Temptation of Greater Power I, Helsinki

Dec 29 2007, 17 players

This tournament started out as discussion between me and Janne Lönnqvist (NC for Finland) about how having bigger prizes for a tournament would affect play (and if it would have any effect). We decided to do a test of sorts, and arranged for this tournament. Entry fee was higher than normal (20e), but the winner would get a full set of Legacies of Blood rares, with other prizes (t-shirt, action figure, art prints) for the other finalists. We gave the tournament an appropriate name, and told everyone “bring the best cheese you've got”.

Well, we got it, at least for some definition of “cheese”. We also got somewhat fewer players than normal, 17 vs the more usual 25-30 – obviously, the higher entry fee had some detrimental effect. I was also playing and not judging full-time (we used the multi-judge system, as usual in smaller tournaments), so I didn't see how all the games played out and can only comment on my own games. On the other hand, with only 17 players I did get to see a fair selection of the decks. I didn't see all that much difference to a “normal” tournament, except maybe a somewhat higher number of power bleed decks and perhaps a slight bit more “polish” in decks. There was one Imbued deck, which almost made it to the finals (Otso, the player, placed at #6). I saw a few Inner Circle -powered decks, maybe less than I had expected; after all, this was the last chance to play Protect Thine Own. Lots of Dominate-heavy decks, but that's par for the course.

I did pretty well, which is unusual for me – I usually score pretty badly in tournaments, I like weird decks a bit too much and lack the raw playing talent that some other people have so that I can get those weird decks to actually work. This time round, I was playing my perhaps most competitive deck at this time, a toolboxy Kiasyd affair. In the first game I was situated as predator of a turbo Arika deck, things looked a bit grim for the table at times but in the end I managed to get a game win. My grandpredator could have broken a deal with me and ousted me, but he chose not to do so. It was a very fun and tense game. Second game also gave me a game win, this time thanks to some overconfidence from the part of my predator – he could have ousted me at one point, but decided to go for a sweep instead and keep me in the game, weak. Due to some luck I managed to regain strength and took the table instead, but it was close. Another very fun game. The third game was also fun but ended in the middle for me, due to getting ousted by a nice lunge from Marko's “Swedish Meatballs” deck, assisted by two Blind Spots – absolutely nothing I could do, I went from around 11 pool to zero in a blink. Oh well.

So, after 6+ hours of playing we got the finalists:

  • Tuomas Vuokko, 2gw 9vp (Dominate powerbleed)
  • Petri Wessman, 2gw 7vp (Kiasyd toolbox)
  • Heikki Palomäki, 2gw 7vp (Tremere intercept)
  • Teemu Sainomaa, 2gw 5vp (weenie Auspex)
  • Marko Lindroos, 1gw 5vp (Master-heavy Inner Circle action)

(see below for decklists for all of these)

For some (not so) weird reason, nobody wanted to sit between the two intercept decks, so they were left next to each other. The final table layout was Teemu (intercept), Heikki (intercept), Petri (bleed), Tuomas (bleed), Marko (bleed + politics). I chose to be downstream from an intercept deck, since even though intercept would hurt me (don't have the stealth to cope with a dedicated intercept deck), most of my actions would be downstream. It was a good starting spot for my deck, and as such worked out pretty well. However, Tuomas' immense amount of bleed bounce and nice GtU-powered bloat proved to be a problem – I bled him lots, all the time, but he kept hanging on since neither me not Marko could block his bloat actions. I finally did manage to oust him, but only after he had ousted Marko in turn, and Teemu had ousted Heikki. In the end it was me in pretty poor shape vs Teemu's Auspex horde and Smiling Jack, and it wasn't much of a contest. Teemu ousted me, gaining 3VPs and tournament victory. Grats to Teemu, especially for winning as the only non-Dominate deck on the table.

The final rankings were:

  1. Teemu Sainomaa
  2. Tuomas Vuokko
  3. Petri Wessman
  4. Heikki Palomäki
  5. Marko Lindroos

(Runner-up for 6th place was Otso's Imbued, as noted earlier. Good showing for the last gasp of Edge Explosion and Memories of Mortality)

In conclusion, I'd say the tournament was mostly a success, in that everyone seemed to have fun and the games I played in were very fun. Nice sportmanship from everyone, I saw absolutely no indication that the bigger prizes had any negative effect on that, there was a lot of joking and banter at the game tables (as usual). However, the bigger entry fee was a problem, as it obviously had a negative impact on how many people showed up.

So: I think something like this is a thing we might like to do at rare intevals (once a year?), but the “normal” level of tournament prizes and entry fee is a better option, in my opinion. We did discuss raising the entry fee a small bit (to 4e or so), so we could have a bit better prizes without the price becoming an issue. We'll see.

As for the decks: I do think there were more polished decks in this tournament than is usual, but the difference wasn't huge. Someone did comment that the “obviously crap” decks were missing, everyone was playing with something pretty good.

Organization notes: no deck lists required, the finalists sent me theirs after the tournament. Preliminary rounds were 2 hours, final had a 2.5 hour time limit.

Thanks everyone, was fun!



Below are deck lists for all the finalists.








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