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The Road to Worlds, Week 8

by James Hoskin, Director of Organized Play

20th May 2010

Regular readers should know that 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, Week 7.

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. Contact details are at the end of this article.

Week 7 Review

Saturday 15th MaySunday 16th May
Second Edition (Standard)
Arby's Restaurant
7110 Clairemont Mesa Blvd
San Diego, CA 92111
United States
[Results]
Second Edition (Standard)
Paradox Comics and Cards
26 Roberts St
Fargo, ND 58103
United States
[Results]
Second Edition (Standard)
Via Cesare Battisti, 9
10028 Trofarello
Torino
Italy
[Results]

Arby's Restaurant: As I predicted last week, this Regional tournament in San Diego did attract eight players, six of whom participated at the Risa Regional last year. Unfortunately, that appears to be the limit of my predictive powers. Despite losing his final game to Thomas Vineberg (Exon), four wins in the first four rounds meant that Johnny Holeva (jjh) won the title of Risa Regional Champion for the third consecutive year. Johnny was playing a 70-card [Car] [Fer] Cardassian / Ferengi deck titled "Big Fat Cardassian Deck - 2010 Risa Regional". The Ferengi were only splashed in the deck though, so that Brunt (FCA Liquidator) could be used to destroy the opponent's events. In second place, only losing to Johnny, was Rogue Shindler (SirRogue). Rogue played a [Voy] Equinox deck titled "Delta Treachery Mark II". Other participants included Whitney Barnes, playing a [Rom] Romulan deck titled "Romulan Wariness"; Thomas Kamiura (Bosskamiura), playing a [Bor] Borg deck; Thomas Vineberg (Exon), playing a [DS9] Deep Space 9 deck titled "USS Defiant-J"; and Bryan Kopaska (Rhynn), playing a [Fer] [DS9] Ferengi / Deep Space 9 deck titled "Dabo!". The final two participants have decks worth a quick mention. James Floyd (jawajames) was playing a [TNG] Next Generation deck titled "TNG Ships and Qs" with a point denial dilemma pile aiming to take points away from the opponent, while increasing the points total required to win the game with Causal Recursion. Dan Hamman (SirDan) was playing a [SF] [Rom] Starfleet / Romulan deck titled "One for the Archives" that aimed to get twelve different Archive Portrait (AP) or sideways cards into play at once. It may not have won a game, but I bet it was fun to play.

Paradox Comics and Cards: 14 players in Fargo, North Dakota helped equal the record for the highest attendance at a Regional tournament this year. After five rounds, Kris Sonsteby (LORE) did what 17 other players have tried and failed to do this year: win a Regional tournament with a [TNG] Next Generation deck. His deck is titled "Every man dies... but not every man really lives", and he graciously agreed to an interview: Editor's Note: The following interview questions and responses are unedited; they appear exactly as typed by the parties involved.

Q: Why did you play Federation?
A: The idea behind the build came about a couple months ago, when I made the conscious decision that I wanted to run something completely out of my comfort zone at one of the Regionals. For me, this meant playing blue (which I never do), running with a bunch of events, and using a Tragic Turn dilemma pile. I had thought about combining Tragic Turn with Aid Legendary Civilization before, and after seeing the insane skill focus on Biology missions, the Jean-Luc Picard (Vintner) twist just fit the concept like a glove, and the end result was easily the nastiest build I've ran since my Borg war machine circa Worlds 2002.

Q: How does your deck work?
A: At its core, the deck is about 65% mission solver and 35% lockout, with Vintner being the primary fuel. Basically, Vinter grabs you Leonard H. McCoy (Remarkable Man), Elizabeth Shelby (Formidable Presence), and William T. Riker (Number One) so that the U.S.S. Enterprise-E (Flagship of the Federation) costs four, all the while burning through the draw deck with These Are the Voyages to get a Debate Over Dinner on the opponent's primary mission. Usually I crop dust Treat Plague Ship on turn three before taking on Aid Legendary Civilization from turns four on until solved. With the ship, you can keep constantly moving the Debate Over Dinner around, even putting it on your mission to score 5 points if they are not playing Tragic themselves. That, in addition to Guinan (Listener), means you win completing Aid Legendary Civilization, Treat Plague Ship, and Find Lifeless World.

