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Subject: Is the Base Set Adequate for Casual Players? rss

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Janine
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I've had quite a few people rave about Netrunner, and I am pretty intrigued at this point. But the fact that it is a LCG has me a bit hesitant. I'm wary of going down the rabbit hole of constant expansions. So yeah, is the base set (or perhaps the base set with just one or two expansions) good enough for a couple of casual players? Will it still have decent replayability? Is it common for players who just play among friends to buy all the expansions? Thanks in advance for answering my silly questions.
 
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Owen Compton
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The base set has a ton of match-ups just by itself. There're 4 Corp starter decks and 3 Runner decks so if you play each deck once against each opposing deck then you can squeeze out 24 games, another 24 if you play two games of each match up. If you're looking for a casual amount of customisation then I don't think the core set has a huge amount of strong deck choices (you're mostly just patching up the weaknesses in the starter decks).

The only danger is if someone in the group starts buying everything and wants to play with everything, then people get a bit alienated because they don't want to have to buy everything just to keep playing it. On the other hand if players enjoy playing enough but want to try something new then you can just get one pack at a time (or buy a whole cycle) and just add new things as you get bored of trying the old things.
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Vincent Perry
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Yes.

But if you play it, you will love it and want to get expansions.
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S J
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The core set is great on its own. Take the plunge, you won't regret it.
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Mychal
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Germsy wrote:
Thanks in advance for answering my silly questions.

These aren't silly questions. They are very important questions for casual players to ask before deciding if an LCG is worth purchasing.
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Tunguska's CPA
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At the risk of being repetitious or redundant, the core set provides a great play experience and a decent amount of customization. However, even just the very first datapack or two (from the Genesis cycle) will add a tremendous amount of variety. This is because they add new agendas for each Corporation, which heavily influences their strategy.
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Michael Redston
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Yes, but you should consider getting just the first data pack (what lies ahead). Without it, you're either forced to use agendas you might not want in your deck (for corp) or end up putting cards you don't want just to reach the minimum deck size (as runner).
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Beyer
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cervantes3773 wrote:
At the risk of being repetitious or redundant, the core set provides a great play experience and a decent amount of customization. However, even just the very first datapack or two (from the Genesis cycle) will add a tremendous amount of variety. This is because they add new agendas for each Corporation, which heavily influences their strategy.

And once you realize how many toys you get in every data pack, you're going to be itching to get more; necessary or not.

Android; netrunner is a terribly addictive game but you won't feel cheated about the money you spend, simply because you know what you're buying in advance.

I'll iterate what others have said before me: you WILL want to buy more, even if you don't NEED them. It's a pleasure spending money on netrunner, not a burden.

Don't say we didn't warn you. Welcome aboard
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Vincent Perry
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While the first data pack is a great one to get, I wouldn't recommend getting it right away because:

1) If you are going into this casually, you may not be interested in deckbuilding right away anyway (it's nice to just grab a premade deck).

2) You might not like it (in which case better to just buy the base set first and find out).

3) You may want to exhaust the deckbuilding options in the base set before you expand.

Again, this is from the point of view of the casual gamer (that is, someone who might break the game out once in a while). You'll probably play it, love it, and want to play it all the time. If so, go nuts on expansions.
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Matt B
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I only have the core set, and I think it's pretty good by itself. I've been debating for a while whether or not to buy any expansion sets, and I think I eventually will, but there is a decent amount of replayability from the decks in the core set. I don't think you need to ever buy expansions if you're only playing among friends.

It's just a 2-player game, obviously, but note that with just one core set, you can only play one game at a time. There are a handful of cards that are common to all the runner decks, and also some cards that are common to all corporation decks. Meaning, if you want to switch decks, you have to take out all the common cards and add them to the other deck you want to use. This also means that you can't have two separate games going on at one time (if you have four players on game night, for example) without buying a second core set.

(Technically you could solve this problem through deckbuilding, though your choices would be limited.)
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Tunguska's CPA
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So roll with me for a second, because this idea has a few requirements.

If you're playing with just a single core set between two or more friends, build your lists online (cardgamedb, and a few others). Maybe one runner and corp each. Keep a binder of them or something. After one of your runs a few times, switch, so the other can run. In between, deconstruct your decks and make your new ones.

