Saturday, had two V:TES tournaments. It shows how I am so much more into things when I play them regularly that I only built one new deck for the events and didn’t really have any idea what I would play in the second tournament.
Tournament 1 (12)
Ian (Akunanse bleed) -> Mark (Lucian, The Perfect Bleeder) -> Eric (Brujah vote) -> Rick (Forestal, Agaitas Brinksmanship)
As I see Mark working on some fattie and with Eric bringing out quick Rake and going through vote stuff, I consider Nkule useful for my second dude. That proved pointless. My first dude is Socrate. Mark, Eric, Rick all play first turn good stuff masters – Dreams, Info, … something else.
Mark avoids blocking due to the threat of combat. Rick Slaughters me some revealing a bunch of Dodges. My turn three Tunnel Runner is blocked. I eventually have Obaluaye and Jubal in play.
Eric fails to block some important stuff forward early on and has no bounce for when Lucian gets around to doing his thing. He votes a bit, but it has minimal impact. Rick keeps taking my cards and plays more than half of them, including Predator’s Communion with Forestal.
I bleeds. Mark gets Eric. I don’t fear Lucian much as I’m sitting on an Archon, but I decide to bleed out Mark with Strange Day, having few of my bleeds bounced even though Mark has Black Lotus and Louis Fortier Advanced to assist in the realm of bouncing.
In the endgame, I am out of library. Can’t stealth anymore and concede after Brinksmanship as, even if I get all of my other actions through, I’m one pool short of ousting. Yup, 2/1/1 scoop to Brinksmanship.
I played poorly in this game with some early decisions, but I don’t recall specifically what they were. Getting so old.
Eric -> David CK (Victoria and friends) -> Brandon (Stickish Men Under Siege) -> Ian
Since I pulled the cards for Brandon’s deck, I lamented how much we failed to block early Governs. I don’t remember Eric doing much, though he passed a couple of Con Boons, neither of which were for Akunanse.
I did get an early Tunnel Runner, along with Aisata, Nestor, Uchenna. Very interesting to have both Aisata and Uchenna in play, as I was trying to churn into bleed/stealth to finish off Eric. He was at 10 pool, I bled him for 9, including using a Daring the Dawn to cycle and … the card after my replacement was plus bleed.
I fended Brandon off for a while, Dodge being pretty useful at not allowing him to cycle Hidden Strengths. But, the problem is that any bleed that goes through is unfriendly. David was rather impotent until I was ousted. Brandon unnecessarily bled for 4 against Eric, which got a bleeder burned, greatly slowing down his assault on David’s weaponless region.
Again, I made mistakes. I played Predator’s Communion twice when Brandon had Anarch Troublemaker in play, rather than wait until he starts acting, which was incredibly stupid, yet, oddly, didn’t hurt me given how things turned out. I did something dumb early on.
But, mostly, the tournament was all about being one card away. In a 12 player tournament, 2 VPs was a shot at making the finals. In fact, there was only one GW from the first round as one table timed out with 1.5/1.5 and another table split – the Brinksmanship GW, of course.
The Fates were not Cheated.
Pickup Game (5)
I played my Anthology Instantaneous Transformation deck, where I was all like “But, how do I get by his dude?”, then realized my turn one Anarch Railroad made me unblockable as I stole two pool from Powerbase: Washington D.C. [yup, P:WDC], burned counters off of Powerbase: Barranquilla, both my predator’s cards. Nevermind that IT has an inferior version.
I had my Fangs Pulled and got Famed and got ousted by bleeds because my grandpredator’s Nergal deck, for some reason, didn’t bleed one more time to oust my predator. I did Minor Boon when my grandprey’s Ahrimane got ‘schrecked by my prey’s Tzimisce deck. Lambach did his usual thing of stealthing by Muricia and friends.
Tournament 2 (10)
Ian (Palla Grande/Soul Painting) -> Rick (Shatter the Gate) -> John (Kiasyd) -> Devin (borrowed Toreador Scorn) -> Mark (Capuchin Soul Gem)
Rick: Zillah’s Valley, followed by Annazir, followed by StG, followed by StG, followed by two players getting the Edge and trying to burn a StG and my trying to get the Edge … and all failing, including Devin failing twice in one turn, followed by StG three.
