Home | About | Tournament Winning Decklists | Forums

My ANR Hack - A set of house rules and errata ( Latest Version 1.4.1 )


If you want to balance your game, take criticism and use it. Yes, everyone is contrasting it with normal netrunner, but these are some people who have a mind for the game. Even if you want to change the game, it’s better to look at the commentary critically. Instead of defending your design adapt it. I don’t think all of the criticism is saying ‘make your netrunner back to regular netrunner.’ Use what there is to make it better for yourself and your playgroup. I don’t think you’re going to change anyone else’s play, but if you keep at it your version will definitely get better than it is now.

And as an aside, I like Willingdone’s videos. I watch them and I think he has some great thoughts. That said, when he puts up his versions of cards they are often ridiculous. I know he means them to be a sort of ‘if they did netrunner differently’ thing, but they’re usually not slick design in this world or an alternate one. Basing a patch of a well-designed game off of an amateurs thoughts doesn’t seem like a great idea.

Finally, if you want to do some game design, design games. Make a game someone might want to play. Don’t take a game people want to play and make a version nobody wants to play.


Some general thoughts and a minor change / correction to the Hack.

To paraphase my commentary in the Hack: In general i’ve tried to make more cards viable using either sweeping changes or by targeting particular problem cards that have had the most impact in reducing the viability of other cards in the game. Where sweeping changes might have made a specific card ‘unplayable’ i have generally let this be. There are many changes that could be made and rather than try to fix every card i’ve limited myself to those changes that are most effective in levelling out the viability of most cards. That said, if i don’t need to make a card unplayable obviously i won’t. So with that in mind…

Update: Version 1.2: Changlog: Hostile Takeover has been changed from a 2 for 0 agenda in version 1.1 to a 3 for 1 agenda in 1.2. To cut a long story short, i had originally made Hostile Takeover a 3 for 1. I changed it whilst experimenting with the idea of changing some agendas from a 2 for 1 to a 2 for 0. I neglected to revisit it as i had intended to but @Akalic brought it up and got me to look at it again.

I’d like to highlight that some posters have, and other posters might have, misread, not read, misunderstood or simply ( i think ) carelessly misrepresented some of the changes in the Hack and their consequences, so please be aware that this is happening. I won’t be correcting each and every one of these that come up, but the two most clear examples of the kind of thing i’m writing about are: 1) that Datasucker does not trash itself on too many successful runs ( the Runner can choose which programs they trash if the MU costs of their installed programs ever exceed their available MU ( see page 15 of the Rulebook ), which will only happen because of virus counters on Datasucker if the Runner doesn’t spend those virus counters during a run ), and 2) Desperado’s ability is not now restricted to once per turn, but once per server per turn.

I would at some stage like to write a fuller commentary on the intent and implications of the changes i’ve made to this Hack, but if, as and when i do that i will add it to a future version of the Hack, rather than trying to do so in posts here. It is non-the-less useful for me to get a range of critique and feedback.


I mean, I guess you could have a 4MU Datasucker… That would be even less useful than the other 4MU program in the game now, at least?

The Agenda changes are almost universally untenable. Breaking News, with its effects, needs to be a 2-advance agenda. (It’s arguable that Posted Bounty should’ve been a 2-advance agenda. I don’t believe it should’ve been, but it’s a plausible thing at least.) Hostile Takeover, with its effects, needs to be a 2-advance agenda. Making HT a 0-point agenda is… Ok. It still turns on Archer, while giving burst econ. Making BN 0 points is… Ok. It still allows resource destruction or other tagged shenanigans, for one turn. Making either a 3-advance does none of those things.

You’re welcome to roll house rules, of course. :slight_smile:


The intent of the datasucker MU change is to make it less worthwhile with high numbers of virus counters stacked on it.

Roll house rules? Is that RPG terminology? :slight_smile:


Roll your own… I think it’s actually a crafter/programmer jargon term. Meaning you can make something up yourself instead of going out and using someone else’s.

Huh. Hadn’t thought that was a jargon term, guess it is… Whoops.


