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Android: Netrunner» Forums » Strategy

Subject: Lack of ICE removal making it hard to get into the game rss

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Pawel Predki
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Hey,

I'm sorry if this has already been discussed but I tried searching and didn't find anything that would satisfy me. If you think otherwise, I'll gladly accept a link to such a discussion.

Now, to the point.

I haven't been playing Netrunner long and so far I only own the Core Set. I've been playing the game with a friend who I played Magic: the Gathering with some years ago.

What really makes it hard to get into Netrunner is the fact that it is virtually impossible for the runner to remove already installed ICE. I mean if the corp installs three decent pieces of ice on a remote server and keeps playing and scoring agenda cards there the runner can't do anthing about. It costs 10+ credits to break through everything and the agenda can be scored in one round so it's game over unless the runner draws some credit booster (Stimhack comes to mind).

Also, we find runs on HQ and R&D don't do much. It's as luck based and can be and the probability that the runner will be able to trash or steal a card is pretty low, in my opinion.

To sum up, some of my questions:

- Is Netrunner intrinsically lacking removal and discard cards or are the decks we use flawed?

- How to increase the effectiveness of the runs on HQ and R&D?

- How to deal (as a runner) with the corp's strategy of putting strong ice on one server and scoring agendas there?


In our games, my friend plays a custom Jinteki deck and I play a custom Shaper deck. If it's fine to do so, maybe I could post the decklists and everything will be made clear by the way those decks are constructed.
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Vasilis
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If your opponent plays Jinteki and you have a problem with ICE then you are doing something horribly wrong.

More seriously, the runner is not supposed to be able to destroy ICE. Most of the time the runner is able to control the early game and the late game while the Corp is better at the mid-game.

The runner should try to keep the Corp poor while applying pressure to almost all the Corp's servers by running, A LOT. If you are waiting to get the proper Icebreaker before running then you are giving valuable breathing room to the corp player.

To increase the effectiveness of R&D or HQ runs you need to have some cards that were released in data pack expansions. The Core game has a few cards too. Maker's Eye is a really good card, Medium applies constant pressure to R&D too.

A poor Corp cannot install and rez strong ICE on one server AND score agendas. The runner should always apply pressure to the corp so that they CANNOT get any money. Especially Jinteki is having SERIOUS problems with getting money while Shapers have Magnum Opus. I'm baffled that you cannot easily enjoy an economic supremacy over the corp player and I can only assume that your decks are not optimized as such. There is always the possibility of playing the game wrong.

Is the corp paying the extra install costs of ICE when building huge servers?
Does the corp player have the correct number of agenda points in his deck?
Do you utilize the minimum deck size or are you playing with huge 60 card decks?

I believe that it will give you a few ideas if you try to find other players and see their play strategies and/or read a few strategy articles found in the BGG database.

I cannot help any further without seeing a decklist. I hope that the above gave you inspiration for improvement.
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David Sterling
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There's not really a strong need to "remove" ICE in the game. The runner doesn't need to do that. It sounds like the problem you are running into is that you are waiting until you have all the right breakers before making a run. YOU DO NOT NEED TO DO THAT. You need to keep the pressure high on the corp player by running his servers often. Yes, even blindly.

Run HQ or R&D as the first action! Let's see if they have a wall of static or Neural Katana there. If it's a NK, it sucks, but they're down to a single credit and you know more information. If it's a wall of static, you just end the run and run R&D, knowing they only have two credits left to rez more ICE on that server.

Pacing in Netrunner is very different than MTG due to the asymmetric roles. Both players need to do "risky" actions. The runner needs to run and risk themselves and the corp needs to hold agendas in "risky" places. It's tense!

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Ted Swalwell
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plpalo wrote:

Also, we find runs on HQ and R&D don't do much. It's as luck based and can be and the probability that the runner will be able to trash or steal a card is pretty low, in my opinion.


Bear in mind: if you can see the top card from R&D, and can't steal it and don't trash it, you know that the Corp also can't score the card he draws free on his turn.

If you can see the top 4 cards, and can't steal and don't trash any of them, you know the Corp will have no agendas coming up - even if he draws three times.

With Medium/Makers Eye, and reliable access to R&D, you can ensure the Corp cannot ever score, no matter how good their remote is.

Edit: removed my confusion between 'steal', 'score', and 'trash'.
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Kasper Lauest
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There are some decks out there that NEVER break ICE, they just destroy ICE. I've played with decks such as this:

Identity:
Chaos Theory: Wunderkind (Cyber Exodus)


Total Cards: (40)

Event: (13)
Sure Gamble (Core) x3
Dirty Laundry (Creation and Control) x3
Deja Vu (Core) x2 ■■
Levy AR Lab Access (Creation and Control) x1
Indexing (Future Proof) x3
Kraken (Humanity's Shadow) x1

Hardware: (7)
Clone Chip (Creation and Control) x3
Plascrete Carapace (What Lies Ahead) x2
R&D Interface (Future Proof) x2

Program: (11)
Parasite (Core) x3 ■■
Datasucker (Core) x3 ■
Wyrm (Core) x1 ■■
Self-modifying Code (Creation and Control) x3
Deus X (A Study in Static) x1

Resource: (9)
Personal Workshop (Cyber Exodus) x3
Professional Contacts (Creation and Control) x3
Daily Casts (Creation and Control) x3

Influence Values Totals -
Anarch: 15
Criminal: 0
Shaper: 50


Granted, decks focused on ICE destruction aren't great in core set only, but running datasuckers and parasites will still allow you to trash a few pieces of ICE during a game.

Generally, I think your problem is the typical problem that most people who are new to the game experience: they don't play aggressive enough as the runner. You need to run A LOT and NOT hang back and build a rig before running. You need to facecheck ICE and generally herass the corp as much as possible. Play a criminal deck to get used to that frame of mind.

If you follow any of the discussions here you'll see that the general perception is that runners are quite a bit stronger than corps - especially at the top level. For beginners it is often the opposite. They wait around for too long and then the corp has a nice big server built that seems impossible to penetrate.
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Nelson Wong
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plpalo wrote:


To sum up, some of my questions:

- Is Netrunner intrinsically lacking removal and discard cards or are the decks we use flawed?

No, because unlike Magic, Netrunner isn't about threats and answers. A Corp's ICE is not a card that must be dealt with. It's a roadblock which limits how many times you can attack that server. The game isn't about having more answers than they have ICE, it's about using your resources to get the maximum amount of accesses in the server which has the highest likelihood of there being an agenda.

- How to increase the effectiveness of the runs on HQ and R&D?

The way to maximize HQ runs is to make sure you can threaten to run their remote. This will stop them from scoring and Agendas will accumulate in HQ naturally.

If they are playing Fast Advance and don't need a remote, then your HQ runs are likely to be less profitable. Focus on RnD.

Again, playing runner is about figuring where to attack, and how best to attack in order to give yourself the maximum amount of access.


- How to deal (as a runner) with the corp's strategy of putting strong ice on one server and scoring agendas there?

By running early and often before their defenses are set up. By attacking other servers, and making the corp spread their ICE.

Having said that, it's important to remember that early on, you should keep in mind NOT to make runs that are expensive. For example, if they have ICE on RnD and you can get in for 3 credits, but you have only 5 in the bank, don't make the run. Get money, attack another server if it's free, set up your rig.

Take the free accesses, minimize expensive runs. All of this allows you to have enough money to set up your rig, and threaten their remote.

Controlled aggression and timing windows are the name of the game as runner.


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Jacek Wieszaczewski
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Custom decks are quite decent at introducing players to the game, but they all have their problems (so that it's easy to start deckbuilding by trying to improve those decks). I think first you should play using various custom decks. All runners, all corps, switching sides, so that you get familiar with all core set cards. Then you can start building a deck you feel better with out of core set cards (remember that you have 15 influence points to use so you can import some cards from another faction).

When it comes to ice killing, Shaper is the faction that has least possibilities (I think none in core set). But you can add Parasites to the deck so you can kill some annoying ice (Wyrm, Datasuckers or Ice Carver can help with this). If you suspect a big, expensive piece of ice was installed, you can play Forged Activation Orders on it when the corp is too poor to rez. You can bypass one piece of ice using Inside Job or Femme Fatale.

Increasing central server run efficiency is best done with multiaccess cards. In core set you have two of those for R&D (The Maker's Eye and Medium). Nothing for HQ, so you have to either run it repeatedly or get money and hack into the remote whenever you suspect an agenda there. And once you're multiaccessing, it may be good to trash everything you see via Demolition Run, so that on the next run you see a fresh card.

There are several ways to deal with a huge ice tower. First, it takes time to build it and during that time R&D is not as protected as it should be. If you manage to run R&D repeatedly, preferably with a multiaccess card from time to time, you can see every card the corp will draw, so they never draw an agenda and their big tower is useless. You can gather money and get into the tower when there's an agenda there (Infiltration helps choosing the right moment). Remember you usually only have to steal 3-4 agendas to win, so using several tricks just to get one agenda is usually worth it. Femme Fatale is a great card to bypass some big ice. Shaper breakers are strong when there are several pieces of ice of the same type in a server (because their strength boost lasts till the end of the run).
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Bogdan Novikov
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I had same thoughts when i just started playing netrunner. That changed after i stop playing with only core set and start buying addons. Even some first addons change runner's gamestyle a lot - they give runner better tools for multiple card accesses on R&D (such as R&D interface), so u need less runs to win and also better neutral runner economy such as Katy Jones, Daily Casts and Dirty Laundry so you are less bored with lack of money and often have more money than corp and can access anywhere.
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Andrew Duncan
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I think your biggest problem is that you only have the core set; big ice strategies were at their strongest when only core was out.

There still aren't very many straight up removal cards, but there are a few cards that de-rez ice. Emergency Shutdown is the most powerful and Crescentus is also very nice (and splashable!). Parasite from core is the most important removal card, and Clone Chip is a very powerful way to recycle a single Parasite to take out multiple ice. The other side of handling ice is making the corp poor (Account Siphon and Vamp) and making ice more expensive (Xanadu, Rook, Reina Roja from the new pack). Using Forged Activation Orders and similar cards to make the corp rez ice somewhere you don't want to run serves a similar effect.

For central server effectiveness the core has some very good cards. Medium and the Makers Eye are great for hitting R&D, and Datasucker is a general powerhouse that makes any central run a bit more efficient. Since they they've added HQ & R&D Interfaces, which are hugely powerful. Also useful are Nevre Agent (Medium for HQ) and Imp (especially useful for picking good cards out of HQ).

The above ideas might help you, but essentially you deal with the corp by being faster than them in the early game (run before you install much/anything) and stealing agendas from centrals before they can afford their big ice, then setting up a strong rig/economy and choosing the right moments to strike in the late game. You want to put them in the position that by the time they've got a big server up then you'll only need another agenda or two or win the game.

Plus, yeah, posting decklists is a good idea.
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Mike Nunes
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As stated above, don't be afraid to run naked ( meaning without any icebreakers out.) Face checking ICE sucks a little bit, but it's well worth the damage. Keeping the pressure on the corp is one of the main goals for a Runner.

One thing I've learned over time is if the corp player is broke, there isn't a damn thing they can do. No rezzing ICE, no advancing agendas or traps. Hell, they can't even pay for for a Snare!, yet alone pay for any economy cards.


You have to run early and often, and NEVER run on your last click.
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Pawel Predki
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Thanks for such quick replies, guys!

Let me start by answering David's three questions. Yes, the corp is playing extra, yes, they have the correct number of agenda points and we are running 45 card decks.

I think you are all right saying that, as a runner, I'm not aggressive enough. However, it already happened three or four times that the game lasted less than 10 minutes as I got into a Snare and/or an advanced Junebug pretty quickly and lost the game just like that.

To be honest, I'm mostly struggling economically, while my opponent is doing just fine I will try to recreate the decklist since I don't have the cards with me right now.
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Steven Tu
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Most core beginner Shaper VS Jinteki games flow like this:

1. Runner runs a lot, flatlines on Katana, flatlines on Snare, flatlines on Junebug.
2. Runner learns about traps. Runs less, plays rigcraft and tries to get rig before running.
3. Corp dominates cos runner is too afraid to do anything.
4. Runner puts out Magnum Opus and is way too rich for the corp to stop
5. Runner learns traps can be survived by drawing up before running
6. Corp complains that the runner (ie Magnum Opus) is too strong

So the perfect balance for the runner is somewhere in between - run early, run naked, run. For the corp to spend money on their centrals. Or if they don't you'll dominate their source of points - R&D.

If they ICE up R&D then attack HQ where agendas will be pooling up. If they have a stacked remote, is scoring, and rezzing ICE, there's no way core Jinteki can afford to defend all R&D, HQ and remote all at the same time and still have money to score stuff.

Trash Pad campaigns when you see them

Have you played as corp yet? The perception of the game drastically changes when you play the other side. It's a good learning experience. Do it.
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David Harding
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Are you only ever running? I suggest having a go at corp to see better how the runner can hurt a corp and prevent them from winning.

Edit: Looks lie Mr Tu and I had the same thought at the same time
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Pawel Predki
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OK, here is the Shaper deck I've been using:

Deck Created with CardGameDB.com Android: Netrunner Deck Builder

Identity:
Kate "Mac" McCaffrey: Digital Tinker (Core)


Total Cards: (45)

Event: (21)
Special Order (Core) x3 ■■
Diesel (Core) x3
Modded (Core) x2
The Maker's Eye (Core) x3
Tinkering (Core) x3
Infiltration (Core) x3
Sure Gamble (Core) x3
Stimhack (Core) x1 ■

Hardware: (5)
Akamatsu Mem Chip (Core) x2
The Personal Touch (Core) x2
The Toolbox (Core) x1

Program: (11)
Ninja (Core) x2 ■■
Magnum Opus (Core) x2
Net Shield (Core) x2
Crypsis (Core) x1
Battering Ram (Core) x2
Gordian Blade (Core) x2

Resource: (8)
Bank Job (Core) x2 ■■
Aesop's Pawnshop (Core) x1
Sacrificial Construct (Core) x2
Armitage Codebusting (Core) x3

Influence Values Totals -
Anarch: 1
Criminal: 14
Shaper: 56


Probably the M:tG influence is strong here because my idea was to have a couple of icebreakers of each type and a Crypsis, just in case, which can be searched for using Special Orders. Just in case I can't get the correct icebreaker type, I'm running 3xTinkering.

The economy cards are Magnum Opus, Sure Gamble, Codebusting, Bank Job, Pawnshop and possibly Infiltration. The Sacrificial Constructs work well with the Pawnshop, in my opinion.

Diesels = card draw = card advantage And the Stimhack as a last hurrah.

Again, I'm probably not in the right Netrunner mindset but I find cards such as Magnum Opus extremely slow. I need to spend one click and five credits on it so I need to spend almost an entire turn to get my money back. I understand that it's a steady flow of credits from then on but somehow I don't feel the idea of losing actions on getting money yet - it's not as straightforward as playing a land
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plpalo wrote:
To be honest, I'm mostly struggling economically, while my opponent is doing just fine I will try to recreate the decklist since I don't have the cards with me right now.

Jinteki has enogh money while Shaper is struggling. Hear that, guys? Is like Soviet Russia there! And that, coming from ME!
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Pawel Predki
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I've only played the runner so far. You're probably right, and that's what Steven also suggests, that we should switch sides.
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Ryan Angell
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depending on what runner id you are using you should be able to have enough money especially if you play gabriel.

3x armitage codebusting
3x sure gamble

3x easy mark
2xbank job
1x desperado

should be enough for core set play.

shaper's are highly dependent on magnum opus but card is fairly dominating in the core set once its up and running.

anarchs are a bit cash strapped though they do actually have the cards that destroy ice - parasite.
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Pawel Predki
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In Soviet Poland, Jinteki runs you
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Jacek Wieszaczewski
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plpalo wrote:
it already happened three or four times that the game lasted less than 10 minutes as I got into a Snare and/or an advanced Junebug pretty quickly and lost the game just like that.

You have to prepare for those. You know they are there. Against Jinteki (in core set cardpool) I think the best way of playing a turn is: click 1 draw to have 6 cards in hand, click 2 run, click 3 and 4 recover if you fell into a trap or get money/develop. Each trap costs you some time, but setting it up also costs the corp resources (for example a 2-advanced Junebug is 3 clicks and 3 credits in total to install, advance and fire). If you can Infiltrate and ignore it, you set the corp back a lot. And if you run into it, drawing back up is 4 clicks, so as long as it doesn't kill you, you should be fine.

plpalo wrote:
To be honest, I'm mostly struggling economically, while my opponent is doing just fine I will try to recreate the decklist since I don't have the cards with me right now.

In Shaper your economy should be fine as soon as you install Magnum Opus. Remember than once you have it you don't need Armitage Codebusting, so you can hold those in hand as a safety buffer. Generally against Jinteki you should install just the cards you really need and treat remaining ones as "life points".
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Jacek Wieszaczewski
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plpalo wrote:
The Sacrificial Constructs work well with the Pawnshop, in my opinion.

You have just one Aesop's (as there's only one in the core set), so it's not very reliable. On the other hand, there aren't many other good card you could include. Do you remember to always take 7 credits off Bank Job so it stays in play and you can sell it to Aesop for more profit?

plpalo wrote:
Again, I'm probably not in the right Netrunner mindset but I find cards such as Magnum Opus extremely slow. I need to spend one click and five credits on it so I need to spend almost an entire turn to get my money back.

You play as Kate, it costs you 4 credits usually. You can play it via Modded to make it nearly free.
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Kasper Lauest
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Be aware that Shaper is probably the hardest runner to play WELL in one core set only (and arguably also the weakest pre-Creation & Control).

I suggest that you play Criminal, because playing that faction will teach you to play aggressively. Herassing the corp is what criminals do. Then when you've done that for a bit, by all means return to Shaper or Anarch.

Also, playing the corp side is absolutely crucial. The corp only looks powerful until you've actually tried playing that side. Playing the corp side will teach you just how much pressure the runner puts you under by running a lot and playing annoying events.
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Pawel Predki
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Yeah, that's the problem with single cards in the core set. The same goes for the console, which is only one and I rarely get to it. But, unfortunately, there aren't many other cards to put there. I want to buy C&C to be able to modify the decks and then I'll probably not run the single cards.

And yes, I try to optimize the Bank Job and the Codebusters (leave 2 credits and sac it for Aesop).

hsiale wrote:
You play as Kate, it costs you 4 credits usually. You can play it via Modded to make it nearly free.


True.
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Pawel Predki
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So I need to convince my friend now Unfortunately, my wife didn't take to playing Netrunner - she doesn't like 'complex' card games that much
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Jacek Wieszaczewski
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You can also visit this topic: http://netrunnerforum.decktech.eu/index.php?/topic/932-%C5%8... - you will find contact to other players from your city to have more opponents. Don't be afraid that you don't have all the cards yet - if you ask in advance, someone will for sure borrow you a spare deck or play some games against you with your decks.
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Pawel Predki
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Thanks for the link Jacek. I remember talking to a game store owner about a Netrunner group but then I forgot how it was called and where to look for it
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