This past weekend I was able to participate in my first live Vampire: The Eternal Struggle event in over a year. It was a great experience both seeing friends that I haven't seen in a long time and getting back to normal. While I had a successful day at the tournament, securing a victory, my crypt draws ended up being less good than I had hoped.
It's Why We Play the Game
Yep, we shuffle and play. We don't run statistics and measure odds via some computer simulation. On the day of the event, we draw our cards and, for better or worse, we get what we get. As I mentioned in previous blogs on crypt construction, our goal is to design a crypt that will perform as we expect on the day of the event, giving us the best chance for success.
Here's the crypt that I played:
Crypt (13 cards; Capacity min=2 max=7 avg=4.222222) ================== 5x Luke Fellows 7 CEL OBF PRO Gangrel antitribu:4 1x Morrow the Sage 6 cel vic OBF PRO Gangrel antitribu:4 1x Alex Camille 5 cel for obf PRO Gangrel antitribu:5 1x Synner-G 5 pro CEL OBF Gangrel antitribu:5 1x Jeffrey Mullins 4 cel OBF Gangrel antitribu:4 1x Skulk 4 ani OBF Nosferatu antitribu:5 1x Lubomira Hradok 3 OBF Nosferatu antitribu:5 1x Old Neddacka 2 obf Nosferatu antitribu:4 1x Denette Stensen 2 obf Gangrel antitribu:4
As you can see, I am using the 5/13 approach that I recommended for star vampire decks. I have 90+% chance of getting at least one copy of Luke Fellows in my opening draw. This deck design also leverages my use of Powerbase: Zürich, so every other vampire is unique and there is a chain of vampires that I can use to allow the other older vampires help bring out the younger ones.
Luke Fellows was not in my opening crypt draw in either of the two preliminary rounds. In fact, I decrypted once in each game and my fifth vampire wasn't Luke either. There's a 62.5% chance that the fifth vampire would have been Luke Fellows, since we're now doing one draw at a time, we can use a straight odds calculation. Using cumulative draw odds there was less than 5% chance of this happening...in one game.
In the finals, I drew two copies of Luke Fellows in my opening crypt draw. At least he showed up when it mattered most.
Any deck should have a Plan B. For this deck, Plan B involves getting the largest vampire and the smallest vampire in play.
In round two, I had Morrow the Sage and Lubomira Hradock come up. The smaller vampire was able to get the Edge and the larger one was able to make more vampires with Powerbase: Zürich. I was able to get a small horde of vampires in play and work successfully without getting the star. Was the deck as good? Of course not, but it was good enough.
Good deck building will only get you so far on the day of an event. Things can and will go wrong. Being adaptable to the game state, like bad draws or the table dynamics, can help you take what's good on paper and make it good in practice.
Best of luck to you with your deck designs and games.