file Fighting Pit Problems

10 Mar 2021 16:48 - 10 Mar 2021 16:50 #101821 by Kilrauko
Replied by Kilrauko on topic Fighting Pit Problems

Banned from tournament play. Unless I've missed something where someone else decides what I can and cannot include in my deck to play with my friends.




 

This is true, but most playgroups that I am aware of in the US use the banned list, I would expect similar results elsewhere.  While tournament play is actually less important than casual play (there will always be more of the latter), the banned lists helps balance the game over time and most folks that I play with expect casual play to respect that list.

It's perfectly fine for groups to agree on whatever ruleset, limitations, code of conduct and so forth. Creating and keeping a norm certainly helps players to engage in the deck building aspect of the game and refining their decks to the local meta, whatever it happens to be. From my experience after returning, most older players certainly expect the tournament rules and banlist to apply "de facto", I might argue that's the norm they've created over the years by partaking in events so much.

I do not disagree with the banlist because it helps to create a norm, but because every norm has their downsides and applying norm straight from another environment without moderation can result in situation where babies are tossed along with the bathwater. V:EKN tournament banlist when applied to casual is just that. Perhaps my notion on why it is wrong to apply tournament ban list without scrutiny is misguided, but I'll try to prove it with few examples;

V:EKN ban list includes cards that are there because they do not adhere to the tournament rules, some which have since been changed. Is Succubus club unbalanced card, does it oust or was it's inclusion to the V:EKN ban list because three and finals format encouraged table split deals to be made to ensure VP transfers and placement in the finals whereas normal VTES game is one round only? Is the game more balanced thanks to it being there since 2005? It was/is still a great diplomatic tool that encourages and enables actual cross table deals and player interaction with backstabbing potential. It takes MPA to play, gives no pool nor blood nor any ousting power unless someone else agrees with it. Argument could be made it stalls the tables but so does discussing whether or not Anneke should block yet another cross table vote just because they can if the terms are not to their liking.

Anthelios is perhaps my favorite example on card being hit because certain deck got too popular in tournament environment and the only way to nerf it was either hit multiple vampires to kill the archtype or take away part of recursion. The Promo event card meant to signify a game mechanic in expansion was put behind a shed because Girls made the tournaments stale by unbalacing the rock-paper-scissors. I'm not sure how casual non MPA decks running it with 10-16 total masters were abusing that event, but oh well, I'm not card design and gameplay expert. But I'm sure for groups that follow tournament rules and mindset, seeing less Girls denying and abusing it was refreshing and solved the power imbalance between random casual deck and TWDA Girls variant number thirtytwo...

My point is in casual game there usually are different social norms in place then in tournaments. People play decks with powerlevel unmatched by others tend to find less people to play with. People in tournaments might score a final seat or even first place. VTES naturally requires quite lot of "losing is fun" mentality as generally only one player wins the table. If that win happens constantly in a fashion where other players are for whatever reason unable to respond in game, they'll respond out of game, by pre-selecting seats away from players, changing tables to ensure different games, choosing not to come anymore. In that notion, players naturally form their own "ban list" of things they dislike of seeing, hopefully also sharing it by communicating. But at the same time ephasis should be used to ensure everyone is treated equally and those players with the disliked cards or decks, still at least occassionally get to play and use them. How would you imagine a player feels if they do have some banned cards, perhaps PTO's, that they've gained via whatever means and wish to try in actual casual gameplay environment? They are then told by peer pressure and group rules to never play them. Not for few weeks, or months, but years and years. Might as well use the cardboard as toilet paper. Nobody is even willing to try what happens because there's "the list" and "it should be followed because it helps to balance the game." I would argue that is similar to how a vote deck feels when it sits to a table filled to a brim with torpor combat decks night after night, week after week, month to year. Or casual deck builder finding same player just running TWDA deck that rolls the table unless group action is taken, and if it is taken, the TWDA deck playing person claims they're not playing to win by going cross table.

