Mar 172016

I’ve cooled somewhat on Netrunner lately, after missing three store champs due to travel and illness, then coming in last place at the RIW Hobbies store champ on 3/5. Also, replaying Skyrim on my new gaming PC has consumed a lot of my interest.

Still, I took Whizzard and New Angeles Sol decks to casual play at Fun 4 All last week and last night, with mixed results.

Last week I did pretty well with Whizzard, but against Nick and Iain’s Creepy Sleepover, it was a long slog I ended up losing, because I couldn’t manage to land a tag long enough to trash any resources. Against Austin’s MaxX deck, I just got slaughtered. Too many Fall Guys, that he just kept recurring, along with Wireless Net Pavilion and Data Leak Reversal. Once he gained an extra click from Joshua B., he just kept milling five cards off R&D into archives and floating a bunch of tags I couldn’t do a thing with, until he finally ran archives and ended my pain.

Last night, I played Tim S. in four games, going 2-2. I won pretty quickly with Sol vs. his Geist deck, then barely squeaked out a win with Whizzard vs. a killer Pālanā Foods deck. By the time I finally scored The Future Perfect he’d foolishly (his words, not mine) installed, he’d taken 3/4 of my heap out of the game by scoring Chronos Project, after keeping everything locked in it for most of the game with a well-protected Blacklist.

For the third game I broke out the current version of the PE Yomi deck I used in store champs, against his Valencia. He made the wise decision to almost never run any of my advanced remotes (of which all but two were traps), and just kept Keyholing R&D until he was able to run archives and beat The Future Perfect psi game for the win. I need to find an answer for the Keyhole/Eater combo. More ice on archives is an obvious choice, but I need to force remote runs if possible. I also hit all three of his I’ve Had Worse when doing net damage, which kept him alive. Mostly just bad luck on my part, I guess.

For the last game we tried Whizzard vs. Pālanā again and, despite a long slog, he managed to win it. I stole the Chronos Project, keeping my heap in the game, but it was quite awhile before I could take out his Blacklist, then I face-checked a Komainu with my only Levy in hand. Despite final Medium digs of four and five cards, I couldn’t score enough agendas before running out of cards for Faust and money for Mimic. Also, no matter how many times I trashed Museum of History, Jackson, and Team Sponsorship, he managed to get them out again, because any one of them can bring the others back into play. I’d have to add Scrubbers and more econ to the deck, and focus almost completely on asset denial.

Afterward, he told me that the Pālanā deck was specifically teched against Whizzard, since there’ll probably be a lot of it at Regionals. Well shit, no wonder I had such a rough time. I’m amazed I managed to win the first game, if only barely.

I’m probably going to go to Regionals, but I have no idea what I want to bring and, to be honest about it, the thought of going just kind of depresses me. I feel like I should go, but I’m not eager to go.

Feb 022016

Saturday I played in that thing in the subject line of this post, at Eternal Games in Warren, MI. I carpooled with Max and Tim from my meta, arriving about 10 minutes before they opened. Once they did, I picked up what turned out to be the only copy of Kala Ghoda left in the store. Lucky me. I loaned a few of them to Ryan S. since I hadn’t planned on slotting any of them in my current decks.

The decks I brought were Jinteki PE and Keyhole MaxX. I’ve really been enjoying learning to pilot the PE deck. I wasn’t sold on MaxX, but I just couldn’t come up with a post-MWL runner deck that really grabbed my interest.

For round 1 I got matched with Bryce from my meta. I last played against him in a GNK in September, where we took turns flatlining each other in about 10 minutes. This time he rolled right over me with Noise and pre-MWL EtF Foodcoatshop. Against Noise, I would have killed him by scoring out Philotic on my next turn, but he managed to steal it for the win. Against EtF he just outscored me. I managed 4 points, and should have run HQ harder.

