Not one of the most interesting posts to our local group I found while mining, but I think it brings up a couple of things and is relatively chronological. First, it gives a hint of the metagame in the Summer of 2002 and how it might compare and contrast with the modern metagame. Second, while not as bad in this post as others, when I read a lot of my old posts to this group or to the B5 playtest group, I sure sound incredibly arrogant and patronizing. I know I had much more of a “prove me wrong” mentality back then, where I just don’t really care anymore about the endgame of arguing over what’s good and bad (in V:TES), since I don’t see any endgame (i.e. changes made to the game based on my opinions).
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… just one loser’s perspective.
So, we had the perfect tournament. Twelve people. I wasn’t playing. Then, Jim and Jason showed up. Then, we almost had the perfect tournament. Fourteen people. I wasn’t playing. Then, it all went to hell when everyone was convinced that we should start from scratch. Fifteen people. I was playing.
Randy went first playing Lasombra/Giovanni. Ian Kemp went second with Gargoyles. Vincent, third, with what wanted to play like a weenie Presence deck but with bigger minions; it used Brainwashes, for instance, to slow its prey down. Jeff went fourth with Disguised Assault Rifles on the likes of Ellen Fence and Francois and lots of ways to draw cards. I went … fifth.
I probably didn’t transfer optimally for the situation. I saw Ellen, so I thought of how I would avoid being tapped for a while. I could have brought out Marconius, the most important vampire in my crypt, first, but I wanted to make sure I could drop Secure Haven on him before he got rushed and I didn’t know how rushy Jeff’s deck was. Also, after Randy brought out Gratiano, he brought out Pochtli, so I wanted to get Carlotta out before we ran into problems as our decks had tremendous superficial similarities.
Early on: Randy wasn’t getting much pressure from me and could bleed some; Ian was rushing in various directions but not having much luck; Vincent was decrypting and bloating; Jeff occasionally rushed someone; I had it all and had it right then, though, to survive Blurred Assault Rifles with combat ends and most amusingly Darkling Trickery, of which I played two in one combat, though I forgot I had a Saturday Night Special on Marconius and didn’t shoot Ellen for one at long range to empty her minor as that would have been.
Deeper into the game Randy and Vincent were able to put some pressure on their respective preys. Ian was getting Obedienced when rushing the invincible Gratiano. Jeff started looking backwards more intently after Vincent got some good bleeds through. My pool sucked as I got jack for blood management, but I drew wakes often enough to put some bleeds through without fearing sudden oust syndrome and Randy’s pool was fairly low. I got one turn before Ian would descend into the ousting abyss to put Randy down, but my lack of ability to cycle throughout the game meant I didn’t have the plus bleed everyone likely expected and reduced him only to 1 pool. Ian fell. One of Randy’s larger bleeds (3) got bounced to Jeff when he was at 4 pool, and contentiousness flared such that Randy stealthed it by which enabled Vincent to oust shortly afterwards. With time running out on us, I just went forward and ousted Randy. Vincent and I agreed that a withdrawal was in order. A stolen (from Jeff) Fragment would have aided going through the motions, but no one really cared to force us to do that.
Paul went first with his alternative vote deck. Joel was second with Gangrel Royalty. Jim went third with some Chimerstry based deck that didn’t end up doing much. I went … fourth. Alex went fifth with the latest version of his Eurobrujah deck.
Jim spent a bunch of pool without help from Joel’s Judgment: Camarilla Segregation. Fated to die or something seemed to be the motto of the day. Paul’s Gilbert got quickly Disarmed when he blocked Mr. Winthrop. My Julia got similarly torpor advantaged blocking Alex’s J:CS. Jim Suddened Alex’s KRCG and a Blood Doll (as I recall) while he tried to find a way to survive. Earlier, Jim Cursed Angus at the double inferior level, which didn’t have a huge impact. Paul had a vote problem with Alex getting out three Princes and Joel having four or so votes. Command of the Harpies on Donal passed as did Camarilla Threat which Paul immediately lost a pool to as he discarded. I got tired of having Alex around and didn’t mind having some more pool, so I ousted him but got Julia Archoned in doing so, which ended up hurting more than I expected as I couldn’t get someone I didn’t have in play when I decrypted. This gave Paul vote control which he used to take out Joel and Jim with Anarchist Uprising.
