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Testing the New Draft Rules


#1

Yesterday I ran a 6 player cube draft at CardKingdom using the new official drafting rules.

Essentially, I took my cube, and then we drafted 40 cards cutting down to 30 card minimum just like in the new FFG draft rules. Each player also received the starting cards that comes in the starter packs.

Overall it was really fun. I was the only one with prior drafting experience, but everyone had a blast and was commenting on how enjoyable and difficult it was to draft in Netrunner.

The power level was certainly higher than what the actual FFG draft packs will be, but with that in mind I have some observations:

  • Currently it seems that runners hold a large advantage. 3 Crypsis and 2 armitage is just a significantly stronger starting package that 2 PAD and 5 Priority.
  • Starting with 3 Crypsis means that breakers are actually not very high picks. The weaker breakers like Peacock, Aurora, Force of Nature, Creeper, etc are not worth taking at all and basically need to be cut if you are using 3 Crypsis base for each runner. Before in the cube, one of the interesting things was actually using some of these bad breakers because you need something to break with. This element gets lost.
  • Games are much quicker, and the drafting itself is quicker due to the new system. This is mostly great.
  • However, since games are much shorter, PAD Campaigns are even less relevant, and the downsides to Crypsis are also less relevant.
  • Shorter games also mean the Corp gets less repeat value of of their ice, as the runner will run through them less.

In talking with @Orange_Devil, he recommends taking out the 3 Crypsis and instead giving the runners 1 x Force of Nature, 1 x Aurora, 1 x Pipeline. I kinda like this idea (or something similar) as it would make breakers an important facet of drafting again. Additionally it would shift things in favor of the Corp.

Thoughts?


#2

The one thing we talked about in the car on the way home was that it seemed crazy to give runners 3x Crypsis. I didn’t get to play in an actual draft, but watched one and it didn’t seem like there were many “good” breakers. I saw Force of Nature, etc. in the packs. I’d never draft a breaker from that tier, instead drafting all of the economy possible, then just run, baby, run. You already know the corp is running mostly PriRecs and you only need to steal two to win :).

If I manage to pick up another Armitage or even Opus in a draft, it seems like it will be hard to shut a Crypsis out with random ICE. Right? 30 cards, 14 AP needed is just crazy bad math for a Corp armed only with Priority Requisition. Let’s just say I doubt the packs are full of good 3/2s.


#3

Bigger random variance is biggest worry of the draft format. I feel more games will be decided by random accesses in drafts. Especially because of tiny decks, 3 point agendas and 6 point required. But if drafts are short then maybe you could best out of three.

My initial thoughts were also that runners would be very strong mainly because of Crypsis. I kind of like giving an AI in the draft because you don’t have to draft the right breakers. Giving 1 x Force of Nature, 1 x Aurora, 1 x Pipeline might create a random luck problem of trying to fish your only important breaker when corp gets the right ETR. So AI makes sense but Crypsis feels a way too strong. I would like to see some “draft only” AI icebreaker in the draft pack with same install cost as Crypsis but would cost about double to use.


#4

Yeah, the free cards you get dont seem balanced at all.

Runner gets 3 great icebreakers.
Corp gets a bunch of agendas that are 50% of what the runner needs to win the game, if stolen?

And giving 2 Armitage / 2 Pad just doesnt seem like enough economy handed out.

I feel that there need to be more basic cards given out, deck size increased, and play to 7 points. If you give out more cards, then you can draft the same amount but play with 40 card decks instead of 30. And then playing to 7 works fine.

I feel that the basic sets shouldve been more like:

Runner: 40 card minimum
2 Crypsis,
1 Pipeline, Aurora, Peacock
2 Sure Gamble
2 Armitage
Maybe 2 Kati Jones (or something else?)

