Sunday, November 25, 2012

Back from the EC report 4/4 - Everything else

I realy wanted to write extensive report with everything else, that was going on when we were attending EC, but I realized, that I have stretched this report already into four parts and well who has been there, already knows and who has not... well the details just will not be so important. So lets do this:

1) Hotel - I realy liked the place. From the first time I entered lobby with man in tuxedo playing piano, I knew I will buy myself beer and have a moment sitting there and listening to him (which i did). I enjoyed the stay alot and although the staff might not be always in understanding of such convention such as EC, I think it was pretty cost/effective stay and had great premises for this tournament.

2) Organizers - Willing. Helpful. Competent. Wow. What else could you wish for?

3) Oganization - I must say, that it was near perfect. Minimum delays because first rounds were not starting as early as usual. More time to find food and eat without rush. This all resolved in much less delays than last year, but finals were ending soooo late. Well, you cannot have everything. But this setting was much more comfortable for me. More time to sleep off hangovers and eating in peace works for me really good.

4) English - last year I had few situations on the table, where not everyone was able to properly understand basic table talk and those who had most problems actually chose decks, that relied heavily on table talk. This year it was much better. Even more. I have met so many people, that left me speechless. I am not a beginner, but wow, there were so many guys, that were speaking so briliantly, that I was actually ashamed of my english.

5) Funny games - Compared to last year, there were a lot more of people, which were joking around, willing to have some fun during a game even on Day 2. Maybe I was lucky this year, but wow, even when the games were pretty serious until the absolute end of time limit, they were enjoyable and I was very pleased with that.

6) Tournament support - I just loved the T-shirts, mugs and all the other stuff, that you could get there. And of course it was cool that people at LCQ received Lilith's Blessing, because this card is just getting anoying to purchase for a lot of people and it just should not. Playing Nations Cup, I did not receive one, but you can't have it all:)


7) Archon randomization - I have ranted about this for some time now, but at the EC, this "program" showed its worst. Day one I was at five player table, when there were 3 czech players and met a czech player at second and third table as well. (there were 12 czech players at day1) And those czech players also met on other tables, since Archon splits players into little subgroups and rotates players within them. Personaly, I am fed up with that and I hope with my friend we will devise something better, while still retaining basic rules for player seating.

The last one is probably only thing, that I did not like. I know, that this is not fault of organizers, but after all that great stuff, it bugged me a lot.

For some time now, I did not have enough time to write longer posts and I have been doing them in stretched periodsm oart after part and I think I am now somewhat lacking consistency between and sometimes even within them. I will try to shorten my posts and fill them with more concetrated content.

So one last shoutout - to orgaizers, for doing great job with this event, to winners for proving, that they are very good players, to everyone who attended, because without you, this game would not be as great as it is. I hope we all will meet next year in Stockholm.

See you next time...

Friday, November 2, 2012

Back from the EC report 3/4 - Day 2

So last year when I got spanked on EC, I met only one deck which realy excited me - Djordje Bjelajac's deck, which in the end won that years FCQ. I got so excited, that I wanted to built deck, that was inspired by him, but not direct copy. I have actualy started with Marry Anne Blaire and Scout Youngwood combo but ended up with something little different. After looking once on the winning decklist, I have continued to develop this deck my own way, although there may be some similarities, since I have encountered at least one deck, that looked very similar so I guess I was not really original in this way. Here is the decklist:

Deck Name: Scout and Friends
Author: Silmegil

Crypt (12 cards; Capacity min=8 max=10 avg=8.92)
 1x  Annazir            9  DAI OBF POT PRE          Baali:5
 3x  Dmitra Ilyanova    9  obf CEL FOR POT PRE      Brujah:5
 1x  Mary Anne Blaire  10  ani pot AUS DOM FOR PRE  Ventrue:5
 1x  Montecalme        10  obt AUS CEL DOM PRE      Toreador:5
 3x  Scout Youngwood    8  for qui MEL OBF PRE      Daughter of Cacophony:6
 3x  Undele             9  obf pre ser CEL FOR      Ishtarri:5

Library (60 cards)
Master (17)
 2x Golconda: Inner Peace
 1x Legendary Vampire
 1x Monastery of Shadows
 1x Temptation of Greater Power
 6x Villein
 6x Zillah's Valley

Action (6)
 6x Shattering Crescendo

Political Action (12)
 1x Anarchist Uprising
 1x Ancilla Empowerment
 5x Kine Resources Contested
 4x Parity Shift
 1x Political Stranglehold

Action Modifier (19)
 1x Approximation of Loyalty
 2x Bewitching Oration
 2x Cloak the Gathering
 1x Daring the Dawn
 4x Forgotten Labyrinth
 1x Kiss of Ra, The
 2x Perfect Paragon
 2x Virtuosa
 4x Voter Captivation

Combo (6)
 6x Force of Personality

Created with Secret Library v0.9.4a. (Oct 31, 2012 16:36:58)

First Round:

 Girls deck - Tzimisce rush - Me - Dominate/Protean midcaps - Ishtarri vote

The game started great - got zillahs, villeins, my predator was only bleeding me, so I was passing parity shifts. Got out all three main vampires and then I totaly screwed up. I cycled force of personality instead of keeping it and my scout got rushed and amaranthed. After that I tried to make deal with a girls deck to help me pass two anarch uprisings i got in my hand - we would both get VP by this. Well thanks to Delaying Tactics, Direct Intervention and in the end even Dark Influences, I was not able to pass any political cards at all. I was able to oust my prey, but after that my new prey contested Undele with me. With Scout Youngwood burned and Undele contested, this game has ended for me, giving 1GW and 4 VP to Girls deck.

Second round:

Ravnos sensory deprivations and bleed - Unmada + Scout deck - Me - Aus weenies with anarch revolts - Brujah princes

I knew this game would be hell fro the first aus weenie. Got out Dmitra and when Scout youngwood popped on my back, I knew we will have problem. So I dealt with my predator - I will not contest his Scout if he will not contest my Undele. I knew that my deck does not have enough stealth to go against my prey so I tried to play very defensive,  bleeding for one, borrowing montreal and so on.My prey ousted Brujah princes in the end and I was not able to do anything about it. Montreal was going around the table and the game looked like easy win for aus weenie. After that, game got a little turnaround. My predator killed aus weenie, because he knew that even when he could kill me, he could not finish my prey after that. I was able to oust Ravnost deck right after that and we got into a heads up with my predator. I got crescendoed pretty hard, but then time ran out. I am not sure how this game would end, but it would have been pretty close. 1 GW 2,5 VPs for me.

Third round:

Setite bleed/enticement - Me - Saulot spirit marionette - weenie pre politics - Ventrue grinder with Lodin

I had good start but after a while Dmitra was contesting her title, whoch realy slowed me down and even when I fot my title back, it was already too late for my predator and grandprey. I was getting some pool each turn thanks to villeins, parity shifts, stranglehold and votercaps, but my prey was bleeding me thanks to numerous deflection and it helped my predator to realy cycle his hand every turn and I have fallen less than 5 minutes before time ran out and my prey died right after time limit ended, but since our game had extra 10 seconds, it was right on time. I believe, that I could have time outed this game, if I wanted, but it just is not the type of player I am. This game was won fair and GW was awarded rightfully.

I ended up with 1 GW and 3,5 VP and I was calm, because even if there were a lot of timeouts, I was sure, that I am nowhere near the finals. My surprise was, that I have ended on SIXTH place, missing finals by 0,5 VP. Knowing, that I came that close and did not make it into finals, was at the moment much more devastating, than ending somewhere at the bottom. I must have checked results like five times, before I was totaly sure. We had to go home asap after that, so we were not waiting for finals and I did not end up in most friendly mood after the tournament. Looking back now and comparing how I ended last year and this year, the improvement shows and I am glad, that I could at least prove, that Vtes still lives in Czech republic and we have some good players. Regarding my deck, I think it is pretty close to perfect for my playstyle.

This is basicaly it for all my games on the EC and I will be ending this post, but I will be back soon, because I want to write little about all those other things, that EC is about. So this is it for a now.

See you next time....

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Back from the EC report 2/4 - Day 1

So after my not realy good performance at the nations cup, I went for something solid and tested by many before me, so I had chosen deck that I ripped off. I usualy do not like copying decks that much, but this time, I wanted to go for day 2 and this deck offered pretty good chances.

Deck Name: Edward Vignes Rip-off
Author: Silmegil

Crypt (12 cards; Capacity min=3 max=7 avg=5)
 1x  Boss Callihan                     5  dom for pro PRE  Ventrue:3
 1x  Catherine du Bois                 5  for obf pre DOM  Ventrue:3
 1x  Diana Vick                        3  dom pre          Ventrue:3
 3x  Edward Vignes                     6  for DOM PRE      Ventrue:3
 1x  Elena Gutierrez                   4  aus dom pre      Ventrue:3
 1x  Gracis Nostinus                   7  aus for DOM PRE  Ventrue:3
 1x  Ingrid Russo                      4  for DOM          !Ventrue:2
 1x  Pieter van Dorn                   4  dom pre tha      Tremere:3
 2x  Ranjan Rishi, Camarilla Scholar   5  for DOM PRE      Ventrue:2

Library (73 cards)
Master (12)
 2x Anarch Troublemaker
 4x Blood Doll
 1x Coven, The
 1x Giant's Blood
 1x Life in the City
 1x Lilith's Blessing
 1x Misdirection
 1x Pentex(TM) Subversion

Action (20)
 4x Entrancement
11x Govern the Unaligned
 5x Mind Numb

Action Modifier (20)
 4x Bonding
 7x Conditioning
 3x Daring the Dawn
 2x Foreshadowing Destruction
 4x Seduction

Reaction (13)
 7x Deflection
 3x Delaying Tactics
 2x On the Qui Vive
 1x Wake with Evening's Freshness

Combat (8)
 8x Majesty

Created with Secret Library v0.9.4a. (Oct 31, 2012 00:46:52)

First game:

Me - Stanislava - Arika and friends - Jaroslav Pascek and friends - Ira Rivers block

Well this game started with me hating random again, since there were three players from Czech republic on this table - my predator and grandprey. Ira rivers did not show, so my predator tried to fish for him almost entire game with only two au weenies. I slowed down my prey with mind numb on Stanislava and second one on Illiana, but he stil had a great start and I had to be slow to get rid of his deflection and not damaging my prey too much. I tried to kill my prey, because my grandprey was dying, but I just did not have correct cards and this failed attempt made me slow. Stanislava was able to kill two players, before I was ready again, but before I could act, she had ousted third player with two Daring the dawn. I had to use two deflections to survive those misdirected bleeds for 6, so I stayed in the game. In the end, I was able to oust my prey, but it was too late and GW was already his. But it was not a bad start, so 2 VPs for me.

Second game:

Eurobrujah - Lutz anarch revolt - Me - Weenie Warghouls - Lutz and Unmada vote

Ok, another czech player on this table and it was my grandpredator. If you are asking why so little Czech players got to Day 2 - here is your answer - we kept meeting in our games and demolishing each other. My prey got a great start with first turn horatio, second turn jake washington, warghoul and unmasking. After that, he ran out of luck, drawing six more warghoul and no jakes. I ended up stealing his warghoul after he blocked my hunt. My predator brought out 3 anarch revolts, but ended up loosing 10 pool, when he discovered, that it is not lutz, who he influenced out, but another Anarch Convert. And this ended game for both of them. Both I and My predator managed to score VP and after a while I managed to oust my grandprey even. And after that I have made like the most stupid thing during entire tournament. I got total tunnel vision that I had to stop my predator from ruhing my minions as a priority. I had managed to torporize his Theo Bell with stolen Warghoul and he was left on one pool. I had two minions out, warghoul and there was no way, that he could do anything against me, but I was so focused on having spare minions, that I influenced out another one, leaving myself on 4 pool. You can imagine, what happened. Govern with seduction and foreshadowing. I was totaly mad at myself after this game. It was certain, that it will be 1GW and 4VPs for me, but I screwed it sooooo much. But what can you do. Two vps still left me in the game and I was putting all my hopes and efforts to third game.

Third game:

Unnamed bleed - !Toreador palla grande bleed - Me - Weenie nosferatu obf bleed/politics - Ventrue princes

And there was, surprise surprise, another czech player on this table. This time my grandprey. My prey was clever and left two or more of his minions untapped each turn, so it was not easy for me to go forward. I tried to go forward, but I got even bounced once - one of his minions had inferior dominate. This ended like a failed attempt because i did not draw into any bleed cards and managed to send anarch troublemaker to my grandprey. That was basicaly endgame for him. I had stabilized my hand with two deflections, two seductions, delaying tactics, pentex subversion and I continued to bleed for one with most of my minions and just waited for opportunity. My grandprey died, but I knew that there is nothing to do for him from my side and I was waiting for opportunity. It happened few turns after when I delayed con boon, deflected two bleeds at stealth, played pentex (only to cycle) - but was washed by my predator and then I have made two bleeds for three at 1 stealth and second with daring and I made sure that dominate weenie did not have blood to flick. Turn after I was able to oust girl who played Unnamed deck (her unnamed did not show for entire time), because she was already prety low on pool. In the heads up I was able to finish my predator and get 1 GW and 4 VP.

So that was enough for me to get to 12th place after the day 1 and thus qualifying for the Day 2. Sad thing was, that if I did not screw up second game, I would have been sitting in finals and even been top seed. After I had realized that, I got pretty mad on myself once again. Only thing that realy got my hopes up was that I had qualified for the second day. Unfortunately I was only one from czech republic. Seeing that I have faced (and have been stealing VPs) five players from Czech republic, this was really not fun for me - since to some point I have lowered their chances. I was pretty beaten up after this, so I went to sleep pretty soon and hoped for the best in Day 2. That is enough for the day 1 and I will be continuing in next part.

See you next time....

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Back from the EC report 1/4 - Nations cup

So I just got back from a great EC event and same as last year I would like to leave some notes and impressions. Since my posts are often legthy, I will separate report to four parts - one for each day and last one for the final impressions, thanks and shout outs.

So the first day, I was one of our Nations cup team and since I did not want to let down other teammates, I have chosen my probably most stable deck - Tremere politics 0.79. Here is the decklist:

Deck Name: Tremere politics 0.79
Author: Silmegil

Crypt (12 cards; Capacity min=7 max=9 avg=8.25)
 2x  Anastasz di Zagreb          8  ani cel dom AUS THA  Tremere:3
 1x  Carna, The Princess Witch   7  AUS DOM THA          Tremere:3
 1x  Dr. John Dee                9  chi ANI AUS DOM THA  Tremere:4
 2x  Ladislas Toth, The Torch    7  for AUS DOM THA      !Tremere:3
 3x  Malgorzata                  9  pre AUS DOM THA VIC  !Tremere:4
 2x  Orlando Oriundus            9  obf AUS DOM THA      !Tremere:4
 1x  Polly Kay Fisher            8  for pot AUS DOM THA  !Ventrue:4

Library (90 cards)
Master (15)
 6x Blood Doll
 3x Dreams of the Sphinx
 1x Erciyes Fragments, The
 4x Information Highway
 1x Sudden Reversal

Political Action (16)
 1x Ancient Influence
 1x Ancilla Empowerment
 1x Domain Challenge
10x Kine Resources Contested
 2x Neonate Breach
 1x Political Stranglehold

Action Modifier (4)
 4x Mirror Walk

Reaction (28)
 1x Eluding the Arms of Morpheus
 2x Enhanced Senses
 2x Eyes of Argus
 2x Forced Awakening
 4x On the Qui Vive
 3x Precognition
 5x Spirit's Touch
 9x Telepathic Misdirection

Combat (27)
10x Apportation
 4x Aura Reading
10x Theft of Vitae
 3x Walk of Flame

Created with Secret Library v0.9.4a. (Oct 30, 2012 23:50:48)

I am not sure if it was a smart choice, but I did not want to let anyone down and this is one of my most reliable decks. I want to apologize in advance, that I did not write down names of other players and my memory is not as it used to be, so there maybe some mistakes, but I will try to keep it as real as possible.

