Tournament Report – RotES

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.

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5 Responses to Tournament Report – RotES

  1. Brandon says:

    This just goes to show that we need more rush/intercept combat decks. Dragos might have had a good time Fleshcrafting Alonso. I thought about playing another anarch rush deck this tournament, but it lacked the ousting power to seal the deal (I think). Did Dave play my “Incredible Exploding Settite” deck, or some other FoS deck? Was he ever AI’d?

  2. iclee says:

    Rush decks suck. And, intercept decks feed the problem of endless games where ousting “must not happen”. I have an idea of what we need, but it has nothing to do with decks.

    Yup. Never AI’d. Just bled out by Conditionings twice.

  3. Ira says:

    I agree with your assessment of the final seating. If you had sat as Jeff’s predator, I certainly would have sat as your predator. Not only because Andy didn’t have bounce, but also because I’d then be crosstable to both vote decks (Jeff and Ky both had votes.) It turned out the way we both expected with Ky starting strong and Andy being weak.

    I think your point about the game timing out regardless of fast prelim games isn’t entirely fair. The prelim games were all 4 player, and adding that 5th player will add time. Of course, vote decks slow things down, but I also felt some people play faster than others. I think Andy’s deck was a little new for him so he wasn’t used to it and had to think a lot. I felt like I played relatively fast (except for that rather lengthy Parity Shift discussion early on.)

    In terms of the actual game, it was fine for me that you ousted Ky, because I got vote lock at that point. I think your mistake was in slowing down and letting Andy go forward against me. I don’t know what cards you had in hand, but it seemed likely to me that you could have ousted him, and he was doing nothing particularly damaging to me at that point. You were the one whose winning strategy relied on the game timing out, not me. I think if you played for the GW in the finals, you could have earned 2 VPs before I got my first VP, and that might have been enough to keep you on top.

    I thought it was a very sneaky move to convince Andy to transfer out, but it also felt a little slimy. You said, “It’s really a game, at the competitive level, meant for table managers. Been there, done that,” but that’s exactly what you did in the finals! You were ~20 seconds away from winning exactly because of that skill.

    And regarding this comment:
    “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.”
    I was playing as fast as possible, but obviously the game was not over, because you came so close to winning. On my second-to-last turn, I might have been able to oust you if I went full-forward, but I didn’t want you to bounce bleeds into Andy. And I also wasn’t thinking that Andy would transfer out to kingmake you over me. I still don’t really understand why he preferred you to win over me, especially because I was nice to him (in my own self-interest, but still nice) the vast majority of the game. I guess he just wanted to have power to influence the result.

    I would have been pretty peeved if you had won via kingmaking plus time management. It was one of the sweeter victories I’ve had, because I foiled it.

    Though it would have been pretty sweet to see Summon the Abyss in the TWDA. :)

  4. iclee says:

    Andy was never going to oust you unless somehow Jeff, Andy, and I could coordinate messing with you, so I had three ways to win. Time the game out with the only VP or time the game out with two VPs or get two VPs and roll over to Jeff and hope the game times out. My gauge of the situation once you ousted Jeff was that I had to oust Andy … duh. But, I couldn’t go too fast or it would have left me strung out and dead quickly in a two-player endgame. If I had made the move right before Jeff got ousted, he would have still brought out Badr and while the Parity Shifts would have been smaller (assuming I can take Andy out, which is questionable), he was still dead in two turns and the endgame would have been brutally in your favor.

    What was sneaky or slimy? Your play style is to get everyone to do everything possible to help you all game even when in a completely dominant position. How is this any different?

    I’m actually truly happier that you won. We don’t view the game the same way. You enjoy winning and I don’t. I wouldn’t have been happy winning just as I wasn’t happy winning that tournament years ago with my Osebo deck – that was the worst finals I had ever played.

    Andy’s move required you to work for victory. I’m not interested in games where people win without having to work for it. That he almost threw the game but that you prevailed made the game vastly better than what it was earlier after you blew Jeff off the table and achieved an unassailable position.

    As to the game being over when Jeff was ousted, it was if you would have stopped doing your usual schtick. It’s a great style of play to get people to do things in your interest when the game is in question, but all you had to do was play cards after Jeff was ousted and you would have easily won in time. You had more pool, more minions, more blood, vote lock, better cards in hand, better cards in deck, no predator, a prey with limited resources, almost no defense, and little ability to go backwards. The game was locked, if a soft lock. Only by drawing things out did you leave yourself open to Andy screwing with you before time. I’m guessing you don’t agree with this, I can already hear the “but anything can happen” mantra that does often apply to V:TES, but I respect your play ability to where you wouldn’t have done crazy, self destructive stuff that could have cost you that game. It’s a common mistake of V:TES players to underestimate opponents, but you don’t want to overestimate them either.

    I think we have different ideas of quick play. I’m not talking about quick for perfect technical play with lots of table management, I’m talking about taking very little time. Again, if we just played cards after Jeff was ousted, you would have won easily within the time limit. Now, this is a function of who your opponents are. Since I don’t have an obsessive need to win, I’m willing to let games go I think I should lose, but there are others out there who may not think that way.

  5. Andy says:

    Good analysis of the finals, my deck totally foundered in that game any hope of me being effective in that game ended when I got hit for 6 pool damage before I had a minion out then got my only FoEK blocked by Ira.

    I was more than sick of that game by the time it was down to three of us. I always knew I couldn’t get Ira but my deck didn’t even put on a good show, figures, seeing how that tournament was the first time I used it.

    Honestly I self ousted when I did because I wanted to see Ira finish the game which should have ended long ago. If I really wanted to, I had more minions out, I could have burned more time doing stupid actions and precluded Ira from having any chance to win. Thats not what I was interested in though.

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