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Android: Netrunner» Forums » Strategy

Subject: No idea what I am doing. rss

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Teage Watson
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I recently started learning this game. A friend is teaching me with their decks and I have so far scored one agenda in two games. The problem is I don't understand the decisions I am making. I see the mechanics and understand the rules, but I have zero strategy. Any tips on some entry level articles I can read to help me understand better? Seems like everything I find is either explaining the rules or is in depth deckbuilding advice.
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Amphi Prison
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Excellent question!

You're absolutely right that there isn't any proper introduction to strategy. I wish I could point you in the right direction, but the truth is that the meta changes so suddenly and so violently that even strategic-level thinking is tough to pin down.

Some strategic-level questions:

1) Have you tried to pilot the deck that beats you? Often the best way to learn how to win against a particular matchup is to be on the other end of it.

2) Where are your scoring windows? If you don't know where they are, try playing a really fast deck like Argus Security. Drop 1 point agendas in naked remotes, drop them behind a single Ice Wall or a Quandary or even a Chimera and just go to town. Often, we imagine the runner has all the breakers in hand from turn 1, and that's hardly ever the case.

3). What stage of the game are you in?

Early game: Corp doesn't have at least 1 ice rezzed over each central, runner can easily make successful runs.

Mid game: Runner can break 1-2 types of ICE, or has an AI breaker but no support, Corps generally do the best here.

Late game: Runner has the breakers & support needed to break through all ice, given enough time and money. Ice subs become less important than how many credits they tax the runner's rig to break. At this point, the Corp is lucky to get a 3 pointer off at all, and may struggle to score even a 1 pointer. You will need shenanigans to win as Corp by this point!
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Alan Castree
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Well, the object is to score agendas. Where are they? The core has to put them in a server to score them, so you gotta check there (which could also be dangerous). Agenda's always pass through the had so that's not a bad place to check. If that's not working, you know there's a whole bunch in R&D how do you get them? Checking one card at a time isn't always efficient. Early game and you have money, you can always trash cards and run again to see what the next card is. Cards that allow you multiple accesses are always handy (like the makers eye). If you apply too much pressure in one area, the corp is going to try and keep you out by planting traps or just making it really expensive to get in.

Knowing the different factions can also help give you an idea on your plan of attack.

*NBN tags and does fast advance.
*Jinteki does a lot of net damage and does mind games.
*Wayland is famous for their scorched earth kills (so make sure you have 4+ cards in had at all times)
*HB does the bioroids where you can click to break subroutines.

Try not to run on your last click. If something messes you up you're left helpless for the entire corp turn.

Remember, this is a game about knowing what unrevealed information could be. It's your job as the runner to poke around and see what the corp is setting up. If you run R&D and see a piece of ice, at first you might think "no big deal, it's not an agenda" but remember that piece of ice, what it does, and how you can break it because most likely you'll be seeing it later when it's protecting a server.

The corp sets up the puzzle and the runner tries to solve it.

This is all from the runner perspective. I'm a pretty obsessive casual player so I know quite a bit, but I'm sure others will probably be able to go into more detail.

Hope this little rant helps! Keep at it, man. Netrunner is a really really cool game!
 
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Teage Watson
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Sorry, i should have said i was playing Corp.

As far as game stage goes. It seems that we skipped to the Late game by turn 2 or 3. In the both games Crypsis(or some AI) was down first or second turn and I had little money to rez thanks to Account Syphon(s). I am not sure if this is normal or just particularly bad luck. I was at the point where I had to decide if I should spend what little I had to tax the runner or try to save to be able to afford better ice next round. Either way the runner was getting through. And was able to outspend me 2 to 1. I am sure much of this was due to bad decisions on my part but I do not know enough to pinpoint what they where.
 
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Kevin Fowle
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I am also new. What I did to help me with understanding strategy in this game is to binge watch games on YouTube. Look for channels like dodgepong, team work cast, and adelaide netrunner. They do a really good job with commentary, and often flash an image of the cards as they are played. This way I was able to pause the video and read the cards I didn't know.

