Barbed Wire Project: Gangrel Deck

Archived from groups: rec.games.trading-cards.jyhad (More info?)

Hey Everybody,

I am out to try and build more players here in Dallas. The introduction
of a new player into the game to the game presents an intriguing set of
problems. Teaching them the intricacies of the game is a bit hard, but
I feel that's been pretty well solved already (at least, as best it can
be given the complexity of the game).

What you ideally would like to do is to get the new player playing as
part of your regular play group. Here is where it gets tricky. The deck
he will be playing will not be up to par with everyone elses deck.
While the multiplayer nature of VTES means that the table can react to
the fact that the new player's deck is not so good, that only goes so
far. This problem is often solved by giving the newbie a
sneak-and-bleed deck, but the problem then becomes the fact that he
only has one deck to play. He sees the rest of the group playing decks
that are doing snazzy thing and he tries to balance the desire to go
further into the game with the financial cost of doing so. This is the
problem I am trying to address.

I believe that when barbed wire was first introduced to the west that
one of the sales pitches was that it was, "Cheap as dirt and strong as
whiskey." That's what I'm trying to go for here, a series of decks that
are as cheap as dirt (i.e. you can give away/trade cheap multiple decks
without costing yourself) but strong enough to hold up to a table or
more expensive decks.

The fact that you are going to be giving away multiple decks dictates
that any such deck adhere to certain parameters: it can't contain more
than a few copies of any given card- I drew the line at five; it can't
utilize cards that you wouldn't freely want to give away- so loading up
on majesties and voter caps in your venture deck is probably not a good
idea.

To solve these problems I have made deck primarily of rarely used Jyhad
cards and limited the deck size to 60 cards. I have endeavored to make
one deck from each clan. Here is the Gangrel deck. Let me know what you
think.

Barbed Wire: Gangrel

Crypt
10 Cap Slot (Pick One): Wynn/Basillia/Angus

6-8 Slot (Pick Four): Camille Devereux, Quinton McDonnell, Zack North,
Badger,
Guitar St. Claire,
Dedicated Slots (Add all of the following): Gunther - Beast Lord,
Bear Paw, Ricki Van Demsy, Anastasia Grey, Roman Alexander,

Weenie Slot (Pick Two(: Giuliano Vincenzi, Vilam Andor, Navar McClaren

Masters 10
4xAnimalism
3xShort Term Investment
3xHaven Uncovered

Actions 9
Arson
Rapid Healing
2xRestoration
2xBum's Rush
3xArmy of Rats

Action Modifiers
2xEarth Control

Combat 34
Canine Hoard
5xAid From Bats
5x(A mix of Gleam of the Red Eyes and Form of the Ghost)
5x(A mix of Claws of the Dead and Wolf Claws)
4xDrawing Out the Beast
4xCat's Guidance
4xRat's Warnings
4xSkin of Rock
2xSkin of Steel

Equipment 5
2xLabtop Computers
3xWolf Companion
38 answers Last reply
More about barbed wire project gangrel deck
  1. Archived from groups: rec.games.trading-cards.jyhad (More info?)

    Derek,

    I am not sure what group of gamers you hang out with, but the group I
    hang out with tend to be starving college students. They are not going
    to plunk down $120 retail for a couple of boxes of Camarilla edition.
    They are doing well just to keep gas in the car.

    Secondly, your solution was, just give'em a bleed deck and be done with
    it. That's all well and good, but can't really learn any other deck
    until they play it. Thirdly, I myself have no more than, say, 30
    Majesties/Governs. I can't give them out 5 and 10 at a time without
    needing to replace them for roughly $0.25 a card.

    The latest group of newbies we had assembled to play had two new
    players who only had one deck each that they had built. They only
    wanted to play VTES for a short time that afternoon and then play a
    board game because they only had one deck to play. Furnishing them with
    a range of other decks greatly expanded their options and their
    enjoyment and they played the whole afternoon. Furthermore, it allowed
    them to explore the flavor of the different basic stragies, find which
    they prefer, and start to grow in that area towards becoming a better
    player.

    In regards to, "With no pool gain, he's going to get creamed. I
    realize nobody wants to give away Blood Dolls, but 1 or 2 won't kill
    you? And I personally
    usually have way more Minion Taps than I need, so it's not so bad to
    put a few in. "

    STI are pool gain. In a deck running relatively few masters, they are
    more efficient than Blood Doll as they don't remove blood from the
    minion but rather create it.
    They don't have the Gird Minions effect that the blood doll has, but it
    has its pluses and minuses. Myself, I have long been prejudiced against
    blood doll as the most overhyped card in existence. If they want to add
    some to their decks, fine, but I don't agree that a deck is crippled
    without a couple .

    As for how he gets into combat, three haven uncovereds seem to come up
    fairly regularly in a 60 card deck, and at 34 out of 60 combat cards
    they should be able to alright in against other combat decks. One could
    add 4-5 Computer Hackings, but I don't see these are being all that
    important. The Army of Rats and Labtops are more permanent forms of
    pressure. I would be fine adding a Raven Spy to the deck, but decided
    against it last minute and it seems to work alright.

    Again, I am not sure what group you play with, but this deck should
    allow someone to have a decent shot at ousting if they play well
    enough, and give them a learning experience if they don't, and that's
    the whole goal. In my group, typically the "loaner" decks that are
    given out to newbies would actually tend to not work as well as this
    one because they haven't been tuned all that well (because, presumably,
    they are the loaner decks). The ability to just give someone a deck and
    say, "Here," gives them more of an investment in the game I feel and
    they can take it apart later and decide what they want to change.
  2. Archived from groups: rec.games.trading-cards.jyhad (More info?)

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    Preston wrote:
    | Derek,
    |
    | I am not sure what group of gamers you hang out with, but the group I
    | hang out with tend to be starving college students. They are not going
    | to plunk down $120 retail for a couple of boxes of Camarilla edition.
    | They are doing well just to keep gas in the car.

    I guess I must hang out with the ones who have jobs.

    I'm not saying they should run out and become a Mr. Suitcase immediately
    - -- but this is not a cheap game anymore. Used to be you could buy a box
    of Jyhad cards for $5, but those days are long gone. Trying to force it
    to be cheap is going to reduce the fun quotient by, like, a lot -- as
    soon as someone who CAN afford to plunk down for a box of Cam Edition
    comes along and wants to play. Two starters are a reasonable investment
    at $20, and a few matching boosters can be had for another $10-20ish.
    It doesn't have to be EXPENSIVE to play... but it will never be cheap.

    | Secondly, your solution was, just give'em a bleed deck and be done with

    Well, that's openly misstating everything I said. I suggest you go back
    and look at the other solutions I offered, such as:

    - -- combining two starter decks and a few boosters
    - -- borrowing another player's deck
    - -- giving them a toolboxy deck that's part bleed, part intercept, etc.

    | it. That's all well and good, but can't really learn any other deck
    | until they play it. Thirdly, I myself have no more than, say, 30

    And they can't learn the bleed deck until they play IT, too. And one
    good thing about bleed decks; it introduces people to the basics of
    stealth, intercept, and tactics quite readily, while still keeping them
    competitive. Handing a combat deck to a new player is like giving a
    Swiss Army Knife to a 4-year old and saying "Peel me some potatoes, and
    then open this wine."

    | Majesties/Governs. I can't give them out 5 and 10 at a time without
    | needing to replace them for roughly $0.25 a card.

    Honestly, it sounds like you have a problem, then. There is a certain
    critical mass of cards necessary among any group to play the game.
    Sounds like you have that for yourself -- but you don't want to give any
    of it up. OK, that's fine, but commons are common for a reason. I
    don't know any other way to say it. They're going to need the "good"
    commons to be competitive -- the bad commons like STI are bad for some
    very good reasons.

    | The latest group of newbies we had assembled to play had two new
    | players who only had one deck each that they had built. They only
    | wanted to play VTES for a short time that afternoon and then play a
    | board game because they only had one deck to play. Furnishing them with
    | a range of other decks greatly expanded their options and their
    | enjoyment and they played the whole afternoon. Furthermore, it allowed
    | them to explore the flavor of the different basic stragies, find which
    | they prefer, and start to grow in that area towards becoming a better
    | player.

    And this could have also been done by letting them borrow your built
    decks, too, which are a lot more solid than the stuff you were
    discussing earlier. Further, if they decide they want to stay in the
    game, then they have their own options to work with.

    For example, when playing with a newbie, what's your approach? Your
    deck is better than his, because you didn't give him any good cards. Do
    you take it easy on him? (not productive and doesn't help either you or
    him be a better player) Do you oust him rapidly? (not productive for
    obvious reasons). What do you do when you run across a player who HAS
    played before and who brings his tuned Malk S&B? Is that going to
    disrupt the plans?

    | In regards to, "With no pool gain, he's going to get creamed. I
    | realize nobody wants to give away Blood Dolls, but 1 or 2 won't kill
    | you? And I personally usually have way more Minion Taps than I need,
    so it's not so bad to
    | put a few in. "
    |
    | STI are pool gain. In a deck running relatively few masters, they are
    | more efficient than Blood Doll as they don't remove blood from the
    | minion but rather create it.

