Chris Braithwaite
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Andromeda has been steeped in controversy since her release a little under a year ago; comparisons to Gabe have been as frequent as games of Netrunner on OCTGN, which people have collected data from to try and answer "who is the best runner (or at least the best criminal)?" With the release of Sweeps Week, even many staunch defenders of Andromeda opened to the possibility that it might bump her from the pedestal they had placed her on (all while insisting that they had been right to put her there in the first place, of course ). After all, a first turn Sweeps, when played against Andy, nets the Corporation an obscene 8 credits on a single click, a swing that no other card, barring Stimhack, can pull off.



I'm not here to say that Andromeda is the best runner, or that you are putting yourself at a disadvantage by not playing her; I think Gabe, Kate, and even Whizzard have a lot going for them, and other runners are perfectly viable, too. What I am here to say is that, of the reasons to neglect Andy, Sweeps Week is not among them. I believe this is true for three reasons; one, that Sweeps is a bad splash, two, that Sweeps at times other than turn 1 is very good anyway, and three, that Andromeda is exceptionally good against the type of play that Sweeps promotes.

First, let's talk about why you are quite unlikely to see Sweeps outside of NBN. Quite simply, the card is too much influence for not enough pop. By this time, every Corporation has plenty of influence-free economy that fits well into what they are doing; Restructure is fantastic in both Jinteki and Weyland, because each play cards which naturally get you to 10 by themselves (Celebrity Gift and Hedge Fund, respectively). Haas-Bioroid, with the credit they get from installations, absolutely love the already-efficient Adonis and EVE Campaigns, which can also help against Account Siphon, which has historically been the bane of HB. Not only that, but each Corporation also has desperate needs of influence elsewhere; Tag-n-Bag have SEA Source and Snare! as central to their gameplan, HB, depending on if it's Fast Advance or Big Ice, needs either SanSan or Archer and pals, and Jinteki can make great use of Power Shutdown, as demonstrated by the decklist recently revealed by Gozik (link at the bottom). I have played a lot of Netrunner since the release of Sweeps Week, and I have not seen a single copy outside of an NBN deck; a pattern I do not expect to change any time soon.

NBN is a popular Corporation, but this still means in about 65-70% of your games, Sweeps will not even be in your opponent's deck. Not only that, but the math regarding how many Sweeps a typical NBN deck, mulliganing aggressively, will have on turn one (link at the bottom), comes to a little over half a Sweep. That means, if you play 20 games against a typical field, you can expect to see about 3-4 first turn Sweeps. That isn't nothing, but it isn't a death knell, either.



Of course, Sweeps is still a very good card, which is why you can expect 3 copies in just about every NBN deck you face. But, in order for that to be a reason to switch from Andromeda specifically, it would have to be so that Sweeps were far-and-away better against her than against other Runners. I think Sweeps is at its best against Andy, but I also think the difference in strength between that and other scenarios is much less than most people realize. Sweeps Week is a great turn 1 play against Andromeda, but against Gabe, and most Whizzard players, it has another purpose which is almost as good; Account Siphon recovery. I'm sure many of us have been in a position where, if we had money, we could protect ourselves from Account Siphon, but we don't have money, because we just got Siphoned, and the only economy cards available to us are either unplayable (Hedge Fund, Restructure, etc.) or would require defense of their own (Adonis). The ability to play Sweeps the turn after you've been put to 0 credits, and with a click to spare no less, is extremely valuable. It is important to consider marginal utility when you look at economy cards; often-times, you open bigger plays for yourself with a boost from 0 to 4 with Beanstalk than you do with a boost from 10 to 16 with Restructure. What this means is that Sweeps is great against everyone, and is only somewhat better against Andromeda. You are not actually avoiding a bitter pill when you move away from Andromeda; you are just making the pill marginally easier to swallow.