Getting swept in the first round tilted me right away, despite my determination not to be, because it was clear that he had improved a lot since the GNK, and I hadn’t. After that round, I listened to Steve J. talk about how “being college students, they (Steve, Bryce, etc.) just sat around and tested decks against each other all day.” There’s no way I could get that kind of practice, so that took some of the self-pressure off. I hadn’t practiced nearly as much as I could have, so it wasn’t reasonable to expect to do all that well. That, plus getting past the “first tournament jitters”, helped un-tilt me. I also reminded myself that I was here because I loved playing the game, not because I had to prove something to anyone. My only goal was to not finish dead last.

Score: 0-2

My round 2 games against Ed F. were pretty straightforward. His Sunny ran face first into a loaded Project Junebug for the kill, and his pre-MWL Spark Agency ran me over with the Astrotrain. Nothing memorable there.

Score: 1-3

Things got more interesting in round 3 vs. Chris V., also from the Ann Arbor meta, where I had my first of two epic (for me) moments. Our first game was MaxX vs. his Chronos Protocol, and neither of us could make much headway. With ten minutes left in the round, each of us only had two points. He had Wraparounds in front of both R&D and his scoring remote, and he’d scored a Chronos Project a few turns before, removing half my deck from the game and taking my only Corroder with it. Eater could get me in, but I couldn’t steal anything. My Faust was nowhere in sight. Earlier I had Keyholed a Medical Breakthrough into Archives and let it sit there, so there were two points just waiting for me to take them. After another useless turn I decided, “Fuck this. If I’m playing MaxX, I’m going to PLAY MAXX.”

I popped my last DDoS, Amped Up, and ran screaming into HQ for some Wanton Destruction. I blew four cards out of his hand, saving my last click for the Archives run. +6 points for the win! However, we finished with three minutes remaining, so the second game didn’t get played.

Score: 2-3-1

We stopped for a 40-minute food break, but by the time Boston Market finally made my sandwich I only had time to eat half of it before the next round.

Ordering food was…strange. For the past three hours, I had been utterly consumed by hyperfocus, and coming out of it was like rising slowly up from the depths. Something as mundane as ordering a sandwich felt slightly unreal, and I almost had trouble speaking. It wasn’t overwhelming, but it was definitely noticeable.

Getting back into it for round 4 was just as difficult, and for the first couple of turns I just stared at Wade’s cards thinking, “I have no idea what to do. I can’t remember how to play my deck.”

Fortunately, it all came back to me pretty quickly, but not quickly enough. He was playing a MaxX deck that was, card-for-card except for Faust, identical to mine, and he played it much better. Almost immediately my inside voice screamed, “SCORE OUT!”, but I second-guessed it, thinking maybe I could get the kill. I should have listened to it, because he ended up Keyholing all the points into Archives, then running it for the win.

My turn with MaxX against his EtF wasn’t nearly as decisive: we were 0-0 until time ran out. With my very last turn, I loaded up my hand with Faust fuel and ran his triple-iced remote, breaking through with my very last card to score two points. A timed win is still a win.

Score: 3-4-1

The last round of Swiss was against Andrew W. and his pre-MWL NEH. All aboard the Astrotrain!

I hate that deck…SO…MUCH…it-it- the f – it – flam – flames. Flames, on the side of my face…

Then I went up against his Pre-MWL Prepaid Kate. After a lot of effort, two brain damage, more Snares than I can count, and a badly-timed Chairman Hiro rez, I finally set up a Punitive CounterstrikeNeural EMP x2 kill. I could have done it two turns sooner by scoring out my Philotic Entanglement against his three agendas, but by then my brain was so fried I completely forgot about the extra damage from my ID ability.

Final score for the day: 4-5-1
Strength of Schedule: 1.76
Extended Strength of Schedule: 2.00133

I finished 26th out of 34, accomplishing my goal of not finishing last, got an alt art Jackson, and, despite the initial tilt, had a great time. Despite a problem with the tournament software at first, Eternal Games ran a great event. The Ann Arbor meta had 5 players in the top 8, with Ryan S. taking 2nd place.

It must have been my Kala Ghoda cards.

