Get to the card in two thousand words or so. It’s maybe a theme given that we achieved a new high water mark for tournament attendance in the region. Again, multiplayer CCGs are far more resilient to lack of new cards than two-player CCGs due to the social and political elements. But, enough philosophizing, on to le action.
Tournament 1 – 29 players
We actually had 30 people around but someone bowed out for reasons I’m not sure about. Could have had more, but what was so interesting was seeing people I rarely see or people who moved into the area. I hadn’t seen Oscar (Garza) since he moved out here, for instance.
Robert (FoS anarch vote) -> Kenneth (LMC, Reanimated Corpse) -> Ian L. (!Brujah vote) -> Oliver (Malk anarch vote w/ Lutz) -> Ky (Kiasyd?)
As anyone who reads much of what I write knows, I may jump around in my narratives rather than go in an attempted chronological order. Ky brought out two Lasombra. He brought out no Kiasyd. Ky’s game was not very interesting, so I will say no more about it.
My game was a mixed bag. Kenneth put out The Unmasking right away, which wasn’t good for my normally stealthless !Brujah, however I brought out DeSalle first and rarely was concerned with blocks. Robert and Oliver both got Fee Stakes. I did not get a Crusade off for the longest time, so my vote oriented vote deck was rather impotent while I had DeSalle and Axel Von Anders out and only got somewhat better when Hektor hit the table. Though, there was one vote I called to do pool damage to the two other vote decks and none (besides Lutz) to the two non-vote decks which passed with Robert’s help without any lobbying upon my part, as I amusedly expected. Having no defenses, except against combat, which was not something I was able to get into much, Kenneth could drop RCs and bleed at stealth and I had to look at my hand and wish I had more imPotence. I did blow up Kenneth’s first RC with punch, press (Flash), punch, figuring losing four blood was better than two pool a turn for several turns.
Robert built up his voting some. Oliver brought out Lutz after two other Malks. I’m sure there were more key plays that others thought compelling enough to mention, but the game just seemed to grind on to where I have only a few notable recollections. Oliver’s dudes got Temptationed by Robert and Ky Pentexed Lutz, slowing Oliver down. Okay, Ky did keep losing pool, including from Robert’s and my votes due to Lutz. Robert contested a Barony with Oliver, which Oliver gave up, switching from LA to Boston. Kenneth would lose pool but gained it back with Little Mountain Cemetery. Oliver brought out a fourth dude to help with being able to take actions while Ky was virtually toast, and, as I hoped and expected, Robert finally got around to Reckless Agitationing Oliver out of the game on his next turn, which also ousted Ky. Kenneth brought out George Frederick late in the game, which I thought was a horrible mistake, and Robert ousted him. Time was short, so the meaning to my remaining actions was not being ousted by Robert before time as he had a dominant position.
We spent nearly nine minutes trying to find out how Prisci subreferendum interacts with Fee Stake burning, as I really should have tried to remove all of the Fee Stakes in play, time that was added on to the end of our round. And, for those who hate timeouts, I can sort of see that camp’s view, but I’m so used to them that I consider them a crucial part of the game.
Robert 1.5 / Ian 1.5 / Oliver 1
James (HoS) -> Ian L. -> Brandon (high cap +bleed Dom/Obf vote) -> Eric S. (Tremere) -> A.J. (Nakhthorheb)
My uncontrolled is Alessandro Garcia, Marcel de Breau, Hektor, … and Aksinya Daclau. To do stuff, I bring out Alessandro, even though that messes up Grooming the Protege and Enchant Kindred at superior. I plan on Marcel for votes, followed by Aksinya so that I can eventually Gang Territory to Hektor, if I draw it.
Meanwhile, Brandon puts out Mistress Fanchion. Well, guess I won’t vote. James brings up Egothha, who repeatedly hits master cards while I draw hardly any. When I do have plans to put Black Forest Base in play, James Revelations me and discards it. A.J. gets Nakhthorheb action going with Venenation to make it impossible for Egothha to block. On the other hand, James’s Matthias proves wallriffic.
So, how did this game start looking far better for me? Brandon got greedy and Fanchion got Archoned. Nakhthorheb got Golcondaed three times, finally providing 10 pool. James was never an ousting threat to me as he was just hanging on against bleeds that were often three even with Matthias in play. A.J. brought out Neferu, which messed up our vote calculations. Brandon was still getting bleeds and votes through with Laszlo Mirac and Orlando Oriundus. Though, I still only had Alessandro and Marcel in play, which meant limited vote ability and lack of “swarm” bleed.
