 2011

On December 17th, 2011 the VtES Portuguese National Championship 2011 was held in Lisbon, Portugal with 12 players attending the tournament. The final standings after 3 rounds and the finals were as follows:
1. Tiago Brum (POR) -- 1 GW 4 VP -- 4 VP -- Ventrue Lawfirm First Tradition
2. Eliseu Ângelo (POR) -- 1 GW 4 VP -- 1 VP -- Anarch Palla Grande
2. Helder Ferreira (POR) -- 1 GW 6 VP -- 0 VP -- DOM THA bruise bleed group 3/4
2. Melkor Florindo (POR) -- 1 GW 5.5 VP -- 0 VP -- Imbued Rush
2. Igor Pereira (POR) -- 1 GW 5.5 VP -- 0 VP -- Nephandus Art Scam
Congratulations to Tiago for his win of the Portuguese Nationals 2011. You can find the tournament winning deck and an extensive report on

Results Northeast NAC Qualifier 2012

On February 4th, 2012 the VtES Northeast NAC Qualifier was held in Providence, Rhode Island (USA) with 18 players attending the qualifier tournament (during TempleCon 2012). The final standings were as follows:
1. Adam Hulse (USA) -- 2 GW 6 VP -- 2 VP -- Tzimisce Asanbonsam Ghoul
2. Dave Zopf (USA) -- 2 GW 6.5 VP -- 2 VP --
2. Matt Morgan (USA) -- 1 GW 5 VP -- 1 VP --
2. Sonam Adinolf (USA) -- 2 GW 6 VP -- 0 VP --
2. Jason Wolfson (USA) -- 1 GW 4 VP -- 0 VP --
Congratulations to Adam for his win of the NERQ 2012. You can find the final standings and the tournament winning deck on

2012 VtES Continental Qualifier T-Shirt

After my abysmal performance at the tournament this weekend, the only ray of light was the sighting of the 2012 VtES Continental Qualifier T-Shirt:

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Results of the "Dork Side of the Boon III" VtES tournament

Here are the results of the "Dork Side of the Boon III" VtES Constructed tournament in Mayence, Germany which was played on February 11th, 2012 with 14 players attending. The final standings after 2 rounds and the final were as follows:
1. Ferenc V. (HUN) -- 0 GW 2 VP -- 4 VP -- The Unnamed Shattering The Gates
2. Tobias H. (GER) -- 1 GW 3.5 VP -- 1 VP -- Ventrue G1/2 feat. Arika Vote
2. Johannes W. (GER) -- 2 GW 9 VP -- 0 VP -- Ventrue G4/5 Breed & Vote
2. Ali A. (GER) -- 1 GW 4 VP -- 0 VP -- Ventrue Antitribu Grinder
2. Kai K. (GER) -- 0 GW 2 VP -- 0 VP -- Cardano & Ulugh Begh
Congratulations to Ferenc for his victory in the tournament.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Prey-Predator Relationship

Identifying Fake MtG Cards

Here's a little video showing the basics of identifying fake Magic the Gathering cards. Luckily, fake cards doesn't seem to be problem (or at least not a big one) with VtES, but still interesting to know.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


Module (noun): an independently operable unit that is a part of the total structure.
Modules as a concept have been around in VtES for quite some time now. It first came to appearance in the Toreador Antitribu Newsletter September 2000, where it was presented by Ethan Burrow (and Norman S. Brown). The Presence forum has a whole subsection dedicated to the module concept (although input has been very slow these days).

A different kind of moduleBut what is a module actually? A module in VtES is a set of cards, typically 10 to 20 cards) which has designated purpose and where the individual cards have something in common and/or they supplement each other. The cards of a module are often similar or at least complement each other. Furthermore, and that was the original purpose of a module, a module can be shared in a variety of decks.(1)

An Auspex based block module (21 cards) would look like this and could certainly used both in a Tremere Wall deck or a Ventrue antitribu Grinder deck:
That most cards are included four times is pure coincidence. Before the introduction of Eyes of Argus and On the Qui Vive these cards would have been easily 8x Forced Awakenings.

A second example here is a ranged combat module with Taste of Vitae (for regaining blood).
This module can be used in a Weenie Potence Computer Hacking deck, as well as Combat defense in Lasombra Toolbox deck.

But you have be careful when using modules in different decks. Just adding a couple of cards because the discipline(s) (or other requirements) fit, may seriously dilute your deck and derail the deck from its intended schwerpunkt.

Footnote: (1) One problem remains when actually exchanging cards between decks is how to identify them quickly. Here the only solution is to either keep meticulous deck list or sort the decks after playing them, so it's easier to take the cards out.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Cause & Effect: Episode 2.4

The fourth episode (of the second season) of the VTES webshow Cause and Effect has been broadcasted live this Tuesday (February 7th, 2012). The main topic of the discussion were different types of Turbo decks.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Pictures of "Freezing Moon" VtES Tournament in Utrecht

Here are a few pictures from the "Freezing Moon" VtES tournament wich took place on January 21st, 2012 in Utrecht, Netherlands.

Left: The final table with Izaak, Bart, Pieter, Bart and Jelmer.

Right: A closeup of the decks being played early on in the game.

Left: Had I know, that the prize support included that nice key chain .. thingies, I would have put more effort in my deck building and games! And no, the type writer was not part of the prize support.
Right: VTES Netherlands -- Superior Windmilling -- Grinding since 1994.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Did you know, that ... (Part 87)

Not an information highway, just a vortex street .... you cannot move pool to the vampire you replaced for an Anarch Convert (after he has entered the ready region) in the same influence phase. This applies to using effects like Powerbase: Montreal or Arcane Library, which can only be used during your influence phase. The reason for that is, that the influence phase actually consists of two sub-phases, the main phase where transfers are used for moving blood from/to the vampires and effects like cards mentioned above are used to put blood on the vampires. In the end phase, the vampires with enough blood (greater or equal to their capacity) are moved to the ready region. And as the name suggests, this ends the influence phase.

If you're a nitpicker, you can very often observe players in their influence phase to move blood to one vampire, flip him over and then move blood to a second vampire. From a technical point of view, this is a misplay. After the first vampire has been moved to the ready region, the influence phase already has ended. So consider yourself warned (e.g. when you're in the final of a Continental Championship)!


Thursday, February 2, 2012

Direct Intervention