Little Engine Wishbone (5th Oslo SC 2018)

presheaf 555

This is a complete copy from @FoilFlaws' current DotW. The only change I made was -1 SEA, +1 HHN as he suggested, and -1 Archangel, +1 Little Engine for no good reason except my liking the card. It did not do well on the day, which given its excellent record at CanNats is probably entirely pilot error.

Round 1: I am matched up against Mikael. He tells me he has not played for ages. I know this to be 1) true, but 2) misleading, because I remember playing against Mikael at Regionals 2014 (has it really been this long? am I getting old?) and being one of the many people he took out on his way to the finals. We start our match by him running as MaxX. I opt to mulligan because my hand has no econ and no Scarcity, and end up with a hand with a bit of money and Scarcity, but an agenda and no ice. I'm able to get Scarcity up, but need to put my first Data Raven on HQ to get my money on, bleeding a bunch of single accesses. Eventually this results in points and Mikael getting some money up, so by the time I start pushing stuff in my remote, he's on 4 or 5 points. I have been able to tag him and get a Data Raven token in return, so am digging for my EoI to take me off match point, but can't find it in time. I am forced to put a GFI I draw into the remote because Mikael is diligent about cleaning out HQ, so although it stays there for a turn or two, eventually he has clicked up enough creds and Datasucker tokens to break the Tollbooth and News Hound for the win.

In our next game, I play as Geist vs Mikael's Titan. My heart sinks a bit, because I feel like Titan can generally go too fast for Geist. Am I to be swept by Mikael yet again? I open with a pretty okay hand with at least two out of Corp Grant, OCA and Tech Trader. Mikael ices HQ and R&D early. I start putting down some engine pieces, and spy an Atlas on R&D with a Spy Camera. I'm kicked out by an Enigma, but I know that unless I can steal it from HQ, I'm going to be forced to contest a remote very soon, assuming he doesn't have FA in hand. I'm lucky in that he doesn't have FA, and in that I find the Aumakua I dig for, with a Legwork to boot. I get into HQ with Dean Lister and steal it, barely holding the Atlas train back. I do need to go a bit lower on money than I wanted, so when Mikael puts down a naked remote I suspect to be Recon Contract shortly after, I'm too stingy to check and trash it for some reason I vaguely remember involving wanting to Drive By it next turn instead. I instantly regret this, as MIkael has Dedication + Atlas in hand the next turn. By this point I've gotten to 5 points somehow (IIRC I stole a 2-pointer off a lucky Spycam with Mad Dash) and have an okay engine, so I feel good about my chances, but still pretty relieved when I find the final 2 points in R&D. I get my (partial) revenge and am at 1-1.

Round 2: I get to play Daniel. Daniel has not played for too long, but is very very nice, and I hope he sticks around. In our first game, I get to Corp vs. his Ken Tenma, and have a really good start with a bit of ice, some money and Scarcity. Naming Event and making currents very expensive, I get a great econ lead and get the ice I need, letting me score a GFI. I think I then successfully bait an Inside Job with an NGO to get further ahead in money, opening a window to score a second GFI, and finally a QPM for the win. At some point during the game, I also have Stinson up and play Hedge, IPO from him, mostly out of greed. This seems like a lucky draw for me more than any great piloting on my end or big mistakes on Daniel's, although I do get a sense that I need to score proactively with this deck.

