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

11 Jan 2019 10:57 #289793 by Shellhead
The four upcoming starters cover the three standard strategies for winning:

Lasombra: political
Tremere antitribu: bleed (some stealth/bleed, some bruise/bleed)
Tzimisce: combat
Toreador antitribu: an interesting gimmick bleed. There are a bunch of Embraced in the library, which are cheap, small, generic vampires. And there are three copies of Palla Grande, which gives all of your vampires a +1 bleed for three consecutive turns. So bring out a lot of small vampires, then play a Palla Grande and do a lot of bleeding.

For more variety, you are either looking at variations of the three standard strategies for winning, or something experimental. Here are some past starter decks of decent quality:

Ventrue (Camarilla Edition or Keepers of Tradition): political
Barons (Anarchs): political
Malkavian (Camarilla Edition or Keepers of Tradition): steath/bleed
Followers of Set (Final Nights): stealth/bleed
Brujah (Camarilla Edition): combat
Tzimisce (Third Edition): combat

If you are able to buy a starter box, Camarilla Edition and Keepers of Tradition are the best. Black Hand and Legacies of Blood are good. Sabbat War and Final Nights are the worst. Heirs to the Blood is interesting, but more challenging for new players, as each starter contains a clan and a bloodline, and the way to play those decks is less obvious to a new player. The Baali starter deck is a hot mess, so if you are looking for interesting potential that needs serious reworking, that is your deck.

Here is a link to deck lists for all the past starters decks:


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11 Jan 2019 11:19 #289800 by Shellhead
My favorite part of the game has always been the combats, though the political element is often interesting. The other night, I was playing a fairly normal Tremere bruise and bleed deck, except that I loaded up on blood stealing effects, especially in combat. My predator was a new player running a classic Tzimisce War Ghoul deck, except that he only managed to get out one War Ghoul.

He sent the war ghoul after my best vampire, Rebekka the 8-cap with +1 stealth on all of her actions. She only had 4 blood, so my predator was delighted to play a Trap to prolong the combat for at least three rounds that should ensure my doom.

I schooled that war ghoul. First round, I used Movement of the Mind to go to range, leaving the War Ghoul useless while I used Theft of Vitae to steal two blood so Rebekka had six. Second round, I didn't have a maneuver, so the War Ghoul hit for four damage while I used another Theft of Vitae to steal two blood. By this point, Rebekka still has four blood, while the War Ghoul is nearly dead. Third round plays out just like the third as I play another Theft, but the war ghoul died and I was only able to steal one blood.

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17 Jan 2019 09:34 #290142 by Shellhead
Turns out that the Amaranth site is even better than I thought when it comes to proxy cards:


Not only do they have a database with text and even scans of every card in the game, but they have a deckbuilder feature. You can build your crypt of vampires for a deck and then build the library for your deck, and save them at the site with some brief notes about deck strategy. You can share that decklist or keep it private. They even note which cards have been banned, and all the cards use the latest official wording.

Most importantly, you can generate a pdf file that generates tournament-legal proxy cards for your entire deck, with nine cards on each page. You can print them in color or gray-scale, then put them in colored card sleeves, using other cards (even generic playing cards) to stiffen the sleeves for shuffling purposes. Even better still, you can choose to print only part of the deck, in case you already own some of the cards and just want to print the ones that you need. The site puts up a screen with the cards in your deck next to checkboxes. Uncheck the one that you don't need to print, and then it generates a new pdf file with just those cards.

There are a couple of costs to this approach. If your deck includes even one proxy card, you need to sleeve your entire deck. Legal decks have at least 12 cards in the crypt and from 60 to 90 cards in the library. And of course there are printing costs.

tl;dr You don't even need to buy cards to play this game. Just go to Amaranth and print your cards for free.
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17 Jan 2019 11:04 #290153 by Jazzbeaux

Shellhead wrote: tl;dr You don't even need to buy cards to play this game. Just go to Amaranth and print your cards for free.

I would second that, its a great site and is part of the Dark Pack - officially recognised site by White Wolf. So shouldn't be disappearing any time soon.

