[card idea] Shiv
I don't understand the relevance of this to the quoted part. Pre-game fetch is a new system altogether. I was talking about tutor/fetch/whatever-you-call.-them effects during game.
Maybe we might want to introduce special set of cards that begin the game in a separate area (research area)? This would circumvent the need to keep searching the library constantly.
They're not bad in a vacuum, only bad compared to .44 Magnum.
I still think that melee cards are not as bad as they seem. They already have a default benefit of benefiting from vampires added strength. There just aren't cards that enable them enough. I think we need for example a card that is similar to immortal grapple, but allows melee weapons to be used.
The problems were pretty much identified, I'd argue. Having no support cards isn't one of them - it's being strictly worse than the other, similar option.
We need to identify the problems correctly. Currently melee weapons are countered by maneuvers, and by combat ends. If we introduce cards that remove this advantage from the enemy, then melee weapons would be enabled to benefit from their own strengths.
The problem here is that melee weapons don't have a distinctive strength or advantage. It's the same as guns: deal better damage more consistently than just hands for strength damage. Guns do this better. At the moment melee weapons are just worse, but often cheaper choices for the same effect.
Assamites and !Salubri have the support cards to make them better, namely lighting them up for aggro damage. It remains to be seen what kinds of combat modules and what power level !Salubri end up with. Those support cards might make them prefer melee weapons over guns. Assamites are a niche, really, since they suck overall. They often prefer .44 anyways, or light the Stick aflame.
The problem with the suggestion to add synergy cards is that it's once again more cards to do the same thing that others do - have you set-up, have cards to counter other players' set-up, deal damage. We already have plenty of different ways of doing exactly that. You'd need to power-creep to get better results than .44 +
Power creep is not something we'll want in itself. Different effects to actually shake the game flow sounds so much more better to me, and giving them a new niche.
Sure, you could do such cards that just require a melee weapon and have those special effects in them. In that case people will find the best melee weapon in the game and just use that. Most often it's Weighed Walking Stick. Making new weapons helps with that problem.
What I wouldn't do, is give melee weapons damage enablers. It's just a counterplay to other people's plans, not a new game plan in itself. "Oh, I'll use this card to deal with your gun, and avoid your grapple, cards that are played to avoid my cards, but then you have the counter to that!" We can already do that with manouvers, presses, preventation and additional strikes. All of which are already present in the game.
Furthermore, adding more cards to damage combos is still a bad idea, since the best combat strategies work with as few cards as possible. Equip with an actually good piece of equipment, and you could actually build a game for yourself.
tl;dr: Damage isn't an interesting design space anymore. Guns will, and probably should, reign supreme. Invent something else, and make for a better design choice.
tl;dr2: What Ratadin said, basically.
"Oh, to the Hades with the manners! He's a complete bastard, and calling him that insults bastards everywhere!"
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-got hosed by Immortal Grapple
-are less card effective than Animalism combat
-lose to WWS + Target Vitals disciplineless combat.
-cost a lot of pool
- Most important is fact that they are not any easier to equip than ranged weapon
So way to buff them can be in cards like:
Only usable at the start of combat
Search your deck and hand for non-unique weapon or armor that cost 1 or less pool.
Search your deck and hand for unique weapon or armor that cost 0.
Sabbat.Black Hand Shakar: Lech loathe ranged weapons. Once each action, he may burn 1 blood to become Camarilla Prince of Krakow until the end of the action.