So, I played my first two games of Netrunner last night. I ran a variation of the Reg-Ass MaxX list from the awesome article here and Quinns’ Tier 1.2 Gagarin Deck from netrunnerdb. First off, let me say that I haven’t played card games since I played Magic way back in the Ice Age. Literally, that was the last set I played. I am, however, a pretty hard core miniature gamer, so am the concept of combos, resources, etc. is pretty familiar and ingrained as are costs and counters, and stuff like that. Plus I have watched a ton of videos (thanks especially to Peachhack and Teamworkcast yours have been the most helpful! But really to everyone) and also listened to a lot of podcasts (notable shout-outs here to Terminal 7 and Run Last Click of whom I have listened to every single podcast and found them immensely helpful, and The Winning Agenda, most of which goes over my head). The netrunner reddit community has been FANTASTIC, also.
Okay, yeah I know my decks were probably not ideal starter decks, but here is why I chose what I did. First up the runner. I chose MaxX for a couple of reasons – 1. It seemed like her ability to draw every turn would help me get through my deck reasonably quick and help me out by forcing draws every turn and forcing a more active play style. I chose the Reg-Ass version because it seemed a bit more grounded in the fundamentals of good play which I do want to learn, and also or that reason seemed a bit easier for a beginner to play. That was the theory anyway. And 2. I like the way the card looks. A lot. 3. Maximum punk rock is pretty awesome. 4. If you think I need any more reasons you can go f*** yourself.
So, how did it go? Well, my friend Sergio was nice enough to volunteer to show me the ropes. We’ve been friends for a very long time, he’s something of a nemesis in other games we play – we often get draws when we match up and one of the things he said right away was that a great thing about this game was that there were no draws.He asked if I wanted him to bring learner decks, to which my answer was a somewhat foolhardy, “no way”. He did show me a quick example of making a run on a server before we started though, which helped out immensely.
The deck he brought was a Blue Sun deck. I’m not going to give a play by play, but just a couple of observations and highlights were making an early stimhack run on HQ and snagging The Cleaners. Knowing he had was looking to do meat damage, I made sure to end my turn with the full 4 cards every turn. He showed me the true economic powerhouse of Blue Sun and I was too timid on making run (and kind of pissed my money away in true Maximum Punk Rock fashion) and managed to go through my entire heap, then Same Old Thinged my Levy to reshuffle then milled all the way back down before he finally killed me on meat damage. I think he had about 15 cards left and 3 of his agendas were at the bottom. It was a long grind but it was definitely fun, and I learned a lot and made a ton of mistakes, including throwing away a D4v1d on a hosted Curtain Wall. One clever thing I did was putting Parasite on something I knew would just be picked up next turn and then using Scavenge to play an Imp and sacrificing the Parasite. The people watching thought it was cool and said they hadn’t seen someone do that before so it made me feel good. Anyway, ultimately I got smashed and learned a ton about the game and was raring for another shot, this time as the Corp.
Sergio brought out Gabe against me this time and I was able to put out some Caduceus and a Data Raven on a remote server. I got lucky and was able to score my Utopia Shard with Ash protecting it as it was just too expensive to get through everything, and then once I had the Shard up, it helped me score the next agendas I drew, both of which happened to be NAPD Contracts. The combination of the fee from Utopia shard double advance on the NAPD contract, plus the extra cost to access due to Gagarin, and NAPD’s extra cost just made it incredibly expensive to steal, and it was costing him 12 credits just to get through the 3 pieces of Ice protecting that remote. Quinns, that deck is legit if a total noob like me can pilot it. It just absolutely made sense what it was supposed to do – which was basically be really expensive to get through and steal anything while also threatening the quick kill – after running on HQ, Sergio knew that I had both a SEA Source and at least one Scorched Earth (I had two). I also had Paywall Implementation up basically the whole game (I ended up drawing into all three) which really helped the money game, because Gabe really wants to run a lot.
So, what did I learn? Well, I definitely need to play faster. All in all the two games took about two and a half hours, which was way longer than they should have. I had to read most every card and had a lot of questions. It didn’t feel that long, but it was. Once I learn the cards it will be faster, and the first game probably took up 3/4 of that time (stupid glacier). Next up, I think that the MaxX deck is pretty strong, but I also think it is a bit too advanced for me. There are too many decisions to be made. There is a lot of recursion in it, and frankly, I wasn’t sure what I wanted a lot of the time. I do like the feel and ethos of anarch, but also, Criminal looks pretty sweet, and Gabe seemed awful fun to play. I think most likely I will either look for a Quetzal deck or play a criminal. I love the card for Silhouette (I know she doesn’t seem that good, but neither am I, so there is that, and at 40 cards, the game should be quick, right?) So if you have any recommendations on solid decks for those two, I would be greatly appreciative. On the corp side, I am definitely going to stick with the Gagarin deck for a while. It was straight forward and fun to play.
Anyway, congrats on breaking the Wall of Text if you did. The Netrunner community has been absolutely fantastic and I wanted to thank you all again for answering all of my newb questions, they have been immensely helpful! I am well and truly hooked now!