Matt vs Gavin. The Kurgan vs MacLeod. Simpson vs Tatum. And this time, it's for the money.
By this point in the tournament the beers were starting to kick in, so my recollection of this match isn't as sharp as it should be. For example, I can't remember if I went first or second. I think I went second, but then again, perhaps I went first? Hopefully I'll get the gist of this game right and you'll forgive any minor clerical errors.
Now, on with our title fight…
I chose to take a mulligan (as I did 3 out of 4 rounds). Gavin did not. For his first play, Gavin tossed out Terrors in the Dark. I responded with Clover Club Bouncer and Long-Dead Prince. In a few turns Gavin quickly had character superiority - Master of the Myths, Black Dog, Street Tough, and so on - and was up 2 stories to none. Ouch. I told him he was the first person to win a story against me all day. Needless to say, I was feeling the pressure.
Things looked bleak, but I wasn't finished yet and the tide began to turn my way. I killed off some of his guys, stole another (which he retook), brought out Demon Lover and Lady Lu Chu, and then promptly won the Village of Ash and another story on the same turn. I resolved Village of Ash first, and now the score was 2-1 in my favor. I was smelling a comeback.
This is when the game became tense, and the few turns left slowed way down. It was like a mirror match. We were playing many of the same cards, killing and stealing each others characters in the same way, and we both could sense the end was near.
Each of us had 3 success tokens on the same story card and it was Gavin's turn. I wasn't sure what he would do, but I did have one ace up my sleeve. I had played Marcus Jamburg on the previous turn and I had both Infernal Obsession and Ice Shaft in my discard pile. The question was, how best to use him?
That's when Gavin hard-played Master of Myths for 3. Looking at what he had on the board vs my characters, I could suck up a terror hit, win combat, match his investigation, and then beat him on skill to hold him off and win the next turn. Just to be tricky, I decided to return Jamburg to my hand and take control of Master of Myths with Infernal Obsession. That, my friends, would prove my undoing.
With his last domain, Gavin played Fugitive Scientist (a card I had in my hand as well) and won. Amazing! It was the closest game of Cthulhu I've ever played.
In hindsight, I've been kicking myself for losing that game. Had I simply waited for Gavin to make his last play, I could have stolen the Fugitive Scientist or used Ice Shaft instead. On the next turn, with all of Gavin's domains drained, I would've played Mr. David Pan and Marcus Jamburg again and gone in for the kill. Aarrrrrgh! Curses!
But it was not to be. Gavin was very smart, tempted me with the Master of Myths (knowing that I might use Jamburg on him) and then hit me with his coup de grace. I tip my hat to you, sir. It was an excellent game and a well-deserved win.
1) Matt's "Lo Pan's Panacea" vs Gavin's "Skill"
GAVIN wins 3-2!
And our tournament is now officially over.