Nov 022015

I got my hands on Data & Destiny on Thursday, so of course I had to use it to make four decks for tonight’s League night. Since we get bonus points for using different Identities for both matches every week, I’ll probably be scraping the bottom of the barrel by the end of the league, playing crap like Exile, Nasir, and Custom Biotics. Howard help me.

Also, since I’m terrible at building decks, I’ve shamelessly pulled decks off of to use, although I do occasionally tweak them. On the Runner side, I’m using:

Praise the Sun! 2.5

Sunny Lebeau: Security Specialist (Data and Destiny)

Event (12)
Hardware (8)
Resource (18)
Icebreaker (6)
Program (6)

25 influence spent (max 25)
50 cards (min 50)
Cards up to Data and Destiny

Always Be Hungry (modified according to some of the comments)

Apex: Invasive Predator (Data and Destiny)

Event (16)
Hardware (13)
Resource (8)
Icebreaker (5)
Program (3)

25 influence spent (max 25)
45 cards (min 45)
Cards up to Data and Destiny

There doesn’t seem to be a truly great Apex deck out there yet. It’s a difficult ID to build around, but that means there are a lot of possible builds that could work. I’m hoping to tweak this one to really make it my own, so I plan on taking notes on its performance tonight.

Over on the Corp side, I’m trying…


SYNC: Everything, Everywhere (Data and Destiny)

Agenda (10)
Asset (10)
Upgrade (3)
Operation (8)
Barrier (3)
Code Gate (5)
Sentry (5)

15 influence spent (max 15)
18 agenda points (between 18 and 19)
44 cards (min 40)
Cards up to Data and Destiny

Xanatos Gambit

Cybernetics Division: Humanity Upgraded (Chrome City)

Agenda (9)
Asset (9)
Upgrade (3)
Operation (10)
Barrier (6)
Code Gate (5)
Sentry (2)

15 influence spent (max 15)
18 agenda points (between 18 and 19)
44 cards (min 40)
Cards up to Data and Destiny

Oct 192015

Played two against new guy Trevor, who didn’t join the league, but is really good. I played Stealth Hayley vs his NBN Making News, which I never see played anymore.  He eventually Midseasoned me out of the game. 

Second game was his Noise vs my Harmony Medtech. It was a slog, but despite a 4-point lead, he kept milling me and finally ran Archives to score out, after having buried my two remaining Jacksons.

Decided not to have his two games be my league games.

Against Max: my Hayley vs his Blue Sun, I scored out in about 4 turns. One of them was a Government Takeover. 

As Harmony Medtech vs his Edward Kim, he ran through Komainu and was finished off by Swordsman. 

Last match was Max’s Blue Sun vs my Noise. He blew me out. 

2nd game of that match was against Ryan S. (Greyfield on OCTGN and Netrunnerdb) and his Kate Faust deck. He scored out because I STUPIDLY rezzed Excalibur with 2 of my last three creds, suddenly blanking on the fact he could use Faust against it. If I’d saved the creds for the Swordsman in front of my scoring server, I’d have kept him out and scored The Future Perfect. Why do I make such stupid fucking mistakes? I KNEW better. FML. 

Sep 152015

Last night we ran the Summer 2015 Game Night Kit, which was paid for by the great folks at Get Your Game On. We had 13 players show up from around the area, which is a typical turnout. I fully expected to do terribly, and I wasn’t disappointed. I mean, I was disappointed, but I wasn’t disappointed about being disappointed, I just…where was I going with this?

Anyway, my flimsy excuses for placing 12th are as follows: I was out of town the four days prior, had no time to practice, no one to practice against, decided on and put my decks together the night before, had never run either of those IDs before, and my first round matchup was against one of the two best players in our local meta. I think that covers everything.

Oh wait, there’s the most important excuse: I’m still terrible at this game. Still, I scored a sweet card box and alt art Swordsman.

I was running this Tennin Institute FA/Kill, and a Reina Siphon with a few tweaks because I only have one core set (-1 Account Siphon and Deja Vu, +1 Same Old Thing and Net-Ready Eyes).

