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 …
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?
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:
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 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 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.
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:
Discuss Antipodean Awakening at the V:EKN forum:
Rules for creating your own storyline:
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
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)
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
6x Call, The
12x Kindred Spirits
2x Madman's Quill
Action Modifier (20)
4x Elder Impersonation
4x Faceless Night
4x Lost in Crowds
3x Eagle's Sight
2x Telepathic Counter
7x Telepathic Misdirection
6x Voice of Madness
6x Wake with Evening's Freshness
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.
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.
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’.”