Sunday, June 22, 2014

Boston Regionals Report

Yesterday was the Boston Regionals at Pandemonium Games, conveniently my closest game shop. I went 5 and 7 during the Swiss rounds, which was ok. I would have loved to hit 50/50, but I did rank high enough to get the participation card and I also had some fun, which is the point.

Much respect to my friend Sam, who registered day-of and took 3 games with his core-only Noise deck. Sadly his stock Weyland (as in, literally shuffle the Weyland and neutral core cards together) wasn’t able to squeak out a win, though at least one was close. That would have truly been Achievement Unlocked.

My runner deck, a Yogasaurus “Kit” Peddler, only won one game.

I was up against three NBN (two The World Is Yours* and one Making News) and one of those was my win, but the others I think I didn’t put on enough HQ pressure and they fast-advanced to victory. I had intermittent R&D locks, but Fast Track laughs in their face and sometimes they’re just unlucky.

There were two Weyland, a Because We Built It and a GRNDL: Power Unleashed, both of whom did a fair bit of advanceable ice, the latter using it as Trick of Light batteries, which I realized too late and didn’t pay enough effort to kill it with Parasites and Data Sucker.

My last game of the day was an epic match against Personal Evolution. He succeeded in decking me (I took out the Levys that would have saved me late last week). I guess I was expecting more trapsy Jinteki (which is why I added Infiltration) but whittle-you-away Jinteki I wasn’t prepared to face, either with cards or with strategy. He was really fun to play against. The scrubs table got a little rowdy.

My next move as runner will be to switch to a deck that has to work with more breakers. I’ve been doing too much AI and Kit/Yogasaurus, so I get either very confident in making it through or completely scared away.

I need to remember against fast advance that agendas can tend to concentrate in-hand.

I also need to think of the times when I’ve built a 3-ice server as corp and don’t have enough money to keep the runner out, or the ice isn’t end-the-run, and think that maybe I should run on those giant servers myself.

On the corp side, I did relatively better, with 4 wins. I kept the two Gabes at bay, both with well-timed Closed Accounts plays (I’m so glad I dropped one of those in the deck last week) that gave me the window to get my Accelerated Beta Tests started.

I came up against a Chaos Theory / Overmind deck (not dissimilar to the one I abandoned two weeks ago), which was pretty easy to shut out given enough ice. He made a mistake that I’ve tried to keep myself from doing which is to spend an entire turn on his R&D lock. Yes, you can see things for a little while, but all the ice and operations you don’t get rid of will end up stopping the lock, and you won’t have developed your position at all in the meantime.

The other 3 games were against Mac, and Magnum Opus was the MVP. The one I did the worst against was a true big-rig player. She ended up with Personal Touches on a Torch, a Corroder, and a Garrote, with a Magnum Opus and a Toolbox for econ support. She had done an excellent job of trashing my econ assets, so I was poor and there was nowhere she couldn’t get in.

I think I made one clear mis-play against another when I had the opportunity to trash 2 programs and I opted for the Magnum Opus (duh), but then took out the loaded Datasucker rather than the Corroder. If the Datasucker ever gave me trouble I could have just purged virus counters anyway. Not that program trashing is the saddest thing to a Shaper.

A few times I over-advanced a Project Vitruvius (it makes a nice NAPD bluff, actually) and once I was able to pull some econ back from my archives which was nice. I may try to do that more in the future if I seem to have a double scoring window.

I’d like to tweak the deck to have a little less trace (against Mac with money it’s basically useless) and try to sneak in some more program destruction, probably by bringing back Archer and sticking in Aggressive Secretary. The Criminals I faced tended to run a bit poor and maybe could be Dracoed, but the Shapers were rolling in dough so there was little point.

Play-wise, I need to protect my econ assets a bit more to scare the runner off a little bit.

I also like to take the deck very slowly, drawing single cards and waiting for my agendas to trickle in while I add more ice to the board. This is very poor play against a Shaper who also wants that time to build up a giant suite of efficient breakers. I needed to draw more to get to my econ if it wasn’t coming up naturally, and maybe always try to keep one agenda in hand in case of scoring window.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Girl who Decodes

I gave up CT / Overmind for stalling out after the midgame. It never built to anything, so once the corp could get ice in place it became too expensive to run. Since I still want quirky Shaper fun, I switched to Kit Peddler, in the Yogasaurus flavor.

