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Greetings fellow Methuselah
This month's newsletter might reach you a bit late because it seems some mortal died on a cross two thousand years ago, and it turned out he wasn´t mortal and didn´t die at all. Or? It´s all very confusing. Personally I was in torpor during the reigns of Augustus and Julius Caesar due to an Inconnu misunderstanding, not paying a lot of attention for that reason. But I later came to realize that this particular crucifixion was a major event worth writing a whole big book about and then discussing for two millennia in the most varied contexts. Sometimes I´m grateful just having the Jyhad to ponder …


 Letter


A MYSTERIOUS LETTER
Some of us V:EKN volounteers have been getting these strange, identical letters lately. A paper stuffed in a simple brown envelope, postmarked UK. Just one sentence: “This game never ends”, followed by a mysterious symbol. It´s a bit threatening, but mostly compelling. Do anyone of you know what it is about? Can you guess?


Rules changes April 2 2018Click image for PDF.

OFFICIAL RULES CHANGES APRIL 2018
The V:EKN wants to remind you of that, as announced in last month's newsletter, three rules changes are in effect as of April 2. They are about influence phase timing, recruiting allies and Caitiff as a clan. Above is a pretty PDF presentation for you to print, frame and nail above the gaming table.

The offical rules team announcement:
http://www.vekn.net/forum/rules-questions/76447-rules-team-rulings-rtr-03-03-2018

As usual, the easy way to ask questions about the rules changes is to post a topic about the specific rule on the VEKN.net forum, under "Rules Questions".

 


EC 2018 registration
EC 2018 WARSAW REGISTRATION IS OPEN!
Registration for this year's largest V:TES event is now open, and once again it is the beautiful Polish capital of Warsaw, which is hosting us August 24th–26th. Currently, 70 percent of the registered players are from Sweden, also known as “the V:TES Peoples Republic of Apache Jones” – hopefully YOU might want to contribute to change that quota!

Register at http://www.ec2018.pl/


Double Grand Prix 2018
DOUBLE GRAND PRIX WEEKEND COMING UP
The weekend of April 28 no less than two VEG events are played, in Madrid, Spain, and in Budapest, Hungary. They count as one event for the purpose of collecting a “VEG points jackpot”. For the latest news about these tournaments, check out Grand Prix Ibérico and V:TES Hungarian Grand Prix.

The VEG tournaments are sponsored by Ultra Pro.

Ultra Pro


 Antipodean Awakening

STORYLINE SPOTLIGHT: ANTIPODEAN AWAKENING
A while ago the V:EKN published rules for you to create your own, local storyline, not to be confused with the big, international storylines. Now we want to bring attention to one of these regional initiatives. The Australian community led by Stewart MacLeod (prince of Melbourne) and Steve Harris (NC) has launched Antipodean Awakening, a storyline format that focuses on Australian and New Zealand based Kindred and features of the region. It will be played during this spring and summer, erupting in a grand finale at the 2018 Australian/New Zealand Continental Championship event weekend.

Antipodean Awakening contains 15 new library cards and 9 new crypt cards, each depicting one of the nine players who has won one or more Australian Continental Championships from 2002–2017, and is based on their winning deck and/or play style.

Cards, rules, background and everything else needed to play can be found at the Amaranth website:
https://amaranth.vtes.co.nz/#storyline/AA

Discuss Antipodean Awakening at the V:EKN forum:
http://www.vekn.net/forum/news-and-announcements/76458-antipodean-awakening-an-unofficial-storyline

Rules for creating your own storyline:
http://www.vekn.net/storyline-events/build-your-own-storyline


 

Kindred Spirits
CLASSIC DECKS PART 2: KINDRED SPIRITS STEALTH-BLEED
An article composed by Henrik Klippström, V:EKN Community Manager:

Welcome to another part in our classic decks articles series, done in honour of the 20th anniversary of the Tournament Winning Deck Archive (TWDA). This time we examine the Kindred Spirits stealth-bleed deck archetype with the help of Sonam Adinolf and Selen Türkay, a couple of great New York players currently living in Australia.
   There are lots of variants of this deck, but as last time we start out with looking at the oldest deck of the archetype we could find in the TWDA. It uses obfuscate and a strict Malkavian Antitribu crypt for some Sabbat tech:

Torrance Constructed: Malkavian Stealth Bleed
Tournament: Walk of Caine, Torrance, California
April 2002
20 players
Winner: Alex Harmon

Crypt (12 cards)
 1x Artemis  6 aus cel for DEM OBF  !Malkavian:2
 1x Claven  4 aus dem obf  !Malkavian:2
 2x Dolphin Black  6 AUS DEM OBF  !Malkavian:2
 1x Kite  7 obf pre AUS DEM  !Malkavian:2
 2x Korah  7 ani AUS DEM OBF  !Malkavian:2
 1x Quira, The Bitch Queen  6 obt tha AUS OBF  !Malkavian:2
 2x Theron  8 for obt AUS DEM OBF  !Malkavian:2
 1x Vasantasena  9 dom pot AUS DEM OBF  !Malkavian:2
 1x Yorik  3 dem obf  !Malkavian:2

Library (89 cards)
Master (17)
 6x Blood Doll
 2x Dreams of the Sphinx
 1x Festivo dello Estinto
 1x Hungry Coyote, The
 1x Information Highway
 1x Institution Hunting Ground
 1x Life Boon
 1x Purchase Pact
 3x Sudden Reversal

