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Subject: 2014 Neutral Grounds Philippines Regionals rss

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Dale Quimpo
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NBN Midseasons Scorched Earth and Andromeda Parasite Recursion

Neutral Grounds Philippines Regionals 2014


11 hours of Netrunner, 5 rounds of Swiss and Top 8 Double Eliminations, 32 players.

Spoiler (click to reveal)
Unbeaten Corp, 1-loss Runner


After winning the Store Championships back in March, I won one more small tournament and then went on a drought. I was hungry for a win, especially after not getting into Top 8 during Chronos Protocol.

I've been having a very difficult time winning with my Corporation ever since I stopped playing Supermodernism. I feel that Supermodernism isn't fast enough to keep up with runners, and in my playtesting, I win maybe 1 or 2 games out of 10. I tried NBN Taxman, NBN with Operation Economy and NBN Midseasons and I couldn't really make them work consistently. In the two weeks leading to the Regionals, I playested Midseasons with Scorched Earth, and I was getting good results with 12 ice, but I still wasn't happy. On the morning of the tournament, I was still undecided if I was going to put Scorched Earth in. I read Steven Wooley's article about Scorched NBN and figured that if I felt my Corp game was weak, I would have to give myself plenty of outs, and try to get lucky.

I've been an Andromeda player since she came out, though I've had some success with Kate Parasite Recursion. I playtested Parasites in Andromeda, and decided to ditch the R&D Interface entirely. Parasites and Clone Chips are crucial against my worst matchups.


Tournament early birds: Christian, Dale and Claudia


ROUND 1: SUPER BYE

I played a few games against Wedge while waiting for Round 1. I tweaked my Corp deck just the morning of the tournament, so I really needed the games we played, just to get a feel of the deck. Wedge was playing a Silhouette deck and his economy wasn't fast enough to match my economy.

4 prestige

ROUND 2: Rainier - Gabe with Test Runs and a tweaked Zeromus Jinteki Deck

Rainier and I have faced each other a lot in tournaments, and we actually playtested a lot in the days leading to the tournament. I knew he wasn't happy about having to face my NBN because he had a hard time during our playtesting. He knew I had Scorched, so he installed his Plascrete as soon as he drew it. I shut him out of HQ with Eli + Draco on HQ, and Draco on Archives. He was hesitant to run R&D with a Data Raven there, so I had time to build up my economy and go for the agenda win. He was digging deep for breakers with Mr. Li, but he couldn't find anything, and my Sansan eventually gave me the win.

I playtested Zeromus' Jinteki deck extensively because I wanted to bring it to Regionals at one point, but I felt that with the proper gameplan, it doesn't hold up. Hollis gives great advice on how to beat Jinteki in general, and this was a good matchup for me. The only economy I installed was Desperado and Kati Jones, and kept everything else as net damage buffer.

I steal 3 one-pointers installed naked on remotes. I lose to Psi Field bidding, but just draw up to 3. I hit a lot of dud traps in R&D (Overwriter, Psi Field) and a Ronin or two. I run into an unadvanced Fetal AI on my 2nd click, that brings me down to 1 or 2 cards and decide not to steal because he had a three advanced card that might be Ronin. I leave it there since he won't be able to score it anyway. I draw up and steal a Fetal AI from R&D the next turn. I check to see if he has any tricks left, and then draw up and score his naked Fetal AI for the win.

8 prestige

ROUND 3: Mark - Kate Prepaid Voicepad and HB ETF

I had Desperado and Datasucker out early and Mark was unable to shut out me out of centrals. I don't remember a lot about this game, but I knew Mark was trying to look for big enough ice to shut me out, but Inside Job and 2 Datasuckers really help after a timely virus purge. I got a lot of cheap accesses in HQ and R&D and that was enough to get me the win.

