My girlfriend has told me I get these narrow interests where I pour all my energy and thoughts into and about 1,5 months ago I discovered Netrunner, a very awesome card game. Check out this how to play or team covenant’s channel if you want to know more.
So this Sunday I went to my first store championship with Henrik, the one other player I’ve competitively played the game with. Well I’ve played 2 games with my girlfriend, a bunch (10-ish) with her little brother and a few with another friend of mine but there I’ve always been the one teaching the game and making the decks and Henrik was the one who taught me the game.
I decided to bring a Blue Sun deck which tries to kill you and a prepaid MaxX deck I’ve been playing around with lately. The decks are very fun to play and I felt pretty good about them, but I certainly didn’t expect to get top 4, which I did!
The tournament was a 12-player one with 4 rounds of swiss followed by a double elimination bracket.
Swiss is played both as runner and corp and you get 2 points for each win with a 65 min time limit.
Match 1, NEH/Kate
vs Near-Earth Hub
The tournament went off with a bang when I faced the tournament organizer and his self-proclaimed “fast deck”. True enough. I manage to snag an Astroscript early, femme the wraparound in front of HQ and I’m feeling good. However he’s got a ton of money, I’m poor, and he installs another Wraparound in front of HQ and I only have an eater and a femme and no Keyhole. He proceeds to rezz a SanSan and score out a Beale. I manage to trash the SanSan but he rezzes another one and scores an Astroscript. Basically over from there, 2-7 is the final score.
I was a bit flustered as I had never played against a deck like this, only read about how horrible it was and it was indeed a bit horrible. 0-2.
I don’t remember very much of the game or what type his runner was, only that I got a remote up and install-advance-advance a The Cleaners. He does some things and thinks a bit. He decides to run the remote and scores, but he’s down to 3 cards. I proceed to Sea-Source Scorch for the win, with a Punitive on hand for extra overkill.
2-2 in prestige and I’m feeling good, I managed to grab a win!
Match 2, Making News/Kate
vs Stealth Kate
I feel pressured the whole game but manages to stabilize a bit. I had several agendas on hand the whole game but I install a snare in the remote hoping for a scoring window next turn. Turn before he ran into a Taurus in an empty remote (for Bank Job/Desperado money) and I trash Desperado and an R&D interface. But the runner doesn’t bite and goes for a Maker’s Eye on R&D, but hits a surprise Snare and dies with only 2 cards in hand.
Things are going better than expected, the decks are performing pretty well. 4-2.
vs Making News
I saw the deck during the first match and I knew he ran a tag storm deck with some tag punishment. I play it safe and get an early Private Security Force in a naked remote. As the game goes on I manage to get my Keyhole/Eater combo up and I manage to mill two agendas into the archives and he has an NAPD scored. Sometime during the game he plays a Midseasons and gives me a ton of tags and trashes a same old thing and a hades shard, prolonging the game a bit.
Later on he realizes it’s a misplay as you can only play it the turn after a runner scores an agenda (I didn’t even think about it). The judge says that makes it a default win for me, but we decide to play out the game just to see what happens. As it turns out I manage to win the turn after, so I consider it a fair win.
I’m now up 6-2 and things are going much better than expected.
Match 3, Andromeda/HB
We come back after lunch and I find myself on the top table, meaning I have one of the best scores so far! But now I’m playing a fairly standard Andromeda, the (apparently) most feared runner. But I dunno, I’ve never played her.
I get a turn 1 housekeeping but for some reason I don’t play it immediately! No idea why I don’t, but at least I do it turn 2 and it messes him up a ton. Turn 2 I also have a Government Takeover and a punitive on hand and I decide to play the takeover in a remote. But then he decides to play a Crash Space the same turn and now my nerves are on the edge! Luckily he doesn’t run it and the game slows down a bit.
Then I get a second punitive on hand and I decide to advance the takeover, hoping to entice him to run it. But still he doesn’t bite. Instead he manages to score an agenda from hand and now he can win by running the remote. He still has 3 cards on hand and I have 2 Punitives… I decide to use them to slow him down and to remove his Crash Space. He spends the next turn drawing cards and I can ice up the remote some more, possibly replacing or start advancing the Takeover.
The game ends when he accesses a Snare on his second click. He removes the tag on his third but now he’s got two cards. For his fourth click he boldly proclaims “living on the edge!” and runs my HQ and scores another agenda. He’s now 6-0 but he’s down to two cards and another player comments “don’t die”. I promptly kill him the next turn with Punitive.
Super tense and fun game! Now I’m 8-2 and things are going fantastic, my corp deck has pulled through like a boss.
vs The Foundry
Now I know he runs grail and I try to be super careful. I play it slow and I manage to get my keyhole/eater combo up and I’m getting a ton of cheap R&D access but I keep missing agendas. Still feeling good, I’m in control of the game and I have an agenda. He scores an Accelerated Beta Test and luckily for him he hits two ice and installs over archives and R&D. But I still have R&D access and can continue with the keyholes. I manage to mill 2 NAPD into archives.