What if the greatest aim should not be perfect balance or play to win but players having fun? That idea won't work for tournaments as they're by nature designed to find out who is the best even if it means someone will not have a good time. In tournament it does not matter how much you hate the MPA Girls deck and the person playing it, if they're following the rules, they're engaging in the social contract you all agreeded on. In the end that player might be declared winner even if it made the game miserable for majority of people playing in the same table. Heck if they try to take that player out just because they dislike it on emotional level, they're not playing to win and are breach of tournament conduct. I'm not saying people cannot have fun in tournaments, I've had such good time everytime I've taken part. But casual games and the rules they follow should be created to ensure people have fun. If that means allowing someone to play PTO's once a month in one table, who is it going to harm? If that means non MPA decks running banned Anthelios to cycle and contest Dreams, is the balance broken? If that means creating different tables, dates or such to create norms to maximize fun for everyone involved, what's the harm in it breaking the balance?

I purposefully left out the latest ban list additions that were not made due to balance reasons, mainly because I hope they see PoD release with different names/art/whatnot to fit the viewpoints of current times. But for honesty's sake, they are another example of cardlist not being just for helping the balance. At the same time I also agree that having kindred restructure in the ban list is a balancing decision, but at the same time having played during the time it was not banned, I honestly saw no problem with it in casual games. Someone would always toss Delaying or DI at it, even cross table if for nothing else then to prevent the oust. Nowadays the reaction is same but for actual oust attempts by predator. Same goes for Temptation of Greater Power and some others. But that might be due to my personal viewpoint, the social norms and restrictions our group had and has and so forth. There's large difference between groups and their norms.

So it's not all just bad, but each group should be able to determine what works for them. Hence I see no trouble letting new players or old players to play with banned cards just because they're banned. If they become trouble, players need to adress them. If some other cards or combinations (hint, combat pit) become trouble, same advice applies.

>The important point of my post was about communication
Approaching with "I don't like your heavy combat-oriented decks, so I will tear you apart using unbalanced banned cards" doesn't looks like communication :)


Ah but I hope you didn't miss this important bit;

Remember to drop cryptic hints on how this is *the* combat deck to combat combat deck players and you'll be bringing out a lot as there's a lot of combat playing players out there.

I don't know what that is if not you communicating what, when and why. Not to mention it was part of the less serious portion of the post as that deck is terrible against people who know what it is. I bring imbued event deck out occasionally (perhaps once a month to one table, by another player choosing it for me from the pile of deck boxes by accident), it always ends up horribly for me and the main point is to stir the pot up and bring variance to other 4 players as they need to work together against me while also stabbing each other in the back.

Trust in Jan Pieterzoon.
Last edit: 10 Mar 2021 16:50 by Kilrauko. Reason: "because tree and finals format"

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18 Mar 2021 22:23 - 19 Mar 2021 01:01 #101877 by TwoRazorReign
Replied by TwoRazorReign on topic Fighting Pit Problems

I told the group that I was fed up and had the choice of either building decks specifically to beat combat or not enjoying the game. After saying I might take a week off, and knowing I organise the games, a few players made a conscious effort to play new deck types which I greatly appreciated.


 

So, one reason why your group may be losing players is because they have to hear their organizer complaining about what is obviously the preferred play style of the group and giving an ultamatum of taking a week off unless the group plays differently. I've been a part of a lot of playgroups (way, way back in the day), and the least fun people to deal with were the ones who insisted that the game wasn't fun because of the other players not playing the game the right way/building the right decks. From the perspective of the people in your group who do play heavy combat, you probably come across as sore that you lost. I'm just being honest here. 

