This weekend was the Paramour Invitational being hosted in the Three Cocks pub in Brigstock. As a non Paramour I was lucky enough to be invited, probably because I’m an easy win.
The Wednesday before the tournament I’d been testing Wedge’s decks, because they’re always a lot better than the nonsense I build, but after a night of Lanni and Martell NA games going to 8 or 9 plots, I was quite knackered and my head hurt. For a casual tournament, attended by the best players in the country, I wanted to play something fun.
With that in mind instead of playing whichever of those Wedge wasn’t going to play, I decided to give an ex that I finished on good terms with a message, the conversation went like this:
Mach, Wednesday 11:34pm: – “Yo! Long time no speak, how you living girl? Fancy grabbing a drink some time, maybe goldfish through some setups?”
Baratheon Aloof and Apart, Wedneday 11:35pm: “Hey, I was just thinking about you the other day! Sounds great, but I’m a bit poor to be going out atm, maybe just Netflix and chill? You can buy me pizza. 🍕😘😝 x”
Mach, Thursday 8:15am: “Legit, how about Saturday? x”
Baratheon AaA, Thursday 8:18am: REDACTED
Mach, Thursday 12:01pm: “Much and More xxx”
Baratheon AaA, Thursday 12:15pm: REDACTED
Mach, Thursday 6:30pm: “Lady Olenna’s Guard xx”
Baratheon AaA, Thursday 10:53pm: REDACTED
Mach, Friday 1:45am: “Joffrey Baratheon (POTS) x”
Baratheon, Friday 3:07am: REDACTED
Mach, Friday 3:08am: “Eddard Stark (TTOTH)”
Baratheon AaA, Friday 3:10am: REDACTED
Saturday – Joust
Rheece – Martell NA – The Red Viper
Martell NA is a bad matchup for my deck, in fact, most decks are bad matchups for my deck. Quentyn can go toe to toe with the rush and benefit from losing challenges. Regardless of this, I decided to try rushing anyway, as that’s what Bara AaA is there for. Rheece also decided to go for it, and set up The Red Viper, fun.
I went in hard with The Knight of Flowers and another character, probably Stannis Baratheon, and even managed to get both of them duped. I also had all three of my Much and More‘s in hand to play early on, which was fun. Peel played his single Much and More and bought everyone in the tournament a shot of Apple Sourz, it was that kind of tournament. Rheece duped the Viper, and on his Valar turn three cancelled my dupe on big Stan. I brought Mace out to try and keep the rush going, which would prove costly. Not quite as costly though, as doing an innocent intrigue challenge with an Asshai Initiate, when the Viper was already knelt, and Quentyn had become an agenda. The Viper stood for vengeful, and 6 power for renown and unopposed plus dominance, and the single power on Mace meant game over.
Sam – Lannister DWDW – Castellan of the Rock
I’m not entirely sure what happened in this game. I setup 5 cards to Sam’s three, and was fairly sure I was going to batter him. And then he destroyed me. He even cancelled one of my Much and More’s with a Paper Shield. Just nasty.
Becky – Lannister ? – ?
I think I’m under an NDA for these next two games, as both decks were under consideration for Stahleck. Helpfully, I also can’t really remember what Becky and (spoilers) James were playing. Becky tried to distract me early on with some mind games by saying “You said something funny on Twitter the other day.” Which given the evidence here, clearly isn’t true. Devious, Frith, devious.
The specifics are a little hazy, but this game ended on a Melisandre’s versus Cersei’s Scheme off, which was a nice call back to the game between Becky and I way back at Blackwater 2014. It was a closely contested final round, but I just managed to flood the board enough to withstand the kneel and throw back challenges to grab the fifteenth power.
I felt a bit guilty about winning this game, so I absolved myself by buying a pint for Becky as well as one for myself, obviously.
JCWamma – ? – ?
Again, a lot like Blackwater 2014, immediately after beating Becky, I got drawn against a vengeful James Waumsley. Thankfully though, in turn one I managed to marshal Lady Olenna’s Guard, much to James’ disgust. This was fantastic, as the main reason I’d put them in was to annoy Wamma.
This was another game where the deck just did its business, playing characters, not kneeling to do challenges, claiming power. It was fun and I won.
After beating Wamma, I was on 2-2 and fairly sure I wasn’t making the cut, but at least I’d stopped James from progressing as well. And it meant that I could fully concentrate on the real matter at hand, drinking everything. Rheece had gone undefeated though, which made my strength of schedule decent enough to bubble boy in at fifth place. Which I don’t think is too bad for a deck with several “banter” cards in it.
Given how much I like this deck, I’m probably going to keep a version of it going over the next month in the run up to Stahleck, because the games are so quick it gives me plenty of relaxing time between rounds, which might be helpful in a tournament with eight rounds of swiss and a hangover. So if you’re reading this, disqualify yourself from Stahleck because you are scouting and a cheat. I think, I didn’t listen to that podcast.
This, amongst several other things happened:
Sunday – CCG/1st Ed Highlander Draft
This was a lot of fun, although I never really felt like I had to make a tough decision with the draft packs. Although this meant I gave a lot of really good cards to Bamford, I was more focusing on my theme, than hate drafting. I was given the Knights of the Realm agenda, and the first card I drafted was the Knight of Flowers, so obviously I was playing Baratheon Knights.
