Mark decided to organize some local V:TES tournaments. Of the four scheduled, we South Bayers made three of them.
Having just got back from a business trip and with a lot of different projects pulling on me, plus Gen Con coming up this week, I didn’t have much time for getting decks together. Jeff Y. wanted me to rebuild an old deck, but I just didn’t have time.
We congregated at Chez Haas and drove up in my car to Berkeley.
Powerbase: Berkeley – Tension in the Ranks
Mark (Mata Hari ally) -> Ian (Principia Discordia) -> Brandon (Toreador bleed) -> Rick (high cap Lasombra) -> Eric (Guruhi fight)
We had 13 players. With some SoCal players, we would have had more.
I seem to have a lot of problems making transfer decisions these days. I had an uncontrolled of Badr al-Budur, Nepata, Sir Marriot, Anarch Convert. I brought out Nepata and made her an anarch. I think I got another Convert and got Anwar. I think I Clotho’s Gifted, maybe had Count Ormonde in my uncontrolled as well.
Mark brought out Ossian early. Eric didn’t kill it with Nangila. When Ponticulus came out, Eric had little ability to do anything. Mark kept using Luc’s ability to add three cards. Brandon brought out Anson, Ramiel, Mariana, and Victoria. Rick brought out Moncada and de Polonia.
Brandon bled. Rick did some stuff, including Disarming Mariana. Eric brought out Nana and did a set of Ashur Tablets at some point. Mark just kept bringing out allies. Anarch Revolt hurt some, putting Mark within range. Mark Sensory Deprivationed my Badr, which made me sad as I was accumulating Nests of Eagles. He started rushing my guys prior to that. While I played a few Principia Discordias at Serpentis against Brandon, I was largely irrelevant. An empty, torped Anwar got saved late to Nest of Eagles Mark’s bleed to where he only got me to one pool before time. Brandon had 2.5 VPs.
Quote of this game for me, Brandon to Mark “He’s got two vampires with Serpentis!” as an argument for doing stuff to my three vampires, one of which didn’t have Serpentis. Looking over the decklist, I’m not quite sure why I don’t have any permableed. There are twelve cards that can give plus bleed, but that’s not scary, and they only give plus one.
Brandon -> David (Shattering Crescendo) -> Ian -> Henri (!Ventrue grinder)
Henri brings out Sister Evelyn and Pentexes Anson. I can’t avoid bringing out multiple dudes with my deck, so I suck Crescendo. I put out Crocodile Temple to discourage making me more impotent as a predator, but David seems to think that it’s important to unregardableize me.
Sister Evelyn switches from bleed of five to Vessel/hunt. Neighbor John Sticks me for four as my deck doesn’t do anything about Target Vitals. He later Sticks my Badr again when she tries Principia Discordia at Serpentis(!!) against a full Sister Evelyn. David eventually gets me, though Henri was looking pretty good for a sweep. Henri cleans up.
Jeff Y. borrowed my toolbox Daughters deck for the tournament and couldn’t figure out what it was supposed to do. Just oust your prey … somehow.
David Corson-Knowles won with Francois, Victoria, Aus/Cel/Obf something. I never saw much of the deck.
Powerbase: Berkeley – Unexpected Coalition
With that debacle out of the way, time to get more Quietus action on! We dropped to 10 players for this tournament.
Rick (!Trem with Idalia) -> Brandon (Inside Dirt and Beatrice) -> Alex (Giovanni rush bleed) -> Ian (Ass with Thaumaturgy) -> Jeff K. (Brujah Debate how to selfishly play Parity Shift)
I have Ur-Shulgi, Qadir, and two Anarch Converts in my uncontrolled. I sadly bring one out on turn one. This prompts Jeff to Recruitment for Lupo(!!). So, I Blood Doll Convert and hunt instead of bleed. Alex Fames my Convert. Brandon and I agree that he will contest Convert. I give up Convert. Alex bounces bleeds of two and three to me from the likes of Beatrice and bleeds me with Conditionings. I bring out Ur-Shulgi and have six pool.