Brandon bleeds for four to oust Eric. I Major Boon. I try to bleed Brandon for two with Marcel when Brandon is at two, after Brandon had bounced numerous bleeds of mine with Murmur of the False Will, and Eric Eagle Sight blocks. A.J. goes down to one pool, James goes down to one pool. I can’t even pass a vote with only Orlando, Carna, and Neferu in play. Of course, I sat on way too many vote cards I finally started tossing as Brandon’s voting ability kept shifting, so I drew into limited vote push. Eric ousts A.J. who tapped out at one pool to do more damage to James. Brandon is at two pool and likely dead to Marcel, but I Golconda Orlando to see if I can still engineer four VPs. I knew we were short on time, but I didn’t factor in how short, so this was rather goofy. Just before time, I oust minionless Brandon. James survives. I never bring up Hektor, though I could have right at time between Gang Territory and Information Highway.
Eric 1.5 / Ian 1.5 / James .5
I made a number of important mistakes in the two rounds. In the first round, I should have aggressively been burning Fee Stakes, for instance. I also kept holding on to a Wash because I kept forgetting to play it, even after noticing that I had forgotten to play it, though it did eventually stop a Villein on Lutz. The second round, though, was the biggest error, methinks. Right after Fanchion exploded, I could have called a Crusade on Alessandro and vote pushed it to pass, giving me two more permanent votes for the rest of the game, yet I did something dumb, like bleed, with him, instead. Really poor concentration. Then, I didn’t need four VPs from the second game. Oddly, the top in our 29 player tournament was 1 GW and 5.5 VPs while fifth was around 1 and 4. A three VP table would have put me in at 1 and 4.5. Robert won in a timeout with 1.5 vs. Matt’s 1.5, with Nick, Oscar, and Jeff P. being the other finalists.
But, whatever. I enjoyed my games. I played mediocre. And, my “collection” deck has still always ousted at least one player while never being ousted – testament to how little deck composition matters. Here’s the !Brujah deck I put together with my ~750 card “collection”:
Deck Name: I won’t concur
Created By: Armin Brenner
Description: Experiment #1 – !Brujah Vote
Crypt: (12 cards, Min: 18, Max: 39, Avg: 7.33)
1 Aksinya Daclau cel tha ANI FOR PRE PRO9 Gangrel Antitribu
1 Alessandro Garcia pot pre pro 4 Brujah Antitribu
2 Armin Brenner ani obf CEL FOR POT PRE10 Brujah Antitribu
1 Axel Von Anders cel obf pot PRE5 Brujah Antitribu
1 Bela Kardoza ani dom CEL POT PRE VIC10 Brujah Antitribu
1 DeSalle CEL POT PRE 7 Brujah Antitribu
1 Father Juan Carlos aus cel pot tha PRE6 Brujah Antitribu
1 Hektor for CEL POT PRE QUI9 Brujah Antitribu
1 Marcel de Breau ani pro CEL POT PRE9 Brujah Antitribu
1 Shawnda Dorrit obt pot pre CEL6 Brujah Antitribu
1 Smash pot pre 3 Brujah Antitribu
Library: (70 cards)
Master (18 cards)
2 Black Forest Base
5 Blood Doll
1 Creepshow Casino
1 Dummy Corporation
1 Gang Territory
1 Golconda: Inner Peace
2 Grooming the Protege
1 Information Highway
1 Major Boon
2 Protected Resources
Action (3 cards)
3 Enchant Kindred
Action Modifier (17 cards)
1 Aura of Invincibility
5 Bewitching Oration
3 Iron Glare
1 Private Audience
2 Voter Captivation
Political Action (17 cards)
1 Anarchist Uprising
1 Consanguineous Boon
2 Conservative Agitation
1 Crusade: Detroit
1 Crusade: New York
1 Crusade: Rome
1 Crusade: Toronto
1 Deploy the Hand
1 Disputed Territory
6 Kine Resources Contested
Combat (13 cards)
1 Catatonic Fear
4 Stunt Cycle
Combo (2 cards)
2 Scalpel Tongue
I played a pickup game while the finals went on. I played my “collection” !Toreador deck. This too was entertaining.