Action (25)
 6x Call, The
12x Kindred Spirits
 2x Madman's Quill
 5x Revelations

Action Modifier (20)
 8x Confusion
 4x Elder Impersonation
 4x Faceless Night
 4x Lost in Crowds

Reaction (24)
 3x Eagle's Sight
 2x Telepathic Counter
 7x Telepathic Misdirection
 6x Voice of Madness
 6x Wake with Evening's Freshness

Combat (3)
 3x Coma

Henrik: Would you consider taking this deck archetype to a tournament 2018? 
Sonam: - I think the archetype as a whole has strengths to it. However, neither Selen nor I would consider taking it to a tournament, regardless of the metagame. It doesn't suit Selen's taste, as she either plays bruise bleed (a la euro-Brujah or Giovanni), or high risk-high reward (like weenie-Dem). Most of my (Sonam’s) decks fit into tap'n’bleed or bruise-bleed (or some hybrid), or vote.

What are its ideal prey and predator?
- For ideal predator bruise-bleed isn't too bad, since you've got access to bounce. You also have some combat denial to stymie a couple of rushes. For ideal prey maybe mid-cap presence bleed, like Setites or Baali. They soften up their prey, but they can't bounce you.

What do you think is this deck archetype's weaknesses? What about worst prey and predator?
- The archetype isn't very strong against heavy vote. Nor is it strong if there will be more than one or two rush decks to be found. It fares well against light to moderate intercept, due to it's obfuscate. It's oust/lunge is limited, unless you get "lucky" and have a dominate deck behind you to flick forward. Lucky is in quotes because it's just as likely the dominate deck will oust you.
   So a vote deck is a problematic predator. Depending on the table, and how aggressive the vote deck is, you might need to force them off the table with a couple of Kindred Spirits backwards. A problematic prey would be rush combat. You aren't a super fast deck, so you won't be ousting them before they get going. But you're dangerous enough to have them rush you backwards. The methuselah with two predators usually loses.

What are the most obvious changes you would do to this classic version from 2002?
- Well, 24 reaction cards is a lot. Get rid of Voice of Madness. It may have been ok at the time, but there's so many big caps around today I think the card is useless in a mid-cap deck. Also get rid of the Comas. You'll want to add a few No Trace for combat ends. If you're really enamoured of the idea of an Obedience-effect, use Mental Maze. It's just better.
   A couple of the wakes should be On the Qui Vives, the rest should be Eyes of Argus. Although it costs blood, you should replace the Telepathic Counters with Wrong and Crosswise. It still reduces bleed, but with random titles lying around, 4 votes can sometimes fail that crucial vote. Toss in a couple of Delaying Tactics as well.
   There's a whole lot of blood gain, with only Blood Dolls to recover. Either switch to Villeins, or get rid of some of the blood gain. Which brings us to: You might consider ditching the Sabbat tech, and going to the newer grouping. If you choose to stay Sabbat, toss in one or two Under Siege – it´s a good defense card.

How do you play a deck of the type?
- In spite of the fact that it's basically straight forward, I think you have to talk, or at least play the part of a super slow deck. You need time to use The Call to get cheaper vampires. Your only real lunge is Madman's Quill, which needs a bunch of vampires to be worthwhile.

Do you have any recent personal experience with this deck type?
- We tried a Danse Macabre version of this a while ago. Never really tuned it or had much success. Selen does excellently with weenie-Dem. That's a deck that destroys in situations it is suited to, and dies quickly otherwise.
   The closest deck to this I (Sonam) has is an Unmada multi-act deck. It did moderately well at the European Championship a couple of years ago, and at the Australian Championship this year.

Thanks Sonam and Selen for these comments! Yes, these days this classic variant using obfuscate is maybe less common than the more aggressive dementation-only Kindred Spirits deck which Selen prefers; some examples are Laurent Ribeyre´s Weenie DEM and Ravel Zorzal’s Eyes of the Insane
   Normally, a modern suggestion is also to consider taking down the deck size a bit (proportionally in each card type category), maybe to 90 percent or so. But for this particular archetype that might prove hazardous – you might actually run out of cards if your preys are falling like dominoes and you go for the table sweep. So start big and test how big a deck you need to feel comfortable.
   For additional reading about this archetype, check out Extrala´s article “Deck Archetypes: Kindred Spirits Stealth Bleed”Also, read part 1 of this article series, found in the January 2018 newsletter: The Ventrue Lawfirm.
 


CALENDAR
Upcoming events:
April 1: French Nationals 2018 – Lille, France
April 7: Make the Misere! – Fortaleza, Ceará, Brazil
April 7: Iludo 2018 – Mataró, Spain
April 14: German National Championship – Bochum, Germany
April 14: Relentless Forward Pressure – Sammamish, USA
April 14: Outocon VTES, Spring 2018 - Outokumpu, Finland
April 15: Can we discuss terms? – Sammamish, USA
April 21: CF Draft – Villevaudé, France
April 22: QCF Villevaude – Villevaudé, France
April 28: Teatro dos Vampiros – Last Chance Qualifier – São Paulo, Brazil
April 28: [VEG] Iberian Grand Prix– Madrid, Spain
April 28: [VEG] III. Hungarian Grand Prix – Budapest, Hungary
April 29: Campeonato Brasileiro – São Paulo, Brazil
April 30: Sul-americano – São Paulo, Brazil

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

“I sent my soul through the Invisible, some letter of that afterlife to spell. And by and by my soul returned to me, and answered: 'I Myself am Heaven and Hell’.”

