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The Road to Worlds 2011, Week 9

by James Hoskin, Director of Organized Play

26th May 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 8.

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 8 Review

Saturday 21st MaySunday 22nd May
First Edition (Sealed)
Red Planet Games and Hobbies
118 East Main Street
Forest City, NC 28043
United States
[Results]
Second Edition (Draft)
Good Games Brisbane
74 Little Edward Street
Spring Hill, QLD 4000
Australia
[Results]
Second Edition (Standard)
Jazzland
Franz-Josefs-Kai 29
A-1010 Vienna
Austria
[Results]
Second Edition (Standard)
Between Books
2703 Philadelphia Pike
Claymont, DE 19703
United States
[Results]

Red Planet Games and Hobbies: The inaugural First Edition Regional Championship to be held in the Sector 001 Region attracted five players. My pick to win, Scott Baughman (Darik), took a first round bye and won his other two games in this sealed format tournament to win his first-ever Regional Championship title. With no deck lists entered and no tournament reports written, and only one achievement won at this tournament, there is little else to write about. Unfortunately, the tournament results page does not contain any deck lists or tournament reports yet.

Statistics from Red Planet Games and Hobbies:

Total achievements awarded1
Most achievements wonNathan Miracle (GooeyChewie), with 1
Average achievements per player0.2
Biggest ratings gainScott Baughman (Darik), up 30 points to 1558
Average rating of all 5 players1502

Good Games Brisbane: Five players participated in this Second Edition Infinite Diversity Draft Briar Patch Regional. Four of the five "For The Cause" mission packs contained Cardassia Prime, Hardscrabble World, so there must have been great competition for the Cardassian personnel. At the First Edition Briar Patch Regional a few weeks ago, I picked Greg Dillon (Latok) to win and Ben Dillon (Broshak) won. This time around I picked Ben to win, so it stands to reason that Greg should win this one. Greg, who played [Baj] [Car] Bajoran / Cardassian, was undefeated; while Ben came second losing only to Greg. Adam Hegarty (Chewie) gets a special mention for playing the unlikely pairing of [Car] Cardassian and [Maq] Maquis in this tournament. Two deck lists and two tournament reports can be found on the tournament results page.

Statistics from Good Games Brisbane:

Total achievements awarded8
Most achievements wonBen Dillon (Broshak), Garry Dillon (AdmiralG), and Mike Garvey (Mike2E); with 2 each
Average achievements per player1.6
Biggest ratings gainGreg Dillon (Latok), up 44 points to 1532
Average rating of all 5 players1476

Jazzland: This "Borg Region" Region saw eight players face an intense five rounds. Nobody managed to stay undefeated, and three players won four games each. Julius Melhardt (Clerasil ToB), playing a [TN] Terok Nor deck, beat Stefan Slaby (Winner of Borg) - who was my pick to win. Stefan, playing a [Voy] Voyager deck titled "Surprise Party Atmosphere", beat Michael Albrecht (Ein Gast...); and Michael, playing a [SF] Starfleet deck, beat Julius. Unfortunately for Julius, his fourth round modified win left him in third place. Michael took second place, having lost to Stefan; and Stefan won a Regional Championship title for the fourth consecutive year. Of the eight decks played, there were three Federation decks (one each of [Voy] Voyager, [TNG] Next Generation and [TOS] Original Series), one almost-Federation deck ([SF] Starfleet), three [TN] Terok Nor decks, and one [Kli] Klingon deck. Two deck lists can be found on the tournament results page, and an interview with the winner, Stefan Slaby, is below.

Statistics from Jazzland:

Total achievements awarded13
Most achievements wonStefan Slaby (Winner of Borg), with 5
Average achievements per player1.6
Biggest ratings gainMichael Albrecht (Ein Gast...), up 63 points to 1610
Average rating of all 8 players1555

Between Books: Five players played round-robin in this Second Edition Romulus Regional. Both Ben Hosp (bhosp), playing a [Rom] Romulan deck titled "The Waaaaaa Deck mk2", and John Corbett (KillerB), playing an Earth (Home of Starfleet Command) deck titled "Charlie Plaine 2.0", got off to good starts with two wins each. They both couldn't continue their streaks, though, as they faced each other in round three. Ben, who I picked to win, took the victory and went on to win his remaining game as well, to take the title - his first Regional Championship title since 2008. Special mention goes to Joshua Sheets (prylardurden), for playing in his fifth Regional Championship this year, and also for earning the Nomad Style achievement, for playing in five different regions. Three deck lists and one tournament report can be found on the tournament results page.

