From The Bottom Looking Up (VA LTW Report)

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Hutch
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From The Bottom Looking Up (VA LTW Report)

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My first Local Tournament Weekend was a great success! Not because I won the tournament (actually, I only won one game), but because it was another weekend I got to spend playing my favorite game with a great group of guys. Since the theme of the weekend was to draw in returning players or attract new would-be players, I decided to build the two 40-card beginner decks that gossuii had posted. I also got in contact a couple of weeks in advance with a local podcast (Beltway Banthas) to get a plug on their show. They agreed to do so the week of the tournament. Alas, their weekly episode was lacking said plug and the Sunday morning of the tournament I received an apologetic email about how they had missed it. I accepted but asked if they could last minute plug it on their Facebook and Twitter. Never did check if they did, but no matter, we didn’t get any additions this week that I saw.

Saturday night, we get a group text from Barry about meeting for Mexican brunch and I’m totally in! My wife gives me the eye roll, but tells me to go ahead and have brunch with my ‘boyfriends’. The boy had been camping the night before with the scouts so I wasn’t expecting him to make this tournament, but we got a call to come pick him up because they decided to come back early. So, I already had an extra LS deck (TRM) for him to use minus 4 cards that were in my LS deck, but I had to slap together a pile of DS cards. It was basically mains with Court and a bunch of interrupts that I knew he recognized. Sorry buddy…But he got Mexican brunch with Barry, Lenny, and me out of it. Great choice Barry! My cheese enchiladas topped with shredded beef were delicioso!

For the tournament, the other LS deck I had together was Reid’s HyperDiplo. I had built these two LS decks to help Tom do some playtesting and figured I’d use it since I already had it put together. For dark, I had totally planned on using Baroni’s Hunt Down (minus the Holotable/Monnok package). I had listened to this episode of Gemme’s podcast (great podcast by the way!) like three or four times thinking about everything said about this deck. I play tested several times on Holotable without great luck, but I was convinced it was just a matter of getting more practice with it. And I was in love with the idea of GMT/Palp/Shuttle in space. However, in all my playtesting even drawing three mid to high destinies I felt I was getting beat down in the battles because it’s only 4 base power. So, about Friday, I start getting this feeling to play IE instead, the other deck I had been trying to learn more on Holotable, and by the end of brunch I had made up my mind to do so.

We get to the Curio Cavern (Home of YOUR World Champion), and after helping Lenny cut out the PC prize support, we were ready to go. The tournament drew 9 players (Tom Haid, Steve Skilton, Lenny, Barry, Chris W., Bill, Andrew, me and the boy). I’m thinking, ok, this is good, I should get to play 3-4 different people if I can avoid the bye. So here we go….

Game 1, HyperDiplo vs Chris’ Invasion Blasters
I played against Chris’ same DS deck at the tournie in Phillie a couple of weeks ago and loss kind of handily. I still didn’t feel like I had a great strategy versus Invasion Blasters, but at least I knew what to expect. My plan right off the bat was to get space going early and set up drains with LTA + Home One and Bail on the Tantive and to take over the Naboo system to keep him on the 0 side. In addition, I wanted Luke (v) early in space to help offset some of the damage I’d be taking from You’ll Be Dead. I also got Ben Kenobi (my call instead of Obi (v)) and Chewie and Leia, RP doing the shuffle. He came to Tatooine and only the Throne Room on Naboo. I decided not to battle unless I felt I had a great advantage. A lot of chasing on both of our parts. Late game, I decided to lose a Spaceport Speeders to a drain of 1 and then use Leia, RP to stack it on my reserve deck to set up On The Edge. Luke, OTE, and tracking We’re Doomed for several turns was enough to give me a card advantage when time was called and I won on time, 24-13.
2 (+11)

Game 2, IE vs Chris’ Profit
Well, so much for playing 3-4 different people in one tournament. Chris is a good guy though and we’ve only played each other twice in history, so I didn’t mind. He asks if I want to start any aliens and I laugh and say I don’t have any in this deck. I draw my hand and remember when I see that I have Jade w/ Stick. DOH! Luckily with Endor Shield and the other cards I draw, I’m able to flip first turn and consolidate at one sight. Early in the game, he deploys Obi (v) to the Desert Heart, not realizing its text and not having enough force to Nabrun away. Next turn, I have Blizzard 4, GMT, Piett, and Stormtrooper Garrison vs Obi with no Houjix! I cause 19 overflow. Right now, you are (and I was) thinking you’re going to read about how I’m undefeated after two rounds. Well, keep reading… Because there were so many Tatooine sites on the table (three of his and four of mine) he was able to maneuver during his move phase enough to keep me on the 0 side. He eventually caught back up due to his direct damage with Profit (about 3 a turn). In hindsight, I really wish I would’ve started Imp Decree (v) instead of something else (maybe instead of Mob Points). Time is called again in our game and after the count up, he has me by 1 card. SMH. But congrats to Chris, it’s very impressive to come back to win after taking 19 overflow.
2(+10)

