Tuesday, December 6, 2011

State of V:tes

After the EC, I have thought a little about what I do not like at V:tes at this point. These things will be more from my subjective point of view, but I will try to do my best and try to reason my opinions.

1) RULES - I hate to say thing, that probably everyone knows, but V:tes rules are just total mess. The more I have tryed to have insight, the more confusing and strange things I found. Ok, there might be someone to completely understand interaction of all cards, but im am no amateur either. I am playing this game for some time right now, I am judging our local playgroup - because no one knows rule better (that does not mean that I consider myself expert). And huge part of my job involves working with V:tes cards, so I think that I know something. I was trying to learn as much rulings as possible and trying to refresh them, but after some time, some things vanished. And when I found rulings to some things, I got confused with reasoning of some of them and started to make mistakes at some basic rules and things. At this point I think that only person which is fully dedicated to learning all rullings etc, or having a laptop with internet connection at his disposal at all times. I can live with most of that, but I just hate giving a wrong rulling. Or to be given a bad ruling. These things happen even at larger tournaments and it is another proof of how complicated they are. After all of this, I have found out, that it is almost impossible to teach this game to a new player.

2) PLAY TO WIN RULE - I am getting more and more uncomfortable with interpretation of this rule. I mean I was pretty sure, that I know what it means at first, but the more I ran into it, the more problem arised for me - well basicaly just like any other V:tes rule. My interpretation of this rule is quite simple - try to go for GW and as many VP as you can inside one game without any relations to other games. What supported my interpretation was even forced dealbreaking when it comes to only two players. Getting GW and maximizing VP seems like a really simple concept and it makes sense. But there are other situations, where this rule does not apply in the way I imagined. Before we continue, let me say, that I have read all four topics on vekn.net, which have been about this topic and  pages of posts have ensured me, that I am not only one, who is confused or frustrated by this rule.

First of all it seems, that after you get your GW, you can do whatever you want, even self oust. This seems a little odd for me, since maximizing your VPs should be second most important thing for you. I do not consider this fair, because you can give free VP to someone who does not deserve it. Ok, I get it if there is close to zero chance, that you will oust your oponent an you do not want to play long and agonizing game, but I think even then it should be enforced to play for as much VP as you can get. Let me consider, that I have GW from the first game of tournament, in the second game I am facing really badly constructed deck, which have just barely stayed on the table. I have my finals ensured by my second GW and I will be pretty high seed anyway, so I choose to give that poor deck  VPs. In case he somehow wins another table with some lucky move / bad play of others or whatever, this deck may be put in finals no thanks to construction skills, or player, but thanks to my decision - I know that this is purely theoretical, but I hope you see my point in this.

Second of all - chance to win and self ousting. These are really tied together, so lets do them in one paragraph. If you believe, that there is no Reasonable chance for you to get any VP, you are free to get your  VP in any way you choose, even self-ousting. This is actually a huge statement. First of all, it seems that reasonable chance will be always up to that one particular judge. On many levels, this does not work for me.Still this is not as simply repairable as my second problem with this. More then once I was in situation when if one player self ousts, decides who wins the game. Again, even when two players clash so much with great skill, it is wrong, that the worse one decides, who will win. This is just wrong on every level. No matter how good player you are, there might be a moment, where someone decides to selfoust and you cannot do anything to prevent this, except talking to the guy and that does not always work. Second thing, which is wrong comes from "you are free to get your  VP in any way you choose" - I wanted to ask about this more. I was curious if, for example, I am free to kill cross table dude, because he pisses me off in a real life, because I will die anyway and this is how i choose to die. But then Pascal added, that you are free to maximize your TP. This is actualy encouraging for everyone, who wants to play this way. I am dying anyway, so I choose to take someone with me. In this case it will probably be my cross table buddy, because if I am in this situation, I am probably not in the place to hurt my predator or prey.

I really do not like this playstyle. Half of the time to be afraid if the dude behind me will transfer out, because he is too chicken to play or too stupid and/or fed up with the game to try at least waiting for some miracle, or at least time out. And secondly I should be afraid of cross table buddy, which I have supported all game and now he is dying and just wants to take another one with him? Ok I know that V:tes is multiplayer game and it involves a lot of skill with table balance, but these two things just do not fit.

3) SLOW PLAY - I have experienced this problem few times during the EC and I did not like this a little bit. And I heard from few fellow players, that they met some of slow playing guys too. I am not saying all of players are the same and everyone should be quick, but more than once, I have seen a player with two different decks. Both complicated and requing lot of thinking to play them. Still he was playing one of them very slowly on the edge of breaking the rules and he played the second deck very quickly. One of these decks was benefiting from this playing slowly and other one went for a fast action. I would never expect this at V:tes tournament, but I had to admit this after what I saw. Worst thing about this is, that it is very complicated to bring any evidence - I doubt that judge would classify this as slow play or stalling without seeing those two separate games - I would not either. I guess there is not much I can do about this, but it just destroyed good game for me.

4) FEW OF THE CARDS - OK, ok. This is the same topic once again, but some cards just do not work out for me. I will be as precise here, as I can. I am talking about combination of the cards on the table, not any of them in particular. Lilith's Blessing + Villein + Liquidation + Ashur Tablets + Heart of Nizchetus. I do not say, that these cards are ultimate unbreakable combo, bud people, games with them are loooooooooooooooooooooooooooong. And that is just not good. I have met a few decks using this combo during this tournament (no surprise for me) and they did not always win, some of them only survived until time out - this time out was reached with huge help of these card combinations. Combine this with previous topic and you should see, what I mean. I am not saying, that this is unbeatable or broken in some way, but in my opinion, it would requie extension of game time by at least 30 minutes, but more likely 60. Looking back at the V:tes, there were not as much good cards, which could also delay closure of the game this much. Now we can find lot more of them, especially combination, which I have posted before and we have formula for timeout here.

Well my rantig here is starting to be a little longer than I have planned, so I will stop it for now. I hope, that someone somewhere will find time to read this and maybe agree at least to some degree. I am not finished with V:tes at this point, but there are things, that are making me sad. Next time I hope I will return with something more motivating...

Friday, November 25, 2011

Final thoughts about EC

I have already finished all reports from all my EC games. This post should cover all the remaining things. I would like to start with the positive things:

1) Organizers - I would like to once again thank them for great job they've done. Almost everything went smoothly with exception of little delays, but that is understandable. Otherwise it was perfect job and I felt very good all the time.

2) People - I have met so many great people and enjoyed this event so much thanks to them. Most of my oponents were just great and I am glad, that I met them.

3) Atmosphere - I have never participated in a tournament this large and I could not imagine it. It was awesome and I hope that I will have a chance to experience that once again.

4) Skilled players - I have seen greatly played games. My playgroup is good, but I have still seen few very cool moves and learned a little bit myself.

5) Decks - I havent actually seen as much cool decks (with a few exceptions). But I have seen many great performances with archetype decks, which separate good player from the pack.

And now, for negative aspects.

1) Decks - Ok I get it, archetypes are archetypes for good reason -they are working, well tested and capable of wining. I am just getting tired of first vampire popping out and I already know what I am against and can almost tell his decklist. I have been surprised during this tournamet, but I was hoping for much more diversity. I know that after cease production, it will only get worse, but I was looking at this event with some hope.