Ky (Trujah w/ Aus/For) -> Ian T. (Dom/Pot weenieish) -> Ian L. (!Toreador intercept/combat) -> Rick (Isanwayen & Bruce de Guy) -> Alex CH (Group 4 Ahrimanes)
Alex brings out Kill-ian at a table with two Ians. It did not save him. Rick tooled Isanwayen up to hunt unblockably for a lot. Ky bled and stuff.
I bring out Loonar. Ian T. Fames her and Rumbles her. Oscar, er, Paulo de Castille goes to long, Throws Gate, Targets Vitals. I discard a couple of combat cards. On my turn, Loonar gets a Sawed-Off Shotgun. At no point in the game does Loonar go to torpor. She does additional strike shoot merged Dr. Julius Sutphen and, in the endgame, torps some Ahrimanes, at which point Alex concedes (actually, he doesn’t until I untap and put another counter on Smiling Jack).
Yup, even with rushes and blocks, I have enough Glancing Blows and, uh, Celerity to not be seriously threatened by Ian T.’s combat while I have intercept, reduction, and a touch of bounce to survive the constant bleeds. Alex and Ky inflict damage on each other with Outside the Hourglass vs. Murders of Crows. I put Smiling Jack in play that nobody seems to care all that much about and it ends the game with six counters. Ky does get Ian T. before Smiling Jack pretty much murders Ky.
Deck Name: Experiment 1 – !Toreador
Created By: Loonar
Description: Experiment #1 – !Toreador intercept combat
Crypt: (12 cards, Min: 15, Max: 32, Avg: 5.83)
1 Dominique Santo Paulo pot pre AUS CEL6 Toreador Antitribu
1 Father Juan Carlos aus cel pot tha PRE6 Brujah Antitribu
1 Gabriel de Cambrai aus cel dem obf pre5 Toreador Antitribu
1 Jonathan Gursel aus pre 3 Toreador Antitribu
1 Loonar cel PRE 4 Toreador Antitribu
1 Malabranca obf AUS CEL PRE PRO9 Toreador Antitribu
1 Melinda Galbraith obt AUS CEL DOM POT PRE10 Lasombra
1 Monique Kim aus cel 3 Toreador Antitribu
1 Neighbor John dom for AUS 5 Ventrue Antitribu
1 Rain cel chi dem pot pre AUS7 Toreador Antitribu
1 Redbone McCray cel pro AUS PRE6 Toreador Antitribu
1 Tears cel AUS DEM PRE6 Toreador Antitribu
Library: (90 cards)
Master (17 cards)
3 Blood Doll
1 Direct Intervention
1 Effective Management
1 Guardian Angel
1 King`s Rising
1 Pentex Subversion
1 Powerbase: Barranquilla
1 Slave Auction
1 Smiling Jack, The Anarch
1 Vast Wealth
Action (9 cards)
3 Media Influence
1 Pulse of the Canaille
3 Zillah`s Tears
Reaction (34 cards)
2 Delaying Tactics
2 Eagle`s Sight
4 Enhanced Senses
2 Forced Awakening
1 Minor Irritation
1 My Enemy`s Enemy
7 On the Qui Vive
4 Spirit`s Touch
4 Telepathic Counter
2 Telepathic Misdirection
Combat (17 cards)
1 Fast Hands
4 Glancing Blow
3 Nimble Feet
1 Read Intentions
2 Taste of Vitae
Equipment (12 cards)
1 Brass Knuckles
2 Leather Jacket
1 Palatial Estate
1 Pier 13, Port of Baltimore
3 Saturday-Night Special
2 Sawed-Off Shotgun
1 Sengir Dagger
1 Starshell Grenade Launcher
Event (1 cards)
1 NRA PAC
At this point on Saturday, Experiment #1 is over. There are still a variety of changes I could make, mostly in masters, to decks, and I never did build a Tzimisce deck even though that would be one of the easier ones to build. I wouldn’t say I feel a lot of variety as I got bored very quickly with !Malks and !Trem; on the other hand, !Brujah was always interesting and !Toreador played very funny with Loonar rather consistently getting a Sawed-Off Shotgun. In one play of the !Malk deck, I got 5 VPs. In one or two plays of the !Trem deck, it didn’t do much. In three plays of the !Brujah deck, two in a tournament, I had one GW (admittedly, three-player game) and twice 1.5 VPs. In two plays of the !Toreador deck, I had a table split, a GW, and Loonar beating the crap out of people in combat.
