sobota 30. listopadu 2013

Rescued from torpor again.

Greetings fellow Methuselahs,

so I heard about some development concerning the POD distribution - if I got the info right, it's now considered to be out of the question. I take this as a good news, even though not everyone shares this point of view. As I see it this is the only way for VTES to have a small hope for another ressurection and that's why I took the +1 stealth action that costs 2 blood and am writing the post right now. :-)

Why was I off the grid for so long? It's simple. My batteries just ran out, I didn't want to do anything besides work and VTES on Thursday evenings. I pissed off a couple of friends and I can't blame them, but now my hibernation period is over and good times will surely ensue. :-D

But back to VTES.

Big things happened in the recent months. Johannes Walch stepped down from the position of VEKN chairman, one can only guess why and hope he/she guessed right (u know what I mean for sure). New cards came out and are tournament-viable now - cool stuff! I must say I was afraid about the balancing but so far it looks the designers and testers have done a decent job (and gratz to Zelgaris, two card illustrations, wow, great job!). And last but not least, EC 2013 is over, this time without my participation. Even though I did qualify thanks to shared 2nd place in the Czech Championship, I found out I had zero energy and was too tight on budget to actually enjoy myself there.

Anyway I'm glad I'm back and I already look forward to Mannheim 2014 (it's like 8 hours drive from here, I'm going if I'd have to go alone!). So far I was too busy to actually analyze the new cards but the next post is probably going to be titled something like "A lamer's take on the latest VTES expansion" :-)

This time I won't even ask anyone to share his thoughts in the discussion below... :-)

Carpe noctem.

pondělí 20. května 2013

Thoughts About the Current Situation

Greetings fellow Methuselahs,

I kinda didn't know what to blog about in the last couple of weeks. First the tournament I wrote about the last time was pretty uninteresting for me - I decided I didn't really want to get to Sweden at all costs so I chose my Salubri-only toolbox deck. The result was pretty much the one I expected. The deck itself performed well for an experimental and definitely non-tournament deck, on the other hand there were some unexpected setbacks (the Scarce penalty is a cruel mistress indeed, especially when applied cross-table!) and my final standing left a lot to be desired. But then again that was pretty much what I expected in the first place so no hard feelings, I still love the deck ( precious!!).
(I took it to the tournament that took place last weekend again for different reasons and the result was very similar, at least I know for sure not to take the deck seriously. :-))

But that's not the point of this post.

The point is - the state of our beloved game has changed and the change is very probably irreversible to a large extent. The POD distribution system was confirmed as the direction VTES was going to take and so far it's been absolutely unclear (at least for me) whether it's gonna be the final nail in the coffin or it's just some precaution for the game not to meet its final death.
At the same time the Lilith's Blessing was banned for undisclosed reasons and undisclosed time period. The reasons are in fact pretty obvious - we all witnessed far too many games decided by the sheer power of the card that's really without equal, the only disadvantage being it can only be used once on each minion. There are many more or less interesting ideas as to how the card text should be reworked but most of them are pretty obvious. I don't consider myself experienced enough to judge the different solutions, in fact I'm not even really interested. The card itself was broken from the very beginning (A Bahari? What's that? Was it intended to be something bad or good or what?) and the solution came far too late for my liking.
However there are some positive aspects about the changes - f.ex. Ashur's Tablets + Liquidation won't be the ultimate solution for card flow optimization anymore and Villein is going to be the card it was intended to be in the beginning. We'll see how this would affect the global metagame, but I'm pretty convinced the TWD archives are going to see the renaissance of at least some interesting archetypes; we might even see some very new approaches to card and/or blood/pool management.

Next time I'm going for the win. Fellow Methuselahs, beware! :-)

Carpe noctem.

středa 13. února 2013

I finally surrendered...

Yes, that's it, I surrendered. I bought my first Villein.