2) Card trading - I was not in the mood for trading during the first day, so I jumped in during second day, but I was surprised with some of the things I have seen. Some people did not want to trade, some people did not want to sell and after I found someone, he asked for ridiculous price. I can understand most of it, if you do not want any of my cards, I can live with that. If you are only selling, ok. I can not get over the prices. Some of them were equal to ebay or even exceeding them - I remember hearing about Shattering Crescendo for 4 EUR. Comparing some of the prices to ebay, this event looked as a great bussiness for some people - same or greater price, but without the need to pay fees for ebay/paypal and no worries with shipping. To be fair, I have found a lots of people to trade with and made some great and I believe that fair deals.

3) Delays and time - I was little dissapointed by the fact, that everything was delayed. Starting with registration at friday, ending with last round of FCQ. Although organizers tried to do their best, some players just weren't helping. People always coming late, especialy in the morning, always problems with registrating etc. I am not blaming organizers, they were briliant and I know that things can go wrong for everyone, but it was little too much. 

4) Playing slowly - I understand, that everyone has his own pace, but I have seen such a ridiculous things. I almost died after start of one game, when players first turn was taking much longer than one minute - he did two transfers, no master, no discard. I understand, that sometimes this choice can be difficult, but still. I do not remember something like this anywhere else. And this one was not alone.

5) Time outs - I was pretty surprised about the number of time outs at this tournament. I have ended up in four games which have time outed from the nine. And at least one more of my games time outed after I was killed. Each time this happens, I feel very dissapointed - it is like there is no win at all. I do not mean Game Win in this instance, but just winning in general. After the time out, even when I get the GW, it stil does not feel like a complete victory. And my opinion in this case is still that Finals should be played without time limit.

I will cut this post at this place. I've got too much distracted during writing this and it lacks consistency since I have been writing this for a few days now. I will continue with hopefully short message about what I do not like at V:tes right now and afterwards will return to posting more game related things.

See you next time...

Sunday, November 20, 2011

EC day 3 - First chance qualifier

So there it was. Third day, third tournament. Since I was pretty frustrated by my acomplishments by then, I decided to play my Guruhi vote deck, which I am enjoying lately.

1st table: Me - Lutz vote - Unmada+Scout Yongwood - Auspex turbo block - Hazimel powerbleed

This table was really full of pressure. I was trying to do my best do mamage Lutz with votes, which ultimately damaged my cross table buddy because of Lutz ability. Lutz wasn't doing too much to his prey, but it was enough thanks to my political actions. He was then able to talk through parity shift taking 5 pool from Lutz. In the end, Scout Yongwood did backwards crescendo, sending Lutz and Marcus Vitel to torpor.Marcus was targeted by Golconda and that was basicaly it for his controler. He was conserving his pool and trying to survive until the end. Auspex block deck brought out three minions, Smiling jack and was doing his blocking. Hazimel put pulse of canaile on himself and was bleeding me for 6 almost each turn. I have tried to destroy smiling jack with three minions and called Ancient influence afterwards. All my actions were blocked by auspex block deck, including Ancient influence with eagles sight. He was ousted right after this because of lack of wake cards. After this it was basicaly one after another and Unmada + Scout cleared entire table. Congrats, I really loved that deck.

2nd round: Me - Salubri Marionette - Dmitra and friends - Saulot with tremere support - Cybele + Friends vote

This game was pretty catastrophic from the start. Dmitra was playing KRC from the start 3 points to saulot and one point to me. At one point I was trying to make a deal with Dmitra player, but he was offered better one from Cybele. Help with Saulot if he will help him finish me. I was hoping that Dmitra will eventualy break the deal, but in the end, I was ousted 10 seconds before time-out. I could have stalled, but it just is not my style.

3rd table - Me - Tzimisce block - Fortitude swarm - Tumnimos breed & bleed

We had only four player table, because someone was leaving early. As I was told, six other tables had the same problem.This was a great game for me, although it did not look like that from the start. I was just laying low, doing nothing except hunts and moving couters to my uncontroled region. After my prey had made a mistake and tapped his minions, used rotshreck and some wakes, I went for kill and in two turns, I was able to oust him. Fortitude swarm ousted his prey too and I was able to oust him pretty fast after this. I 've got a lot of full minions thanks to votercap, lots of pool thanks to oust and he did not have much chance here. Still it was a great game.

1 GW and 3 VP total for me. I was hoping to qualify with this, but after I saw the list, with highlighted names of 30 players, well lets say I was 6 TP short. So first one under the line.

I have not achieved any of my goals, so huge dissapointment here. On the other hand I am glad that I went. It was pretty epic event and I want to once more thank all organizers for a great event.

Next post will be again about EC, but I promise it will be the last one. I will try to write more about games, decks, strategies and players.

Deck Name: Guruhi vote
Author: Silmegil

Crypt (12 cards; Capacity min=4 max=11 avg=7.5)
 1x  Aren, Priest of Eshu    7  ani obf POT PRE          Guruhi:4
 1x  Batsheva ADV            6  obt pot ANI PRE          Guruhi:4
 2x  Eze, The Demon Prince  11  aus ANI NEC POT PRE THA  Guruhi:3
 1x  Fode Kourouma           5  ani aus pre POT          Guruhi:4
 1x  Iniko, The Black Lion   9  cel ANI OBT POT PRE      Guruhi:4
 1x  Lumumba                 4  ani PRE                  Guruhi:4
 1x  Maskini                 7  abo ANI POT PRE SER      Guruhi:4
 1x  Nana Buruku             8  ANI POT PRE              Guruhi:4
 1x  Sobayifa                8  aus pot pro spi ANI PRE  Guruhi:3
 1x  Ugadja                 10  dom for ABO ANI POT PRE  Guruhi:4
 1x  Urenna Bunu             4  ani pot pre              Guruhi:4

Library (90 cards)
Master (14)
 1x Archon Investigation
 1x Golconda: Inner Peace
 1x Grooming the Protégé
 1x Lilith's Blessing
 3x Misdirection
 7x Villein

Action (10)
 5x Enchant Kindred
 5x Founders of the Ebony Kingdom

Political Action (21)
 2x Anarchist Uprising
 1x Ancient Influence
 4x Conservative Agitation
 1x Domain Challenge
 9x Kine Resources Contested
 1x My Kin Against the World
 1x Neonate Breach
 1x Reins of Power
 1x Snipe Hunt

Action Modifier (34)
 4x Aura of Invincibility
 6x Bewitching Oration
 6x Change of Target
 2x Edge of the World
 6x Iron Glare
 2x Make an Example
 8x Voter Captivation

Combat (10)
10x Majesty

Combo (1)
 1x Guruhi Kholo

Created with Secret Library v0.9.3. (Nov 20, 2011 11:43:55)

See you next time...

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Second day of EC

So after my huge failure at LCQ, I have decided to play deck with which I have played most recently and scored some pretty good games - Guruhi vote. I had prepared it night before the actual European championship Day I and in the morning, I have decided to go with a deck which is capable of bouncing bleed - so I chose my Tremere Politics v 0.2 for this event. I was pretty confident, because I have playtested this deck probably most of all my creations and I knew all its capabilities. Well, I can kiss my confidence goodbye now:)

1st game (Me - Nakhthorheb bleed - !Salubri toolbox maybe - Giovanni powerbleed - Nergal vote)

I had great start, Nergal was practicaly dead when he came out and I influenced out Malgorzata and started to get out more minions. I had dealt some damage with KRC, but Nakhthorheb has equiped Sport bike and started to play defensively. Nergal was ousted very quickly, but he dealt some damage to giovanni and with pressure from salubri, they were ot bleeding me, so my bounce was useless and my prey stabilised. Giovanni were ousted some time after that. Rest of the game was just my prey and predator blocking my actions. I have killed two Carltons, burned one !Salubri and sent Byzar to torpor twice. But in spite all of this, we timed out. Four minions out I was not able to push enough actions through. Very sad from me. After the game I found out, that there was only one Sport bike in my preys deck and he equipped it in like third turn. What to say. Bad luck maybe. 0,5 VP for me.