 VEG Belgium 2018

Greetings fellow Methuselah
Sorry for the delayed letter, I was caught up in a blizzard outside the crypt last night, had to shuffle snow for two whole nights just to get to the mailbox. My ghouls are the laziest ever. They only turn up when it´s time to consume my vitae - the rest of the time they´re busy playing collectible card games! That´s unlife in my domain! This month we have a little bit of everything - some set news, some rules news and a lot of tournament news. Enjoy!



Lost Kindred art preview

NEW SET UPDATE: LOST KINDRED

Many are curious on the progress of the upcoming bloodline-themed set. V:EKN chairman Ginés Quiñonero recently commented this:

"The Bloodlines cards have been reviewed and approved by White Wolf. However, as we have said previously, we have been in discussions in order to see if there is any chance to get these cards in print rather than have them be a PDF release. Therefore, the release of the Bloodlines set is on hold until a decision is made on that."

Later in the same forum topic, V:EKN Design team leader Ben Peal made some comments about the future that some of you might find interesting. He also revealed the name of the new set: Lost Kindred.

Lost Kindred art above by Ginés Quiñonero (left and right) and Mark Kelly (center).


Rules changes
OFFICIAL RULES CHANGES APRIL 2018


After feedback from the player community, V:EKN Rules Director Vincent Ripoll declares that the following three rules changes are in effect for sanctioned tournaments as of April 2, 2018:

Rule change #1: Timing during the Influence phase

Vampires (or Imbued) are no longer automatically moved to the controlled region at the end of the influence phase. Instead, they are actively moved to the controlled region by the player.

As a consequence, you cannot self-contest a unique vampire or imbued anymore (per rule 4.1. Contested Cards): the crypt card has to stay in the uncontrolled region. Minions that have a replacement effect as they would come into play (eg., Anarch Convert) or that cannot be contested (eg., Jimmy Dunn) can still be played as before.

Also, the number of transfers a player receives each turn is determined at the start of the influence phase. Cards that provide transfers upon use can still be triggered during the influence phase to get more transfers.

Eg., Alice controls Information Highway (+2 transfers) and Ennoia's Theater (lock to get +1 transfer), and has Ingrid Rossler (+2 transfers if ready) with 6 blood in her uncontrolled region.

Alice receives 6 transfers at the start of her influence phase. She uses 2 transfers to move 2 pool to Ingrid Rossler (+2 transfers if ready) and decides to move her to the ready region. Alice doesn't get the +2 transfers granted by Ingrid Rossler, but can lock  Ennoia's Theater to get 1 more transfer. She does so and uses her 5 remaining transfers to move 5 pool to another uncontrolled vampire, and declares the end of her influence phase.

Note: The abilities of vampires or Imbued such as Angela Preston or Paul "Sixofswords29" Moreton can now be used the turn they are put into play.

Updated 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.

Rule change #2: Recruiting allies

Allies that are recruited are now moved to the ready region instead of the uncontrolled region, but cannot take actions the turn they are recruited. (This applies only to allies that are recruited, not allies that are put into play by other means)

Allies that previously were moved to the ready region when recruited (Nocturn, Infernal Servitor) are not restricted by this rule. They read now: "This ally can act the turn it is recruited."

This doesn't change anything in the count of ready minions controlled by a Methuselah but makes it more intelligible than a ready minion in the uncontrolled region.

This implies a few changes:
- an ally that has been recruited this turn can now block a vampire controlled by another Methuselah that is acting out-of-turn during the same turn.
- an ally that has been recruited this turn can now be burned by cards such as Abomination.

Rule change #3: Caitiff as a clan
Caitiff is now a clan. When choosing a clan, Caitiff is now a valid choice (eg., Consanguineous Boon, Clan Impersonation etc.)

Note: Clanless vampires are still considered as vampires without a clan, not Caitiff.

The rule stating that Caitiff are clanless, while true to the canon, has had negligible impact on games of V:tES, but adds an unnecessary complexity to the game.

As usual, the easy way to ask questions about the rules changes is to post a topic about the specific rule on the VEKN.net forum, under "Rules Questions".

 



Ultra Pro

VEG SPONSOR: ULTRA PRO

The V:EKN are pround to announce that game accessory manufacturers Ultra Pro are sponsoring the 2017-2018 Vampire European Grand Prix circuit. As of GP Belgium last weekend and for the following events in the circuit, the company will provide for price support with card sleeves, deck boxes and binders. Thank you Ultra Pro!



Double Grand Prix 2018
DOUBLE VEG TOURNAMENTS IN APRIL!

The weekend of 28-29th April will be a double Grand Prix weekend in Madrid, Spain and Budapest, Hungary. For those of you that planned to attend all five VEG events this season to maximize score and fun and get in on that participation special price – do not worry! The Madrid and Budapest tournaments will count as one event for that purpose.

More details about these events will follow within shortly. Keep updated on the VEKN.net forum, the official VEG site, and on associated pages Grand Prix Ibérico and V:TES Hungarian Grand Prix.


VEG Belgium 2018 prize table
VEG BELGIUM 2018 IS CONCLUDED

VEG Belgium 2018 was played 24th-25th February in Mechelen near Brussels. Day 1 was a draft event with the following finalist:
Djordje Sutic (SRB) >
Kari Hyll (SWE) >
Marius Iscru (FRA) >
Vadin Gregoriev (BLR) >
Alain Greiner (FRA)

VEG Belgium 2018 draft final

The draft final timed out without ousts, so top seed Djordje Sutic won. Congratulations Djordje!

