Standing In Line

Such a long time between posts … due to a rather convenient problem – gaming too much to spend time analyzing gaming.

Battle Lineshttp://white-wolf.com/vtes/index.php?articleid=1190

It’s the last day of possible events, but really, they likely were all done over the weekend.  Having played in four of them, I have some thoughts.  Being an analyst, aka critic, aka negative nabob, I’ll start with my biggest criticisms.

#1  Lilith’s Blessing

I’m so totally in favor of Lilith that if the mechanics were the other way around I’d still be Bahari.  Yet, either way, it’s not even so much the massive disparity in the usefulness of LB vs. G&M, but just how annoying LB makes games.  The amount of bloat in the format was out of control.  Any deck with any sort of pool defense or other bloat was virtually impossible to oust.  I frustrated one predator in a game where I basically had no chance of ousting my prey because of his bloat by gaining “50” pool. 

Well, what about combat to counteract bloat?  Well, what do we know about the efficacy of combat?

The first stage metagame answer was a swath of Suddens and Washes.  I played a deck with 7 of the former and 1 of the latter (and Ashur Tablets) and couldn’t stop prey from gaining pool to the point of inoustability.

It is, of course, a feature of our meta that ousting is less common than most places in the world, so the effect is more sensitive ’round here, but in minimal paying attention to what others encountered, I found similar issues elsewhere.

#2  Tupdogs

Speaking of combat.  All evidence suggests that I play Tupdogs in decks more than most other playgroups combined, even considering that I don’t actually play Tupdog decks.  I’m not bitter because one of the events saw a Tupdog deck make every game pointless.  Tupdogs begin life broken.  Why make them more broken?  Or, put another way, why force people to metagame against something unfun and something easily played in a non-storyline environment?  Sure, fine, remove negative traits of the slave rule, but be cognizant that there are Gargoyles and then there are Tupdogs.

#3  How I Won With Dominate And Stealth

This is not a rant against Kiasyd.  I actually always liked Kiasyd, more so in the RPG where the real Kiasyd didn’t have Dominate.  It’s a criticism of the banal.  Different players have different interests, and you can’t legislate fun.  Yet, it’s always the warped metagames of the storylines that manage to elicit some smidgen of enthusiasm from me.  Why play something you can play in a non-storyline environment?

Nor am I ranting about stealth bleed.  On mostly a tangent, I am amazed at how much hate there is for stealth bleed.  I actually like playing games when I play games, even if they are short.  Stealth bleed allows that where the rush decks and wall decks of the world must inherently prevent people from playing.

I guess I’m ranting about making the meta far less interesting than it should be.  This is a theme with all of these criticisms – the metagame was blown apart but coalesced too much around “can I deal with Tupdogs?”, “oh, right, Tinker Bell is part of this magical world”, “so, gain another 8 pool?”, etc.

Anyway, win with Kiasyd?  Sure, whatever.  But, let’s do something different.  Kiasyd Dauntain Black Magician bleed/rush should be all the rage, right?

Joys:

#1  Something Different

Every deck at the table is a bloodlines deck.  People who may have never played a bloodline, certainly haven’t played them to any significant degree, all of the sudden playing an interesting deck.  Far better than any of the other storylines, this storyline forced variation.

#2  Brilliance Is The Absence Of Insipidiosity

We have the grouping rule, long live the grouping rule – don’t care enough to care.  Scarce is already defined by the grouping rule, what exactly is gained by making the game less fun?

Oh, look, that Horde deck works pretty darn respectably.  Eh.  Oh, look, that Great Beast deck can be even more pool-wise.  Eh.  Oh, look, someone might actually play midcap Baali.  Holy … er … Unholy Moley.  Not that I was going to ever play Baali when there was, like, scarce clans to play, but it’s the principle of the thang.

It’s sad that I only played in four events.  I never got around to a Gargoyle deck, you know, with slaves who don’t pay one less for Visceratika cards.

#3  …

There really should be a number three, but I think 1 and 2 pretty well cover the best things about the event.  Maybe 3 can be that the game is still in good enough shape to even have such an event.

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