I’m going to talk about some general points and then some individual breakdown of the matches. Firstly though, I’d just like to say that I had a lot of fun. I think the meta’s in a great place, I played lots of good matches, and I won a lot of psi games ;). The venue was good, and teething problems aside, I think the event was conducted in good spirits and at a high level. Plus, after the SSCI (Stimhack Store Champs Invitational) playing til 00:30 on a school-night didn’t seem so bad!
1x Chronos Project
2x NAPD Contract
3x Nisei MK II
3x The Future Perfect
2x Daily Business Show ••
3x Jackson Howard •••
3x Mental Health Clinic
3x Caprice Nisei
1x Crisium Grid •
3x Celebrity Gift
1x Enhanced Login Protocol ••
3x Hedge Fund
2x Eli 1.0 ••
1x Wraparound •
Code Gate (5)
2x Lotus Field
1x Tollbooth ••
1x Cortex Lock
1x Ichi 1.0 ••
15 influence spent (max 15)
20 agenda points (between 20 and 21)
49 cards (min 45)
Cards up to The Valley
3x Dirty Laundry
1x Legwork ••
1x Levy AR Lab Access
3x Lucky Find ••••• •
1x Stimhack •
3x Sure Gamble
2x The Maker's Eye
3x Clone Chip
1x Plascrete Carapace
3x Prepaid VoicePAD
1x R&D Interface
2x Professional Contacts
2x Same Old Thing
1x Utopia Shard •
2x Cerberus "Lady" H1
1x Deus X
1x Mimic •
1x ZU.13 Key Master
1x Clot ••
1x Parasite ••
2x Self-modifying Code
15 influence spent (max 15)
46 cards (min 45)
Cards up to The Valley
In elimination rounds, I think the major factor in winning is playing the right sides by having a good seeding. I beat Iain’s corp deck in the third round of elims, and I’m pretty sure I had a MUCH higher chance of winning against his corp than against his runner. He was the first seed and had run twice, which meant he had opted to run first round against whoever he played. There were probably good matchup-related reasons for this, but it definitely made it easier for me later on. As an example, my first match was against Quinns. I had read his Gagarin write-up, and thought Kate was good against it. But I was happy to get my corp game out of the way, as Leela is a fine matchup, despite not knowing his particular deck at all. I’m sure I was more likely to beat Gagarin, but also more likely to lose as corp in later rounds. The game is normally at a point where one side is favourite and I think now it’s clearly runner. Therefore, if you have the chance and no huge reason not to, make sure to play your weaker sides first.
Also: Tournaments are long. Make sure you have enough diesel/food to get through them. I brought lunch and kept eating more and drinking caffeine throughout, which definitely helped towards the end. However, it also meant I was trying to sleep for 2 hours when I got home with my eyes feeling like they were wired open.
Also: Know your enemies. Before a tournament, I find it useful almost to ‘revise’ the popular decks - have a look at popular decks on netrunnerdb, because some people will bring them. I studied the top-16 decklists from the SSCI as I thought Iain would be coming (he placed 4th in SSCI) and also they’re the best reflection of what good players will play.
Also: copy successful players! I wore a basketball vest (just like Dan’s wife-beater). Joey (2nd) had a vape that he eagerly puffed on between rounds. We both made the final, and I’m glad to report that wife beater > vape, apparently.
Also: Netrunner is very, very mental. If you are sure you’re going to lose, you’ll find a way. Even if you absolutely know that you’re worse than someone, it’s closer than you think. I’m not sure what my ‘edge’ on the people I play is, percentage-wise, but I doubt it’s as high as 60% in the elims. Netrunner has a lot of small decisions that ultimately make the difference, and even the best players can be undone by R&D having 7 points in 5 cards (and so forth). Keep playing to your outs and try to ignore who you’re playing.
Anyway. Enough with the general points. Here we go!
Aw yeah, I have to cycle 5 minutes from my house in order to sit around for 90 ish minutes. I get coffee with some of the other bye-holders, which is nice.
Vs silhouette blackguard, he has a slow start and I score naked chronos. Then money up, make sure not to get snitch ed, kept re-rezzing my ice he crescentused and made it through by riding the nisei train.
Against hb rush, he got an ABT after being a bit flooded at the beginning. I picked up the next with some typical magic (lucky find stimhack? Can’t wait for Comet!). Then I got 5 points on a four card dig with TME + RDI. I love RDI in this deck because it’s good against Crisium and bolsters TME as much as an indexing does, pretty much. Installing it puts a LOT of pressure on the corp. For the SSCI I had two but I think 1 is the right number.
Against leela, got a rough no ice start, then money and ice came. Scored nisei and napd, sat on sundew and interns to get pup outside excalibur so he couldn’t avoid it (crims are bad vs excalibur). Eventually used nisei to prevent only hq access vs caprice. Scored tfp to finish.
