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Danny Nuttall (nuttersuclan)
Tournament Report - 1E - British National
2012-11-25 - 11:00 AM
Ferengi[OTF] Atak Of Da Bal-Hedz
CmdrSpork82 is my new best friend on the CC. **All humour has been removed in case the busy-bodies who frequent this site decide to stir things up because they have nowt better to do**

Note: The report is punctuated by lyrics from the song "Attak of da bal-hedz" by Onyx, a Brooklyn based aggro-hip hop band from the early 90s. They, of course, provided the inspiration for the title of the deck and were the cause of utter bewilderment as a I sang lyrics at my opponents from round to round. Enjoy!

Round 1BorgNiall MatthewFW (+100)View opponent's Report
I'm not sure how it happens, but Niall and I almost always get paired and nearly always it's in the 1st round of a tournament. I consider Niall to be one of the genuine challengers in every tournament that we play - his decks are almost always inventive, disruptive and packed with more than their fair share of the unexpected.

His deck for this year's nationals proved to be all of those things in abundance, but perhaps not quite quick enough to disrupt me early on. His 12 space mission pile meant that we had a HUGGGEEEEE spaceline. With my dilemma combos destroyed by this strategy I placed 2 card combos at either end of the spaceline (where he would, most likely place 'They Will Be Coming') and single card 'piles' towards the center where it would be more difficult for him to reach (“Wilder than wolverines, run with a scheme team, Meaner than mean dean, obscene and head's clean”).

I approached the game as a race and set up on the opposite side with the aim of getting to missions quickly, avoiding him should he try to attack and getting all my Plasmadyne Relays out soon in order to navigate the beast of a spaceline we'd created. To be honest, it pretty much went to plan. Despite Transwarp'in his way closer and closer, Niall couldn't get his staffed cube across to me quick enough to prevent me scoring points by attacking Empok Nor, or solving two missions.

KEY PLAY: After encountering a points loss dilemma pile at Revenge Plot (Hanonian/THTF/Haz Duty and Kelvan)I was careful to ensure that I didn't complete the mission and, instead, sent across a small crew to Market Research on my shuttle. I predicted either a Edo Probe or Lack of Preparation here and duly encountered the former. I abandoned the attempt and then solved the cleared Revenge Plot on the same turn to get rid of the Edo. Sweet.

Round 2FerengiPaddy TyeFW (+15)View opponent's Report
There's a reason why Paddy has done well for the last two nationals in a row - he's a really good 1e player and I knew this round would be key in determining who would go on to be the champion.

Thankfully, for me, Paddy was also playing Ferengi. I say thankfully because I came 'tooled up' for the mirror match. I seeded Empok Nor as far away from the shared Resupply Marauder mission & Paddy's Raid Ancient Burial so that I'd have almost exclusive access to the points and draws. I also thought this might lure Paddy out from his outpost and give me a chance to flip HQ: DF, download Suna and surprise him with an FCA attack.

Sure enough Paddy then seeded his second outpost and a Strategic Base close to his Merc Ship and established a strong presence on one side of the board. I, going first, attacked his floating Merc Ship for some points and added a few damage markers. My intention was to get 20 FMO points, solve a Market Research to make it 50 (which Paddy had only seeded 2 dilemmas under, leading me to believe it was his intention to steal) and then go to steal Raid Ancient Burial Site (Paddy had a self-seed there, whilst I had placed Ferengi Ambush, Medical Crisis and Dead End under there). Everything went to plan. EVERYTHING! On turn 4 I was at 50 points from 4 FMO hits and a solved Market Research. I’d also got both Levin’s into play to deal with my Medical Crisis and two non-aligned folks out to attempt Raid Ancient twice, should Paddy’s self-seed be Difference of Opinion. It turned out to be a Dead End, so I breezed through to get to 90 points on turn 6 and then flipped HQ: DM, downloaded Suna, used Reflection Therapy to gain FCA and attacked Paddy’s Kurdon (“I flip it, get wicked, and wild when I spot him“). The following turn I think I actually solved another mission for the FW.

KEY PLAY: Clearly the theft of Raid Ancient Burial Site was central, but I really liked Paddy’s turn 1 download chain of QTR -> DHW -> Morta -> Prep Assault Teams -> Dom Perignon -> Kurdon -> Bok. Class!

