We continue to introduce members of the EC 2007 team and let them talk about their tournament experiences, favourite decks and their anticipation in regard to the European Continental Championship 2007.
Telling us about himself this week is Thomas Vorwerk, one of the two members of the writing team living in Berlin (since nearly eight years).
Name: Thomas Vorwerk
Known on the dboards as: BorgifiedTribble
Age: 39 (but looking younger)
Regular player group: Berlin, Hanover, Bremen (his parents live between the latter two cities and he is known to coordinate visits with local tournaments)
Current/highest Decipher rating: current: check it out yourself / highest: probably something round 1650
STCCG 2E accomplishments: 2005 amateur champion at Grand Prix in Bochum, winner of 2005 “writing artist” and “favourite player” awards, 2007 Landesmeister (Federal state champion) Berlin
1). How did you start playing Star Trek CCG?
About two months before the warp packs came out I bought a white border 1E Premiere starter and even initiated a fellow trekkie (who wasn’t even very good in English) to collect and play with me. I frequently visited a multi-player playing group in Hanover (Marc Schütze, Marcus Knopf, Roman Meyer and the likes) and also played with the Bremen core group (Ulf Benjes, Michael David Czont, Thomas Müller) a lot. I even initiated a player’s group in Verden (mostly consiting of a local Trek club), but lost contact with the game first a bit when The Dominion came out - because of monetary issues - and then for real with the release of Voyager for the same reason and a growing stubbornness to check out all the Hexany tricks the game had developed since I last played. I then started anew in Berlin with 2E, and since shortly after Necessary Evil I’m very much into the national tournament scene.
2). Do you play any other TCGs beside Star Trek?
I did some Star Trek Classic, but lost the other players, the same happened with the first Star Wars game (up til the fourth or so expansion), I also collected an “adult” (more funny then arousing) TCG called Xxxenophile (“Discard one article of clothing”) but never played it and am now also collecting Harry Potter TCG (the final expansion came out in 2002), but mostly play that with one friend, my small nieces and my sister-in-law.
Oh, and I have a small collection of Magic cards illustrated by artists I know from reading comics (Mike Dringenberg, Phil Foglio, George Pratt, Rebecca Guay, Bill Sienkiewicz), but never came around to invest in some “countries” (or whatever they’re called in English).
3). Can you remember your first Star Trek 2E tournament? How did you do?
I can tell you about my first 1E tournament. This was in the times of Alternate Universe and in Minden near Hanover. I have no idea how I *did* but probably not too well as they played with some pretty stupid local rules (you guessed it, it wasn’t sanctioned and those guys never heard of Current Rulings) for which my deck wasn’t equipped.
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?
As I like to win but don’t like to play with less than 50 or 60 cards, my motto is always: “Have fun, and / or pester your opponents with unusual ideas”. If I make it to Day 2 in Berlin, it will probably be because my opponents thought a good deck must not be larger than 40 cards. Which can be desastrous if your playing against my patented “kill them all” dilemma pile. I watch the meta, but usually prefer my own deck ideas, which may be lamer, but for me are more fun.
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?
Well, Voyager is all over the place with its speed solvers out of diverse mission strategies. Even the danger of visits by Mr. Thon won’t keep those guys quiet. I haven’t seen many Starfleet or TOS decks yet, but at least specific personnel like Malcolm Reed or Palamas seem reason enough for some players to include their headquarters despite all the double-headquarters bashing cards.
6). 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?
I think foreign players will have good chances against us Germans, because we don’t know how they tick yet. There are some German players (not just from my vicinity) that I imagine to know quite well. Their quirks, their strengths and their weaknesses. If I sit across a Cameron Vladyvostok I know next to nothing about his playing style. Is he into fake attempts? Will this turn out to be a battle or capture deck? How well can he remember the skills of my personnel? I probably find out a lot in that first game, but that may already be too late. Also in round five or so I will probably be quite well informed about what Marc Schütze (for instance) has thought of now, but when someone will tell me “I just played against Francois Gudmundsdottir and he really screwd me up with his new strategy”, I may sit across from that guy in round eight and don’t even realise it until it’s too late. I think especially foreign players coming in groups (to give each other moral support instead of sitting in a corner and regretting that no one speaks your native language) will have good chances to make it to day 2. I would be very surprised if not at least six out of the 16 contestants making it to day 2 will be those who wouldn’t have the opportunity to just jump into a subway and arrive at the location in 15 minutes like me, but really worked hard to make their journey count.
