In the Final Year of Netrunner (officially at least), Padova got one of the 3 Italian Regionals. I thought a lot about what to bring but I knew that I had just one testing night on Jinteki before the event (no laptop on vacation wasn't something I wanted to change in my habits). I was pretty sure that my choice would have been a standard Val list and Chris Dyer's wonderful SportsMetal list. I thought it was very elegant, pretty versatile and could also get me a possible small surprise effect. I even wrote to Chris on Friday asking for list advices (spoiler alert: he kindly helped me but I shamefully wasted his time). The Jinteki testing though got me a little uncomfortable, realizing (once more) that I'm not skilled enough to pilot successfully something that I'm not accustomed to. So the morning of the event I printed ALSO my Linus-blanket lists: Pirate Hayley (adding FTE as a 46th card because I feared 6 agendas Azmari) and a Surveyor-6agendas-Azmari (freeing up 2 influences for a Miraju because I feared Mad Dash with Indexing and Spy Cameras). While I was waiting for the shop to open I finally chickened out and once I got to registration desk I was already NBN/Shaper (I originally wrote Yellow/Green but I realized that I tragically don't want to be associated to those two colors as an Italian citizen these days).
17 players coming from a lot of different regions, with some international guests (Saan from US, Kai from Germany and Juan from Spain). 4 Swiss round followed by a top 4.
R1: BYE - WIN I won the Padova SC back in November so this was my (last) opportunity to use the bye. I had time to speak with other bye owners (4 more players) and complain about my last minute runner deck choice (too many CTM around).
R2: VS Barbamalvagia (CTM) - WIN First game and the matchup I feared the most. I started pretty slowly and he got to 4 pts with 2 ARES scored. I multiaccessed as much as I could (DDM, Legwork, DDM whiff) getting to 5 while Amani Semai pushed my boardstate to something miserable. I used Misdirection to remove tag twice: once after killing a Bankers and once after a HHN. I checked a 3 Calibration 1 MVT remote server staying under 4 creds (I was bluffing a Clot initially without intention: I swapped it with a Legwork the day before the tournament), then I made a DDM full dig (trashing even Misdirection) that got me the last 2 points. Great game and a pretty exciting start for the tournament. Side note: Barbamalvagia is one of the nicest and kindest opponent I ever faced.
R3: VS Bebo (MTI) - LOSS Corp first round Scarcity is something you don't want to see. Interdiction right after. Corp plays Scarcity again. I got unbalanced falling for a NGO bluff, he scored a Nisei, I kept digging for currents or SOT, he scored something else, I whiffed a DDM run and then the game was already gone south enough. Crushing loss: I did almost all the possible mistakes.
R4: VS Sargon[?] (PU) - TIMED WIN I know I have to be careful and avoid at all cost the 2 Levy in the bin if he plays an Ark Lockdown. I build up, play an emergency SOT and Laguna, check the remotes to avoind an HOK score and got the first 2 points. He did all the PU things while I got an Obokata. First Levy out but also an HOK scored. Time called: last 4 clicks for me. First click I draw 2 to avoid frustrating last minute flatline. SOT DMM through a Kakugo, get HOK ping, see 2 (3?) new cards: whiff. Run HQ, HOK ping again to bring me to 3 cards, access Obokata. I dry up a lonely tear after we finished, hoping to not be pushed out from the top by 1 point, while he tells me that there are 2 pts in open Archives.
6 W (1 timed) and 2 L got 3rd so I was in. Phew.
T4G1: VS Sandro - WIN I corped.
T4G2: VS Bebo - WIN I got a rematch after the awful game I played earlier. I build up a little and when he tries to score a naked 1 advancement agenda with Code Replicator as an upgrade (wisely rezzed to avoid Interdiction) I SMC/GrapplingHook, Kongamato and run. I pass Envelope 2 times I used Inti to break and get a Nisei. After some more turns I DDM for 2 more points. He gets a lot of credits and build up a fully upgraded remote I know I will hardly get in. I know also he doesn't play real 3 pointers (GFI as unicorn) so, after a little preparation, I FTE and DDM through a mildly protected R&D getting the winning GFI.
T4G3: VS Sandro - LOSS I corped
T4G4: VS Sandro - WIN I honestly was a little tilted (I know I'm pretty good at tilting) by the last loss and not very confident. Sandro is playing MTI really well. The first mistake (that I thought was already crucial) was realizing right before running with my 4th click that I had 3 cards in hand and couldn't steal a probable Obokata. I leave it there hoping for the NGO bluff but here are the first 3 pts. After some rounds I run a double advanced card and get through a pretty stacked server to steal an SSL. I had to take the 2 tags from a Surveyor though because I couldn't pay for the trace without risking to be killed by a Punitive he showed me with a Celebrity Gift. He trashed some resources but luckily didn't trash my Laguna. I clear tags and try to gather some resources while he scores a second Obokata in the already almost-impenetrable remote (he also plays Data Loop). R&D is still unprotected so I thought I could get through the MTI ice, knowing that if I whiff it'll be probably pretty hard to catch him off guard a second time. FTE + DDM again: nothing interesting, Chronos Project (good but not enough), nothing interesting, Obokata for the win. That was tense.
Thanks to Tempus Fugit (Padova local store) for guesting our last major event before The (Official) END, thanks to all the fellow runners for the day, especially to those coming from pretty long distance in order to attend. See you at KOS!