Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Winter of our Discontent Round 1

So after the low turnout, we're going to run this storyline as one of the games during our regular games nights.

Round #1:

Brian, Traditionalists, Malk/!Malk Bleeder (not super-sleaze bleed but still with grunt)
Me, Anarchists, G1-2 Ven Bleed'n'Vote (Undue Influence, KRCs, etc)
Joe Lemon, Anarchists, G4 Daughters of Cacophony Vote
Will, Traditionalists, G4-5 Ventrue Princes
James, Organised Crime, Brutal Orun Cannon

With the three voters on the table, and Joe's prey being the only player with a reasonably number of static votes, his game was an uphill battle from the start. He had major issues getting any vote off and it didn't get much better. Brian got in some reliable bleeds and had me on the ropes fairly early, it didn't help that my deck was jamming so I couldn't bloat enough to keep my head above the water. Will took a fair bit of early pressure with Joe using Reckless Agitation on him twice fairly early on. James got a bad crypt draw and then didn't see any Oruns until the Midgame making that deck cycle far slower and bloat far slower than it should.

I was fairly quickly removed by the 3x 2bleed actions coming basically every turn. Joe went soon after. Will then utilised Parity Shift to buy some more time hoping to get around James who was drawing much of the untap in the deck. In the end, James held out just long enough that Brian got Will and then James for a clean sweep.

Current Factional Standings:
Traditionalists 5VP
Anarchists 0VP
Organised Crime 0VP

The next round of this will be held in two weeks.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Create-a-Card: Efficiency

I would have thought that people who can move exceptionally fast, should be able to perform more actions than those who are exceptionally tough (I see more justification for Freak Drive to have been a Celerity themed card than a Fortitude card, but then of course it could have originally come from the RPG of which I am mostly unaware...). So here is my idea of a "Celerity Freak Drive".

Action Modifier
1 blood
Only playable when an undirected action is announced.
[cel] If this action is successful, untap this vampire after resolving the action.
[CEL] As above and the current action has an additional +1 stealth.
"I don't like a man to be too efficient. He's likely to be not human enough." - Felix Frankfurter

Simple Pleasures...

Like finally completing a catalogue of your VTES collection...

Friday, January 21, 2011

Random things...

My wife and her moderately tangential mind helped me create some new 'fake words'.

noun An attempt at poetry, but is so utterly terrible that the poetry, by any standard and reasonable measure, is crap. My gosh, that stuff I used to write in highschool is such ~~.
(compound from Eng. poo and Eng. poetry)

Pooet (see Pooetry)
noun A person who writes poems that could be as pooetry. He thinks he is a genius but instead he's just a ~~.
(compound from Eng. poo and Eng. poet)

Pooetic (see Pooetry)
adj./noun A phrase or literary creation which attempts to be of significant literary value, but fails miserably in this attempt. That greeting card message is completely ~~.
(compound from Eng. poo and Eng. poetic)

Sunday, January 16, 2011


Well, ConFlict Sydney ran yesterday. We had planned a big Flames of War event (Battle of Stalingrad and Battle of El Alamein), a Warmachine Comp (which always looked like falling through) and my BYO Storyline for VTES.

We had 16 people turn up. All for Flames of War. Nobody turned up for the VTES or Warmachine.

Yay for partial successes, and still managing to feel like most of a failure.

We ended up raising around $60 which will be donated to a cancer charity (The Cancer Council of Australia).

At least the Flames of War guys were buzzing excitedly for most of the day, even if I felt flatter than a crepe for most of it.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Adam Hulse Deck Challenge - John Paleologus

Deck Name : Adam Hulse Deck Challenge - John Paleologus
Author : Juggernaut1981
Description :
John the Grinder.
I saw John Paleologus and instantly thought of ways to abuse CEL & his

Typically you would want to see:
John w/ 1 or 2 retainers, the Rack
Another 8-9cap (Anton/Szechenyi) w/ 1 or 2 retainers
Horatio or Olga pretending to be a Drum of Xipe Totec or.. . or...
or... using Bauble
Army of Rats, Tensions and Antidiluvian are all there to grind down
your prey in addition to John's cardtext.
Nose of the Hound is there to deal with those vampires that need a
little special proactive attention.