When Villein was first introduced in the KoT, I was in a particularly bad mood about VTES and was not exactly rich, so I said to myself - screw that, if I need it, I'll buy it someday later. But then EVERYBODY started to play Villein in massive quantities and I wanted to prove decks can be viable even without the thrice-cursed gamebreaking asshole-of-a-card. And now you can only rarely get one for less than 10EUR and I hate the feeling I got robbed in pure daylight. Why the change of perspective then?
It's simple. First, there is no reason my GF who started to play relatively recently (and very well, I must say) should be limited by my personal agenda, and second, some decks I want to construct in future would be so much better with just 4 Villeins in them.
I still think Villein should either give the minion at least a Bahari counter to outright remove that Villein-Lilith's Blessing brainless game-winning combo or Lilith's Blessing's card text should be changed in a way that would at least harden the conditions this combo can be played (Unique perhaps?). And, LSJ - why can you play Villein on a minion with less than 2 blood?
But I'm starting to whine again, so I think it's best to quit now.
Next time I'd like to describe my fail in the tournament I was trying to prepare for in the last post.

And I need at least 3 more Villeins, send me your offers. :-))))

Carpe noctem.

pondělí 14. ledna 2013

Preparations Underway!

Hi there again and PF 2013!

So after this quite long hibernation period I finally woke up (even if a bit prematurely, it's -10 Celsius and 30 cm or 1 ft of snow here). Our prince has arranged a tournament scheduled for 2nd Feb and again I really don't know which deck to choose... Each and every one of them has its pros and cons and I can't think of a better place to summarize them.

So - our metagame is heavily bounce-oriented at the moment and thus a lot of people plays combat or politics to somehow counter that. Even I wouldn't think of a deck without a bounce option if it couldn't bloat for like at least 10 pool per round - aside from Girls that's not so easy to do. Normally our tournament attendance is around 13 people but now we could even have 20 people attending - aside from Prague there are no tournaments being organized here lately and guys from other metagames finally decided to show up. Thus it can be presumed there would be a higher incidence of 5-player tables. But how will this affect the playability of my favourite decks?

These are my options.

1) EuroBrujah heavy bleed/bounce deck

This is the deck I took as my main competitive deck to Budapest EC and even though it (and I) did perform, well, okay, it still has some unfinished aspects. Needs work, does not need practice. Pretty much a "why not" deck. Better maybe on 4-player tables, moderate to high ousting power, good defense, much harder to play without a votelock/crosstable ally with votes.

2) Giovanni powerbleed w/ Shambling Hordes

Originally this was supposed to be a Shambling Hordes deck w/ some bleed but it somehow spinned out of control and now it's a bit too vanilla for me. Maybe if I had one more Unmasking it would work more like a Hordes deck but right now it works as a powerbleed, and a pretty boring one. Better on 4-player tables, can oust very quickly (gee, really??). Aside from Hordes it has combat defense limited to Breath of Thanatos, and yes, I am aware this card is considered to be bad but I don't care, it works for me. Great offense, defense not so much. A political deck with a lot of S:CE will crush me like a bug.

3) Toreador AAAF :-) bleed&vote w/o Grand Balls

Oh, I'm so unsure about this one. Everyone plays AAA with Dominate and Grand Balls, I wanted to take a different approach and concentrate on the +bleed ability on Alexandra, Anneke and Francois. So I took Flurry of Actions and KRC and hoped. So far it is not a catastrophe, but definitely needs more stealth/denial. And maybe the Big Balls too. :-/ Needs testing, optimizing, rebuilding, getting shouted at, more testing, disassembling and rebirth. At least. And then maybe repeating the whole process one more time. On the other hand - now I see I'm not unsure at all. But maybe I'll change my mind in the upcoming weeks. Right now I see this deck's probability around 1.5%. :-D

4) Salubri only!

Yes, this one is my baby. I just got the rest of cards needed some two weeks ago and so far it seems it even works to some extent. There's a lot of interesting ideas in that deck and maybe that's its worst bane. Aside from the standard Heidelberg/Marionette/Minion Tap/Renewed Vigor bloating tech there are some nice things like Daring the Dawn and Force of Will, Robert Carter, Journal of Hrorsch and 10 Freak Drives, Clan Impersonation... :-D and it actually DOES seem to work! But I have a feeling that if I concentrated more on one or two things and left the rest for dead (and maybe combined Salubri with a second clan! but that's precisely what I don't want to do), it could be much better. Anyways - this deck needs testing, but has its potential, especially for 5-player tables.

