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The Road to Worlds 2011, Week 5

by James Hoskin, Director of Organized Play

28th 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 4.

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 4 Review

Saturday 23rd AprilSunday 24th April
First Edition (Official)
Rusty’s Pizza
3731 State Street
Santa Barbara, CA 93105
United States
[Results]
Tribbles (Standard)
Rusty’s Pizza
3731 State Street
Santa Barbara, CA 93105
United States
[Results]
Second Edition (Standard)
Loyalitetsbureauet
Jens Baggensen Vej 47
8200 Aarhus N
Denmark
[Results]
Second Edition (Standard)
Super Games Inc.
Suite 134
11060 Alpharetta Highway
Roswell, GA 30076
United States
[Results]

Rusty’s Pizza (1E): The first Regional to be held in Santa Barbara, California, attracted twelve players; among them three current members and two former members of the Continuing Committee. Jeremy Commandeur (Commandeur), playing [Car] [Fed] [NA] Cardassian / Federation / Non-Aligned, was victorious in all four of his games and won his first Regional Champion title. Herman Chan (ClonedWhyMe), playing Federation / Vidiian, took second place just ahead of Dan Hamman (SirDan), playing a [Bor] Borg deck titled "Harness Gaucho Particle," in third place. My pick to win, Thomas Kamiura (Bosskamiura), took seventh place. [Fed] Federation cards were the most popular on the day, appearing in at least half of the decks played. Seven deck lists and one tournament report can be found on the tournament results page.

Statistics from Rusty’s Pizza (1E):

Total achievements awarded18
Most achievements wonJeremy Commandeur (Commandeur) and Dan Hamman (SirDan), with 3 each
Average achievements per player1.5
Biggest ratings gainJeremy Commandeur (Commandeur), up 57 points to 1622
Average rating of all 12 players1521

Rusty’s Pizza (Tr): Of the twelve players who took part in the First Edition Regional Championship earlier in the day, eleven of them joined tournament organizer Chris Donati (Swisherfan) in challenging for the second-ever Tribbles Regional Championship. In a tight final, Rogue Shindler (SirRogue) scored 311,131 Tribbles to edge Tim Meng, with 245,621 Tribbles, into second place. My pick to win, Thomas Kamiura (Bosskamiura), finished in fourth place; although I would like to point out that I picked Rogue to win the first Tribbles Regional Championship, held two weeks ago. I can claim that, right? The Tribbles forum is home to the Bonus deck, titled "Big Bonusness", played by Joel Bray (JoelBray), who finished seventh.

Statistics from Rusty’s Pizza (Tr):

Total achievements awarded3
Most achievements wonHerman Chan (ClonedWhyMe), Jeremy Commandeur (Commandeur) and Thomas Vineberg (Exon), with 1 each
Average achievements per player0.3
Total Tribbles Scored2,564,860
Average Tribbles scored by all 12 players213,738

Loyalitetsbureauet: Festivities for this Second Edition Omarion Nebula Regional began on Friday night, when six participants with four WAGS (Wives and Girlfriends) attempted to inflict permanent mental damage on the locals with their karaoke. Reports that the bar started giving out free earplugs to their regulars are totally unfounded, as is the report that the "singers" were threatened with deportation if they sang in Denmark ever again. On Saturday, twelve players took part in the five-round tournament. Peter H. Møller (Peukon), playing a [TNG] Next Generation deck titled "Oh no, Number One. I'm sure most will be much more interesting", won all five of his games. Not only was this his first Regional Championship win, it was his first tournament win in 24 attempts. Congratulations, Peter! Second place was taken by Johannes Klarhauser (Kaiser), playing an [TOS] Original Series deck titled "Deck inspired by a Chris Zongleberry build from 1872", after just one loss to Peter. Third place was taken by my pick to win, Soren Ramme Nielsen (s_ramme), who played a [DS9] Deep Space 9 deck titled "Deck idea I stole from Chrissy Zonesteraby". Of the twelve decks being played, there were ten different affiliations in use; [Baj] Bajoran and [Kli] Klingon were two doubled up. Seven deck lists (with some interesting titles) and six tournament reports can be found on the tournament results page, 13 photos can be found in the Regionals 2011 Photo Gallery, and an interview with the winner, Peter H. Møller, is below.