Tournament competitive? I think so, and I don’t see getting a sample size large enough to prove it.
Enjoyable level of variety? To a degree, mostly in terms of what masters to run. Of course, I’ve played hundreds of decks in thousands of games, so variety is a lot harder for me than someone who would have a collection like Experiment #1’s.
I’m not sure what to do for Experiment #2. I can see building on #1. I don’t see doing something else with Third Edition, so building on #1 is a major way to go to make use of my vast Third Edition resources that mostly don’t get played. I can see using my copious amount of precons and unopened boosters for various sets to do something similar to #1 without using a base set.
For tournament #2, why didn’t I continue the experiment? Just felt played out. And, we have tournaments so rarely that there were some other decks that were important to play under tournament conditions that I either had built or put together Saturday morning.
Tournament 2 – 20 players
Interesting how many people left. We do seem to get more for the first tournament in a day, whether because it’s draining to do two in a day or because late starts are less desirable.
Ian L. (Blessed Resilience) -> A.J. (Tzimisce 2/3 high cap) -> Rick (Daughters pool loss) -> David (Daughters beatdown) -> Eric S. (Tunnel Runner)
This was horrid in setup and how things looked. I’m actually getting tired of writing, so I’m going to be short on detail. The two Daughters decks were different groups, so no issues there, but they both were very forward looking. That meant I had to try to contain A.J., which looked implausible for most of the game.
Stravinsky comes out and gets The Rack … and Blood Dolls. Stravinsky is followed by Meshenka, John Paleologus, and Sascha Vykos adv. And, my prey has plenty of pool and tons of blood!!
For, you see, Rick’s deck plays a bunch of Benefit Performances and Madrigals, so A.J. just kept getting blood, which turned into pool. Rick did do a bunch of pool damage to David who barely hung on, only really because A.J. Eagle Sight blocked a couple of bleeds. David’s deck was not hardcore Shattering Crescendo but a mix of things with Catatonic Fear+Target Vitals. Eric was under pressure for much of the game, so even though he beat me up a bit, I actually wished he had been bleeding more often at certain times in the game.
Meanwhile, I was left to burn A.J.’s superior Revelations, to go after his Army of Rats, to go after Smiling Jack, to steal The Rack once, only David’s taking it another time helped contain the monster that was my prey. Oh, and I started bleeding for 4-7 every turn with Forces of Will.
If Rick had called a Lily Prelude backwards, I might have been able to get A.J. before he got Rick. Instead, A.J. got Rick and David before bleeding repeatedly for 7 and Smiling Jack ousted my prey. I did a non-Force of Will bleed with Trochomancy, Daring the Dawn to get by Eric’s vamps and Call of the Hungry Dead to get by Tunnel Runner to finish off Eric. Yes, I played Blessed Resilience at times and did the other stuff the deck does, like discard useless Villeins.
Ian 3 / A.J. 2
Meanwhile, at the nearby table, there were four Tremere decks and a Summon History deck that, of course, ran Ankara Citadel.
Rick -> Ian L. -> Jeff K. (Loss + vote) -> Brett (Tzimisce vote w/ Pre) -> Robert (Summon History Obt)
Four vote decks at the table, with Robert having Giangaleazzo, Brett having Velya and Lambach, Jeff Kuta predictably having Olugbenga and Alamut, later Amaravati.
This game was my one uninteresting game of the day. I was happy not to have to talk to people when votes came up, as it was rather tedious. Jeff didn’t want to burn Alamut counters, which others kept wanting him to burn.
I brought out one dude – Mordechai. I did little, though I did Force of Will, Rapid Healing early to move some cards. When I finally decided to bring out Morlock, I got killed because Brett didn’t like my lack of pressure and voted for Rick’s killing vote and Robert had not ousted Rick to this point and Jeff didn’t care enough to save me, since I was about as great a threat with my two dudes as Rick’s four Daughters. Maybe Brett had other reasons. I thought the move was correct not so much because I hadn’t pressured Jeff, who I could have theoretically ousted in two turns, but because Rick needed pool to not get ousted by Robert.
Voting happened, Loss bleeding happened. Jeff ousted Brett. Robert ousted Rick. Game times out as both players were able to bloat a bunch. Robert did finally get his Summon History engine going to bring out high cap vampires.
