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The Road to Worlds 2013, Week 7

by James Hoskin, Director of Organized Play

16th 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 6.

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 6 Review

Saturday 11th MaySunday 12th May
Second Edition (Standard)
Arby's Restaurant
7110 Clairemont Mesa Boulevard
San Diego, CA 92111
United States
[Results]

Arby's Restaurant: Ten players took part in this Second Edition Risa Regional. Six of the ten players were playing Federation (or part-Federation) decks, but that didn't seem to do them much good, as all six players finished in places five through ten. If we can learn anything from these results, it is that [TNG] Next Generation is better than [DS9] Deep Space 9, as the Next Generation players took places five, six and seven; while the Deep Space 9 players took places eight, nine and ten. The top four players had five copies of Moral Choice between them. Significantly, the eventual winner had three copies in his dilemma pile, while places two and three had one copy each. Going into the final round; Johnny Holeva (jjh), playing a [Kli] Klingon deck titled "Big Fat Klingon Deck - MAY 2013"; and Nathan Wineinger (Naetor), playing a [SF] Starfleet deck titled "Some Pile of TK out on my Front Lawn"; both had a chance of winning the title, with a record of one loss and three wins. Nathan suffered his loss in round one, while Johnny lost 100-0 to Nathan in round four. In the final round, Charlie Plaine (MidnightLich), playing a [Car] Cardassian deck titled "Groumall - San Diego Regional 2013", defeated Nathan 70-45 leaving the door open for Johnny to retain his title with a win. He did just that, and won this Risa Regional for the fifth time in six years. There were two other interesting points of note. The first was that Dan Hamman (SirDan) became the first player to play dual-headquarters this Regional season. Given that eight of his last ten constructed decks have featured multiple headquarters, it is not surprising to see that five of his potential opponents were using Provoke Interstellar Incident to gain an extra turn should they face him. It is more surprising to see that nobody was playing any of the anti-dual-headquarters personnel recently released in Matter of Time. The second point of interest was that JD_Ashley (Holodeckplate_Leader) was the only player to have the anti-Non-Aligned personnel dilemma The Seen and the Unseen in his dilemma pile. He was also the only player with enough Non-Aligned personnel in his deck for it would work against. All ten deck lists and two tournament reports can be found on the tournament results page, and an interview with Johnny Holeva is below.

Statistics from Arby's Restaurant:

Total achievements awarded13
Most achievements wonJohnny Holeva (jjh) with 5
Average achievements per player1.3
Biggest ratings gainCharlie Plaine (MidnightLich), up 78 points to 1612
Average rating of all 10 players1626

WinnerJames' PredictionKris' PredictionMatthew's Prediction
Johnny HolevaNathan WineingerNathan WineingerJohnny Holeva


Interview

Following the recent controversy over who gets picked to be interviewed in this section, I used a coin flip to determine which random number generator I should use to determine which member of the public who passed my house was chosen to roll a die to determine the interviewee from all of this week's Regional winners. I even hired an independent auditor to observe the entire process to ensure everything was impartial. I don't think I could have been any fairer than that. After that exhaustive process, the Continuing Committee's highly talented Art Director, Johnny Holeva (jjh) - the winner of the only Regional this week - was chosen for a grilling.

James: Congratulations on your win. Which decks were you considering playing?
Johnny: In the couple weeks leading up to the San Diego Second Edition Regional, I was mentally juggling Klingon solver, Borg solver, and Par Lenor Ferengi. After recently playing against Matt Kirk, who was using a real slick Maquis build and watching the current Second Edition meta, I felt my Klingon solver was the best at handling multiple gaming issues. Then, at the last second blogger/designer/world champion Kevin Jaeger posted a really fast Next Generation / Deep Space 9 dual headquarters deck in his blog. I ended up building and playtesting it thoroughly. The deck can be lightning quick and carries a good punch. I was 50:50 on which deck to bring: the Klingons or the Jaeger Deck. Ultimately I had a bit more faith in my Klingons dealing with interrupts and completing missions.

