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Anarchy in N.A. - 10 Things I Like and Don't Like About Order & Chaos

Originally published at: http://stimhack.com/10-things-oc/

Discuss the latest StimHack article by @spags here.


Successfully trolled.

You liked everything.

Also, good read. I like how this article is beyond just a single, card, deck or event but really looks at the game as a whole.

I’m not just saying that because I’m mentioned.

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You’re a man after my own heart, @spags. I, too, adore the singular Zach Lowe. And Kirk Goldsberry, expected possession value, etc. If only we had access to a fraction of that data granularity in Netrunner…

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“This is RNG done right, a la Hearthstone. Psi, OTOH, is RNG done wrong.”

I don’t know whether to be sad or annoyed.

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Why not both?

EDIT: If it’s the acronyms, I apologize. I’m writing this at work, and don’t have a copy editor. I put some footnotes in there. Learn something new every day, even if it’s dumb, yet relevant in the parlance of the internet, acronyms.

nah, it’s the statements in general.

Hearthstones randomness doesn’t suit netrunner, I think, and I enjoy the psi mechanic :slight_smile:


Cool, and a fair opinion. I like RNG when it fits the theme of the game. In Hearthstone, it can get out of hand, but that’s a super-casual game. In ANR, some board-game-y mechanic like Psi shouldn’t be determining the outcome of games. MaxX, OTOH, is random, but can be controlled/utilized. Plus, it’s only self-inflicted, unlike Psi, which affects both players.

Psi is a fun mechanic, but shouldn’t be on powerhaus cards. Just my opinion, man.


I think randomness can be made correct and wrong. Good randomness are effects you can affect with your own game play. Hearthstone has very good example of these cards also. For example there is card which steals a random minion from opponent when it dies. There are many ways to make this random effect work better by your own choices. You can eliminate other minions to steal more valuable minion and you can have power also when that random effect fires. In the “randomness done wrong” category there is card that simply does 3-6 damage. This effect you can’t control at all and you just have to trust blind luck. Sometimes you lose badly and sometimes you win a lot.

I feel PSI games goes the “randomness done wrong” category. There are ways to control the game by denying corp’s credits and game is a bit different when players are low credits. But most of the time PSI games feels just a blind luck which players can hardly control at all and doesn’t reward skill.


Solid read, spags. Well done. Not nearly trolly tnough, though. You’re going to lose that title.



Didn’t you get it? ‘10 Things I Like and Don’t Like…’

Liked nearly everything.


PSI games aren’t at all random. They’re tricky and uncertain, but they’re only as random as human behavior - so not very random at all.


yo how do you do that hidden syntax?

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Click to find out! For those of you who don’t want the surprise ruined. I’ve hidden it. :stuck_out_tongue:

I guessed, it’s a bb tag “spoiler”

public static void main(String[] args) {
     System.out.println("There's usually one on every board and rarely is it documented. Gotta click around and just type things to see if it works."); // Hack Moar

I think that in terms of general game design, psi is done wrong, at least in the cases of TFP and Caprice. Even if they did provide some much needed power to Jinteki in general, which I think was needed, their psis are often such high-stakes events that games feel decided by trivial guessing games too much of the time. I don’t actually think it’s the case that they are, but they definitely make people feel that way, which is almost just as bad.

One thing to be said in favor of psi games is that they fit this game extremely well. Having to guess what your opponent is thinking is one of the coolest and most unique skills tested by Netrunner and psi fits right it in that regard, at the very least.


Right. They are thematically perfect. Also, I’m good at them, so, bring more on!

Psi on Ice is neat, and something I’d like to see more of. Ice with good stats but a Psi mechanic…it’s like Trace Ice, but less structured and more semi-random. It would be cool to be able to play Nisei with crazy Psi Ice. Harder to break, risky Ice to face check (better than the Psi Ice we have), but you always have a chance to get by it, especially if you bankrupt them.

