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The Road to Worlds, North American Continental Championships Review

by James Hoskin, Director of Organized Play

16th August 2010

The third and final Continental Championships of the year took place the weekend before last at Gen Con Indianapolis. Here is what happened:

Thursday 5th AugustFriday 6th AugustSaturday 7th AugustSunday 8th August
9am North American Continental Championships (day one, heat one)
Second Edition (Standard)
[Results]
North American Continental Championships (day two)
Second Edition (Standard)
[Results]
10am Virtual Constructed Tournament
Second Edition (Virtual)
[Results]
Revised Constructed Tournament
First Edition (Revised)
[Results]

Standard Orbit
Second Edition (Standard)
[Results]
11am
12pm OTSD+ Tournament
First Edition (Sealed)
[Results]
OTSD+ Tournament
First Edition (Sealed)
[Results]
North American Continental Championships
Tribbles
[Results]
1pm Infinite Diversity Draft
Second Edition (Draft)
[Results]
2pm Team Tournament
Second Edition (Standard)
[Results]
3pm
4pm The Cool Tournament
First Edition (Open)
[Results]
OTSD+ Tournament
First Edition (Sealed)
[Results]

North American Continental Championships (day one, heat two)
Second Edition (Standard)
[Results]
North American Continental Championships
First Edition (OTF)
[Results]
5pm Infinite Diversity Draft
Second Edition (Draft)
[Results]
Infinite Diversity Draft
Second Edition (Draft)
[Results]
6pm Infinite Diversity Draft
Second Edition (Draft)
[Results]

What will win?

Prior to the Second Edition Continental Championships, Jeremy Commandeur (Commandeur) asked several players which deck/affiliation they thought would win. Here are their predictions.
Video: Michael van Breemen (The Ninja Scot) predicts.
Video: Stephen Lee (grendelX) predicts.
Video: Brian Sykes (Armus) predicts.
Video: John Corbett (KillerB) predicts.
Video: Sean O'Reilly (Jono) predicts.
Video: David Kuck (ikeya) predicts.
Video: Jared Hoffman (Mugato) predicts.

Tournament Reviews

Thursday's Virtual Constructed Tournament: Seven players turned out for the first tournament of the convention. Michael van Breemen (The Ninja Scot), playing [Car] Cardassian, was undefeated over three rounds and won the tournament. Amber Mitchell (Marquetry) took second place, playing [Voy] Equinox; while Ben Hosp came third with his [Dom] Dominion deck titled "Virtual Dominion Defiant Deck" - no guesses as to how that works!

Thursday's OTSD+ Tournament: This First Edition tournament of the convention attracted more players (eight) than its Second Edition counterpart. Jeremy Commandeur (Commandeur) was undefeated over three rounds, and pipped his fellow players to the tournament win. Franklin Kenter (MilesStuntDouble) was second and Jordan Leung (FrakkinPhoenix) third. No deck information has yet to be entered for this tournament.

Thursday's Team Tournament: With 16 players in attendance, the usual three-person teams were replaced by four-person teams. That meant a hasty reorganisation, and the splitting of one team to even the other teams out. Charlie then asked what the team names were going to be, and got three sensible answers before he turned to me. I blurted out "Will Sucks", and that became our team name. This must of had some sort of galvanising effect on Will Hoskin (Gumbo) - my brother, in case anyone didn't know - and spurred him to win all three of his games with his [TNG] [NA] Next Generation Android deck. I also won all three games playing my [Car] Cardassian Capture deck, as did our team mate Edward Pigman (jindrak). Our fourth team mate, Pat Bortz (bortz65), suffered three losses; but Team "Will Sucks" still trounced the opposition with a massive 30 victory points (900 total points). Team "Minnesota" were second with 22 victory points (805 total points), Team "LaQuinta" were third with 21 victory points (745 total points), and Team "Jersey" were dead last with 21 victory points (730 total points).
Video: Charlie announces the results.
Video: Will discusses his winning deck, and his 2-0 record over John.

Thursday's Cool Tournament: According to the Twitter feed, this tournament was postponed. There is no news as to whether it took place at another time or not.

