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Mechelen Grote Markt

Welcome to Mechelen 24-25 February! Registration is now open - check out this forum post for details about how you register. Please note that accomodation on the venue can only be guaranteed if you reserve in advance.

More information about VEG Belgium can be found at [VEG] Belgian Grand Prix, Brussels (Mechelen): 24/02/18 - 25/02/18 and on the event Facebook page: VTES Grand prix [BE] 24/02/18 - 25/02/18

For more information about the whole VEG season, check out the VEG summary page.

Gargoyles

Greetings fellow Methuselah
The crypt is freezing cold and snow is pouring in whenever I have the courage to open the door to take a peek at the blizzard outside. What? What did you just say?! I should shut up about the weather and instead tell you some about when V:TES is back in print? Sorry. The official V:EKN news about that is still: Not much can really be said about the state of the game, except we are working on its resurrection.


Mechelen Grote Markt
GRAND PRIX BELGIUM 24-25 FEBRUARY
After a successful Bologna event, the European Grand Prix moves on to Mechelen, Belgium, the last weekend of February 2018. Friday night is a sightseeing trip, Saturday is a Sabbat-themed draft tournament and Sunday is the big constructed Grand Prix event. For more details check out the VEG site, the official forum announcement or the event Facebook page.


Anthology sale

ANTHOLOGY STILL FOR SALE
Yes, until we hear something else, there are still packs of Berlin Anthology left at the PDA web shop. Including Ashur Tablets, Enkil Cog, Monastery of Shadows as well as many never before printed cards, these packs are indeed worth 30 euro – don´t hesitate!


Nicola Lonardi

PLAYER INTERVIEW OF THE MONTH: NICOLA LONARDI
Hello Nicola, congratulations on winning Grand Prix Bologna! Have you won any other big tournaments before this?
- Thanks. Yes, I won an Italian ECQ qualifier and a tournament in the Italian Championships, but this was the first tournament I won with international presence. Before this I made a Day 2 final at EC Mannheim 2014 and a Day 1 final in EC Genova 2016.

What deck did you play in GP Bologna? Why did you choose that deck?
- I played a Malgorzata/Lord Tremere toolbox with auspex, vicissitude and thaumaturgy, similar to the deck Pau Vilar won EC Genova with.  I chose it because I thought there would be a lot of blocking/combat-decks and political decks. The deck has votes, combat cards and big capacity vampires which I can try to manage the game with.

Deck Name: Malgo
Crypt (12 cards; Capacity min=9 max=11 avg=10.5)
2x Lord Tremere 11 obe ANI AUS DOM THA VIC Tremere:5
5x Malgorzata 9 pre AUS DOM THA VIC Tremere antitribu:4
4x Mistress Fanchon 11 AUS CEL DOM OBF THA VIC Tremere:4
1x Sha-Ennu 11 obf tha ANI AUS CHI VIC Tzimisce:4

Library: 84 cards
Master (13 cards)
1x Erciyes Fragments, The
1x Giant's Blood
1x Information Highway
1x Pentex(TM) Subversion
1x Sudden Reversal
5x Villein
1x Direct Intervention
2x Dreams of the Sphinx

Action Modifier (2 cards)
2x Mirror Walk

Political Action (3 cards)
1x Ancient Influence
1x Ancilla Empowerment
1x Reins of Power

Combat (31 cards)
6x Amaranth
3x Quick Jab
4x Rego Motus
2x Blood Rage
3x Breath of the Dragon
13x Chiropteran Marauder

Ally (1 cards)
1x Carlton Van Wyk (Hunter)

Equipment (4 cards)
1x Heart of Nizchetus
1x Ivory Bow
1x Sargon Fragment, The
1x Bowl of Convergence

Reaction (28 cards)
4x Enhanced Senses
7x Eyes of Argus
1x Forced Awakening
2x My Enemy's Enemy
4x On the Qui Vive
5x Telepathic Misdirection
5x Eagle's Sight

Event (2 cards)
1x NSA Trio
1x Scourge of the Enochians

What is the deck's strengths and weaknesses? How do you play it?
- The strengths of this deck are the pool management and a combat model which hurts combat decks, like Theo Bell/Beast rush, and blocking decks, like Ventrue grinders, or other decks which play fortitude.
   Normally you need three turns to wake Malgorzata. Then the show starts. If somebody wants to block your special minion's action they need to think about whether they can survive the combat.
   The weakness is that the deck is a toolbox. It tries to do bleed and combat and politics and block. Sometimes you have a block card but no combat cards, or a political action card when you need a block card.
   Normally you play slowly. You need some turns to set up and bring out big cap vampires, then go forward to put pressure and try to block your prey's key actions.