Finally, and I think most importantly, Andromeda has advantages against the decks running Sweeps which outweigh the marginal downsides. Sweeps, especially on turn 1, gives you a quick burst of credits, which lets you start quickly executing your strategy. That puts the Runner under pressure to start reacting to the Corp's behavior quickly, rather than sitting back to assemble a super-rig. Andromeda is in the best position to do that, precisely because of the massive starting hand which Sweeps Week punishes. It takes a while for Kate's Professional Contacts to pay off, and Gabe is less likely than Andromeda to find a Special Order, along with enough economy to play it comfortably, quickly. An 8 credit Sweeps helps NBN set-up quickly, but your starting hand provides you the same benefit, and a Runner who has set-up almost always beats a Corporation who has done the same. The window that rush decks have to score agendas closes faster against Andromeda than any other Runner, and if the game goes late, the initial advantage of those 4 extra credits will start to dissipate.

So, if you like Andromeda, but are worried about Sweeps Week, fear not; it is just a boogey man, and the only thing hiding under Andromeda's bed is her latest score. If you'd like to see me putting my money where my mouth is, catch my weekly stream shows, Sundays from 7 to 9 pm EST at www.twitch.tv/runnin_burr, where Andromeda is a regular!

The links I promised
Gozik's Jinteki deck: http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1133579/octgn-android-netrun...

Sweeps Math, courtesy of AlexFrog: http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1103638/how-much-does-sweeps...
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dan dargenio
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Great writeup.

I would only add that the benefits of turn 1 sweeps vs andy are mitigated to some degree because it can make HQ ICE/Asset rezzing during a siphon run a more difficult defense to set up in some cases. If you pair it with an HQ tollbooth, it can be brutal, but that isn't always in the cards, and I've won a lot of games as andy vs turn 1 sweeps on the back of siphon economy.
 
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Yi Sheng Siow
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good writeup.

the sweeps factor isn't large, but if you think gabe and andy were roughly equivalent pre-sweep, sweeps might be the factor to push gabe in the lead.
 
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Dave Sutcliffe
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I don't think Sweeps Week is any sort of significant factor in the slightest. It's a total non-issue.
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Beyer
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running_bear wrote:
... I think Gabe, Kate, and even Whizzard have a lot going for them,...where Andromeda is a regular!...

Whizzard. I want to see you play Whizzard then.
I gathering inspiration you see
 
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Magicdave wrote:
I don't think Sweeps Week is any sort of significant factor in the slightest. It's a total non-issue.

Ha-ha, very funny. You have another explanation for Gabe's sudden surge of popularity right after the release of True Colors? The criminal field was 95% Andy before that, and then in suddenly dropped to 40-45%. (Numbers from the winning decklists on Stimhack)
Maybe it's Knight, sure, only Knight wasn't all that much used in Crims for about a month after its release. What was a significant factor then? Lawyer Up? Garrote? Keyhole?
 
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Panagiotis Zinoviadis
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Great article, maybe we should print T-shirts "Andy does not lose!".

Thnx for the good read.
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Yi Sheng Siow
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Magicdave wrote:
I don't think Sweeps Week is any sort of significant factor in the slightest. It's a total non-issue.


let's just say that you don't want your finals game to start as andy against sweeps week, sweeps week, ice.
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Corwin David
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mediohxcore wrote:
Great writeup.

I would only add that the benefits of turn 1 sweeps vs andy are mitigated to some degree because it can make HQ ICE/Asset rezzing during a siphon run a more difficult defense to set up in some cases. If you pair it with an HQ tollbooth, it can be brutal, but that isn't always in the cards, and I've won a lot of games as andy vs turn 1 sweeps on the back of siphon economy.


QFT. I played Andy a lot recently practicing my blackguard deck, and typically a first turn Sweeps meant I lost any real early game account siphon action. In one game it was a tollbooth, in the another they could play/rez two pieces of ICE. It's a lot of money.

I will go onto say that doesn't change the fact that Andromeda is still really good. Having the cards I needed in my opening hand was worth the corp stopping one of my cards for a portion of the game.

mplain wrote:
Magicdave wrote:
I don't think Sweeps Week is any sort of significant factor in the slightest. It's a total non-issue.