Thursday's Infinite Diversity Draft: Eight players participated in this "Classic TNG" Infinite Diversity Draft. After three rounds, James Hoskin (RedDwarf), was undefeated and won the tournament. Being the helpful chap that he is, James took time out from writing in the third-person to post his drafted [Fer] [Rom] Ferengi / Romulan deck, titled "The Romulans are Everywhere!". He thinks his best draft picks were two copies of Unfair Terms, a second copy of In Development, At an Impasse, and any personnel who had mission skills - which was just about all of them. He would also like me to point out that, much to the chagrin of Ben Hosp (bhosp), he completed Transport Crash Survivor in every game. Ben, playing [Kli] [TNG] Klingon / Next Generation, finished second, while Will Hoskin (Gumbo) came third with his [Fer] [Kli] [Rom] Ferengi / Klingon / Romulan deck.


Heat one winner
Jared Hoffman

Friday's Second Edition North American Continental Championships (Day One, Heat One): 23 players turned out for this first heat, where seven of the best players (and my brother) would qualify for day two of the North American Continental Championships. The most popular affiliation was [TNG] Next Generation, played by eight people. This was followed by four people playing [TOS] Original Series, three playing [Voy] Voyager, two playing [Bor] Borg, two playing [Car] Cardassian, and one person each playing [Dom] Dominion, [Kli] Klingon, [SF] Starfleet and [Voy] Equinox. That is a full 70% of participants who played [Fed] Federation of some kind. After five rounds; Jared Hoffman (Mugato), playing a [Bor] Borg deck titled "AQ Borg"; was undefeated and claimed first place. All four players with just one loss qualified next. John Corbett (KillerB), playing an [TOS] Original Series deck titled "Bad Rulings 2.0"; Will Hoskin (Gumbo), playing a [TNG] [NA] Next Generation Android deck titled "Androids across the pond"; Ben Hosp (bhosp), playing a [Voy] Voyager deck titled "Traffic Stop Slavery"; and Joel Skon (RedAlucard), playing a [TNG] Next Generation Cadet deck titled "A Cadet By Any Other Name"; took places second through fifth respectively. The remaining three places were then up for grabs between the seven players with a record of three wins and two losses. Brian Sykes (Armus), playing an untitled [Kli] Klingon deck; Michael van Breemen (The Ninja Scot), playing a [TNG] Next Generation deck titled "It's cheap and renewable but does it work?"; and Stephen Lee (grendelX), playing a [Bor] Borg deck titled "Same Old Borg Deck"; were the three lucky participants. The remaining players had the second heat, and another five rounds, to look forward to later in the day.
Video: Charlie discusses player turnout.
Video: Round five action (part 1).
Video: Round five action (part 2).
Video: Charlie announces the results.

Friday's OTSD+ Tournament: Much like the OTSD+ tournament on Thursday, eight players participated in this tournament. Much like the previous time, Jeremy Commandeur (Commandeur) was undefeated over three rounds and won the tournament. Much like the previous time, the second and third players were also Franklin Kenter (MilesStuntDouble) and Jordan Leung (FrakkinPhoenix). What is different is that Jordan finished second and Franklin was third. No deck information has yet to be entered for this tournament.


Heat two winner
David Kuck

Friday's Second Edition North American Continental Championships (Day One, Heat Two): Twelve players who didn't qualify from heat one were joined by four new players to fight it out for the remaining eight spots in day two. The most popular affiliation was once again [TNG] Next Generation, played by five people. Two people played [TOS] Original Series, two played [Bor] Borg, and one person each played [Car] Cardassian, Earth (Home of Starfleet Command), [Rom] Romulan, [SF] Starfleet, [Voy] Voyager and [Voy] Equinox. This time, a mere 69% of decks were [Fed] Federation. The results show that David Kuck (ikeya), playing a [TNG] Next Generation Cadet deck titled "LaQuinta Cadets", was undefeated. He won the tournament and the second seed at day two of the Championships on Saturday. Throughout the five rounds, a number of modified wins and a true tie meant that the lowest qualifying player; Al Schaefer (ltkettch17), playing a [TNG] Next Generation Vintner deck titled "A Tribute to TBG"; needed just two full wins to make the cut. The second through seventh placed finishers were (in order): Eric Bieche (biecheer), playing an untitled [TNG] Next Generation deck; James Hoskin (RedDwarf), playing a [Car] Cardassian deck titled "High Command Tain and Evek"; Greg Hodgin (tomalak), playing an untitled [Rom] Romulan deck; Amber Mitchell (Marquetry), playing a [Voy] Voyager deck titled "Just a Little Bit of Peril"; Phil Schrader (pschrader), playing an [TOS] Original Series deck titled "The Motion Picture"; and James Booker (Shooter McGavin), playing an [TOS] Original Series deck titled "I Stole This Deck From Tobian Franke II". Special mention should go to James Booker for qualifying for day two in what was only his second Continuing Committee-sanctioned tournament (the first being the first heat earlier in the day.)
Video: The heat two players.

