The Tournament Journey Part 4

The Tournament Journey Pt 4 (Regionals)

20/05/14

Dave 'Cerberus' Hoyland

 

 

Part 1 – Testing in a local tournament – can be found here.

 

Part 2 – Store Championships – can be found here.

 

Part 3 – Chronos Protocol Tour – can be found here.

 

This report is focused on my Regional experience, I wanted to attend a number of Regionals because there was a lot of loot that I wanted and because I wanted to attend Nationals. For those of you not aware UK Nationals is working in a different manner to many other places, on the Sunday of the UK Games Expo there is a 16 person tournament, those 16 are made up of the first and second place from each of the 5 Regionals (N England, S England, Scotland, Ireland & Wales) and the top 6 people from the Saturday qualifier tournament (72 spaces). As with a lot of these events I have wanted to get to, life has got in the way and I have only managed to make one, I was able to attend the Welsh Regional on 10th May.

 

Prior to the Regional I had been away on holiday/vacation for a week and then really sick for a week. Because of this I had been unable to do any testing with Honor & Profit. I wasn't sure what was going to be good, what I was going to face and therefore basically had no idea... After some thought, I decided that without testing, changing my decks was likely a terrible idea. Therefore I went into Regionals without any Honor & Profit cards in my decks... This lack of testing would come back to bite me pretty badly.

 

For my runner deck I was happy with my Andy deck, she'd not lost a game since I made the changes and she felt very natural to play. I was running a blue deck with all the standard great blue events and console, however, rather than running a deck focused on R&D lock I decided to run 3 Parasites, with the idea that if I can kill off taxing ice and therefore get into servers that the corp believes are too expensive to run often or feel safe putting agendas behind. To further enforce this strategy I was running Sneakdoor Beta, which people still do not see coming in Andy and it won me several games. With Corroders and a Yog and Mimic this rounds out my influence. I am very happy with this deck and while I thought it could be improved with the new cards I was sure it would still be strong.

 

On the corp side I decided to take my asset HBFA deck, this has done me well in the previous tournaments because there has been so much Criminal and they really struggle against this deck because their burst economy cannot keep up with the number of trashable assets and upgrades. This is where the new deluxe expansion really hurt me, and without testing I didn't know it was coming, one card was about to wreck my HB deck.

 

So the tournament; it was a good turn out of just under 40 players, with a lot of familiar faces. The TO announced that they were going to do six rounds of swiss and then cut to the top eight, where they would be using the new double elimination rules.

 

Round 1 – SUPER BYE!

Cashing in my super bye from the Store Championships win allowed me to spend an hour chatting with fellow super bye folk, getting some food and generally relaxing. There were seven people who ended up cashing in their certificates for first round byes.

 

Prestige 4

 

 

Round 2 vs Neil

The bad thing about super byes is that you start your day against people the caliber of Neil. He is a great guy, and a great player, who has Store Championship and Chronos Protocol wins under his belt. We start with him running and soon learn my corp decks new weakness.

 

HB EtF vs Andromeda

Quite early on Neil played Security Testing, and I realised that there was very little that I could do about it, with several remote servers because I have a lot of asset based economy, there was nothing that I could do to prevent him those credits. With the 3 credits that he was gaining thanks to Desperado he was able to trash my asset based economy and not be taxed by it. I also saw very little Ice at the start of the game, this allowed him cheap access to my servers for a long time. I was able to get a San San down and had two Biotic Labor in hand, but he was able to lock down my centrals and pulled all of my agendas before I could score them. It ended very quickly, and was a sound loss 0-7

 

Andromeda vs NBN TWIY*

After a standard opening turn I started running aggressively, he managed to keep me out early with cheap ETR breakers, so I start installing the ones I need or parasiting problem Ice, this allows me cheap access for a long while and I am able to score out points with ease. Sneakdoor opens up HQ again after he manages to lock me out, but it is R&D that eventually gives up the NAPD that gives me the win. This was almost a complete opposite of our first match, with a solid win 7-0.

 

Prestige 6

 

 

Round 3 vs Becky

Andromeda vs NBN TWIY*

I start applying pressure early, which allows me to secure some early points. Becky understands that HQ is compromised and so uses Biotic Labor to score a Beale, then scores Breaking News as she draws it. I get a full breaker suite up and am able to access quite cheaply which scores me more points. There is very little Becky can do at this point, here cheap ETR Ice hasn't allowed her to get an Astro train going and she now has no safe remote to score from. She manages to score another Breaking News from hand before I pull the points I need. Win 7-4

 

HB EtF vs Andromeda

I Ice up and get some asset economy down, but Becky gets down the right breaker for my ETR Ice and manages to pull an agenda on her first R&D run. I Ice up a bit more to protect myself and more assets in case there is an Account Siphon attempt. She gets an R&D Interface down and runs, scoring a second agenda, I further secure R&D as Becky builds her rig. I build a remote to house a San San and start scoring agendas, Becky manages to make one more R&D run but doesn't score. I score agendas as I draw them using the San San with a Biotic as a back up in case I draw a 4/2. I am able to make runs too expensive and therefore I am able to draw and score for the win 7-4.

