Sunday, July 20, 2008

Saturday's Vampire tournament

I decided to give the Malkavian antitribu deck another run in a tournament - I tweaked the balance somewhat (I reluctantly removed Aristotle, since he tends to generate excessive table hate, and I replaced the confusions with more generic stealth cards). I managed a single VP with the deck, but, thanks to the scary efficiency of Val's anarch reckless agitation deck (1 table sweep, 1 near sweep), that was enough to qualify for Wednesday's final.

There were only 9 players, so the split was into two tables, one of 4, one of 5.

So, the rounds:
Round 1: I was bleeding Robert's guhuri farm deck bleeding Val's reckless agitation deck, bleeding Phillip's Aabbt deck, bleeding Garrick's Brujah equipment deck.

Robert started. I had a decent crypt draw, and was able to put decent pressure on Robert, but didn't draw enough bleed cards (I drew 1 kindred spirits in the game, and only 2 eye's of chaos's), so I was never quite able to finish him off. I erred badly in not stopping Val's Firebrand when I could have, which made it easier for Val to get the vote lock, and sweep the table. Phillip's deck got going, but wasn't fast, which left Val easily able to finish Phillip and Garrick in quick succession, before going on to sweep the table. Garrick's deck didn't really get going - he ended up spending a lot of time setting up with equipment, and a couple of bleeds by Phillip put him very much on the defensive, but he struggled to generate enough intercept. Robert didn't really get the full arm going, but a couple of well timed minion taps, and some other pool jiggling meant he survived my attacks - that he never blocked any of my actions also meant I was jamming on stealth cards a bit. Annoyingly, when I was ousted, the two of the next three cards in my deck were a Kindred Spirits and a Eye's of Chaos - given that I had stealth in my hand, and Robert was on only 4 pool at the time, had these cards come up a little earlier, I might well have been able to oust him.

The second table was Mike, playing an Imbued event deck , bleeding Verolin, playing and Akunanse deck, bleeding Dan, playing his Seraph multi-act Assamite deck, bleeding Marc, playing a Tzimisce bleed deck (no idea who started). The table timed out. Mike was on quite low pool, but Marc was never able to generate enough bleed to defeat the Imbued's farming. I'm not sure why Mike was unable to oust Verolin, since he was down to a single minion by the end of the game, and didn't seem to have much farm going, but the table indeed timed out.

Round 2:
Table 1: I was bleeding Phillip's deck, bleeding Mike, bleeding Robert. I started.

I didn't have an ideal crypt draw (two Dolphin Blacks, the General and Hannibal), and I drew a lot of Master's early on, so it took me a bit of time to get myself setup. Fortunately for me, both Phillip and Robert were bringing out 11 blood vampires (Sutekh and Eze respectively), so my slow start didn't really hurt me. Mike, on the other hand, drew an information highway in his opening hand, and, combined with the other acceleration tricks he had, had 4 minions out by the time Phillip brought out Sutekh. With Eze and Sutekh on the table, and Vox Senis down early, I didn't have the voter lock, but I was able to successfully whittle Phillip out - it was a close run thing though, as he had played the Kahabr towers the turn before I ousted him, and would almost certainly had burnt Sutekh for the 11 pool on his next turn. Thereafter, with the Unmasking down, I run into a drought of stealth cards, so wasn't able to put pressure on Mike, and with both Mike + Robert attacking me, I ended up losing minions fairly rapidly. Mike eventually ousted Robert, since timeout was looming, and then easily ousted me for the game win.

Since this game went close to timeout, I didn't see what happened on the second table - I know Verolin got 1 VP, which was apparently engineered by Val, and Val cleaned up the table thereafter.

So, reflections:
  • I probably need to add a couple of Barren's to the deck - when people aren't blocking, it's prone to jamming on stealth
  • The changed balance is better - despite the occasionally weird draws, I had fewer completely useless cards at any stage, and was generally able to go forward fairly well.
  • I need more Mental Maze's, since the Malk's remain crunchy in combat.
  • I still can't believe I only drew 1 Kindred Spirits in the first game - Sutekh's card draw probability calculator tells me that the odds of that are < class="blsp-spelling-corrected" id="SPELLING_ERROR_33">probability plugin, I'm naturally completely confident in the accuracy of the figure).
  • Outer Limits had shiny Twilight Rebellion boosters. I had little self control, and now have a number of shiny Twilight Rebellion boosters (next on the agenda: somehow secure some Fee Stakes, so I can actually use the nice shiny tech)
We'll see how the final goes on Wednesday

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