2nd game (Me - Girls will find something - Khazar Diary giovanni - True brujah bleed - Dragon Breath Round Swarm)

So not the best table for me either. I knew, that my predator has waited for my second minion to go out to reduce my pool. But I did it anyway, hoping my grandpredator will do something to him with his hands untied. So my Anastaz di Zagreb was hit by Pentex and Ladislas Toth, The Torch went to torpor and was graverobbed. What to say about next part of the game? I do not know. For three long turns I have begged for someone to remove Pentex. My cross table buddies had 9 vampires in total, but both of them told me, that they had no action to spare even when I have promised them political actions in return. So Orlando Oriundus came out. He was rushed six times. Five minions equipped with Saturday night specials and all of them were left without blood. Sixth had taken Orlando down to torpor. Only one was left, but thanks to Pentex still on Anastaz, I was not able to block. So my predator took vote lock by this action and I was left with only one minion with pentex. What to say more? Game eventualy ended with Girls... taking entire table except one point taken from them by Trujah. I may have been able to slow them down or do something, but... I am not ashamed by this game at all. The removal of the Pentex was the key to changing this table outcome. 0 VP for me.

3rd table (Me - IC Ashur/Liquidation/Villein/Lilith blessing something - 3rd player - Anti ventrue  grinder - 5th player)

Ending of this game was so frustrating for me, that I have totaly forgotten about two of the players decks on this table. They were ousted pretty soon as I remember it. At this point I was succesfully defending against grinder and trying to bring down that IC deck. Well my last political action was blocked by grinder deck and I was unable to oust it in a given turn. On the other hand, grinder have discarded his only wake and was killed. I would have been able to finish the IC deck, but time out stopped me once again. So again 0,5 VP for me.

Total of 1 VP is not very impressive, but I am not dissapointed. Players had to team up against me, in two of the games and second game was just awful work of my table buddies. I am not saying, that I've made no mistakes, but I stand behind this deck. It works, is enjoyable and had a chance. Still I have learned a few new thing from theese games. Still I was little sad not to go to Day II, but I have been looking forward to FCQ and playing Guruhi vote, since I have wanted to play them at this tournament. So that will be next report.

For those who have forgotten:

Deck Name: Fee Stake Ostrava: Tremere politics 0.2
Author: Vystavil Silmegil (Regis)
Fee Stake: Ostrava
Ostrava, Czech Republic
January 15, 2011
13 players
3R + F


Crypt (12 cards; Capacity min=6 max=9 avg=7.92)
 1x  Alfred Benezri              6  aus dom PRE THA      Pander:3
 2x  Anastasz di Zagreb          8  ani cel dom AUS THA  Tremere:3
 1x  Carna, The Princess Witch   7  AUS DOM THA          Tremere:3
 2x  Ladislas Toth, The Torch    7  for AUS DOM THA      !Tremere:3
 2x  Malgorzata                  9  pre AUS DOM THA VIC  !Tremere:4
 2x  Orlando Oriundus            9  obf AUS DOM THA      !Tremere:4
 2x  Polly Kay Fisher            8  for pot AUS DOM THA  !Ventrue:4

Library (90 cards)
Master (14)
 6x Blood Doll
 2x Dreams of the Sphinx
 1x Erciyes Fragments, The
 1x Giant's Blood
 1x Legendary Vampire
 1x Powerbase: Madrid
 1x Smiling Jack, The Anarch
 1x Wash

Event (1)
 1x Scourge of the Enochians

Political Action (17)
 1x Ancient Influence
 1x Ancilla Empowerment
10x Kine Resources Contested
 3x Neonate Breach
 1x Political Stranglehold
 1x Reins of Power

Action Modifier (4)
 4x Mirror Walk

Reaction (26)
 1x Eluding the Arms of Morpheus
 2x Enhanced Senses
 3x Forced Awakening
 4x On the Qui Vive
 3x Precognition
 5x Spirit's Touch
 8x Telepathic Misdirection

Combat (28)
11x Apportation
 1x Burst of Sunlight
10x Theft of Vitae
 4x Walk of Flame
 2x Weather Control

Created with Secret Library v0.9.3. (Nov 17, 2011 00:17:52)

See you next time...

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Back from the EC

Returning from EC, I am full of impressions. I will try to break it all dow to smaller pieces, starting with last chance qualifier. Iwas already qualified so I chose one of my weaker decks - Striga wall deck. I actually loved Scobax card from the start and this deck was my dream for a long time. After I started to test it in our playgroup, its obnoxiousness to other players became pretty clear. But I continued to test it just to be ready for a major tournament. Since this deck needs some time to build up, I benefit from aggresive decks on the table. Others see them as a threat and leave me be.

So what to say. I will not go game by game here, since this was fail after fail. First thing was, that I actually could not draw enough of striga cards in any of the three games and was forced to cycle a lot of Scobax cards for almost no effect. Secondly I have made a wrong call about decks. I have met sooooooooooo many bloating decks, covens, racks, montreals, giant bloods etc. And thirdly - well players were going slow and more static than I have expected. With this kind of deck on the table, It was pretty smart but still. I have pissed one player so much, that it wasn't looking pleasant.

Well that is it for this deck. I really did not enjoy playing with this deck and so did hardly anyone on theese tables. I have scored 2 x 0,5 VP for timeout so that aslo says something. Despite all that I am glad that I had tested it and I know its potential and weaknesses. I am prety sorry for all people I pissed though. So that is for the LCQ and I will continue with the main tournament as soon as I have time.

Deck Name: Scobax Wall
Author: Silmegil

Crypt (12 cards; Capacity min=3 max=3 avg=3)
12x  Horde, The   3  dai obf pre  Baali:6

Library (90 cards)
Master (26)
 1x Millicent Smith, Puritan Vampire Hunter
 1x Pentex(TM) Subversion
 1x Powerbase: Chicago
 1x Powerbase: Montreal
 3x Smiling Jack, The Anarch
 1x Society of Leopold
18x Striga

Event (4)
 1x Hunger Moon
 1x Restricted Vitae
 1x Rising, The
 1x Slow Withering, The

Reaction (60)
60x Scobax

Created with Secret Library v0.9.3. (Nov 15, 2011 17:44:33)

So wait for it...