See, if I build both decks, I know all the tricks the runner will bring, and vice versa. If you each bring your own deck lists, then your opponent won't know what's coming.

However, when you use those sites (previously mentioned) you'll have to be careful for other, user-submitted decklists, as they will almost definitely use cards from sets you don't yet have. No worries though, you can still make your own.
 
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Absolutely, the Core set is a full Netrunner experience straight from the box. You can be satisfied with just that for a while.

Once you're addicted and want to give some serious deck building a go, you'll be excited to start diving into the expansions. Until then, grab a core, learn the game, and have fun!
 
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Justin R
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Just when I make peace with myself that A:N is a fantastic game that I won't buy it because I won't be able to get my wife to play with any frequency, I happen upon a thread and the chorus of praise puts it back on my wishlist.

And with a CSI gift card to burn, and plenty of room on my $100 order...it's almost inevitable.
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Robb Miller
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JJRR_Esq wrote:
... because I won't be able to get my wife to play with any frequency...


I thought this same thing. However, my wife loves the game and asks to play. My eldest daughter is really into playing too.
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JJRR_Esq wrote:
Just when I make peace with myself that A:N is a fantastic game that I won't buy it because I won't be able to get my wife to play with any frequency, I happen upon a thread and the chorus of praise puts it back on my wishlist.

And with a CSI gift card to burn, and plenty of room on my $100 order...it's almost inevitable.

Well. If you KNOW you're not going to play, owning netrunner will only irritate you.
Owning games is not as much fun as actually playing them.

I could chime in with others, just to say that my GF loves netrunner as well, but since were all real people and we all have different opinions on what we like and what we don't, there is no point in making that comparison. If you SO won't play a complex game with important and nitpicky rules interactions, don't play any modern card game. It's the backbone of the game and if you don't appreciate it, you will not have a good time with netrunner.

Netrunner is a game that takes mental investment to really be fun. Over time you'll appreciate the time you spent playing more and more, but if you are not willing to give it that initial time investment you are not going to see the best the game has to offer.
 
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Jonathan Pickles
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You can easily cherry pick expansions if you expand the game rather than buying them all, just getting ones that suit the faction(s) you want to play just then.
 
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Germsy wrote:
So yeah, is the base set (or perhaps the base set with just one or two expansions) good enough for a couple of casual players?


Depends on how 'casual'. I you only intend to play each matchup once, yes it's fine.

If you want to play multiple times, or care about game/faction balance, or want to deckbuild, no, the base set is not enough

Germsy wrote:
Will it still have decent replayability?

One core set alone will not do if you want to play more than a dozen times.

Germsy wrote:
I've had quite a few people rave about Netrunner, and I am pretty intrigued at this point. But the fact that it is a LCG has me a bit hesitant. I'm wary of going down the rabbit hole of constant expansions.


The game was designed for you to go down that rabbit hole. If you don't care about that, why are you playing an LCG, where there are other far better 2 player card games out there?

A:NR was not designed to be a 'complete' 2 player experience out-of-the-box, so you really shouldn't be expecting that.

Hope that helps.

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Blorb Plorbst
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thesleeper7 wrote:
why are you playing an LCG, where there are other far better 2 player card games out there?


What others can you suggest? A friend and I are looking at Netrunner but I'm not interested in going much beyond the base set since I don't expect we'll be playing it exclusively.
 
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CrankyPants wrote:

What others can you suggest? A friend and I are looking at Netrunner but I'm not interested in going much beyond the base set since I don't expect we'll be playing it exclusively.


Race for the Galaxy is a gorgeous design, that works fantastic with 2 players and offers huge replay value.
Innovation If you are looking for a more 'combo' oriented game. It also has more direct conflict, and is much deeper that one would initially think
Blue Moon Legends / Blue Moon If you are looking for deck building, and various deck archetypes
Glory to Rome Is another excellent 'combo' heavy game. Its good with 2, but better with more.
San Juan If you are looking for something lighter/simpler
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thesleeper7 wrote:
CrankyPants wrote:

What others can you suggest? A friend and I are looking at Netrunner but I'm not interested in going much beyond the base set since I don't expect we'll be playing it exclusively.


Race for the Galaxy is a gorgeous design, that works fantastic with 2 players and offers huge replay value.
Innovation If you are looking for a more 'combo' oriented game. It also has more direct conflict, and is much deeper that one would initially think
Blue Moon Legends / Blue Moon If you are looking for deck building, and various deck archetypes
Glory to Rome Is another excellent 'combo' heavy game. Its good with 2, but better with more.
San Juan If you are looking for something lighter/simpler


Those are all excellent games, but obviously it is a matter of relative preference. You would be hard-pressed to call them "far better" though when Android Netrunner is ranked so highly here on BGG--that doesn't mean it's necessarily better, just that it's obviously not significantly worse in general opinion.
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Blorb Plorbst
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Zebadiah wrote:
thesleeper7 wrote:
CrankyPants wrote:

What others can you suggest? A friend and I are looking at Netrunner but I'm not interested in going much beyond the base set since I don't expect we'll be playing it exclusively.


Race for the Galaxy is a gorgeous design, that works fantastic with 2 players and offers huge replay value.
Innovation If you are looking for a more 'combo' oriented game. It also has more direct conflict, and is much deeper that one would initially think
Blue Moon Legends / Blue Moon If you are looking for deck building, and various deck archetypes
Glory to Rome Is another excellent 'combo' heavy game. Its good with 2, but better with more.
San Juan If you are looking for something lighter/simpler


Those are all excellent games, but obviously it is a matter of relative preference. You would be hard-pressed to call them "far better" though when Android Netrunner is ranked so highly here on BGG--that doesn't mean it's necessarily better, just that it's obviously not significantly worse in general opinion.


Yeah - if San Juan and RftG are "far better" than NetRunner, then you must not like NetRunner that much. I mean, they're good games but usually get chosen as a second choice. My friend has already ordered NetRunner though, so we'll check it out this weekend.

Innovation has looked interesting. I might look into that further.
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I'll stand by my original opinion. All the games I listed are far better than 1-core set Netrunner(which is what the OP was asking about).

Now, keep in mind that the games I listed were designed as self-contained games. They are intricate enough to offer more depth, entertainment and replay value that the 'starter set'. A:NR core set, was not designed with those in mind. It was meant as a quick introduction to the LCG format(just like a demo is an introduction to a PC game).

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Zebadiah wrote:
Android Netrunner is ranked so highly here on BGG--that doesn't mean it's necessarily better, just that it's obviously not significantly worse in general opinion.


Eh..I wouldn't go as far as saying general opinion . For people that love MTG or other collectible card games, or LCGs, than yes: A:NR is better, however for people that don't intend to buy into the CCG/LCG model/lifestyle that A:NR is significantly worse than just buying a top 1-200 ranked card game(if it's a card game they're looking for)

The advantage of A:NR is that the core set is decently priced, so that most people you don't feel ripped off after playing a bit with it. And it makes a decent sell on the 2nd hand market.
 
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Vincent Perry
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Core set only netrunner has tons of replayability (trust me, that's what we all played before the first expansion came out!)

I like all those games quite a bit, but for a one-on-one experience, I would take core-set-only. preset-decks-only Netrunner over any of them.

Those games do have the advantage of being able to handle different numbers of players (and that is a big advantage, don't get me wrong!)
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thesleeper7 wrote:
Zebadiah wrote:
Android Netrunner is ranked so highly here on BGG--that doesn't mean it's necessarily better, just that it's obviously not significantly worse in general opinion.


Eh..I wouldn't go as far as saying general opinion . For people that love MTG or other collectible card games, or LCGs, than yes: A:NR is better, however for people that don't intend to buy into the CCG/LCG model/lifestyle that A:NR is significantly worse than just buying a top 1-200 ranked card game(if it's a card game they're looking for)

The advantage of A:NR is that the core set is decently priced, so that most people you don't feel ripped off after playing a bit with it. And it makes a decent sell on the 2nd hand market.


The majority of BGG is focused on self-contained games and not CCGs/LCGs etc. and Netrunner is a stellar choice for self-contained card game, hence the rating (at least in part).

I think the advantage to the core set is that it gives you a great game with plenty of decks/factions to use. You can even have fun with a bit of deckbuilding with influence and trying out your changes. I would highly recommend Netrunner as the stand-alone base set as well as the full LCG.
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