Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Lack of Posts...

Just a quick post to apologise for my recent lack of posts...

The girlfriend and I have been busy of late with locating a suitable new place to move to here in London, followed by actually moving house, and have only just regained regular Internet access at the new place.

That said, we were able to attend one of the weekly games here in London at the 'Jugged Hare' this week which was really inspirational. (thanks must go to the regulars for their great welcome and intense gameplay as well as the pleasure of meeting another 'oldbie/newbie' who also happened to visit this week).

That experience has me all fired up to get our cards sorted and catalogued so I can get into building some proper decks (although the Akunanse pre-con I played in the first game held up surprisingly well) and will also hopefully start posting regularly again on here soon.

I am looking forward to meeting some of the other regulars at further weekly games soon and am now also looking forward, if with a little trepidation, to the UK nationals next month. :)

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Newbie Game Review

We've now held the game hosted at my place where several players new to the game attended so thought I'd better post a bit of a review of the game. For various reasons, I have limited references to the players by initials for privacy, so hopefully it is still okay to follow.

Originally planned to be a game of 5 players, with the welcome arrival of a last minute addition we ended up with 6 players including my partner JB and I. After a random draw we then ended up with JB starting with a Third Edition Malkavian antitribu deck, followed by BL playing the KoT Malkavian deck, JW playing the KoT Ventrue deck, myself SB playing the KoT Toreador deck, MB on a Third Edition Tremere deck and LC playing the KoT Brujah deck.

I initially ran through a basic overview of the rules, along with a bit of a spiel about the clans we were playing and their styles and also a bit about the Camarilla versus the Sabbat, to try and add some of the story aspect to the game, as well as the straight mechanics. Then we simply got stuck into a game, as I have found that this is probably the best way to introduce the technicalities of the game.

The game went reasonably slowly at first whilst people got accustomed to the rules and cards, but I think it went quite well. The random draw had ended up with JB and I at opposite ends of the table, so she was able to help out with explanations at one end of the table and I was able to help out at the other.

LC seemed to grasp the concept of the game really quickly and MB rapidly consulted and absorbed the rules, as seems to be his way, and indeed at one stage correcting me on a fairly crucial rule, which was somewhat embarrassing, but also excellent and reasonably humourous to see. :)

BL tended to be a bit more of a dark horse, playing her game fairly close the chest, so she was a bit harder to read, whilst JW seemed pretty laid-back but also seemed to indicate a firm understanding of the game as well with one or two perceptive comments, so all in all, a good start. :)

In terms of interesting game plays, I was unfortunately paying more attention to introducing the game than take any notes so nothing much to report on that score.

Overall though the game was pretty balanced with everyone losing pool at about the same rate, so the chosen starter decks worked out quite well in that regard, playing together nicely as a balanced set. In the end, as the game had gone on for a few hours, people were starting to want their evening meal so having slightly more pool than the others, I now started to put the pressure on my prey, MB.

MB had gotten a bit caught in the middle between my gun-toting Toreador and LC's predictably combat nasty Brujah and had also seemed to suffer a bit of hand-jam. I guess this is one potential down-side to the Tremere deck, in that it has some useful combinations but sometimes you have to get the combinations to cycle the cards effectively and unless you cycle the cards, you don't get the combinations. To a certain extent you therefore also need to have a reasonable knowledge of how to make the combinations work, to build the combinations you need, which can be fun when they do and frustrating when they don't. I had originally planned on playing this deck myself but on the day went with random selection, so not sure if it was a good idea or not.

I had been fairly fortunate in that my predator JW, who seems a pretty nice guy, had played it fairly laid-back throughout the game and hadn't put too much pressure on me. This meant that I had the pool and resources to now put the pressure on, in order to finish up the game. As a result MB ended up being ousted first, giving me a further pool boost and LC followed not long after this, as she and MB had depleted each other's resources somewhat, battling each other in their corner of the table.

JB, who had more experience and is also just a pretty good player per se, was a bit harder to overcome and so it was a bit of a race to to kill her before she could kill BL. At this point it was great to see that rather than lose interest now they were out of the game, MB and LC seemed glued to the action now that the end game was in sight and the subsequent increased action started to take place. In the end I was able to get through JB albeit with a bit of a struggle and some hasty debate from all parties concerned in regards to some political actions and their suggested conditions.

I then ran into a wall against BL who, in perhaps the most impressive play of the day, managed to use what I think was just one of her vampires to successfully block 4 of mine. Eventually I managed to also get chip away at her as well however and by that stage she had now bled JW enough to allow me to finish him off soon afterwards as well.

As an introduction to the game, it wasn't overly really ideal that I swept through everyone but by this time everyone had had a good introduction to the game and were keen for food (kudos to JB for her excellent curry and chilli on which made added to the day being just as enjoyable as the game itself) and I thought it better everyone saw the end to the game, than just halt it without finishing.

Everyone seemed to enjoy the game though and were either keen to play again or were perhaps just typically English in their politeness, it is sometimes hard to tell which is which. :)

I really should have gotten a photo or two of the day but JB and I both forgot to do so whilst playing hosts, so hopefully next time.