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Questions from former Netrunner player


#1

Hi to all,

I have also posted this on the subreddit, given that I was unsure which one was the most active (also because I tend to prefer forums to Reddit).

 

As a former MTG player (as well as a lot of other physical CCG when I was younger, such as VS, Netrunner (1st of his name), L5R…), but with limited time now that I have grown up, got a job, got married, have a 2,5 year-old daughter, the lack of collection-building in LCG appeals to me. Also, I played a lot of the 1st Netrunner back in the days and really loved the game. I was quite competitive, participating in a few French Nationals, even winning one constructed “event” (I seldom cared to participate in the limited event). But then, the game was discontinued, and I finally moved to other games.
However, I now feel the itch to play Netrunner, but I have a few questions :

 

  • For those who also played the 1st netrunner, how does this one compares? Notably in terms of deckbuilding possibilities ? At first I was a bit concerned by the fact that there were some factions as it inherently tends to limit deckbuilding (think Hearthstone for instance). But then I saw the influence concept which allows for splashing a few out-of-faction cards, something which I like. By the way, one question : Are most cards playable ? Or are there clearly inferior cards ? I am asking this because I saw cards in the latest pack (Daedalus complex I think), and, well, I found most of them a bit mediocre. I am probably wrong but still, I wonder. Indeed, I fully understand the need for sub-par cards in a CCG such as MTG…but I am not sure it is warranted in a a LCG. I reckon not all cards can be equal obviously, but IMO, cards that are clearly inferior to others have no reason to exist.

 

  • For those who play or have played other CCGs (such as MTG, or now online ones such as Eternal, Hex…), how do you think ANR compares in terms of deckbuilding and gameplay ? What I particularly like in the 1st one, and compared to a game such as MTG for instance, is that it felt at times more like a Euro boardgame where you have a certain number of available actions that you have to optimize. Also, there was a lot of possibilities to draw cards, and I love drawing cards ! More specifically, I dislike in other CCGs when games end in a top deck war. I felt it was rarely the case in Netrunner.

 

  • I know the standard Aggro/Combo/control classification does not sit really well with ANR, but still, does deckbuilding accomodate different playstyles ? As I said previously, I love drawing cards and playing combos (in the 1st netrunner, my favorite card was bodyweight synthetic blood, and I loved the microtech AI Interface and R&D protocol files combo)

 

  • I have read a lot of topics in the forum and there seems to be a lot of dissatisfaction right now with the direction the game is headed. Hence, I am wondering whether it’s not too late to join. Indeed, the game has lasted for 5 years, this is already quite a lot and maybe FFG does not have the necessary resources to pursue so many games at once (with AGOT 2, the new Arkahm horror…). What do you think ?

 

  • Midly related to my previous point : a large part of my enjoyment in playing those kinds games is a daily/weekly reading of well-written articles (by better players than myself) dealing with game strategies, brews, an overview of the meta…Browsing through some websites, I saw some very good articles written for instance by AlexFrog around 2013, but more recently, well, not that much…I guess it is related to the smaller playerbase…or have I missed some resources ? Anyhow, what good introductory strategy articles would you recommend me to read ?

 

  • If I were to start playing, what would the best investment be ? Aside from the core set obviously. I have seen that there will be a rotation in the next few months, which means that the 1st 2 cycles are not a priority. Is it possible to buy single cards ? Also, are there some websites that allow to make easy proxies ? I guess if I start by playing with a few friends and I don’t have everything, proxies could a temporary fix

 

  • Finally, I think I know the answer, but have any of you tried to play with 3 players ? Does one such variant even exist ? Or would the best solution be that each player plays one game vs each other player (in essence, all players would play 2 games simultaneously).

 

thanks a lot for your help!


#2

Streaming, Unboxing videos and a lot of audio podcasts for hours !!!


#3

Going to respond to most of these:

  • Playability of cards:

Netrunner usually doesn’t have strictly inferior cards (i.e. 2/2 for G2 and another 2/2 for G1) but there are cards that either a) Do something no one needs (i.e. record reconstructor) or b) Do their poorly enough that I can’t envision ever playing them (i.e. Skull jack). Still, I think the majority of cards are at least jank tier playable. Competitive playable is a much lower percentage, but that’s unavoidable in a large card pool.

  • Gameplay:

I think the gameplay tends to be much more interesting than other games. The decision space tends to be much larger and less obvious than in MtG for example.