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Tournament coming up

So it seems there are lots of tournaments held lately. It is no mystery. EC is really close now and people are trying to qualify. So it is not a surprise, that even my city - Ostrava is a place where will be one of those tournaments. Not a championship or qualifier, only regular tournament, but still. One more person to go with me to EC. At least I hope. The tournament will be held 1.10.2011, so less then a week to the future and I still do not know, what to play. Well my tremere politics is always a possibility, but I would rather risk and try something new in tournament enviroment. So these are my choices:

Scobax wall - well i know, probably not a first choice, but what the hell, it is too evil for casual games, but for tournament it can be ok and I am willing to try

Frederick the weak multirush deck - my one and only deck copied from the internet. It is slightly modified, but the core - 60x Indomitability is still there and that is what counts. Another deck, which is not really tournament win likely, but what the hell, I just like this baby

Guruhi vote - I have just built it and it shows a lot of promise. I would like to see it in really tight spots, so tournament is the right place to go

Something safe and boring - so either my IC politics, Public trust bleed or Giovanni powerbleed - this would be a safe choice, but I am already qualified and realy not in the mood for something this boring.

Still, we will see night before tournament. I could go for some of my less tested or perfected decks.

See you next time, hopefuly with the report...

Monday, September 19, 2011

2 vs 2

Since I have not posted for some time now, I will try to catch up a little. 2 vs 2 is very interesting format, which we have played and tested within our playgroup. Basic rules of V:tes apply to this format with only few exceptions.

1) As the title of this format suggests, two pairs of people compete against each other, therefore you need 4 persons for each game and only 4 player tables exist at this event.
2) Pairs register for this event simultanously and have to agree to play with each other. They build decks in advance to support each others strategy and to work together well.
3) Teams (or pairs) remain constant for the entire event and there is no switching.
4) Seating of players is not decided at random as usual. Players seating is chosen, so you have prey and predator from oposite team. Your teammate is across the table. Starting order is chosen randomly as usual.
5) Deck for this event is limited with standard rules of V:tes. This means no banned cards and of course deck is limited only to 80 cards, because of the constant 4 player tables.
6) You and your teammate play with your pool joint. This means that entire team has 60 pool aviable from the start. They do not have to be distributed evenly. Team looses after there pool is totaly depleted.

We have played more than a few games of this format, but only two tournaments - which both were awesome. We didn't find any problem with cards, which would be troublesome or overpowered in this format, but we could not test everything. Some cards or strategies proved to be very offective and we have found some pretty cool combinations. Overall this format is very enjoyable and I recommend it.

Pros: New format, new strategies, combination play, different gameplay

Cons: Usually more time to set up the event because of training and combining decks and also if someone cannot find him a partner for this event, he can't play

See you next time...

Sunday, September 18, 2011

One and only

Few weeks ago, I have participated in tournament, in which every card ind both crypt and library was limited to only one copy. Well, that is basically the entire concept of this format. This event was organized in the past, but I could not attend because of the exams. I have built a deck though - vic/aus/tha with a few high cups and a weenie support. It was a good deck, but I took it apart after some time and built a new one for this tournament. It was an attempt to build a ventrue grinder and it did not went well. Weenie bleed decks and weenie aus block decks just devastated me, but I enjoyed playing in that tournament. I am planning to build rush deck next time and I am curious how that will go. This format is probably better suited for other games than V:tes, but I am not giving up on it. I hope that this was not last time I have participated in such event.

See you next time.

Friday, July 8, 2011


It was some time ago, that I noticed topic at vekn.net about other formats of competitive vtes games. Firstly I must say, that I love constructed tournament. In its pure form with five-player table and when all of them are really good, game just becomes really great. Of course at table of seven people, where every other player does stupid things, which do not make sense, it just sucks. Lately we have started league, so my needs of constructed competitive play are mostly satisfied. But there are other formats, which we have played and enjoyed them very much. So next few posts will be about that. I will start with draft tournament. I am sure that this format won't be anything new for almost anyone, but it will be good start.

So my first draft was special. Each player was allowed to bring 4 vampires (only 2 copies of same vampire could be used - I remember bringing 2* Menele and 2* Hektor) and 20 cards as foundation for his deck(only one copy of each card could be used - so no 20* Freak Drives). Rest of the deck was built from cards, that were drafted in classic way. You can se, that this type of draft makes much stronger decks, because everyone can add very strong vampires to his crypt, or cards to library. Games tend to be a lot faster too, because usual toolboxy draft strategies tend to be more focused and smooth. Faster games are one of the reasons to choose this type of draft. Main reason is to save money. Because of cards you have prepared, you can lower the number of drafted boosters. And saving money is a huge selling point.

Classic draft on the other hand very much adds to variety of play and can display trully great gaming skills. Sixteen boosters had proven to be a number, which is enough to provide variety for building decks as much as enough cards for playing. We have tried few combinations of V:tes sets and they work almost in any combination. But you will always need one core big set - for example 3rd edition(nowadays that is pretty much your only choice). Sometimes you will need to remove crypt restrictions. Sets that provide cards with draft effects are even better for the game. Four sets are ideal for card diversity. If you are not able to use four different sets, you should be able to replace missing sets with core set. Too much of small edition boosters (SoC for example) would make the cards very monotonic. After my last draft (with LoB, EK, HttB and LotN) I am fairly confident that almost every set may be combined with others with optional crypt restriction removal. Ok i know that EK is not entirely usefull without LoB, but some of the cards still can be used and I believe that Even NoR could provide interesting game developments.

There is nothing much I could say without boring you, because like I said, this format is pretty well known. One thing, which can give you the edge is to study possible cards and combinations, which you can make before starting and try to prepare some strategies, but last time I thought I will try to build solid Dominate based deck, with some support and ended up with magaji wall, so that is preparation for you. But still - to know, what you may find and to be aware of draft effects will give you a great edge.

Pros: Fun format, which can improve your skills of combination, make you play a very different strategies, than you usually do and bring you a lot of fun.

Cons: Cost and secondly time heftiness.

See you next time with other format...

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Gliwice 2011 - few photos

I have received some photos from Polish NAC and I haven't been updating this blog for a while, so I will post few of them to keep this blog alive and I promise, that I will be providing some new content soon.

Preparations just after our arrival.

We had quite a laugh even during registration.

One of the tables. I am so glad, that it wasn't mine table - it shows, what I do not like at tournaments. Except my friends crescendo Dughters, every other deck looks like archetype, which was played a thousand times. Well I know, that is reason to play them. So we have here AAA / Vignes grinder/ Nana buruku + friends / Tremere (Carna) block.
So you can see me in the back with Count Germaine pentexed :)
So my second table, when my star vampire was stolen from me and I had to beat him to torpor:)
Time for a break...
My last table.
Final table...

Once again I must say, that this place was pretty cool and I enjoyed this event very much. I know, photos are a little self-centered, but hell ... It is my blog :)

See you next time.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Thoughts about Tournaments and Decks

So the Polish NAC was first tournament outside of CZ for me. Here are some thoughts about this event and my deck. Some of those may apply for tournamets in general.

1) I was afraid, that my understanding of polish would not be sufficient. I was pretty shocked, that actually my czech language was problem and we had to comunicate mostly in english. Language barrier is actually pretty strong handicap. It is pretty complicated to argue in english with a dude that is trying to make simultaneous deals in polish. I understood them pretty well, so this was not problem, but you can be much more convincing and wordy in your native language. Understandable, but it actually played a greater role, than I expected.

2) Attendance of the tournament was around 40 players and 7 of them were from Czech republic - our playgroup. It is actually pretty sad to beat down or get beaten down by your friend. We were actually clashing more, because we knew, how strong our decks were and we were afraind of each other. But other players were expecting, that we are playing in some kind of agreement and often did not believe our intentions. This is actually pretty dumb factor, since there is nothing much I can do about this style of thinking. I was talking about this with some of my friends and they have similar feelings about this. I guess that I would be also more suspicious of visitor. On the other hand - my friends have pretty powerfull decks, which I am afraid of.

