söndag 5 augusti 2012

Randymans RopeCon 2012

Veni, Vidi…
Jag kom, jag såg…

Still on the boat over our little sea I had no clue as to what I wanted to play during RopeCon, as it is the largest tournament in northern Europe the meta would be pretty hard to predict. I had my experience from last RopeCon and what we jokingly say about finish decks and players in Sweden as my tools when choosing and modifying my deck.

After a few Swedish casual games on the boat with Adam, Isak, Aleksi, and Ida (and a lot of rautakanki and beer) I was down to two decks. I stood between a modified version of Unmada and Lutz stealth vote and Geezers, Huitzilopochtli and Arika.

When arriving at Helsinki harbor the others took their car and drove to Markos and I walked ashore to wait for them in the town. During the long wait for my fellow Swedes and Marko, Tom, and Niina. I made up my mind that I would play the Geezers deck.

There were a few reasons to why I chose it. For one I knew my fellow Swede Michael Holmström wanted to play Unmade and Lutz and I did not want end up in a contest situation with him. Also in the most recent tournament I played Geezers and I felt more up to date with the deck. Further in most of my incarnations of Unmada and Lutz I run no form of combat defense what so ever and I dreaded the notorious Finish rush combat decks.

After the decision was done I still had quite some time to do last minute (or hours) changes.

I figured that people would play with a lot of defense and I was afraid of rush combat. So I removed bleed from the deck and put in more reaction cards and more stealth. Also I made a minor crypt change that lead to great amusement later during the tournament.

The original Geezers deck was made by Stefan Karlsson who had made his deck as a girls deck using group 2 and 3 vampires which is ironic because the original for girls was based on the council of doom deck who use the group 2 and 3 vampires (or so I have heard).

The latest updated version of the deck was played by Alexander Båskman and it was his deck I used as base for the one I played.

This is the version Alexander played and won with in Stockholm last February:
Crypt [12 vampires] Capacity min: 10 max: 11 average: 10.5

4x Huitzilopochtli     10 AUS DAI DOM OBF POT PRE               Baali:2
3x Arika                      11 DOM FOR OBF PRE aus cel  inner circle Ventrue:2
2x Etrius                     11 AUS DOM OBF THA pro      inner circle Tremere:2
1x Leandro                11 AUS OBF PRE cel dom      inner circle Malkavian:2
1x Esau                      10 AUS DEM DOM OBF PRE                   Malkavian:3
1x Nefertiti                10 DOM OBF PRE SER cel pot               Follower :2

Library [75 cards]
Action [8]
  2x Entrancement
  5x Intimidation
  1x Unleash Hell's Fury

Action Modifier [15]
  3x Conditioning
  2x Elder Impersonation
  1x Enkil Cog
  2x Faceless Night
  2x Foreshadowing Destruction
  4x Lost in Crowds
  1x Spying Mission

Action Modifier/Combat [2]
  1x Hide the Mind
  1x Swallowed by the Night

Action Modifier/Reaction [2]
  2x Murmur of the False Will

Event [3]
  3x Anthelios, The Red Star

Master [37]
  6x Ashur Tablets
  1x Coven, The
  1x Direct Intervention
  2x Dreams of the Sphinx
  1x Giant's Blood
  1x Golconda: Inner Peace
  2x Information Highway
  1x Jake Washington (Hunter)
  1x Lilith's Blessing
  5x Liquidation
  1x Metro Underground
  2x Parthenon, The
  1x Pentex(TM) Subversion
  6x Villein
  6x Zillah's Valley

Reaction [8]
  1x Deflection
  2x Eyes of Argus
  3x Obedience
  2x On the Qui Vive

This is my version I played during RopeCon:

