times TWD - South African NC 2015 @ ICON

22 Jul 2015 13:42 - 11 Aug 2015 06:22 #72153 by drnlmza
South African NC 2015
Johannesburg, Gauteng
July 18th & 19th, 2015
3R + F
10 players
Simon Cross


Secret Library deck list: www.secretlibrary.info/index.php?deck=view&id=20370

Deck Name : Saulot and Uriel's Hidden Hearts
Author : Simon Cross
Description :
Saulot brings out Uriel and both Hide their Hearts out, using either their Anesthetic Touch or Loving Agony in the vitals to disuade those you stand in their way -- all with a little help form the Neighbourhood Watch Commanders.

Crypt [13 vampires] Capacity min: 3 max: 11 average: 8.00
5x Saulot, The Wanderer (11):AUS: :FOR: :OBE: :THA: :VAL: :dai::salu: Salubri(group 4)
3x Uriel (8):AUS: :FOR: :VAL: :ani: :obe:Bishop!salu! Salubri antitribu(group 4)
1x Dela Eden (8):AUS: :FOR: :VAL: :cel: :dom:!salu! Salubri antitribu(group 3)
1x Aredhel (5):FOR: :VAL: :aus:!salu! Salubri antitribu(group 4)
1x Langa (5):VAL: :for:!salu! Salubri antitribu(group 4)
1x Nkechi (4):aus: :for: :val:!salu! Salubri antitribu(group 4)
1x Rashiel (3):for: :val:!salu! Salubri antitribu(group 4)
Library [90 cards]
Action [3]
2x Brother in Arms
1x Sense Death

Action Modifier [6]
1x Crocodile's Tongue
2x Freak Drive
1x Neutral Guard
1x Repulsion
1x Safe Passage

Action Modifier/Combat [1]
1x Burning Touch

Action Modifier/Reaction [1]
1x Gift of Sleep

Ally [4]
1x Carlton Van Wyk (Hunter)
1x Mylan Horseed (Goblin)
2x Neighborhood Watch Commander (Hunter)

Combat [22]
4x Anesthetic Touch
2x Blissful Agony
2x Loving Agony
2x Morphean Blow
4x Target Vitals
4x Unflinching Persistence
4x Vitae Block

Equipment [1]
1x Bowl of Convergence

Event [1]
1x Hunger Moon

Master [18]
1x Fame
1x Giant's Blood
1x Metro Underground
1x Perfectionist
1x Powerbase: Montreal
1x Smiling Jack, The Anarch
2x Society of Leopold
1x The Rack
1x The Rumor Mill, Tabloid Newspaper
1x Two Wrongs
2x Villein
1x WMRH Talk Radio
1x Wash
3x Wider View

Reaction [32]
2x Delaying Tactics
1x Eluding the Arms of Morpheus
1x Enhanced Senses
2x Eyes of Argus
1x Forced Awakening
16x Hide the Heart
2x My Enemy's Enemy
3x On the Qui Vive
1x Precognition
1x Spirit's Touch
2x Telepathic Misdirection

Retainer [1]
1x Mr. Winthrop

Recorded with : Sutekh 0.9.2a0 [ 2015-07-20 ]

National Coordinator
South Africa
Last edit: 11 Aug 2015 06:22 by Ankha.
The following user(s) said Thank You: hodgestar, Ankha

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22 Jul 2015 13:43 #72154 by drnlmza
Event Report: Neil Muller, SA NC

We had 10 players for the 2015 SA National Championships at ICON 2015.

The preliminary rounds were lengthy and rather tense. There were only 2 game wins from the six games, with Joshua Newcombe sweeping a table with his Settite bleeders, and Liam Fishwik taking 4 VPs from a game with his Ravnos. Only 1 table timed out completely, but the other 3 tables each only saw 1 oust, and a lot of people getting 0.5 VPs.

Due to a few unanticipated delays during the day, we only completed the 3 preliminary rounds quite late Saturday evening, so we had to delay the final until the Sunday morning. Unfortunately, this forced a couple of people to withdraw due to prior commitments, and a couple more had to withdraw due to being struck down with flu, so Nevil and I snuck into the final from further down the list.

The final table was:

Nevil Wright (Settite / Malkavian vote & bleed & enticement) bleeding Simon Cross (Saulot and Uriel's Hidden Hearts) bleeding Josh Newcombe (small cap Settite obf / pre bleed and enticement) bleeding Neil Muller (Toreador Aching Beauty) bleeding Liam Fishwick (Ravnos swarm bleed with Week of Nightmares and Sensory Deprivation).

Josh got off to a fast start and soon had the Aching Beauty deck under pressure. Liam slowed the Settites down with a cross table Sense Dep and gradually started building up, but an early Hunger Moon from Simon trapped Liam's first Embrace in a hunt cycle for several turns, which slowed his forward pressure. Nevil didn't draw any of his princes or justicars, which limited his options as he was unable to call Parity Shift, and struggled to put significant pressure on Simon. Simon brough out Aredhel first, who gradually got tooled up with both the Bowl of Convergence and Mr Winthrop, and gradually worked on bringing out Saulot, while playing Hide the Hearts remove blood from the table. An early Society of Leopold bounced around the table a bit, and eventually burnt one of Josh's minions, but the Toreador drew none of their bounce and couldn't hold off the Settite bleeds for long, being ousted after around 50 minutes.

