- Name: Thomas Schneider
- Known on the dboards as: I am not active on the dboards (maybe I should change that)
- Age: 26
- Regular player group: Koblenz, Germany
- Current/highest Decipher rating: 1763 / 1769
- STCCG 2E accomplishments: TOC Koblenz Winner 2004; Runner-Up Grand Prix Bochum 2004; Rhineland-Palatinate Regional Champion 2005; Runner-Up Grand Prix Celle 2005; Runner-Up PSR Celle 2005; 3rd at European Championship 2006
1). How did you start playing Star Trek CCG?
It was shortly after the release of the 1E. I missed the black border edition, but started before the second printing of the premiere set. A friend of mine went to England over the summer, and when he came back he had a 1E premiere starter with him. I always liked Star Trek so, after I had found out where to get these stuff in Germany (a Magic player was a great help solving that problem) I also bought a starter and we tried to play. I liked the game and so I continued.
2). Do you play any other TCGs beside Star Trek?
Not now. I played a little bit of “Star Wars” (the Decipher version) but very soon stopped to buy anything because it became too expensive to build a working deck, but I continued playing for some time with the deck of a friend. The same is true for “Lord of the Rings”. I also liked to play “X-files” but it was cancelled after only one expansion. And finally I have to confess I even played “Xena” and “Hercules” for a while (I was young and everybody in my area played it!). But at the moment I am only playing Star Trek (although I started to collect “X-files” again).
3). Can you remember your first Star Trek 2E tournament? How did you do? We played our first 2E tournament shortly after the release of the premiere set. We have played 1E tournaments quite regular and that turned out to be the problem. None of us had learned how to use dilemmas in 2E, so we played them as we did in 1E: Play as much as possible. It took us some time to find out that with the stopping piles we had at that time that was the worst possible way to use our dilemmas. I do not remember any details about my games but I think in the end I won the tournament.
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?
Play something YOU feel comfortable with! Players are different and so are their decks. Just because a deck is good in the hand of one player does not mean it will be good in every players hand. I know it is easy to copy the deck that won the last TOC / national championship / whatever and I have done this more than once, but after the first game I immediately started to change it and adjust it to my style. When I was finished the main idea of the original deck was still in it (at least sometimes) but it become MY deck, suitable to my way of playing. What I want to say is, take existing decks as inspiration or to find out what other people may play, but don’t just copy them. You will never be able to prepare against everything, so do not try. We all had to face bad match-ups at some point. The same is true for your winning strategy. Most affiliations have more than one possibility how a deck can work, but trying to implement all of them usually ends in a disaster. Choose one thing and stay with it. Of course you have to solve missions and prevent your opponent solving them to win the game, but one of these things has to be the priority. Try to solve your missions faster than your opponent or try to to destroy your opponents capability to solve his missions. Both tactics are working so choose whatever works better for you, but set a priority. Prepare to vary or even completely change your deck between the days. If you made it to the top 16 you have the invaluable information on what has been played by your opponents on day one. Use it! One last thing: Know your deck. At more than one point of the game you will have to choose which card to discard or if it is necessary to use an “Escape” to save the personnel just selected to be killed. That is much easier when you know which losses you can compensate and which not.
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 have already played against some Voyager decks so I know they can be very strong, either as a space only deck (It is really hard if such an high amount of your dilemmas becomes unusable) or as a high speed standard solver. Starfleet also showed some potential by now and I am afraid of the day when I have to face a Strafleet deck using “A Sight for Sore Eyes”. too new for us to fully comprehend their strength but at least on the paper it looks quite good, so I would not be surprised to see some TOS in the Top 16.
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 tournament outside of Koblenz was the German Championship 2004. Before I went there I was only used to the type of decks we played in our group at that time, which were straightforward mission solvers with stopping dilemma piles. At the championship I then had my first encounter with a killing pile (it was devastating) and all the variety of decks possible after Necessary Evil. To be honest it was at that event that I realised why everybody was so excited about NE and how huge the impact it had on the game really was. To make it short I learned a lot about 2E in each of my games and on the next “outside-Koblenz” tournament (the Grand Prix in Bochum) I became second, so yes I think that my game had improved. My first event outside of Germany was the EC last year, so let’s move on to the next question.
7). Have you attended a Continental Championship before? What did you like/didn’t like about it?
As I just told I visited the EC last year. The organisation was … let’s say not the best and the turnout of players was quite low. Nevertheless, there were some high class players, so I had really interesting games and everybody tried to make the best out of the situation. So in the end it became a nice weekend and I think all of us had fun.
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?
I have no doubt that players from outside of Germany will be able to give us a hard time. When I look back on the last “international” tournaments we had in Germany (the PSR and PSE in Essen 2005) both were won by foreign visitors and I remember some challenging games against people from all over Europe. But it is true that Germany has some really good players, so we won’t make it too easy for our guests either.