Ha-ha, very funny. You have another explanation for Gabe's sudden surge of popularity right after the release of True Colors? The criminal field was 95% Andy before that, and then in suddenly dropped to 40-45%. (Numbers from the winning decklists on Stimhack)
Maybe it's Knight, sure, only Knight wasn't all that much used in Crims for about a month after its release. What was a significant factor then? Lawyer Up? Garrote? Keyhole?


Gabe has always been my go-to runner because I'm a really aggressive player and Gabe is all about aggression. I would say the popularity did increase substantially with the roll-out of "Good Knight Gabe". My interest in this archetype was in randomly watching Genestealer play a twitch game with it (I don't typically watch twitch) and getting really excited as he entered HQ early and often.

Part of it could be also that people are getting tired of playing Andromeda. I love winning, but I also am playing a game for fun. Playing Andromeda every week at game night and every tournament can really get boring.
 
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Chris Braithwaite
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mplain wrote:
Magicdave wrote:
I don't think Sweeps Week is any sort of significant factor in the slightest. It's a total non-issue.

Ha-ha, very funny. You have another explanation for Gabe's sudden surge of popularity right after the release of True Colors? The criminal field was 95% Andy before that, and then in suddenly dropped to 40-45%. (Numbers from the winning decklists on Stimhack)
Maybe it's Knight, sure, only Knight wasn't all that much used in Crims for about a month after its release. What was a significant factor then? Lawyer Up? Garrote? Keyhole?



Well, people certainly flocked to Gabe in droves when they saw Sweeps; what I am saying, and what I suspect Dave is seconding, is the idea that doing so was premature; Sweeps isn't actually that big a deal for Andromeda, and the things she had going for her before are still very much present.
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Dave Sutcliffe
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siowy wrote:
Magicdave wrote:
I don't think Sweeps Week is any sort of significant factor in the slightest. It's a total non-issue.


let's just say that you don't want your finals game to start as andy against sweeps week, sweeps week, ice.


I'd happily start against that - it doesn't make much difference, if any. I've played Andy against no Sweeps, 1 Sweep, and 2 Sweeps, but I couldn't possibly tell you which opponent had done which because I don't recall a single time it has caused me any problems.

TBH I'd probably rather start vs Sweeps-Sweeps-Ice than I would Sweeps-Ice-Ice.
 
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Adam Perry
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i think the best turn one plays against andy are EITHER put a snare down ice ice, or ice ice ice (baby)
 
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Dave Sutcliffe
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running_bear wrote:

Well, people certainly flocked to Gabe in droves when they saw Sweeps; what I am saying, and what I suspect Dave is seconding, is the idea that doing so was premature; Sweeps isn't actually that big a deal for Andromeda, and the things she had going for her before are still very much present.


I'm not sure if Sweeps is why people switched to Gabe, I would hope it's not because Sweeps is not significant.

I've definitely seen a surge in Gabe as well, though - 4 of my 6 matches on Saturday were vs Gabe, although I don't think any were playing Knight (or Garrote or Lawyer Up or Keyhole. So much for that theory).

I think it's a feedback loop similar to what put Andy up there in the first place. Compared to Andromeda Gabe is high variance - you're more likely to get bad luck and crap out but given good luck you're probably stronger. If enough people turn up running Gabe then at least one of them is going to get good luck and will be in with a good chance of winning the tournament.

Once the Gabe snowball gets rolling it will only pick up speed - Gabe wins, so more people play Gabe, so it's more likely that at least one Gabe player is getting to the end of the day with the good luck required to lift another trophy.
 
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Lysander
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I'm pretty damn sure the reason people flocked to Gabe Knight, not Sweeps Week.
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Dave Sutcliffe
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Lysander1 wrote:
I'm pretty damn sure the reason people flocked to Gabe Knight, not Sweeps Week.


Except that the Gabes here in the UK do not seem to be running Knight.
:-/

I think it's probably a convergence of factors.
 
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Jesse M
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mediohxcore wrote:
Great writeup.

