VGHVI Minecraft: April 30, 2015

May 16 2015

Pictures from the April Minecraft session. First, some wandering around; some of these were actually oddities Miranda noticed and showed me:

A random sunset picture

A random sunset picture

A water glitch

A water glitch

A strange strip of snow

A strange strip of snow

A decently large floating island

A decently large floating island

Turns out that there were lots of animals on top of the floating island

Turns out that there were lots of animals on top of the floating island

Lava in a grotto

Lava in a grotto

Miranda found a desert village, and decided to work on it:

The desert village

The desert village

Another view

Another view

A ring of lights at night

A ring of lights at night

Meanwhile, Patrick decided to extend the fort he’d built the previous month:

A bridge crossing the water, and walls on the other side

A bridge crossing the water, and walls on the other side

House number one

House number one

Working on house number two

Working on house number two

I wandered around nearby, and found this strangely round large cave opening

I wandered around nearby, and found this strangely round large cave opening

Then I went back to Miranda’s village; there was one villager who was very persistent about walking in a circle.

A villager walking in a circle

A villager walking in a circle

He's still at it

He’s still at it

Other villagers have gathered to watch him

Other villagers have gathered to watch him

Here's the whole village at daytime

Here’s the whole village at daytime

A sudden desert/grass boundary nearby

A sudden desert/grass boundary nearby

Dan, as he has been for over a year now, is continuing to build a path in a line; he hit a mountain at about this point and started digging through it.

Dan digging through a mountain

Dan digging through a mountain

And then Miranda decided to join forces with Patrick.

Patrick had built a third house

Patrick had built a third house

Miranda building a dock

Miranda building a dock

Making one of the house entrances look nice

Making one of the house entrances look nice

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Valencia, v. 3

May 09 2015

The second version of my Valencia deck actually ended up doing a lot worse than the first version. I’m not entirely sure why: the reasoning behind most of the additions seemed sound, so my current guess is that I got a little luck with the earlier version. It’s always been a slow deck; sometimes I can get away with that, sometimes I can’t, and recently “can’t” has happened a lot. And it’s not that the new cards didn’t come up: actually, I got pretty lucky with Paige and Symmetrical Visage coming up early, so that should have helped my draw, but either my analysis is wrong or it didn’t help enough.

So I went to speed it up. I noticed that I was spending too much time on Day Job, so I got rid of one of those (my version 0 of the deck, which I don’t have a record of, actually only contained two copies, probably adding a third was a mistake) and put back in one copy of Dirty Laundry. I also got rid of the two copies of Clot that I’d added: they did help me in one game, but only because I wasn’t finding my breakers, so I figured I should just thin out my deck to make it easier to get the breakers. That still left me with 57 cards, so I started getting rid of more events: my second copy of Forked (cutlery has served me well, but I only had one copy of the other two), my Frame Job (I’ve got enough sources of bad publicity), one copy of Deja Vu, and one copy of I’ve Had Worse.

 

That last one may have been a mistake: I went 2-3 with the deck today, and two of the losses were flatlines. I think I’m not entirely ready to give up on the deck: I’m going to spend the next couple of weeks seeing how I like my Nasir deck but with Study Guide swapped in, but it still feels like I should try to get the deck down to 50 cards.

I’m actually a little tempted to give up on Rachel Beckman (though it is amusing to see my coworkers all playing her now); I’d have to think about what I’d do with the extra influence. (Maybe upgrade ZU.13 to Gordian Blade and add a second Clone Chip? Now that I think of it, Clone Chip works better with bad pub than Deja Vu does, and I don’t have enough viruses that the “two virus” ability matters.) I might add back the third I’ve Had Worse; maybe get rid of one copy of Vigil, too, and swap a second Day Job for Dirty Laundry, or even just get rid of Day Job entirely? (Kati Jones is coming up enough that my econ is okay, especially with Symmetrical Visage helping.) I think the quantity of icebreakers is about right (it feels a little low, but I want to solve that by making the deck more efficient), and the non-icebreaker programs I have all frequently help me win games, so I think they’re pulling their weight now that Clot is gone.

