Before writing up my report of Saturday’s tournaments, I managed to find this classic tournament report in my email. By the way, we’ve had three Ian’ses in the area at one time or another.
**Edit for clarity on timing: The newsgroup report came out June 2nd, which is the date in Secret Library for the deck. The tournament was May 11th, which I can probably change in Secret Library. The TWDA has the correct tournament date.
* * *
For all of the bizarreness that I’ve seen in individual games in other tournaments (Game of Malkav anyone?), this should be the strangest result, a 5-way tie in the finals with two of the players subbing for finalists who bailed.
Round, the first:
First up is Jim’s Thalerity, Assamite intercept deck. Jeff’s big vampire vote deck bleeds Joel’s Ani/Aus/(Vic) intercept combat deck which bleed’s Ian’s (Kemp) Nos stealth bleed, splash combat deck. My deck is fairly simple Samedi stealth/unblockable bleed.
Jeff Hostiles (Takeover) Jim’s Parnassus and player hatin’ ensues. Jim keeps him for 5 pool. I started out ineffectual, with my first guy, Reg I believe, getting torped. Now, for the single greatest reason to write this tournament report. MY PREDATOR ATTEMPTS TO RESCUE MY TORPED VAMPIRE … AND IT GETS BLOCKED BY MY GRANDPREDATOR. Sure, wackiness late in a game can make lots of sense. Even I, ally to all who don’t wish to cause me problems, was a bit taken aback by the attempt so early in a game. Reg or whoever does make it out of torpor as my predator (obviously) didn’t care about his existence and my prey saw two things: Samedi; Samedi getting his ass kicked in like the first two seconds. Joel establishes a reasonable level of control over his predator and prey which allows me to try and go forward. I get my ass kicked a bit but end up doing some damage, which combined with the Hostile Takeover brings Jim’s pool low. I also hold Joel’s Montreal for quite a while. Jim eventually ousts Jeff. I get bleed plus unblockability to put Jim out. I take out Joel with more unblockability, possibly got a great draw when his hand was poor, and take Ian out from a strong position.
I’m jacked. Table win with Samedi plus being able to play for 1-2 VPs to ensure finalage.
Round, the second:
Andrew dropping made seating a bit more complicated. But, anyway, I went first. Chris’s Lazverinus combat deck went second. Ian’s Nos deck followed. Then, Joel. Then, Brandyn’s Ventrue with Obfuscate deck.
Joel shut down his area of the table again, which kept me from exploding under big bleeds and votes. I did my usual early game hunting. Put some bleeds through. Joel put out Smiling Jack, which lasted a bit. Brandyn was maimed by Joel but was allowed to put some pressure on me when I seemed too strong. I oust Chris. I try to suggest that one more VP will sate my lust for getting into the finals, but Joel sends a War Ghoul my way a few times. One thing about my deck is that I really don’t care a whole lot about War Ghouls – cycled my Dust to Dusts. Eventually, Ian was so crippled that Joel decided 1VP was better than nothing. I ousted Ian, Joel ousted Brandyn, I Compressed Anton to leave Joel with no vamps and ousting was pretty easy after that.
Round, the sleepy:
With two TWs in the bag, I have like no motivation to do much of anything except manipulate who else makes the finals. Jason’s Tzimisce intercept/combat goes first. Chris is second. Gary’s HoS deck is third. Jeff fourth. I’m fifth.
I do next to nothing. Sure, I test the waters a bit to draw out some Tzimisce wakes, but I really just want to survive Jeff’s deck, a horrible match up for me. Chris blocks Lambach with Lazverinus, both see torpor. Gary eats Laz when he tries to come out, crippling Chris for the game; he spent most of the game with just Emerson. Gary Egothhas and Agaitases Jeff. Ridiculous amounts of votes on the table keep Jeff from seizing the mantle of heaven. Nevertheless, Jeff eventually gets quite strong with massive bloat. Not strong enough to oust me as I’ve been jacking off all game as I’m wont to do when I don’t see a way to kill my prey, have two TWs and 8 VPs in hand, and am not quite sure who else I want in the finals. The game drags with the few threats of oustings being countered by table bloat, Political Stranglehold and Ancient Influence. Chris does make an amazing comeback by torping Lambach (with Raven Spy) and Graverobbing him. This kills Jason’s game. I bounce a couple plus bleeds and cut a deal with him where he gets one last War Ghoul attack in if he kills himself, as opposed to my just bleeding him out when he’s defenseless. This deal is of no consequence as there’s no time left for anyone else to oust. But, the oust does mean I have more VPs than anyone else at my table for the third straight round.
I wanted Jim in the finals. While his Thalerity combat beats my combat, he himself would acknowledge that his deck wasn’t that dangerous, and it had no bounce, so unblockability worked perfectly well against it. But, he bailed. Gary, who I was set to have as my grandpredator assuming he didn’t bail, bailed.
So, Joel is opposite Jeff. Ian inserts himself in front of Joel. Chris inserts himself between Ian and Jeff. This leaves me with one of the better set ups as I put myself between Ian and Chris. I may not be able to ever block Ian’s bleeds, but they aren’t prolific enough or big enough that I’m a quick kill. Better for me would have been Ian and Chris switched as Ian wouldn’t be able to deal with my bleeds and Chris’s deck has problems with forward pressure … and I really wasn’t scared of Chris’s combat.
Chris went first.
Ian got down to 2 pool with an Army of Rats and a Smiling Jack hanging over him. I got Chris down to 4 and bled him for 4, but it got bounced. Other than that, table bloat made it highly unlikely anyone was going to do anything in the ousting department before two hours was up. And, we didn’t.
In general, this tournament saw a lot of vampires with votes but not that much voting. Intercept combat was common but so were decks with hardly any intercept. Lots of big vamps making Redirection more effort and table bloat very bloaty. Had Arika behind me way too often. Palatial Estate didn’t work too well. Actually, my equipment overall didn’t work too well. Joel convinced me to let him have the Bow one round while it got blocked another. Jackets just didn’t come up that often.
Equal prize split, worked out fairly well with there being 15 boosters left. Technically, the Samedi win a tournament. I won my 100th straight game of FreeCell Friday night giving me a perfect record in my latest 100 game set, which might be what I need to achieve redemption and escape FreeCell hell – it’s a good day to be alive, the Sun’s still shining when I close my eyes … or whatever.
Weapon Not Found
Description: My decks do things besides bleed … at stealth. They also hunt. Um, Samedi stealth/unblockable bleed.
x2 George Frederick
x2 Jorge De La Muerte
x2 Jack Dawson
x2 Reg Driscoll
x2 The Baron
x4 Blood Doll
x2 Coroner’s Contact
x1 Direct Intervention
x1 Dreams of the Sphinx
x2 Minion Tap
x1 Regenerative Blood
x1 The Barrens
x4 Force of Will
x5 Rapid Healing
x3 Daring the Dawn
x1 Day Operation
x3 Elder Impersonation
x3 Faceless Night
x9 Freak Drive
x3 Lost in Crowds
x5 Ashes to Ashes
x5 Dust to Dust
x1 Ivory Bow
x2 Leather Jacket
x1 Palatial Estate
x1 Delaying Tactics
Regenerative Blood has got to go. Otherwise, while I still don’t respect this deck, it played well enough.