"Organized Resistance" by Martín de Diego Sábada from the Brujah Fifth Edition preconstructed deck.
Greetings fellow Methuselahs,
THE RETURN OF LIVE UNDEAD TOURNAMENTS
It is still crucial that any VEKN events are organized in line with local health regulations, but during September some countries have loosed their restrictions and a number of major tournaments were held. It is hard to ask of the organizers to file thorough tournament reports to share in these newsletters, and the community is happy with the events being run appropriately and a tournament winning deck eventually ending up in the archive. We try to update you with more info on events in the future, but for now we settle for quick mentions of the champions here:
• North American Championship 2021: Congratulations Alex Romano! (Winning deck at VTES.net)
• Polish National Championship 2021: Congratulations Łukasz Ho Thanh! (Winning deck at VTES.net)
• Czech National Championship 2021: Congratulations Daniel Gargulák! (Final round video at Youtube)
• Danish National Championship 2021: Congratulations David Luhaäär!
• UK National Championship 2021: Congratulations Hugh Angseesing!
VTES HAS A NEW OFFICIAL DISCORD SERVER!
The original announcement by Lionel Panhaleux:
“Exciting news! Today we are opening Black Chantry's Official V:TES Discord server! The plan is to make one big, centralized place where we all can get games going on our time zone easily and to unite the community in a single diverse environment where we all can learn and have fun playing V:TES. There are dedicated language channels, so you'll always be able to play games and discuss V:TES in your preferred language. We hope to see you there!”
The upcoming online World Championship will be held on this new server:
THE SPANISH NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP WILL BE MASSIVE!
Reports say that 90 players already have registered for the November 27 Spanish championship in San Vicente del Raspeig - VTES is hot in Spain! Possibly a lot of this extra early interest is because the organizers tempt with some special promo cards. Read more about this event (in Spanish) at it´s VEKN.net forum thread.
DECKS TO BEAT: SEPTEMBER
A retrospect by Rudolf Scholz
What is your favourite new card, be it art-wise or effect-wise? I like Aline Gädeke’s blue eyes, and cannot wait to bounce the first bleed with Bait and Switch. Yet again, ladies and gentlemen, it is time to look back: at the tournament winning decks with the most participants from September 2000, 2005, 2010 and 2015. Be prepared to meet Legacy of Pander, Darkness Within, Chameleon, and Kindred Spirits.
“Legacy of Pander” by Rob Treasure
Deck type: Pander vote
English NC 2000, GenCon UK 2000 – Manchester, England, GB – September 3 – 30 players
Notes by Rob: “The deck is still frighteningly effective, even after people have had several years to get to grips with it.”
1x Jost Werner 6 AUS PRE ani Toreador antitribu:2
1x Lena Rowe 3 aus obf pre Pander:2
1x Christine Boscacci 2 dom vic Pander:2
1x Frederick the Weak 2 pre Brujah antitribu:2
1x Gillian Krader 2 ani dem Pander:2
1x Mitchell, The Headhunter 2 obt pot Pander:2
1x Angela Decker 1 pre Pander:2
1x Antoinette DuChamp 1 cel pre Caitiff:2
1x Basil 1 obf Pander:2
1x Huang, Blood Cultist 1 pro Pander:2
1x March Halcyon 1 for Pander:2
1x Royce 1 dom Pander:2
1x Archon Investigation
1x Barrens, The
1x Direct Intervention
1x Dreams of the Sphinx
1x Effective Management
2x Elysium: The Arboretum
1x Heidelberg Castle, Germany
2x Information Highway
1x KRCG News Radio
1x Sudden Reversal
1x Tribute to the Master
4x Legal Manipulations
1x Deer Rifle
2x Leather Jacket
1x Tasha Morgan
7x Consanguineous Boon
1x Conservative Agitation
1x Disputed Territory
2x Dramatic Upheaval
6x Kine Resources Contested
9x Legacy of Pander
1x Rumors of Gehenna
2x Bewitching Oration
2x Change of Target
2x Cryptic Rider
3x Forgotten Labyrinth
4x Fake Out
6x Wake with Evening's Freshness
– Well, some things never change … Weenie swarm vote can be extremely dangerous if left alone. Why? Usually, you can start “doing things” by turn 2, very often this means you do them unnoticed by any minion => unblockable. Political actions which are undirected actions at +1 stealth many times are “unblockable” as well, since stealth-bleed decks or rush combat decks don’t include any intercept.
