I've cross-posted this to BGG
but really want to post it here - stimhack.com has been invaluable as a learning resource, and a great place to get deck ideas (or in the case of the runner deck, exact lists).
Hi there, I’m going to write up the UK-wide regionals (note: this is not the ‘Nationals’), which had 70 entrants, of which I came first!
The way the system works in the UK (this year at least) is that there are 6 regionals - 5 of them local, none of which I could attend, and one catch-up regional for people anywhere in the UK. This one took place the day before the ’Nationals’. 2 people qualified from each regional for the Nationals, except for this one, where 6 people would qualify. So, my primary objective was to qualify for the Nationals, which was gonna be hard: the field was quite deep and the schedule gruelling.
For my decks, I decided to take a Redcoats-style HB deck, because I still don’t think people have that much experience playing it. It is also something I feel very comfortable playing. I ran a caprice version of this deck for a while, including at a chronos event. But I went to time a lot and felt like caprice was a lot of influence for something that costs 1 to trash and makes RD more porous early game - one of the biggest weaknesses of this deck. Reading the stimhack ‘glacier’ thread, I took the idea of shmyberfeeder and added some punitive counterstrikes to the mix. Even though I didn’t have that much time to test this variant, I was happy to run it. I just kept thinking of the joy I would have from winning one early and not having to think for 30 minutes, which obviously didn’t happen
Runner-wise, I’ve been very impressed with Lysander's and Spags’ thoughts on shaper decks. I ran Spags’ list as-is. There are so many moving parts, but it can do anything and is fun to play. Plus I was a bit worried about jinteki in the regionals, because of the number of entrants, so I thought this was a good counter to that while still being very strong.
Haas-Bioroid: Engineering the Future (Core Set)
3x Accelerated Beta Test (Core Set)
3x Priority Requisition (Core Set)
1x Project Wotan (Creation and Control)
1x NAPD Contract (Double Time)
3x Adonis Campaign (Core Set)
1x Aggressive Secretary (Core Set)
3x Eve Campaign (Humanity's Shadow)
3x Jackson Howard (Opening Moves) •••
3x Ash 2X3ZB9CY (What Lies Ahead)
2x Archived Memories (Core Set)
3x Hedge Fund (Core Set)
2x Restructure (Second Thoughts)
3x Punitive Counterstrike (True Colors) ••••• •
3x Eli 1.0 (Future Proof)
2x Heimdall 2.0 (Creation and Control)
2x Wraparound (Fear and Loathing) ••
Code Gate (6)
2x Tollbooth (Core Set) ••••
2x Viktor 2.0 (Creation and Control)
2x Datapike (Creation and Control)
2x Ichi 1.0 (Core Set)
3x Rototurret (Core Set)
15 influence spent (maximum 15)
20 agenda points (between 20 and 21)
49 cards (min 45)
Cards up to Double Time
Kate "Mac" McCaffrey: Digital Tinker (Core Set)
3x Diesel (Core Set)
3x Dirty Laundry (Creation and Control)
2x Indexing (Future Proof)
1x Legwork (Honor and Profit) ••
1x Levy AR Lab Access (Creation and Control)
3x Lucky Find (Double Time) ••••• •
2x Quality Time (Humanity's Shadow)
1x Scavenge (Creation and Control)
3x Sure Gamble (Core Set)
1x Test Run (Cyber Exodus)
1x The Maker's Eye (Core Set)
3x Clone Chip (Creation and Control)
1x CyberSolutions Mem Chip (Fear and Loathing)
2x Plascrete Carapace (What Lies Ahead)
3x Prepaid VoicePAD (Second Thoughts)
2x Same Old Thing (Creation and Control)
2x Atman (Creation and Control)
1x Deus X (A Study in Static)
1x Femme Fatale (Core Set) •
1x Inti (Creation and Control)
1x Sharpshooter (True Colors)
2x Datasucker (Core Set) ••
2x Parasite (Core Set) ••••
3x Self-modifying Code (Creation and Control)
15 influence spent (maximum 15)
45 cards (min 45)
Now, I apologise in advance for not remembering names or even decktypes sometime: this is what I remember, and I played from 10am - 11:30 pm, so… Here we go! The field of 70 was going to cut to 16 for eliminations, so I knew a good start was going to be vital.
- Bye - I won a small store champs and cashed in my bye. This made me happy.
Played against Kate (I think), HB:ETF. Played a really nice guy, won a long game against his runner. I then got a great start with kate, seizing 5 points in short succession, including grabbing an unprotected ABT. He had installed a couple of unprotected cards, which turned out to both be ABT-s. One I grabbed, and one, after I whiffed with an indexing, he scored and obviously activated, getting an ichi-2.0 and a tollbooth. He then scored 4 more out of a remote, all 3-2s. Near time, he IAA-ed and I snuck in with the help of a deus ex. 4 prestige and a good start - I know at this point I’m quite likely to make the cut, at least.
Silhouette-HB:CI. I smash it as corp, locking out silhouette early doors after which there isn’t much he can do - it still takes a while though.
Against his glacial CI I try to be super-aggressive early, parasiting stuff and trying to dig. However, as the game goes on, I realise he’s trying to score very late in the game, probably combo-wise. I realise he doesn’t have enough time on the clock to get to this state, so after getting four points I just make sure to keep him under a bit of financial pressure. Time is called, so I get 3 prestige.
lunch break - I’m on 11, ranked 2nd behind my next opponent, also on 11.
Chris - Kate, NBN:MN - we both had 11 points, I had eaten a tasty lunch, what else could I want? Oh… He got to 4 against my corp early, which is a terrible sign with kate being able to exert pressure for the whole game. He duly won. As runner, I was very aware of the possibility of an astro chain. I was playing ok, got an indexing in past an archer, saw 4 points of astros there, excitedly put them at the top - then was 1 cred short of getting in twice thanks to not using a sucker token on archer with my sharpshooter the first time. Gar! Mistakes creeping in, and he duly shut me out.
Andy, not sure.
I was still pissed at my mistakes, and before the tourney had made myself think through the ways I could win: Punitive-archived is pretty much as good as punitive-punitive. So, in this game, obviously I decided to ditch an archived memories when i had punitive in hand. The very next turn he gets 4 points in one run out of RD with no creds. I still punitive him (after all, it’ll be a dead card now because a 3-pointer wins it for him) and perhaps get a decoder - but I’m on tilt and don’t really pay attention. Ifrequently asserting to myself that I can still win. Then he sees an agenda and thankfully it’s NAPD. He’s pretty broke, I score a couple then single-advance an agg-sec, which he runs - I kill corroder and he installs one from hand straight away, but never gets in again and I win.
Can’t remember what happened in the next game, but I probably win it on time.
not sure, NBN:MN. Also can’t remember much of this. I win as corp, obviously . Then as nbn he can’t get the agendas through during a massive scoring window - I push to 6-2 even though there’s a san-san up and win with time. felt v vulnerable but kept parasiting and managing to get accesses.
Feeling v. tired but the decks are performing well. Had my share of luck for sure.
Right, down to the elimination rounds! I’m feeling tired but one of the great things about glacier is that in some games it just autopilots to victory - with enough tax, there are some runner decks that just can’t get accesses. But, now it’s top-16, so I should think a bit more.
Elimination: I seed number 2, with Chris still as number 1.
- I elect to corp because Alex (I think) from edinburgh has Andy and NBN(I think). I don’t want to race. He sets up slowly, getting lots of creds. I draw two punitives, so put out an and advance, he runs into it, I double punitive him by a couple creds. Finally!
- Laurence Watson, my good friend, I’m corping again against his hyper-aggro CT. I’m very happy with this, as I don’t really see him having money for accesses if there’s no siphon. I shut him out, get 3 points, he indexes and grabs 3 but I’ll win on a draw. I get the most insane amount of money I’ve ever seen - around 50 creds after drawing every asset econ in the first 7-8 turns. He can’t do anything and I close it out.
- Against Pavlos's (last year’s national champion) Jinteki:RP, have a very weird game. I literally feel like I can’t do anything as I have important cards in hand, dig thru most of the deck. can’t get anything out (no test run/prepaids/smcs/deus ex after 3 diesels and qt). similarly, he can’t get anything going in terms of agendas - he jacksons away some then he’s dry. I finally get something up, and have larla in the trash and a SOT. Time is called at 0-0 and he has nothing down, so it's 0-0 after 35 mins and i progress by seeding. I really wish we could’ve completed the game as a friendly - would’ve been his well set-up servers versus my complete lucky-pad economy, all the parasites and clone chips, etc… But, not to be, and I’m wearing a shit-eating grin as he bemoans his agenda luck.