Day 2 was the main event, standard constructed. Finalists were:
Peter Velaerts (BEL) playing Dementation-weenie stealth-bleed > 
Ivan Chebunin (BLR) playing Setite Waters of Duat & Eternal Mask stealth-bleed > 
Martin Weinmayer (AUT) !Tremere Create Gargoyle rush > 
Danilo Torrisi (ITA) Luna Giovanni Might of the Camarilla & Possession vote > 
Martin Schumacher (DEU) Cybele, Aksinya & Nakhthorheb MMPA bloat stealth-bleed

VEG Belgium 2018 final table
Thanks to Tom Vandenberghe for providing the following transcript and to Bart Jansen for the photos.

Turn 1
Ivan: Transfer 1, discard Serpentis
MW: Dreams of the Sphinx, transfer 4, bring out Brooke, discard Ashur Tablets
Danilo: Ashur Tablets, transfer 3, discard Into Thin Air
MS: Parthenon, Information Highway, transfer 6
Pete: Influence Jacky+1

Turn 2
Ivan: Influence Count Ormonde
MW: Use Dreams for transfer, Tribute to the Master, Brooke -> Create Gargoyle with Thaumaturgy, influence Tupdog
Danilo: Transfer 4
MS: Transfer 4
Peter: Transfer 4

Turn 3
Ivan: Transfer 4
MW: Use Dreams for transfer, Tribute to the Master, Brooke -> Create Gargoyle with Thaumaturgy
Danilo: Transfer 4
MS: Ashur Tablets, influence Cybele
Peter: Jacky -> Kindred Spirits sup + Eyes of chaos (successful bleed of 4), influence Cassandra + Midget

Turn 4
Ivan: Count Ormonde -> Waters of Duat, Serpentis on Waters, influence Lalitha, discard Form of the Serpent 
MW: Use Dreams (get cards, Dreams burns), Tupdog bleed, Brooke hunt, influence Reverend Blackwood
Danilo: Influence Mistress Fanchon
MS: Wider View, Ashur Tablets, Liquidation, Jake Washington, transfer (8 on minion)
Peter: Jacky bleed + Eyes of chaos (3, successful), Cassandra Kindred Spirits + block attempt + Veil the Legions + Confusion (succesful bleed of 3), Midget bleeds + Eyes of Chaos (successful bleed of 3), influence Martha, discard Life in the City

Turn 5
Ivan: Lalitha -> Eternal Mask + Revelation of Desire (successful bleed of 3), Waters of Duat -> Eternal Mask + Revelation of Desire, MW plays Deflection to Peter (successful bleed of 3 on Peter), Count Ormonde -> Eternal mask + Truth on a 1000 Lies, MW plays Deflection to Peter (successful bleed of 3 on Peter), influence 1 back
MW: Brooke -> Create Gargoyle with Thaumaturgy, Reverend -> Under Siege, gargoyle #1 -> hunt, discard Thaumaturgy
Danilo: Villein 10, Giant’s blood, table talk coercing Peter to bleed backwards on MS, Mistress Fanchon -> Reins of Power (Danilo +0, MS -5, Peter -4, Ivan +3, MW +1), influence 4, discard Obfuscate
MS: 3rd Ashur Tablet, Liquidation, Ashur Tablet, Cybele -> Unleash Hell’s Fury, Burn Wider View (+2), influence Aksinya, discard Majesty
Peter: Jacky -> Kindred Spirits + Eyes of Chaos (successful bleed of 4 on Ivan), Cassandra -> Bleed + Confusion (successful bleed of 2 on Ivan), Martha -> bleed (successful bleed of 1 on Ivan), Midget -> Kindred Spirits (successful bleed of 2 on Ivan), pay 1 to see 1, play Narrow Minds

Turn 6
Ivan: Waters -> hunt, Count Ormonde -> Waters + Serpentis, Waters -> hunt, Lalitha -> hunt, discard Delaying Tactics (5 pool left)
MW: Tribute to the Master (gain 4), Brooke -> hunt, Gargoyle #1 -> hunt, Reverend -> Create Gargoyle with Thaumaturgy, Gargoyle #2 -> bleed 1 (successful, edge passes)
Danilo: Influence 4, discard
MS: 2nd Ashur, Cybele -> Intimidation (successful bleed of 3 on Peter, 7 pool left, edge passes)
Peter: Jacky -> Kindred Spirits + Confusion (successful bleed of 1 on Ivan, 2 pool left, edge passes), Cassandra -> Kindred Spirits (successful bleed of 1 on Ivan), Martha -> bleed 1. IVAN IS OUSTED! 40 minutes have passed, table talk to coerce Peter in directing bleeds on MS, Midget -> bleed 1 (successful bleed of 1 on MS), influence Fabrizia Constanza (no votes), discard Effective Management