Mark didn't know I had Scorched Earth, and I saw him discard a Plascrete early on. He was taking tags from Data Raven, since his Prepaid Voicepads can help him recover after a Closed Accounts, so he had two tags when he eventually accessed my Scorched Earth in HQ. That made him double back, and lucky for him, he only had 2 tags and he managed to de-tag before his turn ended. I like how Scorched Earth makes runners slow down, and that helps me get my agenda points out. I hit him with Midseasons for 13, and he fights it and gets it down to 9 tags. He tries to de-tag before I find my 2nd Scorched Earth, and I ride Sansan for the agenda points win.

12 prestige

ROUND 4: Joaquin - Andromeda and NBN Making News

Joaquin has beaten me before, so I knew I had to focus. I kept a hand with Sweeps Week, Hedge Fund, one ice, Pyschographics and Midseasons. I defended HQ and waited for him to grab an agenda from R&D. Luckily he got an NAPD Contract, and I hit him with a huge Midseasons the turn after, leaving him with 8 tags. I defended R&D, and eventually drew into a Beale and bust out a 4 pointer.

He scores 2 more agenda points, and we're all tied up. I draw into a Fast Track and another Psychographics. I click for credits to try to get to 7 so I can win off of the combo. He can't find more agendas before I topdeck Beale at 6 credits. Click for 1 credit, install Beale and Psychographics for 3.

I think NBN Making News is a tough matchup for me. I don't have R&D Interface for the lock, and sometimes they just Astrotrain.

I don't get Datasucker in my opening hand, and I keep it. Big mistake. He installs Viper on R&D and Archives and a big fat Tollbooth on HQ. Brutal. By the time I find my Datasucker, he is well setup.

I do manage to score NAPD and Beale and he either can't or doesn't cast the Midseasons I know is in his hand. I have Yog in my hand, but I want it to be a surprise and I never end up playing it.

He sneaks an Astroscript by me, and I know I'm in trouble. He busts out Breaking News with no tricks. He Fast Tracks Astroscript when he knows I can't get through HQ, and he manages to sneak it out. I do a lot of crazy stuff to his Tollbooth, but I can't seem to kill it because he keeps purging. I keep him poor to prevent that Astroscript from beating me. I Inside Job, and Shutdown his Tollbooth twice, using Same Old Thing the second time around. I Siphon to force him to rez his Tollbooth. I get another Siphon through and I have to keep 2 tags so I can kill his Sansan. Eventually, I get to a point where I can't make him spend credits anymore, and he is at 3 credits. If he topdecks an agenda I'm dead.

I can't find my Legworks. I count my credits and if I run his HQ and hit NAPD, I won't be able to steal it anyway. I decide to Dirty Laundry into HQ and... snipe a Beale! WOAAAH. 6 points to his 5 points! Fantastic luck!

The next turn, I can see him thinking hard, and I know it's done. He has a Fast Track, Psychographics, an Astroscript counter, 3 credits and I have two tags. He figures it out and wins. A really close game. Very exciting. One of the best games I've had in a long time.

I realize the power of Tollbooth in this game, and I'm seriously considering adding it to my deck.

14 prestige

ROUND 5: Adrian - Kate Prepaid Voicepad and Replicating Perfection

I playtested with Adrian before the tournament, so we knew each other's decks. I felt like I had a good chance of winning either game, and I wanted to sweep this so I can get top seed during eliminations.
I don't remember a lot about our Corp game. I knew he had a ton of credits at one point, because of all his events, but he eventually ran out because of my taxing servers. He goes Maker's Eye on R&D twice and doesn't hit anything, so that really slowed him down.

Being low on credits versus this deck is not a good idea; you can't trash Sansan, you can't fight Midseasons. I feel Kate Prepaid Voicepad is stronger in general than without PPVP, but this is a tough matchup for them. I win this game. I've played this matchup a lot of times, and the games all blur in my head. EDIT: Apparently, I played a Breaking News into my remote, hoping to catch Adrian with either Midseason right after, or catch him with 3 cards. He ended the turn with 3 cards, and I scored it, and hit him with Scorched Earth.

