1-4 at Ntscape Navigator SC (22/70), with losses against Jinteki: Restoring Humanity, Weyland Consortium: Built to Last. Earth Station: SEA Headquarters and Haas-Bioroid: Precision Design. A singleton win against SSO Industries: Fueling Innovation.
I settled on a balance of 2 x Apocalypse, 2 x Deuces Wild and 2 x Falsified Credentials. This means that we will have to draw aggresively for Apoc - but gives us a range of options, without clogging up our hand with those options.
I go back and forth on whether the correct choice for dealing with Border Control / Bio Vault is Beth Kilrain-Chang or Out of the Ashes. I think that, if we were on a pure apoc plan, Out of the Ashes would be correct - but we are not.
When Plan-A starts to fall apart (because the remote has become too well defended), use Tāo to move some of the weaker ICE onto centrals and switch to Plan-B: Apocalypse.
R1: T17 LOSS vs Espatier on never advance Jinteki: Restoring Humanity.
Landed an apoc at 2-2, putting the third agenda into the bin, but leaving me on too low credits to safely contest a swift Nisei push. In hindsight, I should have contested anyway. At 4-4, and a remote that is expensive to contest I switch to a Stargate line to try and hit Obokata Protocol - but Stargate is completely countered by Hasty Relocation, and, with the remote uncontested, Espatier is able to push out first another Nisei, and then the Obokata Protocol that I was hoping to hit with Stargate.
Teacake plays this really well, by installing a minimal amount of ICE on centrals, so that they can recover from the first apoc. As soon as the ICE is advanced to 9 counters I'm forced to run and apoc. I take a risk by leaning heavily on Engolo (when I don't know that any of the ICE are actually code gates), but fortunately it pays off and the first apoc lands: trashing 4 x ICE and 9 advancement counters.
Teacake quickly rebuilds, with a very similar ICE pattern of single installs on centrals. Once the ICE reaches 7 advancement counters I feel obliged to try and land the 2nd apoc, because there is a wall-to-wall on the table, and the potential for double biotic into RPC. My plans for a 2nd apoc are thwarted, because Teacake quite sensibly ditched 2 x Global Food Initiative into archives - so Punitive Counterstrike is live. I use my last click to take another shot at HQ to steal the Government Takeover, but miss. In hindsight, I could have run archives first click, and then run HQ three times - which would have given me another 1/5 chance to find and steal the GT, but otherwise I have no regrets.
3 x Crisium Grid makes for a tough matchup for any apocalypse list. dnddmdb opens with double Hostile while I set up, and then pushes a lightly defended Armed Intimidation. I initially let it go, but then dnddmdb gets greedy and slow rolls it. I steal it the next turn, although it costs me 12 credits to do so, and puts me in HHN range. Next, a project atlas is scored, which allows me to rearrange central ICE to my liking, and opens up an apocalypse play. Landing the apocalypse damages us both, and allows dnddmdb to score a naked Atlas. 2-6 down, I start to get desperate, and use my tools to get single accesses off R&D. I manage to steal 4 more points this way, but not without having to float HHN tags, which ultimately gets me killed.
R4: T14 LOSS vs rapanui on Seamless PD
I lock the remote early, sniping an Offworld Office through a NEXT Activation Command. The next card in the remote is a Cyberdex Sandbox, which I let pass because it looks like an upgrade. Next comes an Offworld Office. I go for apoc, but choose to steal Ikawah Project off the top of R&D instead of landing it - putting us at 5-4. The next card in the remote is Rashida, which Rapanui smartly bluffs as an agenda using another NEXT Activation Command. I land the Apoc, and Rapuni pushes another sandbox behind a gatekeeper. I'm not able to contest, because of the apoc, so we're now at 5-6.
This is where I make a huge misplay. I install SMC on flame-out, and use flameout credits to install Engolo on the flame-out. Of course, at the end of turn, flame-out trashes Engolo, and the remote is safe for rapanui to push through the final winning agenda. Next time, I should read my cards properly.
R4: T14 WIN vs Nem0 on Neurospike SSO.
Nem0 opens T1 with Hedge Fund + City Works Project + Akhet. I counter with Diesel, Flame-out + Mayfly - stealing the City Works, but leaving me with 2 cards in hand and well within Punitive Counterstrike range. Fortunately, Nem0 doesn't have it - and that is basically gg.
Taking the risk and stealing the first agenda really is the best way to beat SSO Industries: Fueling Innovation.
I proceed to sit back and money up under threat of Apocalypse. Nem0 is forced to draw for answers, and heavily ICE centrals - but I quickly amass 50 credits+, with answers to all ICE in Engolo, Mayfly, and Compile. Every time a card is IAA in the remote I make the apoc run, but I never need to actually land it. I steal one Global Food Initiative out of archives, and another out of HQ.
The very strange thing about this list, and reg Tāo as well, is that it feels good to play, even though it doesn't actually get results. Every game feels ever so close, but it only takes one small misplay, or one small thing to go wrong, for the corp to rescue a win from a losing position.
This list has a proactive plan to win: lock the remote, and apoc when the remote can no longer be contested. The problem is that, in the current Corp dominant meta, a proactive plan does not help the runner win. What helps the runner win is being lucky, and this list does not create enough opportunities to be lucky: it does not get enough "good" central accesses.
I think a better shaper list would drop the Apocalypse play, and focus on getting those good central accesses instead. Something in Kabonesa Wu: Netspace Thrillseeker, similar to The Flies Have It, but using DZMZ Optimizer + Rezeki + Khusyuk for R&D pressure.
9 May 2021 dnddmdb