I Am Yu Law!

Congratulations to Travis Flaman for his win! Table composition at the finals seemed fun and can be read about here: http://groups.google.com/group/rec.games.trading-cards.jyhad/browse_thread/thread/69a435830e66249a#

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Motivated by Potence: Codex of the Edenic Groundskeepers Edmonton Tournament

With potence combat decks at the ready, twelve methuselahs competed in the Potencious Combatathon Storyline Tournament. Unfortunately I thought the tournament was the Codex of the Edenic Groundskeepers not the “who can be the most boring potence combat player” tournament. In any case, below are the tournament results and my own personal tournament report which is mostly me just making blunders in a manner most unpotent.

Round 1

Thomas Solway (Osebo preternatural strength potence aye) bleeding Travis Flaman (Brujah potence) bleeding Jason Campbell (Giovanni bruise bleed potence) bleeding me (Toreador celerity guns)

Being the only methuselah playing Motivated by Knowledge as opposed to Gehenna, I knew I was in for a treat. The table was mostly a “red smear” with little emphasis on bleeds, with the exception of Jason who bled me for three a couple times. Otherwise there was a lot of rushing, blocking, and minions getting dunked and rescued. Thanks to Jason Campbell rescuing Thomas’s minion, Travis having diablerized the other, Thomas managed to stay in the game and rebuild while Jason Campbell being janked from both sides, fought to keep his minions alive. The game then froze up after a while with Thomas Mbare Marketting down and not taking any actions, Travis tentatively rushing, Jason rescuing his minions, and me cycling. With a few one point bleeds, Travis sank Jason, then proceeded to rush me while saying that I should weaken Thomas because he’s just going to sit there and then attack while I give no pressure. I thought this was odd since I wasn’t sure how to weaken Thomas if my resources were going to defending myself from Travis. In any case the end result was with like 38 seconds left, I asked Thomas what presence bleed modifiers existed as Travis was bleeding with his guys for one and plinking away my pool. The only one he could provide was Aire of Elation, so I, being the idiot that I am, declined to block figuring I’d still have a couple of pool left and the game would go to time on my turn. What I should have done was block one bleed anyway just because it was the safe thing to do or stall out my decision to time. Not wanting to be a dick however, I simply declined the block and took the Iron Glare and was ousted.  To be honest, that was pretty much the shittiest way to get ousted, lack of card knowledge, but I’ll bitch about that in another entry.

Winner: My celerity gun Pursuit combat which trumped all combat in the match but somehow made me still wary of entering fights, and in a more tangible way, Travis and Iron Glare

Loser: Me presuming that in thousands of cards, not every discipline has the potential to do anything

Honorable Mention: Roy Kim for being the best host for these events

Round 2

Jason Switner (Ishtarri vote with Remnant of the Endless Storm) bleeding Peter the Jacket (Ventrue Keepers Starter) bleeding Ryan Hatman (Malkavian Keepers Starter) bleeding me

This match was one of the worst matches I’ve had in a while. If I recall correctly, in the last four tournament games I’ve played, three of them have been with a Malkavian predator. I have a hard time deciding if I hate stealth bleed or potence combat more, but by the end but that was pretty much all I saw. In my starting crypt I drew no superior celerity minions, and was faced at one point with three Malks to my three Tors, with no intercept. I drew two sets of Concealed Weapon and .44 Magum, and managed to draw into three rushes.  My pool was already low so I rushed his minion with the Codex who had already nailed me for like five, but was blocked by some other doofus. So I rushed again, and took her down to 0 blood. Good enough since she’d have to hunt the next turn, but he still had one guy who I called a doofus earlier with all three disciplines at superior, so I cycled desperately for another .44 Magnum since I had the rush and a Concealed Weapon in my hand. Four blood later from my Motivation, and a few other cycles and no luck. I rushed in desperation, cycled a Pursuit, hoping for a press and a gun, but got neither, and so my game was over as Malkavians came across and ousted me for like a gazillion more than I had in the beginning. Regarding the rest of the match, it was Remnant beating guys up, Jay KRCing, and a couple large bleeds but nothing really crazy.

