Determining archetype openness feels pretty weird the times I’ve drafted. It feels like to go meat damage you just have to force it and pray. Reading signals is really hard in a format with lots of powerful cards that go with almost every strategy, 2 Gutenbergs still in a pack isn’t really a sure thing that you should stick with drafting the tag n bag because maybe the other scorch guy took a Jackson Howard or NAPD contracts out of that pack. Or maybe that is just the pack that had 3 gutenbergs 3 data ravens because cubes don’t have print runs, so next few packs your faulty assumption is gonna leave you starved. Ends up being, well the only way to ever get to play meat damage ever (which you probably want to do because it’s really strong) is to pray and force, and that feels like a bit of a crapshoot, and I feel like it discourages mixed strategies a bit too.
I don’t think 15 cards would actually be enough to introduce a significant wheeling mechanic due to the rainbow nature of most of the power cards. When cards like Nisei MK II or Jackson Howard exist in a pack it tends to seem like no amount of meaningful synergy with the cards you expect to be in the pack for 9th, 10th, and 11th pick can outweigh that regularly (except for the meat damage special case) You’d probably be left with pairing your 3rd pick with your 12th pick, which could have some interesting impacts, but is less likely to due to the low power level of a 12th pick card. I think if you wanted to to use only pack size to introduce a meaningful wheeling aspect to picking (is wheeling important or good for a draft format? I have no idea) you would need to go to 20 so that a 3rd and 12th pick can really complement eachother in an exciting way (the 12th pick is no longer 3rd worst in the pack, it’s now possible it has synergy and enough vacuum power level to make that synergy desirable, it’s now a Shock instead of a Lockdown or something).
One idea I thought of to try to promote more synergy drafting in A:NR cube is to just make wheel picks immediate by changing the basic passing rule:
You open a pack of 10 cards, choose 1 card to keep, pass 9 of the other 9 left to become part of that player’s next pack.
You open a pack of 10 cards, choose 1 card to keep, pass 8 of the other 9 left to become part of that player’s next pack.
So the one card you neither picked nor passed becomes part of the next pack you’re looking at when it is combined with the cards a player just passed to you. You will still be looking at 1 2nd strongest an 8 3rd-10th strongest cards from packs, one of them just doesn’t have the same mother. Instead of trying to line up a 1st pick card with a 9th pick card to create some synergy, you can do so with cards of similar power level. Adonis Campaign makes it exciting to play Tollbooth, sure. BN + Scorch. Archer + 15 Minutes. Etc. You can chain other cards of similar power level together later on too. If you open a pack with JH and two grail Ice, it’s probably correct to take JH and pass the grail left, and that might be true for the next raw power card also, but then somewhere along the line it becomes correct for someone to take one grail and clutch the other, and neither doing so too early nor being the guy who passes that up when the raw power card is Launch Campaign seems skill intensive to me.
I think there’s definitely tons and tons of parameters for tweaking Netrunner cube drafting and making it even better, which is astounding when it’s already pretty damn fun and challenging. It may be worth challenging several of the other accepted parameters, like number of cards to draft, final deck size, agenda points for victory, how many cards you can take for your deck from each pack, how many cards to pass from each pack, where you pass those cards, whether to redraft some of the cards collected as part of the draft, how many cards are left in a pack before the pack is abandoned and the next pack starts, how seats are ordered, whether to preserve seat order for the entire draft, and whatever else I haven’t thought of. That’s just even sticking within the same core format, maybe it’d all be better to have some sort of 4 man Fact or Fiction based format instead.
Sorry for the wall post, I think about this too much, hopefully everyone just doesn’t read it and I killed some unwanted taskless time at my deskjob and everybody wins.