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 Post subject: Killington, VT Kotei Winner
PostPosted: Sun Nov 08, 2015 8:25 am 
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Mae fy hofrenfad yn llawn llyswennod
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Although it kinda feels like going through the motions, we had a small but passionate group gather for the last New England Kotei held as part of the Carnage convention in Killington, Vermont. Attendance was further hampered by the wedding of Jon Palmer and Mel Bowers on the same day - there were probably more L5R players at the wedding than the Kotei! Still, fourteen players meant we played four rounds with nine points needed to make it in.

I ran Justin Walsh's deck from Dublin: we've been tweaking the deck for about six months and I'm about as comfortable with this as any deck I've ever played. It takes advantage of the two things Spider does better than anyone else - economy and Reserve, using movement tricks to consistently force the opponent into unfavourable battles. Attachement hate and six 'No!' cards reinforce the strategy and make it a match for just about any military deck out there.

I'm not going to write a full tournament report as, y'know, sale of the IP and everything (plus this was the last weekend of 'official' non-Evil Portents play), but as a quick summary:

Round 1: Kendrick (Brotherhood Spider)

Of course we get Spider on Spider violence in the first round. Kendrick's deck was really cool, especially given their local scene in NY has pretty much died, but the economy and speed gained by going second meant I could pressure him right from the start, forcing him into a series of defenses that saved provinces but cost him his army. Eventually he ran out of resources while I kept piling stuff out, and I crashed through.

Round 2: Shelby (Hira Phoenix)

A really tight game against my wife as my deck stuttered and didn't really see any of the cards needed to make the game easy against Honour. Sheer force of numbers prevailed though and after she had burned her hand to save two provinces when I swung for the last three, I was able to take two on the turn she crossed.

Round 3: Devin (Unicorn)

Interesting fact: this deck qualified three people into the main event at GenCon after it was passed around friends during the grinders. Devin got a clunky gold start but still had five people all with actions on the board for the start of my turn four. I swung into him with three guys, ate his first action, double VtD'd, and won the battle through attrition. Devin couldn't recover from there and I applied relentless pressure, taking a province a turn while saving provinces on the defense with Knife.

Round 4: Gary (Sanjuro Lion)

Gary is my regular playtest partner, and we've played this match-up literally hundreds of times. I haven't lost a game with this deck to him in about two months, but we're both in regardless, and take the draw. This puts Gary as the number one seed and I'm right behind him. There's one play-in game between Tonya playing Dragon and Alan playing Scorpion, which Alan wins.

Semi-final: Andrew (Sachina Crane)

Luckily, this is best of three, as I see no gold turn one and can only buy two more holdings turn two. Andrew's gold flies out and he's set up with a Tametaka out and a ton of holdings. I flip two Jemarus and no holdings on turn three, and decide to save time and skip to game two.

I was pretty sure I was done when Andrew saw Coastal Lanes on turn one and two...I'm not usually behind on gold so much in a game, but the deck did what it does...forced Andrew into tough defenses, won opposed battles, and used Knife to make sure I kept ahead of the tempo game.

Game three was very similar with amazing gold for Andrew but my own solid economy and denial set meant weight of numbers prevailed.

The other semi-final went to time and a dice-roll. Alan was running Shibata dishonour and would likely just roll me, but fortunately Gary won the dice roll. We talked briefly, and he decided to concede so we could head out to the Long Trail brewery for some post-Kotei refreshments.

I'm proud of what I've achieved during the nineteen years I've played L5R, but I'm not going to lie...even with the circumstances, winning a Kotei means a whole lot to me. My thanks to Justin for the deck and invaluable advice and guidance through the years, my fellow Scrubs for being THE best group of people I know, and all my opponents on the day for making it a hard-won title.

I was going to save Soshi Kitaiko for the story pick at Alan's request, but it turns out Justin already did that in Dublin. If anyone has any kind of compelling selection, feel free to drop me a line or post on here - I don't feel particularly strongly about any of the remaining choices, so I'm available to be swayed.

