Sunday, May 30, 2010

The Battle Lines Storyline tournament: first rounds

I put together two deck ideas for the tournament, and Ahrimane Anarch Pre bleed deck, and a Harbringer of Skulls Black Hand deck, and managed to playtest both decks twice. The Ahrimane deck never really gelled for me, as the combat and defense never flowed nicely. The Harbringer deck did reasonably well in the first playtest, and got horribly crushed in the second (Simon's Blood Brothers made for a horrible prey), it did at least seem to be able to pull of the combos I wanted more often, and had access to bounce, which is always good, so, after further tweaking, I decided to run with it for the tournament.

In the first round, Dave (Kiasyd S & B, Bahari faction) was bleeding me (HoS, Loyalist) bleeding Ruan (smallish Daughters bleed, Bahari) bleeding John (Petanique something, Bahari) bleeding Hendrik (True Brujah bruise & bleed, Loyalist).

Ruan got off to a really fast start, and John never got into the game, only managing a couple of actions before being ousted. I failed to draw Sennadurek, but did get the +1 intercept Mordechai into play, and get a blooding early to get the black hand goodness going. Dave didn't seem to be drawing into any bleed, and, with Hendrik in a position to apply a fair bit of pressure early (due to John's troubles), was looking wall up a fair bit. Hendrik put one of Ruan minions down, and I was able to knock another down, to slow him down, and, when Hendrik suddenly brought out two small minions, it looked like he was in a good position to push through. Ruan, however, was able to contest one of the minions with Hendrik, and some Faerie Wards from Dave bought him some time. I had a couple of tight turns when I didn't quite have the bounce or intercept I needed in hand, and was only on 6 pool, but Dave, who had built up to 3 minions didn't draw the bleed push he needed, and I survived. I was able to land a few solid Trochmancy bleeds on Ruan, and whittled him down into lunge range, but I screwed up the lunge royally, needlessly boosting a bleed and having a minion Archon'ed. I was able to oust Ruan that turn, but, having lost a minion, I was left in pretty bad shape and couldn't pressurise Hendrik, who quickly ousted both Dave and myself. Still, 1 VP was a decent start to the tournament.

The second round saw Phillip (Ahrimane Vote & Bleed, Loyalist) bleeding Hendrik bleeding me bleeding James (Salubri Antitribu combat, Bahari) bleeding Richard (Tupdog & weenie dom madness, Bahari). The Tupdog deck got off to a fast start, graverobbing a small minion with a sniper rifle from James, and Fame'ing Phillip's vampire. I was able to Cadet my crypt early, which meant all my vampires came into play Black Hand, which was useful, but I spent a lot of the game trying to draw into my Trochomancies, and wasn't able to really pressurise James. I got a pulse down, but misjudged the amount untap James had and had the vampire burnt by an Eye of unforgiving Heaven. Hendrik played an Antediluvian Awakening and this led to probably the most amusing passage of play from the game. With Phillip on the ropes, Richard burnt the stolen minion to burn Hendrik's Antediluvian Awakening, so he could play his own Awakening, only to have it immediately contested by Hendrik. Richard duly ousted Phillip, but then run out of momentum a bit, and I was whittled down fairly quickly by Hendrik. Luckily for me, James eagle sight'ed an ousting bleed, and I was able to start farming back to hold on. I was able to block a couple of Hendrik's bleeds and drew enough prevent to survive the combats, but, with a Form of Corruption in play, and Sennadurak stuck on 1 blood in a Vessel & hunt cycle to pay for the Antediluvian Awakening, I couldn't afford to bleed James unless I could secure the oust, as gaining the Edge would have been fatal to me. Eventually, I blocked Hendrik who played domain of evernight and my prevent allowed me to torprise one of Hendrik's minions, and, with Richard burning another minion to burn the Antediluvian Awakening, I was in a position to lunge for James, and got that through. Hendrik then fell to the Tupdog deck, but as I was able to bring out another minion, and I had the combat to deal with the Tupdogs for a couple of turns, I was able to finally oust Richard. An admittedly rather lucky game win, but they all count.

The HoS deck is still fragile, and it is more passive than most other decks I play, but it does have some good ideas and is quite fun to play [1], although it does rely on the Storyline's no group restriction rules. I will need to think about how to make the deck work without the storyline rules a fair bit still.

[1] Unless it has Simon's BB deck as its prey.