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The Road to Worlds 2011, Week 3

by James Hoskin, Director of Organized Play

14th 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 2.

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 2 Review

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

Restaurant "Peking": Four players participated in this First Edition New Bajor Regional, where my pick to win this tournament, Enrico Evink (enrico81), was undefeated over three rounds and emerged victorious to win his first-ever Regional Championship. I'm sure the sight of his 194 card deck, titled "Revenge is a dish," intimidated his opponents before they had even played a card. Given how long it must have taken to shuffle the deck, I wonder whether the initial intimidation was then replaced by boredom? Other decks being played included [Bor] Borg, [Car] [Rom] Cardassian / Romulan and Vidiian / Voyager. One deck list and one tournament report can be found on the tournament results page.

Statistics from Restaurant "Peking":

Total achievements awarded7
Most achievements wonEnrico Evink (enrico81), with 5
Average achievements per player1.8
Biggest ratings gainEnrico Evink (enrico81), up 43 points to 1576
Average rating of all 4 players1506

Arby's Restaurant: This first-ever Continuing Committee-sanctioned Tribbles Risa Regional attracted nine players. The first heat saw Dan Hamman (SirDan) score 417,181 Tribbles while his four opponents could only manage 423,246 Tribbles between themselves. The Second heat was dominated by Johnny Holeva (jjh), who scored 1,292,411 Tribbles and earned himself the "Born Pregnant" achievement in the progress. My pick to win, Rogue Shindler (SirRogue), finished last in heat one and didn't advance to the final. In that final, Dan Hamman (SirDan), came close to earning himself the "Born Pregnant" achievement by scoring 987,122 Tribbles. He'll have to console himself with the knowledge that he is the first-ever Tribbles Regional Champion. Congratulations Dan! The Tribbles forum, is home to Dan's winning Go/Clone Hybrid deck along with a brief tournament report, the Freeze deck titled "All Must Suffer" played by third place finisher Bryan Kopaska (Rhynn), and the untitled Mutate deck by fifth place finisher Thomas Vineberg (Exon).

Statistics from Arby's Restaurant:

Total achievements awarded5
Most achievements wonJohnny Holeva (jjh), with 2
Average achievements per player0.6
Total Tribbles scored4,653,796
Average Tribbles scored by all 9 players332,414

Outpost 2000 & Beyond: A handful of last minute cancellations for this Second Edition Andoria Regional meant that is was contested by only 26 players - a new record! After five rounds, the only undefeated player was Mike Harrington (Ajnaran), playing an [TOS] Original Series deck titled "The Fecundity of James Tiberius Kirk". Three players managed four wins. Michael O'Shogay (shagg08), playing a [Rom] Romulan deck titled "The Angel", took second place with four full wins. Matthew Hayes (karonofborg13), playing an [TOS] Original series deck titled "Second Star to the Right and Straight on 'Til Morning", took third place; and Josh Grace (Unicrom), playing [Voy] Voyager, took fourth; after both players had one modified win and three full wins. My pick to win, Matthew Frid (bandana8472), didn't play. Eleven different affiliations were played as single headquarters decks, and none of them more than by four players. Including those played in dual headquarters decks, the only headquarters not to be played at all was Earth (Home of Starfleet Command). 14 deck lists and ten tournament reports can be found on the tournament results page; and winner, Mike Harrington, has written a pre-tournament report on the discussion page.

Statistics from Outpost 2000 & Beyond:

Total achievements awarded36
Most achievements wonGreg Bloom (InfiltratingFounder) and Asita Goonewardena (The Invictus), with 4 each
Average achievements per player1.4
Biggest ratings gainJosh Grace (Unicrom), up 45 points to 1613
Average rating of all 26 players1555

COMSSA Common Room: Four players. Three rounds. One winner. Matthew Townsend (thac0276), playing a [Car] Cardassian deck successfully retained the First Edition Deep Space Station K-7 Regional title he won last year. Robert Dawson (TBT), playing a Terran Empire deck titled "Something Vulgar" finished second - for the third consecutive year. My pick to win, Matthyas Kiraly (stoovie), finished third playing a [Kli] Klingon deck, that in his own words was "a bloated, untested, shoddy mess." Daniel Hyde (zephrem) finished fourth, with an imaginatively titled [Fed] Federation deck called "fed deck". Two deck lists can be found on the tournament results page.

