As it becomes increasingly harder to get four or more players together for a game of VtES, I had a look at playing VtES on LackeyCCG. LackeyCCG is a tool for playing any CCG online (including a deck editor). Specific plugins for card games like Magic the Gathering or (in my case) VtES allow playing these games on LackeyCCG then. The utility itself is not that hard to learn, but it’s maybe best to have a friend or another fellow player to show you around in a one-on-one game before engaging in a 4 or 5 player game.
The utility has a built-in deck editor for VtES which is complete (all cards up and including Danse Macabre) and you can quickly create new decks. There are two drawbacks of the editor. The first is that there’s no (direct) import utility for decks from other utilities like Anarch Revolt Deck Builder, FELDB or Secret Library. There is an external utility (as part of the VtES plugin), which allows you to convert files from the FELDB format to the LackeyCCG format. The second drawback of the deckbuilder is that you have be aware of the target bin for your crypt and library cards. If you don’t concentrate you can easily load crypt cards into your library and vice versa. But once you’re accustomed to this behaviour, it’s not really an issue anymore.
Lackey itself is rather intuitive to use. You draw cards to your hand, play them and finally put them into the ashheap. You can tap & untap cards, gain control of the Edge, put blood counters on vampires or adjust your pool after a bleed. Pretty straightforward. Only the special cases, like how do I search my library for a particular card when using Magic of the Smith or how do I randomly discard a card from my hand require some explanation. (Since I am still a novice on LackeyCCG, I wouldn’t know how to do these things). But you can always ask the locals ..
I have played now a couple of VtES games on LackeyCCG, and I must say, that I like it! Sometimes it can take some time to get 4 or more players for a game, but usually it’s possible to play a game or two in the evening. The games last a bit longer than in real life, since it takes some time to hit the right buttons in the interface or to negotiate a Parity Shift, etc., but usually games are played without any time limits and are done in 2-3 hours at maximum. You can also watch a particular game as spectator (which I also did in the beginning) to get a feeling how things work on Lackey CCG.
I have taken the liberty to copy almost all of the installation and instructions as sydnelson has written down on VEKN.net. Thanks to him for putting together these instructions.
- Download the LackeyCCG program from one of those URLs:
- Unzip it to a folder of your choice.
- Start LackeyCCG.exe
- Go to “Plugin:war3000” tab and paste one of this two URLs:
- For fast PC/high resolution screens — http://www.lackeyccg.com/vtes/high/updatelist.txt
- For slow PC/low resolution screens — http://www.lackeyccg.com/vtes/medium/updatelist.txt
- Click on “Install or Update from URL!” and wait until all files are downloaded.
- After download finish click on “Load vtes plugin now!”
* if an error occurs (or the above message not show), try step 5 again.
- To see your crypt face down cards on table, just mouse over desired card and press the Shift key.
- To see shortcut bar with macro messages like Bleed, Hunt, Strike, just press +plus/-minus button above chat window.
- If the program asks for a update, you just need to run Lackey Updater program (inside LackeyCCG folder). This only updates the program, VtES game updates automatically every time a new version comes, but you can manually update it doing step 4 above again if you like.
- To see your cards in left panel instead of bottom of game table or to see tokens menu or sound share tab, just press plus/minus button on right top corner of program.
- To see card images, just pass mouse over the card name and wait LackeyCCG download it or if you want to download all images at once you need to go to: Preferences > Miscellaneous and tick the option “Allow pre-downloading images for offline use?” and click on “Download all missing card images” on Plugin:vtes tab. The entire card images package has between 150mb to 190mb depending on with version of plugin you have (high or low).
- To convert decks from FELDB to LackeyCCG format and vice-versa you can use “feld2lackey.exe” (windows only) program include in LackeyCCG folder (only work with decks saved in txt format on LackeyCCG).
- If you or someone drop from game or if program crash, you can back to game and request to previous turn player load a autosave by pressing “Revert to Autosave 1” in the main menu.
- To talk with other players using voice, you can use the Skype program. Download Skype from URL below and configure your account in Preferences > Player Profile. To create a group chat in Skype just press blue phone button in your avatar on left side of game tab (only works if another players also have setup theirs accounts on LackeyCCG).