Friday's Infinite Diversity Draft: While the second heat was underway, those players that had already qualified took part in this "Dominion War" Infinite Diversity draft. Will Hoskin (Gumbo) demonstrated his penchant for triple-headquarters draft decks by going undefeated with his [Rom] [TNG] [DS9] Romulan / Next Generation / Deep Space 9 deck, which he posted here. In a weird twist of fate, three of the eight players at the tournament ended up drafting [Car] [Kli] Cardassian / Klingon, and two of them tied for second place. Commiserations go to Michael van Breemen (The Ninja Scot) and Jared Hoffman (Mugato) for not finishing ahead of Will to win the tournament.


The day two bracket

Saturday's Second Edition North American Continental Championships (Day Two): Following Friday's [Fed] Federation overload, things calmed down a little for the second day of the Continental Championships. Only half of the 16 decks on show were using [Fed] Federation cards this time! That figure comprised three people playing [Maq] Maquis, two [TNG] Next Generation, two [TOS] Original Series, and one [Voy] Voyager. Also being played were four [Bor] Borg decks, two [Rom] Romulan decks, one [Car] Cardassian deck and one [Kli] Klingon deck. The completed tournament bracket, and all of the deck lists can be found on the tournament page. The first round, the top 16, really was a tale of two halves. The top half of the bracket, featuring number one seed Jared Hoffman (Mugato), saw all four lower seeds win their matches; while the lower half, featuring number two seed David Kuck (ikeya), saw all four higher seeds win their matches. For reasons I'm not entirely sure of, 16th seed Al Schaefer (ltkettch17) beat top seed Jared Hoffman (Mugato) but decided to concede the match instead of continuing in the tournament. Besides the game between eighth seed Greg Hodgin (tomalak) and ninth seed Edward Pigman (jindrak) which went to three games, all of the other seven matches concluded with a 2-0 result. The quarter-finals saw four [Fed] Federation (two [Maq] Maquis, one [TNG] Next Generation and one [TOS] Original Series) decks, three [Bor] Borg decks and one [Kli] Klingon deck remaining. Four big-name players; Jared Hoffman (Mugato), Michael van Breemen (The Ninja Scot), Ben Hosp (bhosp) and John Corbett (KillerB) all won their matches 2-0 and advanced to the next round. In the semi-finals, Ben's [Kli] Klingons beat John's [Bor] Borg 2-0, and Jared's [Bor] Borg beat Michael's [Maq] Maquis 2-1. And so, the final was between Jared Hoffman (Mugato) and Ben Hosp (bhosp). In a tense affair, Ben won the first game 65-50. Jared changed tactics for the second game (to avoid losing personnel to Ben's Tragic Turn dilemma pile and his battle-ready [Kli] Klingons), and built up a team of 22 personnel with which to make his first mission attempt. A full 15 minutes after Jared announced the attempt (during which Ben picked twelve dilemmas, and then they all had to be encountered), the attempt was ended by Center of Attention. Ben followed that up by destroying Jared's Cube, and Jared conceded the game and the match. Ben Hosp (bhosp) is the 2010 Second Edition North American Continental Champion!
Video: John declares he doesn't lose - ever - before facing Ben in the semi-finals.
Video: John's reaction to losing to Ben.
Video: Michael and Jared's post semi-final interview.

Saturday's OTSD+ Tournament: Ten players participated in this tournament. As neither Jeremy Commandeur (Commandeur), Franklin Kenter (MilesStuntDouble) nor Jordan Leung (FrakkinPhoenix) were playing, someone else had a chance to win this time. After three rounds, both Stephen Lee (grendelX) and Eric Johnfauno were undefeated. Unfortunately for Eric, he only managed a modified win in his first round, so Stephen won the tournament. No deck information has yet to be entered for this tournament.

Saturday's 1pm Infinite Diversity Draft: What with the First Edition OTSD+ tournament and the Second Edition North American Continental Championships underway, there was little player interest in this tournament. Just one player turned up, so the tournament was cancelled. Special thanks go to Will Hoskin (Gumbo) for taking the time after he was eliminated from the Continental Championships to sit down with the one participant and play with him.