(you need to be logged in to see these photos)
Why test your decks when you can sing karaoke?!
Breakfast
The Battle of the Hats
The Prize Ceremony
Why test your decks when you can sing karaoke?!
Breakfast
The Battle of the Hats
The Prize Ceremony

Statistics from Loyalitetsbureauet:

Total achievements awarded25
Most achievements wonPeter H. Møller (Peukon) and Peter van der Helm (Helmp), with 4 each
Average achievements per player2.1
Biggest ratings gainPeter H. Møller (Peukon), up 100 points to 1668
Average rating of all 12 players1588

Super Games Inc.: Seven players participated in the first ever Regional tournament to be held in Georgia. Nick C (macgyver221), taking part in his first Regional Championship, won the tournament despite losing his final game. Nick played a [DS9] Deep Space 9 deck, and won the tournament thanks to a third round victory over Joshua Sheets (prylardurden), playing a [Rom] [TOS] Romulan / Original Series deck titled "Avoidance Redux", who finished in second place. Joshua was playing in his third Regional Championship this year. I wonder how many more he will attend over the next two months? My pick to win, Nathan Wineinger (Naetor), didn't play. Two deck lists and two tournament reports can be found on the tournament results page.

Statistics from Super Games Inc.:

Total achievements awarded6
Most achievements wonNick C (macgyver221), draven88 and richard, with 2 each
Average achievements per player0.9
Biggest ratings gainJoshua Sheets (prylardurden), up 56 points to 1432
Average rating of all 7 players1497

Interview

This week, Peter H. Møller (Peukon); karaoke star and winner at Loyalitetsbureauet in Denmark answers my probing questions.

James: Congratulations on your win, Peter. In preparation for the tournament, what decks were you considering?
Peter: There were many options. I don't get to play real opponents often, so I spend a lot of time deck building online and bothering people on Facebook with my ideas (thanks for all your help, guys). So I have lots of half-finished decks. One of the decks I had been working on for a while was one with James T. Kirk (Original Thinker), Donatra (Honorable Commander), Assess Contamination and Favor the Bold. I had big hopes for this, but testing showed it to be too slow for my liking. It was a deck that looked great on paper but would not work well in real games. I also considered playing my [Dom] Dominion deck, but I played that in the last tournament and its dilemma pile was too dependent on non-skill dilemmas. Lastly, I also considered playing a [Bor] Borg assimilation deck. But not having a lot of games under my belt with this type of deck, I decided it was best to go with something I knew.

James: What decks did you expect to face?
Peter: I had looked through what decks people had played before so I feared a number of very good decks coming to beat the hell out of me. I had been seeing a lot of solvers lately, but Tragic Turn and [Bor] Borg Assimilation seemed to pop up more and more these days. Running into things that messed with non-skill dilemma also seemed more and more popular, so I decided to modify my dilemma pile so most of it would still work against it.

James: I understand you took several of your opponents out drinking the night before the tournament. Was this a plan to help you beat them?
Peter: Well, I just planned to show them a good time, taking them out for some traditional Danish food and then a beer or two. It was Johannes who tried to get us all drunk and Nick who wanted to go sing Karaoke. I just went along for the ride... but what a ride it was. I was kind enough to pick everyone up at the hotel the morning after and travelled with them to the venue where we played. I even got them all breakfast. So I think we were all on even ground when the tournament started.

I do, however, admit I seem to play better with a hangover... I don't know why.

James: Why did you play Next Generation?
Peter: [TNG] Next Generation has for many years been one of my favorite decks. I have always liked small speedy decks focused on solving, and I hadn't really played my [TNG] Next Generation deck since Worlds. So I thought I would take it out of its dusty case and see if I could get it up to speed (pun intended). The base of the deck is actually pretty old. I think I played it at Euros 2009, or at least an earlier version of it focusing on Mot, Vic and Worf. It had always served me well, and with a few updates I suspected it would do so again. Plus Picard is the best captain ever, period!