James: What decks did you expect to face?
Johnny: First and foremost, anything. San Diego has a proven track record for affiliation diversity. But on the top of my mind was Maquis. They are too good right now, and not very fun to lose to. That's why my Klingon deck is built around past Klingons (high printed cost, low reporting cost), to hopefully keep them in play and have them around to feed Aid Legendary Civilization, if needed. I went with three copies of Emergency Transport Unit and Grav-Plating Trap for interrupt and event prevention. I also boosted my dilemma pile with a third copy of Moral Choice, so I felt I had at least a chance against Maquis. I had also played Charlie's Cardassians recently and knew the key against that build is to race to space and complete it before he can churn the deck to make use of Tactical Disadvantage/Back to Basics dilemmas.

James: Can you describe how your deck works?
Johnny: Ideally you go Space/Planet/Planet. But I'll mix it up depending on match-ups and card draws. I will go planet first if I have one or more copies of Emergency Transport Unit in play, or if I don't have the personnel to deal with Gomtuu Shock Wave and Where No One Has Gone Before. In my estimation, among the worst things you can do in this game is walk head-long into Where No One Has Gone Before. Losing a full turn of mission attempting after a bad first attempt is crippling at that early stage in the game. Also, if I anticipate a kill pile (dead giveaway: 20ish card dilemma stack), I'll be patient, get at least one Emergency Transport Unit, and resist the urge to attempt with more than seven personnel.

James: Are there any special tricks or combos in the deck?
Johnny: Special tricks? No, not really. But I'm a big fan of Bridge Officer's Test. Love that card and the dilemma disruption it brings. I've got Azetbur and Gorkon with the natural double Leadership, and Riker can gain a second Leadership in a pinch (Exchange Officer Riker is in the Second Edition Hall of Fame). Interrupts can make all the difference between a win and a loss. Also, Non-Aligned K'wov is hardly tech, but he loves to Provoke an Interstellar Incident.

James: You hadn't played a Klingon deck since May last year. It was an 80 card deck then. What prompted you to put your "big fat" deck on a diet?
Johnny: In a word: Maquis. Fact is, the Maquis today are easier to play and tougher to play against. I've seen world-class players Matthew Frid and Kevin Jaeger make the case that speed can close the gap with Maquis, and I agree. I generally feel confident being able to start attempting missions by turn five. Always have. But based on the state of the game with Maquis, I had to get personnel in play faster and more reliably. I wanted to get this Klingon deck attempting turn four, so I made painful cuts. Dilemma manipulators out. Kruge Kombat out. Personnel redundancy out. Non-Aligned Data and Dukat out. And, I switched up my mission set.

James: Your round four game against Nathan Wineinger sounds like it was over quickly. Can you put your finger on what went wrong?
Johnny: First, Nate is a tremendous card player and competitor. (I could easily see his name on the Continuing Committee's homepage World Champion plaque some day). Nate played his Samuels/Archer Starfleet deck and it is a solid build. So much so, I even built it about a month ago to see how it works. At the time, I found the Samuels trigger to be too finicky for my liking. If you don't find a way to get Samuels in play early, you're in a tough spot because all of the high cost alien Starfleet personnel clog your hand. However, if you get Samuels in play early the deck goes off like a rocket. In our game, Samuels, Daniels, Greer, and D'Vela all hit the table first turn. Archer on turn two. Enterprise on turn three and he was out attempting with eight personnel. Not. Good. And I didn't draw dilemmas in the first attempt to deal with Archer. My empire for an Unexpected Difficulties or Uninvited so I could get Secret Identity! All of this led to a real quick 0-100 crash and burn for my Klingons. One of those games where you tip your hat to the opponent and mentally reset for the next round.