    Uh-huh. See, Short Term Investments are junk. Any vampire can take the
    "i hunt for 1" action at any time, which replaces the pool gained from a
    Blood Doll quite nicely. A 2-cap with a Blood Doll can hunt the entire
    game and gain you 1 pool per turn, which is far more than a Short Term
    Investment will ever do. A 2-cap with a Blood Doll can be influenced
    and take no actions until he MUST hunt, and he has gained you an
    identical amount of pool as Short Term Investment, and only cost you 1
    Master Phase Action instead of 4. There really is no comparison --
    Blood Doll is just better than STI, hand over fist.

    We haven't even gotten into the fact that Master Phase Actions are the
    most powerful actions in the game -- you want to be always playing 1 per
    turn. You only had 10 Masters in that deck; a game is going to last on
    _average_ 12 turns, and I'll guess that your group's games can last
    significantly longer. You don't want to run "relatively few" masters,
    you want as many as you can cram in there without seeing a handful of
    grey. (green, these days.)

    | They don't have the Gird Minions effect that the blood doll has, but it
    | has its pluses and minuses. Myself, I have long been prejudiced against
    | blood doll as the most overhyped card in existence. If they want to add
    | some to their decks, fine, but I don't agree that a deck is crippled
    | without a couple .

    Perhaps you should take a second look at it then. It's hardly
    overhyped; it really is that good. There are some decks that can do
    just fine without Blood Dolls. The deck you posted is not one of them.
    ~ The blood on your minions is nowhere near as important as the total
    amount of your pool; again, your minions can always hunt, and they have
    plenty of "not get dead" in the deck to protect them if blocked.

    | As for how he gets into combat, three haven uncovereds seem to come up
    | fairly regularly in a 60 card deck, and at 34 out of 60 combat cards
    | they should be able to alright in against other combat decks. One could

    Not with those 34 -- and it's only 26, by the way. Let's look again:

    Canine Horde
    5xAid From Bats
    5x(A mix of Gleam of the Red Eyes and Form of the Ghost)
    5x(A mix of Claws of the Dead and Wolf Claws)
    4xDrawing Out the Beast
    ***
    4xCat's Guidance
    4xRat's Warnings
    ***
    4xSkin of Rock
    2xSkin of Steel

    Cat's Guidance and Rat's Warning aren't combat; they're reactions.
    Looking at your combat, what I see is that you have a mix of cards that
    don't work well together. Drawing out the Beast removes any need to
    maneuver, so you don't want the Gleam/Form stuff except for the
    occasional press. Aid from Bats doesn't work with Claws. You have very
    little prevent and no way to increase your minions' strength -- a Brujah
    packing a single Sideslip and Blur is going to be able to burn through a
    lot of those prevention cards in one combat, especially if you
    mistakenly play Drawing out the Beast on him. Wolf Companions are nice
    but you have to spend actions getting them on the minion, and they don't
    synch up well with Aid from Bats either. With no way to handle Dodge or
    Majesty, people trying to run away from you are, well, going to run away
    anytime they feel like it.

    What I see here is toolboxy "deterrent" combat as opposed to something
    which will consistently put vampires in torpor. That's not bad, but if
    the purpose of your combat is to deter anyone but a serious combat deck,
    you're going to need to focus more on defense. I'd drop some of the
    Gleam/Form and put in a couple more Skin of Steel -- maybe drop ALL the
    Gleam/Form and add some Indomitability/Unflinching Persistence as well.
    ~ These are great dual-purpose cards that will allow you to prevent
    "hands for 1" and save your big prevent cards for big hitters. I might
    also look at some Lucky Blow to stop people who have Flak Jackets,
    Guardian Angels, etc. from casually ignoring your claws.

    | add 4-5 Computer Hackings, but I don't see these are being all that
    | important. The Army of Rats and Labtops are more permanent forms of
    | pressure. I would be fine adding a Raven Spy to the deck, but decided
    | against it last minute and it seems to work alright.

    This deck really can't defend the Army of Rats -- anyone with a single
    stealth card will get past, in its current form, and if you stay
    untapped to defend it, you're not taking your own actions. They aren't
    bad to have in that people may ignore them, but I wouldn't expect them
    to stick around when it really matters. 2-3 Computer Hacking will be
    just enough "surprise" and a tiny bit of acceleration when you need it.

    | Again, I am not sure what group you play with, but this deck should
    | allow someone to have a decent shot at ousting if they play well

    I'm going to say this with as polite intent as possible, even though it
    will probably never sound that way to you. Just consider that I tried.

    This deck would get smeared in our local group. I mean, just hands-down
    smeared. It doesn't have any real pool gain; it doesn't have much
    offense or defense; and it doesn't have any real hitting power when it
    does get into a fight. OK. That said, my local group also contains a
    number of world-class players and I realize that not everyone has the
    collection to support the decks I see/have seen on a weekly basis -- but
    even if you limited us to Jyhad cards, we could produce some serious
    nastiness. I guess all I'm saying here is that perhaps everyone is
    relatively inexperienced where you are, and so things are a little less
    vicious and quick... but I'm sure someone has built the Malk S&B deck
    already, and the Ventrue vote deck, and the Toreador intercept/gun
    deck... all the archetypes. Ask yourself honestly, how would this deck
    you're building do against any of the classic Jyhad archetypes that
    you've already seen?

    | enough, and give them a learning experience if they don't, and that's

    Well, yeah. That was the point of many of my changes; to help them
    actually learn, instead of being frustrated too much by being unable to
    accomplish much. To that extent, MORE ACTIONS, etc. -- simply playing
    the cards makes people feel like something's happening.

    | the whole goal. In my group, typically the "loaner" decks that are
    | given out to newbies would actually tend to not work as well as this
    | one because they haven't been tuned all that well (because, presumably,
    | they are the loaner decks). The ability to just give someone a deck and

    Nobody has multiple 'good' decks built at any given time? Surely
    someone has a deck they don't want to play that week they're willing to
    loan... perhaps to a player who's in a game they're not personally
    playing in?

    | say, "Here," gives them more of an investment in the game I feel and
    | they can take it apart later and decide what they want to change.

    Of course. But at the same time, you want to give them something they
    can feel has some potential, instead of working at cross-purposes to itself.

    Go back to the above deck and ask these questions:

    1) How am I going to oust people?
    2) How am I going to avoid being ousted?
    3) What will I do when people try to avoid me ousting them? (ie.
    defending Army of Rats, getting blocked)
    4) Am I too likely to get into a situation where people can safely
    ignore my presence at the table?

    Number 4 is key.

    - --
    Derek

    insert clever quotation here

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  3. Archived from groups: rec.games.trading-cards.jyhad (More info?)

    Preston wrote:
    > I am out to try and build more players here in Dallas.

    Terrific! Good luck.

    > The fact that you are going to be giving away multiple decks dictates
    > that any such deck adhere to certain parameters: it can't contain
    more
    > than a few copies of any given card- I drew the line at five; it
    can't
    > utilize cards that you wouldn't freely want to give away- so loading
    up
    > on majesties and voter caps in your venture deck is probably not a
    good
    > idea.

    A stealth/vote/bribes deck is a strong giveaway that's easy to make
    with commons you probably have more than enough of. Build it with the
    smallest vampires you can spare with obfuscate, fill it with your
    excess title gaining votes and a selection of strong votes you don't
    need dozens of--Disputed Territory, Finding the Path, Domain Challenge,
    etc. Cloak the Gathering is ridiculously common, as is Lost in Crowds.
    Small vamps and Bribes will make up for the lack of the Blood Dolls
    you're hoarding, and the vote aspect will teach new players about table
    diplomacy.
  4. Archived from groups: rec.games.trading-cards.jyhad (More info?)

    Zealot,

    "Great! I think it is awesome that you are working to build your
    playgroup!"

    Thank you. I appreciate it. In regards to your feedback, first let me
    say how I came about this project. I was a magic player (I tried Jyhad
    back when it was released but stopped playing it) who had a friend of
    mine who had all of the Precon decks. He would gather his friends
    around and each would take a deck and we would play. After playing the
    Precon decks a number of times I was rather frustrated at how bad those
    that were combat focused were when compared to those that were vote
    focused. I would also like to note that it is these regular sessions
    where I was just borrowing a deck that built my interest to the point
    where I was ready to make an investment myself. I guess part of what I
    am trying to do here is to foster a similar environment where there are
    decks a plenty for people to play and they are all pretty good- but you
    can take them home at the end of the day. I believe (with some
    supporting experience) that this sense of ownership in things allows
    for people to look at the cards in their off time and start to think
    about how to improve things.

    In business, obstacles that prevent you from entering a new market are
    called "barriers to entry." I am trying to lower the barrier to entry
    for new players in the hopes that once they are sufficinetly
    experienced with the game that it will sell itself.

    So, I would say the biggest difference between Barbed Wire and the
    Gangrel Anarchs Starter in the cost. Also, as you said, the Gangrel
    Anarchs Precon is a horrid deck unless and until you modify the crypt-
    I speak from personal experience on that one. Once you modify the crypt
    as you recommend, its perfomance should improve dramatically as you
    suggest.

