BABW (Bring Another Brit to Worlds) is an unofficial fan-run series of tournaments hosted across the UK which gives Netrunner players an opportunity to earn a stipend to travel to the World Championships November 2016, and part of the ANRPC competitive Netrunner circuit.
Timo and I motored up to the York event for fun and games – I took my Noise but as The Underway wasn’t legal had to take the excellent Street Peddler out and put Inject back in *hack spit*. I also took a murderous Weyland but this time with more even more murder than I took to Belgium.
For those that just come for the pictures and want to skip to the end, the deck lists are linked in the final standings on Acoo
Round 1: Tom – don’t think I’ve played him before, but now I have unlocked the Play All Three Wicks Brothers Achievement. He had Tennin (which I really like, but in testing my opponents are always too slow to make it worth the risk in competitive play) and Hayley. Yay for interesting deck choices.
[Runner] My draw meant I could go fairly aggro early and I kept chipping away to stop the counters building up. Tom rezzed Tsurugi and Ice Walls to try and keep me at bay, but Parasite made short work of them and Medium joined in the party to make it a fairly short game, which I was glad about based on previous Tennin experiences.
[Corp] I minted loads of money as Weyland and scored out some early points, but then couldn’t find any agendas. Tom built up an intimidating board state, but I had the threat of fiery death and Snares to prevent too much multi-access. It came down to the wire in the end and I got the Runner to burn himself out on a meaningless remote run before installing the winning agenda and doubling up on Curtain Walls to win on the last turn.
W-2 L-0 (4 prestige)
Round 2: Having travelled all the way to York, I was thrilled to be playing Timo from Nottingham… Despite generally having the better of games during the week, he normally performs better than me at tournaments. He’d switched up on his previous decks to bring the hated NEH and Kate.
[Runner] Timo is a good player, who has taken on board lots of advice and criticism, earned his stripes playing again and again in the Nottingham meta and is now one of our top guys. None of this was important for the game at hand. Injects didn’t help me out with finding an Imp and I was struggling to check and trash every asset. Eventually a SanSan got through and the Astrotrain left the station. It doesn’t feel like playing Netrunner…
[Corp] The reverse match and Timo knows my deck, so he’s not running unless he’s got a credit advantage, because he doesn’t want his house burning down. There were a couple of points here where I could have possibly made a difference. He Legworked my hand which had four cards and two Snares, but fortunately (for him) missed one of them. With hindsight I could have used an Atlas counter to pull a third Snare into hand and make the kill more likely. In the final run of the game I used double Jackson to pour Snares and economy back into my deck – arguably here I should have used the counter to take our the Government Takeover – but I didn’t and he stole it from R&D, top card. Having burned my Jacksons, it would only have been a matter of time before he sniped it from HQ, but who knows what might happen in a few more turns?
W-2 L-2 (4 prestige)
Round 3: Nick is next packing moar Kate and a HB glacier(?).
[Corp] Knowing that once Kate gets set up she can get in anywhere, I started pushing agendas early as I could while building cash. Nick was only really expecting Midseasons apparently, but still wasn’t checking his credit pile quite stringently enough. I kept R&D fairly lightly defended and with an Atlas token in play it was just a matter of waiting for another piece of the puzzle and a successful run to send the boys round and burn his house down. Which I did.
[Runner] I question whether this was a glacier build, as Nick only saw two ICE (well, other than the ones in the bin) so his defences were somewhat lacking. As a result Noise had an easy time of scoring the needed points. At least Nick had plenty of time to eat his fish and chips.
W-4 L-2 (8 prestige)
Round 4: Neil from Birmingham – it seems traditional we have to play each other, ever since Nationals last year! He’s got his secretive Blue Sun and Kate.
[Runner] I had a good old attack and although Neil was scoring as fast as he could behind a solitary Changeling, I was hammering away at centrals and got to 5 points at more or less the same time he did. Key play here was putting a Swordsman on the scoring remote. I’ll be honest and say I wasn’t expecting it. I had a Sacrificial Construct in the deck somewhere and some Clone Chip / Parasite plays but they weren’t online, so as I got a rush of blood to the head and charged in I lost the Crypsis and the initiative. A better play would probably have been to continue hitting centrals, but with Neil no 5 points too and a face down card in a remote, I couldn’t risk it being an Atlas.