3) Table talk. Well I dont know if this is common in all bigger tournaments, but sometimes it was too much. I was asked during one game probably ten or twelve times, if I can direct something, sudden something. Not to mention rush something and not rush something - stopped counting that very soon. I know, that there can be a loooot of combination around the table. But this was sucking a lot of fun for me. Directing every other virtually useless card is just retarded and asking for it... well I was tired of it. A lot of times there was too much thinking, asking, talking and it was going straight to time outs. I am little disapointed of this.

4) Cross-table dependency. I would not call it whining, but again - normally it happens, that you will help your cross table buddy in some way. But the amount was insane. And it often happened in times, which were illogical and mostly totally needless. I know, table balance is table balance, but come on!

5) Table-flow. In most games to this day, there was often pretty clear table flow (predator and prey relations). Now sure, there can always be some weird deck or block, which can screw this, but again I haven't seen as much screwed up relationships. It pretty much originates from previous complaint. I actually wasn't in a game, where there was not any cross-table poking, backrushing and other weirdness. Some of that I would understand. And again - there was too much of it.

6) The decks. Well ok. I have not built an ultimate winning deck. But you can see from it, that it can actually do something. Normally I am fan of toolboxes, but it seemed, that most of decks I have seen were just too much mixed with "what if" stuff. I have played against two decks, that were pretty straightforward, but the rest just seemed to much mixed. I understand the need to pud DI and Sudden to every tournament deck, even in multiple pieces. Pentex is another card, which can solve a lot of problems. But I have seen parity shifts in deck, which had two votes. Second traditions which led blocking vampires to be torporized instead of relatively harmless actions and I could continue. I can understand need to be prepared, but it looked inefective, confusing and prolonged game a lot.

I actually started to write this post right after the tournament. I had cooled down from then. Most from the original text was kept, because I still feel the same about what I have experienced. I am still pretty sad about our performance. I have been able to determine my mistakes and have learnt much from them. I am still little sad about magnitude of crosstable actions in general and decks, which I have encountered. I am looking forward to attend in next big tournament. Hope that occasion will rise soon.

See you next time.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Polish NAC 2011 - Gliwice

So me and my friend were attending Polish NAC in Gliwice, Poland. First time for me, to attend event outside Czech republic, so I was looking forward to this event. I was actually thinking about switching decks, just before the tournament, to more balanced and playtested one, but I promised, that there will be some combat from our city and did not want to break my word. So the choice for this tournament was my Count Germaine deck. I am actually terrible with names. I will try to find out from a photos later, for now I'll talk only about decks.

1) Saulot combat toolbox - Me (germaine) - Malkavian Madness network - Lasombra bleed - Cybelle

Cybelle was torporized in first combat with one of saulot minions and despite trying to survive, was quickly ousted by lasombra. They were bleeding saulot at first, but then some rush happened from him and they were stuck with only defending against malkavian, bud ousted afterward. I had actually brought out merged Count Germaine and Themistocles, both with some perma + strength stuff. But this had taken me a waaaaaaay longer time, that it should have and I was beaten from Saulot and other stuff. One pentex on the Germaine from my prey later, one misdirected bleed with stealth later, Saulot was able to oust me, but was ousted himself in the heads up.

0 VP for me

2) AAA politics - Eurobrujah w/ beast - Me (Germaine) - Sebastian Goulet & friends - Tremere swarm/wall?

I had a pretty good start this game. Brought out Germaine, merged him, gave him Heroic might. Brought out Themistocles and gave him Heroic too. So I have torporized some vampires and killed some shadow court satyr dudes of Sebastian. He stopped his very little forward pressure after this and made deal with his prey not to go forward and rescuing himself from torpor, bringing out another copy of shadow court satyr and some weenie shields for sebastian. I wasnt planning to rush backwards, but I was defending against bleed, and ended up sending Beast into torpor. Eurobrujah were trying to build upp a little and were at 16 pool. I was stuck around 7, but had a very heavy card jam, my prey turned against me in a wallish state. Then cross-table temptation of greater power from AAA deck happened. I was trying to explain, that it will mean, that my Count Germaine (which has built in rush usable on toreador) will go to his prey, so instead of strong buddy, he will give a weapon to his opponent. He did not believe me, but that is just what happened. So after his prey got Germaine, he made a deal to give him a full option to oust me without any pressure and interference. So I got my prey and predator fully concentrated on me, and was robbed of my star vampire. Well I have lost, but was able to defend against Eurobrujah leading to his oust. After my demise, the table time outed, leaving the game win for AAA.

0 VP for me

3) DoC shattering crescendo - Tupdog Rush w/ Nephandus - Ahrimane wall - Me

Last table was composed of four players, but even swiping a whole five player table would not be enough for me to get to finals, so I was going to have fun, but still try to win. Not much to say about this game. I had terrible draw and just awful replace. Got only one VP after much "help" of tupdog rush and I was beaten down the next turn.

1 VP

So this was actually pretty awful tournament for me. None of my fellow players made it to the finals, but two of them had a pretty good shot. I will add some thoughts about tournament and my deck and its performance - these will be listed in the next post.Here is the deck I played at the tournament:

Deck Name: Count Germaine combat madness
Author: Silmegil

Crypt (12 cards; Capacity min=1 max=9 avg=6.33)
 1x  Abu Nuwasi           3  cel for              Ishtarri:4
 1x  Anarch Convert       1  -none-               Caitiff:ANY
 1x  Caroline Bishops     3  cel for pot          Pander:4
 3x  Count Germaine       8  obf CEL FOR POT PRE  Brujah:4
 3x  Count Germaine ADV   8  obf CEL FOR POT PRE  Brujah:4
 1x  Dmitra Ilyanova      9  obf CEL FOR POT PRE  Brujah:5
 1x  Kenyatta             4  cel for pre          Ishtarri:4
 1x  Themistocles         8  pre AUS CEL FOR POT  Brujah:5

Library (90 cards)
Master (11)
 1x Blood Turnip
 1x Carver's Meat Packing and Storage
 2x Dreams of the Sphinx
 1x Fame
 1x Giant's Blood
 1x Golconda: Inner Peace
 2x Infamous Insurgent
 2x Monster

Event (1)
 1x Scourge of the Enochians

Action (21)
 2x Ambush
 3x Big Game
 3x Bum's Rush
 1x Covenant of Blood
 3x Fleetness
 3x Harass
 1x Heart of the City
 2x Heroic Might
 3x Preternatural Strength

Action Modifier (8)
 8x Forced March

Combat (44)
 4x Diversion
10x Immortal Grapple
 4x Psyche!
10x Pursuit
10x Rolling with the Punches
 6x Taste of Vitae

Combo (5)
 5x Resist Earth's Grasp

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

League 4th round

Very sad round for me. We played one seven player (aaaargh) table. I was again taking pictures. I was trying not to start taking them after anyone was dead again, but after something already happened in the game. Well, I was succesfull at that. I had taken pictures after a while and no one was dead yet.... But somehow i missed one players, so there will be only six photos. Seriously, is there some bad karma with me and taking photos?

So the table was like this:

Fojtik: !Tor anarch bleed

This deck did not have a great start, but eventualy was able to oust hus prey, then was stopped by akunanse.

