Sunday was the day of the second Uroborus Cup – a side event for people wanting more Netrunner after Nationals or giving people without a ticket for the main event a chance to get some Hot Tournament Action in. I think there were 67 people signed up in the end – including me, as I’d dropped my mate off for the Doomtown tournament and decided to squeeze in last minute for some Nets. I got a bit jaded after a couple of games to be honest, as my decks needed changes after the previous day’s fun and I kept seeing cards I didn’t want anymore, but enough of my sulkiness, on to the games!
Round 1: Hannah from Birmingham with dirty NEH and the never ending Kate.
[Runner] The trouble with NEH these days is you can no longer just try to keep up speed wise as you may get Scorched if it’s one of “those” decks. I wasn’t seeing an influence spend though, so assumed we were looking for Biotic or something and ended up using Utopia in the hope of seeing agendas. Instead I saw Sea Source and Scorch, with another SEA going down to a Hacktavist tax. Gulp. Fortunately once I knew what I was dealing with it was just a matter of clearing tags and running sensibly to get the win.
[Corp] I got a couple of early agendas but then couldn’t find any for ages and all I could do was watch Kate build up. I managed to fire off an Agg Sec and create some opportunities, but it still came down to the last turn. Ultimately I had to Atlas for another Atlas and stick it in a remote and see if the defences
were strong enough. They were and so I won on the very last turn.
W-2 L-0 (4 prestige)
Round 2: Matt “Chappers” with his day-glo yellow play matt. He’s brought RP and Valencia.
[Runner] I Siphon like a daemon and take all his money. Bit hazy on the details, but keeping RP super poor is the way forward and won me the game.
[Corp] This half was more memorable. I started okay, but quickly found myself in a losing position as I couldn’t get cash up too high without getting Vamped – Magnum Opus being the economy engine. I played out an Agg Sec naked and advanced it. Matt didn’t bite and so I decided to make the bluff even bigger. I double advanced it. Then triple. There was a Hostile sat there so if it was Government Takeover I could win next turn. Matt was almost visibly sweating. Luckily for him though, he had another Vamp and could clear me of credits before running so I was unable to fire my ace in the hole. There were several mistakes throughout the game as we both struggled to keep track, already drained from Nationals the day before and the game came down to the wire with no time left and only a couple of agendas tucked away, R&D down to less cards than fingers on my hand. Matt managed to guess right on his last run though and scored the winning points on his very last turn. Epic.
W-3 L-1 (6 prestige)
Round 3: Alan from across the water – Cork if I recall correctly. He’s placed highly the day before so I knew it wouldn’t be an easy match. He as packing NEH and Ken Tenma – giving him access to his new promo.
[Runner] Again, I wasn’t sure if death awaited in this NEH and so had to play canny. I struggled for economy and having to check lots of remotes and trash things wasn’t helping – a Data Raven over HQ making Siphons less lucrative than they should have been. I managed to accumulate six points while eating a Snare and having to evade some DRTs, and was conscious of clearing tags on the off chance of a one-of Scorch (Alan later admitted there weren’t any in the deck). Ultimately though with Astro tokens available it was just a matter of him seeing an agendas before I did and so he closed out the game.
[Corp] Ken is a running daemon, but the threat of Scorch was ever present. While Alan was trying to get set up I left some rezzed ICE over centrals to make his runs expensive and stop Dirty Laundry and in the meantime got my own cash up and over-advanced an Atlas to really put the pressure on. Alan couldn’t find a way in past the curtain walls and I scored out a win as he scraped for cash.
W-4 L-2 (8 prestige)
Round 4Tom a young whipper snapper, who had reached Top 16 the day before, so once again, not an easy match.
[Runner] I hit the same problem as in my other key matchup in Nationals. Not enough Account Siphon meant I couldn’t keep RP poor enough. He’d had a bad start and although I pressured like crazy, without that a way of crimping economy as well as a lack of multi access, I could only really watch on as the RP engine eventually took over and Tom took the win.
