[Throwback] Head Judge's "Report"

harmonbee 435

(Note: This is not actually a head judge's report. But we had a debrief meeting for EMEA earlier today and you can see the notes from that meeting on Google Docs.)

Judge! I would like to demonstrate an infinite loop.

- said during round 1 because the judges were sitting behind me and I wanted to flirt with one of them show them the sick combo. (You don't actually have to call a judge to resolve an infinite loop in Netrunner, just choose how many times it resolves.)

This was my Corp deck for the throwback event at EMEA! It went 1-1-1, but both the loss and a tie were wins for me on the next turn. Turns out having infinite credits really makes both players think. My Runner was a much simpler Smoke deck.

This is based on wowarlok's Eternal CI deck, which uses a simple and easy-to-remember six card combo to gain infinite credits. Fortunately for me, exactly one of the key cards is rotated, so it can be ported to throwback. Check the original decklist description for the full required combo: the tl;dr is that Surat City Grid lets you repeatedly rez a pair of Bloop on a server (each time derezzing the other Bloop) while Cybersand Harvester is on board, thus putting infinite credits on it. You can remember it using the simple mnemonic I just made up: "VOSCGBBCH". I hope that helps!

There are two main differences between this deck and the original. First, we cannot use Cerebral Imaging, which allows us to keep all our combo pieces in hand and gives us a bunch of draw through transactions. We instead run MirrorMorph: Endless Iteration. Like in my previous foray into MirrorMorph, we're running this for value rather than combo potential: try to use its ability most turns to get a free draw so that you can find the combo faster. Calvin B4L3Y and Subliminal Messaging can help with this too, the former providing even more draw and the latter making it simpler to fire MirrorMorph. Note that this does not help us keep our combo pieces in hand, but you can just install them over a turn or two if needed.

(Brief fun fact! This deck used to be in Thunderbolt Armaments: Peace Through Power, because the combo would also give the Bloops in question infinite strength and infinite additional subroutines if we did this combo during a run. This was changed because it was too silly too slow to set up the combo.)

The second difference is that we don't have Sandburg, which was the original payoff for infinite credits. We don't have an identical replacement, so we play Big Deal (17c is much less than infinity, I'm told) and Corporate Troubleshooter (500,000c, which was the amount I spent on it in one game, is much less than infinity as well) as our credit sinks.

The idea worked, as I combo'd out and scored at least one agenda with Big Deal in every game. Corporate Troubleshooter got a lockout in the third game after giving a Bloop 500,000 additional strength.

Okay I'm done talking about the deck so it's time to enter

The Sappy Zone

EMEA was an incredible weekend, and I'm delighted I could make my mark with head judging the event. After missing judging worlds due to COVID, it felt cathartic: I finally got to help run an event on the world's stage, and did such a good job. It was my first time head judging, and I was so nervous - but people were so kind to me about how it went, destroying any uncertainty I had about whether I was doing a good job. I loved being visibly queer and visibly me on stage, and the fact that this is a community where I can do that without worrying is so important to me. So thank you all so, so much for such a lovely event.

I am gonna thank a bunch of people here who touched me in particular; this is a subset of everyone I interacted with because my memory can be questionable at times, and if I did not mention you then it's not out of ill will! (That being said, oh gosh this got really long.)

  • not_yeti: Sorry that you forgot to play double Punitive against Fern, and sorry that I won't let you live it down any time soon! No for real it was so great to see you again and I'm so looking forward to seeing you at regionals, and working with you at nationals.
  • CobraBubbles: it's always a delight to see you, and congrats on your outfit game because you smashed it. (And being good at Netrunner, or something idk.)
  • kikai: your credit-perfect Azmari combo in the cut was one of the most exciting plays I saw all weekend - I loved hearing you talk through it both during and after the game.
  • Sean (I hope that I correctly remembered your name!): we delighted about Netrunner being super queer and had such a fun pair of throwback games. I really hope we get to fight at regionals because I'd love to play more against you!
  • ataraxis: thank you for complimenting my judge speech and my bee pin!
  • J0N4LD: you shouted "hi netmum!!!" at the start of the announcement of the top 16, and made any stress that I had left over evaporate. It genuinely meant a lot!
  • Rosie and Zoe (Tag Mill): it has been such a delight to see you grow as Netrunner players and find your place in the community with your art! I'm so glad we still got a bit of time to hang out, and your stand was incredible.
  • MattOhNo: thank you for the laughs on the bus back from East Midlands Airport as we made fun of bus stop names. It was sad returning to the UK, but you made it much better.

