Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Thoughts about Tournaments and Decks

So the Polish NAC was first tournament outside of CZ for me. Here are some thoughts about this event and my deck. Some of those may apply for tournamets in general.

1) I was afraid, that my understanding of polish would not be sufficient. I was pretty shocked, that actually my czech language was problem and we had to comunicate mostly in english. Language barrier is actually pretty strong handicap. It is pretty complicated to argue in english with a dude that is trying to make simultaneous deals in polish. I understood them pretty well, so this was not problem, but you can be much more convincing and wordy in your native language. Understandable, but it actually played a greater role, than I expected.

2) Attendance of the tournament was around 40 players and 7 of them were from Czech republic - our playgroup. It is actually pretty sad to beat down or get beaten down by your friend. We were actually clashing more, because we knew, how strong our decks were and we were afraind of each other. But other players were expecting, that we are playing in some kind of agreement and often did not believe our intentions. This is actually pretty dumb factor, since there is nothing much I can do about this style of thinking. I was talking about this with some of my friends and they have similar feelings about this. I guess that I would be also more suspicious of visitor. On the other hand - my friends have pretty powerfull decks, which I am afraid of.

3) Table talk. Well I dont know if this is common in all bigger tournaments, but sometimes it was too much. I was asked during one game probably ten or twelve times, if I can direct something, sudden something. Not to mention rush something and not rush something - stopped counting that very soon. I know, that there can be a loooot of combination around the table. But this was sucking a lot of fun for me. Directing every other virtually useless card is just retarded and asking for it... well I was tired of it. A lot of times there was too much thinking, asking, talking and it was going straight to time outs. I am little disapointed of this.

4) Cross-table dependency. I would not call it whining, but again - normally it happens, that you will help your cross table buddy in some way. But the amount was insane. And it often happened in times, which were illogical and mostly totally needless. I know, table balance is table balance, but come on!

5) Table-flow. In most games to this day, there was often pretty clear table flow (predator and prey relations). Now sure, there can always be some weird deck or block, which can screw this, but again I haven't seen as much screwed up relationships. It pretty much originates from previous complaint. I actually wasn't in a game, where there was not any cross-table poking, backrushing and other weirdness. Some of that I would understand. And again - there was too much of it.

6) The decks. Well ok. I have not built an ultimate winning deck. But you can see from it, that it can actually do something. Normally I am fan of toolboxes, but it seemed, that most of decks I have seen were just too much mixed with "what if" stuff. I have played against two decks, that were pretty straightforward, but the rest just seemed to much mixed. I understand the need to pud DI and Sudden to every tournament deck, even in multiple pieces. Pentex is another card, which can solve a lot of problems. But I have seen parity shifts in deck, which had two votes. Second traditions which led blocking vampires to be torporized instead of relatively harmless actions and I could continue. I can understand need to be prepared, but it looked inefective, confusing and prolonged game a lot.

I actually started to write this post right after the tournament. I had cooled down from then. Most from the original text was kept, because I still feel the same about what I have experienced. I am still pretty sad about our performance. I have been able to determine my mistakes and have learnt much from them. I am still little sad about magnitude of crosstable actions in general and decks, which I have encountered. I am looking forward to attend in next big tournament. Hope that occasion will rise soon.

See you next time.


  1. Interesting article. There is much in it I can totally agree with.

    Fortunately we don't have all this DI/Sudden asking madness here and table bullshit talking is also less common. I observed the same things in EC's and ECQ's and I find it disturbing as well.

  2. Heh, same comments I had when was my first tournament over the border. So much tabletalk about playing just 1 card, so many questions before, after any actions. The deals made in both native language and part in english. And then I got my second, third, etc. You just get used to the difference of play and speed of the game. When I'm playing at home mostly any player turns are done very fast, you know with who you can make deals, break deals, etc. In a random enviroment as ECQ for example you have to give people some room to breath since they are exploring their options first. And some players like to talk xD
    Just absorb your noticed play habits of the enviroment in which you played with positive attitude :)

  3. There are a lot of different "styles" of playing VTES which also seems a bit linked with different cultures. Unfortunately everyone does not enjoy every style of play. But in a situation like this you can demand that the whole table speak only english to level the playing field.

    Usually when I have been playing abroad people have been very polite about it and avoided speaking to eachother in their native language during play even without me asking for it. I guess it comes much more natural to people doing that once they have played in an international environment at least once themselves.

  4. I guess you could think of communicating to different people in different languages, or someone just not understanding the language spoken by other, as making secret deals. I believe that is against the tournament rules, but it may be unavoidable. If I ever traveled to France, Germany, or Hungary I would contribute to that problem just by sitting at the table. Since it is unavoidable, I would say it should still be avoided as much as possible to keep the games fair.