Turn 7
MW: Haven Uncovered on Midget, MW and Danilo discuss on collaborating, MS orders a Belgian beer, Gargoyle #1 rushes Midget -> 1 aggravated: Midget goes to torpor, Gargoyle #2 diablerizes Midget -> referendum unsuccessful on burning Gargoyle #2, Brooke -> hunt, Reverend -> hunt,  Gargoyle #3 -> hunt,  influence Ember Wright
Danilo: Mistress Fanchon searches a minion card (Heart of Nizchetus, discard Approximation of Loyalty), influence Luna Giovanni
MS: Liquidation, Cybele -> Intimidation (successful bleed of 2 on peter (9 pool left), edge passes)
Peter: Effective Management, Jacky -> bleed (successful bleed of 1 on MS (11 pool left), Cassandra -> bleed, block attempt, Mind Tricks, use Under Siege, action blocked by Gargoyle (both hand strike for 1), Martha -> bleed , blocked by Ember Wright (both hand strike for 1), more tabletalk by Danilo to convince Peter to bleed MS, Fabrizia -> bleed, Gargoyle blocks (Gargoyle uses Burst of Sunlight, Fabrizia goes to torpor), influence 1 

Turn 8
MW: The Barrens, Ember Wright -> mandatory hunt, Brooke diablerizes Fabrizia, referendum unsuccesful (5 votes against), Gargoyle hunt, Gargoyle hunt
Danilo: Mistress Fanchon -> Heart of Nizchetus, discard The Sargon Fragment
MS: 3rd Ashur (12 cards back in library, Delaying Tactics to hand, discard Into Thin Air), Villein 3 from Cybele, Wider View, Liquidation, Cybele -> bleed 3 (successful bleed of 3 on Peter; 5 pool left, edge passes), influence 4, use Wider View (Nakhthorheb removed)
Peter: Cassandra -> bleed + Confusion (successful bleed of 2 on MW; 7 pool left, edge passes), Jacky -> bleed + Eyes of Chaos, Reverend Blackwood plays Deflection to Danilo (successful bleed of 3 on Danilo; 8 pool left), influence 1 backwards, discard Veil the Legions

VEG Belgium 2018 early
Turn 9
MW: Tribute to the Master (7 pool gained), 4 mandatory hunts, Gargoyle hunts, Gargoyle hunts, only Brooke remaines untapped, discard Ashur Tablets
Danilo: Activate Heart of nizchetus, Villein 9 on Mistress Fanchon (costs 1 pool, Danilo is now at 12 pool), Mistress Fanchon -> Might of the Camarilla (passes by 6), influence Dmitra Ilyanova
MS: Villein 4 on Aksinya (MS is now at 23 pool), Cybele -> bleed 3 (successful bleed of 3 on Peter; 3 pool left, edge passes), influence Nakhthorheb, discard Mental Maze (46 minutes left)
Peter: Momentum’s Edge, Jacky -> bleed + Eyes of Chaos, Brooke Deflection on Danilo (successful bleed of 3 on Danilo; 9 pool left, edge passes), Martha bleed + Confusion (successful bleed of 2 on MW; 10 pool left)

Turn 10
MW: 5 minions hunt
Danilo: Mistress Fanchon -> searches for Possession, Luna -> Possession to get Orlando, Dmitra give 3 blood to Orlando and 1 to Mistress, pay 1 to see 1
MS: Ashur Tablets, Nakhthorheb -> bleed 1 (successful bleed of 1 on peter; 2 pool left, edge passes), untap Nakhthorheb, MS tells Peter he will allow him to oust MW
Peter: 1 pool from Momentum’s Edge, Jacky -> Kindred Spirits (successful bleed of 2 on MW; 8 pool left), Martha -> bleed, block attempt, Mind Tricks, use Under Siege, Gargoyle blocks, combat with Raking Talons, Martha goes to torpor, discard On the Qui Vive

Turn 11
MW: Dreams of the Sphinx -> use it for 2 extra hand size, Reverend Blackwood -> Graverobbing on Martha, 3 minions hunt, discard Burst of Sunlight 
Danilo: Villein 6 on Dmitra, Ashur Tablets, Mistress Fanchon searches for Might of the Camarilla, Dmitra plays Might of the Camarilla (only Danilo burns Undele), Luna -> Sudario Refraction, 3 stealth cards are discarded, pay 1 to see 1
MS: 2nd Ashur Tablets, 3rd Ashur Tablets (Danilo removes his Ashur Tablets too, 30 minutes left, 12 cards returned to library, Into Thin Air to hand), Liquidation, Nakhthorheb -> bleed 1 (successful bleed of 1 on Peter; 3 pool left, edge passes, untap Nakhthorheb
Peter: 1 pool from Momentum’s Edge (4 total), Life in the City, Dementation on Cassandra, Cassandra -> Bleed + Eyes (successful bleed of 3 on MW; 4 pool left), discard Effective Management

VEG Belgium 2018 late
Turn 12
MW: Use Dreams for cards, Tribute to the Master, 5 minions hunt, discard 3 cards
Danilo: Luna -> Possession on Undele, Undele -> card text referendum to get Voter Captivation and Might of the Camarilla back to hand, Nakhthorheb plays Delaying Tactics, Orlando -> The Sargon Fragment, Dmitra -> referendum to distribute 4 blood
MS: Liquidation, Nakhthorheb -> bleed 1 (successful bleed of 1 on Peter; 3 pool left, edge passes), untap Nakhthorheb, Aksinya -> bleed + Aire of Elation (successful bleed of 3 on Peter, PETER IS OUSTED!), Cybele -> bleed 3 on MW, Brooke Deflection to Danilo, MS is on 31 pool