The two player showdown saw First Tradition and Camarilla Threat hurt us both while Paul’s Etrius got big bleeds through (with stealth) and my lack of drawing plus bleed saw, uh, a lack of getting big bleeds through, so I eventually failed to survive.
Vincent was fifth seed with 2.5 VPs. I was fourth with 3 VPs. Brandyn had 3 and a TW, I believe. Paul did as well? but won the coin toss? Chris went in as the first seed.
Paul inserted to my left. Brandyn followed Paul. Chris followed Brandyn. I went first.
I didn’t do much as I had Pentex Subversion played on my first vampire, which kept him from acting for a couple of turns and (in total) had three Brainwashes played on my guys. Paul’s votes started with Might of the Camarilla. Brandyn bled Chris like crazy. But, Chris bloated like crazy and put out some wee folk. Vincent bled me hoping for a quick oust, but I drew Deflections when I needed them for a change and I knew he couldn’t get through once I was able to block.
Eventually, I had stabilized and was trying not to put Paul down until he could do something fruitful. Course, my delaying meant getting Beatrice burnt by Protect Thine Own which only had two possible targets. Nevertheless, Paul had minimal pool and nothing useful to do. Brandyn was strong but spinning his wheels going forward as Chris just kept bloating. Chris eventually got out enough minions that Vincent was screwed. Vincent had been bloating and wasn’t a threat to me anymore, though was losing the ability to wall up. Chris ousted Vincent, and I figured some pool, a VP, and having Brandyn have a predator was useful, so I ousted Paul. From there, Chris simply had too many minions and too much pool for us to do much, and we eventually got ousted, I about the time Chris ran out of cards, Brandyn a few turns later as Chris had eight or so minions.
My attempt to build around a coaster and still do something –
Shocking Nec-ed Guys
x2 Beatrice L’Angou
x2 Julia Prima
x2 Carlotta Giovanni
x5 Blood Doll
x1 Dreams of the Sphinx
x1 Giant’s Blood
x1 Secure Haven
x3 Shock Troops
x4 Storage Annex
x6 Govern the Unaligned
x4 Jar the Soul
x1 Kine Dominance
x1 Call of the Hungry Dead
x1 Foreshadowing Destruction
x2 Shadow Play
x4 Shroud of Absence
x4 Stone Travel
x2 The Sleeping Mind
x3 Darkling Trickery
x4 Spiritual Intervention
x2 Saturday Night Special
x2 Eyes of the Night
x2 Forced Awakening
x6 Aura Absorption
x2 Spectral Divination
The point of the deck is to drop some Necromen to play Jar the Soul (at zero stealth, of course, cuz God forbid Shock Troops have any redeeming value) to tap out my prey so the real vampires can bleed for large amounts.
Here’s what I learned. There’s no way to overcome the supreme coasterness of Shock Troops. Until recently, I completely overlooked that they have -1 stealth on every action. Best guess that whoever posted to the newsgroup about using it for Protean agg rushers overlooked this as well as empty Protean dudes hunting at zero stealth will fall over and die leading to that most glorious of situations where you spent pool and used up master slots in your deck (this, of course, assumes the Shock Troops card isn’t Suddened) to have a bunch of them sit in torpor. BTW, I do have a fourth; I just couldn’t bring myself to play with that many copies. Every single time I had one in hand, I ended up discarding it. This deck doesn’t have enough bleed, which has something to do with putting in cards that a serious deck wouldn’t be playing. When I was writing it up in the ELDB, I was very close to ditching the stupidity, but I found some way to get the deck down to 90. I didn’t nail the metagame with the notable exception of Darkling Trickery (which isn’t saying anything really as the card is always useful to the Kiasyd) as I was constantly having problems with card flow. And, remember, every deck is better with ultrarare weapon hosers.