Down With Monte Banks!

published Jul 02, 2017 | | |
Card draw simulator
Odds: 0% – 0% – 0% – 0% more
Derived from
None. Self-made deck here.
Inspiration for
None yet

VinceTurner 226

Not that different from last year, and honestly I haven't played many tournaments since the last year. Tested a bunch of stuff over the last few weeks but couldn;'t find anything that would consistently beat Fortress, without being terribkle against everything else. Likewise I found it hard to find anything as consistently resilient to sticking to its game plan. SO went with Fortress again.

Nods to the evolving meta were to tinker with the goods to include a few horses, and switch down on dudes to cheaper alternatives in a few places. Whateley's became Blakes purely for better economy. 4 Kidnappin had been overkill so trimemd that, as well as shifting the balance between Jael's/INWYK. Finally with a couple of the trims I found space for a couple of Turtle's Guard I'd always wanted in the original.

Went undefeated in the Swiss (1 on time, 4 before)

Round 1 - Karl - Morgan Landslide Karl hadn't played much either, so the game was a bitof a refresher for both of us. Karl wins lowball and plays Baird's. Butch had given the choice of a poor hand with no deed, and a decent hand but no deed other than Blakes. After a long pause I decide to go aggresive (which set my tone for the day), and jumped Mariel straight on to it. Karl could retake by moving a Irving or Androcles across, but instead opts to Androcles for the cash - meaning I got to play the Blakes using Bairds that I could not play legit due to cash shortage. Next few turns are spent with Karl playing deeds, and me running my people over to camp on them. Totems get slapped down to allow my 0 inf plebes to get a hold. I can't seem to find my own deeds or a Nico for the win (Karl went a long time on his base 7 Inf). Eventually Nico turns upbut by then Karl's dropped another two influence and Clem found a Saloon. Meanwhile whilst I've managed to site on enough dudes to slow his economy down, he's now managing to get more deeds out than I can cover because I haven't amanged another dude of my own.

I do some calculations, and think I've just enough with some movement shenanigans to play Nico and win. Turns out I was onte short because I forgot that my Duces sitting on his Research Ranch couldn't vote.

Next day is and we're gettign close to time. I can see the game is starting to slip away from me, but in the end with enough Ancestors out and everyone voting for Nic when the clock finally did run out the game was mine. I think that one was getting away from me - but who knows if I'd seen a kidnappin at all I might have done enough damage to win before Karl really deeded me out.

Round 2 - Zackery - Protection Racket Zackery had come over from the States, possibly winning the furthest travelled (although there was also a Canadian present). Apparently not many people play Fortress over there so he was interested to see how it played (to be honest not many people play it here either).

The game went a little odd. Neither of us saw an in town deed for several turns, instead getting into elaborate tug of wars over the one out of town deed we each played. I tried a tentative Kidnappin on his Marion while the posse was split between home and my strike, Zack thought for a moment then let it go uncontested. I was expecting a fight, and was happy that my on table tricks would limit my damage so was mostly about flushing choice shootout actions from his hand. As it happened experienced Marion hit the table soon after, I presume Zack wasn't willing to run the risk of me aceing the vanilla one.

Again a split posse when Zack brings his second stud home allows me to Kidnappin Angela Payne when she has little support. Zack's influence is getting low and I've not really suffered casualties yet.

Finally I find a Maza's, stick a totem on it. Zack's been paying more attention to the rules changes than me - I was wasn't aware they'd changed in town movement so it now required booting to get to Maza's. Suited me. Unfortunately for Zack when Nico arrived soon after it meant he was unable to get anyone there to call him out, and his low influence was easily outvoted.

