The Gaming Den Forum Index The Gaming Den
Welcome to the Gaming Den.
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

Google
 Search WWW   Search tgdmb.com 
Anatomy of Failure: VTES

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    The Gaming Den Forum Index -> In My Humble Opinion...
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
FrankTrollman
Serious Badass


Joined: 07 Mar 2008
Posts: 27025

PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2017 10:15 am    Post subject: Anatomy of Failure: VTES Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Longes wrote:
I'll admit that I'm very interested in hearing about Vampire card game. It seemed interesting, but getting enough people to actually play it on tabletop simulator is impossible.


Sure.

Let's talk about Jyhad er... Vampire: The Eternal Struggle.

So the elephant in the room of this game is that the originally called it "Jyhad" on the grounds that that was the stupid made-up-word that Rein*Hagen insisted on using for the eternal struggle of elder vampires and younger vampires. Turns out that in a post-Gulf War environment where people are increasingly cognizant of the Arab speaking parts of the world, that's really offensive. Who knew?!

Anyway, right about the time of the Sabbat expansion, WotC became another victim of political correctness and renamed their game - having to change the card backs and giving everyone a Sad! And while the Sabbat expansion was certainly neat in a lot of ways and did make the game better, it did not overcome many of the core problems with the game which were there from the beginning. So we're going to be talking about the first set for the most part.

So the concept of the game is that you're an impossibly old vampire struggling it out with other impossibly old vampires through minions doing extremely abstract things to hurt each other's plans. The game had two major innovations: the first was that you started with almost all the resources you were ever going to get and everything most just burned down rather than building up, and the second was that the game was inherently multiplayer. A player started with 30 points in their pool to put minion vampires and stuff into play with, and lost the game when that pool emptied. You got points towards final victory when the person to your left lost the game just as the person to your right scored for your losing the game. As the table shrunk, each player always had one predator and one prey, until there was just two players standing and then they were both predator and prey for each other.

You have two decks. The first is your Crypt deck, which is composed just of Vampires. At the beginning of the game you get 4 face down vampires. Every turn you can transfer up to 4 of your pool onto your vampires, and they come into play when they have as much pool as they have blood capacity. Then their blood capacity is their hit points but also a currency they can use to use some of their own powers that come from your action deck.

Your action deck gives you a hand of seven cards that mostly represent actions or powers used by your minions. You draw a replacement card every time you use a card from your hand. While many cards cost pool from you or blood from your minions, the real cost of any action card is the time it spends cluttering up your hand before it gets used. That is, a card that can only be used in a rare situation is an expensive card because it shrinks your hand for a long time, while a card that can be used in a common situation is a cheap card because it cycles quickly. Much of the strategy of the game involves denying your opponent the chance to use their cards, thus slowing their card flow to a crawl.

So let's get to the first big problem in the game: Expensive Vampires are shit.

The basic action you can perform with a minion is to "bleed" your prey. That is, you attack their interests in non non-specific way and if they don't intercept with one of their minions and start a fight they lose one of their pool and you get the Edge. This is very unimpressive, but it's better than nothing (which is what you'd get if you had no minion), and to use any of the cool political actions or bleed modifiers or ally recruitment cards you have in your hand requires a minion to do the dirty work. So the difference between a 2 cost vampire and a 10 cost vampire would have to be fucking titanic. The 2 cost vampire comes out in half a turn and the 10 cost vampire won't be out there for 3 turns. And the ten cost vampire costs five times as much even disregarding the lag time of getting them into play at all. As it happens, the actual conversion is that a 10 coster is maybe twice as good as a 2 coster. It's not directly comparable and of course there are ways it's exactly as good and ways it's massively better, but the important part is that it falls massively short on being good enough to justify the higher cost and longer entering play delays.



So let's talk about what this character actually does. First of all, just having a cost of 10 also gives her 10 hit points, so in the world of infinite slap fights she's fine. You don't live in that world, so it's largely irrelevant. The second thing you note is that she has various discipline symbols in squares or diamonds. In order to play actions, maneuvers, action modifiers, reactions, or special cards that trigger off magic vampiric disciplines, you need to have a minion that has that discipline. And if that discipline symbol is in a diamond, you can use the super mode (for some cards, the super mode is just getting +1 to the effect of whatever it was already doing, but sometimes it gives you whole new ways of using the card).

