By now, I’m sure that you’ve noticed that I’ve been quite focused on the new player experience in VTES. I really hope to get new people interested and to provide them with the information they need to get excited about the game. But no amount of information or deck building advice can compensate for a lack of cards. As I’ve previously blogged about, the availability of new VTES cards has gone from bad to truly horrible with the closing of Walch & Nusser. This means that it is particularly important for those with large collections (a category that I’ve slowly and pains-takingly clawed my way into) to find ways to get cards into the hands of new and active players.
Fortunately, this is something that our community has proven excellent at. I got my start in the game through an extremely generous donation of cards from a local player (thanks again Eric!), Ke has done some phenomenal work in New Zealand getting great decks and clan starter kits into the hands of new players, and people like Ralf at VTES ONE and Preston Poulter continue to offer fantastic starter decks very inexpensively. And this is just a tiny sample of the efforts made by individual players to help get cards into the hands of active and interested players. My thanks go out to everybody who has helped make the game more accessible.
In an effort to emulate these fantastic efforts, I’ve combed through my own collection and separated out my “extra” cards which I’m using to build demo decks, and which I intend to give out to new players as they join. I’m happy to say that the cards I’ve set aside to give away significantly outnumber those that I’m keeping in my collection. But as I sorted through the cards, I keep noticing that I was setting aside moderately expensive (~$5) crypt and library cards. I thought that perhaps I could support current VTES players by selling some of these cheaply on ebay.
But of course, things didn’t really go to plan. I really should have known better. When I started VTES, I remember reading an old post on BoardGameGeek (which I can’t find anymore…) written by Jeff Lasombra announcing that he was putting together some new player kits focusing on individual sects (so a Camarilla box, a Sabbat box, etc). I got really excited at the prospect of buying some kits to start filling out my own collection, but he had long since stopped selling them because they had all been purchased by ebay merchants who just wanted to resell the cards individually. This is exactly what happened with my auctions – players bid on some items, but all but one item were purchased by a single ebay VTES merchant who sniper bid each item.
Now I’m certainly not going to call anybody out because nothing that was done was wrong, and the transaction proceeded without so much as a peep from me. An ebay card merchant simply found an investment opportunity and seized it. The problem is that all I did was feed a single market that charges players more than I’d like for staple cards. I watched as the cards that I sold were relisted on this merchant’s ebay page, and it hasn’t sat well with me. I certainly won’t be selling cards on ebay ever again. But I still want to support the community, and I still want to get cards into the hands of new players.
A New Wave of Support
I intend to start selling batches of cards directly from this blog. I’m not looking to make a profit, just to cover the expenses of shipping and getting to the post office. Please note that these deals are intended for relatively new players and current players with modest collections. I’m not looking to help somebody complete their collection or to help somebody acquire enough Freak Drives to build 5 decks simultaneously. Now I have no real way of checking the size of your collection, so this will be purely based on the honor system. If you intend to sell the cards once you purchase them, or you already have a significant number of the offered cards, please refrain from getting any from me. But feel free to help spread the word to any new players in your area. I’ve also added this information to a new page under the New Players’ Corner tab up top.
The other thing that I should note is while I’m willing to ship outside the US, it quickly gets expensive to do so, and we’d have to carefully discuss the price and whether that would be worth it to you or not. If you live in the US, I’ll generally ship things via priority mail – I can fit up to 6 Demo Decks or a single Clan Support Pack into a small box ($6.80). Anything more will have to be shipped in a medium box ($13.45). If you only want 1 or 2 demo boxes, I can look into cheaper shipping options.
So what am I offering?
- Demo Decks ($5): I have created demo decks for the 7 different Camarilla clans. I’ve tried to include a few moderately expensive staple cards (like Parity Shift, Ivory Bow, Powerbase: Montreal, and others) along with a good number of inexpensive staple cards into these decks. I have a limited number available, but if there is enough demand I’ll start trading and possibly even purchasing the cards I’m short on to make more of them. Please note that some decks might differ slightly from the posted list. I continually upgrade and change these decks in response to continued testing and the feedback of other experienced players.
- Clan Support Packs ($20): This is a pack of ~450 support cards based around a single clan. It will include both vampires (2-3 of nearly every vampire from group 1 and 2 of your clan plus a few supporting vampires from other clans) and library cards (including clan, discipline, and generic cards) that support the themes of the clan. I will also include a small number of moderately expensive staple cards like Pentex Subversion, Parity Shift, and Dreams of the Sphinx. While I can’t promise exactly what will be in each pack, I can say that you’ll certainly be getting your money’s worth! A Clan Support Pack is the perfect way to personalize one of the demo decks and to start experimenting with building your own unique decks. Sadly, I don’t have enough extra cards to support all clans, so I can only offer Clan Support Packs for clans listed below:
- Camarilla Clans: Brujah, Gangrel, Malkavian, Nosferatu, Toreador, Tremere, Ventrue
- Independent Clans: Assamite, Followers of Set, Giovanni, Ravnos
If you are interested in either offering, feel free to either post a comment below with a way of contacting you, or you can send me a private message through the VEKN forums.
Until next time,