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Suden Käpälä (SudenKapala)
Tournament Report - 1E - Online Event
2021-01-05 - 12:00 AM
RomulanKoval And Sloan Host Devora Inter-Species Special SCI-Con. (2v10)
Introduction

How can I make sure that the hard returns (line breaks) in my terribly long texts are actually visible? PM (or otherwise contact) me if you know, please! So I can rectify the horror of having to cope with these solid blocks of text. Perhaps you'll be doing some people a favour. Now, on with the show. How can I make sure that the hard returns (line breaks) in my terribly long texts actually show up? PM (or otherwise contact) me if you know, please! So I can rectify the horror of having to cope with these solid blocks of text. Perhaps you'll be doing some people a favour.

Ah! Someone told me! Putting paragraph breaks "< p > _ < /p >" on the empty lines will have them show up! Great.

Now, on with the show.

2A/SDII pool, OTF format, TD: The Coyote Gunslinger.

When I can, I do keep "game journals" / "After Action Reports" for myself, even from casual games; and they tend to be longer than my average forum post. I enjoy being able to remember fun bits about a game -- especially games like this, my first online OP game! They might not all be as long as some of these, but I remembered a lot of those journeys (and had the opportunity to write it immediately after). All of my gamer's logs are very chaotic, aim at trying to be funny, and are even less analytical than they are technical. But I like them the way they are.

See also, the notes in the attached deck; at least if you are interested in how that came to be over the course of quite some days. (Yes, day-to-day change logs are involved, to keep track of the many iterations files. Seemed like a fun thing to do at the time.)


Round 1RomulanMichael Van BreemenFL (-5)

g210 (21.01.09): Michael had to get up (or stayed up -- or has never yet slept in his entire life -- I shouldn't presume to know!) before oh-dark-thrity to play our game (his 0600, my 1500). In my defense, I had slept quite badly, so that evened the score, if nothing else did. Speaking about detrimental elements -- my equipment did falter at times, but I reckon not enough to ruin or hamper our game too much. For posterity, I'll have you know that I am 'forced' to run Lackey from my ancient Asus EEE-series netbook "SOL", more antique than Lily's sub-machine gun (which MvB couldn't seed under his Weapons Search for lack of an AU door). Luckily there's an external FSM with a decent, but not great, resolution. A very cheap (completely free, actually) Klipad brand tablet (Seriously: "KLIPAD"! A KLI PADD! Get it? [Imagine grin emoticon here.] Gowron throws them for breakfast!) serves as my communicator. Discord works better on it than does Skype, and we lost connection only once; and its volume mysteriously was turned down, also only once. [Insert rolls-eyes smiley here.] But hey, we have to make do with our majorly-first-world-only problems during times of quarantaine, lockdown and corona, wherever we are. But enough about off-topic stuff.

My seed strategy was a bit hampered by two shared (duplicated, unique) missions -- one of which was crucial to my plans. (Luckily -- but not lucky enough -- I did have a backup plan.) The Ninja started out ahead with seeming ease, but along the way I way actually able to surpass him at, I think, 95-80 points. (Coming back from that position really surprised me.) If I hadn't forgotten to actually beam down a protected Mission Specialist (rather: had risked Lack Of Prep and not have all the requirements present yet), I would've made 100... Because I did get to Investigate some Shattered Space (45), and with the help of 3 Mission Specialists (+15)! (MVB could've actually stolen it early in the game, if he'd gotten a 2nd Astrophysics -- Jo'Bril -- out. Glad he didn't; I hate Jo'Bril with a passion, for what he did to that kind Dr Reyga, who is in many of my constructed decks.)

However -- coming back to a previous point -- I did really forget to bring Soren and use AMS when solving ; and Michael was kind enough to help me in other aspects of the game (I did "almost" forget to play a particle Fountain one time, at my backup 2nd mission -- Restore Moon; and a NCP at another moment). So, when I attempted my last mission (the Install) and ran into trouble -- all my Romulans got lost in a Firestorm -- he could step in afterwards, to beat me into Install a Covert base at Devora (one of my 2 options for my 2-Mission win). For that, he had Taul beam down to a very gender-interested cave (Devora's an inhospitable, uninhabited rock) -- but the denizens were only interested in women, so Taul got off Scot(t) free (pun intended) unless -- I think -- he died. (Yes; log says, killed by Archer.) But then, another load of people came with tools and hammered that outpost down. So he won the game (in the process stealing the 5 bonus points that I had put there for myself, for my 2-mission win). It was in the nick of time; but it was a well-deserved win. It was his previous 80 + Covert Install 35 + Microvirus 5 = 120.

