Tuesday, June 28, 2011

June 2011 Tournament (Final)

The shape of the final was changed fairly dramatically when Yancke pulled out, and Simon stepped in, which bumped me up to seating 4th.

The final seating was me (OBF/pre swarm) starting, bleeding Simon (5/6 Baali with the Horder) bleeding Richard (Gargoyle wall with Smiling Jack) bleeding Marc (Lasombra Anarchs) bleeding Brendan (Ahrimane wall'ish bleed and top seed).

I didn't have an ideal crypt draw, but my opening hand had two Effective Managements, so that wasn't actually an issue, and I was soon up and running with both Renenet and Herbert Westin in play, and was able to steadily bleed Simon. Simon was able to put a fair amount of pressure on Richard, while Marc, without the stealth to get through Brendan, gradually brought out more minions without much pressure. Brendan was bleeding me for the odd one or two, but wasn't setup enough to bother me in the early game.

The table ended up sitting up quite nicely for me, and my deck flowed really nicely in the early part of the game - with the aid of the Baali's infernal cost, I was able to oust Simon quite quickly, and then, thanks to some fortuitous stealth top-decking, and the increased hand size from The Bitter & Sweet Story, I was able to stealth over Richard often enough to oust him (Most memorably requiring 5 stealth cards to land one bleed, thanks to two cards being canceled). Marc didn't have the intercept to trouble me, although he did bounce a few bleeds, and I duly ousted him for my 3rd VP. At this point, though, I had burnt through a lot of my deck, and didn't have enough stealth left to get through Brendan, eventually decking myself, and, as he was soon setup with extra bleed options, I duly fell to the Ahrimanes. Still, I'll happily take a 3 VP final GW.

The events module for the deck doesn't flow as I hoped - I eventually did get The Rising down, but only after I had gone through most of my deck, and thus it didn't impact on the game at all. The PRE/OBF bleed module worked wonderfully well, though, and the lack of rush on the table made my life a lot easier.

After the final, we played a quick social game - I tried the Baali vote deck again. Although I did land one Reckless Agitation, I didn't get the combat cards I needed to survive against the rush from James' Assamites, who were my prey, and was not able to keep enough minions up to get votes passed with the other titles on the table, and so was ousted fairly quickly. The deck probably needs a bit more of a defensive bloat module so it can build up it's position a bit, and then lunge rather than it's current build, which tends to start a bit fast and attract table hate it can't really deal with.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

June 2011 VTES tournament (prelim rounds)

We ended up at 8 players for the tournament (which was a significant improvement on the 4 for the last Tokai tournament), so we opted to go with a multi-deck format. As 3 of us (myself, Simon and Marc) had built variations on the new Baali vote deck, the multi-deck format allowed us to all try the deck at various points without contesting.

The first round of the tournament saw Marc (Baali vote) bleeding Antony (!Malk) bleeding Matthew (Giovanni bruise and bleed with Fortitude) bleeding me (Weenie OBF/pre with the Rising). Marc got out Arishat and a Horde early, Matthew brought out Ignazio and started to govern out a couple of support minions, I brought out Renenet and a obf weenie and Anthony brought out Harold Zettler. I landed a couple of early bleeds, but Marc got the fastest start, with 2 early Reckless Agitations, a Kine and a couple of bleeds seeing him oust Anthony on the 4th or 5th turn (Anthony helped by spending 3 pool on Masters fairly soon after the 1st reckless and bringing out a second minion without finding the farm he needed). I ate a couple of heavy bleeds from the Giovanni, but a couple of Social Charms and the low cost of my minions helped me build up to 4 minions out, and, with Marc looking the table threat, some fast talk saw Matthew wasting a few actions rushing Arishat, which both slowed Marc down and took pressure off me. I was down to 1 pool before I ousted Marc, who had worked Matthew down to only 3 or 4 pool, although he was whittled down to only a single Hord able to act. Thanks to the increased hand size from the Bitter and Sweet story, I was able to survive a rush from Matthew and oust him the next turn. The OF/pre deck didn't quite come up as planned and I need to work on the events package so I can get the Rising into play, but did OK for it's first outing.