Q: You are playing Federation, but not using either James T. Kirk (Living Legend) or James T. Kirk (Original Thinker)?
A: I just didn't really have room. I wanted to keep the deck at 40 cards maximum to cycle through it every game with These are the Voyages, all the while mission skill loading it with the lowest played cost of personnel possible. I did think about Kirk for a while, but in the end settled on using Katherine Pulaski (Chief Medical Officer) because she was a hair cheaper, had more mission skills, and provided me extra insurance against a possible matchup with a kill pile similar to mine, which was really all I feared heading into the event as the two copies of Debate Over Dinner can become double-edged swords.

Q: How did the deck work during the tournament?
A: Well, as you can see, it just mowed everyone down this weekend. I admittedly benefited a little from a soft schedule, as in I didn't play the three other highest rated players (Matt Hayes (karonofborg13), Keith Morris (Foreman), or my roommate Nat Kirton (Nate Jeezy), who knew the deck), but it's such a sick build that I'm not sure either Matt or Keith could have done much against it. I mean, after three rounds, I had only had three missions attempted against me, none of which were completed, and with the Debate Over Dinner / Tragic Turn / Aid Legendary Civilization combo all three of my opponents had nobody in play or at the least were destaffed by turn five. Further, on the entire day, I only gave up two missions: one in round four to Jeremy Benedict (flrazor) who was running the Nathan Samuels (Earth Minister) / non-human [SF] Starfleet build I helped him with (which meant lots of people at discounts and one [Cmd] command star staffing on ships) and one in round five to one of The Big Goodbye's new recruits, Loren Burr, who ran [Bor] Borg and was abusing Knowledge and Experience to nuke my copies of Tragic Turn and Secret Identity among others.

Q: Was losing Debate Over Dinner ever an issue?
A: I saw a little bit of event destruction on the day, as Chris Volk hit me with Brunt (FCA Liquidator) twice and Loren Burr hit me with Two of Nine (Transtator Drone) once. The inherent problem though was that they were spending more resources (in both cases two counters) to destroy my events than I was to play them (losing at most one counter) AND I was spending less resources (stopping zero cost Rachel Garrett (Displaced Captain) and/or two cost William T. Riker (Number One) on the U.S.S. Enterprise-E) to clear their side of the table of events as needed, so I had the leg up in both situations.

I did have to attempt Obtain Illegal Embryos in my last game as a consequence of Loren nuking Debate Over Dinner at the perfect time. The quick thinking on his part effectively bought him two turns (as my attempt at Find Lifeless World was effectively a wasted one plus the extra I needed to solve the harder mission), which ended up being just enough to get him back in the game, but unfortunately he could only mop up one mission before Mickey Mouse went on another killing spree.


Click for more images.

Q: Mickey Mouse?
A: All my Tragic Turn's used on Saturday were borrowed from Matt "The Original Champion" Frid (bandana8472), who with three little kids at home has been "Alternate Imaging" cards for years. The Tragic's are easily his best work by far, as all three copies have perfectly cut and inlaid stickers of Mickey Mouse from Fantasia over the top of the image. So, you can imagine the hilarity that ensued when the last thing my opponent's personnel saw was the image of Mickey Mouse on the top of their mission. He was a very, very, angry mouse on Saturday to be sure!

Q: What is next for you?
A: As you know, MinnMania is next week so I was happy to pick up a regional win in Fargo to take the pressure off for that gig. I mean, MinnMania is the crown jewel... its the highest attended regional year in and year out, and easily the toughest tournament to win world wide. Case and point, two of our World Champions (Kevin Jaeger (Hoss-Drone) and Caleb Grace (caleb)) won the Minnesota Regional AFTER winning Worlds, and one (Matt Frid) has never won that event. Its going to be a knock down, drag out, blood bath for sure, but I wouldn't have it any other way!

Thanks Kris!