Pretty sure it’s derived from rolling one’s own cigarettes. Maybe it’s become less widespread with the falling popularity of smoking?


You think the popularity of cigarettes is falling? Let me suggest you roll cigarettes the way I do. I’m not very good at it, but I have a method of rolling that makes something that might be like excellent cigarettes. I haven’t smoked one yet but I bet they taste great. Give it a shot.


again, you are completely missing the point.

this isn’t even about standard netrunner vs your version but the fact that you can’t just change one thing and ignore the implications of those changes.

i’m not saying that it should remain a 2 advancement agenda

i’m saying that if you change it to a 3 advancement agenda, you must change other text on the card, otherwise you’re completely ignoring the design intent of the card

the simplest would be to make it a 0/2 agenda as you did for Hostile Takeover

if you want to make it a 3/1, you need to alter more of the card

your suggested change doesn’t make the card unplayable, it makes its design flawed. it no longer fits into the system you are trying to implement and needs to be changed further. if netrunner were originally designed with your philosophy of having less ways to score an agenda in one turn, Breaking News never would have been printed at all. they would have gone back to the drawing board and think of a different ability (or at least different wording for it)
as such, and as i said already, you can’t make one change and completely ignore the implications of that change. that is why i and others feel that a lot of your suggested changes are flawed

and i’ll say again, this is your variant, do whatever you want, but don’t ask for feedback and completely ignore it. i took the time to read all of your suggested changes and provided a lot of feedback that you either don’t understand or have chosen to ignore. that being the case, why even ask for feedback? just say that this is your variant and if others want to try it out, go for it


If you’re happy to then i’m happy to examine this particular case a little more.

I think a good place to start is to look at the immediate implications of changing Breaking News into a 3 for 1 on the design intents that you stated. There were two design intents you stated for Breaking News:

  1. Being able to score it out in one turn.
  2. Being able to score it out over two turns to get some tags to stick and do something about them.

If i change Breaking News into a 3 for 1 then the first of these two design intents is not possible, at least not without support cards. That the first of these two design intents is no longer possible if i change Breaking News into a 3 for 1 is what i want to happen and why i changed it to a 3 for 1. Is it that this first design intent is no longer possible that you foresee having negative implications? If so please elucidate.

If i change Breaking News into a 3 for 1 then the second of these two design intents is still possible, but more taxing in terms of clicks, credits, and set up, and it requires that the Corp installs and advances Breaking News on the first of these two turns whereas before it only required that the Corp installs Breaking News. I am also happy with this change. Is it that this second design intent is more taxing and / or that it requires the Corp to advance Breaking News on the turn on which they install it that you foresee having negative implications? If so please elucidate.


I agree with making Breaking News a 3/1, bluffing is an integral part of the game, encouraging deck building to include more ambushes is something I can absolutely wholeheartedly agree with. The reasoning that you can play a breaking news (or any other card) and the runner feels they just run on it or lose the game is pretty ridiculous now, considering how well NBN can rush agendas.

Because that’s what breaking news does, it wins games. It may as well be a 2/0 agenda for all the raw power it has.

I haven’t read the house rules though, I don’t bother with Dropbox.


You don’t need to sign up to dropbox to download it if you were interested. Dropbox might ask you to but you can just dismiss it.


It’s the difference between a card potentially being ABT or Adonis and a card potentially being Vitruvius or Corporate Sales Team. dr00 wasn’t quite specific enough when he said you could play BN over two turns to get Tagging use out of it. More specifically, you can play BN over two turns without advancing it on the first turn to get Tagging use out of it.

Let’s rephrase that a little… If the Corp installs and advances a card once, when playing NBN in this variant… Is it a BN or an Astro? Either way, you’ve gotta run that. If it’s just installed without advancing, it’s either a non-agenda, or BN that they’re using for the points. Either way, it’s not as imperative to run on it.