Winner: Me for eating like six Nanaimo bars after getting ousted while everyone was too busy to notice it. I also ate a lot of potato chips, licking my fingers each time I went back for more, which would have been gross except I ended up eating all of them

Loser: Inferior celerity which doesn’t give me the additional strikes I need to put a minion down

Honorable mention: Ryan who played a very simple, very effective stealth bleed, far better than I ever would have, and Jas who got her first tournament VP in her match

The end result? A fistful of promos and a free pack and going home early. I have no idea who won but I’ll bet it was one of the seven potence combat decks that were in the tourney. Seriously, so lame.

Guy From Twilight For Imperator

In any case, imperator nominations huh? Man do they suck. If you haven’t seen them they’re here: http://docs.google.com/Doc?id=dd9c4k6p_5dvgjcgdb. It strikes me as odd, coming from a background in other CCGs like L5R, that nobody really rallied a clan into voting for a unified decision on the message boards. Most people in L5R are fanatic about winning storylines and start campaigning and doing all kinds of weird stuff to get votes for their clan or character when determining the results of storyline tournaments. I have a feeling that Karsh will win simply because the Gangrel loyalists all have to vote for the same guy, or not because they need the highest wins as a clan. Most of the votes are wasted votes for either a) lame characters, or b) characters who wouldn’t benefit as much because they already have votes or an experienced version.

Also, you can tell some people are just nominating guys who they think are cool but aren’t because for them it’d be neat if some lamewad held the title, a scenario which wouldn’t happen if a talented writer or designer had their way. Like “huh huh it’d be sweet if some guy who’d never be imperator was imperator.” I swear, if people had the option of making the Sabbat Regent imperator, they’d vote for him or her ‘cause it’s dumb but they’d think it was cool. I know it’s a game and that most people see the characterization and flavor as secondary to mechanics and math, but it’s like writing a movie like Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever, which doesn’t make sense. It doesn’t make sense why anyone would make that movie. This is why most people are untalented and don’t write books or design games. People would constantly be like, “wtf? Why is doofus suddenly the enforcer for the Camarilla when there’s absolutely no good explanation as to why he would be?” The answer? To make things difficult for the fiction team and also because it’s a crappy idea that is cool but only if you think feces is cool. Yes it is based on personal opinion and taste. The lesson ultimately is that they still played well so they did earn the right to put in their vote.

Rise of the Imperatornament

On Sunday, May 3rd, we had the Imperator Tournament and man was it something. It reminded me of one of those awkward situations, the kind where you are playing a game with an ill-conceived deck, and don’t do well.

Because you love it, here’s a quick rundown of my two games.

First round, Travis Flaman (Brujah Bundi) bleeding Shawn Zinyk (Malkavians with Flamethrowers) bleeding Aaron “Glasses” (Malkavian politic) bleeding me (Toreador non-oust wall)

Basically Travis got Bundis, punched Shawn into Torpor while Aaron bled me for lots. I walled up and torpored Aaron’s guys, basically handing Travis the game although I did block like four of five bleed attempts on the last round of play and managed to really hurt his Brujah with my one star vamp Eugene, before he finally finished off what Aaron had started. My one other vampire who I had to flip three extra crypt for since my only other starting vamp was antitribu and Aaron had some guy who bled for one extra if his prey controlled an antitribu, was Tyler McGill and he spent the game under a Toreador’s Bane. It was fun.

Winner: Travis having lots of minions with weapons

Loser: Malkavians because they are weak against weapons

Honorable Mention: Eugene who torpored more minions than anyone else

Second round, Jason Switner (Triple A) bleeding Travis Flaman bleeding Jason Campbell (Brujah politic fight) bleeding Jonathan Puckrin (Malkavian Bleed) bleeding me.

Jason S. and Jason C. cast votes while everyone on the table tried siding with one or the other. Due to a Lutz on my right I tried to vote fail a lot with Kateline Nadasdy and intercept, but it was constant political actions by the Jasons and my prey was Toreador Grand Baller. The Brujah skirmished a bit, I didn’t really block the Malks much, and due to a poorly conceived wall deck with too many moving parts, no gun drawn for over half my deck, and no real ousting mechanism, I ended up letting Jason S. build. Two Fear of Mekhets also stirred things up a bit. The only thing that kept me in the game was managing to torp Lutz on a block with a sniper rifle when he had an improvised flamethrower attached. Things really got heated toward the end of the game but resulted in a timeout with no ousts.