Game 3, IE vs Steve’s OA
I believe my record vs OA is something like 0-196, give or take 180. It seems like I usually have the most problems with Home One/Ackbar/Falcon/Rey/Solo in those games, so I decide I have to get set up in space early and maintain superiority there, especially if I want to keep Tat Occupation on the table. By turn 2, I’m flipped, holding down one site, and have Motti, Thrawn, and three other pilots on the Devastator. He brings Solo and Nett on the Falcon up to the Jakku system and I spend a few turns chasing between Jakku and Tatooine. Each turn I’m at Jakku I use DS-61-5 for force pulls instead of draining. Meanwhile, he is getting his speeders set up on Tatooine which flips me back. Pretty early I trample Caldera who’s on the ground, but he gets the gender neutral Talz back with Ounee Ta next turn and it comes back on a speeder to my chagrin. As you’ll likely read in the NARP Fortnightly, one of my mistakes was not getting the ground set up when I was already pretty formidable in space. I held an Imperial Leadership forever instead of digging for General Veers (v), this while Imperial Justice (v) is on the table WITH another Leadership on it! I’m such a scrub. Also, I never used Mob Points to pull the Flagship, instead using DS-61-5 to pull it. I send Mara to Rey’s Place for a while but eventually he’s out drain racing me about 5-3 a turn and this game goes to time as well. Steve takes it 20-10.
2(0)

Game 4, HyperDiplo vs Steve’s IE
Ok, 4 games, 2 opponents. But hey, at least I avoided the bye all tournament! The game starts great for me. I get Home One, Ackbar, and Bail to space on my first turn. Move R2/3PO back up after they were battled off on his turn. He gets the Devastator loaded up with Vader, Motti, another pilot and two scout troopers including the attrition subtracting one but doesn’t battle. My turn I get Ben, Bowie, and Leia to Mos Eisley, using force pulls and Speeders to get Rey, Mirax and Screamin’ Lando to the Tantive, but Lando is barriered. So my last used pile pull I want more at space and erroneously pull Anakin and deploy him without saving force for Lando’s maintenance. I still battle and come out unscathed and kill one or two pilots of his. His turn, he points out I didn’t pay for Lando which I hadn’t noticed so he goes out of play (we were a few phases past the end of my turn so I didn’t think it was right to ask to lose 2 and send him used). He gets set up on ground and easily stays on the 7-side doing good damage with Tatooine Occupation. At this point, I know my best hope is to take over the system to cancel occupation so I battle every turn, but with the scout trooper and Vader, I never get him off the system and when time is called (yes that’s 4 timed games out of 4!) he’s up by 3 cards.
2 (-3)

Not the record I wanted at the end of the day, but I still had a great time. And despite some of the major mistakes which I know you (like me) are face palming over, I feel like I am making better in game decisions than I was just two months ago at World’s. I especially appreciate playing against Steve’s IE as I was able to see some of the nuances of the deck I wasn’t aware of. I’ve played a different deck type for Light and Dark in nearly every tournament I’ve played in since returning. I’m just so excited to be playing again that I want to play everything! The upside to this is I’m getting a knowledge (albeit a beginner’s knowledge) of a lot of deck types. The downside is I’m not mastering any one deck. However, I think I may change that soon and start honing in on about 2 decks for each side that I like best, and IE is one that’s on my short list. It feels natural to my playing style and I feel like if I get more (lots more) practice with it, learn the deck in and out, and watch about a dozen Tom Kelly YouTube videos, maybe I can start to win some games with it. HyperDiplo, contrarily, is not the LS deck I plan to master. It’s deadly in the hands of Reid or Emil, however, I’m a far friggin’ cry from either of them.

So, this is the part where I give the obligatory Props & Slops:
Props:
-Steve on winning the tournament
-Lenny for running a smooth tournament
-El Paso Mexican Restaurant on some dang tasty enchiladas rancheros and Barry for suggesting it
-The boy for being in a position to play YOUR World Champion in the THIRD round of a tournament (really just odd it happened this way, but I thought it was humorous)
-The boy again for keeping a great attitude after having to play Steve, Tom, and Barry for his only three games; a brutal schedule no matter what your skill level
-The PC for great prize support (especially the floating head Kanan whom, someone pointed out, looks suspiciously like a World’s finalist…
-Me for avoiding the bye all tournament
-You for reading just over 2100 words!

Slops:
-Me for multiple reasons, but I’ll stick with not pulling the Flagship at the start of my two games of IE when I know you can do this with Mob Points
-Me again, for printing v-slips out without changing my settings, thus printing v-slips that are too small
-Beltway Banthas for forgetting to plug the tournament (I still like their podcast and if you’re interested at all in politics and Star Wars you should check it out!)