Turn 13
MW: Reverend -> Far Mastery on Jake Washington (successful), Brooke -> hunt, Ember bleed 1 on Danilo, edge passes (Danilo is on 9)
Danilo: Activate Heart of Nizchetus, Mistress Fanchon searches for Banishment, Orlando use Sargon Fragment to return Might of the Camarilla from the ash heap, Nakhthorheb attempts to blocks, Into Thin Air, action passes, Undele referendum for Forgotten Labyrinth and Voter Captivation, uses Voter Captivation, Luna plays Possession, Nakhthorheb attempts to block, Into Thin Air,  Raphael de Corazon enters play, discard Zillah´s Valley
MS: Nakthorheb -> Intimidation bleed 2 on MW, Cybele -> bleed 3 on MW (7 pool left)

Turn 14
MW: Haven Uncovered -> Cybele, Martha rushes, Ember Wright rushes, Gargoyle #1 rushes, Gargoyle #2 rushes, Gargoyle #3 rushes, Gargoyle #4 -> diablerie, blocked by Nakhthorheb, Raking Talons + Majesty, Brooke -> diablerie, blocked by Unleash Hell’s Fury, Reverend -> Dominate Kine to steal Parthenon from MS
Danilo: Activate Heart, Villein for 4 on Undele, Mistress Fanchon -> Banishment on Aksinya, Undele -> take Might of Camarilla and Banishment back to hand, Raphael -> Banishment on Nakhthorheb + Voter Captivation, Orlando -> Might of the Camarilla (Aksinya burns), Dmitra -> diablerie on Cybele
MS: Ashur Tablets, transfer 6 back to pool, discard Lost in Translation

Turn 15
MW: 3 minions hunts, 5 minions bleed for 1
Danilo: Dmitra -> Kine Resources Contested, Undele -> referendum to take back Kine Resources and Might of the Camarilla to hand, Raphael -> Might of the Camarilla (Nakhthorheb burns), Luna -> Kine Resources Contested, Mistress Fanchon -> bleed 3 
MS: (19 pool left) Golconda on Mistress Fanchon, Danilo pays 2 ( Danilo is on 19)

Turn 16
MW: Ashur -> Sudden Reversal by Danilo, 8 minions bleed for 1
Danilo: Dmitra -> Conservative Agitation, Undele -> referendum to take 2x Kine Resources Contested to hand, Luna -> Kine Resources Contested, Orlando -> Kine Resources Contested, bleed 3, bleed 3 
MS: (2 pool left) The Coven, Pentex Subversion on Mistress Fanchon, MS concedes with 3 minutes left! Danilo plays Ancilla Empowerment and OUSTS MW! 1 minute left! Danilo WINS the GP!!!

VEG Belgium 2018 Danilo Torrisi
Danilo Torrisi 3 vp
Martin Schumacher 1 vp
Peter Velaerts 1 vp

Congratulations Danilo! Read his deck list at the V:EKN forum. We´ll see if we bother him with an interview about the tournament, but you can always read his EC 2017 victory interview in the V:EKN Newsletter May 2017.


Go fund Leif

V:TES ARTIST LEIF JONES NEEDS YOUR HELP

V:TES, World of Darkness and general awesomeness illustrator Leif Jones is in trouble and needs a bit of help. If you have the possibility, please consider a donation via https://www.gofundme.com/leif-relief

 



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!


CALENDAR

Upcoming events:
March 3: Brasília - Qualify SAC 2018 - Brasilia, Brazil
March 10: 6th Hiekkaharju Nightmares - Vantaa, Finland
March 10: Tappa milanese 2018 - Milano, Italy
March 11: Rage Across Appalachia II - Asheville, United States
March 11: Campionato Italiano 2018 - Milano, Italy
March 24: Aplocalypse V - Bailleau-le-Pin, France
March 25: Czar Matt's Birthday - Heath, United States
March 31: CF par équipes d'Unnord - Lille, France
March 31: Storyline d'Unnord (Storline event) - Lille, France
April 1: French Nationals 2018 - Lille, France
April 14: German National Championship - Bochum, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany

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

"I believe in the lust of the flesh and the incurable desolation of the soul."

FotBoN top 

Greetings fellow Methuselah
A new year, with new battles! While the future of V:TES still remains wrapped in riddles and secrets, we old bloodsuckers do love our nostalgia, don´t we? This month the newsletter offers a double-dip into the nostalgia sauce bowl, with both a look at an ancient document of Noddism and a hardcore peek into the turbid but useful rearview mirror that is the beloved TWDA. Enjoy!


Mechelen Grote Markt
REMINDER: GRAND PRIX BELGIUM 24-25 FEBRUARY
Welcome to a weekend of V:TES at the European Grand Prix tournament in Mechelen, Belgium, the last weekend of February 2018. A three day event is promised, with Friday night socializing, Saturday draft tournament and Sunday the constructed Grand Prix event. For more details check out the VEG site, the official forum announcement or the event Facebook page.


FotBoN1
THE FIRST NEWSLETTER FOUND!
V:EKN Counselor David Tatu has done some archive archeology and found the very first V:EKN newsletter, dated “Spring 1999”.

V:EKN Chairman Emeritus Robert Goudie remembers: “The idea of the newsletter was the brainchild of Mike Bohlman. He wrote one of the articles as well, but he was really the one responsible for the project. I recall him getting money for subscriptions and then eventually refunding them before too long. Peter Bakija, if I am remembering correctly, did the art. I don't recall of there were any other issues ever printed.”

