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Subject: Two noobs play: Jinteki core vs. Kate's core and C&C rss

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EDIT: In the following, I whine about Pipeline for being expensive --- well, it turns out it's situational, as fellow posters point out that, like Gordian Blade, you pay for strength once through the run. Face, meet palm.

I don't have much of a Shaper deck, but I do have two cores and the HB/Shaper expansion. Slapped together a little bit of a lameish deck from it, as we'll see.

On the advice of a fellow player, switched out Ninja for Desperado. Considering my Inside Job, Easy Mark, and Corroder, my Sentry killer was limited to Shaper, and for me that meant Pipeline. Ever hear of Pipeline? Well, I hope to forget.



Game 1

Corp: Jinteki plays an face-down agenda/asset and one ice each.

Runner: Plays two copies of Daily Casts, runs Dirty Laundry on R&D. Scores first agenda, and Jinteki forgets about the net damage from scoring. (Kate, being new at this, didn't know that that's what Jinteki does.)

Feeling good and flush with cash, Kate runs R&D again on the last click with two cards in hand. Picks up a Snare! Flatlines.

Well.

Game 2

This one dragged on for more than an hour, to the point that the runner had only four cards left in his hand and none in the stack. Against Jinteki? That's crazytalk.

What caused my self-decking? None other than overusing my early Professional Contacts plus 3x Diesel.

Highlight: On several occasions, thanks to Pipeline being stupid and myself having a ton of money, I pointed out that it would cost me as much to defeat his trace as it would to break the subroutine. He looked at his five credits and my fourteen, and decided not to run the trace after all. In the end, it cost me only two.

Here's what I learned: If the Corp runs a lot of traces and you have cash to spare, let him run down his bank account. I don't expect to have cash to spare very often.

Highlight: Mistakes made all around this time. After using Gordian Blade + Tinkering to get through a Chum and a Wall of Thorns pretty easily, I kept doing that on subsequent turns. Alas, alas --- I didn't have Tinkering on subsequent turns, and yet neither of us realized it until the players the next game over noticed.

Great cards: My two copies of Infiltration did amazing things for only a click and a card, each time exposing something that made me wiser. Diesel kept me from flatlining on risky runs. Self-modifying Code, meanwhile, did absolutely nothing but be bait for net damage --- and, at the time, that was fine with me. Maker's Eye, included before I knew I was running Jinteki, served a similar purpose. It helps that I got a complete suite of Corroder/Gordian Blade/Pipeline out early, and nothing of mine got trashed.

Stupid card: This Pipeline thing, by the way, costs 7 to get through Hunter. Really? Really? Pipeline, go home.

Fun card, just right: My singleton Escher was delicious the one time I managed to use it, and I don't think I need any more. It was about the right amount of Escher in this deck. Thanks to tons of money I could run HQ successfully, and thanks to Escher I got to replace Chum up against the agenda, Archer on the outside of Chum, and a mere Wall of Static as the level three on that remote server, all of them rezzed. Easy peasy.

Sahasrara, which has done so well for me as The Professor, didn't help as much. It did OK in midgame, getting me some of Kate's programs for free.

Endgame: I had a nice discard pile about the size of my deck. I offered to concede. He had four agenda points against my five, and yet I had only four cards in my hand. This went on for several turns.

I got bored gaining four credits each turn, and so on a bored gamble I ran on what I knew was an unrezzed Neural Katana laid on top of another Hunter. He rezzed it, and other players intervened to tell me I was being stupid and risky with only four cards in this my hand and no Levy AR Lab Access. After the fact I decided against it, but Jinteki fairly held me to the run, at least for the first ICE. There go 7 credits. Again. Ugh.

Not that it mattered in the end --- a few more turns later, I was back to having way too much money. With Contacts, I had 4/turn, and he was doing 7/turn with Melange Mining Corp.

Last play: He installed what turned out to be a Wall of Thorns over where his Chum used to be. I blew through it with cash to spare.

