Home | About | Tournament Winning Decklists | Forums

Tournament Scoring Rules


How do you feel about the current tournament scoring rules?

Personally, I feel like the current system that gives points based on the # of agenda you score narrows the “best deck” category too much, heavily favouring archetypes that aggressively score/steal early agendas. Hence tournament reports chock-full of HB fast advance.

The downside to getting rid of that system would most likely be lots of draws. But that happens in Chess - it doesn’t seem to be a huge problem in that game.


I disagree, you see a lot of HB fast advance because installing unprotected agendas for one or more turns is just a worse strategy than scoring things out of hand right now. It has nothing to do with the tournament structure.

The only thing the tournament structure encourages you to do is play decks that win, just like every other tournament structure for every other game.


It has two issues that I see.

  1. It rewards an aggro deck that tends to score high in losses, punishing a control deck that, by building up hard, gets into positions where its down 0-5, but will probably go on to win the game 7-5. if that control deck falls a bit short it might just get a 0-7 result and lose horribly. When the aggro deck fails its because it stalled at 5 so the loss isnt as bad.

  2. It means that in the second game, the player who won the first game has a big incentive to make sure to get to X points. So if I won the first game 7-3, Then in game 2 I really need to get to 4 points so I win the match. I might sacrifice all potential to actually win the game in order to ensure getting to 4, for example, blowing Biotic Labors and stuff to get to 4, leaving me at $0 and in a position that would otherwise be bad.


I’m not a fan of the current system for a number of reasons.

  1. There is nothing that says that agenda score is the defining measure of success - decking the corp or killing the runner are both legitimate game wins in their own right, but they are not represented when computing score for a game loss. Hence the format disfavours playing them as anything but a secondary strategy because when they fail or misfire you end up with nothing.

  2. The winner of the first game can play to time out in game two to guarantee a win, especially if it looks like he will lose by a larger margin than he won the first game. This turns a 4-2 loss into a 5-1 win. Stalling for time should never be a valid strategy.

  3. Both games carry the same score weighting - i.e. they contribute equal value to the overall score. But they don’t necessarily receive an equal share of the time. Very few people will rush game one to try and secure a fair crack at game two, but very often game one will over-run and players will be pressured into mistakes in game two in order to try and play a full game.

  4. The tournament format causes you to make play decisions that you wouldn’t make if the game occurred in a vacuum. For instance: do you rez an archer, knowing that it won’t keep the runner out of the server for the winning agenda? In a one off game you rez it every time on the off-chance that it makes a difference (particularly if you can trash programs like Net Shield or Deus X that might make the runner think the card he’s about to hit is a lethal trap), but in a tournament game is it worth holding onto the agenda point(s) and conceding the loss? Similarly, I had a game go to time recently and my opponent on his final turn scored a Hostile Takeover out of hand to improve his score, but that was absolutely the wrong play if the game was continuing and he had been trying to play for a legitimate game win. @Alexfrog also mentions the “target” agenda score from game one that will secure the match.

  5. The format also means you’re locked into a matchup for a full 60+ minutes against the same player. I think this is fine at the highest level but for social play I would prefer to play against a more varied crop of people.

My suggestion would be to reserve the two-match setup for KO brackets in big events and just play single games for the swiss stages. You could probably devise a neat method to work out pairings, but a basic approach would be:

A] Split the field in half
B] One half plays corp for 3 games, the other plays runner.
C] Then you switch and play 3 games in the opposite role.

By this point the two halves of the room will have played 6 rounds of swiss, but not competed against anyone in their own half of the draw. So now:

D] Each half plays its own 3 round swiss

By the end of the swiss everyone will have played 9 games against a cross section of players.
For the last 3 games you can either determine who plays corp/runner randomly or let the lower ranked player choose (if you assign fixed roles or let the higher ranked player choose then a particularly dominant deck would remain dominant in that role).

If you then cut off to a KO bracket you can resume the traditional two game format.

What I think my method achieves is that everyone plays more different opponents which is good for social play. An individual game is worth 2 points (1 each for a timed draw), which means it’s still possible to salvage a draw from a losing position in a game by stalling, but you can’t transform that same position into a match win as you can with the current system.

In terms of logistics it needs a reasonably sized field to work successfully, but timing wise shouldn’t be too much different to 5 rounds of regular play. You might need a bit extra time to account for extension turns in timed games (as these will impact the schedule more than in a two game format), but you have an extra half-match worth of time to use for this purpose.

[Edit was for formatting]


I would be interested in seeing this tried out. Sounds a little more complicated to run, but I actually think it sounds surprisingly solid.


