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Android: Netrunner» Forums » General

Subject: How to teach Android Netrunner rss

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Matthew Evans
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I love this game. It is a great game but I have a mental block on how to best teach this game to new players. I want to teach it to the kids I work with but not sure the best way. Any tips, hints or strategies would be helpful.
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Evgeny Reznikov
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I just explain the rules, and give them a starter deck to play against me / another new player.

Explanation goes corp turn (everything you can do with a click) -> runner turn (same) -> runs in depth -> damage and minor stuff
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I've just started to write a guide about introducing people to Netrunner but wasn't sure it will be useful and left it for later. Seems like it may be good for something after all. It will take me some time to finish it though with holidays around etc.

Compressing the guide to an absolute minimum:
- Go over rules
- Let them see how the Corp rolls on the HB deck
- Teach basic running with Shapers
- Expand on running with Criminals and their events
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Zeb
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I'm writing an article series on this exact subject, I'll let you know when it's finished!
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Matthew, I've taught this a lot. I have a PowerPoint and also a list/tutorial I posted earlier. I'll look for both.
 
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Milen Krastev
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Teach by play
 
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Blake Burkhead
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I don't feel HB teaches well out of the box. Clickable ICE is hard to use effectivly. Personally I go with Weyland. Weyland Big Ice is very easy to understand. Figuring out how to play corp is hard enough, arguably harder than playing runner. So let them start with runner. Out of the options present Kate seems the most beginner friendly. Gabe also works, but I'd save him and his AS for now. The built deck for Kate from core works well for this. Let them run against you till they beat you a couple of times. The corp you run is not vital, but strive to avoid tag and bag or fast advance. You don't have to but it helps make the starting games longer. Absolutely include traps. Once they have reached the moment, that is when it all jells, switch them up. Give them a Big money, big ice Weyland. Play with their runner deck. Then hit them with a Gabe deck. At this point let them build a deck. Pull out "your decks" to play against it. By this point on only more games and plays will take you farther.
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Travis Henderson
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Fortunasown wrote:
I don't feel HB teaches well out of the box. Clickable ICE is hard to use effectivly. Personally I go with Weyland. Weyland Big Ice is very easy to understand. Figuring out how to play corp is hard enough, arguably harder than playing runner. So let them start with runner. Out of the options present Kate seems the most beginner friendly. Gabe also works, but I'd save him and his AS for now. The built deck for Kate from core works well for this. Let them run against you till they beat you a couple of times. The corp you run is not vital, but strive to avoid tag and bag or fast advance. You don't have to but it helps make the starting games longer. Absolutely include traps. Once they have reached the moment, that is when it all jells, switch them up. Give them a Big money, big ice Weyland. Play with their runner deck. Then hit them with a Gabe deck. At this point let them build a deck. Pull out "your decks" to play against it. By this point on only more games and plays will take you farther.

I wish you had taught me...
Thus is succinct and reasoned advice. Couldn't agree more.
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Ben Finkel
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My standard is:

Go through the object of the game: score 7 points or flatline.

Go through types of Corp cards: agendas, assets, operations, upgrades, and ICE. Show their costs and trash costs, and explain how rezzing works. Just briefly cover that ICE protects servers - we'll go into more detail later.

Tell the player that if they see multiple cards installed in a remote server, they know at least one is an upgrade and that at most one is an agenda or asset.

Go through the runner card types: events, resources, hardware, and programs. Show that all runner cards are paid for when they're played. Explain that resources are vulnerable if you're tagged.

Divvy up programs into icebreakers and "utility" cards. Explain that non-icebreaker programs mostly just do what they say on the tin, and icebreakers help you avoid suffering ICE's effects.

Run through some ICE examples. Start with some NON-end-the-run ICE, demonstrating the important fact that runners need not always break ICE. Then show some end-the-run ICE, then add in icebreakers to the equation.

Cover traces and damage. Reiterate how flatlining works.

Now here's an important bit: go through the tricks and surprises of the decks you're teaching with. If you have ambushes, show them what they do and explain how to deal with them. If the runner deck has bypassing effects, explain how those work. Etc. Players are pretty uncomfortable with asking about cards in their hands, so ideally you want to answer those questions before they arise. Players also hate suddenly losing to effects they never knew existed, so tell them up front about Scorched Earth, Psychographics, Ronin, Janus, etc.

During your first game, give them tons of advice. If they start running into your tricks, let them know how much left they have to fear, or how to start preparing (i.e. "you hit one Snare!, and I only have one left in the deck. You might be able to start being a bit more adventurous, but don't forget it's there").
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Matthew Guze
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I recently taught a friend the game, and here's what I ended up doing:

I put together some of Darren's teaching decks to prepare. I asked him which runner faction he wanted, and gave that to him (in this case it was Shaper, which I was kinda prodding him toward anyway), and I picked the Jinteki one since bluffing and traps is one of the game's selling points. I then explained the goals of the game and what you need to win.

After that, I set up a sample server and gave the runner some icebreakers and some credits. I included one ice of each type, including traps (I think it was Enigma, Wall of Static, Data Mine and Neural Katana, and gave him a Corroder and a Gordian). I explained some of the intricacies of runs and breaking subroutines, and how you don't need to break every subroutine to make a run successful. Since Katana was there, I reiterated how important keeping cards in your hand is.

After that, I start shuffling the deck and make sure I show him Junebug and Snare. As I'm doing that, I also explain how the turn structure works, what clicks are and what you can do with them. I explained what you can run against and what each of the central servers do. I also explained what traces and link do, but the Jinteki deck doesn't actually have a trace in it, so it wouldn't be that useful.