VTES is a deeply flawed game in many ways, including its multiplayer design and how combat can totally prevent a player from playing. I get that's where your frustration is likely stemming from. But, I mean, if the group obviously likes to play combat, then who are you to dissuade that? Your choices are you can (1) play the games anyway, despite it not being an ideal environment for you, and if you want to offer suggestions on alternative deck types and why they are fun to play, great, or (2) not participate in the group at all and quietly relinquish organizer duties. What you really should avoid is coming across as someone who is like, "I'm the super important organizer of this group, and I'm taking my cards and going home because you all don't play the game right". 
Last edit: 19 Mar 2021 01:01 by TwoRazorReign.
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19 Mar 2021 09:52 #101885 by lip
Replied by lip on topic Fighting Pit Problems
Handling a playgroup is no ballad in the park ☺︎

I wanted to list some specific things we did in our playgroup, which helped avoid such a pit (outside of counter-deck building ideas, which are already listed above here):
  • Use a time limit: A 2:00 or 2:30 time limit is an important part of the game. Combat decks are control decks (think white/blue in MtG), they're often slow. Using a time limit and being strict about it (not finishing a game "for the fun of it") will encourage your players to try out more aggressive decks.
  • Be strict about rollbacks: Many casual playgroups are lax about the timing of playing cards. Be strict about the rules (do not take back a played card, do not go back to play a card if the player passed the opportunity, unfold combat steps precisely). Immortal Grapple is far more efficient if you always play it as a rollback over a Majesty: this should not be the case in a proper game.
  • Take them to a tournament: There are a number of online tournaments nowadays, and it's a great experience. Getting steamrolled over when playing your favorite combat deck is a sure way to open your eyes to new build possibilities. And to the difficulties of playing those control decks in a competitive setting.

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19 Mar 2021 10:08 #101887 by Lönkka
Replied by Lönkka on topic Fighting Pit Problems
So much "yes" for the time limit.
2 hours is the one to use as it is the same as the time limit in regular tournaments. If you have plenty of n00bs nothing wrong with starting with 2:30 time limit. Also nothing is preventing you from finishing games after the time limit, just note it ("Looks like we ran across time limit and it would seem that Dave over there with his 2 VP would've won the game. If you want we can still play to finish and see what happens if we drag the game on...")


"a rollback over a Majesty"
Bit unsure about thsi one. Do you mean that some players roll back and play an Immortal Grapple AFTER someone declares Combat End as their strike? Obviously this is a big no no... :)

Just remember that being strict and an asshat are two different things! Main thing is still to have fun especially during casual play so no need to be anal retentive and jerk.


Tournaments tend to be great. Also they do wonders for checking other playstyles and decks. And test your deck's mettle against (usually) something new (or the same ol', same ol'...)

I love the social part of the game and camaraderie but unfortunately the online format seems to be like 99% lacking those so IMHO unfortunately the lovely VTES tournament experience doesn't really translate to online. Like at all... :/

NC, Finland
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01 Apr 2021 15:33 #101968 by ReverendRevolver
Weenie :for: trap with the cards keeping you from going to torpor. Its deflating for combat decks to lose a 9 cap to a 2 cap resetting the trap with taste, TV, and prevent.  

I'm a huge fan of combat,  but it's not good at removing pool. Hopefully your new players shift taste to decks with combat + a win condition and evolve from there. 
I've had decks that murder combat with no remorse, but that's not nice for new players (Lucinde dawn op weather control amaranth with vote lockwent off once a game, but it was bleeding blocking and voting ventrue with agg regardless...) .

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02 Apr 2021 07:10 #101970 by Lönkka
Replied by Lönkka on topic Fighting Pit Problems

Weenie :for: trap with the cards keeping you from going to torpor. Its deflating for combat decks to lose a 9 cap to a 2 cap resetting the trap with taste, TV, and prevent. 
 


Yeah, THIS works!

Simplest way is to play with 1.3 cap weenies with Trap and Undead Persistence and mostly not bother with proper prevention.

Indomitability for Press (plus 1 prevent) and, of course, Molotov Cocktails to burn the opposing vampires and to keep that Trap goodness going.

Have had a deck like that going on for almost couple of decades.
Hopefully it might be fond somewhere here as well (it was at some point named "Winter War") butBram Van Stappen did a similar type of deck and won a tournament with it (which I've been rather close a couple of times but no dice). so that decklist should most certainly be found here and TWDA.

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