But here's the big issue: you design your deck. You are not going to put cards into your deck that you can't consistently use. Lucretia "has" six disciplines, but she only meaningfully has those disciplines that you have cards for in your deck. And since you are probably only going to base your deck around 2-4 disciplines, the fact that she has six disciplines on the card means you are necessarily paying for disciplines that your deck isn't going to use. Lucretia could go into a Nosferatu themed deck (Potence, Animalism, Obfuscation), or she could go into a deck that was a bit more Brujah themed with the fact that she has Potenence and Celerity. But if you just wanted someone with basic Potence and basic Celerity, you could get that off a 3 cost vampire.

In essence, every high cost vampire was paying for the priviledge of being somewhat playable in decks that weren't yours. And that naturally meant that they weren't playable in any deck.

The next thing I need to talk about is the three main strategies: Bleed, Politics, and Combat. Of those three, only Combat has much use for bigger vampires, and even then anything bigger than 7 is a waste of your fucking time.

The Bleed strategy spams minions and uses powers like Dominate or Presence to increase the bleeding. Usually it uses stealth to avoid combat. It is a fast strategy that will eliminate its prey quickly when it works.

The Political strategy uses a few votes to vote itself more votes and then hogs the political stage and then uses a bunch of votes that drain their prey of pool. It's a fast strategy, and can interfere constructively or destructively if there are other political decks at the table. The game tries to sell you on the idea of big expensive vampires for a political deck by giving small numbers of votes to expensive vampires, but this is "fucking retarded" and the actual political deck is a bunch of 1-3 cost vampires gibbering in the night.

The combat strategy involves direct attacks, big low-stealth bleeds, or high intercept blocks to get into fights and then uses a bunch of combat cards to destroy enemy minions. Once predator and prey have been stripped of acting vampires, the combat deck closes the deal. This strategy is slow as... a slow thing.

The obvious issue is that the table effects are really massive. If you're playing a slower deck and there's a Malkavian rush bleed deck on the far side of the table with some weaker players between them and you, they are going to tear through the table and get themselves a winning pile of points before you can do shit about it. If two political decks spend their first bunch of turns stopping each other from getting their praxis seizures on the board, it's possible that both decks can be pretty much paralyzed all game. The setup can in short be incredibly unfair and result in a pretty much telegraphed game that will still take 3 fucking hours to play out.

Another issue is that a lot of cards fit into pretty much no strategy. The top end of all the vampires are pretty much completely useless, but even at the low and medium end it's not entirely clear why you'd want a character with just basic Thaumaturgy or basic Fortitude. Those don't really do anything.

-Frank


Last edited by FrankTrollman on Sat Jan 21, 2017 10:19 am; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
OgreBattle
King


Joined: 03 Sep 2011
Posts: 5048

PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2017 2:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

The way you start with flipped creatures which determine what your hand can play sounds like a way to do a fun Pokemon card game
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
FrankTrollman
Serious Badass


Joined: 07 Mar 2008
Posts: 27025

PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2017 3:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

So the first thing you realize while making a deck is that the different disciplines aren't remotely balanced. They aren't balanced conceptually, and they aren't balanced in terms of effect. The second thing you notice is that the Clans aren't balanced either. In this game Dominate (make your unblocked bleed actions bigger) and Obfuscate (make your actions harder to block) go together like chocolate and peanut butter while Potence (do more damage to enemy minions when your actions are blocked) and Obfuscate (make your actions harder to block) go together like chocolate and hamburger.

And yet... this is surprisingly OK. Since you make your deck and you get to choose the actions you undertake based on what is in your hand, it is possible to make hybrid strategies and use disciplines only for very narrow things. The classic Malkavian Bleed deck used Obfuscate exclusively for a couple of action modifier cards that increased the stealth of an action. There were other Obfuscate cards that let you play weapons without taking separate equip actions and shit, but the Malkavian bleed deck did not give a second fuck about any of those cards.