James: How were your other four games? Were there any memorable moments?
Johnny: Every game was entertaining, a real strength of Second Edition. And the games always felt close, no matter the score. Charlie was kicking himself over a couple of plays, but I felt like he played his Cardassians really tight and was a turn away from a likely win. Joel Bray (Dominion Strength) showed me a cool new way to get Keevan early (Crom download with Strength missions). Thomas Kamiura (Next Generation mad speed) flew in from Florida like a rock star and we had an epic match. Bridge Officer's Test and Riker got me the victory before TK had a sure-thing mission completion for the win. And, any sort of win against Thomas Vineberg (Next Generation Medical) is tough, but a full win is next to impossible because of his personnel tracking ability and amazing dilemma plays.

James: Who was your toughest opponent?
Johnny: Nate beat me, so there's no arguing he's a tough opponent. But I'd give the "toughEST opponent" nod to Thomas Kamiura. His Next Generation speed deck is a machine, and TK is a top-notch competitor. I practice dilemma encounters against his no-frills dilemma pile regularly when I'm playtesting a deck, to see if my decks are good enough. (Side note - If I knew of a player who wanted to try a text book ultra-competitive dilemma pile, I'd point them towards TK's. I even brought the pile to a recent tournament to better understand it.) In this Regional game, I scratched and clawed to keep up with the Next Generation speed. Not having the personnel to deal with TK's space dilemmas, I went planet-planet before space. Eventually, I found myself in a position to win on my first and final attempt in space. All game I had been digging for a Bridge Officer's Test (which I knew would help me against his pile) and with that in hand, I had what I needed to dodge an Outclassed and complete the mission for the win.

James: Now the tournament is over, how would you improve the deck?
Johnny: Call me crazy, but I'd add cards. Defensive cards. Three copies of Unexpected Difficulties and two copies of Uninvited. Maybe I'd replace the Cluttering Irrelevancies with another Bridge Officer's Test.

James: If you could create an achievement, what would it be?
Johnny: I’d create a one-person, exclusive achievement for Continuing Committee Art Team volunteer and Achievement Graphics Guru Erik Cupers. Just a gold frame with Erik's photo. He deserves it with all of the work Erik does for the Committee's achievements community. Achievements wouldn't be nearly as fun without the great graphics that Erik creates.

James: Do you have anything else to add?
Johnny: Have fun with the games and the people you're gaming with. And if you're not, figure out a way to bring the fun back. And if I can, I'd like to thank all of the players who came out for the 2013 San Diego Second Edition Regional. Thanks Charlie, Joel, TK, Nate, and TV for great games. Thank you Dan for running a smooth tournament. And thanks to Rogue, Matt, and JD for being part of the fun day.

Thanks to Johnny for taking the time to answer these questions.


Byes

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

Johnny has 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 46 Regionals where you can earn one.


Deck Statistics

There were no First Edition tournaments this week, so the statistics haven't changed. The total players at First Edition Regional Championships so far is 50 - an average of 7.1 players per tournament.

The best performing First Edition affiliations to date are [Baj] Bajoran, averaging 12.0 victory points per tournament; followed by [Fer] Ferengi, averaging 11.0 victory points; and then Vidiian, averaging 10.8 victory points. The worst performing affiliations to date are Hirogen, averaging 8.7 victory points per tournament; followed by [Fed] Federation, averaging 8.3 victory points; and then [NA] Non-Aligned averaging 7.0 victory points.

The most popular First Edition affiliations are currently:
1.[Fed] FederationUsed by 13 (28%) players2 Regional wins
2.[Kli] KlingonUsed by 6 (13%) players1 Regional win
2.VidiianUsed by 6 (13%) players1 Regional win
4.[Bor] BorgUsed by 4 (9%) players
4.[Fer] FerengiUsed by 4 (9%) players2 Regional wins
4.[Rom] RomulanUsed by 4 (9%) players
7.HirogenUsed by 3 (7%) players
7.Dual AffiliationsUsed by 3 (7%) players
9.[Baj] BajoranUsed by 1 (2%) player1 Regional win
9.[Dom] DominionUsed by 1 (2%) player
9.[NA] Non-AlignedUsed by 1 (2%) player

There were ten players at one Second Edition tournament this week, taking the total players at Second Edition Regional Championships to 145 - an average of 9.1 players per tournament. With [DS9] Deep Space 9 taking the bottom three places at this week's Regional, it's average victory points per tournament fell from 16.5 to 11.4 - or from top performing affiliation to equal seventh best performing affiliation.

