despite the small number of players we still had a great tourney and enjoyed playing AGOT. me especially, being able to stand vicorious at the end.
i was playing a quite typicla targaryen burn deck.
ROUND 1: oldben (bara knights)
ugh, not a player you want to see in the first round - but only because of his AGOT skills. playing with ben is always an excellent experience. he played baratheon/knights, which i considered a good match up for me. even better: his setup was really bad (2 characters, no locations). so i was able to take control very early and kept it teill the game was over after a few plots.
ROUND 2: lanzes (targ)
definately the one i wanted to play least. he knew my deck inside out, he even gave me some useful hints the evening before, he is a very strong player (and more often wins against me than not), and worst: he also plays targ burn (though a little bit different), so we are facing a mirror match that will depend on a lot of luck.
and luck was with me in the beginning of the game: again the setup of my opponent desired a lot. that was fortunate, cause usually i tend to start very slowly, and if lanzes had been able to pull some of his tricks early in the game, i dont think i would have been able to stand a chance. anyway, i knew it was getting down to a long game, probably a modified win, so every power counter will be important. and that was the plan: focus on power challenges (and as lanzes stated i had more power icons on characters than he, so there was another advantage).
Thanks to his bad start I was able to gather some easy power, when the killing on both sides finally commenced. For both of us it was difficult to keep characters on the board for a while, so the game was dragging on till time was called, and in the end I was still in the lead with power.
ROUND 3: markus (stark siege)
Another player from my own meta. I like to play stark with my deck, knowing I can kill off important characters quite easily. But I do have to pay attention from the very beginning, cause a deck like Markus´ can be super fast (and my start is usually very slow).
Normally i start with Loyalty Money Can Buy, which buys me some time so I can build up till I am able to control the board with my burn effects. He suspected, so he plotted Fear of Winter. But that was okay, cause I don’t need to build up by playing characters. I rather played Meraxes, and I was fortunate enough not getting hit by an intrigue.
I remember that Markus had a constant gold problem in this game, not drawing any locations. I was prepared with a Pyromancers Apprentice in shadows, but I didn’t even need him. It was a good move by him searching (At the Gates) for that annoying Riders of the Red Fork (immune to opponents events), and at the moment it looked like the game could turn in his favor after a Die by the Sword and Price of War. but that’s what Valar Morghulis is for. So in the third round he had no characters and no gold. So I tried to gather power now as quick as possible, before he was able to recover. The plan worked and I was pulling off another win.
ROUND 4: Daniel (greyjoy maesters)
Oh well, finally some maesters. I considered myself well prepared against this type of decks, but Daniel definitely showed me the way in this game. He had a good start having some early maesters in play and getting off chains quickly. While I was able to control attachments (Dragon Thief, Mereenese Brothel), I never could get rid of all the maesters. But much worse: his Naval Support. Also he destroyed my locations (Price of War) and Iron Mines and Iron Cliffs helped him against Valar Morghulis. I never was into this game, and it was over fairly quick.
So after the preliminary rounds I had 13 tourney points. Not bad, but maybe not good enough to make the cut. As results were trickling in, I found myself tied with Bernd, but I had a much stronger opponents score. Josef won his last game against Stefan, so he was at 15. And of course Daniel was in the semi final as well (with 18 TPs). There was one last game going on, having Gunther (8 points after 3 rounds) playing Markus (10 points at that point). It looked like the game would end in a time win. I knew I would have the better opponents score compared with Gunther. I was not sure about Markus. But since Markus got the win just in time, all calculations were obsolete. And I don’t know why, but somehow I assumed I was on 5th place now. Putting together a ranking I was surprised seeing only 3 players in front of me. Nice.
