Latest update of the Fortress deck I've been running for a while, that won the Huddersfield servitor.
Changes from the last version are to remove the horses (cavalry decks not as popular as they used to be), fiddle with the dudes a bit to get some cheaper/better dudes from Reckoning and the main changes being to find room for some more hand rank manipulation actions and the switch from Lydia to Theo to allow the inclusion of Phantom Fingers (direct response to how good gadgets/goods are getting).
TO a certain extent the gamble paid off - not a single cavalry deck all day, and some minor use of Phantom fingers in one match up.
Round 1 - Paul - Protection Racket. Low values and high bullets telegraphed a Holster Deck, which I felt quite happy about given a starting hand that included Fingers. As it happened Paul spent a couple fo turns tooling up Jose Morales with supporting Hexes whilst I pretty much text book hit Maza's on one, Pheasant on two. Turn two saw a indecisive scuffle at my home, only memorable for Paul forgetting to use Stone's react. A mugging on Theo went ahead turn three, I just took the hit as between the rest of the team there was enough voters to beat his influnce and all his team had booted out for the Mugging and the home ability. Straight to game plan, first victory.
Round 2 - Russ - Full Moon Brotherhood. This was theplayer/deck that won the last Servitor in Tring, and my opening hands (looking at two with Butch) weren't great in terms the Nico plan. They did however give me good economy. Turn one a General Store lands, Russ moves Leon over to steal it but runs away from Mariel + Theo (with stashed Joker). Turn two the Hellstromme ranch comes down next to the store, but still no totems. That's enough to drag Russ into putting some dudes in there to den me upkeep. I move Henry over and start a fight, it's a score draw as Henry hits the bin along with one of Russ' disposable dudes. Cavallo boots however, leaving Micah Ryse isolated at home and becomes the victim of a Mariel/Kidnappin.
Next turn and Russ has still has dudes camping my ranch, whilst I'm all sat at home. I manage to get a MAza'z down on the other side of my home, but still no totems. Perfect jumps to my home, I call her out and I think Russ made a mistake in accepting - my entire team promptly tore her apart.
Next turn, I finally get a totem. It goes on the Maza's. Meanwhile Russ is still sat only on Leon + the Native American 4R on 3 Inf. After he plays Mausoleum he's down to two GR. With only Leon free to move around it's safe to drop Nico and grab the win.
Round 3 - Chris - Oddities of Nature Chris was playing oddities with Hellstrome. Soul Cage/Ivor for recursion and all the heavy hitting Aboms. Early doors a scuffle happens in my Hellstromme Ranch, the result being Theo taking an unexpected Point Blank to the face in order to get a Pag off the table. There were a lot of turns in this game after that. Essentially Chris dumped a fair number of Aboms out, taking his influence way beyond my ability to out vote due to not seeing dudes other than Nico. A mistake on my part saw be drop Nico thinkig I could go for the win - then realising Carl Odett's trait meant I was nowhere near. I've got plenty of totems and tricks out but the game is ticking away with neither of us close to winning (Chris had half a dozen 1 control point deeds out, but of course I had a mountain of Inluence). Time gets close and Chris elects to run the gauntlet versus my Fortress. Im not sure he had to do that, I think just sitting with near equal influence to mine from Aboms in town square plus his deeds would have done the job.
As it was I had a ton of on table tricks for the shootout, he had a fair number of in hand tricks. Early on I kick some of his home, they come back in from shadowalk/carters, I kick them back out. I end up with 3 Ancestors and 2 Dogs as chaff backing up Mariel and some draw dudes (keeping the important skilled dudes out of harms way) whilst Chris has Ivor, Smiling TOm, Bobo and some ablative Pags. We're both drawing a ton of cars, so unsurpeisingly both opt for Cheating 5s. I then get hit with a point blank that guns down a grandad as well as a second grandad swappign for a Pag. Becomes clear neither of us have cheating Res we wish to play. Second round, five of a kinds. Pag swaps for Ancestor. At this point despite not losing permanent on table dudes, I'm losing the war of attrition on Stud values in the draw rounds and it starts to tell. The next round I have a cheating four, whilst Chris has a legal Full House - and I get hit by the new cheating Res that ups his hand rank by Ivors' inf. More spirits die.
