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Fritz Meissner (Fritzinger)
Tournament Report - 2E - The Neutral Zone Regional
2015-04-19 - 12:30 PM
DominionThis deck used to be better
Introduction
I netdecked and printed (over the 3 preceding months) most of the decks in this tournament, but I wanted to try the new HQ so that required building my own. Point denial with Contingent Refuge GQ + Torga IV + point dilemmas, I would crop dust until my opponent solved his first and then hit him with as much delay as I could do without delaying my own solving. One card delay tricks (Crippling, Surprise Amity, Relentless Charge) were in but infiltration was out because of the setup it requires. I got some helpful tips from chat room regulars (thanks Ferenginarians!) and I was feeling good about the deck when I tried it out in lackey.

Unfortunately I got a bit too enthusiastic about my skill mix and added some unnecessary personnel in, and then I also printed extra copies of a few cards where I originally was only using one or two. The intention was to thin out later but I got to the venue with not enough time to both streamline and organise the event.

Round 1DominionDaymon WattML (-25)
For our last 3 or 4 events Daymon has been using the Dominion alpha strength solver originally by Nickyank that I netdecked to give my group a taste of Balance of Terror. I've seen it do the rounds online, so I guess it's pretty good. This time I gave him Mobilization Points to celebrate Strange Bedfellows, it seemed like a no-brainer.

Early on we had a prevention battle when he played Mobilisation Points, I countered with Our Death..., he countered with one of his own, and I used a second Our Death to prevent it. It was four counters worth of Jem'Hadar, I haven't worked out if it was worth it or not. What that did do was put more cards in his discard pile, giving him enough to remove when I revealed a Causal Recursion. Not that it mattered, because our group doesn't get enough practice for 100 points in 60 minutes: we play three rounds once monthly (if sanctioned); there wasn't a single full win the entire tournament. Maybe it wasn't such a great idea to come with a delay deck.

I was expecting to get some good use out of Vastly Outnumbered against his Jem'Hadar, but he was attempting with six in space. I did stop him a few times at his first mission which was good for building up a decent crew. Draw deck bloat was hiding the mission skills I needed however, and he managed to pick out my one security with one-off random selections at least twice.

Two crucial mistakes cost me at least a turn each if not the game. The first was forgetting to use my Energize for discount of 4, and instead drawing into a bunch of cards that I (thought I) couldn't play and had to discard. Later I drew an extra Security but didn't have counters to play him that turn, and saw my only security in play get picked off by a Hard Time, preventing a solve. I had already ended my turn when I realised I had Explicit Orders that could have given that extra Security in my hand to someone in the attempt.

Daymon was at one mission to nothing when time was called. I had stranded his ship with Crippling Attack twice but he played another ship and managed to solve a second on his last turn. I finally solved my first on the last turn, and had range and 7 personnel for an attempt at a second. He wasn't happy with what he drew but a Mannheim Effect allowed him to fetch what he needed to stop me.

Round 2ByeBY (0)
At the bottom of the standings, but not completely out of the running because of the bye and everyone else going to time. If I got a FW in the last round and Daymon lost it would be down to tiebreakers although that would be a BS way to win a regional :).

Round 3StarfleetBrandon OosthuizenML (-5)
If there's a world junior title to be won your money wouldn't be wasted on 9-year old Brandon. He had mirror Starfleet plus Chula. He started out ship-screwed but built up an army of mirror dudes with ASfSE + AWC.

My deck actually did what I wanted ... crop dusted 2 under Stage Bombardment and 4 under Torga IV before he got his ship and solved his first, my dilemmas doing nothing to his team of 10 (I did waste counters on an Oh No!, forgetting that he it would do nothing against his zero points). Of course letting him solve first gave him his Starfleet HQ bonus ... and it would've been better to forgo the minus 5 from my HQ for Stage Bombardment in favour of not letting him have the 10 from his. I had forgotten about the bonus until he reminded me that he was at 50 points.

Nonetheless, things were looking good as I trapped his ship with 12 people at his solved mission with Crippling while I got to solving my own. -5 from Stage Bombardment and -10 from Torga IV put him on 30 and me on 65, with range to get to my last mission on the same turn. Unfortunately for me, Brandon had the killer blow ready for my crew of 9 - Chula: the Game plus 3 Chula dilemmas whittled my crew down to one who then faced WNOHGB. I had to call time during my dead turn, with Brandon having worked out that he needs to solve his 40 point mission to win.

He played a second ship and I was out of Crippling Attacks so he had 18 personnel in two teams. I had surprise amity to stop the second team but 12 people in his first were enough to get past filters + Dignitaries (5 leadership!) and put him on 70 to my 65.

Closing Thoughts
Daymon did win his last game so the bye was fortunately not a factor. Prize foils hadn't arrived - and may never, if I know our post office - but fortunately my stash of sealed packs still had something meaningful for a group that mostly didn't get to crack boosters during the Decipher era.

We missed two of our more experienced players due to house moving and out of town visitors, but I was really happy to have four other people who I can now say are really owning their decks - they certainly know them better than I - and having fun with the game. Also a blast writing this and reliving the thrills and spills a few hours laters :)