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3rd place Nationals Gencon Tournament Report


#1

My name is Ahmed Abbasi. This is my first tournament
report even though I have been to five store championships and two regionals
since I started playing Netrunner back in December. I went to Gen Con where all
the games ever are and played 55 games of Netrunner over three days (yup I kept
track). Other than that I only demo’d Conquest and one other board game, and
also played one Game of Thrones melee in the tourney before I insta-dropped
when a spot opened in the first flight of Netrunner. I’ve got no regrets – I
had a great time, met some great Netrunner players, hung out with the Team Covenant
guys (which was awesome), and played some of the best games ever.

Most of Gen Con is a blur. Playing Netrunner
10-12 hours a day does that. So this report will not include each game, just
some highlights. I originally was not going to attend Gen Con until 2
weeks prior when a friend convinced me to come. Since I decided to come late, I
was initially only planning on playing in the second flight on Friday. However,
as mentioned above, a spot opened up and I played in the first flight. I
was always going to play Near Earth Hub, but for runner even though I
playtested Tenma extensively, I ended up just going back to Andy a couple
of days prior to the tournament because, well, Andy is Andy. I was doing well
at first but then I took a 0-2 loss in the middle of the tournament and was not
going to qualify. I finished out the tournament and thought about what to
change in my decks. I am not going to post my original decks (they were
the same identities) because they obviously weren’t as good. 128 people played
in the first flight and 32 make the cut to play on Saturday. I ended up
being 40-something.

The next day, in the morning, I played some
practice games with my friend Weston whoflew in from California. He beat me
five games in a row with just an hour to go before the tournament. Great for
morale. :slight_smile:

128 people played again the second day, with
another cut to top 32. My first opponent was actually semi-new to the game.
He didn’t have his cards sleeved and a judge saw it and told him to sleeve his
cards for the next round. I ended up taking the games pretty
quickly.

Honestly that is all I remember from that day except that my
second to last opponent was my friend Weston who was the top seed when I was
seated to play him. I ended up sweeping him to finally knock him out of
the top table he had been sitting at all day. He reminded afterwards
about earlier I when I had been saying "Am I even good at this game?"
after losing to him so much and also not qualifying the day before. I owe a lot
to Weston because he convinced me to change my decks before the second flight
started up. I ended up finishing top seed for the second flight with 22
prestige after 7 rounds.

The next day was no joke. The top 32 from
both days of preliminary swiss didn’t get there by chance.

Round 1

Harmony Medtech and Andy. Flew in all the
way from Singapore. 23 hour flight. He had come with a group, and one of his
friends had played in the previous flight but I had beaten him and he didn’t
make the cut. He played corp first. I had seen Medtech once or twice and I
honestly had no idea how to play against him. No one in Atlanta really
played this ID. Turn one he Mushin’d out a card and then put an ice in front of
R&D. I took a normal Andy turn one setup. Turn 2 he installed 3
remotes. I decided to check R&D since Faerie was out and run his
exposed HQ. Turn 3 he advanced one of his remotes to score a Braintrust. Stuff
happens and eventually he’s at 4 points and I’m at 2. At some point he Mushins
again. I draw click 1 and then run at it click 2. It’s Junebug and I lose
my hand of 6 cards, but I’m still alive. I draw two cards and hope he doesn’t Neural
me for the win. He draws and installs some stuff. One of the two
cards I drew was a Siphon. He has exactly 5 credits. Click one Siphon.
Clicks 2, 3, 4 run all his remotes. All traps that I get rid of. So
now he can’t Trick of Light again and I’m in control. He takes 3
credits. I run R&D and he can’t rez. Score 2 points. Run
again, see nothing. I draw a card and then Legwork his hand to get the
last 2 points I need.

Corp game I won without much trouble.

Round 2 or 3

RP and Andy(?). I just remember the RP
game because I barely got it. He’s doing his thing and making the servers
and I’m trashing the sundews and such. Very early I see a Future Perfect in his
hand. I bid 0 and he bids 2 or 1 and I don’t get it. I think to
myself, “If I don’t get this now I probably never will.” Click 2 and 3 I
Siphon from hand because he has 9 credits. I then Legwork and get the Future Perfect
and he can’t bid anything. But now I’m stuck with these tags and no way I’m
taking them off. I run a lot but can’t get anything going. I Parasite his
Tsurugi and Komainu but he keeps getting ice and I keep getting poor. I can’t
lay down Kati or Mr. Li because of the tags. One turn he rezzes another
Tsurugi, taking him down to 2 credits. It is click 2. I see a
Future Perfect on R/D. I bid 0 and he bids 1. Fine by me. I Clone
Chip another Parasite onto this Komainu and kill it with Datasuckers to run
again on an iceless R&D. I bid 0 again and he bids his last credit. I
run last click and he has no money to bid. 6 pts. Honestly I
thought I won there (probably because the last Jinteki was Medtech ), but then
I was like “Oh wait, I gotta keep doing this.” But now he has the advantage. I
have 6 pts and he has 0 but I am broke. He has a Sundew I can’t touch and
the ice is getting bigger. My runs eventually become this: Run R&D, break
one subroutine on a Tsurugi so the run doesn’t end, take the 3 net damage, and
then click through Eli to see one card. Desperation mode. Eventually I see
another Future Perfect. Of all the agendas left in R&D, it’s this one.
He has plenty of credits and I have like 4. Luckily I bid 1 and he does
too. I don’t remember the next game.

