As I posted a couple of weeks back, I have decided to get into the Netrunner LCG and, about two weeks after starting to play I decided to attend my first tournament, hosted at A Fistful of Dice in Portsmouth by the Portsmouth group Netrunner and Ales. It was a FFG supported Winter kit game (although the kit hadn’t arrived and so the prizes were sent out when it arrived) and it was billed as a beginner tournament meaning that decks had to be built from just the core box and one deluxe expansion. On the day there were only a couple of actual beginners there but it was a wonderful learning experience.
The fact that it was limited to the core set and a single deluxe expansion helped me, since I only actually had one deluxe expansion when I bought in, Creation and Control and despite picking up Order and Chaos just prior to the tournament I stuck to Creation and Control simply because I’d had the most experience with cards from those decks and so was comfortable using them, something I wouldn’t have been if I’d switched over to a Wayland corp deck.
The decks I took where a Noise Anarch deck and a Haas Bioroid corp deck, using the Core set and Creation and Control. I realise that that is a bit counterintuitive, since Creation and Control focuses on HB and Shapers, rather than Anarchs but I greatly prefer Anarchs to Shapers and I was determined to use them so that’s what I went with. Additionally, I tend to use Shaper cards with my Anarchs so access to Creation and Control helped.
My decks were-
Haas Bioroid deck–
3x Accelerated Beta Test (Core Set)
3x Priority Requisition (Core Set)
3x Efficiency Committee (Creation and Control)
3x Adonis Campaign (Core Set)
2x Snare! (Core Set)
3x PAD Campaign (Core Set)
1x Haas Arcology AI (Creation and Control)
1x SanSan City Grid (Core Set)
2x Archived Memories (Core Set)
2x Biotic Labor (Core Set)
3x Beanstalk Royalties (Core Set)
2x Shipment from Kaguya (Core Set)
3x Hedge Fund (Core Set)
2x Heimdall 1.0 (Core Set)
1x Wall of Static (Core Set)
3x Heimdall 2.0 (Creation and Control)
Code Gate (6)
1x Tollbooth (Core Set)
2x Enigma (Core Set)
3x Viktor 2.0 (Creation and Control)
3x Ichi 1.0 (Core Set)
2x Hunter (Core Set)
14 influence spent (maximum 15)
21 agenda points (between 20 and 21)
48 cards (min 45)
Noise Anarch Deck–
2x Déjà Vu (Core Set)
2x Demolition Run (Core Set)
1x Special Order (Core Set)
3x Sure Gamble (Core Set)
3x Dirty Laundry (Creation and Control)
3x Cyberfeeder (Core Set)
1x Grimoire (Core Set)
2x Akamatsu Mem Chip (Core Set)
2x Clone Chip (Creation and Control)
1x Ice Carver (Core Set)
2x Wyldside (Core Set)
1x Aesop’s Pawnshop (Core Set)
3x Armitage Codebusting (Core Set)
3x Daily Casts (Creation and Control)
2x Corroder (Core Set)
2x Mimic (Core Set)
2x Yog.0 (Core Set)
1x Ninja (Core Set)
1x Gordian Blade (Core Set)
2x Crypsis (Core Set)
2x Datasucker (Core Set)
2x Djinn (Core Set)
2x Medium (Core Set)
3x Parasite (Core Set)
15 influence spent (maximum 15)
48 cards (min 45)
I managed to refine my decks a little before the event and I was fairly happy with the way that they played, although my inexperience was definitely showing through. The day was fairly standard, with 5 rounds of 70 minutes each, with each player playing both the runner and corp in that time. My games were actually quite varied, with me playing against Shapers, Criminals, Anarchs on the runner side of things and then NBN, Wayland and Haas Bioroid on the corp side. The only faction I didn’t get a game against was Jinteki.
My first game was against another Bournemouth player, Ben (of Breakthrough Assault), who I’d travelled down with. Much to my surprise I won my first game of the day, as the runner, but that was muted fairly quickly when he beat my corp deck to take me to 1-1. Ben player a Kate Shaper deck and a Haas Bioroid corp deck similar to my own.
Game 2 saw me loose at the corp in turn 2, on the runners 7th click due to having too many agenda in hand and no IC. I’d originally started with 2 Agenda, 1 IC and 2 Operations in hand and taken a mulligan to try and improve my position only to be left with 3 Agenda, 1 IC and an Operation which was made worse when my mandatory draw was another Agenda. There was little I could do here and my opponent just ran my hand repeatedly and won very easily.
From there my day went very much the same throughout, I was hit by Scorched Earth and blown to meaty chunks in three of my runner games and just utterly outplayed in the other. From the corp side I won just one game all day after managing to build up a pretty brutal and intimidating scoring server and fast advancing a couple of Agenda. My day ended on a rather disappointing but not unexpected 2-8 score, leaving me in 17th place out of 18 players and the fact I wasn’t last only came down to strength of opposition.
With that said, it was a really fun day and it was great to play people outside my general group. Having a beginner tournament made it significantly less intimidating for me to learn to construct a deck and has given me a much better idea of what I want in a deck and how I want it to perform, which will make it much easier when I attend other, full card pool events, next year. I also learnt that that Scorched Earth can seriously ruin your day and so having Plascrete Carapace in any runner deck is a bit of a must.
The staff and tournament organisers were great on the day and every player was given a corp and a runner card from a Polish core set, with me picking up a Magnum Opus and a Beanstalk Royalties. The Magnum Opus is particularly useful as you only get 2 in the core set so I now have a full set of 3 and the limited text on both means that they are easily useable by an English language speaker.
As there were only 18 players I still picked up a participation alt art card for Ice Wall, which was sent to me once the kit arrived, as promised-
It was a fun day and I met great people who helped me learn the game. If you are new to Netrunner and interested in competitive play then I wholeheartedly recommend seeking out a beginner tournament as it’ll make the transition from casual play a whole lot less daunting. For stores and clubs out there I also recommend running a tournament with this format occasionally, to help new players get used to the game without expecting them to understand the full card pool and associated tactics.
This was my first Netrunner tournament but it won’t be my last. Some local stores are looking at running regular competitions next year (2016), starting in early January and I’ll be looking to attend those and improve my position on the standings.