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great article, @spags; just read it for the second time before I typed my stupid opinions. had to learn the neat hidden trick first

I’m not on board with all the excitement about this deluxe. I don’t agree with the claims that anything besides MaxX and IHW are really that big. Adding depth to factions is fine, and cool; I’ll enjoy playing casually with a lot of these cards. I don’t see how this box can be considered as ‘good’ for these factions as HNP, though. Just looking at the card list of HNP, I see many more cards that I consider good and relevant to every meta since release than in ONC upon release. Here is a shortcut to the list: http://netrunnerdb.com/en/set/hap. I fully admit I am a naysayer at heart, and maybe that’s all this opinion is. People say red IDs are winning now. I can’t deny this, but I do believe that people are attributing too much of this to the big box. I think ONC inspired a lot of people to play Anarch that never had before, or had not in awhile. Some probably tried Anarch a few times, found it tough, and went back to blue or green. Other, stronger players probably realized that blue and green were just better, and abandoned Anarch. Red is the new shiny right now, and I think more lists are winning because more are being played. This is speculation, though, but a fair assumption following the Anarch big box. Furthermore, a tumultuous Store Champs season is not the best environment to analyze cards in. I think Regionals season will look a lot more hegemonic and traditional. I believe that player skill is a huge part of this SC season. What I mean is, suboptimal lists are winning by virtue of their pilots and not necessarily the lists. In Regionals season, I would predict lists become more optimal, as events are larger and will typically bring together larger quantities of stronger players. When lists become more optimal, I predict that less and less ONC cards will be making it to the table. To summarize this tangent: I don’t think this will historically prove to be as ‘good’ a box as HNP. You more or less brushed off Weyland, which is totally fair, because IMO they didn’t receive a single good card in this box (compared to Anarch’s 2). Jinteki’s loot in HNP laughs around Weyland’s in ONC. Haas received more relevant cards in CNC than Weyland did here IMO (2.0s, NEXT, CI, SucDem, EffCom, Overwriter): http://netrunnerdb.com/en/set/cac.
I agree with your ultimate point that this box puts the game in a healthier state. I would argue that it is only due to the Corp being stretched a bit more thin between new possible angles of attack, rather than the strength of the cards themselves. Maybe this is contradictory and I am thinking about it wrong. Maybe if cards are different enough that they change the meta, they are ‘good,’ even if they are narrow or suboptimal. Is this the Anarch way, forcing Corps to respect suboptimal cards and thus making their lists just a tad more suboptimal as a result? Interestingly, I think the release of Eater has actually hurt all 3 Runner factions, in that Corps are now running Crisium Grid with regularity. It’s been around for awhile, and is effective at stopping many Criminal and Shaper fundamentals, but it took a niche Anarch card to force Corps to truly consider it (Crisium). That’s about as much as I can stand listening to myself type and reading the words coming out. I look forward to more @spags articles, as you are truly one of the game’s great players.

Wall of Text
ICE - Barrier
–> End your credibility.


Red was in the worst spot, Runner-wise. With H&P, Blue was in best spot. Hard to compare. Blue didn’t really need new IDs. Red did.

People may and will fall back into their comfortable recliners come Regional season. Some never left them. If we never change, the meta won’t either. @aandries was shocked that no one really liked Leela too much, and, after going 13-1 in two SCs with her, he’s so convinced of her power that he’ll prob. run her at Regionals, and I may too.

The new IDs for Red are doing well and winning because they are good, but, more importantly, people are trying and playing them. They can’t succeed if they never see play. If good players rep them and actually succeed, it impresses upon the scene that variety is good. If we keep playing Andy and NEH, we’ve failed. I look to other competitive games, like Super Smash Bros. and other fighting games, where top players have taken old, forgotten about, ‘garbage’ characters, and won. Not to sound Damon Stone-y, but sometimes maybe we are doing it wrong.


Completely incidental, but I’ve been saying for a while now that she brings almost Anarch levels of corp disruption to the table, and the only reason I’m not playing her to death at all SCs this season is that I’ve been waiting for the Orange Box (heh) for like 2 years.

One thing that people are saying over here, though: her power level presumably goes down significantly against seasoned Leela players, who know how to play around her. Would your experiences seem to corroborate this hypothesis?


Against seasoned players, her strength becomes in click taxation, in my experience.