How were the preliminary rounds for you?
- In the first round I made a mistake with wakes which killed me, but the other two rounds were great. In the second round I burned my predator's star vampire with an Amaranth when he blocked my first action. The third round was a four player table where I cooperated with my cross table ally, but I had more resources than he did when we were heads up.

How did the final table look like?
- When I sat down at the final table and looked at the other players I thought “OK, I do nothing”. Alain was playing the deck that killed me in the first round, and all other decks had combat ends or dodge cards. So I was pretty sure I was going to be the first victim in this final.

Grand Prix Bologna final table

Grand Prix Bologna finale
Well, now we know you managed to win by taking the only victory point before the time was out. We want to know more about you. When did you start playing V:TES?
- l started in 2012 when a friend introduced me. My first deck was a Toreador antitribu breed and boon-deck.

What decks do you generally prefer? Do you think you have a special “style” of playing?
- Usually I play a Giovanni Shambling Hordes-deck, either as a rush-deck or more bleed-oriented. Giovanni is my favorite clan. I feel those decks have a good possibility to manage various threats.
   But no, I don’t have a special style of playing. I try to estimate the meta and then build a deck which I feel comfortable with in that meta.

Do you have any new deck or tech that you are trying out?
- Right now I am working on anarch tech. Ally, political and wall deck.

Thanks for the interview Nicola, and good luck in the future!


EC 2017 Day 1

THE V:EKN 2017 RECAP
Apart from all the regular activities (primarily local tournaments), this is what the V:EKN have been doing the past year:

January: The Berlin Anthology set and the EC 2017 was announced (OK, it was actually in December 2016, but this was when all the buzz was!)
January: The first of the monthly newsletters crafted by Henrik Klippström is launched.
January: Round 1 playtesting of the bloodlines set begins, as well as playtesting of the new Berlin Anthology cards.
February: Sign up for EC 2017 starts – this time it´s an open event.
February: Berlin storylines revealed.
February: Card list for the Berlin Anthology set revealed.
March: Rule change: “All new cards and game rules go immediately into effect for V:EKN tournaments.”
April: Previews of the new Berlin Anthology cards begin at V:EKN.net. Several clarifications, new wordings and new card backs!
May: EC 2017 Day 1 is won by Francois Greiner (FRA) with a Ventrue princes with sticks deck and the EC 2017 champion is Danilo Torrisi (ITA), playing a Saulot & The Capuchin anarch wall deck.
June: Week of Nightmares in Ohio. The NAC 2017 champion is Martin Weinmayer (AUT), playing his classic Gangrel Stanislava sb/vote deck.
July: Site of EC 2018 revealed – it´s Warsaw!
July: First previews of artwork for the bloodlines set.
August: Worldofdarkness.com is launched – the V:EKN encourages all players to contribute.
September: The European Grand Prix is announced, with five cities hosting 2017-2018.
October: We celebrate V:EKN 20th anniversary!
October: Elzo Benzaquen wins the South American championship with a very interesting Gangrel antitribu deck, and Simon Reed wins the Australian championship with a Daughters of Cacophony vote deck.
November: Four rules changes are proposed – please feedback at our forum or through any channels listed under "Contact V:EKN" at the bottom of this newsletter.
December: The upcoming bloodlines set that has been under construction the whole year is in its last stages. Many rounds of playtesting are done, all artwork is done, name and symbol of the set is almost decided, and we hope for a launch really soon. At the top of this newsletter you can see yet another preview of some Gargoyle artwork by Ginés Quiñonero.

Happy new V:TES year!


CALENDAR
Upcoming events:
Jan 14: The First - Badalona, Spain
Jan 20: Powerbase: Berkeley: Cheat the Fates – Berkeley, USA
Jan 20: Las Vegas Blood Hunt – Las Vegas, USA
Jan 20: Powerbase: Berkeley: Up Yours! – Berkeley, USA
Feb 10: Event title TBA – Stockholm, Sweden

For more information on upcoming events see the V:EKN Event Calendar.


