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Neil Timmons (ntimmons)
Tournament Report - 2E - North American Continentals Day Two
2013-08-17 - 02:00 AM
RomulanFeed me! I eat Klingon, Borg and Maquis!
Introduction
So I am tired of it. I am tired of hearing people say "There are only 2 good affiliations, and 3 good decks. All that wins is Klingon, Borg and Maquis" I am tired of all the talk of errata, and I am very frustrated with how much errata has happened or been talked about that is simply not necessary. Our game is very well balanced and is in extremely good shape. When I hear people complain that Klingon & Borg are the only good decks, I just look over at your shitty deck and think "hrm.. how long did you spend building your deck? how much agony did you have over this card or that? Because BenHosp and Neil spent 18 months agonizing over our Klingon deck, this card or that, 2 or 3 copies of this, 1 or 2 copies of that" and the result is an extremely good clean well oiled machine. If you build a shitty deck, don't complain that my tested and retested and tuned deck beats you even if it is Klingon, maybe the amount of prep had something to do with it. So I set out to do that with a different affiliation. Romulan discard. some of the comments I heard were "that's no good, it can't win" or "who plays that?" or "that is clearly tier 2 nonsense" I grabbed a BenHosp and spent 2 weeks building, tuning, testing playing, test drawing and bouncing ideas and tech off of my two deck building buddies Peter Moller and Brian Sykes. All three of these guys were instrumental in building this deck as good as it is as fast as I did it. But I'm done listening to your complaining. As we will read later, I should have won the whole thing, and only a blatant misplay cost me the last game, this deck is very good, and I got a bunch of data in these games so when I pull it out again, it will be better. But if anybody says anything to me about the game being stale, or that there are only 2 good affiliations, I only have one response "Romulan Discard" Our game is so fantastic, and so excellent and so well balanced, no one should complain about our game due to the massive amount of work we put in to the new sets and to the overall balance and feel of the game. Every time I sit down to play is the best part of my day, I hope everybody gets even half of the enjoyment I get out of playing! (Romulan Discard! BOO!!)

Round 1StarfleetAaron WeilFW (+30)
So I read the top 1 board. I wondered who I was paired up against. Aaron Weil? who is that? a guy I have never heard about who is from the other side of the country. So I mentally drew a circle to start writing notes.. and I came up with.. blank. Big huge mystery. I ran to the internet, and I saw he had 2 decks posted.. one of which he played today.. blank.. ok.. so.. we are off on good footing (not!) and to top it off, he is the player I fear the most. As I have said many times to people "I am king of the hill until someone pushes me off" so here we have a relative unknown guy, who is not highly rated, amble into US Continentals, and catch 6th place!! I mean from nowhere to top 6.. that is extremely impressive... and this is exactly how I figured I would finally get toppled, somebody would come up with something I hadn't figured on, and crushed me with it. Well that just about happened. Aside from Aaron being a heck of a nice guy, and a lot of fun to play with and hang out with, he had a very good deck. Damaged archer is the one thing my dilemma pile was just not really equipped to deal with. I mean I can Secret ID him away, but the play is to keep him from hitting the table, which I could not do. On his first mission attempt I called a skill and randomly caught Archer, which saved the game for me. I was able to decimate his crew and leave him crippled at his space mission stranded for a couple turns. In the meantime I was able to chew down my own missions and catch the upper hand. He rebuilt and did the same thing at his second mission I was barely able to stop him. I made a few critical plays by making him download certain cards and discarding them when he had no cards in hand, but all in all this was just a flat out foot race. I had to get through my 3 missions before he rebuilt his 3rd crew. He was unable, but it came down to the last turn. I gave him a decision. I had 13 personnel. Crew of 6 and 7. there were 5 dilemmas under. I sat and showed him that I had 1 personnel with Leadership, 2 separate personnel with geology, and 1 personnel with security. If you pull the geo or security, I will just replace him with Ptol who has both, but i don't remember who has leadership. I had just played Ptol, so we knew that secret ID was on top of his deck. Do you risk an alvera shuffle? or do you just play the Secret ID? if I don't have leadership, then they are stopped. Or do you shuffle and see if you can find a dilemma that does a better job. The second dilemma was Excalaban, so it had a non-zero chance of stopping my second crew, so it isn't a bad idea to chance the Secret ID. It was an extremely dramatic moment that put Aaron in a situation of having to choose. Imagine that, we had a "Dramatic Alvera Tree Ritual" :-) This was an extremely hard fought game that saw me win by the skin of my teeth. 100-70

