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Subject: Runner deck focus: Your deck is NOT focused on HQ rss

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Yi Sheng Siow
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Once in a while, i will notice a player talking about their runner deck 'focusing on HQ'. This is a bad idea and you shouldn't try to do that by doing something like playing 3 HQ interface in your deck and 3 legwork.

95% of the time, agendas are either
(1) in RnD or
(2) in HQ/installed

Focusing on RnD makes sense because in general, corp can't control the density of agendas in RnD.

"Focusing on HQ" doesn't make sense because the corp can create a remote and push agendas in the remote to leave HQ an empty target.

Instead of "focusing on HQ", a player should be focusing on gaining control over remotes and HQ. This would be like a silhouette deck, that holds the remote hostage through quest complete/centrals breakers, while also being able to legwork the agendas out of HQ because the remote isn't safe. The recipe to do this is to have a lot of money(to trash sansan), plus efficient breakers(to make runs on consecutive turns of corp installing), plus either nerve agent, legwork or HQI.

/randomrant

TLDR: Your plan can't just be to score from HQ. It has to be HQ + remotes.
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Nushura
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I agree with your argument because as a runner it is never good to only focus on one server (be it HQ,RnD or whichever you want).

However, I do not understand this claim:

siowy wrote:

95% of the time, agendas are either
(1) in RnD or
(2) in HQ/installed


If a card is neither in RnD nor HQ nor installed where is it? archives? (I assume you are ignoring those that are in the score pile).

I also assume that your 5% is a totally invented number...since if I am Noise I will probably be running archives to get those agendas, but as Andromeda I will probably only run into (1) or (2)

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João Almeida
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There's nothing wrong with focusing on HQ. The problem is that people don't seem to understand the logic behind that:

- You want to focus on HQ;
- So you don't want the Corp to ICE its HQ;
- So you need to make the Corp spend its ICEs in other servers;
- So you need to give the Corp a reason to do that;
- So you need to attack other servers (including remotes) as well.

You should always attack more than one server, but there's a conceptual difference between "I use R&D Interface because it is good!" and "I use R&D Interface to force the Corp to protect R&D so I can access HQ - my main focus - more easily".
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Josh C
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R&D is a powerful place to "focus" because the location/density of agendas there is frequently more reliable in getting points there.

But a good deck will be able to get points anywhere. R&D, HQ, remotes... the more pressure you can put everywhere, the more likely you are to find the points where ever they may be.

But Netrunner is also a game where you should never say never. Because destroying all the ice in front of HQ and locking it down with Nerve Agent is absolutely a reasonable path to victory. "Focus on HQ" can actually force the Corp to have defenses on two full servers, thanks to Sneakdoor Beta - making it more taxing than R&D alone. Repeated triggers of Emergency Shutdown could keep Corps poor, while Gabrial Santiago's ability gives you money.

The point is, the moment you say "Way X is definitely the way to play Netrunner," you are playing Netrunner wrong. Experiment with everything. Find unique ways to do things. When somebody says "My deck is focused on HQ" help them improve that concept through unique deckbuilding, rather than saying "You have to play the game another way." You'll both be better off for it.
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Yi Sheng Siow
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Nushura wrote:
I agree with your argument because as a runner it is never good to only focus on one server (be it HQ,RnD or whichever you want).

However, I do not understand this claim:

siowy wrote:

95% of the time, agendas are either
(1) in RnD or
(2) in HQ/installed


If a card is neither in RnD nor HQ nor installed where is it? archives? (I assume you are ignoring those that are in the score pile).

I also assume that your 5% is a totally invented number...since if I am Noise I will probably be running archives to get those agendas, but as Andromeda I will probably only run into (1) or (2)



I meant to organise my post in that to hunt agendas in (1), you just get multi-access into RnD. In order to hunt agendas in (2), you have to attack the two areas as a set. Once agendas are drawn from RnD, the corp chooses whether they stay in HQ or installs them. You can't just attack the HQ, because they will install in remote and score, or worse, FA through sansan. You could just attack the remote and never hit HQ, but that gives the corp a lot of time to set up whatever he wants to set up(ice tower plus ash/caprice or biotic/trick FA). With this card pool, the most reasonable way to hunt agendas in area (2) is to threaten both of them at the same time.

The 5% is the random noise stuff and corps discarding agendas.
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Zak Jarvis
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I think an HQ focus is valid, but not purely to try and score agenda points from there. HQ is the corp's readily available bag of tricks, his game plan for the next few turns. HQ focus is the best way to disrupt the corp's game.