James: Did you have any tricks in the deck and/or dilemma pile?
Peter: Well, no real new tricks except the whole setup with three easy missions that would score me 95 points, then 5 points from Guinan (Listener), and 20 points from U.S.S. Enterprise-D (Explorer), giving me 15 points to spend on At What Cost?, and 5 extra points for stuff like In a Mirror, Darkly or Endangered. Other than that, I had a few slots open for other cards. I decided to go with one Unexpected Difficulties, Uninvited and a single Escape. I really wanted to put in more "tools" but I had tried to do that before, and it would just have slowed the deck down in the end. I did try to make my dilemma pile more resilient against all the nasty no-skill stuff out there, and make it even better against other speed solvers. I also wanted a dilemma pile that put relatively few dilemmas under the mission.

James: Did you have plans to deal with Tragic Turn, Legacy, Borg, Capture, Cadets & Klingon battle?
Peter After having added dilemmas that hurt other weenie decks, I was confident I could beat most speed solvers. Heavy interaction decks still scared me. I knew if I went up against Capture, Assimilation or battle decks I would be in for a rough ride. Hopefully In a Mirror, Darkly could bail me out if too many of my personnel got killed. The single Escape I brought might also help preventing key personnel from being killed or captured. I did consider adding event/interrupt disruption and more kill prevention in my deck. But it would just slow my deck down. I needed to focus on the main advantage of the deck, and that was speed.

James: How was the tournament for you?
Peter: It was great fun. All my games were a big challenge and I was never really sure I would win the game until it was actually over. Having a mix of new players and hard-core veterans from abroad also made for a good dynamic. I had a blast, though it was hard to both play games against really tough players and run the tournament at the same time (with a hangover).

James: Who was your toughest opponent?
Peter: I couldn’t say. All of my games had me thinking, "Pheeeeew, that was a close one," after they ended. My first game against Loke, who had beaten me 3-0 before this game, had me anxious. But luckily I was faster than he was. The second game against Nick was also close, but again the speed of my deck saved me. The third game was what I feared: a heavy interaction deck, Capture and Tragic Turn. I thought I was done for. But I was able to sacrifice some weenies and then attempt the missions with four or five personnel to deny the Tragic Turn pile its destructive potential.

Game four saw me face off against Johannes and I thought I was done for, again. But again I was lucky; he played a deck similar to the deck I tried to build myself. And it was similar to the deck he played at an earlier tournament. I was very happy I had opted to include lots of skill dilemmas when I saw Assess Contamination. In the end it was still a very close race, but I won. “Pheeeeeew.” The last game saw me face my good friend and nemesis Søren. We had tested these two decks out against each other not many days before, where I had been victorious. However Søren's record of 9-2 against me was scary--that and the fact he knew my deck. He did make a critical mistake in playing overcosted dilemmas, and in the end I was too fast again.

All of my games were very close and could have gone either way. And the fact I only played against high-rated very good players didn’t make it easier. I still don’t know how I did it.

James: Now that the tournament is over, how would you improve your deck?
Peter: Well, my [TNG] Next Generation deck pretty much works the way I want it too, and it has the right mix of personnel and skills for all the missions. So there is not much I would change to the "core" of the deck. A lot of the support cards can be changed. But that's more of a meta choice than anything else. I'm also pleased with how the dilemma pile worked out, it might need a little tweaking and some people might prefer it bigger, but again I like small focused things. I'm not saying the deck is perfect, but it does do what it is supposed to, and it does it very well.

James: Do you have anything else to add?
Peter: I do want to thank everyone for a great tournament and some great games. It was a pleasure to run a tournament in such good company and see people from abroad and new local players all having a good time. Though I'm really happy to have finally won a tournament, and getting a bye for day one at the Euros, the biggest prize is that I can now sleep an hour longer after the Biermeister (where I’ll bring along my hologram deck, and get really drunk).

I used to say that we Danes weren't good at playing Trek, but good at drinking beer. Apparently we can do a bit of both now...

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

Byes

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

• Jeremy Commandeur (Commandeur), winner at Rusty’s Pizza (1E)
• Herman Chan (ClonedWhyMe), second place at Rusty’s Pizza (1E)

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

• Peter H. Møller (Peukon), winner at Loyalitetsbureauet
• Soren Ramme Nielsen (s_ramme), third place (bye handed down) at Loyalitetsbureauet
• Nick C (macgyver221), winner at Super Games Inc.

