Diesen Samstag, den 02.07.2022 findet in Barcelona, im Spieleladen Archivo ein weiteres Prince of the City Turnier statt.
Wie bereits beim Berliner Turnier habe ich angeboten einen Livestream zu machen. Das heißt ihr werdet am Samstag ab 10 Uhr 30 die Vampire: Rivals Partien sowie das abschließende Finale mit erleben können. Der Stream erfolgt über meinen Twitch Kanal: https://www.twitch.tv/wodnews
Wer Lust hat, ist eingeladen einzuschalten. Die Videos werden eine zeitlang danach noch verfügbar sein.
Ich überlegte kurz, fragte im Rivals Kanal des deutschen Welt der Dunkelheit nach, und bot an einen Livestream zu machen. Das heißt, sofern sich ein Tisch findet, bei dem alle Spieler mit dem Stream einverstanden sind, wird jeweils eine Partie pro Runde übertragen werden.
Wer Lust hat, ist eingeladen einzuschalten. Die Videos werden eine zeitlang danach noch verfügbar sein.
Die Prince of the City Turnierserie ist ein Projekt von Renegade Games, bei dem überall auf der Welt Turniere stattfinden, bei dem jeweils ein Prinz gekürt wird. Prinz ist hierbei ein geschlechtsneutraler Titel, den sich jede:r erkämpfen kann. Die Prinzen haben die Möglichkeit sich in einem Länderübergreifenden Event, es wird eins in Europa und eins in den USA geben, miteinander zu messen. Die Gewinner werden Einfluß auf das Spiel haben.
Das konkrete Turnier in Berlin findet am 25.06 statt und startet um 11 Uhr mit der Registrierung. Die erste Runde wird um etwa 11 Uhr 30 beginnen und die Laufzeit ist bei Facebook mit rund 10 Stunden angegeben. Der Eintrittspreis ist 30 Euro und es werden 4-Spieler Partien gespielt werden.
Man kann sein Deck aus der Grundbox, den Erweiterungen Blood & Alchemy, The Wolf & The Rat und Shadows & Shrouds sowie den 5 Promos: Smoke, Victor Temple, Freddy Usher, Martine Diaz und Natasha Blank zusammen stellen. Wobei die Promos vor Ort verfügbar sein werden.
Ich persönlich habe bereits mein Bahnticket sowie Hotel gebucht, wobei man mit dem neuen 9€ Ticket super günstig hinkommen kann.
Allgemein finde ich es sehr großartig, dass das Turnier stattfindet und hoffe auf eine rege Teilnahme.
Let this be taken as the complete and true retelling of Benedict B. Fox’s very first foray to the European VTES scene.
The story begins, like many such things do, with an ending of another, as the death of FFG’s final competitive LCG left the globally renowned Team Cork seeking a new setting to experience the joy and camaraderie of the card-playing tournament scene. Discovery of the unlikely story that is VTES blossoming into a new edition somewhere in the shadows quickly leads to some card purchases, some messing around on Tabletop Simulator, and an inevitable commitment to try it out in meatspace.
Preparing for the event we first had to identify the full travelling quorum and from that establish the goals of the trip. Unfortunately Coach, Maverick, and Singer couldn’t make it out on this occasion, so just the Fox would have to find a way to represent Ireland solo.
The first goal is simple and obvious, this being the very first event, and that is to get a true sense of what VTES is like in reality. Like plenty of games may have all kinds of appeal: Magic with its legions and players and breathtaking art is always a temptation, but far far too often ends up bringing out the worst in people on the tournament scene.
The second one is perhaps unusual in the scope of ambition, but having had the team previously firmly plant the country flag in the hearts of the Netrunner and Game of Thrones scenes, we set off to mark the rebirth of the Irish VTES scene, reintroducing it to the European tournament circuit, setting off to represent what we bring to a tournament setting.
The latter set off some requirements in deck preparation, kicking off the search for the most Irish vampire to front our deck. The bold Dónal O’Connor stepped up from the annals of the game’s history, and we immediately heard his theme song welling up in the background as the card approached the sleeve (https://youtu.be/HLkHKdVN_Yw). The outline of the nation quickly filled out with the Peace Treaty as a key event for the State, Disputed Territory as an everyday reality on the island, our Heroic Might, global influence with the likes of Power Base: Montreal and New Carthage, and of course creative use of Torn Signposts:
The rest of the deck was more the stuff to round it out to approximate a good deck VTES people might run.