My grievances are that

  1. The timing structure is very difficult to surmount for some decks, such as Jinteki shell game builds and my own, and

  2. The current score is public knowledge

The first is admittedly biased, but most of Jinteki’s strategies take far too long to be tournament-viable. When playing patient, careful runners, my Jinteki games easily take 1-2 hours. That’s right, 2 hours <_< Repeatedly trashing the runners’ programs and having to score agendas to make up for Archers’ sacrifice takes additional time. Though admittedly, games that get that long are fucking epic.

The second grief is more universal. With the scoring being public knowledge, players calculate whether they should just agree on a draw, they know if they should rush and make decisions they otherwise wouldn’t have, etc. I’m not a huge fan of the scoring structure in regards to agendas vs flatline, but it’s not as major as the first two to me.


I hadn’t even considered @Lysander’s second point because, to me, fixing a game is an abhorrent suggestion - but it’s a spot on point. Now I think of it, in my final game at the UK Nationals if we’d have agreed on a draw we would have both made the top 8 cut, but we played out game one (which took 50+ minutes) and I narrowly lost leaving me with everything to do in game two and not long enough to do it. I ended up losing 5-1.

Back when I played the old Decipher version of Lord of the Rings (based on the films) the tournament games were all ranked using an ELO scoring system (similar to chess). So even if you were more than a game ahead at the top of the field you couldn’t afford to take it easy if you cared about your ranking. In those days the rankings were a big deal because the top 3 in each country got invited to Essen to play in the World Cup, and the best players were noticed by the developers and invited to join the play test team (which was great for free product and insder info).

Perhaps something similar could be introduced for Netrunner? Although it would mean that serious players stopped trying out experimental or fun decks in sanctioned events.


I realize my first post said basically nothing, so I will just say that I do like the current structure, but I am open to suggestions. I organize a decent sized league and if anyone has an idea for a structure I will test it out at our game night sometime in the future.

I’m not yet sold on Arkhon’s idea (though it seems good to me) I’m not sure it’s worth giving up the player interaction that you have from playing an actual match with someone sitting down, and playing your opponent.

I think playing 1 game is more your deck vs his deck, since you are removing the pressure of performing well in the first game, and since your interaction is limited to just one game, there’s not as much of an opportunity for you to learn how your opponent plays the game.

I realize some of you will see this as a positive, but I believe out-playing your opponent beyond just deciding what the correct plays are, is an integral part of the CG experience.


If it takes 2 hours for a game, I would actually refuse to play a game with whoever was being that slow (in a casual format). In a tournament format that player is pretty maddening).

Turns should take like 15 seconds when there is no run, 30 at the most. Even the longest game, with some Weyland deck forfeiting repeated agendas, against some slow runner, ending with almost no cards left in the players decks, should last only 30 minutes, if people are playing at a reasonable pace.


Just found out about this community and I’m sorry to resurrect a dead thread, but this is one issue that I am majorly concerned with. I think the tournament scoring rules are alright for Swiss (though far from good) and absolutely abhorrent for knockout rounds simply because Game Two in a knockout match is not an actual game of Netrunner.

Here’s what I suggest:

Play one match each side for Swiss, but treat them as two separate rounds for scoring purposes. That is, the number of points scored in a loss only matters for an overall tiebreaker; its value is never compared to the number of points your opponent scores in a different game with you. For Knockout rounds, still play one match each side, but if they are split go to game 3 wherein the player with the most points in the loss chooses what side to play. Cut only to Top 2 unless you have scads of extra time to run 3 game semifinals, replacing any of the knockout rounds you would have had before with rounds of Swiss.

I believe that this will put enough emphasis on winning each game, especially when strength of schedule is the primary tiebreaker and match points are only looked at if SoS comes out tied. If you get a rough break you might drop a game, but even in the knockout rounds you’ll always have the chance to win more to make up for it. Yes, pretty much everyone who can will choose to run game 3, and will have an even larger than normal advantage knowing the corp’s deck, but I have something else in mind that helps with that too: sideboards.

Yes, sideboards.

Allow players say 5 (maybe 10) extra cards to swap with cards in the main deck after the IDs have been revealed, or based on previous knowledge gleaned/given away in a previous game (or from spectating). Maybe allow this only for the Corp, the side that needs more help in making things unpredictable, or give them 10 cards and runner 5. The major issue with this is keeping it easy for players to make sure the decks are legal, so your sideboard would count towards your influence, the corp would be highly advised to know exactly how many agenda points should be in their sideboard (note there are 2 legal values), and the corp would have to verify their minimum agenda point count at end of game. In order to not cause the corp to have to reveal their entire deck, and because it’s generally considered a disadvantage having more agenda points than required, that should only require a deck count and the revealing of the agendas.


I think this would actually be a really solid idea. It handles the issue with the side in the third game nicely.

I really dislike the idea of sideboards however, any solution that implements them is less than optimal in my eyes.