The best performing Second Edition affiliations to date are [Maq] Maquis, averaging 14.3 victory points per tournament; followed by Relativity, averaging 13.5 victory points; and then [Fer] Ferengi, averaging 13.0 victory points. The worst performing affiliations are [Baj] Bajoran, averaging 10.6 victory points per tournament; followed by [TNG] Next Generation, averaging 10.5 victory points; and then [NA] Non-Aligned, averaging 9.0 victory points

The most popular Second Edition affiliations are currently:
1.[TNG] Next GenerationUsed by 23 (16%) players1 Regional win
2.[Kli] KlingonUsed by 16 (11%) players5 Regional wins
2.[SF] StarfleetUsed by 16 (11%) players2 Regional wins
4.[Bor] BorgUsed by 12 (8%) players2 Regional wins
5.[TOS] Original SeriesUsed by 11 (8%) players
6.[Dom] DominionUsed by 10 (7%) players1 Regional win
6.RelativityUsed by 10 (7%) players
8.[Car] CardassianUsed by 6 (4%) players
8.Earth Space 9Used by 6 (4%) players
8.[Maq] MaquisUsed by 6 (4%) players2 Regional wins
8.[TN] Terok NorUsed by 6 (4%) players
12.[DS9] Deep Space 9Used by 5 (3%) players2 Regional wins
12.[Voy] Voyager/EquinoxUsed by 5 (3%) players
14.[Baj] BajoranUsed by 4 (3%) players
15.[Rom] RomulanUsed by 3 (2%) players
16.[Fer] FerengiUsed by 2 (1%) players1 Regional win
16.Unknown?Used by 2 (1%) players
18.[NA] Non-AlignedUsed by 1 (1%) player
18.Dual AffiliationsUsed by 1 (1%) player

There were no Tribbles tournaments this week, so the statistics haven't changed. The total players at Tribbles Regional Championships so far is 81 - an average of 8.1 players per tournament. Excluding preliminary heats, a total of 23,526,255 Tribbles have been scored to date, an average of 290,448 Tribbles per player.

The most popular Tribbles powers in each deck are:
1.GoUsed by 17 (21%) players3 Regional wins
2.Unknown?Used by 16 (20%) players4 Regional wins
3.IDICUsed by 6 (7%) players
4.BattleUsed by 5 (6%) players
4.CloneUsed by 5 (6%) players
4.DiscardUsed by 5 (6%) players1 Regional win
7.PoisonUsed by 4 (5%) players
7.UtilizeUsed by 4 (5%) players
9.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.Bonus/Reverse/SkipUsed 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
11.Reverse/SkipUsed by 1 (1%) player

Predictions

JamesKrisInterviewees
9/34 (26.5%)10/34 (29.4%)13/34 (38.2%)
2013 Prediction Accuracy

For the second week running, neither Kris nor I managed to predict a single winner. That is slightly excusable considering there was only one tournament this week. However, Kris' stand-in, Matthew Frid (bandana8472) did predict the winner of the Risa Regional, to extend the interviewee's lead over Kris and I. Looking at the past results, it seems like the Europeans are not very good at predicting winners when compared to the North Americans. We'll have to get some Australians predicting soon to see how they compare. This week's interviewee, Johnny Holeva (jjh), is looking to extend the interviewee's lead over Kris and I with his predictions.