In my mind, an HQ-focussed deck is one that includes multi-HQ access ('Nerve Agent', 'HQ Interface', 'Legwork'), but which is built around 'Imp', 'Demolition Run' and 'Haemmorhage'. It is very much an Anarch way of playing, given the disruptive aim and the cards you need for it!
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Dave Sutcliffe
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siowy wrote:
Once in a while, i will notice a player talking about their runner deck 'focusing on HQ'. This is a bad idea and you shouldn't try to do that by doing something like playing 3 HQ interface in your deck and 3 legwork.

95% of the time, agendas are either
(1) in RnD or
(2) in HQ/installed

Focusing on RnD makes sense because in general, corp can't control the density of agendas in RnD.

"Focusing on HQ" doesn't make sense because the corp can create a remote and push agendas in the remote to leave HQ an empty target.

Instead of "focusing on HQ", a player should be focusing on gaining control over remotes and HQ. This would be like a silhouette deck, that holds the remote hostage through quest complete/centrals breakers, while also being able to legwork the agendas out of HQ because the remote isn't safe. The recipe to do this is to have a lot of money(to trash sansan), plus efficient breakers(to make runs on consecutive turns of corp installing), plus either nerve agent, legwork or HQI.

/randomrant



This is a pretty flimsy argument. You can make decks that keep Agendas piling up in HQ. If you can make it so that the Corp doesn't feel they can push Agendas safely (eg. hammering their economy, or attritively attacking remote servers) then those Agendas will naturally gather up in HQ.

I don't think it makes much sense to make a deck that hits HQ all the time, the way it makes sense to hit R&D all the time (I think R&D Interface is better than Maker's Eye, but Legwork is better than HQ Interface). But you can certainly make a deck that intends to produce situations where they blitz HQ hard after working to prevent the Corp from scoring agendas.

HQ strategies can have a couple of clear meta advantages as well as it's a good plan vs both Fast Advance and Cerebral Imaging decks, especially when backed up by Imp/Demo run.
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i'm rewarded for my intense focus on HQ. praise the based runner god
 
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Pedraum
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My Gabe deck would disagree with you.
 
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Scott Rubin
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The basic game flows with the agendas from R&D to HQ to remotes (or direct to the scoring area with fast advance). If you prevent the corp from having any secure remotes to score from, agendas naturally build up in HQ over time, and your HQ assaults will be fruitful. If a corp has a secure remote and tries to use it without properly protecting HQ, you can get in that remote via punishing HQ with Siphon/Vamp.

If the corp has a secure remote, and you can't punish HQ with Siphon/Vamp then you're going to waste clicks and credits trying to run there with HQ Interface/Legwork/Nerve Agent because the agendas will have been scored already.

If the remote is insecure, and HQ is empty, then you can lock R&D.
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Nate K
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Apreche wrote:
The basic game flows with the agendas from R&D to HQ to remotes (or direct to the scoring area with fast advance). If you prevent the corp from having any secure remotes to score from, agendas naturally build up in HQ over time, and your HQ assaults will be fruitful. If a corp has a secure remote and tries to use it without properly protecting HQ, you can get in that remote via punishing HQ with Siphon/Vamp.

If the corp has a secure remote, and you can't punish HQ with Siphon/Vamp then you're going to waste clicks and credits trying to run there with HQ Interface/Legwork/Nerve Agent because the agendas will have been scored already.

If the remote is insecure, and HQ is empty, then you can lock R&D.


So what I should be doing is focusing on being able to get into or otherwise neutralize remote servers, then? That seems like a good start towards a good strategy. It means I'll have to stop using the new Criminal centrals-only breakers, though.
 
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Ben Mason
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kurthl33t wrote:
Apreche wrote:
The basic game flows with the agendas from R&D to HQ to remotes (or direct to the scoring area with fast advance). If you prevent the corp from having any secure remotes to score from, agendas naturally build up in HQ over time, and your HQ assaults will be fruitful. If a corp has a secure remote and tries to use it without properly protecting HQ, you can get in that remote via punishing HQ with Siphon/Vamp.

If the corp has a secure remote, and you can't punish HQ with Siphon/Vamp then you're going to waste clicks and credits trying to run there with HQ Interface/Legwork/Nerve Agent because the agendas will have been scored already.

If the remote is insecure, and HQ is empty, then you can lock R&D.


So what I should be doing is focusing on being able to get into or otherwise neutralize remote servers, then? That seems like a good start towards a good strategy. It means I'll have to stop using the new Criminal centrals-only breakers, though.