Jeff 1.5 / Robert 1.5 / Rick 1
Jeff’s failure to get a GW, means I’m ahead of him. Brandon got two GWs, so I get into the finals fine with 1 GW and 3 VPs. Fourth seed.
Brandon (weenie Dementation) -> Matt (Stanislava but it hardly mattered) -> Ian L. -> Brett -> Garet (Tremere)
Matt discarded three Antediluvian Awakenings, finally brought out Stanislava, and got ousted on Brandon’s next turn.
Brandon bled and didn’t get ousted until it was too late for me.
Garet did stuff but didn’t put a lot of pressure on Brandon even with Brett’s help and my encouraging an alliance against madness.
Brett could have been ousted, but I asked Garet whether he could get Brandon, and he said no, so I needed Brett’s votes and Legendary Lambach’s bounced bleeds in the game.
I started the game with six masters. Wider View, Heidelberg (largely irrelevant). Wider View, Storage Annex. Villein, Storage Annex? I don’t know, I drew more masters. I quickly had three Wider Views and ended up with three Storage Annexes. I also got Carlton. I did not ever try a third vampire because I needed pool. Between occasional hand moving Force of Will bleeds, taking Fragment of the Book of Nod from Garet, Mordechai’s permacept, Carlton, and some bounce, I did stuff and fended off Brandon for quite a while, which almost worked. Brandon was down to 2 pool and 1 pool at times.
I made a subtle but major mistake. I am really, really bad at remembering to burn Wider View for pool when I have multiple out. I’m kind of bad at remembering when I have one out. In this game, I needed that one extra turn’s worth of two pool and I might have survived one more turn.
I did do quite a bit to burn through Brandon’s deck, so Brett decided Garet was no longer useful and took him out (I don’t know the details, just assuming), and got Brandon before time. Of course, those who already saw the tournament report on vekn.net already know Brett won this event.
It occurred to me while playing that Brandon was probably best off killing Brett (with Kindred Spirits, of course) rather than focusing on me. Just as I needed Brett in the game to kill Brandon, Brandon’s greatest threat was Brett. I talked to Brandon about this. Always interesting to wonder about the correct play.
I really am losing steam at this point, so I likely forgot some amusing tidbits. Thanks for Brandon for organizing. Thanks to Andy and Eric for the use of their place and arranging food, tables, and chairs for what was a ridiculous number of people.
Blessed Resilience deck that I’m probably done with, though I might consider a combat Blessed Resilience deck because doing stuff with no minions in play and a strong desire to burn my own dudes is highly entertaining:
Deck Name: Blessed Crypt, Willful Resilience
Created By: Macoute
Description: In which the designer does indeed design a deck that you don’t want to be the prey of.
Crypt: (12 cards, Min: 25, Max: 32, Avg: 7.25)
3 Babalawo Alafin ani AUS FOR NEC7 Harbingers of Skulls
3 Macoute FOR obf NEC thn6 Samedi
3 Mordechai Ben-Nun ANI AUS FOR NEC8 Harbingers of Skulls
3 Morlock FOR NEC THN obf8 Samedi
Library: (90 cards)
Master (25 cards)
4 Blessed Resilience
1 Coven, The
1 Heidelberg Castle, Germany
2 Life in the City
1 Lilith’s Blessing
1 Parthenon, The
6 Storage Annex
3 Wider View
Action (15 cards)
9 Force of Will
3 Rapid Healing
Action Modifier (30 cards)
4 Call of the Hungry Dead
8 Daring the Dawn
14 Freak Drive
Reaction (14 cards)
4 On the Qui Vive
7 Telepathic Misdirection
3 Wake with Evening’s Freshness
Ally (2 cards)
1 Carlton Van Wyk (Hunter)
1 Mylan Horseed (Goblin)
Combo (4 cards)
4 Spectral Divination
I played a pickup game after the tournament in which I played Merely A Trifle. Haqim’s Law: Judgment did not achieve much. Suffice to say that this deck is not ready for real play even though it’s one of my most inspired deck builds. Since it’s so dumb and it’s funnier to figure out how the deck works on one’s own, I will deprive you all from its precise contents.
I suppose there’s one final comment that needs to be made (that I can remember). I said recently that I don’t try as I used to in terms of table politics. I did make much more of an effort to shape games Saturday. In particular, it didn’t seem like Brett and Garet would cooperate sufficiently to slay Brandon until I badgered them. It’s just sometimes really hard to keep quiet.