Having won a Store Championship already my trip down to Birmingham was a mere vanity project and for the love of the game rather than anything else, but who doesn’t want moar Netrunner? The aptly titled (almost) Wayland’s Forge has been relocated since I last visited and is now in The Custard Factory, which is quite nice actually and there’s a good cafe with nice coffee, decent breakfasts and tasty paninis. All good. Anyhoo – 32 places all booked out, but there was a Bye and I think we were on 29 people on the day. The tables were well spread and spacious, spilling out of the store and into the sculpture-laden atrium. Nice.
Round 1: Josh playing Andromeda and NEH. But not your normal NEH, so that’s okay.
[Corp] Its Josh’s first tournament but he’s playing a killer ID and I’m on my guard. He’s Mr Li-ing like crazy, but with a full breaker suite I’m not sure what he’s looking for. I get plenty of ICE up and start advancing. I manage to kill a couple of programs and motor on before Kati finally shows up and I realise his economy has been a little slow. I close out the win soon after though.
[Runner] I’m interested in what this alternate NEH is and suspect Scorched. After some initial poking though I see a Dedicated Response Team and I burn it with fire. Josh isn’t getting much in the way of ICE and I’m running riot. He assures me the deck is great if he gets the right cards, but obviously he didn’t this time and my deck is too fast if you don’t defend yourself early and so I claim victory.
Hope Josh had a good time – always great to see new people coming in and trying out the tournament scene. With Nationals selling out in super quick time and well attended events, maybe FFG will be able to afford to send to people to the worlds? No? We can always hope… Vote for Welsh, Scottish and NI champions now!
W-2 L-0 (4 prestige)
Round 2: Simon fielding Foundry (::brofist::) and Pre Paid Kate. Or maybe just Kate.
[Corp] Kate sticks her oar in and has a look around, but I’ve got my trashy programs online quickly and Mimic isn’t good enough without Datasucker. Simon spends precious Clone Chips to not lose his rig, but ultimately I put his Corroder on the bottom of the deck with Will-o-the-wisp and Accelerated Beta Test moar ICE onto R&D to make is 7-8 deep. HQ has about 5 pieces on too, just in case and I’ve got three Biotics and a Trick of Light in hand. From here it’s just waiting for the agendas to turn up so I can win. Which I do.
[Runner] I get economy online early and my tutoring sees the right programs to rush in all over the place. In my over-exuberant state I eat a Cerebral Overwriter, but there’s no further punishment on the back of it and I reason HQ must be packed with agendas and so rush in there, and then a suspicious looking Archives for the win.
W-4 L-0 (8 prestige)
Round 3: Jonny (no H) hasn’t lost any games either, so someone’s going down this round. We’re the only two people without losses and on the top table. He’s got Ending The Fun and Andromeda.
[Corp] Jonny doesn’t seem to be doing a lot except drawing and I’m checking the remotes every time something lands so I get suspicious. With some credits behind me I start whacking his centrals and HQ is loaded so the win if fairly straightforward.
[Runner] Andromeda can apply the pressure, but fortunately my deck is up to and I get the Ichi 1.0 out early and force the use of all his Faeries. As one point I (somewhat unnecessarily) play a Vitruvius out naked to save a bit of cash and a Biotic. He’s got Security Testing he’s been unable to use and Bank Job so I think I might get away with it. Draw, run, run, and then curiosity got the better of him so he want again last click and stole it. That didn’t work then. Fortunately I’d got my act together after that and scored agendas properly with 5-6 deep R&D being prohibitively expensive to get into regularly. Eventually I push through for the win.
W-6 L-0 (12 prestige)
Round 4: Alex (that guy who went to London) who plays fast which is great, because I do if given chance. More regrettably he’s playing the hated NEH and the not pleasing to see MaxX. My other match ups had been fine, but I wasn’t looking forward to this.
