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Subject: Netrunner Game Theory rss

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Erik Twice
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If you disagree with my premise, you are wrong, is not a good way of starting a discussion.

But yes, "Click advantage" is better analysis of Netrunner's economical system.
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Panagiotis Zinoviadis
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The main difference of "traditional" CCGs and Netrunner is that netrunner is not a (well English is not my native language) linear advance game. Well actually is not an advance game at all.

In MtG you play a land each turn. Your first spells will be cheap and if you manage to live long enough, your next spells will be more expensive and powerful. WOTC understood from the very beginning that land destruction could be very strong as a strategy (destroying the lands of your opponent so as to postpone the moment that he will have enough mana for powerful spells) and stopped printing spells like sinkhole. (BB destroy target land). On the contrary, more and more spells that put lands in the game earlier than they should be, AKA ramping, are printed and used.

The runner side of netrunner has more or less a linear progression. He starts with 0 programs and then he builds up, builds a grid and gets more powerful as time passes. Well, more or less, is not that simple.

However, this is not the case with the Corp. the corp has ups and downs. Starts with some money, struggles and produces more money and then has again a low point because it scored an agenda. Then it builds up again and does the same thing until it wins. Also, deploying ice after ice will not make the corp stronger as the Ice must be also rezzed and additional ICE in the servers cost more and more as their numbers grow.

What i think that wins Netrunner games is Tempo. The ability to "control" the actions of your opponent, knowing when to push for credits, when to push for an agenda or when to build up or draw cards. That is why anonymous tip is not super strong but Diesel is very strong. The runner plays more like an MtG deck. Build up and apply pressure. Draw cards to do both of these more efficiently. The corp on the other hand needs cards at specific times, not always.

I hope that i made my point clear.
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Dave Sutcliffe
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General_Norris wrote:
If you disagree with my premise, you are wrong, is not a good way of starting a discussion.

But yes, "Click advantage" is better analysis of Netrunner's economical system.


Agreed, but it really IS true about Card Advantage in Magic. But I've had that discussion enough times to know how it goes and I don't want to have it again, which is why I want to talk about Netrunner mechanics.

Let's leave the Magic mechanics discussion for the Magic forum.



To start a bit more constructively: a common term I hear about is Work Compression. What does that mean, precisely? I want to know if that fits my concept of Click Advantage or breaks it.
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Anonymous Tip is awesome and underrated; iff your oponent is playing R&D lock and not playing nerve agent.

//

Anyhow, the game is probably three competing tracks:

Access Management
Click Management
Econ Management

-----------------------------------------


It is true that Access and Econ are dependent on Clicks, in most cases; but simply having more clicks isn't enough. The corp needs to minimize accesses, maximize his econ and minimize his opponents econ, maximize his click value and minimize his opponent's click value. I feel like all three of these tracks you need to compete on. Its really tempting to say that this is just managing time; but that isn't entirely the case.

I'll give you that econ is generally dependent on clicks; but access isn't always so and it tends to be the more game defining trait. I think the previous poster is right when they say that its really about forcing your opponent to make the moves you want them to make. You know you're doing it right as corp when the runner is bankrupt because they are removing tags or just trying to draw up. You know you're doing it right as the runner when the corp is frantically drawing/icing up/clicking for credits.

If I had to describe the main strategy without identifying exactly what everything else is its this: keep the other player poor.
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Philip von Doomula
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I don't think the concept of Click-Advantage is new to this forum.

Edit: I don't mean to be rude with this comment. I am just stating a fact that the term click-advantage has been thrown around on these forums in the past.
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Panagiotis Zinoviadis
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Magicdave wrote:
General_Norris wrote:
If you disagree with my premise, you are wrong, is not a good way of starting a discussion.

But yes, "Click advantage" is better analysis of Netrunner's economical system.


Agreed, but it really IS true about Card Advantage in Magic. But I've had that discussion enough times to know how it goes and I don't want to have it again, which is why I want to talk about Netrunner mechanics.

Let's leave the Magic mechanics discussion for the Magic forum.



To start a bit more constructively: a common term I hear about is Work Compression. What does that mean, precisely? I want to know if that fits my concept of Click Advantage or breaks it.


http://boardgamegeek.com/blogpost/19853/my-secret-love-affai...

4th paragraph is the definition of work compression.

Cheers.
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Dave Sutcliffe
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ZiNOS wrote:
What i think that wins Netrunner games is Tempo. The ability to "control" the actions of your opponent, knowing when to push for credits, when to push for an agenda or when to build up or draw cards. That is why anonymous tip is not super strong but Diesel is very strong. The runner plays more like an MtG deck. Build up and apply pressure. Draw cards to do both of these more efficiently. The corp on the other hand needs cards at specific times, not always.

I hope that i made my point clear.