So you have a discipline like Potence. Literally all it does it give you strikes that do a lot of damage. That is the entire discipline. But that's OK in the larger scheme of things. There are decks that want that effect, and it matters whether Vampires have Potence for deck building considerations, and there are decks that don't want that effect and the Potence or lack thereof on any particular Vampire are identical states. You're only going to want cards that do things in a couple of situations that you can consistently arrange to occur so that you can consistently cycle your cards and keep getting positive effects.

What it really comes down to is that you can't do everything that all the disciplines of your primary clan can do. You can't even do everything that the disciplines your specific vampires actually have can do. You can do what the cards in your fucking deck do, and even then only if the vampries you've drawn have the appropriate disciplines. Which of course means that more expensive vampires having more disciplines usually doesn't make them any better in any actual deck, but instead makes them usable at all in more different decks. Which is very much like paying a deckbuilding tax when trying to combo disciplines from different clans. But more complicated and not clearly spelled out anywhere.

Presence does a lot of things. It can make your bleeds better, it can push your votes through, it can let you escape from combats that have been inflicted on you. It kinda does it all. But Dominate is basically a better discipline for decks that care about Dominate because it has slightly better Bleed modifiers. And while it doesn't do all that other stuff, if your deck wouldn't be able to consistently play those effects it's just wasted space in your hand.

So you end up with a game where there are 10 disciplines and you can potentially be making decks that use 2 to 4 of them, making the theoretical limit of decks like 435 even before noting that Presence Bleed can be a pretty different playstyle than Presence Votes. But of course the number of viable strategies was way less than that. Because your deck needed a win condition. And your deck needed to have access to affordable vampires with the discipline combinations you intended to use. And when WotC noticed that they created non-standard win conditions they ruthlessly errataed them out of existence. Seriously.



This is Army of Rats. It is the only card that works like this, and represents an alternate strategy for victory. There's no card limit in Vampire, so you could in fact have a Nosferatu/Gangrel rat spam deck that just had a metric shit tonne of rat armies in the deck and put multiple rat armies into play every turn instead of bleeding or proposing votes and had a growing damage to their prey each turn. When it worked it was pretty impressive because if you beat your prey you'd immediately go to the next target with like 5 rats in play and your sewer conquest would be fully mobilized immediately. And because of the lack of card limits, you could simply have like 10 Rat Armies and the fact that there were zero other cards in Animalism or any other discipline that contributed to this win condition in any direct manner was simply unimportant. So naturally WotC flipped their shit that people were playing the game "wrong" and errated it:



The subtle difference is that since the errataed version can't ever do more than 1 bleed per turn, growing and maintaining your rat army is never worth doing. People can just ignore your fucking rats because they will never do enough to matter. And therefore there is no Rat Strategy. Army of Rats, post errata, is simply not a victory condition.

-Frank


Last edited by FrankTrollman on Sat Jan 21, 2017 4:42 pm; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Koumei
Serious Badass


Joined: 07 Mar 2008
Posts: 12769
Location: South Ausfailia

PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2017 4:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

FrankTrollman wrote:
So the first thing you realize while making a deck is that the different disciplines aren't remotely balanced. They aren't balanced conceptually, and they aren't balanced in terms of effect. The second thing you notice is that the Clans aren't balanced either.


True to V:tM then.

Quote:
This is Army of Rats. It is the only card that works like this, and represents an alternate strategy for victory.


It's weird that they ruined that one, because "army of rats" sounds just fine as a name for the very real WoD problem where no PC or "great big statted out fairly generated creature" is as dangerous as twelve armed toddlers. And with that being a thing that works (in V:tM), it be grand to see that be a proper strategy in the card game.
_________________
Count Arioch the 28th wrote:
There is NOTHING better than lesbians. Lesbians make everything better.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
angelfromanotherpin
King


