“I first got into the game around 2003 or ‘04, when two of my best friends purchased cheap starters from a shop trying to get rid of them. We all played Vampire: the Masquerade which we enjoyed, so thought, why not! They asked me to play because you couldn’t get a feel for Vampire: the Eternal Struggle with only two players. We’ve kept playing off and on ever since, and now one of those friends is my husband!
I hadn’t played another CCG before VtES. I’d watched others play Magic and thought it was too repetitive. Picking up VtES was a little tricky because there were so many rules to learn, and we all made plenty of mistakes early on. But the depth of world creation and unfolding narrative as cards were played really kept it interesting. Knowing the RPG helped too, and disciplines made sense for the most part.
We’ve dragged plenty of friends into Vampire over the years but they got put off by the length, which can be really slowed down when you’re learning. I also had some years away from the game because of work and time restraints. It’s great to be back into it more regularly now I have time, and a semi-regular schedule for playing.
Tzimisce have always been the clan I enjoy but I haven’t got any deck or strategy to work well with them. Black Hand decks are my favorite to play, and I can get it to do what I want it to (some of the time). If I have a signature style that I’m known for, it would either be something Black Hand related, or trying to get crazy combo things to work like Liquify the Mortal Coil.
I like that games are so different each time, even with the same decks. I keep coming back to the game not because of that, but because the community is pleasant and supportive. Everyone is willing to help someone out with suggestions or spare cards. Vampire players are all round good people, I think.”
“I’ve been gaming for most of my life. I started roleplaying when I was 9, with 2nd edition AD&D, and got into Magic: the Gathering when I was 12. My introduction to VtES came a little later, in 2001. My friend and I were out in a store in Melbourne, wanting to get into Vampire: the Masquerade. The tall guy behind the counter said that if we liked Magic and liked Vampire, there was a game we should try. So, we bought a couple of starters and took it from there. We weren’t really part of the regular scene in Melbourne but formed our own group. We were on the lookout for new players, and roped a friend called Erin into the game.
The first games of VtES were fun although we didn’t have many cards to go around. I remember being Archon-ed a lot. We liked how it seemed to blend roleplay with card gaming. I also liked the multiplayer angle. I’d played a fair bit of Magic in a 4-6 player format and liked that interaction. My main deck was a Web of Knives Assamite deck, and it’s something I’ve used a lot over the years since. I’ve played Assamites in the tabletop RPG so I like the back story, and I enjoy the mix of weenie bleed and combat you get from that deck.
While I have had a pretty long break for the game, maybe around seven years, Erin has remained involved and is the driving force for getting me playing the game now. I really love playing, but it’s coming up with the initial deck concepts that I enjoy the most. I don’t have to even play the game for that too, because Erin is always trying something new – it’s always fun bouncing ideas around for her next crazy deck. Probably the craziest one I’ve come up with was an Augustus Giovanni deck that had some Quietus mixed in. It could kill the opposing player’s vampire and then bring them back. It was a failure but fun to work on.
Also, I did eventually get into Vampire: the Masquerade, and ran a game for around ten years. I liked how many of the things you could do in the CCG translated into the RPG. I think VtES is great for how it represents being a Methuselah, moving around younger vampires like pawns. There is other game I’ve played in the World of Darkness that emphasises that part of the setting.”