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.

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