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Subject: GenCon Icebreaker Tourney Report rss

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Derek Copp
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This is a game a friend and I have been looking forward to since it was announced, so I was super excited to get my hands on it on opening day. I was lucky enough to get a hold of some copies for the tournament despite the chaos that was the rush on fantasy flight's booth. Before GenCon I had the chance to play 4 or 5 games with some of the old cards my friend had, but other than that I had no experience with the game.

On Friday I taught my friend London Pie and BGG user orange_rhino who was also in the tourney but didn't get to snag a copy on Thursday. On Saturday London and I ran through some games using each faction on both sides to get a general feel for them. Through playtesting I decided to use Noise as my runner and NBN with Weyland splashed in for my Corp deck.


I want to apologize to those I played against as I forgot to write down names for this report.

Round 1: vs. Haas-Bioroid/Kate

My first round opponent had played the original version of netrunner, so I was worried I was in for a long game. Fortunately for me he seemed to be a little rusty and I was able to win both matches. He went with his corp first, and I was able to bust through his defenses for a 7-3 win. In the game against Kate he made some quick runs on my R&D and hit 4 points quickly. I was able to eventually wall up, and after tagging him I destroyed his Armitage Codebusting and followed up with closed accounts. That slowed him down enough to let me pull of the win 7-4.

Round 2: vs. Gabriel/Weyland

The gentleman I faced was from South Dakota and he and his friends had bought some old cards to playtest with before the game came out. I played NBN first this round. He was able to build up a decent economy with Gabriel, but could not find his icebreakers in time. He used stimhack to try and bust through my layers of ice, but ran into red herrings with only 4 credits left. The next turn I rezzed my last piece of ice to win 7-0. On my turn as runner I had the same bad luck finding icebreakers, however the turn before he would get to seven I was able to run at his R&D 3 times to pull 2 agenda points. He wins the match 7-2, I win the round 12-10.

Round 3: vs. Jinteki/Kate

He starts with his corp. I am able to get set up with Medium rather quickly and he only has a data mine protecting R&D. I win in a couple turns 7-0. This is the round my corp deck starts to fade as he is able to beat my corp soundly 7-2. I win the round 12-10.

Round 4: vs. Noise/Jinteki

He starts with Noise. Since I know where this is going I start covering up my R&D, but he has a good draw and I am in trouble as he is looking at 5-6 cards a turn. I want to purge virus counters, but giving up a turn is brutal. I decide to try and score a couple of fast agendas and hope that my Noise can return the favor. He wins 7-3. He also gets up a ice in front of R&D immediately. I run at it and find a barrier. I have out Djinn which lets me pull a crypsis out of my deck. It gains a counter due to my grimoire and I have enough credits to begin running at his R&D. He can not draw his agendas, and I am extremely lucky in my runs. I win the match 7-0 and the round 13-10.

After the end of the round I am announced in the top 4. I am excited. Before I get to play I am informed of a clerical error which puts me at fifth. I am less excited about this development. It was frustrating to go 4-0 in a 56 person tournament and not make the cut. I am still trying to decide if I like the tourney scoring system as a 3-1 can beat out a 4-0 if they win their matches 2-0 instead of 1-1. This is the first LCG/CCG I have played with a system like this, so I would like to experience some more tournaments before I decide. Nonetheless I had no ill will towards FFG and thought they did a great job running the tournament. I am excited for the opportunity to play more and hopefully see a great community develop for this game.

Strategy:

Noise: My strategy for Noise was to get out Grimoire and then lay down Medium/Datasucker with Crypsis or the appropriate type of icebreaker and go as hard as I could at R&D. Overall this strategy worked very well. The only times this didn't work was when I could not draw in to the cards I needed. I attribute this to my lack of streamlining as I did not have enough time to playtest my deck after I built it. The strategy is definitely scary to see once it gets rolling.

