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Subject: Help wanted for a beginner. Jinteki vs. Shaper. Core set rss

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quantum collider
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Hello all,

I've just started playing Android:Netrunner with my girlfriend, and we are trying to learn the game.

Because we are both novices, so far we player Jinteki vs. Shaper (as advised in the rulebook) to learn the game. After a few games we decided we like the game, but we both came to the same conclusion:
We can barely win with when playing the Jinteki corp.

In eight games the corp won once (runner tripped an advanced Project Junebug), the rest were a clear victory to the runner. There are a couple of things that occurred regularly:
*The runner has cards that access 3 cards from R&D if accessed. I haven't counted how many Agendas there are in the core set's R&D (it could be mere chance), but every time the runner scored an agenda using that card.
*The corp often holds several agendas on his hand without really having the option to place them in servers (not enough ice on the table yet)
*Because of the first previous two issues, the corp has to vigorously defend R&D and HQ, so few ice is available for servers.
*corp has difficulty gaining money, as he has to place profitable assets in barely protected servers, meaning the runner has ample opportunity to distrupt the corps economy.
*Runner has cards that expose corp cards, so traps are of very limited use.
*When the runner has a decent deck, even three layers of ice will hardly stop the runner if he has Magnum Opus on the table.
*The runner can easily replenish her hand, so net damage makes little impression on her.

Now, I understand we can start playing different runners and corps, but I have difficulty believing Jinteki vs. Shaper is unbalanced. Surely there must be a corp strategy that we can employ? What are we missing here?

Hope you guys can help.

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Tables
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Before giving any strategic advice, what I'd say is that FFG's suggestion for the corp to be Jinteki is not a good one. The Jinteki core deck is hard to play and weak, especially compared to the other three corp's options. All three other corps make much better beginner decks - I'm more partial to Weyland vs. Shaper personally.
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Jared Harkness
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While I sorta agree with Tables, I felt like starting with Jinteki had some value in struggling to win with what you get in the care set. Then when I tried out HB, I was like "Oh this is EASY!"
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marauder / media
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I just started with A:NR, too, and I have encountered exactly the same issues as the OP
Well, next time we will try Shaper vs. H/B or Weyland.
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Jared Harkness
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Yeah play HB next time, and your mind will be blown at how much money you have and how much more difficult and time consuming it is for the runner to get at your stuff.
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Eric Spencer
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I'd agree with the HB advice. With just the core set and very little tweaking, it makes the corp play much more solidly.

I do think you can make shaper vs jinteki easier for the corp once you start using influence.

My first ANR experience with Jinteki was not so great, and it made it difficult to get a feel for what the game was supposed to be. I think Jinteki is harder to build and play effectively.
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Remy Gibson
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quantumcollider wrote:
*The runner has cards that access 3 cards from R&D if accessed. I haven't counted how many Agendas there are in the core set's R&D (it could be mere chance), but every time the runner scored an agenda using that card.

This will happen relatively frequently. I think the chance is around 60-70% of picking up an agenda with The Maker's Eye against that Jinteki deck.

Also, don't forget Jinteki's ability to deal 1 net damage whenever an agenda is scored OR stolen. Try throwing a Neural Katana on R&D and keeping a Neural EMP in your hand. The Katana won't stop the Runner (no "end the run" subroutine), but it will hurt.

Quote:
*The corp often holds several agendas on his hand without really having the option to place them in servers (not enough ice on the table yet)

Don't forget that you can mulligan if you get a bad opening hand. In this case, little to no ICE would probably be a bad opening hand.

Also, Snare is a great card to keep in HQ, rather than installing, as it's painful to run into

Quote:
*Because of the first previous two issues, the corp has to vigorously defend R&D and HQ, so few ice is available for servers.

There are only 3 The Maker's Eye in that Shaper deck, so that won't work all the time. Again, Snare is a good defense for HQ.

Chum is also a nice SECOND piece of ICE in front of HQ or R&D. Even if you can't stop the Runner, if you make it painful (taxing) to get it, it will become less desirable.

Quote:
*corp has difficulty gaining money, as he has to place profitable assets in barely protected servers, meaning the runner has ample opportunity to distrupt the corps economy.

Yeah, this is true. PAD Campaign is a great asset to leave unguarded, as it's so expensive to trash. Melange Mining Corp. does need to be better protected, though if you can get it to go off even once, it's worth it; twice is amazing.

Quote:
*Runner has cards that expose corp cards, so traps are of very limited use.

Jinteki has a 1x card called Zaibatsu Loyalty that can help with that ... but it's only 1x.

Quote:
*When the runner has a decent deck, even three layers of ice will hardly stop the runner if he has Magnum Opus on the table.

This is true. Shaper becomes a juggernaut in the late game, so you have to make it count before she gets her full breaker suite out.

Quote:
*The runner can easily replenish her hand, so net damage makes little impression on her.

It seems like this is true, but actually net damage is a constant thorn in the side. Having to draw back up before running every single time is time-consuming. If Magnum Opus is on the table, it's like you're paying 2 credits to draw a card (because you could be using that click for 2 credits instead).

