Monday, September 02, 2013
Vampire : the Evaluated Situation - The Asian Continental Championship 2013
The day of 31st August, in the year 2013, Gamersaurus Rex, Singapore.
After a very stressful night/morning the previous day, where I rushed to prepare a viable deck for the tournament, I did manage to wake up early enough to arrive at Gamersaurus Rex (which, incidentally, is really near my house). YY and Fei, Hidetoshi-san were already there, and soon Fad and Aaron arrived too. Unfortunately there was some delay in opening up the shop, so Hidetoshi-san had to complete his breakfast outside and Aaron and me went to get a drink in the nearby mama shop.
Eventually we got all these sorted out, all our Philippines and Japanese friends arrived, as well as 9 Singapore Methuselahs. A total of 18 Methuselahs for this event, despite the discontinuation of the game - pretty impressive, ya? The struggle is ETERNAL!
Unfortunately for me, waking from torpor after so long, I have lost pretty much the majority of the memory I had for the game, therefore, this account of the battle would be a little hazy, and had to be very focused on what I did, rather than a bird's eye view of the situation.
Hopefully this would all go away in time and I can recall all cards at a glimpse again~ :)
Also, apologies to all my Philippines Methuselahs one more time, the blood is thin with me that day and many names eluded my memory - someone must have played Memory Fading Glimpse on me, so please pardon me if I could not recall all the names correctly of my esteemed opponents.
Arserio's Toreador Vote, bleeding
Fei's Toreador Bleed, bleeding
Troy's Blood Brothers, bleeding
Lucine's (Louie) Euro Brujah Beat Bleed, bleeding
My Saulot Puppeteer.
This is the first time that I played my Saulot deck after constructing it the night before, and I borrowed quite a couple of Neutral Guard (and even a Saulot!) from Bann. (many thanks to Bann, without them the deck couldn't have worked)
Was pretty rusty in this game, and it was really stressful for me since I was sitting downwind of a Brujah combat deck. Remembering the days back in Philippines where beating up people was the hobby of some of the Methuselahs, I was very careful in always holding combat cards in hand, just in case.
Arserio was in a prominent position in the early game, quickly calling out Anson and Alexandria (and somebody else), having a vote lock of sorts. Fei's vampires were contesting with Arserio, and therefore couldn't really match the game as Arserio had early Info Highway and Zillah's Valley to quickly stocked up his vampire pool.
I quietly brought out Saulot and Jephta Hester, and since Louie had a vampire that gets +2 Bleed if the prey owns a Ventrue, I quickly discarded Lana in exchange for Eurayale with my Wider View.
Troy and Louie were having quite a bit of fun beating up each other, watching 2 POT deck in combat was actually pretty enjoyable from a distance. Arserio quickly dispatched Fei and was pushing to destroy Troy's Blood Brothers. My Spirit Marionette kept his vampires' blood count low, and Anson was eventually torpored by Troy's Brothers and Grave Robbed by Louie! That broke the vote lock, and Spirit Marionetting Alexandria allowed me to kill off Arserio, giving me my first VP.
However, the Brujah soon succumbed to the relentless attack of the Blood Brothers, and a most deadly and stressful sparring happened between Troy and me, with both our pool being quite low when YY called the time - the Brothers didn't have enough enter combat cards, and the few that he executed didn't get through my Anesthetic Touch. Our table actually started a little later than the others, and should have played for another 5 minutes, but I was relieved when the time was called and forgot about that extra time (I think Troy did too, it was a most demanding 20 minutes of play), and showed my hand to Troy. I did execute what I would do if there was time (there was actually, coz it was my turn). My Dreams would have given me the Conditioning to kill Troy off.
Troy offered to let me execute it, but I think it was totally unfair for him since I wouldn't have known that the next 2 cards included a Conditioning, I had every possibility to be eliminated as well. So I declined and everybody was happy~
My VPs after Round 1
I think there was a lunch break after this, or was it after the next game. Can't remember, but we went to Aston's for a good lunch at some point, and came back to an extremely crowded GRex for the rest of the games. To be honest, it wasn't the best environment for a Vtes battle.