Joined: 07 Mar 2008
Posts: 7384

PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2017 4:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Yeah, they could have properly simulated the V:TM experience of the unintentional results of poorly-written rules, by just declaring the card officially 'gauche' and 'roll-player' but not actually doing anything about it.
_________________
"Now that we've determined that up to π angels can dance on the head of a pin, how do we determine the specific number (or fraction) of angels dancing?"
"What if angels from another pin engage them in melee combat?"
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
FrankTrollman
Serious Badass


Joined: 07 Mar 2008
Posts: 27025

PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2017 5:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

So let's talk about Politics. A minion can propose a vote by playing the action card from their hand. Every vote starts with one vote in favor, and people get to vote once for each Primogen they have, twice for each Prince, and three times for each Justicar. And the big thing is that people can also discard other vote cards from their hand for a vote up or down.

Now first of all, this is completely fucking insane, because it means that a political deck can always just dump their hand to push past whatever incidental votes other players have. This in turn means that votes pretty much always work and start as +1 Stealth actions and it also means that Vote decks can pack their deck with weird situational vote cards like Peace Treaty because they can always cycle as many cards as they want whenever they want and also fuck you.

And then there's this:



So if you pass this vote, your minion then gets 2 votes on all future votes. And you can put a dude into play and then ram this through before anyone could possibly afford any of the vampires that naturally have any votes. So obviously that is what you do.

This voting system is so obviously and extremely broken that the community made a new rule that vote cards discarded for votes don't get replaced until the end of the turn. Which at the very least kept vote decks from having extremely perfect hand filtering.

Anyway, while there are a bunch of votes that do things that are extremely specialized or essentially useless, the core vote package is that there are political actions where you just straight up vote to make players lost a shit tonne of pool.



What this means is that political decks remove other players from the game pretty fucking fast if and only if they can ram their proposals through. So the usual system is to ram through some early votes to just have extra votes and then vote that your prey fucking dies.

Note however that if two vote decks are seated next to each other that one of them will be spending all their time proposing votes to kill the other and both will spend every resource at their disposal in stopping the other from getting any permanent votes on the board. It's quite likely that one or both will be unable to pass fucking anything, leaving them to have weeny slap fights with +0 stealth bleeds for one or something equally lame. Basically neither will do jack to the other and the rest of the table will consolidate and eventually kill them both. On the other hand, if two vote decks are on the oppoiste sides of the table they can high five each other and include each other's prey in the doom votes and consolidate the table to just each other in a right hurry.

It's an essentially overpowered strategy, but one which also randomly fails in a way that makes the entire table have a bad time with unfortunate regularity if more than one person tries to jump in on it.

-Frank
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
FrankTrollman
Serious Badass


Joined: 07 Mar 2008
Posts: 27025

PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2017 10:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Let's talk about Expansion.

The first expansion produced some European cities and two new Clans: the Giovanni and the Ravnos. Each one had a new discipline with a few cards in it that did weird shit. Necromancy mostly had cards that let you fuck around with the discard pile (which otherwise did not happen in the game), and Chimerstry had some bad stealth cards and some really weird actions.


Like, super weird.

The big thing about Chimerstry and Necromancy is that they cost a lot of blood off your vampires to use, which means you needed bigger vampires to make use of them, which means you didn't have a path to victory because big vampires are a pile of ass.

The second expansion was Ancient Hearts, which had the Followers of Set and the Assamites. Serpentis was another "do weird shit" suit and so was Quietus, but both the Assamites and the Settites were a lot more playable because their other disciplines were Obfuscate and Celerity and Obfuscate and Presence respectively. Since those discipline combinations happen to be part of a balanced breakfast to do reasonable things (weapon combat for Obfuscate/Celerity and either Politics or Bleed for Obfuscate/Presence), those clans ended up being a lot more playable.

But the deal here is that the expansions were very much "flavor driven." Which is to say that there was no real attempt to create Ravnos vampires and Chimerstry cards such that they could actually make new viable decks or fit in as auxilliaries in an already existing deck. Which was very odd. The way the card drawing mechanics work, you're perfectly happy to run an entire discipline for one card if it's a card you're happy packing 8 of that you can use flippantly. And more generally you're totally in for a discipline that has a few versions of a single effect that you happen to be able to use frequently so that you have good card flow. Expansion material didn't have to do anything flashy or bizarre, it just had to create or synergize with a win condition.