Against Tim’s Hayley, I got completely steamrolled. I still can’t remember how it actually went down; it’s mostly just a blur of vanishing agendas and tears. At the end, I had Philotic Entanglement double-advanced, then his run through the Matrix Analyzer in front of HQ added the third token. However, his last run was against the remote itself, I couldn’t keep him out, and it was over.

I held out a little longer against PE, quickly scoring 3 points out of unprotected remotes. He installed a Ronin using Mushin No Shin, which I trashed, then did it again a few turns later. I decided that the second Mushin install was probably a bluff, and chose to ignore it. I chose…poorly. He flatlined me with it the next turn.

The second round, versus Luke’s self-described “janky Silhouette“, was a back and forth slog. On the last turn before the timer ran out, with 6 points scored, I made him An Offer You Can’t Refuse. Either he gave me the winning point, or made a run that would flatline him. Because time was up, he just gave me the point. It also meant our second game was an unplayed draw. I liked playing against him, though; we both like to use self-deprecating humor about our game skill.

The third round, against Bryce, was a complete WTF. He was running what I suspect was, almost card-for-card, the exact same two decks I’d been using in the last few casual nights: Noise-Faust-Peddler, and this Butcher Shop, but with added Biotic Labor.

He went corp for the first game and retaliated against my almost immediate agenda grab with a Midseason, followed by a double Scorch. I was flatlined in about two minutes. As the runner, he ran into an early Snare, then took the bait on a double-advanced Project Junebug. He was flatlined in about two minutes.

Five minutes. Our round was over in five minutes.

We looked at the table, then looked at each other, then looked at the table again.

Me: “…”

Him: “…”

Me: “Uh huh.”

Him: “Well, that was fun.”

We decided to play two casual games while we waited for everyone else to finish. We flatlined each other again.

I have to mention one guy that was there, who I played against a couple weeks ago at a casual night. He borrowed his decks from Tim both then and last night, and I don’t think he’s ever actually read the rulebook. He was sitting next to me during the first round and, I swear to Jackson, he actually asked, “What’s an Event?”

He took fourth place.


Jul 212015

Last night Get Your Game On sponsored its first seasonal Organized Play event, with a GNK (Game Night Kit) provided by Fun4All. 14 people showed up to play, the most we’ve ever had there. We also had the first female Netrunner player I’ve seen at any game night, which was great; I wish more women played.

The occasion was Rapha’s send-off to L.A. Now that he’s finished his dissertation he’s leaving us, though he says he’ll be back in April for a visit. He was the first person I met and played against when I first started attending the Monday Netrunner night at GYGO, and he was my opponent in the first match-up of the night. Predictably, he whipped my ass in both games but, in my defense, he did take 2nd place in the Michigan Regionals recently, was a Detroit Great Lakes Circuit top qualifier, and won last night’s event overall. I can only dream of being that good.

I was running Stealth Hayley and Butcher Shop, while he was running Tennin Institute and Valencia. He scored a Medical Breakthrough early on, then I got lucky and was able to beat up HQ for awhile with my Corroder vs. his lone Himitsu-Bako, snagging two Nisei Mk IIs in a row. Along the way I also trashed two Caprices, which was very satisfying. Unfortunately for me, he managed to recover, scoring out the last Nisei and using its counter to end my last big run against R&D, before scoring The Future Perfect for the win.

I didn’t do even that well vs. Valencia. About halfway into the game, I drew all three Project Beales within two turns, with nowhere to put them, no Jesus Howard in sight, and only a Pop-up Window in front of HQ. He’d already scored an NAPD Contract, which I couldn’t protect thanks to Blackmail. Three runs on HQ and it was over.

In the second match, Joshua was running Chaos Theory and EtF. Long story short, at one point he’d run HQ, saw one of my Traffic Accidents, and figured he could deal with it. What he didn’t see was the Midseason Replacements and the second Traffic Accident. He ran my scoring remote, grabbed the agenda, and ended the turn with three cards in hand and not enough money to beat the trace. BOOM! He literally never saw it coming.