To help understand the true flow of VTES games and events and more smoothly integrate into the meta, we reached out to today’s tournament finest to draft up a tournament bible, to guide the prep, table manner, and overall strategy. The community’s generosity was truly overwhelming and the following guiding principles (in no particular order) were formed:
I – Fun = mandatory
II – Slay the sinister
III – The guys tell lies
IV – Defense wins Championships
V – Blessed are the meek
VI – Gotta know when to hold ‘em
VII – Fight Forever!
VIII – Closers get coffee (https://youtu.be/QMFwFgG9NE8)
IX – Be Cool (this one deserves to be waaay higher on the list, should it ever emerge sorted by importance)
X – Friends from the other side
XI – Luck be a lady
XII – All is not as it seems
XIII – Reading is fundamental
XIV – No gifts from the wicked
XV – Pay the hand that feeds you
XVI – Can’t get bitter (https://youtu.be/cX5U8dnRLH8)
XVII – Sweep the leg
XVIII – Pics or it didn’t happen
XIX – Time ain’t nothing but time
XX – Let your no be No
XXI – In vino veritas
XXII – No truth without name
Mulling over all of those, we get the first plot twist: event is in danger of turning into a multi-deck one, so a panicked search for another Irish vampire kicks off, finally tracking down Aisling Sturbridge, who seems plenty keen to have a bonfire night of her own, and seems well positioned to lead a rag-tag band to some explosive neutralisation of much grander targets. Third deck doesn’t seem as easy to locate, so with hours vanishing before us, we just go with Giovanni, coz they’re green, and Guillaume is one moustache trimming away from looking like he might try to sell ya a gate.
(The following two sections are more general musings on prepping for tournaments as a fastidious card player, and travelling between countries in the apocalypseish age we find ourselves in, so feel free to skip to the Game Day section. Ed.)
Sleeve choice for decks comes down to planned purpose of the deck. Deck 1 gets steady as a rock grey from Dragon Shields, accompanied by crimsons from the same company. Deck two, that may need a quick burst to the finish, gets fiery crimson, with gold crypt, creating a symphony of purpose. Finally should the final table need to be played, the third deck gets the stability of greys, paired with golds for the crypt to fit in with the surrounding champions. All double sleeved, which is a bit of an extravagance, but I like the substantial feel this gives to cards, make each feel important.
Glass beads seem the dominant choice for classy methuselahs, so I procure some from a Polish decoration shop.
Playmat options are few so far, but that certainly doesn’t take anything away from BCP’s Bleeding With Style offering.
My custom box with the 103 double-sleeved card capacity arrives, with the Fox knot proudly engraved on the side.
I managed to procure a membership card from time immemorial, get the excitement of acquiring my number from perhaps my favourite country to card game in (Team Cork have over the years repped in 15+ countries over the years from California to Bangkok and all kinds of places in between).
Additionally now that Amazon Prime’s American Gods has outed the constitutional provision that we have to hand over a coin from our horde to the person who defeats the biggest leprechaun they have ever met, I set some aside for the table winners ahead of time, avoid the risk of accidentally handing over my lucky one.
All of this may seem trivial but in my experience of tournaments (especially ones where one is less prepared) it can be quite valuable to build a sort of home away from home on your side of the table to help settle in, reduce impact of trivialities and environmental hiccups (like I have seen people get rattled, completely lose their flow from a cheap sleeve breaking at an important moment).
First trip since the apocalypse, so no idea how comfortable sneaking off abroad was going to be, just planned the short trip, with the closest hotel to the venue to get good sleep. Serious masks for travel, comfy masks for play, antacids, power bank to avoid being stranded with no juice in foreign lands: all plans to eliminate personal stressors as much as possible. In the end could have actually used more masks to rotate during play, or accept the protections of being vaccinated, around vaccinated people, outside… but I think the onus is still on me as the traveler not to take any risk to extend the apocalypse.
Airports (or at least people at the airports) seem to have bounced back in the worst ways: reluctant masks aside, people are cramming together like social distance was never a thing, and basically no setup has changed in the airports from the Before times (This was later discovered to not be a universal reality once landed in the grown-up countries. Ed.). Forms to fill in certainly added to the stress of the trip prep, like whose grand idea it was to proclaim a need for a form proclaiming vaccination status, when a vaccine certificate also needs to be carried? It’s like asking one to submit a form asserting the possession of money as part of a transaction buying a soft drink at a store.
Airport security fail to pull over any of the decks, no matter how peculiar the storage format, which seems a bad omen, getting me to doubt their explosive opening potential.