[Corp] Can’t really remember the corp game so much. I recall not being able to get the credit advantage and so even with Snatch and Grab ready to go and kill pieces falling into place, Tom was sharp enough to maintain his money mountain and keep himself in front and safe to steal agendas.
W-4 L-4 (8 prestige)
Aside – then a weird thing happened. I was somehow paired with Timo from my own Nottingham store who was on two more wins than me. After the initial groans and laughter he asked how on earth I was matched against him. I suggested there must be some kind of clerical error – but the TO putting the pairings up said “I don’t make clerical errors”, so with a shrug and rueful smile at our umpteenth game together we headed off to get our game on.
Round 5: Timo has come a long way from a year ago when he walked into Chimera all bright eyed with wonder and asking what this Netrunner thing was all about. He’s now one of our top players, scoring wins against the previous National Champion using the latter’s own decks (with refinements) against him. I win more than I lose in casual pay against Timo, but I know that my tournament play against him isn’t as strong for some reason.
[Corp] I have a nightmare. With two agendas in hand I let him into R&D first turn figuring there’s less chance of a hit there and I need to save money to protect HQ with a rez if necessary. He hits an agenda, Leela bounces my ICE on HQ, takes an agenda from there and bounces my remote. I try to recover the next turn but he gets another access and hits me again. Out of five accesses he sees four agendas and that’s the game.
We had great banter about this but some people next to use may not have realised we knew each other, Laurie in particular seemed concerned – so apologies to anyone nearby who thought there was some kind of trouble going down or whatever – it was just too having what the kids might call “bantz”.
[Runner] Timo wiped away his tears of laughter and I got my game face on for the return match. There was every chance his RP would kick my bum, and I didn’t want to get swept by Timo as I wouldn’t hear the end of it for ages. We both suffered and benefited from insider knowledge in equal measure. I knew his ICE suite, but he know I’d be going for spamming Account Siphon on repeat. He was aware of Hacktavist and so rezzed assets immediately, I knew when it was safe to run and shutdown his costly ICE instead of wasting shutdowns early. Ultimately I changed my Psi game money to adapt to how he and I “usually” bet and won more of those game to secure victory and restore honour.
W-5 L-5 (10 prestige)
Round 6 Embarrassingly, it seems I’d stopped taking notes by this point and so my memory is even more hazy than normal – I’d like to say my opponent was Sean? Apologies if I’ve got that wrong! Filthy NEH(?) and much more interesting and manly Iain Stirling.
[Runner] It’s all a bit of a blur but my gut instinct is Astrobananas got away with it before I could do much useful. This may be one of those elusive Account Siphon games – either way I’ve now put a Planned Assault in the deck to sort this nonsense out and it’s helped so far in limited testing. NEH is boring. No reflection on my opponent! 😉
[Corp] Of much more interest was the Iain deck. I hung around too long at the start, trying not to score Hostiles as the three credit swing of his ID and Bad Pub seemed a bad idea, but on reflection I should have just gone for it. The deck had a Supplier-driven economy that wouldn’t stop and Fall Guy protecting the card-drawing engine. My Snatch and Grab became a moot point and before long I could get anywhere near a SEA Source cash advantage either. I tried to reprise my tricks with Aggressive Secretary and almost suckered him into it, but my canny opponent managed to spot the right card in HQ and knew where to run to secure a win.
W-5 L-7 (10 prestige)
Again, much fun had, even if I only finished on mid-table mediocrity and felt burned out half way through (thankfully the LOLZ with Timo kept me going at the mid-way point). Happily, the overall winner was a lady (Nicole) playing Blue Sun and interestingly a Hayley stealth deck. Criminal decks had a massive showing compared to the Kate-dominated Nationals, with Shaper being the lowest represented faction. Uroborus secures its reputation as the fun tournament with meta-defying antics abundant! Great to see a more gender-balanced representation too (although male-dominated as experience has shown me of this type of hobby).
A good antidote to the stress of Nationals, although next time if I go for it (even last minute) I must remember to bring a different set of decks so I don’t feel so jaded, and also so I can try something a bit more funky than normal and fit in with all the cool kids.