    Now for specific comparison comparisons of the two, I feel it's
    important to keep in mind that the Gangrel Anarchs Precon is a 77 card
    deck and Barbed Wire is a 60 card deck. So, when comparing slots, its
    important to keep it proportional. OK, let's look at Master Cards:

    1 Backways 4 Animalisms
    2 Blood Doll 3 Haven Uncovereds
    1 Fame 3 Short Term Investments
    1 Frenzy
    1 Gangrel Revel
    1 Haven Uncovered
    1 Minion Tap
    1 Protean
    1 Rotschreck
    1 Secret Horde
    1 Zoo Hunting Ground

    The Gangrel Precon has 15% of its Library devoted to Master cards,
    whereas Barbed Wire has 60. I have 3 Haven Uncoverds to Precons 1. I
    feel this is fairly significant for a deck that likes to fight. The
    inclusion of Backways, Zoo Hunting Ground, Rotscheck and Gangrel Revel
    would no doubt make the deck stronger, but aren't cards I can freely
    give away. The inclusion of a Fame might be doable, however. The Precon
    has 1 skill card to my 4. While you may feel that the Animalism cards I
    have included aren't all that strong at superior, I think having
    Villiam Ander able to consistently bleed for 1 with a Drawing out the
    Beast and an Aid From Bats in hand is non-trivial if he has superior
    animalism. As for your recommendation that I include more master
    cards, I feel that the STIs take up multiple master slots, and so the
    deck works out fine. The Precon has a Secret Horde and I feel the STIs
    are better than that at least. The two Blood Dolls and a Minion Tap are
    nice, but, personal preference I try to focus my minions more forward
    than having them hunt to supply me with pool.

    As for the action cards:
    1 Army of Rats 3 Army of Rats
    4 Bum's Rush 2 Bum's Rushes
    2 Force of Will 1 Arson
    1 Restoration 2 Restorations
    1 Tier of Souls 1 Rapid Healing

    The Tier of Souls is nice, but I am not giving those away and the extra
    Labtop is a good substitute. Note that we have the same number of
    cards, but in a 77 card deck that's only 11% as compared to 15% in a 60
    card deck. Personal preference, but I like multiple Armies of Rats
    because its a good card, I like it out early, and it often gets
    destroyed. The extra bum's rushes are nice, but I like the extra
    restoration in my deck as well as the Arson. The Force of WIlls I think
    are pretty bad in a deck with no Rapid Healing and where your vamps
    with superior Fortitude are going to be your large caps. All in all, I
    like the Barbed Wire action slots better.

    Let's look at Modifiers
    2xEarth Control

    Action Modifier (9 cards) Gangrel Starter
    2 Dawn Operation
    3 Earth Control 2 Earth Controls
    1 Freak Drive
    1 Horrific Countenance
    1 Kiss of Ra, The
    1 Uncontrollable Rage

    With the caveat that Uncontrollable Rage and Horrific Countenance are
    pretty bad, the Precon definitely wins here. But, I am not giving away
    Damn Op, Freak Drive, or The Kiss of Ra. That just leaves Earth Control
    and when you adjust for the size of the decks, we have about the same.

    As for combat cards, the Precon has 32/77 or 41%. Barbed Wire has 26/60
    or 43%. So they they have basically the same amount of combat. My
    combat mix is more aggressive, however, as the Precon dedicates 5
    strikes to ending combat. Also, since I focused the deck more on
    animalism than Protean in terms of skill cards, the Earth Melds and
    Form of Mists are not going to be used at their max. Flesh of Marble is
    a great card, but, I'm not giving those away.

    Barbed Wire uses damaging retainers, the Precon uses nondamaging
    retainers. Personally I like the Wolf Companions, but that's me.
  5. Archived from groups: rec.games.trading-cards.jyhad (More info?)

    Emmit,

    An excellent suggestion. But this is the Gangrel deck, so I was going
    with Gangrel cards. Be assured that the Ventrue and Torreador decks
    will have plenty of said voting action.
  6. Archived from groups: rec.games.trading-cards.jyhad (More info?)

    "Preston" <prestonpoulter@hotmail.com> wrote in message
    news:1115262029.567215.29900@f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...
    > Hey Everybody,
    >
    > I am out to try and build more players here in Dallas. The introduction
    > of a new player into the game to the game presents an intriguing set of
    > problems. Teaching them the intricacies of the game is a bit hard, but
    > I feel that's been pretty well solved already (at least, as best it can
    > be given the complexity of the game).

    Great! I think it is awesome that you are working to build your playgroup!

    > What you ideally would like to do is to get the new player playing as
    > part of your regular play group. Here is where it gets tricky. The deck
    > he will be playing will not be up to par with everyone elses deck.
    > While the multiplayer nature of VTES means that the table can react to
    > the fact that the new player's deck is not so good, that only goes so
    > far. This problem is often solved by giving the newbie a
    > sneak-and-bleed deck, but the problem then becomes the fact that he
    > only has one deck to play. He sees the rest of the group playing decks
    > that are doing snazzy thing and he tries to balance the desire to go
    > further into the game with the financial cost of doing so. This is the
    > problem I am trying to address.

    Try a straight up pre-constructed starter for the new player. They are easy
    to get and have forward momentum and defense already built in.

    Let's compare your Gangrel Deck with the Gangrel Starter, which in my
    personal opinion is a very strong starter.

    > Barbed Wire: Gangrel
    >
    > Crypt
    > 10 Cap Slot (Pick One): Wynn/Basillia/Angus
    >
    > 6-8 Slot (Pick Four): Camille Devereux, Quinton McDonnell, Zack North,
    > Badger,
    > Guitar St. Claire,
    > Dedicated Slots (Add all of the following): Gunther - Beast Lord,
    > Bear Paw, Ricki Van Demsy, Anastasia Grey, Roman Alexander,
    >
    > Weenie Slot (Pick Two(: Giuliano Vincenzi, Vilam Andor, Navar McClaren

    Deck Name: Gangrel Starter.

    Crypt: (12 cards, Min: 15, Max: 39, Avg: 6.75)
    ----------------------------------------------
    1 Xaviar ANI aus cel FOR pot PRO 10, Gangrel, 2 Votes
    1 Ingrid Rossler ANI dom FOR PRO 9, Gangrel, Prince
    1 Katarina ANI FOR pot pro 9, Gangrel, Prince
    1 Faruq ANI dom for pot PRO 8, Gangrel
    1 Beckett ANI FOR PRO cel 7, Gangrel
    1 Iliana DOM FOR PRO tha 7, Gangrel
    1 Mirembe Kabbada ani PRO SER 5, Gangrel
    1 Lord Ashton ANI for pro 5, Gangrel
    1 Chandler Hungerford PRO 3, Gangrel
    1 Panagos Levidis ani obf 3, Gangrel
    1 Ramona for pro 4, Gangrel
    1 Stanislava ANI CEL DOM FOR PRO 11, Gangrel, Inner Circle

    Now though the crypts are different the precontructed starter actually has a
    larger average crypt, which would seem to make it the weaker deck but once
    you drop some "Just Bad Vampires", Katarina, Faruq, and Ingrid Rossler, and
    replace them with almost anything (recommend smallish gangrel) then the deck
    gets exponentially better.

    > Masters 10 Barbed Wire
    > 4xAnimalism
    > 3xShort Term Investment
    > 3xHaven Uncovered

    Master (12 cards) Gangrel Starter
    1 Backways
    2 Blood Doll
    1 Fame
    1 Frenzy
    1 Gangrel Revel
    1 Haven Uncovered
    1 Minion Tap
    1 Protean
    1 Rotschreck
    1 Secret Horde
    1 Zoo Hunting Ground

    Now notice how diverse and utilitarian the Gangrel Starter is compared you
    your masters. You have 3 skill cards, but only 13 Animalism cards that are
    signifigantly different/better at superior to take advantage of them, and
    these skill cards are a dead draw if your minions already have superior
    animalism.

    The Gangrel Precon has 4 master cards that gain it pool, yours only has 3
    and your pool gain eats other master phase action, which is a "bad thing".

    You really need more masters so that you will have one to play on almost
    every master phase.

    > Actions 9 Barbed Wire
    > Arson
    > Rapid Healing
    > 2xRestoration
    > 2xBum's Rush
    > 3xArmy of Rats

    Action (9 cards)Gangrel Starter
    1 Army of Rats
    4 Bum's Rush
    2 Force of Will
    1 Restoration
    1 Tier of Souls

    You both have the same amount of actions, but of actions provided by the
    Gangrel Precon 3 are targeting your preys pool (Army of Rats, and 2 Force
    of Will), 4 enter combat with your prey, 1 gains blood, and 1 is a steal
    blood/free laptop.

    In your deck only Army of Rats hurts your prey and it doesn't stack so
    having 3 of them doesn't do you much good. The Arson is a good pick and
    Rapid Healing is good in a low intercept environment.

    > Action Modifiers Barbed Wire
    > 2xEarth Control

    Action Modifier (9 cards) Gangrel Starter
    2 Dawn Operation
    3 Earth Control
    1 Freak Drive
    1 Horrific Countenance
    1 Kiss of Ra, The
    1 Uncontrollable Rage

    Wow! look at the difference between those decks. The Gangrel Precon has 4
    times the number of action modifiers. This is important because on of the
    early learning hurdles for new players is telling the difference between
    actions and action modifiers.

