last update 03.09.2006 12:01
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Neal's Last Words


Neal's Last Words

by Byron "Neal" Massey

Don't Drink and Run

It was great to have Scott Dickie, the director of the World Domination online tournament, come out to the West Coast (on vacation). He played in the WotC tournament I mentioned in last week's column ("What's Netrunner?"). From there, he came to my hometown for a beach vacation before heading back to the old homestead in Minnesota (go Vikings!).

I didn't get a chance to play against Scott in the tournament, but we had a lot of fun playing Netrunner one evening with my brother and a longtime friend (and genius) Charles Gordon. Charles has the highest skill/experience ratio of anyone I have ever played with (including people like Holger Janssen, Nat Johnson, Frisco Del Rosario, and Dennis Duncan).

"...I am seriously thinking about hosting a meatspace Invitational Best-of-the-Best World Championship."

I played a couple of sealed deck matches with Scott, I think I won a single game out of four. We then proceeded to a four-player game. We used the simplest multi-player rules possible. Each player had either a Corp or Runner deck, and we sat in a circle that alternated Corp and Runner. A Corp went first and we just went around the circle taking turns until someone scored seven points. Runners could run wherever they wanted (although it was illegal for the first Runner to run on the second Corp, who had not yet had a turn, the first time around). The game continued if one Runner was flatlined. Tags were shared, all exposed cards were exposed to both Runners, and Corps could play Tagging/Tracing Operations even if the Runner they attempted to trace ran on the other Corp in their previous turn.

We had a great time and were unable to detect any imbalances created by these very simple rules. The two games had a Corp winner and a Runner winner.

There were a few rules changes I would recommend. A tag should be the property of a single Corp. Cards that are exposed but not rezzed should only be showed to the Runner that exposes them. A flatline should end the game with the killing Corp as victor. Like Monoply, Corps and Runners should be able to sell information and tags for whatever price the market will bear, but only for bits, not cards, actions, etc. A purchased tag should not be lost to the Corp that sells it, only gained by the Corp that buys it. Exposed cards should be marked as such without actually being turned over. The Runner that exposes them should be able to look at cards whenever desired.

After the multi-match was over, Scott and I settled down for some constructed-deck action. Unfortunately, he crushed me. I could blame it on the five bottles of beer I drank (I hardly ever drink, that might have been a record for me). I could blame it on bad luck. The truth is, Scott is a good player and he has been training with the Fort Collins, Colorado duo of David Bartholow and World Champion Tobin Lopes.

So, it was a great night of Netrunner but I didn't accomplish any noteworthy personal successes. I forgot to bring the Krash stack I listed last week, so I didn't even get a chance to further test it. Maybe the highlight of the evening for me was Scott's Netrunner-Widow-in-Training, Christa (sp?) remaining remarkably pleasant while being ignored all evening. Count your lucky stars, Scott...

Some of you may know that I recently returned from a vacation halfway around in the world in Bali, Indonesia. After seeing Skip Pickle's new version of the tournament rules and playing with Scott, I am seriously thinking about hosting a meatspace Invitational Best-of-the-Best World Championship. The plan is to get airfares as cheap as the ones I got to Bali, and fly in the best players from around the world for a week of private, small group play to determine sealed and constructed world champions.

It probably won't happen soon but I will be sending out informational email to top players. If you have credentials that you feel would qualify you for this event, send me email so I can put you on the list. The plan right now is to get the top twelve players, but that could change.

It's been a month since I wrote anything about a specific card, so I will find time this week to put out a special column about an extremely hard-to-find rare, Pavit Bharat.


The deadline is still two days away, but the voting on Mulligans seems to be a lock. The tally at this time is 17-1 with "NO" in the lead. send in a vote if you think you can change these early results.


Daffy suggests that Blink would be a nice match for Evil Twin. I agree. For other ideas about Evil Twin, see Evil Indeed.

See you in Wilderspace,