I next play as Geist against his Nisei Division. I open with pretty much the perfect hand, as I have some engine pieces (I think Tech Trader), Corp Grant and Drive By. I play solitaire on my first and maybe second turn, but then Daniel IA(A?)s something. Although I consider saving my Drive By for match point, I use it to expose a Medical Research Fundraiser, which I gleefully steal. I then put an Off the Lam on my Tech Trader and feel great about myself. My hopes, however, are quickly dashed as Daniel surprise Hunter Seekers me to destroy my tech trader. I also tank a small Junebug at some point too, knocking out my Legwork and A bit later, my Street Peddlers, who have done a great job keeping Daniel poor, also dump both my Levys (In retrospect, I should probably have hung on to the second one to keep this fact secret.) Daniel smells blood and Voter Intimidations the SoT I had installed earlier, correctly guessing I could not recur Levy in any other way, so I am now on the clock (although my UWCs will keep me afloat for a while). Despite the Mind Game he put on R&D doing a pretty good job against my Aumakua, I have been able to score 2+1 more points with lucky Spycams, so I'm now at match point, and I think I random access a TFP around the time I run out of deck and win the psi game. I really enjoyed both of our games (not at all only because I won, but because Daniel's very nice and a pleasure to play with) and hope to see Daniel soon. I end round 2 at 3-1, and go into the break feeling good about myself.

Round 3: I am paired with Terje, who I have not played before. He tells me he recently bought a used collection and stayed up very late to organize it twice, which I feel gives me an advantage. I mulligan for and find Scarcity vs his Geist, which makes me very happy about myself. However, I don't really draw any ice, so when the agendas start piling up things quickly go south. I have a second Scarcity to delay him, but by the time I start trying to score, Terje has gone on a 3-point Legwork. He is also on a Pirate Hayley-like build with Kongamato and Grappling Hooks, so although I bait a run with NGO (?), he gets in to steal 2 more points. With 3 Tech Traders making every card hyperefficient, things does not look good for me, but he then makes the mistake of playing Levy in a turn he ran, leaving him at the very unfortunate 7 credits with no trashable resources except stuff which breaks ice. I had anticipated EoI being my only out here, so jump at the chance to HHN him. As he can't clear all 4 tags, I can then spend my next turn taking out his Tech Traders. Having just Levyed, I know his econ will be pretty slow for a while, and I trash the Ghabalis he has out to keep my remote safe. This is not free, though, so I have to click for credits a bit, giving Terje enough time to Spycam the winning agenda, play some cards from hand and take it. I think I stood a chance here if I had drawn QPM or 15 Minutes and then EoI to take Terje off match point, but I also feel like I had absolutely no business getting as close as I did to winning, so I can't feel too bad.

As Runner, I get to face Terje's NEXT Design. After a mulligan, he has the very exciting NEXT turn of installing 1 ice only. On the other end of the table, I have at least two of Tech Trader and OCA, so although I am mildly sad to see a T1 of scarcity, cred x2, there is no rez on the HQ ice, so I am lucky enough to snag a Ikawah Project to turn off the current. (Given the NEXT turn and his low credit total, I think I'd probably have just ran at least 3x.) This lets me set up my own stuff, and I draw into a Grant soon after. I Spycam 2 more points, and decide to just get completely set up (I have yet to find my Aumakua) and wait until my Spycams find the final 2 points in R&D. This plan is jeopardized when we are informed we're close to time due to taking long on our first game and seeing a Miraju in R&D. However, in a last ditch attempt to catch up in points, I think, Terje IAAs an agenda in a server which isn't actually that threatening, so although I need to pay the Ash trace, I get to steal it. I don't think this would have made a big difference because I had SoT for Legwork, though. I feel bad about seeing this game largely come down to Terje having an abysmal draw and me having a very good one, but Terje was a very good sport about it. Hoping to get to play him more in the future, I end this round 4-2.

