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The Road to Worlds 2013, Week 5

by James Hoskin, Director of Organized Play

2nd May 2013

This is a weekly series that aims to preview upcoming Regional tournaments, review Regional tournaments that have just taken place, highlight winning decks, interview players, and more. Last week's article was The Road to Worlds 2013, Week 4.

How can you contribute to this series? First and foremost, I am relying on results and deck lists being promptly entered into this site. I can't write about them otherwise. Other ways you can help include: taking photos, interviewing players, writing previews, and providing background information. Any other way to help the community be a part of your Regional tournament would be appreciated, too. Contact details are at the end of this article.


Week 4 Review

Saturday 27th AprilSunday 28th April
First Edition (OTF)
Oliver's Sickbay
Kurt-Weill-Str. 41
06844 Dessau
Germany
[Results]
Second Edition (Standard)
Restaurant Zypresse
Westbahnstrasse 35A
1070 Vienna
Austria
[Results]
Tribbles (Standard)
Restaurant Zypresse
Westbahnstrasse 35A
1070 Vienna
Austria
[Results]
Second Edition (Standard)
Donatos Pizza
1730 Hilliard Rome Road
Hilliard, OH 43026
United States
[Results]
Tribbles (Standard)
Donatos Pizza
1730 Hilliard Rome Road
Hilliard, OH 43026
United States
[Results]

Oliver's Sickbay: Five players participated in this First Edition Vandros IV Regional. Among them were the two finalists from the 2010 World Championships. Runner-up that day, and everyone's pick to win this tournament Sebastian Kirstein (Caretaker's Guest) was playing a [Bor] Borg deck titled "Over my dead program". He was undefeated after three rounds, with three modified wins, but had to leave before the fourth and final round. That left the door open for 2010 World Champion Andreas Rheinländer (Dukat), playing a [Fed] Federation deck titled "Enterprise-E / Son'a Solver"; and Johannes Klarhauser (Kaiser), playing a [Fer] Ferengi deck titled "Going for the Triple Crown!". Both players had one loss to their name. Johannes had lost to Sebastian in round three, but the telling result came in the first round when Johannes beat Andreas. With both players winning their final games, that head-to-head result was the tiebreaker, and Johannes won his first First Edition Regional title. He also became the first player this year to win Regional titles in all three games supported by the Continuing Committee. That's not bad considering we've only had four weeks of Regionals. All five deck lists and one tournament report can be found on the tournament results page, and an interview with Johannes Klarhauser is below.

Statistics from Oliver's Sickbay:

Total achievements awarded28
Most achievements wonJohannes Klarhauser (Kaiser) and Thomas Weidemann (Thomas Weidemann), with 9 each
Average achievements per player5.6
Biggest ratings gainJohannes Klarhauser (Kaiser), up 49 points to 1544
Average rating of all 5 players1582

WinnerJames' PredictionKris' PredictionSoren's Prediction
Johannes KlarhauserSebastian KirsteinSebastian KirsteinSebastian Kirstein

Restaurant Zypresse (Second Edition): Seven players contested this "Borg Region" Regional, the first of a double header taking place in Vienna, Austria. Everyone's favorite to win Stefan Slaby (Winner of Borg), playing a [TNG] Next Generation deck (with Load for Bear) titled "A Tale of Two Ships", caused an early upset when he suffered a loss in round one to Herbert Zaunmair (timberwolf), playing a [TNG] Next Generation deck (without Loaded for Bear) titled "Herbert Zaunmair's 2013 regional deck". That meant the title was decided in the final round when Stefan faced Jeronimo Mitaroff (Kangaxx), playing a [SF] Starfleet deck titled "Gambling away my future". There are no tournament reports yet to determine how close this game was. When the dust settled, Jeronimo had the victory and the title. This was his first Second Edition Regional title in six attempts. Other affiliations played include [Car] Cardassian, [Dom] Dominion, [TN] Terok Nor and [Voy] Voyager. All seven deck lists can be found on the tournament results page.

Statistics from Restaurant Zypresse:

Total achievements awarded24
Most achievements wonPeter Machovits (Pille1701) with 8
Average achievements per player3.4
Biggest ratings gainHerbert Zaunmair (timberwolf), up 47 points to 1569
Average rating of all 7 players1668

WinnerJames' PredictionKris' PredictionSoren's Prediction
Jeronimo MitaroffStefan SlabyStefan SlabyStefan Slaby

Restaurant Zypresse (Tribbles): With the Second Edition Regional completed, five players challenged for the title of "Borg Region" Regional Champion. There are no tournament reports yet, so there is little to report on. Peter Machovits (Pille1701), playing a Rainbow/Go deck titled "Peter Machovits' 2013 regional deck" was victorious with 530,558 Tribbles scored. Stefan Slaby (Winner of Borg), playing a Utilize deck titled "this is a game of great strategic demand", finished as runner-up for the second time in the same day with 441,141 Tribbles. He was just 18.824 Tribbles ahead of third place finisher Julius Melhardt (Clerasil ToB), playing a Replay deck titled "Regionals are to be won with as many points as possible". Other decks played include Battle and Clone. All five deck lists can be found on the tournament results page.

Statistics from Restaurant Zypresse:

Total achievements awarded4
Most achievements wonPeter Machovits (Pille1701) and Jeronimo Mitaroff (Kangaxx), with 2 each
Average achievements per player0.8
Total Tribbles scored1,607,431
Average Tribbles scored by all 5 players321,486

WinnerJames' PredictionKris' PredictionSoren's Prediction
Peter MachovitsStefan SlabyStefan SlabyJulius Melhardt

Donatos Pizza (Second Edition): Six players took part in this three round Qo'noS Regional. Some were vastly experienced; others were playing in their first tournament in the Continuing Committee-era. Jared Hoffman (Mugato), playing a [Maq] Maquis deck titled "Maquis PP", was undefeated and won the title. This was the fourth time in six years that Jared has won this Regional. Two players had just one loss: Joshua Sheets (prylardurden), playing a [Kli] Klingon deck titled "You Keep Holding Out On Me Like This"; and Pat Bortz (bortz65), playing a [Bor] Borg deck titled "Borg Deck 4-2013". Joshua took second place on account of Pat's first round win being modified. Other affiliations played include [TNG] Next Generation (twice) and [TOS] Original Series. All six deck lists and three tournament reports can be found on the tournament results page.

Statistics from Donatos Pizza:

Total achievements awarded26
Most achievements wonJared Hoffman (Mugato) with 7
Average achievements per player3.7
Biggest ratings gainJoshua Sheets (prylardurden), up 33 points to 1559
Average rating of all 6 players1590

WinnerJames' PredictionKris' PredictionSoren's Prediction
Jared HoffmanJared HoffmanJoel SkonJoel Skon

Donatos Pizza (Tribbles): The Qo'noS Region double header concluded with a nice relaxing Tribbles Regional. Well, it would have been relaxing if three of the six players hadn't been using Discard decks. There were only a total of eight Toxin among all six decks (a total of 303 cards), so one of those players was fortunate. The other two were playing Discard/Tally hoping to get Toxin'ed, and weren't so lucky. After five rounds, everyone's favorite to win Joshua Sheets (prylardurden), playing a Discard/Tally deck titled "Does Discard Still Work?" was sitting in first place with 525,114 Tribbles scored. Given that Joshua supplied some of the decks to other players, you would have thought he would have put more Toxin into those decks. Jared Hoffman (Mugato), playing a Go deck titled "Warp 10 Or Bust" took second place with 460,000 Tribbles. Other decks played include Rainbow and Skip. All six deck lists can be found on the tournament results page.

Statistics from Donatos Pizza:

Total achievements awarded12
Most achievements wonScott Wade (swade) with 4
Average achievements per player2.0
Total Tribbles scored1,686,972
Average Tribbles scored by all 6 players281,162

WinnerJames' PredictionKris' PredictionSoren's Prediction
Joshua SheetsJoshua SheetsJoshua SheetsJoshua Sheets


Interview

This week, Johannes Klarhauser (Kaiser), winner of the First Edition Regional in Dessau, Germany and holder of 2013 Regional titles in all three games, looks back at his three victories.

James: Before we talk about this week's First Edition victory, I'd like to start with the Second Edition Regional you won in week 1. Which decks were you considering playing?
Johannes: Those that would earn me at least one new achievement in case I won. Apart from the Starfleet deck I played, I had a slim Klingon deck ready that used past Klingons, Aid Legendary Civilization and a select few battle cards (All-Out War, Ferocity) to keep my opponents' personnel count down and went for the Sticky Situation achievement. Another one was a Dominion mission solver using the Subek'somac to complete two space missions, since I don't have the Dominion win achievement yet. I ended up playing that deck in the assigned affiliation online tournament that has just ended instead.

James: Did the release of Matter of Time have an impact on your build at all?
Johannes: To some extent, yes. One of the reasons I decided to go for the skill-only dilemma achievement was to get around Overburdened. I also prepared to play against Relativity by stocking Grav-Plating Trap to prevent Temporal Transporters, as well as Lustful Distraction and Desperate Sacrifice to get rid of a core full of Temporal events. Those two interrupts are also usually a good call against some of the other decks I've seen here lately (Romulan events, Cardassian Central Command).

James: How does your deck work, and do you have any tricks in there?
Johannes: The core mechanic is a regular Nathan Samuels speed deck, that is, draw like mad to get him out early, than just spam non-human personnel. There are a few little tricks in there, among them the Preeminent Precision / Phoenix combo to force my opponent into an extra mission. I also had some battle cards that I tried to keep hidden until I hit my opponent with a Gomtuu Shock Wave to either blow up the ship or strand it. The rest was fairly standard Starfleet stuff (for example Columbia and D'vela to dial skills, Williams to unstop key personnel, etc.)

James: How did the tournament play out?
Johannes: The deck worked really well, and the dilemmas did what they were supposed to do. I only had to blow up a ship once, in what was my toughest game against Flo's Relativity deck. I had played Relativity in the previous tournament and noted some of their skill holes, so I tried to exploit those. Flo completed a mission before I did, but he couldn't recover when he lost his ship.

James: Now the tournament is over, how would you improve the deck?
Johannes: Now that the all-skill dilemma achievement (Skilled Labor) is earned, I'd go back to a non-achievement pile that has room for utility dilemmas like Secret Identity, Accelerated Aging and The Oracle's Punishment, among others. The draw deck was fine, even though I like the 60+ card version without battle elements better, as I believe it's more versatile.

James: Moving on to your Tribbles Regional victory, also in week 1, which decks were you thinking about playing?
Johannes: Those that would earn achievements and be slim enough to allow me to shuffle them. I had built five decks that were all eligible for at least one of the achievements I didn't have at the time (or that were trying to find hidden ones), and just took one that was left (a Poison/Rescue deck) once Flo and Barbara had picked theirs.

James: With Big Tribble in Little Qo'noS released, but not legal for tournament play that weekend, did that affect your choice of deck at all?
Johannes: Not at all, though I would have loved to hear "Experience BiJ!" yelled at the table. I've started working on a Skip/Reverse Dance routine, and I'm very much looking forward to Tribbles at Continentals or Worlds and see if I get to pull it off. Everyone else shouldn't be, though.

James: How did the tournament play out?
Johannes: It was a low-scoring affair, all things considered. My Rescue was often Frozen; Poison and Utilize were played, but hardly ever hit for much; so it was anyone's game going into the last round. Sheer luck once more prevailed over hours and hours of deck crafting.

James: And now on to this week's First Edition Regional, which decks were you considering?
Johannes: This might come as a surprise to you, but in the end I wanted to play something that would earn me some achievements, which wasn't too difficult as I have just started getting into First Edition again. I have already played TNG Federation and TNG Klingon online, so it was anything but those two. The real limitation for First Edition deck choice, though, is my limited card pool. I only own a single copy of the non-rare cards of most of the later expansions, and not much from Premier to Deep Space Nine. For example, I tried to build a Bajoran deck based on Thomas Kamiura's Regional-winning deck, but couldn't get the Espionage cards that it uses a draw engine; likewise, I don't have the cards to build Hirogen or other Delta quadrant decks, so I will have to play those online too. In the end I went with TNG Ferengi and the Stone of Gol mercenaries, as that was a deck that I could easily assemble from printed cards and my own collection.

James: What decks did you expect to face?
Johannes: Decks that are too complex for me to understand. I'm not yet familiar enough with the game to know what to expect, so I didn't worry about that at all and just tried to concentrate on my own cards.

James: Can you describe how your deck works?
Johannes: It uses Attention All Hands/Continuing Mission in combination with Mercenary Raiders and Ferengi Military Operations to play, ideally, four personnel per turn and draw three cards. When your hand size is down, play Handshake to replenish it. I think that's more or less standard, but that's really all there is to it. I used some of (re)cycling cards in Mutation and Isomagnetic Disintegrator, but it's really very straightforward.

James: Are there any special tricks or combos in the deck?
Johannes: Nothing spectacular. Equipment Replicator to create extra Medical or Engineer personnel was very useful against Radioactive Garbage Scow and similar things, and I've become a big fan of the download ability on the Kurdon. I used it to download Quark to beat the very first dilemma I faced that day (V'ger), and it came in handy against others, too. In general, I tried to hold back my one-shot downloads of the Kurdon and Defend Homeworld until I needed them. In my last game I actually got to use Remember the Alamo to kill Tasha Yar who was running Oliver's Ancestral Vision draw engine.

James: What was your dilemma strategy?
Johannes: My space combos all included cards that could damage my opponent's ship and hopefully allow me to fly over and blow up a ship, but I never got to do that. (I never used Ferengi Military Operations for anything else than the free report, and the only ships that were blown up were my own, against Klingons and Borg.) The planet combos were designed around Medical Crisis and Scientific Method.

James: How did the tournament play out, from your perspective?
Johannes: My goal going into the tournament was to score points in each game, so winning three games, including one against a former world champion, was far beyond anything I could have hoped for. I had to ask a lot of rules questions and learned a lot about both basic aspects and finer details of the game from the others, they were very patient with me. I put down the win against Andreas as a fluke, because I had just enough skills to avoid losing an entire ship with crew once, and barely dodged Linguistic Legerdemain, which would otherwise have blocked my mission for three turns. The game against Sebastian was an all-out thrashing for me, the one after against Oliver on the other hand was as close as it can get. Interestingly enough, I won all the games in which I went second and lost the one in which I had the first turn.

James: Who was your toughest opponent?
Johannes: Sebastian Kirstein, not only because he has so much more experience in this game, but also because he was playing Borg, an affiliation that is at this point in my First Edition career too complex for me to know how to deal with it. I have a rough idea of what they do, but I'm not nearly familiar with all the cards they have to predict what they are likely to do. Consequently, I pretty much handed Sebastian one of my missions to steal, and also wasted a dilemma combo on a mission he couldn't actually scout. I was happy to get a mission done against him and prevent him from getting the full win.

James: Now the tournament is over, how would you improve the deck?
Johannes: Apart from exchanging it for one that is eligible for different achievements? As I said, the deck did a lot better than I had expected. Raid Ancient Burial Site was stolen twice in four games, so I either need to learn how to protect it, or I might look for a different free play engine. I was happy with the skill selection of my personnel, I never struggled for long with any of the walls. The dilemmas also did their job, but I'd probably run different ones next time just to try out new things.

James: Which card(s) from The Sky's the Limit are you most looking forward to playing with?
Johannes: Kamala looks quite good. I imagine she will be useful in TNG decks, as she triggers a card draw, can copy a skill you need at the time, and will distract your opponent. I'm also looking forward to tables that are even more confusing once the self-controlling dilemmas are flying around.

James: If you could create an achievement, what would it be?
Johannes: I like the Player versus Player (PVP) aspect a lot, so I'll second what Matt Kirk said a few weeks ago, more achievements in that category would be nice. Maybe for beating players with a significantly higher rating, for breaking winning streaks, achievements for beating champions, etc.

James: Do you have anything else to add?
Johannes: I predict that I will find myself on the bottom of the predictions table next Thursday.

Thanks to Johannes for answering these questions.


Byes

This week, one player won a Day One, Round One bye into their local First Edition Continental Championships:

And, two players won a Day One, Round One bye into their local Second Edition Continental Championships:

And, two players won a 100,000 Tribble Headstart into their local Tribbles Continental Championships:

These bye winners have been added to the list of current bye winners for the Continental Championships and the World Championships here. For everyone who didn't win a bye, there are still 52 Regionals where you can earn one.


Deck Statistics

There were five players at one First Edition tournament this week, taking the total players at First Edition Regional Championships to 38 - an average of 7.6 players per tournament. With 79% of First Edition Regionals still to be played, the statistics don't yet show any meaningful trends.

The best performing First Edition affiliations to date are [Baj] Bajoran, averaging 12.0 victory points per tournament; followed by [Fer] Ferengi, averaging 11.7 victory points; and then Vidiian, averaging 10.8 victory points. The worst performing affiliations to date are [Fed] Federation, averaging 9.1 victory points per tournament; followed by [Dom] Dominion, averaging 9.0 victory points; and then Hirogen averaging 7.0 victory points.

The most popular First Edition affiliations are currently:
1.[Fed] FederationUsed by 11 (29%) players1 Regional win
2.VidiianUsed by 6 (16%) players1 Regional win
3.[Bor] BorgUsed by 4 (11%) players
3.[Kli] KlingonUsed by 4 (11%) players
5.[Fer] FerengiUsed by 3 (8%) players2 Regional wins
5.[Rom] RomulanUsed by 3 (8%) players
7.HirogenUsed by 2 (5%) players
7.Dual AffiliationsUsed by 2 (5%) players
9.[Baj] BajoranUsed by 1 (3%) player1 Regional win
9.[Dom] DominionUsed by 1 (3%) player
9.[NA] Non-AlignedUsed by 1 (3%) player

There were 13 players at two Second Edition tournaments this week, taking the total players at Second Edition Regional Championships to 125 - an average of 8.9 players per tournament. With both of this week's winning affiliations already having a win to their names, we still have nine affiliations without a win and we're 40% through this year's Second Edition Regionals already. We have also still not seen a single multi-affiliation deck played at a Second Edition Regional.

The best performing Second Edition affiliations to date are [DS9] Deep Space 9, averaging 16.5 victory points per tournament; followed by [Maq] Maquis, averaging 14.3 victory points; and then Relativity, averaging 13.5 victory points. The worst performing affiliations are [TN] Terok Nor and [Rom] Romulan, both averaging 10.7 victory points per tournament; followed by [Car] Cardassian and [TNG] Next Generation, both averaging 10.5 victory points.

The most popular Second Edition affiliations are currently:
1.[TNG] Next GenerationUsed by 20 (16%) players1 Regional win
2.[Kli] KlingonUsed by 14 (11%) players3 Regional wins
2.[SF] StarfleetUsed by 14 (11%) players2 Regional wins
4.[Bor] BorgUsed by 11 (9%) players2 Regional wins
5.RelativityUsed by 9 (7%) players
6.[Dom] DominionUsed by 8 (6%) players1 Regional win
6.[TOS] Original SeriesUsed by 8 (6%) players
8.Earth Space 9Used by 6 (5%) players
8.[Maq] MaquisUsed by 6 (5%) players2 Regional wins
8.[TN] Terok NorUsed by 6 (5%) players
11.[Voy] Voyager/EquinoxUsed by 5 (4%) players
12.[Baj] BajoranUsed by 4 (3%) players
12.[Car] CardassianUsed by 4 (3%) players
14.[Rom] RomulanUsed by 3 (2%) players
15.[DS9] Deep Space 9Used by 2 (2%) players2 Regional wins
15.[Fer] FerengiUsed by 2 (2%) players1 Regional win
15.Unknown?Used by 2 (2%) players
18.[NA] Non-AlignedUsed by 1 (1%) player

There were eleven players at two Tribbles tournaments this week, taking the total players at Tribbles Regional Championships to 73 - an average of 8.1 players per tournament. Excluding preliminary heats, a total of 22,405,312 Tribbles have been scored to date, an average of 306,922 Tribbles per player. Special thanks to this week's tournament organizers and players for getting every Tribbles deck list entered by the time this article was written. A feat not accomplished since week 1.

The most popular Tribbles powers in each deck are:
1.GoUsed by 16 (22%) players3 Regional wins
2.Unknown?Used by 12 (16%) players3 Regional wins
3.IDICUsed by 6 (8%) players
4.BattleUsed by 5 (7%) players
4.CloneUsed by 5 (7%) players
4.DiscardUsed by 5 (7%) players1 Regional win
7.UtilizeUsed by 4 (6%) players
8.PoisonUsed by 3 (4%) players
8.RescueUsed by 3 (4%) players
10.BonusUsed by 2 (3%) players
11.FreezeUsed by 1 (1%) player
11.RecycleUsed by 1 (1%) player
11.ReplayUsed by 1 (1%) player
11.ReplicateUsed by 1 (1%) player
11.SkipUsed by 1 (1%) player
11.Battle/GoUsed by 1 (1%) player
11.Battle/ScoreUsed by 1 (1%) player
11.Clone/GoUsed by 1 (1%) player1 Regional win
11.Clone/ReplayUsed by 1 (1%) player
11.Go/MasakaUsed by 1 (1%) player
11.Go/ScanUsed by 1 (1%) player
11.Poison/RescueUsed by 1 (1%) player1 Regional win

Predictions

JamesKrisInterviewees
9/29 (31.0%)9/29 (31.0%)11/29 (37.9%)
2013 Prediction Accuracy

It seems that the inability to pick more than one winner each week is contagious. Kris and I infected Soren Ramme Nielsen (s_ramme) last week, so he now props up the interviewee table. Kris also only managed one correct prediction. The good news is that I beat the disease and predicted two winners from five last week. That has allowed me to close in from a "distant" last place to an "in contention" equal-last place with Kris. This week's interviewee Johannes Klarhauser (Kaiser) has already predicted he will take last place in the interviewees table, so that takes the pressure of beating him off Kris and I. Of course, if he's that bad at predicting, he'll have got that prediction wrong too. Which means he will get some winning predictions correct. Which means his prediction about predictions will be wrong. Which means he's going to become the third interviewee to beat Kris and I next week. (I hope you followed that, because I got lost in my circular logic about half-way through.)

Past Interviewee Prediction Accuracy
Week 2Nat Kirton (Nate Jeezy)3/6 (50.0%)
Week 1Sean O'Reilly (Jono)4/9 (44.4%)
Week 3Matt Kirk (CaptMDKirk)3/8 (37.5%)
Week 4Soren Ramme Nielsen (s_ramme)1/5 (20.0%)


Week 5 Preview

The complete schedule can be found in the article 2013 Regional Championships Schedule. There are five Regional tournaments this week:

Saturday 4th MaySunday 5th May
First Edition (OTF)
Tara's Place
11442 76 Avenue NW
Edmonton, AB T6G 1N4
Canada
[Discuss] [Pre-register]
Tribbles (Standard)
Arby's Restaurant
7110 Clairemont Mesa Boulevard
San Diego, CA 92111
United States
[Pre-register]
First Edition (OTF)
Good Games St James
3/1083 Albany Highway
St James, WA 6102
Australia
[Pre-register]
First Edition (OTF)
R.H. Stafford Library
8595 Central Park Place
Woodbury, MN 55125
United States
[Discuss] [Pre-register]
Second Edition (Standard)
Amazing Fantasy Comics 3
209 Village Avenue, Unit C
Yorktown, VA 23693
United States
[Discuss] [Pre-register]

Tara's Place: This will be the second year that this First Edition Rura Penthe Regional has been held. Eight players attended in the inaugural year. Since then, the local playgroup has averaged four or five players, and tournament director Thomas Solway (tksolway) has won each time. Tara Dubois (extraplayer) looks to be second favorite with three second place finishes to her name. The big question mark hangs over last year's winner, and former World Champion, Kenneth Tufts (Worf Son of Mogh). There is no talk in the discussion thread, and no pre-registrations (despite the tournament requiring them) at this time, so knowing who will attend is half the challenge of picking a winner. I'll play it safe and pick Thomas to win.

Kris: Thomas Solway to win. Why? Despite never earning a Regional title, Mr. Solway is a former Canadian National Champion that hasn't "done the honors" for another Superstar in nearly a year. With a 90% win percentage in hand and the zebra stripes on his back, just like a broken drum he'll be hard to beat.

Johannes: Without any pre-registrations, tournament director and serial winner Thomas Solway is my pick.

Past First Edition Regional results at Tara's Place:
2012, won by Kenneth Tufts (Worf Son of Mogh) playing [SF] Starfleet.
2011, not played.
2010, not played.
2009, not played.
2008, not played.

Arby's Restaurant: This is the third year this Tribbles Risa Regional has been run. Past years have seen eight and ten players participate. Even though only two players have pre-registered so far, we can expect a decent attendance this year too. The Region is home to six of the top ten Tribbles breeders in the world. Between them they have played in 859 tournaments and have 150 victories to their collective names. They have also bred a total of 241,780,548 Tribbles. How's that for experience? It is difficult to choose between Rogue Shindler (SirRogue), Dan Hamman (SirDan), Charlie Plaine (MidnightLich), Thomas Vineberg (Exon), Matt Kirk (CaptMDKirk) and Bryan Kopaska (Rhynn). There have been seven different winners at the venue since the turn of the year. Rogue has three of those, but two sub-100,000 scores in his last three tournaments leave questions over his form. Dan does have the form, with four wins from the eleven tournaments he played in March. Still, according to the Section 31 podcasts, he frequently loans his decks out and they end up beating him. I can't help but feel that's a bad omen. My pick to win is Matt Kirk. He has two wins in the last three tournaments at the venue. With form like that I can't not pick him.

Kris: Rogue Shindler to win. Why? The Rogue collected Battle Royale gold twice last year and has been discarding opponents and tallying victories in this environment far longer than any of his rivals. Mark my words, Gorilla, he won't need a vacuum for this one... he'll clean house on his own.

Johannes: Lots of experienced breeder there, but I'll go with the man who comes up with all those great images to advertise our articles, Johnny Holeva.

Past Tribbles Regional results at Arby's Restaurant:
2012, won by Rogue Shindler (SirRogue) playing a Discard/Tally deck.
2011, won by Dan Hamman (SirDan) playing a Clone deck.
2010, not played.
2009, not played.
2008, not played.

R.H. Stafford Library: The inaugural First Edition Regional to be held in Minnesota in the Continuing Committee-era takes place on Saturday. There are seven players pre-registered so far. The only previous constructed tournament at the venue was won by James Heaney (BCSWowbagger), with Matthew Hayes (karonofborg13) in second place. They have both pre-registered so a rematch between the two is on the cards. Also in contention are Dan Van Kampen (Iron Prime), with two wins in his last three tournaments; and Justin Kaufman (CrimsonRavage), with a second place (behind Matthew) in his only First Edition Regional last year. Matthew looks like the player on form with five tournament wins from eight this year. However, it is worth noting that he has not beaten James in the two previous games they have played. I think he'll set that record straight on Saturday though. Matthew to win.

Kris: James Heaney to win. Why? Since returning to the Land of 10,000 Champions last October, Heavy Metal has quickly made a name for himself by batting .500 in pay per view appearances over the past six months. And having tangled with all of Starcade's participants over my long career in T2E, I can tell you it's gonna be a dog eat dog world in there and if anyone's gonna snatch the bone away from The Animal, it's gonna be the only man he's never beaten.

Johannes: Normally Matthew Hayes would be my pick here, but according to his profile he is 0-2 against James Heaney, so I'll see if the streak continues and go with James here.

There are no past First Edition Regional results at R.H. Stafford Library.

Amazing Fantasy Comics 3: Following a three year hiatus, this Second Edition Sector 001 Regional returns to Yorktown, Virginia. There are already eleven players pre-registered, many of whom played in the Richmond, Virginia Regional earlier this year. Neil Timmons (ntimmons) won that title, and is the reigning holder of this title. There is no news, however, on whether he plans to attend. In Neil's absence, Phil Schrader (pschrader), Brian Sykes (Armus) and Lucas Thompson (edgeofhearing) all look like good bets for a winner. Phil has finished in the top two of half the tournaments he has played this year, while Lucas has achieved the same feat in all four of his tournaments this year. Lucas also has a win rate of 74%, which is superior to that of Brian (66%) and Phil (55%). Lucas has never played Phil or Brian so they can't be compared in a head-to-head situation. The one time Phil and Brian played, Phil emerged victorious. I think the deciding factor will be Phil's experience. With 284 games under his belt in the Continuing Committee-era - more than Brian and Lucas combined - he'll have what it takes to win.

Kris: Phil Schrader to win. Why? Phil the Drill is one of DCW's rising stars, having made a name for himself on the Eastern sea board's indy circuits and overseas in Mexico. Provided he's up to the challenge of stepping outside of The Big Show's shadow, I gotta believe he'll finally get his first taste of Regional gold come Saturday.

Johannes: With Neil Timmons not pre-registered, Phil Schrader and Brian Sykes seem to be the top contenders here. I'll go with Phil.

Past Second Edition Regional results at Amazing Fantasy Comics 3:
2012, not played.
2011, not played.
2010, not played.
2009, won by Neil Timmons (ntimmons) playing [Kli] Klingon.
2008, won by John Corbett (KillerB) playing [TNG] Next Generation.

Good Games St James: This will be the fifth year that this First Edition Deep Space Station K-7 Regional takes place in Perth, Australia. For the past three years, the four players have finished the tournament in exactly the same order: Matthew Townsend (thac0276) winning, followed by Robert Dawson (TBT), Matthyas Kiraly (stoovie) and then Daniel Hyde (zephrem). Not one of them has played since the World Championships were held in Australia almost eight months ago. Given how rusty they all will be after such a long absence, I suspect they'll fall into familiar patterns and the title will be retained by Matthew for the third successive year.

Kris: Robert Dawson to win. Why? Despite the fact that The Mastodon is the reigning Regional champion three times over, the man's never accepted an invitation to join "The Family," Gorilla, and if there's one thing in this World I can't forget, apart from my Geography lessons, it's when I've been spurned. Call it a hunch, call it favoritism, call it what you will, but I'll stake my reputation as a broadcast journalist on The Definition of Definition making this pay per view a defining moment in his career.

Johannes: Rob Dawson, because he wields the power of the rake.

Past First Edition Regional results at Good Games St James:
2012 (alternate venue), won by Matthew Townsend (thac0276) playing [Fed] Federation.
2011 (alternate venue), won by Matthew Townsend (thac0276) playing [Car] Cardassian.
2010 (alternate venue), won by Matthew Townsend (thac0276) playing [Kli] Klingon.
2009 (alternate venue), won by Matthyas Kiraly (stoovie) playing [Fed] Federation.
2008, not held.


Next Week

Week 6 of the Road to Worlds sees this weekend's five Regionals reviewed, an interview with a winning player, more statistics, and a preview of next weekend's single, solitary, lonely Regional.

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