CONTACT V:EKN
You can contact the V:EKN Inner Circle members using contact forms at V:EKN.net. Also follow the official V:TES Facebook page Vampire: The Eternal Struggle and the official V:EKN Twitter account @VEKN_VTES

"The game never ends when your whole world depends on the turn of a friendly card."

Greetings fellow Methuselah
Landed any 8-pool bleeds lately? Maybe a Parity Shift for 5 with added Voter Captivation for 13? No? Then you´re not just trying hard enough! This month we keep the letter short and sweet, because there are no real news about that stuff you really want to hear about. But then again, can it be more interesting than new V:TES rules changes?

Rulebook

RULES CHANGES UNDER CONSIDERATION
The V:EKN are considering rules changes. No decisions have been made yet, and we are interested in feedback from the player community.

From Vincent Ripoll, V:EKN Rules Director:

Proposed change #1: Timing during the influence phase
Suggested new rulebook text:
IV. Influence phase
At the start of her influence phase, the player gets 4 transfers, except on the first turn of the game where the first player gets 1 transfer, the second player gets 2 transfers, and the third player gets 3 transfers.
   Like master phase actions, transfers can be spent for different effects, and transfers that don't have been spent are lost when proceeding to the next phase.
These effects are:
   ·  Spend 1 transfer: move one blood counter from her pool to a vampire in her uncontrolled region
   ·  Spend 2 transfers: move one blood counter from a vampire in her uncontrolled region to her pool
   ·  Spend 4 transfers and pay 1 pool: draw a crypt card.
   ·  Spend 4 transfers and pay 1 pool: merge a base and an advanced version of a vampire.
Some cards allow to spend transfers to produce other effects. Some cards also grant additional transfers.
At any time during this phase, if a vampire has at least as many blood counters as his capacity, the player can move to the ready region that vampire.  The blood counters on the vampire stay on him and become his blood. Blood counters in excess to his capacity are burned (see sec. H.1. Crypt cards). If the vampire grants additional transfer, those can’t be used on this turn as transfers are gained at the start of the influence phase.

tl;dr: Vampires now do not come out all at once at the end of your influence phase. Instead, you order bringing them into play as you wish during your influence phase (and it's not mandatory to bring them out if they're at full capacity), resolving effects for them as they come into play. You can´t contest yourself anymore by "accidentally" moving a vampire you already control into play (hopefully Jimmy Dunn is still unaffected).  You still only gain transfers at the start of your influence phase, so you don't get 2 extra transfers the turn you bring Ingrid Rossler into play.
   Why are we changing this? The strategic value of the current system is very low, and has always been a source of mistakes (a player brings out a vampire, then influence some more), breaking moves ("accidental" self-contest), and difficult rollbacks (a vampire with enough blood should have come out the turn before).
   Changing the rule puts the influence phase on the same level as other phases where effects can be ordered as you want, removing an extra step to learn.
   It has some incidence on a few cards (such as Anarch Convert or Angela Preston), and allows people to Govern down many times on the same vampire, but playtest done so far has not shown any abuse.
   Self-contesting vampires would now be prohibited to follow the same rules as library cards (it never made sense to have two different rules).

Proposed change #2: Anarch as a sect
The anarch trait has always been tightly associated to the Independent sect: a vampire that would change sect would lose its anarch status. With the announcement of Anarch being a sect in the upcoming fifth edition of the Vampire the Masquerade roleplaying game (“V5”), we consider changing the anarch trait to a new sect. Cards that were previously requiring an Independent vampire would then require either an Independent or an Anarch vampire (e.g., Reckless Agitation). Most cards with a "go anarch" effect will be de facto cleaner since changing sect would automatically remove the vampire from the Anarch sect.
 
Proposed change #3: Caitiff as a clan
The rule stating that Caitiff are clanless, while true to the canon, has had negligible impact on games of V:tES.  For the sake of consistency, we are considering removing that special case and treating Caitiff as a clan.  This would also allow us to create clan-specific cards for Caitiff - it is currently not possible as a Caitiff cannot meet the clan requirement of a card if they have no clan.