  • Negativity:

The game is just coming out a rough patch, but I think it’s going to be OK. The short version is that some problem cards came out (this happens sometimes in card games and shouldn’t be a big deal) and then the lead designer changed, which delayed the most wanted list (netrunner’s version of a restricted list) for several months, leading to a fairly long period where the game wasn’t great at a competitive level. This seems like it’s in the past though, and the new lead designer has promised more rapid response to meta issues and to try to be more transparent about timetables if he can.

  • Community Content:

There was a real down swing in content during the previously mentioned crappy period, but I’m expecting this will turn around.

  • 3 Players:

There’s not a good way so far as I know. I’ve seen people do the multiple games at one thing you described, but it seems mind breaking to me.

  • What to Buy:

Good next purchase include: 2016 Corp World Champ Deck, Big Boxes, Terminal Directive, a second core set.

Probably don’t buy packs from the first two cycles, as they will rotate soon

I probably missed some your questions, but I think I got most of it.


#4
  1. As someone who also played the original, the deckbuilding possibilities are better because of the 3 copy limit, which will naturally lead to greater variety in decks - even the most optimized decks usually have a little room for personality from the builder.
    Not all cards are competitive, and there are clearly inferior cards. That said, each cycle has a flavor theme that provide cards that fill holes (or create holes to fill later in the cycle or down the road). Often cards that seem unplayable simply need future cardstock (False Echo didn’t get any play until DDOS came out, and now DDOS has had its influence level adjusted at least partially because of the busted synergy). Cards that seem bad sometimes need a shakedown (Professional Contacts was panned at initial release, Prepaid Voicepad didn’t have a purpose prior to Lucky Find). Early cycles had depressed power levels (Leviathan, Hard at Work, Weyland Ice); cycles after the first two (and especially mumbad and flashpoint) have seen significant bumps in power. And some cards that aren’t particularly good can have fun wonky decks built around them.

  2. Feels pretty good for deckbuilding and gameplay. it’s original netrunner, but with fewer completely broken cards (Tycho Extension)

  3. Yes. You can make some bonkers decks. You’d probably like Cerebral Imaging.

  4. Power creep happened which introduced some cards that have needed correction, but also exhaustion. People have now been playing for 5 years - even the hardcore will lose interest and move on, or be mournful of past metas. It does not appear that FFG is abandoning this property - Terminal Directive points to the possibilities to breathe life into the game. The new adjustments to the Most Wanted List should also calm some of the frustration with them game - most of the worst offending cards took it on the chin, and the new designer seems genuinely interested in engaging the community and adjusting the list based on how the power creep cards affect the meta.

  5. Lotta podcasts. Winning Agenda is probably my favorite.

  6. Core and the soon released Terminal Directive. Figure out which factions you like to play with. Creation and Control is obviously Shaper and Haas, but the neutral runner cards are ubiquitous/necessary, so also a really good buy. Other big boxes would be next.

  7. Does not work as a 3p. There are online variants that can do 4p or 6p, I believe. And I don’t think you can realistically play two games at the same time - way too distracting and too much happening on both turns. 1 person usually sits out and deckbuilds.


#5

They’re active in different ways, I think. The Reddit does better at answering quick questions and discussing the latest news; the forum does better at ongoing in-depth discussions.

I’m answering here because I also tend to prefer forums. I’m skipping questions for people who’ve played other CCGs because I haven’t.

A few cards are bad. A larger number of cards are fairly narrow. Bad cards presumably exist not because they serve a purpose but because designing cards is hard. Narrow cards often appear bad, but I think a fair number of them eventually find a use in a particular decktype or meta. Some of them never do, in which case I think it’s an open question whether they just needed some support or were just bad cards after all.

Yes, there are many deck styles, including many combo decks. There is often a problem with one deck style being the strongest in competitive play for too long, but FFG seems to be working on improving that situation.

Chaos Theory Stimshop was my favourite combo-y runner deck for a long time, and I would recommend it to you if the key cards weren’t about to rotate. Dyper is a more powerful and combo-y Runner deck. It’s still losing a key card to rotation, but the basic idea may survive. On the Corp side, CI7 is the combo-est deck, but it’s complex to learn and also has key cards about to rotate. Fashion CI is more rotation-resistant.

It’s hard to say. There have definitely been problems recently, but it’s quite possible that FFG’s delay in addressing them had more to do with having just changed designers than anything else. The new MWL (restricted list) has done a lot to improve the mood of the community in the last week.

FFG definitely doesn’t have as many resources for Netrunner as WotC has for Magic, but I think they have done a reasonably ok job overall. I think they may do a pretty decent job with Netrunner in the future, but I don’t know that they will.

There’s a lot of articles on Stimhack’s home page. There are some other blogs and blog-ish sites, such as Fetal AI, Sneakdoor, Run the Net. But there aren’t multiple new in-depth articles most weeks.