Past Interviewee Prediction Accuracy
Week 6Matthew Frid (bandana8472)1/1 (100%)
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 5Johannes Klarhauser (Kaiser)1/4 (25.0%)
Week 4Soren Ramme Nielsen (s_ramme)1/5 (20.0%)


Week 7 Preview

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

Saturday 18th MaySunday 19th May
First Edition (OTF)
Obs De Blijberg
Gordelweg 216
3039GA Rotterdam
The Netherlands
[Discuss] [Pre-register]
First Edition (OTF)
Round Table Pizza
2960 Treat Boulevard
Concord, CA 94518
United States
[Discuss] [Pre-register]
First Edition (OTF)
FanBoy3
17 Newton Street
Manchester, M1 1FZ
United Kingdom
[Discuss] [Pre-register]
Second Edition (Standard)
Telak's Place
Elsa-Brändström-Str. 5
28359 Bremen
Germany
[Discuss] [Pre-register]
Tribbles (Standard)
Round Table Pizza
2960 Treat Boulevard
Concord, CA 94518
United States
[Discuss] [Pre-register]
Second Edition (Standard)
Scott's House
8037 Wilson Woods Road
Mint Hill, NC 28227
United States
[Discuss] [Pre-register]
First Edition (Block OTF)
Scott's House
8037 Wilson Woods Road
Mint Hill, NC 28227
United States
[Discuss] [Pre-register]
First Edition (OTF)
Arby's Restaurant
3185 25th Street S
Fargo, ND 58103
United States
[Discuss] [Pre-register]
Tribbles (Standard)
Arby's Restaurant
3185 25th Street S
Fargo, ND 58103
United States
[Discuss] [Pre-register]

Obs De Blijberg: This is the third year this First Edition New Bajor Regional has been held. Previous years have seen six and seven players, from the eleven players in the Region, participate. The top three players at both of the previous Regionals were identical: Enrico Evink (enrico81) winning, followed by Arjan Hoek (arjan242) and then Pah-wraith. All three are among the four players pre-registered so far. What are the odds of them finishing in the same order again? Enrico has to be the favorite, with a 68% tournament winning record and seven straight tournament wins stretching back to last year's Regionals. Arjan does have some tournament wins to his name, most notably the 2012 European Continental Championships, but he has only beaten Enrico once in six attempts when playing constructed. The enigmatically named Pah-wraith also has a handful of tournament wins to his or her name, but they have all been in sealed events. In fact, the only constructed tournaments he or she has played in have been Regionals. I can't see anyone but Enrico winning this one.

Kris: Enrico Evink to win. Why? Double E doubled down on Regional gold in both 2011 and 2012, and hasn't "done the honors" for another Superstar in over a year. Provided he sticks to his usual game plan of: waiting until the ref's back is turned, grabbing his guitar, and bashing his opponent with it, I'm sure he'll come out on top once again.

Johnny: Enrico Evink, Hasn't Lost All Year.

Past First Edition Regional results at Obs De Blijberg:
2012, won by Enrico Evink (enrico81) playing [SF] Starfleet.
2011, won by Enrico Evink (enrico81) playing [Fed] Federation.
2010, not played.
2009, not played.
2008, not played.

Round Table Pizza (First Edition): This Northern California tournament forms the first part of a Risa Regional double-header on Saturday. This will be the third year that this Regional has been held, with six and seven players participating in previous years. Four players, including both of the previous winners, have already pre-registered to play this year. Jeremy Commandeur (Commandeur) is the highest-rated pre-registered player with a rating of 1763 and a record of winning 29% of the tournaments he enters. He may be somewhat rusty though, having not played a game in six months. Stephen Lee (grendelX) hasn't played in eight months, but his record of winning 23% of the tournaments he enters is comparable to that of Jeremy's. Stephen also won a Regional last year, so he knows what it takes to win. Tournament organizer Rich Joakimson (Outsider) has actually played this year! His recent record is pretty good too, with three wins from four tournaments in the last seven months. He doesn't have a win against either Jeremy or Stephen though, so the odds look to be against him. I'm going to pick Jeremy to retain his title.

Kris: Stephen Lee to win. Why? Despite the fact that I'm betting against a former GDW World's Heavyweight Champion with this pick, Mr. Lee is no ham-and-egger, having collected Regional gold himself last year up the coast in Frankfurt. 'Course, Gorilla, you wouldn't know anything about that, seeing as the only gold you ever won is in your teeth.

Johnny: Jeremy Commandeur, 2011 First Edition World Champion.

Past First Edition Regional results at Round Table Pizza:
2012, won by Jeremy Commandeur (Commandeur) playing [Fer] Ferengi.
2011, won by Dan Webster (retsbew197) playing [Fed] Federation.
2010, not held.
2009, not held.
2008, not held.

Round Table Pizza (Tribbles): This will be the second time that this Risa Regional has been held. At the time of writing only one player has pre-registered, but we can assume that the players participating in the First Edition Regional will stick around to play this Regional too. Jeremy Commandeur (Commandeur) and Stephen Lee (grendelX) have both played a similar number of tournaments (28 and 26, respectively), and are only separated by 369,369 Tribbles and four places in the all-time breeding charts. When it comes to average Tribbles scored per tournament, Stephen just edges out Jeremy by 4,041 Tribbles with 241,258 Tribbles and 237,217 Tribbles respectively. Rich Joakimson (Outsider) has the best average per tournament though, with 322,712 Tribbles scored, but he has only played in two tournaments, so that can be taken with a pinch of salt. Last year's winner, David Holtmann (OorylQrygg), has an incredible Tribbles record, having won all four Tribbles tournaments he has ever entered. He hasn't pre-registered for the tournament though, so he maybe a risky choice for winner. I'm playing it safe and picking Stephen Lee to win.

Kris: Jeremy Commandeur to win. Despite nearly nine months in exile, The California Stud is still the reigning Battle Royale Champion, so the man's got the pedigree, and my sources tell me he'll be coming into Florence with a brand new finishing move. His opponents won't know what hit 'em, Gorilla!

Johnny: Richard New, The Only Guy Signed Up.

Past Tribbles Regional results at Round Table Pizza:
2012, won by David Holtmann (OorylQrygg).
2011, not held.
2010, not held.
2009, not held.
2008, not held.

Scott's House (Second Edition): This is the third year this Sector 001 Regional has been organized. Boosted by out of state players, eleven participated in 2011, while five players participated last year. There haven't been any tournaments at the venue since September of last year, but four players have pre-registered so far. Tournament organizer Nathan Miracle (GooeyChewie) has the highest rating at 1582, and has five wins from the 32 tournaments he has played in. He also has a decent recent record with three wins and two second places in his last seven tournaments. Host, and birthday boy, Scott Baughman (Neelix) has a similar record with five wins from the 31 tournaments he has played in. His decks seem to be of the "all or nothing" variety though, as he frequently finishes in either the top two places or the bottom two places of the tournaments he enters. Will Hawkins (ehudwill) hasn't pre-registered, but often plays at the venue. He has three wins from his last six tournaments. He also has five tournament wins to his name, but they come from only 16 tournaments played. With a winning record twice as good as that of his competitors, Will is my pick to win.

Kris: Ryan Sutton to win. Why? Since bursting onto the scene last April, The Ruffneck has quickly made a name for himself throughout the Smokey Mountain territories by winning two outta every three singles matches he participates in. With The Miracle of Mint Hill doubling as a combatant and the guy dressed as a zebra and The Camp Connection still missing in action, we're gonna crown a new Champion this weekend, Gorilla, mark my words!

Johnny: Scott Baughman, Relativity Captain.

Past Second Edition Regional results at Scott's House:
2012, won by Mike Camp Sr (cricketman) playing [Kli] Klingon.
2011 (alternate venue), won by Greg Hodgin (tomalak) playing [Car] Cardassian.
2010, not held.
2009, not held.
2008, not held.

