file If Govern was 2 blood (analysis)

24 Mar 2019 18:43 - 24 Mar 2019 18:52 #94242 by Mewcat
Sure, sometimes you can get away without dom or pre which is why I said generalizing. If you want to reliably oust you will play them. Some guy sitting at 20 pool is pretty bad otherwise.

The knock off superior scouting mission cards seem like a pretty blatant attempt to spread dominate around, kind of like lost in translation. Vtes doubled down on its problems and proliferated them instead of reigning them in. Meanwhile nos anti or ravnos and so on with out the basic tools (to play the game the same way as everyone else which isn't even that exciting).

I quit, came back, prolly will quit again. I like building decks but I'm not sure there is anything else to explore right now.

Slamming some guy for 8 every now and then is trivial. Doesn't even make sense from basic principles. 30 pool, spend half on minions, 2 or 3 actions oust you. So you just pack in bounce and pool gain and .... do nothing else? Vtes cycle of life
Last edit: 24 Mar 2019 18:52 by Mewcat.
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25 Mar 2019 01:40 #94243 by LivesByProxy
Here's my perspective as a new player coming from other card-games:

Getting bled for 1/3 or 1/4th of your starting life total is really, really unfun. And there's this odd imbalance in VTES where I could spend one of my valuable minion actions paying 1 pool for a permanent +1 bleed equipment, or I could use that same minion action to attempt to bleed my prey for 3 to 8 pool. Both of these actions require stealth or some other evasion. But I don't think they're comparable.

And VTES is full of these mediocre effects that I've considered playing but then I am forced to compare them: is this on par with trying to bleed for 3 or more? No? I guess I'm not playing it... I'm talking about cards like The Haunting, Enrage, Death Pact, Blackmail, Phobia, Ritual Challenge, etc. So why bother "tooling up" in this way, if the effects aren't directly related to surviving big bleeds or dealing them out?

Govern is a fine card. It could've been restricted by age, or cost extra blood, or something else, and it still would be a fine card. Both the inferior and superior are strong effects. I'd argue that Conditioning is a bigger offender, because it is arguably a better Threats (blood cost not being that big of a hurdle) and they appeared in the same set. It isn't functionally different from Threats either. Deflection is also a big offender, and it clearly must be problematic, because a nerfed version of it was printed: Redirection.

But the biggest problem of all, as I see it, are that VTES is full of mediocre cards. The designers of the past could've increased the power-level of the other disciplines, bringing them up to the Dominate standard. It doesn't look like they did though. And despite the efforts of VEKN / Black Chantry, this trend seems to be continuing, but at least VEKN / BC is trying to course-correct. It looks like they might have over-shot their mark in some instances *looks at Emerald Legionnaire*.

I also think the game severely suffers from a lack of effects triggered by doing non-bleeding actions. Look at the Archetypes. The best is arguably Perfectionist. Look at pool-damaging effects that are triggered by combat: Fame, Tension In The Ranks, Dragonbound. Three (3!) combat-triggered effects vs 100+ bleed effects. How many effects like Army of Rats are present in the game? How many political actions get played that aren't over-complicated bleeds for 3?

IDK, I really like some things about this game: it's about vampires, the predator-prey relationship is genius, using your life as a resource, your action-economy is based on your minions (instead of, for example, mana as in Magic), and concepts like stealth, bleeding, burning, etc. But other stuff about this game disappoints me. Primarily that majority of the player-interaction seems to be "bleed for 3". I think I would prefer if the game was more of an attrition war with dwindling resources - the board state being comparable to a Jenga tower - rather than who can blitzkrieg their prey the fastest.

:gang: :CEL: :FOR: :PRO: :cap6: Gangrel. Noddist. Camarilla. Once each turn, LivesByProxy may burn 1 blood to lose Protean :PRO: until the end of the turn and gain your choice of superior Auspex :AUS:, Obfuscate :OBF:, or Potence :POT: for the current action.

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25 Mar 2019 09:46 - 25 Mar 2019 12:17 #94244 by Kraus

Deflection is also a big offender, and it clearly must be problematic, because a nerfed version of it was printed: Redirection.

Well, logically that isn't as factual as you make it to appear. This is a nitpick, but I just wanted to point it out:

At the moment Narrow Minds and Libertas keep Deflection somewhat in check, since the extra costs ramp up really quickly. The biggest problem is cancel effects, that make Redirection playable. After a DI or other cancel you cannot replay the same reaction with the same vampire. In big caps decks I play a semi-even distribution of Deflection, Murmur and Redirection just because of this.

I mostly do agree with your other points. The cards you mention are mostly non-ousting control options though, and should be seen as such. Bleeding is integral to the game's mechanics, and was intended as one of the main ousting methods. That is fine. There would be no harm in adding new, actually good ousting methods. I'm sure we all agree with that.

The thing with control and tool-up cards is that control is actually super strong in VtES (it just doesn't guarantee you the win). The one who can remove or check other players' minions might decide which player gets ousted first, which might make a world of difference in the end game. So that said, I simply cannot see VtES as a "bleed left for 3 for days and nothing else happens" game, since it isn't.