If you use the lower Print (to pdf) option then you can choose to use current layout for cards rather than Amaranths modified one.
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18 Jan 2019 13:46 #290222 by bendgar
I just found a 10 starter set sealed display for Jyhad for 50 bucks locally. I assume that this is a good deal?

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18 Jan 2019 15:00 #290227 by Shellhead

bendgar wrote: I just found a 10 starter set sealed display for Jyhad for 50 bucks locally. I assume that this is a good deal?

Overall, this is a decent deal, especially since the game is coming back to life again and existing players are looking for deals just like this one.

A Jyhad starter deck is much like a very early Magic starter deck, in that you are getting a random assortment of cards. 16 vampires, I think, and 60 library cards. Maybe two rare library cards, over a dozen uncommons, and the rest are commons. All vampires have the same rarity. While each of these decks should be playable out of the box, the games would be unnecessarily long and frustrating. Each starter box includes a copy of the rulebook.

The Jyhad base game had a large card set, somewhere around 420 cards, and that's the card set that these starters will use. There are 15 vampires for each of the seven clans, plus 6 or so little Caitiffs. It was a very playable game right from the start, and this set was designed by Richard Garfield. So all the basic strategies are available in this set, as well as some fairly interesting creative possibilities. You will get a lot of commons, but that's fine because most of the Jyhad commons are essential staples of the game that people still use in modern decks.

I recommend that you take these ten starters and use them to build seven clan-based decks: Brujah, Gangrel, Malkavian, Nosferatu, Toreador, Tremere, and Ventrue. The crypt for each deck can be just vampires for those clans, maybe with a Caitiff thrown in when the disciplines match. Each clan has three of the ten disciplines in this set, so you can sort out all the discipline cards and give each clan a fair share. For example, Gangrel and Nosferatu both use Animalism, so split the Animalism cards into two piles for use in each deck. There are some master cards for each clan, and then there are some generic utility cards that can go with any deck. Once you get more familiar with the game, you might use the extra cards to build three more decks based on some concept other than clan.
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02 May 2019 15:13 - 02 May 2019 15:14 #296409 by Shellhead
For the first time in maybe a month, I played Vampire last night. The weather has alternately been too nice or too nasty for a normal player headcount, so we have been playing 3-player Shadowfist lately. I missed the first game due to my long commute plus road construction.

I missed the start of the second game by 5 minutes, so I got to watch a five-player game. Two stealth/bleed decks and three political decks. After 20 minutes of what looked like a fairly stable conflict, I got up to walk around the FFG Event Center. A few minutes later, the player with the strongest of the three political decks walked by and I did a double-take. He had 7 votes in play, compared to 3 and 4 for the other two political players. What happened is that the other two political players conspired to oust him so that their decks would have a chance. The 3-vote guy was his predator, but the 4-vote guy "cross-tabled" him, meaning took action against him even though they didn't have a predator-prey relationship due to adjacent seating. Cross-tabling is frowned upon, but sometimes makes strategic sense. Default game actions don't allow a cross-table play, but vote cards make it easy and there are also some specific action cards that can target non-adjacent opponents.

We had three players for the third game. I almost played one of my recent deck designs, but instead opted to play one of the new starter decks, Pact With Nephandi. The deck features vampire spellcasters known as the Tremere antitribu, along with several Nephandi allies who are like satanic cultists. I am a second-rate deck designer, but too proud to imitate decks that others have posted online, but decided to give this Nephandi deck a try. I came very close to ousting my prey with a combination of combat superiority and bleeds, but didn't press my attack at a crucial moment. Instead, I was already planning ahead for my next prey and thwarted his attempt to regain some pool. My prey seized the opportunity and ousted his prey, reminding me why cross-tabling is usually a bad idea. Meanwhile, my predator had built up a reliable stealth/bleed offense that I lacked the intercept to stop, and I got eliminated.

Here is a Nephandus mage:
Last edit: 02 May 2019 15:14 by Shellhead.
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