Statistics from Between Books:

Total achievements awarded6
Most achievements wonBen Hosp (bhosp) and John Corbett (KillerB); with 2 each
Average achievements per player1.2
Biggest ratings gainBen Hosp (bhosp), up 23 points to 1901
Average rating of all 5 players1640

Interview

This week, Stefan Slaby (Winner of Borg), four-time Regional Championship winner, two-time Unimatrix 001 WCT League Champion, and the highest rated player living in Austria, answers my questions.

James: Congratulations on your win, Stefan. In preparation for the tournament, what decks were you considering?
Stefan: Thank you! My candidates included four robust affiliations that I've played numerous times each: [Voy] Voyager, [Bor] Borg, [Kli] Klingon battle, and [Rom] Romulans. [SF] Starfleet was another remote possibility.

James: What decks did you expect to face?
Stefan: I knew that Michael Albrecht was playing [SF] Starfleet. I wasn't expecting anybody else to try and battle (except maybe for bonus points). I thought most people would try [TOS] Original Series or [Rom] Romulan mission solvers. Maybe a new [DS9] Deep Space 9 deck or the odd [Maq] Maquis guy.

James: Why did you play Voyager?
Stefan: I haven't won a tournament using the current flavour of [Rom] Romulans yet, so I ruled them out early. I'm always doing great with [Bor] Borg, but I played [Bor] Borg at our last WCT playoff, and I was afraid that many people would tech against them. My [Bor] Borg build is too vulnerable against some well-aimed event destruction. I made my decision between the other two based on the assumption that none of the other guys would try a ship destruction battle deck at the Regional (because that's pretty much the only thing I'm afraid of when playing [Voy] Voyager locally).

James: Did you have any tricks in the deck and/or dilemma pile?
Stefan: Nothing new or fancy. I play variations on this deck every few months. It centers on lots of cheap, but useful events, the [DQ] Delta Quadrant 40 point missions, the Chuckles, Navaar, and Admiral Janeway/Hindrance. I call this particular variant "Surprise Party Atmosphere", since I feel that both cards interact with [Voy] Voyager in a very nice way (especially if you draw Surprise Party, Party Atmosphere and Energize on turn one when you can't play anything but events anyway). It's very hard to stop once the key people are out - on two occasions I burnt through all three missions in a single turn.

James: What were your plans to deal with Tragic Turn, Legacy, Borg, Capture, Cadets, & Klingon battle?
Stefan: With both Chuckles, The Doctor, Emergency Transport Unit and Genetronic Treatment, I have enough stop & kill prevention in this deck to deal with a Tragic Turn pile if I see it coming and hoard resources (and in our meta I usually do see it coming - most of our dilemma piles are over 50 cards; 40 usually means Tragic Turn, and 30 means something weird like Legacy).

I don't mind Legacy since the errata. Everybody here hated it before, and now it's both hated and no longer overpowered. A wall that you can't get past could always happen: Gorgan, Back to Basics, you name it. If I see somebody use Legacy and actually recycle it, I still have Bridge Officer's Test, Grav-Plating Trap, and Firestorm to deal with it.

Against an assimilator, I would have hidden at my opponent's headquarters (and beamed my guys down, unlike with the blackout I had against Neil at Worlds) until I'm ready. For capture decks I've included two copies of Rescue Captives. I've never had problems to take cadets apart with my dilemma pile, and I've made a conscious decision to ignore the possibility of somebody competitive playing [Kli] Klingon battle.

James: How was the tournament for you?
Stefan: Exciting. The result was much closer than I anticipated, after losing round two against Julius Melhardt (Clerasil ToB). Having to play against basically the same stupid [TN] Terok Nor deck three out of five games got boring. At the end of the day, I had a blurred vision of a shady figure resembling John Corbett, who kept telling me that Ruling Council is a bad card.

James: Who was your toughest opponent?
Stefan: It is a close call between Julius Melhardt and Peter Machovits (both playing [TN] Terok Nor). Julius beat me, and Peter lost 0-100, but they were both a pain in the ass. The difference all came down to plain simple luck.