First game:

Ravnos deck - Me - Nana Buruku animalism rush - (First memory gap) - Antonio d'Erlette Nephandus deck

This was really bad game overall. I drew like 5 apportations in the beginning and after that replaced them with five thefts of vitae. No dreams of the sphinx, no aura readings. Early political cards blocked, since animalism deck played quite a few intercept cards, which surprised me a little. I was pretty threatened, because it looked like both my predator will die soon and there were like 5-6 mages on the table already. I chickened out, kept the thefts, applied minimal pressure to my prey and he ousted my grandprey. I was cycling everything like crazy and tried to stack on political cards, even discarded some of those thefts in the end, but was unable to go for oust and killed with a lot of bleeds for one. I killed few mages, cycled aura readings, thefts but no wakes, no anarch uprisings, neonates or anything else. I had a really bad draw, discarded every turn and tried to get ready, but I should have tried to go forward more and maybe more cycle, but that could easily mean some backrushes for me and end game. But seeing how it ended and that my prey got 3VP and GW, it was bad play on my side.

Second game:

Flurry of action IC bleed - Queen Anne with Mind rapes - Jack Drake anarch rush deck - !Toreador undue influence - Me

Another game I am not so proud of. IC bleed had a great start with Rafael Corazon bleeding for 6 and then getting Enkil cog. I made a mistake by taking out Carna before Malgorzata, which slowed down my votes and my prey got an early votelock. Queen Anne did a great job with defending herself - mind raping Yazid Tamari backwards and after I have suddened villein on him, all blood was taken by hedleberg and he was banished with our joint votes. But after that, my prey got a second IC and ousted Queen Anne. With blood gained, he got out Yazid again and even with my Orlando Oriundus out, he still got votelock and managed to kill even Jack Drake player. After that deal was made, that he will let !Toreador player to oust me before he will go for him. Here is when I started to feel good finaly - I had a lot of defensive cards in my hand, knew that if I have time, I will get vote lock with Malgorzata and may have a shot at GW. I had my 3rd minion out, finaly drew some Blood Dolls and getting into a strong position. I managed to stop some votes with intercept, blocked some bleeds and my prey was asking each turn if he can bleed and if the !Toreador player has some misdirection cards. I already played 4 misdirections and after one turn I brought out fourth minion, got the votelock, but was again low on pool. IC player asked about misdirection, bleed for four at 1 stealth and after me declining to block, bleed got up to 7 and I have sent it backwards, unfortunatelly ousting my predator. After that if was quick. At 1 hour and 50 minute marker I have passed my first vote and i have blocked every single action going my way. At 1:57 I have ended my turn with three Kine Resources Contested and Anarchist Uprising, finally killing my prey and getting two VPs. Again I had problems with card cycling, and was really slow so I couldnt go forward from the start and almost did not make it in time.

Third game:

Me - Pander legacy deck - Nosferatu royalty - AAA - Ventrue princes
Third game ended in complete disaster for me. With only one influence, no Malgorzata, I decided to take Dr. John Dee out, followed by Anastazs di Zagreb, because there were two of them in my starting crypt. There were votes all over this table, so it did not look good for me, but I was hoping to build more stable position in time. This was ruined by my prey, which had placed Fear of Mekhet on Anastasz, jumping then to my grandpreys Angus the Unruled and returned to me, finaly burning Anastasz. I replaced him with Ladislas Toth the Torch, but got pretty low on pool with dominate heavy deck on my back. My vampires got tapped with anarch troublemaker and I died because of bleeds with two misdirections on my hand but no wake cards.

So total of 2 VP for entire three games is not much. Especialy when my seating was not so bad. I am pretty clear where my mistakes were.

One of the most interesting things for me was that I got actually pretty intimidated by facing such a great players and great names and actually played more passively than I had to. On the other hand my last game I maybe got too reckless and ended up dying. Anyway this was great experience for me and my deck definitely caused some surprises like when I bring Carna out first and everyone expected tremere block deck, after that I discarded few mirror walks, everyone expected heavy bleed. Delaying tactics were often piling up in discard piles and probably my favourite was dialog with my deceased predator in first game after like 1 hour and 30 minutes:

Predator: You realy do not play any dominate cards there, right?
Me: Nope, there are none in my deck.

I still enjoyed playing this deck, but I have some ideas for changing it again, but nothing big. It is still very stable although suffering from beeing little toolboxy. I am not saying, that this deck is something realy special, but I would like to play it ocasionaly in the future.

I am little sad, that I hadn't managed to score more VPs for our team, I guess I have to improve my skills even more for next time. I guess, that this is enough about nations cup and I will come back with report  from Day 1 soon.

See you next time....

Monday, October 15, 2012

200 preregistered players at EC

I am looking forward to this event, it looks like this year is going to be huge. Well nothing more to say at this point, I just wanted to celebrate this great number. Vtes is clearly nod dead yet.

See you next time... or at the EC :)

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Draft tournament at the Czech ECQ

I am back after some time with tournament report. I have been swamped with other things, (work, personal life, organizing tournaments, etc.) so there was not a lot of time left for blogging. Czech ECQ was a lot of trouble for me, there were some organizational problems, combined with some loose ends and in the end, there were only 17 players even when I expected a lot more. In the end I ended up playing a lot worse than I intended, so I will not write about main even and instead I will focus on followup draft tournament.

With resources of diffent boosters thinning and some conversations, we ended up drafting two boosters of BH edition, three LotN and three 3rd edition boosters. Not totaly sure if this is ideal, but it was not totaly bad either.

I for myself made some pretty stupid choices in the beggining and it costed me a lot in the end. I must say I was hoping for Blackhorse Tanner or Owain Evans. Chances were pretty slim, but what the hell. Our entire drafting table of five did not open any of them so I was at least happy with that, but I ended up with unbalanced crypt with good supporting vampires bud bad "star" vampires. Idealy I would like to bring out Sebastian Gouled with DOM and Dominique (ADV) with AUS for their defensive capabilities, but this proved unreal in the end. In most games I ended up with one of them and 2-3 supporting ones. I had some stealth and some dominate punch which in the end worked out well and I got to finals as the second seed, but then my luck ran out.

I was a little tired before finals and not done enough scouting as I should, but in the end, I would probably made the same mistake. I sat as prey for deck I knew had limited ousting potentian and could give me a lot of space. I should of course realized, that first seed will see the same chance and he ended up as my predator. He had quick hogh cap assamite bleed with lot stealth and lot of + bleed cards. I had only two misdirections and very limited intercept, so I knew it will be bad for me. In addition, my grand predator did bring out Malgorzata, Owain and he had even Blackhorse Tanner and I was like What the hell? Who let him to have those three in one deck? It ended up bad for me as I expected. I was under a lot of pressure early and even if I was lucky to draw both of my telepathic misdirections, it wasnt enough. I was forced to go forward fast and even ousted my prey, but my minions got torporized and I have exhausted most of my resources and was killed in the end.

The three player game was very surprising, because My predator (exhausted from ousting me) and even grand predator (playing litlle recklessly) were ousted in the end and the game was won by my grand prey. There were a lot of mistakes during this game and I do not want to go into specifics, but even when I lost, I confirmed that draft is still my favourite format.

I screwed up a big time, when drafting a crypt. It was first mistake of this kind which I have ever made, because usualy I have  more problems with library decisions. Once again I have new eperience and I will learn from it - actualy I think that this is my best skill - capacity for learning from my mistakes, since there was always a lot to learn from:) Next time we will probably try to use a little different combination of boosters to provide a little different experience.

There will be probably no posts from me for some time, since the main focus now is on organizin Czech party and preparing for EC. It looks like there will be minimum of 15 participant from Czech Republic, so I have huge hopes for this EC. I would be much more happy if I had all of my decks in order, but at this point I am not satisfied with any of them entirely and I have before me a lot of testing, optimizing and preparing for different metagame, there is a lot of work before me and not a lot of time, so after publishing this article, I am going back to deck optimizing. I hope I will see as many of you as possible at EC and I am totaly looking forward to it.

So see you at the EC...

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Kickstarter for V:tes?

Ok I know that title of my post probably says it all, but I have recently backed two projects on Kickstarter. Both were computer games - those types I like, but it seems, like it is just more profitable to do 3D shooters or something like that. I am really grateful for kickstarter idea and I just love those projects.

For those, who do not know about Kickstarter: The way it works is, that this page hosts a different projects. These project have their funding goals and people are pledging differents ammounts of money for it. Once the time for this project runs out, there are two options:
1) Funding goal wasn't achieved - nothing happens, project is shut down and no one loses his money
2) Funding goal was achieved - pledged money is acquired from everyone who pledged and project is realized.
There are often different levels of pledge - example for computer game - you pledge 20 USD - you get digital copy of game, you pledge 50 USD - you get DVD copy, 100 makes collectors edition and you see where this is going.

