I've only ever played HB at tournaments, which is probably why at 2:30 AM the night before my regional (alarm set to wake up at 7), I dragged myself out of bed to unsleeve the CTM deck I had sleeved up and throw together a Sportsmetal list, and it ended up working out, as I managed to win the regional, despite there being multiple questionable decisions.
I had been playing Sportsmetal on Jinteki for a while to practice leading up to the regional, but always had mixed results. While I was getting frustrated, it's an important step in the evolution of a deck to recognize why you're losing and how you can change it through construction. Seeing the difference between and archetype being bad or just unrefined is one of the biggest keys in becoming a better deckbuilder and player, so don't get discouraged by your losses.
One major issue I was having was running out of money, and opponents just being able to focus in on their pressure. I ended up cutting the Lateral Growths that I had been playing in favor of Marilyn Campaigns, figuring if they trash them it's a distraction from my other servers, and if they didn't they could do enough to fund me, along with operations, NGO, and the Sportsmetal ability. They proved invaluable. Jeeves was another value card for the same reason. Heavy trash cost, and makes non advanced cards in remotes more of a threat, because if Sportsmetal scores a CST, the tempo of that can carry you a long way.
There were some definite mistakes in the list. I can't tell you why I cut the third NGO to play a Preemptive Action (Preemptive Action wasn't played even once on the day), that's a change I would certainly make. Celebrity Gift was in because of my previous issues with money, but I ended up not playing that the whole day either. Could look other places to spend that influence on, but it isn't the worst card, as just a little money can carry you in this deck.
I was very happy to finally win a regional tournament with HB, and was very happy to be able to win with such a fair deck (Surveyor is kind of unfair, but could be worse). Sportsmetal is really fun, you get to do cool things with Arella, especially paired with Jeeves. Getting bonus Jeeves clicks from doing 3 advancements on two separate agendas is a neat trick that Arella enables.
If I were to play this list again I'd probably look at: -1 AM, -1 Preemptive, +1 Jeeves, +1 NGO. If I could figure out a good way to spend that 3 Celeb Gift influence, possibly on a midrange good ICE, cutting the FC2 for a 2nd Biotic would be nice, especially if we were on a 3rd Jeeves.
22 Aug 2018 Saan
23 Aug 2018 stephenball