Jaglom Shrek: You won the first European Championship. Did you expect such a successful result?
Björn Neervoort: No, not at all. I hoped to finish top 5, but I would have been happy with a top 10 place. Especially after my poor result at the regionals, where I finished 8th.
Jaglom Shrek: When did you start playing the STCCG? Are you playing any other CCGs?
Björn Neervoort: I started playing Magic in 1995 I believe. I played that for quite a while untill I took up Star Wars with the release of Jabba's Palace, and Star Trek with Deep Space 9 out (not immediately after the release). I'm still playing Star Trek and Star Wars and an occasional game of Babylon 5. I know how to play a lot more games, but I found that those weren't as fun as ST, SW and B5.
Jaglom Shrek: Since when do you play on professional events? How did you qualify for the second day of the EC?
Björn Neervoort: I started playing tournaments this year, 4 weeks before the national, April 23. Then 2 weeks before I played my 3rd tournament (I played a very small tournament when I just started). I won the 4th tournament I played in, which was the national, qualifying for day 2 of the EC (I ended 2nd in the other 3 tournaments). My 5th Tournament was the regional where I placed 8th, and the EC was only my 6th tournament.
Jaglom Shrek: Describe the basic functions of you deck, please. You used the nearly "useless" docking procedured to stop you opponent from disturbing your colonisation, right? Why that card?
Björn Neervoort: The deck relied on the 34th rule (war is good for business), Morn and Guest Quarters for cards. Husnock Ship with 2 mission specialists and a leader as cardplay make sure I'm getting 4 cards from my 2nd turn on. from there it's played as a Ferengi mission solver. Using Ressikan Flute, Dabo and colony for bonus points. The part that makes it a very strong deck is the interrupt section; 3 Rogue Borg to 'ping' with, so if your opponent has a counter like Reactor Overload you only lose these 3 cards. Docking Procedures and Loss of Orbital Stability have a similar effect, but are a bit more limited. The good thing is that you can always use one of them, Docking procedures (the strongest one) is good if your opponent uses an outpost or especially usefull if he's using Empok Nor. Loss of Orbital Stability is great for HQ's, which (of course) are all planets. Each of these cards delay your opponent a whole turn, even playing only 2 gives you a huge advantage. The Palor Toff's are there to get back the interrupt that is most effective against this opponent.
Jaglom Shrek: Who was you hardest opponent on the EC, how did you manage the final confrontation?
The hardest game is very easy to say; it's the game against Johnny Olsen (sorry if I misspelled). He killed all my personnel, the only thing I could do was download Leeta for Dabo. By keeping a good probe on top of my deck by
downloading personnel from my tent I managed to score 42 points. Johnny had a lot of problems with my dilemmas, and he was only able to steal one mission for 40 points. In the 6th game to final score after a 'hands down' was 42-40, I made it into the final!
I was really nervous before the final, I went to see how the SW final was going. After some comforting words from the other Dutch players I felt a lot better. In the final everything worked, I got my engine running as planned and was able to solve a mission quite easily. I built a Colony which would score me 24 points per turn. My interrupts worked great and he wasn't able to do anything about them. I made no mistakes and finished the game by using the Colony for 3 turns. A 100-0 score was the result, if my opponent would have been able to get past the interrupts for one turn, he probably would have solved enough missions for the win.
Jaglom Shrek: Do yo think you will be able to qualify for day two on the worlds?
Björn Neervoort: I'm already qualified for day 2, but day 3 is my goal, I think it will be very hard, but not impossible.
Jaglom Shrek: Any plans for the future?
Day 3 in Orlando is my next goal, after that just to play some more tournaments and hopefully win my first SW tournament.
I'd also like to include some special thanks:
Helge Blohmer, aka Wesley Crusher for Kedanya Station. You did a great job by giving players a place to play STCCG online and meeting lots of interesting people. Also all other people that helped maintain the site. People that made Kedanya a great place to be. Kedanya is the place where I learned to play STCCG on tournament level.
William Springer for a wonderfull online magazine on STCCG, Where No One Has Gone Before. (also all other people working on it, but I don't know your names)
Everyone at the EC for making it a succes.
And of course Decipher for making such a wonderful game.
Jaglom Shrek: Thanks!