I still play V:TES, though it might be hard to tell with how little I talk about it.

I played twice in Virginia, when I was there on back to back business trips, just mentioning the first time I played in one of my posts.  I also played more mahjong than I’ve played in years, winning the first three hands of three-handed play before things evened out immensely after we went four-handed.  It might be notable that all of my opponents were my brothers, except the one who was traveling.

We played locally not that long ago, couple of weeks ago.  Funny stuff happened.  Funny stuff usually happens, which is kind of the main draw of a game to me*.  I stealthed by a Creation Rites by having my Tupdog play Veil the Legions, then having the Obfuscate skill card go into the ash heap to fuel another Creation Rites.  Couldn’t push through in that game with my 11(?) minions.  Second game saw my DoC deck Crescendo effectively, which was amusing due to how few Crescendoes it runs, take a VP but be on the ropes from my predator as my new prey just couldn’t oust fast enough.

*  Should I write about this now or save it for another post?  Maybe just get it over with …

… An observation I have when I am around games is that I am often just not into results.  Well, okay, that doesn’t sound like anything new if you’ve played a bunch of games with me for the last 20 years.  But, I think I may be getting further down the spectrum of seeing games as not really competitive ventures but as experiences of interactions/transactions.  Sure, my personal gaming isn’t likely changed that much as I always went for amusing in CCGs or different in boardgames.  But, I think it affects my interest in playing other sorts of games.  Wargames, for instance, have never particularly been my thing, but, where I might have eschewed them due to investment/complexity/level of effort/having other things to play, I am inclined to believe that I should avoid them at this point just because I don’t care what happens.  Get destroyed?  Um, whatever.  In a competitive game, it’s important to be trying to win.  I don’t know that I’d be inclined to try to win some of these games.

I may not have winning foremost in mind when I play CCGs or boardgames, but, at least, the effort is there.

We played three games of V:TES yesterday.

Brandon (Spell of Life horde) -> Ian (Gangrel bruise bleed) -> Eric (Serenna and Santaleous) -> Andy (Malk My Kin Against the World)

Brandon was the only one to get ousted quickly, having mininal defense against Rachel Brandywine and Lutz calling votes and stealth bleeding.  My Lord Ashton torped Lutz with the trite combination of Flesh of Marble, Lucky Blow, Target Head, Claws of the Dead, Taste.  That slowed Andy’s game as he hadn’t brought out Maris Streck, yet.  My two permacept on Antonino was problematic.  My other mundane and commonplace combat was Arthur Denholm blocking a bleed only to see Antonino Target Head, Shoulder Drop, Hidden Strength, press, Claws (still not burning).  Eric eventually ousted.

Eric conceded in the endgame as Serenna was torped, Santa was empty or something, and Arthur was torped.

Brandon (as above) -> Ian (Sunrise !Trem bleed) -> Andy (!Trem BH bleed)

Again, not a lot Spell of Life can do against repeated bleeds of 4+ at stealth.  I finally played Sunrise Service and Recure the Homeland, which might have cost me the game, as it meant one less minion bleeding in an endgame of throwing lots of Dominate back and forth.  I was also choking on bounce, as Brandon hadn’t bled me enough.

Jeff (borrowed Living Lolita Loca) -> Ian (Giovanni bruise bleed) -> Andy (DEM stealth bleed) -> Brandon (!Brujah intercept combat)

Oddly enough, !Brujah have a hard time defending against stealth bleed decks, even with a Sport Bike.  Jeff mostly played my original tournament winning deck the way it was intended to be played, given that the change in The Embrace makes it a vastly weaker deck.  I intimidated my prey to where I got some bleeds through, falling one pool short of ousting Andy before he got Jeff, as Jeff didn’t bleed me for enough to have bounce reduce Andy’s pool significantly, and I had to use Carlotta’s ability just to get a Govern to make it close.

The Call and stealth bleed swept the table.

So, what was funny about these games?  Shoulder Drop?  Target Head ownage?  Yeah, the last two games weren’t all that humorous.

So, why the name of this post?  I quite like World Cup, so I was trying some tenuous tie-in.  The tenuous tie-in is that we, local group, probably need some sort of goal when it comes to V:TES to keep enthusiasm up.  There are four tournaments coming up in August before I head out to Gen Con.  That’s something to work towards for the group.  Then, Labor Day Weekend could see us in SoCal, again.  But, what about the long stretches between tournaments?  I’m not building new decks that often, which is somewhat a function of having my mind in RPGs and BattleTech or, even, Shadowfist.  That I don’t expect to play against a variety of decks helps dampen my enthusiasm for building new stuff.

First thing is that we probably need to get on a more regular schedule.  Second thing is to get back into deckbuilding mode to have some enthusiasm for playing my decks – I don’t think I have a single deck I want to play.

While it never happens to the degree it should, publicly posted analysis out of the NAC might have gotten me more interested in playing.  I just don’t get why people don’t feel inclined to write about their experiences and offer their observations after major tournaments.  That should be the point of greatest interest in writing something.  Sure, WoN, conventions, whatever are exhausting, but, then, you just rest for a while before posting something.  While the World Cup analogy doesn’t hold, we just had one of our most notable international events, and I have virtually no takeaway from it.

Of course, a goal could be to plan next year so that we head to Origins as a group (which would pretty much be the only way I could generate sufficient motivation to go).


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