So, last Saturday 5 of us headed to Manaleak in Worcester (UK) for their monthly A:NR tournament.
The organisers are really nice people who always play and are basically the local Worcester Netrunner scene, it is a good, if a little strange location as it part board/card game store and part newsagent. It is a strange mix, especially the first time you go in, but its pretty damn convenient for grabbing drinks and food between rounds, which I did several times. If anyone reading this is local (ish) to Worcester, I highly recommend travelling to one of these tournaments.
As a side note they are applying to run both Store Championships and Regionals there next year, which I'm pretty excited about.
Anyway on to the tourney report...
For my runner deck I used Andromeda, I've been playing this deck in various versions for ages and Gabe before her, I've toyed with Noise but never felt as comfortable as I do as Criminal. I have been testing a Noise, Exile and Kit deck and am hoping that either the Kit or Exile deck is good enough to take to a tourney soon.
This is a fairly standard Andy deck that most of you will have seen doing well in Plugged In tour events, things I want to mention are, the one of Mr Li and John Masanori, these are both great and I think they are great as a one of with Hostage. Mr Li saved me in two games, one where I was struggling to get my breaker suite out and another vs Weyland where getting to those Plascrete was game winning. John M was a card that I didn't want to play some of the time I saw him, but in the one or two games I used him he was brilliant, and allowed me to dominate a game against NBN, gaining a Datasucker counter, Credit and Card for a central run is pretty game changing. I used to run two Mimic in this deck and changed it about a month ago to include one Ninja, this was because of the release of Grim and the popularity and success of Weyland and therefore Archer. I saw a lot of Tollbooth (3 of 4 swiss opponents) and so Femme is still a great include. Interestingly one of my most successful changes recently has been to include one Deus X, and not because there are more successful Jinteki players, actually it was MVP against my Weyland opponents. Once you have a Plascrete out the most common cause of a Weyland flatline is Snare followed by the SEA into double SE due to not having 4 cards (Assuming you aren't being foolish and running click 4, that just makes it easier for them). Small changes to a successful deck, but worth considering if you've not already.
For my corp deck I decided to play NBN TWiY*, I've been playing this quite a bit in recent months though had taken a break from it in the last few tourneys to play Haas-Bioroid. It is very simply a rush deck, with a mix of ice with ETR subs and burst economy to make the runner get a full suite up fast. it relies on rushing to 4 or 5 points and then using FA by way of San San or Astroscript to close the game. There are some definite changes that I'd make to this deck following the tourney, namely I would drop one Jackson Howard simply as you want to see him but not multiples and in a 40 card deck you will see him soon enough, and add in another Wall of Static or Chimera and find room for another Grim. I've found that this deck was less effective this time I played it due to people being happy to trash San San regardless of where they access it, this was good to hurt their economy but reduced my options significantly and sometimes hurt my late game. Understand that with this deck you are going to need to win early or you will lose, your ICE is so cheap to get through once they have their breakers out its game.
I'm not sure how many people exactly were at the tourney, there were at more than 12, as we started at midday and had just got our round one matches and sat down when more players arrived and we had to stop and redo. So likely more around 15, the plan was to do four rounds of swiss and then cut to the top four.
I'm not sure on the full deck layouts but this is what I saw throughout the day either by playing them or just general observation.
Andromeda & NBN TWiY*
Kate & NBN MN
Exile & Jinteki PE
Andromeda & Weyland BABW
Gabe & Weyland BABW
Chaos Theory & NBN TWIY*
Andromeda & Jinteki PE
The Professor & Jinteki PE
Kate & Weyland BWBI
There were more, just not sure what...
Round 1 vs Taurian (Gabe & Weyland BABW)
Taurian and I have played several times in the past, once in swiss and twice in top four. He's very good and is a hardcore Weyland player, it was my experience against him in my first ever tournament that made me realise that I need to be running three Plascrete. This was not an easy first round pairing for me.