– The key card of a Pander vote deck is Legacy of Pander, a rare card of the Sabbat and Sabbat War sets (released in 1996 and 2000). Successful referendum puts the card in play, and it provides any non-titled Pander with 1 vote. There can be multiple copies in play but they don’t stack, and because of this you work with a few back-up plans to reach vote lock.
– This deck features the Presence based action modifiers Awe and Bewitching Oration. Because less than 50 percent of the vampires have Presence, some Master: Discipline cards are included. It obviously worked out, but nowadays you prefer to go for Crusade cards and Día de los Muertos. The latest trend is to add titled vampires like Korah or Arika. It is also possible and powerful to make the events Fall of the Camarilla and Fall of the Sabbat work.
– Note that until 2001, ANY ready vampire could be chosen as target for Banishment which made this political action a very powerful weapon in the hand of weenies. Elysium: The Arboretum allowed you to end ANY combat involving a vampire you control. And the VP-sniping political action Dramatic Upheaval got banned in 2005.
– I recommend taking a close look at Darby Keeney’s tournament winning deck “Tatu Signal, The Wake Effect”. It is a very pragmatic 61 card deck with a pure Pander crypt. I doubt if it makes sense trying to make the Presence angle work today, even though it is always nice to include Jost Werner, a special task force. ;-)
Untitled deck by Andrea Del Cont
Deck type: Midcap Lasombra stealth-bleed
Italian ECQ – Bologna, Italy – September 18 – 55 players
3x Henri Lavenant 7 DOM OBT pot qui Lasombra:3
3x Banjoko 5 DOM obt pot Lasombra:3
2x Gratiano 8 DOM OBT obf pot priscus Lasombra:2
2x Tobias Smith 7 DOM OBT PRE pot Lasombra:3
1x Guido Lucciano 5 OBT dom obf Lasombra:2
1x Ignacio, The Black Priest 4 dom obt pot Lasombra:2
2x Blood Doll
1x Direct Intervention
1x Elysian Fields
3x Path of Night, The
1x Regarhagan's Hold
1x Dominate Kine
1x Far Mastery
6x Govern the Unaligned
1x Sanguine Instruction
1x Carlton Van Wyk
1x Watchtower: Greatest Fall
3x Change of Target
3x Foreshadowing Destruction
3x Shadow Play
3x Shroud of Night
7x Tenebrous Form
6x Darkness Within
2x Eyes of the Night
3x Forced Awakening
3x Wake with Evening's Freshness
– In last month’s Decks to beat article I talked about the struggles early Lasombra stealth-bleed decks endured. In 2002 and 2003, the Camarilla and Black Hand sets introduced a few group 3 midcaps of this clan with superior Dominate.
– Superior Dominate is so much stronger than basic Dominate. You can “Govern down”, and play Seduction on any vampire, Bonding for stealth and bounce bleeds with Deflection without locking the vampire.
– Yet this deck does not exploit that. It looks like Andrea preferred to “fight for beads”: He wants his vampires to play Obtenebration cards for free (3x Path of the Night), prefers Threats instead of Conditioning, makes use of Dominion and even includes Regarhagan’s Hold and Watchtower: Greatest Fall, both of them are unique appearances in the TWDA, kudos!
– It looks like Andrea had an idea about the tournament’s metagame: He included 12 combat cards and no Delaying Tactics, the latter usually is an auto-include in stealth-bleed decks. I would give up two combat cards for two Delaying Tactics. Forced Awakening should become On the Qui Vive. I prefer the master trifle Cadet, maybe two copies, above the action Blooding.
