Stoke Store Championship – Top 8 – 3rd in Swiss

I did quite well at a tournament on Sunday, and it’s been awhile since I’ve actually published a tournament report. Mostly as a result of the report becoming wider in scope than just the tournament itself (see the unpublished reports from Batalla, Dockside Brothel, Weekender Part 2 Blackwater Bay, UK Nationals and Stahleck), and me not pulling up any trees on at a tournament (see the unpublished reports from Batalla, Dockside Brothel, Weekender Part 2, Blackwater Bay, UK Nationals and Stahleck).

Still people seem to enjoy reports when they actually make it past the big orange publish button and don’t just wallow in a load of half written jokes. With the weekender coming up, this fairly simple report should be enough of a warm up to writing a strong TR, mainly just to see if the magic is still there.

The Deck

Before the Burnley Store Championship a few weeks ago, I got told off by Wedge for always playing the same glass cannon Greyjoy deck that was easy (Seastone Chair + Balon = Win, disruption to that or go past Round 3 = Lose), but didn’t play up to my experience or knowledge of the game that I could use to my advantage against those filthy new 2.0 players.

That is 1st edition snobbery. I hate all the new players (and potential friends) and want to keep the game exclusive to the people I already know and like. If you are a new player give up, you’ll never be good enough and stop ruining the game for us veterans.

So having been called on my laziness, Wedge and I built a new deck for the Burnley SC. It was Martell Banner of the Lion and it was quite bad. The ideas were there, but my execution was severely lacking. I think I came 12th, which was quite poor when the rest of the Manchester meta in attendance made up three of the top four.

As a creature of laziness, before going to Port Street for Wednesday night Thrones I made a few quick changes to the deck, switiching around the main house and Banner, and came up with the far superior Lannister Banner of the Sun. Given a few more runs out on a Wednesday and a new chapter pack to slip a cheeky Gregor into the deck. I was fairly happy with the build.

After showing the list to Wedge on the Saturday before the tournament, he recommended switiching out the dupes of Pycelle and Caleotte and putting in a copy of Here To Serve for a Maester on demand. This was very good advice, and a move I hadn’t previously considered. Mostly out of stubbornness that I’d never owned the chapter pack with At the Gates in it in 1st Edition, and therefore had never built a deck using it. I’d be damned if I was changing that now (I did change that).

Anyway the deck looked something like this (typing from memory, so if there aren’t 60 cards in there it’s because of that, not cheating honest):

Plots

1x Marched to the Wall
1x Calm over Westeros
1x Wildfire Assault
1x A Noble Cause
1x Here to Serve
1x Summons
1x Calling the Banners

Characters

3x Lannister Reducer Weenie
3x Martell Reducer Weenie
3x Tywin Lannister
3x Tyrion Lannister
3x Bastard Daughter
2x Cersei Lannister
2x Jaime Lannister
2x Nymeria Sand
2x The Hound
2x Brothel Madame
1x Maester Caleotte
1x Grand Maester Pycelle
1x Edric Dayne
1x Syrio Forel
1x Gregor Clegane
1x The Tickler
1x (nuh, nuh nuh, nuh nuh, nah nah!) Arianne, Arianne, Arianne, Ari-Ari Arianne

Locations

3x Roseroad
3x Kingsroad
3x Western Fiefdoms
2x Sunspear
2x Cersei’s Wheelhouse
2x Casterly Rock
2x Lannisport

Attachments

2x Widow’s Wail

Events

2x Hand’s Judgement
2x Put to the Sword
2x Tears of Lys
2x Treachery

Round 1 – ??? – Targaryen – Banner of the Lion

I’m terribly sorry that I’ve forgotten the name of my round 1 (and probably everyone else) opponent. He was Manchester meta, but not proper Manchester meta because he can’t come to Port Street on a Wednesday due to work and he can’t be a proper player because he didn’t play 1st Edition.

But this was a fun game. Turn one my Tywin got hit with a Heads on Spikes, which made me very sad, but I managed to hold of the Smash Brothers with a well timed Brothel Madame. I got a military challenge of my own off, killing a chud and leaving Drogo, Jaime, and Tyrion on my opponents board. Then I hit Drogo with a Tears of Lys, and went into Round 2 with a Marched to the Wall.

My opponent (again sorry) fought back by bringing Dany onto the table but it was tough for him to recover from losing two big characters so early on and I managed to push through for the win.

Round 2 – Josh – Lannister – No Agenda

I got to sit downstairs at the big table for this one so that was nice. My Tywin got Tickled in the dominance phase turn 1, so that was less nice. With just The Hound on the board with a Widow’s Wail on him, I was so positive that my opponent was going to March that I flipped my own March, hoping to take 2 of his bodies down with one of mine. Josh played Confiscation and congratulations, you played yourself. I recovered with a duped Tyrion who managed to survive the military challenge, and then I used a nice combo of Calling the Banners into Wildfire to put big characters (Nymeria, Cersei and Syrio) on my board against Josh’s board of mainly weenies. Josh’s deck stalled out and I squeezed out another win.

Round 3 – Ryan Wood (edit, not the Southern one) – Targaryen ???

I honestly have no idea what happened in this game, and I can only apologise for that. So let’s say that it was a very close game where I got lucky with my deck, and really didn’t deserve to win but somehow came out on top. This is a reminder to take notes at tournaments.

I’ve come back with a memory of what happened in this game!

It actually was very close and evenly matched. Late on in the game, I put out Joffrey, and then Wildfired my own  Milked Tywin and Cersei for a power rush. If I hadn’t have been stupid, I wouldn’t have returned Arianne to hand in the previous challenge phase and would’ve won outright there and then. But I’m not that clever.

Anyway, knowing that I’m going to be losing an intrigue challenge, I ambush the Widow’s Wail onto Joffrey which puts him out of contention for Dracarys! I’d love for this to be a conscious decision, but I literally hadn’t even thought about until my opponent brought it up after the game.

With Arianne on the board, my opponent couldn’t afford to military me, because it would give me the extra power to win. In my challenges I got to use The Hound for a military challenge, bounced to hand, then Arianne for an intrigue and then bounce her to bring The Hound back out for the winning power challenge.

Round 4 – Big Mike/The Sellout – Night’s Watch – Lord’s of the Crossing

As it often happens, I have a history beating Big Mike when I really didn’t deserve to. Back in 1st Ed I did a double over him in a Lannister Knights mirror match, despite him having exponentially (I know this isn’t the correct use of exponentially but suck it maths nerds) more knights than me. I’ve just gone back to try and find the post where this happens and it was sat unfinished in the drafts folder. SHAME. EDIT: This post does exist here.

Anyway, I hadn’t properly read Lords of the Crossing before now, because only a square would turn up at a tournament knowing what an opponent could possibly do in a game. It also seemed like all of Mike’s other opponents were as cool as me, because he’d battered them before they knew what was happening as well.

I get quite a few tools to keep Mike’s hand empty in the early stages of the game (mainly through locations), and decide that I can probably play slowly and stall the game out for a win. While this was partially successful, Mike did have an empty hand by the end of the game, it didn’t matter because he also had fifteen power.

He jumped up power quickly with a Street of Silk, a successful Heads on Spikes pull for Jaime and a gift of 2 power from me Wildfire Assaulting his Benjen Stark. This was the one time all game where I got Gregor out and he killed some Messenger Ravens, I’d much have prefered him to pillage a 3 cost character. I also gifted him the win, by not putting Pycelle into an innocuous power challenge, saving him for the second guaranteed win Intrigue and draw), when Mike had A Clash of Kings revealed to take him to the win. BAD JACK, BAD. 3-1.

Round 5 – Nice Josh – Targaryen Banner of the Rose

Josh has written up this game over on CardgameDB, and this post is likely to be a paraphrase of that with added self deprecation. I’ll contest this statement from that report though:

“Jack was a very good 1st Edition player”

Which anyone who’s ever played against me, or read one of these reports will know that this is simply not true.

I had a pretty awful setup hand, so I mulliganed into an even worse setup hand. Leaving lovely Nymeria out there alone to get Marched to the Wall. But I did managed to get my Sunspear and Cersei’s Wheelhouse combo on the board making initiative decisions more difficult. Anyway, I got my Lannister boys out (TywinTyrionJaime) and then Big Tiz ate a Crown of Gold. Luckily though I had the draw to follow up with Cersei. In the final round Josh made a mistake by trying to do a challenge against me. Meaning I had enough power icons standing to win the final blue challenge and close the game.

So at 4-1, I was pretty happy with my day and ready for the cut. When the standings were announced I was pleasantly surprised to be in third place.

Top 8 – Mike Horan – Targaryen Banner of the Sun

There seems to be a lot of Targ going at the moment, weird. Wonder if they’re faction plot card will empower burn or not. Some people seem to think it’s a reprint of Threat from the North, which if true is going to boil so much piss on CardgameDB. I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

Anyway, Top 8 and I was thinking about driving back to Manchester in time to cook a roast dinner. I was on the backfoot for just about all of this game. I started with Cersei and some other intrigue weenies, and Casterly Rock and looked ready to really do damage to Mike’s hand. Then Cersei got MilkedJaime got Nymeria’d and my dreams got crushed.

I held off on my reset wanting use Calling the Banners to level the board instead. But holding off two military challenges a turn and having enough to fight back with was too difficult. Cersei ate a Dracarys! And even with Gregor taking the Nymeria heat off Jaime and Tywin, I couldn’t whittle down Mike’s board to regain control of the game.

I think I made some really poor decisions here with Sunspear and Nymeria, for example taking a military icon when Syrio was on the board, that perhaps if I actually thought about challenge maths and did sums in my head might’ve played out differently. But playing the game well does not interest me. I also had the choice of leaving two cards in my hand Desert Scavenger and a game changing Put to the Sword, or kneeling a Desert Scavenger to play the Desert Scavenger. I went banterous, and the PTTS, went for intrigue claim.

Justifying this in the car afterwards, had I kept both, I had to hope that the Scavenger, went for intrigue claim, kill the Scavenger in play and another (good) character for military claim. Then put all my guys into a military challenge that I wasn’t guaranteed to win by 5 given the opponents board presence just to get the PTTS off. Go for the banter.

By the seventh plot, it was clear which way the wind was blowing, and then the unthinkable happened! A double Marched. The dream. Literally everytime me and my opponent setup two characters each I always say “DOUBLE MARCHED” and it never happens. But even though the double Marched did me over (Bye Gregor, bye Jaime). I then drew a Roseroad and Tears of Lys. Good game, and I’m back on the M6 thinking about honey mustard parsnips.

Meager Contributions

Thanks go to:

  • Eddie and Steve for putting on a great tournament at GTG
  • All my opponents, particularly those whose names I can’t remember
  • Wedge for having a bad day, as that always makes my day better.
  • The banter from the Sheffield lads, excluding the Anti-Banter himself, Matt Cannon.
  • You, lovely reader, for reading this.

PS.

Bloody hell, over 2000 words on what was supposed to be a small unambitious write up. I’ll hopefully be back next week with a two part write up of shenanigans from the Manchester and Stockton SC’s.

Also, if you liked reading this, but was thinking I wish there was less Thrones and more Professional Wrestling, why not check out The “K” Word?

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