I think @CrushU actually touches on one of the biggest issues with the philosophy behind the corp changes that have been proposed. By turning all 3/2 s into 4/2 s and increasing the score required to win to 11 it effectively negates the never advance strategy. While I can understand wanting to target Fast Advance (even though I think it is actually in a good place now with the Astroscript changes) never Advance has always been a central part of the game as well, even (if not especially) in the glacier style matchups you seem to want to encourage.

I think the game is much more interesting if there is a reason to check an unadvaned remote but if the best the runner can hope for is a 1-point agenda out the 11 needed to win, there is very little motivation to do so. Think how stale the game would get if every time the corp tried to score the runner knew and simply had to math out if they can get the money to get in.

I think if you want to target Fast Advance, the way to do it is hit the things that make 3/2s able to be scored out of hand. (Biotic, San-San, and Astroscript, I guess Trick of light?) For as strict as you are going, I would suggest either banning outright or increasing costs of each by 4, dropping the trash cost of San-San to 2 and making Astroscript an actual 4/2 to prevent it from chaining itself.

I also think it is important to point out that increasing the score requirement to win would likely push flatline tactics to the front as the main way for corps to win. Scoring out may be much harder but the difficulty of flatlining is approximately the same (if not easier for Jinteki. imagine PE with 21 1-pointers, 11 of which are needed to win, I don’t think that is the kind of game you are looking for…)

I hope you do not take this as a criticism of you or your goals for these alternative rules, I simply would like to assist you in accomplishing what you would like to do and considering these things would be important in doing this. I feel the decision points and strategy involved with Never Advance is something you would want to keep around so removing all 3/2’s would hinder this.


I think you should reconsider how much you know about the fundamentals of the game and the reasonings behind its design.

For example, the number of agenda points and the number of agendas needed to win are all mathematically related and correlated to deck and hand size. Garfield determined that the initial hand should consist of five cards so it was likely for an agenda to be there and hence requiring the Corp to defend all fronts from the start.

More importantly, the value of actions is also heavily changed by the changes you suggest.Running as an action, which is what makes the game fun, is now worse than sitting back and building. Cards like Maker’s Eye which are risky and, hence, fun, are replaced by drawn-out locks.

In fact, you are making the game less exciting by adding lenght to the same experience.

Other than that, I really don’t believe you have thought deeply about most of your suggestions. I don’t think anyone with a deep understanding of the game can believe that PSI ICE is more interesting, better balanced or more fun when only AIs can break them. Same with tracers, that’s just ridiculous, man.

I’m always glad you are experimenting with game design, but you should really sit back and wonder WHY the game is like it is and why it is not like you intend it to be. Garfield is a fantastic designer, I really recommend trying to read interviews with him on the design of his games, they are all easy to understand and insightful.


I will put ‘reading Richard Garfield interviews’ on my to do list. I’ve read a little of him, but that was some time ago. I suspect though, from those few games of his that i have played and from what i have read, that i wouldn’t like many of his games.

I think i understand the correlation between the deck and hand size well enough. Although it’s difficult to be certain ( and i am gambling a little bit more in this area ), i’m aiming for 64 or 74 to be the optimum deck size. Assuming the Corp uses only 2 point agendas and chooses to include the minimum number of agenda points, that deceases the likelihood of any one card being an agenda from 1 in 4.9 to 1 in just under ( 64 card deck ) or just over ( 74 card deck ) 6. ( Bearing in mind of course that the Corp draws a card and effectively starts the game with 6 cards. ) This is part of the intent of those changes. I’m deliberately reducing the likelihood of the Corp having an agenda in their opening hand ( along with overall agenda density ) to a level at which i think will make early game agenda flooding less likely without making it too unlikely that the Corp will have an agenda in hand at the start of game. I think that a Corp would still need to defend all fronts, as you put it, with this Hack’s changes, but be less likely to be easily punished for simple draw misfortune. It’s difficult to be certain how that will play in practice because ( i would think ) play style will change around those differences.