By this time, Nevil was well setup defensively, having successfully contested the Bowl of Convergence with Simon, but still lacked the vampires he needed to put pressure on Simon, while Simon had gotten Saulot out, and both Watch Commanders, and was using Saulot's special to pull out Uriel. Liam, having been hit hard by the Toreador trying to cycle into defensive cards was fairly low on pool, but did have several minions. Liam lunged at Nevil, but although he came close (getting Nevil down to 3 pool, IIRC), he was unable to draw the cards he needed to oust Nevil. Josh ousted Liam, but due to a couple of cross table reduces from Simon via superior Hide the Heart, and the cost of a few inferior Hide the Hearts, spent a lot of resources on this, and wasn't well placed to put immediate pressure on Nevil.

Nevil then got an Edge Vitation into play, and was able to defend it for several turns, which left Josh unable to use his Entincements, further slowing him down.

By this stage, Simon was well setup, and the combination of Powerbase Montreal and Saulot's special meant he brought out Uriel and was easily able to deal with Nevil forward actions, while landing a steady stream of bleeds to whittle down Josh's pool.

Josh misjudged a lunge on Nevil - bleeding with Legal Manipulations when on only 1 blood does not work that well when your predator then plays inferior Hide the Heart - and was ousted a turn later by Simon. In the head's up, Simon had minion superiority and was able to grind Nevil down for the game win, although Nevil's combination of bleed reduce, bloat and the occaioanl Serpent's Numbing Kiss did mean he held on for several turns longer than looked likely when Josh was ousted, but he was still ousted after 1 hour and 50 minutes of play time.

Neil Muller, National Coordinator for South Africa

National Coordinator
South Africa
The following user(s) said Thank You: hodgestar, D-dennis, Hakuron, Pascek

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22 Jul 2015 20:42 #72160 by hodgestar
Some thoughts on the final from my perspective playing the Saulot deck:

I got a bit lucky with the seating. I chose to be downstream of Nevil, but either Joshua (Setites) or Liam (Ravnos) might have chosen to be my predator and that would have significantly hurt my chances. Joshua chose to be between me and Neil (Aching Beauty) because that seating gave him his sweep in the first round. Liam chose to avoid me because I'd ousted him despite a Sense Dep in the third round. I can't fault either of their reasoning, but it did leave me with a slow predator.

Nevil's crypt draw was a further stroke of luck for me. Without a Prince out his deck was very short of forward pressure, which gave me a lot of space to tool up and play the game the way I needed to.

I brought out Aredhel first so I could start playing Hide the Heart on Joshua's Setites immediately, and that proved to be a good choice (perhaps a crucial choice given how close Joshua came to sweeping the table).

I played an early Society of Leopold on one of Joshua's Setites in order to soak up some of Joshua's forward actions and slow him down. Joshua moved it cross table to one of Liam's minions, and Liam moved it back to Joshua's minion that I had Famed, instead of the minion that it was originally on. I think that early choice allowed Joshua to oust both Neil and Liam because it meant he had three or four extra pool and one minion burnt instead of one burnt and one in torpor. I'm not quite sure how the game would have played out for me from there Liam had chosen to put the Society back on its original target, but it would definitely have been better for Neil and Liam.

Shortly before Joshua ousted Neil I had Joshua down to four pool, and I think the period between that and Joshua's ousting of Liam was the crucial part of the final. My own pool total wasn't great (six pool at one point) and there was the danger of Neville bouncing a sizeable bleed from Liam so my position wasn't completely secure. Joshua was in the tricky position of not being able to risk blocking my bleeds and worried about taking tool up actions because of the possibility of losing blood to Hide the Heart. I kept bleeding with Saulot, leaving Joshua needing ousts to recoup pool, and I think causing him to rush his attempts to oust Liam and Neville, when he would have been better off clearing his hand of a few tool up actions first. I also loaned the Powerbase Montreal to both Nevil and Liam, generating a couple of extra pool on the table.

In the end I think I stopped three ousting lunges by Joshua with superior Hide the Heart (one on Neil and the other two on Liam and Nevil) and the Legal Manipulations Neil mentioned.

After ousting Joshua (who tapped out in a lunge) and putting one of Nevil's vampires in torpor the final was fairly secure, although Nevil did put up a surprising amount of resistance.

The final really drove home for me the importance of one or two extra pool.

Thoughts on the Hide the Heart deck:

This tournament is the first time I've played a Hide the Heart deck, and my deck hadn't seen play at all until the first round of the tournament.

Unusually for me the deck has a lot of cards of which there are only one or two copies. I'm not completely sure the variety made the deck stronger, but I did like the extra options. The single Sense Death was surprisingly useful and the single Two Wrongs did allow me to alter how many minions I kept for defense.

I never saw the single Smiling Jack and didn't really feel I'd have been able to defend it at any point -- Hide the Heart just doesn't provide that sort of defense -- and I'll likely drop it from future versions.

Surprisingly, I think the early game is really important for the deck. One needs to start playing Hide the Heart as soon as possible and ideally get an early Society of Leopold. Delaying a turn to, for example, bring out Saulot first, slows the deck down and can leave one a turn short later. Also, the deck's defense is very weak early on and one needs to adjust ones approach quite a bit based on how aggressive ones predator is (e.g. in the third round I ditched Carlton and a few other cards that required pool because I was worried the Aching Beauty deck would cause my pool to bottom out fairly low -- which it did).

Cards I definitely need to include a couple of extra copies of: Neighbourhood Watch Commander, Society of Leopold.
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