Crypt (Capacity min=10 max=11 avg=10.5; 12 cards)
3x Arika                   11 aus cel DOM FOR OBF PRE Ventrue:2
1x Esau                    10 AUS DEM DOM OBF PRE Malkavian:3
1x Etrius                  11 pro AUS DOM OBF THA Tremere:2
4x Huitzilopochtli  10 AUS DAI DOM OBF PRE POT Baali:2
1x Leandro             11 cel dom AUS OBF PRE Malkavian:2
1x Nefertiti             10 cel pot DOM OBF PRE SER Follower of Set:2
1x Ur-Shulgi,           11 aus CEL DOM OBF QUI THA Assamite:2
     The Shepherd

Library (72 cards)


Master (30 cards)
6x Ashur Tablets
1x Coven, The
2x Dreams of the Sphinx
1x Giant's Blood
1x Golconda: Inner Peace
2x Information Highway
1x Jake Washington (Hunter)
1x Metro Underground
1x Monastery of Shadows
1x Parthenon, The
1x Pentex(TM) Subversion
6x Villein
6x Zillah's Valley

Event (1 cards)
1x Anthelios, The Red Star
Action (7 cards)
2x Entrancement
3x Intimidation
1x Mind Rape
1x Unleash Hell's Fury

Political Action (1 cards)
1x Banishment

Action Modifier (18 cards)
1x Cloak the Gathering
2x Conditioning
3x Elder Impersonation
1x Enkil Cog
3x Faceless Night
1x Foreshadowing Destruction
1x Into Thin Air
5x Lost in Crowds
1x Spying Mission

Reaction (10 cards)
2x Deflection
2x Eyes of Argus
4x Obedience
2x On the Qui Vive
Combo (5 cards)
2x Force of Personality
1x Hide the Mind
2x Murmur of the False Will

The crypt change was to remove one Etrius and adding Ur-Shulgi.

I also removed from Alexanders deck:
2 Intimidation
1 Conditioning
1 Foreshadowing Destruction
2 Anthelios, The Red Star
1 Swallowed by the Night
1 Lilith’s Blessing
5 Liquidation
1 Parthenon
1 Direct Intervention

 I added:
1 Banishment
1 Mind Rape
1 Monastery of Shadows
1 Cloak the Gathering
1 Elder Impersonation
1 Lost in Crowds
2 Force of Personality
1 Faceless Night
1 Into Thin Air
1 Obedience
1 Deflection

As I am useless with names I apologies to the people whose names I have forgotten. I will write what people played at least.

First round of the day:
Me => War Ghouls => Weenie Animalism => Imbued

My preys first master was Jake Washington and that was when I started to think that I might be facing a War Ghoul deck. And when my predator brings out an Imbued, and not looking for a react with conviction but putting a Second Sight on her, I had a hard time to choose were I might want to play the Entrancement I started with (I also had a force of personality so stealing an Imbued would have been very easy).

When my prey flipped out the Tailor of Prague it was very obvious what his intentions were. But I had a lucky draw and played my own Jake and contested in that same turn. After another turn I realized that I did not have to steal an Imbued after all as my crosstable ally used all his action to bleed with deep song and beating the Imbued to a bloody pulp.

As this progressed I just played my game said very little and hope for the Imbued to be ousted fast as he had played Veil of Darkness which really screws my deck. By some other form of luck my predator played a Determine and my prey blocked the Animalism vampire with his new and only War Ghoul who got destroyed by bats and crows.

Soon there after the imbued was ousted and my new predator told prey that they should gang up on me. A natural reaction to me was having three vampires at 10+ and lots of pool. But my new predator had blocked a lot of my preys actions and been quite aggressive. My prey said that he was in agreement but that it was too late and went for I believe he was thinking would be his only point in the game.

A well timed hide the mind killed my prey and by then I had Jake and a few Obedience to withstand the rushes. In the heads up my prey had a Raven Spy on all of his five minions but that could not stop me from doing the good old stealth bleed.

3vp for me a 1 for the weenie Animalism.

The second round:
Me => Akseli with his good old Nana, Nangila Potence Animalism => Followers of Set and Mummies => Abbt Kindred Baron Deck => Another Imbued.