I think I get what you mean. The point where you have the Corp down to 0 credits and you know he has no option but to gain credits to regain the threat of Ice/Snare, or when you nail the Runner with a tag and damage, and you know their next turn is to clear the tag and draw cards, and they can't afford to run for that turn.

But that feels like the way you're enforcing an advantage you've already got onto the other players. In Magic terms it's forcing him to chump block your big creature to stay in the game, but usually you've put him in that position by already gaining an advantage.

What was the mechanic that allowed you to get ahead? What put you in control of your opponent's plays?
 
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Dave Sutcliffe
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Quarashi wrote:
I don't think the concept of Click-Advantage is new to this forum.


Hopefully not! If other people have already thought of it that probably means I'm on the right track.


I want to bring it all together into a coherent whole - a Unified Theory of Netrunner, if you will.

 
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Panagiotis Zinoviadis
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The game has two sides that play completely different.

The runner makes the Corp poor by running and forcing the corp to rez ICE, by Account Siphon (very very strong card) and by accessing cards on the RnD, so the runner knows what the corp will draw.

The Corp makes the Runner draw cards and find solutions for a rushing agenda (two cheap ice i,e, Enigma and Ice wall and then advancing an agenda behind it), by playing facedown cards and having more info than the runner and by forcing the runner to spend clicks or credits in order to bypass ICE or get rid of tags.

All of these do not require you to have a stronger board, just to know what's going on and force the situation somewhere, i.e. play a rototurret when the runner does not have a killer icebreaker and then lure him to run there. Or do not rez the ICE in front of your HQ becuase you have a snare in hand and maybe the runner will access it.

The same goes for the runner, runningnaked and forcing Rezes and credit spending of the corp.

Cheers!
 
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Beyer
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Quarashi wrote:
I don't think the concept of Click-Advantage is new to this forum.

Nope and I don't think there is consensus yet that this is the actual source of victory.

Not that consensus equals truth, truth cares not for the opinion of the people, but the asymmetry of Netrunner lends itself to some ridiculously complex game state analysis that usually boils down to: Stack the odds in your favor, then play the odds.

The basic economy in netrunner is clicks, but more clicks does not equal a win. It's about how you put those clicks to good use, so to be pedantic; I don't think it's click advantage but click-efficiency. Even then I don't think it's a good term.
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Ted Swalwell
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ZiNOS wrote:
4th paragraph is the definition of work compression.

Cheers.


I think it's quite a lot lower than '4th':

Geoff Hollis wrote:
[...] Jinteki does have a very interesting tool. The best term I have for it is work compression. Jinteki can do a lot of little work here and there over many turns, each step requiring a single click and small credit investment, and then force the runner to match them click-for-click for that work, within a single turn or a) die, else b) let the corp score an agenda. I am talking about cards like Snare!, Data Mine, Ronin, Hosukai Grid, Neural EMP, False Lead, Nisei MKII, and Fetal AI. Project Junebug can be work compression if the runner runs on it. Edge of World reduces how much work compression you have to make the runner suffer, for you as the corp to capitalize.

Runners do have many tools to combat against work compression: Doppelganger, All-Nighter, Public Sympathy, Netshield, Joshua B, Diesel, and Quality Time all come to mind. However, few of these cards are runner essentials whereas cards like Magnum Opus and Kati Jones are.
 
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Philip von Doomula
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Magicdave wrote:
Quarashi wrote:
I don't think the concept of Click-Advantage is new to this forum.


Hopefully not! If other people have already thought of it that probably means I'm on the right track.


I want to bring it all together into a coherent whole - a Unified Theory of Netrunner, if you will.



You definitely are! Let's make it happen!

I agree with you that card advantage is a minute factor in Netrunner.
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Panagiotis Zinoviadis
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savantt wrote:
ZiNOS wrote:
4th paragraph is the definition of work compression.

Cheers.


I think it's quite a lot lower than '4th':

Geoff Hollis wrote:
[...] Jinteki does have a very interesting tool. The best term I have for it is work compression. Jinteki can do a lot of little work here and there over many turns, each step requiring a single click and small credit investment, and then force the runner to match them click-for-click for that work, within a single turn or a) die, else b) let the corp score an agenda. I am talking about cards like Snare!, Data Mine, Ronin, Hosukai Grid, Neural EMP, False Lead, Nisei MKII, and Fetal AI. Project Junebug can be work compression if the runner runs on it. Edge of World reduces how much work compression you have to make the runner suffer, for you as the corp to capitalize.

Runners do have many tools to combat against work compression: Doppelganger, All-Nighter, Public Sympathy, Netshield, Joshua B, Diesel, and Quality Time all come to mind. However, few of these cards are runner essentials whereas cards like Magnum Opus and Kati Jones are.