Then it was just a case of picking up three cost Knights when they came up. I also got to get my hands on Melisandre’s Favor, which was nice, although that did mean passing up on Danaerys Targaryen and Asha Greyjoy, tough.
I was pretty happy with what I’d drafted although I was sad the Willas Tyrell, Lady Olenna’s Guard and Royal Entourage did not circle back to me. When the plots came around I was absolutely thrilled to be able to pick up the following:
- Melisandre’s Scheme
- Fury of the Stag
- The King’s Law
- Spending the Winter Stores
That’s pretty much a standard plotline Baratheon Mel’s Favour deck, add in the broken draft only plots of:
- Filthy Accusations
- Counting Coppers
And then some other plot, which I changed between games, but eventually settled on Into the Lists, for a cheeky extra power grab.
Rowan – Targaryen Treaty Greyjoy
I started this game with Mel’s Favor in hand, and a serious lack of intrigue icons meant that I had to play it, sub optimally, in turn one. I was pushing for a rush win, but Rowan kept having just enough out to block me or having more than enough and coming back at me with challenges of his own.. Things were not going well, and without the Mel’s Favor to steal a guy later on, this game was quite hopeless. I did very nearly play the wrong Stannis Baratheon who would turn off the extra draw from my agenda, but thankfully got round that and played core set Stan instead.
Vince – ? Aloof and Apart
I started this game quite strongly, I thought. Then Vince marshalled Tywin Lannister, The Blackfish, and the Jaime who discards characters. I made things infinitely worse for myself by giving Vince the chance to search for A Taste For Blood to put on Jaime, turning him into a discard machine. Even on my rush to the finish line Mel’s Favor turn Vince had enough strength out to block all my challenges, still have enough left in the tank to win his own.
This game was over very quickly.
Peel – ?
Peel and I were both suffering, and hadn’t managed to win a game yet. In fact we started this game late, because Peel couldn’t find me, because I was asleep in the back of my car, like normal people do at 3pm on a Sunday afternoon.
There must be something about playing on the second day of a tournament, as I remember having several similar conversations with Peel at both the National and Blackwater. Anyway, one of us had to win this game, and I thought it may as well be me.
Peel setup big Tywin, and I went with my standard opener of kneeling him with some Filthy Accusations, with the plan being to nick him with Mel’s Favor next turn and win. Unfortunately, the only other character Peel drew turn one was an illegal Fishwhiskers, who found himself being flung overboard. Which meant that I killed Tywin before I could steal him, what a shame.
Anyway, I got some Knights on the board, as well as Oakenshield Port and won some challenges. And then I was at 15 power with a fair amount of time to spare to buy some lunch and try to get my head together for another game.
Bambi – Lannister Treaty Baratheon
My head did not come together. Bambi went aggressive in this game, playing out the Robert Baratheon who stands if there’s not a card in shadows, luckily Jamie had to get to 20 power, so I figured if I waited for him to get loads of power on Bob, I’d steal him and the win the game. That was all I had to do.
Annoyingly Bambi set up a Knight of the North, which stopped me getting three cards round one. Then he marshalled Lyn Corbray, who stopped me getting the draw in round two as well. But the plan was working nicely, I used Shireen to stop Melisandre claiming power in the round 2 challenges phase, as that would have probably been enough to get Bambi over the line.
Round 3 I Spend the Winter Stores, and grab my Favor. I also get some more Knights and reckon that if I just throw enough stuff down, I’ll probably win. If I don’t win that challenges phase, that’s the game over. Bambi, quite sensibly puts a dude into Shadows to stop Bob from standing. Despite my plan to go all out, I forget to put Ser Bryce Caron into my power challenge, or give him renown. I also forgot that I had an Obey the King in hand to stand Robert, and get him to participate in a second challenge. Either one of these things would have got me to 15 power, but instead I decided to lose the game and stop on 14 power.
After the dominance phase, Robert went back to Bambi and he won the next round. He was going through to the cut, and I was going for another nap in my car. Wedge was doing well, as he usually does, and I meant I was probably going to be around for another few hours while he played in the top cut.
What have we learned?
- That Oakenshield Port is legit, and I should have put it in my glass cannon Bara rush deck months ago.
- The CCG/1st draft cube is also legit, and throws out far more entertaining decks than the regular draft pool.
- The Olde Three Cocks is the spiritual home of Thrones in the UK. I look forward to more tournaments there in the future, and hope to see a thriving meta for second edition as well.
- Never do a cheeky intrigue challenge against a Martell player who has Quentyn as his agenda and the Viper knelt.
- If you’re pushing for a win in a single challenges phase, make sure you use all your renown guys and all the stand you have available, other wise you will lose. Apparently Bambi eventually won the draft, so congratulations to Jamie.
- If you want to play first edition some more, or just want to spend time with me, why not come up to Manchester on the 31st of October, for Moribund: Dead Pile? It’s another tournament in a pub, it’ll be top banter and we’ll put you up for the night if you need somewhere to stay.