Morals of the story:
* Never, never, never use Pipeline.
* If you prefer Professional Contacts to Magnum Opus, throw in a Levy AR Lab Access or two.
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Nushura
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The "best" icebreaker is clearly the corroder. It is cheap, has reasonable strength, and both pumping + breaking through subroutines only cost 1 credit. Other than decks whose sole focus is an AI breaker, it will be hard to find a decent deck without 1-2 copies of that card.

This is a barrier breaker, so how come there are not similar sentry and code-gate breakers? Well, if FFG printed those cards there would be no point in making more breakers...and the deckbuilding aspect would disappear.

Sentries are hard to break...Pipeline is good when you know you will find several together. Have you ever thought of using Escher? You can rearrange all ICE, stacking all sentries in one server. It will cost you a bit to raise pipeline's strength...but you only have to do it once per turn.
 
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Nushura wrote:
It will cost you a bit to raise pipeline's strength...but you only have to do it once per turn.


Hrm. I hadn't noticed that. Maybe worth a one-of, then. Generally, though, I should have subbed in a Crypsis or two, given my deck and influence limitations at the time.
 
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Gregory Pettigrew
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Nushura wrote:
It will cost you a bit to raise pipeline's strength...but you only have to do it once per turn.


Once per run.
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Scott C
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TheUbiquitous wrote:
Morals of the story:
* Never, never, never use Pipeline.

Pipeline can be a good breaker, it just needs some assistance when your opponent isn't stacking Sentries (which are often the most common type of ice). If you're running Datasuckers, they can help out a lot on one-Sentry servers. Otherwise, Pipeline can be good buddies with The Personal Touch and Dinosaurus.
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Brodie
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>> beginning wall of text

TheUbiquitous wrote:
This one dragged on for more than an hour, to the point that the runner had only four cards left in his hand and none in the stack. Against Jinteki? That's crazytalk.


I may be misunderstanding you, but in my experience it's quite common to end games with most of your deck in your heap against Jinteki. That net damage adds up.

Quote:
Highlight: On several occasions, thanks to Pipeline being stupid and myself having a ton of money, I pointed out that it would cost me as much to defeat his trace as it would to break the subroutine. He looked at his five credits and my fourteen, and decided not to run the trace after all. In the end, it cost me only two.

Here's what I learned: If the Corp runs a lot of traces and you have cash to spare, let him run down his bank account. I don't expect to have cash to spare very often.


Sometimes it's also "if you have clicks to spare." It may be better to spend 2 credits and a click to shed a tag, if the Corp blows a bunch of money on a big trace. Back in the Core Set only days, that was one of my common plays against Hunter.

Quote:
Fun card, just right: My singleton Escher was delicious the one time I managed to use it, and I don't think I need any more. It was about the right amount of Escher in this deck. Thanks to tons of money I could run HQ successfully, and thanks to Escher I got to replace Chum up against the agenda, Archer on the outside of Chum, and a mere Wall of Static as the level three on that remote server, all of them rezzed. Easy peasy.


Again, I could be misunderstanding you, but - why'd you leave the Archer in the remote at all? Typically I'll throw Archers and other big nasties guarding Archives (or HQ, if I don't expect to need to go there again), assuming there's ice to swap from there, and put all the weakest ice over R&D/remotes in the worst configuration possible. But good job putting Chum as the innermost ice.

Quote:
Endgame: I had a nice discard pile about the size of my deck. I offered to concede. He had four agenda points against my five, and yet I had only four cards in my hand. This went on for several turns.


Why? You could certainly still win at 5-4, even with an empty stack and 4 cards in your grip.

Quote:
Morals of the story:
* Never, never, never use Pipeline.
* If you prefer Professional Contacts to Magnum Opus, throw in a Levy AR Lab Access or two.


Good lessons to learn.
 
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You have many good points. I will respond where requested, or where prudent, so don't think I disagree if I say nothing. If I say nothing, it's because I have nothing to add.

Agent Archer wrote:
TheUbiquitous wrote:
This one dragged on for more than an hour, to the point that the runner had only four cards left in his hand and none in the stack. Against Jinteki? That's crazytalk.


I may be misunderstanding you, but in my experience it's quite common to end games with most of your deck in your heap against Jinteki. That net damage adds up.