And, two players won a 100,000 Tribbles Headstart into the Tribbles Continental Championships:

• Rogue Shindler (SirRogue), winner at Rusty’s Pizza (Tr)
• Tim Meng, second place at Rusty’s Pizza (Tr)

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

There were twelve First Edition players this week, taking the total players at First Edition Regional Championships to 20 - an average of 6.7 players per tournament. [Fed] Federation decks, and multiple affiliation decks are equally the most popular, accounting for half of all decks between them. The three top performing affiliations are [NA] Non-Aligned, averaging 13.5 victory points per player; [Car] Cardassian, averaging 10.3 victory points per player; and Vidiian, averaging 9.5 victory points per player.

The most popular First Edition affiliations are currently:
1.[Fed] FederationUsed by 5 (25%) players
1. Multiple AffiliationsUsed by 5 (25%) players1 Regional win
3.[Bor] BorgUsed by 2 (10%) player
3.[Kli] KlingonUsed by 2 (10%) player
5.[Baj] BajoranUsed by 1 (5%) player
5.[Car] CardassianUsed by 1 (5%) player1 Regional win
5.[NA] Non-AlignedUsed by 1 (5%) player1 Regional win
5.[Rom] RomulanUsed by 1 (5%) player
5. Terran EmpireUsed by 1 (5%) player
5. Unknown AffiliationsUsed by 1 (5%) player

There were 17 Second Edition players this week, taking the total players at Second Edition Regional Championships to 117 - an average of 11.7 players per tournament. Four affiliations are now beginning to stand out as the most popular. [Kli] Klingon and [TNG] Next Generation have been played at eight of the ten Regionals so far, while [Rom] Romulan and [TOS] Original Series have been played at seven Regionals each. Earth (Home of Starfleet Command) jumps to the top of the list of best performing affiliations, averaging 14 victory points per player; while [TN] Terok Nor, still averaging 13.7 victory points per player, is second; and [SF] Starfleet, averaging 13.3 victory points per player, is third. The three worst performing affiliations - in terms of average victory points scored - are [Dom] Dominion, [Maq] Maquis and [Baj] Bajoran.

The most popular Second Edition affiliations are currently:
1.[Kli] KlingonUsed by 16 (14%) players1 Regional win
2.[TOS] Original SeriesUsed by 13 (11%) players3 Regional wins
3.[Rom] RomulanUsed by 12 (10%) players1 Regional win
3.[TNG] Next GenerationUsed by 12 (10%) players1 Regional win
5. Multiple AffiliationsUsed by 10 (9%) players
6.[Car] CardassianUsed by 8 (7%) players1 Regional win
6.[SF] StarfleetUsed by 8 (7%) players
8.[Bor] BorgUsed by 7 (6%) players2 Regional wins
9.[DS9] Deep Space 9Used by 5 (4%) players1 Regional win
10.[Dom] DominionUsed by 4 (3%) players
10.[Fer] FerengiUsed by 4 (3%) players
10.[Voy] Voyager/EquinoxUsed by 4 (3%) players
13.[Baj] BajoranUsed by 3 (3%) player
13.[TN] Terok NorUsed by 3 (3%) players
13.Unknown AffiliationsUsed by 3 (3%) players
16.Earth (Home of Starfleet Command)Used by 2 (2%) players
16.[Maq] MaquisUsed by 2 (2%) player
18.[NA] Non-AlignedUsed by 1 (1%) player

There were twelve Tribbles players this week, taking the total players at Tribbles Regional Championships to 21 - an average of 10.5 players per tournament. A total of 7,218,656 Tribbles have been scored to date - an average of 343,745 Tribbles per player.