[Corp] My notes aren’t clear on this but there’s lots of 2x Curtain Wall and 2x Snare for some reason… the win came from Government Takeover however, as Neil saw this and a Punitive in the same run on R&D and so new his fate was sealed.
W-5 L-3 (10 prestige)
Round 5: Cj, the tournament organiser with Ken Tenma and Replicating Bananas.
[Corp] Ken can be an aggressive runner by nature, but a Data Raven over both HQ and R&D slowed him down – Account Siphons in particular resulting in three tags and a burned Faerie really put a cramp on his style. As time goes on Ken gets weaker and Weyland gets stronger, and eventually a mistake was bound to occur. Out of frustration Cj ran one of several facedown cards last click and hit a Snare rather than a Jackson, and the fiery death soon followed.
[Runner] In a curious kind of poetry, I was struggling against multiple Lotus Fields instead of Data Ravens all over centrals, but could still get in to cause problems. Two Sundews were online, but I was causing enough problems with mills and seeing the odd TFP to keep me happy. Celebrity Gift let me know that nothing too exciting was going on in HQ, so I stayed with R&D and Archives. I lost a couple of psi games, but repeatedly hitting two main central eventually yielded the results I needed for the win.
W-7 L-3 (14 prestige)
Double Elimination: So I made the cut in third place overall, with a Top 8 finals.
DE Round 1: Chris from York – I got to choose side as higher seed and so went for Runner against his Blue Sun. Nick left HQ open early and I used to Parasites to keep it that way. After suffering some Impage he was keen to purge, so I played more Imp, and then Déjà vu for yet another, each one eliciting a purge. With Aesop’s online and more viruses coming through my economy engine was ticking over nicely (so I could Crypsis in if I needed to get somewhere) and Archives was piling up with goodies. Late in the game Chris tried to score out in a rush, but judging the tempo I realised the mill was on and so ate through R&D to win the old school way, rather than mess about with running the gauntlet of a three-deep remote.
DE Round 2: I was paired against Neil from Birmingham again. I was reprising my Corp which killed him in Swiss so things weren’t looking too bad, but Kate is always troublesome and if anything, Neil was likely to be more wary this time round. I set up a tough choice for him early on – burn all his money and SMC on killing an OAI Curtain Wall – or let me have the 14 credits. Ultimately he went for wrecking the wall. This cleared the way for me to double advance an Atlas behind Hive. His dog now only having two counters after eating the Curtain I could keep him out. Having only three credits in my pool though, Neil wasn’t scared of Snare and decided to Maker’s Eye last click. I rezzed the Shadow over R&D landing a tag, but he saw Atlas / card / Government Takeover and won. There may have been swearing. If you put the cards in your deck, then they’ll show up from time to time, but it was particularly galling with the double Atlas ready to go and a tag on the runner. I would have by no means been guaranteed a win if he hadn’t seen both agendas, but life would definitely have been very difficult for him…
DE Round 3: And so to “losers” bracket. We really need a better name for that. Maz from Sheffield was surprisingly still in the running (the in-joke being he always qualifies for the top cut and immediately gets knocked out). He was running yet more Kate. I managed to disrupt him early with a Crisium / Snare combo in a remote and I score out a Hostile to get me a point. Maz is playing really cautiously as everyone by now is well aware of the mass murder my deck is dishing out, but this means time it ticking away and we’re not getting further towards a conclusion. Eventually he sees one point and I’ve not quite got what I need to kill him. Soon after I’ve assembled all the pieces and more, but we’re down to five minutes left and in the really distasteful position that Maz might win on seeding with us both on a single point. I out down a Jackson and left it there to refill R&D with Snares when he made his next R&D run. Turns out he was too scared of Snare to run remotes, so I could have snuck out an Atlas if I’d been a bit more aggressive. In the end, with the very last click of the game Maz saw several cards in R&D. Regrettably no Snares, but there was an Atlas as last card – so at least he won properly and not on an embarrassing technicality with only a couple of Hostiles between us.
And with that I was out and fifth place. Timo had made the cut too, but also got eliminated early and so we could hit the road and head back for Nottingham. Thanks to Cj for organising and the rest of my opponents and players who were, as always, friendly and welcoming. Eager to talk about all thing Netrunner and high on sportsmanship. Better than those Magic players… 😉