 

Anyways, here are the changes:

  • -1 Deja Vu
  • -1 Forked
  • -1 Frame Job
  • -1 I’ve Had Worse
  • -1 Day Job
  • -2 Clot
  • +1 Dirty Laundry

 

And here’s the full deck:

Valencia (53 cards)

Valencia Estevez: The Angel of Cayambe

Event (15)

  • 2 Day Job
  • 1 Deja Vu
  • 1 Dirty Laundry
  • 1 Forked
  • 3 Itinerant Protesters
  • 2 I’ve Had Worse
  • 1 Knifed
  • 1 Spooned
  • 3 Sure Gamble

Hardware (8)

  • 1 Clone Chip **
  • 2 Cyberfeeder
  • 2 MemStrips
  • 3 Vigil

Resource (16)

  • 3 Investigative Journalism
  • 2 Kati Jones
  • 3 Paige Piper
  • 2 Personal Workshop **** ****
  • 3 Rachel Beckman * * *
  • 3 Symmetrical Visage

Icebreaker (8)

  • 1 Cerberus “Cuj.0″ H3
  • 2 Corroder
  • 2 Eater
  • 1 Mimic
  • 1 Yog.0
  • 1 ZU.13 Key Master **

Program (6)

  • 2 Datasucker
  • 2 Medium
  • 2 Parasite

No responses yet

Nasir, version n

May 02 2015

I’m planning to focus on new decks here, but I enjoyed my Nasir deck enough that I still haven’t taken it apart. So here it is, as of the last version I played with it:

Nasir (45 cards)

Nasir Meidan: Cyber Explorer

Event (9)

  • 1 Diesel
  • 2 Net Celebrity
  • 2 Quality Time
  • 2 Sure Gamble
  • 2 Test Run

Hardware (13)

  • 3 Clone Chip
  • 3 Cyberfeeder * * *
  • 3 Dyson Mem Chip
  • 2 Plascrete Carapace
  • 2 The Toolbox

Resource (13)

  • 2 Armitage Codebusting
  • 3 Order of Sol
  • 3 Personal Workshop
  • 3 Underworld Contact
  • 2 Xanadu ** **

Icebreaker (6)

  • 1 Battering Ram
  • 1 Crypsis
  • 1 Deus X
  • 1 Femme Fatale *
  • 1 Garrote ***
  • 1 Gordian Blade

Program (4)

  • 1 Cloak
  • 2 Parasite ** **
  • 1 Paricia

 

I’m a very traditional Netrunner player: honestly, my taste in icebreakers hasn’t really evolved since the core set. So I’m sure there are other people out there with Nasir decks that use all sorts of specialized icebreakers in fascinating ways. But I’m doing things in a much more straightforward way: I want to use Nasir’s powers to get out a strong suite of standard icebreakers, and I want enough recurring credits that I’ll actually be able to use those icebreakers even after potentially losing a bunch of money.

The key card here is Personal Workshop, of course: that gives me something useful to do with the credits that I would lose when encountering newly rezzed ice. In fact, those credits turned out to work so well that I bumped up the cost of programs (adding Garrote in particular, though I’m not 100% convinced that was a good idea): I’ve never gotten out my Toolbox so smoothly in any other deck. I’ll mulligan if I don’t have either a Personal Workshop or Diesel / Quality Time.

Order of Sol was the most surprisingly useful card in this deck: I go broke in this deck all the time, so that helps me bounce back. In fact, I ended up frequently trying to go broke on the corp turn as well, so so I could get twice as many credits: if I had more than a credit or two in my pool, that’s not worth it, but if I end my turn with a single credit, then I can spend it on the corp turn to take a counter off of something in Personal Workshop, and that’s free because Order of Sol replenishes it immediately.

I ended up using Dyson Mem Chip as my non-console memory: they’re cheap enough in this deck, and there are a decent range of corp decks where the link is useful. And that in turn suggested that I should use Underworld Contact as a source of money: Nasir starts with one link, so it triggers when I either have my console or a single mem chip.

Xanadu obviously synergizes with Nasir.

In earlier iterations, I had Self-Modifying Code in here as well, but I was had a small enough stash of money most of the time (and expensive enough programs!) that the two credit cost made a difference. So I decided to focus on card draw plus Test Run to get cards out of my deck, and Clone Chip to resurrect them from the trash if they were destroyed or if I drew too much. Having only one of each icebreaker is potentially dangerous, but in practice that’s been okay, and Crypsis / Femme Fatale / Deus X give me a bit of wiggle room as well.

Battering Ram is, obviously, not a very popular icebreaker; the reason why it’s here (other than the fact that it’s in faction) is that you can bump the strength before losing the credits. You can do that with Gordian Blade, too: otherwise, I’d be tempted to put in Torch.

And, obviously, there are tons of recurring credits. Mostly for icebreaker use, to give me a prayer of making it through even after losing lots of credits, but Net Celebrity can be used for anything (in particular, for Personal Workshop) and Paricia increases the chance that I’ll be able to trash stuff at the end of the run.

Parasite has an extra non-obvious use in this deck: the worst case for Nasir is hitting strength 0 ice, but if I’ve got a Parasite in the trash and a Clone Chip on the board (or on my Personal Workshop), then I can destroy a Popup Window before encountering it, which means that I don’t lose my credits.

 

This is probably the tightest deck I’ve ever built: I can point at basically every card in the deck and say “there’s a really good reason why this card belongs in this specific deck”, and it’s small enough and has enough draw that I actually get to play those cards. And it did reasonably well: it’s not a top-tier tournament deck, but none of my decks are ever top-tier tournament decks, I’m not good enough at building them! The main tournament downside is that it’s mentally absolutely exhausting to play: you have to do so many more calculations when playing this deck than when playing other decks. I did contest math when I was growing up, and playing a Netrunner tournament with this deck actually tires out my brain more than math contests did.

I’m actually thinking of resurrecting it: my Valencia deck has not been doing so well recently, so I’m thinking I’ll bring this deck to regionals, partly because I enjoy it, partly because it’s probably slightly better than my Valencia deck, and partly because, as one of the weaker players at regionals, I figure doing a weird deck is good, because it will increase the variance. (Whereas good players want to shrink the variance of their decks.) I’m planning to swap in Study Guide as the code gate breaker: I’ll gradually be able to bump up the strength using spare recurring credits (icebreaker-specific ones work fine there, I don’t need generic ones), so I’m hoping that, a few turns after it goes down, it will end up being stronger than Torch with me having spent many fewer credits that wouldn’t otherwise have been wasted in the process.

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Valencia, v. 2

Apr 28 2015

Here’s the current version of my Valencia deck, after I took the prior iteration to a tournament.

The deck did well at that tournament, so I didn’t want to change it too much, I just wanted to thin it down a bit. I decided it probably had enough economy, so I got rid of the two Dirty Laundries; and despite all the bad pub I get, Raymond Flint wasn’t even normally giving me as many as 2 HQ accesses on average, which didn’t seem worth it.

So that brought the deck down to 50 cards, yay! But then I took a look at The Valley. I’m vulnerable to fast advance and I’ve got extra virus-specific memory and extra program install power from Personal Workshop, so I threw in a couple of copies of The Clot.

And then I looked at Paige Piper: if I play her then I can throw away extra copies of Rachel Beckman, Personal Workshop, Katie Jones, Corroder, Eater, Vigil, so she should thin out my deck? (And if I’m going to throw in one copy, there’s no reason not to throw in three.) Similarly, I’m drawing a lot with this deck and clicking for credits sometimes, so Symmetrical Visage should pay for itself in terms of efficiency, so another three copies of that (which Paige should get rid of 1-2 copies of); and also probably a third copy of I’ve Had Worse will actually make my deck less dense as well? (Or at worst break-even: one click to draw it, one click to earn a credit, one click to play it, resulting in three cards.)

I’m not sure I disagree with that analysis; but the flip side is that it leaves me with a 59-card deck, which is ridiculous. So either that analysis is wrong or it’s right but I need to take advantage of those increased efficiency cards and use that to get rid of other cards, to let my deck play smaller than it is. (Because having only 6 out of 59 cards being non-Eater icebreakers, two of which depend on also getting Datasucker installed, does not feel good!)

 

The changes:

  • -2 Raymond Flint
  • -2 Dirty Laundry
  • +3 Paige Piper
  • +3 Symmetrical Visage
  • +2 Clot
  • +1 I’ve Had Worse

 

And the result:

Valencia (59 cards)

Valencia Estevez: The Angel of Cayambe

Event (19)

  • 3 Day Job
  • 2 Deja Vu
  • 2 Forked
  • 1 Frame Job
  • 3 Itinerant Protesters
  • 3 I’ve Had Worse
  • 1 Knifed
  • 1 Spooned
  • 3 Sure Gamble

Hardware (8)

  • 1 Clone Chip **
  • 2 Cyberfeeder
  • 2 MemStrips
  • 3 Vigil

Resource (16)

  • 3 Investigative Journalism
  • 2 Kati Jones
  • 3 Paige Piper
  • 2 Personal Workshop **** ****
  • 3 Rachel Beckman * * *
  • 3 Symmetrical Visage

Icebreaker (8)

  • 1 Cerberus “Cuj.0″ H3
  • 2 Corroder
  • 2 Eater
  • 1 Mimic
  • 1 Yog.0
  • 1 ZU.13 Key Master **

Program (8)

  • 2 Clot
  • 2 Datasucker
  • 2 Medium
  • 2 Parasite

2 responses so far

Galactic Ice deck, final version

Apr 26 2015

Backfilling my Netrunner decks, here’s the final version of my prior corp deck, where I tried out the galactic ice from the most recent big box:

galactic (49 cards)

Weyland Consortium: Because We Built It

Agenda (10)

  • 2 Firmware Updates
  • 2 Government Contracts
  • 3 NAPD Contract
  • 3 Project Atlas

Asset (6)

  • 1 Edge of World **
  • 3 Jackson Howard * * *
  • 2 Melange Mining Corp

Upgrade (1)

  • 1 Cyberdex Virus Suite

Operation (14)

  • 2 Beanstalk Royalties
  • 3 Hedge Fund
  • 3 Punitive Counterstrike
  • 2 Restructure
  • 1 Subliminal Messaging
  • 3 Trick of Light *** *** ***

Barrier (6)

  • 3 Asteroid Belt
  • 3 Ice Wall

Code Gate (5)

  • 1 Lotus Field *
  • 1 Quandary
  • 3 Wormhole

Sentry (5)

  • 2 Archer
  • 3 Nebula

ICE (2)

  • 2 Orion

I’d tried out Because We Built It when the card first appeared, and it had failed miserably; it seemed like time to try it again, and this version is playable but not great. (It went 1-3 in the last tournament I played in, and that’s not at all surprising.) It’s slow; once it really gets going, the servers are strong, but it frequently doesn’t last that long, and the first few turns in particular can be brutal. Sometimes the Punitive Counterstrikes land; there’s also a good amount of program destruction possibilities, and Firmware Updates helps me feed the Archers. (Actually, playing the deck has gotten me perfectly happy sacrificing a two-point agenda to feed an Archer in the right situation.)

In previous iterations, I had some of the assets/upgrades that help with advanceable ice; Satellite Grid really wasn’t worth it, and while Constellation Protocol certainly had its moments, I ultimately decided that I needed money more. (If one of my coworkers didn’t have such a virus-heavy deck, maybe I would have left in one Constellation Protocol and ditched Cyberdex?)

I am a big fan of Ice Wall: it gives you a bit of defense in your first few turns while advancing the galactic ice. And Trick of Light is an absolute key card in this deck: I usually hold off on using it until I’ve got an agenda scored, but once I’ve got two points, using one to score a 3/2 agenda out of hand and then using two to score an installed but unadvanced 5/3 agenda is great.

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Industrial Genomics, v. 1

Apr 25 2015

I’ve played five games with the initial version of my Industrial Genomics deck; I’ve gone 3-2 with it, but two of those wins don’t really count, they were playing against somebody using a stock core set deck. (And who hadn’t learned that it’s not a great idea to run with fewer than three cards in his hand, especially against Jinteki.) And, honestly, the third win was also a bit lucky: my opponent had a 9-card Medium dig (his deck is pretty eccentric) and he hit two Snares before he hit enough agendas.

The flip side, though, is that even the losses didn’t actually let the runner feel comfortable. So I think there’s something there, but it needs work. The ice was a total mess, and the economy is a little low. (I keep underestimating how much economy you need to fire off traps.)

So here’s my first tweak: significant changes to the ice (mostly to get rid of random stuff and to give me a few more straightforward early cards to rez, but also I’m setting up the vague hope of comboing Chum with either Komainu or Kitsune for a kill), and shuffling out a few cards I haven’t used much, giving me room for one more advanceable trap and a couple of Melanges, which hopefully will be a little expensive to trash in this deck. (But I’m losing a couple of Turtlebacks, so the total number of econ cards actually isn’t changing; over five games, though, I only used Turtlebacks a grand total of once, so at least my econ won’t get any worse…)

 

Card changes:

  • -2 Encryption Protocol
  • -2 Turtlebacks
  • -1 Interns
  • -1 Restructure
  • -1 Excalibur
  • -1 Gemini
  • -1 Shiro
  • +1 Cerebral Overwriter
  • +2 Melange Mining Company
  • +1 Hedge Fund
  • +1 Lotus Field
  • +1 Komainu
  • +1 Cortex Lock
  • +1 Chum
  • +1 Wall of Static

 

And the current state of the deck:

Industrial Genomics (59 cards)

Industrial Genomics: Growing Solutions

Agenda (10)

  • 3 Fetal AI
  • 1 Hades Fragment
  • 2 NAPD Contract
  • 1 Philotic Entanglement
  • 3 The Future Perfect

Asset (26)

  • 2 Cerebral Overwriter ** **
  • 2 Hostile Infrastructure
  • 3 Jackson Howard * * *
  • 2 Melange Mining Corp
  • 3 PAD Campaign
  • 2 Ronin
  • 3 Shi.Kyu
  • 3 Shock!
  • 3 Snare!
  • 3 Sundew

Upgrade (10)

  • 2 Ash 2X3ZB9CY ** **
  • 3 Caprice Nisei
  • 1 Cyberdex Virus Suite
  • 2 Hokusai Grid
  • 2 Red Herrings ** **

Operation (4)

  • 3 Hedge Fund
  • 1 Subliminal Messaging

Barrier (2)

  • 1 Wall of Static
  • 1 Wall of Thorns

Code Gate (3)

  • 1 Chum
  • 2 Lotus Field

Sentry (3)

  • 1 Cortex Lock
  • 2 Komainu

ICE (1)

  • 1 Kitsune

No responses yet

Industrial Genomics: version 0

Apr 23 2015

I’d seen an Industrial Genomics deck in a tournament a few months ago, and I wasn’t sure what to make of it, so I’d been tentatively thinking I’d give it a try for my next corp deck; and then I heard Jorge talking on Twitter about his deck (here’s a thread between him and Nels), so that sealed the deal. He also referred to this deck as inspiration; I took a look at that one, though I didn’t follow it at all closely.

Here’s the initial version that I built:

Industrial Genomics (59 cards)

Industrial Genomics: Growing Solutions

Agenda (10)

  • 3 Fetal AI
  • 1 Hades Fragment
  • 2 NAPD Contract
  • 1 Philotic Entanglement
  • 3 The Future Perfect

Asset (27)

  • 1 Cerebral Overwriter **
  • 2 Encryption Protocol * *
  • 2 Hostile Infrastructure
  • 3 Jackson Howard * * *
  • 3 PAD Campaign
  • 2 Ronin
  • 3 Shi.Kyu
  • 3 Shock!
  • 3 Snare!
  • 3 Sundew
  • 2 Turtlebacks

Upgrade (10)

  • 2 Ash 2X3ZB9CY ** **
  • 3 Caprice Nisei
  • 1 Cyberdex Virus Suite
  • 2 Hokusai Grid
  • 2 Red Herrings ** **

Operation (5)

  • 2 Hedge Fund
  • 1 Interns
  • 1 Restructure
  • 1 Subliminal Messaging

Barrier (1)

  • 1 Wall of Thorns

Code Gate (2)

  • 1 Lotus Field
  • 1 Shiro

Sentry (2)

  • 1 Gemini
  • 1 Komainu

ICE (2)

  • 1 Excalibur
  • 1 Kitsune

59 cards: like I said, I’m really bad at thinning out decks. Actually, the main thing I took out of that net deck that I looked at was that 54 cards might make sense, given the amount of discarding you want to do with this identity; and starting a deck five cards high while you figure out what cards work in context and what cards don’t work in context is not completely unreasonable? Still, that’s a lot of cards.

