Recent experiences with Netrunner tournaments

After a bit of a hiatus after the Winter Kit Tournament the 16th January I participated in three tournaments during February - March. After each of these tournaments I started a writeup of them but they fell off my mind a bit but consider this my break with my blogging hiatus.

Store Championship Örebro

After more than a month with no Netrunner I was stoked and in high spirits as we went to the friendly meta of Örebro the 20th Feb. I decided to try out two of the currently most popular decks: bootcamp glacier is here to stay and The 2-Armed Ice Feast (sometimes called Dumblefork) and I don’t think I made any changes to the decks at all. I’ve always liked Blue Sun so I was excited to try a competitive variant and I loved the “Looking 4 Job” variants of Whizzard before.

On to the games. We were only 8 people and I was matched up against Niclas who used practically the same decks as I did. I was quite nervous as he’s pretty awesome and he basically smashed me in both games. The second game I faced a relatively new players where I won the games comfortably and the third I lost two fairly close games against Peder’s MaxX and NEH FA (he did play better though). The last games I won another close Whizzard game but lost my corp game due Apocalypse (From Nasir!) catching me with my pants down.

I found out the hard way that the bootcamp glacier wasn’t the easiest to pilot (as suggested in the comments) and the dumblefork deck didn’t play the same as the previous Whizzard decks I’v played. Serves me right playing new decks on a tournament.

In the end I finished second to last, officially my worst tournament placement, and I must admit I was quite disappointed. I’d like to think I don’t care about loosing, but I think that’s wrong, I very much want to win and I do play Netrunner competitively when I do go to these tournaments. Another thing which made my disappointment a lot worse was that I missed out on the wonderful Leela Playmat. Maybe I’ll get another shot at it during the Store Champ in Linköping but for that I should probably do myself a favor and prepare a bit.

But I did get 3 copies of our lord and saviour Jackson Howard!

ANRPC Qualifier Örebro

Only a week later we went to yet another tournament in Örebro. This time it was a player organized tournament where the top 3 qualified for a finals tournament in Stockholm but there were a ton of other things to win as well.

As this seemed to a quite competitive event with players coming in from Stockholm and the surrounding area and considering my poor performance from last week I had lowered my expectations a lot. I had set my sights on simply not getting crushed and as long as I put up a good fight I’d be happy.

As the decks the previous work out for me (I can hardly fault the decks) I decided to go back to my Noise build which has served me well before. The tweaks I did to the build after the most wanted list was simply to cut a clone chip and the shards. I decided to throw in a Trope as an attempt to prevent running out of cards. During the day it was only useful once and as of this writing I’m leaning more towards BigBoy Noise with Levy/Peddler/Inject. I complained a bit (half jokingly) about missing the kill from my corp deck during the previous weekend and I got inspired by the Canadian Graveyard deck d1en used to win stimhack league with. I made some tweaks using other shells and I was good to go!

During this week I also tried out which is an unofficial online version of the game. There has been other clients (OCTGN) but I’ve always been reluctant to use them as I didn’t want to spend too much time playing… Well that’s done and I’m caught now. The interface is quite good if you already know the game and I used to practice with the decks a little bit and they seemed to perform ok.

I also got my friend Filip to come to his first tournament this weekend after we played a couple of games to refresh the rules during the week. I’m still pretty impressed as he basically agreed to come even without knowing the game basically at all. I gave him a standard Foodcoats list (minus global food, no dupes) and a vamp Jesminder. Sadly he didn’t win any games but the opposition was tough and he didn’t go to time and he said he had fun (apparently as he has now bought a core and some expansions!).

The Games

After the tournament I made some notes about the games I played but they aren’t super exhaustive and it’s been a while since they happened, but here’s a quick summary at least. There were 5 rounds without a cut and some of my games were streamed (but I haven’t seen them uploaded yet).

Round 1 Got a bye. Sigh. Sure I want to win but I want to play (and win) more… At least Frida (who didn’t participate) played a game with me to ease my pain, thank you! I also think my prospective opponent arrived just as we was starting our round, but I got the bye anyway.