Jeff keeps bringing out Brujah. I kill his first Parity Shift, the Shift of selfishness as he tries to give himself five pool rather than give me all of it. Such selfish players. Brandon continues his bleediness, which causes Alex to rush backwards and wreck Brandon’s ready region while also walling up, with Jeff growing stronger, so I should go forward, having eventually brought out Qadir. Yes, stable and with 20 pool of minions after being at one minion and six pool. Stable being slightly relative as I do suck Anarch Revolt damage until I have Qadir take the anarch action (my second Convert had to double anarch my first Convert). Rick didn’t care about Revolt, as Hannigan anarched. He had Selena and Idalia and did bleeds to Brandon.
Jeff’s deck was designed to lose pool to Parity Shift, what with the Recruitments, so he momentarily got low. I had Truth of Blood in hand and wanted it to bleed forward. Ur-Shulgi got past two Second Traditions with Into Thin Air and another stealth card. I had Songs of the Distant Vitae in hand, he had four pool, and … I completely forgot there was an Anarch Revolt in play and he had no anarch, so I overthought the situation and left him at three pool rather than bleeding with Songs for three with Qadir (because Jeff had hunted prior). The most epic fail in many a year to not cause Jeff Kuta, Betrayer of Assamites, to be ousted because of Songs of the Distant Vitae bleed (and Brandon’s Anarch Revolt). I guess it shows how much less strongly I feel about things that it only bothered me for the rest of the day rather than haunting me for eternity.
Rick couldn’t oust Brandon before he got swarmed out. Brandon did recover enough to oust Alex. Jeff ousted Brandon. So, I went from fresh Ur-Shulgi and six pool to be the only one left who could Extremis Boon when Jeff ousted me, which he failed to give me pool for to survive longer. Selfish.
Andy (Malk My Kin Against the World) -> Ian -> David (DoC vote/bleed) -> Brandon -> Mark (FoS bleed)
Brandon smashed Mark, who only brought out Ankh-sen-Sutekh before evaporating. Andy played a game of Parity Shifting crosstable. Early on, things were great for me. I got out Ur-Shulgi but couldn’t decide between Thetmes and Yazid. I brought out Thetmes for more votes. Thetmes got a Blood Doll but David Vesseled it, thus killing my pool gain.
Votes were called. Votes were messed with. Lutz caused me to lose pool on stupid stuff. Andy got low enough that he was in danger, but Andy recovered. David got superlow due to my not doing anything. I was in a position to oust two players and Andy needed Brandon gone, so he Parity Shifted to take four pool from me and give to David, so that I couldn’t oust David on my turn, with the deal being that David would Lily Prelude backwards to oust me. That kind of happened. My Extremis Boon saw Brandon bid one pool, which forced Andy to bid two pool, as David would have just rolled over both of them if Brandon went out that quickly.
Andy stole my last two pool through Extremis Boon. Andy won the endgame.
So, the main thing from Saturday is that I hardly did anything. Even with windows to oust in the second tournament, I just didn’t really do much. My prey would get low because of how their decks worked. You also couldn’t remotely tell that my deck ran some Thaumaturgy cards except when I discarded Rutor’s Hand in the second game. I did manage to Coagulate Blood both forwards and backwards with the power of Market Square intercept.
In a very tight game, Andy got Jeff down to one pool, Brandon almost ousted Jeff in the endgame. Andy got one, Brandon two, Jeff won as higher seed with two VPs.
We were exhausted on Saturday. Definitely couldn’t see doing two tournaments on Sunday. Andy had to do other stuff, so we figured we’d have eight or so people. We ended up with ten in the morning.
After my pointing out that I play too many decks that don’t do anything (prior to my inevitable victories), I got badgered into playing a deck that takes actions. I happened to have had built a Creation Rites deck that at least takes actions.
Mark (Horrid Form wall) -> Brandon (FoS high caps with Dom) -> Ian (OBF Creation Rites) -> Eric (Nocturn) -> Alex (AAA)
I had one early Tribute to the Master and never saw another. I got Specialization after not too long and Black Forest Base kept giving me two pool. Brandon’s start was explosive, with Eternals of Sirius into Kahina into Kephamos and Saqqaf, with Allonzo Montoya joining the party.
Eric seemed threatening as I wasn’t affecting him and he had Nocturns plus Dominate bleeds. Alex brought out Anson and Alexandra, eventually getting Anneke. Mark was a threat to beat people up but didn’t interact a lot with his neighbors. He had Meshenka, Stravinksky, and Little Tailor.
