Bjorn W, and messing with your friends.

“I was first introduced to the World of Darkness when I was a teenager, when I played Vampire: the Masquerade. Around the same time I did work experience at a shop called Alternate Worlds in Melbourne, which sold Vampire: the Eternal Struggle cards. I picked up the Lasombra starter from Sabbat War, but they sat around as no one else was into the game.

Just after I finished high school, two of my friends (Andrew and Justin) and I thought we’d give the game a go. We bought a display, divided it up the contents based on what clans we liked, and went from there. Not long after that we met the local Prince who invited us around and we played some games. We quickly realised we needed to extend our collection beyond some boosters, and we all got the bug to start collecting and playing.

I don’t think we would have gotten into VtES or understood the terms and abilities if we didn’t have a background with the RPG. The card game actually in a sense emulates how we played the RPG as teenagers. There’s this setting of this dark world of tortured souls and factions vying for control, but mixed in with us deliberately messing with each other and making fun of each other’s failures (we once “accidentally” kicked a stone at someone’s character as he was trying to sneak past some werewolves, just to see him get mauled). The card game is like that; you’ve got the same structure of the dark world and factions, but the heart of the game is really the banter between the players, the underhanded deals and backstabbing. There’s so much fun in being able to mess with each other.

My favorite clan would be Lasombra despite not playing them much, but my favourite deck would be my Samedi deck. It’s always done fairly well and I’ve always enjoyed playing it.

I suppose if I was known for a particular tactic it would be stealth bleed, basically the heart of all my decks are about bleeding with a large amount of stealth, I’ve done Malk s/b, Lasombra s/b, Kiasyd s/b/toolbox, the Samedi deck while having other things like corpses and bloat is still s/b. I guess I play Obfuscate a lot – I prefer to avoid confrontation. I did try an Ahrimanes deck, totally not s/b! The deck had intercept and fighting and I loved it… but I just couldn’t play it. I didn’t know what I was doing and I sucked at it.

For me the best part is the dynamics caused by the prey/predator mechanic, the interactions with your cross table buddy, the wheeling and dealing that can get the table win for a deck that isn’t necessarily the strongest.

I haven’t played for a while but like going to the Championship. We get a big turn out and see people we haven’t seen since the previous year. The games are far more intense than what I’m normally used to though. It’s totally different, you have to be on point. It’s actually mentally exhausting by the time you get to the end of the day and your brain is done with thinking, but in a good way.”

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