Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Battle Lines Storyline tournament: Final

The finalists were (in order of seeding) Phillip (Ahrimane bleed and vote, replacing Ruan, who couldn't make the final), Richard (Tupdogs), Hendrik (True Brujah), myself (Hardbringer AUS black hand) & Brendan (Nagaraja power bleed).

Hendrik placed himself downstream of Phillip - I chose to go between Phillip and Hendrik, leaving Phillip at the mercy of the Tupdogs. Brendan somewhat surprisingly chose to be my predator - I had expected him to go downstream, as Hendrik didn't have bounce, but Brendan was perhaps disadvantaged here by not having really seen either my deck or Hendrik's during the initial rounds. The roll to see who started ended up with Hendrik starting, so the table was Hendrik -> Richard -> Phillip -> Brendan -> me.

Richard made most of the early running, binning and graverobbing the first minion Phillip brought out, and working through Phillip's pool quite quickly. Brendan got off to a very slow start, which hurt me, since I drew a lot of bounce, and didn't have anything to bounce. I also didn't draw anything to help me got forward, and mainly drew target vitals, rather than any of the other combat cards, so my deck didn't really get running. This left Hendrik free to tool up his Trujah without problems.

I spent a couple of blocks stopping some tool-up actions from Brendan, mainly to cycle cards (without much effect), and working on getting out more minions. I maybe should have tried to block Hendrik more, but early on I didn't have a decent enough combat package to feel I could risk that.

With Phillip looking very vulnerable at around 3 or 4 pool, and Hendrik's Antediluvian Awakening in play, Richard decided to start putting pressure on Brendan (with a Fame and a couple of rushes), rather than finishing off Phillip. This gave Phillip a window to call a couple of votes and gain blood and pool via voter caps, and also led to Brendan burning his Fame'd minion to get rid of the Antediluvian, which also helped Phillip. Richard then blocked a number of Hendrik's actions, and saw several minions (including the stolen minion) put into torpor, which left him unable to oust Phillip that turn. A Neonate breach from Phillip, and an Ancilla Empowerment from Hendrik then ousted Richard. I could potentially have blocked the Ancilla Empowerment, but opted out, due to a poor combat hand, which was my major misplay of the game, as it gave Hendrik momentum. To pass the Ancilla empowerment, Hendrik had agreed to leave Phillip alone for two turns, which Hendrik spent further tooling up, and this allowed Phillip to land some solid hits on Brendan's pool, but not quite quick enough to beat being ousted himself.

I finally drew into some bleed, so I was able to damage Hendrik's pool, but not enough to offset the gains from the ousts. Brendan also finally bled me, but I was out of bounce, so it left me rather low. I was able to survive until after Brendan had been ousted, but wasn't able to stop Hendrik sweeping.

Because my deck came up a bit strangely, I was overly defensive for much of the final. The current build of the deck is also too focused towards bleed defense. This was a design choice based on what I expected to see, but that didn't end up working that well for me in any of the games. I think there are some good ideas in the deck, though, and I can hopefully make a non-storyline rules version work.