Immigration likewise accept my verbal confirmation of vaccination status without a second thought, leaving me with uncertainty if my bluffing is up to scratch, that I am not getting the respect as someone who *could* be bluffing.
Taxi drivers in the Netherlands are great, with solid partitions for safety, hotel is great, and come the morning, get to deploy to an absolutely breathtaking beer garden an hourish before the event to chill and familiarise myself with the offerings and facilities.
People start gathering for the event, and what a spectacular crowd it is: erudite, exciting people from every corner of the country, and initial horrifying misconceptions of being British are quickly cleared up.
Cool promos are generously arranged as participation prizes thanks to BCP’s strong support of local play, though playmats for the winner are conspicuously absent.
Tournament software seems to not be the smoothest, to the point where the European Authorities are confirmed to be working on a replacement as a human rights issue, but the heroic organisers persevere, and soon have us ready to shuffle up and deal! 😀
First table I am a table of 4, so quickly sketch out my notes to keep track of what I’ve played against, noteworthy events, and any noted errors I can try to cleanup in future play/deck building. I also luck out in my very first game getting on a table with former European Championships finalists, who take the time to vocally reason through tournament scoring strategy with me, which is hella generous.
Decks are as follows
Tremere animalism wall
Lasombra psychobleed (I have it on very high authority that the classical term is “power bleed”, but I prefer it my way. Ed.)
I get Dónal in the opening crypt, which is great for the kickoff game, along with Anvil, but none of my lads who can reach out and touch somebody, which is a bit unfortunate.
Seeing The unnamed, I totally know what I gotta do in this game, since no one brings a guy that big without trying to say something without talking (https://youtu.be/g7QBS0O7gT0). Defense is struggling as Second Tradition is unable to keep up with 3+ Stealth 3+ bleeds. Here I might have a need for a bit of Library-side redundancy for the crypt-side fixers not showing up to still slow down the aggressive prey, or maybe should have chanced dealing out another Crypt card, with 50/50 chance of getting one of the Lads, but maybe time wasn’t there for it. Being under this pressure I fail rule XXII, and The unnamed gets its Enkil Cog.
Looking to clean this up after the fact, the time comes to fight the fight he knew to be right (https://youtu.be/IB79pKUJN-o) and the bold Dónal heads over for chats with The unnamed. 9 damage and a Disarm later, The unnamed gets its one-way ticket to torpor land, where it is summarily consumed by the least needed minion of the wall deck.
Large bleeds keep getting hurled my way, which leads to a complicated decision of whether to bounce them to the neutered Baali who is still on 10ish pool, or chance eliminating some of the main pressure by lobbing the Lasombra into the woodchipper that is the wall deck, with the much higher intercept. I think this works, but will be one of the key moments I will need to review after the event.
I eventually succumb under the pressure (legit, no bleed came in at under 3), sadly before outing my initial prey, but this turns out to be a blessing in disguise, as I get to witness a fascinating consideration in the follow-up. The lethal bleed launched into the 3-pool Baali player is a 4+ one from the Lasombra, and discussion opens up as to whether there is a value in the Baali playing Archon Punishment. I’ll leave the readers the freedom to make up their own mind, maybe surrender the experts’ consensus in the comments.
The Lasombra don’t got what it takes to finish off the fascinating Tremere deck and are in turn ousted, so scoring from me clockwise ending 0-0-2-2, with me handing over the coin to the Tremere as the points-be-damned winner, what with being the last man standing.
Get to learn more about my great table mates, grab a bite to eat heading into the next round, and straight into the next table announcement.
I am lucky this time, getting to experience an actual 5 player table, which I can now conclusively say is an unrivalled way to experience the game, opening up diplomatic options I did not anticipate from just studying the mechanics. Altogether a lovely place to be.
Decks are as follows
Ventrue voting block
Mama Odie combat deck, ambushing everything in sight with her snakes and such wrecking folks for environmental damage if they got too close, and Freak(ish) Drive to multi-task
Lasombra paychobleed from the first table
Dónal leads the way to represent. Table is incredibly polite in allowing a restrained but consistent level of bleeding, so most get to share the edge.
With a couple of vamps each and a solid hand I decide to test the predator to understand the threat he brings a bit better and close off cooperation. A touch of blocking and bouncing and it seems he doesn’t have what it takes to breach my defenses, so shifts to neutral.
Meanwhile while we were assuming Mama Odie (Apologies if this is not the correct VTES name, but I am still new, and much more familiar with The Princess and The Frog version. Ed.) is just getting the spices ready, she suddenly heads down the Bayou to the Lasombra with an overflowing pot of whupass gumbo, sending his main vampire to torpor, and then proceeding to bleed with the recipe Codex for outright unfriendly amounts.