Week 5 Preview

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

Saturday 30th AprilSunday 1st May
Second Edition (Standard)
The Guardtower
3600 Trabue Road
Columbus, OH 43204
United States
[Discuss] [Pre-register]
First Edition (Official)
Round Table Pizza
2960 Treat Boulevard
Concord, CA 94518
United States
[Discuss] [Pre-register]
Second Edition (Standard)
COMSSA Common Room
Building 314
Curtin University of Technology
Kent Street
Bentley, WA 6102
Australia
[Discuss] [Pre-register]
Tribbles (Standard)
COMSSA Common Room
Building 314
Curtin University of Technology
Kent Street
Bentley, WA 6102
Australia
[Discuss] [Pre-register]

The Guardtower: Attendance at this Qo'noS Regional peaked in 2008 with eight players, and has seen a decline of one player each year since. This year looks like it's bucking the trend though, with six players already pre-registered. I think that one of three players can win this tournament: The favorite has to be two-time past winner of this Regional Jared Hoffman (Mugato). Jared is ranked ninth in the world and has an impressive 79% winning record. Brian Sykes (Armus) is also a fantastic player, with mad skill-tracking abilities; and on his day can beat anyone. The third player is our beloved chairman Charlie Plaine (MidnightLich), who celebrates his birthday next week. Charlie hasn't performed well in tournaments this year, and may not even play at this Regional, but he shouldn't be underestimated. Just ask the players he beat to win the 2007 North American Second Edition Continental Championships - myself included. Having flipped my three-sided coin, my pick to win is Jared.

Past Regional results at The Guardtower:
2010, won by Jared Hoffman (Mugato) playing [Voy] Equinox.
2009, won by Sandy Barnabas (sandy).
2008, won by Jared Hoffman (Mugato) playing [SF] Starfleet.

Round Table Pizza: This is the inaugural First Edition Regional Championship, and only the third First Edition tournament, to be held at this venue in the Risa Region. North California is home to several great players of the game, including the winner of the last week's First Edition Regional Jeremy Commandeur (Commandeur); and David Holtmann (OorylQrygg), winner of the 2010 United States First Edition National Championships (West). David has the best winning record, and is my pick to win.

There are no past Regionals results at Round Table Pizza.

COMSSA Common Room (2E): Sunday sees another Regional double-header, this time Second Edition followed by Tribbles. Player numbers at this Regional have never been high, with just four or five players in recent years, but that doesn't mean competition is any less fierce. In the 16 tournaments at this venue since October 2009, Robert Dawson (TBT) has won nine and Matthyas Kiraly (stoovie) has won six of them. The players themselves can probably do a better job of predicting what the others are going to play, so I'll just stick to predicting the winner. Even though Matthyas has the better record recently, I'm going to pick Robert to win.

Past Regional results at COMSSA Common Room:
2010, won by Matthyas Kiraly (stoovie) playing [Kli] Klingon.
2009, won by Robert Dawson (TBT) playing [Voy] Voyager.
2008, won by Robert Dawson (TBT) playing Earth (Home of Starfleet Command).

COMSSA Common Room (Tr): This is the second half of the double-header in the Deep Space Station K-7 Region. The same players are involved, so all that needs to be done is to highlight the recent winners at the venue. Of the eleven Tribbles tournaments they have held this year, Robert Dawson (TBT) has won five, Matthew Townsend (thac0276) has won four and Matthyas Kiraly (stoovie) picked up the other two. As my prediction of one player winning both parts of last weekend's double-header worked so well, I'm going to do the same again this week too. Robert to win.

There are no past Tribbles Regionals results.

Wives and Girlfriends of TrekCC Facebook group

While the Danish Regional was being held, the wives and girlfriends of the players spent time together and, in the words of Peter H. Møller (Peukon), they "visited cultural places." They have now formed a Facebook group for all of the wives and girlfriends that get dragged around while their better halves play Star Trek.

Once you have tried teaching your wife and/or girlfriend(s) how to play Star Trek, you can point them in the direction of this Facebook group: http://www.facebook.com/home.php?sk=group_219317601418244.

Predictions

My record of predicting at least one winner each week lasted just four weeks, and is now over. My overall record has dropped to 27% (4 out of 15) correct, but I still feel confident I can predict all the winners in one week of this year's Regional Championships. Whether that is this week remains to be seen...

Next Week

A review of the four results from week five, another interview, and a preview of the six Regional Championships taking place in week six.

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


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