Statistics from COMSSA Common Room:

Total achievements awarded4
Most achievements wonRobert Dawson (TBT) and Daniel Hyde (zephrem), with 2 each
Average achievements per player1.0
Biggest ratings gainMatthew Townsend (thac0276), up 52 points to 1579
Average rating of all 4 players1550

Good Games: This Second Edition Kazon Collective Regional attracted 13 players, including Chris and Lee Clark who had a 170 mile (270 Km) trip from Canberra. Their trip wasn't in vain as Chris Clarke (ZodoJats), playing his [Bor] Borg assimilator deck, beat all five of his opponents to win his first ever Regional Championships title. Steve Hartmann (chompers) bagged second place with his [TN] Terok Nor deck titled "Terok Nor Speed Solver", having suffered just one loss to Chris. While some of the affiliations played have yet to be filled in, [Kli] Klingon looks to have been the most popular affiliation on the day, played by at least three players; including third place finisher and my pick to win: Mike Nugent (Iron Mike). Three deck lists and one tournament report can be found on the tournament results page, and an interview with the winner, Chris Clark, is below.

Statistics from Good Games:

Total achievements awarded7
Most achievements wonSteve Hartmann (chompers) and Shane Brierley (Shanebrier), with 2 each
Average achievements per player0.5
Biggest ratings gainSteve Hartmann (chompers), up 39 points to 1583
Average rating of all 13 players1552

Sci-Fi City: A slightly lower-than-average eight players participated in this Second Edition Cardassia Regional. My pick to win, Geoffery Peterson (Madred), couldn't defend his title for a third consecutive year, so a new champion was to be crowned. That honor fell to Eric Robinett (rycar60), who was playing in his first ever Regional Championships. This tournament also doubled as the final league playoff tournament for the OrlAndorians league, and Eric's win meant that he was crowned league champion in his inaugural league season. Double congratulations Eric! He was playing a [Bor] Borg deck titled "Your life as it has been is over". Edward Butler III (eeb3) had just one loss playing his [SF] Starfleet deck titled "MACO April 2011 Regional", and took second place. Five deck lists and one tournament report can be found on the tournament results page, and Rick Kinney (T-Ricks) has written a brief tournament summary on the discussion page.

Statistics from Sci-Fi City:

Total achievements awarded19
Most achievements wonEdward Butler III (eeb3) and Rick Kinney (T-Ricks), with 5 each
Average achievements per player2.4
Biggest ratings gainEdward Butler III (eeb3), up 53 points to 1388
Average rating of all 8 players1475

Interview

This week, Chris Clarke (ZodoJats), two-time Australian Continental Champion and winner of the Kazon Collective Regional at Good Games, fields my questions.

James: Congratulations on your win Chris. In preparation for the tournament, what decks were you considering playing?
Chris: Other than my version of [Bor] Borg, I had a Parting Shot abuse deck, a [TNG] [DS9] Next Generation / Deep Space 9 solver (which my brother played), and a [Dom] Dominion solver with a nice non-Tragic Turn kill pile. I had originally planned on playing the Holding Cell / Par Lenor deck until they received errata.

James: What did you anticipate would be the decks to beat?
Chris: Sydney is certainly more solver-oriented than interaction-oriented. I wanted to be able to beat a standard [SF] Starfleet solver, and weenies, mostly. I also had to plan for a big Tragic Turn pile, which is sometimes popular.