I would only add that the benefits of turn 1 sweeps vs andy are mitigated to some degree because it can make HQ ICE/Asset rezzing during a siphon run a more difficult defense to set up in some cases. If you pair it with an HQ tollbooth, it can be brutal, but that isn't always in the cards, and I've won a lot of games as andy vs turn 1 sweeps on the back of siphon economy.


Pretty much this. You need to be able to have the ice and/or assets/upgrades to put the money into against Siphon or it can just be a liability.

And I still think Sweeps hurts Gabe just as much as Andy. Having the ability to defend multiple servers T1 is a great way to shut down criminal, except Andy is usually running Kati Jones and RnD interface so she can more easily transition to a longer game if she is shut out early.
 
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Michael Redston
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I think the best turn 1 play against Andy is Sweeps into Invasion of Privacy.
 
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Dave Sutcliffe
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kroen wrote:
I think the best turn 1 play against Andy is Sweeps into Invasion of Privacy.


This is close to the worst turn 1 play.

The cards Andy cares about least are her Events and Resources. She keeps her Programs and Desperados, which are the key cards, and you blew your whole first turn (and cash) on doing nothing much.
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Greg Nordeng
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I think the resurgence of Gabe came out of several factors. Sweeps week was a small part, as was Knights, and general boredom of playing Andy. I know the latter was my biggest inspiration to play Gabe.

I think this write up is a good illustration why not to fear Sweeps Week as Andy, hopefully anyone who felt otherwise can move past that now. If your Andy deck is not built to handle an additional 4 credit boost for the corp, you probably shouldn't be playing that deck anyway.
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kroen wrote:
I think the best turn 1 play against Andy is Sweeps into Invasion of Privacy.



If Andromeda's ability, instead of drawing extra cards, just read "the corp starts the game with 2 fewer cards, and has 1 click on their first turn", she would be much, much better.
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dan dargenio
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running_bear wrote:
kroen wrote:
I think the best turn 1 play against Andy is Sweeps into Invasion of Privacy.



If Andromeda's ability, instead of drawing extra cards, just read "the corp starts the game with 2 fewer cards, and has 1 click on their first turn", she would be much, much better.


Invasion is a double. It's actually even worse than that.
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mediohxcore wrote:
running_bear wrote:
kroen wrote:
I think the best turn 1 play against Andy is Sweeps into Invasion of Privacy.



If Andromeda's ability, instead of drawing extra cards, just read "the corp starts the game with 2 fewer cards, and has 1 click on their first turn", she would be much, much better.


Invasion is a double. It's actually even worse than that.


...good grief!
 
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I was Turn 1 Sweeps week'ed against NBN yesterday (writeup waiting in approval land).

It was NOT FUN. Both games eventually came down to luck of R&D access, but NBN is a beast now. The extra 4 credits were absolutely material.

Now I don't mind it, it definitely did not shut down Andy; as the OP indicated, if you like Andy - you shouldn't switch just because you're afraid that in some matchups you will give up a sweeps week, but it certainly made the matches competitive.

I do think that vs. new fangled light ice, super speed NBN, Knight Gabe is stronger than Datasucker Andy. Sweeps week is only part of it. Knight is great against low ice decks because the corp can't afford to trash ice to get rid of it, and the corp also can't stack ice deep to make the knights useless.

If everyone is running AstroBiotics in your local meta, this is not a bad answer, but if they aren't, and you really enjoy winning - Andysucker is still pretty bad ass.
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I have yet to be turn one Sweeps Weeked somehow but I did turn one DOUBLE Sweeps Week ice HQ an Andy player in a tournament this weekend. Having 21 credits at the end of turn one is AWESOME!
 
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I have to (respectfully) disagree with the OP. Sweeps Week has caused me to win several games against Andromeda that I would almost certainly not have won against Gabe. An extra 4 credits on turn 1 is huge-- equivalent to the Corp playing an extra Sure Gamble without taking a click or card!

In general, though, many other things have changed in the modern game, putting Gabe in an IMO stronger position relative to Andromeda. This will only be exacerbated by Double Time releasing Caprice Nisei, who is very strong on HQ against Andromeda but vulnerable to Sneakdoor, which most Andy decks currently don't run.
 
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