But VtES never gave much consideration to what win conditions it even had. Instead it was all about writing up weird "flavorful" cards that you could play in casual games to fuck around with.



For example Temptation lets you spend one action and one blood off your minion to borrow one of your opponent's minions for one turn. There's some crazy stuff you can do with it in certain board states like having someone else's vampire diablerize a torpored vampire of their own. And you can snatch a minion in the middle of block declarations after they've boosted their intercept. And you can grab someone with equipment and have them give it to one of your other dudes. But the simple fact of the matter is that actions now are worth more than actions later. And actions taken by minions that have disciplines that match cards in your deck are worth more than actions taken by minions with disciplines that match cards in other players' decks. So outside funky board states that allow you to set up blowouts, this card's inherent effect is to spend one blood and one action and one card to buy a single worse action later in the game - assuming the game actually lasts long enough for you to get anything back from your investment at all.

Now one of the prime limiters on deck building was simply that the set of vampires was simply a limited set and it didn't have nearly enough random dudes to cover all the stuff you might want to have in your deck. So every time they made an expansion of any sort, they'd randomly print some more vampires and your constraints on minion management would be eased somewhat.



Isabel is a 3 cost Toreador with Advanced Auspex. Any deck that wanted to use Auspex in a big way (probably for the bleed redirection defense card, as that shut down many of the scariest decks) would like to have her in the Crypt deck. They didn't need to be Toreador - a Malkavian, Tremere, or Ventrue Antitribu themed deck could and therefore should use her. And she got printed in Ancient Hearts.

At the limit of infinite flavor expansions, eventually a lot of extra playable decks would shake out simply based on there being newly configured vampires you might want to use. But the total lack of vision as regards people making focused decks ensured that would be a long, uphill process.

-Frank
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Longes
Prince


Joined: 04 Nov 2013
Posts: 2507

PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2017 2:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

So was Jyhad any good? Does it hold up in play despite its flaws? Is it worth trying to assemble a group of chumps on the internet to play it?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Voss
Prince


Joined: 07 Mar 2008
Posts: 3687

PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2017 3:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Longes wrote:
So was Jyhad any good? Does it hold up in play despite its flaws? Is it worth trying to assemble a group of chumps on the internet to play it?


No. It was a novelty alternative to Magic on release (before the wave after wave of not-Magic games), and pretty much abandoned after the core set. Sure, someone could have bought the expansions, but there was no real reason to do so.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
mlangsdorf
Master


Joined: 06 Jun 2008
Posts: 214

PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2017 4:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I found it a fun enough game, but unless you're a huge fan of oWoD, it's probably not worth getting a group together. The basic set is incomplete for the reasons that Frank notes, and things get really weird as you add more expansions.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Lokey
Journeyman


Joined: 13 Oct 2015
Posts: 111

PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2017 5:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

We had some fun with it (found a store with a lot of cheap Sabbat and the following base-set), but what we played was pretty far afield from rules as written (which are horrible for the reasons above--introduce card limits by title, and call out when denial actions like the combat enders can be played to start).

This is just the first two years or so of the game, things get much, much worse.


Last edited by Lokey on Sun Jan 22, 2017 5:51 pm; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
FrankTrollman
Serious Badass


Joined: 07 Mar 2008
Posts: 27025

PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2017 8:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Longes wrote:
So was Jyhad any good? Does it hold up in play despite its flaws? Is it worth trying to assemble a group of chumps on the internet to play it?


There's two ways to play VtES. The first is to play it "casual style" where everyone agrees to play a weird mishmash of political actions, equipment, medium to big vampires, and whatever discipline powers you happen to have. That seems to be the market they were trying to go for. In this case, the game is a kind of flavorful way for six people to play a card game together. It generates decent table talk and is a good enough way to spend an afternoon.

It is fundamentally inferior as a multiplayer game to Shadowfist because players drop out one at a time instead of having one player declared the winner all at once. This is not very good for a game that can take 3 hours.