Winner: The game itself which was quite fun

Loser: Me getting bled for five, losing a pool after each successful referendum played, and having a Malkavian predator in two games

Honorable Mention: Kateline Nadasdy whose ability was sick

The end result found here: http://groups.google.com/group/rec.games.trading-cards.jyhad/browse_thread/thread/a729d861cee0e23f# is that Thomas Solway with his Crocodile’s Tongue Anneke deck took first place and he nominated Anneke.

You’re Boring… Stop Boring Me

It’s been a couple months since Keepers of Tradition has hit and here’s what I’ve learned so far.

1. Don’t argue with guys on the newsgroup about Nosferatu art. They think the reapers from Blade II are sexy (http://moviechutzpah.files.wordpress.com/2008/07/blade-2-reaper.jpg) and would rather have a unibrow muppet with heart-shaped eyes as a Nosferatu than something that doesn’t suck. They can also be self-absorbed, thinking everyone should agree with them, and they won’t respect your opinions, often stating that you are simply wrong. This is because they have shitty taste in most likely everything, and if you disagree with having crappy art, you shouldn’t take them seriously by acknowledging they said anything, and should ignore them like you would a little child, whenever they post.

2. Everyone hates Josef Von Bauren, and with good cause! It’s because he- wait for it- sucks. He’s the card equivalent of guys who like crappy Nosferatu art… big and attention-craving and insubstantial.

3. People really wanted Deflection reprinted. But apparently, according to the reasons suggested in cryptic hermetical riddle, it was not reprinted because they were able to get new art for some cards but no one would draw a new picture for Deflection. Which makes sense if you think about it, but I wouldn’t bother.

4. Enkil Cog was selling for 30 some dollars on ebay. That’s a lot of money for a card that may not come up in an 80 to 90 card deck and will rarely win you games simply by playing it. Games that may or may not have prize support equaling 30 some dollars.

5. The new cards should appear in higher frequency because you get the same amount of those commons as you do rares in a box making those commons practically rare.

Next post, I’ll feature a weekly Crappy Card of the Week review, which may be only a one time occurrence.

 

Keepers Of Radition: Post-Release Draft Tournament

The preamble goes here but it’d be even more boring than the rest of this post, a feat which is impossible, thereby explaining the lack of a preamble that defies any possibility.

 

November 19th 2008

 

Round 1

 

Jasmine Do (Toreador) bleeding Cory Hruschka (Ventrue) bleeding Robyn Malkavian (Malkavian) bleeding Kourch Chan (Brujah) bleeding me (Malkavian)

 

I know what you’re thinking… Malkavian stealth bleed? How can he lose? A combination of poor playing ability, not drafting to win, and bad seating is the answer. I thought that I could just stealth bleed my way to a VP or two and man was I wrong. I drafted mainly things I wanted for actual decks I like playing and building instead, but even then our table had two Malk decks so we were probably splitting resources in the drafted packs when I actually did take something useful. I’m going to break it down for you like this… Kourch torpored three of my vamps. So I went to play DC vs. Mortal Kombat. Have you seen this thing? MK has not changed in like a decade. Graphics are better, but the playstyle is essentially the same. Robyn got ousted fairly quick after, so I cheaped her out with some repeated Green Lantern hammer strikes while she was down, and spammed Sub-Zero ice clones with overall good playstyle. It was beautiful. I don’t remember who she used because it didn’t matter since they all spent their time getting hit and not doing any moves. In one player against the computer when I first started, everyone was all like, you won’t beat Darkseid, or the other boss, and I did. They didn’t even win a match.

 

Oh yeah and then I went back to the table where Kourch, being able to only bleed for 1 a turn hadn’t ousted me yet, so I was still in the game but not because I couldn’t get past Jas’s minions. But not for long because after I wasted some more transfers on another vampire, Cory ousted him, I, and Jas in that order. It was gross. It was the equivalent of me knocking down Robyn’s whichever character and then keeping him down with repeated hits while down, a horrible flaw with no apparent fix.

