Games By The Beach Store Championship – 1 Feb 2015

Decks: Making News tax (http://netrunnerdb.com/en/decklist/14812/daft-punk-troll) and Switchman Andy (http://netrunnerdb.com/en/decklist/14810/switchman-andy).

After the hour drive to Frankston I was a little disappointed to only see a few others there. However,soon the train arrived and we ended up with a fantastic turnout of 26. It’s great to see such dedication in the local scene, including some newer players. Also they had just gotten the FFG art sleeves in stock…which promptly sold out of Snares. I got myself some of those sweet Pop-Ups – aw yeah.

Game 1: Connor, Replicating Perfection/Kate

This was a matchup I’d been looking forward to, as much of my deck tweaking had been geared towards beating the RP monster. I had a fairly good start out of the gate, getting set up with Desperado and Security Testing while he struggled to ICE up and drew heavily with Jackson. He attempted to push an agenda out early but I put a stop to it with Inside Job – unfortunately taking an NAPD rather than a Nisei. During the course of some R&D accesses I saw some Grail ICE, which made me unwilling to run until I found my Corroder, the last piece of my rig. He attempted to shut me out of my Testing money with a Lotus Field on Archives, but I threw down a strength 4 Atman and kept hammering it. By the time I got my Yog/Corroder/Switch/Atman/Sucker rig up with 2 R&D Interfaces, I was able to hammer R&D pretty much unopposed to pull out the win.

The Kate game was quite interesting as I had a fantastic opening with tons of econ and ICE, managing to get a SanSan out early, scoring some points and taking out his Professional Contacts with a Breaking News. However, the agendas just weren’t coming and by the time he managed to set up for reliable R&D access, I just couldn’t stop the lock before he got to 7.

MVP: Atman alllll day long.

Game 2: Tim, Noise/Blue Sun

Tim’s a great due and I’m always happy to be across the table from him. That said, Noise is always a scary sight to see, and even more so when on his first turn he mills Astro, Astro, Jackson. Hmmmmm. I’m willing to admit that I got insanely lucky in this game, drawing into agendas and scoring from a SanSan while he milled other crap into Archives. Tim’s board was insane, pumping out viruses like there’s no tomorrow with Incubator to make sure I was constantly under pressure to purge. A Hades Shard on the table had me extremely worried too, especially with 4 points in Archives.

The final turn of this game was the really interesting part though. He’d just run through a Pop-Up Window to trash my SanSan after fighting an Ash, and I was sitting at 5 points with 2 credits and an Astro counter. On his last click Tim paused, holding a card for a long time…then drew. I topdecked a Beale and won in an incredibly tense game – the kind where you’re up 5-0 but feel like everything could explode at any moment. Tim told me he was considering whether to Parasite the Pop-Up and pop the Hades Shard, a play which would have gotten him 6 points and stopped me winning! Great game.

MVP: Wraparound politely telling Crypsis to fuck off.

The runner game was a complete blowout though – I had a sweet opening hand with Desperado, Plascrete and money, but Tim had basically the perfect Blue Sun game with tons of money, huge ICE in all the right places and a known Scorch threat. I got absolutely stomped on in this game, but at the same time it was great to see a deck perform so well.

MVP: Curtain Wall. Fuck Curtain Wall.

Game 3: Brian, NEH/Kate

I’d played Brian recently so I had a good idea what to expect, as a LOT of our players in our meta are running very old school Kate decks with Professional Contacts, Daily Casts, Modded and tons of R&D pressure. Typically they set up for a while and then just dump on R&D for the rest of the game.

Unfortunately I can’t remember heaps about this game. I got to 5 with an Astro counter and a rezzed SanSan pretty quickly with an NAPD in hand. Brian Parasited the Troll on my HQ (Troll was amazing this game by the way) and ran 4 times but missed it every time, so I scored out.

Runner was fairly standard as well. I got set up with money early and put pressure everywhere in classic Andy fashion, scoring a decent amount of points while Brian Biotic’d out an Astro. I put my Atman at 4 to deal with a Lotus Field and went to town on R&D, pulling out the win in short order.

MVP: Troll is the most appropriately named card in the game.

