Sten Düring is our new Prince and this tournament was his first duty. 13 players gathered for this unnamed event and he did a great job organising and we all had a fun day. I decided to bring a powerful but very hard to play deck that I had tested enough during the last month’s casual games. The deck is built using Isak Esbjörnsson Bjärmark’s and Erik Torstensson’s concept and you have seen it before. I have made some minor changes to it, the most notable being more Deep Song than their versions. Here is my deck list:
Deck Name : Girls will find Salmonella
Author : Stefan Karlsson
Crypt [12 vampires] Capacity min: 7 max: 11 average: 8.91667
4 Aksinya Daclau 9 ANI FOR PRE PRO cel tha !Gangrel 4 2 Cybele 10 ANI DAI OBF PRE SER THA Baali 4 2 Nana Buruku 8 ANI POT PRE Guruhi 4 1 Enkidu, The Noah 11 ANI CEL OBF POT PRO for !Gangrel 4 1 Nangila Were 9 ANI POT PRE obf ser Guruhi 4 1 Gustaphe Brunnelle 8 ANI DOM POT obf primogen Nosferatu 4 1 Talbot 7 ANI NEC PRO for Gangrel 5
4x Deep Song
9x Aid from Bats
1x Canine Horde
7x Carrion Crows
1x Target Vitals
2x Taste of Vitae
1x Terror Frenzy
9x Ashur Tablets
2x Dreams of the Sphinx
1x Fortschritt Library
1x Giant's Blood
1x Golconda: Inner Peace
2x Haven Uncovered
2x Information Highway
1x Pentex(TM) Subversion
5x Zillah's Valley
1x Guard Dogs
2x Lost in Translation
1x Rat's Warning
Create Gargoyles with Dominate
Girls will find Salmonella
Nana + ANI weenies Anarch Revolt
Alex gets a flying start and I recognize the archetype he is playing as a very aggressive predator, having played versions of it myself before. I therefore know what I have to do for a great part of this game – rushing backwards. Erik gets a stable but slow start getting blocked by Roger now and then. Adam builds up good and plays an early Anarch Revolt but his combat is exactly the same as mine and Roger’s and he gets nowhere in the beginning.
For the early game Erik sits in a good spot, me hammering his prey and helping him oust with Dragonbound but he knows he has to deal with three Animalism-decks so he is in no rush ousting.
Erik has a vampire in torpor and wants to rescue it and asks Roger in advance if he is allowed to but when Roger declines he mumbles something about having to play the game a way he don’t want to and starts bleeding with all his minions and soon ousting Alex.
I am low on pool and Erik knows he might run into problems ever ousting Adam. We talk about the game state and I agree I am in a lost position if he runs full speed ahead and am willing to play for 2 VPs even if Roger also is low on pool and risks getting ousted. We have some sort of deal where I shall attack Adam all out and Erik shall not oust me for the time being.
I have brought Golconda: Inner Peace to my hand via Roger’s Inconnu Tutelage to play on my empty Nangila Were next round so I dare going low on pool transferring on my next minion (after discussing it with Erik). The problem is Adam gets two more Anarch Revolts into play and I don’t have the spare action to Go Anarch. The next round Erik breaks the deal and bleeds me out, apologizing but as I told him he didn’t need to do – I would never have risked that situation if it wasn’t my only hope of getting any Victory Points so it was expected with the new game state.
Adam manages to oust roger and in the duel Erik shows numerous Fake Outs and thereby manages to beat Adam down and win the game.
Erik GW 4VP
Thoughts from the Guest Star
This time no one less than Erik Torstensson, the legend himself, agreed to answer some questions about the first game so here you go. The questions are a bit poorly worded since he almost answers them all in his first answer but you get the uncut version anyhow.
Me: What was your general strategy for this game? Normally War Ghoul decks have a hard time against Animalism decks and you faced three of them.
Erik: My hope was to have two of the Ani decks ousted, preferably Stefan and Adam and then play the end game with Gargoyles and Tunnel runners. But to be honest I thought that I´d be very lucky if I got just one VP.
Me: You had a pretty slow start probably knowing I had to do most of your work ousting your prey. Did you think of what to do if Alex had got his deck spinning and ousted me getting some momentum?
Erik: That was actually what i hoped for, and even for him to oust Adam. Then would he probably have lost enough minions when it got down to three players for me to gain table control with the ghouls.
Me: When Roger didn't let you rescue from torpor you said something about having to play the kind of game you don't want to and started bleeding Alex. I am pretty sure I know how you meant but can we hear your version?
Erik: From my point of view his decision would give Adam the GW, in that if Roger uses resources to weaken but not kill me he would be ousted in the next round.
Me: Were you ever considering keeping our deal or was it already from the beginning just a way of getting me to do a little of your work against Adam?
Erik: My intention is always to keep deals. I did break this one for several reasons:
- You didn't manage to torporize any of Adams minions during your turn.
- Adam played more Anarch Revolts during his, making the situation even more risky for me and making it too easy to oust you.
- I was afraid that you would start to play on the defence, bloating with Golconda, in practice making it impossible for me to win.
- In the long term I didn’t see any way for you to get the GW or even a VP after what had happened during your turn.