    > Combat 26 Barbed Wire
    > Canine Hoard
    > 5xAid From Bats
    > 5x(A mix of Gleam of the Red Eyes and Form of the Ghost)
    > 5x(A mix of Claws of the Dead and Wolf Claws)
    > 4xDrawing Out the Beast
    > 4xSkin of Rock
    > 2xSkin of Steel

    Combat (32 cards) Gangrel Starter
    2 Aid from Bats
    3 Bone Spur
    2 Canine Horde
    2 Carrion Crows
    3 Claws of the Dead
    2 Drawing Out the Beast
    2 Earth Meld
    1 Flesh of Marble
    3 Form of Mist
    2 Form of the Ghost
    2 Scorpion Sting
    2 Skin of Night
    2 Superior Mettle
    4 Unflinching Persistence

    As you can tell the Gangrel are combat machines, two of their best cards are
    Carrion Crows and Flesh of Marble. You need to have both of these in your
    deck.

    > Equipment Barbed Wire
    > 2xLaptop Computers

    Equipment (1 cards) Gangrel Starter
    1 Laptop Computer

    I like the fact that Barbed Wire has 2 Laptop Computers. It is good forward
    momentum.

    >Retainer
    > 3xWolf Companion

    Retainer (4 cards)
    1 Dog Pack
    1 Owl Companion
    2 Raven Spy

    In the retainer selection, you will notice that the Gangrel Precon's
    retainers have no direct damaging effects. They are for the most part
    debilitating, and reduce the opposing vampires options either through
    intercept, no-S:CE, or revealing his hand for all to see.


    >Reactions Barbed Wire
    > 4xCat's Guidance
    > 4xRat's Warnings

    Reaction (10 cards) Gangrel Starter
    3 Cats' Guidance
    2 Elder Intervention
    3 Guard Dogs
    2 Rat's Warning

    Both decks have a healthy amount of untap/reaction cards.

    Overall if I was going to recommend anything, it would be to just have the
    new player buy the preconstructed starter or let him borrow it from another
    player. It is a superior deck.
    --
    Comments Welcome,
    Norman S. Brown, Jr
    XZealot
    Archon of the Swamp
  7. Archived from groups: rec.games.trading-cards.jyhad (More info?)

    Preston wrote:
    > Emmit,
    >
    > An excellent suggestion. But this is the Gangrel deck, so I was going
    > with Gangrel cards. Be assured that the Ventrue and Torreador decks
    > will have plenty of said voting action.

    I am not suggesting a clan deck. Neither Ven nor Tor have much stealth,
    which means your new player will get blocked often. I am suggesting
    low-cap obfuscate voting with bribes.
  8. Archived from groups: rec.games.trading-cards.jyhad (More info?)

    Preston wrote:
    > Derek,
    >
    > I am not sure what group of gamers you hang out with, but the group I
    > hang out with tend to be starving college students. They are not
    going
    > to plunk down $120 retail for a couple of boxes of Camarilla edition.
    > They are doing well just to keep gas in the car.

    I am no Derek, but IMHO my opinion would be at least partially
    interesting to you since our playgroup is much, much more poor than
    yours. "To keep gas in the car", you wrote? You won't find VTES players
    with a cars in Minsk :)
    And cards are much harder to obtain here, as we have to pay huge
    delivery prices and customs fees. But I'm also trying to spread VTES
    here, and I've got enough "converts". General guidelines are:

    1). DON'T PURCHASE BOOSTERS! Most of the time you will get a lot of
    unneeded cards, which you can't afford. Purchase starters and order the
    needed cards from the Net traders.
    2). USE PROXIES. They aren't very attractive, but they allow your
    players to play what they want.
    3). Different strategies require different level of play. A newbie with
    a Rush deck looks like an ape with a grenade - he doesn't know whom to
    rush, when to rush and so on. Stealth-bleed is really the best newbie's
    deck - just get Malkavian and !Malkavian starters, and you'll have
    something similar to a real deck. Voting deck may be good too.

    In general, three starters can produce a decent deck for a newbie. My
    first purchase was 2 !Malk starters, one Malk starter, two !Toreador
    starters and one Ventrue starter.
    I managed to assemble a Kindred Spirits S&B for myself and decent
    voting/bleeding !Tor deck for my wife.

    > Secondly, your solution was, just give'em a bleed deck and be done
    with
    > it. That's all well and good, but can't really learn any other deck
    > until they play it. Thirdly, I myself have no more than, say, 30
    > Majesties/Governs. I can't give them out 5 and 10 at a time without
    > needing to replace them for roughly $0.25 a card.

    I have only 14 Majesties, and I cannot "replace" them for $0.25 - the
    delivery and customs fee would make the price much larger. And I'm not
    going to purchase Camarilla boxes for them. Ventrue starter is a sole
    source of Majesties here.
    But we still play VTES somehow :) And let me assure you that I would
    NEVER allow a newbie to play a deck like yours. Derek is absolutely
    right that it's very weak. Our newbies made much better Rush decks from
    two Brujah starters (you know, a lot of Sewer Lids and Gates). The only
    "fun" a newbie can get playing this deck is a feeling like "My vampires
    are the most powerful! Whoa!" when he manages to torporize somebody.
    But most of the time he's going to be ousted pretty fast.
    The best you can do is keeping your newbies as far as possible from the
    Rush. Good Rush decks are quite expensive and require skill. Offer them
    intercept or bruise & bleed if they like combat.

    > Again, I am not sure what group you play with, but this deck should
    > allow someone to have a decent shot at ousting if they play well
    > enough, and give them a learning experience if they don't, and that's
    > the whole goal. In my group, typically the "loaner" decks that are
    > given out to newbies would actually tend to not work as well as this
    > one because they haven't been tuned all that well (because,
    presumably,
    > they are the loaner decks). The ability to just give someone a deck
    and
    > say, "Here," gives them more of an investment in the game I feel and
    > they can take it apart later and decide what they want to change.

    Unfortunately, I simply cannot give decks to people, but I don't think
    this is a good strategy anyway. Why the newbie should spend his money
    and time to build a deck when he always can borrow it? Moreover, the
    borrowed deck is generally much better than the first deck assembled
    from a couple of starters, but nobody can become a player without
    creating HIS OWN decks.
    Most of the time I just consult people which starters are the best for
    their purposes, and we share our ideas.

    Good luck in your difficult mission,
    Yours,
    Ector
  9. Archived from groups: rec.games.trading-cards.jyhad (More info?)

    Hmm, here's an idea. I issue the following BARBED WIRE CHALLENGE.

    So far our discussion has been that the most often way for a newbie to
    start is to buy two of the same starter decks and build one deck from
    it. Now, the Barbed Wire strategy does nicely lower the cost of
    allowing people to explore other ideas at little expense, but let's
    ignore that for now and just focus on comparative deck construction
    strengths and, with that in mind, I would like to issue the following
    challenge. Put together a deck list from two combined starters (let's
    use the Gangrel Anarchs Precon to keep the clan the same) and I will
    get two players to test them out head to head versus the barbed wire
    deck. Best of 5 games. You are encouraged to do the testing yourself as
    well if you like.

    If anything, it should be a lot of fun.
  10. Archived from groups: rec.games.trading-cards.jyhad (More info?)

    All we are looking for is a reasonable comparision of deck strength.
    Two Gangrel decks going head to head is going to have a fair amount of
    combat, with a bit of intecept, etc. Is heads up a different game,
    sure. My deck has been criticized for being too weak (lacking Blood
    Dolls, etc), and I think it would be a fair test of deck strength.
  11. Archived from groups: rec.games.trading-cards.jyhad (More info?)

    Fine, propose a deck list from the two combined Gangrel Anarch decks
    that is significantly stronger in a standard game and let's have some
    people play them and see what they say.
  12. Archived from groups: rec.games.trading-cards.jyhad (More info?)

    I would like to issue the following
    > challenge. Put together a deck list from two combined starters (let's
    > use the Gangrel Anarchs Precon to keep the clan the same) and I will
    > get two players to test them out head to head versus the barbed wire
    > deck. Best of 5 games. You are encouraged to do the testing yourself as
    > well if you like.

    Your sample will be skewed, 2 player VTES isn't VTES as we know it. :)
    --
    Comments Welcome,
    Norman S. Brown, Jr
    XZealot
    Archon of the Swamp
  13. Archived from groups: rec.games.trading-cards.jyhad (More info?)

    "Preston" <prestonpoulter@hotmail.com> wrote in message
    news:1115319006.416676.58130@o13g2000cwo.googlegroups.com...
    > All we are looking for is a reasonable comparision of deck strength.
    > Two Gangrel decks going head to head is going to have a fair amount of
    > combat, with a bit of intecept, etc. Is heads up a different game,
    > sure. My deck has been criticized for being too weak (lacking Blood
    > Dolls, etc), and I think it would be a fair test of deck strength.

    In a two player game, combat is significantly more powerful. Gangrel combat
    even more so. Your deck is very weak for a standard game, but strong for a
    two player game where you only have to deal with one other player and can
    torpor and block his minions.

    Two player VTES isn't really VTES at all, is like the last 3 rounds of a
    real game of VTES stretched over 12 rounds.

    --
    Comments Welcome,
    Norman S. Brown, Jr
    XZealot
    Archon of the Swamp
  14. Archived from groups: rec.games.trading-cards.jyhad (More info?)