Running Hayley against his EtF was a struggle. I had trouble putting my rig together, even with two SMCs coming out to help. His ice on R&D was three deep by the time I got an R&D Interface out, and he had Architect as the innermost. Without a second Cloak or Silencer, I had to rely on stealth credits from Ghost Runner to hit R&D more than once per turn and still keep Architect from firing. I ran into two Lab Dogs, then he landed a tag on me which I either forgot or couldn’t afford to clear (I can’t remember which), blowing away Kati Jones, Daily Casts, and my last Ghost Runner in the following turn. I still managed to eke out two Accelerated Beta Tests from him, but our match timer ran out with him in the lead 6-4.

For the third and final match, Chris was using…uhh…something…and Cybernetics Division, which I hadn’t played against before. At the moment I don’t remember who he was using as his runner, but it doesn’t really matter, because in less than 10 minutes I dropped the Midseason Replacements-Traffic Accident-Traffic Accident combo on him, and it was over. My only runner win of the night was against him, and the reduced hand size from Cybernetics Division was never a hindrance. Hayley’s ability kept my hand pretty empty, and nothing he played ever really slowed me down.

I finished 6th of 14, only one place behind Max, who usually ranks up with Raphael, so I was really happy about that. I’ve reached the point where I’m looking forward to playing in tournaments rather than being intimidated away from them.

May 122015

After making some experimental tweaks to my Wyrm and HB decks, I completely fucked up the playing of them at game night. My Adderall had worn off, and both games were against the best player in our group, which always intimidates me and makes me tense. I managed to score 3 points as HB, which was a miracle, but when it came to the Wyrm deck he practically had to play the game for me.

I couldn’t keep track of anything; I’d miscalculate how much money I needed for a play, forget to use cards, fail to tutor for the essential cards (Wyrm, Atman, Magnum Opus) even though I was staring right at the Self-Modifying Code I could have used to get them out of the deck, and so on.

To his credit, Max is extremely patient and helpful, and always seems aware of every card on the table. He let me take back every mistake, most of which he had to point out, and suggested when I should use the cards I had in play. After the second game, though, I gave up and left. I was too pissed off at myself to get it together and focus.

If I go to the Wednesday Netrunner night, I’ll make sure to take my Adderall later in the morning, so it’s still working when I play. Hopefully it will make a difference.

May 062015

For the last couple weeks I’ve been using this HB deck with some success. A week ago, I replaced Neural Katana with Cortex Lock. In my first game using it, I dropped one as the outermost ice on my scoring server. The runner, using Chaos Theory: Wünderkind and with only a single 1 MU program out, installed an Akamatsu Mem Chip, then ran my remote with four cards in hand.

Boom! Game over on the second turn. I laughed so hard

Out of pity, and rather than starting over, we pretended it took him down to zero cards and continued play. I still won. Again.

Apr 072015

Played two games with this glacier deck after making some changes from last time. First game was against Tim, running Gabriel Santiago: Consummate Professional. I dropped a 1-point Cerebral Overwriter on him early on, then, after he’d scored two agendas from my scoring server (3 ice), I followed up with an Edge of World. It was the most brain damage I’ve done in a game so far, and it slowed him down, but it wasn’t enough.

He kept using Sneakdoor Beta, and I didn’t protect my archives early enough. Luckily for me he seemed to access Janus 1.0 over and over, no matter how many or few cards I had in hand. Unfortunately, Janus sat in my hand for the entire game.

On the final score for him, I didn’t do the math for how much it would cost him to access the last agenda, and he had exactly enough credits to get through. If I had pumped up Ice Wall by just one strength, he wouldn’t have gotten it, and the score would have been tied.

Also, Ichi 1.0 or Ichi 2.0 should not be the first or only ice in front of a server. It needs to be behind and/or in front of some hard-stop ice. It’s most useful for mid-game.