Against his RP, I was sitting at 2-2 and he had some cash, a caprice in the remote, a nisei token, an agenda advanced there, and some unrezzed ice on RD. I decided to pressure RD as he wasn’t that rich - also, time was approaching. He rezzed Komainu, I lost my whole hand because deus and mimic were in hand. I then run HQ, he rezzes swordsman. I think I’m dead for a second, but clone-chip out the mimic. Then have two runs on Caprice server - he only has $3, $1 after rezzing caprice. I was on a psi hot-streak though. First game, he bets 0 and so do I (why did I pick this? Cos after rezzing caprice, he has 1, so has to bet 0 pretty much, because there’s another game to come which he needs an option for.) Then I come back in after he uses his nisei token, roll a die for this one - we both bet 1. (I didn’t know which he’d pick). Next turn, while I have no hand, I just click for a credit (don’t even want to pro-co because I don’t want to lose any cards), run thru komainu with same old makers eye, see 4 cards - see TFP and look into his eyes, which say ‘TWO’.I bet two and am rewarded with the win. Adrenaline high!
Against leela, worst ever start, had five agendas in hand and two tfp in trash at one point. Window comes to score nisei behind an eli and I do, winning a psi. Jackson eventually shows up allowing me to leave those TFP in the trash. I get another nisei or a napd while he’s poor. Eventually get sundew happy, still have about 5 agendas, then score tfp.
Against rp, get slow slow start, score his napd behind lotus. Then eventually he showed hand with no agendas in, then I makers eye. Get four points, eventually run Rd with caprice, Win, see tfp, get it second time of asking. More psi, more wins… (LUCKY? yes…). I was getting tired at this point, saying cards that were in my hand by accident (e.g. ‘deus ex’ while discarding sharpshooter)
I start well, scoring a nisei. Then he’s building mad-money with opus and vamps - I decide to use the token on vamp, which I am having severe reservations about as I do it - because his wyldside + genetics MUST have got him another. Then he vamps for literally 55 credits and eroded me completely! I realised I made a BIG mistake here, putting crisium on R&D after he dropped keyhole to avert some of the pressure. While this was a good caprice bluff, it doesn’t actually work on keyhole, which I’d forgotten. The reasoning I had was that in the time for me to score out, he’d be able to keyhole A LOT of times, but I think what I should’ve done is just gone straight for the scoring and kept the astro token. Oh, also, NAPD sucks against val. I think with a fast track I could’ve won, but his mad three-server pressure (vamp, wanton, keyhole, blackmail) really sucked the life out of me. This game took about 55 minutes. In hindsight, moneying-up was a bad strategy as two free draws + opus is faster than anything I could do. Still, he played great with a fantastic new deck.
Against his butcher shop deck, I did well in the early stages. We keep doing this thing where we’re both holding back econ. Like, I can see in his eyes that he has 1/2 hedge funds in hand to try and midseasons. I get a naked agenda and then lucky find, he scores a naked astro while I’m poorer than he is. I get 4 points from centrals, so I’m on 6. At this point, I make a huge error, not checking something behind a data raven. This is dumb - there was no risk of midseasons so I should’ve checked everything. Good learning point. Anyway, he tags me and I utopia shard, which averts the kill. Actually, there are about 10 people standing around, whooping and hollering as I discard the cards from his hand, but whatever. Timed win, as I don’t run again on my last turn and I’m ahead.
Iain is a really good player, and he dominated me as Andy, slowly and surely. Not much chance for me - I was on such lockdown that I couldn’t really go for a score as he would’ve siphoned and hurt me, while R&D got juicier and juicier while he sat back. I did score a nisei but followed it up with a napd (or nothing?). This is somewhere where fast track could’ve won me the game, if I could’ve chained the Nisei. Remember that point against crims sucking against excalibur? Not Iain! Crypsis just sat there all game laughing at me.
Then played a long one vs his ‘frost_duty' blue sun, the one with 6 agendas and a mean look in its eyes. Got to three three and drew. No point dying! He was playing the governmental takeover he’d played in the stimhack invitational, so I knew what to expect. I have played against this deck a few times and know that its primary, secondary and tertiary win conditions are death - and it’s not great at scoring out.
I’m 2nd seed, which gives me the chance to choose, so I corp against Leela and hope to run more later. Quinns He leela, I just make stuff safe, get caprice on every central and nothing much happens. Get a nisei, then a chronos. For no real reason - it just gave him a bounce. An indexing found two tfp but I'd taxed Rd pretty hard so he didn’t get back in. I nisei-token on a normal hq access, which I’d done before that day. It is sometimes necessary if you want to keep the caprice up, which is so good against siphon. At the end of time, 3-0 to me, he legworked into a caprice and I won the psi game. I had 2 tfp in hand, and a nisei, so if he got in with that psi, I could’ve lost, although I’d have had to lose at least one more psi game. I played like a wuss this game, as I just kept a sundew in the scoring remote for ages. Meh.