Against Julius, I had the worst starting hand ever. Now, Julius is far too good to go easy on me when he has the upper hand, so he used Dukat & Weyoun extensively to limit my resources. By the time of his first mission attempt, I had only five personnel, and he had about 13, so I was far behind. Then, I managed to stop his first attempt with only two dilemmas overcome, several personnel having left play, and a copy of The Dreamer and the Dream on the mission, forcing him to use at least one Ruling Council for the unstop, and try to keep his hand. On the second dilemma draw (seven personnel attempted, Damar was gone, so I drew five), I drew three planet dilemmas, another Dreamer, and one Agonizing Encounter; which simply wasn't enough to stop even this whimsical excuse for a mission attempt. He completed Kressari Rendezvous for 60 points, an easy planet for 35, and got 5 points from Odo... do the math.

Against Peter, I had a mediocre starting hand, and the game went slightly better. Peter attempted his mission earlier. I stopped his first seven personnel space attempt with Hard Time followed by Gomtuu Shock Wave. Nothing overcome. Next turn, he got some more personnel (including Damar) and tried again. In the hope of doing some real damage (my rule of thumb concerning dilemmas is hit hard, fast & first), I popped Janeway with my newly played Hindrance and got 11 draws with 12 to spend. I drew what I was hoping for: some sufficient filters, a Dreamer, and a Where No One Has Gone Before. It's no use unstopping people that are a galaxy away from the mission which is going to eat your hand. He was furious. He would have hit me right there if I had laughed. Anyway, with all three copies of Ruling Council in the discard pile, and my Dukat (Pah-Wraith Puppet) eating them, the rest was easy.

James: Did you ever get James T. Kirk (Original Thinker) into play?
Stefan: Yes once, through a Secret Identity on Chakotay. Most of the guys know that I always stock one Original Thinker. As long as they don't know whether I have him in my hand (where I might discard him) or in the deck, people simply don't target my [Fed] Federation personnel with Secret Identity or The Caretakers "Guests", which is a huge advantage by itself. I wish there was a [NA] Non-aligned personnel equally powerful, so I wouldn't keep losing Navaar to those dilemmas - Gav is just a poor replacement, and I don't like Lore.

James: You faced Terok Nor decks three times during the tournament. Did you have a strategy to beat Ruling Council?
Stefan: Well, I wasn't expecting that much [TN] Terok Nor rubbish. If I had, I would have included In Development, and of course, Swashbuckler at Heart. I had to try and get rid of them with what I had. Still, they have a pretty limited skill selection and many low-cost people. The Clown: Go Away, Where No One Has Gone Before, The Dreamer and the Dream, Gomtuu Shock Wave, Unfair Terms, ... I stock lots of dilemmas that make them miserable. It worked two out of three times.

James: Now that the tournament is over, how would you improve your deck?
Stefan: I can't think of a reason for major change. I would maybe switch around a few meta game dilemmas, and a few events. But I always do that.

James: If you had to face your deck in a tournament, how would you play to beat it?
Stefan: I'd play [Kli] Klingon Kruge. Or take out both Navaar and Gav, and then terrorize me with well-aimed skill dilemmas. Quinn or Desperate Sacrifice would be unpleasant too, but most of my events don't cost much, so it wouldn't be that much of a setback.

James: Do you have anything else to add?
Stefan: I just want to say that this year's Regional promo looks fantastic. Also, I just love the new Surprise Party. It's not overpowered, but interacts nicely with [Voy] Voyager. However, I'm very sad that we have reached the point I was afraid of when the premium memberships started: now the premium membership actually regulates access to a certain version of a certain card. Now don't get me wrong: I don't care about the money. I simply don't want to be forced into a paid membership for anything. Like Groucho Marx said: "I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member." I'd much rather pay $100 for the card, and have no premium membership, than pay $30 for the membership, and get the card for free. Having no premium membership attached to my account was always kind of a personal statement against the concept of Premium Memberships for me. Now, I know that actually selling cards is not an option for the Continuing Committee, but perhaps you could extend the birthday present to include non-premium members who donate more than the cost of the premium membership in one year?

And on a totally unrelated point: after last year's worlds (James: where a deck check was failed because an unusable Five Year Mission accidentally found its way into a deck), I double-checked that there was no Five Year Mission slipping into the deck this time... you know what I'm talking about.

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

Byes

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

• Scott Baughman (Darik), winner at Red Planet Games and Hobbies

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

• Greg Dillon (Latok), winner at Good Games Brisbane
• Stefan Slaby (Winner of Borg), winner at Jazzland
• Phil Schrader (pschrader), third place (bye handed down) at Between Books

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 five First Edition players at one tournament this week, taking the total players at First Edition Regional Championships to 68 - an average of 6.8 players per tournament. Unfortunately, almost one third of all affiliations played so far have not been entered into our system, so tracking the affiliations being played becomes rather pointless. If you have played in a First Edition Regional Championship this year, please check whether the affiliation(s) you played and/or your deck list have been attached to the tournament results. It only takes a few seconds to add an affiliation, and it only takes five to ten minutes to add a deck list.

