There are so many people that come to mind as possible players in a V:TES tournament, even now. Sure, many have family responsibilities or otherwise moved on, but, then, there are others who can forego funds, sleep, or elsewise to drag themselves out to bolster the ranks.
But, you know what? People should do what they want to do. We still had 12 players for both tournaments, so all was good. Back in the day, having that many for two events would have been a cause to rejoice.
We start before 11AM
Eric H. (Lasombra SB w/ Under Siege fighting) -> Eric S. (Tunnel Runner) -> Ian (Madmen Hold Quills) -> Kenneth (Nakhthorheb)
I get a hand full of Madman’s Quills. Fortunately, I get enough other cards to be able to fend off being bled for a couple of turns. I keep putting a Quill on one of Kenneth’s dudes just to get some out of my hand. My Santaleous is ready to massively cancel … until Eric H. plays Giant’s Blood when I’m sitting on my own. I cancel his crosstable because Eric S. is in deep trouble, not having enough defense to deal with being bled by Dominate at stealth.
I keep taking Powerbase: Luanda from people, starting with the person who played it, as it gives me something to do to buy time and I thought it was going to be important not to get rushed.
I was concerned that Kenneth was playing Chameleon, so I sat on The Diamond Thunderbolt for a while, eventually tossing it as I couldn’t maintain multiple Quills and nonproductive cards. Kenneth bloated a fair amount, but I bled him to keep him in ousting range. While he had Catherine du Bois out, he only bounced me with Lost in Translation. Kenneth was able to significantly decrease Eric’s pool. I bled for 3, got bounced, bounced back, DI, bounced back. The DI brought Kenneth down to 6. So, I bled twice more.
There wasn’t much of an endgame race. Eric was low enough that I From a Sinking Shipped his Ermenegildo with Abbot, which didn’t matter as I had three stealth to get by his Under Siege.
A different table split, so I was guaranteed the finals.
Ian -> Rick (Shatter the Gate w/ PJ block) -> Brandon (AUS/OBF 1-2) -> Mark (Mata Hari The Eldest Are Kholo)
Mark clowned around sufficiently that the lack of Scourge of the Enochians or the like meant I couldn’t hold out. Brandon didn’t have a lot to do effectively.
Rick played a Shatter the Gate that we couldn’t remove. He got Unmada to defend. Before I could lunge, Mark ousted me with Paul Forrest enhanced bleeds. I did Elder Michaelis’s Hold for Freak Drive. Did I make a mistake not talking to Rick about giving me pool with Parity Shift before I topdecked Confusion of the Eye to kill one I had no love for? I just tire of the idea of “clear threat, go kill that guy” play.
Rick was low on pool, but he defended well, Eyes of Argus and Second Tradition keeping him alive long enough to bring out Benjamin Rose and, eventually, take the game.
I get in as fifth seed on a roll off with Rick. Fifth seed in a 12 player tournament with 1&3 is just bizarre. The table splitters didn’t make it. Eric and Mark rolled off for 2nd/3rd, Eric won that.
Mark places to my left. Eric places between Mark and Rick. David A. places as my prey. I go first. I love my seating position, figuring Rick can be murdered reasonably quick to where I don’t get Parity Shifted much. I didn’t realize how much I would factor into that murder …
Ian -> David A. (DoC Crescendo and bleed) -> Mark -> Eric H. -> Rick
What cost me the game? Was it Nightstick? Was it not talking to Mark about Con Boon for Malks? Was it trying to break Pentex on Eric’s dude? Was it the fact that you don’t always have complete control over winning?
I Santaleoused Rick’s Zillah’s Valley. I tried breaking his Pentex and Annazir blocked Santaleous! David tried to Crescendo backwards, and I DIed that. He tried Vampiric Disease on Santaleous and I Santaleoused that.
Mark lost three ready minions in one turn, one to Society of Leopold, the other two got Crescendoed (one being Mata Hari). That took so much pressure off of Eric that he broke Pentex and evaporated Rick’s pool. Rick never got a second dude in play. I Touch of Clarityed a Bonding, but that was both weak and may have been yet another mistake. I thought he had played Conditioning – too far away for me to see his cards clearly, though I should have focused on who he had in play.
David got down to 2 pool because he didn’t bother burning my first Madman’s Quill until after I used it a few times. I ousted him, but I had to discard two Elder Michaelis’s Holds and a Chiram’s Hold beforehand to get into more defensive cards. I wanted to My Enemy’s Enemy a bleed to Mark, but I used it with Sean Ryscek to try to block an action that I failed to block. That might have cycled me, however, into surviving later for a bit longer. What it didn’t cycle me into was one more Madman’s Quill to finish off Mark.
So, Eric bled me out, which guaranteed his win. We had kind of overlooked that that was going to be the case. Mark and I should have coordinated better given how that would have worked.
Eric S. (Osebo flung junk) -> Alex (FoS vote) -> Ian (Akunanse Trophy) -> Rick (Lasombra Clergy Amaranthers)
Eric got a .44, then proceeded to play Thrown Sewer Lid and Thrown Gate with that minion in combats. I got a lot of masters and sketchy combat, plus I sat on two Red Lists for a long time. I also had three Nkule Galadima in my uncontrolled, Wider Viewed two away only to have Rick Honor the Elders. Alex brought out Sarrasine Adv. and Kephamos.
