Article for the V:TES CCG by Mike Nudd, originally published in Scrye 48
V:TES CCGVEKN Interview
Scrye 8.2 - Ventrue antitribu
Scrye 8.3 - Tzimisce
Scrye 8.4 - Lasombra
Scrye 8.5 - Brujah antitribu
Scrye 8.6 - Final Nights
Scrye 8.7 - Voting Strategies
Scrye 8.8 - Combat Strategies
Scrye 48 - Bloodlines
Scrye 49 - Harbingers
Bloodlines is the latest card set for the Vampire: the Eternal Struggle CCG. Unlike the previous expansion Final Nights, the set is available in boosters only, and contains over 150 all-new cards with no reprints. The set is ground-breaking for the CCG due to the fact that, as well as introducing 12 new clans and 10 new Disciplines, it also introduces a number of new game terms that substantially add to the existing meta-game.
The 12 new vampire clans include the Baali, demon-worshipping infernal vampires that are adept and corrupting and locking up enemy minions, and the Salubri, a rare breed of vampiric spiritual healers that can manipulate the soul-stuff of the living and the dead. Also included are the wild and shamanic Ahrimanes, the mysterious and powerful necromancers of the Samedi and the Harbingers of Skulls, and the even more powerful and mysterious Nagaraja and the True Brujah. Players interested in combat strategies will be pleased to find the amorphic Blood Brothers, the unflinching Gargoyles and the vengeful Salubri antitribu. Players with a penchant for something a little weird will delight in the Daughters of Cacophony, who have powers of singing that can destroy or drive people mad, or the Kiasyd, who consort with the fae and draw on a myriad of strange powers.
Of the game terms that apply to the new vampire cards, Scarce is a new term that applies to three of the new vampire clans presented in the set. When a Methuselah moves a vampire marked scarce from her uncontrolled region to the ready region, she burns 3 pool for every other vampire in play of the same clan. The penalty is intended to represent the difficulty in finding and using these vampires as minions given how rare they are in the game's World of Darkness setting.
Infernal is a new term that applies to damned vampires that have sold portions of their souls to demons. A Methuselah's control of an infernal minion is not complete, as it is tainted or contested by the minion's hidden demonic master. During his or her untap phase, a Methuselah who controls an infernal minion burns one pool or taps that minion.
Slave is a new term that applies to many of the Gargoyle vampires included in the new set. A slave vampire cannot take a directed action if his controller does not control a ready member of the specified owning clan. Furthermore, if a member of the owning clan controlled by the slave's controller is blocked, the controller can tap the slave to cancel the combat, untap the acting vampire, and have the slave enter combat with the blocking minion instead.
Circle is a new term that may be associated with Blood Brother vampires. Many of the powers the Blood Brother can employ can only be used in regards to other vampires of the same circle. A Blood Brother with no circle designation in his card text is considered in his own circle of one.
The new library cards also provide new and interesting options. Some cards include a burn symbol which means that, during a Methuselah's untap phase, the Methuselah can burn (discard) the card from her hand if she does not control a ready member of the clan required to use the card in play.
Many minion cards are actually multi-Discipline, displaying two different Discipline icons on the left-hand margin, usually an existing Discipline and a new Bloodlines Discipline. The card text provided actually allows a Methuselah to choose between the different effects using either Discipline. This allows for both wider choice, and caters for situations where a Methuselah is not able to activate an appropriate Bloodlines vampire.