Noise 1.0 (45 cards):

OOF:
Easy Mark x3
Diesel x3
Akamatsu Mem Chip x3 (Did not use once. Will be out in future builds)

Hardware:
Grimoire x3

Programs:
Djinn x2 (needs to be x3)
Medium x2 (needs to be x3)
Datasucker x2
Corroder x2
Yog.0 x2
Wyrm x3 (probably at least x2 maybe less)
Crypsis x3
Mimic x2

Resources:
Armitage Codebusting x3
Ice Carver x3

Events:

Infiltration x3
Sure Gamble x3
Demolition Run x3

NBN: My goal with NBN was to tag and then disrupt their resources and choke their money. When it worked it worked well. However most people were successful in avoiding tags. I do not know if this is the corp I will continue with or not in the future as I didn't feel it fit my playstyle as the tournament went on. Here is the list even though I think it is only a okay deck.


NBN/Weyland 1.0 (49 cards)
OOF:
Archer x2
Ice Wall x3
Beanstalk Royalties x3
Scorched Earth x1

Agendas:
Priority Requisition x2
Breaking News x3
Astroscript Pilot Program x3
Private Security Force x3

Assets:
Ghost Branch x2
PAD Campaign x1

Upgrades:
Red Herrings x3

Operations:
Anonymous Tip x3
Closed Accounts x3
Hedge Fund x3

ICE:
Hunter x2
Enigma x3
Matrix Analyzer x3
Data Raven x3
Tollbooth x3

Thanks for reading. Hope you enjoyed the report.

-Derek-


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Milan Mašát
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JacksSpleen wrote:
It was frustrating to go 4-0 in a 56 person tournament and not make the cut. I am still trying to decide if I like the tourney scoring system as a 3-1 can beat out a 4-0 if they win their matches 2-0 instead of 1-1.

I have no experiences with such tournament rules, but for outside view it seems to me that you won 5 rounds (against 4 opponents)(score 5-3), and the hypothetical 3-1 (2-0 wins) guy won 6 rounds (6-2). I do not say it is the best approach, but seems as valid as 4-0 vs 3-1 approach.
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Bob Smithy

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Vodnyk wrote:
JacksSpleen wrote:
It was frustrating to go 4-0 in a 56 person tournament and not make the cut. I am still trying to decide if I like the tourney scoring system as a 3-1 can beat out a 4-0 if they win their matches 2-0 instead of 1-1.

I have no experiences with such tournament rules, but for outside view it seems to me that you won 5 rounds (against 4 opponents)(score 5-3), and the hypothetical 3-1 (2-0 wins) guy won 6 rounds (6-2). I do not say it is the best approach, but seems as valid as 4-0 vs 3-1 approach.

That's because you earn points for each round you win, so you're right vodnyk. It's in the tournament rules too, so it might help just to double-check those before a tourney just in case.
 
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Derek Copp
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To clarify, I understand how the scoring system works. I was just stating that I have played at least a dozen or so ccg/miniature games competitively and this is the first that winning your round overall doesn't guarantee you making the cut. Though I understand the system, it is still an adjustment to change your thinking after 12 years of competitive play in games that all basically use the same scoring system (you win your rounds, you make the cut.)

If it came off as me blaming FFG for the scoring system, that is not what I meant. I was referring to being frustrated about the clerical error after being announced in the top 4. They were apologetic about it, and they ran the tournament in a very professional and friendly manner.

Sorry for any confusion.

Derek
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Daniel Palmer
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Thanks again for teaching me the game on Friday! That was a tremendous help. Glad to hear you did so well, but I'm sorry to hear that you just missed out on the top 4.
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David Kempe-Cook
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I'm the person who had the clerical error. It should be noted that I won all my match, and lost a total of 2 games throughout the tournament. The error gave me an extra game loss despite, so I would have missed the cut while winning all my matches if the error were not an error.

It is possible for a person to win 3 matches 2-0 and lose 1 match 1-1 and still make the cut. I wanted to let you know that that is not what happened.
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Piotr Jekel
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Who should be placed higher in your opinion?