Do you see a possible flaw in this game for me? Oh, I did bring out Uchenna and Nkule. I didn’t ever play a Red List … even though I thought about it quite a bit on Eric’s *legal* targets.
Alex recovered. Rick became all powerful. Eric tried blocking tons of things early that amounted to little, made limited use of my Powerbase: Luanda. Uchenna got Amaranthed because I can’t fit enough combat defense in my 90 card deck to actually deal with opposing combat. I transfer out another to go to 1 pool to put more votes in play to try to limit Rick’s vote lockage, Alex decides to bleed me out.
Note that besides not being able to Red List predator or prey, Eric’s deck will rip through my combat like adamantium claws through titanium steel.
David A. (DoC vote/bleed) -> Ian -> Mark (Thetmes Contract) -> Alex
I didn’t even play a Trophy. Sure, I searched one out after murdering one of David’s Daughters. Not Trophy: Diablerie. Alex burned my newly minted three bleeder, so I did what I always do and petulantly self-ousted.
Because David lost Angela Preston to Red List, Thetmes, Graverobbing and Gael to my Amaranth, he didn’t have enough left to continue his annoying Madrigaling and Alex ousted him. Mark, of course, took the endgame.
I used to like Daughters vote, note how I was the first person to ever win a big enough tournament with DoC playing vote, with the ability to Dramatic Upheaval three or more times in a game. Lily Prelude and all of the “if you vote my way, you get blood” crap just makes it incredibly obnoxious. People should just shut it down rather than being blood whores.
Of course, bloodhunting one of my two minions wasn’t the only thing that put me in a lost position. Mark not letting Alex steal Paris Opera House as well as Pentexing one of my guys made me not remotely interested in what happened.
I think I’m fairly happy not to have made that finals. As predicted, Rick won. See, there were two major themes in this tournament. Voting with vote manipulation cards that made things incredibly complex between the two Velvet Tongue decks and David’s deck and harsh combat.
David A. -> David CK (Potence flung junk) -> Mark -> Brett (Velvet Tongue) -> Rick
Yup, two rush decks next to each other. Given that DA’s DoC decks can’t really survive and this one couldn’t even Crescendo backwards, I figured DCK would tire of him and he would pop. Mark would go forward. He should go forward, but, given DCK’s and Mark’s play styles, there was likely to be fighting even though the natural thing is to meet back later after nuking the table. This would contain Brett. Plus, Rick would just have too much voting power such that the manipulators would have to do a lot work to manipulate votes through.
Not that I watched. I was in a casual game.
Somehow, I owned a V:TES messenger bag. A prize, I think, but I don’t remember. Since I have no use for messenger bags, needing a man bag to carry around 6000 cards or whatever, I provided it as prize support for a modest fee. Rick seemed happy to get it, which is great, as otherwise it would have sat around without me even having any memories or feelings towards it, unlike various other prizes.
Kenneth (Trujah w/ Auspex) -> Eric S. (Tunnel Runner) -> Alex (Qawiyya) -> Ian (Ani/Nec) -> Brandon (Bay and Howl)
Kenneth contained Brandon’s swarming. He also played Scourge of the Enochians. Brandon played The Uncoiling. With FBI Special Affairs and The Unmasking(!!) in play, Brandon randomly nailed Scourge, Eric nuked The Uncoiling.
The Uncoiling is just so horrible at its job. It should be way f*ing harder for it to go away as events are a pox upon the game. Of course, ban The Unmasking and you only have rarely played events and The Rising that need to go. I despise Scourge and think it’s terrible design, but, like Archon Investigation, it’s a dumb hoser that serves an important function in the game.
Alex went backwards early, so I ignored him. Then, he started trying to burn my Army of Rats?!? So, I blocked him. I often had multiple wakes in hand. Tammy’s maneuver meant nobody could hurt her. Marino’s Spectral Divination based intercept meant I blocked stuff. I also got Carmine. Yes, Tammy Walenski, Marino Reymundo Vasquez, and Carmine Giovanni were out at the same time and Aid from Batsing like there was some sort of tomorrow.
More than an hour passed when we checked time I was amazed how little of consequence happened in the game. Kenneth eventually got Eric. Nobody else had the firepower to take anyone out before time.
Good times. I even enjoyed elements of playing my Trophy deck, like having a personal goal of trying to put six trophies in play that I would never receive. I didn’t know enough to know how Trophy: Diablerie works, but that wasn’t why my dude got bloodhunted. I put my fate in other people’s hands, and they lost, as they typically do when I have to rely on them. Maybe, I need to get back to decks that just choose players to die and kills them, like that Daughters deck. Nah, it’s funny to give people the option of taking me out of games. It’s like some grand psychology experiment that I’ve been running for a decade or more.
Thanks to Eric and Andy for hosting and for Eric not letting a more boring deck win the first tournament. Thanks to Brandon for organizing and judging. Thanks to everyone who showed up and gave me a chance to actually get some V:TES in. Congratulations to Rick on his first tournament win and to Eric for his third.
Now, we just got to do this more often with more people.