– I would increase the copies of Govern the Unaligned since it more or less is the only pool gain mechanism in this deck. Seduction would be more offensive than Change of Target.
– Regarding the fight for beads, I recommend reading the article “Blood, Pool and Grinding Beads” by Paul Jones.
“Chameleon Snakes” by Mark Loughman
Deck type: Nakhthorheb Chameleon
NAC Last Chance Qualifier – New Orleans, Louisiana, US – September 24 – 34 players
Notes from Mark: “Credit where credit is due. I had built a Chameleon module into a Ayo-Anarch deck a while back, and as such was familiar with the mechanics of it, but Matt Wedge took it to a new level. He proposed a mono-Snake deck accelerated by Eternals of Sirius. I've spent the last 8 months learning to build and play 60 card decks, more in the style of Jay. I went Group 4 for this, because Nakhthorheb's inherent multi-acting is so strong. Thanks also to Darby for some tweaks in the Master mix. I would probably delete one of the support snakes in favor of a second Cagliostro … synergy between him and Nak is huge.”
5x Anarch Convert 1 -none- Caitiff:ANY
4x Nakhthorheb 10 OBF PRE SER Follower of Set:4
1x Porphyrion 9 CHI OBF PRE SER for Follower of Set:5
1x Arnulf Jormungandrsson 8 OBF PRE SER aus cel Follower of Set:5
1x Cagliostro, The Grand Copht 8 OBF PRE SER nec pot Follower of Set:4
7x Eternals of Sirius, The
1x Giant's Blood
1x Golconda: Inner Peace
1x Heidelberg Castle, Germany
1x Monastery of Shadows
1x Secure Haven
1x Fee Stake: Boston
1x Fee Stake: Corte
1x Fee Stake: Los Angeles
2x Fee Stake: New York
1x Fee Stake: Perth
1x Fee Stake: Seattle
1x Form of Corruption
2x Legal Manipulations
1x Kine Resources Contested
1x Reckless Agitation
1x Bewitching Oration
2x Cloak the Gathering
2x Elder Impersonation
1x Faceless Night
2x Forgotten Labyrinth
2x Into Thin Air
2x Perfect Paragon
4x Swallowed by the Night
4x Truth of a Thousand Lies
3x Voter Captivation
– This is one of these combo decks you want to build with only 60 cards in order to make the combo work reliably. Speed cannot be underestimated when trying to make Chameleon work.
– As Mark described above, Nakhthorheb is a brilliant “chameleonist”: He can act twice per turn, e.g. play a Fee Stake and Chameleon, and he is a big capacity vampire. In addition he can be speed-influenced with The Eternals of Sirius.
– Banishment interacts nicely with Chameleon. Of course this deck encounters some or severe problems when surrounded by big capacity vampires.
– Options for changes and additions could be: Blithe Acceptance, Reformation (because of the interaction with Nakhthorheb) and Enkil Cog.
Untitled deck by Lucas Oliveira
Deck type: Malkavian stealth-bleed
Steely Tenacity, Brazilian CCQ – Fortaleza, Brazil – September 20 – 18 players
3x Morel 6 AUS DEM OBF Malkavian:4
2x Gem Ghastly 6 DEM OBF aus primogen Malkavian:5
2x Hagar Stone 6 AUS DEM obf Malkavian antitribu:5
1x Santaleous 9 AUS CEL DEM OBF Malkavian:5
1x Bloody Mary 8 AUS DEM OBF pre primogen Malkavian:5
1x Lord Fianna 8 AUS DEM OBF cel pro Malkavian:5
1x Drozodny 7 AUS DEM OBF pre bishop Malkavian antitribu:5
1x Bela 3 DEM ani obf pro Malkavian:5
1x Dreams of the Sphinx
1x Elder Library
1x Giant's Blood
1x Pentex(TM) Subversion
1x Secure Haven
1x Sudden Reversal
1x Bitter and Sweet Story, The
16x Kindred Spirits
1x Muddled Vampire Hunter
5x Elder Impersonation
9x Eyes of Chaos
4x Faceless Night
6x Lost in Crowds
3x Spying Mission
4x Swallowed by the Night
6x No Trace
1x My Enemy's Enemy
3x On the Qui Vive
5x Telepathic Misdirection
2x Wake with Evening's Freshness
– Dementation/Obfuscate stealth-bleed is a reliably strong weapon in VTES. It is important to realise that many group combinations offer you this choice. Here we have groups 4 and 5; you might want to compare it with the deck composed of groups 2 and 3 featured in April 2021 Decks to beat article.
