This Interview with Stefan Slaby was hold by openCards user Jaglom Shrek.
Name: Stefan Slaby
Known on the dboards as: not active there
Regular player group: Austria. I strive to participate at all tournaments in Wien and Graz, and sometimes, if there is time, I play at Klagenfurt and Linz, too.
Current/highest Decipher rating: 1764 (We don’t do a lot of official tournaments in austria, though. We didn’t like the 1$ per player system when it was introduced, and so the only rated tournaments I played in the last years were the two TOCs.)
STCCG 2E accomplishments: Austrian inofficial national champion 2006 / Austrian TOC winner 2006+2007
1). How did you start playing Star Trek CCG?
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away… damn, wrong story. It was in 1995, I believe. In my school TCGs were everywhere right then, mostly Magic: The Gathering, but I tried a lot of different games in 1995-1998, and somehow Star Trek became the one I stayed with. To me, it was the most strategically challenging game, even in it’s early phases, with it’s unique board-game like character, the increasingly complex seeding phase (I miss that one about 2e) and, most of all, the way borg played.
2). Do you play any other TCGs beside Star Trek?
Not anymore, although I have lots of cards from about 20 games lying around. Every year at the Spielefest (Austrian games convention) I meet some Vampire players and started playing it again for a few months, I also try interesting new TCGs like WoW, but I don’t really have the time (or money) to play and collect two of them the way I want to.
3). Can you remember your first Star Trek 2E tournament? How did you do?
Yes, it was a sealed. I believe I did win it, although I’m not certain anymore… I still know that I got the Romulan starter, and I believe I won every single sealed where I got either the Romulan or the DS9 starter. They both have a nice little range advantage that I never failed to use.
4). Some of the players travelling to Berlin will have never played in such a large event. What advice can you give to these players who want to build the best possible deck for the event?
Build a deck that is good at mission solving. REALLY good. It should be resourceful, too - it shouldn’t be a 35-card dwarf that is dead if it looses an 8-personnel away team. Trust me on that, I love doing that to my victi… eh, opponents :)
And then include some elements that can disrupt many specialized strategies at once. Event destruction. Desperate Sacrifice, if you can afford. Things that remove stuff from your opponent’s deck, or maybe prevent him from using abilities? Use the new Dukat to keep discard piles nice and clean. Anything you’ve got spare room for and don’t need to build your deck around.
5). Since Worlds 2006, we have seen Starfleet, Voyager and The Original Series enter the game. Do you think these 3 affiliations will make an impact at the European Championships?
Yes. In my personal opinion TOS is worthless (I really don’t like cards that don’t have any abilities once they are in play), and Starfleet is still stopped too easily (although this could be local metagame), but Voyager is a nice, fast, tough mission solver, and I wouldn’t be surprised if a Voyager deck won this EC.
6). What was the first major 2E event you attended outside of your own country or outside your regular playing area? Do you feel that your game improved after playing?
That must’ve been the first 2E EC in amsterdam. It didn’t affect my playstyle too much at that time. 2e was still too young.
7). Have you attended a Continental Championship before? What did you like/didn’t like about it?
Yes, I played at the first three ECs in Amsterdam/Utrecht. I did like the location, of course. I liked meeting players from all around europe and, on the later ECs, I liked seeing new strategies that hadn’t made their way into our local metagame yet. What I disliked the most was the missing 1e EC in the last years.
8). The German Star Trek scene has always been the home of some top players. Have you ever played against Germans and where do you see the difference in how they play in comparison to players from Austria?
Since I’ve only played against them at EC level tournaments, I’ve probably only contested the strongest players from each region of Germany. Taking that into account, I wouldn’t say there is much difference between their playstyle and the Austrian one.
9). If you had to place a 10 euro bet to name 3 players to reach the final 16 on day 2, which 3 players would you choose?
Christian Pulsfort, Wolfram Pulsfort, and myself, of course :)
10). What are your personal goals that you hope to achieve at EC2007. How far do you think you will go?
Participate. Have fun. Leave an impression.
I don’t think I’m standing a real chance at the title. There have been too many strong austrian players quitting in the last years, which leaves me with too few challenging contestants at our local events to keep my skills sharp. And while I’m Austria’s top player, there are at least ten Germans playing at or above my level… but I’ll try anyway :)
11). What 3 cards released from There are the Voyages do you expect to see a lot of at the European Championships?
Not Easily Avoided (my favourite, lately). And, of course, Talosian Trial and that planet dilemma like it… something with Drama? Don’t remember. Anyway, I loathe those outmatched-like dilemmas, I believe it’s highly unlikely that I would use either, and I usually play decks myself that can either cancel them, avoid having to face them, or can walk right through. But I believe they will be heavily used.
12). If you could change one rule, or one game mechanic, of 2E, what would you do?
Difficult… I would just LOVE to remove the 3-copies-per-card limit, it makes some cool decks quite unplayable and too luck-dependent at some times. On the other hand, it keeps the game balanced and allows me to theoretically build every possible deck by collecting 3 copies of every card. So I’d leave that one intact.
I believe I would give second edition a seed phase. Something like that. Making the game more plannable, in spite of your starting hand.
13). When not playing Star Trek, what else do you enjoy doing?
Too much, obviously. Playing computer games, especially WoW. Reading. Eating. Playing board games. Being a pain in the ass to everyone.
14). Are you already planning your European Championships deck, or will you wait until you see all the cards that will be legal?
15.) Which affiliation do you think will dominate the European Continental Championships, if any? Will there be a certain strategy your are going to prepare against?
Depends. Will In a Mirror, Darkly be out? If no, Voyager. If yes? I have no idea. Ferengi, perhaps.
What will i prepare against? see answer 4 :)
16). Name your favourite ever card? Why?
Difficult. I suppose you mean 2e?
Right now I would say Not Easily Avoided.
In our local metagame, there are lots of decks that are particularly vulnerable to one or two dilemmas, and I just love the ability to make sure they have to face them. Voyager’s first 4-personnel attempt get’s its Gomtuu, Starfleet gets Outclassed three times. There are countless others. And if none of those is necessary, you can always make sure you draw that third Tragic Turn in time. Of course, I did include all of those before NEA, but my dilemma piles are never below 50 cards anymore, which makes this card especially valuable. Plus, it can be downloaded by attempting a mission.
17). Have you ever built a deck that looked great on paper, but did terrible in a tournament.
Countless. Especially weird 100+ draw decks with three headquarters and some first-edition flavour :) often, when building a deck, i forget to include a realistic chance at solving missions and my favourite was a goval deck which tried to do two missions using 2-3 personnel, completely avoiding dilemmas some time BEFORE FT was out. After some tweaking, it got lots of
second places, but never won a tournament. It was too luck dependent, really.
18). Can you tell us the most memorable game of Star Trek 2E you have ever played? Why does this game in particular stick out in your mind?
I can’t really single out any game like that. But if I have to, I’d refer to (I think) the only game my Borg Assimilator lost lately. My opponent played a TNG android deck, and played it flawlessly against me, building up on personnel, destroying my key events, and playing his ship just when he was ready. I had no time to act, no targets for assimilation before that, and afterwards he won within three turns.
I was really starting to get disappointed before that, it is quite easy to play a simple solver like that, never giving an assimilation-dependent Borg deck like mine a chance to win. And after last year’s TOC (where I played that very deck) I even publically pointed out it’s weaknesses. But somehow most Austrian players seem to be psychologically unable to do the right things when they sit in front of me… even though I lost, it was actually rather… satisfying, seeing somebody finally doing the right things against my deck.
19). Create a 2E dream card of yourself!
Winner of Borg
icon, of course
Acquisition Engineer Programming x2 Treachery
You may play personnel of any affiliation at cost +2 where present.
Integrity 3 Cunning 7 Strength 5
The ability corresponds to my eternal struggle to break the game by cooperation of affiliations that were not meant to, like in my borg deck right after the adversaries anthology (diplomacy borg queen), that played three romulans via interstellar treaty, and, afterwards, used all those