Blackwater Bay Tournament Report

This past weekend was the biggest AGOT tournament ever in the UK. A massive 80 players travelled from across the globe to take part, and I’d be damned if I was going to miss out on that. Thanks to a heavily subsidised ticket it looked like I could get down to London and back again to Manchester in the same day for a very reasonable fee. The last train was even at the reasonable time of 9.45, giving me plenty of time to do two of my favourite things, drinking and chatting about the game (of thrones, harr harr harr). But more on that later…

The Deck – My Only Agenda is WINNING! Or not…

poloI was playing Lannister, obviously, because the idea of playing a different house makes me feel a little bit ill. And I have my awesome red Lannister polo shirt (pictured, right). Having retired my beloved City of Shadows deck after the national, I decided to go for something a little more ‘competitive’ and give No Agenda a run out. Originally the deck used the Manning the City Walls as the restricted card, and loads of armies in there to make sure it would be useful.

It was not useful. I found that while there was great synergy between the War Crest events, my dudes, the Free Men and Janos Conspirator, every time I got round to playing Manning I’d actually want to play Negotiations instead, so that ended up being my restricted card with a cheeky City of Spiders to get more than one use out of it. The main trick was to setup a King or a Queen, Summoned for King Joffrey’s Guard, have a great T1 without over committing expecting a Valar T2. Then throw more dudes down and win the game. Not one opponent played Valar against me T2 all day.

My Only Agenda is WINNING! – Lannister No Agenda – Negotiations

Plot: (7)
1x Cersei’s Scheme (The Pirates of Lys)
1x Valar Morghulis (Core Set)
1x Retaliation! (A Song of Silence)
1x Summoned by the Conclave (A Hidden Agenda)
1x Negotiations at the Great Sept (The Pirates of Lys)
1x City of Spiders (Tales from the Red Keep)
1x Fury of the Lion (Ancient Enemies)

Character: (30)
3x Doubting Septa (Lions of the Rock)
3x Janos’s Conspirator (The Horn That Wakes)
3x Mountain Refugee (Refugees of War)
3x House Clegane Brigands (A Turn of the Tide)
3x Free Man (Tourney for the Hand)
1x Janos Slynt (The Horn That Wakes)
1x Gilly (Refugees of War)
1x Ser Arys Oakheart (Princes of the Sun)
1x Ser Lancel Lannister (The Pirates of Lys)
1x Tywin Lannister (The Kingsguard)
2x Tommen Baratheon (Scattered Armies)
1x King Joffrey’s Guard (The War of the Five Kings)
1x Margaery Tyrell (A Turn of the Tide)
1x Joffrey Baratheon (Kings of the Sea)
1x Cersei Lannister (Lions of the Rock)
1x Tycho Nestoris (Spoils of War)
1x Ser Jaime Lannister (The Tower of the Hand)
1x Jon Snow (Core Set)
1x Penny (Valar Dohaeris)

Attachment: (1)
1x Warden of the West (Ancestral Home)

Event: (10)
3x Harry the Riverlands (Forgotten Fellowship)
2x A House Divided (Where Loyalty Lies)
1x Nightmares (Lords of Winter)
2x The Price of War (Kings of the Sea)
1x The Hand’s Judgement (The Tower of the Hand)
1x Condemned by the Council (A Time of Trials)

Location: (19)
1x Harrenhal (Ancestral Home)
3x The Goldroad (Core Set)
2x The Iron Throne (Lions of the Rock)
2x Golden Tooth Mines (Core Set)
1x Lannisport Brothel (Core Set)
1x The Westerlands (Ancestral Home)
2x The Roseroad (Kings of the Storm)
1x River Row (Queen of Dragons)
1x Street of Silk (Lions of the Rock)
1x Street of Steel (Core Set)
1x Shadowblack Lane (Core Set)
1x Street of Sisters (Core Set)
1x The Mander (Fire Made Flesh)
1x The Kingsroad 29 (Fire and Ice)

Round 1 – Darren Clare – Baratheon Knights of the Realm – ???

I started the tournament with a real taste of the international flavour of this tournament by playing Darren from Sussex. He was going old school and running Bara KotR. He flew out of the block with some event that gave him loads of gold and started dropping his dudes, I bounced the best one with A House Divided, knelt the others with the Guard and a Harry the Riverlands in marshalling. Unfortunately that was it for the Guard this game, as Shadow Killer jumped out of shadows, and well, killed them. I wish I’d saved the Harry for Challenges, as it meant Darren got an Int challenge through.