5) Tzimisce block-deck w/ Malgorzata

My first deck which actually works and one of the most stable decks I know. Great defense but offense limited to the standard block-deck offense + Changeling&Army of Rats only. Smaller tournaments - why not. 4-player tables are OK, the larger tables the worse. Generally sucks the fun out of VTES. BtW - never performed well on a tournament, still unsure why. :-)

And that's it. The rest of my decks are either 4fun only (Blood Brothers multiacting combat/bleed madness!, CEL PRE gun bleed), don't work (Gangrel werewolves, Tariq) or I didn't find time to build them yet (Hermanas - OK I wouldn't take this deck in any circumstance, CEL PRE AUS, Vitel+Italicus+Vauxhall - and this WON'T EVER work).

There's still three weeks to test and modify, so we'll see. At the moment I'm torn between Salubri, Brujah and maybe the Toreadors, if I'll be able to optimize it at least a bit. However the 2 decks I did not mention would perhaps have the biggest chance to actually do something.

Don't hesitate to share your thoughts or ask me in the discussion below.

Carpe noctem.

sobota 17. listopadu 2012

SANguinus - discipline analysis

Once upon a time I tried to build a Blood Brothers deck. It was a long time ago
and the deck is still one of my favourite things that don't really work.
I remember at the time I could not find any decent resource about Sanguinus,
their signature discipline, and I had to learn things the hard way.
Now I'll try to summarize my findings and thoughts about this not often played
yet actually pretty interesting discipline.

General description:

Sanguinus is a discipline based on cooperation of usually same circle members
of the Blood Brothers clan. This discipline is clan-restricted and there's not
a single vampire outside the BB clan with even a basic knowledge of it.
It allows the user f. ex. to make other vampires stronger, take hits for them
or give them blood. Even with only one ready controlled BB Sanguinus can help.


Every action on SAN has its appeal save the very expensive Coagulated Entity (quite interesting indeed, isn't it). This action card allows a vampire to enter combat with another vampire at 0 stealth
and can give the acting vampire considerable benefits based on how many same circle BB's you control. The problem is that other than Shell Game the BB's don't have any easy access to stealth and so this action is very easy to block. Compared to Oppugnant Night this card really leaves much to be desired - I only use it as the possibility to rush a second time with potentially devastating effect.
Apart from that I'd like to mention Hive Mind with both effects being very nice and Redistribution - tactical possibilities are endless! Unwholesome Bond is a pretty standard thing; nice but really nothing to write home about.

Political Actions:

Uhh, Blood Brothers prefer politics of the Finnish type. :-)

Action Modifiers:

From this card type Hay Ride is being played quite often; in combo with f.ex. Coagulated Entity,
perhaps? Or maybe Hive Mind? Depends on your needs at the time and that's the coolest thing about the card. Shell Game is the only stealth card the BB's have access to and the cost is quite high. Claiming the Body gives the BB's a possibility to play tap-and-dosomething to some extent, and again, there are some nice possible synergies between Sanguinus cards. Slake the Thirst is a really nice card even when played as a combat card (f.ex. with Taste of Vitae), but the superior effect is the thing - and again try to imagine the possibilities of combining it with other SAN cards - Unwholesome Bond? Redistribution? That's what I call an easy access to a lot of vitae. (In your face, Salubri!)
And now for the big guns - Walk of Caine is the thing that makes this clan at least a bit playable. Since with Hive Mind and Unwholesome Bond it's very easy to have 4-5 ready big guys (generally with a little help of Wider View) or 10+ vampires thanks to Hermanas being non-unique, the consequences are obvious. Fancy a bleed of 6-7? No problem.


Gestalt and Gestalt only. If you feel a Blood Brothers deck needs to block an action from time to time, this card makes it much easier for you. The superior effect gives the midcap Kiev and Torrance circles nice boost in resulting combat, if any. :-)


Being more of a support discipline, the Sanguinus combat cards are pretty much of a tactical value. Brother's Blood makes it possible to use another BB as a meatshield, Coordinate Attacks and Free Fight are favoured by those who can't handle a fair fight :-), and Clockwerx may result in a WTF effect on your adversary's face.
However Octopod is a much better Blur and in combination with Three's a Crowd and Potence combat cards results in a very nice potential damage output. No need to mention Slake the Thirst again.

And that's it. There are no more Sanguinus cards. No need for equipment, allies or retainers.
Three's a Crowd and Oppugnant Night are both great cards requiring BB only, but I mentioned them already.
And finally, Thicker Than Blood has one flaw - it only works for unique vampires, so no quick Hermanas for us. However due to easy access to vitae for the BB's it could be playable to some extent. I just don't like it somehow. :-)

Again, I hope at least someone will find this rant interesting and maybe even helpful. If you find somewhere here the inspiration to build a nice BB deck, I wish you luck. If you have anything to ask me, don't hesitate to post in the discussion below.