James: Why did you play Borg?
Chris: I've come to the conclusion that for a deck to be top tier these days, it has to have very solid solving tricks as well as a good way to slow the opponent down a lot. Just a solver isn't good enough anymore. Unless it is a turn 5 win speed solver (which are usually very very fragile), then it needs interaction. That left me largely with [Bor] Borg, [Maq] Maquis, and [Kli] Klingons (I didn't want to play [Rom] Romulans again). [Bor] Borg simply have answers to everything, and a whole lot of innate advantages. I still think Future/Damaged [SF] Starfleet can beat them slightly above 50/50, but if that's your only concern, why not.

James: Can you describe any tricks you had in the deck and/or dilemma pile?
Chris: I'll try to just list the tricks that aren't in every [Bor] Borg deck: One copy of Ascertain is really nice against Gomtuu Shock Wave. Pretty often players will know that Locutus is the only Diplomacy, so Secret Identity / Guess Who's Coming to Dinner? etc. followed by Gomtuu Shock Wave seems solid, but Ascertain is nice for that (and plenty of other dilemmas too). I prefer it over Bridge Officer's Test because the Queen and Locutus are always the big targets, while programming drones rarely are. Also, you don't need any more help against Gorgan and Tactical Disadvantage.

I like to use three copies of Six of Ten. He and Three of Nine are my favourite Borg cards. An opening hand of Six of Ten sets you up for the entire game, almost more than an opening hand of Fourth (which Six of Ten can download). He turns all your extra copies of Queen/Locutus/Ships/Six of Ten/Fourth and so on into free counters, Unimatrix Zero, Harvest Drones or whatever. He's awesome.

As for my dilemma pile, I played my version of Tragic Turn. To be honest I didn't like it much at all. My version needs event backup to be best, otherwise you end up putting three dilemmas under for maybe two more kills - who could have just been assimilated anyway. So while I played Tragic Turn, I actually only used the dilemma itself once the entire tournament, and that was for 'fun' against my brother. Unbelievable Emergency followed by Tsiolkovsky Infection is where it is at. Tragic Turn also suffers against Assess Contamination badly. I also slowly went from one to three Back to Basics during testing.

James: Did you have plans to deal with Tragic Turn, Legacy, other Borg decks, Capture, Cadets & Klingons?
Chris: My plan against Tragic Turn was Two of Nine with Knowledge and Experience, as well as a couple of copies of Emergency Transport Unit. Probably not the best defence really, but I usually only attempt after I've massacred my opponent anyway.

I didn't really put any thought into Legacy at all. I actually wasn't too bad skill-wise, but Knowledge and Experience and the inherent risk of playing Legacy is enough.

My plan for the mirror matchup was to not burn 5 of the points from Annexation Drone and then we can both sit at the headquarters staring at each other. I actually didn't really have a plan, besides knowing that whoever wins the Two of Nine war will generally win the game, so I guess just put all my effort into getting him.

For capture, one copy of Rescue Captives was mostly it. I don't personally think capture is that great anyway. Evek is unlikely to get much against Borg (with so many non-personnel/multiples). All I need is one assimilation, and then Mila is about the only thing stopping me I think. Plus Tsiolkovsy Infection is great against cardies.

Cadets was a bit of a worry. My last line of defence plan was that it was ok if they got two missions, because by then I could set up the unlimited assimilation loop with Unrelenting, Invasive Drone, Three of Nine and Assimilation Techniques. I generally had to hope that my dilemma pile would do its job. Tsiolkovsy Infection again would have worked well.

As for [Kli] Klingon battle (I played against a [Kli] Klingon solver), I'd probably sit and wait them out. If they also played the waiting game, I would A Few Minor Difficulties the Rotarran if it was out, then start attempting space with two ships with 15 or so personnel. But I think they would probably go out first, and then I would try to crush them with assimilation. Other than Grav-Plating Trap (which just parries my own), there's not much they can do against assimilation. Once you kill/assimilate 90% of their crew, you don't have to worry about anything else. Against Klingons it would probably come down to the first couple of turns, and whether they can kill any events. A first turn Korath could well be game.

