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Barbed Wire Project: Gangrel Deck

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Anonymous
May 5, 2005 12:00:29 AM

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
Anonymous
May 5, 2005 1:11:24 AM

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.
Anonymous
May 5, 2005 5:17:59 AM

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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Related resources
Anonymous
May 5, 2005 11:03:04 AM

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.
Anonymous
May 5, 2005 11:34:07 AM

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.
Anonymous
May 5, 2005 11:35:24 AM

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.
Anonymous
May 5, 2005 12:44:52 PM

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
Anonymous
May 5, 2005 1:17:17 PM

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.
Anonymous
May 5, 2005 1:30:28 PM

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
Anonymous
May 5, 2005 1:41:02 PM

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.
Anonymous
May 5, 2005 3:50:06 PM

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.
Anonymous
May 5, 2005 4:13:23 PM

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.
Anonymous
May 5, 2005 5:43:48 PM

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
Anonymous
May 5, 2005 6:11:34 PM

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
Anonymous
May 5, 2005 9:07:52 PM

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
Anonymous
May 6, 2005 12:57:09 AM

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 ;.
Anonymous
May 6, 2005 4:57:58 AM

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
May 6, 2005 8:14:12 AM

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
Anonymous
May 6, 2005 10:37:19 AM

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.
Anonymous
May 6, 2005 1:44:35 PM

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
Anonymous
May 6, 2005 3:57:46 PM

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.
Anonymous
May 6, 2005 10:34:00 PM

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
Anonymous
May 10, 2005 11:16:01 AM

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
Anonymous
May 10, 2005 1:03:07 PM

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.
Anonymous
May 10, 2005 7:42:38 PM

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!
Anonymous
May 10, 2005 8:20:33 PM

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.
Anonymous
May 10, 2005 8:37:37 PM

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.
Anonymous
May 10, 2005 10:33:04 PM

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
Anonymous
May 11, 2005 3:18:45 PM

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
Anonymous
May 11, 2005 3:43:08 PM

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.
Anonymous
May 15, 2005 9:49:10 PM

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.
Anonymous
May 16, 2005 11:27:24 AM

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.
Anonymous
May 16, 2005 11:44:50 AM

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

-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
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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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Anonymous
May 16, 2005 12:05:30 PM

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
Anonymous
May 17, 2005 3:46:06 AM

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
Anonymous
May 17, 2005 3:46:07 AM

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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Anonymous
May 17, 2005 4:39:03 PM

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
Anonymous
May 26, 2005 3:03:05 AM

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
Anonymous
May 26, 2005 6:20:24 PM

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.
!