But there were more! And the V:EKN intend to republish any we can get our hands on. The whole first letter can be downloaded at www.vekn.net/images//stories/downloads


Anthology sale


ANTHOLOGY STILL FOR SALE
Yes, until we hear something else, there are still packs of the 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! 


 Lawfirm

CLASSIC DECKS PART 1: THE VENTRUE LAWFIRM
An article composed by Henrik Klippström, V:EKN Community Manager:

In honour of 20 years anniversary of the Tournament Winning Deck Archive (TWDA), we will publish a series of articles about classic deck archetypes. This month we have summoned the assistance of two veteran tournament winning players, Darby Keeney (Denver, USA) and Tiago Brum (Lisbon, Portugal), to ask them about their views of the Ventrue Lawfirm archetype, named after the lawyer-ish appearance of its original signature vampires Emerson Bridges, Sir Walter Nash and Timothy Crowley. As a starting point for this discussion, lets take a look at the oldest Lawfirm-like deck in the TWDA:

Ventrue Votes
Tournament: Praxis Seizure: North Carolina held at Stellar Con, High Point, North Carolina, USA
March 20th 1999
10 players
Winner: Conor Key

Crypt (12 cards)
 1x  Democritus  10  aus cel for DOM PRE  Ventrue:1
 2x  Emerson Bridges  8  pot DOM FOR PRE  Ventrue:1
 1x  Gideon Fontaine  3  PRE  Ventrue:1
 1x  Heather Florent, The Opportunist  6  dom FOR PRE  Ventrue:1
 1x  Jazz Wentworth  5  dom for PRE  Ventrue:1
 1x  Natasha Volfchek  9  cel dom pot FOR PRE  Ventrue:1
 1x  Ranjan Rishi, Camarilla Scholar  5  for DOM PRE  Ventrue:2
 2x  Sir Walter Nash  7  DOM FOR PRE  Ventrue:1
 1x  Timothy Crowley  7  ani dom FOR PRE  Ventrue:1
 1x  Wilhelm Waldburg  9  aus cel DOM FOR PRE  Ventrue:2

Library (90 cards)
Master (21)
 1x Archon Investigation
 1x Elysium: The Arboretum
 5x Hostile Takeover
 6x Minion Tap
 1x Protected Resources
 2x Secure Haven
 1x Tomb of Rameses III
 1x Uptown Hunting Ground
 1x Ventrue Directorate Assembly
 2x Ventrue Headquarters

Action (11)
 6x Fifth Tradition: Hospitality
 5x Govern the Unaligned

Political Action (22)
 1x Ancient Influence
 2x Ancilla Empowerment
 2x Banishment
 2x Command of the Harpies
 1x Disputed Territory
 1x Kindred Segregation
10x Kine Resources Contested
 1x Praxis Seizure: Atlanta
 1x Praxis Seizure: Frankfurt
 1x Praxis Seizure: Seattle

Ally (1)
 1x Political Ally

Action Modifier (11)
 2x Awe
 4x Bewitching Oration
 5x Voter Captivation

Reaction (14)
10x Deflection
 2x Second Tradition: Domain
 2x Wake with Evening's Freshness

Combat (10)
10x Majesty

Henrik: Gentlemen, would you consider taking this deck archetype to a tournament in 2018?

Tiago: Yes. It has always been strong, with adaptations and updates due to cardpool increase and meta evolution. It is also the type of deck that got me into V:tES, so I have a soft spot for it in my heart.

Darby: In a broader context, I think Lawfirm decks are a subset of multi-action bleed/vote designs. When the phrase was coined, the Ventrue monopolized that niche – but do no longer. I believe that the entire class remains highly competitive, with a slight edge to the stealth-enabled variants.
    I suspect the reliance on political actions requires a more deft touch these days. The trend towards large vampires makes spurious titles common and pure vote dominance is harder to achieve.
    As for the deck you referenced, errata have made it unplayable.

Henrik: Yes, of course; Hostile Takeover, Fifth Tradition: Hospitality and Majesty were all subjects to tough errata after this deck was created. But considering the archetype itself, what do you think is its greatest strengths?

Darby: I believe there are two components that make this archetype potent: Most importantly, the opportunistic nature of a Lawfirm's offense capitalizes on moments of others' relative weakness. Even as midgame pool totals trend higher than historical totals (blame Villein), one good turn of multi-action offense can create a enough offense to create ousts. Sustained pressure is possible, but it's really the large surges that create victory points.
    Also, the Lawfirm's ability to survive long enough to be opportunistic. Reasonable bloat, plentiful bleed redirection, a significant defensive vote presence and abundant combat defense provide enough staying power to reach those ousting opportunities – with bleed redirection directly feeding into the deck's own significant offensive potential.  
    I'll also mention that a subtle part of well-conceived, well-driven Lawfirm is having the means to shape favorable endgame match-ups. In particular, seeing dedicated intercept, combat decks or dedicated voters ousted early is important for endgame success.

Tiago: It is a deck that can interact with the whole table. It has two solid kill plans in politics and bleed. It doesn't look as threatening as other archetypes until it is too late and it can survive very well (if you keep cycling cards!). It is surprisingly resilient. Preferable opponents are those who struggle to get constant +1 intercept blocks. Another marginal advantage is that these days, this deck has a crypt that is very similar to the Ventrue Grinder, so it has the tactical advantage of surprise.

Henrik: And what do you think is this deck archetype's worst weaknesses?

