Monday, February 9, 2015

Netrunner Tourney Part 2

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.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Netrunner Tournament, Williamsburg Muster 2/6/15 Part 1

It's Netrunner time! I figured a good way to do my first ANR (Android: Netrunner) blog post would be to talk about my ANR firsts. This tournament was my first for ANR. It was the first time I have played against someone other than Lisa. It was only my second time playing as a runner. It was my first chance to meet local ANR players and connect with them to set up future gaming. And this my friends, was my true purpose in attending. Which is good, because I performed horribly!

A quick word about the Muster. It's small. I tend to catagorize conventions according to size based on Local<Regional<National/International. For the SF Bay Area a local convention would be something like Celesticon (in that Celesticon is fairly new and has that local con feel). A regional con would be DundraCon or KublaCon. These are what I'm most used to. A few thousand gamers across every type of hobby gaming you might typically see at any given game store (and some you won't see). The only national event I have experience with is Adepticon, but I hope to attend GenCon eventually. Friday night at the Muster was kind of a culture shock. There were only a few dozen people there tops, and most were engaged in historical wargaming. It seems that WWII was the popular favorite. Flames of War seemed to be heavily represented.

Ok, back to ANR. Up first, my decklists. Keep in mind that I only own a single Core set, Honor and Profit, Opening Moves, and Future Proof. This means a lot of my deckbuilding choices were dictated by what I owned, giving this experience more of a CCG feel for me rather than the inclusive feeling one would usually get from an LCG.

Corp- Jinteki: Personal Evolution (Cambridge Style)

The Future Perfect x3
Nisei MkII x3
House of Knives x3
Philotic Entanglement x1

Jackson Howard x3 ***
Psychic Field x3
Ronin x3
Snare x3
Shi.Kyu x2
Project Junebug x2
Aggressive Secretary x1 **

Hedge Fund x3
Mushin No Shin x3
Neural EMP x2
Diversified Portfolio x2
Scorched Earth x1 ****

Pup x3
Eli 1.0 x3 ***
Enigma x2
Ice Wall x2 **
Komainu x1

You can see the deck that mine is based on at
There are also videos showing how it's played. Essentially, it runs light taxing ice and horizontal remotes to create a situation where the runner is more likely to hit a trap than something vital. I feel that the key piece missing from my deck is Gila Hands Arcology. This agenda is far more clutch in this deck than I had originally given it credit (no pun intended) for. Being able to score 3/1s puts pressure on the runner to hit unadvanced remotes, something my deck was SORELY lacking. They only had to run Mushined cards and eat the occasional trap while pressuring R&D with multi access. All of the games I lost (which was all of them) were do to R&D pulls by the runner.

Runner- Gabriel Santiago

Inside Job x3
Sure Gamble x3
Special Order x3
Easy Mark x3
Infiltration x3
Legwork x2
Acoount Siphon x2
Hostage x2
The Maker's Eye x1 **

Desperado x1
Logos x1

Bank Job x2
Security Testing x2
Mr. Li x1
John Masanori x1
Crash Space x1

Corroder x2 ****
Faerie x2
Yog.0 x2 **
Datasucker x2 **
Sneakdoor Beta x2
Femme Fatale x1
Mimic x1 *
Crypsis x1
Medium x1 ***

Those more familiar with net lists will no doubt recognize that I'm missing a key piece to my runner deck as well. Namely, the right IDENTITY FOR THE DECK. Yeah, this is an Andromeda deck starring Gabe. I've noticed that Gabe relies too much on running centrals, which are iced up immediately with no amount of Sneakdooring able to get me through. Without running 3 Desperado I simply don't have the MU to pull off Sneakdoor AND the breakers I need to consistently get through to HQ. Also, money was a problem the entire tourney for me. I think the only change I'd make for that is to drop one Security Testing and an Easy Mark for 2x Daily Casts. Dropping an Infiltration and Legwork for two Dirty Laundry would help a lot too (it would also help increase the usefullness of my remaining Sec Testing). I have to say that I was dissapointed in Medium, but Maker's Eye and Inside Job were always happy draws for me.

Round 1
This being both my first ANR tourney and experience with players I'd never met before, I was quite nervous going into the first round. This means that the details of the matches are a bit fuzzy, especially Game 1. My opponent, Steven, brought Jinteki:RP and Andromeda with Stealth breakers. We kicked off the first game with me at the helm of my runner deck, which probably added to my discomfort in hindsight. I had every opportunity to suggest that I play corp first, but since I was trying to stay loose and caual while being full of jitters meant that we flipped for it.

I was able to get a few good scores early on, including an NAPD that probably greatly contributed to me winning this game. He scored TWO Nesei, making things look really, hopelessly grim for me. I managed to make enough key runs to burn the tokens off, but of course that allowed him to score. I think it helped that he had an Eli as his outermost ice on HQ, so I could just bounce for a click and proceed to spend the rest of my turn focusing on the remotes. He had a great drip economy going with three Mental Health and a Sundew, but was spending the coins as fast as they were coming in.

It all came down to a final run in a very close game. Heading into his scoring remote, he chose to rez a piece of ice for 3 (I think maybe Enigma). I used Yog to get through for free and ended up face-to-face with Ash. By spending the credits to rez, he wasn't able to beat me on the trace and I scored TFP for the win. Had it been the NAPD from earlier (he said he had the choice of the two at the time he installed the NAPD) I would not have been able to beat Ash AND score, and he would have easily won on his next turn. It's a shame that I won through a mistake, but that's the learning experience part of playing in a tournament.

I'm feeling pretty good going into the switch. I'm MUCH more comfortable playing corp and Steven said that he was as well. I'm sure there's a lesson to be learned here about overconfidence....

I let Steven know that my PE deck could make for long games on occasion, and apologized for that. He knew that he'd have to play aggressively and score just enough to land the timed win. Once again, it all came down to the last run. I think I'm sitting on two points and he's on one. He makes an easy run into R&D, I pop Jackson to reduce Agenda density and he gets to see two. First card: keep, second card... Nesei MkII. Damn. The card below was a Snare. And get this. HE ONLY HAS A SINGLE CARD LEFT. I don't mean just his grip either. I mean AT ALL. So take a look at the original Cambridge list. Now look at mine. Nesei isn't in his list. Instead, he runs Fetal AI. With that swap, I would have won.

It's all good though, since I had two VERY close games against a great opponent. They were very fun to play and really helped me relax about the rest of the tournament, although I wish I'd brought a faster Corp deck as time would clearly be a big factor.

I think I'll wrap it up here, and finish up with Rounds 2 and 3 in another post. Thanks for reading!