This tournament was a random ID tournament but with the emphasis being on “creative” *cough* janky *cough* builds. This meant that there were two ways to get points; the first was the classic way – winning games. Each player could also vote for one runner deck and one corporation deck after round 4 with each vote counting for half a point towards an eventual score total.
Sets up to and including Old Hollywood were legal.
I was drawn Noise and TWIY when allocated random IDs.
Noise is obviously a challenge; what do you do with him that makes him different to the awesome Noise decks out there? The standard Cache/Aesops/Faust/Wylside/Chronotype is super effective and not at all unusual so I had to ditch as much of that as possible.
I knew that I wanted to base it around making Noise effectively a Val Blackmail deck. In my early building I did this using Activist Support,Qianju PT & Adjusted Chronotype. This made my early decks heavily combo based, needing Paige Piper to help clear things out. This was beautiful jank to me to be sure, largely because as you built it people tend to see the bike first and it isn’t until all the pieces are in place that the bad pub sticks. It did have the advantage that you could give the bad pub entirely off your own back.
The problem is it was a lot of combo pieces so when Old Hollywood brought me Fan Site I swapped in Fan Site and Frame Job and took out all three pieces freeing up three cards. I played around with making a no virus Noise deck but unfortunately I found dealing with fast advance without either constant pressure or Clot to be nigh on impossible. I also thought that the second I was planning to install Clot, then use Record Reconstructor to, as a gentleman, run archives to put the milled card back on R&D, was the second I had gone truly mad.
From there it was time to stick down viruses to put more into archives, cards that helped me expose so as to not waste blackmail, then lots of recursion. I also found, very late on, that Raymond Flint combined very well as he allowed me to access from HQ when I gave them bad pub, and he could be prepped for later use.
Reading (UK) Random ID Jank Tournament, 3rd Place
Noise: Hacker Extraordinaire (Core Set)
2x Amped Up (Order and Chaos)
3x Blackmail (Fear and Loathing)
3x Déjà Vu (Core Set)
3x Frame Job (Opening Moves)
3x I've Had Worse (Order and Chaos)
1x Infiltration (Core Set)
2x Inject (Up and Over)
2x Unregistered S&W '35 (Honor and Profit) ••••• •
2x Armitage Codebusting (Core Set)
2x Daily Casts (Creation and Control)
3x Fan Site (Old Hollywood) •••
2x Raymond Flint (Mala Tempora)
2x Sacrificial Construct (Core Set) ••
3x Same Old Thing (Creation and Control)
3x Cache (The Spaces Between) •••
3x Clot (The Valley)
2x Gravedigger (Order and Chaos)
1x Hemorrhage (Fear and Loathing)
2x Imp (What Lies Ahead)
2x Trope (Old Hollywood)
14 influence spent (max 15)
46 cards (min 45)
Cards up to Old Hollywood
Decklist published on NetrunnerDB.
Oh right… the Unregisted S&W 35s. Well, just in case I see a Caprice the play can be, ideally,
Amped Up, for 2 extra clicks
Same Old Thing/Deja Vu Black Mail HQ
Same Old Thing/Deja Vu Blackmail Remote.
Really, I couldn’t be dealing with Psi games on this day.
Oh good….an extra card in hand,
And 12 influence.
What can I do with that?
I have absolutely no idea. I spent a lot of time struggling to find my feet with this identity and deciding what to do with it. There are obviously some standard responses; Midseason pshychobeales, grail Ice with Midway station grid, or just fast advancing using your small deck size to find that combo.
But jank was demanded. I toyed with a few things; Snoop + Targetted Marketing, Plan Bs to half fast advance, things that were similar to what I came with, and my consistent favourite was Matrix Analyser.
Matrix Analyser is awesome, I don’t understand entirely why it doesn’t see more play. It combines absolutely beautifully with traps so long as you can keep your money high enough. They run something that is double advanced and you spend a credit to add another counter to it; all of a sudden Junebug has added 2 more net damage, Cerebral Overwriter has added 1 more brain damage, Ghost Branch 1 more tag, Plan B just enabled a 3/2 to score, Aggressive Secretary is clearing near enough an entire rig. And then you put 2 or three of them in a row and attacking a trap becomes frightening. If they do chicken out halfway through and have guessed wrong, they have just helped advance your agenda.
