Tuesday, July 13, 2010

July tournament

After playing a number of socials leading up to the storyline tournament, I think I only attended one social between the storyline final and July's tournament. Consequently, I didn't have any new decks I felt confident in [1], and, although I seriously considered trying one of my political decks, I opted to go with a completely untried and ever so elegant in its simplicity the unnamed Enkil Cog bleed and bloat deck.

The first game saw me (starting) bleeding Anthony (a new player, playing Malk S & B & insanity) bleeding Hendrik (!tor vote & bleed) bleeding Simon (Samedi wall [2]) bleeding Kevin (Settite S & B & enticement). I got off to a decent start, and actually drew the Cog before I had the unnamed out, which saved me one fishing attempt. I was able to start bleeding my prey, but a early Malkavian game which saw my prey gain 6 pool before I got going, and steady bloat from Kindred Spirits meant I wasn't really getting through my prey very quickly. Simon, facing both Hendrik's forward pressure and flicked bleeds, wasn't able to bleed Kevin often, so I was steadily whittled down. The bloat module did work well enough to keep me in the game, but I made a couple of bad plays immediately after having a bleed reduced to 0 (so I couldn't bloat off it). I misjudged Kevin's likely lunge potential, and a) brought out an extra minion I couldn't afford at the time, b) tapped the black hand minion who could play the black reduce in my hand and c) failed to use the cog for additional bloat before Kevin's turn. In all likelihood, it wouldn't have saved me from being ousted, but I should have been able to hang on for at least one more turn. The rest of the game timed out, as a couple of Malkavian Pranks added a considerable amount of pool to the game.

In the second game, Simon (starting) was bleeding Marc (Assamite black hand) bleeding Richard (Eze bloat) bleeding James (!Sal breed) bleeding me. I had an unfortunate crypt draw, and had to fish for the unnamed, who fortunately was the first card I pulled, so it only slowed me down a turn. This did allow James to get in a number of small bleeds, but by the time he had a camera phone down, I did have a blocker/bouncer out. I was able to Tongue the Enkil Cog, and get it onto the unnamed in good order, but I then had a long delay while trying to draw into either the Metro Underground or a second Tongue.
James kept bleeding me (and very occasionally Simon) in small packets, but also couldn't go forward too hard due to the threat of Richard's deck. Marc and James tried to run Richard out of S:CE, but, although they did put Eze down a couple of times, weren't able to make the deal stick, and, although Marc did land several big bleeds, Richard's bloat was too effective. Simon gradually whittle away at Marc, who was also slowed down by a Banishment, and, after Marc had tapped himself out, was duly ousted. I was, at this time, whittling Simon's pool down fairly well, but under quite some pressure from James, who was up to 7 minions at this point. I was able to get the Ashur Tablets off for some much needed additional bloat. There's was a tense sequence where I had to bleed with the unnamed during Richard's turn to ensure I stayed far enough ahead of James, with Simon in lunge range, and then had the unnamed Pantexed by James shortly afterwards. Some top-decking of stealth, though, allowed me to burn the Pentex, and, as Simon had given James intercept from the WMRH radio, the extra pool loss meant Simon wasn't able to reduce my bleed enough and was ousted. James fell to Richard, and the table timed out shortly afterwards, leaving me with 1.5 VPs, which was unfortunately not enough to make the final table (although it was close, as there where a lot of timeouts in the tournament).

The deck idea is honestly very simple - the unnamed, with an Enkil Cog, bleeds with social charm a lot. The support tech to set this up is less so - !Malks with Sybil's Tongue to fetch the Cog and the Metro underground, Ashur Tablets for additional bloat and to tune the deck later in the game, and a smattering of bounce and vote defense, and the lack of discipline overlap in the crypt meant I was short one more minion who could bleed effectively. I managed to prune the deck down to 75 cards (the best compromise between my "let's add more stuff" inclinations and the need to have reasonable odds of the Tongues coming up I could manage), which is still a little on the large side for the deck to really run smoothly, but, for an untried concept deck, it put in a decent showing. I had more fun playing it than I actually expected - it was nice to finally get some use out of my Enkil Cog, and after several attempts in a couple of different decks, I finally got a Ashur Tablets sequence off.

I didn't see much of the final, being involved in a couple of social games with the reworked HoS deck based on my storyline deck. The modified version shows some promise, and a few of the changes (such as the addition of a few Anarch troublemakers) worked really well. I also discovered that Trochmancy'ing Imbued convictions is far more satisfying than it probably should be.

[1] A good case can be made that the Nocturn Dom/Obt deck would have been a decent choice for this tournament.

[2] Which worked a lot better than you would expect given the description.

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