Tuesday, 10 January 2012

VTES Tournament Report

On Saturday another tournament took place at the Jugged Hare in London. I'd consider the turn out fairly reasonable for early January with 16 players attending — 4x4 player tables. I can only offer my limited perspective as once again I was drawn into the event and failed to keep tabs elsewhere.

This time round I played a deck which had been tested and tweaked substantially over the previous weeks on Lackey CCG — a Ur-Shulgi based Alamut vote and bleed deck. The deck was originally based around a tap and bleed concept involving Condemn the Sins of the Father although after play testing this was reduced to a minor attack / defence mechanism.

Round 1
Assamite Bleed & Vote > Howler > Nosferatu Blackhand >  Tzimisce Rötschreck Wall

This game is a bit of a blur. My opening hand was full of stealth including 3x swallowed by the nights and no decent actions, I discarded what I could as I influenced out Ur-Shulgi. The howler deck got setup very quickly and caught Ur-Shulgi when bleeding to simply cycle some cards — he was hit heavily and from then on I played patiently, waiting for a solid hand before acting. My ally wasn't fairing much better,  he'd managed to get one heavy bleed through early on which caused the Tzimisce deck to switch completely to defensive mode. The table ground to a halt. At this stage I couldn't go forward and tried to govern down when the opportunity arose eventually bringing out Thetmes who helped deal with the combat.

I kept my pool healthy with Villein & Lilith's blessing. The Tzimisce torpored most of their predator's Nosferatu minions, leaving just one hanging on to block and another pentex'd as the Howler deck chipped away at his pool — he came close to bleeding his prey out but delayed it as he didn't yet want to go to head to head with the Rötschreck combat. After a few rounds we realised that we needed to deal with Howler collectively and the Tzimisce Rötschrecked one of my Tastes of Death to put him in torpor. Neither me or my cross table were in position to diablarise Howler and by the time the Tzimisce turn came back round he'd been talk out of it (even with vote support — if you have an opportunity to eat Howler do so!). Howler was rescued and outed the Nos on the same turn and then the Tzimisce re-focused on my pool. After constant pressure I was short of both blood and pool. Thetmes was in topor after an attack by Howler's new acquired Ossian and Ul-Shulgi sat comfortably in a Secure Haven. I Golconda'd Thetmes to gain some much needed pool and did what damage I could to my prey when the stealth would allow it. My predator collapsed and I followed shortly — clean sweep to Howler.

Round 2
Animalism Combat > Weenie Animalism > Semedi Corpse > Assamite Bleed & Vote

I started with a fairly decent hand this time round and after a few rounds had three minions up (Ul-Shulgi, Badr al-Budur & Marciana Giovanni). I played the non-threatening assamite and "just" bled for 2 with Ul-Shulgi each turn — my prey didn't try block until the 4th time round which I could comfortable stealth through. Both my Semedi predator and I were concerned by the ever growing number of minions my "ally" was acquiring and the Semedi wen't on the defensive. In the next turn I lunged with a govern + conditioning bleed with Badr to oust my prey which was followed by a reckless agitation on my newly acquired prey before influencing out Thetmes for defence — all in all a good turn.

My newly acquired prey (Weenie Animalism) had decent pool generation but minimal blood generation. My predator (Semedi) had unmasking in play and held off the Animalism deck with the Reanimated Corpses, any corpse bleeds he sent through I bounced which ensured combat between my predator and prey. It took a while to wear down my prey who I think I ousted with a reckless agitation. Leaving me head to head with the Semedi deck.

By this stage my vampires were in a weak state, both Thetmes (vessel) and Marciana sat in torpor, Ur-Shulgi (vessel) was bloodless and Badr with two blood — although I had plenty of pool. Unfortunately Lillith's Blessing was sudden'd a few turns earlier so I made do with the vessels. On my next turn I tapped out the Semedi using Condemn the Sins of the Father and bled successfully for 5 with Badr. The Semedi Pentex'd Ur-Shulgi and Badr's last blood was burned by Tanginé's special whilst the other minion bled for 2 with a camera phone. This forced Badr to hunt and the loop continued like this for a number of rounds. I knew time was close and began to cycle for a single master card as I only needed a single bleed to win (Anthelios was in play and Lillith's blessing sat in the ash heap). It was unnecessary as the table timed out and I claimed my first game win!

Round 3 — The Final!
Howler > Norbert Flasko (stealth bleed royalty)  > Me > Maciej (Toredor 44 wall) > Hugh Angseesing (Brujah)

As it turned out my one game win was just enough to squeak into 5th place. I had a reasonable start but failed to draw a Villein early on leaving a very expensive 11 cap sitting exposed on the table with a single vessel on him and a stealth bleed deck to my right. I'd heard bad things about my prey's deck with it apparently being able to generate massive intercept — I waited a few turns until I tested it but sure enough it caught a bleed for two at +4 stealth without issue. Thankfully the damage was minor, earlier Hugh gambled a Direct Intervention on a concealed weapon which manage to prevent Maciej from tooling up too early.

I did my best to set up with a few governs down etc whilst keeping at least a single bouncer ready for the imminent heavy bleeds. As I held back the rest of the table came to blows. Maciej's had a nice combo happening with Masika special + Enkil Cog and was dealing some significant pool and combat damage to Hugh (after managing to draw into another concealed weapon). Howler tried to rush Norbert without too much success due to Mariel's awesome special.

I bounced a bleed for 4 at +2 stealth to my prey who successfully blocked it and played nice.  This left a window for me to strike as Maciej was tapped out. Badr bled for 5 at +2 stealth successfully followed by a Reckless Agitation by Ul-Shulgi — I offered pool damage to Hugh's prey for vote support (even though Alamut was charged) and he was confident he'd do better with me as his predator. Norbert tried to block but gave up at +4 stealth with one to burn for more — the vote passed with Hugh's support leaving my prey on two pool. Thinking my prey had no wakes I bled with Marciana Giovanni, stupidly playing a conditioning at the same time leaving her tapped in torpor after being hit by a .44. This left me tapped out with wakes but no bounces, I transferred back leaving 12 pool — one less than Norbert who had Parity Shifted a few turns earlier.  The following turn my predator bled me with 3 minions for 12 and took his first VP. 

Hugh followed shortly after giving Maciej one VP and bit of pool to defend. At this stage Howler and Maciej really should've worked together to deal with Norbert who had grown far to strong — but things went down a different path with them beating each other to a pulp instead. Anger flared and shortly after Maciej was out, effectively clearing the way for Norbert. Howler put up a good fight, but with Mariel on the table he was only delaying the inevitable — tournament win to Norbert and the Malkavians. Congratulations!

I'm well chuffed with the result. Yes, it could have been better and I came close to one or two VP's in the final — but I consider reaching the final at only my second tournament a success! here's to plenty more to come. The day was a pleasure — it was great meeting more players and playing all those involved...

1 comment:

  1. Hi!! I'm a spanish guy living in london and i'm looking for vtes players to play at weekend (and improve my english, as you can see, is not good) I have a ventrue deck. If you are interested, please, reply me. My e-mail adress is lamagam@gmail.com.
    See u soon!!!