– Most of the vampires have superior Obfuscate, thus you get the best out of the action modifiers and out of No Trace. In an Auspex-heavy environment, Hide the Mind would be a nice addition.
– Wake with Evening’s Freshness should be Eyes of Argus, and at least one copy of Delaying Tactics should be included. The rest is fine, even though some consider it an unnecessary risk to bleed for 4 (Kindred Spirits + Eyes of Chaos), because that is in Archon Investigation range. Good luck bleeding!
That’s it for this time. Thank you for reading!
VTES STRATEGIES: THE SUBTLETY OF POLITICS
Some thoughts from Mexico again – this time about a beloved game mechanic:
In Vampire: The Eternal Struggle, in addition to defeating your opponents through bleeding, there are other strategies to weaken the power and influence other Methuselahs weild in the game environment. One of the most effective strategies is undoubtedly the political one. In addition to being one of the aspects that is most closely linked to the roleplaying game that VTES is based on (Vampire: The Masquerade), in order to play politics, it is necessary to develop or perfect a series of skills that have to do with the social dynamics between players.
Playing politics in VTES represents actions that your minions carry out in the world by mobilizing vampire society as a whole, and for this you need vampires who represent that power in the game, which is achieved in various ways: holding a title within the sect to which they belong, using their disciplines, or through the support of powerful and influential allies who can tip the balance of power to one side or the other depending on your interests as a Methuselah. Politics is the essence of the Eternal Struggle among vampires.
The threads of politics can be subtly moved by making alliances with other players to gradually achieve your goals by offering deals or benefits for their help, controlling strategic places of power, or being the obvious power if controlling many titled vampires on the table. Things can be done either by deciding with an iron fist or by using your best negotiating skills to achieve your goals in each game.
Recommendations to play politics and not die trying:
1) Be patient. Building an empire takes time, so take small but firm steps to position yourself properly throughout the game.
2) Be blunt. When you carry out an action, have the resources necessary for your political actions to be effective, because otherwise you may be in for a nasty surprise.
3) Keep an eye on the development of the table. It is never necessary that, due to an oversight, an important action goes to waste. Check the votes on the table, who is also playing politics, who has the Edge, etc.
4) Keep a cool mind. When playing politics, you come to moments when your decisions affect the entire table (and those affected may not like the result). The outcome of your moves must lead you to victory.
And remember: VTES is a game. Sometimes playing politics leads you to situations in which emotions are overflowing, and your opponents may dislike the consequences of your actions very much. Stay focused on the game and wisely dispense favors and perks to win the support of the table, and when you're ready, play your political control stratagems decisively to emerge victorious in the Eternal Struggle!
Eduardo García Ayala, @LaloVtes
BLACK CHANTRY SUMMARY: SEPTEMBER 2021
This was a busy month! Some highlights:
• The next four preconstructed decks (Banu Haqim, Brujah, Gangrel and The Ministry) are at the printer. All cards and deck lists have been spoiled. The shipping date is the release date: November 1. So these new cards will be tournament legal on December 1!
• All the cards in the 2021 Promo Pack have been spoiled and should have reached at least some organizers and stores.
• The Unleashed Kickstarter is still under delivery, but hopefully the last on the list will have their packages when they read this.