This deck has a bit of an arc in that it can Parasite away ice it doesn’t like (with Datasucker to help that along, and to take on ice over 5) and also includes R&D Interface to make later digs more interesting.

I ended up taking out Magnum Opus, and not using Professional Contacts, in favor of Armitage Codebusting, a bit of Kati Jones, and some events. My thought was that the deck actually needs very little money once it gets going, but Dinosaurus and Yog.0 are big up-front investments and I can’t be spending 5 credits on econ, even if it doesn’t run out.

Tonight I played against core Jinteki, both decks using a lot of small agendas to deal a lot of net damage. In one game I was able to do lots of tricks with Deus X to run on things fairly safely, but that didn’t include hitting an early Cerebral Overwriter that left me 2 cards stupider for almost all of the game. I believe that one I lost to Philotic Entanglement at the very end.

I also played twice against a violent NBN deck, and we split the games. He was doing the tag and fast advance bits, but also bringing in Private Security Force to punch me some. I ended up making a dumb play where I cleared tags but had no cards in hand, forgetting about the Restructured Datapool he could use to give me a tag and then punch me to death.

I have a few takeaways from the evening’s games:

  • I need a little more econ in my deck. I tweaked things a bit to put in Dirty Laundry since I can do guaranteed-successful runs quite often against rezzed ice. I was doing a lot of clicking for credits.
  • My hand sometimes ends up fairly static, which means I don’t end up digging for more econ cards when I’m scraping by. I need to get a better sense of when I need to stop spending all 4 clicks to maintain a lock and dig for cards that can do it better.
  • I shouldn’t run early remotes. I can get great locks on centrals, I should keep to that. I YOLO’d in to some traps which lost me games: the Cerebral Overwriter and a Ghost Branch that started the tag chain that ended in Private Security Force.
  • Sometimes ice isn’t rezzed for a reason. It’s easy to get cocky once you make a lot of free Yog.0 runs, but beyond the first ice that safety net is gone. The Jinteki player surprised me with a 2nd-row Komainu that wiped out my hand and set up a kill. I should be more aggressive Parasiting the front ice if there’s stuff I can’t see.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Pre-Registered for the Regionals

As luck would have it, a Netrunner Regionals is happening at my local store, Pandemonium Books & Cards, and it’s happening when the wife and kids are away. I pre-registered, which should mean that I will show up and not get shy and hide in my basement when the time comes.

Competition-wise, I have no illusions of going anywhere, though I hope to get just high enough for a participation card. I assume I’ll be bringing my Next Designs and CT/Overmind decks, which are hardly Tier 1, but should be enough fun to play for the day.

To practice tonight I ended up with Next against a guy testing out his Kit build. Thanks to Replicator, he got 3 Personal Touches and 3 Lockpicks out for his Gordian, and I was surprised at how much he could break. I was able to hard-rez a Janus in his face, but even with 4 brain damage he took a long time going down.

I did do a mis-play late where I ended up overdrawing a ton and then dumping a bunch of ice into Archives that he couldn’t resist running. I ended up rezing a Heimdall 2.0 that he could pay to break. I should have used Biotic Labor to also install a Pop-up Window over the front of it, to take Kit’s ability, or just not rez it to save 11 credits.

In the end I used Director Haas to get me the extra click to score her Pet Project out of hand for the final point.

The lesson here, though, is count out the runner’s costs for everything. My big ice was not so big against a 5-strength, 3-recurring’d breaker.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Today’s Mistake: Indexing and Jackson Howard

I’ve adopted Indexing as my weapon of choice in my Chaos Theory / Overmind deck. I was up against an HB deck that was taxing my clicks on R&D runs, so I had to put the cards down to come back to next turn.

Thinking he was harmless, I put Jackson Howard on top of the stack of Indexinged cards. The corp then drew and installed him, so that when I came back next turn to retrieve the agendas I found, Jackson came and shuffled them away from me.

Today’s lesson: don’t put Jackson Howard on top after an Indexing run