[Runner] I really abhor NEH. I get economy rocking and trashed at least 1, sometimes 2 of SanSan, Jacko, DBS, Pad Campaign – his remotes to be double sure there was nothing else tasty and looked in R&D regularly when my rig was up. After his first score I used Utopia to virtually empty his hand and checked the remaining cards. Didn’t matter, NEH did its thing and I lose without even seeing the agendas. Lame. Alex is a good player, and he plays the deck because it great, but don’t expect me to stop moaning about NEH any time soon. Grumpy face.
[Corp] I fight the good fight against MaxX and mange to get some agenda points, but he’s playing the Parasite version and most of my NEXT ICE gets eaten, and the Ichi’s too. I Jackson ICE back in and keep persevering to the point the Alex is nearly through his deck the second time and with no more Levy I figure I might be in with a chance if I can exhaust him, but he’s on six points and the win is inevitable for him. Tough game, need to put the Crisium’s back in or something similar.
W-6 L-2 (12 prestige)
Round 5: Dan who’s excited by the prospect of a playmat and desperate keen to win. Playing MaxX and NEH *hack spit* again. Having just experienced this combo and knowing I was right to be concerned – I nevertheless was hoping for one game out of the match to more or less guarantee a place in the top cut.
[Runner] I didn’t do well here. I had a Sure Gamble and a code gate breaker to solve Quandry/Enigma so kept my hand – despite knowing full well that I shouldn’t do that with this deck – I should mulligan for a way to get Magnum Opus. Sometimes though, that little voice in the back of your head tells you it’ll be okay and you stick with what you’ve got.
A SanSan is rezzed behind a Wraparound and the first Astro scored to join a Breaking News already on the table. I’ve been looking for more breakers but don’t find any. In desperation I draw up with two I’ve Had Worse and have literally a quarter of my deck in hand, but there are none of my SMCs, Test Runs or either of my barrier breakers. The only thing I can think of to do is get into HQ and pinch the next agenda before it can be scored. Dan rezzes an Architect which I can’t break. He puts an agenda on the SanSan and another out naked – it’s my last click after all. He then promptly pays to score another Astro that’s hanging around on the SanSan, plays Biotic and uses counters to score out another 2 points, making 4 points scored in one turn and the win. Sad panda.
[Corp] Could do with winning this one really. It’s tough as you’d expect, but eventually I score out an ABT bankrupting myself and as I haven’t seen much ICE feel pretty comfortable that I’ll get at least one piece and with my Foundry ability that’s enough. Hopefully I’ll see two or more and lock MaxX out of R&D. I see none and an Agenda goes in the bin. It’s all downhill from there. I get a brief moment of amusement as Dan goes drug crazy and uses Amped up twice to keyhole about 7 or 8 times and sees only one agenda – an NAPD. By this point though there’s 2 agendas in hand, another hiding in archives and another in a remote, plus R&D is riddled with them and I’ve already burned all my Jacksons putting stuff back. Dan wins.
W-6 L-4 (12 prestige)
Due to time constraints the organiser had decided on Top 4 rather than Top 8. I understand why, but was a bit miffed at this point as I figured I’d be in the 5-8 category. I might squeak through on Strength of Schedule having played two of the (now) Top 4 but it depended on other match ups. Sure enough I ended up sixth – ultimately though it’s no real hardship for me – I’ve got the playmat and Regional Bye, it’s just pride wounded that I can’t now say I’ve reached the top cut of every SC I’ve played in! No issue with the organising though – the format was well advertised in advance so I knew what the deal was going in and frankly should have won one of my last four games and got through, so I’ve no one to blame but myself. Or NEH. Yeah, let’s do that. Funk you NEH.
Big thanks to the organisers and my great opponents who gave me a good run for my money. Like the new venue, good to have nearby facilities and spacious playing area – although the outside bit was a bit nippy – so remember to win your games and stay in the warm shop. 🙂
Thanks also to those whose kind words about the blog meant I could be bothered to make silly pictures and type up a report. Give us a like, tell you friends, I’m here all week (try the veal).