One last thing. I think I read somewhere there may be a prize for best TR from LTW. If that’s a true statement, and if I were to win due to a lack of participation, could my prize be a discount on buying one copy each of Tatooine Occupation, We’re In Attack Position Now, and Corporal Drelosyn? I’d really like to keep playing IE without borrowing cards :D


3rd place 2016 Virginia States; 3rd place 2017 Virginia States; Top 8 Euro MPC 2018; 5th place 2018 German Nationals; 5th Place 2018 Kashyyyk Regionals; 3rd place 2018 Massachusetts States; 2019 Massachusetts League Champion; 3rd place 2019 Nal Hutta Regionals
Honorary member of Team Wales & Pretty much the best player in East Africa.
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marines28
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Re: From The Bottom Looking Up (VA LTW Report)

Post by marines28 »

Great job and excellent read. Thanks for posting!
Steviegets112 wrote:The same 5 people are going to win consistently and there really isn't much any of you can do about it.
3MW0J8 wrote:
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DTartagOne wrote: Yeah I agree with @marines28

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Re: From The Bottom Looking Up (VA LTW Report)

Post by gogolen »

Nice report - play faster man, what's up with all those timed games. Lol
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Re: From The Bottom Looking Up (VA LTW Report)

Post by quickdraw3457 »

gogolen wrote:Nice report - play faster man, what's up with all those timed games. Lol
I played in my first timed game in about 3 years this weekend :( My brother also happens to be the slowest player I know though :lol:
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Re: From The Bottom Looking Up (VA LTW Report)

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gogolen wrote:Nice report - play faster man, what's up with all those timed games. Lol
I know, right? I'm usually done quick and have plenty of time to eat and bathroom breaks. The old man bladder didn't like all these timed games!!!
3rd place 2016 Virginia States; 3rd place 2017 Virginia States; Top 8 Euro MPC 2018; 5th place 2018 German Nationals; 5th Place 2018 Kashyyyk Regionals; 3rd place 2018 Massachusetts States; 2019 Massachusetts League Champion; 3rd place 2019 Nal Hutta Regionals
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Re: From The Bottom Looking Up (VA LTW Report)

Post by Cam Solusar »

This was a fun read, Grady. Bummed that you're going to be out of the country on hiatus from writing these. :(
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Re: From The Bottom Looking Up (VA LTW Report)

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Cam Solusar wrote:This was a fun read, Grady. Bummed that you're going to be out of the country on hiatus from writing these. :(
Out the country yes, but while I'm gone I still hope to be active. I plan to make it to Euro's while in that hemisphere; and hopefully the boy and I can perfectly time a trip to Ghana to meet Seth for the first ever African continental championship. We'll just have to grab some kid off the street to make it a legal tournament. Plus there's always Holotable, Gemp, and the OMTS's!
3rd place 2016 Virginia States; 3rd place 2017 Virginia States; Top 8 Euro MPC 2018; 5th place 2018 German Nationals; 5th Place 2018 Kashyyyk Regionals; 3rd place 2018 Massachusetts States; 2019 Massachusetts League Champion; 3rd place 2019 Nal Hutta Regionals
Honorary member of Team Wales & Pretty much the best player in East Africa.
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Re: From The Bottom Looking Up (VA LTW Report)

Post by marines28 »

You make the effort, and that is awesome.
Steviegets112 wrote:The same 5 people are going to win consistently and there really isn't much any of you can do about it.
3MW0J8 wrote:
xblack: from now on it will be
xblack: gl/hf/nr
better damn believe it.
DTartagOne wrote: Yeah I agree with @marines28

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Re: From The Bottom Looking Up (VA LTW Report)

Post by gossuii »

Nice TR! Good to read that you're enjoy all the different deck types, and yes, it takes some time to find the decks that match your play style, but when you reach that point, you are having a good time. And how do you like the beginner decks in general?
Gosse Z. - Seattle

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Re: From The Bottom Looking Up (VA LTW Report)

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gossuii wrote:Nice TR! Good to read that you're enjoy all the different deck types, and yes, it takes some time to find the decks that match your play style, but when you reach that point, you are having a good time. And how do you like the beginner decks in general?
They work great! I used them to show the game to a friend of my son. It was really easy and fun for him.
3rd place 2016 Virginia States; 3rd place 2017 Virginia States; Top 8 Euro MPC 2018; 5th place 2018 German Nationals; 5th Place 2018 Kashyyyk Regionals; 3rd place 2018 Massachusetts States; 2019 Massachusetts League Champion; 3rd place 2019 Nal Hutta Regionals
Honorary member of Team Wales & Pretty much the best player in East Africa.
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Re: From The Bottom Looking Up (VA LTW Report)

Post by gossuii »

dx_37 wrote:
gossuii wrote:Nice TR! Good to read that you're enjoy all the different deck types, and yes, it takes some time to find the decks that match your play style, but when you reach that point, you are having a good time. And how do you like the beginner decks in general?
They work great! I used them to show the game to a friend of my son. It was really easy and fun for him.
Glad to hear that! If you encountere any difficulties or have any suggestions / feedback, please let me know!
Gosse Z. - Seattle

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