Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Life on the NET # 5

So, myself Rich and Alex headed over to Leisure Games on Sunday for our next step up in Netrunner tournament play. LG have a monthly tourney capped at 20 players so we were expecting something of an increase but still a pretty laid back event......except they were the first in London to pick up a Winter prize kit which stretched the field to 26 and brought out the virtual knives!

As such people were wheeling out the Big-Bad decks and running thier A games with four rounds ratcheting upto five.

In honesty the vast majority of my opponents were very cool and more than happy to explain things to me as and when I asked. More than once I was also let off a minor timing gaff or two which was greatly appreciated.

Having read through some deck analysis of Worlds I was aware that my chosen IDs, NBN Making News and Criminal Silhouette, were entirely unrepresented and caused some comment on the day. Over four rounds I went 3-5, having gone into the 4th round 3-3, somehow I was 2-0 after round 1, which I was feeling very proud of. The field followed the current meta with lots of Kate, Anarch Virus decks, heavy HB and fast breeder NBN.

Up until round four I'd felt pretty much up with the pace, most of the time, though it was a fair bit of effort. In that I played a couple of anarch Virus decks which were a new experience for me but I could work out what they were doing. Running mainly against Haas-Bioroid I made a few mistakes a couple of times over but the main struggle was putting together a cognet strategy. Just slowing myself down and talking myself throyugh the board state really helped.

Round Four I came pretty unstuck against Pre-Paid Kate and then NBN Near Earth Hub. My opponent obviously had a lot of experience and knew what he was doing. I really didn't have a clue what he was doing! He played along at a good pace and I just got lost. He probably could have helped me out a bit more but then he didn't have to, not that it was too likely to change the result!

Against Kate it took a long time for the Agendas to come out and by then he was so well set, and had even reset his deck, he could run me with relative impunity.  All day my NBN deck fought me with a consistently lumpy draw, rarely giving me what I wanted as I needed it but those are the breaks. Against Near Earth Hub he set up his many, many servers and then blasted out the Agendas with frightening ease. 3-3 to 3-5 in 55 minutes!

In retrospect I let myself get blinded by science a bit. I should have slowed down and asked a lot more questions. I felt like I got the bums rush a bit and as such didn't really learn a lot from the game which was disappointing and slightly soured an otherwise enjoyable day.

Clinging onto the lower places and having made plans elsewhere we took our leave before the final round. I really felt the mental effort I'd exerted throughout the day which was a big learn all by itself.

The main lesson for the day was that I just need to play more games outside of my local meta. It's all well and good reading about current meta decks but seeing them in play is very different. That probably means taking a bit of a kicking for a while but as long as I take the time to learn what's going on, asking questions, and work through what I can do about it it's all good. The team championship in a fortnight will be a massive "opportunity".

While I'm doing that I'm going to continue to concentrate on my main IDs and decks, tweaking them as I go. To that end I'd like to concentrate them a touch more, maximise thier strengths and see how that goes. As such a second core set will be a necessity........ A NECESSITY ;]

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