After we got our shattered counters, I ousted Rick. Then, our long national nightmare lasted a few rounds. Devin seemed good since he had vote bloat, but he poofed. Mark bled me for a lot when my deck refused to give me intercept or bounce after I spent three intercept trying to block Rick’s first StG. I got bled a bit more and was shattered.
Mark had a huge edge in the endgame and still was in trouble because it’s hard to play the game when you are guaranteed to lose 3 pool every turn.
I played horribly. I could have Washed Rick’s Secure Haven on Annazir … when I had a Soul Painting in hand. I let The Capuchin block my Carlton because I actually have very little idea what unprinted cards do relative to my card knowledge of printed cards. I didn’t play my bleed cards correctly to give myself a chance at ousting John, though he had wake/bounce, so it didn’t matter as much. But, probably the worst thing was getting cute with transfers. Rather than bringing Sheila Mezarin up third, I brought out Ian Wallingford, which meant one less possible bleed every turn.
Mark -> Kenneth (Caitiff vote) -> David A (Petaniqua Night Moves) -> John -> Ian
David got depleted quickly, unsurprisingly, but he brought out Muddled and Ossian and Caitiff got much beat down. Mark had an incredibly awkward game, at one point getting a Samedi off of The Capuchin burning with Soul Gem. Kenneth had Creepshow Casino to get one action by Capuchin (who was still in play most of the time), and there was much talking about how to have a game when he could lose two minions per turn and get Obedienced by his predator.
Eventually, David got ousted after the game got stale. John bled me for 5 and I bounced to Mark and ousted Mark late to get the all important second VP.
Finals (4th seed):
Alex was fifth seed. Brandon chose to be behind me. Mark chose to be behind Brandon. Kenneth chose to be my prey. In thinking about what people brought out (as opposed to how Brandon’s deck was supposed to play), for Kenneth, he would have been better as Alex’s prey.
Kenneth -> Alex (!Ventrue anarch block) -> Mark -> Brandon (Toreadorish toolbox) -> Ian
Kenneth could barely do anything forward and I dealt with him to let him get a Prince if I could move the Edge regularly. I got early Carlton. Brandon got some bleeds through on me as I slowed Kenneth very early, then got lots of minions in play, where I had only Remilliard, Sheila, Creamy, and Carlton to defend myself. So, I would bleed Kenneth for 2-3 each round with one action, and Brandon and I would fight Toreador style with dodge defeating my possible Catatonic Fear/Target Vitals plays.
Alex did pretty much nothing forward and never tried dealing with Kenneth. Mark finally got his combo online and started bleeding. Brandon’s big problem was his first four vampires did not have Auspex. He finally got one of his five superior Auspex dudes into play. I ousted Kenneth as time was running down. My only hope was Brandon lived, due to seeding. Brandon did not have enough bounce to live. I reduced Alex’s pool some, but the timing wasn’t right to finish him off … except, I did get him to 2 pool and probably could have cycled more in the game, needing an Aire to finish him off. Not that I deserved to win. Alex never should have been in trouble and time was on Mark’s side, plus he was unoustable due to his bloat, and Mark played well to stop bleeding me as time was running out as my hand was full of bounce at the end of the game.
Even if I help Alex do pool damage forward, not enough time to go through Mark’s pool, and he could try just walling up as I win if I oust Alex or if Alex ousts Mark. A pretty boring game for me as I barely interacted with predator or prey after the first few turns.
Considering that I either discarded my Soul Paintings or had them get blocked during my games, and that’s the only thing remotely interesting about the deck, Fate decreed that someone who played better and built a more interesting deck won.
Problem was my other decks were rather janky or boring or one was a deck I had already won a tournament with. While the last is really fun to play, no, seriously, I have a deck that’s fun to play and it somehow won a tournament, though even more seriously, I have enjoyed replaying some of my other tournament winning decks, I considered how completely uninteresting it would be to have two tournament wins with the same deck archetype. After all, if I did win with that deck again, it would radically increase my Blessing of the Name count in my TWD card counts.
Thanks to Mark for organizing, to the players who dragged themselves out to play a game I quite enjoy playing, to my carmates for making the trek more pleasant than just driving for hours while tired. The locale is good.
What I did suggest, since two tournaments in one day is quite tiring, was doing tournaments more often, having one in a day, and doing casual play around it. As Devin just moved to the South Bay, we may also regenerate a South Bay play group! Like a phoenix rising from an ash heap and sucking blood in the city after dark … or something like that.