Laborless Weekend + [Classic] ConQuest 2001

I should be doing some gaming this weekend, but I don’t know how many years it has been since I wasn’t at a convention on this weekend.  Last year, Los Angeles, year before that Celesticon, years before that ConQuest/Pacificon.  There may have been one year that I wasn’t at a con, but this weekend goes back to the days of the Clarion, even the Dunfey long, long ago.

Going to muse for a while, will post a classic V:TES report at the end.

In theory, I could have had Shadowfist last night, my online L5R home game today, boardgames Monday.  But, I’m just looking at BattleTech tomorrow for the totality of the weekend.

Nor have I done much gaming since getting back from Gen Con.  Played one session of online L5R.  Ran one session of local L5R home game.  Sudden trip to Toronto had something to do with that.  Half the usual V:TES suspects being caught up in other things through August has meant a dearth of that.

It’s funny how I won’t miss something until suddenly I do.  Well, maybe not that unexpected.  When I’m thinking of one thing, like still thinking about Gen Con or thinking about L5R, it’s much easier to forget that I haven’t played V:TES in a while.

With some time to breathe and after a conversation with Brad, who is at the con I could walk to this weekend, started thinking about what I want my schedule to be.  Tuesday L5R has become a fixture.  Friday has not been the usual with the GM in SoCal for the Summer.  Saturdays, online L5R.  Sundays, looks like BT in the morning and will eventually get back to V:TES 1-2 times a month.  Monthly FSTH campaign I’m running, monthly Shadowfist is an option.  Theoretical online HoR3 play, when there are mods – I could actually use a couple.

The only real unknown would be Friday, given that I can’t see adding more (routine) gaming on to the schedule.  But, that’s how things are.  What do I want them to be?

CCGs should be played regularly.  Sure, there have been years when V:TES was rare, more of a con thing (so odd that it became a non-con thing).  Assuming I start building decks for Shadowfist, should play more than once a month.

The two RPG campaigns I’m running I don’t feel compelled to run – GM endurance has never been my thing.  Saturday afternoon (for me) online L5R is a good anchor.  Sunday morning BT is something I don’t know if I will find compelling.  I think I’d like something fun on Tuesday nights, something fun on half my Friday nights, Saturday’s game and/or HoR3 most Saturdays, and a switch between heavier and lighter commitments on Sundays.  Thursdays are another reasonable slot for doing something, except I like not being overly committed on weeknights in case I have work stuff I need to get done.  Thursdays can also be used for HoR3 online play, as online players seem to have wildly varying schedules.

Relating in some hard to describe way, I don’t feel terribly invested in anything at the moment.  Gen Con should have been the high point of investment in my HoR3 characters, but, as I said, there just wasn’t that much takeaway for me from GC2013.  In my Saturday game, I’m coming off of a personal stuff climax, while the group is still flailing about.  The less I play CCGs, the less invested in them mentally.  Running RPGs is mostly a chore with moments of “I could do this cool thing”, where what inspires me to run in the first place often doesn’t end up coming to pass, whether because my interests differ from my players’ or because I just don’t execute my visions well enough.

One more ramblegraph.  My ideal with RPGs would seem to be coming up with a vision of the characters and what would happen and, then, hand things off to someone else to actually run.  Sure, it’s a truism that GMs run the sort of game they want to play in, but I think I end up running games that don’t turn out to be what I envisioned as I (or people like me) am not playing in my own game.


V:TESwise, this had to be one of the strangest cons for me (and Prince Brad).  Outside of the tournament, I didn’t play any games. BradN didn’t play at all.

I suppose the silver lining is that I have 3 decks I’ve yet to play, but given a choice, I would have much rather played casual games than the tournament.

Five of the nine players made the final table.  Of the five players with 0 VPs, Dave Sisson got in through tiebreakers by being fortunate enough to play at one of the four player table sweeps and the five player table sweep.  There was much amusement at his good fortune.  I got in as the second seed though I was the only one of the top four who didn’t sweep a game.

Chris went first with BradN’s City Gangrel rush deck.  sBrad (not Butts, how many do we have again?, I think there might be three sBrads including BB) went second with weenie stealth bleed with some Suhailah toolbox.  Dave went third with BradN’s Might of the Cam deck.  Cy went fourth with !Ventrue toolbox. I went fifth with !Malk stealth bleed.

After Chris brought out Huang on turn one and dropped Fame on turn two, I *slowly* transferred, offering no targets for a couple turns.  Brad beat Dave down continuously throughout the game with Hacks.  Dave frightened various people with evil votage – Banishment, Protect Thine Own.  But, no Might, which was helpful as I eventually decided to bring out a fourth vamp.  Cy was in a comfortable position and took his time building up.  I eventually decided that I needed Kite out to TMisdirect after seeing plus bleed from Cy.  Chris focused heavily forward even with stealth bleed behind him as he wasn’t terribly familiar with dementation and I bled *very* conservatively – one bleed a turn for one or two, just using Kindred Spirits to keep my pool total decent with Fame hitting us all for a while. Between my (occasionally) more than token bleed and Fame, Chris’s pool was in the yellow region.  But, Brad being beaten down with rush was in the danger region, down to 5 at one point.  Dave dropped Anarch Revolt when he was hurting, hoping someone else would get rid of it.  No one had the interest and/or the time.  With just Arika and no Deflections, Dave fell first.  I finally decided to go for the kill on Chris, even though I would have expected him to continue to look forward in the main.  I had enough to oust and keep Kite up for bounce, which proved to be unnecessary.  Cy was low with Brad coming.  While he had mucho intercept, Brad had a little more stealth, and the expected bounce wasn’t there.  With just Brad and myself, it was a tap out bleed race once I purged a couple TMs.  I topdecked enough plus bleed to win.

I think I had a decent name for my deck, but I forgot it if I did.  Anyway, it wasn’t particularly interesting.  It was a tight 75 card !Malk stealth bleed.  It was the sort of deck I would have played at Gen Con if I somehow generated enough interest.  The main point I was trying to prove was how good Direct Intervention and Sudden Reversal are in the current metagame as utility defenses.  However, they didn’t come up often enough when I wanted them for me to believe I came close to proving that.  I think I did discover why !Malk don’t do better in general. While you can hurt your prey bad with dementation, you lack the 3B (big bomb bleed) of dominate.  In an earlier tournament, I couldn’t get through a bloat deck.  In the first round, I couldn’t get past Greta.  If you beat someone down enough, you really should put them out of their misery.  I can post a decklist if someone wants, if it’s a quick (I’m definitely breaking the deck down) request.

Getting back to the lack of games, I remember a time when the games were continuous throughout the cons, going into the wee hours.  I miss that.  Anyone have ideas for how to get some of that back?

“I’m sorry.
No new decks.
Takes a day
to put cards away.
there’s the sex.” – From the Collection of CCGers’ Laments

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