Far be it for me to post frequently about casual game days, but I was amused by last Sunday’s games, even when they weren’t terribly amusing to play. All hail 10/10, a great day in any year.
Principia Discordia, et al -> Malk vote/bleed -> Rachel Brandywine -> Persistent Fanfare
I drop Info Highway and bring out Yseult. Crosstable, Lutz appears. Oh, boy. Not so good for my predator since I’m eager to crush souls with the power of Fanfare for Elysium. Yseult Persistent Echoes Fanfare for Elysium and I bring out Angela and Tupdog. Angela goes anarch to burn off some blood so that I get maximum value from the Tupdog calling Fanfare for Elysium.
Other stuff that happens in no particular order: I Golconda Rachel rather than Lutz as my predator seems intent on ousting me, though his first Kindred Spirits bleed went backwards where it got bounced backwards to my prey. I discover just how useless Member of the Entourage is, can’t quite give him two intercept with my one copy of Tourette’s Voice as he was down to 1 life. He does get turned into a Set’s Curse just to help my prey out. I really need my prey to have a bunch of pool because as soon as my initial predator is out, I’m screwed. Sadly, I have no wakes, so I can’t double Madrigal to kill one of my predator’s KRCs and the pool damage to my prey is sad. After all, the less pool he had, the less he could give me when I played Extremis Boon (discarding Wash, knowing that I was going to go to zero pool before my turn came around). I Fanfare choosing only Yseult, the only vampire older than Angela I had, so I can Voter Cap. I Con Boon Nagaraja with none in play to Voter Cap. Every single one of my votes passes, including the Lily Prelude doing 4 to my prey and giving me 1, while I never gained any permanent votes. As for the Extremis Boon, I only got 1 pool out of it, which forced Lutz to bleed me out. Would have been interesting if my prey gave me all of his 3 pool to see if I can do anything in the endgame while I lose 1 pool from Lutz every time I pass a vote.
On to game two, it’s go time. Time to whip out the power deck for supreme annihilation.
Malefiction -> Kiasyd SB -> EuroBrujah -> Salubri
It was looking bad for the Brujah as the Kiasyd Infoed up three dudes fast. I was hideously handjammed with Greater Curse, Minor Curse, and Barrenness … not because I couldn’t burn them all away any time but because I didn’t want to tip my hand. Actually, Greater Curse ended up being the wasp’s elbows.
Somehow, a couple Kiasyd got beaten down, as the Brujah remembered the Tradition that is between First and Third. Brujah stabilize! Everyone stabilizes! Well, that’s because the Salubri deck doesn’t go forward and my deck was far away from accomplishing its necessary toolups. Gerald Windham did get Ankara and did get Rutor’s and finally got Textbook Damnation after Nergal had been holding down the fort with his Malefic ways. I go down to 2 pool. Nergal achieves Golconda and I’m safe forever, including after he decides Golconda has too many whiny losers and returns nobly to the battlefield. In the meantime, Gerald has mastered Maleficia, gotten a crosstable Vessel, two Blood Dolls, Perfectionist, and a partridge in a pear tree. My Anarch Convert has also whipped out his Nightstick.
Hours go by. My predator starts tooling up himself – Robert Carter, Tasha Morgan, Pulse, gets his 5 minions. With the power of my Evil Eye and – amazingly – not one of my Greater Curse bleeds getting bounced by the Kiasyd, I hold on long enough for my prey to get ousted. My new prey is not strong in the pool. Actually, I think the Kiasyd could have tried lunging if he didn’t discard Song of Pan. But, my predator is not strong in the ways of the pool, either. Around the 3 hour mark, my prey plays at 1 pool and keeps trying to oust. I keep trying to get 1 pool of bleed through and fail either due to intercept or bounce. My predator only survives by Serenna reducing on my turn and my prey’s turn. Finally, with my prey having about 1 card left in his library, I oust him and sweep a bit later with about 1 card left in my library.
Now, as amusing as games can be, the less important thing to take away from games is what we learn from them. Much as I had learned that Striga is broken and, truly, omnipotent. I have now learned that the same can be said of Maleficia. The only possible way one can fail to bring victory is in opposition to each other. The unstoppable actions of Maleficia (that don’t do anything) versus the impregnable defenses (+1 intercept, -1 stealth) of Striga.
Actually, I was surprised to realize that I actually think Striga is better in a general deck sense. Evil Eye is far better than anything Striga can do and Greater Curse at Dai was a lot of bleeds for 3 at stealth that gained me pool, but action cards that don’t win or don’t prevent losing are sketchy with infernals, making Barrenness and Minor Curse cards I’d rather cut … if Maleficia wasn’t so overpowered that it leads to guaranteed sweeps. As pathetic as the Striga cards are individually, they all fit together into a godlike conglomeration of awesome. Maleficia is more about individual plays. Now, I did burn a vampire with Scourge of the Enochians (stupidly costing me my own Anarch Convert as I forgot I didn’t have any Barrennesses left to blow others up and my predator failed to get ousted) because of Barrenness. And, Minor Curse was incredibly annoying to my predator, but that may have been because he didn’t order his actions well.
Of course, Maleficia is better for decks if you are an eta and don’t play Barrenness and Minor Curse.
And, of course, games are different when you don’t use a time limit. In reality, I don’t think anyone would have been ousted at the 2 hour mark even if people played more urgently.
Finally, a three player game where it was time for silliness. No non-discipline naughtiness, just good old fashion Malks/!Malks.
Principia Discordia (above) -> Toreador block/bleed -> Wrong Number (The Call, Grenades, Nightsticks)
I bring out Quentin King III, which doesn’t give me vote lock, but The Parthenon and Powerbase: Rome quickly give me vote lock. What follows is a lot of eh. Powerbase: Montreal gets passed around. My prey keeps bringing out guys. I keep getting weapons and Calling without having much impact on the game. Eventually, my predator gets ousted and somehow I survive for another 30-45 minutes even though I can’t cycle as my stealth is useless and can’t get into combat to Concealed out something. My only hope is to draw into all of my remaining vote bleed and bleed twice in one turn with my five guys, but I keep drawing stuff that has little game impact and eventually get ousted by stealthed bleeds (not being able to stop +1 stealth actions most of the time is a feature of Wrong Number).
Having played Wrong Number twice, once in a cutdown 4cl version, I see that it has much nutpunching puissance and must be purged. Well, that just frees up Grenades and Nightsticks for other decks, huzzah!