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The Road to Worlds 2011, Week 2

by James Hoskin, Director of Organized Play

7th April 2011

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 2011, Week 1.

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 1 Review

Saturday 2nd AprilSunday 3rd April
Second Edition (Standard)
Legion Comics
3248 Cahaba Heights Road
Birmingham, AL 35243
United States
[Results]
Second Edition (Standard)
Paradox Comics and Cards
26 Roberts Street
Fargo, ND 58102
United States
[Results]
Second Edition (Standard)
Tower of Games
1400 Kempsville Road
Chesapeake, VA 23693
United States
[Results]

Legion Comics: Six players participated in this Cardassia Regional, where my pick to win this tournament, Nathan W (Naetor), was undefeated over four rounds and emerged victorious to win his first-ever Regional Championship. Nathan was playing a [Rom] Romulan deck titled "AND Then?". Mike Gillespie (durgforaday), playing [Kli] Klingon, took second place losing only to Nathan. Even though [TNG] Next Generation decks comprised half of the field, they didn't fare well overall. Winning just five games out of twelve, they took places three, four and five. Bringing up the rear was Joshua Sheets (prylardurden) with his Alpha Quadrant [Dom] Dominion deck. Three deck lists and two tournament reports can be found on the tournament results page.

Statistics from Legion Comics:

Total achievements awarded10
Most achievements wonNeal Lawson (Onomy), with 4
Average achievements per player1.7
Biggest ratings gainNathan Wineinger (Naetor), up 39 points to 1741
Average rating of all 6 players1555

Paradox Comics and Cards: This Andoria Regional attracted nine players. Two players went into the tournament on the back of two previous tournament wins each and, in a quirk of fate, they were paired to play each other in the first round. My pick to win the tournament, Kris Sonsteby (LORE), playing a [TOS] Original Series deck titled "Well, Then I Guess There's Only One Thing Left to Do..."; beat Jody Lamb (joedlaw), playing a [Kli] Klingon deck titled "Taylor Gang Or Die"; by 100-70 to set the tone for the remainder of the tournament. Kris won his next three games while conceding only 15 points in total to retain the Regional Championship title he won last year. Second place was taken by Jody. There was a wide variety of decks on show at this tournament, including [Bor] Borg, [Fer] Ferengi, [Rom] Romulan, [TNG] Next Generation, [Voy] Voyager and [TN] [Maq] Terok Nor / Maquis. Six deck lists and five tournament reports can be found on the tournament results page, and an interview with the winner, Kris Sonsteby, is below.

Statistics from Paradox Comics and Cards:

Total achievements awarded10
Most achievements wonKris Sonsteby (LORE), with 4
Average achievements per player1.1
Biggest ratings gainAllison Berhow (Allison), up 48 points to 1300
Average rating of all 9 players1560

Tower of Games: The biggest attendance of the day, 14 players, was to be found at this Sector 001 Regional, where some of the best players in the world fought it out over five rounds. No one managed to run the gauntlet and win every game, so it came down to the tiebreakers to separate Neil Timmons (ntimmons), playing [Car] Cardassian; Ben Hosp (bhosp), playing a [Kli] Klingon deck titled "Second Amendment Remedies"; and John Corbett (KillerB), playing [TN] Terok Nor. Neil's Strength of Schedule proved to be the deciding factor, and he won his seventh Regional Championship title in three years. Ben took second place, and John third place. My pick to win this tournament, Patrick Krentz (PK of VA), was fourth. The two most popular affiliations at this tournament were [Kli] Klingon and [TOS] Original Series, each appearing in four decks. Five deck lists and one tournament report can be found on the tournament results page.

Statistics from Tower of Games:

Total achievements awarded12
Most achievements wonPeter Krentz (FPK of VA), with 4
Average achievements per player0.9
Biggest ratings gainJohn Corbett (KillerB), up 42 points to 1759
Average rating of all 14 players1619

Interview

In what I hope to make a weekly feature, I'll be interviewing one player a week to find out what they played, why they played it, and how they played. This week, Kris Sonsteby (LORE), two-time winner of the Andoria Regional in Paradox Comics and Cards, fields my questions.