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?
In alphabetical order: Tobias Rausmann, Vladimir Vrbata, Nick Yankovec
10). What are your personal goals that you hope to achieve at EC2007. How far do you think you will go?
I hope (and I am quite optimistic about it) to qualify for day two. Once the elimination rounds have started, a lot will depend on the match-ups, so everything can happen. If I make it to the Top 16 every round I survive will be a success.
11). What 3 cards released from There are the Voyages do you expect to see a lot of at the European Championships?
Psychokinetic Control – very good dilemma that can cause some problems to quite a number of decks Grav-Plating Trap – maybe the best card for event-destruction Two of Nine (representative for all the “of Nines”) – Borg have been very strong during the last years and these cards are a great addition for them (I think that the Gal Gath’thong problem will be solved till July either by an erratum or by the meta adjusting to it, so I have not listed it)
12). If you could change one rule, or one game mechanic, of 2E, what would you do?
As everybody at the moment I am a little bit concerned about the Gal Gath’thong. Since I have neither played it myself or played against it yet I cannot judge if it is overpowered or not but I think it should be closely watched. Everything else in 2E seems to be very balanced at the moment, so I would not change anything.
13). When not playing Star Trek, what else do you enjoy doing?
Reading, meeting friends, buying books (most of the time more than I can read ;-) ), going to the cinema…
14). Are you already planning your European Championships deck, or will you wait until you see all the cards that will be legal?
The EC is in July! I have not even decided what to play on the next weekend! I think there is still a lot of time to see, build and test decks especially with the TOC session and the German championship ahead. But after that I will have to make my final decision to make sure I have well developed and tested decks. Of course there is already IaMD appearing at the horizon and new cards may change a lot…
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?
At the moment I do not see any affiliation dominating and I do not think that will change till July, so I would not be surprised to see four different headquarters in the Top 4. The second question depends on the deck I decide to play. If I know I am vulnerable to a specific strategy I prepare against it, if not I will stay with some all-purpose counters (Escape, some event destruction…).
16). Name your favourite ever card? Why?
Unexpected Difficulties: Plain, simple, useful in nearly any deck. I think I have never build one without a copy.
17). Have you ever built a deck that looked great on paper, but did terrible in a tournament.
My try on an alpha Borg solver went awful. In theory it should be a fast solver with all the nice stuff Borg have to make their opponents dilemmas useless. In practice it did not work. I am not sure if it was the mistake of the deck or if I was not able to play it (I have not done much testing with it in advance) but everything went wrong. It was not nearly as fast as expected and most of the dilemmas I had to face worked pretty good against me, so all my opponents were able to stop me multiple times at each mission (even with all the Unyielding and First of Many and Ascertain and whatever). Maybe with some additional testing I would have been able to make it work but I just scraped it after the tournament.
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?
Hard to answer. I think the game I remember the best was against Christoph Lensmann at the German Championship 2005. He played a Federation/ Bajoran integrity solver which showed some serious problems during that game and for some reasons went really slow. I was playing a fast Cardassian Tain solver so in principle the odds were in my favour. The only problem was that I got destaffed on my first mission attempt and did not draw another ship! I even used three Cardassian Protectorates in one turn (thanks to Christoph’s Party Atmosphere) to draw a total of 21 (!) cards (more than half of what was left from my deck) and did not get one single ship (I had three left in the deck, not counting the copies of the unique one I already had in play). Even if Christoph’s Deck was quiet slow he had more than enough time to get all his personnel out (literally all, his deck was empty) and start his first attempt. Since I was quite sure that he could solve the mission in a maximum of two more turns I became a little bit desperate and decided to play Enabran Tain to finally get a ship (it turned out that from the four cards on the bottom of my deck three were universal Galors.). The good thing was I got my ship but the bad thing was that I had fewer cards left in my deck than I expected so I emptied it. Game over! The only points ever scored in that game came from Christoph’s Guinan. He used them for At what cost and I for some dissidents downloaded by Kira. So in the end it was 0:0 true tie. And the one thing that I am still wondering about is if I would have been able to win it if I had drawn my cards one by one and not using Tain. But it was really a nice game. Not a good one, but nice and memorable.
19). Create a 2E dream card of yourself!
(3) •Thomas Schneider, Ph. D. Student
non-aligned (staffing icon)(past icon) Human
•Archaeology •2 Physics •Programming •Science
While this personnel is attempting a mission that requires physics, he is cunning +1 for each completed mission that requires physics.
Integrity 6, Cunning 6, Strength 4
Lore: “A dream card of myself?
I have not the slightest idea what to use as lore” I am a Ph. D. student in physics at the moment that’s were physics, programming, science, and the gametext came from. History (from the 24th century point of view Archaeology) was one of my major subjects at school.