But the main reason for breaking the deal was that you didn’t manage to hurt Adam enough, making it possible for him to both defending against you in further turns as well as being offensive.
|Me||Alex Båskman||Alex Ek||Roger Carhult|
|Salmonella||Gargoyles||!Toreador Breed and Bleed||Tunnel Runners|
I don’t know what Alex E plays but as soon as he turns up his first vampire I get the idea. This should be the perfect seating for me. Roger struggles early game keeping Alex E at bay and Alex B tries to build up. I go all forwards this game because I know that if Alex B gets a good turn with enough minions Alex E is toast. Still Alex E looks like he is in a very strong position and I even think of cross-table rushing him but it stays as a thought.
I get Dragonbound into play and manage to oust Alex B who is desperately trying to keep his vampires ready and does little forwards. Roger has kept Alex away from most of his pool and has Unmasking and some allies in play. Here is where I start to play bad. Instead of giving Alex E the opportunity to get his Victory Point and keeping him low on pool while doing so I decide that I should plan for a sweep so I oust him as quick as I can.
It has been a resource heavy game for me and even if I have been conservative with my combat cards battling the Alexes I have already played two series of Ashur Tablets and I am reaching the end of my library again. Roger has his star Aisata Swanou ready with very few blood, a Tunnel Runner, Ossian and Impundulu in his ready region and an empty Walker Grimes in torpor. I have Fame on Aisata and Roger is around 5 pool. All I need is to get Aisata to torpor and the sweep is mine. I play my third series of Ashur Tablets and I don’t get a single master card to my deck, just Deep Songs and combat cards. Pentex Subversion anyone? Golconda? Anything to trade for the needed cards with Anthelios? No.
Roger now pulls some nasty tricks including Target Vitals and FBI Special Affairs and I don’t get to Aisata but gets hammered by his allies instead and have to start influencing out a new vampire since the ones I have goes to torpor one after another. When my cards run out again it is easy for Roger to just bleed my last few pool away. If I brought say just four master cards back I would have been able to play Pentex Subversion on his blocker allies a couple of times to get that needed rush at Aisata. But as I said, I played like a retard this time.
Me 2 VP
Roger 2 VP
|Max Widén||Me||Anders Löf||Sten Düring||Alex Ek|
|Assamites||Salmonella||Dmitra / Undele Vote||Dom/Nec Powerbleed Big Caps||!Toreador Breed and Bleed|
I start of by playing Pentex Subversion on Max first Assamite to get me some room. He argues with me about why I do it (a discussion brought to the pub later at night) since Alex plays a pretty aggressive deck. I don’t need to explain myself since the only thing I want to do is to get Anders into trouble before he can start recycling his combat defence with Undele’s special. Anders starts with Dmitra and I rush her but thing is I get no Aid From Bats. All I can do is 3 damage with hands and Carrion Crows for the first couple of rounds and then Undele is out and it is too late.
Sten bleeds Alex pretty heavy and Anders started his game with a Parity Shift stealing 5 pool from him so he sits in a tough spot. He plays two Mind Numbs on Sten’s vampires and gets the breathing room to lunge against Max and oust him. Sten is soon recovered enough to oust Alex since I have too many pool to get to at once.
Anders has his perfect set-up and can vote without risking blocks or being voted down. Dmitra, Undele and Lutz is a dangerous trio and my hope lies in creating a situation where he gets bled for much by surprise. Anders hovers around 15 pool so it is doable in theory. Sten has two vampires now but unfortunately Anders has played Pentex Subversion on one of them. I have Deep Song, Guard Dogs and Lost in Translation on hand and Aksinya and Cybele in my ready Region so I should be able to bounce two bleeds from Sten even if I am tapped out and then bleed for 5 myself. Anders ends his rounds fully tapped so definitely doable.
Problem is I don't manage to remove the Pentex Subversion to create such a scenario. I don’t remember why but probably because I was stupid at some point trying to rush instead. Too bad since Sten would have been all in for such a trick since he claimed he had his hand full of combat defence and was prepared for a duel with me. Anders ousts Sten and then me without any real problems.
Anders GW 3VP
A really bad performance on my part. In my playgroup we sometimes talks of the three different games you statistically get during a tournament’s preliminary rounds. Seating is key here. I list them in the order they happened to me this tournament:
- The impossible game – In this game you have a poor seating and have to struggle to get anything out of it. This tournament my first game was nothing but a struggle from the start and my best bet would have been to get 1 or 2 Victory Points at Erik’s mercy.
- The easy game – In this game seating is your friend and if you play to any standards at all you win. My performance in round 2 was so poor I don’t even want to think about it. Anything less than a Game Win is achieved only by lousy play.
- The tricky game – In this game you have to use your skill to achieve anything and handling this game well is what gets you to the finals in the large tournaments. I should have played smarter and more consistent when we were three players left and maybe I would have got a VP or even a GW. This day I didn’t.
Come to think of it I will from now on mark the three preliminary rounds in my future tournament reports with the three game types and see if the idea is solid.
I like the deck I played but it is very difficult to play and I think I am simply not man enough to pilot it yet. I will let it rest for some time but will get back to it sooner or later. I had a fun day over all and it seems we are back to playing monthly tournaments in Göteborg again. Happy times!