This last Sunday saw me venturing through to the always excellent Settlers in Hamilton to take part in the Scottish Netrunner Regional. I have barely seen the competitive season this year but I've been enjoying the game a whole lot more so was looking forward to getting in some much needed practice.
I took a modified version of Pitchfork Hayley and the Pendragon Palana deck played in a recent tournament by my good friend Gary Bowerbank.
Round 1 vs. Graeme Plunkett
I hadn't played Graeme before and it turned out he was one of the small group of runners up in Dundee. He was corping first with a Sync deck and I was wary of getting tagged. An early Astroscript got him going but I built well until I left myself too poor for a clot like an idiot. A quick score later and that was game.
The return match saw me facing off against a Kit Stealth deck which I held my own against for a little while. He got ahead of me but I got a scoring server up with Caprice and started making inroads. A snare saw me knock out some of his econ and I started to feel in a stronger position, then disaster struck. I had him down to 1 credit and he ran on my scoring remote with an agenda and Caprice. For some unfathomable reason my brain temporarily forgot how Psi games worked and I didn't bid two to keep him out. Total idiot.
Both games lost to misplays but enjoyable none the less
Round 2 vs. Alice Rees
Alice was fresh off her Birmingham Regional victory and it was great to catch up with her since I hadn't seen her since last year's Scottish Regional. Alice was running first with Leela and I knew straight away it would be a tough game. I played it cautious, building servers up that weren't so easy to bounce but still not quite managing to keep her out of two single accesses on R&D for 4 points. The rest was easy for her as I couldn't quite build up to shooting some of her rig down.
On the return R&D betrayed me again as I built up for a deep dig run on R&D and got Snare'd and Stimhacked in the brain. Drugs are bad!
Discussing it afterwards with Alice we agreed I had really made much in the way of misplays, just guess I'll have to Stimhack with 4 cards in hand from now on.
Round 3 vs. Stefan
I'd played Stefan before in a couple of Store champs and I knew he would be bringing something interesting to the table. This was my first run against Palana in the tournament, though there did seem to be plenty about on the day. My early runs quickly established that he was up to some asset shenanigans with Team Sponsorship, Museum of History and Mumbad Temples. I managed to get Film Critic out early and stole 2 Future Perfects then hit up R&D for the last point.
Against my Palana Stefan was running Geist with the B&E suite of breakers. I built large taxing servers and managed to hit him with a Marcus Batty early to really slow him down. The appearance of Endless Hunger made things a little interesting but the porous but taxing nature of my ICE made it hard for him to get through and I scored out reasonably easily.
Round 4 vs. Jaydee
Another new opponent to me and this time I was up against Blue Sun. I was cautious against the kill and perhaps overly so as an early rezzed corporate town cost me a lot of pace. A follow up Underway Grid killed my Same Old Thing and Levy and it was a basic grind until I resigned, unable to penetrate through the barriers. I should have tried to get though to the corp town earlier and not worry so much about what 'might' be.
I was up against a big rig Chaos Theory deck on the return matchup and I did ok taxing and hitting with the Grail Ice where I could. I think a missed Nisei token on my third last turn might have allowed me to sneak out a win and deny him an Agenda but it's hard to tell what might have happened. Our game went to a timed win in my favour.
Score 3-5 (1 Timed win)
Round 5 vs. Alex Deas
I've known Alex for quite sometime but for some reason these days we only ever really see each other at Netrunner tournaments.
Alex was running first with Jasminder and I knew he would probably be packing a siphon or two. Batty helped me secure the win, knocking bits of his stealth rig out as he tried to siphon me and hit R&D. A scoring server was established reasonably easily and I scored out safely with a Nisei token unfired, but not forgotten this time.
Against his Spark deck I didn't have too much trouble but the game did drag on a little way. I had all my Fan Sites on the table before the first score which helped massively but I just couldn't quite squeeze out the final point I needed before we went to time. Another timed win for me saw me going precisely even for wins and losses
Score 5-5 (2 Timed Wins)
I had a really fun day and didn't experience any of the tilt I had in the previous regionals. That should put me in a good place mentally for Birmingham and I'll be looking to just practice more with these two decks.
Hayley: I'll proabably tweak this a bit and might look to run something like this at Birmingham
I am really enjoying the deck so will stick with it and I think I can do better with it than I did.
Palana: really liking the ID and playing a totally different faction. I think I will experiment with a more traditional ICE suite and maybe go a little more rushy with the type of deck but I'll have to play around and see.
Thanks very much to everyone I played on the day and to all the folks at Settlers for looking after us all day.