For the organisers and judges I had the incredible privilege of working with:

  • OF15-15: you were wonderful to be around and so helpful. On top of doing everything with the stream hardware and playing in the main event, you found time and energy to help with the top cut, managing the challenging Challonge instance for showing the bracket and generally checking in on me. I don't know how you do it, but I know that if you wrote a self-help book titled "How To Have More Energy" I'd instantly buy it.
  • koga: you checked in with me a bunch during the top cut and that meant a hell of a lot.
  • wowarlok: throwback is an incredible format and it genuinely made me consider playing eternal. I loved your reaction when you heard that I was playing an evolution of your deck and I hope you enjoy this list!
  • Jakuza: you are an incredibly wise person, judge and friend. I learned so much from you and still feel that I have much more left to learn. And of course, thank you for explaining the Dutch tradition of "the wall"!
  • RainbowMonkey: you handled judging with such professionalism, precision and understanding, all while being a queer icon!
  • HerbartKlopstock: you are such a cheerful judge and I loved having you around!
  • PSK: thank you for your help with some of the logistics near the end of Swiss, and for buying me ice cream!
  • Atien and Porkobolo: I really hope you've had a chance to rest since EMEA, because it was nothing short of incredible. It was such a formative event for me and I will remember it always. Thank you for trusting in me to be your head judge when I've never been head judge before - I'm so proud of what we achieved. You made me feel like I've known you for years despite the fact that it was the first time meeting you, and I am so looking forward to seeing you again.

And finally, to my housemates over the event:

  • Veronica: you were a delightful pasta mum and I'm so glad you made it to the event. It was also fun talking about Arkham and Earthborn Rangers!
  • our EMEA champion: honestly, I've found QtM a bit intimidating at times as a queer person not in it - but meeting you was a big part in squashing that intimidation. You are so excited about Netrunner and being queer in a way that can't be beat. You are incredibly good at communicating thoughts about games and I wish I'd had more time to discuss Ob with you. Congratulations again on your win! (Also, you and Fern are very cute and I've seen her frankly glowing over the last few days, so thank you for offering her so much joy as well!)
  • Cobalt: you are always a delight and EMEA was no exception. Thank you for checking in on me and for giving me a shoulder to cry on as we left Bergamo. And thank you for continuing our little trend of non binary people winning startup!
  • Fi and Kay: you two are always so cheery and I will make sure to catch up with you more in the regionals season. Thank you for showing off trunic, big plushies and generally being lovely to be around.
  • Ams: we've known each other for nearly eight years!!! What the fuck!!! For real though, it is a joy to be your friend and I honestly think this event has shown a lot of what you can do as well. You deserve to be an important part of the Netrunner community given the hard work you've put into it, and your incredible art on the wall is testament to that.
  • Mallory: you've been such a big part of why my confidence has grown so recently, and for that I will be eternally grateful. Tall trans women stay united <3. Also watching you be extremely normal towards that song I sent you (definitely not posting here lol) was incredibly funny
  • Alpha: I don't think words are gonna be able to do justice for how much you meant to me this weekend, but I'll try my best. I'm still shocked that this was your first serious judging experience, you judged like you've done this many times before. But what touched me most was your kindness: there were a lot of points where head judging was incredibly stressful, and you supported me through all of them. I'm blessed to have met you and now have you more permanently in my life - you give me so much confidence in myself and my transition. Ti amo tanto!
  • Fern: I think whatever I type here is going to be insufficient compared to what you put about me in your decklist description, so I'll keep it somewhat short. We fucking smashed it and I'm delighted you've come on this journey with me. Thank you for your endless support, for checking in on me, for deckbuilding and girls and gender and a whole smorgasbord of good things. You are the reason I've got to this place in my life, and I'm so proud to call myself your partner. I love you so much.
4 comments
10 Jul 2024 jan tuno

<3 I had a great time with you and I'm glad I wasn't the only one

11 Jul 2024 vonem

Thanks for your information! heardle is a game that brings joy and a sense of accomplishment

11 Jul 2024 Malindaschmeler

this article on stimulating gameplay really hits the spot! It's like finding the perfect blend of strategy and excitement. Speaking of which, if you're into engaging challenges, you've got to check out Pokerogue and its fantastic Pokerogue wiki for more adrenaline-pumping adventures. It's where strategy meets fun in the most addictive way possible!

12 Jul 2024 Zoehope

You were amazing, in all ways. Well done for being a legendary netrunner judged, player, person. <3