Jesus. He starts with 3 giraffes and no agendas, eli and himitsu. I get proco and start clicking. He never has to defend hq, but doesn't draw agendas for ages. Eventually he ELPs, I get a TFP from R&D. He has caprice on remote and RD,I try to apply pressure on two caprice. I whiff on makers eye after getting to RD, seeing a mutate (note this!). Then I Stimhack to kill a DBS (?) using some change to parasite the eli on RD. He shows me TFP in HQ with giraffes, I get it with a legwork after not winning the psi game once. He puts something in the caprice remote, so I make sure to LARLA, in case chronos. It is a chronos I later learn, but he trashes chronos, score 4 to 6, in order to put something else down. Meanwhile he’s mutated his eli into a tollbooth (ouch - should definitely not have parasited with my knowledge!) and I’m in dire straits. He gets ANOTHER caprice on R&D, eventually install-AA in the remote. I think I’m dead because my recursion can’t keep up with getting through an excalibur, so I diesel in case it isn’t TFP. It’s not, I’m alive, 6-6 and running out of time. Final thing, his remote is set up with a rezzed caprice and a nisei token behind tollbooth and tsurugi. I go for a single-access run to try and win the psi and maybe use his nisei token. He lets me see one card - it’s a nisei. PHEW! Mad game. Was a good game and I was lucky to get through. Ben’s mutate is actually good in RP, because as he says, someone always leaves a parasite on something.
Against the monolithic blue sun, he doesn’t have much joy - no OAI and little money., I have early pro Co, hit three cards with legwork to get 3 points and keep building up. I eat a shattered remains at one point (a bit silly) and am mostly cowardly and careful. At one point realise I just dirty-laundried for no real reason, so have to burn a same old thing on a sure gamble to keep up on credits (he later revealed I was one credit out of death). Tiredness playing a part so I just play to a standstill, pro-coing for my whole deck, getting to over 90 credits and just waiting for him to install advance-advance something. He does when we get to time and I steal it. This game I played well in that I didn’t give in to the pressure to start running. R&D was just getting juicier and so I sort of played the reverse of what he’d done to my corp. As D’Argenio has mentioned somewhere, knowing not to run is a hard and important part of the game. If we had been going to time, I think I would’ve just waited until he scored 3 or 6 points, which would’ve taken him down to almost no cards in deck. Then I could’ve legworked, maker’s -eyed and so forth to see everything. Anyway, I was relieved and lucky to play Iain’s corp in this round.
Joey beats Iain’s corp in an excellent, madly-exiting and well-played match. Seriously, it was great - game of the tournament and a marked contrast to my ‘proco, proco, sure gamble, install clone chip’ epic.
It’s already midnight. If Joey wins one, we have to switch sides, so he kindly agrees to play corp first as it’ll be faster. We both start with absurd, absurd money. I have 3 pads out, he’s used 2-3 restructure, 2 sweeps and hedge funds too. I run and don’t take NAPD but on his turn he puts something next to it with one advancement, I run it, take it and get some money, cos it’s a breaking news and if I leave it I’ll die. On his turn he archives for a restructure, plays it and midseasons for 37 (I think). I can avoid all but 3 - but will have no money, and won’t have 3 clicks to clear them if I get money. So, I take all the tags. I feel a bit better because I have makers eye and legwork in hand, an smc out and a dog on the table. 1 point scored, 2 on table. I figure that it’s now or never and think about how to deal with a 35-sub overload if I see one. It will only be a problem if I hit it before trying to get into HQ/RD (whichever I go to second) so I hit RD first, because I think he probably has a data raven there. No rez, and I get 4 points from a maker’s eye and win the game by taking the NAPD on the table. A bit lucky? Yes - but sometimes, you just have to go for your outs. And I think he had a beale in archives too, so I don’t feel too bad. Anyway, this is one of those things - was I lucky to not die? Or unlucky that he had all the money and had drawn breaking news? I made a misplay, true, by installing a cerberus at one point and losing 3 credits - pushing me below him in the money side. In fact this accounted for the 3 tags he could’ve landed on me. But yeah, I think the butcher shop games are fast-paced and a bit manic, so I guess I was just on the right side of the equation. From his perspective, if he had taken the time to score the NAPD, my insane proco- 3 lucky find economy would have won the game, so I think he played it right by leaving it.
Anyway, what next? Well, I can’t go to UK nationals (I’ll be in Boston for a few months) but maybe I’ll take the bye to GenCon. Who knows? Who knows if I even can? For now, the regionals 2014 trophy has a little brother.
FFG - Great job on the game. But seriously, what am I supposed to do with ~10 credits worth of credit tokens? I propose a stimhack invitational where everyone can pony their credits up and the top -4 can have about 80 each. It still won’t be enough for proco Kate, but whatever!
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: