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Subject: Would I feel out of place in a tournament? Is it too early for me? rss

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So, Netrunner has been my absolute obsession for the last 2.5 weeks; I've been playing when I can (which isn't very often due to my weekly schedule) and when I can't play, I'm listening to podcasts and reading threads on BGG.

As of now, I've played thoroughly with the Core set (and recently picked up a second Core) and have toyed around with the Genesis packs a tiny bit (I've read through all of them multiple times, but have only implemented them into decks for 4-5 plays)

I'll pick up C&C and the Spin Cycle soon, but want to play around with Genesis a litle more. I am quite familiar with which cards make up common metas due to podcasts, tournament videos, and forum posts, but have not played with them myself.

Point of this post?

I love this game and really want to get into tournaments; I'll have 3 official tournaments available within a 20 minute drive of my house between now and mid-March.

Would I be in over my head if I entered these tournaments? These are my following concerns:

1.) I am still not familiar with much past the Genesis Cycle; I have read through all the cards, even the ones I don't own, and have watched videos of players implementing them. I know the popular/newer cards to expect (Jackson Howard, Lawyer Up) but having not played with these myself, I feel their concepts and how they synergize with a deck is still elusive.

2.) I understand matches have a 70 minute time limit. Obviously, I don't want to be "that guy" who has to pick up and read every card my opponent throws down. I'd find it unfair to whomever I play against if I slow down the games considerably just from lack of experience.

3.) I'm unsure how newcomer friendly these tournaments are. These aren't just local shops throwing tournies for the fun of it; these are the Fantasy Flight sponsored events. I feel it may not be a great place to come in "still learning."

With all of that on the table, I still feel like I need to start somewhere. I've checked listings and haven't found any "casual" tournaments or game nights in my area, so I don't really have another option for easing into the tournament scene. I also still have around a month to continue learning, but like I said, my schedule is busy. I only got to play 3 games this week and they were all over the weekend. I don't foresee any more time opening up for me to practice.

Summary: I love Netrunner, but am hilariously new. Not sure if the Fantasy Flight tournies are a good place to start when I'm so inexperienced. Is it a learner friendly environment or will I be "in the way"?

Thanks
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Raf Cordero
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Go. Seriously, just go. Tournaments are an awesome way to learn and meet fellow Netrunners. For some advice:

1) Make sure you're mechanically familiar with YOUR decks as much as possible. I don't mind new players spending time reading my cards, but I would start to get annoyed if they are slowing things down because they don't know what their own cards do. For this reason, it's probably better not to netdeck right before the tourney.

2) Let your opponent know you are new to Netrunner, but don't tell them that you don't own all the cards. If they want to assume you're running new cards and play around them better for you!

3) Don't get upset if you lose. If you're still new, it's likely that you'll lose more games than you win. Use it as a learning opportunity!

4) Finally, it's OK to be new. Some people will probably get annoyed if you're slow. I'd let them know in advance early in the game, and if it goes to time and they look upset at the end apologize one last time, but don't let anyone bully you during the game. You have just as much of a right to be there as anyone else.

Enjoy yourself! Netrunner is fun and Netrunner tournaments are awesome. Seriously, the nicest people play this game so I doubt you'll have any major issues.
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Captain Frisk
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captainraffi wrote:
Go. Seriously, just go.

+1. The time limit is a real concern, but if you go with the expectation of having fun, learning a few things and don't take it too seriously, you'll be fine.

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dan dargenio
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People at A:NR tournaments are almost always welcoming and friendly. It is not a cutthroat environment like an M:tG tournament. However, the time limit is very real, and it's a hinderance on both players if you can't finish the match in time. If you have the ability to do so, I would download OCTGN and play a little bit online before you go to the tournament, so that you can get comfortable playing your deck and see all the cards that you don't own yet in action. At the very least, I would check tournament winning decklists on stimhack.com and look up the cards that are played frequently that you're not familiar with so you can spend a minimal amount of time reading them at the tournament. No one is going to be mad at you if you don't know what a card or two does, but it's best not to spend too much of your 65-70 minutes reading if you can help it.
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Grant Cain
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Yes and no.

If you love the game, you should go. Tournaments are a lot of fun and give you really good experience. They bring in a lot of good players and a lot of people that don't play regularly or hardly at all. Since you are wet behind the ears, go in expecting to take some hard knocks and see some strategies you aren't ready for.

It may be too early for you to be highly competitive at the tournament and that is okay. As I'm sure you already know, this game has a very steep learning curve and getting the hang of tournament stratagies and how to play against them is not something that can be picked up too quickyl.

All that said, have a blast and enjoy the experience!
 
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Eric Spencer
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I'll jump on the train here and say you should absolutely go.

I was in the same spot a little while ago and went to my first with about 3 weeks worth of playtime under my belt. It ended up being a super relaxed tournament. I met some new people, played some really good games, and actually ended up taking second place. There ended up being only 4 people who were able to play that day, but several others showed up who wanted to join the next one. With the exception of our first place player, we'd all been playing for less than a month or so.

Yours may end up being more exciting, but I think it's totally worth going. It probably won't be half as intimidating as you think, and ANR is so much more fun with a group of folks to play. You'll learn a lot about strategies and probably see some really interesting plays. So even if you get trounced, you'll learn a lot which makes it totally worthwhile.

Also, you maybe you could see if any of those places have a facebook or meetup page so you can find some opponents before the tournaments. That'd make you more comfortable since you'll know some people and you can practice.
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Greg Nordeng
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Not saying anything new here. JUST GO!

Worse case scenario you get destroyed at your first couple tournaments (like me). You will never get better by not challenging yourself, and you only get tournament experience by playing in tournaments.

Go to cardgamedb.com or something and study the cards so you can avoid long delays in games, but don't let that stop you from going. The ANR community by in large is awesome, super friendly and patient with new players.

Good luck.
 
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Benjamin W.
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Last tournament I went to I played against someone who had just started playing and was still using the core set default decks, and he seemed to be having a good time. I would recommend diving right in; in my experience people are very welcoming of new players even in tournament settings. Pace of play is a potential issue, but you can just speed up your play and accept that you will make mistakes if it becomes an issue.
 
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Nate Parkes
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I play in a Netrunner league, and I played in the netrunner tournament at Gencon. Based on those experiences, here's my advice:

BreadRising wrote:

1.) I am still not familiar with much past the Genesis Cycle
I feel like I encounter an unfamiliar card at least once per game, especially once a new datapack drops, and I have to ask to see it. I also feel like most of my opponents have to ask to see at least one or two of the cards I play.

Having an incomplete familiarity with the entire cardpool...
a) is common
b) gives your opponent a slight advantage, so he/she is in no place to complain

Quote:
2.) I understand matches have a 70 minute time limit. Obviously, I don't want to be "that guy" who has to pick up and read every card my opponent throws down. I'd find it unfair to whomever I play against if I slow down the games considerably just from lack of experience.

If you know your decks well, you know 50% of the cards you'll encounter each game.

If you know the core set and genesis cycle well, then that's probably at least 60% of your opponent's cards (probably more); so we're at 80% (at least).

So, at most, you'll have to pick up and read 1 out of every 5 cards your opponent plays. And when playing against the corp, you won't even see a half of these cards until you encounter/access them, when you'd have to read them anyways.

And if you notice that time is really slipping away, and you're pretty certain it's because of your own slow play, start making more reckless decisions and suffer the consequences (once you're burned by an unfamiliar card, you remember it the next time).

Quote:
3.) I'm unsure how newcomer friendly these tournaments are. These aren't just local shops throwing tournies for the fun of it; these are the Fantasy Flight sponsored events. I feel it may not be a great place to come in "still learning."

I can't speak for your local events, but I will say this; every thoughtful, rational Netrunner player will be open to "still learning" players, through the transitive property of gamer self-interest:

Still learning = new players
new players = broader player base
broader player base = more successful game line
more successful game line = more cards, more tournament support/swag

It's a tournament, so they'll still play to win. But rationally, they should be excited to see a new face, since it means the game is growing.

You may encounter some jerks. It's possible. But they're not being jerks because you're still learning. They're being jerks because they're jerks. They'd still be jerks if you were waiting in line together at Taco Bell or sitting beside them on the bus. Jerks will be jerks, so you might as well play Netrunner.

Quote:
I still feel like I need to start somewhere.

Exactly.
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Sonny A.
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Don't expect to win, but can still have fun. No one will mind playing against an inexperienced player, but they will hate you if you play slow and let your match go to time.
 
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Ravlin Bay
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GO!

As a TO I love to see new players. Last weekend we had at least one person who literally learned how to play and then jumped in. He didn't do fantastically but had fun a learned a lot.

Go have fun. Playing with people who are competitive is also the BEST, bar none, way to learn.
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Martin Presley
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Agreeing with everyone, you should totally go. And if you do go to time and feel your opponent would have won given more time, you could always concede the game instead, if that makes you feel better. I'd just recommend playing at a decent clip and accepting mistakes may happen.

Tournaments are a ton of fun, and generally everyone gets at least one door prize, so go for it!
 
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M. A.N.
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Absolutely go. Tournaments are a fun way to learn the most bleeding edge strategies that exist in the meta. I've been going to tournaments for about eight months, and I still lose more than I win, generally. But it's fun, and I learn something every time.

Everybody goes to tournaments for different reasons. Don't be surprised if you run into somebody who is playing at lightning speed because they've played the deck eight hundred times and know every possible permutation of their nine-card opening hand, and how to apply that to beat the opponent, steal all their money, and look bored while doing so. If you run across people like this, and they seem pushy, just understand that they are there for a different reason than you. As long as you make it known that you are new, do what you can to mitigate delays in play, and maintain a good attitude, they can't complain too much.

A couple of things that sometimes go overlooked, though:


-Know the rules; the timing structure can be a little funky at times if you're not used to it. Also, there are many cards that break the rules in subtle ways. Read the latest FAQ before going to a tournament. You might even get some deck ideas!
-Know your own deck; somebody showing up with a tweaky Shaper deck, then taking five minutes per turn because they have to read their own cards as if it's the first time they've seen them beyond copy/pasting the decklist off of BGG is maddening. You don't have to know every card in the game, but at the very least, know the cards that you're playing.
-Hygeine; don't be that guy. Ever. It's the worst.
-Have fun; it's a game, after all!

I hope you continue to enjoy A:NR! It's a hell of a drug...
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Scott Rubin
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Everyone else has said it. Just go.

A newbie in a tournament, it's true. You probably won't win. But who cares? Just play Netrunner.
 
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brodee ee
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play decks that you know, and don't play decks that take too long to set up. it sucks to not finish a game you were obviously going to win.
 
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Thanks everyone for the boost of confidence! It sounds like the overwhelming opinion is "Go, but try not to be slow."

And that's definitely something I'll be working on; I want to get as familiar as I can with commonly used cards that I don't have access to and get incredibly comfortable around my own deck so I can keep up with the pace.

I'm looking forward to entering as many tournies as I can and learning a ton of new stuff.

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Beyer
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Captain_Frisk wrote:
captainraffi wrote:
Go. Seriously, just go.

+1. The time limit is a real concern, but if you go with the expectation of having fun, learning a few things and don't take it too seriously, you'll be fine.

Also: Playing like a loose cannon FTW!
 
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CD Harris
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BreadRising wrote:
Thanks everyone for the boost of confidence! It sounds like the overwhelming opinion is "Go, but try not to be slow."

And that's definitely something I'll be working on; I want to get as familiar as I can with commonly used cards that I don't have access to and get incredibly comfortable around my own deck so I can keep up with the pace.

I'm looking forward to entering as many tournies as I can and learning a ton of new stuff.

Good on you. I'm still kicking myself a little for taking a pass on AGoT at GenCon the first year I was playing. LCG players overwhelming prove to be fun, laid-back, friendly people. I missed out on the chance to meet a lot of people for a long time for fear of not being good enough. Once I did start going to tourneys, I found out how little that matters.

Have fun! (And don't play slow. )
 
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Jeremy Espinosa
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BreadRising wrote:
Thanks everyone for the boost of confidence! It sounds like the overwhelming opinion is "Go, but try not to be slow."

And that's definitely something I'll be working on; I want to get as familiar as I can with commonly used cards that I don't have access to and get incredibly comfortable around my own deck so I can keep up with the pace.

I'm looking forward to entering as many tournies as I can and learning a ton of new stuff.


+1 on what most that was said here. Just wanted to add to grab Opening Moves before C&C. Jackson Howard!!!! Opening Moves was the 2nd Data pack I purchased and C&C was the last and I was happy with the order of my purchases.
 
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David Jackman
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BreadRising wrote:
Thanks everyone for the boost of confidence! It sounds like the overwhelming opinion is "Go, but try not to be slow."

And that's definitely something I'll be working on; I want to get as familiar as I can with commonly used cards that I don't have access to and get incredibly comfortable around my own deck so I can keep up with the pace.

I'm looking forward to entering as many tournies as I can and learning a ton of new stuff.


Just be prepared to probably get stomped, and dont let it get you down. I spend 6+ months competing in tourneys and doing horribly before I started becoming a contendah'. Play, lose, learn, repeat. Just make sure you have fun doing it.
 
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Bryan Blumklotz
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Yep, Go!

on the know your decks tip. You are going to feel the pressure of 65 min to play two games and you do not want to get brain-lock because you have cards you don't know well in your decks.

It will be both exhilarating and humbling.

 
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