And, lo, we had a tournament. A tournament that was not a storyline tournament. A tournament that was not a release tournament. A tournament that was not a qualifier tournament. Just a tournament.
With some coaxing, we ended up with 12 rather than 11 upon that day. That day being yesterday – the day before today. Many were the cards I dispensed to my opponents. Three Telepathic Tracking and a Target Vitals here, three Ashur Tablets and six Villein and Monastery of Shadows and Scourge of the Enochians there, Torn Signpost and Pushing the Limit and Disarm and Powerbase: Tshwane and The Bitter and Sweet Story somewhere.
Round 1, in which all is fair as long as we get our 2 VPs:
Ian (Summon the Abyss) -> Dave (FoS SB) -> Henri (!Ventrue toolbox) -> Jeff (Multitaskmites)
Dave removes most of Henri’s pool. Jeff Reckless Agitations Dave for 5 when he’s at 11. I oust two people and don’t have enough going on to stop a 2/2 split. I think Jeff could have played for the 2/1/1, but it was iffy with Dave having possibly too much pool to oust before he’d rain bleed death upon us all.
Round 2, in which bleeding at stealth is nowhere near as good as bleeding without:
Alex (something with Alastor, Celerity, and guys with THA) -> Ian -> Eric (Dom/Obf SB) -> Dave
I Vessel my own guy and I Vessel my predator’s Anastaszdi because he has two stealth bleed decks behind him and should blow up in no time. Dave gets a horrible crypt draw and bring out two junk bleeders. Eric brings out Goulet first and then Ormonde and Badr. Anastaszdi gets an Assault Rifle via Alastor and starts backwards, quickly followed by going crosstable as Dave looks to be toast. The second crosstable rush takes out Eric’s untapped dude and I bleed him out and Dave in the same turn. For some reason, Alex can’t find a wake as I just keep bleeding him until he dies. His Anastaszdi was down to 1 blood, Oriundus 2, Franckel 1 when Summon the Abyss plus Shadow Twin would have been awesome. Had to settle for the sweep without getting off a useful Summon the Abyss.
Finals, in which the usual happened as the multiverse was saved from Summon the Abyss decks getting into the TWDA:
Ira had 2 GWs even though I had more VPs, so I was screwed no matter where I decided to seat myself. The desired place was in front of Andy since his deck was least dangerous, but if I went between Andy and Jeff, Ira would be my predator and having a deck with much better cards behind me would be bad. I could have put myself in front of Ky, but I figured being in front of the aggressive vote deck when I had no vote defense was questionable, and it wouldn’t have changed that Ira wasn’t likely to have any pressure on him all game. Bit of a shrug. With no good spot, it likely didn’t matter.
Ian -> Ky (Toreador vote) -> Andy (Guruhi w/ stealth) -> Ira (Nos P/J w/ Dominate) -> Jeff
Ky KRCs Andy and me twice early which since I’m psychic meant the game was over and Ira won unless I intentionally threw the game to Jeff. We continued to play for some reason. Well, not Andy. But, Jeff did some pool damage to me which I soaked better than I expected because of Montreal and Jeff sort of realizing that Ira was going to win, leading to him going after The Rack. Actually, it might have been a case where Jeff should have just gone all out on me rather than try to keep Ira in some sort of check as I wasn’t playing one of my normal decks, i.e. a deck that stubbornly refuses to die. I had places to be and a quick game would have been useful, but the idea of quick games in our area is laughable. Sure, I ended both of my prelims in less than an hour each time, but that meant nothing going into the finals.
I hung out. Ky stopped calling votes which meant he didn’t have anything useful to do. Ira slowplayed to get everyone else to do his work for him – SOP. Jeff actually got up to 20 pool with Ira trying to Parity Shift him from 18 pool, which led to discussion, followed by bleed of … 2, followed by taking Parity Shift back in hand. With not much to do, I ousted Ky to improve my pool buffer and tried to figure out how to keep Jeff and myself alive for the timeout win. Jeff brought out a fourth vampire, which may have seemed good but was questionable when your predator has four blood happy dudes, a bunch of Dominate, vote lock, and hasn’t played anything aggressive yet. Jeff gets Parity Shifted twice with Andy getting a bunch of pool to make sure I don’t get 2 VPs and is ousted by Dominate bleed. Certainly an incomprehensible way to go.
Again, we continue playing for some reason. Temptation of Greater Power is revealed off the top of Ira’s deck. Again, we continue playing for some reason. With about 2.5 minutes left, I mention the possibility of Andy playing kingmaker by self ousting. With about 1.5 minutes left, he does. With 18 seconds left, Ira bleeds me out, having done about 13 pool damage of bleed in the final turn.
A well deserved victory for Ira. Who, as usual, played better than the rest of us. But, I don’t understand the reason for belaboring a game that’s over. As soon as Jeff was ousted, we could have just played cards and ended the game earlier.
The concept of playing a deck that would be quick either way, a concept shared by both decks I was considering playing if we had 10+ players, had some merit, but I think there is a flaw. The deck has to be bad, really bad, not get into the finals of a local tournament bad. Otherwise, ending games quickly is meaningless as we go into the usual tedious final where the game gets talked to death rather than played.
The concept of playing decks so bad that I can’t possibly screw them up and get VPs is looking to have more merit. My will to compete is just shot. I play this game for the humor, for card interactions, and for trying to play a better technical game. It’s really a game, at the competitive level, meant for table managers. Been there, done that, have more fun playing Bonecraft and Fleshcraft out of my three card limit, “the bad Vicissitude cards” deck.