- I’m somewhat surprised to see Reina across the table - fair play to Brendan though - his deck was strong and so was he. Early-game, he parasites a pike, I have to trash an ichi-2.0 that i won’t be able to rez to put something on RD as he threatens with medium. I leak maybe 2 by the mid-game, drawing up with jacksons to keep a clean hand. He kept pressuring RD but didn’t kill jackson, so I had 9 points in archives and felt much more comfortable. I was actually so tired in this match-up that I ignored a DLR he installed and lost four cards he had seen with medium, costing me economy. I also didn’t notice a mimic he installed - completely my fault - I was wiped! When I finally have a good fort setup, I’m able to close out - knight against heimdall 2.0 is expensive and he needs to do it twice, really, because of ash. His deck really impressed me with early relentless pressure but i think glacier is a bad match-up - I saw him lose to eventual national champ Dave H the next day with another glacier build. On a general point, I think several people in the day let me run a very clean hand/rd by not eliminating jackson or running archives. Also, while I think about it, several people missed the easy trick of run RD, run archives, when they use jackson, run RD again (not Brendan)
- Nick - Weyland:BABW - I play a controlled game as kate, this time getting loads of pads out fast. Actually, in contrast to vs Pavlos, I have a perfect draw, getting both plascretes out early as well. When he tries to score, I use all three pads to test a femme, then grab an agenda behind a hive, then scavenge it - probably the highlight in terms of tricks. Otherwise, just used the same old things to keep lucky-padding which was great to keep close enough in money before I had all the pads, so - a good draw. Finished with a flair indexing after he rezzed a melange (no jacko please!) so the deck came out perfectly.
I really feel like, in tournaments, being fresh for your games makes all the difference. There were many people I played, even at 8pm ish, who hadn’t eaten all day. I think this is a big problem. I think a lot of netrunner play is inducing bad decisions. I tend to think of glacier play as inducing a large cognitive load on the runner. At the beginning of the game, there isn’t that much load - there aren’t that many pieces in the game. By the end of a glacier game, the runner has to do furious accounting, turn-after-turn, about what they could break, how many clicks it would take, whether it’s an ash in a remote or something else, what to do if it’s NAPD, etc. This is one of the main reasons I run agg-sec. If they see it and trash it, fine - it gives them more to think about. If they don’t see it, they often don’t expect it and it can be huge. While I’m not sure on the exact choice of trap, I think it’s worthwhile, in general, to do something a bit whacky to keep the runner’s guard up.
On the runner side, it’s so important to evaluate all the possible options for your opponent. Against Pavlos, I was sure that I couldn’t run without something to deal with Komainu - (although afterwards, I realised I probably should have used cards to get to 3-or-so grip, ran and eaten the komainu) - so I just had to dig. Just playing against Jinteki induces a large, mentally taxing load, that may lead to mistakes.
Set plays: I mentioned getting two looks at RD if jackson is up. I feel like there are some other set plays you should be aware of - for instance, I archive for an adonis, install ‘something’ and click for a cred. Oh wait, it’s an ABT and I get two points!
Things for me to work on:
I think there’s scope for more bravery in my corp play (e.g. bare-naked ABT, etc.). I think, also, I need to think about things like how many agendas to keep in hand - i’m guilty of hiding them ALL in RD with jackson sometimes, and I think normally keeping one in hand is better.
As runner, I find it hard sometimes to make sure I’m not auto-piloting.
Overall, i’m happy - got a trophy, a playmat, a corp troubleshooter, a noise for getting through to the next day, some nice virus tokens… And I got to play my favourite game, a lot. Plus, I won, which means I get to share my thoughts with the world and see what you have to say!
Anyway, I’ve talked enough I think. Massive respect to all of my opponents on that day and the next. The UK netrunner scene is full of fun people to play, who have interesting thoughts on the game and make interesting decks. There was a great spirit on display for the whole weekend. Also, thanks to the London netrunner meetup - without regular live practice, I wouldn’t be as good as I am. Oh, and thanks to everyone whose deck ideas I stole
Please, comments and questions are welcome. I feel that despite this wall of text, I haven’t really said that much about certain things.