Scott's House (First Edition): Saturday's Sector 001 double-header continues with this First Edition Regional. Five players participated two years ago, and seven fought it out for the title last year. Ryan Sutton (rsutton41) will be hoping to retain the title he won last year. Since then, Ryan was the runner-up at the 2012 North American Continental Championships, and he now has a record of seven wins from his 19 tournaments - or 37% if you prefer percentages. Joining Ryan on his road-trip from Tennessee will be Jeremy Norris (Arcanthas). He'll be one of the least experienced players at the tournament (based on statistics from the Continuing Committee-era), but his recent performances have been improving. In particular, Jeremy was just one win from taking the title of 2012 United States National Champion. When it comes to the local players, Scott Baughman (Neelix) and Nathan Miracle (GooeyChewie) are tough to separate (again!) Scott has the slightly better record, but neither would be classed as "stellar". I think Ryan will make it back-to-back Regional wins.

Kris: Ryan Sutton to win. Why? The Ruffneck earned Regional gold last year thanks to a quick count referee, and has performed better in First Blood matches than everyone he's likely to face. The man's also not above bribing an official or bringing a foreign object with him to the ring, and it's that kind of veteran move that separates the men from the boys in this business.

Johnny: Ryan Sutton, 2012 First Edition Continental Runner-Up.

Past First Edition Regional results at Scott's House:
2012, won by Ryan Sutton (rsutton41) playing [Fed] Federation.
2011 (alternate venue), won by Scott Baughman (Darik).
2010, not held.
2009, not held.
2008, not held.

Arby's Restaurant (First Edition): The third double-header of the day takes place in Fargo, North Dakota. This will be the fifth year this Andoria Regional has been held, and three different players have held the title at some point in the past. Two players have pre-registered so far, but four or five have attended each of the previous Regionals at the venue so we should expect the same again. Tournament organizer Matthew Hayes (karonofborg13) looks to be the clear favorite, having won the last four tournaments at the venue. He has also finished in the top two places in nine of the eleven tournaments he has played this year. Chris Volk (volkerii) may challenge Matthew for the title, if he plays. Chris seems to be focusing on playing Tribbles this year, but he has won the last seven tournaments he has played in, dating back over the past two years. Both players have won more than 50% of the tournaments they have entered, and a tournament featuring both of them would be an exciting prospect. I think Matthew will retain his title.

Kris: James Heaney to win. Why? Despite taking a thumb to the eye at Starcade courtesy of The Old Pro, Heavy Metal is a dominate force in Last Man Standing matches, owning a 75% win percentage in that environment. And having lost against his nemesis The Animal two weeks ago, my big brain says he'll happily pay the iron price to pick up a win this time around.

Johnny: Matthew Hayes, Plays A Fair Amount of Trek CCG.

Past First Edition Regional results at Arby's Restaurant:
2012, won by Matthew Hayes (karonofborg13) playing [NA] Non-Aligned.
2011, won by Jerad Berhow (Jerad) playing [Kli] Klingon.
2010 (alternate venue), won by Matthew Hayes (karonofborg13) playing [SF] Starfleet.
2009 (alternate venue), won by Jody Lamb (joedlaw).
2008, not held.

Arby's Restaurant (Tribbles): As with the First Edition Regional preceding it, just two players have pre-registered for this tournament. Nine players participated last year, and the group regularly sanctions tournaments at the venue (20 this year alone), so there shouldn't be any concerns over this Regional getting cancelled. Of those 20 tournaments, Matthew Hayes (karonofborg13) has eight wins, Chris Volk (volkerii) has six, and four other players have one or two wins each. Matthew has bred almost 32 million Tribbles in 60 tournaments in the past year, averaging 531,830 Tribbles per tournament. Chris has only played 39 tournaments in the same time period, but he still racked up over 19 million Tribbles, an average of 492,871 Tribbles per tournament. Most players at the top of the worldwide breeding charts seem to average around 300,000 Tribbles per tournament; so those figures posted by Matthew and Chris are very impressive indeed. My coin toss says Chris will win this one.

