Sunday, 28 February 2016

Brave's Battles: That day, 5 Years On

((I need to preface this post by saying I've set CFN to private for now it's still there but hidden from public view. I need to write out report(s) for the VGCS of the month of February and this weekend's Spring Fest 16 Atlanta regional.
The plan had been to design a header for that site but that will now have to go on hold until I get Towa up and functional again. Something (don't know what) went wrong.))

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We've officially reached the 5 year mark since Vanguard came out. I wasn't there for the start, I never knew about the game until late 2013, but it's fitting then that the (27th) February HQ Monthly ended up being the largest we've had in a while with 14 people out of the maximum 16 players HQ can seat at any one time.

Decks used were as follows
2x Aqua Force (1 Blue Wave, 1 Ripple)
2x Gear Chronicle (1 Upheaval Beat Down, 1 Leap Nextage)
2x Narukami (1 Vanquisher, 1 n/a)
2x Pale Moon (Harri)
2x Royal Paladin (1 Altmile, 1 MLB) 
1x Angel Feather (Gavrail)
1x Dimension Police (Dimensional Robo)
1x Kagero (DOTX)
1x Megacolony (Tarantula Hercules)


You can guess which of those is me.

We had 4 rounds with top 4 cut I didn't witness the conclusion but the final was Angel Feather vs Blue Wave. I'll have to find out who won it, and I can't even lay a bet the Blue Wave deck was commanded by someone I don't believe I've ever met before.

My run ended without making top 4 this time as I finished 2-2.

Round 1
Pale Moon - Harri
WIN
 Opponent was a rookie with two merged trial decks and whatever moonlit Dragon Fang cards they'd pulled from packs, they committed multiple accounts of the same infringement of performing damage check before drive step was completely resolved which I did highlight to them but didn't report to the store judge because A) I'm not a douche and I'm not here to rule shark and B) What's the point when that would go completely against the point of just having a good time.
They have much to learn tactically, the most obvious one to mind is grade stuck with a hand full of G3 and needing the G2, it's much better to drop those excess Grade 3s so you can advance cause beyond the amount you need they are typically a dead card to the hand due to lack of defensive values. It's basic knowledge to veteran players but being a rookie there's no need to breath up their neck for it. I gave some advice on how they could both improve and speed up their play and eagerly anticipate to see them again hopefully having had the time to practice and prepare for a rematch.

Round 2
Aqua Force - Blue Wave
LOSS
In my opinion this was the match of the day. It was a long fought battle with my efforts focusing on field control and focusing fire on each multi-attacker as they came while being able to build hand to defend myself off of Laurel. I was able to survive 3 of their strides, Thavas, Tetra Boil, and Lambros this with an additional turn in which they just swung with Anger Boil. I made for a push with Leon (followong on from Daiearth) that ended with a 4 critical vanguard smashing through and making impact. My damage on 5 the opponent's on 2 and thus them needing the last Damage Check to be a heal. Amazingly they got what they needed and the game dragged was able to carry on five more turns after that point.
I am hammered by their last Stride being a second usage of Tetra Boil but manage to PG both VG attacks and drop enough shield for the remaining attacks. I have my turn and needing to return a mate to the deck I take the option of Break Ride True and firing off Ultimate Justice Cannon at a Magnum Assault and then a second time at the Vanguard. I fail to break. A follow up attack from a triggered Daibazooka is also stopped.
The final turn of the game I guarded two pass on their Vanguard but this was the fatal slip up that lead to the fall. I didn't think to count to opponent's used up triggers and even if I had I should have realised my only option was a 1 pass all attacks and if they got a trigger that was game. As it happens they didn't get the trigger and had I survived that turn I may have been able to finish it on the next.
An absolutely amazing game of skill with a fortunate second wind giving a deserving winner the chance they needed to take the game, turning it into a matter of who cracked (with us both teetering on the edge) under the pressure of the other person first. I can respect that game and it's outcome; it was earned.

Game 3
Pale Moon - Harri
LOSS
Grade stuck on Grade 1. Ditched Grade 3's in the hand to hit Grade 2 but then proceeded to pull more Grade 3 from the deck leaving me defenceless and whitewashed. It happens-

Game 4
Gear Chronicle - Fiery Nextage
WIN
(Cont. from section "Game 3")
-as does scoring two critical triggers on your first stride turn to get game.

Final Score: 2-2

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I did have casual games of course and one of these was a rematch against Gears while the top 4 round was going on on the next set of tables. First time I've survived their Colossus AND Nextage; Laurel and his advantage engine with the ability to build hand resources early was absolutely vital in outlasting the clock and being able to score the kill over time. Even in clocking my key units I was able to keep up the pressure by rebuilding my field with the cards Laurel had collected for me, including my second Laurel. A proper game unlike out in-tournament match.

I also played against Liberators which honestly I think I played badly against. I was exercising damage control here as a way to restrict the ability to swarm the field but I also drove myself to near deck out, and as we neared the endgame running only 2 Mates came back to bite me as I had to legion THREE times (each with a different ride of True of course) just to prolong my lifespan. In the end though I still decked out. Opponent was never pressured despite my efforts to balance damage and control, yet they never felt in any actual danger or risk of loosing. So I guess I lost to my own mistakes, in playing too cautiously I played myself.

There was one last casual game I played which was against a deck I highly expected to lose to: Ripples. This, incidentally, was actually the first game I played of the day and the only thing that saved me in the match up was an incomplete investment and the price of Lambros making him unjustifiably expensive to acquire even just to have 2 copies. The game ended with a double break for game having never coming under as much pressure as I feared I would. Typical Laurel plays were less effective in this match-up mind you due to classic style Perfect Guards in the opponent's deck instead of the more recent VG-G PGs.