We had a good turnout of 18 players at the Elephant Inn for the 71st Flashpoint Finchley. While the regulars quaffed beer with Thai noodles, I welcomed newcomer Robert Scovell and gave him a Can of Whupass to wet his whistle.
The players and their decks were:
Andrew Davidson - Architects - Tommy
Andrew Trickett - Arch/Ascended - Money Machine
Andy Holt - Arch/Hand - Peasants in Charge
Arthur Howlin - Architect/Dragon - ABC Warriors
Colin Burton - Hand/Jammer - OGRE
Daniel VandenBurg - Architect - Attack of the Drones
Dave Martin - Monarch/Purist - Fireball
Felicity Challis - Ascended - In Search of Paradise
Ivan Hartley - Dragon/Hand/Lotus- Spring Surprise
Jonathan Challis - Purist - Pure Misery
Nithiyan Thiruudaian - Ascended/Hand - Rogue Trader
Robert Scovell - Hand - The East is Red
Ron Wheelhouse - Architects - Droning On
Ryan Keane - Monarch/Purist - Rain on Your Parade
Steve Bailey - Arch/Asc/Hand - Blowing Bubbles
Tom Kassel - Arch/Dragon - Smoking Gun
Tony Adams - Arch/Lotus - Death & Taxes
Yuit Sum Vong - Dragon/Lotus - Monster M*A*S*H
From the Dark Future there were three Assault Drone decks and 3 Purist decks. Which would be the stronger - Hi-Tech or Magic?
Myself, I was playing a pure Architect deck called "Tommy" after its Grunts and Pinball Halls. It was designed to play sites and make other player regrets trying to take them. It did a good job of this in my first game and I eventually had 12 power generation from my sites plus the BuroPresident. Daniel and Tony were playing Architects too and so everyone had a hard time keeping characters in play. It was only a 3-player game but it was a long round. Daniel had a 60 card deck while Tony had a 91 card deck but was liberal in his use of Guiyu Zui and Farseeing Rice Grains. They both ran out of cards on the same turn while I still had 24 cards left in my 100 card deck. I think that's the first time I've seen a multi-player game won in this way.
This still left two 4-player games going. It took a full 3 hours to get them to a conclusion but when one finished and the remaining game was given 10 more minutes, the other game finished with just 2 minutes to go. Funny how often that happens.
Robert Scovell beat Arthur, Jonathan
Nithiyan T. beat Andrew T, Andy, Steve
Andrew Davidson beat Daniel, Tony (who both decked!)
Ryan Keane beat Felicity, Ivan, Yuit
Dave Martin beat Colin, Ron, Tom
The two slow first round games were both won by the Purists and it seemed that they were responsible for the time taken. In the second round, I seeded them both into the two 3-player games that our numbers required. They won both of those too but took a lot less time to do so and so this round went much faster. The game I was the last to finish and failed to do so within its remaining 10 minutes. Ivan won the tie-break with two feng shui sites plus two burnt for victory.
Dave Martin beat Andy, Felicity
Jonathan Challis beat Nithiyan, Tony, Yuit
Ryan Keane beat Andrew T, Tom
Steve Bailey beat Daniel, Robert, Ron
Ivan beat Andrew D, Arthur, Colin (timeout)
Dave and Ryan were both double-winners and were given a bye to the final while two 3-player games were played to see who would join them. Meanwhile, the eliminated players played 3 consolation games for a promo card.
My semi-final game was a bit odd. I drew 3 Imprisoned which I used rapidly and then 3 Nerve Gas which I also expended quickly as I was chasing the second foundation resource which I needed to play a character like Sgt Blightman. This became an acute problem as Steve Bailey went crazy with recycled Bull Markets giving us all lots of power. This gave Jonathan an easy win as I was unable to play either of the Bombs that I was holding. I was still happy though - I had played a Brain Bug on Steve's Jeroen Becker and got some use out of it, admiring his huge hand of cards each turn.
Jonathan Challis beat Andrew D, Steve
Nithiyan T. beat Ivan, Robert
Tony Adams beat Andy, Tom
Ron Wheelhouse beat Andrew T, Felicity
Yuit Sum Vong beat Arthur, Daniel
So, all three Purist decks had made the final but there were no Drones to be seen now. Instead, the fourth player was Nithiyan with the Ascended/Hand pairing that had dominated the UK Championship.
The order of play in the final was Dave, Nithiyan, Ryan and Jonathan. Here's what happened:
Turn 1: Everyone played a foundation but Nithiyan and Ryan didn't play a feng shui site (FSS).
Turn 2: Dave completed his resource requirements with a Darkness Priestess while Ryan got a FSS and Jonathan played his second.
Turn 3: Dave continued to develop well with Pocket Demon and Quantum Sorcery and he played his 2nd FSS. Nithiyan continued to stall while Ryan got his Monarch resource and a second FSS while Jon put down his third.
Turn 4: Dave played a Mutator which attacked Jon's new FSS. Ryan intercepted, Dave played an Amulet but Ryan stopped the attack by taking all the damage on his Turtle Beach which blew up. He was playing a Dark Traveler deck, you see. Nithiyan played Art of War and his first FSS which he revealed to be a Puzzle Garden. Jon now did nothing (he was waiting for a second foundation).
