One thing I’ve always assumed about the game is that corp is easier to play than runner, mostly because you get to manage most of the hidden information rather than having to guess what it is. As runner you have to guess what ice to expect and count the corp’s influence to figure out whether they have scorch or archer or whatever. I also thought that when people win the die roll and choose to be corp first, that was because the corp game can be a “warmup” for the harder runner game.
But as I’ve gotten better at the game I’m starting to believe that corp is harder to play at a high skill level (that is, progressing from beginner to intermediate, there are more things to learn as runner, while from intermediate to advanced, corp is harder to improve at). Runners pretty much all have the same game plan: threaten both centrals with multi-access (or siphon) while still being able to get into remotes. To play corp really well, on the other hand, you have to anticipate what the runner’s plan is and distribute your ice to best stop them, often several turns in advance.
“Advanced” tactics as corp include:
- Bluffing 3-2 agendas as NAPDs or NAPDs as 5-3s (or similarly bluffing 3-2s as other assets)
- Managing credit pool to stay safe from siphon (being able to dump money into sansan, eve/adonis, or HQ ice)
- Managing number of agendas in HQ with jackson (I used to always discard and shuffle away as many agendas as possible, which is right if you think the runner has legwork, but often you want to keep one or even two.)
- Creating scoring windows by baiting the runner into expensive runs (especially, forfeiting an NAPD so you can score something better)
Advanced tactics as runner include:
- Counting number of agendas seen and cards in R+D to decide when HQ is most likely to be worth legworking
- Guessing the corp’s NAPD-related bluffs / deciding whether you can afford to steal NAPD without creating a scoring window
- I can’t really think of any more?
So, what other tactics/strategy have you learned for each side as you’ve gotten better? Also, does whichever side you think is harder to play influence which side you choose to play first in a match?