Rising from Torpor for New Players

Greetings Methesulahs,

Well, my last post promised more articles once I finished my move, but obviously this was a promise not kept. Oh, I’ve written a few half-baked articles that were never finished, but I could never bring myself to get them into a publish-worthy state. The dual facts of a new job and no local playgroup for VTES has really made it difficult to find the motivation to think deeply about the game. I haven’t given up hope of starting a VTES community here, though. I’m planning on attending some local gaming conventions in the fall, and am intending to run VTES demos there. Perhaps preparing to run those will reinvigorate my motivation to write new articles.

But a mere update on my lack of articles wasn’t the reason I have temporarily risen from my long torpor. Rather, I wanted to talk about new VTES players. Although this blog hasn’t really been active, people keep reaching out to me to get demo decks to try out the game. One group was even trying to start a VTES league in Canada! In total I’ve sent out a total of 53 demo decks to people in five different countries (as of 6/24/17). This blog also gets regular visits to the pages dedicated to individual demo decks, the ironically named “Quick-start” guide (which consists of 4 long articles), and the new player FAQ. The point is, there are players out there who want to learn and play VTES. Maybe not a lot, but they exist.

Why bring this up? Because I think our community needs resources for new players, which includes ways to get cards into their hands. This is particularly true now when sealed product is almost non-existent. One of my first articles on this blog was about the scarcity of cards, but things have only gotten worse since then. Most of the sites I identified are long sold out of boosters and starters. This was one of the main reasons that I started getting (often buying) collections so that I could package them as demo decks and clan support packs for new players. Sadly, my ability to provide this service is diminishing. Earlier this year, I took a few days and put together every single demo deck that I possibly could with the cards at my disposal. When one card ran out, I would switch to a similar card that would fulfill the same role, but eventually even some of those ran out, or appropriate replacements could not be found. It’s amazing what 53 demo decks (plus my current stock and the 14 decks that I keep for demos) will do to your supply of Blood Dolls and Wake with Evening’s Freshness, for instance.

It is encouraging that the Inner Circle appears to be aware of this need, and they may be taking steps to get cards printed specifically for new players. But the fruit of their efforts are likely to be a ways off. So in the meantime, I am asking the community to send me links to places where new players can go for cards. If you know of a resource for new or used cards, or if you are willing to offer cards from your own collection to new players, please leave a comment below. Let’s make sure that we can continue to offer cards to players who want to join our game!

Known Resources for Cards:

  • I still have a modest supply of demo decks, and I still have plenty of good cards to put together useful clan support packs.
  • If you live in Germany, VTES ONE still offers his excellent Reasonably Priced Decks.
  • Preston Poulter sells his Barbed Wire Project decks on Ebay.
  • “self biased” on the VEKN forums has put together some excellent and free print-and-play demo decks.
  • Fantaspiel still sells sealed cards, and they have a good selection, but they only ship to (certain?) parts of Europe.
  • Occasionally somebody sells their collection on Ebay.
  • EDIT: Ankur Gupta also sells decks suitable for beginners as well as curated bulk card sets that sound very akin to my Clan Support Packs. He also has some sealed boosters and starters that would be of interest for new players. You can contact him by emailing agupta.cs @ gmail.com – just include VTES in all caps in the subject line!

 

Until next time, may you continue to welcome new players into our community!

 

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5 thoughts on “Rising from Torpor for New Players

  1. I have had similar problems when putting together beginner’s decks. The issue was not the discipline cards for particular clans or the master cards per se, but the staple cards like Vessel, Blood Dolls, bleed bounce and the like. Impressive numbers of demo decks you have shipped!

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    • Thanks! I was actually surprised at the demand. As for the cards, it was really surprising to me what I ran out of. For instance, the Brujah were stalled by Torn Signpost, Taste of Vitae, and Resist Earth’s Grasp. I really hadn’t expected to run out of any of those, but when I put 3-5 of each in a deck, they can go pretty quick! Thanks for your support and for all the decks you send out!

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  2. We had a lot of players return from torpor once they’ve found out they can print and play whatever deck they can dream of. This lead to a spurge of creativity and play.

    Our local group http://www.vtes.co.nz prominently features Amaranth prominently and mentions that new players can simply print and play decks. I think this works well and it lowers the barrier to entry quite a bit.

    One of the other barriers is “where do I start” — to help with this Amaranth will be updated to include a “Quickstart” decks section allowing new players to simply print an play streamlined versions of classic archetypes. This will be bundled with a new set of features including deck sharing.

    The update will hopefully be out before the end of the week.

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