1.
7:0
6:7

Scoring
P1 (7+3+6=16) - P2 (0+7+3=10) 16:10

Prestige
P1 (2+0+2=4) - P2 (0+2+0=2) 4:2

Total
P1 - P2 20-12



2.
7:6
7:6

Scoring
P1 (7+3+7+3=20) - P2 (6+6=12) 20:12

Prestige
P1 (2+2+2=6) - P2 (0+0+0=0) 6:0

Total
P1 - P2 26-12


Considering this example, a player with two wins will always be placed
higher than a player with one landslide win and one tied match (best-case scenario). Even when the result is presented as one score. Basically, player 1 tied 1:1 (and collected more "small" points), whereas player 2 won 2:0. In my opinion, it is how it should be.
 
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Myck Kabongo
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Cutting to 4 out of 56 is probably a bit steep. Ideally I think you'd want to cut to 8 from a pool that big, but they must have had time constraints.

Very nice showing. I'm glad to see you Anarch build did well. NBN is probably going to need some expansions to reach its fullest potential. It seems to be difficult to tune at this juncture because there are so many things you have to go OOF for, meat damage, efficient bit gain and thick run-ending ICE being the foremost.
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Paul Imboden
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JacksSpleen wrote:
Before GenCon I had the chance to play 4 or 5 games with some of the old cards my friend had, but other than that I had no experience with the game.


That was some savvy deckbuilding for a fresh player. Congrats on a fantastic "run" -- hope to see you F2F in the future!
 
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Heath Gray
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Nice tournament report.

I am also not sure how I feel about the scoring system being what is looked at first and not overall number of matches won. My problem with the system is that playing a weaker player(maybe someone who is new)is more valuable.
Let me explain. If in the first round of a match I play a new player and beat him both games i score 6 points and I am 1-0. If a play a good player in the first round and I win one game and he wins one game , but I win the match I score 4 and I am 1-0. If all that mattered was record both of the players are worth the same. If you go by the point system it is much better to play a weaker player.
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Micheal Keane
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Using Djinn to pull Crypsis. laugh

Never even occurred to me that you could do that but it makes perfect sense.
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Big Head Zach
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ffaristocrat wrote:
Using Djinn to pull Crypsis. laugh


And in the same vein, Corp skipping their turn to empty Crypsis.
 
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Jeremy Owens
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Thanks for the report, Derek!

Sorry that you just missed out on the finals.
 
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James 3
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SHOCKED you cut all parasites from Anarch, try it out it's one of their best cards. Why 3x medium if you have djinn to find a singleton?

Good job!
 
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B C Z
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Thanks for the tournament report... I really wish they had camera and did this "Poker Tour" style.

{whispering} He's got an Agenda and a Snare - which one will he put into his remote server?{/whispering}

Re: The tournament system

If I'm reading things right, your points were:

Round 1: 20 (vs 7) (6 Match points)
Round 2: 12 (vs 10) (4 Match points)
Round 3: 12 (vs 10) (4 Match points)
Round 4: 13 (vs 10) (4 Match points)
For: 18 Match points

and if I recall the numbers there were 50-60 people in the tournament.

Not everyone who went 4-0 (on matches) was guaranteed to advance into a 'final 4' once the field gets over 32 people.

Match points are compared before totals (which are a tiebreaker), yes?
I suppose that someone could go 3-1 with these totals:
Round 1: 20 (vs xx) (6 Match Points)
Round 2: 20 (vs xx) (6 Match Points)
Round 3: 20 (vs xx) (6 Match Points)
Round 4: 15 (vs 16) (2 Match Points) {10-6, 5-10}

Which would be 20 Match points after flawless victories in three of the rounds.

Was anyone in the tournament in such a 3-1 position?


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Charlie K.
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Thanks for the front-line report. Sorry that you didn't make it to the Final Four, but I can see why FFG structured the tourney rules that way.

I see that you drew from three core sets to construct your deck. Do you think that having access to three copies of 1x cards (such as Grimoire and Ice Carver) benefited the deck? I know you said that extra copies of 2x cards like Djinn and Medium would have been helpful - how valuable do you think they would be?
 