Tuko: !Tre bleed & Theft

Yep, this is the one, who I missed. I am greatly sorry for this. After a solid start, he was stopped by akunanse wall + archon investigation. Anarchs finished his doom.

Me: Akunanse wall

Not a great start for me. I was predatoring on Imbued, thefted out by !Tre, after resisting them, blocking Anarchs and finaly finished by Malks. Very sad story indeed.

Potomek: Imbued

Imbued were able to oust his prey, but were stopped eventually and ousted by malkavians.

Kunce: Swarm obf + procurers

Did not have a great start either, was ousted due a lack of pressure on imbued and bad knowledge of their cards.

Bik_76: (in) Famous Ignore deck

Was able to wait till the end and oust only remaining player - malkavian. Classic end for this deck.

Dilvish: Malkavian s&b

Ousted three players with heavy bleeding, then fallen to the Ignore deck.

Dilvish: 1 GW 3 VP
Bik_76: 2 VP
Potomek: 1 VP
Fojtik: 1 VP

Sadly I was not present in the fifth round, so there will not be report from that one. Sixth will be probably missed either, so do not expect report from it. I am actually trying to learn for two exams now, but after that, I will bring report from small competitive event we had this weekend.

See you next time.

Monday, May 2, 2011

League 3rd round

I have been a little busy with finishing my bachelor thesis, so I will try to update last few rounds as soon as possible. But since my memory isn't what it has been, they will be a little brief. But I haven't forgotten to take photos this time.

 This time, we had two tables.

Five player table:

Bik_76: Fos Bleed/politics
 Bik was able to oust only one prey, then he was beaten down by combat on both sides.

Fojtik: !Tor anarch bleed
 Theese anarch dudes are actually pretty scary, so they were beaten down by !Salubri and were easy prey for FoS. Oust was actually so quick, that this foto is after ousting.

Tuko: Saulot & friends

This deck is actually pretty ofensive, but can build up a very solid defense too. After resisting four different predators, Tuko was able to remain on the table alone.
Me: Germaine combat madness
 Siting between two combats, I was still confident because both of them used weapons and Germaine simply owns them. But I was beaten from the start, had terrible draw and was forced to diablerize my own vampire, burn Germaine in Blood Hunt and bring out new, full one.

 Shimi: Cel/Pre bleed & guns & roses

Considering this decks nemesis was predatoring him, Shimi has managed to oust his prey and almost outlive Germaine on the table in the final conflict. One pool difference was enough.

Tuko: 1 GW 2 VP
Me: 1 VP
Bik_76: 1 VP
Shimi: 1 VP

Second four player table:

Kaczkin: Fos bleed
Potomek: IC politics/bleed

Daveopava: !Gangrel weirdeness
Dilvish: Cesewayo wall

Not much to say about this one. I was sitting at the other table and my game again! lasted longer. Kaczkin was able to oust one player, before Potomek cleaned rest of the table.

Potomek: 1 GW 3 VP
Kaczkin: 1 VP

I will try to update other reports as soon as possible and also with better pictures. I should also ask extrala how he divides his photos in two columns. This report will be loooooong:)

See you next time.

Friday, April 8, 2011

League 2nd round

Yesterday we played second round of our league. (I still owe extrala for posting Bochum league rules for inspiration) This time, I have brought camera to this session. Next time, I'll try to actually take some pictures with it. I must say, that game on our table was so intense, that I completely forgot about anything else than game. This time, we had composed two tables of five people. I must apologize again. I haven't been paying attention to second table. Mostly for same reasons as before. From what I've heard, Tuko's tremere bleed have conquered the whole table. Shimi was able to snatch one VP from him.

As for our table, well lets look at seating and decks:
Kunce (Enkidu multirush armageddon)
Fojtik (Animalism block combat)
Me (Count Germaine combat madness)
Bik_76 (Una freakshow)
Kaczkin (FoS stealth bleed)

I was always saying, that Ostrava has very combat-oriented enviroment. Well, I was not kidding. I was afraid right from the start. Enkidu combat is very well built and as long as he has enough blood on him, his combat is superior to mine. I was not too afraid of Una, because Germaine special - on the other hand it could get ugly if my hand would get jammed. In that situation, animalism with its deep songs could be equaly ugly. I have great staring hand. Dreams of the sphinx helped me to influence out Germaine one round sooner and also helped with my card cycling. I was able to get out a quick Preternatural strength, merge Germaine and put infamous insurgent on him. Una was able to equip with standard stuff which made her immune to frenzy, grapple cards, gave her a lot of manuevuers and enhanced her hunting. She had also equipped with eternal vigilance and raven spy. Pretty decent start was spoiled, because Kaczkin played Direct Intervention on her Eye of hazimel. Next round, another DI was played on her Freak Drive, so this was also a little slowdown. Kaczkin was building up a little at the start and managed to make deal with Kunce, not tu rush him with Enkidu. Having slowed down Una, he started som heavy bleeding a little later. Enkidu came out, made a deal with Kaczkin and started rushing forward. He was rewarded with Pentex for that and although he had two supporting vampires, he was not able to get rid of it, because of ANI blockers. Fojtik had just terrible start. Enikidu has sent two of his vampires to torpor and I have done the same. He was still able to keep one vampire after this, but it was only struggle to survival. I was slowly beating down vampires, which supported Una, with ocasional poke or two, which I did to her.

I was able to fill Germaine with Giants blood and put Heroic might on him. Una was continuing to equip, Kaczkin got all of his vampires beaten down to torpor by Enkidu, which finally got rid of Pentex. He was able to reduce Kunces pool significantly. Fojtik was still down to one vamp. Things started to move from here. Bik tried to pentex my Germaine, but was suddened by Kaczkin. I was able to oust una shortly after that, beating her to torpor first. Kunce was able to oust Fojtik. Kaczkin was able to influence out another vampire and deal some more damage to Kunce's pool, but his pool were significantly reduced and I was able to oust him. I tried to finish of Enkidu, but was able to only send to torpor his support vampires. Enkidu himself was protected by Secure Haven. I have made the mistake of bringing out another vampire, which did not have fortitude and Enkidu used him, to fill up his reduced blood. He was actually able to sent Count Germaine to torpor, but at that time, he was left only with two pool and I was able to get out from torpor and finish him of.

It was a pretty intense game until the end. I was enjoying every second of it. Combath with enkidu was decided by one card difference and could have gotten both ways. At that time, I had only three cards in my hand, so it would not end good if I lost that combat.

1st table: Tuko 1GW 4 VP
              Shimi 1 VP
2nd table: Me 1GW 4VP
               Kunce 1VP

I am satisfied with my Germaine deck at this point and will probably do only little tweaking and we could see tournament worthy deck. See you next week with another report.

Monday, April 4, 2011

League 1st round

We finally played 1st round of league game last thursday. Since there were eight players present for the game, we composed two four-player tables. Unfortunately second table was finished way way before our table, so I can't say precisely what happened there, but I was told, that old school Giovanni power bleed has taken the whole table - so nothing interesting there.

