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Would limited Astroscript kill Fast Advance?

I’m also not a fan of that article, for other reasons, chief among them being “Magic and Netrunner are different.”

Some of the points still apply, but there isn’t a Limited Environment for Netrunner, it’s ALL constructed. Like, some cards will always be bad on account of being worse than other choices – a card that is not as good as another that fills the same space is bad just by simple comparison.

There being some bad cards because experiments don’t work or they get overlooked in QA because they’re trying to stop the game from being broken, that makes sense. But there’s no niche being filled by making bad cards, particularly, certainly even less so in Netrunner than in Magic.

I’m looking forward to them pushing the envelope in SanSan Cycle and beyond.


Power Tap is a relatively new card.

I feel that any design doubts were corrected in Lunar. SanSan is most likely going to have a Runner card or two that initiates a trace.

If only there were a Runner coming out that has you starting the game with one Bad Publicity and making the choice between changing your agenda composition, using precious deck slots to combat BP, or continuing to run NAPD Contracts that are now effectively 5/2 agendas. :wink:


I’ve read his piece, but I think this is a problem between recombinable/static design.

It’s much easier to balance fixed units like fighting game characters with confidence, especially ones with a lot of tuneable levers.

Card games (or, at least ones where you build your own deck) need their elements to be simpler (otherwise the game just becomes incomprehensible) and at the same time are often pushed out at a regular rate. This leads to cautious balancing, especially after getting burned a few to many times (which Rosewater, and Magic in general, certainly have).

Finally, some card concepts are fun/cool in general, but not if they’re strong enough to be played regularly. Account Siphon and Astroscript are good examples of this. Neither is Urza’s Saga level broken, but both are really, REALLY cool, but when balanced so that they’re strong and thus common, they become frustrating. Account Siphon at least had the saving grace of Netrunner, namely that it needs a run to work, which builds in tons of counters (there’s literally an entire card type dedicated to making runs more difficult).

Astro’s problem is that it has comparatively little such interaction in the current card pool, and what is present is kinda meh (The Source and Chakana are just not that great) which seems to be on the way, from what we’ve been told.


Think I’m agreeing with this after perusing the article. The article is right that if you’re looking at determinate number of characters with moves its possible to outline interesting strategies to enable nuanced counter play at a deeper level and have every move matter in context. In the case of Netrunner, consider that each character is an ID. Corps have 25 IDs right now. I’m imagining though I haven’t counted that runners are similarly represented. But rather than having approx 3 moves per button (4+4)*3~24 moves per character, we’re talking about each character in netrunner having a potential ~80 (looking at HB right now) moves internal, with an option to play a few of 240 other moves. And that’s one side, one faction. Now you have to look at the otherside.

I write software for a living. If I told a QAer to regression test 240 moves against 240 other moves, 25 ways against 25 other ways they’d raise their eyebrow and turn in their 2 weeks.

I assume you’re being sarcastic, as the corp will obviously self trash the deuce long before you can get that rolling. If they ever let runners start their own traces though… watch out!

Archives interface is also hilarious against the current RP, or anyone still running NAPD. Drop and Pop Hades Shard, and use Archives Interface to remove self-protecting agendas from the game :stuck_out_tongue:

Are those agendas really in reach of RP at that point? I don’t know, if you’ve gotten them to archives you’ve done half the work of scoring them…

I have played many a game of RP vs Noise, where agendas have taken the circuitous route of R&D --> Archives --> Interns to Remote —> Score.

With Noise it would make mill much more devastating (if you’ve got access to archives for multiple runs), but you’re committing to a milling strategy then…

Do we know yet if the timing structure is like Imp? I bet you have to get rid of the card before attempting Psi or 4 creds due to trigger timing.

