It’s a sign of old age that I just don’t recover from Gen Con as fast as I used to. Of course, there are other factors, but having V:TES tournaments the weekend after GC was not easy.
For one thing, I only built one new deck in the time I had before driving up to Berkeley. So, for the second event, played boring deck I took to NAC, leaving all of the antivote stuff in [alert, alert, foreshadowing alert … wait, if you call it out, is it foreshadowing anymore?].
Ian (Cel/For/Pre/Pro vote) -> Mark (Emerald Legionnaire w/ Anu) -> Kenneth (FoS merge vote Corruption) -> Jonathan (EuroBrujah) -> Devin (Nos weenies with Flash Grenades)
Since it’s been a week, my memory of details is reduced, but Mark did lots of stuff unmolested as neither Kenneth nor I block stuff and neither one of us did horrible things to him with votes. Kenneth was okay at first but then just generally crumbled as he got bled for tons and choked on political actions. Jonathan and I contest a title for a while as he brings out Donal and I bring out Una. I eventually give up the title based on game state. I try to ignore Devin as much as possible due to Flash Grenade being annoying to my low minion deck, which means getting bled constantly by a horde.
Since my predator never really got hurt, I had one useful thing to do in the game: call Anarchist Uprising when my prey had 7 pool and 7 minions after having other actions blocked. It got blocked. What would have been funny is even a Forced March in my hand would have seen it go off and correct the game state to something better, as I would have Zip Lined, unlocked, called the vote at enough stealth. Drew Polaris Coach too late to matter.
After that failed bid, Mark ousted and became unoustable.
Devin -> Lev (unnamed) -> Rick (Trem/!(?) no bounce) -> Ian -> Kenneth
Rick reduced bleeds (he put Narrow Minds in play!!), which made Lev’s game more terrible. Kenneth was allowed to pass votes, which made Devin’s game more terrible. Pentexes and deals between Lev and Rick made this game meaningless to me, though I was pretty uninvested from the beginning as I was tired, had too much hot chocolate and ruffles, and still had post-GC things on my mind.
I guess my highlight in this game was bringing out Hardestadt and not having horrible things happen to him. At one point, I tried Banishment on one of Kenneth’s dudes to stop a likely oust and Rick voted it down, so I just stopped caring what happened. Kenneth’s stealing of Devin’s dudes through merged Sarrasine and whatnot plus Devin’s inability to block nor beat up Kenneth’s dudes meant there was inevitability at work even if I remembered to Scourge of the Enochians one of the stolen dudes.
After that happened, the game ground down to nothing as Lev just used his resources to stop Kenneth or me from going forward. I’m not sure what Rick’s deck was supposed to do, though it played many of the usual cards in Aus/Dom/Tha except for bouncing stuff to me. I can understand how reduction may be tech, but Narrow Minds is just a bad card that, to my aged and feeble recollection, has never actually helped the person who played it in my games and don’t get why people find it so appealing when they could put in better cards and not just create random distortions in games.
Ian (SER SB) -> Eric (Ventrue/! wall) -> Alex (high cap HoS) -> Jonathan (Shamblers) -> David CK (Thrown Gates)
So similar in terms of my predator and grandpredator both fighting or not that I had a hard time remembering which tournament I played against Devin’s deck and which David CK’s deck. Shamblers do not do well against Thrown Gates. Which meant I had to survive some on my own. By which I mean I let plenty of bleeds through, yet again.
Alex did do stuff that helped and Eric blocked a bunch of Alex’s actions. Eventually, Eric tried to go forward and ran into 3 Strength often enough to be relevant. Jonathan could get stronger over time and could get bleeds through, but his game was slowed a lot by vamps going to torpor.
I eventually ousted Eric when he didn’t have a ton of pool and was tapped out in front of my four minions (Mylan may have been one of them). I would have ousted Alex with more time, Jonathan still had a huge pool amount to go through even after finally getting David below 10.
David A (Shattering Crescendo) -> Rick (Lasombra vote/fight) -> Ian -> Alex -> David CK
I think David A was first, might have been CK. Anyway, David A sent two Crescendoes backwards, eliminating CK’s game. Alex didn’t really do hardly anything, as one of CK’s rushes punked one of his dudes.
I ousted Alex. Rick didn’t vote out David A to make CK more of a pool sack. I ousted them. In the endgame, I actually used The Eternal Mask at superior to bring back a murdered Kephamos and bled for a lot until Rick was going to die to Anarch Convert + Anarch Railroad if he didn’t scoop.
As high seed, I went with my first inclination though I wasn’t that fond of the choice. Too much combat or pseudocombat in the finals. I inserted between Mark and David A. This meant if I was ousted, Mark, as second seed, would probably win, but I wouldn’t care anymore. Also, the local players have strong stylistic play and I figured I wouldn’t get as murdered by Crescendoes as CK did in the earlier round.
