Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Notes from the VTES tournament

So, Sunday was the most recent VTES tournament, being held at the Tokai Library. Although I arrived somewhat late (due to a misjudgement with the traffic caused by the Argus), I was still in time to play, which was good from a "note wasting the trip" perspective. Regrettably (presumably because of the Argus clash), we didn't attract a larger representation from the Fishhoek crowd, but we still had 10 players, and Phillip judging.

In the tournament, I played the Anarch Vote deck. It successfully got to the final table, which is a much better showing than the previous tournament I played it, though it remains fragile due to it's many moving parts.

The tournament was for me somewhat frustrating, as the deck didn't flow as nicely as it had at Monday's social. The crypt probably needs tweaking. The original idea of bringing out a huge swarm of minions out and RC'ing for double digits is proving to hard to pull off - 4 minions out looks much more reasonable, and I frequently suffered from not having both PRE and OBF available.

So in the first round, we managed to screw up and get the seating wrong from the announced order, and ended up with Marc (Ventrue antribu dominate bleed) bleeding Brendan (Ahrimane precense bleed & wall) bleeding Nick (Lasombra dominate bleed and vote) bleeding me (anarch Revolutionary Council) bleeding Kevin (Toreador antitribu stealth presence bleed). I didn't really get going, but was able to whittle away at Kevin's pool with a few bleeds, and did get one Revolutionary Council off. I made a tactical error in using a Detect Authority in a failed attempt to intercept a vote, rather than holding it for the bleed reduction, which may have saved me long enough to oust Kevin. Scariest event on the table was Marc bleeding Brendan for 13 in one turn, but he ultimately wasn't able to push through fast enough.

In the second round, Simon (Malkavain combat) was bleeding Kevin, bleeding me, bleeding James (Ventrue dominate bleed) bleeding Nick. For most of the game, I had too few votes available to go forward. Between Nick, James and Kevin, there where 7 votes from titles on the table, and James had the Ventrue headquarters, and I only got two Fee Stakes into play, one of which got burnt by a vote.

However, after a turn when James called a Parity Shift, and had thus tapped his Ventrue Headquarters, I was able to combine a inferior bewitching and a rant to force a revolutionary council through and oust him. Being forced to use Seren Sukardi's pre did mean I could never Voter Cap, so my farming strategy, such as it is, failed completely, and I was quickly ousted by Kevin.

Simon's deck was never able to really get around Kevin's combat defense, although, with 3 hunting grounds in play, and a Pulse, Santaleous's standing 6 bleed did generate a lot of blocks. There was an amusing turn, after both James and I were ousted, when Sanelous's bleed was bounced back and forth between Kevin and Nick. Eventually, Kevin was able to go through both Nick and Simon.

The final saw Nick bleeding me bleeding Richard (Akunase wall'ish deck) bleeding Andrew (Ishtarri bleed) bleeding Kevin. This round went rather badly for me. Where I'd previously suffered from not drawing Fee Stakes, in this round, I almost only drew Fee Stakes and wasn't even close to drawing a single vote modifier. Given that Nick got a regent down on the table, as well as another title, I was never in a position to even attempt a vote. Richard also went backwards early in the game, which significantly slowed me down as well. Nick was able to oust me fairly quickly, and Andrew ousted Kevin fairly soon thereafter. When I left, Andrew had also ousted Nick, and with minion superiority, was looking likely to oust Richard, which eventually happened.

In between the first two tournament rounds, I was also able to get 2 social games in.

The first, when I tried the Anarch deck, didn't go well, and Phillip's experimental trophy deck was able to red-list and then burn my single baron, which didn't help me. James's Assamite bleed-farm deck worked efficiently and swept fairly quickly.

In the next game, I played my Serpentis bleed deck, bleeding Phillip's trophy deck, bleeding James's Assamites, bleeding Marc's Liabon presence bleed deck. I was able to work through Phillip quite quickly, although I did end up burning through most of my strike combat ends card after he made one of my minions redlist. James was able to get fairly setup, and bled Marc for 8 in one turn after I'd ousted Phillip. I got lucky, and drew a Path of the Typhon just in time for it to allow me to afford two "Truth of a Thousand Lies"s, allowing me to oust James. Thereafter, I was able to push through Marc, although it was tight as I had very little blood left on my minions, and Marc was bleeding me fairly quickly as well.

After being ousted in the final, I played one more social, trying the latest version of the Mass Reality deck. I bled Simon's Malk combat, bleeding Phillips Aabbt deck, bleeding James's Ventrue deck. The deck performed incredibly poorly. Poor card draws contributed. I didn't draw a Mass Reality at all, and given that there are only a handful of guns in the deck, having 3 .44 Magnums in my hand after two turns was rather annoying. It's hard to say what parts of the deck actually work as a result, and I'll have to try it again to see what happens.

Still, the day was good fun, and I got quite a lot of vampire in, and the Anarch deck got to a final, despite the difficulties it had on the day, so I'm fairly happy with the day. The library is a very pleasant venue (and has a complimentary cat), and, when the event doesn't clash with the Argus, not that hard to get to, so I'm certainly in favour of holding more events there. I'm less of a fan of playing on the Sunday, though.

No comments: