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Random HQ accesses: Not so Random

It’s not being an asshat looking at your own cards that you are allowed to see. They’re right in front of your face. There is nothing in the rules that states that you must shuffle the cards and place them face down on the table during every HQ access.


As the runner I no longer tell my oppenent what number corresponds to what card. I just roll the dice and pick, usually from (my) left to right but sometimes the opposite, according to the roll. The die roll could mean nothing. It’s not contractually binding. The access happens when the runner picks and reveals the card. The dice is just there for me to make sure unseen biases aren’t messing me up. But if the corp is looking at their cards and gives some kind of tell, I have no problem changing mid pick. Which is why they shouldn’t look at their cards.


I agree, I always try to shuffle my hand face down now to remove the bias on that side and roll the dice to remove my own. I even started putting my hand face down on the table most of the time for them to pick. When it’s my turn to pick, I roll my own dice and pick my own card, it just keeps things moving quickly.

This is not a system we should be trying to game.


I shuffle my hand where I can see, but largely to make sure I know what’s being accessed and what’s left as I forget stuff easily. But I also try to shuffle and lay it face down at the end of my turn when I remember (behind HQ, slightly staggered), so as to also make it clear how many cards are there without the runner having to ask for cards/credits all the time.

I just shuffle my hand, not looking at the cards, and place them facedown in he middle for the runner to pick. I think it’s the mot polite and honest way to do this. Can be tedious, though - I don’t do that if we’re about to run out of time.

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I do this as well. Seriously, this isn’t that difficult of an issue to solve.


It’s not netrunner if someone isn’t sighing and staring into nothing


Dice method never win in Rock - Cisor - Paper tournaments. 'wonder why. :slight_smile:

It’s not an issue for the corp to solve. The runner desides the random factor during access. If the runner won’t access in a random fashion, why would the corp not take advantage of this situation? I understand the issue though. But do you really want an OCTGN-feel like experience during your reallife games? That’s not what I signed up for


I have fun moving certain cards certain places sometimes. If I wasn’t allowed to do that, I’d totally stop… but as it stands if I notice a trend with the runner always picking the middle card or something. … I’m keeping my agendas on the edges.

I actually noticed that my cousin tends to pick only the cards in the middle of my hand during our games, and I did the same exact thing you do. After he legworked me twice with two agendas in hand and hit no agendas, after the game was over, I told him what was up. He called me a cheater.

last time we played, my daughter told me that I unconsciously tighten my grip on cards when her hand is over a card I didn’t want her to pick. So she could read with about 75% accuracy when she was going to pull something that would make me sad. I decided to start paying them face down after that game. :wink:

She also won 66% of psi games by carefully listening to the clink of tokens when I placed them in hand. I was using two hands, but she could tell the direction. So now I have two non-clinking credits for psi games.

I’m so proud of her. :wink:


There’s no denying that some of these strategies can be…questionable. But, given that there is room for “cheating” on both sides, and that these “cheats” are generally only possible if your opponent is letting you, my feeling is that the responsibility is on each player to takes steps to ensure their opponent isn’t playing them.

For the runner this means rolling a dice (or, if you’re like, me, flip three counters and go by the binary count - it’s nice because the corp has even less idea wtf I “rolled”) to ensure the corp isn’t pushing agenda to the edges or something.

For the corp, this means not looking at your cards while they pick. If you don’t know which card is which, your face can’t give it away when they’re about to choose a card.

A side note on this topic - I recently noticed that I often lazily offer my unshuffled hand, still facing towards me, when I had no agendas or trashables in hand, and opponents seemed to be picking up on this and would stop running HQ when I did this because they could tell I didn’t care what they drew. Ofc, the very next game we played I used this to my advantage to start representing an “invincible” hand even when I did have vulnerable cards there, to give the impression that it wasn’t worth digging around in HQ.

My point is that in meatspace there is so much extra gameplay around how you represent the cards you’ve played/are holding it really adds to the experience. Each player has the option to “opt out” at any time by rolling dice or shuffling facedown, so if your opponent has chosen not to do one of these things, I say it’s game-on.


I love dice

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Always shuffle HQ facedown. Don’t trust myself.


I realize that most of y’all have distinct loathing for the Facebook Netrunner Geeks group (not without some reason, to be fair), but I thought I would bring up Ian Birdsall’s post from there, as it seemed pertinent to this discussion that one of FFG’s Organized Play guys made this comment. Under a nesting post entitled ‘#netrunnerconfessions’:

Well, I’ll be. “Oh, and who liked said post?”, you perhaps note inquisitively?

While I realize that the post is clearly intended to be somewhat facetious, I think the specificity of the anecdote indicates that he indeed does what he claims. And that ol’ Stone is clearly not entirely ethically opposed to such tactics (at least in a casual setting).

Anyhow, I must confess that I have exploited a friend’s positional card-grabbing predilection in the past, with the reasoning that, if I was able to successfully ascertain that my friend had this tendency to only pick cards from a certain area of my hand, it would be bloody stupid to not somehow benefit from this valuable piece of information. :smiley:

In hindsight, I think that it was perfectly reasonable behaviour in said instance (very close friends, overtly casual game, he had previously insulted my mother) - he would have merely laughed if I informed him of the situation (and proceeded to further levy abuse against my poor mother). I am patently aware that in a tournament context, however - against a highly competitive but self-awareness-lacking opponent, for instance - the same behaviour would be viewed as substantially more devious and I would be hesitant to do so.

Obviously not a clear-cut situation, but for me, I’m saying “A-OK” in casual play (as is just about anything - though you might do well after 10 or so games to inform your friend about their potentially game-throwing tics, whilst simultaneously undermining their parentage) and “Yeah, probably not” in competitive. Nonetheless, I think it’s important that any Runner concerned about shuffling skulduggery makes sure to randomize their own access, as the onus ultimately is on them.

Also, props to @spags - 4 times is really pushing it. Some feckless folk never learn.


When a Corp player presents their hand face up without a shuffle, I think I’ll try asking them if I can take their hand and shuffle it myself.

If people decline, I guess I’ll just have to start bringing dice to Netrunner events.

This might just be my nit-picky preference, but I always cringe when people over-handle my cards with complicated cutting rituals, or even worse, proceed to give my deck a few shuffles of their own. It’s like, we’re in a comic book store playing for gigantic mousepads. Don’t mess my shit up.

If you asked this I probably wouldn’t say no, but I would like you a lot better if you just rolled a dice…That said I usually shuffle and fan face down in tournament situations so I guess it wouldn’t be a problem.


Yeah, I caught myself subconsciously reacting to this in a hostile fashion as well. Rationally, I think it’s fine… but my lizard brain seems to be going “Are you calling me a cheater and saying I didn’t shuffle enough on purpose?”


That’s not cheating, that’s Jedi mind trick. That’s part of the game, like bluffing is. Some people can, some can’t. Just a matter of empathy.
The dice is not in the rules, a very strict player can refuse this to the player using one, I guess.

I feel a great disturbance in the Force.
Maybe bothering you is made on purpose…