Round X

I am playing some guys Near Earth Hub and I
cannot get a barrier breaker to save my life. All the ice are barriers and I
know his hand is flooded. It’s turn 5+ and he hasn’t done anything. I’m
holding a Femme in my hand. I know the best move is to just Femme the Wraparound
(the only ice in front of HQ) and then Legwork. But I can’t do it.
It feels stupid. Waste a Femme when a Special Order is probably right around
the corner? So I go draw, draw, draw, draw. Nothing. Next
turn he goes Biotic Astro. I’m like “Okay. That’s not so bad. I’ll just
draw.” So I do. Draw, draw, draw, draw. Nothing. He goes install,
advance, advance, Astro counter and scores another Astro. Okay, fine.
Click one femme Wraparound. Click 2 Legwork. I get 3 or 4 points.
Lesson: go with your instincts. Would have saved me in the semi-finals but
I made a mistake by not doing what I felt was right. I eventually somehow win
this game.

After round 4 I was 8-0. In such an
amazing field of players I was shocked. I ended up losing both games in
my last round to Benoit who will eventually win the tournament.

I lost 2 games as Andy in the elimination
bracket to Zach. The first game I don’t remember but the second game was my
fault. I made some rookie mistakes and I can’t even understand now how
they happened. Things like not running in the right places even though I
should have known better. But I did much better than I thought possible
before showing up Thursday. To go from not qualifying in the first flight
to top seed in the second flight and then placing 3rd after elimination was
just amazing.

In all the games of Netrunner at Gen Con this is
really all I remember. Other than that, it was a flood of Andy and Near Earth
Hub. I believe Benoit and maybe one more person were the only players in the
top 8 not playing Andy. One of the reasons I feel that Benoit was able to
sweep me in swiss is because Atman Kate is the worst matchup for my deck.
With an Inti out, an Atman at 0, 2, and 4 will just walk all over you. Benoit
is a great guy and deserved his win.

Closing thoughts/observations. Parasite is the
best icebreaker
. Plan your Legwork based on what the corp is doing, don’t
just top deck it and gogogo. Don’t underestimate your opponent. I never
once had to lay down Plascrete or Peacock. I played two scorch decks and
one time I had Plascrete in hand and never needed it. I saw Lotus Field
everywhere but found ways around it (Emergency Shutdown or just focus on the
other servers). If I had Peacock I would have used it but couldn’t get to
it. Yog 4 life. Daily Casts might be better than Armitage if you play Security
Testing; I can’t ever make up my mind on those two. Don’t be afraid
to run because it might be a Roto. Near Earth Hub is insane. I lost two
corp games over both flights combined. If you play Criminal and don’t use Mr.
Li, reconsider why you aren’t; it’s too good. If the runner has a
resource that they care about, you care about trashing it. Don’t just
score Breaking News out of hand. Blowing up a Kati with 12 credits or a Professional
Contacts can win you the game with the tempo you gain. I only missed
having Closed Accounts in one or two games.

My decks are nothing special. People kept asking me what I was using, especially after the top 64 went so well for me. It’s really just very straightforward criminal and NBN. No surprises. One guy ran psychic field x2 out of his Near Earth Hub. Caught me off guard and took my hand away but I was able to recover. I tried a 3x snare build before coming to Gencon but changed it to as is now by day 2.

Total Cards: (49)

Identity:
1x Near-Earth Hub: Broadcast Center (Upstalk)

Agenda: (11)
3x AstroScript Pilot Program (Core)
2x Breaking News (Core)
3x Project Beale (Future Proof)
3x NAPD Contract (Double Time)

Asset: (8)
3x Jackson Howard (Opening Moves)
3x PAD Campaign (Core)
2x Marked Accounts (Cyber Exodus)

ICE: (16)
3x Eli 1.0 (Future Proof) ■ ■ ■
3x Pop-up Window (Cyber Exodus)
3x Wraparound (Fear and Loathing)
3x Quandary (Double Time)
2x Guard (Honor and Profit)
2x Lotus Field (Upstalk) ■ ■

Operation: (11)
3x Biotic Labor (Core) ■■■■ ■■■■ ■■■■
3x Sweeps Week (True Colors)
3x Hedge Fund (Core)
2x Fast Track (Honor and Profit)

Upgrade: (3)
3x SanSan City Grid (Core)

Total Cards: (45)

Identity:
1x Andromeda: Dispossessed Ristie (Humanity’s Shadow)

Event: (17)
3x Account Siphon (Core)
3x Dirty Laundry (Creation and Control)
2x Inside Job (Core)
2x Legwork (Honor and Profit)
3x Special Order (Core)
3x Sure Gamble (Core)
1x Emergency Shutdown (Cyber Exodus)

Hardware: (6)
1x Clone Chip (Creation and Control) ■■
3x Desperado (Core)
1x Plascrete Carapace (What Lies Ahead)
1x R&D Interface (Future Proof) ■■

Program: (12)
1x Corroder (Core) ■■
3x Datasucker (Core) ■ ■ ■
2x Faerie (Future Proof)
1x Femme Fatale (Core)
1x Mimic (Core) ■
1x Peacock (What Lies Ahead)
1x Yog.0 (Core) ■
2x Parasite (Core) ■■ ■■

Resource: (10)
2x Armitage Codebusting (Core)
2x Kati Jones (Humanity’s Shadow)
2x Mr. Li (Future Proof)
2x Security Testing (Honor and Profit)
2x Same Old Thing (Creation and Control)

If you have any questions please feel free to comment or send me a message.


#2

Can you sign my Lotus Fields before you return them to me? :smile:

Also, grats on showing everybody that Atlanta Netrunner is somewhat capable of putting up results!


#3

Congratulations on your finish, Ahmed! This is Zach. It was a pleasure to play against you, and even more so to talk with you regarding the decks and various plays throughout the tournament.

I’m glad you did so well on Friday and Saturday after we split on Thursday. Your enthusiasm and cheer when I encountered you between a couple of the rounds on Saturday kept my own spirits high in what proved to be as much a test of endurance as skill for me.


#4

And yet, some people still dont believe it.