The most popular First Edition affiliations are currently:
1. Unknown AffiliationsUsed by 22 (32%) players3 Regional wins
2.[Fed] FederationUsed by 13 (19%) players1 Regional win
3. Multiple AffiliationsUsed by 12 (18%) players3 Regional wins
4.[Kli] KlingonUsed by 4 (6%) players
5.[Bor] BorgUsed by 3 (4%) players
5.[NA] Non-AlignedUsed by 3 (4%) players1 Regional win
5.[Rom] RomulanUsed by 3 (4%) players
8.[Baj] BajoranUsed by 2 (3%) players1 Regional win
8.[Car] CardassianUsed by 2 (3%) players1 Regional win
8.HirogenUsed by 2 (3%) players
11.Terran EmpireUsed by 1 (1%) player
11.VidiianUsed by 1 (1%) player

There were 18 Second Edition players at three tournaments this week, taking the total players at Second Edition Regional Championships to 192 - an average of 9.1 players per tournament. [TN] Terok Nor was the most popular affiliation played this week, being used three times at Jazzland in Vienna, Austria. [SF] Starfleet still tops the best-performing affiliation leaderboard, averaging 13.1 victory points per player. Earth (Home of Starfleet Command) is now in second place, averaging 12.3 victory points per player; and [TOS] Original Series is third, averaging 12.2 victory points per player. [Baj] Bajoran has jumped above [Maq] Maquis and [Dom] Dominion at the bottom of the list, but those three affiliations are still the worst-performing, all averaging 9.0 or fewer victory points per tournament.

The most popular Second Edition affiliations are currently:
1.[Kli] KlingonUsed by 26 (14%) players3 Regional wins
2.[TOS] Original SeriesUsed by 19 (10%) players4 Regional wins
3. Multiple AffiliationsUsed by 18 (9%) players1 Regional win
4.[Rom] RomulanUsed by 17 (9%) players2 Regional wins
5.[TNG] Next GenerationUsed by 16 (8%) players1 Regional win
6.[Bor] BorgUsed by 15 (8%) players5 Regional wins
7.[SF] StarfleetUsed by 14 (7%) players
8.[Car] CardassianUsed by 11 (6%) players1 Regional win
9.[Voy] Voyager/EquinoxUsed by 9 (5%) players2 Regional wins
10.[TN] Terok NorUsed by 8 (4%) players
11.[DS9] Deep Space 9Used by 7 (4%) players2 Regional wins
11.[Dom] DominionUsed by 7 (4%) players
11.Unknown AffiliationsUsed by 7 (4%) players
14.Earth (Home of Starfleet Command)Used by 5 (3%) players
14.[Fer] FerengiUsed by 5 (3%) players
16.[Baj] BajoranUsed by 4 (2%) player
17.[Maq] MaquisUsed by 3 (2%) player
18.[NA] Non-AlignedUsed by 1 (1%) player

The results from last week's Tribbles Regional Championships have yet to be entered, so the statistics have still not changed. The total players at Tribbles Regional Championships is 25 - an average of 8.3 players per tournament. A total of 7,897,725 Tribbles have been scored to date - an average of 315,909 Tribbles per player.

Week 9 Preview

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

Saturday 28th MaySunday 29th May
Second Edition (Standard)
Hotel Hamm
Sankt-Josef-straße 32
56068 Koblenz
Germany
[Discuss] [Pre-register]
Tribbles (Standard)
Hotel Hamm
Sankt-Josef-straße 32
56068 Koblenz
Germany
[Discuss] [Pre-register]
Second Edition (Standard)
Universal-Card-Tools
Bismarckstraße 87
28203 Bremen
Germany
[Pre-register]
First Edition (Official)
Cranberry Cafe
115 West 45th Street
New York, NY 10036-4005
United States
[Discuss] [Pre-register]
First Edition (Official)
Arby's Restaurant
7110 Clairemont Mesa Blvd.
San Diego, CA 92111
United States
[Discuss] [Pre-register]

Hotel Hamm [2E]: This is the second year this Second Edition Vandros IV Regional is being held. Last year seven players participated, with [Kli] Klingons and [Maq] Maquis being the most popular decks. Six players have pre-registered so far for this year's event, including last year's winner Marco Puelsch (Galen), reigning European Continental Champion Tyler Fultz (DJstormtrooper), and the Continuing Committee's European Organized Play Coordinator Thomas Schneider (thsch). Tyler and Thomas faced off at a Regional three weeks ago. I picked Thomas to win that time and Tyler won. This time, I'm picking Tyler to win. Participants interested in playing may be interested to know that a Tribbles Regional Championship follows this event, and an Infinite Diversity draft is being held on Sunday at a nearby venue.