Against big remote decks yes, this exactly what you should be doing: making their remotes feel unsafe so that the agendas pile up in HQ. Personally, I feel that people don't do this against big remote decks like red coats, which is why I think a lot of people consider it a bad match up for crimunal deck when I happen to have a very good match upagainst it with Data Sucker Andy. Pretty much against any deck, even FA, locking down remotes is a priority because a safe remote means the ability to scored agendas. If you can't crack a remote, then you do a quick scan of HQ (Legwork is reat here) and from then on it's all about R&D.
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Andrew Keddie
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kurthl33t wrote:
Apreche wrote:
The basic game flows with the agendas from R&D to HQ to remotes (or direct to the scoring area with fast advance). If you prevent the corp from having any secure remotes to score from, agendas naturally build up in HQ over time, and your HQ assaults will be fruitful. If a corp has a secure remote and tries to use it without properly protecting HQ, you can get in that remote via punishing HQ with Siphon/Vamp.

If the corp has a secure remote, and you can't punish HQ with Siphon/Vamp then you're going to waste clicks and credits trying to run there with HQ Interface/Legwork/Nerve Agent because the agendas will have been scored already.

If the remote is insecure, and HQ is empty, then you can lock R&D.


So what I should be doing is focusing on being able to get into or otherwise neutralize remote servers, then? That seems like a good start towards a good strategy. It means I'll have to stop using the new Criminal centrals-only breakers, though.


I have noticed myself that there can be some issues with creating enough pressure on a remote with the central-only rig. There are some things you can do though:

Inside Job
Femme Fatale or Knight (or both if you're flush for MU)
Crypsis/Overmind

The other thing I've found useful is Keyhole - sure, you're not adding any remote pressure, but you ARE adding more pressure to R&D/Archives, meaning they'll likely have to spread the ICE a little thinner.

Still working on cracking this one myself.
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mathew rynich
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cardsbydizzle wrote:
My Gabe deck would disagree with you.


My Gabe deck agrees with your Gabe deck. There is plenty of reasons in the game to want to hammer HQ (especially in Blue, where going R&D requires influence). The HQI's are for late game when you can't hammer HQ repeatedly or if you are running imp and want to trash those combo pieces.
 
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Oot TheMonk
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Multi-access cards for HQ are pretty good when you have a lot of fast advance decks running around. If they're not overdrawing, you can run R&D and see one card. If they did overdraw looking for an agenda, you can run HQ and grab it. Most runner decks should be able to make one run per turn late game.

If you have a bunch of multi-access R&D cards, sure you can dig a lot per turn, but so can the runner. Once the runner finds an agenda, most likely they can score it.
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Yi Sheng Siow
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Apreche wrote:
If the corp has a secure remote, and you can't punish HQ with Siphon/Vamp then you're going to waste clicks and credits trying to run there with HQ Interface/Legwork/Nerve Agent because the agendas will have been scored already.


This is basically what I was trying to say. You said it much clearer, it seems. Trying to score from HQ without control of remotes also is silly vs sansan/FA.

No point devoting too many resources getting HQ accesses if you aren't also getting access to/control over the remote.
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Daniel Wray
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Ultimately I think the most successful Runner decks plan for the ability to get in anywhere. The more flexibility you have to apply pressure across all servers, the better prepared you will be to deal with any Corp plan. Having options for multi-access in R&D and HQ is never a bad idea, if you can swing it.

I think siowy's point is a good one that you shouldn't put all your eggs in one basket (especially HQ). Mindlessly hammering a single target might win you some games, but smart opponents will adapt and adjust. You may have a server that is your strength, but those surprise assaults from other directions can often win games, especially if your opponent thinks they have you figured out.
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Jason Hamner
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siowy wrote:
Apreche wrote:
If the corp has a secure remote, and you can't punish HQ with Siphon/Vamp then you're going to waste clicks and credits trying to run there with HQ Interface/Legwork/Nerve Agent because the agendas will have been scored already.


This is basically what I was trying to say. You said it much clearer, it seems. Trying to score from HQ without control of remotes also is silly vs sansan/FA.

No point devoting too many resources getting HQ accesses if you aren't also getting access to/control over the remote.


It's certainly better to have control of remotes (and R&D for that matter), but there are often opportunities to snag agendas out of HQ while they are setting up their SanSan server. When they're ICEing up that remote or taking credits to get to the magic number or hitting Jackson hard is usually a perfect time to hit HQ for multi-access.

Honestly, I have yet to see a deck that I consider "too HQ focused", whereas I have frequently won and lost games due to R&D tunnel vision.
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