A lot of the fan-produced content takes the form of podcasts, so if you like podcasts then you’ll have a lot more content to enjoy.

Do start with a core set and see if you like the new version, if there are people to play with locally, and so on. Core set only decks aren’t very competitive, but the core set does give a good taste of the game in many ways.

Second purchase should probably be Terminal Directive. It’s a new expansion that will be released April 27, it will never rotate, it contains cards for four of the seven factions, and it looks to contain some good utility cards to round out the core set. It also has a legacy-game-style campaign.

After that, the usual advice is to buy the other deluxe expansions, starting with the ones that have your favourite factions. There are four of these, they each focus on two specific factions, and they will also never rotate. Data and Destiny is a little different from the other three; instead of focusing on a Runner faction, it introduces three Runner mini-factions, which are kind of fun but can be hard to build around if your collection is very small.

By the time you’ve digested those, you’ll likely have a better idea what data packs you want.

At some point you’ll quite possibly want a second core set. And maybe eventually a third, if you really want to own full playsets of the eleven cards that only have one copy in the core set.

There’s a rumour going around that they’re going to release a new version of the core set soon. If it’s true - which I’m not convinced of at all - then I don’t think it should stop anyone from buying a core set now, but you might want to delay a second core set for a while. Focus on the deluxe expansions first and I think you’ll be fine.

[quote=“lillumultipass, post:1, topic:8844”]Is it possible to buy single cards ?
[/quote]

Don’t! Don’t do it!

There are a few places online trying to sell singles, but because they can only really get them by breaking up the fixed-distribution sets, they always work out to be an awful deal. The economics of a singles market just don’t work out for LCGs. In the long run, you will save money by buying full expansions instead of singles. Sorry.

[quote=“lillumultipass, post:1, topic:8844”]Also, are there some websites that allow to make easy proxies ? I guess if I start by playing with a few friends and I don’t have everything, proxies could a temporary fix
[/quote]

I usually use images from NetrunnerDB. There’s also an image export for decklists in the Meteor deck builder, which might be useful if you’re making proxies for a whole deck, I guess. I don’t know of anything that will put together the layout for printing.

Having a few proxies is pretty widely accepted at casual play nights, partly because most long-time players have one and only one playset of basically every card, so they can build any deck for a tournament but would have trouble building multiple decks at once without proxies. Also because card rarity is not something most players are interested in simulating in a game without it.

I have not. I know discussion of three player variants comes up occasionally, but I don’t know of any that have been played much.


#6

If you like combo decks, you owe it to yourself to read up on CI7, the most ridiculous combo in Netrunner. The CI7 Cookbook is a great series of articles on the deck. The decklist is out of date, but the concepts remain the same.

Be warned, an errata was spoiled recently that, if true, will kill this incarnation of the deck (errataing Power Shutdown so that X cannot be greater than the most expensive program or hardware the runner has installed).


#7

I don’t have as much to add after @Absotively’s excellent run-down, with which I agree.

I have played the original Netrunner, but very briefly. And, I have played a ton of Magic, which I enjoyed, but became too expensive. Android: Netrunner scratches the same competitive card game itch for me.

Although there are a few combo decks that have been mentioned, Netrunner in this iteration is more a game of synergy than combo.

I still think Netrunner has a long life ahead of it. Not only because of the recent changes and the expectations of Terminal Directive and rotation coming out this year, but mostly because of the excellent world-wide community. Is there a local group where you live? If so, I recommend that you stop by (most groups would love to show the game to new players).

Also, you’ve probably already heard, but there is a free fan-made, web-based version of the game: jinteki.net. I recommend that you learn the game in-person first, but it’s worth knowing that there’s an easy to use, online platform that would let you explore the whole cardpool before you decide what to buy.


#8

The core concept of the deck is the same, but also I think noting that the deck provided in the post-Flashpoint review is actually pretty legit. I’ve made 1-2 cards of tweaks in testing but would be able to play it as is no problem.


#9

One thing to keep in mind if you try out the core set, is that it’s not fair to compare the entire original Netrunner card pool to the ANR core. My brother was a ONR vet and I played a few ANR core games with him when I got it and he was pretty frustrated with how limited it was. But the ANR card pool is huge and varied now.


#10

If you’re big on theme, another consideration is that the ANR world is pretty different from the ONR one. It’s still a very cool setting and I love how different all the factions feel, but ONR was a bit darker and funnier. The art is wayyyy more consistent in ANR which is probably good in general, but the weirdness of ONR art is part of the appeal.