    "Preston" <prestonpoulter@hotmail.com> wrote in message
    news:1115320403.011049.247330@o13g2000cwo.googlegroups.com...
    > Fine, propose a deck list from the two combined Gangrel Anarch decks
    > that is significantly stronger in a standard game and let's have some
    > people play them and see what they say.

    Deck Name: Gangrel Dual Form
    Created By: Norm Brown
    Description: 2 Gangrel Preconstructed decks from the Anarchs set.blended
    together.

    Crypt: (12 cards, Min: 14, Max: 39, Avg: 6.25)
    ----------------------------------------------
    1 Xaviar ANI aus cel FOR pot PRO 10, Gangrel, 2 Votes
    1 Beckett ANI FOR PRO cel 7, Gangrel
    1 Iliana DOM FOR PRO tha 7, Gangrel
    1 Mirembe Kabbada ani PRO SER 5, Gangrel
    2 Lord Ashton ANI for pro 5, Gangrel
    2 Chandler Hungerford PRO 3, Gangrel
    2 Ramona for pro 4, Gangrel
    2 Stanislava ANI CEL DOM FOR PRO 11, Gangrel, Inner Circle

    Library: (90 cards)
    -------------------
    Master (15 cards)
    1 Backways
    4 Blood Doll
    2 Fame
    1 Gangrel Revel
    1 Haven Uncovered
    2 Minion Tap
    1 Protean
    2 Rotschreck
    1 Zoo Hunting Ground

    Action (16 cards)
    1 Army of Rats
    8 Bum's Rush
    4 Force of Will
    1 Restoration
    2 Tier of Souls

    Action Modifier (7 cards)
    4 Earth Control
    2 Freak Drive
    1 Horrific Countenance

    Reaction (14 cards)
    6 Cats' Guidance
    2 Elder Intervention
    4 Guard Dogs
    2 Rat's Warning

    Combat (33 cards)
    3 Aid from Bats
    3 Bone Spur
    1 Canine Horde
    4 Carrion Crows
    3 Claws of the Dead
    2 Earth Meld
    2 Flesh of Marble
    4 Form of Mist
    2 Scorpion Sting
    4 Superior Mettle
    5 Unflinching Persistence

    Retainer (3 cards)
    1 Owl Companion
    2 Raven Spy

    Equipment (2 cards)
    2 Laptop Computer


    --
    Comments Welcome,
    Norman S. Brown, Jr
    XZealot
    Archon of the Swamp
  15. Archived from groups: rec.games.trading-cards.jyhad (More info?)

    OK, in a couple of week I anticipate getting together with an
    experienced player and 2-3 newbies. I will play Bared Wire- Gangrel,.
    the other player will play Dual Form, and the newbies will play their
    play deck. I will let you know the results.

    Just so you know, this evening at a demo another guy showed up with an
    intercept Tremere Anarch deck and Barbed Wire beat him handily. I
    really feel like you guys are ragging on it for no good reason ;.
  16. Archived from groups: rec.games.trading-cards.jyhad (More info?)

    Preston wrote:
    > Hey Everybody,
    >
    > I am out to try and build more players here in Dallas. The introduction
    > of a new player into the game to the game presents an intriguing set of
    > problems. Teaching them the intricacies of the game is a bit hard, but
    > I feel that's been pretty well solved already (at least, as best it can
    > be given the complexity of the game).
    >
    > What you ideally would like to do is to get the new player playing as
    > part of your regular play group. Here is where it gets tricky. The deck
    > he will be playing will not be up to par with everyone elses deck.
    > While the multiplayer nature of VTES means that the table can react to
    > the fact that the new player's deck is not so good, that only goes so
    > far. This problem is often solved by giving the newbie a
    > sneak-and-bleed deck, but the problem then becomes the fact that he
    > only has one deck to play. He sees the rest of the group playing decks
    > that are doing snazzy thing and he tries to balance the desire to go
    > further into the game with the financial cost of doing so. This is the
    > problem I am trying to address.
    >
    > I believe that when barbed wire was first introduced to the west that
    > one of the sales pitches was that it was, "Cheap as dirt and strong as
    > whiskey." That's what I'm trying to go for here, a series of decks that
    > are as cheap as dirt (i.e. you can give away/trade cheap multiple decks
    > without costing yourself) but strong enough to hold up to a table or
    > more expensive decks.
    >
    > The fact that you are going to be giving away multiple decks dictates
    > that any such deck adhere to certain parameters: it can't contain more
    > than a few copies of any given card- I drew the line at five; it can't
    > utilize cards that you wouldn't freely want to give away- so loading up
    > on majesties and voter caps in your venture deck is probably not a good
    > idea.
    >
    > To solve these problems I have made deck primarily of rarely used Jyhad
    > cards and limited the deck size to 60 cards. I have endeavored to make
    > one deck from each clan. Here is the Gangrel deck. Let me know what you
    > think.
    >
    > Barbed Wire: Gangrel
    >
    > Crypt
    > 10 Cap Slot (Pick One): Wynn/Basillia/Angus
    >
    > 6-8 Slot (Pick Four): Camille Devereux, Quinton McDonnell, Zack North,
    > Badger,
    > Guitar St. Claire,
    > Dedicated Slots (Add all of the following): Gunther - Beast Lord,
    > Bear Paw, Ricki Van Demsy, Anastasia Grey, Roman Alexander,
    >
    > Weenie Slot (Pick Two(: Giuliano Vincenzi, Vilam Andor, Navar McClaren
    >
    > Masters 10
    > 4xAnimalism
    > 3xShort Term Investment
    > 3xHaven Uncovered
    >
    > Actions 9
    > Arson
    > Rapid Healing
    > 2xRestoration
    > 2xBum's Rush
    > 3xArmy of Rats
    >
    > Action Modifiers
    > 2xEarth Control
    >
    > Combat 34
    > Canine Hoard
    > 5xAid From Bats
    > 5x(A mix of Gleam of the Red Eyes and Form of the Ghost)
    > 5x(A mix of Claws of the Dead and Wolf Claws)
    > 4xDrawing Out the Beast
    > 4xCat's Guidance
    > 4xRat's Warnings
    > 4xSkin of Rock
    > 2xSkin of Steel
    >
    > Equipment 5
    > 2xLabtop Computers
    > 3xWolf Companion
    >

    In my playgroup we give new players a low/mid cap Malk stealth bleed
    deck for their first game. This gives them an excellent chance of
    getting at least one or two VPs and we have found keeps them interested
    throughout the whole game. It is very easy to make cheaply too as it is
    almost entirely composed of Jyhad & VTES commons.

    However, I must also agree with Derek that a Gangrel deck really isn't
    going to give a new player a good first game. I remember my first game
    was of a Ravos precon vs my friends Tzimisce combat deck. Guess who got
    pasted there :) Gangrel are often hard enough to get going for an
    experienced player.

    My advice would be to make up either a common as hell Malk stealth bleed
    deck or maybe a Brujah BnB deck using as many commons as possible. If
    people enjoy the game get them to buy either the Anathema or Alastor
    precon or maybe both. Those two precons have a nice spread of useful
    cards.

    Personally I think the Alastor deck is perfect for a newish player as it
    has both combat and vote elements but is meaty enough to last again some
    more aggressive decks.

    I understand that money is short for college students (having until this
    year been one myself) which is why I suggest giving a new player a
    loaner deck that remains simple and then encouraging them to buy a
    precon of their own. I imagine a precon in the US wouldn't be more than
    10$US.

    Just my thoughts.

    James
  17. Archived from groups: rec.games.trading-cards.jyhad (More info?)

    ok, here is the proposal:

    there are three vampires not from the starter, but even the poorest
    newbie can trade them for, say, the extra Tier of Souls. maybe it´s
    not strong enough to *oust* somebody, but I´ll bet it can at least
    *survive* much, longer than your deck :)

    Crypt [12 vampires] Capacity min: 3 max: 7 average: 5
    ------------------------------------------------------------

    2x Beckett 7 ANI FOR PRO cel Gangrel:3
    2x Lord Ashton 5 ANI for pro Gangrel:3
    1x Horrock 6 ANI PRO vic Gangrel:3
    1x Sophia Watson 6 ANI FOR obf pro Gangrel:3
    1x Dr. Allan Woodstoc 5 PRO ani aus for Gangrel:3
    1x Mirembe Kabbada 5 PRO SER ani Gangrel:2
    1x Bobby Lemon 4 ANI pro Gangrel:3
    1x Ramona 4 for pro Gangrel:2
    1x Chandler Hungerfor 3 PRO Gangrel:2
    1x Panagos Levidis 3 ani obf Gangrel:2


    Library [72 cards]
    ------------------------------------------------------------

    Action [12]
    1x Army of Rats
    8x Bum's Rush
    2x Restoration
    1x Tier of Souls

    Action Modifier [2]
    2x Earth Control

    Combat [30]
    4x Aid from Bats
    6x Bone Spur
    4x Carrion Crows
    6x Claws of the Dead
    4x Form of Mist
    2x Superior Mettle
    4x Unflinching Persistence

    Master [11]
    1x Backways
    4x Blood Doll
    2x Fame
    2x Haven Uncovered
    2x Protean

    Reaction [13]
    5x Cats' Guidance
    4x Guard Dogs
    4x Rat's Warning

    Retainer [4]
    4x Raven Spy
  18. Archived from groups: rec.games.trading-cards.jyhad (More info?)

