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TOPIC: Vampire: the Eternal Struggle (the game formerly known as Jyhad)

Vampire: the Eternal Struggle (the game formerly known as Jyhad) 04 Sep 2018 12:18 #281084

Ah, Brujah...Fist of Death, Blur, Pulled Fangs...POOOF
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Vampire: the Eternal Struggle (the game formerly known as Jyhad) 04 Sep 2018 13:08 #281091

Ken B. wrote:
Ah, Brujah...Fist of Death, Blur, Pulled Fangs...POOOF

For the first several months that I played Jyhad, I only played Brujah. It was a great way to learn the combat system. I won many battles but lost every game. The first time I ever won Jyhad was with a Giovanni deck from the first expansion set. Giovanni had Potence, too, but also Dominate, which some players consider the best discipline in the game.

One thing the game lost over time was contestation of unique cards. Every vampire was a unique character, and many of the Prince/Archbishop titles could potentially be contested. There was even some unique equipment cards and a few unique allies. When you contested a card with another player, both of you flipped the card face down and paid a pool at the start of each of your turns. Soon, one of you would yield to the other and the winning player got to put it back in play. One time I played in a sealed deck tournament that only used the Jyhad base set. This one whiny girl in the tournament ended up contesting two vampires each with two other players, her predator and her prey (me). She broke down crying, and we didn't laugh until after she left.
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Vampire: the Eternal Struggle (the game formerly known as Jyhad) 04 Sep 2018 15:31 #281098

When Jyhad came out in 1994. I remember excitedly buying a pack or starter or something. Then my dad found the cards and was pissed about it having the f word or some "too mature" art or something. I had to take them back and started hiding any new magic cards I bought.
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Vampire: the Eternal Struggle (the game formerly known as Jyhad) 05 Sep 2018 06:07 #281117

Ken B. wrote:
The base set was so large that there was a lot to explore. This group was together for just over a year and we never really got tired of playing it. And when we thought a strategy was solved, something new would pop-up. Someone was convinced that the Toreadors could not truly be competitive, until I designed a Masika/Talbot's Chainsaw deck that made anyone sorry they sat next to me because I'd intercept and chop them to bloody pieces.
I looked and the base Jyhad set had about the same number of cards as the core and two cycles. It's not a direct comparison (Netrunner has more useful cards than other the average CCG) but it shows how large these sets were.

I'm told Magic sets are now much smaller than they used to be, too.
It was definitely a product of its time in terms of complexity. As time went on in the CCG market rules got simpler and a lot of clunkiness we forgave in the 90s really went out of vogue. (Like...even *trying* to imagine Middle Earth: The Wizards coming out today is just...I mean....no. Not happening.)
I realized how complex the game was yesterday, when it dawned upon me that most cards are multi-purporse.

Think about that. The actual cards are not only complex in and on themselves (Disciplines, clan, cost, type) but have two often unrelated effects. In practice, this means each card is equivalent to two different cards in another game. And, unlike other games, they are cards that don't sit on the table where you can read them but are often played from hand when you don't expect them.

There's also a fair amount of "roleplaying content" like small flavour abilities which I think is just poor design.
Shellhead wrote:
That 419 Operation card that I mentioned upthread functions similarly to a staple card that dates back to the original base set, Army of Rats.
Huh, in my game we had a player with Army of Rats. I didn't notice it was practically the same thing.
It's possible that the final sets ruined Jyhad, or at least reduced the quality of the game. I understand why CCG publishers make the later cards more powerful or more efficient, to give players an incentive to keep buying. But when the game becomes unbalanced due to the increasing power of cards, it alienates the players who can't afford to keep using their bank account as a game component. The alternative to power creep is to phase out older sets from competitive play. That can also alienate existing players, but makes it easier for new players to get into the game, as they only need to understand the currently legal cards. Maybe that lack of um, new blood was the long-term downfall of Jyhad.
In my experience, while power creep to drive sales has sometimes happened, the vast majority of the time it's simply poor planning and a lack of rotation/division/metacontrol that causes it.