#11

If you’re french, you can seek for players on Run4Games forum. Biggest communities are Paris, Bordeaux and Lyon.


#12

I have played a bunch of sessions with three players so that one player is playing two games at the same time. It’s a bit taxing mentally, but personally I feel like I can manage it. There is some downtime for both opponents, especially if the multitasker is playing complex decks. Runs also create downtime because they need participation from the multitasker outside their own turn. Overall you can definitely fit more games per person into a session than you would with one player sitting out. Obviously everyone also gets to play all the time.

You don’t have to follow both games fully. The players who are only playing one game usually just give a summary of what they did on their turn while you were busy playing the other game.

It’s not probably for everyone. In my group it’s usually me who does the multitasking, the other two guys feel it’s a bit too taxing and they seem to make more mistakes. When overwhelmed, play simpler decks, or decks you know well.


#13

wow, thanks a lot guys for all those amazing answers! I sure hope the game is not dying because the community looks awesome !

I cannot answer everyone, but here are a few comments :

  1. Yeah, in most CCGs, podcasts or youtube videos are becoming the norm. It’s just that I really prefer written articles as I find them the most enjoyable and interesting when well-written. For instance, the article about CI7 combo that one of you linked looks awesome ! I don’t think a podcast or a video can convey this kind of deep thoughts/explanations. Well, I guess I am old-fashioned, and I am probabky biased because, as a former PhD student, I love reading :wink:

  2. The CI7 combo indeed looks pretty cool ! Too bad it will soon rotate out ! This is indeed the kind of corpo decks I would like to build. As to runner decks, as I said I used to love drawing a lot of cards, generating a lot of credits, making the Corp discard or lose money, trash pieces of Ice and attack R&D. Which faction would seem to correspond me the most ? The Dyper runner deck indeed looks interesting. However, doesn"t the inclusion of Faust in the new Level 3 MWL kill the deck (if I understood correctly how the list works). ?

  3. thanks for the link to Meteor, it looks like the easiest way to proxy a whole deck (although it does require a bit of work to put everythin in Word and resize pictures…)

thanks !


#14

Dyper’s gone through a bunch of iterations, with the only consistent thing being keyhole and a giant pile of clicks. This one works ok with eater swapped for faust.

Sounds like you might like the whizzard and maxx lists that have been good for a while. This did well at worlds. I don’t think there’s an established post-MWL list, but some kind of anarch denial deck will be good. There’s an opus/vamp Maxx deck that seems tier 1 vs a glacier meta.


#15

Anarchs draw lots of cards with Wyldcakes (Wyldside + Adjusted Chronotype), force the corp to lose money with Vamp and trash ice with Parasite and cutlery (events Forked/Spooned/Knifed).

Note that Shaper also had good card draw, and has the support cards that help Parasite and Vamp, so they can also do that. Crim have the worst card draw, but the best sabotage event (Account Siphon)

Shaper and Anarch also have good rnd attack (shaper has lots, while Anarch has Medium, possibly the best card)


#16

Keyhole is the card that is rotating, of course, so when I say the basic idea may survive I mostly mean that I’m sure there are other, less optimal uses for a giant pile of clicks.


#17

Medium shenanigans? Like showing off and demolition run


#18

I haven’t played ONR, so I’ll assume you’re correct about it being funnier, but surely cards like Sacrificial Clone and Door to Door are plenty dark.

ANR does tend to put a glitzy shine on everything, but it’s still very clear that a lot of things are quite grim. My favourite example of this Housekeeping, which features a clean and orderly and brightly-lit futuristic morgue full of the bodies of everyone the Runner knows. That contrast between the utopian surface appearance and the underlying awfulness is one of my favourite things about the setting.


#19

I too prefer articles, which is why most of the netrunner content I produce are articles. Unfortunately I think overall they take more time to prepare/finish than podcasts, so they’re less popular. I would estimate that there’s probably a new article once every 2 weeks in netrunner. Its not great but its not bad either. Recently there’s been a bit of a weak time but there have been other weeks where there have been 3-4 articles published on Stimhack alone. I know I personally haven’t done my latest Mull or Keep because I’ve been wanting to do it around a new Terminal Directive ID and this expansion has been delayed longer than we were expecting.


#20

There’s darkness in the ANR world, but overall it’s a more positive vision of the future than a lot of sci fi. The earth isn’t an unlivable hellhole, space travel is easy, corps are powerful but it’s not one big police state, robots are oppressed but the suffering of robots isn’t a major focus. Compare that with one of its main inspirations, Blade Runner, where the earth is a shithole, robot suffering is THE focus, etc. ONR’s a bit closer to Blade Runner IMO.