Round 3 - Paul - Protection Racket Paul was playing Hucksters in his Racket. I clocked swiftly that it was a Legendary Deck from the discard. Unfortnately for Paul his start was studless and his deck decided to give him a handful of deeds, so I ran an early kidnappin to take down some influence. He managed to get a Bufford out who ran across to my General Store to use the Racket, but then got shot for his trouble. Next turn I shot the mook that was used to Protection Racket on Paul's deed that turn. Then Kidnapped another Inf/Huxter. On turn three Jose Morales the last influence in his team managed to get a Legendary. This was also the point I managed to pay for the Nic and had in hand since turn one. Paul managed a Ulysses though to stave off the loss. However, bizarrely I could launch akidnappin on him as Jose was elsewhere - however I had to use Mariel and Nic to do it! Next turn Jose just couldn't get into a shootout to use his holster, and Nic swiftly outvoted him. Very quick game, but honestly that was more down to Paul's deck dumping the wrong cards on him and mine simply letting me play to early Nic.

Round 4 - Jason - Den of Thieves I'd played against Jason's Den before, off the top of my head I think it's a tight draw structure playing to cheat/Barton. My memory's a bit hazy on this one, but I think it was an early kidnappin that put Jason on the back foot without any of his own deeds out for economy. Meanwhile my economy is great due to double Silver Pheasant - but no Red Horses or Pak to shore up the defence. 'Sloane who get job out the discard' came down to shore the line up and put a mugging in hand, but the upkeep was going to cripple his economy. Jason runs it, turning off my Lydia with an Owl's.

Unfortunately fo Jason another early Nic turns up, forcing him to initiate an all in attempt to take him down. The first round of the shootout, no Red Horses to limit his posse but I narrowly take it with one rank (cheating to do so), Jason discards his only ablative chump. The next round, I cheat again but Jason reveals a double devil's Joker catapulting his hand rank way above mine. I can Owl's Insight to drop a load of spells, but I still have to put quite a few of my team in the bin and suddenly this 'easy shootout for the win' has turned nasty on me. We both go for another round, and fortunately this time Jason's deck is not as spactacular and only gives him a Ful House to my cheating 5. The posse gets gunned down, game is mine.

Round 5 - Robert - Morgan Regulators No offense to Robert but this was a pretty uninspiring game. Robert did his thing, I did mine. he got some horses and threatened a twn square I don;'t care about a lot - I dropped a Maza's and totemed up. Some indecisive scuffles so no significant damage to either of us - I drop Nic and have enough votes to clear his influence whilst he has no way to force a callout in Maza's as he has no job in hand and no Run Em Down or similar. Now you can't just walk in to Maza's without booting, it's too easy just to drop it and if they don't have a specific card take the game.

End of the Swiss, undefeated. I'd been playing pretty aggressive all day, and definately taking chances with my cheating. But also, so far, my deck hadn't dealt my a hand I couldn't recover from/power on through. Feeling confident for the top 4 on the performance of the deck during the day. I knew Rob would make the cut, and that Dave from Edinborough would and was also playing Regulators. Other than 4th Ring, I had no idea what Dave from York was playing (almost certainly some jank he threw together in the last 24 hours).

Semi-final - Dave - Regulators I'd aught a glimpse of one of his earlier matches so knew Dave was playing Regulators with the gadget slant towards Yagn's and then hand rank manipulation.

To be honest, my second hand from Butch was decent enough. The only downside was it had a General Store rather than a Mazas. First turn sees some of my build up of General Store + Pheasant's + Red Horses + Pack, Dave drops a Hydro-puncher then Tech Exhibits a Yagn's.

My following hands were not so great, no Owl's which would have been nice due to Dave cheating in Lowball frequently and clogging with 1 cost spells/2 cost horses I couldn't quite get enough GR to clear.

Meanwhile another Yagn's hits the table and Dave goes on the offensive after building up his own deeds/horses. With his two big studs protected by Yagn's I can't Muriel/Red Horses him down to low stud numbers and the best I can do is remove the regulated stud and some chaff. The Hydro- Puncher turns off Lydia and her Turtle's Guard, so I can't make a dude harrowed/everyone harrowed. In theory though my own Doggy should give me some resilience and I can just run home if needed.

Well, Dave also Pinned Down Mariel. Which was mighty inconveient now I couldnt make her Harrowed. I lose that round due to cheating and getting INWYK and Calling the Cavalry's +1, Dave also Point Blanks so Black Elk takes a long walk. Mariel gets discarded. I go for another round and manage to get a El Grajo discarded (who turned up next turn again anyway). Dave opt to go home rather than go again. I've enough cash to get the consolation prize Jackson Trouble though.