But in the end, it got me thinking.... I know, that there are probably only a few companies, that could pick up V:tes at this point and partly funding this with Kickstarter may help. There is not much I know about how  negotiations about ressurecting this game are going, but this maybe something to consider.

The concept is easy enough - company that is interested should set up goal, pledge levels - well we can see right from the start - boosterboxes, starterboxes of new edition / reprinted edition, maybe some promo things, like those tableclots or bags were...

Ok I know it is a longshot, but I am just puting it out there. I would like to talk about this more on to get more feedback from the community. So this is all for now,

See you next time...

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Road to Budapest 3/5 - very long tournament report

So I am back from organizing, judging and playing in another tournament. I am really glad, that we have more and more tournaments and that people are coming and playing in them. So I was psyched to know, that we would be having 15 people and no four player tables, yay! Then two people have dropped out at last moment and one did not arrive, so 12 players and only four player tables. I mean, what the hell?

This time I went through some analyzing of our metagame and here I want to give big thanks to guys from Cause & Effect for their great episodes about choosing decks and overall great show. I was expecting some decks and I am pretty confident to say, that I have picked good deck for me to counter them. Of course, I have made some mistakes with my expectations and my choice was not so perfect in the end, but still - I have chosen deck, that I was having fun with most of the time.

Before round one:
Coffee and cigarette before tournament begins is necessary.

Before round one:
Some last minute preparations.

We have started with a little delay because of late arrivals and I was trying to conceal my deck to last minute to not give anything away. Some of players decided to change decks at the last moment and it screwed my deck choice a little, but what the hell, I tried to do my best anyway. I have chosen my Gotsdam block - it is very slow moving deck with Gotsdam as a star. Basicaly it is a block with a high cap as a star - he may play some governs at superior for bringing up support, or for ousting, also he is pretty impossible to kill especialy with sniper rifle. I have made some last minute adjustments, which I think helped me a lot.

At this moment, I would like to thank to Stefan AKA. Lord of the Clog for introducing concept of one easy, one tricky and one impossible game. It sure happened once again in this tournament.

1st Round

Tuko (Political malkavians with Petra resonances) - Daveopava (Ira Rivers block) - Me (Gotsdam block) - Luboš (Anarch bleeders)

So this was the easy game. Luboš had an impossibly bad draw and was ousted very quickly by few governs after I have eagle sighted him and torporized one of his minions. I have cycled a lot of my cards and got great hand. Although Gotsdam did not show in my starting crypt, I was able to bring him out in the end. Dave died because of my blocks and pressure from Tuko, but in the end, I was in a great position - four minions, some with permacepts, Channel 10 on table and Tuko little beaten up from sitting between two block decks. I managed to oust him shortly afterwards.

1 VP Tuko
3VP 1 GW Me

1st round:
My minions before even bringing Gotsdam out and before killing my first prey.

 2nd Round

 Me (Gotsdam block) - Shimi (Malgorzata+Tzi block) - Dannyg (Master madness 60) - Bik (Dom/pot rushers)

 Ok, impossible game right from the start. Rush with disarms, grapples, long range strikes and Gotsdam was nowhere to find once again. So I decided to go for deal with my prey right from the start, since I was basicaly only doing wall for him. It was long game in which Dannyg and Bik bloated to like 40+ pool, I did not do any offensive action against my prey and all of my vampires were beaten to torpor, got disarms, one of them graverobbed and some of them rescued just to do wall again. Great dissapoitment here. In the end, everyone knew the game will end with time limit. I was hoping only for one thing - that my prey, which was not in any danger at all, will help me with surviving. In the end, he did not make any offense against his grandprey, nor block any bleed against me with eagles sight. Which ended up in me being only one ousted just before time limit. I guess I was hoping for something more after playing two hours only staying alive with no chance whatsoever on getting more than 0,5 VP (however slim) and doing only meatshield for my prey. I could have transfered out (or only not try to do my best) after like 15 minutes and the result would be same for me, but my prey would have very bad position. Another thing to consider is, that I would be much more rested for future games and that could have made a difference.

Bik 1,5 VP
Shimi, Dannyg 0,5 VP

2nd round:
Here you can see  my last two minions, both with disarm. Just awesome game...

3rd Round
Dannyg (Master madness 60) - Me (Gotsdam block) - Daveopava (Ira Rivers block) - Ivannek (!Malk bleeders with suddens and brainwashes)

So finally, the tricky game. And it suuuucked balls. Gotsdam finaly got out pretty quick, but my card flow just sucked. I had some wakes and intercept, but nothig to do damage with, nothing for pool gain. First draw of telepathic misdirection was like 25th card. So you can see, where this was going. Ivannek was ousted first due some bad luck, wrong cards and heavy intercept from Daveopava. I was ousted just a little later due to some mistakes on my side, but it was inevitable in the long run. After that, Daveopava crushed Dannyg.

Dannyg 1 VP
Daveopava 3 VP 1 GW

3rd round:
You can see, that I had Smiling jack with four counters on it, but was forced to let it go in the end, because the pressure of keeping it almost killed me without guns or poolgain.

So time for finals after that and by 0,5 VP, I was the lowest seed. So I put Gotsdam on the table and stuff started to happen. I could not have better seating even if I tried.

Potomek (Dem/obf swarm) - Daveopava (Ira Rivers block) - Bik (Dom/pot rushers) - Dannyg (Master madness 60) - Me (Gotsdam block)

 I was sure, that I could survive some pressure from Dannyg, Potomek will have troubles getting through Ira Rivers and Bik is far away, so I will have time for setup against him. And I was even going fourth, so great influence for me. So I pulled four vampires and I have bashed my had aginst the table for a while. 3 Gotsdams and 1 Alan Sovereign - no quick blocker for me from the start, which was bad and after zillah valley from Dannyg, I pulled out Alan first. I would maybe consider Gotsdam, but I did not have any Govern in my hand either and it wasn't looking as good as I expected. So I decided to play it slowly and patiently. My pool was litlle low, because I took some damage at the start of game and once again, no poolgain, no governs, so I wasn't risking anything and just waiting for chance. Potomek was trying to go forward, but got puched pretty hard and in the end he did even bled me backwards to cycle Kindred Spirits. In the end, I was able to oust him thanks to redirected bleeds and one govern, that finally showed. I was able to get out Martin Franckel and slowed down once again, because I wasn't still confident enough with my defense. Dave was trying to go forward too hard, which ended in depleting his library insanely quick.

I would like to pause here just to say, that I was playing perfect game up to this point. I was pretty close to winning tournament, time limit was close and I was being very cautious not to make any mistake. Right at this point I was repeatedly acused of stalling, playing slowly, not giving others chance to win and generally being what you call jackass.

From this moment I tried to play more quickly and basicaly screwed everything. I forgot to use Powerbase: Chicago, decided not to cycle card in discard phase and played direct in wrong situation. Not doing one of these mistakes would have saved me. I killed Daveopava, giving me six pool, but made all of those mistakes basically in turns of three players and it ended up in my predator just killing me with four actions. In the end - all mistakes were mine and it is my fault only, that I was playing quickly and wasn't being too careful. But it was just very uncofortable to listen to all this especially, when I was judging this event - there was no one to discus this with and if I would continue to play and in the end won because of time limit - I bet that I would have to listen for few week or few monts if I continued at the same pace.

So enough whining. What is done, is done and it is time to move on. Dannyg killed me in the end and finishing Bik was matter of two turns, thus winning entire tournament. And I have to say, that if it wasn't me, he should have won. He was sitting in an uncomfortable position. Observed metagame, tabletalked just a little to get an edge but not to arise any suspicion and when he had a chance, he went for a kill and he did a great job. Congratulations!

Photo taken just when the finals were starting, nothing on the table really.

This tournament was very bitter for me. I was realy step from winning about playing really o good game and was feeling good about my performance, but got beaten up in the end only because of my mistake. But I am looking forward to playing in another tournament and organizing another one of those as well. Czech national championship is getting close and at this moment we are talking about national qualifier, so things are getting pretty busy at this point and I am looking forward to every of them. I will try to keep this site updated at least about major tournaments in Czech Republic, so stay tuned.

See you next time...

P.S.: When I am thanking people, one more thanks should go to people on, for keeping organization of this game alive.