The second way to play VtES is to have people make constructed decks with focused strategies. Bleed, Politics, and Beatdown are all viable strategies, but most of the design space in the game is filled with weird durdle cards that have no place in any of those. And of course you're still playing a game that is pretty low tech as a multiplayer game. Better than playing EDH Magic, but only just.

Lokey wrote:
introduce card limits by title


That's horrible. Card limits by title ruins the game even harder because a lot of fulcrum strategy cards don't have functional reprints. So while there are 3+ Dominate cards that increase Bleed, there's only one Bum's Rush. Any limit you introduced on cards by title would completely fuck any beatdown deck that wasn't based on Intercept combat.

Basically nerfing Army of Rats was the worst thing that ever happened to that fucking game, and name based card limits is functionally doing exactly that to a bunch of random strategies. There's only two political actions that do decent damage, if your card limit is fierce enough, Malkavian Bleed is the only deck standing.

-Frank
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
JigokuBosatsu
Duke


Joined: 10 Aug 2010
Posts: 2313
Location: The Portlands, OR

PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2017 6:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I remember some of the lads trying to play at the nerdy lunch table in high school, but as I recall the primary use these cards got was in MET games, where if you had Majesty or something you would have the appropriate card pinned to your lapel so people knew what you had active.
_________________
Click here to see the hidden message (It might contain spoilers)

You can buy my books, yes you can.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
G‚tFromKI
Knight


Joined: 02 Sep 2011
Posts: 378

PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2017 9:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

FrankTrollman wrote:
There's two ways to play VtES. The first is to play it "casual style" where everyone agrees to play a weird mishmash of political actions, equipment, medium to big vampires, and whatever discipline powers you happen to have. That seems to be the market they were trying to go for. In this case, the game is a kind of flavorful way for six people to play a card game together. It generates decent table talk and is a good enough way to spend an afternoon.

"Collectible" and "casual" don't make for a great combination - there's a reason deck-building non-collectible card games like dominion were invented. Nightfall is far from perfect, but it's in every way better than casual Jyhad/ViTES.


Last edited by G‚tFromKI on Mon Jan 23, 2017 9:10 am; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Lokey
Journeyman


Joined: 13 Oct 2015
Posts: 111

PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2017 3:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

This was 20 years ago, INWO had the one with everything, I don't know what else there was. Besides, you could always easily get the commons and probably uncommons from the hardcore that bought box after box to get their 20th whatever.

------

Maybe there was more to our card limit rules/strong suggestions. Our goal was to avoid the games we saw played by people with access to whatever they wanted who tried to follow the rules, and that was horrible degenerate decks that were way less fun than you could have with a poker deck. And remember this is a few expansions in, you couldn't get enough stealth to beat auspex/animalism at that point (Tzimisce!). It was primarily to stop the Presence/Dominate combat denial, which even putting it pre-combat could easily get ridiculous...we liked to fight anyway, burning vamps was more fun than victory points.

There were more adjustments to how we played, but it made weenie horde less likely to succeed (since animalism untaps via at least two cards without blood).

So I can accept that from just what I said, there's certainly enough +stealth/+bleed to hose someone that depends on just a few cards to compete--votes would be the same, you don't care what city you're prince of but there's probably few mess with politics cards accessible to the sucky clans (lacking too much of animal, auspex, dom/presence, visc!!! or something else to get the ag damage in) Smile


Last edited by Lokey on Mon Jan 23, 2017 3:10 pm; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
FrankTrollman
Serious Badass


Joined: 07 Mar 2008
Posts: 27025

PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2017 7:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Card limits in Jyhad were an often floated idea but were fucking awful. The reality is that even after Sabaat came out the game was just massively incomplete. Some effects had large numbers of functional reprints with slightly different bonuses for having advanced disciplines, and other important effects appeared only a few times or even only once. Any card limit you imposed would randomly destroy otherwise viable decks and add nothing to the game.

The central problem is the card flow mechanic. It isn't like Magic where you can put a creature in play and then have it attack every turn until you win. You need to play a card every time one of your vampires punches someone. A deck that wants to punch people will not only need to start half a dozen fights or more at a cost of one card each, but also have to play a card or more for every punch thrown in those fights.