There is an off-balance between cards and their power level though. Bleeding with dominate is better than most more-obscure strategies (we would get bored of those though if we saw them for 4 years straight), and some tool-up actions are better than others. Ivory Bow is more powerful than Ritual Challenge. That's acceptable. BCP has taken a direction of making tool-up better (in the Sabbat set in particular), so I wouldn't worry about it. The trend already started before BCP or VEKN sets: compare Well-Marked with Ritual Challenge. If Ritual Challenge would be printed now, it would probably have the unlock clause.

[Basically, you have to check when those worse cards were designed, and accept that there was a time in Rome that was blatantly off-balance. It's a world we live in. No one is saying Haunting is a stellar card, since it was worded poorly and isn't powerful enough. Such is life. Let's hope for new cards soon.]

But the fact is you won't win with tool-up alone, and you'll need stuff in your deck that actually does pool damage. I think Righteous Aura is a good example of how non-dominate tool-up can be done right in a way that actually closes the games.

"Oh, to the Hades with the manners! He's a complete bastard, and calling him that insults bastards everywhere!"
-Nalia De-Arnise

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Last edit: 25 Mar 2019 12:17 by Kraus.

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25 Mar 2019 14:20 #94246 by Mewcat

LivesByProxy wrote: Here's my perspective as a new player coming from other card-games:

Getting bled for 1/3 or 1/4th of your starting life total is really, really unfun. And there's this odd imbalance in VTES where I could spend one of my valuable minion actions paying 1 pool for a permanent +1 bleed equipment, or I could use that same minion action to attempt to bleed my prey for 3 to 8 pool. Both of these actions require stealth or some other evasion. But I don't think they're comparable.


In the last tournament I played each table featured one player getting ousted in the first 15-20 minutes in 2 of 3 games and a player effectively taken out of the game in the first 15-20 minutes in the other. :(

LivesByProxy wrote: IDK, I really like some things about this game: it's about vampires, the predator-prey relationship is genius, using your life as a resource, your action-economy is based on your minions (instead of, for example, mana as in Magic), and concepts like stealth, bleeding, burning, etc. But other stuff about this game disappoints me. Primarily that majority of the player-interaction seems to be "bleed for 3". I think I would prefer if the game was more of an attrition war with dwindling resources - the board state being comparable to a Jenga tower - rather than who can blitzkrieg their prey the fastest.


The core principles of the game are solid, just poor card oversight. The diminishing resources style of play was more prevalent in the past and made for highly compelling gameplay. Just trying to hang on with less pool and less blood each turn all around the table is exciting.
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25 Mar 2019 15:10 #94249 by LivesByProxy
@Mewcat:
I have lost twice in the finals of two tournaments in the past ~4? months. Both to Jblacey, once as my predator, another time as my prey and predator. He won both of those tournaments. If I recall, in the 1st one he played Anarch !Toreador with Palla Grande and Undue Influence. In the 2nd one he played Kiasyd stealth power(?) bleed. At the 1st tournament, every one of his turns was "bleed for 3." with the !Toreador Anarchs. At the 2nd, every one of his turns was "bleed for 3." - "no blocks?" *plays Conditioning* "make it 6."

I recently played against another more casual player (my predator) who also choose to play Kiasyd. Imagine my confusion when she's playing Riddle Phantastique and Entombment instead of trying to Govern+Conditioning stealth-bleed. I think she might have Govern bleed once the whole game?

@Kraus:
I don't have any issue with bleeding being the core ousting method. I just want to see more forms of pool damage like you suggest. I also would not mind seeing more "card cancel" options as an interesting bleed-defense mechanic for Protean or Obfuscate. And when I think of control cards, I think of non-combat action cards that lock down or force a minion to take a specific action. Combat as a form of control (KO'ing their minion) is fine and well established.

:gang: :CEL: :FOR: :PRO: :cap6: Gangrel. Noddist. Camarilla. Once each turn, LivesByProxy may burn 1 blood to lose Protean :PRO: until the end of the turn and gain your choice of superior Auspex :AUS:, Obfuscate :OBF:, or Potence :POT: for the current action.

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25 Mar 2019 15:13 - 25 Mar 2019 15:21 #94250 by Mewcat

Kraus wrote:

I mostly do agree with your other points. The cards you mention are mostly non-ousting control options though, and should be seen as such. Bleeding is integral to the game's mechanics, and was intended as one of the main ousting methods. That is fine. There would be no harm in adding new, actually good ousting methods. I'm sure we all agree with that.


Right but 2 disciplines out of, I don't know, 20 now that can do the most basic ousting acting so much better than the others as to effectively be a different action doesn't strike you as an internal inconsistency?

Kraus wrote:


The thing with control and tool-up cards is that control is actually super strong in VtES (it just doesn't guarantee you the win). The one who can remove or check other players' minions might decide which player gets ousted first, which might make a world of difference in the end game. So that said, I simply cannot see VtES as a "bleed left for 3 for days and nothing else happens" game, since it isn't.


The first thing you do when you build any deck is consider bleed left for 3 for days. I see more games where nothing else happens than where they do. I can't claim vtes to not be primarily a bleed left for 3 game, since it is.

P.S. yes I am engaging in the same semantics as you just with 'primarily' instead of 'nothing else happens' to try to create a binary argument. not cool man

Last edit: 25 Mar 2019 15:21 by Mewcat.

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