He wins the flip and decides to corp first, after fairly standard openings from both sides the position of the game eventually comes down to both of us on four points with me with a Plascrete in play and one just drawn in hand. I run on click two and hit a Snare, he looks at my discard which includes the Plascrete and decides to sack a scored False Lead. He doesn't have enough credits to double Scorch me, but that doesn't mean a lot against Weyland, he doesn't top deck a Beanstalk but does decide to single Scorch me to kill the Carapace. The next turn I ditch the tag and draw using Mr Li like crazy. Same the next turn, while he gets back credits. Thanks to Mr Li I am able to play the third carapace and a Deus X and start running again. He sacrifices a Hostile Takeover to an Archer to prevent easy access to HQ, this was a good play otherwise it would have been Siphon time, and it was very much a exploratory run to see if it was worthwhile. With the threat of flatline greatly reduced I am able to access R&D regularly and still maintain a strong attack on his remote, picking up the agendas I need. The game finished at 7-3 but was closer than that with the flatline being very close.
We switch and he runs, standard opening from us and I manage to score a Beale before he has any Barrier breakers out, the key to this game came early as I'd seen three Barriers as my early Ice and then a Rototurret and a Grim which I was yet to play. He Special Ordered for his Corroder and so I lay a Grim on HQ and Roto on R&D. He blind Femme's the Grim and then Account Siphons, at this point he can cheaply break all of my ICE and I cant do much about it. I score a Breaking News from hand but other than that am completely locked out by the breakers he got out and the ICE I drew, also I never really saw any economy past two Hedge Funds in the early turns and that hurt after the Siphon. My corp deck really fell apart here and it was a brutal 7-3 win to him.
Round 2 vs Nick (Chaos Theory & NBN TWIY*)
Nick doesn't care what he plays first so I decide to run, again standard opening from him, I manage to get a Sure Gamble and double Daily Casts out on turn one setting up my economy nicely. Turn two or three I face check some Ice on his remote to see what breaker I need and am shocked when I hit a Neural Katana, he doesn't have enough to pay for Snare and so I access and kill his Melange. I draw and play breakers as I find them so I don't lose them to other Net damage. Nick has a number of code gates out so I Special Order a Yog and start making runs. I get down a R&D Interface and over the next 4-5 turns see 10 cards and don't score anything. I'm guessing he has a hand of agendas but don't have the breaker I need. At this point however I have a Desperado and John Masanori out and so every R&D run is showing me 2 cards, giving me a credit and a card. I soon see the breaker and start to Account Siphon and Shutdown, with his economy and ICE shutdown Nick cannot stop me accessing at will and I start pulling agendas from R&D and HQ until I get the win. 7-0
We swap and I see a hand of duplicates early on, through it could be worse as Nicks economy never gets going as he has to trash all three San Sans, I played them unprotected due to a lack of ICE. It slows him down enough that I manage to score an Astro and a Beale, he starts getting his breakers down and makes a few runs scoring him a 2 point agenda. I score a Breaking News and start digging for the last one. Nick manages to R&D lock me and pulls some more agendas getting to 5 points, I use Mr Jackson to break through and find the last agenda which I then Astroscript score for the win.
Round 3 vs Jake (Andromeda & Weyland BABW)
Jake wins the roll and opts to Corp first, I have an interesting draw seeing lots of economy and a Mr Li but no breakers, I am rolling in credits though. He is playing ICE and economy transactions like there is no tomorrow and we are both in the 20's for credits... weird. He scores a Corporate War further giving him money. I am finally set up with my fixed strength rig and a sucker, after running Archives a few times I make an R&D run coming across a Tollbooth and a Wall of Static, breaking through I top deck a Priority Requisition. lucky. I run HQ in an exploratory manner and see a Heimdall and a Tollbooth, ah okay, so a big ICE deck, I've got a Plascrete down but start assuming that I wont need it. He scores a Hostile Takeover, and the turn after I Account Siphon and then Emergency Shutdown his Heimdall. The next turn I run R&D and he rezzes a strength 7 Draco, which I bounce off after an increased trace. I then Siphon him again and have now made a significant dent into the money he had. This allows me tome cheap access and I score a Geothermal Frakking from HQ. He plays and advances a card in the remote which has a Tollbooth rezzed on the outside and two ICE before it. I Inside Job and break through for the agenda to win. I feel there was a lot of luck for me this game, he had control early as I couldn't find my breakers but he didn't draw agendas, I top decked a Pri Req etc.