Adrian's Replicating Perfection has traps and this helps him slow down the runner to help him get into his late game. I see THREE (?!) Tollbooths and I knew it wasn't going to be pretty. I play my Mimic early on, wary of Komainus and Tsurugis. I do a lot of running and run into a Tsurugi and have to spend credits to stay alive. I also faceplant into Wall of Thorns. I kill it with Parasite later on and keep running. Security Testing was brutal in this matchup. Corroder for his Himitsu Bako on R&D and then Security Testing on his unguarded remotes really do a number on him, and I get my economy up and running. I snipe a lot of agendas from his hand, which had Snares and Shocks. Hahahahaha. Luck really was on my side during this game, sorry Adrian.

18 prestige out of 20


Swiss Rounds Score Card


Woohoo! I get top seed going into double eliminations and I get the acrylic Andromeda, virus counters, a Pawn playmat and most importantly, tiebreaks and choice of which faction to play during the Top 8. Fantastic stuff. That Andromeda ID is beautiful, what a great prize. Easily the best prize EVER.


Top 8 (BACK: Dan, Carlo, Omi, me, Adrian, Tere, FRONT: Mon, Christian)



Top 4


TOP 8 ROUND 1: Christian - Whizzard

I have to win 4 games before I lose two games against a really tough Top 8. Two scary Whizzards get into top 8, and I hate Whizzard. I have a decent matchup against them, but Demo Runs and Imp really do a number on me, and if they get enough Parasites, Medium will really crush me. I get the unfortunate privilege of getting matched up with Christian, one of the best Whizzard players I know. His deck is very Anarch, and doesn't play like Criminals, unlike most Anarch decks. He packs Demo Runs, 3 Stimhacks, and Self Modifying Code for a lot of shenanigans.

I'm more confident with my Corp game than my Runner game now, seeing that the meta is full of HB and NBN, so I decide to play Corp as much as I can, even against Christian's Whizzard.

I knew this was going to be a brutal game, so I was hoping for a lot of luck. I keep a hand with Midseason, Scorched Earth, 1 ice, Hedge Fund and Breaking News. I draw into another Scorched Earth, and I'm praying he doesn't find his Nerve Agent and Demo Runs before I can get my kill. I ice up R&D and get credits. On my second turn, I install Breaking News and advance it, hoping to kill him if he doesn't run it, or Midseasons him if he does. That's a not a good place to be in. His only out would be to draw into a Plascrete or trash my cards. He steals it and I Midseason him the turn after, leaving him with three tags. I click for credits and kill him with double Scorched Earth before he can get rid of all his tags. YEAAAH. Hahaha. I escaped that game, thanks to some gutsy plays and Scorched Earth.

1 Win - 0 Loss

TOP 8 ROUND 2: Tere - NBN Astrobiotics

Another bad matchup for me since I didn't pack R&D Interface. My game plan was to keep her low on credits and go for a hard lock on R&D, hoping that she doesn't pack any taxing ice. I check both ice on HQ and R&D and thankfully, they're both Quandry. She manages to Biotic out an Astroscript before I get my Yog out. She has Muckraker on HQ and Quandry, and I get a bad publicity which helps me trash Sansan and steal NAPD. Desperado + bad publicity = bad times for NAPD and Sansan. I would've been more comfortable with this matchup if I had R&D Interface, but I needed my Clone Chips for taxing ice. I lock R&D hard, and just run everywhere with Yog and Mimic.

2 Wins - 0 Loss

TOP 8 ROUND 3: Omi - Andromeda

The winner of this one would face whoever rises out of the loser's bracket and have twice to beat advantage. Crucial game. Being top seed gave me the choice of Corp or Runner, so I went with Corp since I felt good with it all day.

Omi knew I was packing Scorched Earth because Christian and I made a lot of noise after I killed him during Round 1. He mulligans for a Plascrete to get some breathing room. The good thing about this deck is that even if you know it has Scorched, it can still kill you with triple Scorched thanks to Jackson and even if that doesn't work, it slows down the runner a lot.