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Heath Gray
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Yes I do think someone got in at 3-1, but had 20 points. Even if that's not what happened with this system it is possible for this to happen. I think points should be the tiebreaker and win/loss should be counted first.
 
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Jack Wraith
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With scores tied to Agenda points, it seems that a Corp deck could win consistently by flatlining and yet knock out of the top slots because you don't bother to score agendas. IF you're winning your games 2-5 (flatline), you're gaining the 2 match points for the game, but you could easily lose the match if he scores only mildly with his Runner deck. That... don't seem right.

Thanks for the detailed report, though, and congrats on the placing, especially for a first-timer.
 
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darksurtur
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Jackwraith wrote:
With scores tied to Agenda points, it seems that a Corp deck could win consistently by flatlining and yet knock out of the top slots because you don't bother to score agendas. IF you're winning your games 2-5 (flatline), you're gaining the 2 match points for the game, but you could easily lose the match if he scores only mildly with his Runner deck. That... don't seem right.

Thanks for the detailed report, though, and congrats on the placing, especially for a first-timer.


There are always issues like this in CCG/LCG tourneys. For example, discard decks/combo decks are at a disadvantage in games with life totals, since tiebreakers at the end of a round that goes long usually look at remaining life. It just means that a discard deck/tag and bag deck needs to test much better than an alternative, at least for a serious tournament player.
 
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Piotr Jekel
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The tournament rules state that the winner of the game scores 10 points, so even if you flatline your opponent without scoring any agenda points, you still get 10 points.
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Jack Wraith
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Eh. I never had that issue when I played, and I played mostly blue control and black discard (i.e. slow decks; my favorite song is Hymn to Tourach...) It may just be an expression of how the game plays, in general, though. I have a friend who is in the GoT tourney and he told me that there it's one game, period. If you get a bad draw, you're screwed. Supposedly it's because of how long the average game last (which is typically extended because of careful play in tourneys.)

Derek, how long were your games, on average?
 
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David Kempe-Cook
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MyckKabongo wrote:
Cutting to 4 out of 56 is probably a bit steep. Ideally I think you'd want to cut to 8 from a pool that big, but they must have had time constraints.

Very nice showing. I'm glad to see you Anarch build did well. NBN is probably going to need some expansions to reach its fullest potential. It seems to be difficult to tune at this juncture because there are so many things you have to go OOF for, meat damage, efficient bit gain and thick run-ending ICE being the foremost.


The problem NBN is running into is the fact that no one is building the speed deck that NBN wants to have. Instead of going out of faction for Scorched Earth and other damaging things, go out of faction for cheap ICE that ends the run and money gen.
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cerebralcortex wrote:
Yes I do think someone got in at 3-1, but had 20 points. Even if that's not what happened with this system it is possible for this to happen. I think points should be the tiebreaker and win/loss should be counted first.


The way the tournament points are constructed, they already are.

Technically in a match you have 2 games.

The hypothetical '20' point '3-1' record won 7 of the 8 games in their 4 matches.
The OP, on the other hand with 18 points, won 5 of 8 games in their 4 matches.

I've run tournaments like this before (for original NR and other games I could adopt the match point system to) and I believe it works as intended.

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Heath Gray
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I agree it works as they intended, but not sure it is fair. Like I said before it gives to much value to playing a weaker or maybe new player.
 
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cerebralcortex wrote:
I agree it works as they intended, but not sure it is fair. Like I said before it gives to much value to playing a weaker or maybe new player.


I don't believe so.

If two people are TIED at the same number of match points, the strength of schedule gets compared, and the player with the harder opponents (who scored more points overall) advance.

Also remember in Swiss they pair 1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-8 etc, so maybe you get a first round buy against a poor opponent, but the second round you're facing someone either one slot above or below you, meaning all the 1-0's in the first round are facing each other, and the two highest scorers from that first round are opponents.
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