Round 2 begins and I shuffled up Gabe and prepared to make some daring runs on John's Core Weyland. This is another instance where my inexperience as a Runner cost me dearly. I grew reckless and face-checked not one, but TWO Archers which means that my key breakers were trashed. Loosing Yog meant that the Enigma behind Archer was made of solid gold, especially considering how much cash it would take for me to break Archer with either Faerie or Femme. I have to say that John leveraged a Chimera over Archives to perfect effect, never once feeling the sting from the 2 cred tax due to plentiful transactions taking place. This game ended due to time, but the results were never really in doubt.
On the flip side John is running his Chaos Theory against my PE, a matchup that I feel pretty good about. This was the only game that Diversified Portfolio every really felt worth it, but the problem was that by the time I had 9 (yes 9!) remotes going, money wasn't an issue anyways. Also, I was already worried about the time issue with my Jinteki deck sort of sitting back and waiting for the runner to flatline himself and playing against a Shaper meant that we would no doubt run into some difficulties.
The game seemed to be going well for me when I was able to kill some key programs early on with a lucky Aggressive Secretary, including his first turn Magnum Opus and breakers. I love Mushin No Shin. It is HANDS DOWN my favorite card right now. We were tied when the timer was ticking down, so I knew I'd need to make a move. I dropped Nesei and a Junebug, then next turn knew that I needed to advance the Nesei once in order to score it next turn. I checked my ever-growing remotes to see if I could advance 2 other cards to make the choice almost impossible for John on what to run, but alas, all of my other traps and Ronins were gone so it was just the Nesei and Junebug. Then I made a mistake. I advanced Junebug twice while only going once on Nesei which signalled that Junebug was a trap. John chose wisely and ran Nesei giving him the timed win. Lesson learned: make the Agenda identical or don't make the move!
John was a fun opponent and I look forward to more games with him soon. He's fairly local and we have both just really started into Netrunner. Don't be fooled by his claims of being a beginner though. It's clear that Jon has a LOT of experience with card games and an intuitive grasp of the interactions on the table in front of him. He's just the sort of opponent that can help me elevate my game.
For the last round, I'm paired close to the bottom having only won a single game. This takes a lot of pressure off and allows me to relax. I'm playing the TO, who is also named Jon. He brings out his Jinteki: PE and we begin the most embarrassing game of Netrunner I've ever played. His first turn is Ice, Ice, Op (maybe hedge). I proceed to play two cards and Sneakdoor.... You might see where this is going. I run. I effing run. Last click. With two cards in my hand. Against Jinteki. I know better. I really do. I've warned Lisa about this MANY TIMES. I got greedy. SNARE. I'm dead, turn 1, and I freaking know better. The sad thing is that Jon held no Agendas in hand and had not one but TWO Snares waiting for me. Sigh.
Last game of the tournament is against Reyna. I love this deck and have seen a similar one played by Steven (sp?) of Team Covenant in several videos. I know the score, he'll choke me out of cash and keep me that way while floating tags. I have a single Scorch which I'm hoping will show up. My first turn though, I Ice R&D. Big mistake. Whatever that Ice was (Pup maybe) should have been over HQ. For whatever reason I just did not see the first turn Siphon coming. I should say that Cambridge Jinteki doesn't need a lot of cash to run. Certainly less than HB or NBN fast advance. But it does need to stay on at least 4 credits to threaten Snare at all times. After the first turn Siphon with ample Joshua B. clicks to keep Jon's hand full and an ever-growing Medium that he ALWAYS used to dig as deep as possible, the game was over pretty quickly. Jon played the deck amazingly well and I was happy to see it in action. I just wish I hadn't been the one worked over by it.
With my time in the tournament officially over, we played a couple practice games. The two I remember had me returning the first turn win favor by successfully using Sneakdoor to nab 7 points out of his hand against his NEXT big ice deck. I also managed to get a win against the same deck after being Howlered into a Janus and taking 4 brain damage. Inside Job is just amazing against a big ice deck like this, as is just sitting back and making money until you're ready to make the big run.
Overall I had a blast! It was such a great group of players and I was happy to meet people from Richmond and Hampton Roads, as I don't mind having to drive a bit every once in a while for a game. Jon did a great job running everything and keeping everyone in the spirit of fun and sportsmanlike play. I probably came in last place, but the participation prize was an alt art Plascrete which is now in Gabe to replace the Crash Space (which was my poor man's armor anyways!).
Thanks to all of the players who showed up and made this such a great event, Jon for running, and congrats to El for his win! I know he was excited about his new play mat.