Meeting daniels deck again in semifinals was not so nice. And from the beginning it looked like it was going to be the same as in the previous game – with one exception: I was able to Incinerate his only Maester in the first round. At this point I decided upon a plan: killing off his maesters as soon as possible at all means, whatever the cost. No maesters, no chains in play, no chance to win. And in the end after exhausting decks and several Valar Morghulis I figured my chances much better, having jumping characters (Syrio Forel, Titans Bastard, Viserys, Khal Drogo) and unkillable Measter Aemon. while preventing any Maester from joining the game, protecting my hand was almost as important. So I also prevented most intrigue challenges, but always kept something behind to be able to take care of maesters if needed (relying on Flame-kissed, King's Landing Assassin and Threat from the North+Dragon Knight/Burn events).
At plot 6 there was a funny situation: I had no characters, he at least 5, strong ones and laden with power. still he had to play Valar, which wasn’t that bad for him, because he had some Iron Mines/Salty Cliffs. But in fact it was, because fortunately Daniel didn’t see thru my plan at that point, so he spent his saves too soon.
Now for hours (and this is NOT just a figure of speech!) the game went like this: Daniel playing characters, winning challenges (but only 2 intrigues iirc), gathering power, trying to put a maester-character into play, me waiting for this moment to kill him off immediately. He was at 40-i-don’t-know power, while I had zero.
He had a better card draw (which actually surprised me, but my deck failed me in this respect), resulting him to exhaust around plot 15 or so. Daniel always used Meraxes, which might have been a mistake I think. Cause that let me always also draw, and while he was not dependent on drawing lots of cards, I was in order to get me kill stuff.
At plot 12 or so he finally managed to keep one maester in the game for a while, so he pulled off 3 chains that round. Threat from the North was already waiting, and after getting rid of all attachments, there came a Kings Landing Assassin out of shadows. I remember he discarded a Thundering Cavalry, when winning the intrigue challenge. While this looked bad for me, it was perfect for my late plan. Ambush from the Plains not only brought the cavalry back as a surprise, I also had a good character in my hand again.
Anyway, it was around plot 15 when another Valar Morghulis killed the complete board (except my Maester Aemon ;-), thus discarding all Naval Supports. And here the tide turned. Completely. He had exhausted already, I still had some 20 cards, we both had a lot of cards in hand, but Daniel only one last maester (Conclave) left. And as the others before, also that one had a very short life period. We still played 2-3 turns, but Daniel already knew that eventually I will win and finally conceded. With almost 50 power rotting on his house card.
Now, not only the game was taking everything we had, it was also the hottest day of the year, so in the end both of us have been completely exhausted. i felt pity a little bit for Daniel "Robb", cause he is an excellent player, won almost every battle in this game, still lost the war in the end.
But there was still another game waiting for me. I decided to not to ask for a longer break. Probably there was still enough adrenaline pumping thru my veins, because I really felt ready and focused to play another game right now. I was glad it was not Josef, who made it to the finals, cause I knew my chances against Markus´ deck are better.
This time Markus had a very good start. 2 characters (some Bolton army and Sansa) and a gold location and 2 narrow seas. Knowing markus I figured, he would like to keep up the pressure from the very start, so I expected another first turn Fear of Winter (also I assumed he expects me to play Loyalty money can Buy). I was not disappointed, but I played Valar Morghulis – so it didn’t help him a lot. I was glad he didn’t play an intrigue character. So all I did was playing an Influence location. Though it look like I was in control soon after, I knew I had to wait to play Threat from the North till he has spent his hand. Otherwise he would come back with his low-cost characters too easily, gathering power very fast. and its still a long way to go till I have the chance for another Valar.
So he was at 11 power, when I finally played Threat from the North. With a Hatchlings Feast i cleared the board on his side (and also had to kill one of my own). and his hand was almost empty.
After the next Draw he was obviously delighted, so I got nervous a little bit. He was playing 3 characters (2 bolton refugee, and I think Randyl Tarly). But I was going first, having a Kings Landing Assassin waiting in shadows already. Also Flame-kissed on my hand, and another military character. Finally, I was playing Forever Burning, bringing Titans Bastard into play thereafter. So i killed all of his characters and depleted his hand completely, which was the win.