Crypt [12 vampires] Capacity min: 1 max: 9 average: 5.5

3x John Paleologus 9 ANI AUS CEL VIC pot archbishop
3x Horatio 2 vic
2x Szechenyi Jolan, M 9 ANI AUS VIC cel for pro bishop
2x Olga Triminov 1 vic
1x Anton 8 ANI AUS cel obf vic
1x Elizabeth Westcott 5 AUS ani cel vic

Library [90 cards]

Action [10]
3x Army of Rats
3x Bauble
4x Nose of the Hound

Action Modifier [8]
8x Changeling

Combat [30]
8x Breath of the Dragon
8x Horrid Form
6x Nimble Feet
8x Sideslip

Equipment [5]
1x Bowl of Convergence
1x Drum of Xipe Totec
1x Femur of Toomler
1x Helicopter
1x Palatial Estate

Master [15]
1x Antediluvian Awakening
1x Carver's Meat Packing and Storage
2x Celerity
1x Inceptor
3x Path of Metamorphosis, The
1x Powerbase: Barranquilla
1x Rack, The
4x Rotschreck
1x Tension in the Ranks

Reaction [14]
6x Eyes of Argus
4x Precognition
4x Quicken Sight

Retainer [8]
4x Corpse Balloon
4x Raptor

To Ban or Not to Ban...

A lot of debate at the moment seems to be centred around the idea that certain cards might need to be banned from Tournament play. At the moment, I don't care which cards they actually are (but they are the usual suspects: Voter Cap, Villein + Giant's Blood, Pentex Subversion, Sensory Deprivation).

If VTES was still being printed...
If VTES was still being printed, I would be suggesting that cards that cannot be easily errataed (e.g. Pentex Subversion in the recent debate) should be banned and a replacement card printed (basically what would be the 'significant errata version'). This allows us to have a card with those effects that is not 'broken' and without having to issue many tags with errata to new players.

But VTES isn't being printed...
Then we can't expect to have an updated text printed. So we must collectively (or LSJ will) decide if Card X (see the list above) is too powerful to exist without errata.
If the card must have errata then it should be added to a Non-Errata Banned List which will specifically contain cards that should have Errata but cannot until VTES is in production. This separate list is to also remind everyone that these card are to be replaced not just used to decorate our cardboxes.
If the card does not need errata then it should be left alone, to suffer the same fate as Minion Tap.

So in the current debate...
I think Pentex Subversion should be banned, not errataed, in the short-term. It is a card that seems to have a major influence over deck construction, play a completely game-changing role during tournaments and regularly raises debate regarding 'should it be banned or changed'.

Possibly it should be banned completely, never to be replaced. It doesn't see much play in our playgroup, rarely seems to turn up in tournaments and isn't an all-pervasive feature of the Australian play-scene (AFAIK) unlike the US Scene or the EU Scene. I can't comment entirely on that other than I would definately feel the need to find cardslots to specifically counter the use of Pentex Subversion if I played in the US or Europe.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Adam Hulse's Random Vampire Challenge - Thucimia

Adam Hulse has started or run with a Random Vampire Deck Building Challenge. Choose a random vampire as a 'key minion' or as the 'starting vampire' and then build a deck.

Adam built a Talbot's Chainsaw & Blood Tempering combat deck. I've decided to run with Thucimias CEL, DEM, OBF... and teamed her up with !Malks because a few of them have [cel].

**While I was tinkering there seemed to be a really nice option to build a deck utilising Black Hand tech and Thucimia. It would be a G4-5 deck rather than G3-4 which this one is...

Crypt [12 vampires] Capacity min: 4 max: 10 average: 7.33333

4x Thucimia 10 CEL DEM OBF QUI for pro 1 vote Assamite:4
3x Colonel, The 5 AUS cel dem obf !Malkavian:3
2x Persephone Tar-Ani 8 AUS DEM OBF cel pot !Malkavian:4
1x White Lily 8 DEM OBF cel dom for !Malkavian:4
1x Luc 5 OBF dem vic !Malkavian:4
1x Roger Farnsworth 4 OBF aus !Malkavian:3

Library [80 cards]

Action [10]
10x Kindred Spirits

Action Modifier [22]
6x Cloak the Gathering
4x Elder Impersonation
6x Eyes of Chaos
6x Lost in Crowds

Combat [26]
4x Coma
6x Shadow Feint
6x Side Strike
6x Target Vitals
4x Taste of Vitae

Master [14]
4x Grooming the Protege
1x Pentex(TM) Subversion
3x Perfectionist
2x Wash
4x Zillah's Valley

Reaction [8]
8x Keep it Simple

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

PowerEdge Variation

After a recent thread in the Usenet group, I noticed an interesting idea in there: alternative edges. I haven't had a chance to properly examine the "Double Edge" post that was listed in there somewhere... but I did get to thinking that it could be used to facilitate some currently less than golden core strategies. My first thought was to improve the Red List Deck by giving them an Edge that has some real grunt... here are the first few draft ideas for my lamely named PowerEdge Variation.