James: Congratulations on your back-to-back wins. What was the idea behind your [TOS] Original Series / Tragic Turn deck?
Kris: I played what I believe was a wholly original idea: [TOS] Original Series / Tragic Turn with Shran and McCoy. Two caveats to that bold statement: #1) after a brain-storming session over text message back in January, Zach played what I'm sure he would classify as a half-baked version of this build at Nationals. As it was something I thought up and wasn't nearly as fleshed out as either of us would have liked, a mulligan was warranted. #2) The only build I came across online that even remotely resembled mine was one of Ed's; however, as it used a standard rather than inventive Tragic Turn pile, the Motion Picture crew, more cards in total, and fewer events, when you look past the surface it's really not all that similar.

Speaking to that second stipulation, the deck list shows I ran a Tragic Turn pile like none other. There are only six dilemmas that consume, numerous ones that require skills, few that check Headquarters, and several that are "choose" in nature. Basically, it was designed to chew up Archer, [Voy] Voyager, and Wariness; three builds that Tragic Turn most frequently faltered against. Combine that with the awesome dilemma retrieval power provided by Shran and McCoy, and you have something that won't kill your opponent with a metaphorical chainsaw as many standard Tragic Turn piles do, but one that will instead slit their throat with a switchblade. Both are effective, but mine is a lot less messy and in many regards tougher to overcome as a stand-alone pile.

James: What decks did you expect to face?
Kris: As I tossed and turned in bed the night before, I began to doubt if I were adequately prepared for what I would face the following morning: [Bor] Borg Assimilators, [Kli] Klingon Battlers, & Holding Cells, oh my! It was going to be a grind for sure, even more so considering I’d played less than half a dozen games with my [TOS] Original Series design. Despite these facts, going in cold and flying solo worked well for me last year, and I felt confident that what I had given up in pre-tournament preparation would in turn be made up by the edge I would gain in playing an unorthodox creation. As it turned out, that assessment would prove to be deadly accurate.

James: Did you have plans to deal with Tragic Turn, the Borg, Cadets & Klingons?
Kris: For Tragic Turn: 6-man attempts, James T. Kirk (Original Thinker) & In a Mirror, Darkly (with the points from Track Survivors). For the [Bor] Borg: Watley (Recent Transfer). For Cadets: nothing specific as I have that deck memorized. For [Kli] Klingons: cheap, easily staffed ships coupled with going planet first.

James: How did the deck work during the tournament?
Kris: It went 4-0 and only gave up one mission on the day. Games two and four were total blowouts, match three was touch-and-go despite the score, and round one was dicey to say the least. In that pressure-cooker game, Jody and I played cat and mouse for much of the round, both making a few costly mistakes along the way, before the buzzer sounded while we were knotted up 70-70 and the tournament was essentially on the line for one fatal turn. With both of us sitting in space with dilemmas under our final missions, he was faced with the agonizing decision of either playing for a modified win by battling me for an extra 10 points or taking a shot at the full win by attempting. He went for it, my dilemma pile hung tough, and on my turn I picked up the win through the timely use of a Driven.

James: How often did you retrieve overcome dilemmas from your opponent's missions with Shran and McCoy?
Kris: The deck averaged 7 to 10 retrievals per game.

James: Moving on to your Regional this Saturday, you already have 25 players pre-registered. How many more do you think you can attract?
Kris: All of my bought-and-paid-for Money, Inc., intelligence indicates that King of the Ring will draw anywhere from 26 to 32 players, shattering the previous Regional attendance record of 23 currently held by Minnesota's own "Hot Rod"-chester Dave Kuck. I'm calling in a lot of markers with old friends to get them to come out, hosting several folks at my house to keep their traveling costs low, and have spent a fair amount of my own money on prizes, food, and the after-party. In my eyes, anything less than the biggest, most competitive, and more importantly, most fun Regional of the year would be a disappointment.

James: Who is your pick to win?
Kris: Provided he isn't working one of his two jobs, I simply cannot overlook the best all around and greatest Trek player of all time, Mike "The Natural" Harrington.

James: Who do you think players need to watch out for?
Kris: I think Caleb "The Jobber Champ" Grace and Matt "The Original Champion" Frid, both former World Champions in self-imposed exile for different reasons, could catch a lot of people off guard.

James: Which affiliations/decks/people do you expect to see at the top tables?
Kris: "Big Sexy" Kevin Jaeger's [Dom] Dominion concoction, "Stone Cold" Nate Wineinger's [Rom] Romulan solver, Nat "The Beast from the East" Kirton's [SF] Starfleet build, and Steve "The Full Nelson"'s [Maq] Maquis shenanigans, though with a field this massive I'm sure there will be several others tagging in and out of the top 8 or so spots.

