V:EKN Clan Toreador Newsletter, January 2000

Toreador Clan Newsletter Vol 2, Issue 1
I. Introduction
This month I discuss the future of the game and my hopes for the next
millennium.  The strategy corner looks at the effects different group
sizes may have on deck types.  Finally, I introduce a Presence/Stealth
Toreador deck.

II. Soap Box
Perhaps the biggest advantage of not being part of the latest fad is
that you aren't caught up in the frenzy and hype and are able to take a
longer look at the effects of the fad.  Although I find the current
Pokemon craze to be somewhat annoying (I haven't actually played the
game) there is some benefit to it.  The attention that Pokemon is
getting is opening people's eyes to CCG's in general, they are
realizing that there is something other than Magic to the hobby.  In
addition, Pokemon is bringing new players into the hobby, although of
the somewhat immature level.  Hopefully, once they tire of collecting
cards and really want to study the game mechanics, they will discover
the emptiness of Pokemon.  This is where VTES has the potential to
gather lots of new players.
Pokemon attracts mostly 8-12 year-olds.  In a few years these players
will tire of Pokemon and also be going through teenage years.  That,
for me anyway, meant black clothes, foul mood swings and late night
gaming sessions.  What better fit than the "darker" setting of VTES?
Lots of CCG hobbyist could find the cure for Pokemon in VTES.  Where
Pokemon is cute and friendly, VTES is violent.  You bleed, you punch,
you shoot, and you diablerize.  What could be more satisfying than
that?  I hope that Hasbro is able to keep Pokemon players interested in
the hobby once they tire of Pokemon.  With new players and greater
demands for cards, the next millennium (beginning in 2001) will be fun
indeed.

III. Strategy Session
It is an interesting aspect of the game that decks behave differently
based on the number of players playing.  In a three player game, for a
rush combat deck, sending your prey's minion to torpor causes your
predator to be stronger and therefore puts more pressure on you to
defend.  Sending your predator's minions to torpor increases the speed
at which your prey gains victory points. There is an inherent balance
you must keep in order to limit the strength of the other two players.
Four player games, however, have the opposite effect.  Sending your
prey's minion to torpor causes your grandprey / grandpredator to be
stronger and therefore puts more pressure on your predator, freeing you
to attack your prey.  In larger games, rush combat decks can often make
deals in order to gain favors, sending minions to torpor in return for
pool gain, votes against your prey, etc.

Stealth/weenie bleed decks face slightly different dynamics.  In a
three player game, your prey and predator may call a truce in an
attempt to oust you (unless they are also stealth bleeders).  However,
the speed of your deck should allow you to sweep the table without much
trouble (my simple misdirect weenie dominator deck frequently gained
two victory points before it ran out of steam).  In a four player game,
you may face attacks from all three players, depending on how likely
your grand predator is to oust his prey quickly.  Your prey will focus
on defending, freeing your grand prey to attack your predator.  In
larger games, your deck is less effective because you have little, if
anything, to offer others players in return for favors.  Although
stealth/weenie bleed decks are very effective in smaller groups, they
can be targeted by larger groups of players for quick elimination.
Vote decks face the most interesting, but difficult to predict

dynamic.  In a three player game, you are unlikely to gets support for
your votes.  Anything which helps you damages your predator and/or
prey.  Any intercept will try to shut down your votes and forming
alliances means helping your predator or prey.  A four player game,
however, can be an ideal setting for a vote deck.  You may be able to
get vote lock, getting any votes from your grandpredator/grandprey by
damaging you predator and you may be able to cut deals to keep minions
from intercepting.  In larger groups, your deck can also be very
effective by taking advantage of shifting alliances and forming voting
blocks with other players.  It requires, by far, the most amount of
negotiating skill but, in the end, can lead to a very rewarding game.


IV. Deck of the Month
Toreador Stealth Bleeders
This deck uses a simple concept.  Take a group of minions with one
strong discipline and add another.  In this case, giving stealth to
Toreadors provides an easy way to get bleeds through while retaining
the benefit of Presence for both bleeding and S:CE and Auspex for
intercepting.   Using Anson and the Parthenon can help distribute the
obfuscate cards quickly and lots of bleeding actions will help the deck
cycle.  In three games this deck gained 1, 2 and 3 victory points (and
a win).

1	Antoinette Duchamp1	pre cel
1	Delilah Easton	2	pre
1	Lena Rowe		3	aus obf pre
1	Demetrius Slater	4	pre aus cel
1	Marianna Gilbert	4	PRE aus
1	Felicia Mostrom	5	pre AUS CEL
1	Ramiel DuPre	5	PRE cel aus
1	Jost Werner		6	PRE AUS ani
1	Eliott Sinclair	7	PRE cel aus
3	Anson			8	PRE CEL aus dom

22 Master Cards
8	M	Obfuscate
2	M	Presence
1	M	Secure Haven
1	M	Elder Library
1	M	Sudden Reversal
1	M	Society Hunting Ground
1	M	Art Museum
1	M	Direct Intervention
1	M	Information Highway
1	M	Dreams of the Sphinx
1	M	Archon Investigation
1	M	Slave Auction
1	M	Parthenon, The
1	M	Life Boon

18 Action
12	N	Social Charm
6	N	Legal Manipulations

22 Action Moifiers
12	N	Cloak the Gathering
6	N	Aire of Elation
4	N	Lost in Crowds

16 Combat
12	N	Majesty
4	N	Flash

12 Reaction
6	N	Wake with evenings Freshness
4	N	Telepathic Misdirection
2	N	Dread Gaze

V.  Letters
I received a letter last month with some good advice for my Toreador
Intercept deck.  Here it is in a somewhat edited form…

"The problem that I see with the deck that you've outlined in your
November '99 newsletter is that there is nothing to entice your prey
into attacking, beyond the single Revelation that you have included… In
order to force your prey into attacking, cards that can be destroyed or
stolen by other players may be of interest to you such as the The Rack,
Powerbase: Chicago, Smiling Jack the Anarch, etc.

Your deck, because of the high number of superior-auspex vampires in
your crypt, would also benefit from the inclusion of several Telepathic
Misdirection. Afterall, why bother bleeding your prey when you can get
your predator to do it for you? Telepathic Misdirection also doubles as
an intercept card.

Additionally, since you are "awakening" your tapped vampires
exclusively for the purpose of blocking offensive actions, you should
replace the 6 Wake with Evening's Freshness with an extra 6 Forced
Awakening.

Take Care!
Mattrim."

I agree with everything he says.  I had discarded the telepathic
misdirection initially because I figured I could block almost anything
coming, but forcing someone into stealth then deflecting makes a lot of
sense.  Also, the recent newsgroup discussion seems to agree that FA
works better in intercept decks (if I had more…)


Please send all comments, questions and criticism to
toreadors@hotmail.com
Deck ideas and strategies are encouraged.
Submitted by Chris Miller, January 14, 2000