Since vtesinla.org is not online anymore for some time now, I took the liberty of reposting some of the articles posted there. This is an article by Robert Goudie, posted on October 20th, 2000 which addresses the issues of playing vampires with large capacities.
When making deck-building decisions, there is often no reason to consider one choice inherently better than another. Save for a handful of wallpaper cards, we should simply be making decisions as to what we think will work best for a particular deck concept. For example, Legal Manipulations (LM) is better for some decks (larger vamps maybe) and Social Charm might be a better choice if LM’s 1 blood cost is too big a drawback for your deck (Maybe Embrace decks). Sometimes, this seems to extend to vampire choices as well. Choosing the Malkavian Dollface over Zebulon should simply be a choice of what skills you want to use, how much pool you wish to spend, and in general, how well the vampire fits with your deck concept. In practice this is not always the case.
I believe there is an inherent advantage to the small vampires, which makes them the better choice in most cases. Observe the following:
- Four 1 capacity vampires bleed for 4 and can block 4 actions.
- One 4 capacity vampire bleeds for 1 and can block one action.
The same amounts of pool and transfers and expended in each of these cases but if they are played against each other the player with the four vampires will certainly win.
With this obvious advantage to the smaller vampires, why is it that they don’t win every game? The answer is, of course, quite obvious: With the larger vampires there are more skills, titles, and special abilities available. These skills, titles, and special abilities can make-up the difference.
The player who plays large capacity Prince deck must take full advantage of every capability of the larger vampires. The added skills or special abilities must be so great as to make-up for the inherent drawbacks of the larger vampires. To pay extra for a large vampire with +1 bleed isn’t necessarily a smart move if you could instead influence out 3 smaller vampires with the skills you require.
Just having these extra skills or special abilities available to the player is not enough. Every library and card must be chosen carefully, and ratios selected expertly, to ensure full use to be made of the larger vampires during play. it is clear that spending the extra blood on Sheldon when your deck concept only requires the inferior obfuscate of Duck is clearly wasteful. It can be equally as wasteful to choose a deck concept that requires Sheldon but then fails to make proper use of him due to poor choices of library card ratios.
Even after a player successfully builds their large vampire deck, they must then play their decks to perfection. A misplayed Igo the Hungry bleed attempt might result in an unexpected block and combat for the lowly Igo. He may end up in torpor or even burned.
The small capacity player has effectively lost roughly the equivalent of 1 pool (Igo’s cost in pool). The same misstep for Anson nets the large capacity vampire player and estimated 8-pool loss.
- We can see that there are inherent advantages to small vampires.
- The decision to use any vampire other than the smallest available one should be made with care.
- Libraries must make full use of the benefits of larger vampires to make up for their inherent disadvantages.
- Players must be skilled enough to fully utilize the skills, special abilites, and titles, of the larger vampires during play.
Reference: Originally posted on VTES in LA (accessible on waybackmachine.org).