Next round Darren dropped Lineage and Legacy and got some more gold with the same event as the round before. Luckily I’d clogged his draw with A House Divided, so when that dude came back (I can’t remember who he was, but he was a Knight with Renown that cost 4g)  I did so again. I should probably have saved it for Fat Bob or Super Stan, but I figured while I had the card I may as well use it.

I’d clogged Darren’s draw for two turns now, and was building a bit of board presence for myself. He only had one knight on the board and I had Jaime in hand, but for some reason kept playing other guys (Brigands etc) rather than killing the draw completely. Penny was an absolute beast in this game as well, she never managed to kneel anyone, but stripping cards out of Darren’s hand made a massive difference when it came to my Negotiations turn. The card advantage from this pretty much sealed the game for me, 1-0.

Round 2 – Josh Chambers – Lannister No Agenda – Castellan (I think)

Gin and Slimeline TonicKeeping the international theme running for round two I was drawn against Josh from Middlesborough. Another Lanni No Agenda deck, which was running very similar cards, but seemed to be doing it better. Josh opened with a Attack from Sea and then dropped a Vat of Wildfire on my Iron Throne, and another one on my Brothel, ouch. I kept a fair amount of board presence, but it was mostly useless due to the fact the good guys were always sideways. I fought back for as long as I could, but was on the back foot for the majority of this game.

In the last round Josh had been forced to use his Valar (I think) and needed like 2 or 3 power to win the game. He had Barristan Selmy, another renown dude and Lancel, the one who excludes people from defending, out. I got the two renown guys knelt and dropped some weenies to cover the power challenge. I also played Harrenhal, but forgot to trigger my Warden of the West to kneel Lancel as well. So Josh won with an unopposed Power challenge, and deservedly so. We were running close to time, but had I remembered this trigger it’s possible, although very unlikely, that I could’ve turned the game around, 1-1. It was past twelve at this point and very warm inside Dark Sphere, so I started on the Gin & Slimline Tonic.

Round 3 – Becky Frith – Baratheon Song of Ice – Val

Fabulous card sleeves.

This was probably my favourite game of the day, it was also a great battle for the real prize of the tournament, who had the most fabulous sleeves. As you can see from my eerily accurate drawing to the right, I was running the classic Ser Preston Pink Sleeves and Becky had some very fancy shiny gold ones.

The game itself was a very close affair. I got hit with a Blockade T1, but thanks to a very lucky top deck in terms of reducers managed to get Tommen and King Joffrey’s Guard out. I also Nightmares’d Val for the marshalling phase just to stop the board from getting too full with dudes I couldn’t kneel.

The Laughing Storm made an appearance shortly after than, and I hate that guy. Luckily I managed to bounce Val with A House Divided, triggered off my own Gilly and a Free Man and Negotiate into the Brothel for TLS. Becky also choosing to Negotiate removed Val from the game for the foreseeable, so that helped me along the way a little.

Eventually we ran to time just before Becky could marshal on her Mel’s Scheme turn, I had Cersei’s Scheme out and a Harry the Riverlands in hand so I was fairly sure I could handle whatever came out but to say the game was delicately poised is an understatement. At time I was ahead on 11 points to Becky’s 10. 2-1, with one modified win, a second can of gin and a rapid trip to the Chinese for Crispy Pork and Rice in soy sauce. Which I didn’t get chance to eat because the next round was starting and my opponent was

Round 4 – JCWamma – Stark The Maester’s Path

Tasty PorkJust realised I’m at 1500 words already and we’re only just past halfway in the Swiss, never mind what happened after that. This is going to be a seriously long one, so props to you if you’re still reading.

Before we’d even started there were rumblings of vengeance being dished out for the previous round which, like my tasty pork was soon to be, was best served cold.

I got a reasonable start here, did some kneeling, cancelled stuff with the Iron Throne and stopped too many chains getting off the Agenda early on. Kyle Condom and the Follower of the Many Faced God started getting pretty annoying. And a No Quarter on my King Joffrey’s Guard really stung. Then a Direct Assualt stole my Golden Tooth Mines, and that was pretty much game. There’s not much fun to be had when your opponent wants you to kneel their best character…

Suddenly skeletons! No, suddenly, I was facing down a huge board presence with no  chains left on the agenda and the game was lost. 2-2, with one modified win and a third can of gin.