Here's the deck list:

# Pre-Game (2)

# Stronghold (1)
1 The Hidden Bastion of the Spider

# Sensei (1)
1 Yajinden Sensei

# Dynasty (40)

# Holding (16)
3 Famous Bazaar
1 Forgotten Legacy
3 House of Disgrace
3 Lonely Dojo
3 Shinomen Marsh
3 Slave Pits

# Personality (24)
3 Daigotsu Jemaru
2 Daigotsu Konishi
2 Daigotsu Teruo
3 Goju Kenteiru
3 Goju Mitsuru
3 Goju Saido
2 Kokujin Gunjao
3 Ninube Shiho
3 Voitagi

# Fate (40)

# Follower (9)
3 Hidden Reserves
3 Skeletal Troops
3 Spider Elite Sohei

# Strategy (31)
3 A New Alliance
3 Accessible Terrain
1 Fearless Devotion
3 Knife in the Darkness
3 Overwhelming Offense
3 Return to Your Feet
3 Ruby Ascendance
1 Sanctioned Declaration
3 Show of Power
2 Sudden Movement
3 Victory Through Deference
3 Your True Nature

Cheers,
Mark

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 Post subject: Re: Killington, VT Kotei Winner
PostPosted: Sun Nov 08, 2015 9:13 pm 
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Sexy Beast
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Congrats, Mark! A well-deserved win! :)

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 Post subject: Re: Killington, VT Kotei Winner
PostPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2015 12:34 am 
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Congratz on the win, I don't think that just because the game is going into hiatus takes away from a kotei win, people are still there competing with top tier decks, so good on you.

As far as the pick goes, saving people is lame, you should kill someone. Kill a Dragon ;) I am a dragon player and am happy to see our people go under the sword as long as the stories are good. One of the monks preferred I would have always loved to see more stories involving spider monks and dragon monks.


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 Post subject: Re: Killington, VT Kotei Winner
PostPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2015 1:56 am 
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Congrats!

I hope the FFG will honor the choices so... Save the Batman! :)

(Or Sora, Sora is a good character)

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 Post subject: Re: Killington, VT Kotei Winner
PostPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2015 5:10 pm 
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Mae fy hofrenfad yn llawn llyswennod
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Ended up killing Tamori Wataru at the request of a friend.

Also, I'm selling the foil rare set I won from this event if anyone is interested - drop me a line and let me know!

Thanks,
Mark

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 Post subject: Re: Killington, VT Kotei Winner
PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2015 11:03 am 
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Obsidian Magistrate
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I'm pretty sure Tamori Wataru was saved by Luke Gregory at his St. Louis kotei win.


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 Post subject: Re: Killington, VT Kotei Winner
PostPosted: Wed Nov 11, 2015 7:19 pm 
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Obsidian Magistrate
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Congrats, Mark!

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5th Place-Nebraska Kotei 2014
5th Place-Green Bay Kotei 2015


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 Post subject: Re: Killington, VT Kotei Winner
PostPosted: Tue Nov 24, 2015 2:10 pm 
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Dark Scribe
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Congrats, Mark! I've been snowed in by work and couldn't follow the kotei season and the choices, but saving Iweko Shibatsu (if that's still possible) has the biggest potential for me. Of course, I have no idea, what FFG plans with these choices after the relaunch.

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 Post subject: Re: Killington, VT Kotei Winner
PostPosted: Tue Nov 24, 2015 2:33 pm 
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Mae fy hofrenfad yn llawn llyswennod
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Thank you Oliver!

Daz already saved Shibatsu, so we're golden there :)

Mark

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 Post subject: Re: Killington, VT Kotei Winner
PostPosted: Tue Dec 08, 2015 9:49 am 
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Crane Envoy to The Spider
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I feel like I congratulated you enough over social media and in person, but I think you need one more here on the Spider forum. =)

Congratulations on your well-earned victory.

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