Proposed change #4: Recruit region
Recruited allies will now go to a new region that is part of the ready region, called the recruit region. The behavior will stay the same (allies in the recruit region can't act or block), but will avoid having an ally "placed in your uncontrolled region, even though it is controlled, to indicate that it cannot act this turn".

There are also some other rule changes being considered. In the meantime, feel free to discuss the changes mentioned above and other changes you may think of on the V:EKN forum or in social media. The Rules Team will keep a close eye on your comments!


Anthology sale

ANTHOLOGY STILL FOR SALE
Yes, there are still a some packs of Berlin Anthology left at the PDA web shop. Including Ashur Tablets, Enkil Cog, Monastery of Shadows as well as many never before printed cards, these packs are indeed worth 30 euro – don´t hesitate!


Kari Hyll
PLAYER INTERVIEW OF THE MONTH: KARI HYLL

Kari Hyll won the UK National Championship last weekend, the as of yet greatest achivement in a long and generally high standard V:TES career, in Sweden, Canada and England. Kari is a calculating player with original ideas, so we thought a chat would be interested for you to take part of.

Congratulations on the victory Kari! What deck did you play and why?
- I played a block’n’vote master deck based on Angelica, the Canonicus. The UK metagame is violent so I wanted sometehing  that would be fairly rush-resistent. I also wanted to stealth vote. I recalled seeing Randal Rudstam playing a similar Angelica-deck once, so I put a deck together the day before the tournament. Always a bit risky with an untested deck, but as long as it’s a deck I look forward to playing I will have a fun tournament anyway.

Deck Name: Canonicus
Crypt: (12 cards; Capacity min=8 max=10 avg=9.166667)
3x Ambrosio Luis Moncada, Plenipotentiary10 aus for DOM OBT POT PRE  Lasombra:2
1x Francisco Domingo de Polonia  9 pro DOM OBT POT PRE      Lasombra:2
1x Gratiano                      8 obf pot DOM OBT          Lasombra:2
5x Angelica, The Canonicus       10 cel obf DOM OBT POT      Lasombra:2
1x Antonio Delgado               9 tha DOM OBT POT          Lasombra:2
1x Alvaro, The Scion of Angelica 9 dom pre OBT POT          Lasombra:2

Library: 82 cards
Master (40 cards)
1x Elysian Fields
2x Giant's Blood
2x Information Highway
1x Legendary Vampire
2x Metro Underground
1x Monastery of Shadows
4x Parthenon, The
6x Ashur Tablets
1x Pentex(TM) Subversion
1x Presence
1x Purchase Pact
1x Secure Haven
6x Villein
1x Wider View
6x Zillah's Valley
1x Dark Influences
3x Dreams of the Sphinx

Action (2 cards)
1x Entrancement
1x Govern the Unaligned

Action Modifier (18 cards)
1x Enkil Cog
1x Foreshadowing Destruction
2x Private Audience
1x Seduction
2x Shadow Play
3x Shroud of Absence
3x Shroud of Night
1x Sleeping Mind, The
1x Tenebrous Form
1x Voter Captivation
1x Blanket of Night
1x Conditioning

Action Modifier/Reaction (1 card)
1x Murmur of the False Will

Political Action (10 cards)
1x Ancient Influence
3x Kine Resources Contested
1x Political Stranglehold
3x Banishment
2x Conservative Agitation

Combat (1 card)
1x Entombment

Reaction (10 cards)
8x Obedience
1x Cardinal Sin: Insubordination
1x Deflection

- The strengths of the deck is that it’s resource efficient. It doesn’t have any wakes, but relies on Metro Underground and/or Moncada to keep Angelica untapped to play Obedience. The ability to throw away masters for intercept allows you to play with more crypt acceleration and Parthenons so that you can get key cards early. The six Ashurs are then used to recover cards like Obedience and votes. Its major weaknesses are bigcap rush (which luckily wasn’t present in the tournament) and that it is a bit slow in dealing damage, due to lack of multiact.