My table had following seating order:

Fojtik (!Toreador anarch bleed with undue influence, Palla Grande)
Potomek (Group 2 Samedi bleed with corpses)
Me (Germain combat madness)
Tuko (Big cap Ventrue politics)

Fojtik started by quickly influencing out small !Tor and bleeding Potomek. Potomek on the other hand tried to build up his corpse army and try to gain as much pool as possible through Litttle mountain cemetery. I have made an early deal with potomek, that he will aply only moderate pressure on me an I won't backrush his minions. Thanks to that I was able to apply pressure to my prey, which brought out Queen Anne. She got torporized, rescued and torporized again. Unfortunately, Tuko was able to play Villein on her and bring out Arika. My Germaine was merged, but I could not bleed effectively, because Arikas Deflections. Meanwhile Fojtik was able to build up a solid army of minions despite of Scourge of Enochians destroing two of his underlings. Then Tuko decided, that Fojtik will keep me from killing him more, than Potomek and he threw some Kine Resources cross-table. Thanks to that, Potomek was ousted. I was able to oust Tuko during the next round thanks to rescuing Queen Anne, sending her to torpor and then bleeding for three. Arika did not have way to untap, which sealed the deal. Fojtik had four minions at this point and My hand was little jammed at this point. I was able to send only one of his minions to torpor and others killed me. Damn.

1st table: Bik_76 - 1GW 4 VP
2nd table: Me - 1VP
                Fojtik - 1 GW 3 VP

The game was fun for me, although I did not win, but it was because I was playing one of my favourite decks. I am looking forward to next rounds an will continue to report them here.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Results of a poll

Since my blog is relatively new, there were only 32 votes in total.

How often do you play V:tes?

Once a week.  15 (46%)

Once in two weeks.  7 (21%)

Once in a month. 2 (6%)

Less often. 8 (25%)

Almost  half of players, who voted are able to arrange weekly games. Our playgroup is also meeting at least once a week and I am happy, that others have this option too. Once in two weeks seems also ok, but less often seems too little. I know I am probably very lucky, that my playgroups meets very often and there is opportunity for me to play and test all of my numerous decks. I wonder how playgroups which meet less than once in two weeks are doing in terms of continuous playing. I guess that it would demotivate some players in our group to even show at all, when meetings and games would be so scarce. Some of them would seek a new hobby or something new to dedicate their time to. I was really sad to notice, that Singing VTES, which was one of blogs i follow, is looking like V:tes is dead and he is now moving to play AGOT. I cannot deny, that his logic to move to game, which is actually moving, is pretty tempting. On the other hand - V:tes is still pretty variable game with lot of potential and lot of drama. 

 I have been a little busy planing events and bugging czech NC to appoint me as prince of Ostrava (which he did). So hopefuly league will start in two weeks, we will play duel tournament parallel to the league and we are going to play 2 vs 2 tournament, which we couldn't fit into Bik V:tes cup. So there will be plenty of reports really soon and until then, I will post here one of my combat decks, which i am seeking to improve and has some real in game problems.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Players leaving

I have been thinking a lot about players leaving from our playgroup, but also from others. I am not one of the newest players, but also not from the oldest. I am playing this game probably more than three years and I like this game more and more. In theese past years we have some success with recruiting new players, but we also lost a lot of them.

I am sad each time someone leaves playgroup regardless what game it is. But we must say, that in V:tes, it is even worse. In magic, you can play a casual game with a friend and everything is okay. To fully experience V:tes, even for a casual game, you need four players at least. You can play with less, but it just doesn't feel right in a long run. Another thing is table talk. It gets old, with only four same players with the same lines - "Why are you rushing me? I am doing nothing to you." etc. etc. The game is simply dying because of that. After cease production, losing a player is even a bigger deal.

There have been different reasons for players to quit our group. I will write their reasons just for others to see, but also for me to summarize what i know and try to prevent other players from leaving - if that will be possible. I will also be glad to read your comments about your lost players and their reasons.

1) Not enough time - that is actually most common reason of our players. It is really sad, but we must remember that our playerbase is in general older than in other games. People are moving to different cities and in theese cases, there is not much, we can do. People also start their own families and it is also hard, to compete with that. But sometimes there are simply other things, which interest them more. There is not much we can do about do that last case either, but to try making our casual games, or playgroup more interesting - with league, or tournaments or special settings. Storyline events were helping too. I am just starting theese things in our playgroup and I will try to informing you, how it goes.

2) Too much competition - was a very special problem in our group. We had originally two game nights a week, but as time passed, some people got irritated, because our decks started to look more and more tournament-like. I was actually pretty surprised by this and am really curious if this happened in some other playgroup too.

3) Just getting bored - this happens too. Usualy thoise people play for a while and then find out, that it just isn't their "cup of tea." It is unfortunate, but I have also started some things which were not made for me and I have quit shortly after.

I am very surprised that the reasons have shrinked into three groups only, but when I look at the first group, it covers a huge ammount of reasons. It is not much important though. I know, that there will not be someone, who will catalogue players according to the Silmegils groups. I am more interested about your experience with this issue and reasons of your pleayers for their leaving. 

I have been thinking for a last few days, how to promote a dead game. Best thing is probably to not start with this fact. Demo games can be pretty boring, since you have to round at least four players to fully demonstrate possibilities. I have done some face to face promoting with my friends, who were close to CCGs in the past and it may have some impact, but I would still be glad to find some fres blood to our group. Don't get me wrong, our playgroup is still fairly strong, but I will be still glad for any interesting ideas. Feel free to post below.

Ok, this is last depresing comment for a some time. Next time, back to the game...

Friday, February 4, 2011

V:tes Players

I have been playing this game for some time now and cease production of the game has made some interesting changes in behaviour of some players. There are a few different groups or form of reaction to this news.

1) There are players, which seem to be totally unafected by this news. There are mostly playing for a long time and they will be playing as long as there will be active and friendly playgroup.

2) Some players started with panicking and selling collections. You can find those on ebay and similar places. Most of them wanted to play at some competitive level. This looks impossible for a game, which doesn't have some support. Some people are in need of constant flow of new cards - we can say, that dead game will not provide them their need and they are moving on, mostly to another CCG or LCG.

3) Panic of this group is little different. New sets will not be released and some of the cards are starting to become pretty rare. And they want their share of them. You can see it on ebay - some prices are simply skyrocking. I have found myself little caught in this too and started investing a little more into my collection. I am too afraid, that I will not be able to build some decks and I am desperately seeking cards that have been sold out. I would be happy if this alone would suffice for White Wolf to reconsider.

4) The last group is most interesting. I am talking about people, that are running Vekn, but also all national coordinators, princes and all people who are trying to promote V:tes. People, who are running blogs about this game are also very important. I am hoping, that the work they are doing will keep our community from falling apart and vanishing. I am trying to help a little too:)

I hope that V:tes community will survive this. It is not for the first time after all. Chance of ressurrecting the game is very important for some players. Release of WoD online could be the event, which could potentialy direct some important eyes to Vampire comunity. If the game itself would be a success, then V:tes could use the attention. On the other hand, if this event would not help, it coul bury this game for even more players. I will personally keep playing and try to find new players, but this distant event is keeping me on my toes. Until then... well I am sure i will play as many games as possible and try to build more freaky decks.

Feel free to comment. I know, that the list of player groups is entirely subjective, but feel free to write, which type are you.

Next time I will try to post something more fun and not just my random thoughts.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Fee Stake: Ostrava - Pictures and Comments

There were actually two photographers at this event, but i will present only few pictures to illustrate atmosphere at the event. I will try to bring more game oriented photos.

This is room in our favourite pub. All of our previous and probably also future events were held at this pub. But this room is actually new. You can also see most of the participants.

This picture sadly does not show much of the decks. But you can see, that Una freakshow has been busy.