Having only ever seen Aleksi play Nana Rush I was discarding a lot to try to draw into some sort of defense, but alas I did not and he played Nana and I had Huitzilopochtli. So I jokingly said that He could move forward and I would go backward and that we would meet in the middle and then more seriously said that I would not bleed him if did not rush me.

He promptly bled for one and started to transfer on a new minion. Meanwhile around the table the other players had been popping out quite a few minions, and again the Imbued player took Second Sight as the first convictions. Had I found an Entrancement I would not have hesitated to steal his minions but he had no pressure from his predator due to an early unmasking and Abbt Kindred only stealthing with From of the Serpent.

The turn before my Aleksi bought out Nanglia I bleed him pretty hard and he just looked at me and said “You Bled!” I said “What to do”. The round after I also had Etrius and bleed him some more, he rushed once into my Obedience and the round after he blocked one of my minions with a sense the savage way but got ousted with the second bleed.

I my self died the turn after because my predator had no pressure and bleed for 6-8 per turn.

I think the result was 1 vp for me, 2 for the Imbued, and 2 for the Abbt Kindred deck.

The third round:
Me => Malk bleed vote with Presence => Assamite bruise and bleed with Sticks => Pariah rush block deck => Ravnos with Auspex

This round started with me and my prey quite fast understood that the other three players weren’t very experienced and that they would take a lot of time from our table. Our turns were fast and efficient and the others made mistakes (even breaking mistakes in which we pointed out the mistakes and got them to continue) and talked a lot (a lot in Finish as well but I did not care, just wanted them to get the talk over with fast), Pariah got an early Nightmare Curse and the Ravnos player found himself a Secure Haven to live in. But a well played Hidden Lurker got Pariah into combat with the Ravnos anyway.

During that turn my predator had no ready minions I needed to speed up. I went down to one pool bringing out a third minion. Still felt pretty safe as I hade one Obedience, one On the Qui Vive, one Eyes of Argus, and one Deflection on top of the fact that my predator had no ready minions. My prey took him turn and after that my grand prey who had been bloating with Haqim’s Law: Leadership played yet another one and after blocks I pointed out that my Ur-Shulgi is a little older than his Amaravati, so I promptly took my 2 pool and felt pretty amused.

The turn after I ousted my prey again with a well aimed Hide the Mind and the turn after that I killed the other three players with my three minions.

It was a game of patience and understanding. Not trying to aggravate my crosstable friends and getting them to play as fast as they could.

Me 5 vps

With 2 GW and 9 VPs I was in the finals!

The standing going into the finals was:
Aleksi Nuora 2 GW, 9 VP
Michael Holmström 2 GW, 9 VP
Randal Rudstam 2 GW, 9 VP
Tomi Sillanpää 2 GW, 10 VP
Otso Saariluoma 3 GW, 11 VP

I had the best TPs so I got third seed. This was very good because Michael was playing the Unmada and Lutz deck that I thought he would. So no contest for us and I could chose not to be his predator as he has a few Protected Resources in his deck.

So Aleksi sat down and Michael also, I chose to be Aleksis predator and having Michael as mine. Tomi sat down as Michaels Predator crosstable from me and Otso sat down in between Aleksi and Tomi.

Me => Aleksi, Daughters of Cacophony vote => Otsa, Anson Infernal Pursuit guns => Tomi, Lasombra bleed => Unmada and Lutz stealth vote.

The final was a little blurry for me as it started in the middle of the night and I was full of adrenalin.

Neither Tomi or Aleksi knew what me or Michael was playing. And to my great pleasure Aleksi first discard was a Protected Recourses! First thing Tomi did, who I believe did not think he would do any undirected actions because of Otso, was to bleed Michael with Governs and Conditionings. After Unmada made the table and Michael got to discard he played his own Protected Resources and Tomi was pretty sad.