James: How was the tournament?
Chris: It was great! Some cool prizes, friendly opponents, and even some new players. I'm always impressed that the Sydney area is able to draw in new players every year.

James: Who was your toughest opponent?
Chris: Hmmm. To be honest every opponent seemed very threatening... until after their first attempt. While both sides are setting up, I still worry that the [Bor] Borg won't come together, but once you've killed/assimilated their crew, you can switch into turbo a bit without any worries. I actually don't think anybody attempted more than once against me all tournament. My toughest opponent would probably be Shane though. He did the best job of limiting my Events (with three copies of Scotty), and I had to take a risk when he attempted Investigate Maquis Activity with six. He hadn't played James T. Kirk (Original Thinker) yet, so I couldn't Secret Identity away a skill, so I had to go with a naked Whisper in the Dark, which hit. I guess Scotty should have spent less time bouncing between the table and hand and more time in the attempts?

James: Now that the tournament is over, how would you improve your deck?
Chris: Get rid of the Tragic Turns, heh. Maybe not, but I'm seriously thinking about it. I also underestimated how good Regeneration Alcoves is, so I'll bump that up from one to three. That's probably about it. The dilemma pile will be tweaked a lot, but I'm pretty happy with the main deck.

James: You are now undefeated since you lost to your brother on day one of the 2009 Australian Continentals, 22 months ago. Is that something you are proud of, or is it more of a hindrance?
Chris: Um, well I'm proud of it for sure, although it does create some arbitrary pressure. If I was losing a game or two every tournament those losses wouldn't mean much, but I'm sure whenever my streak ends I'll be disappointed, but it's just a game and I only play this for fun in the end. When I get beat, congratulations to that player for beating me.

James: Do you have anything else to add?
Chris: Just a big thanks to Kieran for running the event and providing the prize support, it's always a well-run tournament in Sydney.

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

Byes

This week, two players won a Day One, Round One bye into the First Edition Continental Championships:

• Enrico Evink (enrico81), winner at Restaurant "Peking"
• Matthew Townsend (thac0276), winner at COMSSA Common Room

Six players won a Day One, Round One bye into the Second Edition Continental Championships:

• Mike Harrington (Ajnaran), winner at Outpost 2000 & Beyond
• Michael O'Shogay (shagg08), second place at Outpost 2000 & Beyond
• Matthew Hayes (karonofborg13), third place at Outpost 2000 & Beyond
• Chris Clarke (ZodoJats), winner at Good Games
• Steve Hartmann (chompers), second place at Good Games
• Eric Robinett (rycar60), winner at Sci-Fi City

And, one player won a 100,000 Tribbles Headstart into the Tribbles Continental Championships:

• Dan Hamman (SirDan), winner at Arby's Resturaunt

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

The first two First Edition Regional Championships played last weekend saw eight players with eight different decks. The best performing affiliation was [NA] Non-Aligned, averaging eleven victory points per player. Next come [Bor] Borg and Terran Empire, averaging eight victory points per player each.

The most popular First Edition affiliations are currently:
1. Multiple AffiliationsUsed by 2 (25%) players
2.[Bor] BorgUsed by 1 (12%) player
2.[Car] CardassianUsed by 1 (12%) player1 Regional win
2.[Fed] FederationUsed by 1 (12%) player
2.[Kli] KlingonUsed by 1 (12%) player
2.[NA] Non-AlignedUsed by 1 (12%) player1 Regional win
2. Terran EmpireUsed by 1 (12%) player

47 players at three Second Edition Regional Championships this weekend, makes for an average of 12.7 players per tournament. [Kli] Klingon and [TOS] Original Series have both been played at five of the six Regional Championships held so far, while the only headquarters/affiliation not to have seen any love yet is Earth (Home of Starfleet Command). The best performing affiliation so far is [TN] Terok Nor, averaging 13.6 victory points per player; followed by [Bor] Borg at 13.2 victory points per player and then [Rom] Romulan at 13.0 victory points per player.