Since we were done and dusted in about 45 minutes, and the other table was still going strong, we ran a small social game.

Marc (Assamite BH) bleeding Anthony (!Malk) bleeding Matthew (Small Liabon POT) bleeding me (weenie vote). I had a somewhat weird draw, and didn't see a single Praxis Siezure in the game. However, I was able to hit Marc with 3 or 4 Kines before another title hit the table, and, with some careful negotiation, was able to pass enough votes after the to oust Marc. Matthew spent most of his time rushing backwards, but wasn't able to fend off the Malks (the lack of pressure from Marc helping Anthony here). I did lose a couple of minions to Marc's Hand Contracts, but the swarm ran over him. Anthony did land a couple of heavy bleeds on me, but to deny me the votes, he brough out a second titled vampire, and I was able to simply swarm bleed him out for the win. This was another short game - we finished this game before the second table had seen it's first oust. The weenie deck isn't perfect yet, and needs a couple more tricks for dealing with other votes on the table, but is currently not bad.

In the second tournament round, Simon (Baali vote) was bleeding me (!Brujah bruise & vote) was bleeding Anthony (!Malks) who was bleeding Yancke (DOM/THA power bleed). Given Hektor's downside against the Baali, I opted to play with the B team. Simon got a fairly fast start, and was able to land a couple of annoying bleeds. I also bled myself with a couple of expensive masters. The titles on the table made passing votes for both Simon and myself difficult, which created some interesting dynamics. Yancke was sitting pretty, being able to bounce Anthony's bleeds and not having boucne to worry about from Simon. There was an interesting turn where Simon Reckless Agitation'ed Yancke backwards to try and weaken him, and then I Consag Boon'ed the Baali to try help hold off the DOM swarm for a turn, but it didn't help, as a bounced bleed ousted Simon, and then, although I blocked and torporised one of Yancke's bleeds, a Seduction saw him oust me in the same turn. Anthony didn't have enough pool or bleed to survive the head's up against Yancke, and fell soon afterwards.

While we decided to have the final only on Monday, we had another social - this time 5 players with Matthew added to the game. The table saw Yancke (Osebo) starting, bleeding Simon (CEL/THA trophy deck) bleeding we (new Baali vote) bleeding Anthony (!Malk) bleeding Matthew (Giovanni).

I had the prefect opening crypt, with all 3 of Arishat, Annazir and Xepher and a Horde, and an early Dreams to help accelerate my crypt. I brough out Xepher first, while Simon brought out Lucas, and Anthony brought out a small Malk and Rudolfo, and Matthew brought out a couple of giovanni (without Ignazio), and Yancke brought out Massasi and a random Catiff. There were a couple of odd turns - I landed a Reckless Agitation on Anthony, who then bled backward with Kindred Spirits with Rudolfo for 4, before having being rushed by Matthew. Simon then rushed, torporised and Amaranth'ed Xepher, but didn't quite have the vote lock, so some frantic table talk saw Lucas burnt in the blood hunt. This slowed Simon down enough that I was able to bring out both Annazir and Arishat, although it did leave me very low on pool. Yancke wasn't really able to capitalise on Simon's weakened position, so Simon was able to influence out Lernean and a 4 cap. There was an amusing exchange when Yancke blocked a bleed from Matthew with Massasi and Immortal Grappled, only to be hit by a inferior Burning Wrath. However, a couple more blocks and CEL/POT fun saw all Matthew's minions in torpor, which allowed Anthony to oust him. I was running a bit low on pool, but a second Dreams allowed me to get some card flow going, and I was able to get a couple of votes and Voter Capitivations played to take me out of immediate danger and weaken Anthony. I was able to pull off the Kine, My Kin to untap, bleed, bleed combo to oust Anthony, and, with a hand full of stealth, was able to dispense with Yancke in short order, at which point we called the game. The Baali deck showed promise, although the master card flow was a bit weird, and, had Simon's deck drawn the Red list actions rather than the votes, I would have had a much tougher run.