So after getting a few months worth of play in. I’m really getting the feel of how things work in A:NR. I’ve done a lot of studying, built some solid decks, and have a strong sense of piloting them. But it seems like every game I’m in, I make one or two misplays that literally end up costing me the game.
What did/do you guys do to help avoid these misplays? Is it just a matter of cranking out the games and getting them out of my system, or do you have any tips and tricks for smoothing out your play?
Also interested in what people have to say here. Though for me it warrants separating “misread” from “misplay”.
For example, against an NBN Near-Earth Hub (on Sun. IRL) I ran into an Edge of The World with one ice in front of it (with no hand) and lost the game. I had already seen Junebugs, Psychic Field, and a few other out-of-faction cards … so I (incorrectly) did not fear EotW or Snare (due to influence). I took the time to consider what my ‘worst case’ scenario was and ran thinking I was ok. I was wrong.
To me this is different, what I’d call a “misread”. Perhaps thats just me justifying my crap play though
For me personally, avoiding screwups is mostly a matter of knowing the card pool. Then, once I know the worst case scenario (as runner) or the space of possible opponent plays (as corp), I can analyze situations in terms of what’s probably going on, and what should be going on.
Messing up for me comes in three different forms:
Completely forgetting about a card’s existence and thus failing to account for it in my analysis of the situation
Misjudging what the opponent is doing / mis-guessing what he has done (i.e. I considered that possibility, but thought he didn’t do that)
Not seeing a play available to me (or realizing it too late)
The first one is lack of knowledge, that just takes practice. The third one is usually about not focusing enough and/or playing on mental autopilot. The second one is where you can always improve the most, I feel.
One thing I’d really suggest if you want to get better (in ways #2 and #3): watch some of @SneakySly’s older vids, where he has a co-player to discuss plays with. Imagine you do as well, and always mentally ask yourself stuff like “What’s the correct play here?” “Why am I doing this now? Is there something better I could be doing instead?” and so on (watch a couple of his vids, you’ll get the hang of what I’m talking about). For this, I particularly recommend games Sly plays with @asroybal or @Genestealers , those seemed like the most dialogue-y ones. @mediohxcore tended to be more dominant, basically dictating what needs to be rather than guiding Sly to the best play with the socratic method
As someone for whom making game losing mistakes is a way of life, I would say learning the card pool is the number one thing. The number two thing is to think about the opportunity cost of what you are doing - i.e. what does doing this mean that I can’t do? In particular think one or two turns ahead. E.g. first click of the game run R&D and see NAPD Contract. You might think “great, two points,” but scoring it might mean you have to spend the next few turns rebuilding your economy, giving the Corp plenty of breathing space to get set up. Third thing is to think about what you are doing is telling your opponent and how they are likely to react. If I throw down a Nerve Agent at the end of my turn, I can expect a second ICE to go on HQ. If I discard a sentry breaker, my opponent is going to assume I have another one in hand. And if I throw down two remote servers and ICE one of them - it’s reasonable to assume my opponent with run that one first because I clearly value it more.
Don’t rush - if your deck is good and your opponent is halfway reasonable then you have plenty of time. If your opponent is not halfway reasonable then you should win anyway, unless your deck is truly awful (in which case you have bigger issues to worry about).
Think about the order in which you do things to make the best use of your clicks. For example, if you were going to click for $1, draw a card and make a run you should probably take the card first, since a) it might be an economy event worth more than the $1 click; b) could be a run event which potentially makes the run more potent; c) is an extra card in hand in case you take damage on the run. Basically whenever you’re thinking of taking a card you should be asking “what am I drawing for and how does it affect my future play?” Likewise, I saw someone (a very good player actually, in the final of a Regional which he won) play Fast Track and then draw a card, not once but twice. This is an error in my opinion; you should draw the card first. The reason being that Fast Track tells your opponent you have the agenda, so they could potentially pull out all the stops to get to it. If you draw a card first, you might draw the agenda you want, in which case it’s hidden and you save the Fast Track for another day - note that your number of cards in hand are still the same in this situation (since you didn’t play the Fast Track) so the level of card protection in HQ is identical, except that now you have a click to spare.
its good to try install agendas naked in different board states to learn how people react to this. do this when u can afford a loose ofc. keep mental notes of how they do and categorize players based on that (this guy run everything as opposite to that one etc.). also being labelled as unpredictable is good for metagame and make u more open to thinking out of the box later on. dont stick to patterns about advancing. sometime IA is good with no NAPD, as runner will think it is NAPD he cannot/dont want to steal etc.
