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Brian Gondek (Escape Artist)
Tournament Report - 2E Standard
2012-06-24 - 12:00 PM
TNGOld TNG Solver
Some backstory on my deck- I typically play a TNG solver. I wasn't thrilled about always playing the same thing, so I promised myself to bring something else to the 2011 Nationals tournament. So I took about 20 minutes to throw together a slightly modified version of the TN virtual starter and a bunch of my favorite dilemmas. The deck sucked badly but I got every lucky bounce and ended up not doing too badly with it at Nationals and Regionals. Then my hiatus began. I recently dug up my old TNG deck and dusted it off. For the dilemma pile, I combined some cards from my old standard dilemma pile and some cards from the TN deck I had been using, but pretty similar philosophy. It's good to be back on the scene. I had a lot to do this weekend (interview with business school Monday), but I took care of it all Saturday and was ready for the tournament.

Round 1TNGAl SchaeferFW (+55)View opponent's Report
I used to always joke that every tournament had a showdown between Al and me. That's obviously not the case any more after my disappearance, but it was true today. Our game was a strong display of defensive effort. Al only had three cadets in his first mission attempt at Practice Orbital Maneuvers, so I was trying to either weed out one of them or stop everyone with Tactical Disadvantage. I was able to halt Al's troops pretty well, but he was able to do the same to mine. On my second mission, Al took out Luther Sloan with Secret Identity in hopes of hitting me with a Rogue Borg Ambush, but that plan was shot when I replaced Sloan with Kirk, Living Legend, who allowed me to pass it and complete the mission. I got a break on my last mission when the last card, Polywater Intoxication, allowed me to stop the NE Riker to unstop a high integrity TNG personnel present to win the game. I found out after the game that a lucky Hard Time pick had taken out a personnel Al was going to use to score 10 extra points, so he had an even deeper hole to dig out of than I knew about. It was a hard fought game, and I wouldn't be that confident about a rematch. Al's dilemmas were able to dramatically slow down my speed deck.

Round 2TOSCasey WickumFW (+25)View opponent's Report
Casey has been urging me to come to tournaments for the past year, so this round was long-anticipated. I hadn't played against his TOS deck yet, so I wasn't sure what I'd be encountering. We both completed our first missions relatively quickly. On my second mission, I got a very lucky break. I attempted a planet mission with 8. Casey used He Wasn't Nice to kill off 3x Rixx. I was down to five personnel for a ship with four staffing icons, and one of them, Lwxana Troi, had no staffing icon. The next dilemma was Hard Time. By some miracle, he selected Lwxana, and I was able to keep my ship staffed. It would have taken me at least three more turns to prepare another ship, so that pick was critical to my victory. Casey also cycled McCoy a few times, keeping me at only one dilemma underneath the mission I was attempting. It was brutal to spend full turns and make no progress, but I just kept trucking. Casey didn't know if Gav's ability was once per dilemma or once per turn. He played two wall dilemmas, but Gav's ability is once per dilemma so I was able to use him on both to complete my second mission. At several points I was terrified that Casey might have a Bridge Officer's Test (a lot of leadership/skill redundancy plus Security Drills), but it never came up. For my third mission, Casey's dilemma pile was severely hindered by the presence of Gav and Kirk, Living Legend. He tried a Chula the Chandra, which only stopped two, but those two happened to be two of the three personnel with one of the mission skills. The third personnel with that skill managed to make it through, and I completed for the victory. The game was incredibly close. Casey's dilemmas absolutely destroyed me until I got the two cheaters out there.

Round 3Edward PigmanFW (+50)
I always hate playing against Borg. I find I have a hard time remembering what the personnel do since they're all so anonymous, and they have a lot of powerful cards that I'm not familiar with. Ed was running a cool concept that involved getting a boatload of resources by 3x Unimatrix Zero, Surprise Party, and keeping Energize one under its limit. By combining those things, he had a major resource advantage (once it was all set up). Ed, like Al and Casey, was able to keep my offense at bay. On my first mission attempt, he almost took out a significant portion of my crew with a Tsilokovsky Infection, but Escape saved the day. Still, it felt like my crew was trudging, and by the time I started making any headway, Ed's counter mechanic was rolling. For my last mission, I had 13 personnel on the table, so I attempted with 8, with a second crew hanging back that could do it with 5. One of those 5 was the NE Riker who would be able to unstop someone from the first attempt, so I was hoping I'd face something like a Polywater Intoxication and win that way. However, Ed stopped my first attempt with only two dilemmas underneath, and he took out the second crew with a Moral Choice. Ed completed his first mission and went to his second mission (which would give him 100 points for the two mission victory). He attempted with 15. I played He Wasn't Nice, Dreamer & the Dream, & Distress Call. He Wasn't Nice took out 2x Computation Drone, although with 13 personnel remaining, the 40 cunning requirement still wasn't going to be a problem. For Distress Call, Ed played Bridge Officer's Test. I had a massively lucky break when I found that only one of the personnel attempting had Security, which was required for the mission, so I killed that personnel. After his crew was stopped, Ed conceded victory since he was confident he wouldn't be able to stop my 13+ personnel with 3 dilemmas already underneath the mission. Yet another game down to the wire, where a single break made the difference between a win or loss. Ed was able to stall me for most of the game, and I was fortunate to be able to stall him to the same extent. So at the end of the day I was 3-0, but I could have just as easily gone 0-3. I stuck around for my first ever Tribbles tournament (using a borrowed deck) which was a lot of fun. It was great to see everyone again (although a lot of familiar faces weren't present today).