• Black Chantry´s Ben Peal was the head organizer at the North American Championship and the Week of Nightmares at the Origins Game Fair in Columbus, Ohio. The attenance was low because of the pandemic, but 13 tournaments were played, so still a lot of VTES. Karl Schafer wrote a report about these events at KSG-cards.com.
• Soon all artwork for the Fall of London-themed mini expansion is in, so cards can be templated and proofed. Release: Early 2022.
• A new version of the First Blood packs is being prepared. Not all reprints, but with some new cards. Release: Early 2022.
• Currently these Black Chantry products are available through Drivethrucards.com and other stores:
Lost Kindred bundle
Keepers of Tradition Reprint Bundle 1
Keepers of Tradition Reprint Bundle 2
Heirs of the Blood Reprint Bundle 1
Heirs of the Blood Reprint Bundle 2
Den of Fiends Preconstructed Deck (Also Spanish, French)
Libertine Ball Preconstructed Deck (Also Spanish, French)
Pact with Nephandi Preconstructed Deck (Also Spanish, French)
Parliament of Shadows Preconstructed Deck (Also Spanish, French)
Anthology I bundle
VTES Card Creator (Drivethrucards only)
First Blood: Malkavian (Also Spanish, French)
First Blood: Nosferatu (Also Spanish, French)
First Blood: Toreador (Also Spanish, French)
First Blood: Tremere (Also Spanish, French)
First Blood: Ventrue (Also Spanish, French)
VTES Legacy Card Singles (Drivethrucards only)
Promo Pack 1 (Drivethrucards only)
Promo Pack 2 (Event promos only)
VTES "Parity Shift" playmat
VTES card sleeves
Vampire: The Eternal Struggle Fifth Edition (Stores only)
Vampire: The Eternal Struggle Fifth Edition Latin (Drivethrucards only)
Fifth Edition: Malkavian (Stores only)
Fifth Edition: Nosferatu (Stores only)
Fifth Edition: Toreador (Stores only)
Fifth Edition: Tremere (Stores only)
Fifth Edition: Ventrue (Stores only)
The brand new "Sabbat: The Black Hand" for Vampire: The Masquerade Fifth Edition is written by Justin Achilli, Alan Alexander, Khaldoun Khelil, and Karim Muammar. It starts like this: "Here is the most important sentence in this book: The function of the Sabbat in Vampire: The Masquerade stories is to threaten the status quo. The presentation of the Sabbat for the Fifth Edition of Vampire is as antagonists. The Sword of Caine is undeniably a monstrous evil that even the Kindred fear, a sect of vampire supremacists who set aside the perspectives of the still-living, believing themselves to be more than mortals."
This sets the tone. It will undoubtedly arouse feelings in the VTM community, but for VTES players it matters less. Methuselahs accept any minions, "monstrous" or "evil" matters little, as long as they convey power!
The 132 page, gorgeously illustrated book contains:
• Introduction (About mood and theme)
• Chapter 1: Setting Fire (General information)
• Chapter 2: Apostates of a Cruel Church (Details the Paths of Enlightenment, new discipline powers and rites)
• Chapter 3: Burn Brightly (More about behavior, objectives, titles etc.)
• Chapter 4: The Gehenna War (Origin and current events, all over the world)
• Chapter 5: Storyteller Resources (More on how to use the Sabbat in your chronicles)
We know that the Black Chantry design team has been digesting for a while now, trying to decide the future for the Sabbat sect in VTES. I know they appreciate your input. Exciting times await!
Also: Have a extra look at www.worldofdarkness.com this coming month, they are doing lots of exciting stuff in this special "Month of Darkness"!
VEKN still refrain from generally encouraging physical tournaments. Follow local regulations on what events are possible. Notice that online tournaments are possible - just check the box "Online tournament" when you add the event to the calendar!
For more information on upcoming events see the VEKN Event Calendar.
"Wherever smart people work, doors are unlocked."