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Gencon98Bruce

Page history last edited by Bruce Mason 9 years ago

 

B5CCG::Black Omega Squadron::tournament reports

Pan-European Championship

 

Giddens Triumphs in Marathon Final

By Bruce Mason

The Zathras Wars!

 

Hayden Gittins: Minbari War/Vorlon deck 
Stephen Gold: Narn utility deck 
Wayne Lodge: Centauri Exploding Cheese 
Ian Richards: human destiny.

 

The game started fairly cagily with the players building carefully until the first theme of the day started to emerge: Zathras’.  Both Ian and Stephen got him out early and there was much to and froing over who pointed the Z guy at whom.  Meanwhile Wayne had got an early Mary Anne Cramer out and was busy making friends with the Narn.  Ian got a trade pact going with Wayne the Centauri.  Wayne chuckled happily to himself until he noticed Zathras’.  For the rest of the game that Zathras’ despite everything Wayne did stared at him and dared him to play trade windfalls…

 

 

The Minbari built up their fleets and started to menace the humans, this time however the humans were ready for them and Hayden ran headlong into the most heavily-armed human deck he met the whole weekend. As this was happening Wayne was cycling through his deck and cursing loudly about how his deck was doing so badly.  The only time Ian’s Zathras’ left him alone then the Narn Zathras’ stared him down!

 

 

One of the defining moments was the emergence of Factional Inertia.  The other players had heard of Hayden’s ploy to switch to Order Above All late in the game and push for major victory.  This time Hayden’s energies seemed to be focussed on getting a quicker military win.  He was able to get a few bits and pieces of influence out of some military conflicts and a series of skirmishes actually got him close to 20 power. The human deck would be quite to close to 20 power if he changed agenda to Higher Calling, but there was a factional inertia on the table and he was waiting for a good opportunity to play it.  He solved the dilemma of what to do with his Zathras’ by playing another one so that now there were three Z’s on the table. Hayden came within one action of winning.  He had started a border raid with the humans whose fleets had been whittled down and who had a neutralised Sheridan (For My People).  The humans still had one fleet and the Human-Minbari tension stood at 5.  Hayden played the Expeditionary fleet.  He did it quite quietly in the hope that no one would notice.  Wayne did, and on his next turn Mary Anne Cramer immediately reduced Human-Minbari tension so that the Expeditionary Fleet couldn’t use its special ability.

 

 

First the Narn made their push.  As Hayden looked ominous the Narn played Rally the People.  He had earlier revealed his new agenda, Support of the Mighty and had enough to get to 20 power at the end of the next turn when his big hitters would be ready.  Another Z hit the table from Ian.  The Minbari switched to Order Above All and was promptly Forced Impaired as You Are Not Ready, Not Meant to Be and Ja’Doc went wild.  Vorlon influence was leaping up.  Other players started sucking out his Vorlon marks by throwing everything they could at him and eventually his agenda was Force Impaired and then he got hit with a Test of Merit, again from Stephen.  Eventually Stephen looked to be about to finish a round on 20 power and take the game.  As we grew close to the fifth hour though Ian made a push for victory.  On the previous turn Hayden had glitched the Factional Inertia in an another attempt to win, while it was glitched Ian played his Higher Calling making it immune.  Tu’Pari turned up and left Stephen with the dilemma of extra power for his Support of the Mighty or extra fun due to Zathrascide.  Meanwhile Ian played For My People on Sheridan, taking him to 21 power and the game but Hayden had a plan.  This turn either Ian would win or Stephen would win unless they both ended on 20 power, so Hayden played NMTB on For My People, which of course reversed the effects of FMP but left Sheridan with his extra mark.  So the fourth hour drew to a close, the night drew in and Wayne, using a small window of opportunity left by Ian’s push for victory managed to play out some cheese and revealed his new agenda, Rise of the Republic, all he had to do was to hang tough and victory would be his, eventually.

 

 

Hayden had made three pushes for victory, Ian and Stephen were bobbling just about 20 keeping each other in check and now it looked like Wayne’s Worlds trip was coming up.  Over the next three turns I saw Hayden lay the groundwork for three victories.  He had to deal with Factional Inertia and the Forced Impairment and win a conflict (for Test of Merit) to get through.  He had glitches and a Not Meant to Be in his hand, he knew Wayne had a Not Meant to Be because he’d seen it Carpe Diemed so he hit him with a 15 point Reducing Risk and got all 5 of Wayne’s events but no longer had enough influence left to play his glitches.  Next turn he tried again with an Annex Neutral World only to see the Narn sponsor another Ja’Doc, once again he didn’t have enough to carry through his push. Two turns of conflicts went away and at about 9:15 the last turn started.  Hayden drew all but his last card and found the Limited Strike he had been looking for and immediately aimed it at the humans, he could win but not by enough to gain influence out of it. Tu’Pari did Zathrascide and loved every minute of it.  Hayden glitched the Forced Impairment, Ian forsook NMTB and played FMP on Sheridan then Stephen said “hang on:” Ja’Doc was on the table.

 

 

Now Stephen had been saving Ja’Doc for Hayden’s anticipated attempt to deal with the Factional Inertia, assuming that he must have a second glitch, however Ian’s FMP would win him the game this time.  So Stephen was left with a dilemma, he could stop one player but not two, suddenly the trip to L.A. was in his hands, this time there could be only one.  Stephen and Wayne talked, the audience held it’s breath, Ian and Hayden waited as impassively as they could. Wayne made the point that if there had to be a winner then Hayden probably deserved it as he had come so close and played so well on Saturday.  Stephen checked his hand one last time but he couldn’t see a win in there.  Hayden assured him one last time that yes indeed he did have a second glitch and wasn’t bluffing, Ian let he be known that he couldn’t stop Hayden from winning so it was all down to Stephen as to who won.  Stephen took a deep breath, put his hand face down on the table and placed Ja’Doc on the discard pile, For My People fizzled.  Hayden Gittins won his Limited Strike and was crowned Pan European Champion after possibly the most exhausting game of B5 I’ve ever seen.

 

 

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