Round 3RomulanStuart MotleyFW (+100)
Stuart is considered by many to be the best 2e player in the country and clearly knew a little something about STCCG's bastard child to find himself 2-0. Grimsby's finest, as Mr. Alcock referred to him as, was playing a non-TNG Romulan solver.

I could see from the missions that this was potentially a 2-mission win deck with AMS, but the spaceline once again bunched my opponents facilities into a corner (Cloaked Mission as the very end of the spaceline and both of the built in outposts were nearby). This allowed me to seed my Trading Post and Empok Nor in between and take a pick from lots of targets as to what I should attack for bonus points. It also made it very risky for Stuart to come out and try to attempt, as the chances of losing his ships were high.

KEY PLAY: I managed to predict which mission Stuart would go for first, which meant his away team encountered an Ambush of 3 angry Ferengis (I HATE FERENGI), with strength 15, 14 and 14 respectively. A few deaths later, I added a Transport Inhibitor to the angry ferengi hoard at Stuart’s planet and proceeded to kill his personnel 1-turn at a time, netting me more bonus points (“I got him, I shot him, he hit rock bottom”). Despite solid draw engines, Stuart couldn’t keep pace from here on and I wasted little time getting my lobed ones through his dilemma combos for the win.

Round 4HirogenUnjustly BannedFW (+60)View opponent's Report
With 3 full wins to my name, I could relax. No one except Paddy had 8 points, so I was national champion with a round to spare by virtue of a better head-to-head record. Sweet! Still, Will would have been disappointed with me if I hadn’t attempted to put his brother to the sword.

Hirogen are one of the tricky match-ups for the FMO decks because they are still fast, have great skills and attributes to solve, and are difficult to attack for bonus points! It was the experience of playing against Nava and PFTI’s Hirogen decks that inspired the inclusion of Empok Nor. Fine, if you won’t let me attack you, I’ll bring my own targets to practise with!

Sure enough, James was the first and only player to solve a mission against me all day. A huge crew bypassed Ferengi Infestation quickly, a random selection for Personal Duty allowed Karr past (the only 1 of 3 personnel to choose from who had Leadership x 2, grrrr) and with Ayala and Angelo in support James was able to bypass Friendly Fire and solve Protonebula for 40. Yikes.

Unfortunately for James he then started attempted to clear some dilemmas at the neighbouring planet mission which fell foul to the same Ambush/Inhibitor trick that had tripped Stuart up in the previous round (“we rush on 'em hard (bring 'em out dead!), onyx rush on 'em hard (bring 'em out dead!), bald heads rush on 'em hard and bring 'em out dead!”). Having lost more than half of his people to that, it was an uphill struggle for James from this point onwards and I had plenty of time to add to my FMO points by red-shirting at Market Research and then eventually getting through the dilemmas at Revenge Plot for 45 (Exo and Med specialists). At 95 points, I then finished the second Market Research for the win.

KEY PLAY: At one stage I had a huge away team trapped at Revenge Plot thanks to Duanetic Field. Initially there were only 6 personnel there, but I sent down the rest of my guys in order to reduce the chances that my mission specialists would snuff it to the Horta I’d already encountered. Then, after redshirting space and losing my solitary Prak to Ankari Spirits, I returned the Shuttle to my hand with STP, used the spare Hidden Fighter in my hand to download it to the away team on Revenge Plot and, thus, prevented any more deaths from Horta. After shuffling two dead Engineers back into my deck with Mutation (Kazago and Baht) I then eventually drew into the 2 additional Engineers I needed to overcome the field and break free!

Closing Thoughts
All my games were great fun (I know, I would say that after winning them all!) and I enjoyed seeing other people's deck strategies and adapting to what they were doing with my well-oiled military machine. Kudos to NickYank for piloting my not-so-great Kazon solver to a credible 4th place, and to Stuart for taking 3rd having never played a 1e constructed event before. In fact, to all the 2e guys who helped boost our ranks on the Sunday, I salute you and promise to return the favour in the not too distant future. I hope you enjoyed playing 1e too. Thanks once again to Andrew ‘Mark John Paul Peter David Joseph’ Alcock for hosting us all in a cordial fashion and for agreeing to suffer 1e for another day!

Bal-hedz 4 life!