P.P.S.: Ok. One more - huge thank you for everyone, who is involved in organizing huge events like continental championship - you are doing great service for community.

P.P.P.S.: Ok, definitely last one. I would like to thank everyone, that is not giving up on this game and is still playing, going to tournaments and is involved in this game.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Dunning–Kruger effect

Looking over one thread on , one of the users posted pretty interesting thing, called Dunning–Kruger effect. So naturaly I visited and found out, what is this about.

Dunning–Kruger effect

The Dunning–Kruger effect is a cognitive bias in which unskilled individuals suffer from illusory superiority, mistakenly rating their ability much higher than average. This bias is attributed to a metacognitive inability of the unskilled to recognize their mistakes.

Kruger and Dunning proposed that, for a given skill, incompetent people will:
  1. tend to overestimate their own level of skill;
  2. fail to recognize genuine skill in others;
  3. fail to recognize the extremity of their inadequacy;
  4. recognize and acknowledge their own previous lack of skill, if they can be trained to substantially improve.
Dunning has since drawn an analogy to a condition in which a person who suffers a physical disability because of brain injury seems unaware of or denies the existence of the disability, even for dramatic impairments such as blindness or paralysis.

Of course you can find out more about this on the internet or in literature, but it got me thinking how many times I have experienced this phenomenon. To be totally honest, I believe, that at one point, I have become "victim" of this illusion myself.

With tournament comming this saturday, I should once again evaluate my skills from rational point of view and apply the same for my opponents. Lately I have been taking competition at league games or even tournaments pretty lightly, so it is time to restart and train once again to become better player. I wish you all not to encounter this effect in future and play many quality games.

See you next time...

Saturday, June 9, 2012

EC has 50 preregistered players

After five days of EC website going online, there are 50 preregistered players. Although preregistration does not necessarilly mean, that all of those players will arrive in the end, it seems that this years EC will be huge. Also names like Hugh Angseesing or Ben Peal promise, that competition will be pretty great. I am planning to attend too and I hope that this year there will be even more players, than last year. I am once again gettin really psyched about this event and I hope I will meet lot of cool people there.

You can preregister here:

And you can find list of preregistered players here:

See you next time...

Monday, May 21, 2012

11 steps to becoming a good V:tes player

I was planing to writte something about my losing streak and whine a little, but after some time I have managed to win a game, got my spirit little up and decided to work on something more useful - at least I hope so. I have been thinking for some time now, what are those steps, that every player should take in order to be really god and I came up with these. Most important is, that these steps should be made in given order. Doing some of them too soon may actually lead to worse play.

1) Learning basic rules

This is basically the same for all the games. You learn basic stuff, play your first game in which, half of the time, you do not know what is going on and how anything works. In this case - basics are phases of turn, taking actions, reactin etc. First few games are only about this. We all have done this and there is not much more to say about this step.

2) Getting to know your first deck

This actualy comes very soon after the first phase. Some of players ( same as me, when I started) may play there first games with borrowed deck, other simply use some PCD. It does not matter - in this phase you probably now, which of your cards you may or may not play in given situation and you are starting to learn about whether it is beneficial to play your card or save it for later. You are probably sticking to this one deck and when clashing with other players, finding new and new interactions - strengths and weaknesses, which your deck has and you are trying to do your best with it. (I remember my like tenth game with my brujah high cap combat, when I played lightning reflexes for 7 additional strikes, just to torporize my preys minion and he just played Skin of Steel at superior and I was like: "What? What do you mean by all my strikes? Something like that exists? Is this legal?") With this, and for some of us little after this, comes the next step.

3) Expanding your rules knowledge

The more games you play, the more rules you will encounter. Titles, contesting, sects, anarchs, scarce are few examples of rules, which you do not need right from the start, but you will need them as your gaming career will progress. You will probably not learn all of them, before the next step comes.

4) Constructing your deck

Some players may start with this sooner, than others, but actually constructing first deck is a big deal.You have to think about how cards interact, which ar good at any situation, which are not even worth playing. Usualy at this point you do not have as large selection, to build deck exactly as you want, but you will update it as time goes and your opinions abut it will change as well and you might probably end up inserting different cards, than you wanted in the begining. In my opinion, the longer you stick to one deck play, the better for begginer. You will know the cards you play very well and you are free to concentrate on others decks, table interactions and new cards, which bring us to:

5) Expanding your knowledge of cards

When you start with your first deck, you will probably look for cards to put in. This begins a neverending quest to find perfectly fitting cards, finding new combos and optimizing your selection. At first, you will expand your knowledge of cards you will need to upgrade your deck and vampires, that you can use. You will know more and more about cards, because you will meet new and different decks played by others. This is actualy phase in which I have attended first local tournament and it was bad. But it was good experience for me. I have seen new people, new cards, strategies and dealbreaks.


6) Getting better at deckbuilding

This is a next step when you are playing for some time. You are now pretty close to perfecting your deck, or starting to build another one, or even more of them. Trying to play something new greatly expands your horizons as player - learning about mechanisms from other side - you may have encountered them before, but now you are actualy playing it and that is something else. You may notice, that somethings looks simple and strong just because it was perfectly executed or you did not know how to stop some strategy. And you will also notice, that playing something you thought was strong, can be pretty dificult.

7) Getting to know other players decks

Knowing more decks and cards brings you to noticing, how important is to know, what you are standing against and what is that deck capable. Of course, you know from the start, that SB deck will probably bleed you at stealth, but you start noticing more superior disciplines - probably no elder impersonation from that one. Secondly you start noticing numbers - you are starting to notice how many bounce cards is everyone playing, how much stealth heavy are decks you play against regularly and so on. Some people start to notice sooner than at this point, but i do believe that this perception is fully evolved after trying more than one deck with different strategies.

8) Perfecting knowledge of rules

At this point, most of the players have experienced different strategies, encountered most of the regularly played cards and there is not much, that can surprise them. At this point, everyone should perfect their knowledge about card interactions. Ok I know in VTES there is almost impossible to know every interaction, but I am talking about those classic like solving effects of DI, or Rötschreck and psyche interactions, enkil cog interactions and so on. Some of these, you will encounter sooner, some of them later, but in the end, everyone should know, how to solve these at least in most situations.


9) Knowledge of tournament archetypes 

This knowledge is important, when you are regularly attending tournaments and actualy trying to win some of them. Yes of course, if Carna is the first one out, you may expect some kind of blockish tremere deck and Owain and Blackhorse are also telling you something, but actually looking at some tournament winning decks gives you more knowledge about contents of that deck and you will be more prepared what will happen on the table. You may always encounter something new, or modified, which will surprise you, but in most cases, this knowledge will be pretty handy.

10) Metagaming (and master deckbuilding)

If you are attending tournaments in other cities or countries, matagaming goes in place. Our meta was always very combat heavy, so each deck tend to pack excessive ammount of combat cards or combat defense. Of course not every metagame is this way and research and modifications of your deck are on of the skills you have to master to be more successfull. Chosing your deck and modyfying it accordingly to metagame you will attend will be always problematic, since you will probably be testing it in your meta - with different enviroment.
I would say, that if you successfully master this skill, there is not much you can learn in deckbuilding. At this point every player should be very good at building deck, that is effective, (of course if he wants to, nothing is preventing him from building some crazy clan impersonation madness) and if he is able to adjust it to be more competitive in other metagame, I would say, that he is a master deckbuilder.

11) Table balance

Some may argue, that this step comes before metagaming and I tend to agree if you are almost exclusively playing at your meta, but for other players, I would say, that this is the skill above them all. I think, that it is nearly impossible to master - one eagles sight you play may win, or lose the game for you. Even one intercept you give from your KRCG news radio or even one point from your Kine Resources Contested, which you have carelessly assigned to your grandprey out of habit - those are just minor things, but they can change the course of entire game. After that we have backousting, cross-table ousting or preventing someone from ousting, which all are great deals and should be always considered with great caution.

I bow to everyone, that is good at this. At this point, I think that being good at ballancing table is like my Everest. But I will not try to rush there. Even when I know how important this skill is, I believe that trying to experiment with it too soonis very bad for a player and even for others at same table. Trying to overly influence things at the table may result in very bad results, which would not happen if player simply try to go for oust after oust and get his game win instead of trying to prevent someone else from getting it.