Saturday's First Edition North American Continental Championships: 13 players participated in this tournament. After four rounds, where each player suffered at least one loss, three players were tied on ten victory points each. Differential totals meant that Franklin Kenter (MilesStuntDouble) and Jordan Leung (FrakkinPhoenix) got to face off against each other in the final confrontation. Franklin had already beaten Jordan in the third round, and the outcome was no different the second time around. Franklin Kenter (MilesStuntDouble) is the 2010 First Edition North American Continental Champion!
Video: The four World Champions.
Video: First Edition Continentals are underway.
Video: Final confrontation mid-game update.
Video: Franklin faces the final dilemma.
Video: The prize ceremony.

Saturday's 5pm Infinite Diversity Draft: Eight players played in this "Classic TNG" and "Dominion War" Infinite Diversity draft, which took place while both North American Continental Championships were still ongoing. The top two players both drafted in the Dominion War pod, or was it just that they both drafted Mouth of the Wormhole (Deep Space 9) (with 1 Span)? Either way; Brian Sykes (Armus), playing [Dom] [DS9] Dominion / Depp Space 9, was undefeated and won the tournament; while David Kuck (ikeya), playing [Car] [DS9] Cardassian / Deep Space 9, finished behind him in second place.

Sunday's Revised Constructed Tournament: There was some confusion over the format of this tournament. It was listed as Revised format in announcement article, Open format in the tournament database, and as Standard format in the event catalogue. This confusion meant that there was little interest in the tournament and it was cancelled.

Sunday's Standard Orbit Tournament: The results for this tournament have not yet been entered, but I recall that either eight or ten players participated. A couple of years ago, Michael van Breemen (The Ninja Scot) brought a deck that was short on one particular mission skill for the Standard Orbit tournament, but he did no such thing this time. This time, Michael's [Dom] [Kli] [SF] Dominion / Klingon / Starfleet deck was a joy to behold - as long as you were not playing it! Where else would you get to play a deck designed to get dilemmas under missions through The Dominion Will Prevail, Kerla (Military Advisor) and Ja'chuq; and then move them between missions with the U.S.S. Defiant (Commandeered Warship) so that you never have to actually face a dilemma - ever? Anyhow, fun was had by everyone (except those playing Michael's deck...), and I believe that Amber Mitchell (Marquetry) and James Hoskin (RedDwarf) tied for first place.

Sunday's Tribbles North American Continental Championships: Nine players turned out for this, the final Star Trek tournament of Gen Con Indianapolis 2010. They were split off into two groups: the "professional" group, and the "learn-to-play" group. In the group that knew what there were doing, Jeremy Commandeur (Commandeur) won by a slim margin of 9665 Tribbles after Franklin Kenter (MilesStuntDouble), using his last card, poisoned Jeremy's 100,000 Tribbles - Antidote. That meant that Jermey scored the 100,000 Tribbles instead of Franklin, and edged him the victory. In the learn-to-play group, James Hoskin (RedDwarf) and Will Hoskin (Gumbo) uncharacteristically spent every round attacking each other; and consequently, neither player won.

After the tournaments were over, new Second Edition North American Continental Champion Ben Hosp consented to a quick interview:


Ben Hosp (left) and
Charlie Plaine (right)

Q: Congratulations on your win. Going back to day one, why did you decide to play [Voy] Voyager?
A: Because of the two-heat format on day one (which I really liked and I hope is used again), I was able to play something kind of experimental. I played the deck in the team tournament on Thursday, and saw that it worked pretty well, but the dilemma pile needed a lot of work. So I fixed it Thursday night and decided to give it a try in heat one.

Q: How does the deck work?
A: It's a pretty standard [Voy] Voyager deck, except that it has 18 ships in it. What you do is you use Finding Our Way on turn one to put 14 or more of those ships in your discard pile, so Back To Basics will work, and keep at least the extra copies of Voyager in your hand for Tactical Disadvantage. There's also a lot of ways to recycle those dilemmas in the deck, including The Trial Never Ended, Shran (In Archer's Debt), The Manheim Effect, and Bold Plan.

Q: Did you add any specific cards prior to this tournament?
A: I changed the dilemma pile significantly on Thursday night, because what I had in there before (apart from Back To Basics and Tactical Disadvantage) just wasn't working. So I redid that part of the pile to make it a lot more reliable.

Q: How were your day one games? Did you have any close games or tough match-ups?
A: Almost all of my day one games were pretty close, actually. If I'd been playing a "pure" [Voy] Voyager solver without the Finding Our Way-related dilemma tricks, I probably wouldn't have qualified in heat one, even with the Earned Bye. I think my closest matchup was against Amber Mitchell (Marquetry), who was also playing a [Voy] Voyager deck. She embarrassed me by using my own copy of The Void Alliance to blow through one of my dilemmas!