I get to score an Astroscript through Sansan, defended by Enigma. That put me in a really good position. I had decent ice on R&D and HQ, and after he trashes my Sansan, I get another one to defend against Account Siphon. I topdeck another Astroscript and score it, which really puts the pressure on Omi to find some agendas. He can't find Yog, and I put down an unadvanced NAPD which he can't steal, and score it the next turn with Astroscript. I had the Breaking News in HQ and I knew he would try to hit R&D. He was at 4 points by then, and without R&D Interface, even if he gets one more agenda, he wouldn't be able to win. I score the Breaking News for the win.

3 Wins - 0 Loss

TOP 8 ROUND 4: Omi - Andromeda

Omi rises up from the loser's bracket for a rematch, and as top seed, I get my choice of Corp or Runner first. If I win, I'm Regionals champion, if I lose, I get another chance. I decide to pick Corp since I'm not comfortable against NBN with my Andromeda deck, and I have a really good matchup against Andromeda with my Corp deck.

He doesn't seem to have the perfect hand, but he has Plascrete, so he decides to keep it. I keep a hand with Scorched Earth, just in case he gets sloppy and I can kill him. I ice up Eli on R&D and Draco on HQ and credit up.

He installs Desperado and runs Dirty Laundry on R&D (!?), I let him take it back but I tell him that's the last time. I knew he meant to run Archives, so I didn't want to be a douchebag. Hahaha. He gets a ton of credits, which puts my Midseasons plan on hold. I credit up and play Sansan. He checks Sansan and decides on run R&D and click through, seeing nothing. I LOVE Eli. I get a feeling he'll keep on clicking through R&D so I put a Pop-up on it, to make it more taxing. And Enigma to defend HQ. He keeps running it, and gives me credits. He Parasites my Enigma on HQ since he can't seem to find his Yog. He scores an NAPD and Beale from all the running.

Eventually I'm at 8 credits, and he makes the mistake of not trashing my Sansan. I score Astroscript. YEY! He realizes his mistake a bit late, and decides to trash Sansan. He also trashes a Jackson, so he slowly loses his credit advantage. I layer another Eli into R&D. But he has a Kati Jones, so I'm not exactly excited to get into the late game.

By this time I've been drawing and making tough decisions on what to trash. I have Data Raven on Archives and that stops him from checking it, so I trash some agendas there to keep R&D safe, and I had a Jackson in play. I had to trash Closed Accounts, a Psychographics and even ice because I wanted to keep Scorched Earths in hand and go for the triple Scorched before he finds his 2nd Plascrete. I'd find a way to tag him and just kill him.

Then I topdeck another Astroscript and score it. NBN can be brutally lucky sometimes.

I have Breaking News in hand and draw into a Project Beale. I have to decide between scoring Beale with Astroscript or Breaking News. He is at 4 points.

My normal line of play would be to score the Breaking News. If I scored Beale, and he steals Breaking News, I'd need to find the other Breaking News to win, If I score Breaking News first, if he steals the Beale I'd have more chances of winning by drawing into either the 3rd Astroscript or Beale, or even a sneaky NAPD.

I decide to score the Beale since I didn't want him to get to 6 points and get lucky. I telegraphed the Breaking News in hand, but I would've telegraphed the 2-pointer by scoring the Breaking News anyway.

He decides to money up for a big run, and I score Breaking News on my turn for the win!

FINAL THOUGHTS

This deck is fantastic. It's fun to play and really rewards gutsy play. I knew I had a weak Corp game, so I went with a deck that could blow games wide open with a little luck. Astrotrain, Scorched Earth, and massive Beales all help do that. I'm not as happy with my runner game, so I'll be working on that for the next tournament.

PROPS

Props to Claudia, Niño and Hershey for helping me playtest. Hershey, come back from retirement already! Thank you to Claudia and Niño for keeping me hydrated and well fed. Hahahaha.


My favorite playtesting partner!


Thanks to the Vic and The Appraisery (www.facebook.com/pages/The-Appraisery/445288108825571) for having the best coffee and keeping me fueled up for gaming!

Thanks to Meeple Power Games (www.facebook.com/meeplepower) and everyone who helped me playtest, especially Christian, Adrian, Cuki, R1 and Wedge.

Thanks to Tang and Tito Pau for lending us cards.