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

Week 3 Preview

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

Saturday 16th AprilSunday 17th April
Second Edition (Standard)
Sickbay
Kurt-Weill-Straße 41
D-06844 Dessau
Germany
[Discuss] [Pre-register]
Second Edition (Standard)
Round Table Pizza
2960 Treat Boulevard
Concord, CA 94518
United States
[Discuss] [Pre-register]
First Edition (Official)
The Geek Shack
Zinkenbaumstraße 29
92676 Eschenbach
Germany
[Discuss] [Pre-register]
Second Edition (Standard)
College of DuPage
Student Resource Center
425 Fawell Boulevard
Glen Ellyn, IL 60137
United States
[Discuss] [Pre-register]

Sickbay: This Second Edition Vandros IV Regional is being held for the second year. Last year's attendance of five players looks likely to be beaten as eight players have pre-registered this time around. Among them is reigning World Champion Tobias Rausmann (garetjax), whose recent decks include [Baj] Bajoran and [Dom] Dominion. The most popular affiliations recently played at this venue are [Kli] Klingon and [TOS] Original Series. With four Regional Championships, two National Championships and one World championships under his belt, I predict Tobias will win this one.

Past Regional results at Sickbay:
2010, won by Christian Zipper (zippercommander) playing [Bor] Borg.
2009, not held.
2008, not held.

Round Table Pizza: This Second Edition Risa Regional is also being held for the second year. Last year, [Bor] Borg players dominated by taking first and third places out of the six participants. With four players pre-registered, and an average of four or five players in recent tournaments at the venue, a relatively small attendance looks odds on. Unfortunately, no deck information has been entered for those recent tournaments, so only those players who participated will know what to expect from the meta. My pick to win is the tournament director, Rich Joakimson (Outsider), because he has a 93% winning record over those he has played against.

Past Regional results at Round Table Pizza:
2010, won by Stephen Lee (grendelX) playing [Bor] Borg.
2009, not held.
2008, not held.

College of DuPage: The tournament this Saturday sees the fourth year in which a Deep Space 9 Regional has been held at CodCon. Past events have all seen eight players, with a [TNG] Next Generation deck finishing in the top two each time. Duel headquarters decks are also fairly popular, with one quarter of all decks played at this venue having two headquarters. Besides that, a wide range of decks can be expected. Of the eleven players pre-registered this year, Last year's champion, Michael van Breemen (The Ninja Scot), looks like a good choice to win. He has won four of the seven tournaments he has played this year, and has picked up two third place finishes as well. Other contenders must include Al Schaefer (ltkettch17) and 2008 winner Brian Gondek (Escape Artist), but my pick to win is Michael van Breemen. Potential attendees are reminded that a Con-Badge is mandatory (a 1-day badge costs $5) to participate in this tournament.

Past Regional results at College of DuPage:
2010, won by Michael van Breemen (The Ninja Scot) playing [Fer] [TOS] Ferengi / Original Series.
2009, won by Mike Burke (ChairmanKoval) playing [Voy] Voyager.
2008, won by Brian Gondek (Escape Artist) playing [TNG] Next Generation.

The Geek Shack: This is the inaugural First Edition Vandros IV Regional at this venue. There has only been one event previously, and that was sealed format, so it is very tough to predict the decks that will be played, let alone who will win. Of the two players pre-registered so far, I'll have to pick tournament director Christopher Coyle (startrekccggeek) to win as he has far more experience than Johannes Klarhauser (Kaiser) - who has yet to win a game in First Edition.

There are no past Regionals results at The Geek Shack.

Next Week

With just one correct prediction out of six this week, my record now stands at 33% (3 out of 9) correct. Let's see if I improve next week! Also featuring: a review of the four results from week three, another interview, and a preview of the four Regional Championships taking place in week four.

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