A Short Preamble: Ludwigshafen
As a bit of preparation for Regionals, I went to an “upgraded GNK”
tournament in Ludwigshafen. I didn’t know whether to bring more fun
decks or more tryhardy decks, but then I saw one of the prizes, Eli mugs
(I mean, look at that!)
and decided to go full tryhard with Noise and Foodcoats. I didn’t drop a
single game until I went against Nils in the final round. A draw would
have secured a first place, but I made one dumb mistake against his
Whizzard and was pretty helpless against his IG (although this thread
helped a lot in mentally preparing me), so I lost. I dropped down to
fourth place, but I got a mug anyway, so all was well. Still, keep these
events in mind because they will be The Shape of Things to Come (cue
Regionals Nuremberg / Nürnberg
So Nürnberg has traditionally been the place where players from other
metas come and win. As the only competing local player (the other one
is the TO), I really want to bring my A game here, and maybe even take
the title home. As in Ludwigshafen, I play Noise and Foodcoats (I’m not
going to bother posting lists, they are pretty much bog-standard; I’m
not a great deckbuilder). At the very least, I want to get into the cut,
having missed it twice last year. I’m hydrated, I have a bunch of nuts
(har) with me, what could go wrong?
First round I play against Steven, a great player from
Darmstadt. I started with Foodcoats against his Dumblefork. It looked
pretty bad until I sneak out an ABT and fire it, getting me two ICE and
helping me stabilize. In the lategame, he blows all his resources on a
huge (meaning 10? Or so cards) mediumdig, but I hid the agendas in
Archives and scored out in the remote. My Noise against his RP is less
exciting, as the first game took 50 minutes or so. I score something and
we go to time.
No time to chill, on to the next game! Round two is against
Miriam, a relatively new player from Berlin. She starts playing a Reina
deck, which makes me quite wary. Expecting headlock, I concentrate on
protecting HQ and an economy remote. After withstanding the early
pressure, I start scoring. She surprises me with an Emergency Shutdown
on the scoring remote, which could have easily lost me the game had I
been less cautious. After losing a few points on R&D, I score out.
Noise mills well this game, never letting off the pressure.
In the pause between rounds, I get some fries for the TO and me at Wurstdurst, the best place in Nürnberg to get fries (and currywurst, which is…a sausage with curry sauce? It's the best stuff.).
Round three is against Dominic, aka. Dome, a very good player
from Berlin. At this point, I’m the leader in points, so I figure I
offer him a draw. He accepts. I finish my fries while we play for fun.
Turns out his NEH beats me handily, while his Whizzard is unable to
score past the famous six Foodcoats points.
The last round of swiss is against Sascha, a great player
“aus de Palz” (the Pfalz being a region in southwestern Germany, famous
for wine and the accent), which is close to my home town. He always
plays unusual decks and crushes people with them. He plays Next Design
and is off to a great start with three ICE, but Noise does his thing and
I score out. Unfortunately, I don’t fare any better against his
no-breaker Valencia. I sneak out two points and then FA an ABT to get
any, any ICE up and running, but it hits nothing. I start putting random
shit in my “scoring server” to bait the blackmail, while I’m flooded.
After three blackmails, I put in an NAPD, figuring I can score the Food
afterwards. Unfortunately, he has too much dirt on me and blackmails
Eleven prestige is enough to land me in third place for the cut.
My first round is a rematch against Steven. Since I’m the
higher seed, I pick Runner. It’s the typical bullshit Noise win where I
mill tons of agendas and Jacksons and win off of that.
The second round is against Matthias, who beat me in the
final round of a small tournament a month ago. He plays Noise. Halfway
through the game Sascha notices a Levy in his deck which doesn’t belong
there – him and Matthias have the same sleeves. The TO rules that the
Levy is removed from the game. After it’s apparent that we will go to
time, and Matthias’ stack is getting very low, I decide to play it safe
and sit on six points, hoping he can’t mill more than one agenda with
his remaining cards. In a tie, I would win by virtue of higher seed. He
gets to six points, but not more. This was probably the saddest win of
the day for me. I’ll take it though, don’t get me wrong.
The third round is against Nils, who beat me handily with IG
in Ludwigshafen (remember the above?). Thankfully, Nils is the ideal
player to play IG because he can take the hate the way it’s meant: Not
against him, but against the fact that the degenerate decks like that
exist. We have to decide the sides randomly, and of course, of course he
gets to play IG. He loses a TFP in the second round, I mill a Fetal
later on, and then manage to snag a Food from hand a few turns before
the lock is complete. Hell yeah! I beat IG into the lower bracket.
At this point I am pretty exhausted, and eating a whole can of nuts
while waiting for the lower bracket to finish doesn’t help. I also have a
splitting headache, but neither fresh air nor aspirin (yes, this is the
part where I blame generic drugs for not being performance-enhancing)
make it go away. This is my first time playing in the cut, so maybe the
stress got to me more? I'm sure everyone is tired after playing hours
and hours of Netrunner, and Nils even had to play one game more!
So the finals start, and I pretty much have forgotten how to play
Netrunner. I start with Foodcoats, and decide to ICE HQ turn one instead
of R&D (which in itself is really dumb). His turn is Sure
Gamble->Medium and two runs. Of course he snags an agenda. I neglect
to ICE R&D again, instead setting up a remote with economy. Even
typing this hurts. After he runs R&D four times, getting another
agenda, I finally ICE up R&D and defend it properly. I start to
stabilize and start to score. The whole game, I completely forget that
you can purge for three clicks; his big-ass medium with six counters
remains on the table. I ultimately lose in a big mediumdig a turn before
I can score the final agenda. The fact that you can fuck up so badly
and still nearly win is a testament to the power of Foodcoats.
Then, a rematch against IG. The horror (note: certain parts of this
paragraph may be exaggerated for comic effect). Keep in mind that the
finals have no time limit! I mulligan for Wyldside or Imp, and I proceed
to kill Hostiles, Bio-Ethics and Genetics Pavillions on sight. I recur
Imps like a boss, because fuck running Archives. I can’t run ICEd
centrals because I can’t find Mimic, so I just recur Imps. So many Imps.
He museums everything. He purges. So many purges. 3x CVS. Twenty minutes
in, my will to play Netrunner is gone. I Levy, having not run a central
once. I start mediumdigging through a Komainu, which nets me three
points. Then he puts a Hive in front of it. At this point, Noise is
relegated to defensive play, I have no idea how to win from
there. Fourty minutes in, my will to live starts to crumble at the pace
my deck is running out. After an hour and a few minutes, I have the last
two cards in hand and he kills me with Ronin. At this point, I don’t
even care anymore. I just want to go home.
I want to point out the similarities to the tournament in
Ludwigshafen: I play very well, until I make a stupid mistake with my
corp deck, and then struggle against IG. Here's what Rust thinks about that.
If this tournament report reads slightly negative, that’s the
exhaustion and disappointment showing through. I legitimately had a good
time, I laughed a lot, especially against Nils, and he is a great
player who deserves the win. It sucks to look back and think “I could
have won that”. Had the same thing happened to me last year, I would
have been devastated. At this point, I can take a step back and look at
Netrunner as a game I play for fun. Yeah, losing because you made stupid
mistakes sucks, but I certainly won’t be beating myself up over it in
the coming days. I will take a break from tryhard decks and play
Jesminder and Palana for a bit though, just so I can show off that fancy
Hope you enjoyed the tournament report, I tried to keep the game descriptions as short as I could, let me know what you think!
Here’s Nils’ tournament report, I heartily recommend it. It's not a long, rambling piece, I promise.