Keith's Giovanni Asset, bleeding
John's (from Philippines) Malgorzata, bleeding
My Saulot Puppeteer, bleeding
Ayukata-san's Al-Muntaquim beat bleed,, bleeding
Troy's Blood Brothers.
I was actually pretty concerned at the beginning, sitting in between 2 totally combat capable decks that could bypass my defence easily. But the game went off quite to my advantage. Ayukata-san's early aggressive attack disarmed one of Troy's Blood Brothers, and a mistake in blocking Mylan's bleed allowed an Anarch to diablerize the torpored Blood Brother, putting troy at a distinct disadvantage.
Meanwhile, after taking one of my predator's vampire's blood, John had to deal with the numerous Giovanni attacks, which always Flash Grenaded his vampires and further removed his capability to really threaten me, the !Tremere were effectively removed from the equation in my consideration as Malgorzata ran out of crypt vampires to use her abilitiy to bloat. John focused primarily in defending, and Keith's attacks weren't too deadly as he also focused on using his Ventrue Assets to bloat his vampires.
On the prey's side, Star vampire decks are very vulnerable to Spirit Marionette. Taking Al-Muntaquim, and his AK-47 from him with Saulot, I no longer worried about the combat of the Trujahs, and an early Spirit Marionette with my predator's Paul Cordwood netted me a 5 bleed with Conditioning (with the Stealth given by his ability! Lucky!). Ayukata-san soon fell to my bleeding and I got my first VP in the game.
Troy was sufficiently weakened at that stage, and I made a deal with John to torpor one of Keith's vampires by Spirit Marionetting him and forcing him to hunt, therefore torpored by the !Tremere. The rest of the game was relatively easy for me as all of my remaining preys no longer possessed the ability to handle my attacks.
My VPs after Round 2
6.5 VPs + 1 GW
Round 3 was a 4-player table.
My Saulot Puppeteer bleeding
YY's Ventrue Bleed, bleeding
Louie's Brujah Beat Bleed, bleeding
Fad's !Malkavian Breed Vote
For a start, I hate Pentex Subversion, and I hate YY~ :)
With an early Heart, I was able to quickly decimate YY's position, until he Pentex-ed me. Meanwhile, Louie was doing alright in damaging Fad, but wasn't able to push in for the kill. At the point of Pentex, both YY and me were trying to convince Louie to pick a side, either by burning the Pentex, or by not burning it. My offer to Louie was that, burn the Pentex, I will proceed to kill YY, and wait for him to kill Fad, and then we face off.
As far as I see, Louie had no chance ousting Fad if he had to face both YY and Fad, whom together had a vote lock, and a Black Forest Base owned by Fad gave him the pool gain needed to handle Louie. Louie didn't see that, and by the time he realised it and attempted to help me, it was too late. he couldn't block Fad's OBF actions, and he did not have the vampire count to defend against YY.
Louie made the critical mistake of NOT taking any deals, thus not benefiting from a most advantageous position that he had. He was soon ousted by YY, taking damage both from Fad's vote and YY's bleeds without me doing anything to stop YY from bringing out even more vampires.
The Pentex was of course eventually burned, but it was too late for me.
I then offered Fad to oust me after I reduced YY's pool to as low as possible, and then allowing Fad to kill me. In my heart I was hoping that YY made some stupid mistakes (or Fad did), and die from random pool damage, but I think there was really a little too optimistic of me, there was also, however, the added advantage that if Fad got the game win, then YY would not have 2 GWs, and that would definitely help me in getting into the finals.
So my Saulot did his thing, and YY have got no chance against me 1-1.
My VPs after Round 2
6.5 VPs + 1 GW
The Methuselahs into the finals were (in order of standing, from 5th to top) were:
The final was an epic battle, very few mistakes were made, everybody played really well, and everybody had a chance of winning, right up to the end, there were no dominant "we are just waiting for him to kill" thing until only the 1-on-1's very very end.
An exceptional battle worth recording in a separate post~ preferably by somebody else, since I did not record the battle (like Hidetoshi-san did~ :)) and was quite focused on the game.
But it was one of the best (if not the best) game that I ever played~
~to be continued~