And of course, you can play BEALE OR NO BEALE.
Once you establish that it is pure shell game nonsense you need only some basic Ice to try and hold them out of R&D, and possibly HQ, to make them HAVE to play your game. Then DBS and Jackson to help control the draw, a load of economy, Underway Grid to avoid Drive By/Infiltration party poopers, and Crisium just because I felt like Account Siphon or Keyhole or something like that would ruin my day
Reading (UK) Random ID Jank Tournament, 3rd Place, corp
NBN: The World is Yours* (Future Proof)
3x Project Beale (Future Proof)
3x Vanity Project (Old Hollywood) •••
2x Cerebral Overwriter (Creation and Control) ••••
2x Daily Business Show (All That Remains)
2x Jackson Howard (Opening Moves)
3x Marked Accounts (Cyber Exodus)
2x PAD Campaign (Core Set)
2x Project Junebug (Core Set) ••
2x Crisium Grid (First Contact) ••
2x Underway Grid (The Underway)
1x Back Channels (Old Hollywood) •
1x Closed Accounts (Core Set)
3x Hedge Fund (Core Set)
2x Sweeps Week (True Colors)
1x Wall of Static (Core Set)
2x Wraparound (Fear and Loathing)
Code Gate (6)
2x Enigma (Core Set)
2x Pop-up Window (Cyber Exodus)
2x Tollbooth (Core Set)
2x Gutenberg (Breaker Bay)
3x Matrix Analyzer (Core Set)
12 influence spent (max 12)
18 agenda points (between 18 and 19)
44 cards (min 40)
Cards up to Old Hollywood
Decklist published on NetrunnerDB.
Now that I have told you about my decks and gushed about how much I love them you should know something up front; I lost a lot of games, these are not good (as in effective) decks and it is only due to the generous spirits of the Reading tournament that I left with anything at all.
Game 1 vs James N
Noise vs The Foundry
My notes of this game include the note “NO BLACKMAIL” (capitals written at the time) which I imagine was entirely deserved! I did spend a lot of time desperately drawing for my blackmails with little success. This was a rather unfortunately matchup for James, jankwise, as Foundry rather depends on being able to rez Ice to show off its jank and I was having none of it. I think essentially he was able to get most of his points by installing behind ice and advancing next turn. I turned off the fast advance play with Clot and multiple sacrificial constructs; he spent a lot of time purging whilst I was drawing and putting the clot back.
I think ultimately he was able to win when I spent all my money on a silly run on archives which left me on too little money to do everything I needed to do to bring back the two Blackmails I needed to get passed an Ash to score (I think(
Enduring Memory: “I purge” – “I déjà vu, install clot”, “I purge” “I déjà vu, install clot”… time passes “I install Sacrificial Construct. Twice”…. “I purge”…”I purge”….”I purge”… Guy runs out of clot defence. (This memory is patchy, so may not be exactly what happened)
TWIY vs Hayley
James’ deck was a rather fun Chameleon build meaning that at one point he was able to install a Chameleon onto a Dinosaurus and with an LLDS processor spend 1 credit to break Gutenburgs on R&D. This was hilarious and aggravating! I did manage to score out a Vanity Project this game behind the one Matrix Analyser, before hitting him with a Cerebral Overwriter for 3 brain damage which slowed his game a little. Ultimately though he was wise enough to keep plugging at R&D where he pulled the Vanity Project, Beale and I think another Beale to seal the win.
Enduring memory: “But that only makes Chamelon strength five…” “I also have an LLDS processor” “Ha! That’s ridiculous!”
Points: 0 from 2
Game 2 vs Dave
TWIY vs Reina
This was quite a funky Reina; it was more like a Hayley deck. It was designed to make recurring credits like nobody’s business and by goodness it did. I think he hit the 10 recurring credits per turn by the end of the game. I didn’t draw traps this game, much my own fault for only having 2 Junebugs. I tried to bluff out a Vanity Project but he was having none of it, stealing it and building for a rather unstoppable R&D attack that of course, eventually handed over the agendas. I did spend much of my game expecting the vamp that never came. Dave should be commending for avoiding the temptation to headlock!