    Sorry Alias, I got to draw the line somewhere. I am going to use Dual
    Form or some other deck that strictly adheres to the card pool.
  19. Archived from groups: rec.games.trading-cards.jyhad (More info?)

    "Preston" <prestonpoulter@hotmail.com> wrote in message
    news:1115351829.665805.144520@z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com...
    > OK, in a couple of week I anticipate getting together with an
    > experienced player and 2-3 newbies. I will play Bared Wire- Gangrel,.
    > the other player will play Dual Form, and the newbies will play their
    > play deck. I will let you know the results.
    >
    > Just so you know, this evening at a demo another guy showed up with an
    > intercept Tremere Anarch deck and Barbed Wire beat him handily. I
    > really feel like you guys are ragging on it for no good reason ;.

    1) Generally Gangrel can beat Tremere, so this isn't suprising, especially
    since the Tremere deck was an anarch deck. In a two player game one of the
    Tremere's best weapons, Deflection, is worthless hand-jamming junk and they
    can't stealth past the Gangrel. So it comes down to Tremere Combat versus
    Gangrel Combat which is a basically a battle of maneuvers with aggro-poke
    beating steal blood most of the time.

    2) I am not ragging on it, but merely pointing out that your deck, that you
    are handing to a newbie, would not work well even in the hands of a very
    experienced player. Not only would it not work, but in an environment where
    there are seasoned players it would horribly upset table balance by not
    putting any pressure on its prey and going backwards at its predator to
    survive.
    --
    Comments Welcome,
    Norman S. Brown, Jr
    XZealot
    Archon of the Swamp
  20. Archived from groups: rec.games.trading-cards.jyhad (More info?)

    "Preston" <prestonpoulter@hotmail.com> wrote in message
    news:1115262029.567215.29900@f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...

    > I believe that when barbed wire was first introduced to the west that
    > one of the sales pitches was that it was, "Cheap as dirt and strong as
    > whiskey." That's what I'm trying to go for here, a series of decks that
    > are as cheap as dirt (i.e. you can give away/trade cheap multiple decks
    > without costing yourself) but strong enough to hold up to a table or
    > more expensive decks.

    One bit of advice I have is if you are going to start creating basic decks
    for other players then avoid using group 1 or 2 vampires because the players
    will find it much harder to customize the deck. Using group 3/4 vampires
    will make it easier for them to find vampires they can add to their decks
    and will be more compatable with new expansions.

    I agree with other comments that the best way to get other players
    interested is to make up your own competitive decks with cards you have and
    lend them out, step one for new players should be to borrow a good balanced
    toolbox deck that isn't overly complex. You can achieve that with almost
    every clan. Obviously a malk deck will lean towards stealth/bleed and
    brujah towards combat, ventrue vote, etc. Just keep the design relatively
    simple.

    As for vampires, I would keep the average around 6ish, if you slap in an IC
    they will be blinded by the light and influence it out because they are big
    and look very good. They would be better off with a 6 and a 5 when they are
    learning because they will make a lot of mistakes and it is better to do it
    with a smaller vampire as less is invested in it.

    Once someone has played for a while with borrowed decks they will get a
    pretty good feel for what they prefer. If they like say Gangrel then they
    could get a precon of the desired clan and then buy the cards they need from
    ebay or another vtes card seller. You can usually pick up commons
    relatively cheaply and uncommons quite affordable. They can then pick the
    vampires they would like to add to their deck and make a very competitive
    deck for under $20.

    That is how I got into the game. If you are constantly giving away
    cards/decks then the quality of the decks you can offer to people will
    degrade and quite quickly. If your group can make a library of loan decks
    then you could probably go to Lassombra's site and pick out a number of good
    deck designs and as a group create a good variety of 'loan decks' which your
    new players can borrow until they are addicted and then wish to create their
    own decks. Access to that variety of good competitive decks will give them
    more of a buzz in my opinion.

    You can then help people to make the decks of their choice if and when they
    get to that point.
  21. Archived from groups: rec.games.trading-cards.jyhad (More info?)

    Preston wrote:
    > OK, in a couple of week I anticipate getting together with an
    > experienced player and 2-3 newbies. I will play Bared Wire- Gangrel,.
    > the other player will play Dual Form, and the newbies will play their
    > play deck. I will let you know the results.
    >
    > Just so you know, this evening at a demo another guy showed up with an
    > intercept Tremere Anarch deck and Barbed Wire beat him handily. I
    > really feel like you guys are ragging on it for no good reason ;.
    >

    I don't think anyone is ragging on your deck.

    My point was more that a brand spanking new player will find a nice
    simple deck much easier to cope with AND ousting one or more people
    gives them a good feeling about the game.

    Most first games are engineered in my experience. There isn't much point
    in having three other players using ass kicking and name taking decks
    against a newbie deck.

    I prefer to play some precon decks for new players as everyone starts
    off with similar disadvantages.

    Cheers

    James
  22. Archived from groups: rec.games.trading-cards.jyhad (More info?)

    On 4 May 2005 20:00:29 -0700, Preston <prestonpoulter@hotmail.com> wrote:

    > I believe that when barbed wire was first introduced to the west that
    > one of the sales pitches was that it was, "Cheap as dirt and strong as
    > whiskey." That's what I'm trying to go for here, a series of decks that
    > are as cheap as dirt (i.e. you can give away/trade cheap multiple decks
    > without costing yourself) but strong enough to hold up to a table or
    > more expensive decks.
    >
    > The fact that you are going to be giving away multiple decks dictates
    > that any such deck adhere to certain parameters: it can't contain more
    > than a few copies of any given card- I drew the line at five; it can't
    > utilize cards that you wouldn't freely want to give away- so loading up
    > on majesties and voter caps in your venture deck is probably not a good
    > idea.
    >
    > To solve these problems I have made deck primarily of rarely used Jyhad
    > cards and limited the deck size to 60 cards. I have endeavored to make
    > one deck from each clan. Here is the Gangrel deck. Let me know what you
    > think.

    Good idea, good deck (considering the self-imposed limitations), still,
    I basically disagree with the concept. I don't really think you should
    give whole decks away. Here's what I would do:

    1. Teach the player the game and have them hooked through special basic
    decks (to be lent for playing).

    2. If the player starts playing and buys starters/boosters, throw a bunch
    of seldom used commons his way. This way he has options, and (at least)
    can fill in the slots for a new deck. Some weapons, some basic cards
    (don't forget to include stuff like a Doll or two and some Wakes as well).

    3. Play and have fun. Presumably you'll have happy players.

    As for the basic decks, since you don't have to give them away, I'd
    consider
    a different set of design principles.

    #1. The deck should follow a simple repetitious formula. Like, using a clan
    with 3 disciplines, and including 4×3 cards for each discipline.

    #2. The cards included should mostly be commons (simply because those are
    the cards a new player will first reliably have to build decks on), and
    if possible should be useful cards (like, for any, something like:
    4×Carrion Crows, 4×Raven Spy, 4× Cat's Guidance). You can use rares, if
    they are really that good. Most of the time though you don't need them.
    There were earlier threads on what the three best cards are for each
    discipline; some of those are good starts.

    #3. Keeping at 60 cards is fine.

    So I'd probably use something like this:

    Animalism - 12
    4× Carrion Crows
    4× Cat's Guidance
    4× Raven Spy

    Protean - 12
    4× Bone Spur
    4× Flesh of Marble
    4× Form of Mist

    Fortitude - 12
    4× Freak Drive
    4× Hidden Strength
    4× Skin of Steel

    Gangrel Cards - 4
    1× Backways
    1× Ecoterrorists
    1× Gangrel Revel
    1× Zoo Hunting Ground

    Miscellaneous - 20
    4× Blood Doll
    4× Computer Hacking
    4× Wake with Evening's Freshness
    4× Bum's Rush
    4× Fame

    ....or something like this. Just so that the player gets acquainted
    with the basic cards. Plus, when he starts collecting, he'll
    already know most of the stuff he first sees (and will still go
    "wow" on the rares).

    --
    Bye,

    Daneel
  23. Archived from groups: rec.games.trading-cards.jyhad (More info?)

    Hey Daneel,

    Thanks for your feedback. I am curious as to why you feel that I
    shouldn't give decks away. As someone doing regular demos, White Wolf
    is having me do just that. And, it works! People go, "I don't know that
    game, but I guess I learn since you are giving this to me for free." It
    turns people who don't know anything about the game into people who
    have at least played.

    Then the next hurdle is taking these players who have completed their
    demo and getting them ready to where they are feeling comfortable with
    the game and the group. Typically if they develop a comfort level, then
    they will make a financial commitment if they have some disposable
    income. The idea of these decks is that they can play them and do OK at
    a ring game (which can't be said for the demo decks) and allow
    themselves to get more exposed to the game.

    Lastly, from a more selfish point of view, I don't always give these
    away: new players really seem to appreciate a decently tuned deck
    because they are having problems making one themselves. I can typically
    trade one of these decks away for a rare or two that they weren't
    really using and its a win-win. I transform commons into rares, and
    they get more decks they can play and enjoy.
  24. Archived from groups: rec.games.trading-cards.jyhad (More info?)

