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Android: Netrunner» Forums » General

Subject: The runner almost always wins rss

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Gauti Gislason
Iceland
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Hi all Android:Netrunner players.
I have played this game 10 - 15 times now, always with my girlfriend. Until now corporation has only won 2 times but the rest has been won by the runner. Our experience is that it is too hard for corporation to protect the deck (RD), the hand (HQ) and the remote severs (possible agendas) with ice. Does anyone else have the same experience? It could also be that we misunderstood something in the rules.
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Bartosz Rzepka
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I have similar experience and I am curious what we are doing wrong.
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Andy Mills
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You're not trashing the ice in a remote server once the agenda/asset in the server is gone, are you?

Also if you are playing the recommended Jinteki/Shaper matchup, it's my opinion that this match favors the Runner strongly.
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There is a rough consensus that even at high-level play, the game is tilted in favor of the runner. However, there are several common rules mistakes that new players make that can also seriously affect the balance; maybe you're making some of them. All of the following are wrong:

-Corp paying the cost on its ice every time the runner hits them instead of just once, when rezzed.

-Trashing ice when it's passed or when a run is successful.

-Pumping icebreaker strength for the full run instead of just one encounter (except for special Shaper programs).
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Corwin David
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This is a pretty common problem. In my opinion, it just takes more understanding of the game to be good as corporation.

Running is pretty straightforward: Run nets and steal agendas. If ICE stops you, find the answer and then generate income to run some more.

Playing the corp requires a good sense of timing, understanding the role of ICE that you are playing, how best to protect your centrals and when to drop agendas to try and score.

The last tournament I played in nobody had a better runner standing than corp. While this is anecdotal, it at least kind of shows that as you learn how to corp better, you can make it difficult on the runner by forcing them into bad positions.

I would suggest looking at some of the Fast Advance strategies to see how the Corp was able to deal with runners in the early stages of the game. This type of deck is still very strong in tournament play as well.
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Mike Ostman
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First, let me say, that when you are starting out, it is much easier to be the runner. Especially with the provided decks in the core set. Its a simpler thing to understand and the strategy is easier. Run. Often. So, if you are just playing your first few games, that might be it.

Second, it is possible that you are not doing the ice interaction correctly. A few things people often forget. You need to have the right type of breaker in order to interact with ice and break the routines. If the ice is a Barrier, you will need an ice that has a paid ability to break Barrier routines. And you will have to match the strength of the ice as well. Another thing that people often get wrong is that, when broken, the ice does not go away. It stays there. You just get pass it. Finally - make sure the corp is only paying to rez the ice once.

There are other things you could be doing wrong. My final advice - go to the FFG site and watch their tutorial videos. Watch them closely. Then go to the videos section here on BGG for netrunner and watch some instructional videos. If nothing else, those will give you the confidence that you are doing everything correct and you just need to work on your corp skills

Enjoy!

Wow - crazy ninja
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Derrick Billings
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Well, the first question is--are you playing the game correctly? I've heard stories of "side X always wins" that are rooted in fundamental rules errors that gave one side a marked advantage.

As an example, I recall one thread where the corp was installing and advancing Agendas in the Root of HQ rather than a remote server (advantage corp), or I think another player was under the impression that Ice had to be paid for and rezzed every time it's encountered (advantage runner.)

The second question is, are your decks correct and/or optimized? Do you have a good mix of ICE? Do you have the optimal ratio of Ice to Economy? Are you running 49 cards against 20-21 agenda points?

The last question is, are you building and playing to the strengths of the corp you've selected? There's much, much more to the game than just "install Ice, install agendas, advance, win." And if you play a Jinteki deck as though it were a Weyland deck you're going to lose hard.

Basically, can you provide specific examples of what situations seem unbalanced? That would help us determine which problems you're running into.
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Mike Ostman
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Here you go:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VAslVfZ9p-Y

I disagree with one of the above recommendations, do not go looking at strategy on how to play the corp better. Do not do that. Watch some videos, reread the rules, and play the pre built decks until you have it down.
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Micheal Keane
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Usually an imbalance like this is from the economics getting out of whack - Corp is spending money it doesn't need to or Runner is spending less than she should. Generally, if you're starting out, the Corp tends to have the advantage.

DON'T trash or derez ice after the Runner breaks the routines. Ice stays installed and rezzed unless a card tells you to do otherwise.

DON'T trash everything in or on a server if an agenda is scored or stolen. Servers and their ice can be reused for future agendas.