Just to clarify - I know, that every card you play somehow changes ballance on the table and I hope everyone knows what I mean by putting table ballance at this place. To this day I remember my malkavian toolboxy bleed which I used to balance table - I had like 10 coppies of kindred spirits there, so I have been bleeding different metusaleahs to balance the table and I ended up losing in the end (gaining maybe one VP), which was pretty horrible, since I could won the entire game if i tried just to go forward. Each time you put a card in deck, which lets you do something out of ordinary, you will be tempted to play it other way, than it is regularly used (cross table kindred spirits, cross-table eagles sight or even classic DI) - and I am not saying, that this is always bad, just that it is very hard, to do this right most of the times.

Once again I have written a lot and not sure if there are valid points there. I feel, that it is very important for each player to go through this phases in order to be really good and try to not jump ahead much, because he might just skip something, which will be missing later. Three lines just separate these steps into three groups - 1) begginer phases, which are important, when learning about the game, 2) playing phases, which you need if you play regularly and casualy and of course 3) tournament skills, which are important for competitive play. This is probably all for now, although I just want to say, that Cause & Effect season 3 episode 2 - guys did a great job on table ballance and backousting and etc. so I greatly recomend this episode and of course all others. Ok, this is really all for now.

See you next time...

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Qawiyya-el-Ghaduba combat toolbox

So this is the deck, that got most votes in the poll. So here is the latest version:

Deck Name: Qawiyya el-Ghaduba
Author: Silmegil

Crypt (12 cards; Capacity min=3 max=9 avg=6.17)
 2x  Aredhel              5  aus FOR VAL          !Salubri:4
 2x  Langa                5  for VAL              !Salubri:4
 1x  Nkechi               4  aus for val          !Salubri:4
 4x  Qawiyya el-Ghaduba   9  aus pre FOR POT VAL  !Salubri:5
 2x  Rashiel              3  for val              !Salubri:4
 1x  Uriel                8  ani obe AUS FOR VAL  !Salubri:4

Library (82 cards)
Master (12)
 2x Archon Investigation
 1x Code of Samiel
 1x Failsafe
 2x Fame
 1x Giant's Blood
 1x Lilith's Blessing
 2x Perfectionist
 1x Tension in the Ranks
 1x Yawp Court

Action (14)
 2x Abbot
 1x Big Game
 3x Bum's Rush
 2x Harass
 2x Rumble
 4x Sense Death

Equipment (5)
 5x Camera Phone

Reaction (15)
 8x Hide the Heart
 4x On the Qui Vive
 3x Wake with Evening's Freshness

Combat (36)
 4x Armor of Caine's Fury
 6x Death Seeker
12x Immortal Grapple
 4x Rolling with the Punches
 4x Slam
 6x Taste of Vitae

Created with Secret Library v0.9.3. (Apr 29, 2012 17:37:52)

So this is like third modification of this toolbox. First was multirush only, second was more blockish option. This one has still a looot problems, but seems most stable at this point.

Main problems:

a) Slow - takes a lot of time to get out star vampire and start doing things
b) Low defense - it is relative , you can always rush backwards, but that does not always win the game
c) Low ousting power - i am really not sure how to increase it, but i see this as the main problem with this mutation

This is definitely not tier 1 deck, not even close, but i still think it is playable. It is reasonably good when bashing mid to highcaps, loses to swarms, quick decks. I would say, that the greatest strength of this deck is, that everyone underestimates it.

To be honest, I would gladly accept any suggestions and ideas. I am not hoping for making this deck tournament winning, but would like to move it to tournament viable. Lets see how it goes in time.

See you next time...

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Tournament report - Road to Budapest 2/5

So here I am, after another failed tournament, thinking about what I did wrong. At this point I think there were many mistakes on my side. First of all - I have chosen to play Scout Youngwood + friends, because I found it most enjoyable at that time. I have made a lot of adjusments though, because I was afraid of blockish decks and combat, so more combat ends, darings, virtuosas and pentex. Well I was right about those decks, but it was even worse than I feared. I had 3 rush combat decks as predators, one time dedicated block deck as prey and one time blockish deck as prey. So, no surprise here. I did not make it to the finals. But lets not skip ahead.

Game one:

Me (Scout+friends) - Luboš (Rachel/Madness network) - Kunče (Cryptic mission bleed) - Face (FoS rush)

So I was afraid of both my predator and prey and brought out two vamps at once. It turned out I was right and one of my guys ended up in torpor - lots of immortal grapples... I was able to bring out three vamps, even four in the end, but by that time my prey had permanent intercept on rachel, 3 support vamps and carlton at the table. I was able to get him on two pool, but I got ousted afterward. Table resulted in 2-2 split between cryptics and Rachel. 0 VP for me

Game two:

Me (Scout+friends) - Petr (something weird) - Kaczkin (Arika vote) - Shimi (CEL+PRE gun+bleed)

I had a pretty decent start, but then again, same was true for Arika. At this point, Arika had very little pressure - bleed for one or two each turn. I was being bled for 6+ each turn and some of my guys got torporized, because I had to villein like hell. In the end I had to play golconda on my guy in torpor instead of rescuing him. Shimi was ousted shortly after this and it resulted in me having two less vampires with votes less than Arika. I was able to oust Petr but I had to play daring the dawn and it was basically endgame for me. So 1 VP for me, 3 for Arika.

Game three:

Me (Scout+friends) - Dave (Ahrimane block) - Tuko (Gehennas) - Fojtik (Animalism rush)

I knew, that this game would be near impossible for me to even survive, not even talking about reasonable chance to get some VPs. I got my first guy out, when there were already two vamps with ANI behind me and I was pentexed by my prey. So I was like what the hell? Luckily I played my own pentex on the third vampire that popped out behind me and then I was able to (just barely) convince my prey to not contest pentex after I faced three rushes. At this point I really did not know what happened. I was trying to build up - moving blood to my uncontrolled region to compensate my minions, which were getting torporized, but my prey again blocked me. At that point it was pretty much over for me. My prey then made a deal which did not make sense, but involved ousting me, so I was getting rushed multiple times each turn and my every action blocked. It ended up pretty much the way I knew when my predator and prey made the deal  - Animalism 3VP GW, Ahrimane 1VP

So wow, one VP. I am actually pretty embarassed, but even more sad. I did not enjoy this tournament at all. One problem was that there were a lot of things for me to organize, but mostly it were the games:

a) four player tables
b) three rushing predators
c) two blocking preys
d) some mistakes at my side

but most of all there was some illogical play by other players. Mostly they were only bad judgment calls and under the stress I could possibly make them too, but in last game it was just purely wrong. I was blocked again and again just trying to survive without doing anything offensive and I was just handed to player, which was already pretty strong and won in the end. Everyone on that table knew that it would end that way... but what the hell.

Ok not to be all negative, here are some positives:
a) 16 players
b) players from other metagames
c) deck well tested
d) preternatural strength from lotn booster
e) tournament experience

And I have few fotos to ilustrate atmosphere - unfortunately they were taken after first three rounds, so only final table here (photos taken by Arikas played):

Kaczkin (Arika vote) - Potomek (Anti ventrue grinder) - Luboš (Rachel/Madness network) - Fojtik (Animalism rush) - Tomas (Vignes tap and bleed)

Heads up:
Final ended by 2-2 split between Potomek and Luboš. Potomek won because he was top before finals. Congrats.

See you next time...

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Tournament ahead

So another tournament in Ostrava is in schedule. Once again in our local pub and this time some people from other metagame should show up. Thanks to this, my classic dilema of chosing a deck, suddenly becomes more simple. I will not choose any fun but weak deck, because I would not like to give others wrong impression about level of game in our meta. So at this moment I have four choices - bleed, block, political and combat deck.

1) True Brujah bleed is probably best choice. Stable deck with reasonable defense and offense. Not really fast, but I have tested it a lot and I am somewhat comfortable with it.

2) Gotsdam block is definitely deck that can stay alive. Ousting on the other hand can be an issue. And it is little slower because of gotsdam beeing star vampire. Still i had some good games with it so it is definitely an option.

3) Scout Youngwood and friends is very tricky deck. I have won with it only once, but I am definitely sure that it has potential. To this point I have problem with playing ruthless enough and also I have problems with risk assesment.