The reversed game was such a standard game for my corp deck, I scored early including an Astro which was key for my deck. I also managed to slow him down by playing and scoring a Breaking News the turn after and the trashing Kati with 6 on her. He played an awesome first and second turn though thinking about it, he played econ and Kati and a Helpful AI and then turn 2 double Hostage to get two Underworld Contacts, was cute. I scored a Beale but by this point he had set up and could get into R&D every turn. He was playing an interesting deck with lots of credit gen cards such as Cyber Feeders etc. But it was a bit too slow and I managed to draw the agenda I needed and finish the game with Astro.
Round 4 vs Dave (Andromeda & Jinteki PE)
Dave is one of the guys I play test against on a regular basis, he's a former Magic player and so has a good grasp of the game. This game is one of the ones he filmed and it is worth checking out as soon as I have the link as it will be better than my ropey memory ever will be.
I cannot remember much about this game as after it was finished (I won both games) and the round ended the top four were announced and the semi was me as 1st seed against Dave as 4th. Therefore I am really struggling to remember what happened in which match up, I've put down some key thoughts about the games below, but realise I may have gotten my games mixed up.
Top Four Information
So, the top four consisted of:
Me with 14 Prestige
Taurian with 12 Prestige
Someone else with 12 Prestige
Dave with 10 Prestige
I'm not sure who the third seed actually was as he wasn't my opponent and I never got to speak to him. Also he pulled from the competition as he was the only person who had made top 4 from those he had travelled with, that combined with the fact we had overrun and they had a decent length journey home made him pull out.
The good news was one of my mates got into the top four because of this, so of the five of us who had travelled down, 3 of us made top 4, though only because of stuff...
The new top four looked like this...
Andromeda & NBN TWIY*
Gabe & Weyland BABW
Andromeda & Jinteki PE
The Professor & Jinteki PE
Semi Final vs Dave (Andromeda & Jinteki PE)
Dave ran first in the semi, that was definitely true as it made me realise that I hadn't won the choice to pick what to play first at all this tournament. I got agenda flooded quite early on and had only a thin layer of ice on my centrals. I had to feed some cards to him to keep him running my remotes, I think I used a San San and a Breaking News, but I needed to keep him away from HQ. I eventually managed to lock down the remote and score so Dave changed his focus to R&D using Crypsis to get past my lonely Rototurret, he didn't see anything, though I had a lot of them in hand. I used Jackson Howard later in the game to overdraw and ditched two Character Assassinations as they were begging to be stolen if he changed focus. He kept attacking R&D but came up empty which was lucky for me. I manage to get to 5/6 points using my remote and have an Astro scored. So the final turns, Dave runs R&D and grabs the Character Assassination that I put back in and then runs again and grabs a Beale, he is loading up Crypsis before each run and so stops there. My go, I draw and pull a Beale which I use to win. The game could have gone either way, a weak R&D seems to be my corp decks thing while I score and then try to lock it down for the last points. Win 7-5...
We switch and have standard openings, he scores an early Nisei before I can get my breakers together, though largely because I am really struggling for a good economy which is unlike my deck. The game turned in my favour after I play Account Siphon expecting and trying to force Dave to use the Nisei token. He lets it through, either forgetting or making a call to save it for something else, this rebooted my economy and hurt Dave's, the following turn I ran HQ and R&D and was greeted by a Wall of Thorns, which I broke and then Shutdown further hurting his economy. This allowed me regular R&D accesses and the game turned in my favour, allowing me to get the agenda points I needed to make the overall match mine.