This shocks the table into considering how she could be slowed down a touch. I follow Rule X to rescue the Lasombra from torpor, the Ventrue vote down the Anarch Revolt, and a tense unease settles on the table, as we witness Lasombra’s frantic attempts at survival.
With the action however being far away from me, I focus on Rule II, and find myself shockingly disrespected as my prey over-relies on the friendly arrangement we have of some casual bleeds to keep the edge moving, and sends all his vamps off on errands, be that bleeding, come casual harassment of Mama Odie, returning overdue library books… basically anything other than standing guard over the border that feels like it should be shown to be more important. So Beast (who clearly, like all Americans, claims to be at least half Irish, starts to sing the song of his people (https://youtu.be/gbn3IvQzvjI) to settle these open borders into a permanent arrangement with Dónal & Co. bleeding, while Beast encourages respect from the Ventrue themselves.
To ease the war on too many fronts, a specific arrangement is made with Nosferatu on his use of Govern, avoiding too large a field being built, but allowing him to use it to accumulate more pool off his Information Network and such.
The Lasombra runs out of solutions, and Mama Odie takes aim at Nosferatu, who is sitting quite pool-comfortable, but more than a little concerned about the voodoo set to be unleashed upon it. With the Ventrue at 3 pool, me on a strong board, Mama Odie low on actual blood it is a moment where a slight imbalance could easily lead to a full board sweep. I am missing a Torn Signpost in hand to feel comfortable with Beast popping over to the Bayou for an impromptu spot of attempted murder, but building in the right direction as his Celerity has been upgraded.
Mama Odie proposes a very short term non-aggression pact to give us both a shot at closing out our prey before we do our grand showdown. I have Theo coming in as backup, and could use a moment to try and find a Torn Signpost, on top of worries that getting into a premature conflict with my Prey-to-be would violate Rules II, VIII, and X, with the risk of missing the victory point that is within reach by focusing on one that may eventually be on the table. The talk of this deal seems to either genuinely upset the Nosferatu, or empower an exceptional victim act performance, with a ceaseless tirade on the lack of wisdom in the deal, and the unfairness of it happening at the table, etc. It seems to fall on equally deaf ears around the table, and play proceeds.
Rolling over to my turn, the decimated Ventrue end up with validating my concerns about all kinds of things being possible as per rule XII, and manage to hold me off on 1 pool, at the cost of having naught but a mandatory hunt for their turn. Alas I make what I believe to be a major misplay here, bringing in a Theo that is not yet needed, leaving myself at 4 pool rather than the much safer 7, a little over-focused on the perceived efficiency of using all transfers/Master Actions as game mechanic choke points (Should have really noted this not being in the Rules), and over-confident in a hand with Second Tradition and Divine Intervention.
Meanwhile it seems that the Nosferatu, while still extolling the victim status, has been able to completely stall Mama Odie, drawing Obediences like it’s his job. Two whole turns disappear into nothingness, and he is then able to toss a 3+ stealth power bleed my way to get me off the table, eventually using that head of steam to sweep the rest and claim his coin.
Really awesome game with a mass of twists, and even a cool turnaround of having the seemingly marginalised Nosferatu digging out the win, but leaves me wondering whether the approach of multi-turn victimhood claims, even seemingly without an audience, is the right path to victory. Checking over the rules and no Win At Any Cost rule, leaves me content that for me Rule I would dictate that some non-wins are better.
The moment it all went wrong
So finals were not for me (this time).
But that opened up an opportunity to play friendly games through the day, which were perhaps less scrutinised, but in no way less fun than tournament ones, offering me the joys of experiencing my first Emerald Legionnaire encounter, lots of deck concept talk, Bartholomew Jonah Jansen proposing a fireside game where a burned vampires would be burned for real-real, and even a chance to share a deck list of mine with somebody who was interested in it at my very first event.
Some overall unsorted thoughts
It was great to see the pre-tournament favourite take down the event, showing that the multiplayer nature of the game doesn’t force the situation where the leaders would always be ganged up on.
The player base was incredibly welcoming and accommodating of a new player. Folks were incredibly open to share ideas, even while I might not have much of value to offer in return yet, and full of great tales to make one want to dive much deeper in the tournament scene.
The game is FUN! I walked away buzzing with the thought of playing the decks I brought to the event, perhaps tweaked, but mostly better, and also with a notepad full of new deck ideas. Always a great sign to go to the point of exhaustion, but nothing short of a determined wish for more once the body is once again able.
The full scope of the game is vast and unfathomable for even the most seasoned veterans. This one might sound silly, but shows the lack of absolute need to learn all the thousands of cards: everyone is super-open with details of what their vampires do, so the important part seems to be more to read the cards and focus on the game within the moment. This also means that it has the scope for literal decades of novelty.
Decklists weren’t nearly the sacred secrets the internet would imply them to be. The games themselves showed the pacing and negotiation to be a much bigger deal in the result, once a certain level of focus on the deck’s key objectives was reached.
I haven’t come near figuring out the value of early discards to filter vs providing the table info about your deck.
Oh! And there were prizes! Bartholomew already put up the main treasure trove, but even the participation and a random door prize was a bounty my playmat seems amazed with, and it was fun to open boosters from time immemorial.
So for anyone on the fence about going to an event, my recommendation is yes, absolutely, plan it today, do it tomorrow, and you’ll be hooked for the many tomorrows yet to come.
Huge thanks to Bart Jansen for organising the event, Hector for all his table banter coaching, Jonathan for sharing so many deck building principles, and everyone else who turned up to help form what seems most likely to become a new addiction.
Nachdem die Elysium: Weekend of Darkness Convention vom 11. bis 12 Juni statt fand, mag ich in diesem Artikel, eine Zusammenfassung der relevanten V5 Neuigkeiten geben, sowie eine Zusammenstellung der Videos bieten.
Hinsichtlich der V5 Neuigkeiten gibt es eine Reihe von Buch- sowie Merchandise Ankündigungen.
Neue Rollenspiel Bücher
V5 Sabbat: The Black HandErgänzungsband Ein Ergänzungsband, welcher den Sabbat als Antagonisten respektive NPC vorstellt. Hierfür gibt es neue Disziplinskräfte, es werden Pfade vorgestellt, man erhält Ritae, Informationen dazu, was der Sabbat gemacht hat, und mehr.
V5 Second InquisitionErgänzungsband Ein Ergänzungsband, in dem die Zweite Inquisition als Fraktion näher beschrieben wird
V5 Storyteller’s Screen & Toolkit Eine neue, aktualisierte Version des Erzählerschirm, der neben neuen Artwork auch die aktualisierten Regeln enthält. Neben dem kleinen Heft, mit Anregungen rund um das Leiten.
Die folgenden Bücher werden von Renegade Games neu aufgelegt bzw. gedruckt, und damit in die Läden gebracht:
V5 Grundregelwerk Das Grundregelwerk wird die Errate aus dem Kompendium enthalten.
V5 Chicago by Night
V5 Cults of the Blood Gods
Daneben gibt es noch einige kleinere und größere Roll20 Rollenspiel-Accessoires für die V5:
V5 Würfel Set Es wird ein neues, günstiges V5 Würfelset geben. Diesmal mit passenderen rot, und entsprechend ausgearbeiteten Symbolen. Das Set wird 13 schwarze Würfel, und 5 Rote Würfel, enthalten.
Book of Nod Das Book of Nod wird von Renegade Games neu aufgelegt, und damit wieder in die Läden gebracht. Hierbei handelt es sich um eine aufgemotzteren Version, des Buchs welches man in der Kindred Box bekommt. Mit Faux-Leder, Silberschnitt, und einem blutroten Lesezeichenband.
The Book of Nod Deluxe Artifact Edition Das Book of Nod als aufwändig produzierte Box, mit verschiedenen Handouts in der Form von Schriftrollen, Papieren, und einem quasi Stein.
Vampire: The Masquerade 5th Ed – Roll20 Bundle Es gibt Roll20 Module für das Grundregelwerk, Anarchen und Camarilla
Daneben wurde noch Produkte für das Kartenspiel Vampire: Die Maskerade – Rivals angekündigt:
Rivals – Blood & Alchemy In der ersten Erweiterung, wird Clan Tremere, sowie Dünnblütige spielbar. Die Erweiterung kann bereits vorbestellt werden.
Rivals – The Wolf & The Rat In der zweiten Erweiterung, wird Clan Gangrel und Clan Nosferatu spielbar.
In Bezug auf Actual Play, wurde verkündet das L.A. by Night im September 2021 zurück kehrt und Renegade Games hat mit The Nightlife eine neue, offizielle Actual Play Reihe gestartet.
Zudem wurde verkündet, dass es wahrscheinlich, noch dieses Jahr eine weitere Renegade Games World of Darkness Convention geben wird.