Finishing in second place, and also earning a Day One Round One Continental Championships bye, was Ben Johnson (mindmage). Ben, whose only loss was to Kris Sonsteby (LORE), played an [TOS] Original Series deck titled "The Motion Pictures." Chris Volk (volkerii), also playing [TNG] Next Generation, finished in third place; and Jeremy Benedict (flrazor), playing a [SF] Starfleet deck titled "Put Those Cards Away and Mow the Lawn", finished fourth. Fifth place saw the first deck that didn't use some variation of Earth as its headquarters mission. Loren Burr, playing [Bor] Borg, was also the fifth and final player to achieve three full wins. Other decks being played include [Car] Cardassian, [Dom] Dominion, [Fer] Ferengi, [Car] [SF] Cardassian / Starfleet (titled "Cardie Capture"), and [Dom] [Rom] Dominion / Romulan. There were also two [SF] Starfleet decks (one titled "Where We Belong"), a third [TNG] Next Generation deck, and a second [Bor] Borg deck.

Via Cesare Battisti: The results have yet to be entered for the first Continuing Committee-sanctioned Regional tournament to be held in Italy.

Byes

This week, the following players won a Day One Round One bye into the Continental Championships:

• Rogue Shindler (SirRogue), second place (bye handed down) at Arby's Restaurant
• Kris Sonsteby (LORE), winner at Paradox Comics and Cards
• Ben Johnson (mindmage), second place at Paradox Comics and Cards
• unknown player, winner at Via Cesare Battisti

Congratulations to all players, and I wish better luck to anyone who didn't make it. These bye winners have been added to the list of current bye winners for the Continental Championships and the World Championships here.

Deck Statistics

There were no First Edition Regional tournaments this week and, unfortunately, the results from the most recent tournament are still to be entered. Those eight decks constitute almost one quarter of all First Edition decks that have been played and, once entered, they will be sure to have a big effect on our statistics.

The most popular First Edition affiliations are still:
1.[Fed] FederationUsed by 6 (24%) players
2. HirogenUsed by 4 (16%) players
3.[Dom] DominionUsed by 3 (12%) players1 Regional win
3.[Kli] KlingonUsed by 3 (12%) players1 Regional win
5.[Bor] BorgUsed by 2 (8%) players1 Regional win
*excluding multiple headquarters decks

We have now had a total of 148 players at 22 Second Edition Regional tournaments. [TNG] Next Generation has overtaken [Kli] Klingon as the most popular deck. [Dom] Dominion and [Rom] Romulan are now tied at seven (5%) decks for the most popular without a Regional win. So far, 15 (10%) decks have used two or more headquarters missions. Four of those have won the tournament, and all four have used Ferenginar (Financial Hub). This is almost more than the five unsuccessful players who have played [Fer] Ferengi decks with no help from other affiliations. Oh, and [TN] Terok Nor has still not been played.

The most popular Second Edition affiliations are currently:
1.[TNG] Next GenerationUsed by 18 (12%) players1 Regional win
2.[Kli] KlingonUsed by 16 (11%) players3 Regional wins
3.[Bor] BorgUsed by 13 (9%) players3 Regional wins
3.[SF] StarfleetUsed by 13 (9%) players1 Regional win
5.[Car] CardassianUsed by 10 (7%) players1 Regional win
5.[TOS] Original SeriesUsed by 10 (7%) players1 Regional win
*excluding multiple headquarters decks

Week 8 Preview

The complete schedule can be found in this article: Regional Championships Series 2010 Schedule. There are four Regional tournaments this week:

Saturday 22nd MaySunday 23rd May
Second Edition (Standard)
Sci-Fi City
6006 E. Colonial Drive
Orlando, FL 32807
United States
[Discuss] [Pre-register]
Second Edition (Standard)
Outpost 2000 & Beyond
504 Northdale Blvd
Coon Rapids, MN 55448
United States
[Discuss] [Pre-register]
First Edition (Revised)
Cranberry Cafe
115 W 45th St
New York, NY 10036
United States
[Discuss] [Pre-register]
Second Edition (Standard)
Hirter Botschaft
Bahnhofstrasse 44
9020 Klagenfurt
Austria
[Discuss] [Pre-register]

