Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Road to Budapest 3/5 - very long tournament report

So I am back from organizing, judging and playing in another tournament. I am really glad, that we have more and more tournaments and that people are coming and playing in them. So I was psyched to know, that we would be having 15 people and no four player tables, yay! Then two people have dropped out at last moment and one did not arrive, so 12 players and only four player tables. I mean, what the hell?

This time I went through some analyzing of our metagame and here I want to give big thanks to guys from Cause & Effect for their great episodes about choosing decks and overall great show. I was expecting some decks and I am pretty confident to say, that I have picked good deck for me to counter them. Of course, I have made some mistakes with my expectations and my choice was not so perfect in the end, but still - I have chosen deck, that I was having fun with most of the time.

Before round one:
Coffee and cigarette before tournament begins is necessary.

Before round one:
Some last minute preparations.

We have started with a little delay because of late arrivals and I was trying to conceal my deck to last minute to not give anything away. Some of players decided to change decks at the last moment and it screwed my deck choice a little, but what the hell, I tried to do my best anyway. I have chosen my Gotsdam block - it is very slow moving deck with Gotsdam as a star. Basicaly it is a block with a high cap as a star - he may play some governs at superior for bringing up support, or for ousting, also he is pretty impossible to kill especialy with sniper rifle. I have made some last minute adjustments, which I think helped me a lot.

At this moment, I would like to thank to Stefan AKA. Lord of the Clog for introducing concept of one easy, one tricky and one impossible game. It sure happened once again in this tournament.

1st Round

Tuko (Political malkavians with Petra resonances) - Daveopava (Ira Rivers block) - Me (Gotsdam block) - LuboŇ° (Anarch bleeders)

So this was the easy game. LuboŇ° had an impossibly bad draw and was ousted very quickly by few governs after I have eagle sighted him and torporized one of his minions. I have cycled a lot of my cards and got great hand. Although Gotsdam did not show in my starting crypt, I was able to bring him out in the end. Dave died because of my blocks and pressure from Tuko, but in the end, I was in a great position - four minions, some with permacepts, Channel 10 on table and Tuko little beaten up from sitting between two block decks. I managed to oust him shortly afterwards.

1 VP Tuko
3VP 1 GW Me

1st round:
My minions before even bringing Gotsdam out and before killing my first prey.

 2nd Round

 Me (Gotsdam block) - Shimi (Malgorzata+Tzi block) - Dannyg (Master madness 60) - Bik (Dom/pot rushers)

 Ok, impossible game right from the start. Rush with disarms, grapples, long range strikes and Gotsdam was nowhere to find once again. So I decided to go for deal with my prey right from the start, since I was basicaly only doing wall for him. It was long game in which Dannyg and Bik bloated to like 40+ pool, I did not do any offensive action against my prey and all of my vampires were beaten to torpor, got disarms, one of them graverobbed and some of them rescued just to do wall again. Great dissapoitment here. In the end, everyone knew the game will end with time limit. I was hoping only for one thing - that my prey, which was not in any danger at all, will help me with surviving. In the end, he did not make any offense against his grandprey, nor block any bleed against me with eagles sight. Which ended up in me being only one ousted just before time limit. I guess I was hoping for something more after playing two hours only staying alive with no chance whatsoever on getting more than 0,5 VP (however slim) and doing only meatshield for my prey. I could have transfered out (or only not try to do my best) after like 15 minutes and the result would be same for me, but my prey would have very bad position. Another thing to consider is, that I would be much more rested for future games and that could have made a difference.

Bik 1,5 VP
Shimi, Dannyg 0,5 VP

2nd round:
Here you can see  my last two minions, both with disarm. Just awesome game...

3rd Round
Dannyg (Master madness 60) - Me (Gotsdam block) - Daveopava (Ira Rivers block) - Ivannek (!Malk bleeders with suddens and brainwashes)

So finally, the tricky game. And it suuuucked balls. Gotsdam finaly got out pretty quick, but my card flow just sucked. I had some wakes and intercept, but nothig to do damage with, nothing for pool gain. First draw of telepathic misdirection was like 25th card. So you can see, where this was going. Ivannek was ousted first due some bad luck, wrong cards and heavy intercept from Daveopava. I was ousted just a little later due to some mistakes on my side, but it was inevitable in the long run. After that, Daveopava crushed Dannyg.

Dannyg 1 VP
Daveopava 3 VP 1 GW

3rd round:
You can see, that I had Smiling jack with four counters on it, but was forced to let it go in the end, because the pressure of keeping it almost killed me without guns or poolgain.

So time for finals after that and by 0,5 VP, I was the lowest seed. So I put Gotsdam on the table and stuff started to happen. I could not have better seating even if I tried.

