Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Swainbanking at Week of Nightmares

I had this great idea: Decade of Nightmares! Who's in?

Yesterday we showed up at The Ram around noon for some Swainbank draft. Ben was still asleep so we played a pickup game. I played my Brujah Debate deck, which is fun even though it needs work. Devin had me down to around 3 pool with his dem/tha deck, but lacked the stealth to oust me around the time Ben showed up. We decided everyone wins and prepared to Swainbank.

First we did 3 Cam and 3 Anarch packs. I got some princes and a Parity Shift as well as some Gangrel and two Renegade Garou and Thadius Zho! I also snagged a Minion Tap and some decent combat. I preyed on Josh at the first table who preyed on Steve Wieck who preyed on Mike Ooi. Sadly, my totally freaking awesome allies didn't show up in time to be useful and despite getting a Parity Shift off, I despaired of being able to oust Josh. Then Steve made a fiendish deal with Mike to get me ousted but accidentally ousted Josh instead because we all forgot about Josh's oh-so-useful Arms Dealer. Then Steve ousted Mike. My Sengir Daggered Nadima had Steve's number in the endgame until he contested her. That proved to be the crucial move and Steve killed me.

I was preying on Ethan preying on Oscar preying on Ben in the second round. Ethan and Ben contested Menele. It was so great! Naturally they both died. Oscar got me in the end because he's broken and got lots of stealth and bleed. I did AI Quentin King III, but it wasn't enough. Ah well. 2 VPs with no real work. That's just the way we like it.

We moved on to Swainbank numero dos because more people showed up to play. This time we did three Cam Ed and four Bloodlines. I made an awesome Tremere/Gargoyle deck! It was so much fun. I got two Conscripted Statues, some cool Visceratika combat and some Fourth Traditions and Third Traditions for Anastaz di Zagrab's use.

Josh already recounted the ill-fated first table below. He didn't mention how he kept wondering why I didn't oust him by bleeding with Pugfar. It's because I'm not a cheater! Anyway, I had him in another two minutes since I managed to torporize all his guys and had him down to six pool. Oh well.

Next round had me preying on Jon Sushinsky preying on Ben Peal preying on Mike Ooi preying on Darby Keeny. I had to pay to see Anastaz, but he showed up soon enough. I also got out my two slaves, Fidus and Saxum as well as Pieter van Dorn and eventually Pugfar (thanks to Fourth Trad action). Darby was super-scary early on bleeding me for 2 over and over at stealth, but for some reason many Autarkis Persecutions were called and I gained lots of pool. It ended up becoming sort of a game of attrition. Darby and Mike fought a lot and I was set up with a Razor Bat and Jackie on Saxum. Darby was afraid Saxum would Collapse some Arches on the Improvised Flamethrower-wielding Mouse. Sadly, that was not to be. It would've been so great!

Meanwhile Jon not only got Bartholomew and never tapped him, he Minion Tapped the sucker! Between that an the Autarkis Persecutions, he probably gained like 30 pool. I bled him for 2 most turns but he'd gain 1 back right away. Things kind of looked like Mike might get Darby after Darby had an unsuccessful lunge at me, but Darby saved himself with a Speak with Spirits or two. Then Ben ousted Mike. I propped Darby up for a little bit, mostly because I liked the idea of Mouse Improvising some Flame on Ben's minions. I eventually got Jon because I could practically tap out bleeding by that point since Darby wasn't up to the task of coming after me. Darby fell after another turn or two. Not sure what would've happened with Ben and I, but there was only about five minutes left at that point so we just decided the game went to time.

I like the format mostly for the seven card crypt. That really made my deck go since I only managed to draft two Tremere. If I'd had to pad my crypt out with another five vampires, I'm sure my deck would've just been useless. I'm not sure how I feel about reshuffling the library. I think I have a little disadvantage actually just because I tend to play very conservatively in draft while it seems like Swainbankers would want to spooge cards in hopes of seeing the good ones again. One of the things I like about draft is the diminishing resources and need to be very careful about deploying them. Additionally, I think keeping libraries to not many more than 40 cards is almost always a good strategy in limited. It's better to play 40 good cards and run out than not be able to move 70 cards at all.

Anyway, if it means I get to draft more, then I'm all for Swainbank. We'll probably do it again tonight or tomorrow. Hopefully I'll put together a deck that can win games rather than just not get ousted.


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