7). 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?
Marc Schütze, Sebastian Kirstein, Sandra Stieß
8 ). What are your personal goals that you hope to achieve at EC2007? How far do you think you will go?
My personal goal will be (as it was so often) to show those of my opponents of Day 1 who thought a good deck must not be larger than 40 cards that they are sadly mistaken...
Also I will actively train to achieve the prestigious title of Biermeister. That’s my top priority. Burp.
9). What 3 cards released from There are the Voyages do you expect to see a lot of at the European Championships?
Vault of Tomorrow - one of the best dilemmas ever. You need a Timescape, Skeleton Crew, Outmatched or Entanglement to stop your opponent? Just let it hatch out...
Optimism - some say it’s too expensive with three counters, but it does wonders to speed up (or slow down) your deck if you’re in a tight spot.
Grav-Plating Trap - I haven’t played with it myself so far, but I encountered it often and it annoys the heck out of me.
10) And how about those spoiled so far from In a Mirror, Darkly?
Nearly all the events are just GREAT: Bigger Tattoo, Call of the Nagus, Call to Arms, and so on. I really like the theme of the Mirror Enterprise crew with no cards in hand, and of course both Killer Docs. I’m itching to try out the new Ferengis and will definitely use Farrell, the best download-card I’ve seen so far, in some multiple headquarters deck.
11). If you could change one rule, or one game mechanic, of 2E, what would you do?
I would put a stop to all that dilemma manipulating around the lines of Tampering with Time. It’s even worse than scanning in 1E. If you don’t have the guts to encounter some tough killer dilemmas, go play Pokemon or Teletubbies CCG!
12). When not playing Star Trek, what else do you enjoy doing?
Going to the movies (more often than most people can imagine), reading, writing, listening to music.
13). Are you already planning your European Championships deck, or will you wait until you see all the cards that will be legal?
I have a deck idea that I’m pretty confident with, but which could be improved by cards I overlooked so far or haven’t been released yet. I also recently thought up a pretty little deck idea that works surprisingly good, and I’m always looking for new uses of old cards, and if some of those ideas would work with my choice of headquarters, I will try to incorporate them.
14). Name your favorite card ever? Why?
1E – Professor Honey Bare. Great episode, great actress. And some sentimental reasons.
2E - The Dreamer and the Dream. The cheapest and easiest way to make someone lose a fifth of their cards.
15). Have you ever built a deck that looked great on paper, but did terrible in a tournament?
The story of my life.
16). 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?
Any game that’s decided by a card draw or five points is memorable, but not memorable enough to recapitulate it here. One game I always remember is when I almost won my first tournament with a Q-bypass strategy shortly before Assign Mission Specialists (First Contact) was erratad. I played with high integrity Klingons and the I.K.C. T’Ong. I won every game by the second turn except the one where Ulf Benjes used Rogue Borg Mercenaries against me, destaffed my ship and I couldn’t get my emergency ship out of my deck quick enough. Maybe that’s one of the reasons why I prefer larger decks which always give you a chance to improvise.
17). Create a 2E dream card of yourself!
(10) •Thomas Vorwerk, Ambassador of Obesity
Ferengi affiliation (past icon)
Picture: Myself shyly hiding behind some piles of cards like Reginald Barclay on his first 1E CCG card.
•Anthropology •Diplomacy •Treachery
Waiter. When this personnel is played, for each eight cards currently in his draw deck he is cost -1. Also, if any Sebastian Kirstein is at this mission, he is cost - 2. Limit: For playing this personnel you can get paid no more than 3 counters. If present with any Sebastian Kirstein, this personnel is attributes +1, loses Treachery and gains Honor.
Integrity 4, Cunning 6, Strength 5
Lore: “You call that a deck? This here is a deck!”