4) Count Germaine Combat Madness v 1.02b has proven itself somewhat cooler with ousting power, but combat is just horrendous. I never have cards that I need. It needs a lot of work, but I am not ready to give up on Germaine.

In the end and depending on my mood and number of players, I may grab something else, but at this point, these are my choices and I have a week to decide. We will see...

See you next time...

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Countries and Tournaments

Some time ago there were discussions about some tournaments in Czech Republic not being properly announced and marked in the callendar. I am a big fan of and all things this page (and people behind it of course) is doing for our community, so I was one for announcing everything there. I think that even this small step is better for comunity. Well maybe nobody will come, but maybe someone will and that is success.

This made me thinking about how much tournaments there were in year 2011 in each country. I know that not every event was reported, but I was curious about how much of them were - it should indicate to me how important are those countries in VTES world.Of course I know that larger countries will probably have more tournaments, but this is more for interesting facts than some important statistics.

I have taken all my data from event calendar and in cases where there was not coutry, I have used country of organizer. If there were some event which have composed from more tournaments, I have counted each entry as separated tournament. For example EC counted for six tournaments - LCQ, FCQ, Silence of Death, Legendary Vampire, EC day one and EC day two. Technicaly it was only one event, but I believe its magnitude justifies six entries.

So we can see that USA are way way ahead with more than 100 reported events. Not really surprising and I am really happy that VTES is this huge there. Also I am very hapy to see ammount of events in Spain an Poland but all countries from this first graph are just awesome.

Another ten countries, this time from 10 to 4 organized events. Not bad, but not really good either. I would like if more of them were closer to 10, because that is realy good number and it keeps community active.

And finaly last ten, with 4 to 1 tournament. I think this is really bad. Especialy the one, since I think that every country should do a minimum two - championship and qualifier. I know that this is much easier said than done.

I know that many events were probably not reported, but those that were are more importatnt. It means that I will be informed about tournament outside of Czech Republic and I can go there, meet some new people and be a part of community. Unreported tournaments can be fun too, but I strongly support announced and opened events. Even more because of state in which Vtes is. That is all from me right now. The poll is still going on and will for some time. I will try to post something else during the time until it ends and after that, one of my decks will appear here.

See you next time.... 

Sunday, March 25, 2012

My decks and my deckbuilding

So I have once again found myself in a deckbuilding mood and I am spitballing ideas like crazy. Granted most of them are unlikely to work but still... I just love this mood where I am working with cards. Problem is to balance tournament - viable options, decks that are really good for our metagame tournaments and decks I have built just for fun. This seems like a problem for me, so this post is to catalogize my thoughts about my decks more than anything else. I do not know if this will be interesting for someone else but me, but I figured it would not hurt to make this post public.

1) Giovanni Powerbleed

Probably my oldest working deck. Built to score some easy wins. First version was with a lot of cold auras and desert eagle/spike throwers. After our meta has gone a lot less combat heavy, I rebuilt this to resemble mor regular power bleed decks. It is strong archetype and I ocasionaly use it in league games, but since I do not like this style of playing, I have not been working on this for some time, so numbers of cards feel really odd and I could do lot slimming here. It does well against bloks, bleeds and bloats, but it is totaly crushed by combat and mass vote.

+ strong easy deck
- imperfections of design

Rating: *** (out of 5)

2) Tremere Politics 0.2

My second oldest deck and also to this moment my only tournament winning deck. Fairly strong if it has some time to build up and pretty cool defensive abilities. But it is really toolboxy, so dedicated combat/bleed/political or block deck will beat me every time. But if given some time, I can build up nicely and do lot of damage. Still this deck is heavily influenced by our meta and I experienced some dificulties when clashing with different metagames.

+ strong and stable deck
- metagame influenced, slow

Rating: **** (out of 5)

3) Pre/Obf stealth bleed

 Deck I have built just for one tournament. Very stupid, monotonous and unfunny deck. Basic idea is to bleed with public trusts at superior and this deck has a lot of them. Bleeding for three and only for three repeatedly with every minion every turn. Strong offense, almost no defense except gain from public trusts. Boring, but gets the job done.

+ fairly offensive and strong deck
- almost no defense, boring

Rating: *** (out of 5)

4) Akunanse wall

I basicaly started to build this deck because I had a lot of laibon stuff with no use for it. First it was looking little toolboxy, like most of my projects, but over the time I have transformed this deck to classic wall deck. Basicaly it works with raven spies, animalism and abombwe reaction cards and some combat. Ousting mechanism is preferably bleeding with laptops. This is one of my most static decks. I try to wear out my prey by constant bleeding and blocking his undirected actions.

+ stable deck, which is capable of conserving resources
- low offensive power, slowish

Rating: *** (out of 5)

5) Mass indomitability rush

Inspired by "Frederick the Weak multirush deck." Now changed to some extent - more effective and less funny. Basically you rush, and play indomitability until the target is down. This deck packs 60 copies of this card. Other cards ar rushes and fame/tension etc. items. Combat ends just kills this deck, minions with built in strength also. It is more suited for four - player tables, since it runs out of cards pretty soon. Ousting is based on fames, dragonbound and in worst case scenario lots of bleeds for one. Really more fun to play deck, than really competitive.

+ fast deck, fun to play
- easily stopped,

 Rating: ** (out of 5)

6) Guruhi vote

I have scored some great games and great failures with this deck. If I get time to build up, there pretty much no chance of stopping me in late game. But fast predator or bad start often means bye bye for me. Block decks and heavy vote decks can stop this deck pretty easy. Additionaly, it has become almost unplayable in our meta since I am often targeted from the start as big menace.

+ deck with great potential and lot of damage output
- very vulnerable from the start

Rating: **** (out of 5)

7) Ariadne combat toolbox

This is big dissapointment for me. I have been trying to build this deck for a long time from multiple angles. Multirush, block, abactor, dog packs etc. And I am failing repeatedly. I am usually able to get rid of few minions, but eventually die.Not really sure where the problem is, but i will keep trying, because Ariadne is just too cool to quit.

+ Ariadne
- it's just not working

Rating: * (out of 5)

8) Qawiyya-el-Ghaduba combat toolbox

Suffers from same problem as Ariadne deck, but since Qawiyyas friends often get AUS, this deck is not so vulnerable to threats. I am missing some cards to complete this project so I cannot fully rate this deck, but ousting power seems to be a problem here, but that is just common for combat decks. Still I have great hopes for this deck and will try to improve this even further.

+ Defense, grapple combat with good damage output
- missing cards, ousting power

Rating: ** (out of 5)

9) Thucimia/Unmada multiact

 Deck I have built for fun games. Multiacting is done via forced marches and it does not work very well. I pack lot of deffensive cards - Wrong and Crosswise and Confusion of the Eye, so it is little hard to oust me, but offense is low and i basically bleed for about 4 pool a turn, which is not much. I would not take this deck to a tournament, but for casual games, when I do not want to piss so many people, it works.

+ fun, useable for casual games
- slow, weak, vulnerable to combat

Rating: ** (out of 5)

10)  Corruption deck

I have seen something like this deck, when I was starting with VTES and always wanted to replicate this deck at least partially. Well it does not work. At least if my prey is not a swarm. In most cases, I am able to score one VP with a bit of luck, most of times, 0VP for me. I have tried several modifications of this deck and currently I am trying bleedish modification. Still seating is everything for this deck and most of the times it will fail. I am still putting some hope to this deck and I am not finished with it, but as it is, its pretty bad.

+ enjoyable deck
- almost 0 defense, weak against lot of decks

Rating: ** (out of 5)

11) Lucian the Perfect powerbleed

 I constructed this abomination after EC in Warsaw. After the ammount of bloating I have seen I wanted some deck that would be capable of countering this. This deck can do that. I cannot say that it is most enjoyable or comlicated deck, but it is reasonably effective and I play it from time to time to calm down and let my anger out. After some tweaking I am sure this will be tournament viable deck.

+ strong, fast deck
- aksinya just kills me, same as lots of bounces

Rating: *** (out of 5)

12) Appius Claudius Corvus with Nocturns

One of my older projects, which I have got bored with, decomposed and now constructed again. I am missing few essentials for this deck, so it is not really good at this point. It is not my favourite deck either, so getting those cards is not a priority at this point. On the other hand it is pretty stable deck and reasonably enjoyable to play, so I will keep it constructed at this moment and I will see, how it will evolve.