Ian -> David A -> Jonathan -> Devin (anarch POT) -> Mark (high cap fake vampires – Lord Tremere, Capuchin – brought out by Malgorzata)
Mark’s game started poorly as Malgorzata got beaten down, but he recovered to where I didn’t think he was oustable and could just keep reducing my pool. The latter was mostly true, the former was oddly not exactly true.
David Crescendoed forwards though I was ready to have my Mylan explode in a fine green mist. I eventually brought out a couple vampires because I liked bleeding David. I struggled with the idea of bringing out yet more dudes, but I was pretty worried about pool as I had no Dominate in play for a long time to bounce and had no way to stop votes … yet.
Devin crumbled before the power of Conditioning. I ousted David with 8 bleed in a turn. I didn’t fear Jonathan except it did force me to hold on to combat ends in case one of his few Shamblers came my way. Jonathan ousted and I figured the game would time out with either my winning or Mark ousting me as I didn’t see how Jonathan got through Mark’s copious defenses of permacept and Carlton and Bowl and AUS.
Well, unless he bounced me. Since I wanted to put the fear of Set in Mark, I got bounced and five-stealthed a bleed through on him to put him lower. Mark did get down to 2 pool through faults of his own.
Mark figured he would get me. The bleeds weren’t too bad or got bounced. On his final turn, he called a vote, I Delayed it. He bled for one to reduce me to five and called Reins of Power. I Delayed it. I took my turn.
Jonathan took his turn, getting a bleed through with the power of Obfuscate (in his Shambler deck, yes) and bled for … 1. Game over.
It was an interesting ending. I would have been heavily in favor of Jonathan ousting much earlier and trying the endgame, or, before that, Devin ousting and my double ousting and racing POT against SER in the endgame. We probably could have played faster, I was actually getting confused as to what actions made any sense for me to do towards the end of the game. That Mark would have won if not for Delaying Tactics and Jonathan would have won if he had any plus bleed made it thrillful.
Blood retention (Path of Typhon, Life in the City) style Serpentis SB.
Crypt (12 cards; Capacity min=1 max=8 avg=4.33)
3x Anarch Convert 1 Caitiff:ANY
1x Celine Chevalier 3 obf ser Follower of Set:2
1x Count Ormonde 5 dom pre ser OBF Follower of Set:2
1x Ezekiel, Lord of Montreal 6 obf pot PRE SER Follower of Set:3
2x Hesha Ruhadze 6 ani obf pre SER Follower of Set:2
1x Kephamos, High Priest of Marrakech 8 dom obf pre SER Follower of Set:2
1x Nepata 4 obf pre ser Follower of Set:2
1x Samat Ramal-Ra, Archon 6 pre ser tha OBF Follower of Set:2
1x Sir Marriot D’Urban 5 aus obf ser PRE Follower of Set:2
Library (90 cards)
1x Anarch Railroad
1x Archon Investigation
1x Barrens, The
5x Blood Doll
1x Dreams of the Sphinx
5x Life in the City
1x Opium Den
4x Path of Typhon, The
1x Temple Hunting Ground
2x Wider View
8x Eternal Mask, The
1x Revelation of Ecstasy
1x Set’s Curse
1x Mylan Horseed (Goblin)
Action Modifier (20)
4x Cloak the Gathering
2x Faceless Night
1x Lost in Crowds
2x Revelation of Desire
1x Spying Mission
7x Truth of a Thousand Lies
2x Veil the Legions
1x Confusion of the Eye
3x Delaying Tactics
6x On the Qui Vive
1x Poison Pill
1x Wake with Evening’s Freshness
1x Cobra Fangs
2x Unholy Penance
1x Form of the Serpent
2x Swallowed by the Night
Besides enjoying playing stealth bleed, an archetype (set of archetypes) I don’t play often enough, this now marks my first win with Serpentis. So, still a bunch of disciplines to go, including Quietus. I do want to play more Necromancy especially now that there’s a great way to play Transfusion for free, but it showed up in my Augustus deck. I think about more Obtenebration decks, but that showed up in my Kiasyd w/ Animalism deck. So, whatever. I guess I focus on Quietus or Abombwe to get those over with. I think the Abombwe build needs to be a graft it on dudes build and go for evasion rather than Akunanse as I just don’t feel interested in Akunanse builds I’ve done.
No, I never played Cobra Fangs. I did have in hand in the finals and wanted to play it, but I couldn’t reliably get into combat with a vampire.
Thanks to Mark, who enables tournaments locally. Thanks to the players who showed up and to the person who didn’t play. I really need to remember that Victory Point Cafe may have other options for chips than ruffles and maybe put in my dinner sandwich order before they run out of rolls.