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Pope (princedetenebres)
Tournament Report - 1E - The Neutral Zone Regional
2020-04-03 - 12:00 AM
RomulanAmoebas and Ambushes
Had an idea about using Obsession + Space Amoebas along with a handful of Romulan ambushes, since the amoeba would set *any* enemy ship's shields to a place where it'd be susceptible to being ambushed.
In a test game, I faced a tough hurdle for a battle deck, a Bajoran deck with both facilities seeded at a homeworld and an opponent seeding strategema. Fortunately, with a VIP was able to dock at DS9 and ambush an opponent's bajoran warship, strategema, who cares? So I thought, ok, this could be fun for the regional. Really hoping to be able to bag a cube this way!
Hopefully the decent draws and positive test won't have given me a false impression of the quality of the deck...

Round 1RomulanJon CarterFL (-100)View opponent's Report
Round 1: Jon Carter
Jon was playing a deck I'd faced before, with a bunch of free Romulan reports at the HQs and time location + cybernetics expertise and Sona observatory. He could play a ridiculous number of people for free, plus process ore and duck blind to draw fistfuls of cards too. I knew coming in I'd have my work cut out for me, but clearly it was going to be even more difficult, with his playing Romulan.

We duplicated Evade Borg Vessel, and I opted to start out at my outpost in between Insurrection and romulus, so as to try to run interference from the very beginning. That part worked out, unfortunately that was about the only thing that did this game.

A terrible opening hand with 4 cards I couldn't play (broke my old deckbuilding rule of 'don't include any card you wouldn't want to draw in your opening hand'), regenerate, both Comfort Women, Mutation. Though I did get Relam, ablative armor and a romulan ambush, so not a total loss.

I think I bungled straight out of the gate by tipping my hand far too early. He played Liseria next door to my outpost, and having opted to place my Amoeba at the nearer end of the spaceline, it ended the turn at that location. Mindful of the likelihood of seeing a bunch of big ships, I didn't want non-aligned ones around that could hurt me, so I moved a d'deridex over and ambushed it straight away and battled the amoeba to damage it, so it wouldn't move again -- I thought it'd be good to keep it parked at insurrection.

I probably should've waited, simply attacked it. I spaced that Li'seria has the same restriction box, and it was empty -- I'd thought his downloaded Sona was aboard so I'd grab him, and with my d'deridex + tactic, I'd have had the 12 weapons to destroy it straight away. So I wasted an ambush, tipping my plans to him far too early. True, he dropped a d'deridex advanced on the next turn, and had a raptor, and could've counter-attacked, but I would've welcomed that, since the raptor itself could've been ambushed and with my battle bridge, the 1v1 fight was one I was more than willing to have with him. I think it was pretty much right there that I lost any hope of winning the game, as had I played smarter I might've been able to knock out 3 of his ships in the first 2 turns, instead of just 1, especially being able to play Log & ablative armor on T2 to get my d'deridex pumped up and difficult to hit.

With the draws augmented by temporal almanac he was off to the races and very quickly turned to Mine Dilithium. Fortunately, sheliak/dead end is still a potent 2-card combo, and he had to abandon his ore processing for a turn. I stupidly miscalculated the range and sent my ship over to see if maybe I might destroy it for 15 points for me, rather than -10 for his mission, but it hit on my turn. Having not drawn any ships or Let's See... I was pretty much draw 1-2, play 1-2 throughout, and wasn't doing much other than trying to position my sole ship to interfere with him.

Next he turned to Insurrection; having played this deck before I knew it was his focus, so I had seeded five dilemmas there to make him really work for it. Buried Alive (should've grabbed debriefing before popping the RRD on the log to protect it) - space amoeba - god worked as intended, though I excitedly forgot I couldn't hit his landed injector assembly one with it. But another sona ship was sacrificed to god instead. He plodded on, and hit 'I'm not going to fight you,' which I've never used before, and happily worked as well as hoped since I could replace it with 2 naussicans (planet and space versions), both of which stopped the attempting crews (thanks space amoeba!). My thought was that I'd replace one of them with a flash, but with only 1 guy on his ship, it seemed pointless/better to have him fail that.

He's too good a player to have the final card hurt him, as I'd hoped with all that came before it, emergent might take away his last ship, but unfortunately I'd not thought of him simply not being able to staff the ship, so it was effectively irrelevant. So the injector took off and he bagged Insurrection with a specialist for 45. Here I'd made my second idiotic costly mistake, in not remembering to move back to insurrection rather than wasting time attacking the amoeba. He still would've solved, but not been able to get the specialist points or extra turn/unstop ability. This really sealed my fate - guaranteeing a FL instead of a potential ML.