Enduring Memory: “Start of turn I gain 10 credits”
Noise vs Cybernetics Division
Oh dear. Really could have used Flint or Infiltration this game, or actually to be fair some better judgement! BRAIN DAMAGE EVERYWHERE! Ultimately I was killed by Chairman Hiro taking me into negative handsize! I did manage to get the combo set up though which made me happy but without expose effects traps will get you if you can’t read the game, which I was not really doing well at this point. I have a feeling Dave had scored a 5/3 as his first agenda which always puts me on the back foot.
Enduring memory: Having one card in hand, Blackmail, and being able to go in anywhere I pleased, little good it did me.
Points: 0 from 4
I had lunch. I have played twice in Reading and the first time magic pasties brought me good fortune in the afternoon. I hoped the same would happen today! I talked to Stu and Phil and Johno. All go pleasant coves
Game 3 vs James C
TWIY vs Kit
KITFAUST! LOVED IT! James had Torch as the first icebreaker and then Faust for everything else with Game Day/Beach Party (with public sympathy to boot!) combos bringing the hand size up. I remember smiling and thinking how cool the combo was and then realising that basically my only play was the threat of a flatline and he was holding a ridiculous amount of cards in hand.
Ultimately though Faust was his downfall. One thing that can doom a player I think particularly in Shaper, and I am guilty of this myself, is that sometimes we are so keen to show how well we can break a subroutine that we forget to wonder if we should. I had a Junebug down on the table that I think I double advanced, then increased to a three, behind 2 Matrix Analysers. James ran it and I added two more counters; he was keen to avoid the tags to be sure and I think I had the money advantage so he broke both subroutines but this took his hand size below the 10 I needed to kill him. (I think it was 10 net damage)
Enduring Memory: “I gameday for 12”
Noise vs Custom Biotics
The mothership of jank! It did not disappoint! He gave me an open R&D first turn so I went and attacked it hard running without Blackmail or anything! I stole ABT (scary!) and an NAPD after a cache mill. I was pleased – 4 points before I even get the Blackmail going! I didn’t have fansite but if he scores now I’ll be OK anyway because I can Frame Job one of these agendas.
Luckily money is not there for Scorch yet. I desperately look for I’ve Had Worse to survive scorches but I’ve misjudged something: James C understands jank. He knows that Scorch is the best play, he gets it, but he’s not interested.
Shoot the Moon rezzing a Janus, Turing & Viktor 2.0
I look at my Blackmails.
I may have a problem.
I start desperately milling to try and put stuff in Archives I can steal when I think I might have a play for if he installs and double advances. He does so. The way I see it I can Amped Up then run, click through the Viktor, click through the Turing, and take all of the Janus damage before stealing. I have Déjà vu’d the Amped up in prep. As I am about to do it I check by recounting.
I count wrong. I think I am short of clicks. I amped up and run R&D and HQ (he had little money at this point so I tried to tempt a rez) but to no avail.
After this is all done I realise I did have enough clicks. It would have won the game, and gloriously. I will have nightmares about messing that up.
James C wins behind his well defended remote.
Enduring memory: I could have done it… I had the clicks…. *hangs head in shame*.
Points: 1 from 6
Game 4 vs Leigh
Noise vs CI
Leigh hates CI; personally I have some regard for it, but he was unfortunate enough that my Noise deck lined everything up for me how I needed it this round. Fan Site early on to give me the bad pub (had a nasty moment when he scored the ABT but thankfully he put an Ichi on R&D and an Enigma on HQ, the enigma on the remote would literally have won him the game but he was not to know!) and then both enough Blackmails plus infiltrations/Raymond Flints to avoid running on his traps. I caught out his remotes when he installed and then he just held cards in hand, but in response I could just mill until I got bored and blackmailed archives for the win. Clot was even there with support in case that was the plan.
