The one and only UK Sheriff event happening in 2018 took place last weekend at Darksphere, London. When the dates came out, I had long decided I was going to play a particular style of Eagle Wardens deck, in honour of a fallen gunslinger and friend in the London community. Most relevantly, it was he who taught me how to play the thing in the first place. I'll grant you though; he'd have perhaps found my array of cards a little diluting to intention and would probably have had a quarter of the types of action card here, but our conversations about differences in design philosophy were one of the things I shall miss the most. I will never forget the faces he pulled when I told him some of the hare-brained concepts I came up with and couldn't quite get to work.
Now before I get into the games, I'll note you a big issue I had. Whilst dealing with another pretty major distraction as I was sorting cards for this deck, I realised just before the start that I was missing a key starting dude in [[Mariel Lewis]] having instead sleeved two copies of [[The Mixer]] for some bizarre reason instead. Luckily I swapped one with a Willa Mae from the additional promo stuff we had and pressed on with a different first team for the First Peoples today. It wasn't ideal, and I missed Mariel's ability on key occasions, but was too late to do anything about it by then.
First game vs. Dan's incredibly tough Regulators/Hellstromme deck led to me taking a decision and taking it quickly. It will have escaped nobody's notice who has ever read or played against this that one of the critical things I need to do with this deck is to get into the town square in order to take full advantage of the home ability, and rapidly tool up with jobs, CR and nasty weaponry before an opponent can hit any sort of stride. Doubly critical when dealing with a deck which can bully you and then rack up control points as additional punishment to your suffering. Seeing Jen pick up a [[Telepathy Helmet]] and a [[Force Field]] early on I luckily picked up a [[Mugging]] and decided not to mess around. I succeeded in taking a big nuisance out of the game and then got fortunate enough to be able to rinse and repeat with a second Mugging the very next day. After that though, despite dropping the odd dude I wan't able to keep my foot on the aggro pedal and we spent a couple of quick days trying to draw useful cards and regroup. I managed to bring [[Allie Hensman]] out towards the twilight minutes and had two or three deeds going, with a wall ready to pulverise anything that went anywhere near Town Square at that point. Despite a late attempt to break through, the Wardens held fast until Sundown with enough CP to squeeze out a narrow win after time.
Next up saw a game against David Woof's 108 Drunken Masters. Earlier conversations about Kung Fu led me into a false sense of security as I thought we were going for a straight-up town square punch up, which this deck does not fear if allowed a suitably substantial play hand. There's a trick for most occasions there. It turned out though, that David was playing the slide deck he does so effectively, and I had two problems. First, my chosen standard start posse for the day was not the best for purpose as to what I had at my disposal. Second, despite control of the town square being pretty easy I could not draw things I needed, such as influence dudes or vital spot removal. Nothing like sending Mariel on an Ambush once or twice to crank the pressure up. Got as far as day 3 before the game was up as I just didn't have enough options on the board. Had I realised at game start, I worked out I could have thrown down a whopping 8 influence start with maybe one upkeep! Next time.
Third game of the day was Oskar, one of our newer players, working his way around a Sloane Gang outfit. I did say to Oskar the game would not be a long one, whichever way it went, seeing as we were both fully butting heads on a control area. Despite a hairy moment in an early shootout, I managed to win a vital tussle for town centre control and held it for the remainder of the game, whilst dropping deeds for income and CP and managing to get Allie out. I helped out with a couple of plays to try and point out better options for Oskar, but once he lost his key stud dude in that early shootout the Wardens were relentless. With the Sloane Gang gunned down in town it was time to move on to my fourth opponent, with half a thought in my mind that I was still in the running for a final spot at this point.
Game four immediately brought the fear as [[Full Moon Brotherhood]] was a home I hadn't faced with this deck and more to the point, remembered far too late that Zachary was potentially going to be at a major disadvantage o his usual antics. Whilst that turned out to be true, Amit was far more focused upon dealing with [[Marcia Ridge]] and her pesky trait before worrying about my now-key shooter. I got the better of it early on and was in fact in a dominating check position during the game. However I made a couple of key errors which swung the game against me in a heartbeat. First, I used a [[Coachwhip!]] to eliminate [[Valeria Batten]], when a stud [[Kevin Wainwright]] would have been a significantly better option as it would have taken out Amit's key shooter. I also got ahead of myself going to sit on his deed a little early just to seal the deal, which critically booted out a dude after not quite taking that on at his deed. Third, when i did get the town square shootout, I foolishly left Allie and Bethany out of it when I should have just gone all in and fled if it went south. Instead, I got gunned down on three separate occasions, and that, as they say, was that. That game was probably the one I missed Mariel the most.
So all in all, not quite the day I'd planned, starting with a missing dude which flustered me from the beginning and took a while to recover from given a total posse swap. I finished a respectable fourth out of eight, but know had some things been a little different, I might have swung a rematch in the final with David, who remained unbeaten all day. I will certainly play this deck again if I get to go to one of the remaining Tombstone events, but it won't be my next London event. I had a bit of an emotional time between some other things and discussing why this deck with an opponent or two, but hopefully at least managed to serve some of the honour intended for the day. Congratulations due also to our only 2018 Sheriff in David Woof!
|Sep 15, 2018 Prodigy|
|Sep 15, 2018 Projectwinterstorm|