    Bah, Blood Doll is a crutch I tell you. Once they succor from her dark
    teat they will never learn to fend for their own pool. Thereafter it
    will be 6 in every deck. A curse I say!
  25. Archived from groups: rec.games.trading-cards.jyhad (More info?)

    Preston wrote:
    > Bah, Blood Doll is a crutch I tell you. Once they succor from her
    dark
    > teat they will never learn to fend for their own pool. Thereafter it
    > will be 6 in every deck. A curse I say!

    Well, then you should be fine with giving these away since you have no
    need for such a crutch.
  26. Archived from groups: rec.games.trading-cards.jyhad (More info?)

    No, I could quite easily give Blood Dolls away. I have roughly 8 decks
    in various states of development right now and they use a combined
    total of 4 blood dolls- so I just don't use the card much. But, in this
    deck, it seems like STI is a better because it has a few master phase
    actions to spare and its not draining blood off of the minion. Sure,
    one could take an Animalism Weenie and turn him into a perpetual hunter
    with a blood doll on him, but then he's not bleeding.
  27. Archived from groups: rec.games.trading-cards.jyhad (More info?)

    On 10 May 2005 09:03:07 -0700, Preston <prestonpoulter@hotmail.com> wrote:

    > Hey Daneel,
    >
    > Thanks for your feedback. I am curious as to why you feel that I
    > shouldn't give decks away. As someone doing regular demos, White Wolf
    > is having me do just that. And, it works! People go, "I don't know that
    > game, but I guess I learn since you are giving this to me for free." It
    > turns people who don't know anything about the game into people who
    > have at least played.

    Could be. Come to think of it, I wasn't really against giving out decks;
    I just felt like lending decks based on good commons might do more for
    the players. I imagine having these "noobie" decks around each gaming
    night, so when someone wants to play, they can, and get a simple but
    effective deck to do so with.

    > Then the next hurdle is taking these players who have completed their
    > demo and getting them ready to where they are feeling comfortable with
    > the game and the group. Typically if they develop a comfort level, then
    > they will make a financial commitment if they have some disposable
    > income. The idea of these decks is that they can play them and do OK at
    > a ring game (which can't be said for the demo decks) and allow
    > themselves to get more exposed to the game.

    This is what I think could be done better. Nothing fancy, just a reliable
    distribution of some solid commons (and since you don't really have an
    abundance of those, you might consider building these decks and only
    lending them to the new players).

    > Lastly, from a more selfish point of view, I don't always give these
    > away: new players really seem to appreciate a decently tuned deck
    > because they are having problems making one themselves. I can typically
    > trade one of these decks away for a rare or two that they weren't
    > really using and its a win-win. I transform commons into rares, and
    > they get more decks they can play and enjoy.

    I can see where this is coming from (I'm drowning in commons, especially
    the useless ones that don't really go into more than one or two decks).
    That said, a nice bonfire might solve many issues (or just hand out
    these packs'o'commons to noobies to give them some filler cards). A
    Short Term Investment may not be a winner card, but it works just fine
    as a filler if you are short a Master or two. Yet I wouldn't really
    include them in a serious precon-type deck.

    Especially since Blood Doll is THE CARD for noobies. Blood Doll is the
    best blood management card for players who don't know what they're
    doing. Noobies are just like that: they don't really know what they are
    doing. They don't really have enough experience to know how to play
    their decks, how to distinguish between the stages of a game, etc. For
    them Blood Doll is the best card, as it allows them some leeway in
    their play.

    --
    Bye,

    Daneel
  28. Archived from groups: rec.games.trading-cards.jyhad (More info?)

    Derek Ray wrote:

    (snip snip snip)

    > And they can't learn the bleed deck until they play IT, too. And one
    > good thing about bleed decks; it introduces people to the basics of
    > stealth, intercept, and tactics quite readily, while still keeping
    them
    > competitive. Handing a combat deck to a new player is like giving a
    > Swiss Army Knife to a 4-year old and saying "Peel me some potatoes,
    and
    > then open this wine."

    *drops two cents on the table*

    I agree, and for the same reason I keep around a "Sneak-Bleed 101" to
    teach a newbie with. One other good thing comes from keeping the deck
    competitive - with a Malk bleed deck, for instance, there is a chance
    the new player will actually gain a VP or even win his first game! And
    in my experience, that is one of the best ways to retain a new player -
    lots of people dislike the idea of losing more than they win.

    Dorrinal Blackmantle
    Chronicler of Clan Tremere
  29. Archived from groups: rec.games.trading-cards.jyhad (More info?)

    There will be 6 other decks for each clan. The Gangrel and not bleed
    masters, and they have to learn it at some point.
  30. Archived from groups: rec.games.trading-cards.jyhad (More info?)

    OK, we held the test today. I played Barbed Wire Gangrel, Jon, another
    experienced player played Dual Form (and bitched incesantly). Jessica,
    a newbie who typically plays a Malk Sneak & Bleed I made for her, was
    Jon's predator and he begged her not to play it so he could "have a
    chance." Instead she played a Venture deck that I also made for her.
    Jon's prey was Jeff, an experienced player who played a deck that just
    failed completely to do whatever it was supposed to do: Jeff hardly did
    little but block and bleed for one the whole game. Jeff's prey was
    playing a !Venture vote deck that Jeff ahd assembeled and my predator
    (yes, it was a 6 player game) was playing a Lasombra combat deck that
    Jeff has also made. As the game developed, my predator played a
    Parthenon and a Zillah's Valley first turn, followed by a Zillah's
    Valley second turn and got out to fairly hefty Lasombra.

    I got out Anastasia Grey on my second turn. I took a 2 bleed from my
    predator because of the massive combat nature of the deck and the size
    of the minion. I bleed with Anastasia for 1 and put out my second
    Camille Dev. Camille did block the Lassombra's bleed this time, and we
    sent each other to torpor (he with entombment, me with claws). He then
    rescued his Lasombra. On my turn, Camille Rapid Healed herself back
    into play and I bleed for two with my two other vamps.

    Then, the !Venture ousted my predator with some vote/bleed
    combinations. It was down to 5 players and pretty much off to the
    races. I ambushed a !Ventrue and torpored him, but then I had to decide
    whether to diabilerize him and lose a minion or let him be. I let him
    be, which was probably a mistake.

    The !Ventrue had vote lock on his next turn after he rescued himself
    and transferred up another poltiical voter. Never facing a strong
    predator was allowed the !Ventrue to come down on me pretty hard. Jon
    with Dual Form did manage to get an out with some Stanisolva stealth
    bleeds, with Jeff's deck having done little the whole game.

    >From there it was problematic, because Dual Form did not have enough
    umph to put pressure on my predator and he rained down a series of
    KRC/Con Agg and I was ousted soon after- 1 turn away from ousting my
    own prey myself from my army of rats and bleed actions.

    They played another turn before conceeding to the !Ventrue.

    We then broke the 6 player group into two three player groups. I again
    played Barbed Wire Gangrel, Jeff against played his Ravnos deck as my
    predator, and Jesse again played the Lasombra combat deck as my prey. I
    swept the three of them- the Lasombra combat deck was no match for
    Barbed Wire!

    >From there, Jesse and Jeff both agreed that I should relay to all the
    naysawers in this group that Barbed Wire Gangrel is a fine deck and to
    stop bagging on it. From my playtest though I think I am going to add
    two more Haven Uncovereds to the final version.
  31. Archived from groups: rec.games.trading-cards.jyhad (More info?)

    No, he had "Arms of the Abyss" he just didn't have it right then.
  32. Archived from groups: rec.games.trading-cards.jyhad (More info?)

    -----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
    Hash: SHA1

    Preston wrote:
    |>From there, Jesse and Jeff both agreed that I should relay to all the
    | naysawers in this group that Barbed Wire Gangrel is a fine deck and to
    | stop bagging on it. From my playtest though I think I am going to add
    | two more Haven Uncovereds to the final version.

    You play with fish.

    Nuff said.

    - --
    Derek

    insert clever quotation here

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  33. Archived from groups: rec.games.trading-cards.jyhad (More info?)

    Here's the revised deck.

    Gangrel deck.

    Crypt
    Pick One of Wynn/Basillia/Angus
    Pick 4 of Camille Devereux, Quinton McDonnell, Zack North, Badger,
    Guitar St. Claire,
    Gunther - Beast Lord
    Bear Paw
    Ricki Van Demsy
    Anastasia Grey
    Roman Alexander
    Pick Two of: Giuliano Vincenzi, Vilam Andor, Navar McClaren


    Masters 11
    4xAnimalism
    3xShort Term Investment
    4xHaven Uncovered

    Actions 10
    Arson
    Rapid Healing
    2xRestoration
    3xBum's Rush/Ambush/Harass
    3xArmy of Rats

    Action Modifiers 2
    2xEarth Control

    Combat 25
    Canine Hoard
    5xAid From Bats
    5x(A mix of Gleam of the Red Eyes and Form of the Ghost)
    5x(A mix of Claws of the Dead and Wolf Claws)
    3xDrawing Out the Beast
    4xSkin of Rock
    2xSkin of Steel

    Reaction 8
    4xCat's Guidance
    4xRat's Warnings

    Equipment 5
    2xLabtop Computers
    3xWolf Companion
  34. Archived from groups: rec.games.trading-cards.jyhad (More info?)