Round 2 As I had apparently won my first round I got to face fellow Linköping player Harald and on stream for the first time! I distinctly remember looking at my shaking hands at the beginning of the games. Turns out I get nervous playing Netrunner on stream, scared of making mistakes and dumb plays. These games I didn’t mess up too badly as I managed to kill the too passive runner with the combo Hiro/Neural/Ronin and as Noise I got a good start against his NEH fast advance allowing me to close out the game.

Round 3 Played against a Chaos Theory who siphoned me down, won the psychich field psi game (dodging the kill) and checked all my advances/unadvanced cards. I was too greedy installing a Hiro after the runner clearly checked everything. Noise has a pretty good matchup against RP and he did get a pretty good setup, but so did I and I sat back and milled challenging the remote during advance (caprice foiled me) but I stole enough from R&D and archives to win shortly after.

Round 4 Second game on stream and I faced another accomplished player. I got a great start as IG against his Whizzard and I managed to keep up my assets and my money. I started to score out as he was a bit too passive but I ended the game with my new favourite combo Hiro/Neural/Ronin dodging the I’ve Had Worse. Then I faced EtF, my most dreaded opposition against Noise. After he made an opening remote I ran it, clicked through the Turing and trashed(!) the Adonis. Then I tried out my luck with Medium but no such avail and after that he rushed me out. In retrospect I handled the game very poorly… I’d like to watch the video whenever it’s available but hopefully it’s not too cringeworthy.

Round 5 Still on the top table and my third streamed game I faced off against another player I know is very good. This time it was my turn to play against a Noise with my IG, which was a first. I don’t really remember the game (need videos!) but I think he got a lot of accesses and I remember feeling he should have seen enough to win the game. We even checked the deck if I had enough agendas in there (most hidden in R&D) but alas I got the win by running him out of cards. Then I faced another NEH FA. I think I got a good start with some medium action and I got clot online but he managed to claw back. At the end of the game a small crowd had assembled as we slowly went to time. During my turn I milled, checked archives (up to 5 points) and made a last ditch attempt at HQ and finding the 1/5 chance for victory. Two from my view intense games and I’m looking forward to the video, if not to see the games from the other perspective.

Somehow I managed to win the tournament and apparently I’m going to play in the Stockholm finals, which is great because it means more Netrunner! I still feel like I don’t deserve it as I got an unnecessary bye the first round… The guy who got punished for coming late actually came in 3rd in the end, which is pretty baller, and it makes me feel a little bit better at least.

Winter Kit tournament in Linköping

Originally planned to be a store championship but as the dates collided with other store champs in the area we couldn’t get enough players we moved it forward. As it happens I had bought a winter kit so we used it as prize support for a 7 people tournament Mars 12th.

Filip didn’t get enough of netrunner the last time but the decks I provided didn’t really fit his aggressive play style. So I gave him a modified Fury Road deck (which is also a variation of what d1en used) an all out Blue Sun Kill deck (Government Takeover/Punitive/Cerebral/Janus/Scorch/) to better fit his playstyle. We also play tested them a little before the tournament.

I was planning to bring my standard Noise and a fast advance Order of Sol deck to the Store Championship as a bit more competitive decks, but after the tournament was changed to a winter kit tournament I opted to try out something else. Pitchfork is a cool deck and I don’t play that much Shaper so it seemed like a good idea to try it out (modification to allow Filip to get his Fury Road deck). A couple of months ago I tried a slightly janky/stupid/awesome Biotech kill deck I had lots of great fun with so it was time to play some fun jank!

This time I got another of my friends, Erik, to come to his first tournament. Some time ago I convinced him to buy a core set and he put it to use during the tournament and he said it was more fun than he was expecting!

I don’t have any notes from this tournament but there were a few moments that stood out. “Why do you play THAT card” when I flipped a Data Mine and in general heads were shaken that day which was great fun. The best thing was a turn 2 corp win against andromeda who made dirty laundry on psychic field on the 3rd click… and I won the psi (always choose The Brewery). I played Filip and he played great, he even got a Government Takeover scored as I was too afraid to run it (I still won though) and as runner he keyholed me to death and won that game.

In the end the game I lost against Filip was the only game I lost and so won my second winter kit tournament and I got my Corroder alt art. Erik also won two games so hopefully he has also seen the light and will return to our next tournament.