I’ve also deliberately increased the benefit of sitting back and building, as you put it. My intend is that the Runner would still lose momentum, and possibly points to the Corp for doing so, but that the game is long enough for it also to reap some benefit. I think cards like Maker’s Eye would still be worth playing and wouldn’t be replaced by default, but could be. Again, it’s difficult to be certain that this is the way it would play out. I’m happy for there to be ‘locks’, as it were. ( I’m not going to get into the subjective areas of ‘fun’ and ‘excitement’ as such. )

I’ll have to get back to you on psi and tracer ice a bit more fully another time, when i have the time to collect my thoughts a bit more. I will reiterate though that i’m not necessarily going to remove code gate, barrier and sentry subroutines from all psi and tracer ice. To some extent i’m doing it to make those ice worth playing ( though there are other reasons too ). No card is that interesting in reality if it’s not ‘playable’.

@CrushU and @Industrial_Memetics.
I’ll have to get back to you both another time on never advance and the agenda ratio changes, on fast advance, and on flatline tactics. I am gathering my thoughts.

And yes, i do appreciate the time you-all are taking to critique my Hack. I doubt i will want to make any changes to it until i’ve had a chance to play it out at some point, but this process helps me gather my thoughts, and this discussion, your thoughts and mine, will be here if, as and when i do go further with the Hack.


Before I respond to some particular points raised i’d like to highlight that my attempt has been to address issues I have with the game in broad opportunistic strokes. Obviously I think that there’s a decent chance of the changes i’ve made having the effects i’d like, but I can’t be certain of the net result until it’s been played. Also bear in mind that to put down every interaction and consequence that i’ve thought about would take quite some time, so as thorough as i’ve attempted to be in my responses i’ve also limited myself to the immediate concerns.

@Industrial_Memetics @CrushU

Whilst one of the things i wanted to change was the ease with which the Corporation could Fast Advance 1 or 2 agenda points, i also wanted to remove the ability of the Corporation to Never Advance 2 point agendas without support, and more generally i also wanted to change the ease with which the Corporation could score 1 or 2 agenda points, using 2 for 1 and 3 for 2 agendas, with or without support.


For 3 for 2 agendas the ease with which they can be Fast Advanced and the ease with which which they can be scored without support are separate things because they can’t be Fast Advanced without support. If the ease with which 3 for 2 agendas could be Fast Advanced were the only the thing i wanted to change about 3 for 2 agendas, i could, as @Industrial_Memetics suggested, have given errata to those support cards that enable 3 for 2 agendas to be Fast Advanced instead of changing the agenda ratios on 3 for 2 agendas. Though there may well be a better combination of errata by taking this approach, i have some general issues with it. Firstly, i think it would be difficult to do this without making those support cards less playable. In general i want to increase the need to use support cards, especially in order to make strong plays. Secondly, i wanted to minimise how often the Hack document would need to be referred to, in game or otherwise, in order for someone to use the errata. Giving errata to the Fast Advance support cards rather than the agendas would mean creating lots of individual errata that are specific to those cards rather than ( what are effectively ) one or two errata that are applied systematically to a number of cards of a specific type and with a specific agenda ratio. Thirdly, ( right now at least ) i want to avoid getting into a cascade of tweaks that lead to me being in a constant process of producing what would in effect become a new game with it’s own set of cards. I think the ‘support card errata’ approach is more likely to lead to that, which is why for the most part i’ve avoided individual card errata.

In any case, the ease with which 3 for 2 agendas could be Fast Advanced was not the only the thing I wanted to change about 3 for 2 agendas. I also wanted to change the ease with which 3 for 2 agendas can be scored without support, and also to remove the ability to Never Advance 2 point agendas without support. The ability to Never Advance 2 point agendas without support exists because 3 for 2 agendas exist. For 3 for 2 agendas the ability to Never Advance them without support and the ease with which they can be scored without support are in effect one and the same thing. That said, I think both that 3 advancements without support costs is too little to pay for 2 agenda points and that 2 agenda points is too much reward for one Never Advance play without support costs. I think the existence of 3 for 2 agendas means that 2 agenda points can come too easily, too quickly and too early to a Corporation, and reward any good fortune the Corporation may have too highly. I also think that the existence of 3 for 2 agendas has a negative effect on the playability, one way or the other, of any 4 for 2 agenda, 3 for 1 agenda, ice in general, and other cards, not least of all because of the speed at which they allow the Corporation to progress, even without support cards. But i’d like to put those latter reasons aside because i want to emphasise that ( as you can see from what i’ve said above ) i have reasons for wanting to get rid of 3 for 2 agendas that are inherent to them. I think that even if i were designing a ANR 2.0 i would avoid creating 3 for 2 agendas, with perhaps the exception of something like Merger.


This brings me to @Industrial_Memetics comment about Never Advance and the lack of motivation a Runner has to run an unadvanced server knowing that there are no 3 for 2 agendas in the game. Never Advance as a tactic ( and to some degree as a strategy ) is something i want to keep around and it’s possible that @Industrial_Memetics is right in saying that an unadvanced, possible 3 for 1 agenda will not be considered ( or actually ) worth running in the Hack version of the game. However, i think that there are factors that I hope will make 3 for 1 agendas worth running in the Hack. Firstly, i think a large part of the reason that 3 for 1 agendas aren’t considered worth running ( or including in a deck ) is simply because of the comparison with 3 for 2 agendas, which are of course worth twice as much as 3 for 1 agendas ( or 1.75 times as much or 1.83 times as much if you think of them in terms of how many multiples you need to win with agendas with those agenda point values ). With 3 for 2 agendas gone that relative value changes. Secondly, i think that 3 for 1 agendas are, in one sense, worth more now that eleven agenda points are needed to win. I realise that sounds counter-intuitive if one is thinking that in the Hack 3 for 1 agendas are now worth 1/11th of the total agenda points needed to win, as compared with 1/7th of the total agenda points needed in standard ANR, but at the same time the number of agenda points available has gone down relative to the number of agenda points needed to win, and as a consequence i anticipate it becoming more dangerous, both the longer the game goes on, and sooner than ‘match point’, to let any agenda be scored. If the Corporation is forfeiting agendas, or if the Corporation has a high enough proportion of 3 for 1 agendas, then it’s more likely, given the Hack’s ratio of agenda point availability to agenda points needed to win, that the Runner will have to steal ( or otherwise get into their score area ) some 3 for 1 agendas in order to get enough agenda points to win. Thirdly, i think the Corporation is more likely to play 3 for 1 agendas and that a Runner that lets the Corporation score more and more 3 for 1 agendas risks giving them too much of an advantage as the game progresses. ( This is especially true, of course, if the Runner isn’t using that time to gain some advantages of their own, which i want to become more of a valid tactic . But that’s an aside.) This advantage can come in the form of small burst effects, swords of Damocles, and ongoing effects ( when i add later cycles to the Hack ), and also the ability to forfeit an agenda, the significance of which i think will change given the lower number of agenda points available relative to the number of agenda points needed to win. I don’t think all these factors will amount to the Runner being motivated to run an unadvanced, possible 3 for 1 agenda on all occasions, but i think that there’s a decent chance that they mean that the Runner will be motivated to run those unadvanced, possible 3 for 1 agendas on some occasions. That level of motivation to run possible 3 for 1 agendas on some but not all occasions is about where i’d like it to be because i want there to be an inherent reward in 3 for 1 agendas that counter balances the extra advances needed to score that 1 agenda point.

There are also two other bluff and bait areas in the game which I intend to be more playable in the Hack. The first of these is supported Never Advance, and the second is the use of ambushes and other advancable tricks. In short I think both of these will become more playable in relative terms because 3 for 2 agendas have disappeared, and more playable in absolute terms because of the likely higher cost of getting through ice in the Hack ( which is due to a number of changes ). So overall I don’t see the types of Never Advance I want to exist disappearing from the Hack version of the game.


@Industrial_Memetics. I think you’re right to say that increasing the score requirement will benefit flatline tactics, in a few different ways. It means that the Corporation has a longer game over which to put together a flatline combo; it means that the Corporation can at least attempt to, if not actually inflict a larger total cumulative amount of damage over the course of the longer game; and it means that the Runner is more likely to get to 0 cards in their stack, both before the game is won and earlier in the game.

