One of the things we talked about today was marketing V:TES. I have the same boring ideas that anyone can come up with for marketing niche CCGs: have a presence at local conventions – all of the ones that matter; social media or any sort of media; focus on demos and getting new players in; reward volunteers … and players; emphasize a calendar of events (hopefully having events on the calendar).
V:TES can’t do a lot of things because of the lack of rights. But, the way we get into these situations with niche CCGs is because there’s not enough focus on bringing in new players and reminding people that the game is still being played.
So, Thursday, we had three quick games of Shadowfist. Just team play with Mooks and Sacred Grounds.
Ray (Dragon guns) -> Ian (Ascended Transformed) -> Justin (Hoods) -> Joren (Lotus) -> Don (200 Architects/Ascended with Hatchets and Ladders)
I got out fast enough with Fistful of Dollars, suppressing some foundation types with Rat Clan Spies and Coyote Clan Scavengers protected by The Iron Palace. Cobra Clan Stalkers gets me a burn for power, and Don Bites me. Undeterred, I keep swinging on stuff …
Justin is beaten down from both directions. I keep killing his hoods with annoying abilities. Joren doesn’t play a whole lot, he couldn’t draw hitters when he had power. Don’s deck played out the usual dorks – Cabinet Minister, Chi Sucker, to go with foundations. Ray put out Senoritas who got an Elephant Gun and a Cop on the Edge.
… So, I had the power and just enough sketchy fighting to be bolstered by Don’s sketchy fighting to make a bid for victory. I swung on Ray’s stuff throwing Hydrophobia on the Cop on the Edge and Embrace of the Snake on Senoritas as I claimed his Nine Dragon Temple. Since nobody had any tricks, I put out Grey Mountain and Don and I won.
Justin (Hoods) -> Ian (Hand Chi) -> Joren (Jammers) -> Don (??) -> Ray (Purists)
Ray did get off a Math Bomb to wipe most of Justin’s characters, but it was too little. Don and Ray battled, though I can’t recall what Don was doing, something that involved attacking Ray’s Mathemagicians. Joren had every reason to help Justin, so there was little I could do to protect myself.
Justin (Hoods) -> Ray (Architects/Ascended) -> Ian (Sea + Dragons) -> Don (Syndicate) -> Joren (Jammers)
Don didn’t get as much of a start as he usually does. He Reprogramminged my Average Jane and Justin’s Hired Bodyguard. Joren did get a bunch of things into play. Ray put out a Plasma Trooper, then another, a Femme Fatale, and a G-Man to move continously to victory with Joren.
What was the most notable thing? I didn’t have any new decks, nor the time before. I’m being really bad about allotting time for Shadowfist decks, figuring I’ll do it at the last minute, then being too tired to do more than drag myself out of the house.
I have some thoughts on ways to play good cards in less than optimal ways. I also can just keep focusing on a particular card or group of cards, as that has gotten me to have a couple Ascended decks I don’t hate.
Only four players today. Well, on the plus side, I did put together two decks this morning, one I had started before the previous session, the other a discipline combination I hadn’t tried(?) before.
David (unnamed) -> Brandon (!Salubri) -> Ian (Ani/Nec) -> Brett (demo Brujah)
I played this really badly. I could have probably lasted 30+ minutes longer if I had used Julio Martinez’s ability rather than Cat’s Guidance for intercept. Then, I keep not cycling in decks that badly need pool gain. I spent 2 on Heidelberg, 9 on Julio, 7 on Babalawo, 1 on Zillah’s Valley, had some on Carmine Giovanni, sucked a bounced bleed from The unnamed and took four pool damage from Brandon for the kill.
I did slow Brett down a bit, which only made his game that much harder. He kept running into Unleash Hell’s Furys. Brandon got Brett eventually, I wasn’t paying a lot of attention, so I didn’t track the endgame.
I did read my generic Tri-Stat RPG book and decided that I’d rather use Champions for my next idea. I keep trying to think of something less crunchy than Champions for a superheroesque game, and I keep failing.
Brandon (EuroBrujah) -> Brett (demo Gangrel) -> Ian (Stealth Muse) -> David (Salubri)
Being third, I put one counter on Evan Klein, one on Antoine the Lost, and one on Persia. Florentina was my fourth play. I didn’t have much to worry about until the Gangrel started bleeding more heavily. Brandon kept getting punked by aggropoke. David brought out Matthew, who got Pentexed, then emptied in torpor from The Death of My Conscience. Serenna also took some beats. Only one Spirit Marionette stole anybody, to my dismay.
But, I got out Laptops. I got out a Childling Muse, and who can stop the power of a Childling Muse? Not my prey who got six pool from Brandon’s DI self-oust. Not Gangrel. Really, it’s only defeatist play that stopped the standard Childling Muse sweep.
Brett’s working on demo decks for a private demo he’s doing.
We went to the ramen place for lunch. I got curry rice, which was good. Bit tired of the curry ramen.
Ian (Ani/Nec) -> Brandon (Blood Brothers Kiev) -> Brett (Toreador) -> David (Celerity)
David got beaten down enough and lacked a key vampire that my victory was put down to having no predator. Pshaw, once I don’t do stupid stuff, the true power of getting stealthed by by a Blood Brother when I play Spectral Divination and Cat’s Guidance for intercept from an Animalismic Marino Reymundo Vasquez was presented.
Marino bled constantly. His buddy Eze did some bleeding but also Chair of Hadesed away a 2-cap. Eze rushed a BB, but those BBs – he Earth Melded. Tammy Walenski also rushed and got Earth Melded.
While David Fast Handsed Brett’s gun, Brett diablerized to get it back. I Terror Frenzied one time and Canine Horded the next time. I only bothered with an Eze Trochomancy, never getting Brandon at the right amount for Marino to double superior his way to Archon land. With Brandon at 2 and Brett at 1 (having survived Walks of Caine with Telepathic Counter and bounce), I bled them out.
As was usual, BB untapped a lot, got blood on uncontrolled guys, yet still got ousted.
Three different people came by and were surprised that anyone still played V:TES. It’s just so hard for me to relate. Once I do something, I just keep doing it until some external force stops it, like not having anybody to play with.
I find Shadowfist rather clunky, not just the timing but the nature of how you win, but I don’t have strong opinions on how good it is. For all that there are some obnoxious plays, V:TES just plays well. While there are many more decks I could build for Shadowfist, I can still do new things with V:TES. Sometimes, some of my awkward decks are just really fun, suiting my interests in a game. That Ani/Nec deck, while I can’t play it in a tournament as it has Aid from Bats, Carrion Crows, and Deep Song in it, just entertains me in ways like the “sure, my guy has AUS, but I’m going to use Necromancy to try to block that, followed by Animalism” way.
CCGs can be fun, if you let them.