I think the best way is definitely to record your games and watch them, as in review the replay. I find this pretty easy to do while playing on OCTGN as you can stream the footage to your hard drive then just watch the video later. I end up doing this anyways for my youtube videos to make sure I didn’t say anything completely foolish on stream but I think reviewing my matches has been the best way for me to improve.
I am currently struggling between controlling the game and keeping up with the game states. What I mean is that while I am fighting to force the opponent react to my moves, I do not always build up my rig or eco for next stage which will happen when the opponent does accomplish to break my hold.
Maybe this is better explained with an example. Let’s say I am forcing down a massive parasite, datasucker trail on RD with my Medium out… I can put a very high pressure there, but this does leave me vulnerable if during the time I have spent everything just on this focus and I end up in Mid/Late game with opponent that has setup good remote and locked down RD.
This tend to happen more often to me nowadays when I am stuck on 6 pts and I simply cannot find any more agendas. So I am not sure if you would call this a misplay or simply flawed strategy or maybe bad deckbuilding…
Overall what I would like to add to this topic is that - you have to find a good balance with applying pressure and also setting up for when your pressure will break.
Rushing is the #1 biggest issue that I struggle with. Far too often there’ll be one vital turn in a game where I just go with the first strong play that comes to mind, and then realize shortly after that there was an even better play.
There’s a classic chess quote that goes roughly: “When you see a good move, look for a better one”. Easier said than done, of course.
For example, think about what you would do in this situation:
At 22 minutes, I had a lot of options against the venerable @SamRS and I quickly jumped to conclusions and took what in hindsight I consider the 3rd best line, costing me the game.
Randomness is part of this game so the line could easily have worked, but it would still be suboptimal. So I think recording games and reviewing not just your losses but also your wins for misplays is super valuable.
The next best thing to analyzing the best line in game is analyzing it afterwards, so at least you won’t make the same mistake again.
Just play as much as possible, even if this means OCTGN. I am a better player IRL than on OCTGN, and at first I was put off by OCTGN, thinking “What if I lose?”
Then I put my ANR mind to work and analyzed the worst possible scenario: I lose a card game over the Internet. Big deal.
Just play and play and play. Lose all your games, it doesn’t matter, you’ll get better if you have a mind for games/ANR, which people posting here likely do. ANR is a tough game; the most important thing is experience. Card knowledge helps too, but that will come with games logged.
I think a lot of good advice is already posted here. I want to volunteer a couple things that haven’t yet been said.
Internally verbalize a strategy. This sounds ridiculous, but most players seem to play intuitively at first. Know your match-up, verbalize an initial strategy (HQ multiaccess against NEH during a critical turn when he has already drawn a lot, Keep a hand of 5 and DON’T lose your single LevyAR against PE, etc). Then, readdress that strategy based on opportunities and game-state in future turns. But seriously, take a moment and verbalize it to yourself.
When you first see your opponents identity, verbalize to yourself what the common win tactics and threats are. He could be playing something atypical, but 90% of the time he’s not. What are the ice that you need to fear? How does he multi-access one of my centrals? How best can I shut those plans down? Take 30 seconds and think about how he is most likely to win and what your counters are.
Take SOMETHING away from every game you play, win or lose. What worked, what didn’t? What could you have done better? Take a moment after every game before firing up the next one, and improve your next game.
It’sbeen said already, but it’s important enough to repeat – when you draw a card and get excited about an opportunity that it brought, take a moment and look for something better.
Play where the weaknesses are, and set up for future turns. If you are spending lots for random accesses, you could be doing something better. Don’t be afraid to draw into a plan.
When you are about to start your turn, what is your plan for the turn? Don’t do 2 or 3 things, then draw/click for credit because you have nothing better. If you have presented yourself with a plan that involves X-1 moves, where X is the number of clicks you have, draw FIRST. Then readdress the plan.
I guess that was more than a couple. Hope it helps!
I don’t have any great tips for avoiding blunders, except for that you should think fast and consider a lot of options, rather than fixate on one plan immediately, and then consider the best way to go about it.
One of the most common errors among mid-tier level players that I see, though, is failing to leave options open. Letting yourself go broke to execute a powerful run without any way of recovering is an easy mistake to make. A lot of people just think “okay, I have this much money, so I can do this,” and then do it. Really, the key to running, I find, is making only the most efficient, probing plays, that leave you with the most options for the next turn. If you don’t show your hand, so to speak, it usually can force your opponent to play around things that you’re not even doing or even just mess up entirely.
I think the avoiding the big, costly misplays can only really be avoided by playing a lot so that you know what to expect. The best way to never make a misplay again is to make it once and remember it. Your Corroder is only going to get shut down once when you have a Faerie in your hand. After that, you play the stupid Faerie.