With his ability to unstop himself and an extra turn, things were not looking good. He moved on to Paxan wormhole, and here too, I'd hoped to make him work to get through it. Fortunately, I'd drawn my sole android, so I could move in and mess with him too. I had: Rules of Obedience - The Swarm - Topological Anomaly - Disgraceful Assault for him there. He sent 4 guys on the injector and failed rules, and in taking out his soong-type I was able to relocate the injector to the far end of the spaceline. He tried again, and topological put his androids into stasis, and so his next group went 9 missions away on a trip thanks to the wormhole, unfortunately he crashed my ability to swap Swarm out for a flash to make it fun.

Undeterred, he brought another ship in with a small crew, and I dropped all-consuming evil to throw in an armus: energy field to stop them. Unfortunately, he pivoted and went after romulus instead of keeping plugging away at Paxan as I would've liked, as a flash would've hopefully compelled him to attack my warbird. He twice used Anij to prevent ambushes of his raptors, and used hidden fighter to grab the apnex to speed his return down to the other end of the spaceline. The sole highlight there was successfully getting His Honor, sheriff of nottingham to work, though I stupidly revealed my security prematurely, so he opted for the point loss. With that, and the mission specialist at Remus, he was able to hit 100 exactly, having lost 5 more from Risky Business.

You can't make big mistakes when playing against top players, they don't need them to beat you, and doing so just makes it easier for them. Never drawing a ship nor another card-drawing event really made my deck crawl. I didn't have that problem in my test game and even though I added one more of each before the event, I desperately needed my warbird harassing Jon, and my people were amassed at my outpost, which was in the middle of his missions and nowhere near any of my own planet missions

Round 2HirogenBruce ParrishFW (+100)
Not much to say about this one, unfortunately. Bruce was in the DQ, and we didn't ever get a chance to interact, as by the time I'd drawn my slipstream to move the Goraxus to visit him, he shortly thereafter failed a mission having trouble with Misinterpreted History. Door Net on his tent precluded his drawing out Rituals of the Hunt to help him pass it and he conceded the match.

Round 3HirogenMichael Van BreemenFW (+58)
Another DQ match, argh!

Here too, dilemmas gave my opponent some difficulty, and a combination of amoeba and silent enemy finished off his principal ship with most of his guys and he graciously conceded that there was no coming back from it.

Round 4FederationMathew McCalpinFW (+100)View opponent's Report
Mathew was running Feds with Group Counseling and a seeded Valiant for shuttlepod drops. He, as always, was to be able to draw heaps of cards.

Unfortunately for him, the end of the spaceline with his dual-mission and Starbase 247 had one mission between where his seeded valiant was... and it was Explore Typhon Expanse II. So I felt that the Romulans should not permit Valiant to make it to base and sent a warbird to tussle with him on T1, and prevented it from ever reaching the (relative) safety of the outpost.

This wasn't a great matchup for his deck, as I was able to draw a bunch of ships, to the point that mid-game I blew up his Enterprise-D whilst docked (in a direct hit) to keep him from leaving his outpost, and had sufficient weapons to damage the outpost itself, and though he slapped ablative armor on it after I'd done so, I was able to muster enough weapons to take it out -- though by that point I opted to just focus on missions, as his ship reports of shuttles to the outpost were gobbled up upon undocking by ambushes by the 2 warbirds I'd parked there to remind him that the spaceline belongs to the Romulan Star Empire -- yes, even Earth.

Anyway, I thought Access Archives would draw the dead end, but he cunningly put it on covert installation, much to my annoyance. Happily, I'd been able to score a fair # of points from blowing up various space monsters -- even venturing down to his Diplomatic conference to trip my own sheliak to blow it up for some points. So I feigned having run out of ambushes and didn't prevent him from attempting his mission where his outpost was, since I knew space amoeba was first up and he'd not pass the armus: energy field thereafter. That way I could take out the amoeba, and with that and a 2nd one as well as Sheliak and a spaceborne entity I was over the 50 needed to pass his dead end, and solve Covert Installation for 50 (Chess game + specialists).

Anyway, after that it was just massing a crew to solve any space mission to get the 2nd mission for the win.