To conclude the least-untechnical side of my "AAR", I hampered the Scot with 2x Loss Of Orbit; I'd have draw the 3rd and last copy only a few turns too late to achieve a victory myself. But having that Interrupt 3x was a blessing; as such, I might have had a much luckier card pool and deck, than Michael. My first attempt of Shatter-space (as said: this isn't a chronological log) ended in a Lack Of Prep (-10). I managed to Restore a Moon (+30) and avoid my other uVirus (+5), adding the benefits of a Particle Fountain (+5) but without Soren (the intended Specialist), bringing my eventual total to 95. We took a total of 28 (or 29?) turns (I love it that Lackey helps us keeps track); and Michael rolled 6 to my 2 (so he got to kick-off our trip along the 'line).

At least I got to play a few cards that I hadn't played before (an ambition of mine); notably Contact Riker (who didn't get to do much), VedDax, Jodmos, and perhaps some of "the little people" / blue collar workers (which I myself, pre-corona, was one of; so all due respect to them!) -- among which was, of all holograms, Tomek (never thought I'd play him). Junior's Birth actually got to do something; it stranded a Combat Vessel at my FER Trade Post and alomst destroyed it. However, Premiere Geordi was able to fix it just in time. (Sadly, Leah wasn't here on MvB's behalf, either; her hologram was in my pool but I had to -- very reluctantly! -- cut her from my deck.) And moreover, my deck didn't mis-perform at all, or in unexpected manners; and if things had been a bit different, I really could've picked the fruits of my quite well-prepped strategy. Tactics-wise and technically, I could've played (a lot) better, but I can safely give myself credit for doing the best I could given the novel circumstances and trepidation about playing under time pressure and online. The adventure was actually very exciting (well, for me; in a good way) in the end, and a race. Ninja was very friendly and patient, and it was overall quite a lot of fun, for my very first online OP game!


Round 2KlingonFederationDaniel MattesonMW (+40)

g212 (21.01.13): A nice game, again. Not as exciting as the first, as in "a race 'till the end". But fun; laughing was involved; and interesting stuff happened. We've seen things, you people wouldn't believe. (Not C-beams glittering in the dark, in case you wondered.)

Now, what were some of the novel things that I got to experience? Duplicating all of three (3) missions, for one. The groaning on both sides of the 'line waned only after the seed phase was over.

I saw Legate Damar, persona-swapped into his Glinn self; then be killed; and return to the fray as his more experienced version. Or was it the other way around...?

Very "interesting", too, was the Static. Warp. Bubble. In. Turn. One. Aside from the (then-occasional) laughing, the groaning on my side of the line waxed again; got louder and louder; and didn't stop until my hand was all but empty... and I drew The Traveller. That turned the tide (perhaps more than) a bit. (In hindsight, I did drop the right cards for SWB; and I had enough going for me in the draw deck by ways of drawing luck and redundancy, to take that punch. I may not have recovered, though, if my Transcendence had come much later.)

It must have been an absolute pleasure to watch Sarek vs. Shaka Walls... if I'd been in Coyote's shoes. As it was, I was secretly(?) quite disappointed that those Walls were talked down with no effort at all. I got to kill Jo'Bril -- again! -- by Dalrok tie, saying, "I hate that guy. For what he did to Reyga." (I somehow like Reyga in the episode; and he's in more of my decks than there a decks of mine without him.) Then I felt deja vu, remembering that I had cracked that same joke recently, as well; perhaps against the Ninja, or either of my test games against Wowbagger or Carter?

Yep. Also forgot my NCP again (twice, even; but once, it might've been Koval who'd have brought a 3rd Security to a rather hot-headed changeling). Talking about shifters, my Bad Bashir got hammered on the nose -- and by a universal, 3- or even 2-skilled Romulan, at that! The audacity. More mistakes: not having the situational awareness and skill memory to have the correct assets, thus inefficiently ferrying my crew to and fro for at least 3 times. (Having both the Neb and K'Vort out, helped a bit.) Overall, though, I did plan & play my mission specs a lot better, than in the first bout. There was that, at least.

Coyote had a bracelet with an Orb fragment seeded somewhere; but he wasn't able to dig it out in time to vanquish the Dalrok. But boy, here's someone who can count! Within 0.68 seconds he'd have his personnel's attributes all added up (and later, mine too). My poor communicator (Skype tablet) had a hard time keeping up with how fast Daniel calculated aloud. (In fact, I had no trouble from my archaic equipment at all, this time; and Skype performed with surprising quality, during the call.) This game, I did get my 2nd AMS drawn and played. Not that it mattered too much in the end, perhaps; but, well, it did feel more comfortable getting Soren out. And, wait, yes; she did score 5 AMS points, after all! At one point, both of us had a boat stalled due to lack of a matching personnel who could read the manual; but I was able to send over a translator relatively soon.