Mid - game of my first table. Far left - Potomek (Tzimisce wall), far right myself (Tremere politics 0.2), close left Obi-Wan (The sensory deprivator) and close right Fojtik (Weenie animalism).

Start of the final table. I would be glad to bring you more photos from this table, but mysteriously - there are none. It is probably due to my help to backoust my predator in my second game. He was one of the photographers and he was not pleased:)

Few comments:

1) I was corrected by the owner of the Nergal deck. Primary mechanism of that deck was actually Shatter the Gate, but I never saw it in play. I therefore concluded, that it is a bleed deck with bad luck at card cycling. I am very sorry for this mistake.

2) Tournament winning deck can be fount at The Lasombra. There have been of course a few adjustment in comparison to original, but there are still weak points, which should be repaired. For example - I am not an idiot and I would include few Eyes of Argus to this deck, but (my luck) I don't own any.

3) Thinking back to this tournament and this deck - I was very lucky to know most of the decks at this tournament and could plan ahead from the start of each game. Influencing out wrong vampire, getting low on pool or overestimating myself could have been deadly. I should look into this factor in future. Seems it has been underestimated.

4) I was actually judging this event and did pretty lousy job. I will try to improve my skills in future.

5) I am now planning to launch our league. At the same time we are working at duel tournament and I will be applying to be prince of our city. If theese things all go well, there will be probably more events soon.

Will be back soon with more.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Fee Stake: Ostrava

This is actually first official tournament in my home city after a long time. There have been many unofficial, but promo cards from The Lasombra were very strong incentive. Thanks to post office, cards didn´t arrive in time for tournament, but we have luckily decided to play constructed in advance and so the absence of cards wasn´t a problem. But I hope, they will turn out really soon. I was a little nervous about choosing which deck I will use at this tournament. I have built pretty strong IC politics deck based on AUS + OBF + PRE, which i have been testing for a few weeks, but although it had great results, it wasn´t as much fun for me. I actually chose my slightly boosted tremere politics, which is listed below.

Thirteen players arrived for this event and there was large selection of diferent decks. Including mine, there was two politics deck, two stealth bleeds, one imbued deck, two obfuscate+procurer+vessel swarm based decks, one una freakshow, Nergal + Call of the Great beast, tzimisce wall, weenie animalism, one really weird setite toolbox and sensory deprivation/nightmare curse deck.

I was pretty scared from some of those decks - una for example, or the sensory deprivator, since i knew both of those and there were fairly strong. On the other hand i knew, that my deck can be fairly strong if i can ensure good card cycling and given a little time at the start of the game.

First table didn´t look to my favor - i hate walls. Seating was:
1) My tremere
2) Tzimisce wall
3) The sensory deprivator
4) Animalism weenie + Nana Buruku

I started discarding my actions from the start, because I knew, that wall deck would not let me pass any political action, so I have decidet to play some blocking on my own and hope to have a little luck. Right at the start I was able to torporize Caliban and also Nana Buruku, both of them were diablerized by my vampires. It gave me a little space, but players started to be more cautios about me. Who would blame them. I was lucky, that my combat is really strong against animalism, so ma predator have to stop bothering me - I had three vampires out - Malgorzata, Poly Kay Fisher and Ladislas Toth the Torch and my crosstable buddy started to make his move. Unfortunatelly he was backrushed and all but one of his vampires were torporized. Finally he was ousted and both players have decided, that I am greates threat on the table, so I ended up with Pentex and one almost drained vampire in my controlled region. Luckily I have prepared strong combat hand through cycling cards. First I have torporized all weenies from my predator and because of mistakes of my prey, I was able to oust him and finaly kill even that horrible animalism deck. First table GW and 3 VP for me.

Second table had a great potential for me.
1) Swarm obf+procurers
2) The sensory deprivator
3)  Nergal powerbleed
4) My tremere
5) Setite toolbox

I was looking forward to redirecting most of the nergals bleed and adding damage from my politics, but unfortunately it wasnt going as smooth as it looked at first. I have scored some politics, but was forced to make a few not so good deals, so the damage from my Kine resources has been a little scattered and I had to throw some of them to Nergal, since his deck was starting to look really scary. I have of course redirrected some of them, but thanks to spying missions, there wasn´t as much effect I have expected. At the and I made a deal with the ob swarm. He wont give me any trouble when I´ll try to oust my prey and I won´t throw any politics his way. I was really in tight spot, so this deal was better for me, than it looks. Still after ousting my prey I was quickly killed by weenies. Damn luck. Swarm - GW 4 VP

Third table was actually pretty evil for me:
1) My tremere
2) Imbued
3) Tzimisce wall
4) Swarm obf+procurers

Seriously why? I started of with a few well aimed politics, but then was stuck to desperately cycle for combat, that was effective against imbued and also telepathic misdirections. This game was long and boring for me. I was able to reduce my preys pools to 1 last, but failed to oust him. This resulted in swarm bleed sweeping the table. Swarm GW 4 VP

It was time for finals and I was actually pretty pleased. There were two decks I wasn´t afraid of, but on the other hand two deck I was pretty scared of - both of them chosing there seating after me (Una and Swarm obf+procurers). I was actually pretty pleased, that Una was as scared of my deck as I was of her and her owner chose to sit crosstable. And to my damn luck, Swarm obf+procurers chose spot as my predator. Oh come on! Finals seating:

1)Weenie animalism
2) Una freakshow
3) Setite toolbox
4) Swarm obf+procurers
5) My tremere

The game started as everyone expected. I have influenced out Carna and Anastaz di Zagreb, my predator some weenies which were slowed down by my Scourge of the Enochians. And Una torporized all animalism weenies and setites in front. Her player was left with only 6 pools and he underestimated my fear of Una. After i had redirected bleed for 4 at two stealth, I threw Kine resources for two his way and played Ancient Influence to both boost my pool ad do five damage to my prey currently without vampires. Unfortunately setite was also without vampire and my politics gave him a hard time. So I was stuck with fairly strong prey and predator and no VP at this point. Thanks to telepathic misdirection, I was able to score some damage to my prey and do some stalling at the same time, because weenies were afraid of doing damage to my prey, which have actually gotten really damaged with my politics and redirected bleeds. At the end I had 3 vampires out - Carna, Anastaz and Ladislas. I have sacrificed Carna, so that my prey could not rescue from torpor only vampire, that still had a raven spy. This would have killed me. I have played Dreams of the Sphinx on my last turn, and then finished of my prey and did four damage to my pred (and newly also prey) with neonate breach - I absolutely love this political card. After that I finished him with Kine resources, which I have replaced for neonate breach. I am actually a little sad, that it was so close. Odds were actually good for me and it wasn´t as lucky as it sounds, but it simply does not look good. Finals - Me GW and 3 VP

I have to say, that the competition was very strong and I am glad, that there was so few straightforward bleed decks. On the other hand I am little dissapointed by the random seating. There were few decks, that I haven´t seen through entire tournament. I have actually prevented same predator-prey relationships to happen according to rules, but it simply wasn´t as random as I wanted it to be. I wasn´t sure, that there would be a computer present, so I didn´t have Archon with me and we were stuck with hat and little pieces of paper - hurray for old school:) I will be back with more info after I get all the pictures from both photographs.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Happy new year!

Lets hope, that 2011 will not be last year for Vtes. I wish many more games for all of you out there:)