Sunday was one of the monthly store tournaments we have at Chimera. Andy, the proprietor normally tries to schedule them so I can’t play because he’s jealous of my dashing good looks. On this occasion however he’d got the calendar wrong and I could join in. 12 players, four rounds of Swiss.
Round 1: Leigh, who I played against at Patriot Games a couple of weeks ago, and so he audibly groaned when we got matched up. NBN Making News and Leela.
[Runner] I was packing Chaos Theory as usual for this tournament season, but had thought to try out a Keyhole / Eater combo in there for the LOLz, so it was a bit of a weird deck and I kept forgetting what was in there and what had been removed. I was pretty much in control and scoring, but it came to the point where I should gain money and keep keyholing, but for some reason I got distracted and started poking around places I had no business. The long and short of it is I ran into an Information Overload because I’d forgotten they were a thing and lost everything. I started fighting back, but Leigh Psychographic’d an Eden Fragment out and everything was then too expensive while trying to rebuild my shattered remains.
[Corp] I’d switched to Tennin for this tournament with it being more of a friendly. The deck was still strong, but frankly is too slow. Not particularly for me, but other people seem to take ages deciding what to do and I’ve not even got any remotes. We were heading to time so I had to pressure Leigh to get his finger out. Criminal struggles against big taxing servers and I’d ensured to layer up prior to scoring so Leela didn’t fire and with everyone inactive turn on the runner’s side I was getting free tokens and Subliminals. I managed to win it on the last turn after time was called, but it felt a grind.
W-1 L-1 (2 prestige)
Round 2: Rebekah who likes the Noise and was also playing Tennin. Where I lead others follow… 😉
[Corp] The Noise build was an interesting one with Vigil, Account Siphon, Data Leak Reversal and other goodness in there. Unfortunately I could find my third ETR ICE to prevent Bex from getting into a central and starting to layer up Fall Guys and DLRs. Then Joshua B came out and the milling started – usually five a turn, with the occasional Amped Up thrown in for good measure. The sheer cost of trashing and re-trashing resources was keeping me destitute and I was struggling to get some defences up, but by some lucky happenstance only one agenda got milled. Becky wasn’t playing Levy and ended up milling herself out of cards while I finally finished securing centrals. HQ was still vulnerable but fortunately the runner didn’t think to check (five agendas in hand) so I ground out the win clicking for credits and installing ICE while pretending I couldn’t find an agenda to score.
[Runner] The boot was on the other foot now as I had to face down Tennin. Fortunately for me though, with Eater in the deck, getting in at least once a turn wasn’t a problem even if I didn’t access cards. This felt a fairly comfortable game, I had MO out to generate tax money and then run every turn as well, alternating cheaper runs with more expensive ones to manage cash flow. While Tennin is fun, I think it struggles against rich shapers who can assemble a rig quickly and stop the early tokens from building up.
W-3 L-1 (6 prestige)
Round 3: Will one of the new guys from the store, with only a limited card pool to pick from, but he was obviously doing okay as we were on the top 4 table at this point. HB Ending the Fun and Gabe.
[Runner] I got up and running early and attacked aggressively as you’d expect. I scored some points and was checking R&D most turns and HQ occasionally. Somehow Will managed to Biotic score three agendas without me seeing them putting him on Match Point, but after that he was spent on cash and Fast Advance resources. With Keyhole on the table I finally dug out the winning agenda. Shows that a lot of core cards are still strong.
[Corp] While Shaper is the natural predator of Tennin, Criminals struggle. I quickly double ICEd everything to prevent the inside jobs and got to work. Whether because he’s fairly new or he has balls of steel (or both), Will was running early and often without a sentry breaker out. I didn’t have any Komainu or anything online, but I managed to trash his Passport and he got distracted later recurring Parasites, so neglected to get his code gate breakers back. As a result when the Lotus Fields turned up, it was just a matter of playing out the inevitable.
W-5 L-1 (10 prestige)
Round 4: Pete on top table and as-yet undefeated. He was playing Blue Sun and Andromeda, while curiously claiming Andy was hipster these days.
[Runner] Blue Sun can get lots of cash, but I hit him hard and early and kept the ICE rezzing costs high and managed to grab an Atlas from hand, plus throw in an Account Siphon which kept me going while the Magnum turned up. Pete has gone for the ballsy early move of Power Shutdown for five to kill MO – unfortunately for him, I had another one in hand. Eventually, inevitably, BS starts to generate cash though. Pete scores out and I start bleeding programs to Archer and other tricks. It’s not a major concern for Shaper though and the unexpected Keyhole lands to root out a couple more agendas. Pete mounts a last ditch defence, but I cast all my belongings to the win to eventually get into Archives by Clone Chipping a lowly Inti and win.
[Corp] While Criminal in general struggle against Tennin, that does require the corp to get set up. Pete lets me off for a turn or two while he sets out his stall with Security Testing, Kati Jones, Desperado etc. and then starts applying pressure. All I need to see is a barrier to keep him out, but they’re not turning up and I’m struggling for economy and adequate defence. I’m one credit short to keep him out of Archives and still rez the Komainu on R&D to double up with Tsurugi and try to tax his efficient Stealth credits so I let him in. This turns out to be an error though as he manages to bundle through the other centrals and score Notoriety for the win. I think he was always going to win that game to be fair, but you might as well do it in a fancy way if you can.
W-6 L-2 (12 prestige)
I’ve put down 12 prestige, but the system we were using I got 11 because of a timed win. I’m not sure what the official ruling is, as at one of the Sheffield SC events people were getting full Prestige but weaker Strength of Schedule from it? Regardless, I was only one point ahead on SoS anyway, so whichever way you cut it I was ultimately in second place. Pete wins and offers me the playmat, but I’ve already got that one and so it goes to the lower ranks. Similarly a couple of deck boxes get reallocated and there’s a randomised prize from the store to one lucky participant just for showing up, plus store credit for the top 4. We look after people at Chimera. Ahhh.
Another fun event, nice and relaxed. Cheers to the other players and hostess with the mostess Rob for using his tournament app and putting on his best teacher voice, plus of course Andy from Chimera for his facilities and prizes!