All that having been said, playing Jinteki -- especially core-set only, dirt-poor Jinteki -- is not easy. It isn't impossible to win, but Weyland is probably a better choice.
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Jack Kelly
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Jinteki is hard to play. There's a great article by Hollis here: http://boardgamegeek.com/blogpost/19853/my-secret-love-affai... but even that uses cards you haven't got yet. Some of the principles may still apply.
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Joe Bowers
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It gets worse for Jinteki. As players get better at runner, they can sniff out your ambushes without even having to use expose effects.
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Carl Frodge
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My suggestion is to ignore what the rulebook says and start learning with Weyland and either Shaper or Criminal.

Jinteki vs. Shaper may or may not be balanced with just the core cards, but Jinteki is probably the most difficult corp to learn how to play well.

The problems you're having might also be a result of playing incorrectly or misunderstanding the rules. For instance:

-Is the runner drawing a card at the beginning of their turn? (They shouldn't be!)

-Are you resetting each icebreaker back to its default strength after breaking all the subroutines on a piece of ice?

-Are you trashing ice after all the subroutines have been broken? (You shouldn't be!)

Just a few things that might be causing problems, but there could be more.
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Weilong Seow
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agentkuo wrote:

-Are you resetting each icebreaker back to its default strength after breaking all the subroutines on a piece of ice?


With the core set Shaper breakers being Battering Ram, Gordian Blade and Pipeline, he shouldn't be resetting icebreaker strengths after each ice.
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Clyde W
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First off, I wanna say that Jinteki is my favorite corp and is super fun to play. All of the other corps bore me, while Jinteki has interesting things going on it with it in terms of psychology. Other players hate this aspect of Jinteki, and so won't play it, and will mock it here.

If you are allured by the Jinteki playstyle, I would say that you should probably immediately go pick Honor and Profit. It's a great Deluxe Expansion that gives you tons of great new Jinteki cards and a lot of interesting Criminal cards you can play around with.
 
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Mike Bialecki
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agentkuo wrote:
My suggestion is to ignore what the rulebook says and start learning with Weyland and either Shaper or Criminal.

Jinteki vs. Shaper may or may not be balanced with just the core cards, but Jinteki is probably the most difficult corp to learn how to play well.

The problems you're having might also be a result of playing incorrectly or misunderstanding the rules. For instance:

-Is the runner drawing a card at the beginning of their turn? (They shouldn't be!)

-Are you resetting each icebreaker back to its default strength after breaking all the subroutines on a piece of ice?

-Are you trashing ice after all the subroutines have been broken? (You shouldn't be!)

Just a few things that might be causing problems, but there could be more.

- Is the runner pumping the strength of the ICE-breaker to match the strength of the ICE before breaking subroutines? (she should be).
- Are you derezzing ICE after it's been broken or passed? (you shouldn't).

This. All of this. Before you try using other decks. Before you try building your own decks. First, absolutely make certain that you are playing by the correct rules. More often than not, threads like these ultimately come down to missing a little rule that makes a big difference on how the game plays.

Next, there's a lot you can change about *how* to play without changing *what* you are playing with. For example, you are not required to rez ICE when the runner approaches it. If the runner is approaching the first ICE guarding R&D and its not a Maker's Eye run, then consider letting her in. Save that money for something more important. Or use it as a bluff to draw out her Maker's Eye when she thinks you didn't have the money to rez the ICE. Also, don't forget to click for credits when you need to. It's something you'll simply have to do with the core set and there's no shame in it. Many turns might be Install, Click for credit, click for credit.
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Andrew Keddie
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People often call out FFG for recommending Shaper v. Jinteki for learning games, but I disagree that it's a bad choice for your first game. Here's why:

Neither of these factions has unusual rules exceptions or card interactions. Think about how much you need to understand just to learn to play the game, then imagine you also had to parse:

Clickable ICE (bioroids)
Advanceable ICE (Ice Wall, Hadrian's, Shadow)
ICE with on-encounter effects (Tollbooth, Matrix Analyzer)
Viruses (so many)
Bypass effects (Femme, Inside Job, and in particular their interaction with Chum).

Learning with Shaper and Jinteki lets you gain a solid understanding of the core game mechanics, before moving on to more complex cards.

As for how balanced they are; well, that's a debate I can't comment on. I've taught a lot of people to play using these decks and I often win as Jinteki, but that comes down to bad running practice of new players rather than anything else (running too rarely or too aggressively; both can be bad against Jinteki and an experienced Corp can take advantage).
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quantum collider
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Thanks all for the information. It would seem we'd better start trying different corps then. That is fine, as from a thematic perspective I prefer Weyland anyhow (there is something attractive in playing a truely evil corporation )
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Carl Frodge
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spanargoman wrote:
agentkuo wrote:

-Are you resetting each icebreaker back to its default strength after breaking all the subroutines on a piece of ice?


With the core set Shaper breakers being Battering Ram, Gordian Blade and Pipeline, he shouldn't be resetting icebreaker strengths after each ice.

Oh that's true, I wasn't thinking about that, but you're right, good call!
 
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Andrew Keddie
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agentkuo wrote:
spanargoman wrote:
agentkuo wrote:

-Are you resetting each icebreaker back to its default strength after breaking all the subroutines on a piece of ice?


With the core set Shaper breakers being Battering Ram, Gordian Blade and Pipeline, he shouldn't be resetting icebreaker strengths after each ice.

Oh that's true, I wasn't thinking about that, but you're right, good call!


You still reset Crypsis to base though.
 
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Tried Jinteki vs. Shaper again yesterday - "play one card, click for credit, click for credit". Didn't open too much remote servers too fast - it worked better this time
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