Die Ankündigungen stammen aus den verschiedenen Videos, welche ich sortiert, nach dem erscheinen im Rahmen der Convention sortiert habe. Dazu werde ich kleine Anekdoten zu den Videos und Panels geben, da ich hier tatsächlich fast alle live gesehen habe.
In this article, I’ll be talking about the deck that I used in the Vampire: The Eternal Struggle tournament „Atlantic Cup XXI“. It is a translation, of my first German article.
The tournament took place online via LackeyCCG and Discord. I managed to score one game win, and two „not lost“ games, which netted the place 13 of 101 players, and the second best place among the German players participating.
Which is the reason why I decided to explain my deck:
Deck Name: Guillaumes Aggro & Bleed Toolbox (alternative: Moustache Daddies Toolbox) Deck Focus: Toolbox with a focus on shambler and bleed Deck: Text File
The deck is a star deck based on Guillaumes ability to bloat my hand size to kingdom come, offering a broad variety of tools. Mostly tooles for dominate bleeds, and the Giovanni favorite ally, the Shambling Hordes. It sports some smaller nice features, for certain opportunities, like „Graverobbing“ or „Slaughtering the Herd“, yet I kept those aspects at a rather minimal approach.
Graverobbing won’t do me any good, if there aren’t any minions to free from other players torpor region, while Slaughtering the Herd requires an active minion from my predator. Otherwise it’s just a to expensive bleed.
Crypt – 17 Cards:
6 Guillaume Giovanni 2 Nicomedes 2 Raphaela Giovanni 1 Lia Milliner 1 Gualtiero Ghiberti 1 Primo Giovanni 4 Anarch Convert
Guillaume (Cap 9, DOM, NEC, I included him 6 times, thus ensuring he will be in my start crypt of 4 vampires. It might seem a lot, but it works well with LackeyCCGs strange randomizer. Considering the deck is built on bloating the handsize to offer a variety of options, Guillaume is quite an elementary vampire for the deck. Though if he gets torpored or emptied & banished, it isn’t as bad as playing an Unnamed stealth bleed deck, while having the Unnamed nuked away.
Nicomedes (Cap 5, nec), is a Harbinger of Skulls and hence the only Not-A-Giovanni vampire, that is meant to be actually played. The Anarch Converts are there for converting, not doing stuff. He is included because of his mulligan ability, which can refresh a subpar hand and offers the opportunity to draw something nicer. I do like his ability, and I actually used it a lot, when I could bring him out.
Raphaela Giovanni (Cap 6, DOM, NEC), is the only Giovanni with both DOM and NEC at superior and a capacity of just 6 withing the Giovanni group 3 to 5. Thus I included her twice.
Lia Milliner (Cap 3, dom, nec), offers both disciplines the deck focuses on, for a rather cheap capacity 3 minion. The fact that most Giovanni decks are based on dominate and/or necromancy saw her included in 6 of 8 Giovanni decks in the tournament.
Gualtiero Ghiberti (Cap 7, DOM, NEC), offers essentially the same as Raphaela does, just at a slightly higher capacity. His ability to throw a stealth to Giovanni is nice, but it isn’t nice that he has to grant it as the action is announced.
Primo Giovanni (Cap 4, dom, nec), is the less talented cousine of Lia Milliner. Yet, he the only other Giovanni in group 3 to 4 which has both dominate and necromancy and just a capacity of 4, save from Lia.
Anarch Convert (Cap 1), are a cheap and bullet proof way to make ones independent minions Anarchs. I did expect that the tournament might have had a strong „Anarch Revolt“ meta, and I was proven right.
„Nicomedes“ got the serious drawback that he has no dominate. Thus, save from his ability, he only can spawn small Shambling Hordes. Thus, if I’ll include him in future variants, I will invest in methods to grant him the discipline. Having him only in twice, led to me not seeing him in my crypt in any of the three games but one. Thus, if he stays, I will include 3 to 4 copies. If I include the „Shaal Fragment“, he might work a bit as a „Guillaume replacement“. Yet, if Guillaume is still in, there might be a point, that sees a „to big“ in regards of handsize.
Using only 4 „Anarch Converts“ was a bit risque, yet it worked.
Library – 90 Cards:
There are decks that are fine with 60 cards, yet a Guillaume „hand bloat deck“ isn’t one. Especially if Guillaume sees torpor once or twice, one can reach the end of being able to draw fresh cards fast.
Master – 23 Cards
There are a lot of master cards, because they are the best locations and thus jive well with Guillaume.
1 Archon Investigation 1 Direct Intervention
Two standard masters for defense.