How were the preliminary rounds?
- Overall, my deck flowed well and had strong starts and good survivability, but was a tad too slow. Two tables timed out, with me getting a few scattered VP’s. In the third game I got two VP’s but ran out of deck, partly due to sacrificing an Ashur Tablet for intercept (denying a Sudario Refraction and allowing me an oust next round). With no deck I couldn’t get past Hugh Angseesing´s two Raven Spies, and he got the two last VP’s in that game.

And how was the final?
- I was 3rd seed into the final. I didn’t know what the 5th seed-player was playing, so I went for preying on Hugh instead, knowing that his Gangrel/!Gangrel toolbox deck was annoying, but manageable as long as I had Obediences. I wasn’t too pleased when the presence vote deck chose to prey on me – it was obvious that we would compete on votes, while we otherwise could have been allies. The Rachel Brandywine deck chose to be my prey, which meant I was between the two other decks with votes – not an optimal seating.
Karis final table
- My initial libary draw was lousy – I only had one transfer, and I didn’t draw any crypt acceleration. So I chose to go for Alvaro instead of Angelica as first minion, to get some votes to counter the Praxis Seizures of my predator. My grandpredator blocked a few early votes by my predator, which slowed him down a bit. After turn three I got some crypt acceleration and could start getting Angelica out, who became a Legendary Vampire. Eventually Moncada followed.
   The table changed rapidly when Rachel Brandywine got Rötschreked by Hugh, followed by diablerie. I decided on burning Hugh’s diablering minion, earning a grudge from him. I waited with ousting for a few turns as I didn’t have any Obediences in hand and didn’t want to oust and end up next to Hugh’s Deep Song-rushes, but becoming low on pool forced my hand and I took the VP. When Angelica was Archon Investigated by Hugh shortly thereafter I was sure my game was over –  I lost the slight vote overtake I’d had on my voting predator, and also my only way of blocking his actions. However, time was running up and my predator had a bad draw, so I managed to just survive until time was up, with one pool left.

What about your V:TES background, when did you start playing the game?
- I started playing V:TES in 2004 when I moved to a town in northern Sweden for a year. The local gaming club mainly played Warhammer 40k and V:TES, so I chose to learn the latter, already having encountered a bit of White Wolf fiction before. I started with two of each of the Final Nights Setite and Ravnos starters. I think it took me half a year to get my first VP – lucky that I was patient!

What decks do you generally prefer?
- I love toolboxes, but the printing of Villein forced me to change my playing style – toolboxes just didn’t deal enough damage any longer. The three decks I’ve worked most on during the last few years are my Blood Brother block deck, my Sha-Ennu powerbleed deck, and my Assamite Royalty vote’n’bleed deck. I will rarely play grinders or Inner Circle decks - they bore me.

Do you think you have a special “style” of playing?
- I would say that my play is prey-oriented. Just let me play my game so that I can try to oust my prey. I rarely make VP deals, or any other big deals. I prefer decks that don’t casually oust just to get to the triad. Also, my decks are always rather thick – I rarely go below 75 cards.

Do you have any new deck or tech "boiling" you can warn us about?
- I’m currently experimenting with a weenie Chimestry “costs 3 blood to deflect” deck. And I’m still trying to find the right thing to do with Mithras.

Thanks for the chat Kari, and good luck in the future!


CALENDAR
Upcoming events:
Dec 2 - 1er Torneo Liga Barcelona Vtes 2017 - Barcelona, Catalunya, Spain
Dec 2 - 5th Töölö Grand Ball - Helsinki, Finland
Dec 2 - The Grand Dan & Mariana Christmas Party Stockholm 2017 - Stockholm, Sweden
Dec 3 - Loughman's Birthday IV: A New Hope - Heath, USA
Dec 9 - Pszczyna Last Ride - Pszczyna, Poland
Dec 16 - Monkey Wrench - Utrecht, Netherlands
Dec 22 - Liga "NOVA ERA" Brasil AP - Fall of the Camarilla - Macapá, Brazil
Dec 23 - Torneo Marató de TV3 2017 - Badía del Vallés, Spain

For more information on upcoming events see the V:EKN Event Calendar.


CONTACT V:EKN
You can contact the V:EKN Inner Circle members using contact forms at V:EKN.net. Also follow the official V:TES Facebook page Vampire: The Eternal Struggle and the official V:EKN Twitter account @VEKN_VTES

"A strange game. The only winning move is not to play."