Then he rezzes a Will-o’-the-Wisp and my Eater is dead, my game is completely stomped. Locked out of archives and locked out of Retrieval Runs I feel the game is lost to me. I get a Mimic out and try for a remote access, but I run into a Merlin. He searches for another copy and reveals two Merlins in hand for a total of 6 damage, I have 5 cards on hand with one I’ve Had Worse. He draws 2 cards, nothing. He draws 2 more and the last card is I’ve Had Worse, I draw 3 more cards and I barely survive.
When I finally get out my Eater out we’re running out of time. He installs something in a remote which I can’t access and archives is still expensive. If I had one more round I could money up and go for the archives, but now it feels like the game is over. Luckily it’s not an agenda in the remote. He draws another beta test and we both needed just another round.
We draw the game and I’m now 9-3. Feeling good but high on adrenaline after two of the craziest games I’ve ever played!
Match 4, Valencia/Harmony Medtech
Another identity I’ve never played, but now without any idea what I’m supposed to expect. Luckily I get set up fast and I manage to steal an early agenda. He’s having trouble finding agendas and I’m getting a ton of keyhole access. I find another agenda with keyhole and I’m feeling good, even though 2x tsurugi in front of archives are very taxing. He installs two cards in a remote server (and advances one I think?) protected by a guard and a lotus field but I destroy the ice, win the psi game and scores an NAPD for the win.
I’m a little proud for accessing the face down first as I only had 4 credits on hand, instead of trashing the caprice only to have to leave the NAPD there. More experienced players might say it’s a given, but learning the rather large card pool isn’t that straightforward.
Incredibly I’m 11-3, sitting on the top table and I think I have a good shot at top 4.
Henrik also brought Valencia and I really considered to have Elizabeth Mills in the deck, but I cut her the day before. Perhaps I shouldn’t have.
Playing a control Valencia I feel a bit shut down. The game goes long and I have 2x punitive. Runner is pressuring me with Itinerant Protesters and keeping me poor with account siphon. I had a window where the runner had 4 tags, I try to draw for the scorched win but I don’t find it. I’m poor most of the game but finally stabilize and get a Housekeeping up. I place Government Takeover in archives but runner doesn’t bite. I place a snare and a crap card in remotes and runner does 2x Blackmail, but clears tags and draws up. I see my chance and install-advance-advance a The Cleaners, but another Blackmail makes it a score for the runner. Out of tricks I loose to the later archive run.
Probably some misplays, but I felt behind the whole game. Very strong deck, might reconsider ms Mills. 11-5.
The top seed has 12 points and I’m second with 11 points. 2nd plays 3rd which means I’ll get a rematch of my last match.
Match 5, Harmony Medtech
Rematch time! I got to choose runner/corp and I went with runner as the game went very well the last time. This time however I don’t get the fast setup and he has an early remote which I can’t get into and the game is over quite quickly.
6-0 is the final score and I feel a bit deflated.
Match 6, MaxX
Once again I get to choose sides. I’m a bit bummed over my runner from the last game so I pick my corp and he’s running… MaxX. Yoy!
He runs more regular breakers with double D4v1d, which is very bad for me. He’s also keeping me poor, forcing me to rezz ice all over the place, and I’m missing most of my economy cards. When I do get my Oversights, he’s far richer than I am wih Kati/Liberated Accounts/Daily Casts.
I do get my Janus, trying to trick him into it to kill his D4v1d counters and clicks, but he doesn’t bite. He scores a 3-pointer and the game goes long. I end up clicking for credits, trying to have enough money to protect my Government Takeover sitting in my hand while trying to drain his economy during runs. His Yog kills my Datapikes and I feel constrained.
The game goes to time and I hear the judge call out “15 seconds”. I install-advance-advance a 3-pointer, judge calls time and he has one turn left and I have one more. If the game is a tie I will win as I’m the higher rank (he was 4th after swiss). I do have 2 Punitives on hand and 32 credits. But he has ~ 40 credits. He runs the server, I rezz some ice and he steals the agenda. I bounce the ice but I don’t have enough money to kill him so we go to time and he wins 6-0.
I misplayed as I could have rezzed a Janus when he stole the first agenda, but I didn’t think I had enough money so I didn’t. If I did he would have spent the D4v1d counters and the rest of his clicks, possibly steal an agenda from HQ, and then I would have enough money for a kill (I think)! Also I should have placed Janus on a remote, in front of another big piece of ice. Probably also too passive play from my side, I might have had a scoring window when he only had a D4v1d out and a scored The Cleaners might have turned the tides.
Still, that’s the end for me and I finish 4th.
I was fairly confident in my theory crafted decks (some limited testing) and they did perform above expectations. I won a cool playmat and had a very, very good time! All were very nice and friendly and I sure want to play some more netrunner.