Q: You lost to Al Schaefer (ltkettch17) in the third round. What happened?
A: Al was playing a deck that used Tragic Turn and Aid Legendary Civilization to deny his opponent personnel. After I completed Inversion Mystery (and named Tragic Turn to be prevented and overcome in the future), I was overconfident, and decided to go attempt Aid Lost Colony (a 50-point [AQ] Alpha Quadrant mission) instead of my two 30-point [DQ] Delta Quadrant missions, even though the U.S.S. Voyager was my only ship in play. Through some effective use of dilemmas to kill specific personnel, Al was able to kill all but one of my [Cmd] Command icons, leaving Voyager unstaffed in the [AQ] Alpha Quadrant, which basically locked me out of the game. I learned from that mistake and didn't attempt that mission for the rest of the tournament.

Q: You finished day one in fourth place with the seventh seed for day two. Why did you switch to [Kli] Klingons?
A: Because it's my best deck. The last big tournament I didn't play them in was day one of the 2008 World Championships, where I scrubbed out at #19 or something. I strongly regretted leaving what I knew was my strongest deck in my pocket. I've played them at pretty much every big tournament since then. (This is the reason I really liked the two heat format on day one this year; I was able to play something else in heat one, with the knowledge that I could still play [Kli] Klingons in heat two if I had to.)

Q: How does the deck work?
A: The deck is built around Mara (Science Officer) and a large number of [Pa] Past cards. You use Mara to download the events and interrupts you need, starting with These Are The Voyages in the first couple turns (which works well with Mara's cost of 5), then cards like Uninvited to mess with your opponent's mission attempts, then battle cards to clean up the personnel that are left after an encounter with the Tragic Turn dilemma pile. That dilemma pile, combined with either Kruge (Instinctive Commander) or a battle card like Heart of Glory or All-out War, makes very short work of most teams.

Q: Knowing who you were likely to face in day two, did you add any specific cards to your deck?
A: No, I didn't change my deck at all Friday night.

Q: Were there any players you didn't want to face? Or that you were glad someone else knocked out for you?
A: I knew that John Corbett (KillerB) had a lot of experience playing against both my deck and Neil's version of it, so I was hoping that he'd be eliminated before I had to face him. I also really didn't want to face Jared Hoffman (Mugato), since I know he's really good with his [Bor] Borg deck, and he's rolled over me with it in the past. I had to face both of them, and fortunately I was able to beat them this time.

Q: How were your games on day two?
A: I was surprised that I didn't lose a single game on day two. My closest game was probably my game two against Amber's [Voy] Voyager deck. In game one, she had done a good job preventing me from stealing Voyager with Kruge by using Exocomps to keep my damage cards off her ship. In game two, she did something even better; I got a bad dilemma draw at Inversion Mystery, so she was able to solve it on her first attempt while only getting (I think) one personnel killed, and she used the mission to prevent me from using Tragic Turn for the rest of the game. I had to basically abandon my own mission attempts for the first half hour of the game after that, and focus my efforts on combating her in the [DQ] Delta Quadrant to stop her from running away with the whole game. That game was a good example of the ability of the battle cards in the deck to pick up the slack when the dilemma pile fails.

Thanks Ben!

More Video and Photos

If you want to further immerse yourself in what happened at Gen Con, the rest of Jeremy Commandeur (Commandeur)'s series of videos can be found here, and the remainder of Eric Bieche (biecheer)'s photographs can be found in the photo gallery. Thanks for taking to time to record what happened Jeremy and Eric!

Byes

This week, four players won a Day One Round One bye into the World Championships:

• Chris (Moggle), third place (bye handed down) at the First Edition North American Continental Championships
• David Bowling (tomek), fourth place (bye handed down) at the First Edition North American Continental Championships
• Jared Hoffman (Mugato), second place at the Second Edition North American Continental Championships
• John Corbett (KillerB), third place (bye handed down) at the Second Edition North American Continental Championships

And, two players won a Day One Round Two bye into the World Championships:

• Franklin Kenter (MilesStuntDouble), winner at the irst Edition North American Continental Championships
• Ben Hosp (bhosp), winner at the Second Edition North American Continental Championships

Congratulations to everyone involved. These bye winners have been added to the list of current bye winners for the World Championships here.

Next Time

The World Championships are almost upon us. Look for a preview in a few weeks time.

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