The voting situation was in my favor to gain two pool every round. I played Creation Rites and not a lot else. I didn’t need stealth with my neighbors. I should have been discarding to draw into a Tribute. After one hour, I had played 10 cards, five of which were Creation Rites. About an hour and 20/25 minutes in, I needed pool, so I bled Eric for the first time and ousted him that turn. Alex had too much pool for me to oust him in time. Brandon got me as I kept losing pool faster than I could gain it from Specialization and Black Forest Base even with the one copy of Abbot in my wakeless deck in play.
David (Arika multiacts) -> Rick (Tzimisce high cap wall) -> Eric -> Mark -> Ian
Rick and Mark talked about contestation possibilities, but I wasn’t sure why. Mark got Meshenka and Little Tailor. Rick got Lambach and Stravinsky. Eric got Pentexed by Mark right away, so Mark had no predator. I couldn’t build up Creation Rites, as I just didn’t draw that many for some reason.
David’s Ranjan got torped. Arika came out. Arika got torped and eaten by Stravinsky, who burned in the bloodhunt. I debated whether it was in my interest to burn Stravinsky. Long run, I knew that was a play for two VPs as Eric would own me in an endgame, if we didn’t time out. But, being tired of overthinking things, two VPs was better than one for me, plus it reduced the number of votes on the table so that my Black Forest Base bloat was more likely. Eric didn’t have much pressure, so he got out other dudes. Mark was not high on pool and had played an Under Siege. With David at six pool, I ousted him with big vampires Computer Hacking.
Eric broke Pentex by ousting Mark. I started Computer Hacking with my few guys (maybe I should have just built up Creation Rites) to either oust Rick or get Eric lower. Rick got ousted due to lack of bounce. Eric ground me out in the endgame. I couldn’t even take the Edge, though I could gain three pool a turn.
Ian T. (Palla Grande) -> Brandon -> Mark -> Eric -> Ian L.
Eric lost his first dude to Deep Song rush and so I had no predator. I did have an unfortunate crypt of two Greensleeves, Stavros, and Tupdog. Well, maybe not that unfortunate as I played Specialization on turn one and brought out Tupdog. Turn two, Specialized away two Obfuscate, played Black Forest Base, called vote with Tupdog, and Mark’s Meshenka supported the vote. I got Xendil off of Tupdog … Yeah, seven cap Priscus power for the win!
Ian T. brought out Greta, who got Temptationed by Brandon. Brandon got out Kephamos, Nehsi, and Count Ormonde. Mark had Meshenka, Caliban, Little Tailor, and Path. I agreed to go after Path if I could convert one of my priscuses into a Cardinal. I failed to get Path but Ian T. got it. There was much ganging up on Mark because Eric was doomed. Wall deck with pool and VP seemed kind of good.
I switched to ignoring my predators, but I had to cycle to draw into my first Creation Rites. Even Specializing away four Obfuscates and two Cloaks, I still had not gotten my first Creation Rites. I had decrypted into Marie Faucigny (one of my favorite vampires in the game) and brought out Greensleeves and her. Greensleeves got the Chalice of Kinship. Marie played Consecration Rites on my Black Forest Base, just in case Mylan appeared!! One of those two actions was key in the game, probably the latter.
I brought out Stavros because lack of Creation Rites. Mark walled up to play for the time out win as I had lots of pool and enough stealth that I could probably get a Black Forest Base action off to gain more. I actually drew Tributes in this game. I finally drew into Creation Rites and built up. Brandon beat down Mark. Ian T. got brandon into ousting range but two Eagle Sights crosstable and bounce prevented him from getting Brandon long enough for Brandon to get Mark. Brandon got me down to one pool … good ole Tupdog pool gain. I Tributed next turn. Ian T. ousted Brandon. I bled with 11 minions give or take having to hunt after Tribute. Time was running short. I kept bleeding with many guys until I did just enough to oust Ian T. with about 2.5 minutes left.
Yup, that’s what swarm Obfuscate bleed does – swim backwards for the 2/1/1/1 VP split. I really didn’t think I’d oust Ian in time as he had 12 pool for so long and my early bleeds just got reduced or bounced.
I’ll follow up with a separate post about the deck.
Thanks to Mark for organizing. Without organizers, we don’t have tournaments. Great to see people again that I’ve played against for many years. Hopefully, next time, a SoCal presence. Assuming Labor Day Weekend has SoCal tournaments, I believe some of us plan to make them.