Obviously, again, I didn't get to pull of my 2-mission win. At the end of the dilemma stack below Restore Moon, the Gunslinger let me know, "Here comes the most difficult dilemma of them all." And it was. Fed-Ex Ved Dax (yes; I really think that's funny) walked up, and for all her 30 skills and 5 personnel types, couldn't for the like of her fiure out this puzzle. Next came Thana Los, but he didn't stand a chance -- all he could do was scratch his head. It was up to Luther. Sloane politely asked for some room, and Daniel said: "Well, yes, Sloane will need all his deep knowledge of Section 31 -- but he'll get through." He proved correct; Luther opened his up til now nervously clenched fist, stuck out a trembling finger, and pushed the button.

The Impassable Door slid open.

They also overcame my self-planted microvirus for those 5 points; and when I beamed down another team, that landed me 30 points for the mission and Soren scored another 5 from AMS. Had I, at that time, not neglected to play either of the two Particle Fountains in hand, my final score might've been 45; but I did. Again. (That was the mistake which cost me my game in round 1 with MvB.)

Those 5 points wouldn't have been enough, though, to get through a Dead End, which was waiting for me under the second of my 2-mission-win-missions. Even my no-holds-barred-full-alert-all-aboard attempt at Wolf 359 went nowhere; me stepping onto a Berserk Changeling's tail, who then went -- well, berserk. (And it wasn't as if Coyote hadn't already encountered that big mass of goo and I couldn't have known... but well, so much had happened in the mean time...?) By then we really needed to call time (Daniel did), and that was it. A mostly badly played round for me (I operated some things a bit better than in round 1, but made just as many mistakes if not more). But, with the Gunslinger having almost as little luck as his namesake from Midworld -- and my deck seemingly performing well enough, again -- it was a meagre win for me after all.

In conclusion, we had a lot of humourous moments (which I hope to have reflected in this AAR, a bit); and the friendly banter made this another memorable leg on my first online OP Trek.


Round 3ChristianFW (+100)

g214 (21.01.24): Luthy seeded all three trilogy outposts (and not the Trade Post), which caught my eye. I got my Traveller not really in the beginning, but fast enough to extremely matter. The same went for my second (i.e., drawn) AMS, which allowed me to bring out all bonus-scoring Specialists. I think I'm starting to believe that I had a lot of luck with the pool I drew, and what I was able to see in it / take from it. As such, this time I did get to pull of the intended 2-mission win. And I did not make any mistakes -- but Amanda thwarted my first Particle fountain, and we agreed that a second could not be played. Luckily, I had enough "bonus point generation redundance".

On the other hand, I also had one (or three...) Losses of Orbit at hand -- which I could only effectively employ one of. (Even -- for my first time ever -- destroying something; a Fed Type VI shuttle.) Which says enough. Luthy had a lot of bad luck, and too big a deck (as per his own analysis as well as mine, after I had taken in the suggestions that Carter and Coyote did on forum regarding their events). Also, he had perhaps -- given his comments -- spent less effort in creating a perfect deck, while I had slaved away for days. Lastly, he was forced to mis-seed some non-dilemmas (9, if I recall correctly?) in order to pad his seed deck. In my OTSD games (Carter's concurrent event) I was seriously hampered during seeding by 5-1 situations; but with this more friendly planet/space icons distribution (we both had 3/3, I believe), I only had 2 misseeds for the same purpose. (I'd have had 4, in a Four-On-Floor scenario, in case of a 2P/2S/2E-warranting distro; not bad either.)

If the remark I read from Jadzia recently -- her opponent getting 'ship-screwed'? -- means that one gets no ships to fly with, then Luthy got severely 'staff-screwed'. He was able to field at least 4, perhaps 6 ships; but couldn't fly them for various reasons (lack of reading skills to take to thge ship's manual -- i.e., no matching personnel).

And again (after both a mediated win and and a full loss) it showed, that my deck actually runs smoothly and that I had a lot of 'card pool luck'.

This, all, only to emphasise that our game was not "as well-balanced" as it could have been. I guess that tainted my vistory just a little bit... but not fully. I did build, plan, and play well; took calculated risks in when I started to attempt; and pulled off the throttle when I saw that I could afford to be more cautious (not continuing my attempt when my ship got damaged). Also, the strength of my personnel pool seems to be that I -- ironically? -- have some very important specialists and support personnel; and the 3-5 skill laden people, I can use as red-shirts. Or rather, full-fledged away teams that knopw their way around some obstacles.

I did get to experience (from Luthy's deck) a Garbage Scow which I got to tow away; and Null Space and/or that similar(?) explosion-imaged Premiere thing, which stopped me.