Potomek (Dem/obf swarm) - Daveopava (Ira Rivers block) - Bik (Dom/pot rushers) - Dannyg (Master madness 60) - Me (Gotsdam block)

 I was sure, that I could survive some pressure from Dannyg, Potomek will have troubles getting through Ira Rivers and Bik is far away, so I will have time for setup against him. And I was even going fourth, so great influence for me. So I pulled four vampires and I have bashed my had aginst the table for a while. 3 Gotsdams and 1 Alan Sovereign - no quick blocker for me from the start, which was bad and after zillah valley from Dannyg, I pulled out Alan first. I would maybe consider Gotsdam, but I did not have any Govern in my hand either and it wasn't looking as good as I expected. So I decided to play it slowly and patiently. My pool was litlle low, because I took some damage at the start of game and once again, no poolgain, no governs, so I wasn't risking anything and just waiting for chance. Potomek was trying to go forward, but got puched pretty hard and in the end he did even bled me backwards to cycle Kindred Spirits. In the end, I was able to oust him thanks to redirected bleeds and one govern, that finally showed. I was able to get out Martin Franckel and slowed down once again, because I wasn't still confident enough with my defense. Dave was trying to go forward too hard, which ended in depleting his library insanely quick.

I would like to pause here just to say, that I was playing perfect game up to this point. I was pretty close to winning tournament, time limit was close and I was being very cautious not to make any mistake. Right at this point I was repeatedly acused of stalling, playing slowly, not giving others chance to win and generally being what you call jackass.

From this moment I tried to play more quickly and basicaly screwed everything. I forgot to use Powerbase: Chicago, decided not to cycle card in discard phase and played direct in wrong situation. Not doing one of these mistakes would have saved me. I killed Daveopava, giving me six pool, but made all of those mistakes basically in turns of three players and it ended up in my predator just killing me with four actions. In the end - all mistakes were mine and it is my fault only, that I was playing quickly and wasn't being too careful. But it was just very uncofortable to listen to all this especially, when I was judging this event - there was no one to discus this with and if I would continue to play and in the end won because of time limit - I bet that I would have to listen for few week or few monts if I continued at the same pace.

So enough whining. What is done, is done and it is time to move on. Dannyg killed me in the end and finishing Bik was matter of two turns, thus winning entire tournament. And I have to say, that if it wasn't me, he should have won. He was sitting in an uncomfortable position. Observed metagame, tabletalked just a little to get an edge but not to arise any suspicion and when he had a chance, he went for a kill and he did a great job. Congratulations!

Photo taken just when the finals were starting, nothing on the table really.

This tournament was very bitter for me. I was realy step from winning about playing really o good game and was feeling good about my performance, but got beaten up in the end only because of my mistake. But I am looking forward to playing in another tournament and organizing another one of those as well. Czech national championship is getting close and at this moment we are talking about national qualifier, so things are getting pretty busy at this point and I am looking forward to every of them. I will try to keep this site updated at least about major tournaments in Czech Republic, so stay tuned.

See you next time...

P.S.: When I am thanking people, one more thanks should go to people on vekn.net, for keeping organization of this game alive.

P.P.S.: Ok. One more - huge thank you for everyone, who is involved in organizing huge events like continental championship - you are doing great service for community.

P.P.P.S.: Ok, definitely last one. I would like to thank everyone, that is not giving up on this game and is still playing, going to tournaments and is involved in this game.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Dunning–Kruger effect

Looking over one thread on vekn.net , one of the users posted pretty interesting thing, called Dunning–Kruger effect. So naturaly I visited http://en.wikipedia.org and found out, what is this about.

Dunning–Kruger effect

The Dunning–Kruger effect is a cognitive bias in which unskilled individuals suffer from illusory superiority, mistakenly rating their ability much higher than average. This bias is attributed to a metacognitive inability of the unskilled to recognize their mistakes.

Kruger and Dunning proposed that, for a given skill, incompetent people will:
  1. tend to overestimate their own level of skill;
  2. fail to recognize genuine skill in others;
  3. fail to recognize the extremity of their inadequacy;
  4. recognize and acknowledge their own previous lack of skill, if they can be trained to substantially improve.
Dunning has since drawn an analogy to a condition in which a person who suffers a physical disability because of brain injury seems unaware of or denies the existence of the disability, even for dramatic impairments such as blindness or paralysis.

Of course you can find out more about this on the internet or in literature, but it got me thinking how many times I have experienced this phenomenon. To be totally honest, I believe, that at one point, I have become "victim" of this illusion myself.

With tournament comming this saturday, I should once again evaluate my skills from rational point of view and apply the same for my opponents. Lately I have been taking competition at league games or even tournaments pretty lightly, so it is time to restart and train once again to become better player. I wish you all not to encounter this effect in future and play many quality games.

See you next time...

Saturday, June 9, 2012

EC has 50 preregistered players

After five days of EC website going online, there are 50 preregistered players. Although preregistration does not necessarilly mean, that all of those players will arrive in the end, it seems that this years EC will be huge. Also names like Hugh Angseesing or Ben Peal promise, that competition will be pretty great. I am planning to attend too and I hope that this year there will be even more players, than last year. I am once again gettin really psyched about this event and I hope I will meet lot of cool people there.

You can preregister here: http://www.vtes2012.com/preregister

And you can find list of preregistered players here: http://www.vtes2012.com/preregistered-players

See you next time...