Sorry, with paragraph i mean the introduction and then three sections starting with a phrase in Bold. So let's say that it is in the 4th section or something?

Cheers.
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Dave Sutcliffe
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ZiNOS wrote:
Magicdave wrote:
General_Norris wrote:
If you disagree with my premise, you are wrong, is not a good way of starting a discussion.

But yes, "Click advantage" is better analysis of Netrunner's economical system.


Agreed, but it really IS true about Card Advantage in Magic. But I've had that discussion enough times to know how it goes and I don't want to have it again, which is why I want to talk about Netrunner mechanics.

Let's leave the Magic mechanics discussion for the Magic forum.



To start a bit more constructively: a common term I hear about is Work Compression. What does that mean, precisely? I want to know if that fits my concept of Click Advantage or breaks it.


http://boardgamegeek.com/blogpost/19853/my-secret-love-affai...

4th paragraph is the definition of work compression.

Cheers.


Cheers, I think Iv'e seen that before but I'll re-digest it.

But, roughly, you say to the runner "I've spent 17 clicks over several turns in installing the Ice on this server and creating the credits to pay for it all - you've now got 4 clicks to match 17 clicks of mine or Something Bad will happen".

17-4 clicks sounds like a big challenge, but if the Runner has been spending his past 17 clicks on prepping for the run by installing breakers and gaining cash then it's a more even battle. If you've been able to distract them with other tasks the work compression is more likely to be decisive.

This again feels like a way of implementing the advantage, rather than generating it. All things being equal the runner SHOULD be equally prepared for the challenge you present, and thus equally able to compress their workload. How do you ensure that you can compress more into the Corporation's side of the equation than the Runner can compress into their side? That sounds like it probably comes back to Click Advantage.
 
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Ted Swalwell
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ZiNOS wrote:

Sorry, with paragraph i mean the introduction and then three sections starting with a phrase in Bold. So let's say that it is in the 4th section or something?

Cheers.


Ah - yes: I just spotted that section.

That section is probably a more complete definition:

Geoff Hollis wrote:
Defining Work Compression (hint: the most important point in this post)

Ok, getting back on track...

Jinteki’s most interesting tool is a form of work compression. If you would like a concrete definition of that, I am using work compression to mean “the ability to use clicks for actions across multiple turns, and then to force the runner to match you click-for-click within the space of a runner’s single turn”.

Economic bullying is a form of work compression, exemplified by Ash and/or deep servers. However, Jinteki usually sucks at that form of work compression. They do work compression through the runner’s hand size (in the case of Jinteki: PE), or more directly in terms of clicks (in the case of Jinteki:RP).

The corporation’s scored agenda points have an interesting interaction on work compression. Once the corporation gets to match-point, the runner needs to start being very aggressive about trying to fulfill every work-compression condition that might result in an agenda scored. If the runner is not, the corp can very easily exploit the fact and win.
 
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Ted Swalwell
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Magicdave wrote:


This again feels like a way of implementing the advantage, rather than generating it. All things being equal the runner SHOULD be equally prepared for the challenge you present, and thus equally able to compress their workload. How do you ensure that you can compress more into the Corporation's side of the equation than the Runner can compress into their side? That sounds like it probably comes back to Click Advantage.


I don't know if 'implementing' is the right word here.

Possibly 'manifesting'? I tend to think of it more like showing "I've been able to keep pace with you, and also set aside a few actions here and there to do stuff - so I'm winning."

In my eyes, it comes down to efficiency again.
 
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Work compression is not click advantage in general. It is compression of your benefitial work in 1-2 turns. You let your opponent to take click advantage to do something yourself in the future. For example putting 3 allnighters and running for 2-3 notoriety is work compression as far as I see it.

So it is just a trick to get some points it is not a way to win every single game you play.


Edit: In fact I think Work compression is antipod to click advantage.
 
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Magicdave wrote:

!

OT, but caught by surprise to see them merge two original Netrunner cards, both for the Runner, into an A:NR card for the Corp:

 
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You can totally win magic games without having a card advantage. For example The sneaky Illusions of Grandeur/Donate combo, or a red direct damage deck where you give up your card advantage in order to do damage to your opponent and kill them.

In Netrunner you can easily lose despite having a large click advantage built up, if you fall for a trap or get flatlined by an unexpected DataRaven->Snare!->Scorched Earth combo with a scored false leads. Or you can get unlucky on a Maker's Eye on R&D and lose on turn 1.
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Magicdave wrote:
Put simply, 100% of all games of Magic that have ever been played have been won by the player who gained Card Advantage.

So if you Mind Twist me and I Channel/Fireball you, I had card advantage?

If you Ancestral Recall and can't find a blocker for my creature, I had card advantage?