Round 2ByeBY (0)
I had a chance to have breakfast, and see if I could make the numbness in my fingers better or worse. turns out it most likely won't get worse, I just have to deal with numbness in my fingers. boo!!! Update: So yeah.. I have a slightly slipped disc right below my c4/c5 fusion. The doctor took the X-ray & told me that it was fine, I wasn't going to lose an arm, but you have a thing. *sigh* great. so I have drugs.. we will see if they work.. and an MRI to schedule, and a second appointment. The moral of the story: WEAR YOUR SEAT BELT!!!!!

Round 3BajoranGeoffery PetersonFW (+30)
Geoffery Peterson. There he is. 2 years ago he beat me by 1 cunning by 5 points. Geoffery is one of the most formatable opponents I have ever faced. Despite some miscommunications about feelings, I believe Geoffrey is one of the better players ever to pick up cards. We also had a really great time in the true dungeon battling the forces of a tree and a wolf and a swamp monster. EFF YOU TREE!!! Geoffrey was playing a hell of a bajoran deck. Again with the whole "Our game isn't stale!" His deck was fantastic. He was trying to do missions with 2 or 3 or 4 personnel. The more personnel, the less cheaters he had to use, but he could do each of his missions with 2 personnel if he had all of his cheaters... awesome. the other kind of deck I can't really deal with is super microteams. But I have to have Historical Research to get the Galgathon out as fast as possible, I don't have room for TCS. boo. I was able to deny him a ship for a long time by emptying his hand, then calling the name of his ships and making him discard. so that was cool.. but it didn't work in the long run as he was able to play 2 different ships. so he went to his planet mission & attempted with 4. ugh.. gonna be that kind of game. Mugato hit, but I knew I couldn't keep that up. His next attempt got some guys killed, but it didn't matter, he was super micro teaming his way. He went to space and attempted with 3. I was fairly sure he couldn't do the mission with 3, but I was going for raw attrition so I tossed Toe to Toe which actually killed a guy, but put 3 dilemmas under. I was chewing on my own missions and managed to get them going, but he was mashing 3 or 4 dudes into his 3rd mission as well. So here we come down to. We both have 2 missions done. I have 2 dilemmas under my last, he has 3 (Toe to toe). I had played a personnel and announced her arrival, but he didn't hear me or wasn't paying attention. So galg flies from Bajor to the mines. my D'Derax Advanced flies home, then to the mines, then shuffles some guys around, then to my final planet mission. Then galg flies to his space mission, and waits. I mash on my planet mission and end up with 4 dilemmas under. So on his turn, (last turn of the game due to time) while he is ahead, he flies out to his space mission with 3 guys and attempts. "3 space with 3 under" I said I had no dilemmas. He said "ok, Basso puts a cost 9 card out of play.." and I started shaking my head and rolled over Sela, Mysterious operative. I reminded him I played her a few turns back, he said he didn't remember. Either way Basso was not able to use his ability, and with only a single Covenant in his hand, he had to end his attempt. On my next turn I was able to strip away his covenant so he would have to send more then 3 dudes to his space mission, but I was able to complete my mission to win. Basically without Sela, he would have won, with Sela I got the extra time I needed to win. This was an extremely close very well thought out game that I very much enjoyed playing. FW 100-70

