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So yeah, melee is a thing! Why not talk about melee?
After a frustrating Joust result, I was somewhat feeling a bit meh on the Sunday, bringing along what was practically a tyrell Crossing deck the day before, but contained too many restricted cards - so swapped out the Crossing and Superior claims for Summer agenda and 3x Lady Sansa’s Rose!
General strategy; have fun, lol. Find some knights and make them a billion strength and win challenges.
1) opening Varys's Riddle 3 times out of 3 and only hitting in 1 game was a bit sad; play it round 2 for future reference.
2) Bonds of Chivalry is super hilarious, I don’t care what my other meta mates say! Also, pro tip - Desmera Redwyne triggers on this card so you can give your own character +2 for the round!
3) Offer of a peach is super hilarious in melee as they don’t have to be attacking you to use it.
Game 1 - Someone opened Unexpected Delay round 1 and I somehow looked at my hand and found all 3 of my 3 attachments, so was off to a good start. Round 2 valar happened and I was sad, but was able bounce back as I had setup Redwyne Straits. A cheeky Lady Sansa's Rose this round into Compelled by the Faith next and them not dying helped secure some power. It then came down to turn where The King in the North had been flipped and 2 of us didn’t have a king. First player wasn’t sure what to do so I had to do something and started trying to convince him to king make me whilst I’ll make him second place. Good old Josh Chambers then says “I have an action” and we all hold our breath as he triggers flea bottom to put into play a Nefarious Acolyte and subsequently blanks The King in the North. Not an understatement to say, shit got real then! Pretty sure first player (I’m going last) then gets to 14 power, player 2 does some challenges (has power on starry sept) and then passes. Josh then tries to steal player 2s Fickle Bannerman but it gets blanked by The Starry Sept = pro play from player 2. It then gets to me and I think I have 3 cards in my hand, 2 of which are my remaining 2 Lady Sansa's Rose ha! I was then able to trigger both of these and then do a challenge which will win me the game but wait.....player 2 has an action....he can use The Starry Sept to either king make player 1, myself or do nothing and I win anyway.....shit I can’t do anything. A tense moment passes, and he says “Desmera Redwyne has done a lot of work for you, she can have a power” and gives me the win! All players and supporters cheer (mainly because we’ve been playing for about 40 minutes passed time being called, but who cares!)
- End scene
Holy shit, I just won my first ever game of melee, and it was probs the best game of it I’ve ever played! Fully a game of bullshitting and banter - sorry to the players I can’t remember their names - but thanks for an awesome game!
Game 2 - Someone opens Unexpected Delay....deja vu. Luckily I had setup Robar Royce with a Noble Lineage and he got a power for a summer plot so he’s def safe this round. We all do some challenges and everything’s fine (note that one of the players is playing martell Knights of the Hollow Hill and has 4 cards in shadows and no characters).
Next round....Valar Morghulis gets flipped....what the shit is this, it’s happened again in the same sequence!
So my opponents are playing Stark Faith (Florian Hess), goddam free golf (matt slade) and the martell player....who I’m gonna call Stephen because I think that’s their name...lolz. Florian starts off really well rapidly gaining power, but makes a mistake against me when he would have got about 3 power, Growing Strong plus Highgarden Courtier means I can defend that power challenge. Meanwhile, Matt decides he wants to wreck my board using stealth from Varamyr Sixskins on one of my knights. I defend with my Green-Apple Knight and BANG I play Bonds of Chivalry to remove him, kneel The Knight of Flowers (HoT) and trigger him to give him +2 strength and win, and get renown - Bonds of Chivalry doing work people!!!
Things kinda go back and forth for a bit, everyone avoiding the martell player as he’s scary with Ghaston Grey and a billion cards in shadow and always sitting on 5 gold....god I hate martell.
Then there’s a round Matt wins initiative and I go “Matt make me first it’ll be funny” and he goes “yeah sure why not”. I then subsequently play Margaery Tyrell (HoT) alongside my The Knight of Flowers (HoT) and luckily topdeck a dupe for Elinor Tyrell (Stephen has played The First Snow of Winter as I told everyone he would!) I then pass to Florian who then plays Ward and steals my The Knight of Flowers (HoT) and I’m fuming now as I totally forgot to marshal The Honeywine raaaaahhhhhh!! So I’m first and use harpoon Marge to drag in Matts only character Varamyr Sixskins as he’s got 2 Claim plot and cant have that wrecking stuff...everyone frowns as to why I’m triggering Marge as he would have let it unopposed....boom, here comes Melee at Bitterbridge and I get it unopposed and woohoo I’ve w...shit I’m on 14 power. Safe to say I swear a lot here and berate myself for not playing The Honeywine as I would have won.
We go to another plot, of which I can’t really remember much about, but I’m now down to 9 power because The Free Folk is mean! And wait, what the shit is this, that Stephen guy has gone from about 0 to 11 power in the blink of and I and I’m going last and have 1 character standing with 1 icon...shit. I do my challenge.... butwait - I trigger the goddam honey wine and then unopposed and rivals I’m on 12 power, can I do it...oh balls, that Stephen guy wins dom.
Errr what the heck happens when 2 people are on the same power - JUDGE! George calmly states, “well it looks like we’re going to cards in deck”. With hands shaking like a leaf in the dead of winter I count my cards, and then ask Florian to do double check..we agree I have 40 cards. I turn to The Stephen and he smiles that smile that only Martell players can do and states clearly “41 cards in deck”.
Wow; I’m not even mad, what another great game of goddam melee! We hug it out as if we’ve known each other since we were babes!
- End Scene
Well I’m certainly chuffed right now. Come all this way and had some super awesome laughs with great people, and doing far better than I had thought I would ever do. A first and 2nd place - who’d have thunk that!
Everyone’s now chilling eating lunch / seeing what’s happening with that other version of the game called “Joust” pfff!
George The Judge then makes an announcement....”Melee players, the final table for melee is as follows -
“Bambi” - people nod as if that was obvious he’d be in.
“Wedge” - yep, another pro player that doesn’t shock anyone
“Vince” - he’s got a champ card don’t you know, for winning sodding melee!!!
“Paul” - wait what?? Paul? George have you got that right? Genuinly people stopped what they were doing when they heard I was in the top table of melee. Katt looks at me and goes “I’ve realised you don’t build jank decks for Joust, you actually just build melee decks ha”
Game 3 - to be honest I’m just happy to be here ha. We have Wedge to my left with Martell Wars, Vince diagonally opposite with Lanni something and Bambi across from with Stark Red Door......Karhold
Shit....just shit! This was very much unexpected and I kick myself for not thinking of this myself as it’s a genius idea! Well, my restricted card of choice is a genuine dead card now, but hey ho let’s see what happens.
So what happens is, is everyone seems to screw over Vince for some reason. Pretty sure Unexpected Delay makes a third appearance and we end up choosing 2 of Vinces guys. The next round I’m facing a duped Tywin Lannister (Core) and a Ser Jaime Lannister (Core) on one side, and a duped Wyman Manderly and Catelyn Stark (WotN) on the other, when I’ve got chaff and Wedge is winning initiative all day everyday with Ser Cletus Yronwood. So I basically try and convince Wedge to flip Varys's Riddle when they’re asking “why why?” and I respond “it’ll be good for us”. I then flip Duel into Wedges....not Varys's Riddle! sad times. I then choose Wedge to make the decision and it all ends up with killing Tywin and kneeling fat cat. I don’t really remember much, other than Bambi storming ahead. We’re then at the situation where Bambi is attacking me for exactly 17 power, and has stealthed my 11 strength Ser Talbert Serry (he’s AMAZING in melee). I have Margaery Tyrell (HoT) and a Hedge Knight to defend. I don’t really want to defend as I want to do challenges. We do the maths and I defend for 4 with the Hedge Knight (Jousting Pavilion) so he doesn’t get it unopposed...he then play winter is coming...we do the maths and basically it’s - if he has his final Superior Claim then he wins, but I can’t do anything....I have an Offer of a Peach to kick out Catelyn Stark (WotN) but he will still win 9-4 so gets the win by 5, so I don’t use it hoping I can use it later....but shit he has the superior Claim and it’s all done!
Congrats to Bambi for winning, and thanks to everyone for some amazing games and a generally great day! Definitely made my weekend SO much better after a somewhat disappointing Joust result.
Side note...I wake up the next day and have a sick feeling...I sodding well had the Hand of the King title in that last round, so had actually defended for 5 strength, meaning if I had used that damn Offer of a Peach I would have lost 9-5 and stopped the Superior Claim!!! Oh My God I’m an idiot!!
Pro tip; never forget what title you have!
Haha, oh well, it doesn’t dampen a great day!
P.S. - not once did I play or ever want to play A Tourney for the King which is interesting. Not sure what the means, but thought I’d mention it.
P.P.S - Apologies for all the swearing!