Though I do consider removing „Archon Investigation“ as well as „Direct Intervention“. The „Archon Investigation“ maybe more so than the „Direct Intervention“.
Very much standard to move some blood from and to vampires. Maybe one could be replaced by a „Vessel“ or a „Wider View“.
1 Information Highway 2 Parthenon, The 1 Therbold Realty 1 The Line 1 Secure Haven 1 Maabara 1 Dummy Corporation 1 Maabara 1 Monastery of Shadows 1 KRCG News Radio 1 WMRH Talk Radio 1 Metro Underground 1 Morgue Hunting Ground 1 Powerbase: Cape Verde 1 Powerbase: Savannah 1 Tower of London
Locations are at the core of the deck. Though I tried to limit myself to useful ones. Something that ain’t easy with the big variety of locations within V:TES. Somehow it totally escaped me, to plopp in some Anarch masters.
The locations are sorted by usability (more or less):
Information Highway, is a brilliant card, if one has within the starting hand. It enabled me to bring out Guillaume and Lia in just two rounds. Which was so great, that I do consider adding another copy or a „Dream of the Sphinx“. The only downer, for both cards, is that they are very popular and may get contested a to.
Parthenon, is in, because this girl for sure like multiple master phase actions. I included only twice, to not end up with Partheons clocking up my hand.
Therbold Realty, is not only a location, but lowers the cost of master and equipment location cards. Something quite handy, especially for the expensive stuff. The Line is included for similar blood saving purposes. While Tower of London offers pool for bringing out Shambling hordes, the aspect that I don’t have any other necromancy cards in the deck makes it quite a bit „meh“. Thus either the card will go, or I’ll have to include more necromancy action cards.
Secure Haven provides a save home for my Guillaume. It is best played after making him charismatic via „Charisma“.
Monastery of Shadows is included for the stealth for Guillaume. The hand sizing aspect is nice, yet really not needed in the deck, and quite expensive. One might increase their table popularity by granting others stealth, but that’s rather a fringe case. Usually they want intercept.
KRCG Radio and WMRH Talk Radio are both intercept buff locations. Because sometimes one just wants to harass their prey or predator. They are as well something that makes you popular at the table.
Maabara is a nifty to retrieve cards from the Ash Heap. Especially if you don’t got a Sudario, don’t want to have your Sudario blocked or don’t want to announce the card. Sadly, its a card that requires Nicodemus. Yet, the one time I used it, was rather nice.
Metro Underground will unlock Guillaume or another „Deflection“ minion if I got no wakes. It could maybe be replaced with a „Barrens“
Morge Hunting Ground is a standard hunting ground, and Powerbase: Cape Verde is essentially a „communal Giovanni Blood Doll“ that can’t be burned. Powerbase: Savannah is nice for defense, yet it gets stolen a ton. Which is the reason why I haven’t got a Powerbase Montreal in.
1 Charisma 1 Path of Bone, The
Charisma is a „no brainer“ for cheap allies. Alternative I might go for „Cavalier“, yet the deck doesn’t have like tons of multi actions.
The Path of Bone, lessens the necromancy cost for Giovanni. All the Giovanni at the table. It effects my „Shambling Hordes“ and „Spiritual Divination“. Nice.
Equipment – 2 Cards:
1 Gran Madre di Dio, Italy 1 Palatial Estate
Gran Madre di Dio, Italy, is a great location equipment to rain into the parade of both your prey and predator who want to get minions out. Especially with Guillaume. It will as well, single handedly, kill any Tupdog deck by your prey or predator – even if you put it on Lia.
Palatial Estate is a brilliant card to refresh blood on ones minion. It even works great on Lia Milliner, who thanks to the Estate has had to mass produce „Shambling Hordes“ in one of my games.
Action – 17 Cards:
10 Govern the Unaligned 3 Sudario Refraction 1 Slaughtering the Herd 1 Aranthebes, The Immortal 2 Graverobbing
My approach to actions can be summarized with: GOVEEEEEERN! (Govern the Unaligned) A good bleed, and a nice pool generator.
Sudario Refraction, gets Giovanni to get stuff back from the Ash Heap. With the big fat draw back, that one has to announce their cards. If you go like „I want a Govern, Conditioning and Spectral Divination“ people will intercept you, like there is no tomorrow.
Slaugthering the Herd, is great if you get it onto one of the (core) minions of your predator. In one game Raphaela couldn’t use as much blood as she drained from the poor minion. Well, and the cost of 4 blood to remove it, pretty much makes it sure that it will stay.