Round 4: Looking at the standings for this round, it seems like 2 people are above 4-2, with 6 or so people at 4-2. Our cut is top 4, so I think my chances of making it are ok. I am matched up against Eirik, which is a terrifying proposition because I consider him probably the best player in Oslo, based off his winning (I think) both the previous SC and Regionals as well as what I consider to be a great understanding both of the game and the meta. On the other hand, he also borrowed a bunch of cards from me, so I know a couple of cards I otherwise might not expect, including Scarcity. I therefore elect to do the only reasonable thing one can do when faced with this kind of opposition, and mulligan into an absolutely amazing hand vs. his ASA. I don't remember exactly, but IIRC I had Grant, OCA and Tech Trader. I think aloud about whether to play the Grant or save it to kill Scarcity, but decide that I'm 1) greedy and 2) sorta confident he'd have played it if he had it, so I go for it and am rewarded by getting to solitaire for a bit while taking his money. I don't remember the details beyond this game going very well for me, but I Spycam 2 2-pointers in something like 3 tries while Eirik scores a CST. At one point he tries to be sneaky by IAAing something. I have Dean Lister, so would probably be able to get in, but I also suspect it might be an NGO, so I run R&D first click to see whether he'll hang on for money to defend the remote. Upon seeing FC2.0 + something else (?) rezzed I feel he's going too low on money to credibly defend, so I think I tank the FC2.0 to have the clicks for Drive By. (I seem to remember taking a brain damage and it missing, which seems par for the course for this game.) I pretend to think for what feels like ages to let the paid ability window close, then play my singleton Drive By on what actually is an NGO. From there on I think I just play some stuff until I'm about to Levy, when I Spycam another 2-pointer. I eagerly run R&D first click but catch myself and jack out, because I realize 2+2+2 is not 7, and I need to click 2, 3 SoT the Mad Dash in my heap to actually win. Fortunately, I have the money+breakers+Dean Lister to do so, and I win.

Playing as EdTech vs. his Find the Truth Valencia, I fumble from turn 1 or so. (Actually, even before turn 1, as I manage to shuffle and let Eirik cut my Runner deck instead of my Corp, but I fortunately catch this before drawing my 'opening hand'.) At the end of my first turn, I forget to name anything at all, so my ID is blank. I do get an early Scarcity and a bit of money, but not that much. I think my turn 2 is think "sweet, he has no money, so I can HHN", and then proceeding to do so before I notice he actually has some 9 credits, displayed prominently in huge poker chips I somehow completely overlooked. (Eirik is a great sport about this and lets me take everything back.) Although I get an ice on R&D, I put my second ice (News Hound) on my remote to score an early Beale, which Eirik warns me is probably incorrect. In retrospect, I regret this move, as I end up going quite low on credits to do so. From there on, I need to click for creds fairly often, while Eirik gets to FtT/RNG key my centrals. At some point he also gets TTW out to build counters. He is smart about playing around my ID ability (or, possibly, I choose incorrectly frequently), so I can't catch up in money. There's also EStrike for when playing around it seems inconvenient. Sometimes I also clean forget to switch this. I also forget the fact that Eirik has RNG Key a couple of times in a failed attempt to game loss myself. I think Eirik was not at all behind even before I scored the Beale, but I don't think there was any time after that I felt like I had a real chance, largely due to Eirik just never making any mistakes which could give me a way back into the game. In retrospect, I wish I'd put the News Hound on HQ to keep Eirik from getting free RNG/TTW. I end Swiss at 5-3.

While people are finishing their rounds, it seems I am at 3rd place, ahead of Ulrik and Eirik at 4th and 5th, who is tied with me on points but not on SoS. After everyone's done, however, it becomes clear that Ulrik has snuck past for 3rd, leaving me and Eirik tied both in scores and in SoS. Drawing lots on some kind of app Nikolai has for this, I lose, and Eirik is into the cut, ending the SC for me. Although I feel slightly sad about missing the cut, I also feel pretty happy about my games. I enjoyed every single one of my games, played with a bunch of people I'd never played before and felt completely outplayed in my last game, so it's hard to feel too sad about losing the chance to play in the cut to Eirik. I hang around to watch the top cut, and am happy about the fact that the Oslo meta seems poised to double in size soon.

Thanks to everyone I don't usually play with who showed up! It was great meeting you all, and I hope to see you around in the future. If we played, I really enjoyed our game, as should be clear from the writeup above, and if we didn't, I hope we can soon. Thanks to Ulrik for organizing the tournament and for not gloating about the deck I said wasn't very good winning the tournament (FWIW I still believe this - gauntlet = thrown). Also, thanks to @FoilFlaws for making this be DotW so I got to play it - I really liked it.