Round 5 – Jemiol – Lannister City of Shadows – Arianne Martell

I may have mentioned before that I love Lannister City of Shadows. It turns out, I only love it when I’m playing it. This game did not go well. Despite knowing every trick this deck does, I did absolutely nothing to play around it. I overcommitted the board and got hit with the Arianne bomb. I didn’t draw into any of my location hate so couldn’t stop the Alchemist Guildhall. I let my opponent, who it should be noted was the first non-English person I’d played all day, build up enough cards in shadows to bring the Queen of Thorns to win the game.

It was nice to see this deck work on all gears, it wasn’t nice to be on the other side of the table to it. 2-3, one modified win and no more gin.

Round 6 – Michael Wallace – Stark Conquest Greyjoy – ???

Michael was all the way from Canada, on ‘vacation’ and was mad/cool enough to want to play AGOT while on holiday. I got my usual start on the board, but was lucky enough to see a Price of War to get rid of a Frozen Outpost and street reducer. Then I saw another one in the next round to get rid of a River Blockade. Have I mentioned that I hate River Blockade before? Because I do.

Michael then marshalled Brienne, a Wintertime Marauders and someone else annoying, and made it winter. But I weathered the storm, did some kneeling and managed to wrap up the game quite comfortably. So there was no chance of me making the cut, but I at least finished with a nearly even record. I had a nice chat with the other Brits who were down around table 33, NuFenix and Stefan about the many merits of playing Lannister. And saw a very interesting deck by NuFenix, which I think he’s playing at Stoke next weekend, or wants to blog about first so I won’t give anything away on that front. By this point I was pretty thirsty and had drank all the alcohol I’d brought down with me. So I made my way down the road to the pub…

Where things deteriorated

Sandy and a few guys from Crawley who had just finished their first tournament were drowning their sorrows. My record was frowned upon at first, but the modified win made it just bad enough to join them. I’ll admit that from here on in, timings may be a little off and I’m going off a hazy memories.

So rather than more ‘prose’ (if we’re being generous),  let’s go for some bullet points for what happened the rest of the night:

  • Went to the Off License with Sandy, who was buying Vodka to play Shots for Plots, I got more cans.
  • Played some random game with good wizards, evil wizards, traitors and good guys. Laughed a lot whenever anyone had to ‘reveal themselves’. I’m still not sure how this game worked.
  • Tried to get in on the Sunday draft, hoping to crash with someone. Did not get in on the draft, so resolved to go home.
  • Spent quite a while saying bye to people, I think. Even people I didn’t really know.
  • Some very kind people said they were looking forward to reading this. Which combined with the alcohol probably boosted my ego to critical mass.
  • Made it to Euston in time for 9.45 train, only for it not to exist. It was actually a train to Birmingham with an 8 hour stay in the train station.
  • Threw a bit of a paddy.
  • Vicki, my long suffering girlfriend, got in touch with my friend Kyle, and tasked me with getting to Dalston where he would meet me.
  • Instead of sleeping upon arrival in Dalston, I’d been awake far too long at this point. Kyle was taking his sister out into the trendy bars. I reluctantly tagged along.
  • I still had my cans in the bag from the earlier offy trip. So at every new bar I had to either bribe a bouncer to let me keep them or hide right at the bottom of my bag. A big gamble.
  • Eventually finished around 1am, we made our way back to Kyle’s flat. I slept for a bit.
  • Woke up the next day. Very briefly considered going back to Dark Sphere for the draft. Decided to go home instead.
  • Left this note:
  • Did not know the code to get past the gate. Climbed on top of a bike shelter and jumped over the gate. Then had to lift my bag back over it. Very tricky work when hungover.
  • Bought another train ticket, completely negating any plan to save money by going there and back again in a day.
  • Slept forever.

What have we learnt?

  • Big tournaments are ace.
  • Always make plans to stay over. Always.
  • Read a train timetable, don’t just assume it says exactly what you want it to say.
  • Evil wizards, reveal yourselves!
  • Thanks to Tagore and James for organising such an ace day. I’m sure the second day was equally as fun.
  • But, pick a shorter hashtag next time.
  • Thanks to all my opponents for good games,
  • And anyone I chatted to throughout the day. I thought the atmosphere was great amongst everyone, but there was a real sense of camaraderie for the UK players.
  • I’ll see some of you at Stoke next weekend, with a new Lannister deck. And then some more of you at the 2v2 tournament in September!
  • Thanks for reading if you’ve made it this far!
  • Murray says thanks too:



3 Replies to “Blackwater Bay Tournament Report”

    1. In the back of my mind, I did know that, but by the time I’d got to Euston and had a minor meltdown, I had forgotten it. So coming back to you guys never really occurred to me…

      The offer was very much appreciated at the time though, thanks!

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