The Saving Throw
Proudest Gaming Moments Dec. 8, 2005
These are the times when the impossible or near impossible was accomplished.

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Swarm of the Nossers
  contributed by Hylean

Note: This story is about a collectible card game, not a tabletop RPG.

It was half term for me. I was just back from University for the week and I needed to play some card games. Vampire: The Eternal Struggle being my favourite one, I headed down to the local gaming shop and sat myself down with three of my mates. To my left sat Belfast's Prince, master of the game and long time fan of all forms of RPG; to my right sat Dave, always a hard opponent hell bent on crushing me.

We all had our favourite decks with us. I was playing as the Nosferatu Antitribu, the Prince played an Infernal Deck and Dave playing my clan nemesis, the Toreador. Now, the game started off slowly enough, we all got a few small drops out, nothing big, just blockers. I was the last one with a vampire out but no one bled me. As the game progressed, Dave, as he always does, started laying into my vampires, trying to send them into Torpor (weakening my defence grid). However, the Prince did not bother attacking Dave much so I attempted to make a deal with the Prince, hoping for him to pressure Dave so i could be left alone enough to rebuild my army.

The deal did not go down. I was left alone as the Prince was my prey and he did not want a powerful Nosferatu army champing at his neck. Dave pulled off the attack and my topored vampires came out; what a mistake that was for Dave. With blood dolls and hunting grounds providing me with up to three life each turn, i did not even need the Edge to gain me pool and soon I had a wee undead army gathered on the table. 8 of my 12 vampires were out and I was getting hungry so i attempted to bleed my dear Prince in the hopes of gaining the Edge for life, and to get a fight in order to get rid of some of the dodgy cards filling my hand.

By this stage we were all down to about 6 pool. There was not much there to sustain us against a big attack. But the Prince had enough vampires out to stop me and then suddenly, BAM, the 10 drop vampire hits the table: an Infernal Baali, a scary little woman in the best of circumstances, but after a turn of just consolidating our positions, the circumstances got a lot worse.

The Prince played Call of The Great Beast! Now, for those not in the know, thats one nasty card:

Put this card on the acting Baali and put X ritual counters on it, where X is the capacity of this Baali. This Baali may put a ritual counter on this card as a +1 stealth action. When this card has more than 10 ritual counters, burn this Baali and choose 3 disciplines; this card becomes a unique clanless independent infernal vampire with 9 capacity, 4 strength and 3 bleed. The Great Beast has the chosen disciplines at superior. Move 9 blood to him from the blood bank. The Great Beast can enter combat with any ready minion controlled by another Methuselah as a (D) action and can prevent 1 damage each combat.

The thing came out next turn and wiped out David. His eyes turned to me next. Having gained the 6 pool for killing his prey, the Prince had a distinct advantage. That beast had stealth and could stop my bleeds power. I was in trouble. With cards in hand that allowed me to go all out, I attacked, bleeding him for 4. I got him down to 4 blood and left three vampires out to block for me, bringing yet another one out to increase my army to 9 vampires, although most had seen better days. He swung at me with his five vampires, including the beast. Losing 2 blood to him, I was on my last blood, doomed beyond all hope. Even Dave felt I had lost. Knowing I was doomed i swung my all at him: he reduces my bleed, he blocks, reduces, lets through, lets through, reduces, blocks, and blocks with the Beast. The suddenly, with my last vampire, I slip through his defences, my teeth sink into his neck and i drain him dry, sucking his blood out... I had won! Against all the odds, I had won.

This is my proudest moment in my entire gaming history because I've been playing Vampire: The Eternal Struggle for a long time now, and I'd never experienced such a victory before. I'd survived till the end only to be knocked out. I've won against lesser players, but never had I beaten the Prince. I certainly never dreamed of doing it in such style. The cream on the cake was that it was my last game of Vampire: The Eternal Struggle. I haven't played it since, and the victory was made even better by the fact the shop closed right after we finished the game.

It was the best game I've ever played.

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