Imagine the average power level of cards is 5 out of 10. You release cards aiming for that power level. However, some end up being a bit stronger, say, a 6. The average has increased, by natural mistakes and now it's 5.5. As time goes on and more and more cards are released, the power level shifts from 5 to a 6. And when it does, all the 5-power cards you release become useless. You have reached a point in which all good decks use above-average cards and have no need for less.

So, you either do something about it (Rotation, divide up the cards amongst different factions, etc.) or push the average level to a 6 instead of a 5.

You can also do something else, which is to push horizontally (More archetypes). But this is very, very hard to do and often ends up with complexity creep (More factions) or with the good-stuff decks just picking up the supposedly narrow stuff.

Netrunner is probably the game that has handled this the best, for a bunch of reasons:

1) The game is heavily mathematical. It's very obvious when a card is over the curve or makes another redundant.
2) The game is heavily divided into factions. There are 3 Runner factions and 4 Corporations. There's crossover, but it comes at a price and key cards are faction-locked. Some cards are also limited to certain playstyles or kinds of decks.
3) There are very few cards. The core set has 120 cards divided in two sides and then between 3 or 4 factions. If my search is correct, the game has a total of 1500 cards or so. This is very, very low for a cardgame.
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Vampire: the Eternal Struggle (the game formerly known as Jyhad) 01 Nov 2018 05:14 #285047

I just wanted to say that I've come across several of Shellhead's and DJ Hedgehog's posts in VEKN.net and they were always some of the best comments in the forum.
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Vampire: the Eternal Struggle (the game formerly known as Jyhad) 01 Nov 2018 08:21 #285062

Erik Twice wrote:
I just wanted to say that I've come across several of Shellhead's and DJ Hedgehog's posts in VEKN.net and they were always some of the best comments in the forum.

Are the old forum posts archived somewhere? I haven't posted there in recent years, and when I checked today (after struggling to remember my username and password), it appeared that all the forum posts are from the last 60 days or so.
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Vampire: the Eternal Struggle (the game formerly known as Jyhad) 03 Nov 2018 13:36 #285198

Hey sorry, I forgot to reply. Yeah, they should all be archived because I read posts from the 2010s and from way before too. Chances are you clicked on "forum" and saw only the most recent messages. Click on Index and work from there :)

For example, this is a 2011 thread on Parity Shift balance.
www.vekn.net/forum/card-balance-strategy...t-6-problematic-card
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Vampire: the Eternal Struggle (the game formerly known as Jyhad) 07 Nov 2018 22:10 #285558

Last month, I found out that there is a local group that plays Jyhad twice a week, Sundays and Thursday nights. Unfortunately, I live in a big metro area, so this local group is like 20+ miles away from me. I can potentially play on Sundays, but Thursday nights wouldn't be worth the drive, since I would probably only get in one game. Then a friend of mine started up a weekly Wednesday night group just a couple of miles from my house, at the FFG Event center. So I played a couple of games tonight.

First game could have been a nightmare. My predator was running that nasty 419 deck that I mentioned upthread. My prey was a very competent old-school player who happened to stop playing about 15 years ago. And one of the two guys across the table from me is such a bad sport that he was one of the reasons I stopped playing several years ago. But I was playing a decent Brujah deck that I hadn't played in a long time. Heavy combat, with lots of maneuverability and extra strikes with hard hits. It also had a light voting module that should have been wasted space in my deck except that nobody else was playing a voting deck that game. Using votes, I went against normal game strategy and hit my predator for a total of 13 pool loss, until he finally got ousted by his predator. Due to lack of pressure, my prey took down the bad sport, who was actually a very good sport tonight. At the end, my prey (now also my predator) and I battled to a standstill, exhausting our card decks. To avoid a long and potentially tedious endgame, we agreed to both withdraw, for 1 vp each. But he already had 2 vp, so he won. He was running a Giovanni deck that did big bleeds and a wide range of necromancy effects.

Second game was less engaging. I ran an imbued (humans who hunt monsters) deck with lots of weapons, Gehenna cards, and intercept capability. My predator was a very inexperienced Tzimisce player who didn't put any pressure on me. My prey was running an Assamite deck that was very focused on targeting an enemy vampire and then beating the hell out of it. He didn't have much intercept to stop me, so he instead targeted my vampires for attacks. But my downfall was a voting deck across the table that was incidentally hurting me with global effects.
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