Some things that I was thinking about while building this:

  • Ash, Caprice, and Red Herrings are there to create a scoring server with minimal or even no ice. (But if there’s no ice I have to remember to rez Caprice before the run.)
  • Shock, Shi.Kyu, and Cyberdex Virus Suite are there to dissuade runs on Archives. (One of my coworkers is currently playing a very virus-heavy deck.)
  • Cerebral Overwriter and Ronin are there to increase the range of meanings of a double-advanced card. (Potentially even outside of my scoring server?)
  • Hostile Infrastructure and Encryption Protocol both amplify the identity’s ability. (Which could either be good or overconcentration!)
  • Given that trashing assets will be expensive, I figure I should put more of my economy in assets than normal. (And maybe I can use Subliminal Messaging as an early discard and then, if I can make running unpleasant enough, get some credits off of it later?)
  • I have absolutely no idea how much ice I need or what ice would be useful; the ice here is a particularly random selection.
  • Snare is always one of my favorites, and I figure a Snare that also costs money to trash is even better. (And maybe I can keep one in my hand, trigger it with Kitsune, and then hit the runner with Ronin before they draw back up?)

So that’s the initial version. I’m almost positive the ice is awful, and presumably some of the other ideas don’t work either, we’ll see how it behaves in initial playtesting.

By the way, these days when building a deck I usually throw in way too many cards, and then I write down how many I have of which categories, look at categories that are overweighted, and remove. Here’s what my final tally was for this deck:

  • Agenda: 10
  • Ice: 7
  • Other run protection (Hokusai): 2
  • Advanceable trap: 3
  • Archives traps: 6
  • Nonadvanceable traps: 3
  • Trash protection: 4
  • Money: 8 + 4 = 12
  • Agenda protection: 7
  • Recursion: 3 + 1 = 4
  • Misc: Cyberdex: 1

(Hmm, maybe I should have labeled Cyberdex as an Archives trap.)

One response so far

Valencia, take one

Apr 21 2015

I’ve decided to start taking notes about my Netrunner decks; I’ll lead off with the version of my Valencia deck as of a tournament a week and a half ago. So not quite the first iteration of this deck, but pretty close.

Valencia (54 cards)

Valencia Estevez: The Angel of Cayambe

Event (20)

  • 3 Day Job
  • 2 Deja Vu
  • 2 Dirty Laundry
  • 2 Forked
  • 1 Frame Job
  • 3 Itinerant Protesters
  • 2 I’ve Had Worse
  • 1 Knifed
  • 1 Spooned
  • 3 Sure Gamble

Hardware (8)

  • 1 Clone Chip **
  • 2 Cyberfeeder
  • 2 MemStrips
  • 3 Vigil

Resource (12)

  • 3 Investigative Journalism
  • 2 Kati Jones
  • 2 Personal Workshop **** ****
  • 3 Rachel Beckman * * *
  • 2 Raymond Flint

Icebreaker (8)

  • 1 Cerberus “Cuj.0″ H3
  • 2 Corroder
  • 2 Eater
  • 1 Mimic
  • 1 Yog.0
  • 1 ZU.13 Key Master **

Program (6)

  • 2 Datasucker
  • 2 Medium
  • 2 Parasite

I’ll blog about my Nasir deck soon, but it got me enjoying having credits available in the middle of the run, so I figured I’d try that out with Valencia. Also, I figured the 50 card limit would work well with my complete inability to prune down decks! So, of course, it started at almost 60 cards; by this version, it was down to 54, which is a start…

I wanted a way to get something out of recurring credits in a run, and Personal Workshop had worked great for that with Nasir. I started with three of them, but I decided that I wanted a bit more influence to play with, so I ended up with two copies. And of course I threw in more bad publicity-related cards: Investigative Journalism and Frame Job to create more bad pub, Raymond Flint and Itinerant Protesters to help me use it, and Taille Perrault for both. Then I threw in a bunch of other half-backed ideas: Hades Shard, Rachel Beckmann, the cutlery suite, MemStrips plus a bunch of viruses plus Data Folding, Vigil as my console to combo with Itinerant Protesters, Day Job for money, Eater to reduce chances of disaster in runs.

Some of that went away in initial testing with friends. Data Folding ended up not really working for economy, so I ditched that and threw in Kati Jones. Taille Perrault also ended up not being very useful. And Hades Shard helped me seal wins in games that I was going to win anyways.