We start playing a few turns, and I notice he's not running much without infiltrating the face down card first. I mention that it's okay to facecheck ice as long as you're willing to face the consequences, and how running is also a way to keep the Corp poor (while trying to not reveal my board state).

In the end, it turned out to be a really close game, too. He had Opus out and enough breakers that it was really hard for me to safely put something in a remote, and I had a hand with a bunch of agendas in it, but on two different turns he ran my hand twice and only found the two pieces of ice in it. I ended up sneaking a Pri Req in a remote to get my last few points.

In the end, he liked the game, so I think it went well. It also turned out I accidentally put a fourth Infiltration in the deck, which might actually have been a good thing, dunno.
 
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Yup, play a few games, and be super easy on them. Explain everything out loud, and even why you're doing it. Be patient, since there are a LOT of cards to explain to new people. You could even change the rules a bit and just ignore damage and instead let the hold only one card or something so they really have no choices, and instead just see what happens as you go.

At any rate, for those interested beyond your first teaching session, on their own I would suggest hitting up a few YouTube clips (roughly in order):

Official FFG Tutorial (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VAslVfZ9p-Y)
Tutorial by Nam Ngo and Jeremy (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g3w0B7txipk)

Those two make great back-to-back learning tutorials.

Someday I hope the Team Covenant commentaries include more useful commentary on the board state, strategies, and teaching moments while a game is being played out. But that's me. They just have periods of time in a game where you get nothing useful.
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Spacegras
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I've recently taught 2 people how to play using Shaper vs. Jinteki.

I set up a mock board state, a few remote servers with upgrades and agendas installed and in various states of advance. each server is protected by Ice, some rezzed, some not.

The runner has a couple of icebreakers installed along with some other programs and assets. each player has 10 credits and a full hand of useful cards.

I explain the game using the setup and then do a corp turn, advancing a agenda and scoring it for the first pts of the game.

The we both look at the available cards the runner has and talk about what can be done on his turn.

We continue this mock game for a few turns until I think he has a grasp on the basic rules, then we set up a game form scratch.

Each time I have done this, the player showed a good grasp of the game and was able to play without much assistance or questions.

I chose Jinteki mainly because it has the most hidden danger. showing the runner how deadly a trap can be and how dangerous it is to run on a low hand.

Both players chose to run several games as the runner before attempting the corp side, but had no problems when they finally di.

It may not work for everyone, but both people I showed ask about it regularly and are in the process of picking up core sets!

Spacegras
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Matthew Evans
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Thank you to all for your advice. Itching for the winter break to start so I have time to teach my kids this game.
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Gregory Pettigrew
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I've taught this game successfully to several people but am having an odd problem. My best friend is completely unable to win. He's come close a couple of times, but after over a dozen games, his win count is a goose egg. He's played competetively in MTG and Vs. and seems to grasp all of the rules and I can't always even pinpoint a big error in all of his games. Any suggestions on how to vary my play to make the game hard enough to be a challenge but not so hard that he loses all the time?
 
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Well first off, is he playing only one side? Or is he mixing it up?

Secondly, I would consider really trying to help him get better than effectively making yourself worse as that'll be better for the both of you in the long run.

Anyway, if they're really not winning at all then some good ways to make your play varied/easier without just lolling around:

Runner:
- don't pay so much attention to whether they have enough to afford Snare/traps, just ignore it
- be relaxed about good running techniques eg don't always just run on the first click with a full hand, sometimes do a last turn run (money-money-money-run) so any traps they put out don't seem as useless as they can do
- go easy on infiltration/expose as it's infuriating to spend a load of time setting up a trap just have the runner draw into an infiltration at exactly the right time

Corp:
- make some bigger gambles/risky plays (eg more un-defended agendas that could be traps but are easy for them to steal)
- or perhaps be more obvious, always guard your agendas with ice but not your traps (probably too obvious that though)
- don't defend Archives until provoked, for example against Noise maybe just do it when there's some agendas in there, that way it will be a bit more telegraphed, or don't do it against Gabe until you get hit with a Sneakdoor or two. Spend the resources elsewhere furthering other plans
- use less splash stuff so your deck is a little more predictable stylistically perhaps?
- do less face-checking and focus your turns settings up rather than denying the corp money

Both:
- if you're using custom decks use this as an opportunity to try to work in some of those weirder/weaker/exotic cards, don't just power deck it each time
- consider holding back on adding in counters to your deck (eg plascrete, net-shield etc) so that if he has a strategy in mind it's more likely to work
- consider not focusing the deck too much on a combo/strat, just toss in some all round decent cards
- don't use your mulligan
- be more reactive than pre-emptive, don't shut down their strats before they've even done them - to make this less deliberate/forced maybe try to focus more on your own strat and think less about what they're up to
- if you're both constructing your own decks then swap decks afterwards to see how each others' works, discuss the construction/make-up of them (each how many of certain types of cards)
- allow your friend to alter their deck after the game if they want, but just decline to change yours, so they can hone a response to yours until they beat it (eg add hard counters, add more money, play differently)

Yes these are all artificial to an extent, but to me they seem like easy ways of mixing it up/notching it down a bit without blatantly "playing bad" as that can be a very unsatisfying experience for the other player and a bit patronising. But anyway, there's some ideas in there for you, hope some of those might be useful to you situation.
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