Past Regional results at Hotel Hamm:
2010, won by Marco Puelsch (Galen) playing [Kli] Klingon.
2009, not played.
2008, not played.

Hotel Hamm [Tr]: Part two of the double-header in Koblenz, Germany, sees the only Tribbles Regional Championship to be held in the Vandros IV Region. Two of the three pre-registered players, Thomas and Tyler, took part in the 2010 Tribbles World Championship; they finished fourth and sixth respectively. That may well have been their first experience of playing Tribbles. Eight months later, you can be sure that they'll have worked on their decks in advance this time (instead of building them minutes before the tournament), and they'll have a better idea of what they are doing. I think Tyler will have improved his Battle deck, and he is my pick to win.

There are no past Tribbles Regionals results at Hotel Hamm.

Arby's Restaurant: Saturday's third tournament sees a hotly contested First Edition Regional Championship in the Risa Region. The three previous First Edition tournaments held at the venue this year have attracted between five and eight players. Each tournament was won by a different player, but the winning deck was either Terran Empire or the Klingon/Cardassian Alliance. It seems the [M] Mirror Universe is doing well in San Diego! There don't seem to be any dominant players in the playgroup, so picking a winner is going to be tough. Rogue Shindler (SirRogue) is the highest rated pre-registered player but he has placed in the bottom half of the majority of First Edition tournaments he has played this year. Johnny Holeva (jjh) began the year well, with three second places in a row, but his last two performances haven't been great. Dan Hamman (SirDan) hasn't managed to finish higher than third place so far this year. Thomas Kamiura (Bosskamiura) has won two out of five tournaments he has played this year, but he doesn't have a great record (60% or lower) against his potential opponents. Stephen R Sanders (Spock with a Goatee) has only played in one tournament this year, but he did finish in second place. Thomas Vineberg (Exon) has won a tournament, but hasn't placed higher than fourth in his three other tournaments. Chris Donati (Swisherfan) has only played in five First Edition tournaments in the Continuing Committee era, and has finished in the bottom half of his last three tournaments. Finally, Carlos Maya (Vindelron) is the lowest rated pre-registered player, and has finished in the bottom half of six of the seven tournaments he has played this year. My pick, based on a die roll, is Thomas Kamiura.

Past Regional results at Arby's Restaurant:
2010, won by Franklin Kenter (MilesStuntDouble) playing [Fer] [Rom] [TOS] [SF] Ferengi / Romulan / Original Series / Starfleet.
2009, won by Rogue Shindler (SirRogue) playing [Baj] Bajoran.

Universal-Card-Tools: This is the second year this Second Edition tournament has been held in Bremen, Germany. Last year saw six players attend and a [Dom] Dominion deck prevail. There are no players pre-registered so far, but previous tournaments held at the venue this year have seen four or five players, so we should expect the same again on Sunday. Michael Mittelstedt (Roga Danar) has finished in the top two in four of the last five tournaments at this venue, and he is my pick to win.

Past Regional results at Universal-Card-Tools:
2010, won by Michael Mittelstedt (Roga Danar) playing [Dom] Dominion.
2009, not played.
2008, not played.

Cranberry Cafe: This is also the second year that this Romulus Regional has been held. Last year saw six players in attendance, while recent tournaments at the venue have attracted between four and nine players, so sanctioning is likely even though only two players have pre-registered so far. Tournament organizer Austin Chandler (DarkSabre) looks to be the favorite as he has won the last two tournaments he has played in at the venue, and he has an impressive 78% winning record too. Austin is my pick to win.

Past Regional results at Cranberry Cafe:
2010, won by Matthew Chandler (noach83)
2009, not played.

Predictions

Last week, I picked three out of four winners correctly so my record now stands at 42% (14 out of 33). Another two weeks like that and I'll break the magic 50% mark. C'mon Tyler, Thomas, Michael and Austin!

Next Week

A review of the five results from week nine, another interview, and a preview of the six Regional Championships (including the most important one: my own) taking place in week ten.

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