Art by Riccardo Fabiani for an upcoming Vampire: The Eternal Struggle card.
Greetings fellow Methuselahs,
WHAT COUNTRY HAS MOST VTES PLAYERS?
That question is, of course, hard to answer, as most Methuselahs enjoy the game around a kitchen table or at their friendly local game store. But we do have statistics over tournament players! The number below shows unique active players, which means those who have registered for at least one tournament in the last 18 months:
Some numbers might appear wrong, because all tournaments haven´t been reported yet. Please report your tournaments!
What conclusions can be drawn from these numbers? Well, the pandemic sure did disrupt this neverending game, but translations into Spanish, French and Brazilian Portuguese have helped some countries vitalize the tournament scene. The VEKN will, together with Black Chantry Productions, use these numbers (and others) to promote the game appropriatelly - both where it´s most popular and where it seems to be in decline. Do you have any ideas on how to help? Contact your VEKN National Coordinator or !
Black Chantry keeps putting up old cards for print-on-demand on Drivethrucards.com. The latest addition to the $0.35 per card offer is 87 different cards for Baali, Daimoinon, Daughters of Cacophony and Melpominee, for example, favorites like Huitzilopochtli, Siren´s Lure, Contagion and Choir. You can pick and mix freely among the singles, but also choose bundle offers. Read the full announcement at Blackchantry.com!
150 PLAYERS REGISTERED FOR SPANISH NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS!
As you might know, the 2023 European Championship will be played in Barcelona, Spain in October 14-15. But there´s also a big Nationals in Seville on March 25, with the spectacular set of promo cards depicted above. The maximum number of players (150) has been reached, but there´s a waiting list to join if you desperately want to attend!
GREAT VTES CONTENT
• There is a new VTES podcast IN ENGLISH! In the first episode a highly original weenie Banu Haqim tournament winning deck is analysed – check it out at Youtube: Lies from the Tabletop
• Another new podcast (in Spanish) is El Libro de Noob (“The Book of Noob”), created by very dedicated Chilean players. You can find it on Spotify and surely other places.
• This is an interesting article found on Reddit posted a while ago that you might like. We would like to take the opportunity to remind you of the Reddit channel r/VTES, a nice place to discuss the game! - Top 12 Vampires in Tournament Winning Decks
• Toni, a player from Majorca, has created VTES Time Tracker, a nice tool for casual VTES play. It is currently available only for Android mobile devices, and in Spanish, but we explain how it works here so that you can have a try. The app helps to manage both the game time and the individual players' turns, and can help players become aware of the time they actually consume during games, and realise that time is, like pool counters, a precious resource that must be managed properly.
At the start of each game, you can define the time limit to be tracked and the number of players. The default time limit is 2 hours, and the default number of players is 5.
To pass the turn to another player, tap the icon of that player, and their remaining time will begin to decrease. You can pass the turn to any other player.
If a player is ousted from the game, you must tap their icon for about a second and a half and confirm the action in a pop-up window for security, as it cannot be undone. If the ousted player had any time left, it will be equally distributed among the remaining players.
A player is automatically ousted if they run out of time.
The timer can be paused during the game with the pause button, and both resumed and started by tapping the main timer. The game can be ended completely with the finish button.
Words by Vincent Ripoll.
Welcome to our new column dedicated to underrated cards you may not even know about, or that never make the cut into your deck. Today, I’d like to talk about a mysterious artifact from the past, the Blood Tears of Kephran!
I didn't dig too much into the lore, but it’s probably a reference to the pharaoh Khafre/Kephren, since the card was first published in the Ancient Hearts expansion. Anyway, when I started playing VTES, I found this card as I was looking for clanless, “unique” cards, because uniqueness was a clear indicator of their power level.
So, what does it do? It’s a unique equipment that allows the vampire to gain 2 blood anytime or prevent 2 damage in combat by sacrificing it. It’s plain, simple, and easily overlooked. But is it really worth the slot? Worth the equip action? Don’t your vampires have better things to do? And it’s unique!
First of all, the good thing is that you’ll probably never worry about contesting (well, until now, I’m sure everyone is going to include one in their decks after reading this article). I can remember only one game in 20 years where I saw the Blood Tears of Kephran played by someone else. Even if there is already one on the table (including yours!), it’s possible for its controller to instantaneously burn it to allow you to play one (it’s not like that terrible Dreams of the Sphinx).
It costs an action to equip, sure. But you’ll probably spend at least an action in a game hunting anyway. And equipping with the Blood Tears is very similar to hunting, since it’s at +1 stealth action and you can burn the equipment right away to gain 2 blood instead of one. The strength of the card is that you can also keep the equipment for later of course, for instance for that moment the vampire is empty and would have to hunt, making you miss your window of opportunity to oust your prey.
It costs a slot, right. But you’re probably packing defensive combat cards already. You make a risky move and get blocked by that Tzimisce folk? You have a failsafe against agg damage. A Banu Haqim sucks your vampire dry using Hunger of Marduk? It’s not that bad, you can regain 2 blood after combat or prevent that final additional strike intended to torporize or burn your empty vampire. You’re playing combat but couldn’t play Taste of Vitae to get blood back? Why not taste the blood of a pharaoh?
