Combat as a strategy
TwoRazorReign wrote: I totally have not "seen combat decks ruining games." but I also play the game very, very non-competitively when I do get the rare chance to play.
When you sit behind combat deck and all your guys go to torpor it can easily feel like you just lost a coin flip.
Right. And the idea originally was that the next game, you torpor all that player's minions out of spite. Because players are essentially roleplaying unruly Methuselahs wielding their influence and being spiteful, so to hell with the game and determining a winner, a point needs to be made: if I don't get to play you don't get to play. Then the third game, those two play nice because it is in their best interest to do so. And the Jyhad/Eternal Struggle cycle goes on and on...
Mewcat wrote: When you sit behind combat deck and all your guys go to torpor it can easily feel like you just lost a coin flip.
Maybe, but ensuring that your prey has no game is a good way to ensure your grandprey takes the table.
Corollary: as a combat deck you should probably aim to torporize all the minions of your predator instead of prey.
Then you just need to have a wincon that doesn't revolve around all minions being in torpor (for example righteous aura).
"Plenty of little men tried to put their swords through my heart. And there's plenty of little skeletons buried in the woods."
- Tormund Giantsbane, Game of Thrones
Mewcat wrote: I dont think it really matters what the initial goals or intentions are for vtes. Elotar tells us that he plays vtes because of the predator prey dynamic (presumably obliterating prey and withstanding predator) and we should just accept that. We have all seen combat decks ruining games so it shouldn't be hard to understand what he is saying.
If the trouble is combat decks ruining games, (I'm assuming here Mexican standoff for 1 hour 40 minutes followed by scramble to get one VP in tournament final is best example of a ruined game) then that can be addressed by changing the tournament rules. If the standard versions provided and honed doesn't fit the players, there is possibility for people to create and run their own storylines (note the story in there) that helps to explain why certain minions, cards or decks are not allowed in to ruin the experience for others. I personally do not see how combat deck can ruin a game considering the fact everyone signing in to the table has free access to lore, cards and event rules. It should not come as surprice if things they consider as "ruining games" arise if they are allowed by the rules. I've had countless games where with the first prey-predator ready vampires I know my deck is null and void in the table and the only possible VP is the 0.5 for timeout struggle while realistic is 0 VP. I admit it's not the nicest gameplay experience when one doesn't get to play their deck how they envisioned it, but that's still part of the rules of the game I signed up for. I can always collect my cards and walk out (from the whole event or hobby even) if I'm not fine with it. If I want certain kind of environment to play in I can create it and if people time and time again are not accepting towards it by joining me then certain amount of reflection is in order. Do I try to appeal to wrong kind of people, is my approach wrong, am I unlucky or just misguided?
To me it's like signing in to a folkrace ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Folkrace ) then complaining afterwards if there were contacts instead of no contacts with Formula 1 "the fastest wins, contacts penalized" rules. Mind you it's perfectly reasonable to start arguing, using the above Folkrace example, how it should follow the Formula 1 rules instead the already existing ones. But it's as reasonable for the people partaking and enjoying the folkraces to point out people wanting Formula 1 experience can do just that. They have the car, the racing circle exists, it's just matter of setting up the event with the rules they want as opposed to changing events others are running.
That's what the storyline events are for in my mind. Endless amount of lore justifications that can be used in a game based on a cainite history and story to modify the normal, "vanilla", rules of the game to create event that the participants enjoy due to the variety or "spice" it brings. Whether it's combat only, non-combat or something between doesn't matter. Don't like Tupdog, Enkidu, Leatherface, Imbued or any other combat decks? Run storyline event recreating political machinations and influence manouvres banning(or heavily restricting) "violent" cards as being too "uncultured" to play a part in the deeper machinations between methuselah. If people like playing that storyline, it will gain popularity and slowly become more and more accepted. But it requires daring to take the steps first and testing the waters. In my opinion attempting to change it from top down(changing what cards are printed, arguing for banlist on established cards, making text changes) instead bottom up (creating event with rules, running it, spreading it and getting followers for it) is the hard road. More so with decades old aspect of the game with hundreds of different cards printed interacting with it. People with various viewpoints (in this case people seeing combat decks ruining game vs people not seeing combat decks as ruining the game) will argue back and forth while status quo should be maintained over taking a leap of faith and risking angering one to sate the other. Changes to established things tend to rattle people for good and bad, more so if they're not done with extended observation and case in point explanation for reasons. There's danger for people to become cynical, lose interest in the subject, be insulted or outright drop the hobby. With bottom up approach like minded people gather together and positive feedback loop is created if majority is having good time even if some dislike it. If it gains enough traction and following there might one day be yearly continental storyline events based and ran with rules from it.
Trust in Jan Pieterzoon.
Whatever stuff I read also made it seem like combat was a way to tax your prey / predator. You beat up their minions, and they are forced to spend more pool getting out new minions, or putting pool back onto their minions (with Gird Minions and Blood Dolls, presumably?)
I was later taught that combat is a way to remove obstacles and, more importantly, threats. Combat was for board control. Also, I watched the 2013 EC lecture Otso gave about combat, wherein he suggests that in piloting a combat deck, the player should let the table collapse down to just 3 other Methuselah's, and then control both predator and prey for the win.
But I'd be more more interested in talking about potential NEW cards for ousting, including combat-related effects.
Gangrel. Noddist. Camarilla. Once each turn, LivesByProxy may burn 1 blood to lose Protean until the end of the turn and gain your choice of superior Auspex , Obfuscate , or Potence for the current action.
Combat CAN ruin someone's game.
But so can bleed or vote.
And even outside of the prey/predator relationship.
I remember one game where a player brought a deck which did every turn :
Ingrid Russo recruit Robert Carter.
Bleed with force of will
Daring the dawn : unblockable bleed for 7
Bring out another Ingrid Russo.
His prey had an easy win just playing 1 bounce each turn.
There's a disconnect in that statement.
Timo wrote: Just my 2 cents :
Combat CAN ruin someone's game.
But so can bleed or vote.
When combat ruins your game you have no minions to act or block with. When bleed or vote ruins your game, you still have minions that could theoretically dig you out of the whole you're in.