On the 22nd of February, 2014 the Comic Hunter held the first annual Netrunner LCG store championships. Runners hit the data lines and viciously hacked into the various corporations around the globe. Hours later, after all the stimhacks had been emptied and the net damage shaken off, a victor would be declared. Hack the planet!
Most of the players at the tournament frequent the Monday-night Comic Hunter Netrunner LCG league, but we also had some travellers from the Halifax Data Grid join us. I was glad to see some new decks from all around the region, and I hope that next time we will have even more competition from our Nova Scotia neighbours. In fact, rumour has it that some of the Monctonians may travel to Halifax and compete on their home territory. All are welcome. We can always set up an extra console and a neural implant.
The Fantasy Flight Games prize pack (featured below) as well as store credit from the Comic Hunter were waiting for the top 4 players. The prize pack consists of 4 play mats featuring some great artwork, as well as the coveted “2014 Store Champions” line written upon it. A trophy for the ultimate victor, as well as some deck boxes featuring Netrunner-themed art were awarded to first and second place. The alternate-art version of Kati Jones were handed out to all participants.
The tournament was conducted in a swiss-style format. Players faced off against opponents decided at random. Each win as either corporation or runner scores two points, ties earning players one point. Because I was playing in the tournament it is impossible for me to give you a true overview, so instead I will try to relay to you some highlights from the games I played. I had decided to play the Jinteki: Replicating Perfection corporation and the Anarch: Reina Roja as my runner. Interestingly enough I was the only player running Jinteki at the tournament. First game I was paired against Shaper. I quickly gained a heap of credits with a first turn Celebrity Gift, followed by protecting R&D with some ice. Shaper immediately runs Account Siphon on me. What? I was not expecting Shaper to be packing Account Siphons, let alone have one first turn. This continued for at least three more Account Siphons, followed by at least one or two more using ‘Same Old Thing’ recursion. Jinteki just could not keep the runner out of their Headquarters. Every single account they had was systematically broken into and drained of funds. At the point when I finally drew my first agenda, the runner had a full rig up and more credits then I cared to count. No points scored for me early game and now I was broke, and facing a fully jacked-out Shaper rig. Needless to say, it did not go well.
It was now my turn to play the runner. I had decided to build a chess version of Reina Roja, with the fixed-cost breaker suite of Mimic, Corroder, and Yog.0. I had Knights to break anything that my other breakers could not. I also had Bishops and Datasuckers to reduce the strength of any ice, so that my breakers suite could function. I was running all the Cassia programs, except for pawn. My first game I was trying to crack into Haas Bioroid: Engineering the Future. I used to play this identity so I knew what to expect. I kept running into their R&D, as well as their HQ, but could not pull a single agenda. Eventually the corporation scored enough points to win, and once again things were looking grim.
Next round I was running against Weyland. This was not unexpected, as almost half the players in the tournament were playing this identity. It has so many options… Score agendas, or blow the runner up, with not only Scorched Earth, but now Punitive Counterstrike; the flexibility is hard to ignore. The corporation was gaining so much money, playing with every transaction they could. Beanstalk, Hedge Fund, Green Level Clearance, and Restructure; taking full advantage of the Weyland identity. The corp had so much money. I had two Bishops installed on a data fort, and with Reina as my identity, it would cost the corporation an extra five credits to rez any ice. I ran… Right into a 19 cost Curtain Wall. Yeah, I’m not getting through that. I did manage to score some points this game before the corporation scored enough to win, so I was feeling a bit better about things.
Now it was time for the comeback to truly begin. The Jinteki corporation was able to fill their accounts as the runner assaulted them. I installed a Janus, protecting a subsidiary data fort. The runner decided to run it on their final action of the turn. Playing Jinteki: Replicating Perfection this occurs more often than you expect, as the runner generally wants to have a full hand and is forced to run a central server first. This is why I run Janus. It is the best deck for this particular ice, as you want the runner to have little to no actions left when the hit it… and hit it they did. I paid for the ice and the runner ran right into it, taking the full four brain damage and dumping their entire hand. Now that they had gone through the ice, they decided to continue and access, hoping they could steal the final agenda and win the game. Unfortunately for the runner, the agenda I had installed was a Fetal AI, doing two net damage and killing the runner. Somewhere in the vast cityscape, there is a small dingy apartment or storage locker, where the reek of cooked braincells and decay begins to permeate, as a runner lies lifeless still suspended in his data creche. Jinteki, of course denies any responsibility in these events, as they were simply protecting their investments, and are at no fault for the death of a cyber criminal.
Somehow I had managed to come back from a huge deficit, winning all my following games and claiming a spot in the top 4! I have to say the top card for me in the tournament was Sundew. With the Jinteki identity I was playing, this card is just too good! Fear the Sundew.
Marc Durette finished as the tournament champion, and will retain bragging rights until this time next year. Congratulations Marc! The competition was fierce, and I would like to thank everyone that made it out for some great Netrunner games.
The results for the winners bracket are as follows:
#1 – Marc Durette
#2 – Chris MacLeod
#3 – Dan Drapeau
#4 – David Weinberg (author)
The break-down of the identities played in the tournament is displayed in the two graphs below. As you can see the meta is full of Anarch and Weyland players. It is interesting to note, that all of the top 4 players were using different corporations (only one Weyland).
Well, that wraps up our first annual Netrunner Store championship tournament report. Keep tuning those decks and running those nets.
Report submitted by David Weinberg