Winning a game is often a question of tempo, having the right card or resources at the right moment. One way to do this is to carefully prepare for your moment of glory, and Blood Tears of Kephran is a very useful card for this. If you want to bleed your prey for 6 with Govern the Unaligned + Conditioning, better do it late in the game when your prey is lower on pool and has less resources to defend themselves, rather than early in the game (which would probably get you dirty looks from your predator and the other players on the table). Use that early action to instead get you an Egyptian drink. It’s an innocuous action, your predator will love it (until you use it to pay that Govern + Conditioning later), and you will have your hands and mind freer for the rest of the game.
Obviously, the card doesn’t fit in all the decks. I tend to play it in decks where I have free actions (Shalmath, Nakhthorheb, or any deck with access to a free unlock such as Instantaneous Transformation, Forced March or a British Museum), but if you’re happy as a clam each time you get The Coven, you should probably consider including it.
So take your time, have a pint of fresh blood handy in your cooler ready, and enjoy!
PS: Of course, someone unknowingly played Blood Years of Kephran in their British Museum deck right after I wrote this article in our Paris' Cup tournament. Check the TWDA for the deck list ;)
The VEKN tries to spotlight not only big tournaments, but also demo games and other heroic activity. Some words from David Robins:
VTES has risen from torpor in the domain of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. On February 11, a Demo Day and Casual Play event took place at Game Universe in Brookfield, WI. Assisted by the Baron in Absentia of Madison Josh Whelan, Prince of Milwaukee David Robins presided over the event. Two brand new Fledglings demoed the game using V5 starters decks and enjoyed it. One went so far as to purchase Ministry and Gangrel decks for herself and her wife from Whelan's overstock. Two other Neonate players enjoyed a few casual games, while Josh and David explained the game to onlookers, offering to run them through demos when they seemed interested. Although several patrons were there at the store to play that other card game designed by Richard Garfield, only the two decided to take the opportunity to play a demo that day. Overall, the event went well. The store was pleased, the reception was good, and door was left open for future events.
Are you also interested in demoing VTES but need some help? Have a talk with your local game store or gaming event, and with your local Prince or National Coordinator, or with Black Chantry directly!
BLACK CHANTRY SUMMARY: FEBRUARY 2023
• In June, two new 54-card packs arrive from the print shop. “Shadows of Berlin” contains reprints of cards that so far have been exclusive in the Berlin Anthology set from 2017 (André the Manipulator, Anne-Marie Bourgeois, The Line, etc.) The other is called “Echoes of Gehenna” and contains reprints of Gehenna event cards – they are now a part of the “legacy line”, so this pack will only be sold through Black Chantry's own webshop. At the same time in June, another print run of Fall of London reaches stores.
• Ben, Mike and Ginés have prepared the third round of playtesting of the next preconstructed decks (Ravnos, Salubri and Tzimisce), ready to go out to the test groups as this is written. Most of the art is ready (for example Riccardo Fabiani's excellent piece at the top of this newsletter), so after this round is complete and the cards are tweaked a last time, the printing will begin, in English, French and Spanish.
• Additional sleeves stocks are on the way, including ones with Theo Bell and Faceless Night artwork, but these might take some time to arrive as they are being produced by Ultra Pro in China. Distributors will be updated when shipping dates are set.
• More Legacy Card Singles have been added to Drivethrucards (see above in this newsletter).
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 (Also Spanish, French)
Fifth Edition: Nosferatu (Also Spanish, French)
Fifth Edition: Toreador (Also Spanish, French)
Fifth Edition: Tremere (Also Spanish, French)
Fifth Edition: Ventrue (Also Spanish, French)
Promo Pack 3 (Event promos only)
Fifth Edition: Banu Haqim (Also Spanish, French)
Fifth Edition: Brujah (Also Spanish, French)
Fifth Edition: Gangrel (Also Spanish, French)
Fifth Edition: The Ministry (Also Spanish, French)
New Blood: Malkavian (Also Spanish, French)
New Blood: Nosferatu (Also Spanish, French)
New Blood: Toreador (Also Spanish, French)
New Blood: Tremere (Also Spanish, French)
New Blood: Ventrue (Also Spanish, French)
The Fall of London (Also Spanish, French)
Art by Mark Kelly for Blood Sigils.
RECENT NEWS IN THE WORLD OF DARKNESS
We mentioned some of these in last month's newsletter, but now there more details about things we look forward to:
• The Vampire: The Masquerade Player's Guide will be available on March 27 in PDF if you have preordered the physical book (which will be in stores in June).
• Blood Sigils will be a sourcebook about Blood Sorcery and Thin-blooded Alchemy, available in stores in early August (that too with a PDF for preorder buyers earlier).
• Renegade Game Studios are producing a new, updated version of the Vampire: The Masquerade Discipline & Blood Magic card deck. 212 cards sometime later this year, surely handy for your gaming table.
• If you missed getting hold of the 2020 version of Chicago by Night, you get a new chance as it gets a new print run from Renegade, available sometime in the third quarter. Like the earlier editions, this is a highly recommended setting book for Vampire: The Masquerade.
• The Hunters and the Hunted is an expansion of Vampire: The Masquerade Rivals expandable card game, also playable as a stand alone game. This time the factions are The Ministry, Caitiff and two different Hunter decks. Preorders are open.
Subscribe to the World of Darkness News show for more news!
Upcoming tournaments for the coming month (registered so far) are in:
For details about these events, see the VEKN Event Calendar.
Remember: Online tournaments are possible - just check the box "Online tournament" when you add the event to the 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
“If you’re going through hell, keep going.”