Friday, 29 March 2013

Netrunner

→ Begin the run. 


Hello World!

How are you all doing?

Me? I'm doing awesome. The Missus' and I found a great place to move into come May, and we've paid our damage deposit on it. It's a bit smaller compared to the amount of space we have here at the Manor, but the amenities and location are great. That gives us over a month to downsize our furniture and items, and pack up. Since we're also paying our last month of rent here at the Manor, we get to avoid the rush of moving on the 1st, and can take our time getting settled.

The other night was the first of four Android: Netrunner game nights happening each Wednesday at the FLGS here in Victoria. As I mentioned back in February, I got my first chance to play Netrunner at GottaCon V. I really took the the game, although it wasn't till sometime after my birthday I picked up the Core Set; around that point I was pretty disenfranchised with the Star Wars: The Card Game so I traded an extra copy I received of the SWLCG Core set for Netrunner.

Haven't played him yet, just love his name.

Compared to SWLCG, Netrunner is a much more fun game IMHO, on a few factors:

  • The fact that it's an asymmetrical card game makes it more interesting.
  • The Core Set gives you 4 Corporation and 3 Runner factions to play and customise, as opposed to the 2.5 Lightside and 2.5 Darkside factions that come with the SWLCG core.
  • I found the Netrunner easier to pick up and learn than SWLCG; I still haven't really grasped SWLCG's complex rules. Don't get me wrong, Netrunner is still somewhat complex and has subtle tactics and strategy I'm still learning, but that learning process is more enjoyable than trying to wrap your head around all the phases and timing structure of SWLCG.
  • Speaking of subtleties, Netrunner makes bluffing a larger factor then most card games, at least when it comes to playing the Corp's face-down cards.
  • Constructing a deck and customizing it is much easier I found than in Star Wars. Since the cards in that game are tied to an objective card, this means you have to include that objective and the associated cards if you even want to add something particular to your deck; meaning you might be stuck with a bunch of lame cards. Also if you want to do cross faction, one of your three objective cards in play must belong to that faction (or grant an ability) to play cards from that faction. Meaning you could have a hand of really good cards, but might be unable to play them. In Netrunner is much more customizable; the only limitations for deck building is meeting the minimum deck size on your faction identity, having no more than three copies of each card, and not surpassing the amount of influence your identity card allows you to spend on out of faction cards. (Corporation must also include the minimum amount of faction-only Agenda point cards for size of the deck. Given the primary method of winning for both sides is these points, this is understandable.)
  • This leads me to my final point; what made up my mind: It seemed that many people were/are purchasing more than one core set of the SWLCG in order to make their decks more "efficient". This is because the set doesn't provide many multiples of cards, thus you aren't able to really construct decks around card concepts/strategies. This isn't a jab at hardcore card players, but it essentially means that those who've invested the money to get multiple copies tend to fare much better than casual players (like myself) who picked a single game up copy up. Pay-to-Win essentially, which one of the major reasons why I don't play/collect Magic: The Gathering any more. Netrunner I feel is more balanced; it gives you enough cards and deck restrictions with just the core set to try various deck concepts, and granted an additional set would provide a few more good cards, I don't believe it makes one head-over-heels better than someone running a deck made from a single core set. Same thing goes when you add in expansions, which also follow FFG's LCG model of providing 3 copies of each card in the expansion. No more random boosters huzzah!

Anyway enough of my opinions. I mentioned Netrunner because I took part in the game night at my FLGS last evening, and won 1st place! Mind you, there was only one other player in the tournament, so that'd no huge accomplishment. :P But I felt pretty sure I was going to get trashed since I hadn't had much practice, my both my Corp and Runner decks were barely tested, constructed from just the Core Set and a Cyber Exodus data pack, and given my general luck lately with games. A pleasant surprise.

For those interested, here's what I ran:


Corporation: 

NBN - Making News: Tag You're It
Notes: I won with the perfect hand of 1 SEA Source and 2 Scorched Earth's - That said I'm still not sure it how stable it is. At 17 ICE, I'm considering swapping out a card or 2 to build up my defence with more ICE. Also the Walls of Static, my only Barriers, are pretty easy to get through, so I'm looking for a better NBN/Neutral replacement.

Runner: 

Kate "Mac" McCaffreyTools and Talent
Notes: Swapping in Test Run over Special order made it run a lot better. Since Test Run allows me to get cards back from my heap, I'm considering losing the Sacrificial Constructs because I also ended up with copies of the programs I had installed in hand anyway? But I'd run the risk of possibly losing Icebreakers with Personal Touch installed on them..

My victory bagged me two alternative art cards: Melange Mining Corp and Crypsis, and some nifty translucent acrylic credit tokens:

Crypsis and Melange Mining Corp Alternate Art Cards with acrylic credit tokens

Now that I've gotten my hands on all the current Data Packs, I have tons of cards to construct and playtest decks with! I'm going to create a new Runner and a new Corporate deck for game night next Wednesday.

What's does this all mean? This handy tutorial should help for those interested in learning more:



Finally, I want to mention two Netrunner podcasts I've been listening to recently that've been very helpful: First is The Ice Box, by a couple of dudes from Texas. And the second is Agenda 7, hosted by a pair of fellow Canadians out of Ontario. If you're into this game and podcasts, I highly recommend them!

→ End the run. ;{١