Today we talk to Sebastian Kirstein, one of the still active 1E players in Germany and two-times winner of German Grand Prix in 2nd Edition format. And also a member of our writing team and participant at the European Continental Championship 2007.
Name: Sebastian Kirstein
Known on the dboards as: Solbor
Regular player group: Berlins-2-man-tag-team, but I’m the lightweight
Current/highest Decipher rating: 1813 (current) / unknown (highest, but under 1900)
STCCG 2E accomplishments: won German Grand Prix 2003 and 2004, also won some TOCs and one PSR, but never became Berliner Landesmeister
1). How did you start playing Star Trek CCG?
I started way back in 1998 playing the STCCG. The Magic hype in our class was ending but I continued liking trading card games or collectible card games. So I switched to the STCCG, combining one of my favourite TV shows with my affinity for card games.
2). Do you play any other TCGs beside Star Trek?
No, I don’t. As mentioned above I played Magic as a pupil, but quit playing it. Playing one card game is expensive enough.
3). Can you remember your first Star Trek 2E tournament? How did you do?
My first tourney took place in Magdeburg. Our former Ambassador and European Champion Florian Sorge organized a trip to Magdeburg and there I first experimented with the new released 2E. I played a Klingon deck with Warrior’s Birthright and ended up somewhere in the middle field.
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?
Well, I just played once at a comparable event (EC 2004) so I’m not much help here.
But it’s always good to know the Meta and common strategies. So check the TOC decklists and Articles on decipher.com. Important sites with discussions about the game are teamjersey.net or 10-forward.net with their TOC centered webblog. And don't forget to check out stccg-turnier.de and the articles on open-cards.com!
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, I think each of those three has the potential to be the basis of a really good deck. Starfleet's personnel are quite slobby in the pre-IaMd-era, but the Starfleet Affiliation has the Macos, the 10-point-bonus and the ingenuine card A sight for sore Eyes. In America Starfleet is a quite popular affiliation and won at least one TOC.
The Voyager-Affiliation is one the strongest affiliations in the game from my point of view. Read my article on open-cards regarding the Voyager Affiliation.
Together with the Ferengi TOS are my favourite affiliations of hearts due to 1E nostalgia. And they have strong cards: both Kirks, McCoy, Sisko, Enterprise and others. But I always had difficulties finding the right mission set for them or playing them fast cause their countless enhance abilities confused me. But in America current World Champion Caleb Grace dominated a 21 (!) player field at the Minnesota TOC with a TOS deck, so it has to be concluded that TOS is a TIER one affiliation.
Both affiliations are also great combo-affiliations, so there’s always the slight chance that a dual-headquarters deck consisting one of the two headquarters can take the title home.
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?
My first bigger tournament outside Berlin was the first 2E Grand Prix in Celle 2003. I hadn’t had much tournament experience and played a deck that was influenced by a deck at Worlds 2003 I found on the internet. It was a DS9-Earth deck and DS9-Earth was not popular in Germany despite its powerful cheater Confessions and their easy missions. I won the tournament and DS9-Earth became an affiliation I regularly played. As Chris Moneymaker claims in a TV-spot “practicing” is the best way to improve someone's poker skills, this is also true for the STCCG. Playing regular in a player group or on tourneys is essential. Since the downfall of our community and lacking practice my performance on the few tourneys I visited was quite poor. So try to stay in the game.
7). Have you attended a Continental Championship before? What did you like/didn't like about it?
In 2004 I visited the European Continentals. It was fun and the only thing I disliked is, that I didn’t make it to the top 16. I was very close…
8). The German Star Trek scene has always been the home of some top players. How do you think players from outside of Germany will fare at the event?
Klarhauser, Rausmann, Wanek, Bank, Schütze and Thomas Schneider are the best German players today in my opinion. Each one of them could take the title home.After the retreat of Wolfram and Christian we are down to six. Now keep in mind that the English, the Czech and the Dutch top players will also try their best, not to talk about those of countries not mentioned here. So the German top players are outnumbered. But I think it’s possible that the title will stay in Germany.
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?
Tobias Rausmann, Marc Schütze, Vladimir Vrbata
10). What are your personal goals that you hope to achieve at EC2007. How far do you think you will go?
I have no clue. I would love to reach day two, but that’s very improbable. I’ll prepare a nice 1E deck.
11). What 3 cards released from There are the Voyages do you expect to see a lot of at the European Championships?
I originally suspected the Gal Gath'thong to be played often (but it got an erratum in time), Fesarius Bluff/ Excalbian Drama and Vault of Tomorrow which is a very nice multiple usuable dilemma.
12). If you could change one rule, or one game mechanic, of 2E, what would you do?
Not easy to tell. But I do not like the stupid mass discard via Gal Gath'thong. I think that card needs an erratum.
13). When not playing Star Trek, what else do you enjoy doing?
In my free time I enjoy playing table tennis.
14). Are you already planning your European Championships deck, or will you wait until you see all the cards that will be legal?
I do not have much time to think about it at the moment. And I think IaMd will be released before the Continentals so there’s no need to worry now.
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?
Although I’m no fan of Optimism, I think I’ll stack two copies against Gal Gath'thong.
Fed is always strong, no matter if Voyager, TOS, TNG or DS9. You’ll need a tough dilemma pile. Having a good dilemma pile can never be underestimated. Without a good pile your deck won’t win, even it’s a world class draw deck. My last second tourney experiences showed that I have to work a lot on dilemmas.
16). Name your favourite ever card? Why?
My favourite ever card is the 1E dilemma I hate you! It shows a nice image, has a funny lore and is a very strong dilemma. Combine it with Horta and Volcanic Eruption and Atmospheric Ionization and Distortion Field and the planet becomes Demon Class.
But beware of Guinan or Madam Guinan.
17). Have you ever built a deck that looked great on paper, but did terrible in a tournament?
Whenever I used an ordinary standard solver consisting of a strong affiliation I went best. I had problems with affiliations I played first on a tourney or with experimental decks.
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?
The most memorable game was the 2004 GP Final against Christian. He had a Baraka-Speed deck yet and I lost to him in the round before the final and thought I wouldn’t stay a chance with my Klingon-Riker-deck. But I could stall Christian one turn longer at a mission than he expected and he had lost all his points to At What Cost?. Without points to fuel the Baraka he was stuck at that mission with six on the ship and could not attempt with four as usual. I rushed through the missions with Riker, The Promise, Stricken Dumb and Gowron-SLotE and won. That was the best game of my life.
19). Create a 2E dream card of yourself!
* (1) Sebastian Kirstein, Lightweight-Tag-Team-Member
When you play this personnel you may download Thomas Vorwerk, Heavyweight-Tag-Team-Member.
I5 C6 S5