Of these three I am happy with the latter two effects ( a larger total cumulative amount of damage, and a greater likelihood of reaching 0 cards in the stack ). They are one of the reasons why I increased the agenda points needed to win to 11. I anticipate that these two effects will strengthen non-flatlining damage tactics without making them too strong because, in and of themselves, they don’t end the game ( in the way that they would in combination with aggressive high damage flatline orientated cards ). I intend that these two effects, along with the other consequences of a longer 11 point game, will encourage, generally advantage, and even necessitate the Runner building larger decks. I also anticipate that these two effects will increase the threat of low damage non-flatlining orientated meat, net and brain damage and i’m intending that this, along with the Runner building a larger deck, will mean that a more varied range of damage avoidance, prevention and mitigation cards will be necessary, preferable, and come into play.

This leaves me with high damage flatline orientated cards gaining the benefit of a longer game over which time the Corporation can put together a flatline combo ( whether that’s with cards in HQ or with card effects from the board ). There are a few things that I think will counteract this effect. Firstly, i’m intending and expecting that the Corporation will be building larger decks ( in order to avoid the Runner leveraging the longer game to deck them ), and consequently it will take a little more time to find the components of a combo. Secondly, tagging has changed in the Hack such that, whilst it will generally be more costly for Runners to avoid tags from tracer ice, tags are often now removed when a tag based effect is used. This means, for example, that landing a double Scorched Earth requires that the Runner has two tags, not one. Thirdly, everyone’s favourite insta-double tag method, Breaking News, now costs one more to advance, as discussed above. Fourthly, Scorched Earth specifically is now 5 influence, making it more costly to splash. Fifthly, I think there are damage avoidance, prevention and mitigation cards in the card pool that didn’t get used, or used much, because the primary concern was double Scorched Earth, because there was more limited deck space, and because other damage effects weren’t threatening enough. As mentioned above i’m intending that the Runner will need a larger deck and be encountering an increased threat of a wider range of damage types, and that consequently there will be room in the Runner’s deck for, and a greater need of, a more varied range of damage avoidance, prevention and mitigation cards. I still see Plascrete Carapace being used in the Hack, but I anticipate it being used alongside other cards in order to protect against a range of damage over the long game.


I like the idea of removing types from tracer ice. I think this is design space that should be explored more in real netrunner.

The reason I like it is that it creates a 4th countermeasure needed to deal with ice. Right now, once the runner has a fractor, a decoder and a killer installed the corp can’t really keep them out of their servers thus forcing them to adopt alternate ways to score (flatline, asset spam, defensive upgrades). What if in addition to having a way to break all 3 types of ice, the runner had to aqquire link as well in order to not be taxed out when accessing a server?

Based off Wall of Static, I would imagine the lice would look something like this,

Wall of Tracing 2 Rez, 4 Str
Trace 2 -> End the run
Trace 2 -> End the run

It costs 2 to break with a single link installed, similar to how Wall of Static costs 2 to break when a corroder is installed. Since it can be bypassed with solely money, its rez cost is slightly lower than wall of static just like Eli and other bioroids that can be clicked through are also discounted. It’s probably a little bit on the underpowered side but wall of static isn’t exactly the best ice out there either.


A trace for etr as the innermost ice is brutal if the corp is significantly richer than runner. I’ve kept many a runner out with Macrophage trace for etr on a remote behind some other taxing ice. It’s similar to an Ash trace, except you can’t pay 3 to get rid of it. I’m willing to spend 10c on that trace if it means i get to score the GFI I IAA’d and get to game point. Traces for etr without a chance to break them are quite abuseable.


Reasonable point through if you get in a contest of boosting link with the runner, you’re going to rapidly bankrupt yourself unless you’ve convinced the runner to run a super taxing server repeatedly and are out moneying them


You don’t need to do it repeatedly, as the ice in front are supposed to keep the runner from running many times a turn. If they do run again, they’ll end up with way less credits and you won’t need to boost the trace much the second time.