Carpe noctem.

neděle 4. listopadu 2012

What Am I Up To Now?


Recently I had a couple of weird ideas about decks I could build - they were mostly just for fun and could not be very efficient but where's the fun in playing efficient decks?? :-) Here are some of the possibilities together with some comments as to WHY and WTfrig.

Stupid idea #1: DOM FOR OBT POT (tha) deck ft. Marcus Vitel Adv. and/or Luca Italicus w/ Lord Vauxhall and one or two other little dudes as support.

WHY? Because I am desperate to use Black Metamorphoses somewhere, I have three extra Heroic Mights and still haven't utilized all my Freak Drives (or - Tariq-Fatima deck proved too unstable and unfunny - sometimes funny for me but not so much for the rest of the guys, but much more often not even for me). Since POT OBT DOM is not a huge problem, why those big scary guys (and both of them are 10 caps, screw them)? Because of the huge cost of Heroic Might and Black Metamorphosis and the need to multiact somehow (thus the FOR, will come in handy in combat too, obviously). Right now I'm in the phase of "is it worth the time and effort and Deflections I don't have enough of or not". When ready, this deck could do some serious damage by bleeding and rushing, but I have the feeling it won't be so easy in the end. We'll see if we'll ever see.

Stupid idea #2: Hazimel & Mata Hari multiacting bleed, bind and bounce!

WHY? My reason to try and build this weird and probably unusable thing is that Sensory Deprivations are cool and Nighmare Curses are even better! Aside from that - they published two great cards for CHI AUS and then gave us like 3 guys who can inherently play them at superior and one of them is a friggin Tremere! Can anyone enlighten me as to why is it so? And because I think both Nightmare Curse and Heart's Desire are really cute little thingies (and my last attempt at using them was not a huge success, weenies and discipline cards suck even with Lilith's Blessing) I just have to try to prove they are actually playable to some extent. Both Hazimel and Mata Hari have great abilities; maybe I'll later try out Wamukota or Durga Syn or Genina, but right now Mata Hari seems to be the best quasi-support for Hazimel to me.

Stupid idea #3: Salubri and Salubri ONLY deck!

Yeah, we've moved to the realm of pure ridiculousness now. Three nights ago me and my friend Silmegil were sitting in a pub and talked about those very important things in life like what deck should I build next and my friend said - why don't you build a Spirit Marionette deck? It can do some nice things and nobody really plays it here. Then we went home and next day I started doing my research. I found out some interesting things:

1. The 2nd group vampires cost in appropriate numbers roughly the same as my Volkswagen.
2. Never build a deck without first researching the availability of the desired cards and never get too excited about an idea.
3. The scarce penalty is a bitch.

So, why Salubri only? Because I don't believe in decks where one dude does this and another dude does something else. Maybe it's because I'm a crappy deckbuilder (which is probably true, I must say), but I just don't believe these things can work. And nobody tried that out before me, judging from the deck archive on So Minion Tapping, Renewing Vigor and sometimes maybe doing something forwards shall it be! I moved a little bit sideways from the standard Marionette + Heidelberg stuff (but I play both of these cards to some extent, just not as many of them as is probably common).

And that's about it for today, work to do (translators don't have weekends as other people do, they just work or don't work) and later in the evening beer to drink! Feel free to share your thoughts in the discussion below.

Carpe noctem.

úterý 30. října 2012

Why and Why Now?

Hello everybody!

This weekend I participated in the VTES European Championship in Budapest and when I finally got back home, I found out I was so full of impressions I just needed to put them "on paper" somehow - that is the purpose of this blog. I'd like to post random thoughts about VTES, some board game rambling and sometimes just other things I find interesting, outraging, ridiculous etc.
I hope you'll enjoy yourselves, any comments will be very welcome.

For now I'd just like to thank Milan Horvath and the rest of the team of organizers, judges, support dudes and stuff for organizing the best gaming event I had the luck to be part of and I hope it wasn't the last time they had an opportunity to show off their amazing organizing skills.

I'll just go to torpor now and hope no-one will rescue me anytime soon. :-)

Carpe noctem.