I flew with the USS Nebula and the D'Dex. Almost got to report Luthy's namesake (had him in my hand 1 or 2 turns before The End) but it wasn't smart to do so, regretfully. I didn't see his, either. (Surely he must've stacked The Real Sloan?)

Wait -- I did make some tactical mistakes (but fewer and 'slighter' ones than in previous games); I forgot to check the requirements for my own(!) self-seeded bonus (Shattered) space dilemma, Strand, which would've destroyed my 'dilemma-busting' boat if it hadn't been so easy! And I took too little into account, that my Shattered Space could've been stolen even though OTSD, for >35 points. In this casem there was no real danger it seemed, and perhaps I'd have remembered in time, but it is a thing to learn from.

Oh, and a last note: due to the friendliness of the 'line, and aforementioned other factors, the seed and play phases both went really fast and the game was done -- for better or worse -- in 66'.


Round 4Greg SaumFW (+100)
g214 (21.01.31): "Darn those Mission Specialists!" said Lord Gregor, when he reported this game. My retort was, "Says the [i]next[/i] person to field a [card1]Traveler[/card1] on me. (It gets better, but I won't spoil the fun. This is just the teassr text, see.)

Still, indeed, lady luck was nowhere to be seen for him, the rest of the game. My eventual win felt polished, well-played perhaps; but also a bit [i]too[/i] easy.

So, after some SNAFUBAR with my LOL (little old laptop) called "SOL", I finally got to meet Greg on Skype. We have about the same history with the game -- roughly; collectors first, but with a few good friends to play with in the olden days.Then, years of nothing;and with corona, getting unto the breach again by comfortably first toying around with sealed pools. Also, Lackey was even newer for him than it is for me -- so I got the honour of explaining some tricks like I've bee taught by the community over the past 2 months. Nice to be able to give something back! Thanks for that, M'lord.

Greg had a Traveler out... yep. In. The. First. Turn. Lucky for me, that was about all the luck he got for the next hour. He did attempt two missions (Relief and Test), but didn't get very far. I think his gang couldn't handle a Crisis (without him there in person, to Lead them through it).

My deck is just great, as said. I had all the right skill-laden personnel that actually were NOT important for solving; I had my specialists for that. The heavy-weights went in and red-shirted the blazes out of the dilemmas, so to speak. And I wouldn't have to shed a tear about them. (Some sweat was poured over agonizing moments, though. And there was luck involved, e.g. not hitting Prep Lack.) Also -- and that's where I put some actual work in, myself -- I had balanced the skill set quite well over the course of the deck building process.

I got my second AMS in turn 2 or 3, reigning the astrophycisists (Soren and Tomek). This time around, I did make the mistake again of not preparing very well for my self-seed below Devora (Covert Install) -- or perhaps my team just got chopped up too much by Phased Ro Laren or some such. So that mission just landed me 35 points. (And I may have had a Particle Fountain on hand that I forgot to play again, too.) But even the Dal'Rok's murder spree at Shattered Space couldn't stop me from clearing the dilemmas there; and reinforcements (among which 3 assigned mission specialists) came in to scoop up a whooping 60 points. Together with my self-seed there -- have Astrophysics or be destroyed -- that made for the 65 points I needed to win. Too quickly.

I blame Greg for my mistakes, though. We had a great game in a relaxed atmosphere, and were chatting about collecting Wars action figures and cards, and our recent experiences with Lackey, online, and OP. So I actually suspect him of being devious as a Romulan, and distracting me with his friendly demeanour to lul me into a false sense of security...

No, I don't. Thanks for a great hour, and the chat afterwards! Hope to play you again soon.


Closing Thoughts

As for (21.01.09) global event feedback... the preparations were quite a chore for me, since there was talk of a local game group pal joining, too; and there was my tempation / hesitation to join both Coyote's and Carter's events. (Which started on the very same day -- why!? Okay; that was a bit tricky, I'll feed you both back that. LOL!) But both TDs were troopers in answering my myriad questions and offered enough advice that I couldn't help but enroll in both their gigs, even while my prospectively joining 'local play mate' had to cancel during corona-related-job-search issues.

Then, what was the chore? The deck building, for one. I was very happy that we got ample time; and I had to use 6 days (partial, of course; but not nearly "only an hour per day"!) to get my deck ready. As of 21.01.09 (when writing this, after round 1), I am working on my deck for Carter's tourney, still. That felt/feels stressful, but that's totally on me. Of course, I could've dropped from either, but right now I had the time and it was too great of a chance (hence: temptation) to enter 2A, SDII, and OTSD events while I still can, during the lockdown. So while really an overdose of 1e (those 1st World Problems again), I wouldn't have missed it for the Worlds.