Game 4: Aaron, Weyland: Because We Built It, Kate

So naturally my first thought upon seeing his ID was…WHAT. I can’t say anyone’s pulled that one against me! It was an interesting game, with Aaron building up a fairly decent Ice Wall (Strength 6) bon HQ and Commercialising the crap out of it. I blew a Faerie on a Shadow early on, which kind of sucked but tags against Weyland are never good to have. One absolutely fantastic play by him was to install an upgrade on Archives, which was otherwise protected by a Wall of Static. I ran it, thinking it was a Crisium Grid intended to shut down my Sec Testing, but instead a Will o’ the Wisp sent my Corroder back to the bottom of my stack! Pretty impressive. However, I dropped an Atman at 3 and went right back to it, snagging an NAPD from Archives as well as some more points on a well-timed Legwork. Switchblade and R&D Interfaces let me dig for the win. We had a chat about it later and he was doing a cool hybrid of Uncorrodable and Fast Advance with Trick of Light. I imagine the new tricks in Order and Chaos will go a long way with this deck.

Aaron was also running a stealth deck, using Refractor as well as Switchblade and Professional Contacts. He spent a LOT of time hitting Contacts and getting set up with a stealth rig that would have let him get through everything for basically nothing. Unfortunately, by then I’d scored a lot of points. In general I played a pretty standard game with the bonus of blowing up his Contacts with a Breaking News, and eventually bluffed out an NAPD to win.

MVP: Atman saved my ass, no question.

Game 5: TD, NEH/Kate

TD was a cool guy and ended up winning the whole shebang. He was playing straight ahead Astrobiotics, and got an Astro out fairly early. However, my Security Testing-powered economy let me Legwork and R&D Interface my was to a win before the train really took off.

The Corp game was EXTREMELY close, as I couldn’t afford to protect my R&D and TD went to a 5-2 lead very quickly before I managed to stabilise R&D. He ran my HQ on last click with my hand being Beale, Breaking News and ICE, and hit…the Breaking News, putting him at 6-2. I quickly scored the Beale on my SanSan and managed to grind out the win. Great game, extremely close.

MVP: Security Testing is bananas.

After 5 rounds I was at 16 points and at the top of Swiss going into the finals and feeling fantastic with my first double elimination!

Finals 1: Jesse, HB: Engineering the Future

I made what may have been a mistake and elected to run against Jesse, believing my Runner to have a good matchup. However, I struggled for economy the whole game and he ran wild with a Jackson and good, cheap ETR ICE to slow me down as I struggled for my breakers. I managed to get to 6 points from a 4 point Legwork and then spent the rest of the game hammering R&D through Eli and and Quandary to no avail. Eventually Jesse managed to push the final NAPD through with the aid of a Shipment from SanSan, taking a very close game.

MVP: Legwork, I guess? Didn’t go great for me.

Finals 2: Joey, Andromeda

Joey’s a great guy and always brings interesting decks, so this was pretty awesome. I realised pretty quickly he was playing stealth as he made a huge effort to get a Switchblade and support out before running my scoring server, where he ran into…a Wall of Static. I had a TMI on HQ but only a Pop-Up and Tollbooth on R&D – and I couldn’t afford to rez the Tollbooth thanks to 4 Account Siphons! The Pop-Up let him get to 5 points disturbingly quickly, but also gave me a ton of money. Through some careful manoeuvring, I got myself into a position with huge amounts of money, 4 points with an Astro counter, a Tollbooth on my scoring server and R&D, and an unrezzed RSVP on HQ. He didn’t have tons of money so I played a Beale into my scoring server and advanced it once, hoping he’d think it was NAPD. Importantly, I had exactly enough money to rez both the Tollbooth on my R&D and scoring remote and still score. He got some money and slapped down a Refractor last click, which would have made my life hell if the game had gone any longer. I triple advanced the Beale and added a counter to make it a 3 pointer to win in a play I’m pretty proud of.

MVP: Balls-on-the-table-Beale.

Finals 3: Jian, NEH

This was an extremely straightforward example of Astrobiotics doing its thing, unfortunately. He Biotic’d and SanSan’d out points while I tried to go for the win with Legworks and R&D lock. I managed to get to 6 before he Fast Tracked for the win. Still a close game.

MVPs of the day: Blue Level Clearance and Restructure were consistently great, Troll was hilarious every time it came out. Switchblade is insane when it gets going and Atman kicks all kind of ass in Criminal where people don’t expect it. I think this deck is extremely strong in general but does struggle against Blue Sun, unfortunately. Data Raven did some great work as people will always get freaked out when they see it, especially since most of my opponents were resource heavy.

LVPs: Shinobi and Rototurret didn’t do a damn thing. Neither did Closed Accounts, although that was more a timing thing than anything.

Overall it was a great game – shame I couldn’t win the only Store Champs I can get to, but very excited for Regionals this year!

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