But sometimes the deck worked really well: if I could keep adding bad pub with Investigative Journalism and keep the pressure up with Itinerant Protesters, then the corp would be in a pretty bad shape, and while that was happening, Vigil would give me the ammo I needed to keep the pressure going. (And I wasn’t running into a lot of currents, either, so Itinerant Protesters had a decent chance of staying around for a while.) Also, I managed to land Rachel Beckmann surprisingly often, and having five clicks is a huge advantage. (The fact that it leaves you a click left after using Investigative Journalism or Day Job is the icing on the cake!)

It was also super interesting to watch how the deck works. It’s pretty slow, as you’d expect with Day Job and Investigative Journalism. Also, it’s got a somewhat low percentage of icebreakers, so I couldn’t run as much as I wanted anyways. But, because of Itinerant Protestors, the corp feels under pressure even if I’m not running a lot.

So what ended up happening surprisingly often is that we’d go along for a while, without either of us doing much; and then the pieces would come together and I’d suddenly take control. Sometimes it was because I’d gotten my full regular breaker suite out and I’d have, say, three bad pub credits that I could use on every run; sometimes I’d only have one or two breakers out but I’d use Parasite + Datasucker or cutlery to clear most of the way into one server so I could get in reliably; and sometimes I’d combine ice destruction with Medium to get in some brutal runs. And when I got into that sort of ice destruction scenario, Itinerant Protestors meant that the corp would have a hard time rebuilding, because they wouldn’t have ice sitting around in their hand.

This made it harder to prune down than I expected: too many of the random ideas worked! So yeah, I threw out Hades Shard, but I added a third Rachel Beckmann in (and a third Day Job to pay for her), and the cutlery was staying. I got it down to 54 cards, but it was still a little bloated; but in that state, it still went 3 for 4 at the tournament.

Admittedly most of those wins were against people who weren’t doing so well in the tournament; I still think the deck is too bloated and too slow. The one deck it lost against was a fast advance deck, I’m pretty sure I’m vulnerable against that. And I haven’t played against decks with tagging; I haven’t lost Rachel Beckmann yet, and that will hurt when it happens.

My basic idea of leaning on Personal Workshop actually hasn’t worked so well either: I only have two of them, and I don’t have that many programs / hardware, so a lot of the time Personal Workshop doesn’t get tons of use. It still makes a noticeable difference in maybe a third of the games, and I really don’t know what I’d do with all the influence I’d free up by getting rid of them, so they’re still in there, but it feels off.

Of the other random ideas: getting free accesses from Raymond Flint is useful, but I think not quite useful for him to be worth keeping in. I’m thinking I might want to use more Frame Job, though: in the corp deck I was playing at the time, using Archer to increase the pressure even at the cost of discarding a two-point agenda turns out to be worth it, and if I can do the same with Frame Job plus Itinerant Protesters to get the corp hand size down to two or even one, then my chances get a lot better all of a sudden. (Or down to zero, but once it gets there, I’ve effectively won.)

And then there’s all the new cards from The Valley to think about: that’ll show up in the next iteration of this deck…

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VGHVI Minecraft: March 26, 2015

Apr 19 2015

Pictures from the March Minecraft session; first, some random wandering:

Another shot of the desert castle

Another shot of the desert castle

The greenhouse at dusk

The greenhouse at dusk

A sand bridge; I don't remember seeing this one before

A sand bridge; I don’t remember seeing this one before

Pat was the only person building this month, and he made a wooden fort:

Creating the walls and starting on the building

Creating the walls and starting on the building

The building is more fleshed out now

The building is more fleshed out now

The floor is in place

The floor is in place

A view of the walls and ceiling

A view of the walls and ceiling

The outside view from the back

The outside view from the back

There's a path in front now

There’s a path in front now

Finishing up the inside

Finishing up the inside

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VGHVI Minecraft: February 26, 2015

Mar 22 2015

I actually don’t have any pictures from the January Minecraft session: people weren’t doing much building. But I took a few from February; first, some wandering around:

A rock grotto with a mushroom

A rock grotto with a mushroom

Looking up at a window filled with water

Looking up at a window filled with water

Hello, rabbit

Hello, rabbit

Looking up with the rabbit

Looking up with the rabbit

Miranda did some work on the castle in the desert; I don’t remember exactly what was there before, so I’m not sure which parts were new. (Other than the lilypads.) Probably the tops of walls?

Working on the desert castle

Working on the desert castle

Snow transitioning to rain above one of the towers

Snow transitioning to rain above one of the towers

Lilypads

Lilypads in the pool

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