I think the FFG team has done a pretty good job of limiting power creep, notable exceptions (cough NEH cough) aside. A bigger problem, in my view, is the number of un-fun cards or mechanisms they have introduced into the game. ITD is the exemplar of this, and you’ll still find people who argue that it isn’t a powerful card, but you won’t find anyone who will argue that it makes Netrunner more fun to play. Psi games are the most pervasive un-fun mechanism in the game right now. Card games already have enough luck in them thanks to the order of your stack, and there was really no need to add what amounts to dice rolling luck on top of that. In the regular board game world, there’s a pretty big divide between people who get adrenaline rushes out of rolling dice, and people who fucking hate it, and I’m sad to see that has been brought into Netrunner.

My least favorite mechanism, though I think I’m probably the only one who complains about it, are the Current cards. What bugs me isn’t necessarily their power level per-se, but how they interact with the other player. They generally have really fucking annoying effects that will persist for a very long time, and I don’t like how the solution is to either steal/score an agenda or be packing Currents of your own. The latter case is what I think FFG was going for, and I think that’s bullshit. The only thing stopping currents from being more of a problem (fun-wise) in this game, is that corp deck space is already tight since they have to pack agendas, ice, and economy. But I consider that a stroke of good luck that has stopped bad game design from taking the fun level of Netrunner down several notches.


You don’t access with Archives Interface, so there’s no psi game to play.

I agree with your general argument, but I think this is a bad example as CCGs have a long history of workarounds to tutors like Test Run.

It could use “If this leaves play, exile it” language to prevent abused by Test Run + Scavenge specifically. If the $15 cost program has a long-term effect, this can be enough on its own.

It could have a split cost like Atman where you effectively pay part of the cost as a triggered ability when it enters.

It could use alternate costs such as sacrificing other programs with a total cost of $15 or more.

It could be like Rabbit Hole where it comes in 3 pieces at $5 each with a triggered ability that lets you pay to install the other pieces.

It could simply declare that this program can only be installed from the grip.

There’s probably a lot more ways - making card text have the final say actually gives a lot of freedom to paint yourself into corners and then right back out again.


And then suddenly, morph shows up in the next cycle!



Kindof morph?

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Interns is the perfect counter-tech to Noise in that respect actually- I had it used against me two different times at a tournament over the weekend to get an NAPD from Archives back into the scoring remote and advance it, and a lot of RP I see still run 2 Interns.

I agree - and that’s why Test Run exists in the first place. From a strategic perspective, however, FFG is taking the slow route for the development of the game. The game has a limited number of tutors - you can only tutor for programs (any for Shaper, icebreakers for Crim, viruses for Anarch) or a subset of resources. Good econ was restricted until recently. There are a lot of silver bullets and very few sweeping solutions - no Wrath of God, no Armageddon. Even oNR had a broad tutor (search deck for anything), I forgot its name but it existed. I’m sure all of these will turn up eventually, but for now the game’s development is extremely cautious.

How many super-strong cards did the first Magic expansion have? At least nine. We had many more NR cards so far, and even the strong opposition won’t claim that more than four or five of them deserve consideration for restriction.

To be honest, I would prefer to see FFG take more risks and apply the banhammer more vigorously. However, I am playing the devil’s advocate here: there is a reason these weak cards exist. It’s all about choosing the safe path and taking care of the game’s longevity while working within the rules that FFG has set for itself (no bans, for example). This is an LCG, there are solutions for everything, but given the constraints - I think we’re in a pretty good spot.


It’s kind of strange that they’re so conservative about Runner tutors, but Corp tutors are totally fine.

Aggressive Negotiation and Project Atlas are both broad tutors by your definition, and Accelerated Diagnostics Combo Wombo effectively tutors for any card (because of Interns).

I agree that the game could be a lot worse, especially considering the limited development resources available.

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Possibly due to the Agenda flood effect? That said, there’s conditions on AggNeg that makes it not the auto-include it could be.

@IirionClaus, Mantis, Fixer at Large. There’s a part of me that wouldn’t mind seeing it reprinted (as I know I can’t have 15 copies like in oNR) but I don’t think at this point I’ll miss it if it never gets re-created.

I think it is likely because of the fact that all corp decks need to run ice/economy/agendas.

Runners have more flexible spots, I think it is also slightly a flavor thing as well. Corps can get what they need when they need it.

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