Spring 2016 VTES League

Greetings Methuselahs,

My first VTES League recently came to an end.  It was a blast to organize and run, and I think it was extremely successful: 23 different players from all of the San Francisco bay area (and a few from more exotic locals!) participated in the League which stretched from the beginning of April through the end of June.  During these three months, an impressive total of 49 games were played (meaning about 4 games every week!).  These included tournament games, casual constructed games, and even some cube draft.  Each game was carefully tracked and League points were awarded each player.  As I explained in my article announcing the League, the point of the League was simply to encourage people to come and play the game.  I did not want to force players to bring tournament-ready decks to casual games.  Accordingly, players got a lot of points just for showing up and playing, with relatively few points being given for Victory Points or Game Wins.  But today it’s time to look at the results, and announce the prizes!  Let’s start with the results:

League Points: Games: Victory Points: Game Wins:
Mark Jasper 161.5 28 42.5 9
David Corson-Knowles 155.5  29 33.5 6
Brett Schofield 114 25 13 1
Ian Lee 87.5 14 26.5 5
Kate Hanley 74 14 15 3
Kenneth Davenport 62.5 13 8.5 2
Eric Schultheis 57.5 14 1.5 0
Alex Orzulak 55.5 12 6.5 1
Zach Eulberg 49.5 12 1.5 0
Paul “Lev” Japser 43.5 8 9.5 2
Brandon Haas 36.5 8 3.5 1
Stephan Topfstedt 30 6 5 1
Jeff Kuta 26 6 2 0
Brad Nozik 21 3 7 2
Richard Phillips 21 4 4 1
Chris Shorb  20.5 4 3.5 1
Andrew Haas  10.5 2 2.5 0
Eric Haas  9.5 2 1.5 0
Geoff Benson 8 2 0 0
Rob Wanat 8 2 0 0
Jeff Yin 8 2 0 0
David Anderson 5 1 1 0
Jeff Philips 4 1 0 0

As a thank you to everybody who participated and helped make this league so successful, each player gets a booster pack from my collection (so your choice of Sword of Caine, Ebony Kingdom, or Kindred Most Wanted).  At this point, most people have claimed their pack, but if you haven’t, make sure you contact me soon – I won’t be in town much longer!  In addition, the players in the top 5 (Mark Jasper, David Corson-Knowles, Brett Schofield, Ian Lee, and Kate Hanley) receive a Third Edition booster pack.

For those who didn’t make it into the Top 5, there are a number of other ways to win:  Kenneth Davenport claims a Third Edition booster for having the most Game Wins (well, tied, but the tie breaker was League Points). Eric Schultheis claims another Third Edition pack by having played the most games.  Finally, there were some random prizes including 1x Villein (going to Zach Eulberg), a Third Edition booster (going to Brandon Haas), and two empty 10th Anniversary VTES tins (going to Alex Orzulak and Lev Jasper).

But what about the winner, you ask?  Well, I had initially hoped to have a final round during which the top 5 players would compete for the top spot, but sadly that won’t be possible due to timing (mostly because of me, sadly).  So allow me to extend my apologies to the other players in the top 5.  Without a final round, the winner is the person with the most League Points, which is Mark Jasper!  And that means that Mark will get the custom Spring ’16 V:tES League Champion edge that I made.  Check out the pics (sorry for the glare)!  And while Mark gets to walk away with the awesome custom edge, it was a very close fought battle between he and David Corson-Knowles, who was in the lead as often as not.  To reward his dedication, I’m giving David a second Third Edition booster.

Custom Edge and Bag
The cloth bag really helped make this prize great!

Well, that’s all the prizes, so what else do I have to say about the League?  Well, let me reiterate what a fantastic time it was.  I have no idea if it actually stimulated VTES play or got players to attend when they otherwise wouldn’t (both of which were aims), but I’m pretty amazed by the number of players who continue to enjoy our game, and the number of games we were able to play.  Hopefully others will consider organizing similar leagues once I am gone.  I would love to see this turn into a tradition that gets carried on.  I’m also rather shocked that I made it into the top 5.  If you look at the other four members of the top 5, they all clearly deserve to be there on the basis of having more Game Wins than any of the rest of the players.  I’m the exception – I somehow snuck in the door when nobody was watching.  Now I could try to defend my performance by protesting that I spent the majority of my games testing out new demo decks, but really I’m not that accomplished of a player.  I tend to want to play wacky decks with sub-goals like taking away vampire titles, or spending as such pool as possible on mummies.  But I assume that most of my readers were already aware that I’m not a top tier tournament player, and this blog isn’t aimed at tournament play.

My final thought is of a more statistical nature – for the first time I have access to some data regarding how often casual games time out.  Of the 49 games played, only 35 (71.5%) had winners.  Now to be fair, one or two games resulted in split tables, but the vast majority of those 14 games without a winner simply timed out.  I wonder how people would feel if they played a long boardgame for which there was no winner 3 out of 10 times.  Something to consider another time, I suppose.


There are two final items of business that I want to cover.  First, if anybody is interested in getting an edge with a custom design made for an event, I now have the materials and experience necessary to inexpensively manufacture them (~$5 worth of materials), which is pretty good considering that I was being quoted ~$100 to get something like this professionally made.  I’m actually really pleased how this one turned out, and I think it makes an awesome prize.  If you’re interested in getting one for your own event, just comment below!  I might also write up how I made it so that you can just make your own.

Second, my future articles may not be as regular as they have been in the past.  I’m in the midst of a move and as I type this a POD is being lowered into my driveway.  My time is now utterly consumed by boxing and loading, and when I arrive in Nebraska it will be consumed with the excitement and stress of a new job.  I imagine that this will rather severely cut into my free time and may leave me precious little with which to write blog articles.  Note that this certainly isn’t the end of my blog, I’m simply entering a time period where articles will appear less frequently than usual.  Fear not, more articles are on their way – I have two more demo decks that need to be discussed (Malkavian Antitribu and Ravnos), poorly performing clans that need to be examined (Brujah Antitribu is my next stop), sets that need reviewing, and so many other articles are planned!  Oh, and if you are seeking to purchase demo decks and clan support packs, I’m still mailing those out, so keep the requests coming!

Until my next article, may you continue to play and enjoy VTES!


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