That isn't to say it doesn't matter, or that "click advantage" doesn't matter either. The correlation with victory isn't 100%, though.
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Ludovic Gauthier
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There are multiple ways to gain advantage over your opponent :
- More credits
- Exploiting or revealing weak points
- Managing more actions during one turn
- More cards on the table, meaning more options in this case

But I feel those advantages rarely last, especially as a corporation and even though they can generally be considered advantages, if they are not timed well, they don't give you any kind of edge over your opponent.
Few examples :
The money you have means nothing if you don't use it or have no plan to use it in clicks to come.
You have a djinn with 3 virus on him, but you don't have any sentry killer program out meaning you can't run and facecheck ices.
An oversight archer on your HQ isn't helping you while the runner is pounding your R&D, passing that enigma with ease now that yog is out.

While listing these scenarios, I really felt timing is key. It's all about temporary advantages that can snowball into victory. A serie of little successes will most likely get you the win while a big advantage will rarely last long enough for you to achieve victory.
As a corporation, I think we all had this one time aggressive secretary trap success when, while smiling, we gently remove one or two major programs from the runner's rig letting us score one or two agendas. But eventually the runner get his programs back somehow and we have to wonder how to win all over again.

Having said that, I don't think it's humanly possible to think 4 turns ahead while playing. The board is changing at every click and even when you think things through, you will still be surprised. That's the magic behing a 4 clicks turn. Anything can happen.

I see A:NR as a big Rock-Paper-Scissors game. You can have the upper hand but if you can't get it multiple times, you won't win the game.
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Magicdave wrote:
Quarashi wrote:
I don't think the concept of Click-Advantage is new to this forum.


Hopefully not! If other people have already thought of it that probably means I'm on the right track.


I want to bring it all together into a coherent whole - a Unified Theory of Netrunner, if you will.



I do think you're on to something here; for instance, whereas Hollis described "work compression" as key to victory in his Jinteki deck, I call the NBN version of the same thing "tactical tagging" in my Never Advance deck, and both of them are related to setting up situations where the Runner doesn't have time (clicks) to do everything he needs to in one turn in order to run safely 100% of the time.

At least on the Corp side, I think the word "Tempo" that another poster proposed is the single strongest indicator for victory.

As another example, consider SEA Source -> Scorched Earth in Weyland. This is another method of tempo control (in this case, via credits instead of clicks) for the Corp, and the analogous version in NBN is Midseason Replacements.
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astroglide wrote:
Magicdave wrote:
Put simply, 100% of all games of Magic that have ever been played have been won by the player who gained Card Advantage.

So if you Mind Twist me and I Channel/Fireball you, I had card advantage?

If you Ancestral Recall and can't find a blocker for my creature, I had card advantage?

That isn't to say it doesn't matter, or that "click advantage" doesn't matter either. The correlation with victory isn't 100%, though.


Well you needed to draw those cards first. Aside from getting lucky with your opening hand, relying on 1 card a turn to get those cards is going to lose you the game to someone who draws 2 cards a turn. Also if your opponent is drawing 2 cards a card they are more likely to get answers to your cards. With no basic actions without cards, card advantage is definitely the biggest factor.

Tutoring is another form of card advantage, getting what you want, when you want it. The runner is much better at this right now, I think if the corp gets more cards which can find other cards, then card advantage will become more important for them.
 
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To elaborate what I mean by "Tempo":

Consider a jogger that maintains a steady speed of 6 miles per hour vs a sprinter that runs at 12 miles per hour but spends half his time taking breaks in between sprints. Over a long course, both of these runners () arrive at the finish line at the same time.

However, in Netrunner, this isn't true. The deck that's analogous to the sprinter will win far more often than the one that's analogous to the jogger. That's because the game isn't one long race where every click is valued equally. Maybe this is where the real meat of the theory comes in - how can you model the changing value of a click? If I was writing a computer AI to play this game, this is where I would really start exploring.

Instead, Netrunner is a series of battles in a war. What happens for preparation in between battles is important, but the game is won or lost based on what happens during 5-7 critical turns interspersed throughout the 12-20 turns of a typical game.
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Kamakaze wrote:
Well you needed to draw those cards first. Aside from getting lucky with your opening hand, relying on 1 card a turn to get those cards is going to lose you the game to someone who draws 2 cards a turn. Also if your opponent is drawing 2 cards a card they are more likely to get answers to your cards. With no basic actions without cards, card advantage is definitely the biggest factor.

Did I not already address that with the following?
astroglide' wrote:
That isn't to say it doesn't matter, or that "click advantage" doesn't matter either. The correlation with victory isn't 100%, though.

The OP asserted, in bold, that 100% of MTG games were won as a result of card advantage. This is demonstrably false.

Similarly, 100% of A:NR games will not be won as a result of click advantage. Which, again, doesn't mean that isn't significant.
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