Round 4RomulanMatt KirkFW (+100)View opponent's Report
Here is another name of a player who has been in the lower decks for a long time, all of a sudden finds himself in the quarter finals of Continentals. Yet another fright for me where I drew a circle and came up with a huge blank.. What could he be playing?? what will he do?? No matter where he was in the past, he has clearly elevated his play up to very high levels, so if he has practiced a lot, then I may fall into traps! Then he rolled out Romulus. uh oh.. it looks familar.. uh oh.. I don't know where he got it, he said but I don't remember, but it looks awfuly similar to my own romulan deck that I played in Germany in one of the side events. Basically use Far Seeing eyes to strip your opponent of exobiology or biology and telepathy, then run them into Telepathic deception over and over. ugh. This game is really going to be who gets out first. I got out first. he played P&P on the first turn, and followed it up next turn with GUYS. As soon as he had 5 points, he dropped Far Seeing Eyes. ugh. here we go. but I wasn't going to go quietly. so I made him download Far Seeing Eyes as the only card in his hand, then played At an Impasse, then Sent back, to send Far Seeing eyes back, and he doesn't get to draw 2. then used Galg to make him discard the one FSE. then he didn't get to draw cards, then he had to download another FSE, then I caught the 3rd one with a Clear Ultimatum. *whew* bullets dodged (kind of) he had Feast on the dying to get events back, and Tacking into the wind to get dudes back, so I had to Sorus and Clear Ultimatum those away as well. But it turns out I got even luckier. in the discarding mess of earlier in the game, I had forced him to discard all 3 of his ships. With only 3 ships in his deck, he was waiting to play tacking or Feast, so when I took both of those away from him, he had no way to get ships back. So with 20 points he sat there and waited until I completed a mission. As soon as I completed a mission he conceded as the game was actually over with no way to leave his HQ. This game could have gone a very different direction had he been able to get his one FSE going... but I was able to dig under his tricks and catch them before he could get them off. high marks to Matt for taking this deck all the way to top 4, that is impressive. He is a great player and I enjoyed a really great game. FW 35-20 (100-0 by concession)

Round 5StarfleetChris DonatiFL (-65)
And here we are. the final game. Chris is a really great guy. We all went out to lunch before the game & had a great time. Their whole play group is filled with great people, and I can't wait to see them all at Gencon next year! it's gonna be epic! The game started off with me in complete control. I had the galg going right off. I denied him Samuells until late in the game. He was able to play archer, but I was able to get rid of the other two, so he had a single archer for the whole game (who got Secret ID right away). his first attempt got his crew hurt but not ruined. He rebuilt fast and was able to do the first space mission for 50 points. I had chewed on my planet mission, and it was almost done. He attempted his second mission and I wrecked his crew again. Then I totally switched gears, and I am not sure if it was a good thing or not, but he was going fast, so I was panicing. I stopped making him discard and used the galg to attempt a mission. I got no dilemmas out of the deal picking up a gomtuu for my trouble. fuck. he was rebuilding, and I ended up powering through my space mission and was able to go attempt my planet mission. Then he hit his 3rd mission really hard and lots of guys died, but I was out of dilemmas. Here is what I mean when I played 3.75 flawless games. on my last turn, I played Ptol. I saw he had blank, blank, Hard Time, Chula: Chandra. I had 13 guys, and I was at 1 counter. I had Sent back in my hand, but I spent 6 other counters on not Sent back. *SIGH*. if I sent back Samuells, then I have 2 (or 3 pending time) turns to mash my final planet mission. but I didn't. So I saw the dilemams on top. the plan was "send 7, he has to play Chandra, then there are 4 under, I send 6, he has d2/s2 or I win" and I sent the team of 6. TOTALLY backwards. *SIGH* so had I played sent back, I would have been fine, out of time, but fine. had I sent 7 first, he would have had d2/s2 dilemmas against a team with n medical (Healing Hand was a dead draw) but I didn't. On his last turn he was able to use sameulls to play 3 personnel (2 for cheap) get them all to his planet mission, and he had just enough attributes to complete his final mission. dang. I completely messed up my last turn and it cost me the game. Chris had put himself in a really good position, so he was poised to pull out the game, and he played a rock solid game with no mistakes so he deserves the credit for pulling out a victory in the final game, but I just can't help but think what would have happened had I remembered to play the "I win" card I had in my hand... I might have just won with Romulan Discard. PS, the label is wrong, Chris won 100-65, I was chewing on my final mission on my last turn.

Closing Thoughts
So the deck I built thanks to BenHosp, Brian Sykes & Peter Moeller, is really good, but I already know how to make it better. I wont' hang it up to dry just yet, as I very much enjoyed playing it. I have a lot of data on how to make it better, and what to add to make it faster and actually work a bit better then it does. So expect this deck to rear its ugly head in the future! All in all Gencon was excellent. I made some really great new friends with the people from Risa, I got to hang out with some of the people who I really enjoy hanging out with (I'm lookin at you Dan and Steve!) and I got to make an attempt to silence the critics by taking a "tier 2" deck and just tuning it up to do well in a big event. All in all Gencon this year was fantastic and I can't wait to go back next year. Charlie did such a great job running the show, that we all had a super great time. why didn't I just play Sent back? :-) N!