Corp: 40 card minimum
3 Priority Requisition
3 Private security Force
3 Gila Hands Arcology (thats 18 points, so you can make a 40 card deck)

2 Pad Campaign
2 Hedge Fund
2 Beanstalk Royalties
1 Wall of Static
1 Enigma
1 Hunter
Maybe 2 Melange? (If you give the runner Kati)


#5

my thought was a different starting package.

start the runner with 2x armitage and 3x special order and 3 sure gambles

start the corp with 3x hedge funds and 3x PSF and 2 melange

both sides have solid econ so any additional econ pick is a luxury.

special orders place the emphasis on breakers in the draft.

PSF gives a lot of the tagging ice teeth so the corp can pursue a flatline strategy with a possibility you can draft for 7 2 pointers as your agenda comp.


#6

Thread over on BGG listing the 169 or 170 cards in the Cyber War draft pool. Until someone consolidates it, you have to look through the thread and put together a few different card lists to get the overall picture.


#7

No, that would be insane I think. The runner’s didn’t really need more econ, they could draft so much of it. Also Kati is super degenerate.

While trying to work within the 30 card framework (we should try it first) I think an easy change is turning the Corps PAD Campaigns into Hedge Funds. Then altering the 3 Crypsis setup somehow. Maybe 1 Crypsis and the three shitty breakers talked about above?


#8

This is why drafting agendas is super important. You want 3/2s not 3/5s. I think I am going to remove all 3/5 agendas, and make it all 1-2 pointers.

(Priority would still be the default starting agenda, just try not to play it)


#9

Interestingly, I’ve heard the opposite (that draft highly favors Corp) from some players. I think further testing is necessary.


#10

Someone at our table yesterday said that as we drafted, but then won all their runner games and lost all the corp games.

While yes we certainly need more testing, I don’t see what theoretical advantages the corp gain aside from surprise factor.


#11

I dont think Kati is that degenerate. I wouldnt want to give Kati to runner and nothing to the corp, but I think giving Kati to the runner and something similarly good to the corp might be good.

Having Kati available means that tags are always important, and it means that runner has access to some amount of eternal, per-turn economy, if they are not tagged.

Maybe that is a better game and maybe its not, I dont think its clear without testing. Maybe giving the runner Daily casts instead leads to a better game? And correspondingly, giving the corp Adonis campaign is best, not Melange. I dont know. I havent tested enough (havent been able to test much at all)

Maybe the system that FFG put out is a great one. My intuition is that it would be better to include more things in the default pack, play 40 card minimum, and play to 7 points. But again, havent really done enough testing.


#12

The more stuff you put as default the more the game becomes like constructed rather than draft.

I feel like 1x each of Force of Nature, Aurora and Pipeline with no Crypsis is perfectly fine in a 30 cards deck in which you get to draft 25 cards that can be card draw, tutors and better breakers. I agree that the PADs should be Hedge Funds and furthermore it seems to me that if you give the corp 5 Priority Req there is 0 incentive to ever draft another 3 pointer. I think a solution would be to give each corp 7 PSF instead. PSF also ensures that tags are always relevant, thus expanding the corps’ draft options but has a bad cost to points ratio for the Corp, thus still incentivizing taking better 3/2, 3/1 and 2/1 agendas. However, if you default to only 2 pointers in the deck, it’s perfectly fine to take 1 3-pointer, and 2 3-pointers isn’t that big a risk, thus making these cards much more interesting as well.


#13

Seems like anti-AI ice would be an interesting answer to the Crypsis problem… or just replace them all with Wyrm.


#14

Someone at our table yesterday said that as we drafted, but then won all their runner games and lost all the corp games.

I think that was me, if I’m not mistaken. I had high hopes for my deck! I got close to murdering Elliot’s face, but the other Scorch was playing hard to get and I didn’t get any event economy. Perhaps I should have put the Edge of World in - when late game came around I couldn’t force him to waste his insane Magnum Opus money on fruitless runs because I lacked many assets or upgrades.

I agree that the Crypsis made breakers not too exciting and that PAD felt absurdly weaker than Armitage. That kind of makes me think that the Corp should get Private Contracts, actually - a low-mid tier economy card, but one that can spike to fruitfulness. As for the runner, I like the idea of FoN, Aurora, Pipeline, Crypsis + 2 Special Order.


