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James Heaney (BCSWowbagger)
Tournament Report - 1E
2022-03-05 - 10:00 AM
RomulanFederationBalance of Terror (or: Engage Cloak Levels Up)
Introduction
I tried to build some new stuff, but I had two problems: (1) I ran out of time, and (2) I got bored, because all three of the decks I was working on were not very interactive. And I just feel bored with solitaire decks right now, even if they're built around cool gimmicks that usually excite me.

So I pulled my (Very interactive, very flexible) Worlds Day 1 deck off the shelf, because it was miraculously still intact from Worlds, swapped out two cards, practiced playing it once so I remembered, and went to bed early.


Round 1DominionJason TangFW (+100)View opponent's Report
Jason was playing one of my favorite decks of his: the Car/Dom all-GQ deck that blocks your missions with countdown dilemmas and then uses End Transmission to make those countdowns last forrrrrrreeeeeeeeverrrrrrrr.

I decided to just blitz it, in order to get the countdowns started as fast as possible. After I struggled past the intro dilemmas, he Linguistic Legerdemain'd Gamma Hydra for X=3 on (I believe) my third or fourth turn, and I fell to Personal Duty/Friendly Fire at Shattered Space two turns later for X=2. Which meant that both cards would expire at the same time -- on the tenth or eleventh turn of the game. My job, then, was to keep him from winning in the meantime.

I managed to get Test For Weakness to my point area before he encountered Disgraceful Assault. This killed three and ended the attempt. He got a new ship to attempt next turn, fearing a wipe. He did not anticipate the Nelvana Trap that followed. I had both my Engage Cloaks occupied (because slowing him down was my priority) (also I drew like every ship in my deck this game so had Battle Cruisers for days but no Astrophysics until late).

I destroyed his attempting ship, which included most of his personnel, then destroyed the docked ship under repair the next turn, then destroyed the Internment Camp 371 outpost with a spacedoor on it after hitting it twice. I was even about to go free Mr. Spock from his All-Consuming Evil --> Skin of Evil --> Rescue Prisoners --> Labor Camp trap in the Gamma Quadrant, but FF/LL ticked out and I was able to score all the points to win.


Round 2BajoranKris SonstebyFW (+30)
This was a rematch of our Worlds Day 1 Round 2 game. Kris (smartly) did not attempt to challenge me or steal my Shattered Space this time. He put DS9 at the further end of the spaceline, dropped Magellan --> Line of Defense right away, and his first mission was Dozaria at the far end of spaceline, where I could not reach him right away.

Still, the Gal Gath'ong kept some pressure on him, arrived at Dozaria a couple turns later (at which point he Space/Time Portal'd his ship), and later was able to destroy an Assault Vessel stopped in the Argolis Cluster by Authorized Access Only. I like to think that forcing him to move his ships in groups (and occasionally clearing one off the table) limited his ability to speed through missions and ferry people around for clearance, but that might just be my wishful thinking. He still cleared Dozaria and the Argolis Cluster space mission.

Meanwhile, I solved Gamma Hydra somewhat miraculously fast. I just had a bunch of Leadership and SECURITY. Then I took a full crew into Shattered Space, cleared the opening dilemma, fell to Cytherians, STP'd the ship, and shipshirted R'Moog into the mission to reveal Personal Duty. I figured, huh, Personal Duty probably has Friendly Fire beneath it, so I was able to tech against it. With Khan's Leadership x2 and S'Salk with a Classic Communicator (plus a lucky last-turn draw of sufficient Astrophysics), I was able to clear Shattered Space and solve for the win while Kris was hurling bodies at his remaining missions with clearly not quite enough time to clear them. (Although, to be fair, had he made it all the way down to Battle of Cardassia, I just had Edo Probe / Friendly Fire there. He'd have crushed that good, I think.)


Round 3DominionFerengiRobert PetersenFW (+100)

Hobie had the Toughest Row to Hoe: he had elected to play Where Opportunities Are Made, which is a deck I tried once, many years ago, and... it was very hard, and I did not revisit it. Kudos to him for an innovative strategy.

All planets made me VERY unhappy, since my whole deck is built around Nelvana Trap. It got worse when I realized he wasn't going to leave the Gamma Quadrant, so I had no way to reach him. I ended up Buried Aliving one N.T. and crossing my fingers while the rest of my boyos speed-solved. (They were slightly delayed because my spaceline was Evade Comet - Covert Installation - Shattered Space - Gamma Hydra (Outpost) - Spaceline End, so I had to fly all the way out to the comet to do Test for Weakness.)

More than anything, I pulled this out fast because the dilemmas were soft. I think Hobie expected me to go elsewhere with my outpost. And then he made a seeding mistake and put a space dilemma beneath Gamma Hydra. (After a Spatial Rift that gave me more of a headache than anything else this game.) So I only actually had to face five dilemma to win -- and one of them was a Poor Quality Workmanship which was somewhat inexplicably behind Eminian Disintegration Chamber. I still had to do a little Tricorder skill-cheating to pass it, but we got there.

Hobie never triggered my Nelvana Trap, but came very close to solving his first planet and socking me with -10 pts through 62nd Rule of Acquisition, which would have forced me to a third mission. But I got lucky on a Friendly Fire that held him at bay long enough for me to finish collecting mission skills for the final win.


Closing Thoughts
I like this deck. I mean, obviously, it won a lot today, so that's nice. But I've lost with this deck, too, and it's fun even when it loses. It's flexible, forces a lot of in-game choices, expects things in the deckplan to go wrong and has fallbacks for them, and it pressures opponents without locking them out. It never plays exactly the same way twice.

I do need to go back and review the logs of Worlds, though, because Kris made an interesting point: he said that most of the successful decks at Worlds Day One were two-mission win decks. (Mine certainly is, and it would still be fun if it needed three missions, but not nearly as powerful.) TOS can't skill cheat during attempts anymore, which is very good, but they are still very, very good at skill-cheating. Is the meta right now too far toward skill-cheating and two-mission winning? Still, I was mostly winning at 8 or 9 turns, I think, so maybe my opponents just needed to be able to push back harder...? I dunno!

I definitely had a blast today, really enjoyed seeing some old fave decks and Hobie's new one all back in action, and am most grateful to everyone who came out and to Kris and Jason for organizing/hosting.