Second game was against Raphael, using Valencia Estevez: The Angel of Cayambe. This was fucking brutal. Using a combination of Infiltration, Blackmail, Same Old Thing, Deja Vu, Clone Chip, and Raymond Flint, he could always see what was in my scoring server with Infiltration and, because my ice was unrezzed, blow right past it with Blackmail, then recycle both cards back into his hand or deck. Because of Clot, I couldn’t have scored any agendas on the same turn I installed them, even if I’d had the clicks for it.

Because I couldn’t get any of my ice rezzed, there was absolutely nothing I could do to stop or ambush him, and neither Cerebral Overwriter nor Edge of World showed up at all anyway.

I needed to start scoring a lot sooner, and have some more ways to get my big ice rezzed outside of a run. I had a couple Priority Requisitions in the deck, but they never showed up either.

This game was especially frustrating because I couldn’t even put up a fight. He just rolled right over me no matter what I did.

Possible changes vs. Blackmail deck:
-1 Efficiency Committee
+1 Accelerated Beta Test
+ Chronos Project (requires First Contact)

HB Brainbuster – Modified for Currently Owned Sets

Haas-Bioroid: Engineering the Future (Core Set)

Agenda (9)

Asset (12)

Operation (5)

Barrier (8)

Code Gate (4)

Sentry (9)

13 influence spent (max 15)
20 agenda points (between 20 and 21)
47 cards (min 45)
Cards up to True Colors

Deck built on NetrunnerDB.

Then I completely failed at using this against Raphael’s NEXT Design: Guarding the Net deck. It was my third game, my brain was a bit fried, and I was rushed because the store was closing shortly. I didn’t whip out my Wyrm soon enough and couldn’t get the corp to rez ice in order to drop Parasite on them, so I ended up face-checking most of it. He had 6 points before I scored my first 2. I also didn’t get enough economy cards out soon enough.

I really wish I could get better, faster, at this game.

Whip out the Wyrm

Chaos Theory: Wünderkind (Cyber Exodus)

Event (15)

Hardware (9)

Resource (3)

Icebreaker (4)

Program (11)

15 influence spent (max 15)
42 cards (min 40)
Cards up to Creation and Control

Deck built on NetrunnerDB.

Dec 122014

I picked up the Netrunner Core Set a few weeks ago, and have played eight games as of last night. I’m really liking it, but have only gotten my roommate and one of my coworkers to play with me so far. There’s a game shop in town where they play on Monday nights, but I chickened out this week. This is my very first attempt at deckbuilding, and I decided to focus on NBN’s tagging specialty. This deck is utter crap, but I want to learn by experience what makes a good deck, rather than only using someone else’s work.

I’ve also reproduced the results and decklist here, in case goes away.

The results? I won against my roommate (who’s as inexperienced at this as I am), using the Core Set Anarch deck, but I shouldn’t have. Here are the problems I’ve identified with the deck already:

Problems with my tactics:

  • The cards started out sorted and grouped. I didn’t shuffle them enough, and only got one piece of ice for quite a few turns.
  • I didn’t use my initial ice to protect HQ and R&D.
  • Instead, I used my first ice (Wall of Static) to protect a remote server with Ghost Branch, which I should have left undefended after putting a couple of advancement tokens on it as a lure.

Mistakes by my opponent:

  • He wasn’t aggressive enough. HQ and R&D went undefended for awhile, and he should have been hitting them every turn.
  • He spent a lot of time and money building up his rig before attacking. He finally started hitting HQ, and got an agenda on the first run, but only assets and operations after that, until I got a Tollbooth installed and rezzed. By then I also had ice on R&D (which I couldn’t rez for lack of money).
  • He made no effort to remove tags, which allowed me to trash his Armitage Codebusting. By his admission, that move cost him the game, but he’s even less experienced at this than I am.

NBN Experiment v0.1 NBN: Making News (Core Set)

  • 15 influence spent (max 15)
  • 21 agenda points (between 20 and 21)
  • 46 cards (min 45)
  • Cards up to Future Proof

Agenda (11)

Asset (5)

Upgrade (2)

Operation (10)

Barrier (3)

Code Gate (4)

Sentry (11)

Deck built on NetrunnerDB.

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