+ great potential, stable deck
- not even close to completion, slowish

Rating: ** (out of 5)

13) Gostdam block

I was trying to build something with Gotsdam for a long time and block deck is so far most successfull attempt. Gotsdam himself has pretty cool defensive capabilities and combined with blocking strategy, this deck has pretty solid core. Of course trying to bring up 9-cap is always slow, but he is capable of getting out few governs and few additonal tricks. Ousting mechanism is classic - Smilnig jack, so no surprise there. Governs may help too. It needs some optimizing though, because it is one of my newest decks.

+ stable deck capable of conserving and protecting its resources
- less minions than classic auspex wall

Rating: **** (out of 5) - needs more tweaking and testing, can go up or down in time

14) True Brujah bleed

This deck is one star trujah bleed with weenie support which exploits Domain of Evernight / Pocket Out of Time combo. I have compared my decklist with some other players which built the same deck and mine is really different in some ways. I am not sure if better, but I had some really nice wins with this deck and I hope I can add some finishing touches and make this deck one of my tournament options.

+ offensive deck with reasonably strong defense
- bloodgain on star vampire, cardflow

Rating: **** (out of 5)

15) Scout Youngwood + friends

My latest project which I have most hope for. Greatly inspired by Scout Youngwood + Unmada, which I have seen (and faced) on EC. This deck is my approach to combining Scout with other vampires. From a few games which I have played up to this point I can see that this deck has great potential but I am not entirely there. I expect lot of tweaking here, but I am pretty sure this deck could do great things.

+ really massive defensive capabilities and lot of potential poolgain
- large vampires, slowish start, diversity in disciplines

Rating: **** (out of 5)

16) Scobax wall*

Currently decomposed into small pieces, but it is still all at my disposal. I have played some good games with this deck in our meta, but failed to get anywhere with it at EC. Still I think this deck has great potential and I am not sure I can give up yet. For this moment, i will leave it on a pile and somewhere in future I will maybe come back to it...

Rating: ? (out of 5)

17) Count Germaine Combat Madness v 1.02b*

Currently under construction to prove that a) Count Germaine is awesome, b) I can modify this deck to shine in other metagames too. I am trying more bruise bleedish approach. We will see...

Rating: ? (out of 5)

 I have few more drafts in my mind or on paper but I think this post is long enouf for now. I will also add a Poll to which of my decklist would you like to see here. Some of the decklists were already posted and number 15,16 and 17 are clasified/incomplete at this moment, so this options won't be in my poll. I hope I had not bored you to death.

See you next time....

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Tournament Report - Road to Budapest 1/5

Yesterday I have returned from my friends cottage, where the tournament was held. After lot of thinking and some drinking and some unforseen complications I decided to once again play my Guruhi vote. Well i should have taken one of my less tested decks, because this tournament was like punch to the face.

1st game:

[Potomek] Baali politics - [Me] Guruhi vote - [Jožka] Arika vote - [Faldys] Tremere toolbox - [Bik] Dom/obf swarm bleed

I was screwed right from the start. No magaji showed and I was unable to pass any offensive politics forward. Potomek was ousted really quickly, only one action from him passed and it was Reckless agitation backwards. Faldys died shortly after this and I was trying to survive by passing some KRC backwards.At this point, game just stopped. Bik could not oust me fas enough and I was treathening him with backwards played KRC to prevent him from trying. I was unable to pas any vote forward, because Arika achieved vote lock and Arika was slowly trying to finish this table. In the end, Jožka managed to oust us both. Me 0 VP.

2nd game:

[Shimi] Cel/Pre bleed + guns - [Potomek] Baali politics - [Kunče] Gangrel Raven spy/Earth Meld wall - [Medard] Spirit marionette bleed - [Me] Guruhi politics

Well I was bled for more than 10 pool before my first action and I had to beg practically everyone including my prey to help me. I was able to survive in the end, but ended up with ousting out my own predator to do so. This just ended with basically the worst type of wall next to me. I was able to get 1 VP in the end but alover it was pretty bad game for me and I did not enjoy it at all. ME 1 VP

3rd game:
[Bik]  Dom/obf swarm bleed - [Medard] Spirit marionette bleed - [Kaczkin] Arika vote - [Kunče] Gangrel Raven spy/Earth Meld wall - [Me] Guruhi politics

Ok, so second time i met with worst type of block for me. It did not end well. Medard ousted Kaczkin just moments before Bik ousted him.  And then it just sucked. Basically it ended up with me being ousted in the end without chance. Blocked like 20 times and 2 times delayed. So 0 VP for me again.

This tournament sucked big time for me for a lot of reasons. First of all - pretty bad performance from my side. I think I played deck really good and not made any bad mistakes such as playing wrong cards or forgetting anything important, but balancing the game just sucked on my side. Well some players were playing pretty bad also (in my opinion) so balancing was nearly impossible, but still I am pretty dissapointed. I still haven't played good enough. Still experience is experience and I will keep that in mind for the next time.

In the end this deck won the tournament:

Deck Name: Tremere "Last minute" toolbox
Author: Michal Faldyna

Crypt (12 cards; Capacity min=2 max=10 avg=6.5)
 1x  Aisling Sturbridge                 5  dom AUS THA              Tremere:2
 1x  Blythe Candeleria                  3  aus THA                  Tremere:2
 1x  Cardano                            9  ani aus cel DOM FOR THA  Tremere:1
 1x  Cassandra, Magus Prime            10  cel pre AUS DOM THA      Tremere:1
 1x  Javier Montoya                     9  ani cel pre AUS THA      Tremere:2
 1x  Jing Wei                           3  dom tha                  Tremere:1
 1x  Justine, Elder of Dallas           8  obf AUS DOM THA          Tremere:1
 1x  Muaziz, Archon of Ulugh Beg        7  aus dom for THA          Tremere:2
 1x  Mustafa Rahman                     2  dom                      Tremere:2
 1x  Rebekka, Chantry Elder of Munich   8  pot AUS PRE THA          Tremere:2
 1x  Sarah Cobbler                      4  dom THA                  Tremere:1
 1x  Ulugh Beg, The Watcher            10  cel for pot AUS DOM THA  Tremere:1

Library (80 cards)
Master (9)
 1x Lilith's Blessing
 3x Vessel
 5x Villein

Action (12)
 3x Fourth Tradition: The Accounting
 5x Govern the Unaligned
 1x Rutor's Hand
 3x Scouting Mission

Equipment (4)
 1x Bowl of Convergence
 1x Heart of Nizchetus
 1x Ivory Bow
 1x Kevlar Vest

Action Modifier (10)
 3x Bonding
 3x Conditioning
 4x Mirror Walk

Reaction (24)
 3x Deflection
 2x Eagle's Sight
 2x Enhanced Senses
 4x On the Qui Vive
 3x Precognition
 3x Spirit's Touch
 3x Telepathic Misdirection
 4x Wake with Evening's Freshness

Combat (21)
 8x Apportation
 2x Burst of Sunlight
 9x Theft of Vitae
 2x Walk of Flame

Created with Secret Library v0.9.3. (Feb 28, 2012 10:21:17)

It was built last minute before this tournament with a large hangover and limited cardpool. Most of other players were in same state, so this is probably why he won with this abomination:) Still congratulations.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Tournament ahead

As our next constructed tournament will be this saturday, I am once again unsure what to play. Granted our metagame has shifted from "What the hell is wrong with you guys?" combat heavy angle to more aggresive pool damaging decks and options are not as clear anymore. In this moment I have around 13-15 decks, which are spread from "fun to play" to "reasonably strong" and almost each one is an option. So this is not helping either.

I am surely not using any of my power bleed or stealth bleed decks, which are basically boring and I use them only for boosting my self esteem or gaining cheap points during league.

I am tempted to play on of the political decks, which I have used during EC, because I am fairly confident with them and both are very strong. But then no surprise from me.

Well my only block deck would be an option, but I have rebuilt it some time ago and never done proper testing.

Trujah bleed is definitely adept, but it is the same problem. I know it is strong, but i have played like one game with this deck.

I have recently tested some toolboxy and combat decks, but both are very hard to play at this moment. Our enviroment is still less combat heavy than usual, but on the other hand, there is still a lot more combat defense than usual, so once again challenge to play.

As usual, I will pick one right before tournament, but I will be back with at least tournament winning deck, but I will try to bring some photos or write report...

See you next time...