James: Do you have anything else to add?
Kris: Just that if you would have told me I would rattle off 13 straight wins quite literally immediately following a celebration of life for a dear family friend, I would have said you had lost your mind. I guess the old adage is true: every cloud does have a silver lining.

Thanks for taking the time to answer these questions, Kris.

Byes

With a reminder that Regional Championships award byes for every ten players in attendance, this week four players won a Day One, Round One bye into the Continental Championships:

• Nathan Wineinger (Naetor), winner at Legion Comics
• Jody Lamb (joedlaw), second place (bye handed down) at Paradox Comics and Cards
• Ben Hosp (bhosp), second place at Tower of Games
• John Corbett (KillerB), third place (bye handed down) at Tower of Games

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

Deck Statistics

29 players at three Second Edition Regional tournaments this weekend, makes for an average of 9.7 players per tournament. Including [NA] Non-Aligned as an affiliation, ten of the 16 affiliations have been played by themselves so far. Adding decks from dual-headquarters decks into the calculations sees just [Baj] Bajoran, Earth (Home of Starfleet Command) and [NA] Non-Aligned yet to be represented.

The most popular Second Edition affiliations are currently:
1.[Kli] KlingonUsed by 6 (21%) players
2.[TOS] Original SeriesUsed by 5 (17%) players1 Regional win
3. Multiple AffiliationsUsed by 4 (14%) players
3.[TNG] Next GenerationUsed by 4 (14%) players
5.[Car] CardassianUsed by 2 (7%) players1 Regional win
5.[Dom] DominionUsed by 2 (7%) players
5.[Rom] RomulanUsed by 2 (7%) players1 Regional win
8.[Bor] BorgUsed by 1 (3%) player
8.[Fer] FerengiUsed by 1 (3%) player
8.[TN] Terok NorUsed by 1 (3%) player
8.[Voy] Voyager/EquinoxUsed by 1 (3%) player

Week 2 Preview

The complete schedule can be found in the article Regional Championships Series 2011 Schedule. There are six Regional tournaments this week:

Saturday 9th AprilSunday 10th April
First Edition (Open)
Restaurant "Peking"
Brabantse Turfmarkt 78
2611 CP Delft
The Netherlands
[Discuss] [Pre-register]
Tribbles (Standard)
Arby's Restaurant
7110 Clairemont Mesa Blvd.
San Diego, CA 92111
United States
[Discuss] [Pre-register]
First Edition (Official)
COMSSA Common Room
Building 314
Curtin University of Technology
Kent Street
Bentley, WA 6102
Australia
[Discuss] [Pre-register]
Second Edition (Standard)
Good Games
Level 1, 195a Burwood Road
Burwood, NSW
Australia
[Discuss] [Pre-register]
Second Edition (Standard)
Outpost 2000 & Beyond
504 Northdale Boulevard
Coon Rapids, MN 55448
United States
[Discuss] [Pre-register]
Second Edition (Standard)
Sci-Fi City
6006 East Colonial Drive
Orlando, FL 32807
United States
[Discuss] [Pre-register]

Restaurant "Peking": This First Edition New Bajor Regional attracted seven players when first held twelve months ago. Regularly scheduled tournaments in nearby Rotterdam began just last month with several of the same players, so last year's Regional looks to be the spark that started a new First Edition playgroup. With only one sealed tournament under their belt, highlighting potential decks is virtually impossible, so I'll skip ahead to my prediction of the winner. At the time of writing, there is only one player pre-registered, so my choice is Enrico Evink (enrico81)!

Past Regional results at Restaurant "Peking":
2010, won by Arjan Hoek (arjan242) playing [Bor] Borg.
2009, not held.
2008, not held.

Arby's Restaurant: It is fitting that the honor of the first-ever Continuing Committee-sanctioned Tribbles Regional should fall to the playgroup in San Diego, California, which plays Tribbles the most. They play Tribbles up to three times a month, and have begun to attract up to eleven players each time. One could say interest in the game is breeding like tribbles! Tournaments in the last six months have been dominated by three players: Thomas Vineberg (Exon), Thomas Kamiura (Bosskamiura) and Rogue Shindler (SirRogue). My pick to win is the only player in the world with a lifetime score in excess of ten million Tribbles: Rogue.

There are no past Tribbles Regionals results.