Rat decks are emblematic of this issue. Since putting up rats and keeping them around is your deck's entire win condition, you need to have a rat card a couple times a turn every turn for the entire time the game is under contention. Having ten rat cards in your deck is a bit short. The deck isn't degenerate because it plays a dozen copies of a single card - the entire game is incomplete because there aren't any functional reprints of the rat army.

There should be Army of Rats, Platoon of Pigeons, Cadre of Cockroaches and Pack of Mongrels that are all identical at Basic Animalism and give some different minor benefit at Advanced Animalism. And if you were really suave, you'd have some functionally similar cards in other disciplines to facilitate deck builds with different clans. And if all that infrastructure existed, you could go ahead and have card limits. But it didn't. Lots of strategies had key cards they were supposed to use every turn or even every action that there was only one named copy of.

-Frank
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Lokey
Journeyman


Joined: 13 Oct 2015
Posts: 111

PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2017 3:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I didn't want to go into depth about all disciplines are not created equal until you did. There's also the problem of the Jyhad we played wasn't what everyone else played. We did dabble in Shadowfist, but couldn't really keep track of the rules (brains too stuffed with Vamp houserules and L5R minutia). Have some thoughts if a thread on that shows up, may have actual cards to look at still as opposed to vamp or l5r Smile

We slowed down the flow because it took too long to figure out what was going on when you kept drawing cards even when you knew what your cards did. Some kind of begin/end turn and after combat deal...introduced scarcity in some interesting ways in our special snowflake Vamp games--although rapid card draw was a distinguishing feature of the game, so we might have erred to much there but it's arguable since you think the game is total shit... Which doesn't help a the base game is shitty thread.

I should probably go bump the l5r thread while I'm drinking...


Last edited by Lokey on Tue Jan 24, 2017 3:35 pm; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
FrankTrollman
Serious Badass


Joined: 07 Mar 2008
Posts: 27025

PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2017 12:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

The card flow of Jyhad is quite odd. Many strategies want to use a single card on an action. Many other strategies want to use a shit tonne of cards on their actions. The central conceit of the game is that small impact cards can be worth playing because cards are replaced as they are used. The cost of a card is not the spot in your deck like mtg, it's the time it takes before you have an excuse to use it. So in theory the fact that Telepathic Counter stops a bleed in one card while Bum's Rush plus maneuver plus strike plus press plus maneuver plus strike removes a bleeder in six cards doesn't invalidate the strategy that involves throwing cars at you.

Now in practice the chances of drawing your cards in the right order are pretty low. Well Aimed Car is not a card you should have more than 1 copy in your deck even though it is effective when used. Combat strategies that require a bunch of cards to be played in a combo are often stuck with runs of presses or attacks without strikes or whatever.

It's also true that some of the very most high impact cards are ones you don't even want to pack multiple copies of. The most egregious of course are Praxis seizure cards. It is strictly better to have one copy of Praxis Seizure Houston and one copy of Praxis Seizure Berlin than it is to have 2 copies of Praxis Seizure Houston. While there are some cards that are worthless if you don't have enough copies to reliably have them when they would be relevant, there are equally cards that get worse or even totally worthless when drawn in multiples.

There is also very definitely a rock paper scissors aspect. The best way to fight a high intercept deck is with either slightly more stealth or no stealth at all. Every stealth card in a bleed deck is just contributing to hand jam if your orey doesn't block, but is absolutely back breaking if your prey tries to block and lacks the intercept to match you. The winning ratios are thus metagame dependent, there isn't a stable Nash Equilibrium.

But probably the weirdest part is how incongruous the global aspect of the game was. The actual minion actions involve bumfights in alleys and trashcans thrown through shop windows and shit. It's game mechanically important whether one character owns a moped or a laptop computer. And yet, it's also randomly important that various characters are property owners in Cairo or Heidelburg or whatever. The game would be themstically much tighter if it ignored all that shit and was set decisively in Chicago.

-Frank
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    The Gaming Den Forum Index -> In My Humble Opinion... All times are GMT
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum




Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group