#15

Yeah, I put one Swordsman into the cube and it was totally bonkers good. The feedback I had was actually to cut him, because of his power in such a Crypsis heavy environment.

Your deck was pretty sweet, and very deadly. I am hoping to make the cube drafts more of a regular thing, so hope to see you more in the future!

Huh, this is a very interesting idea actually and I don’t hate it. It is more of the Corp mirror to Armitage as well. I will have to think about it. Any obvious downsides?


#16

I like 1 Crypsis, 1 Force of Nature, 1 Aurora, 1 Pipeline for breakers.

I feel that playing to only 6 is a mistake. They need to give everyone more basic cards, make 40 card decks, and play to 7.

Something like:

Runner default cards
1 Crypsis
1 Force of Nature
1 Aurora
1 Pipeline
1 Special Order
2 Sure Gamble
2 Easy mark
2 Armitage Codebusting
1 Akamatsu Mem Chip
1 Infiltration
1 Access to Globalsec

Corp default cards:
3 Priority Requisition
3 Private Security Force
3 Gila hands Arcology (I feel there should be 3/1s. Thats 18 points I’ve given them, enough for 40 card decks)
2 Private Contracts
2 Pad Campaign
2 Hedge Fund
2 Beanstalk Royalties
1 Wall of Static
1 Bastion
1 Engima
1 Datapike
1 Hunter

The corp receives more default cards because:

  • All drafted agendas replace agenda cards.
  • Corps want to build 44, while runners build 40.

This is 36 cards. The starter draft set could be made to be 40 cards, with 2 runner IDs and 2 corp IDs. Each player could choose which corp or runner to be.

For example, one runner might be Kate-like, giving discounts. One might give a once a turn bonus for running.


#17

TBH, they should have just created new cards for the starter decks, rather than rehashing old ones. It’s a new format, it requires a new balance.

There is no way that Crypsis and Armitage are equivalent to Priority and PAD. Crypsis is a still solid icebreaker and Armitage is still decent too. Priority was mostly a necessary evil when it was played and I doubt anyone plays it anymore. PAD, I feel has lost it’s luster relative to Armitage as well. This is not counting the aforementioned point that Crypsis and Armitage compress in quick games better than Priority and PAD.

I would make it 3x Hedge Fund, 2x Corporate War for corporations.

Corps need money, not really expensive agendas and assets that don’t go neutral after 2 turns later (note, you are still down a click and a card, so assuming equivalence of resources, 4 turns).

Hedge is what the corps want, and Corporate War adds an element to the game being that how you score it is important.

Hell, I would buy a Starter Deck just for another Hedge Fund (so I can have 4 total and have one for each faction.)

For Runners, I would go 3x Sure Gamble (for symmetry’s sake), 1x Crypsis.

I think Crypsis is okay and somewhat necessary, at least to alleviate player fears. You need breakers for each type of ice, and a bad luck could mean you get screwed out of a necessary one. The Corporation, on the other hand, doesn’t need all types of ice, since even with an icebreaker they serve to tax the runner.

Only 1 Crypsis, seems odd given that the Corporation and Runner have equal starting cards, since (typically) Corporations run more cards than Runners. (Yet, another advantage).


#18

TBH, at that point it feels like less a draft and more a constructed format with a common sideboard or something. Not a bad idea, but I like the minimalist start decks.


#19

What I do for my cube is replace the PAD Campaigns with Private Contracts. This costs more for the Runner to disrupt, and better mirrors the Armitage that the runner is receiving.

I then replace the Crypsis with the 1x Force of Nature, 1x Auora, 1x Pipeline. I do not also give the Crypsis. This is the same amount of cards as the regular draft rules, but I feel has a superior balance and less emphasis on Crypsis. (Crypsis then becomes a high pick instead of something everyone always has)

I disagree with Alex on playing to 6. I like how it changes the pace of the game and makes the whole drafting experience quicker.


#20

You think it works well? I havent managed to try a draft yet with these rules, but back when it was announced everyone thought 6 was bad.