Props to Neutral Grounds (www.facebook.com/neutralgrounds), Freddie and Chuck for hosting another kickass tournament. We've had 3 major tournaments with at least 32 players each, I hope we get more players!

Thank you to Joscar and Jay for TO duties. I've TO'ed a small 10 person draft tourney, so I know how much work goes into that. Good job guys. You guys were there for around 14 hours! Brutal.

Thank you to all my opponents, Wedge, R1, Mark, Joaq, Adrian, Christian, Tere and Omi. Thanks for some really fun and exciting games.

I'm super excited for Bad Times, and not as excited about Paper Tripping.
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El-ad David Amir
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New York
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Cool write-up! Thank you for sharing. Would you mind sharing your deck lists?
 
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Dale Quimpo
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Andromeda: Dispossessed Ristie (Humanity’s Shadow)

Event (19)
3x Account Siphon (Core Set)
3x Sure Gamble (Core Set)
3x Dirty Laundry (Creation and Control)
3x Special Order (Core Set)
3x Inside Job (Core Set)
2x Legwork (Honor and Profit)
1x Emergency Shutdown (Cyber Exodus)
1x Infiltration (Core Set)

Hardware (7)
3x Desperado (Core Set)
2x Plascrete Carapace (What Lies Ahead)
2x Clone Chip (Creation and Control) ••••

Resource (8)
2x Same Old Thing (Creation and Control)
2x Security Testing (Honor and Profit)
2x Kati Jones (Humanity’s Shadow)
2x Mr. Li (Future Proof)

Icebreaker (6)
3x Faerie (Future Proof)
1x Corroder (Core Set) ••
1x Mimic (Core Set) •
1x Yog.0 (Core Set) •

Program (5)
3x Datasucker (Core Set) •••
2x Parasite (Core Set) ••••


NBN: Making News (Core Set)

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

Asset (3)
3x Jackson Howard (Opening Moves)

Upgrade (2)
2x SanSan City Grid (Core Set)

Operation (18)
3x Hedge Fund (Core Set)
3x Sweeps Week (True Colors)
3x Midseason Replacements (Future Proof)
3x Psychographics (Core Set)
3x Scorched Earth (Core Set) ••••• ••••• ••
2x Fast Track (Honor and Profit)
1x Closed Accounts (Core Set)

Barrier (5)
3x Eli 1.0 (Future Proof) •••
2x Wraparound (Fear and Loathing)

Code Gate (5)
3x Pop-up Window (Cyber Exodus)
2x Enigma (Core Set)

Sentry (5)
3x Draco (What Lies Ahead)
2x Data Raven (Core Set)
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Albert Jr. Cukingnan
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Awesome report Dale!
 
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Dale Quimpo
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Thanks Cuki! Haha. See you at The Appraisery! Thanks for helping me playtest. Haha.
 
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John Yu
Philippines
Quezon City
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Congrats Dale! Surprised that you don't use Tolls even if it's the most taxing ice currently
 
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Arnold Vincent Canaria
Australia
Kensington
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Good job on the Regionals win Dale! And awesome session report from someone who went through the grater for 11hrs. Nationals next? Hopefully the Philippines does get one soon.
 
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Adrian Nuyda
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Congrats Dale!

You were able to score a Breaking News from a remote and Scorch me when I had 2 cards in hand. I don't think you had Scorched Earth while we were playtesting. Hahahaha. Sloppy me! GJ!
 
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Dale Quimpo
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Thanks guys!

John, I decided not to put it in, because in my experience, I never get to rez it, it's so expensive. And it really hurts to get it Shutdown. Data Raven has its weaknesses, but it shuts out the runner early game, and even after Midseasons, it helps get those extra tags in.

1 tag - Scorched Earth, Scorched Earth, Scorched Earth
2 tags - Install 3/2, Psychographics for 2, advance
3 tags - Fast Track, Install 3/2, Psychographics
4 tags - Fast Track, Install Project Beale, Psychographics for 4, Astroscript counter for 3 points.

And the list goes on. Haha.
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