Next turn I manage to drop Sarah to try and bolster my ranks. However as I move all my dudes into the GS, she gets left on her own and Ridden Down. Dave moves into the GS and an inconclusive fight occurs afer which I go home. Dave's now sitting on my GS however which is inconvenient. Time's running out, I manage to get another Turtle's Guard up and Drop a Jael's. Move into the GS and trigger the fight as time is called. Go for one round of the shootout, I lose nothing of consequence but it's now 'win the fight or lose the game' for me.

We count up influence/control at that point. Dave could run home. If he does, then he needs to pull for the Miasmatic Purifier. If he keeps it, he wins. If it blows up, I win.

He stays in teh fight for another go. In the end despite fairly hefty stud bonuses I'm faced with a cheating 4 or a legal full house. Dave will probably go legal because of the threat of Jael's on the table - but is likely to have rank manipilation in hand. I go with the four, Dave has a legal full house - but I get nailed with INWYK and Outgunned. Even the fact I have a dog and everyone is Harrowed isn't going to help because as soon as they boot home they lose the one influence that is all is needed to tip the game to Dave. Nothing I can so sadly, and that's me out the tournament.

Honestly I don't think either me or Dave made a play error. Maybe I stuck around one turn longer in the first shootout, but wasn't game deciding. All I can think however is that it would have been an entirely different story if that had been a Maza's in my starting hand rather than a GSdue to the new rules.

Hence, the next time I play Fortress - there'll be 4 Maza's!

5 comments
Jul 02, 2017 Redgar

Zac was, indeed, furthest traveled! (I hail from Halifax, Nova Scotia, whilst Zac cometh from California).

Jul 02, 2017 Harlath

Well done making the T4 - you play a good deck type very well. Your semi-final with Dave (Edinburgh) was a classic, it is a shame it wasn't captured on film. Sorry you had to suffer the Swiss curse from going unbeaten before the knockout rounds.

Much as I wish it wasn't so, I think your summary of our round four match is fair/if anything generous to me! I was fortunate that your were knocked out in the other semi as I think I would struggle against your deck again unless I got a good economy out at the start of the game.

Jul 03, 2017 Harlath

Sorry, our match was Round 5, not round 4 as I erroneously wrote above. I was obviously still sleep deprived yesterday...

Jul 03, 2017 VinceTurner

It's the perils of playing a deck that is designed to function in isolation from anything the opponent does. Sometimes you'll get a game where nothing much happens and you just win because the opponent didn't see the cards they needed to force a fight/contest deeds or similar.

I think if you'd seen some of the cards that could have forced me into a shootout, it might have been more of a 'game' as they say. But as it happened you didn't see them and I ramped to Nic uncontested and as fast as the deck can.

Whilst obviously better economy always helps, I think you're deck versus Fortress is going to be stuck in the paradigm of trying to start a fight and carry enough brute strength to land a casualty. For that, I suspect you'd actually want a hand full of Shootout abilities and horses to try and nail it. The time windows to put the screws on Fortress are early game if you're geared to shootouts and late game if your ramp in on table assets/preparing play hand actions is better than the Fortress'. I'm not sure your deck falls into that later category - so just try and bundle in with un-refusable callouts and try and kill the voters.

Jul 03, 2017 Harlath

Excellent summary of the issues I was facing - I've simply saved myself some typing and referred people here in my report on our game for a deeper understanding of my challenges here and simply focused on the facts of the match!

I needed the game to go longer to have a shot, perhaps have my home's trait kick in and force you to sacrifice some dudes to shootouts outside your fortress. I think the match against you was the one game where I'd have been better off with my more basic 3/6/7 cavalry deck as I could have tried to Shotgun all your horrible tokens. Assuming your wall of send-home didn't get rid of my shotgun wielders! ;)

Always a pleasure to pick your brain on the game online or in person.