Final vs Taurian (Gabe & Weyland BABW)
I was pretty mentally exhausted by this point, the games with Dave were long and I'd had to think a lot... Again, this was filmed, and will be better than my memory I am sure.
He wins the flip and decides to run first, seriously out of six games you'd think I'd win a flip or dice roll once, ideally in the final!
As with standard Gabe he runs early forcing me to rez everything or allow access. Luckily I have an Enigma on HQ and an Ice Wall on R&D. I set up a remote with a San San and add an extra ice to HQ to prevent what happened in round one. He checks the San San but doesn't have enough to trash it. I'm quite agenda flooded currently and know that if he gets into HQ I am gone, so I decide to try and get them out of hand ASAP, I score the Astro using San San, and he Special Orders a Corroder and goes to work on R&D. Fine, I use San San to score a Beale from hand. He realises that he needs to get rid of San San and so Inside Jobs into the remote and trashes it. He also Indexes me and scores, I think twice, I use the Astro to score the second Beale in my hand but it takes all but one of my credits to do so. He Indexes me again and goes back for another agenda, it is 6-6, I spend the turn clicking for credits so I have 4 credits, he does some stuff that does not include running, that's all I remember, on my turn I play and score Breaking News for the win. Being totally agenda flooded helped me as I didn't care about the R&D lock, and it turned into a race.
Next I ran against his Weyland, this is always a nightmare, especially considering that I need to get the win... He plays an ICE on HQ and economy turn one so I check R&D and economy myself. He draws and econs but still no ICE on R&D, I'm worried that he has part or all of the SE combo and is trying to get the credit advantage / hoping for a Snare. I run and score a Project Atlas and then again for a False Lead. The game becomes an economy battle with me using Daily Casts and Kati to keep up with his burst economy. I know I need to keep ahead with credits to prevent the SEA into SE but it stops me making runs often. This allows him to score a False Lead and Hostile Takeover. I get down a Plascrete and R&DI and make an initial run as I know that one run will cost us equally, I see a Wall of Static, Grim and something else on R&D but access and I think at this point score a two pointer, I do at some point anyway. He scores another Hostile Takeover. I Account Siphon and remove tags, then do the same the following turn, I definitely have the economic advantage but cannot draw a second Plascrete to allow me to risk take. He's had a card sat in his 3 deep remote for most of the game, he now scores the Project Atlas which I had assumed was a Jackson Howard putting the game at 5-5. So the final play, he plays and double advances a card in his remote, I draw and run HQ pulling a Geothermal Frakking for the win. Now this may not sound like a good play on his part but it was, he had played a Priority Req, and knew he was up against the wall, so he was hoping that I would not run the first two clicks so he could use False Lead. I made one of the two agendas in HQ but if I had missed it would have been game. It was a good play, and I made a mistake, I should have run early. but forgot about the False Lead. After the game he told me that during our economy battle he was sat with a SEA Source and all three Scorched Earths in hand and if I had dipped below it would have been over. I hate good Weyland players... though Taurian is a really nice guy...
This was a great tournament and I had some amazing games, especially against Taurian (whose name I am probably misspelling horribly). It was always so close between us, and I fully believe it could have gone either way, the scores (7-4,7-5) show that, and it doesn't take into account the flatline. I think special mention should go out to Az and Ryan for running this, as it went smoothly and always does.
My Andy deck went well and I like the recent additions and changes I have made to it, I have lost before using Andy but it is almost always a flatline loss due to a misplay by me. My corp deck was interesting, I'm not sure I am happy with it as it lost me a lot of points and while that doesn't matter much in swiss it does in knockout, also in most games it gave up R&D access for early scoring, it worked out well but could have easily gone the other way. I'll try and sort out those links for those interested shortly.
Decks for those interested are on the forum discussion;
Copyright © 2016 netrunners.co.uk Header Design: David Moss
If you're looking for a Netrunner group near you in the UK please join us on our forums!
If you would like your own forum board to call home for your group, email me at: