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Subject: Casual play investment based on what is available late 2013 rss

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Evan Stegman
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I am not into the whole deckbuilding aspect of LCGs but just like to play the games every now and then. But, at least for the ones I have so far, a core set alone wasn't quite enough for me.

For the other LCGs I own, I have bought the Core Set + a bit more to get some decks set up that I can play against each other with other casual players who don't have any cards:

Warhammer Core + Assault on Ulthuan
Call of Cthulhu Core + The Order of the Silver Twilight
A Game Of Thrones Core + a 2nd Core + Kings of the Sea

Some of the decks are a bit better than others but overall, I have been able to get decks that work fairly well against each for casual play.

If I wanted to do the same thing for Netrunner, what would you recommend?

- I like the Core + 1 big box expansion I did for Warhammer and Cthulhu because not only is it enough cards but I can fit everything in the expansion box and I can just carry that around instead of the ginormous box the core comes in or a specialized box. That is what I consider ideal but I am not opposed to a 2nd core (like I did with AGoT) or another expansion.

- I would like to get decks permanently built for each faction (i.e., I don't have to tear one apart to build a different one) and do not want to buy individual cards off of eBay.

- I will never play the decks against competitive decks but only against each other so they don't have to be uberpowerful just fairly balanced.

Suggestions?
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Dave Kudzma
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You could purchase a single core of NR and be VERY happy for a long time as a casual player.

Edit:

If you want more of the default decks built simultaneously you would want a second core. It's VERY easy to swap cards out between the decks if you sleeve everything, which with the core isn't a ton of sleeves either; that's what I did initially when I had a single core.
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Jeff Kayati
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Two cores so you don't have to switch out cards to make decks. That would be enough for 2 runner and 2 corp decks, so four players. I'd also add in the first data pack, What Lie Ahead, as it adds Agendas for the corps to help with variety.
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Paul Hackman
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Here are the problems you run into when keeping all seven decks built simultaneously.

Agendas - Each corp deck needs several of them and is somewhat restricted on which they can choose. With one core set and all six Genesis cycle Data Packs Jinteki and HB would still need neutral agendas to be legal.

Economy cards - In particular Sure Gamble and Hedge Fund. You can certainly build enjoyable, casual decks without these cards but could you build 3 Corp decks and 2 Runner decks without them that would hold up against whichever deck did get them? Or do you just put one in each deck?

These two issues make getting a second core set more attractive since the core set gives you six neutral agendas and some basic economy cards and ice. The second core set also gives NBN and Weyland extra copies of agendas.

The other issue is that there are seven factions and a fairly restrictive influence system for deckbuilding. It's hard to recommend any particular Data Packs since a couple factions always get the short end in each one. Creation & Control gives you the most bang for your buck as far as number of cards and quality of cards, but since most of them are either Shaper or HB cards it will be hard to use a lot of the cards out of faction.

If you are willing to do a little deckbuilding or switching between sessions then two core sets will provide you quite a bit of casual fun. If you want something that feels like a more complete game with tons of replayability then two core sets + the Genesis cycle seems like a good stopping place. At that level of investment you can probably have a competitive and interesting deck for each faction with enough cards left over that if you do get bored after a dozen plays you can switch things up and complete entirely new decks that remain fun and balanced.

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Martin Presley
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I would enjoy playing 2 Core + Genesis casually pretty much forever.
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Jon W
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I guess it depends on what you mean by "casual". I love CCGs, but I don't like deck building very much, and I hate using net decks. I put some work into this variant, which is definitely aimed at casual, pick up and play players.

It does require a decent-sized card pool, and of course you have to pare down your deck a bit before starting, so that's deck building of a sort, but with a very small pool (84 cards). Basically exactly like cracking open a starter in a traditional CCG (well, maybe a starter and a booster or two). But it's endlessly replayable, and only improves as you add new sets to the overall pool.
 
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Lou Lessing
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2 core + a couple of the Genesis packs should be good. The first data pack is a must-buy for the agendas, other than that you should just grab data packs that look interesting.

I wouldn't pick up Creation and Control, it's pretty mechanically complex, and if you're playing casually I think the imbalance it creates in how many cards factions have access to would be annoying.
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