DON'T use the strength of one icebreaker for the strength of another. Each icebreaker has to match the strength of an ice on its own. The only way other cards can help is if they're lowering the strength of the ice itself (ie: Data Sucker or Ice Carver) to make it easier for the ice to match.

DON'T forget Cypsis needs virus tokens to stay installed each time you use it or else it gets trashed.

DON'T maintain an icebreaker's strength for the entire run unless the card explicitly says you do. By default, strength boosts are for that single encounter with an ice only. Shaper ice breakers have the advantage of lasting the whole run and have text that explicitly say that.

When the Corp spends 3 clicks to clear virus tokens, it's every token on every virus card. Remember that Crypsis is a virus and gets affected.
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Arto H
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Corp loses big element of surprise when playing with premade decks and very limited card pool. Corp will start to get little better when you start deck building. I feel premade decks in Netrunner are just for learning rules and deck building is even more important than in other deck building games.
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Jeremy Owens
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+1 to double checking rules of playing to make sure you're playing the game correctly.

But my recommendation would be to watch others play the game. There are a lot of videos online of actual gameplay. Watch some of them and you may get a better of idea of the Corp-Runner dynamics as performed by more experienced players (and you may pick up some rules misses along the way.)

In defense of the corp, the league I'm running is 7 weeks into the current season. 15 players who are all experienced with the game. Currently the corp is at a 52% winning percentage.
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Miikka Sohlman
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They could very well play correctly rules-wise. In our local group of 6 players it has long been the general consensus that the runner wins more easily. And the win/loss data we've collected easily supports that (292 recorded games as of today). And I assure you, we're playing by the rules. Yes, we're a bunch of amateurs with our own little local meta, but I bring this up because I can relate to OP.

However, somehow the corp has started to win more lately. I can't put my finger on it but the Corp decks people bring feel stronger and tighter than before. Data Packs helps a lot, for example Jinteki is a whole different beast with Fetal AI, Ronin, and nowadays Jackson Howard. And I just whipped together a pretty sick HB NEXT Design deck that Runners have trouble with. I think it's easier to make a mediocre Corp deck (that just loses) than a runner deck, although it must be said the Runner decks have been more experimental and wild lately compared to the rock solid 3-of-every-icebreaker decks from the early days.

Nowadays my personal opinion is that all the Corp factions are pretty equal to most of the Runner factions, except Criminals. A well put together event-heavy run-everywhere "standard" Criminal deck with Desperado is still the most overpowered and unbalanced thing ever. I can't beat it.

Does your Runner play Criminals? ninja
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Nate K
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Wow. A lot of recommendations for checking the rules. That does seem sensible, but not what occurred to me right off the bat.

Try playing Weyland. They have some strong ice, a great economy, and they can just kill the Runner out of nowhere with Scorched Earth and (if you have it) Dedicated Response Team. Private Security Force is also a card to strongly consider. The Runner has a slight economic advantage because he or she can steal agendas for free--the Corp has to install and advance them to win. With Weyland you can overcome that disadvantage by using your agendas to generate money and by attacking the Runner's grip (which adds a second economic axis that the Runner has to worry about: keeping a full grip drains clicks).

Jinteki can also assault the Runner's grip and thereby drain the Runner's clicks but they require quite a few key Data Pacs before their economy and agendas are up to snuff. They're way more sill-intensive out of the box.
 
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mathew rynich
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Connecticut
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When the game first launched my meta were playing one thing wrong, which gave the runner a big advantage. At the time it was not obvious from the rules how it was played (not sure if they've clarified it in the rulebook since).

the corp installs upgrades, agendas and assets in the same location of a remote server. Upgrades only go in a different position for centrals. Therefore assets, upgrades and agendas all look the same in a remote server, which helps the corp's bluff game. It's an obvious thing now, but at launch it wasn't entirely clear what you were suppose to do with upgrades on remotes.

If you are running starter box decks try HB fast advance and/or Weyland tag and bag. That should slow down the runner. Especially weyland tag and bag. They were the more powerful builds back in the day.
 
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Rob Jennings
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You can build a powerful corp deck using the core set if you play Weyland and import a couple of NBN cards. Shaper and Anarch are pretty self-sufficient out of the box, but all of the corps benefit a lot from a little bit of deckbuilding. If you're playing all the rules right, I recommend pulling a couple of SEA sources and ghost branches into the weyland deck and seeing how the game goes.
 