Enduring memory: “Well fine, I can’t score anything but you can’t either cause I’ll hold it ALL in HQ”
TWIY vs The Professor
This Professor was brilliant. Monolith because Monolith - hard installed. Hemorrhage. This deck was brilliant fun and I had already spread by Pads/DBS/Marked Accounts super wide making the runs to fund Hemorrhage as easy as pie. Luckily I already had set up by this point with money trickling in from the assets and enough Matrix Analysers. I even managed to use Back Channels to make money back from an ignored Overwriter. It is possible I should have kept it – I had swapped it for a Beale largely because I couldn’t hold anything safely in hand due to Hemorrhage and the ability to run everywhere (he had already slammed R&D for many points). I advanced it slowly and was starting to quietly get excited that I might pull off a single Beale for the win (like I managed in Edinburgh casuals not long ago) when my very good friend, buddy and pal Brendan takes a wander round to see the games. He looks at the super advanced card and wanders aloud (whilst I’m shaking my head, gesticulating wildly for him to stop, putting up banners saying “NO! DON’t SAY IT BRENDAN!”, and all but jumping up to physical wrestle him to the floor) “How many counters DOES it take to win with a single Beale?”
Turns outs its 13. I have 10 on there at the moment. It is Leigh’s turn.
Leigh may well have thought of it independently to be fair (I tell the story as I do mainly for the poetry of it) however as I am shaking my fist at Brendan Leigh decides to play…. BEALE OR NO BEALE. He runs, and risks the potential 20 net damage or 10 brain damage to take the winning Beale from me.
Enduring Memory: Brendan’s innocent face.
Points: 2 from 8
Before round 5 we have to nominate our favourite decks from runner and corp.
I went corp for James C’s Shoot the Moon deck. Anyone who Midseasons but not to kill, or even Pshychographics out gets my jank nod. The fact that his inner most ice on a scoring server was Janus as well just shows the true master of the pin dancing world of jank.
Runner I went for Leigh’s Professor with Hemorrhage and Monolith. Monolith is an absurd card, and he put it in because he thought he ought to, not because it was good. I also like the way in which Hemorrhage became a central part of the plan, which is an unusual position for the corp to be in. It was excellently done. Bonus points for making me reassess that card from genuine playability point of view.
Round 5 vs Fiona
TWIY vs Maxx
Mad props for Fiona running Darwin! I made a whale noise. I saw in her eyes what I have seen in many runners before – the desire to just absorb traps (Pete from Oxford is like this, Stu is like it as well) so I was able to win with two Cerebral Overwriters. I think I had scored out in the meantime, hmmm actually maybe not, not sure. Suffice to say brain damage murderdeath from TWIY. Not every day one says that.
Enduring Memory: A beautiful rig – Desperado, Darwin, datasucker, Medium, Corrodor, D4vid. It would have locked down R&D in short order had the game gone much longer.
Noise vs Cybernetics
Even madder props for playing Cybernetics but using some combo of Housekeeping and Next Ice to just fight for board state. She was unfortunate in that all of the pieces that stopped me got milled. I did trash an Executive Boot camp (used to rez a Next Bronze on R&D) early on long before the horrendousness of my play could be revealed).
She did also have to ask “What does Blackmail do?” which made me immediately realise what a cruel trick this deck is to play on a new player. Its basically “You know all that stuff you learned about Netrunner? It’s a lie! This card ruins all your dreams of ice!” so I was able to slam out the victory on this one, eventually claiming from Archives when I think enough was milled. I don’t think she was too familiar with Noise mill nonsense either which is another way that Netrunner will lie to you from the getgo.
Enduring Memory: Guilt. Blackmail is a horrible card to be shown like that. Sorry.
Points: 4 from 10.
Now those of you who read titles and look at scores will be wondering how in the name of Brenlacticus I got to third with that.
Well it turns out all of my opponents had been kind enough to recommend by jank as their favourite decks on the day. I got 7 nominations out of a possible 8. This was enough to push me all the way up into 3rd. I got me a lovely deckbox and some money off my next gaming purchase (Dr. Who RPG extension book!)
I was delighted to say the least, and I am thankful to all of those who put my name down and I am thrilled you enjoyed our games (I certainly did too).
Also thanks to Stu for lending me a Beale and a Déjà vu.
And thanks for the Reading boys for hosting this, and devising(?) this awesome format!
Roll on the next random ID jank tournament. I already have…some thoughts.