Sci-Fi City: The 2008 Cardassia Regional attracted twelve players in Orlando, Florida. Five rounds of play saw Geoffery Peterson (Madred), playing [Kli] Klingon, go undefeated and win. Darren Lacoste (dlacoste) took second place with a [Fer] [TOS] Ferengi / Original Series deck. Last year, the 2009 Cardassia Regional also attracted twelve players. Once again, Geoffery Peterson, this time playing [Dom] Dominion, was undefeated and won. Darren Lacoste, this time playing [Bor] Borg, also took second place as well. This year's tournament has seven players pre-registered so far. Now that Geoffery has retired from the game, will Darren be able to step up and win his first Continuing Committee-sanctioned Regional? Find out next week...

Outpost 2000 & Beyond: The 2008 Deep Space 9 Regional saw twelve players fight it out over five rounds. Barry Windschitl (JamesValEson) played [Bor] Borg, and went undefeated on a day where multiple headquarters were popular. One third of all decks used two headquarters. The best performing of those was a [Fer] [E] Ferengi / Earth (Home of Starfleet Command) deck, played by Kevin Jaeger (Hoss-Drone), which took second place. Last year, the 2009 Deep Space 9 Regional attracted a massive (meaning "a lot", and not "overweight") 20 players. This time, Kevin Jaeger went one better than the previous year, and won the tournament. His [DS9] Deep Space 9 deck titled "Hoss-Drone's Subliminal European Vacation" helped him go undefeated over the five rounds. The most impressive fact about that day was that, with 20 players, no affiliation appeared more than twice. There truly was a huge variety of decks on show. This year's MinnMania event sees eleven players pre-registered so far, and looks to be a good bet for this 2010's highest turnout. Last year, Kevin Jaeger (Hoss-Drone) preceded his win with another Regional tournament win a couple of weeks earlier. This year, no less than three players planning to attend have already won a Regional Tournament. Will that experience help Mike Harrington (Ajnaran), Kris Sonsteby (LORE) or Michael van Breemen (The Ninja Scot) to take this year's crown?

Cranberry Cafe: The only First Edition Regional tournament this week takes place in New York City. Just one player has pre-registered so far, but a look through the venue's tournament history shows that First Edition tournaments at the Cranberry Cafe regularly get sanctioned with between four and six players. With the other First Edition Regional tournament in the Romulus Region getting cancelled last month, this tournament offers the only chance to win the title of 2010 Romulus Regional Champion. If that isn't incentive enough, then the prize list is huge and should encourage anyone undecided about attending to show up.

Hirter Botschaft: The 2008 Borg Regional in Klagenfurt, Austria was attended by eleven players. Over six rounds, every player suffered at least two losses. The top four players all finished on the same number of victory points, and required the tiebreakers to split them. Josef Lemberger (Old Kor), playing [SF] Starfleet placed first; Julius Melhardt (Clerasil ToB), playing [DS9] Deep Space 9, finished second; Jeronimo Mitaroff (Kangaxx), playing [Fer] [TOS] Ferengi / Original Series, finished third; and Helmuth Auberger (Aubi), playing [TNG] [NA] Next Generation / Non-Aligned, finished fourth. Last year, the 2009 Borg Regional had seven players participate. Over five rounds, no player could manage more than three wins. Stefan Slaby (Winner of Borg) emerged victorious from that hard-fought battle. This year, there is only one player pre-registered so far. However, my sources tell me that at least eight players plan to attend. This includes the top four finishers at the last two years' Regional tournaments in Klagenfurt. Given the competition, it looks to be a tough tournament to win.

Next Week

A review of the results from Week 8, more statistics, and a preview of the events in Week 9. The weekend of May 29th and 30th sees First Edition Regional tournaments in Michigan and Australia, and one Second Edition Regional tournament in Germany.

Have an opinion about this article? Post it here, or contact the author!

-djl-


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