    Derek Ray wrote:
    > -----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
    > Hash: SHA1
    >
    > Preston wrote:
    > |>From there, Jesse and Jeff both agreed that I should relay to all the
    > | naysawers in this group that Barbed Wire Gangrel is a fine deck and to
    > | stop bagging on it. From my playtest though I think I am going to add
    > | two more Haven Uncovereds to the final version.
    >
    > You play with fish.
    >
    > Nuff said.
    >
    > - --
    > Derek

    --Snip--

    To reiterate what I think most of the people who replied to this post said.

    There is nothing really wrong with the deck in general. Most people just
    didn't think it would be the best deck for a brand spanking newbie to
    begin with.

    And i'll just add....a Lasombra deck with no 'Arms of the Abyss', say it
    ain't so!

    Cheers

    James
  35. Archived from groups: rec.games.trading-cards.jyhad (More info?)

    -----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
    Hash: SHA1

    James Scott wrote:
    | To reiterate what I think most of the people who replied to this post
    said.
    |
    | There is nothing really wrong with the deck in general. Most people just
    | didn't think it would be the best deck for a brand spanking newbie to
    | begin with.

    Yeah, I probably should clarify it. While I did intend the post to be
    rude, I also would like it to be a bit informational.

    | And i'll just add....a Lasombra deck with no 'Arms of the Abyss', say it
    | ain't so!

    That's #1 on my list of "WTF?" when reading that last post. A Lasombra
    deck that's going to be running Entombment needs to be packing at least
    1x Arms of the Abyss for every Entombment it intends to play, and then
    1x more for every time it thinks the opposing minion will dodge, S:CE,
    or otherwise make the additional strike worthless unless it's "hands".
    No deck can afford to routinely be playing Entombment for 2 and blowing
    1+ on its opponents' hand strikes; and while some Lasombra do come with
    Fortitude, that's still a harder way to go. A decently built Entombment
    deck should chew up the listed eye-poke Gangrel deck (no Scorpion
    Sting), and all the Gangrel should be Grave Robbed almost immediately
    for having the temerity to NOT pack a means to foil "dodge".

    #2 on the list was that the Ventrue predator, with both Majesty and Skin
    of Steel available, took so long to oust the effectively defenseless
    Gangrel prey.

    #3 was the !Ventrue prey who wasn't stuffed to the gills with Fortitude
    and capable of ignoring his predator's occasional Rush actions.
    !Ventrue still don't have effective stealth unless you play the
    Quentin/Gustav brigade, so an !Ventrue deckbuilder needs to assume that
    regular combat will be a part of each game, and plan accordingly. A
    predator who's nice enough to Rush you and cycle your defense is all in
    a day's work.

    #4 was that Army of Rats ever did any damage at all. Here's my
    impression of how a turn should look, played reasonably well on both parts:

    BW Minion #1: I put the Army of Rats in play.
    BW Minion #2: I bleed for 1.
    BW Minion #3: I stay untapped to block hostile actions.
    - -- turn passes --
    Prey Minion #1: I remove the Army of Rats.
    BW Minion #3: I block. (fight ensues, prey #1 goes to torpor MAYBE)
    Prey Minion #2: I remove the Army of Rats.
    BW Meth: Damn. I'm tapped out. I don't block.
    Prey Minion #3: I rescue Minion #1.
    BW Meth: Rat's Warning no good. I don't block.

    So much for Army of Rats. If you're going to rely on it for offense,
    you gotta be able to untap and defend it from your prey, while still
    surviving your predator. The posted deck had no untap that wasn't
    predator-oriented; even if you will lose to the deck in combat, the Army
    will go away and you can rescue your guys. Easy.

    [no longer addressed to James from here forward]

    Perhaps I sound rude -- but quite simply, Preston, you've got the
    blinders on full and you're completely ignoring almost everything
    everybody is saying to you. Adding a snide "ha, ha, i was right" post
    on top of it? None of us are impressed. Maybe the deck can win in your
    group, but what is going to happen when someone plays a REAL deck? I
    already noticed in your post that someone had to beg for no stealth
    bleed to be played -- it looks like your group is quite capable of
    differentiating between "real" decks and "funsie" decks. Barbed Wire is
    firmly in the "funsie" category, I'm afraid, and all our advice is
    geared towards helping you and your group AVOID being trapped in
    "funsie" land forever, where there has to be an implicit social contract
    to NOT try to win for a game to occur. That's no good long-term; the
    social pressure eventually destroys playgroups or makes the good players
    leave -- and those good players are the ones who are most likely to be
    most active, as well.

    - --
    Derek

    insert clever quotation here

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  36. Archived from groups: rec.games.trading-cards.jyhad (More info?)

    On Mon, 16 May 2005 12:54:06 -0400, Derek Ray <lorimer@yahoo.com> wrote:

    > #4 was that Army of Rats ever did any damage at all. Here's my
    > impression of how a turn should look, played reasonably well on both
    > parts:

    [snip]

    > Prey Minion #1: I remove the Army of Rats.

    How about this one:

    Ventrue Antitribu Minion #1: Wow, my predator has an army of rats! Ouch!
    What to do? I know. Bleed for six.

    > Perhaps I sound rude -- but quite simply, Preston, you've got the
    > blinders on full and you're completely ignoring almost everything
    > everybody is saying to you. Adding a snide "ha, ha, i was right" post
    > on top of it? None of us are impressed.

    Just left it in because it is easy to see it being said to you (instead
    of by you). Splinter, beam.

    > Barbed Wire is
    > firmly in the "funsie" category, I'm afraid, and all our advice is
    > geared towards helping you and your group AVOID being trapped in
    > "funsie" land forever, where there has to be an implicit social contract
    > to NOT try to win for a game to occur. That's no good long-term; the
    > social pressure eventually destroys playgroups or makes the good players
    > leave -- and those good players are the ones who are most likely to be
    > most active, as well.

    That's bullshit for two reasons. On the one hand, doing *something* is
    often better than doing nothing at all. Condemning someone for handing
    out "funsie" decks to newbies for free (or almost free) is extreme
    short-sightedness; he is, at least, doing *something*.

    On the other, the natural evolution of a "funsie land" playgroup is
    towards "real" decks. Been there, done that, even have some T-shirts.
    When I started playing we had a number of unwritten house rules that
    are probably rather laughable from a tournament player POV. Really,
    it didn't matter, we were playing in a secluded group and we didn't
    really have the cards to play big league anyway. When our decks started
    to grow stronger, the limits eroded because of necessity.

    Truth is, the only viable strategy for a player with few cards is Stealth
    Bleed. You generally need more cards to vote, and especially to combat
    or wall. Therefor in a beginner group sneak bleed is feared. As soon as
    people have more cards, it stops being a problem.

    --
    Bye,

    Daneel
  37. Archived from groups: rec.games.trading-cards.jyhad (More info?)

    Made some minor changes.

    Gangrel deck.

    Crypt
    Pick One of Wynn/Basillia/Angus
    Pick 4 of Camille Devereux, Quinton McDonnell, Zack North, Badger,
    Guitar St. Claire,
    Gunther - Beast Lord
    Bear Paw
    Ricki Van Demsy
    Anastasia Grey
    Roman Alexander
    Pick Two of: Giuliano Vincenzi, Vilam Andor, Navar McClaren

    Masters 10
    Fortitude
    3xAnimalism
    3xShort Term Investment
    3xHaven Uncovered

    Actions 12
    Arson
    Rapid Healing
    3xRestoration
    4xBum's Rush/Ambush/Harass
    3xArmy of Rats

    Action Modifiers 2
    2xEarth Control

    Combat 23
    Canine Hoard
    5xAid From Bats
    3x(A mix of Gleam of the Red Eyes and Form of the Ghost)
    5x(A mix of Claws of the Dead and Wolf Claws)
    3xDrawing Out the Beast
    2xSkin of Rock
    2xSkin of Steel
    Indominability
    Unflinching Persistance

    Reaction 8
    4xCat's Guidance
    4xRat's Warnings

    Equipment/Retainers 5
    Raven Spy
    2xLabtop Computers
    2xWolf Companion

    Cheers,
    Preston
  38. Archived from groups: rec.games.trading-cards.jyhad (More info?)

    great. I love the idea. I've created similar decks here for my demo
    purposes in columbus ohio, but never handed any out. I should follow up
    on demoing sometime real soon, but other things have happened.

    However, I've placed other restrictions on myself, which makes it
    better for noobs to jump into the game.

    1.) don't restrict yourself to mono clan
    2.) no body bigger than 7 in the crypt
    3.) 50 card deck, 10 card crypt (makes easier for me to afford to give
    out cards, and forces them into buying SOMEthing if they want to
    'legally' play).
    4.) group 2-3-4 vampires only. No Group 1, and avoid G2 whenever
    possible.
    If you hand them a deck with g1 gangrel, how the HELL are they going to
    buy boosters to suppliment their decks? They can't!

    anyhow. Good luck to you, and may you strongly consider point 1 and 2
    above.
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