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Sebastian Barth
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My personal experience is this:

Between novice players the runner has a huge advantage
Between intermediate players the corp has a moderate advantage
Between experienced players the runner has a slight advantage

So as far as I can tell, nothing out of the ordinary has to be going on here.
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Kasper Lauest
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sirprim wrote:
My personal experience is this:

Between novice players the runner has a huge advantage
Between intermediate players the corp has a moderate advantage
Between experienced players the runner has a slight advantage

So as far as I can tell, nothing out of the ordinary has to be going on here.

And...

Between expert players the runner has a huge advantage.
 
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David Hammond
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I used to think the same thing, but as my friends and I have gotten better at the game, it evened out to 50/50.

I think that neither faction has an advantage, but corp is simply harder to learn how to "not lose".
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Jan F.
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AZrugger wrote:
I used to think the same thing, but as my friends and I have gotten better at the game, it evened out to 50/50.

I think that neither faction has an advantage, but corp is simply harder to learn how to "not lose".


The biggest flaw in Netrunner is probably the R&D stack luck factor and the few to non-existant ways for the corp to manipulate it.
 
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Greg Nordeng
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BlueSwan wrote:
sirprim wrote:
My personal experience is this:

Between novice players the runner has a huge advantage
Between intermediate players the corp has a moderate advantage
Between experienced players the runner has a slight advantage

So as far as I can tell, nothing out of the ordinary has to be going on here.

And...

Between expert players the runner has a huge advantage.



Huge is overstated, but I would agree there is an advantage at the expert level for runners.
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Pedraum
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I do agree that the game is a bit Runner favored at the moment. However, I'm also of the opinion that Corp is harder to master, requiring much more long-term strategy in regards to deckbuilding and tweaking.

I am actually of the minority of players that simply hasn't able to get my Runner play to "click" yet, winning just under 40% of my games. But from day 1, I understood the strategy behind Corp (ICE placement, bluffing the Runner, etc) and have won 75% of my Corp games over roughly 150 games.

Granted that has been predominately with FA, but still, it has to say something.
 
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Kasper Lauest
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cardsbydizzle wrote:
I am actually of the minority of players that simply hasn't able to get my Runner play to "click" yet, winning just under 40% of my games. But from day 1, I understood the strategy behind Corp (ICE placement, bluffing the Runner, etc) and have won 75% of my Corp games over roughly 150 games.

Here's a tip: RUN!

Seriously, when people have a hard time winning as a runner it is almost always because they're not being aggressive enough. While you shouldn't be crazy aggressive (running against Jinteki with less than three cards in hand, etc.) to win as a runner you NEED to be aggressive, you can't sit back and build a full rig before you start attacking. You need to abuse the corp pretty badly from the word go. Facecheck a lot. Don't be too afraid of traps and unrezzed ice. Knowing what dangers there are, what the corp can afford to rez and what the corp is likely to play also helps a lot.

EDIT: Just reread what you posted and since you are obviously a good player (winning all of those corp games) maybe your personality is just better suited to playing corp. I felt the same way for a while, but then forced myself into playing far more aggressively than I was comfortable with and it made me a much better player. These days I win far more games as runner than as corp.
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Pedraum
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Thanks for the kind words bud. Just got back from Plugged-In placing 5th, and I really feel it was a turning point for my Runner play. My Corp deck did good as always, but I really feel I made better decisions Running that allowed me to place. Also, playing Criminal doesn't hurt.

And agreed, my personality is absolutely more geared towards Corp play. I love the methodical, strategic nature of Corp. There is nothing better then seeing the frustration on a Runner when he literally has no idea what the right play is.

But yea, I think for runners there are a few really key moments in a game where you HAVE to make the right decisions, or else you're playing catch up all game. You might still win, but you would have made it a lot easier by doing 1 or 2 things differently earlier in the game. I feel it's those decisions that have taken me awhile to figure out.

Anyways, thanks again!
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Gauti Gislason
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I just love Boardgamegeek. I put a simple question here few hours ago and got very many responses. Thank you all. From all those comments about the rules the only thing that we have played wrong was the removal of viruses by corp, but we have actually never done that. We have always played with the original decks, I did not know that you were allowed to mix in cards from two or more corp in one deck. I also have not bought any extensions. I probably need to look better at the rules. This is the most complicated game I own:soblue:. Next time I play I will try Weiland and see if that goes any better :).
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Gauti Gislason
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I have watched this video. It helped a lot.
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