 

Prestige 10

 

 

Round 4 vs Sam

Sam is another great player who I have played before, he was coming into this Regional with two Store Championship wins under his belt. He also went to play in London Regional the next day and took first place.

 

HB EtF vs Andromeda

In one of the opening turns Sam throws down Security Testing, this generates him money for a few turns until I can afford to Ice up all of my Central Servers and my asset economy server. Once I have everything locked down Security Testing is a lot less of an issue, however my focus on many servers has left HQ weak and Sam hits me with a Legwork which nets him some points. I drop an Adonis and then later an Eve into my protect remote and I am soon rich and well Iced. I drop a San San into the economy remote while Sam manages to score from R&D, I manage to score of the San San twice before he is able to get in and trash it. I am able to win by using Biotic Labor to score and agenda then Archive Memories to get it back for the last one. Win 7-3

 

Andromeda vs NBN TWIY*

After a standard Andy economy start I begin applying pressure to Sam's central servers, he scores a Breaking News from hand to stop me taking it as I am able to get access regularly. R&D gives me some points before he locks it down, so I drop a Sneakdoor which gets me to 5 points. A little while later Sam uses Biotic Labor to score an Astro from hand. The next turn he draws and then Fast Tracks for an Astro, he has 6 cards in hand but only 1 credit, I want to run HQ but am concerned about running through the Pop Up Window as this will allow him the money to score the Astro, so I Inside Job the Pop Up and pull the Astro for the win. Sam explains that he had two agendas in hand and his plan was to score the Astro using a Shipment from San San, and then do the same to score the Beale the turn after. Great play, I can see why the deck won a Regional. Win 7-3

 

Prestige 14

 

 

Round 5 vs Tim

Andromeda vs NBN MN

I run aggressively in the early game against an R&D only defended by a Pop Up Window, this quickly nets me 4 points. I also manage to hit an early Siphon and so am able to gain a significant advantage. Tim manages to secure R&D using a Viper which I can't break because I cannot find a Datasucker or Parasite. Tim plays a card in his remote which is two Ice deep, I run it and after breaking the first Ice bounce off a Tollbooth, I Femme it and run it finding a San San which I trash. This series of events makes me very poor and Tim uses this Window to play an Ice on the remote and play a card in it, I run, hit a Viper that I can do nothing about and watch as Tim scores an Astro. I attack HQ and am able to pull another 2 points before he can score it. I'm drawing for some way past the Viper's but cannot draw what I need. The Astro chains into another, then a Beale and finally a Breaking News for the win. Loss 6-7

 

HB EtF vs Andromeda

This game was very similar to my first game against Neil, an early Security Testing left Tim with a huge amount of money that allowed him to trash any economy I got. I didn't see enough Ice early to be able to defend all of my centrals and with the economy advantage Tim was able to gain access often. One of the best / most interesting plays in the game came when I had two cards in hand, I had just Fast Advanced an agenda using a Biotic and Tim decides to Legwork me, both cards are agendas so it nets him 4 points. Never saw it coming. Other than a few FA agendas I get taken apart and lose 4-7

 

Prestige 14

 

 

I'm tilting at this point, I'd never lost both games in a tournament before and so am put out at it happening. I'm also worried, as what looked like a definite top position has now become uncertain. I need to win at least one if not both of my last round.

 

 

Round 6 vs Iain

I'd never played Iain before but had seen him at a lot of tournaments and he'd always placed well. The fact he was carring a Chronos Protocol bag was an indication of his skill, that and the fact that the next day he finished second in the London Regional.

 

HB EtF vs Andromeda

I am sure I am supposed to write an interesting report of what happened here, however, he played Security Testing and my deck died. Let me make something very clear, Iain played really well and was really nice, trying to cheer me up when I was tilting but it was a brutal 3-7 loss.

