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Neal's Last Words


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 what happened.

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 to win.

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.