This creates a new card type called an Edge Variation. Edge Variations are placed face up on the table before the game commences and count against the Library size limit. Edge Variations cannot be targeted and are effectively ‘out of play’; they provide a play option to the Methuselah and leave with that Methuselah. A Methuselah can utilise as many Edge Variations as they wish.

When a player gains the Edge, they may place it on its own on the table and use it in the normal ways described in the rule book.

Alternatively they may allocate it to an Edge Variation; by placing the Edge on the card, or the card on the Edge depending on the item used as the Edge. In this case, the player may only use the Edge in the ways described on the Edge Variation.

Imperialist Edge
Edge Variation
You may burn the Edge at the start of your Untap phase to make a vampire Red List; you will need to burn 1 pool for each permanent vote that vampire has.
You may mark a Red List minion during your Untap phase without cost.

Academic Edge
Edge Variation
You may burn the Edge at the start of your Untap to place a card from your hand into your Research Area or to draw a card from your Research Area to your hand. Discard as normal.
While you control the Edge, any vampire you control above capacity 7 may take an action that costs 1 pool to burn the Edge and increase your hand size by 1 until your next Untap phase.

Paranoid Edge
Edge Variation
You may burn the Edge and tap a minion with 5 or more capacity or life to cause a (D) action directed targeting you to fail before it block attempts are declared.

Aggressive Edge
Edge Variation
You may burn the Edge at the start of your Untap phase to cause your prey to burn 1 pool.
You may burn the Edge once during your minion phase to Untap a ready vampire after a combat where the opposing minion is no longer ready.

I'm sure more of these things will come to me over time, I am already thinking of one that may allow you to use the Edge as a HG for two vampires... but anyway. There is the core of an idea... comment away people.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

A League and an Opens Tournament

With the update of the VEKN Qualification Laws on 1/1/11, and also because of the BYO Storyline I'm working on (here), I am throwing something out there as a "If I was the Prince of my area..."-idea.

VTES Leagues
Every 3 months running a 3R+Final, to coincide with university holidays, that would go to some greater prize (say a box of boosters to the first ranked player alone, equally split a box between other top 5 finishers). It would be a simple points-ranking based on VPs, GWs, FVPs, FGWs. For example: 1VP = 1 League point, GW = 2 LPs, FVP = 1.5 LP, FGW = 3 LPs. This is setup to favour slightly those who turn up more and may not always make it to the finals on a given day, I feel that it would also potentially favour people taking a gamble on non-Tier 1 decks. Plus a league does give us the chance to have basically four chances to Qualify outside the usual "Qualifier Tournaments".

Do many of you:
a) Participate in Leagues?
b) Run a League?
c) Enjoy Leagues?
d) What are your experiences of VTES Leagues? Especially if they would be aimed at players outside your immediate playgroup (say to 3 or 4 small playgroups across your city)

VTES Opens
What do you all think of the idea of a Major Open? The main reason I am thinking of an Open Event is that the Qualification Rules will still make it difficult to get large numbers to our Nationals Tournament. I'm not trying to attack the Qualification Rules, it's just unlikely to result in a larger turn-out for the Nationals Tournament (particularly the clauses for repeat-qualifying). It means that we would be highly unlikely to have players coming to Sydney from out-of-state unless they have qualified already, and the Last Chance Qualifier is always dominated by those players that have already Qualified; people aren't willing to speculate $400 airfare + $200 accommodation + $100 food + $20 entry fees to not play the Continental Championship.

The alternative option is to create a 2-day Open (Tiered?) Tournament with a Secondary Event for the second day. It would allow for a Day 1 field of around 50+ to be whittled down to a nice small useful number like 20 (where we can either do 4x5s or 5x4s as the table format) and run something like a regular rated 3R + Final for the remainders. There would probably be bragging rights, a small trophy and maybe "a name on a shield" reward for coming first. Run it annually to coincide with something that will provide something for the families or in a location that has plenty of alternative activities for the remainder of the family. I suspect it would draw a greater number of players than the current Continental Championship (which in our case is also National Championship). I'd speculate that it would be just as valid for declaring the "Best Player in Australia/NZ".

a) What are your experiences with big open tournaments?
b) Can those with a bit more knowledge of this than me tell me: When determining Ratings, would Day 2 have a reduced "Tourney Size Coefficient"?

Monday, January 3, 2011

Happy New Year

Happy New Year...

May your bleeds always land, may your combat always go well and may you always have a Wake or Flick when you need it...

Happy 2011 Methuselahs.