 

Andromeda vs Weyland BABW

I economy and Plascrete Carapace early and start making runs. Iain scores a turn 2 Hostile Takeover and then uses it to rez Archer on R&D. My economy is mostly Daily Casts and Archives runs with Desperado and Datasucker. I am able to score a Government Contracts from R&D after a surprise Parasite kills it. However even though I am building my rig I am unable to get into the Guard protected remote in time to stop him scoring a Government Contracts as well. I am able to access HQ and R&D enough and manage to pick up a Project Atlas. Iain goes to score another agenda in his remote thinking I can't get in without a full rig, but I'm holding my breakers in hand and so install them and run getting the game winning agenda. Win 7-3

 

Prestige 16

 

 

16 Prestige is enough for a top 8 spot and I finish as 7th Seed.

My swiss rounds have been interesting, 5 Andromeda and 4 NBN, 1 Weyland. Definitely a theme there.

 

Top 8

Kate & Jinteki RP

Kate & NBN MN

Andromeda & NBN TWIY*

Andromeda & NBN MN

Gabe & Weyland BABW

Andromeda & Weyland BABW

Andromeda & HB EtF

Iain Sterling & NBN MN

 

 

 

Double Elimination – vs Chris

HB EtF vs Kate

Chris who finished swiss as 2nd seed elects to run, his runner deck has gone undefeated in swiss so it makes a lot of sense. I'm excited to play against a none Andromeda deck, specifically a deck with no Security Testing.

I Ice and drop asset economy, Chris plays a Prepaid VoicePAD and some burst economy. I draw into a lot of agendas and have to use Jackson Howard to get rid of them. I'm lucky to have another Jackson Howard on the table when Chris hits me with an Indexing, this costs him a lot of money due to taxing Ice such as R&D on Eli. I drop a San San in my remote and use it the following turn. Chris hits me with a Legwork which picks him up some points. Towards the end of the game he has all three PPVP's out, and is playing Lucky Finds for 9 credits, and Quality Time for free. However I am able to protect my San San and score agendas as I draw them with a Biotic Labor in case I draw a 4/2. Chris manages to score another agenda from a late game Indexing but the Ice on R&D is too expensive for repeated runs and I score out a few turns later. Win 7-4

 

 

Double Elimination – vs Neil

Because I played Corp and Neil played Runner in the first round I have to run against Neil's Astrobiotic.

 

Andromeda vs NBN TWIY*

I econ and set up Desperado and Datasucker early and then run, Neil rezzes Ice to keep me out which I start Parasiting to allow me cheap accesses. Neil has to use his early turns Icing and paying to rez Ice. Sneakdoor opens up HQ again and scores me points that have been building up in HQ. Then my fixed strength rig makes short work of the cheap ETR Ice allowing more cheap acceses and helps me score more points. Neil isn't able to keep me out and a few turns later I pick up the win. Win 7-1

 

Top 4

Kate & Jinteki RP

Andromeda & NBN TWIY*

Andromeda & NBN MN

Andromeda & HB ETF

 

 

 

Double Elimination – vs Tim

 

HB EtF vs Andromeda

 

 

 

 

Double Elimination – vs Neil

 

Andromeda vs NBN TWIY*

 

 

 

Double Elimination – vs Tim

 

HB EtF vs Andromeda

 

 

Closing Thoughts

So, after everything I finished 2nd out of just short of 40 people, I'm really pleased with how I played, and I feel that if my Corp deck hadn't picked up such a new weakness I think the games against the Criminal decks would have been very differently . I felt the the HBFA deck was really strong against Criminal generally because the couldn't keep up with the high trash costs of the assets, Security Testing has really changed this, and while I learnt to mitigate the impact throughout the day it definitely cost me a lot of games. If I'd been able to practice leading up to the Regional I would have likely come to this realisation earlier and done something about it, I hope.

The Andromeda deck continues to do well, dropping one game all day, and that game it lost 6-7 because of a bad draw, not seeing any Paraste or Datasucker causing Viper to lock me out hard from two servers. I believe that Parasite Andromeda is a better deck for me because it doesn't cause me to become blinded to attacking only R&D or cause me to have problems against taxing Ice. It feels like a Gabe deck which has more consistent starts. Tim and Neil both swapped in Parasites following my success with this deck at Chronos Protocol, though they opted for removal of out of faction breakers so they could play both Parasite and R&D Interface. Since we ended 1st, 2nd, and 3rd I think this is a strong argument for it being valid.

 

Next up is UK Nationals, I wasn't planning on attending because tickets had sold out to the Saturday qualifying tournament, but now I have an automatic entry into the top 16 tournament I feel like I should go, and I am going to.

I'm pretty excited about it, as I have a small chance of becoming UK Champion and winning a trip to Worlds. Wish me luck...

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