Tiago: +1 intercept stops Ventrues. That's what I always say. You need to act in bursts of multi-action with Majesties and Freak Drives, because you need your actions to go through in order to build up, or impact the table. That is why in modern day V:tES we see other decks that rely much more in Master-based engines to build table states of dominance.
    Also, these days, people are using a lot of Delaying Tactics. In the right moment, it can stop you dead.
    Most other decks either use stealth to make sure they are not blocked, or punish possible blockers. This deck cannot afford to do that ...

Darby: Firstly; clearly, the greatest weakness is a generalized limit of +1 stealth for any action taken. That weakness is compounded by a combat module that completely fails to discourage blocks. The design intent offsets that with overwhelming action density, but until blockers become forced to choose between opportunities, even casual blocks present a real challenge to gathering momentum.
    An early magaji with No Secrets is an almost insurmountable obstacle. With Eyes of Argus, Second Tradition, Sense the Savage Way and The Unmasking becoming so prevalent, there are more casual blocks in today's environment. It is exactly this issue that makes stealth-enabled variants more successful in contemporary play.
    Secondary: A pure combat deck nearby is also a serious problem – especially when the rushes target the Lawfirm's initial minion. The combat-multi-action module can often be re-purposed for defense, but assistance is almost always required to withstand any well-designed pure combat deck.
    Beyond that those two serious early threats to the growth curve, the early table is defined by the archetypes of the Lawfirm's grandpredator and grandprey – specifically their vote presence and how terms must be set to gain their cooperation.

Henrik: So, if we look at Conor Key´s TWD again – what are the most obvious changes you would do to this classic version?

Tiago: I would switch the crypt – G4/5 is by far superior. For Ventrue in V:tES, there is a before and after the Keepers of Tradition set. Join the G5 Ventrue with Victor Pelletier, Mustafa the Heir and other G4 like-minded individuals. In broad strokes, I would reduce the deck to 75 to 82 cards tops and would focus a bit more on ”European stealth” (Editors note: Anarch Troublemaker, Misdirection and Pentex Subversion) and a few Daring the Dawns.

Darby: Oh my, there are so many necessary changes, even for the pure-mass Ventrue-only version of the deck. It starts with a decision for 1/2, 2/3 or 4/5 grouping – which I believe is metagame influenced but probably defaults to the G4/5 version. 
    The Master module needs tweaking; eliminating or nearly eliminating Hostile Takeover, swapping the Villeins for Minion Taps, removing the near useless Elysium and Tomb, then adding influence acceleration suitable for the crypt grouping. Maybe stealth locations slip in – Monastery of Shadows and Creepshow Casino.
    The omission of Freak Drive, Parity Shift, bleed modifiers and Pentex Subversion is unforgivable. I believe that The Uncoiling is almost mandatory to address the rampant use of The Unmasking. I can't imagine playing a deck like this without several Perfect Paragons, 1 or 2 Approximation of Loyalty and 1 or 2 Daring the Dawn. Space can be made for these cards by removing Fifth Tradition, Political Ally and restructuring the political action package. I´d also swap 2 Murmur of the False Will for 2 Deflections.
    Then, as I made these changes, I would trim the deck size by 10-15 percent before testing it – adjusting further downwards if testing showed that I seldom expended my library.

Henrik: Do you have any other comments about this deck archetype?

Tiago: There's a variant with Tomb of Rameses III and Parity Shifts that is very fast and aggressive with First Traditions and Kine Resources Contested to quickly remove pool from the table.
The difference to the similar Nosferatu Royalties archetype is Voter Captivations and the reactions coupled with Majesties that allow you to survive well even when you're not playing during First Traditions. Although it is very high in variance, it can be very fun.

Darby: To me, it seems like the real potential in the broader archetype lie in the stealth-enabled variants, either featuring Armin Brenner, Dmitra Ilyanova and Undele, or Arika, Queen Anne, Marcus Vitel, Muktar Bey, Jaroslav Pascek and Lucinde Alastor. I think the former is a more versatile choice, though it's not pure Lawfirm because it omits bleed redirection. It leverages three outstanding minion specials and the highly versatile Iron Glare, and it gains flexible stealth from Forced March and Resist Earth's Grasp. Dave Litwin's June 12, 2013 TWDA entry is one of the better examples with it's prototypes showing up in two previous wins.

Henrik: Many thanks to Tiago and Darby for these great comments! Personally I want to mention a Swedish aggressive high stakes variant we call ”The Bleedfirm”, created by Ivan Marin-Rivas (TWD) and Jens Johansson (TWD). If you want to learn more about this deck archetype and others, we recommend the Deck section at VTES One, a most excellent resource. Also, consider www.secretlibrary.info to easy find all TWDA decks. Hopefully we'll return with another Classic deck article really soon, possibly even next month. Until then, feel free to comment this content on the V:EKN forum or in social media.


CALENDAR
Upcoming events:
Feb 4: Shatter the Gate Mallorca edition – Palma de Mallorca, Spain
Feb 10: Secret Horde Stockholm 2018 – Stockholm, Sweden
Feb 17: Russian National Championship 2018 – Moscow, Russia
Feb 17: The Last Round 4 – Reus, Spain
Feb 24: [VEG] BE Saturday Draft – Mechelen, Belgium
Feb 25: [VEG] Belgian Grand Prix – Mechelen, Belgium

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

"I take what is mine. I pay the iron price."