My problem was that if I played anything I couldn't stand more than one or two more hits from a net damage thing. This, and the fact that the game store was closing and I had to make a purchase, is also why I thought I should concede. Also, as a casual Magic player from Onslaught block I associated "few cards in hand" with "can do very little." Foolish boy. I could always get more money.

Agent Archer wrote:
Quote:
Fun card, just right: My singleton Escher was delicious the one time I managed to use it, and I don't think I need any more. It was about the right amount of Escher in this deck. Thanks to tons of money I could run HQ successfully, and thanks to Escher I got to replace Chum up against the agenda, Archer on the outside of Chum, and a mere Wall of Static as the level three on that remote server, all of them rezzed. Easy peasy.


Again, I could be misunderstanding you, but - why'd you leave the Archer in the remote at all? Typically I'll throw Archers and other big nasties guarding Archives (or HQ, if I don't expect to need to go there again), assuming there's ice to swap from there, and put all the weakest ice over R&D/remotes in the worst configuration possible. But good job putting Chum as the innermost ice.


He had multiple Hunters rezzed. Pretty much everything else he had unrezzed or, if I remember correctly, was worse than Hunter. I had a full suite of breakers, and he had no trashing mechanics so long as I wasn't tagged. "Better the devil you know," you know.
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Brodie
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TheUbiquitous wrote:
My problem was that if I played anything I couldn't stand more than one or two more hits from a net damage thing. This, and the fact that the game store was closing and I had to make a purchase, is also why I thought I should concede. Also, as a casual Magic player from Onslaught block I associated "few cards in hand" with "can do very little." Foolish boy. I could always get more money.


Oh, I get it now. I was misunderstanding you. By "that's crazytalk" you meant "nobody in their right mind wants to end up with an empty stack and 4 in the grip against Jinteki," and you're right.

Quote:
He had multiple Hunters rezzed. Pretty much everything else he had unrezzed or, if I remember correctly, was worse than Hunter. I had a full suite of breakers, and he had no trashing mechanics so long as I wasn't tagged. "Better the devil you know," you know.


Certainly not trying to lambast you or anything, but: I'd rather cough up the cash to break a Hunter than an Archer, so I'm still curious why you didn't Escher so that it was Wall of Static at the outermost, then Hunter (not Archer), then Chum at the innermost. Especially if we're talking Pipeline as your Killer.

Also, depending on the Corp's money situation and your own (assuming you have a full breaker suite and/or contingencies), it may actually be better to Escher unrezzed ice where you want to run. There's some truth to the idea of "better the devil you know," but the main advantage the Corp has with ice is that they pay once, you pay every time. By switching unrezzed ice to protect your target server, you force them to pay along with you, which can be crucial if they don't have enough to rez or if they do but it leaves them unable to muster the credits to advance and score agendas. It's not always the case, of course, and I'm not saying you misplayed, but it's something to keep in mind.
 
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Agent Archer wrote:
Certainly not trying to lambast you or anything, but: I'd rather cough up the cash to break a Hunter than an Archer, so I'm still curious why you didn't Escher so that it was Wall of Static at the outermost, then Hunter (not Archer), then Chum at the innermost. Especially if we're talking Pipeline as your Killer.

Also, depending on the Corp's money situation and your own (assuming you have a full breaker suite and/or contingencies), it may actually be better to Escher unrezzed ice where you want to run. There's some truth to the idea of "better the devil you know," but the main advantage the Corp has with ice is that they pay once, you pay every time. By switching unrezzed ice to protect your target server, you force them to pay along with you, which can be crucial if they don't have enough to rez or if they do but it leaves them unable to muster the credits to advance and score agendas. It's not always the case, of course, and I'm not saying you misplayed, but it's something to keep in mind.


Definitely a good point. Man, I love losing at this game --- assuming, of course, there aren't any sore winners. I'm learning tons about this game.

One time I dragged out a game as the corp because I kept putting ice in front of HQ when I had basically all agendas in my hand. (Core deck, so no overdraw Jackson tricks.) The guy I was playing against never noticed on OCTGN that I only had two credits, and meanwhile he was armed to the teeth. Should have realized that I didn't really have all that much and couldn't rez anything he couldn't handle.
 
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