Kris: Justin Kaufman to win. Why? The man put over a million on the board in a Battle Royale back in March, and pushed his career total over the 10 million mark earlier this month. And considering he's trading in the zebra stripes for the taped fists of an invader, I gotta believe Crimson's going to bring some gold back home to The Land of 10,000 Champions.

Johnny: Justin Kaufman, 1.2 Million Tribbles in a March Tournament.

Past Tribbles Regional results at Arby's Restaurant:
2012, won by Kris Sonsteby (LORE) playing a Discard deck.
2011, not held.
2010, not held.
2009, not held.
2008, not held.

FanBoy3: Sunday's tournament will mark the second year for this First Edition Omarion Nebula Regional. Four players participated last year, and five have pre-registered so far for this year's event. Based on the ratings, there can be only one winner of this tournament: Danny Nuttall (nuttersuclan). His rating is over 200 points higher than any of his competitors. He has also won almost half of the 40 tournaments he has entered, including all eight tournaments he has played this year. Challenging Danny will be regular opponents Paddy Tye (KazonPADD), last year's winner Niall Matthew (sexecutioner) and Kevin Jackson (Kev5325). Between them they have played Danny 33 times and have only two wins (both Niall's) to their collective names. The unknown element will be Stuart Marsh (SAM2000). His decks are legendarily fiendish, but he seems to have as many failures as he does successes. I can speak from experience when I say that Stuart's opponents won't know which they are facing until they've either won the game or Stuart has them cornered and wishing they'd never sat down to play. Danny to win.

Kris: Danny Nuttall to win. Why? My sources tell me Mr. Nuttall is currently riding a 27 match win streak and hasn't lost at a pay per view all year. With the main event at Insurrextion shaping up as a Tornado Tag pitting the Rock n' Roll Express against Playboy Paddy Tye and a mystery opponent, that kind of consistency in the midst of chaos is sure to be the trademark of a champion, Gorilla.

Johnny: Danny Nuttall, Refuse to Lose in 2013.

Past First Edition Regional results at FanBoy3:
2012, won by Niall Matthew (sexecutioner) playing [Fer] Ferengi.
2011, not held.
2010, not held.
2009, not held.
2008, not held.

Telak's Place: Following a year's hiatus, this Second Edition Vandros IV Regional returns for the third year. Previous years have seen four and six players participate. Three players have pre-registered so far: former winners Michael Mittelstedt (Roga Danar) and host Ulf Benjes (Lieutenant-Telak); and 2010 World Champion Tobias Rausmann (garetjax). The last time all three players faced each other at the venue was back in January. Tobias won that tournament, with Michael in second place and Ulf in third. That's the only tournament experience Michael and Ulf have had this year. Meanwhile, Tobias has played six other tournaments this year, winning three of them - including the 2013 Danish National Championships. While in Denmark, I can report that Tobias borrowed a deck from another player just before a side tournament began and he went on to win that tournament undefeated. Tobias is such a superior player, that I can't see anyone but him winning this Regional.

Kris: Tobias Rausmann to win. Why? The man's a former World's Heavyweight Champion and has never lost a match in that arena. What else is there to say? Don't you have a banana to go peel or something, Gorilla?

Johnny: Tobias Rausmann, 2010 Second Edition World Champion.

Past Second Edition Regional results at Telak's Place:
2012, not held.
2011 (alternate venue), won by Ulf Benjes (Lieutenant-Telak) playing [DS9] [TNG] Deep Space 9 / Next Generation.
2010 (alternate venue), won by Michael Mittelstedt (Roga Danar) playing [Dom] Dominion.
2009, not held.
2008, not held.


Next Week

Week 8 of the Road to Worlds sees this weekend's nine Regionals reviewed, an interview with a winning player (not randomly picked, as it is too much effort), more statistics, and a preview of next weekend's ten Regionals. It's guaranteed to be a bumper double-article edition.

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