file New Blog - Gaming with BS

04 Mar 2016 13:08 #75743 by Ankha
Replied by Ankha on topic New Blog - Gaming with BS

Aha, and why?

Card efficiency: Enkidu has a rush and a torn signpost built in.

Card efficiency: Nana and Nangila give you a hand size of 9, a rush and a master phase.

Nothing new here: combat decks are better with vampires that have a special related to combat.
It's the same for political decks too, it's easier to use titled vampires.


I don't agree with this at all, Vincent.
It is the same as saying "Commercial Jets need their engines working to travel. Nothing new there. Cars do as well".
If one's engine stops mid-travel, I think the airplane's failure is more catastrophic.

Combat as a strategy is farther from the win condition of the game than politics and bleed.
If any of these 3 strategies are working well and unopposed in a table by themselves, politics and bleed are winning.
That is not the case necessarily with combat.

Having vampires while the other players have no vampires is a winning condition. It's pretty impossible to achieve though.
Playing Anarch Revolts and continually torporizing the anarch vampires of your prey is also a win condition.
I understand that combat have more moving parts than vote or bleed, that's why it's more efficient to play combat with Enkidu (having an enter combat action and a strength bonus) rather than KoKo.
It's also more efficient to call votes with Arika rather than with Gideon Fontaine. The only difference is that Gideon Fontaine could successfully call a dozen votes quite easily whereas
KoKo would have big trouble "winning" a dozen combats.

On the other hand, combat does plenty of things that a vote deck won't be able to do, such as totally shutting down any strategy based on minions.

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04 Mar 2016 13:34 #75746 by elotar
Replied by elotar on topic New Blog - Gaming with BS
I would like to emphasize the real game design problem with combat (rush combat!) - it's unjustified removing of some player's ability to play the game.

Wall decks do in too, but in not so degenerate fashion - you still can play action cards, modifiers and generally even if you are blocked you lose like 2 blood and can continue.

But rush combat need his prey not to do mostly anything. It may be reached with torporizing their minions, "threats" ("if you bleed I'll rush") or by some "clever" cross-table deal, but the result is the same - there will be player(s), who sits with hand of cards and is doing nothing for two hours.

The same problem was in MTG with land destruction and mass counter stratagies and after long and deep analisis they came to the conclusion that for the health of the game thouse strategies must not be present (you can, I think, find several good articles by Rosewater and Ko about it) - it's one of the big reasons for players to leave the game in frustration. And in MTG average game length is just like 15 minutes!

:splat: NC Russia
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04 Mar 2016 14:39 #75751 by Brum
Replied by Brum on topic New Blog - Gaming with BS

Having vampires while the other players have no vampires is a winning condition. It's pretty impossible to achieve though.
Playing Anarch Revolts and continually torporizing the anarch vampires of your prey is also a win condition.
I understand that combat have more moving parts than vote or bleed, that's why it's more efficient to play combat with Enkidu (having an enter combat action and a strength bonus) rather than KoKo.
It's also more efficient to call votes with Arika rather than with Gideon Fontaine. The only difference is that Gideon Fontaine could successfully call a dozen votes quite easily whereas
KoKo would have big trouble "winning" a dozen combats.

On the other hand, combat does plenty of things that a vote deck won't be able to do, such as totally shutting down any strategy based on minions.


There are 3 or 4 good combat decks, I grant you.
Your comparison between Arika and Gideon Fontaine is on a higher level than what I'm trying to point out.
I'm saying a Kine is a Kine. 4 damage on pool.
A good combat: 1. requires more cards (even if opponent doesn't play any cards) and 2. without extra help or cards it is not useful for your win. That is what I mean by Combat being too far from the Win Condition of the Game.
If you count 2 hour games, that is.

I say this since the ban of Protect Thine Own: my favorite combat card is Banishment.

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04 Mar 2016 16:23 #75760 by self biased

I would like to emphasize the real game design problem with combat (rush combat!) - it's unjustified removing of some player's ability to play the game.


i understand what you're saying, but this is also a game of player elimination: removing a player's ability to play the game is how you win.
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04 Mar 2016 18:49 - 04 Mar 2016 18:51 #75762 by elotar
Replied by elotar on topic New Blog - Gaming with BS

I would like to emphasize the real game design problem with combat (rush combat!) - it's unjustified removing of some player's ability to play the game.


i understand what you're saying, but this is also a game of player elimination: removing a player's ability to play the game is how you win.


Removing a player and removing the players ability to play the game but forsing him to still sit at the table is completely different beasts.

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Last edit: 04 Mar 2016 18:51 by elotar.

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04 Mar 2016 19:17 #75763 by brettscho
Replied by brettscho on topic New Blog - Gaming with BS

I would like to emphasize the real game design problem with combat (rush combat!) - it's unjustified removing of some player's ability to play the game.


i understand what you're saying, but this is also a game of player elimination: removing a player's ability to play the game is how you win.


I really hate to agree with Elotar because I think he's shown himself to be an incredibly rude individual, but I think he's right in this case. Player elimination is (at best) a necessary evil. If I could conjure a way to meaningfully play VTES without player elimination, I would be pushing it hard. The game is supposed to be about having fun, but when you sit for an hour watching your buddies play, how much fun are you having? Maybe some, but certainly less than if you were still playing.

But while being ousted is bad, being rendered helpless is far, far worse. I personally wince when I see another player have nothing to do on their turn other than discard because their minions are all in torpor, but their predator can't oust them with their all combat deck. It's painful for me even when I'm not the one with no minions. That simply isn't a fun situation, and if it's not fun, it has no place in a game.

I'm writing an article about combat as we speak, but essentially I think that combat is a very swingy mechanic - when you take an action to rush, you might accomplish nothing, or you might utterly destroy another player's game. You won't win, you'll just make sure another player stops loses and likely stops having fun. Both from a single action! If possible, combat should be nudged into the center of this spectrum, where entering combat accomplishes something, but doesn't make other another player instantly lose.

Games should (in my opinion) focus on having you win, rather than making everybody else lose. While combat does sort of do both in VTES, it seems to err much more on the side of making others lose. But maybe that's just my weird and wacky perspective.

Check out my VTES blog: Gaming with BS

I also host a google doc which separates the TWDA into clans . That means I track how often clans win, which crypt groups get used, and how many people attend events. You can access all of that info here:

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