Aleksi first action was a Lily Prelude with vote push to damage Otso which ended up in Otso rushing Aleksi and putting his minion down, and of course optimizing his hand with Infernal Pursuit. I bled hard into Aleksi who really regretted not playing his first discard. He took it back with my Anthelios and played it but by then it was too late and with Enkil Cog I ousted him that turn.

Then Otso did exactly as I thought he would and played Haven Uncovered on Arika and rushed her with Volker, also I think I forgot about Arikas special and Otso did not pay for his Parthenon but I could be wrong. I had an Unleash Hells Fury in play but no other combat defense so I chose just to let it pass and put Arika into my torpor region.

This was a very curial part of both my game and the others as well. Otso had only played one Villein but only at 14 pool. Both Tomi and Michael needed me to oust Otso to prevent him from winning.

Tomi rescued Arika from Torpor and Michael did not oust me, but he tried pretty good, leaving me at one or two pool. I had triggered my tablets once and took one Obedience from my ash heap to my hand. Arika hunted and then untapped with Metro Underground. Otso used the Uncovered Haven to rush with first Sarah Brando, with no gun, who I Obedienced. Then with Volker, with gun, who ran into my Unleash Hells Fury and lastly with Francois Villon, with gun, and by then I had yet another Obedience, I bled him for 6 in his turn putting him at 8. Again Michael took me down to only a few pool but by then Otso had two Ashur Tablets and if he got his next turn he would simply trigger his tablets get a Villein and be back to lots of pool his good cards back in his deck and the others would not, at least I think not, have been able to stop him.

It was my turn again. I had Huitzilopochtli And Arika with an Enkil Cog, 6 bleed on the table and Otso at 8 pool. First bleed was with Huitzilopochtli with Mind Rape, Otso played Direct Intervention and I played an Entrancement bleed. Then Arika bled for 4 and Otso was ousted.

Untap Arika again with Metro and bleeding Tomi for 9 with some cards in his turn. He deflected it to Michael and I used my Spying Mission to make it 0. Tomi bled some more and Michael was down to 4 pool. In Michaels turn he played a Parity shift that together with any action from Lutz would have killed me. Tomi wanted to deal me not bleeding him for a Direct Intervention on the Parity Shift. I took the deal and he played the master out of turn. Michael being very frustrated with the lack of Parity Shifts he had drawn all game decided to bleed me first with Lutz in an attempt to draw into a parity shift or simply put me down 3 pool. I had a wake and a Deflection. And Tomi decided not to let Michael play stealth cards and took the bleed, also removing the Protected Resources. Then Michael bled for one more which I took and it was my turn.

I had drawn a Villein which I played on Huitzilopochtli taking all but one, who needs blood anyway. So now I really had to think if should honor the deal and not bleed or just break it.

Both Tomi and Michael had 4 pool and I had 10. Tomi had 4 minions with low blood. If I had broken the deal and bled and Tomi had had a Deflection I was looking at a Tomis next turn with 4 minions and a very big amount of Dominate. After a some thinking I chose that not to break the deal. That would force Tomi to use at least one of his vampires to oust Michael and that would be less bleed at me during that turn.

Tomi played a Nocturn who bled and then bled with Govern or something I don’t really remember. So 3 minions all with one blood and I had 10 pool, still unsafe. He bleed me for 6 putting me at 4, swearing that he should have put in more Dominate he passed the impulse to me. Again I had a very hard decision to make. If I would bleed him during his turn he would get the impulse back and be able to bleed me. But I would be immune to any potential Archon Investigations he might have had. I did have the necessary bleed in my hand to remove the 10 pool he had during my turn anyway. I decided not to bleed him for fear that he would play On the Qui Vive and draw into the bleed he needed to oust me. He had already played one Direct Intervention and I thought it unlikely that he ran 2 also I did not think he ran any Archon Investigation. So during my turn I bleed him for 10 with my minions and I did not burn and so I won the tournament.

All in all it was really fun and I can highly recommend going to RopeCon and play in one of the best and biggest tournaments in the world!!

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