 

Winner: Cory and Sub-Zero

Loser: Whoever Robyn picked

Honorable Mention: Robyn for the solid effort

 

Round 2

 

Jason Switner (Toreador) bleeding John Logan (Brujah) bleeding Jason Campbell (Ventrue) bleeding Cory Hruschka (Ventrue) bleeding me

 

I tried to bargain some Kindred Spirits bleeds if Jason S. would prevent some KRCs from hitting me, which he did, but it wasn’t much. I was ousted pretty fast. I apparently have no idea how to pare down a stealth bleed deck to just stealth and bleed. Ultimately the rest is a blur, but somehow Jason S. eeked out a win against Cory. There was a lot of being helpless on both mine and John Logan’s ends, with Jason C. and his non-Ventrue entourage being a little incontroversial.

 

Winner: Jason S.

Loser: Me

Honorable Mention: Birthday cake

 

Final

 

John Logan rushed backwards to allow Jay to oust Thomas, who swept his two games with his Malkavians in a manner most boring I’m sure. At least he knows how to play it. In any case the win went to Jason who tends to win at draft. That and having his birthday around that time so Roy brought us cake seems to be what he’s good at I think, so no surprises.

 

Winner: Jason S.

Loser: Everyone else

Honorable Mention: Everyone who bowed out of the finals to avoid a horrendous beating

Seventh Tradition: Don’t Suck

The new set has been out for a while now, so I’m sure everyone’s had the chance to take a look at the cards, maybe even test them out. The newsgroup has been flustered with opinions on reprints and lack thereof, saying things like “What? No Deflection?” or “What? No Parity Shift?” but overall I think the response has been positive. Coming from a strict Camarilla proponent, this set was the golden child, the one that could do no wrong short of being printed with reverse backs or cut poorly with serrated edges.

 

I agree that Parity Shift would have been great because it’s such a rocking card, but that said, the set has plenty of money rares: the Unmasking (which I don’t particularly need), Hearts of Nizchetus and of the City, Jake Washington, and Ghoul Retainer to name a few. Except for Ghoul Retainer which sucks and is only a money rare if feces is the widely-accepted legal tender. The other rares range from okay to garbage and I say this kindly because there is nothing worse rare-wise than drawing a Sengir Dagger which is fixed in the Brujah deck and is also found in the 3rd Edition Brujah Antitribu deck. How many of those, or Ivory Bows, do I need? Zero because I don’t use them. But even if you do, they shouldn’t have been wasting pack space.

 

The new cards however are pound for pound worth every cent. Due to the distribution being too good, I found I only got one copy of even the commons in a box, which is disappointing because older players will be after these more than the reprints. I wish they had increased the ratio of new cards to old which basically puts my golden child comment to invalid. It’s somewhat lame that I can increase my already expansive collection of Kine Resources Contested which appear in multiples in several precon decks, instead of drawing more new cards. These commons are as rare as rares. Thank goodness for ebay.

 

The new rares are awesome. The new uncommons too. Villein will probably replace Minion Tap, which again sucks because I only pulled one in my box. Uncommons are as rare as rares. I would rather have another Villein or three than some of the crappy rares I got.

 

In terms of the flattening of disciplines, I have to agree this seems to be the case. Celerity now has a stealth bleed or enter combat card. Obfuscate and celerity both have combat ends which makes sense thematically and creatively, but breaks the lines of what the disciplines traditionally do. Fortitude has intercept now as well. Thaumaturgy has damage prevention. I’m not sure whether I like this or not. A little toolbox is nice, but I hope that every clan is not able to do everything. There should be differences and weaknesses because that’s what makes the clans fun or unique to make decks around.

 

The only other comments I have regard the crypt, which have some amazing and not broken minions, and the artwork, which is some of the best I’ve seen. Not all, but most. Gracetius looks like TinTin, Kindred Spirits is hack, and there’s a few others that beg the question WTF?, but overall it’s good. Aside from a couple boring cards like Rafael de Corazon with very unoriginal abilities, the set has some great new vamps, and most have very nice artwork. They even snuck in a little T&A sans A (read: Gabrielle di Righetti). I’m not sure how they got away with that one, but I’m not a conservative naysayer from an old English aristocracy of tongue-cluckings and chidings who is overly concerned with keeping up appearances that belie a harmless and perverted underbelly. It is a good card. I also really like Repair the Undead Flesh and Coterie Tactics art-wise. Just in case you were wondering and couldn’t stop.

 

That’s pretty much it. I’m sure everyone has differing views on most of this, but you can find those on different blogs that nobody reads either.

 

Next up… Keepers of Tradition Launch Event!