Neal's Last Words
by Byron "Neal" Massey
Karl, Johnny and Neal on the Road
Karl de Veres, Johnny Quazar and I just returned from a constructed-deck
tournament in Seattle, Washington. It was held at the palatial WotC
gaming center. The decor and entertainments are the fantasy of any
12-year-old boy. As you can imagine, I love the place.
You can buy Netrunner starters there for $18.00. Needless to say,
the display box was full. You can always get your starters from
Rob's Netrunner Node. Rob will deliver them to your door (overnight
if desired) for much less than the WotC price.
Jennifer Clarke Wilkes organized the tournament. She has been hosting
sealed-deck events regularly, but there was an error in communication,
and this tournament was accidently advertised as a constructed-deck
event. Jenniter said, "Go with it," and that's exactly
There was a big wedge of Gorgonzola cheese awarded to the least-cool
deck. Coolness was determined by rating your opponent's decks after
each round. This did not deter the prize-hungry, however. I faced
two Corp War/Artificial Security Directors Corporations in four
rounds. I also glanced over to see four Full-Body Conversions in
play in a game next to mine. In short, cheese abounded.
Voting for coolness had some problems. I received an 80% coolness
rating for my decks in the first round. Immediately after, my opponent
was telling everyone how cool my decks were, that he had never seen
the cards before, etc. Go figure.
Honesty was also an issue. I played a slightly modified version
of First Amendment as the Runner. In three of four games, I was
able to install and use Disintegrator. Each time, my opponent placed
the Disintegrated ICE in the trash. I was forced by ethics (how
I hate them) to explain that Distintegrator only derezzes the ICE.
It doesn't trash it. Quite a moral Quandary, especially since I
did so poorly in the tournament.
Karl played a stack with 34 Mystery Boxes and nine programs. He
always had his entire kit installed by the third or fourth turn.
Sadly, the Newsgroup Filter was too slow for this freewheeling environment.
He used PurgeTech(tm) on the Corp side, with mixed results.
Johnny had good success with a Corporation that featured Washington,
D.C. City Grid. His Runner should have won the cheese. It featured
ten Viral Pipelines and eleven Loans from Chiba. He used Krash as
his only breaker, however. He finished in fourth place, and pulled
a Scaldan out of a prize booster.
My corp was an old favorite. Nine Security Purges, three Sirens,
and 33 large ICE. Unfortunately, I met up with a Forward's Legacy/Lockjaw
combination that shamed my Black Ice, as well as some real trouble
with Agenda clumped up in HQ in conjunction with All-Hands.
Each time I play in a tournament with a coolness prize, I seem to
err on the side of aesthetics. Afterwords, Karl and I vowed we would
spare no dairy products in our next tournament. It's fun to play
creative decks that feature seldom-used cards. But it's more fun
Having made this promise to myself, I immediately began thinking
about a combination of Namatoki Plazas, Sirens, and Pattel Antibodies.
Old habits are hard to kick.