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Jeremy Benedict (flrazor)
Tournament Report - 2E - Andoria Regional
2015-04-25 - 11:00 AM
DominionWhere There's Cake, There's Hope (2.0)
Introduction
I've been constantly working on a Dominion solver deck for several years, so when the new Dominion cards were introduced in Strange Bedfellows it was easy to see it was going to dial that deck up a couple notches. I never had non-aligned in the deck so the new HQ was an immediate add, as were three copies of Crippling Strike to slow down my opponents or make them dump hands. Along with a couple minor meta-shift changes it was ready to go.

Round 1BorgHarry BenjaminFW (+100)
Harry is a newer player but already has a firm grasp of the Borg and their solver tricks. His first mission attempts were at Hunt Alien, and with only a Sphere in play he had to spend multiple turns to regroup after being caught short on mission skills. I didn't get off to a very fast start, but once the Dominion gets rolling it's hard to stop.

Round 2Borgbandana8472FW (+100)View opponent's Report
Matt got going quickly with two early Annexation Drones and an At What Cost, but had trouble with my dilemmas at his missions. I killed off Locutus early on, and without seeing a Queen, I was able to use Personal Duty and An Issue of Trust as walls. He made me work for every inch in the game, but my dilemma play kept him locked down while the Dominion took all the points he didn't use away.

Round 3VoyagerNat KirtonFL (-30)
Nat and I tested our decks against each other earlier in the week and I knew what I was going to have to try and work around. The earlier game of the week saw me knocking 3 Chakotays out of his hand with a Dreamer, but this time he was playing very smart with his hand and not giving up anything he needed to keep to get through dilemmas. Only major misplay of the day for me came in this game where at his first, only, and final attempt at Caretaker's to get the points the Dominion took away from his other missions, I should have used my copy of Manheim Effect on the table to get War Games back and guarantee a stop to hold him to a modified win. That misplay ultimately ended up sealing the regional win since it gave him the extra victory point to leap the other two 4-1 players with Modified Wins. Excellent game that had us both fighting for everything we got and Nat definitely is the man to beat with Voyager.

Round 4DominionBarry WindschitlFL (-45)View opponent's Report
Barry was bringing the same Dominion tech I had but focused on all Gamma Missions including Torga IV for additional point loss. I got out to a very early two-mission lead with strong early attempts. I told Barry that was going to be a problem which he realized later since I'd used up all my point loss when he hadn't scored yet. I knew I wasn't going to be able to play from behind, so it was all I could do to get ahead and try to end the game first. Once he completed his first two missions and set me back 15 points (to 55) it got that much harder, even with a 35 point mission ready to be solved and Jem'Hadar Ambush in my hand for 10 more points after solving (eyeing his Warships with my Battleship). Barry sealed the deal at his third mission before I was able to finish my third and battle in a very close game that came down to the final turn.

Round 5VoyagerKevinFW (+95)
Kevin missed his first turn Voyager and was forced to discard personnel as he didn't have events in hand to play with his counters. I had one of the best starting hands of the day and was steamrolling a few turns later. Without a lot of Chakotay help I was able to shut down the mission attempts and do enough collateral damage to make life difficult. He may be primarily a First Edition player, but he's got a lot of promise in 2E as well and did very well overall.

Closing Thoughts
The games I won were fairly lopsided and the two I lost were some of the closest matches I can remember, going back and forth constantly. Further proof that anything is possible, starting from behind doesn't matter, and gamesmanship wins tournaments. I have some additional edits to make, but overall I was very happy with how this deck continues to perform. Matt is absolutely right that I can't claim to not have the skill to play at the top of the game and I wouldn't be doing as well as I have without all the time and experience shared by everyone here.