Outpost 2000 & Beyond: This Second Edition tournament in the Andoria region is very likely to set the record for biggest attendance at any Regional. 2009 saw 20 players participate in the Twin Cities, while 18 turned out last year. This year, no less than 25 players have pre-registered so far; and hopes are high that the final tally will top 30 players. With four former World Champions and two of the three Regional winners from this year among those playing, picking a winner is a tall order. The highest rated player, Mike Harrington (Ajnaran), looks a good bet; as does Kris Sonsteby (LORE) coming into this tournament on the back of three straight tournament wins. However, I'm going to go with last year's winner Matthew Frid (bandana8472). I have absolutely no clue as to what any of these players will be playing, so those looking for last minute tips should consult a Magic 8 Ball.

Kris Sonsteby (LORE) provides his own preview:
After weeks of hype, King of the Ring is finally upon us. This Saturday, live and on pay-per-view from Minnesota, attendance records are sure to be set and dreams are sure to be shattered as roughly 30 T2E Entertainment Superstars and free agents alike descend upon the infamous OP2K Arena to crown the first-ever Hardcore Jacket Champion. With the stakes high and the competition fierce, who will ascend the throne at King of the Ring? Tune in to find out!
Thanks Kris.

Past Regional results at Outpost 2000 & Beyond:
2010, won by Matthew Frid (bandana8472) playing [TNG] Next Generation.
2009 (alternate venue), won by Kevin Jaeger (Hoss-Drone) playing [DS9] Deep Space 9.
2008, won by Barry Windschitl (JamesValEson) playing [Bor] Borg.

COMSSA Common Room: The playgroup for this First Edition Deep Space Station K-7 Regional may not have many members, but they are committed. The four or five players frequently get together to play multiple tournaments - of First Edition, Second Edition and Tribbles - in the same day. Their record looks like five tournaments in the space of about 14 hours! This Sunday, they are playing just one tournament, so things should be a breeze for them. Previous Regional Championships in the area have been dominated by [Fed] Federation, with five of the eight decks played in the last two years featuring the blue cards. Matthyas Kiraly (stoovie) has won the last four tournaments, and is my choice to regain the title he held in 2009.

Past Regional results at COMSSA Common Room:
2010, won by Matthew Townsend (thac0276) playing [Kli] Klingon.
2009, won by Matthyas Kiraly (stoovie) playing [Fed] Federation.
2008, not held.

Good Games: While the folks in Western Australia are playing First Edition, this Second Edition Kazon Collective Regional is being held on the other side of the country. Attendance numbers have been steadily rising in the three years it has been organized. There were six players in 2008, eleven in 2009 and 14 players last year. Let's hope the progression continues upwards. With an awesome prize pool including watches and comics, and the offer to loan decks to new players, there is every chance. Last year, there was a wide variety of decks played, with nine different affiliations represented. In recent tournaments, [Kli] Klingons have been the winning affiliation though. Mike Nugent (Iron Mike) was the last player to win at the venue and, as the player with the highest winning percentage, is my pick to win.

Past Regional results at Good Games:
2010, won by Shane Brierley (Shanebrier) playing [Voy] Voyager/Equinox.
2009, won by Lee Clarke (LCJK) playing [Kli] Klingon.
2008, won by Kieren Otton (Honest) playing [TNG] Next Generation.

Sci-Fi City: This Second Edition Cardassia Regional has averaged around ten players for the past three years, and there are no fewer than ten players pre-registered for this year. Given the past results (below), one would think that Geoffery Peterson (Madred) has this tournament locked up. However, he has not played in a tournament since the World Championships last year. The favorite must be Eric Robinett (rycar60), with a record of seven tournament wins in the last eleven at this venue. In that time, he won with [Bor] Borg (twice), [TNG] Next Generation twice (both times in sealed tournaments), [Voy] Equinox, [Rom] Romulan, and [SF] Starfleet decks. Even with that record, my gut still thinks that Geoffery is going to come out of semi-retirement to try and win this Regional for the fourth consecutive year.

Past Regional results at Sci-Fi City:
2010, won by Geoffery Peterson (Madred) playing [TNG] Next Generation.
2009, won by Geoffery Peterson (Madred) playing [Dom] Dominion.
2008, won by Geoffery Peterson (Madred) playing [Kli] Klingon.

Next Week

A review of the six results from week two, another interview, and a preview of the four Regional Championships taking place in week three. And we'll get to see how my current 66% (2 out of 3) correct prediction record fares.

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