Turn 5: Dave fiddled with his Quantum Sorcery and then played Primus who attacked Jon's third FSS again and burnt it for power. Nithiyan did nothing while Ryan played a Chaos Spirit. This started the chaos by hitting Jon's second FSS which was a Jade Valley. Jon did nothing too - still no second foundation.
Turn 6: Dave played a Memory Palace, putting down, Obsidian Eye, Arcane Scientist, a Scroll and a Year of the Rat. He played the Eye and another Scientist so that he now had six characters. Primus and the Mutator attacked Ryan's Proving Ground. Nithiyan contributed an Iron & Silk to the defense because of the general perception that Dave was running away with the game. Ryan then stopped the attack by killing the Mutator with an Entropy Sphere. Nithiyan now started to get rolling, playing a Family Estate which made a Student. Dave then played Year of the Rat to switch places with Ryan. They didn't actually trade places - instead the direction of play was reversed. I think I'll insist that this is done properly in future as the reversal gave us some headaches later. Dave also blanked the Chaos Spirit with his Eye - a tactic which he kept using to escape its effect.
Turn 7: Dave played a Pocket Demon and played a second Quantum Sorcery. Primus healed. Jon now skipped power generation in his desperate search for a second foundation. Ryan also did nothing much and Nithiyan played a Paper Trail.
Turn 8: Primus attacked Ryan's Proving ground again and, surprisingly, there was no resistance this time and it was burnt for victory. Ryan responded with Avenging Fire which Dave received with remarkable calm. He then played the White Ninja who attacked Ryan's other FSS which was revealed to be a Whirlpool. Nithiyan stopped this with a Killdeer and Dave saved the Ninja from harm with an Amulet. He then removed the Avenging Fire with a Discerning Fire - no wonder he hadn't been concerned.
Jon skipped power generation again, giving Nithiyan two power from his Paper Trail. Ryan didn't do much either but Nithiyan played Shadowy Mentor on the White Ninja. She treacherously attacked Dave's FSS but then lost her powers under his baleful Eye. Primus intercepted with an Amulet but his Amulet was smoked with Shaolin Surprise. The White Ninja died doing 6 to primus who was then finished off by the Chaos Spirit.
Turn 9: Dave was still in the driving seat as he Scrolled for a Temporal Alignment which he used to leave three good characters in his smoked pile. Primus then made a Netherworld Return which occasioned some discussion about the timing of his effect in this case. Primus then attacked Ryan's Whirlpool again but Ryan destroyed this with Killing Rain. The current site tally was:
Dave: Cataract Gorge + Dragon Mountain
Jon: Proving Ground
Nithiyan: Puzzle Garden + Family Estate + Temple of Angry Spirits
Jon now had his second foundation and joined the game with a Mutator and Quantum Sorcery. Ryan played a FSS and another Primus, winning the auction against Dave's by bidding two. He played a Dark Traveler (6 fighting) and attacked Cataract Gorge which was surrendered without a fight and burnt for power. Nithiyan played Violet Senshi Chamber and another Paper Trail.
With everyone in the game at last, it got quite busy. Dave was no longer dominant and took a deliberate back seat as he didn't like being the tall poppy. To give you a flavour of what then happened, here are the significant cards that were then played:
Dave: Discerning Fire, King of Fire, Curtain of Fullness, Amulet Jon: Jeroen Becker, Scroll, Discerning Fire, Rhys Engel, Mutator, Ryan: Chaos Spirit, Killing Rain, Phlogiston Mine (auction), Snowblind (on King), King of Fire (auction) Nithiyan: Bull Market, Iron Monkey, Confucian (on Disc Fire), Shadowy Mentor (on Rhys)
By turn 11 there were only two FSS on the table and I set a time limit for the game of 9 p.m. as I could see it taking all night otherwise. I then started packing up. When I came back at around turn 15, the balance of power was:
Dave: 1 BFV, 2 Chaos Spirits
Jon: 2 BFV, Mutator
Ryan: 2 BFV, Primus, King of Fire
Nithiyan: 1 BFV, Rhys Engel
The final plays were:
Nithiyan plays Bull Market, Wind and then Bull Market again. He mentors the King and attacks. A Killing Rain goes off but Nithiyan cancels a second with Confucian Stability. Jon plays Discerning Fire but Nithiyan Confucians that too. The King is intercepted by Primus who is Killdeered but still blocks the attack. Nithiyan plays the Eastern King but can't attack again.
Dave plays a Curtain on Nithiyan who responds by playing Iron & Silk and Bull Market. Dave plays Queen of the Ice Pagoda who has a suicide pact with the Eastern King and they both die. He then attacks Ryan's Four Sorrows Island with a Mutator and takes it, joining the other Purists on 2 BFV.
Jon plays a FSS and a Memory Palace. He then makes an attack for the win. Time is called. He's going to win either way as he is the player closest to victory but Ryan stops the attack with some denial to make it a win on points.
Jonathan Challis beat Dave, Nithiyan, Ryan
So congratulations to Jon on winning his first Flashpoint Finchley. He won a Ting Ting Brawl deck and a set of new Purist power counters. Well done and here's the deck that he used to do it. He'll have to explain its special features. I think that Misery Totelben and sites like the Portal Nexus are supposed to be a key card but I never saw them in action.
Last modified: Sept 16, 2003.
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