Graverobbing, sees my black soul rejoice, when I watch a vampire being torpored. While you may not make friends with your stolen minion, … you have a new friend in the stolen minion XD (Even if you only use it to block)
Aranthebes is a nice „almost Ally“. He can spit into ones predators stealth, and reduce the bleed of Weenies. Yet, I am not sure whether to keep him.
Action Modifier – 15 Cards:
1 Bonding 2 Seduction 4 Conditioning 4 Call of the Hungry Dead 4 Spectral Divination
The theme of the Action Modifier is „Bleed“ with Conditioning and Bonding. With a little bit of stealth from Bonding or Spectral Divination, and necromantic „nah, u don’t block“ help by Call of the Hungry Dead.
I am considering to add more bleed modifiers, maybe a „Mouthpiece“ or two.
Ally – 16 Cards:
10 Shambling Hordes 2 Gianna di Canneto 1 Leonardo, Mortician 1 Carlton Van Wyk 1 Mylan Horseed 1 Procurer
As you can see, it is about half of a Shambling Hordes deck. In which I would 15 to 20 of the Giovannis favorite ally. For this deck, having 8 Shambling Hordes might have sufficed.
The Shambling Hordes need minions in the ash heap, and thus they gotta eat:
Gianna di Canneto, the nice wraith next door, who can add some „oomph“ to a fight or burn down equipment.
Leonardo, Mortician, is a Giovanni minion for blood retrieval. He costs 1 pool opposed to the 2 blood of the Procurer. Leonardo got a bit more life, yet a bit less stealth. I am not sure whether to keep him or not.
Carlton Van Wyk, is a nice blocker of vampires. A really nice one. Thus he might get contested, or one can use him to contest.
Mylan Horseed, is basically Guillaumes personal unlock minion. He can bleed (built in), which is nice, yet he sucks at blocking.
Procurer, is a minion for blood retrieval. He is a bit more expensive than Leonardo, yet got more stealth.
Reaction – 9 Cards:
4 On the Qui Vive 3 Deflection 1 Funeral Wake 1 Delaying Tactics
The protection racket. On The Qui Vive is mostly for waking up and redirect. Maybe to many.
Deflection, is about throwing bleeds towards other players.
Funeral Wake, is meanth to raise the zombies for blocks. With only one copy, because this deck ain’t made for fighting.
Delaying Tactics, delays an inevitable political action. Yet, one copy is janky to get rid of an occasional political card, and way to less for political decks. Thus, it might go.
Combat – 5 Cards:
2 Fake Out 3 Spiritual Intervention
Hm, yeah. The combat modul is focused on running away with Fake Out. Which might as well be used to bring Shambling Hordes close up to escapees.
Spiritual Intervention is the necromantic „Peace Out“. Whether with Dodge or Combat Ends.
Event – 1 Cards:
1 Unmasking, The
One can play an ally deck without Unmasking, but that’s kinda stupid. Plus, the hand size cost are not relevant if you got Guillaume in action.
Retainer – 2 Cards:
2 Charigger, The Axe
Charigger, The Axe, sounds way better than he is. First you got him onto a minion of your own, than you gotta hope minions of your prey die. Which didn’t come to use. Not even in a situation in the tournament, where I was in the rare position to steamroll rush & bleed my prey. He’ll be out.
Small Deck Conclusion:
The deck was very fun to play, and suprisingly strong. Especially considering that, when I played it in the QQL2 league, it went down in record time.
From the category of „would have, could have, should have“: I could have won the two games I lost (didn’t win), haven’t had I made mistakes.
In general I consider options to gear up Nicodemus with dominate („Seal of Veddartha“ + „Vast Wealth“, „Field Training“), and making my Shambling Hordes and Nicodemus bleeder via „Mouthpiece“.
Maybe I’ll add in some sexy necromancy cards like „Gear Up“ or „Ex Nihlio“ for Moustache Daddy. Maybe I’ll add in some enticing dominate actions like „Dominate Kine“, „Far Mastery“ or modifiers like „Command the Beast“, „Empowering of the Puppet King“ and „Foreshadowing Destruction“.
I will fore sure look into anarch locations like „Anarch Railroad“.
Ce sera, ser.
Questions, Comments, Suggestions are quite welcome. Especially as it is the first deck, that I build and saw worthy enough to write an article about it.
Die letzten Wochen, und Monate, hat die deutsche V:TES Liga „Quarterly Quarantine League II“ (kurz QQL), ausgespielt wer diesen Freitag den 25. Juni um 20 Uhr ins Finale gelangt und um den Titel spielt.