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CCGaDay Day 27: Strangest game played

I'm not what anyone would call a "competitive player". I mean, I like winning as much as anyone, and I always try to win in games. But when deckbuilding, I'm always more interested in nifty mechanics or unusual ideas than eking out that last bit of advantage. So I've ended up playing some very strange decks over the years (the Death Star Nine deck comes to mind), and sometimes they turn out to be really good (I'm not sure if I'm allowed to play League of Non-Aligned in B5 still.)

But the strangest game I can think of is one that I judged but didn't play in. And it's so *much* stranger than any game I've played (and makes for a far better story) that I'm going to cheat and use it here.

One of our players (we'll call him "Olav")[1] was arguably our best player. (I'd say he was the best, but there are definitely those who would argue. And would be wrong.) He specialized in extremely fast and extremely fragile decks, and tuned them to a knife's edge. The sorts of the decks that were beautiful to watch, and terribly annoying to play against.

For instance, he is the author of the infamous "Frool" deck. I'll skip the drawn out description and get to the good part - it was a deck that was extremely difficult to beat, unless you knew he was playing it. If you knew, you could take two very simple actions at the beginning of the game, and he was completely hosed. It was the ultimate one trick pony, and it would only work for one tournament.

So, he picked Regionals that year - we still made a point of enforcing the "no scouting" rule, so he could bring his unknown deck, beat the unsuspecting field and take the title. His plan is sheer elegance in its simplicity.

And for the swiss rounds, it works. Players after player fall to it's trick, and amazingly, everyone agrees to keep the secret - and I suspect it's less about the "no scouting" rule, and more about respecting that it was a brilliant idea that could only work once. Wanting to be part of history, I suppose.

But, Olav forgot one detail - Decipher at the time mandated "Final Confrontations" for major events. Instead of the winner of the Swiss rounds being declared the champion, the top two players played one additional game, and the winner *there* was declared the champion.

What this meant for Olav was that he had to play one additional round to seal the deal, and it was against someone he'd already played. Someone who knew what the trick was, and knew what the counter was.

So, sitting down for the final game, we're all pretty sure that Olav is completely screwed - but he's been known to pull rabbits before,

What's worse, we have a mess players who have no-where to go for the hour, because Olav, myself, and the third player are all drivers for out of town players. And since we were going to have an after-game dinner, everything is on hold until this game is done.

Game starts. Seeding as normal. The other guy immediately takes the counter-action to stop Olav's combo. Everyone expects Olav to concede, but he keeps playing. And he's playing very very deliberately. Full shuffles after every download, thinks about his actions. Even attempts some missions (and failing miserably, because the deck is rubbish at mission solving). Other player works through his missions, and just before solving the last mission to win the game, Olav flips a hidden agenda... that doesn't have the icon.

Illegal play, automatic game loss. Which makes zero difference to the actual game score. It just means Olav spent 45 minutes killing time to troll the assembled group. There's stunned silence, then some muttered swears, and then people start filing out because dammit, it's late and we want supper before driving three hours home.

[1] totally his real name