One more round and I manage a trade off, but at this point time has been declared and some basic math reveals all Chris has to do is leave the call out and go home to win. SO, loss on time.
Round 4 - Dan - Regulators Very similar deck to the one he'd tried out last week in Manchester, this is a gadget deck aiming to use Roses/Decimator/LeMat to finesse some monstrous hand ranks out of nowhere (and part of the reason for the Fingers in my deck). As it happened though, the game went straight to plan for me despite once again a less than brilliant pair of hands from Butch. I opted for the deed + 0 cost spell hand as at least it would cycle fast. Dan sat on the General Store i played and managed to get a Decimator array out of it that would otherwise have strained his economy. Oh well, turn two Maza's hits play, gets a Silver Pheasants. Dan's dominating twon square and getting his engine together. He drops a Steven Wiles to cycle it and tries to tempt me with a side show shootout but I decline. Turn three Nico turns up in my hand, there's just enough voters to carry it if Dan doesn't play any more dudes. Dan gets down to 5 GR after purchasing stuff but doesn't look likely to go lower, so I move Theo to the hideout. Dan takes that as telegraphing the Nico so asks have I got him as that would be game - I reply yes and Dan scoops. The Fortress had a Pack on it and an abalative grandad. Dan's tool box wasn't in place and n way to start the fight in the fortress left him out of options.
End up top of the Swiss with 3 wins before time, one loss on time. Cut to top four - end up playing Chris again.
Semi-final - Chris - Oddities of Nature Wasn't relishing this match up again as I reckoned it favoured Chris if he managed to see enough aboms before I got Nico. Just couldn't see that I'd have much chance to remove his influence outside of a straightup fight in town square.
As it was I saw all the pieces except enough economy to drop Nico before voting dissappeared over the hill. So settled in into trying to build up a decent enough combat force and hand rank maniplation to try a town square fight. Chris meanwhiele cheerfully stripped my hand rank manipulation out my hand with Sight Beyond Sight. Wasn't going my way.
On the plus side Chris wasn't seeing the same economy as the previous game either so wasn't getting out as many Aboms as before. I'm not sure why but Chris decided to force the issue as time was closing and went for an assault on the fortress. Compared to last time I has more 'real dudes' but less spirits. I did however have more send home effects that stuck. Two rounds and despite Black Elk taking a point Blank to the face, Chris' dudes are severelt depleted and the figth is over. Time had been called so totting up the points the huge stack of influnce in my hideout carried the day.
Final - Chris - 4R Well - this was the most careful playing of the day in some respects. The use of Phantoms and Puppets meant that booting anyone was fraught with danger, only narrowly avoided by some canny use of the home ability to immediately drag them out of harm's way (and at one point having to use Douglas Ambrose dicarding a spell to do it twice).
Managed to Fortress up quite well, but was consistently not quite there to out vote. Leon got took off the board by a tactical Kidnappin as the opposing dudes could only muster a Valeria as stud defense, only to immediately replaced with Jia Mien. Thought I was there next turn after dropping Douglas + Charging Bear, only to have a Blood Curse take me one off. Next turn almost there, but after launching a Kidnappin on Jia Mien (settling for discarding a one Inf dude and going home) those on my team were booted at home. Forgot to bring a dude home unbooted to cover against it, so Jia Mien walked in and Phantasmed Mariel out to get puppeted. Nope, still not there. Eventually after much shenaningans I'm almost there ... time gets called. Fortress takes the day due to a pile of influnces in Mazas. Inconclusive, and was an interesting game due to the sheer amount of tactical play required around the opposing hexes.
Sadly, right now that's not what I see the winning deck strategies promoting - which is a shame as that's what drew me all those years ago to DT.
Anyway, I'll take the win and the play mat for the Servitor victory and move on to playing something htat isn't Fortress for the rest of the series.