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Rogue Shindler (SirRogue)
Tournament Report - 2E - Risa Regional
2014-04-12 - 03:00 PM
BajoranJust the artifacts, ma'am.
I quite liked many of the cards that came out in Return to Grace, enough so that I actually game out of my 2E anti-meta retirement to try some stuff out. The first thing I thought of when I saw many of these cards was a deck that I drafted off of Thomas Vineberg four or five years ago: a 90 card monster Mirror-themed Bajoran deck that relied on Overseer Odo, Baj Dukat, and Basso for massive skill and attribute gaining to solve 50 missions with 3-4 people when it was least expected. It was fun, but after your opponent saw it at the first mission, they could prepare for it at the second. The Orbs and a few other discard pile helpers give this old deck a great boost, and enough people were unfamiliar or unprepared for many of the new cards that I was able to sneak by everyone for the Regional win.

Round 1BajoranThomas VMW (+45)
Coincidentally, in the very first round, I faced of against the original architect of the deck. Thomas was a little surprised when I told him, and I could see him trying to remember what I might have brought that he once inspired. He figured it out as the pieces came out, though, and he was able to hold me off from completing for a while. He was also playing a Bajoran deck (more integrity based), and an Insurrection and a discard pile full of Bajorans to consult for what his skills might be also let me hold him off from completing his first mission. I squeaked by Hunt for DNA at the buzzer. MW 50-5.

Round 2KlingonJohnny HolevaFW (+70)
Johnny forwent his usual Regionals "big fat" something (historically Borg) deck for a slimmer Klingon solver, justifying my decision to through a Discommendation in my deck. Klag came out first card, followed by the beefy past Klingons, so I had a decent idea what was coming. I took my time setting up while trying to hold him off Instigate mission. A lucky Secret ID for Klag let my Issue hit, and a Hard Time force him back to his HQ to pick folks up. It didn't look like he was planning to Kruge me, but I headed to planet first, just in case; didn't care much if he stole my ship, just by guys. He muttered a few times about not being familiar enough with the new cards, and sure enough, I was able to use some Orb shenanigans with the usual buffing to get a mission off quickly with only a few people left. He solved Instigate and headed to Brute Force, where I was able to Discommendation stop one attempt and Artificial Ability stop another while I got ready for my space attempt. A Tox bail mid-attempt to keep everyone from getting stopped saved my bacon; an immediate re-attempt with the leftover crew were able to keep the essential crew around to buff up for the solve. 100-30 I think?

Round 3TOSCharlie PlaineMW (+25)View opponent's Report
Charlie was running an interesting mix of general and TMP TOS crew, using Dyson Sphere and Enterprise-B bonus points for the two mission win. He was easily the opponent most familiar with the capabilities of the RtG cards I was running, but wasn't around back when TV ran the original version of this deck, so wasn't as prepared for Odo and Dukat. He did have very entertaining reactions though as Starfleet and Romulan cards flowed into my discard pile. Charlie started at Vulcan with 9 where I promptly drew 7 space or useless dilemmas, and basically had to wager a whole mission on The Oracle's Punishment. Charlie thankfully did not use stupid broken Kirk, but downloader kirk, which was actually quite cool. It made me laugh to think I could have killed other kirk with TOP, but instead had to strain my brain to find two people to stop to prevent him from two different sets of requirements he could solve with. I almost gave up once, but a final check of a more mundane skill (science, I think?) ended up saving it and I held him off. That was easily the most dramatic attempt of the game, as I was sweating giving up 40pts super early. Instead, I was able to hold him off a few more while I built up my shenanigans and headed out to attempt. I failed my first attempt against an army of consume dilemmas, but despite his best efforts, no ACE came up. Next round we both solved, but his bonus points put him ahead 55-50. He started working on another mission, but got held off, and at some point time was called. He had gone first and I was behind by 5, so I just needed anything to win, but all my remaining missions were unattempted. Instead of the usual Pegasus Search, I went for Arena; easiest mission in my spaceline and two sets of requirements to possibly score. He rolled a Tragic Turn, which I let consume, then Toxed to start over, and was able to solve past his next set of dilemmas for the MW, 80-55.

Round 4DS9Non-AlignedDan HammanFW (+25)
Dan likewise got me behind the eight ball early, playing Khan augments out of DS9, which like everyone else with RtG, I have next to no knowledge of. The seemed to be attribute heavy and skill light, so I tried to stick to that as a stopping strategy. He got out before me, but I was able to WNOHGB his first attempt, giving me some time to continue setting up. My orbs were coming slower than in other games. He got another attempt in before I finally went out, but a bad non-unstop decision on my part stopped my first attempt. He solved Illegal Embryos then headed to Ceti Alpha V, but Artificial Ability and Intimidation go the stop. My second attempt nearly ended in a stop by Rogue Borg Ambush (my Intendant was randomly stopped an no copies in discard pile), but a Tox bail and reattempt was able to finish the job at Hunt for DNA. Julian and Arik Soong shenanigans thwarted my killing attempts (through an admittedly lucky Overburdened flip), and he solved, then headed over to double team his last mission. A good gamble with Wargames stopped his first team, and a very lucky one dilemma Greater needs stopped his second micro team short of integrity and Transporters. Time was called during Dan's turn, and I was just lucky to get another turn (he went first). He had planet & space, though, so I couldn't repeat my MW tactics used against Charlie, and had to go to my only space mission, Pegasus Search. I had to go for it, and managed to squeak through using every last trick at my disposal for the full win, 100-75.

Round 5BajoranJD_AshleyFW (+95)
I love playing JD, he's a fun guy. He was also playing Bajorans, a variation on his previous deck, I think, with other quadrant missions and Distant Exploration for the two mission win. He dropped an early Standard Orbit, which I didn't think I cared about until I started playing my Fajo's Gallery. Good play! We both took some time to relax and build up, but he got off the mark before me and started work on his Delta space mission. I headed to DNA and was stopped on my first attempt. An Intimidation and Outclassed stopped him, then I was stopped by a well-timed Greater Needs after Issue filtered my cheaters away. I solved next turn after moving my ship away, but I didn't have enough, so it cost me a turn moving my ship away and then coming back to pick folks up. After solving, I was able to drop some filters and a Wargames to stop his attempt, while time was called. He had gone first, so I had the MW confirmed. Unfortunately, I wasn't sure three MWs on the day would keep me ahead if someone else had all FWs (I forgot head to head), I felt bad going for the big mission after time was up, after I'd already locked up the MW. I went for broke on the last mission and tricked through to get the FW 100-5. JD is always a fun opponent, and our games are always hilarious, but I got the feeling he wasn't enjoying this one by the end, and I don't blame him. I wish I'd just left it at the MW, but 5 rounds and adrenaline stupidity of maybe winning clouded my judgement. Sorry, JD. I wish I'd hadn't overdone it. :(

Closing Thoughts
With the exception of losing sight of the "fun" aspect at the very end, this was a very entertaining tournament. It was really nice to play a deck for fun AND have it do well. Contrary to my usual results, taking a good deck and adding 40 cards to it actually made for an even better deck for once. Many last minute additions made a HUGE difference in many of my games. The non-Bajorans to stock in my discard pile as Odo/Basso fodder, Rule 141 for Basso fodder, extra copies of Tox Uthat, and the dilemma Wargames (a HUGE bonus with the 50pt missions) were all cards I thought of while packing up to go to the tournament and were all a huge advantage. For once, I really enjoyed playing a deck that also ended up being pretty competitive (instead of the usual big event decision of between playing a "fun" deck and not doing well or playing a "good" deck but not having fun winning). Hurray, Return to Grace!