By doing this I was able to get a really good grasp of the deeper strategies of the game: When to run, where to run, when not to run. When to install an agenda, when to hold in HQ, when and where to install ice.

The last advice I would give is to not give up on the game. It has recently become my favorite in my game collection. Just persist through the learning curve and you will be well rewarded.
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Mike Bialecki
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the_knucklehead wrote:
Sorry, i should have said i was playing Corp.

As far as game stage goes. It seems that we skipped to the Late game by turn 2 or 3. In the both games Crypsis(or some AI) was down first or second turn and I had little money to rez thanks to Account Syphon(s). I am not sure if this is normal or just particularly bad luck. I was at the point where I had to decide if I should spend what little I had to tax the runner or try to save to be able to afford better ice next round. Either way the runner was getting through. And was able to outspend me 2 to 1. I am sure much of this was due to bad decisions on my part but I do not know enough to pinpoint what they where.


If you are brand new to the game and your opponent is experienced and he's account siphoning you multiple times per game, then he's just being a prick. You will eventually have to learn to deal with Account Siphons, but there are many even more basic skills you should be learning (and your opponent should be helping you learn) before getting spammed by one of the top 10 most powerful cards in the game.

As to specific help for you, one thing to remember is that you never HAVE to rez an encountered piece of ICE. If a runner makes a normal run on R&D, accessing just one card, then let him in. Don't spend your limited money on rezzing that ICE until you have enough money to safely do so. You always want to leave yourself 5 credits or so to build your money pool back up (for those Hedge Funds, for example).
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Alan Castree
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Well, sounds like you had some good ideas. As corp it's good to know how the runner factions work.

The meta has changed but I always saw it as:
*Anarch goes for the archives
*Shaper goes for R&D
*Criminal goes for HQ

This will give you a better idea of how to protect your central servers (crim does have sneakdoor beta and other factions like to splash account siphon)

Protect your money. Runner is going to try to keep you poor, so make it difficult or expensive for them to do this (an ice wall or enigma over your pad campaigns early game helps)

Make a well protected scoring server.

Use different types of ice so they are forced to use different breakers.

Crypsis gets into everything but they need one virus counter per ice and it's expensive to use. If you have three to four layers of ice, they need to click quite a few times just to put the virus counters on the program. Then they have to build up the funds to use it. Of course they'll have other breakers on the table but as someone said before, look for that window of opportunity, when they spent their resources and have to build up again, to install and score that agenda.

The thing I like about Netrunner compared to other LCGs is that even if you're behind, there's always that chance to catch up.

Oh, and if scoring agendas isn't working for you, look for a way to tag and kill the runner.
 
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Mark Campo
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from my newbie days i worked like this

as a newbie id say 13 econ card for either side
lack of money make for a real dull game. 1st thing i learned

cutting cards for econ is hard but not having any econ is worse.

with 13 you should be able to recover form an account siphon and pay for snares, bigger or more ice

also a good mix of asset econ and one time

also as a newbie did have have 6 6 6 ice minimum 6 barriers 6 code gates 6 sentries, (*note some corps want more some less) but to start you off and find out what works i think its a nice number

that 25 cards
+10 to 11 agendas

you have 10ish more to fill in

traps , counters and kill cards

last rule

Generally ICE HQ 1st stop the account siphon
only time you might not is vs shapers who might index and makers eye. R&D,





 
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Geekmate75
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disagree with that.
Account Siphon is part of the game.
He should account siphoning you if this is part of his strategy. But he should also explain how to avoid that.
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Grant Whitesell
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Let the Runner in.

It took me the longest time to figure this out. I wanted him out at all costs.

Then I started playing the Runner more, and to this day about half of my wins as the Runner have come from no breakers on the table. Not. A. One.

It's then that I realized I was watching the Corp's money pool and taking runs at his remotes to keep him broke rezzing ice, only to hit his hand or his RnD. If you're not playing both sides, you're not going to get better at either. It is an asymmetric game, yes - but you simply will not get better piloting the Corp if you do not Run.

Anyway - let him in, as others have said, if it's a single-access run on your R&D or HQ. You also need to look at how much it will cost you to rez the ice vs. how much it will cost him to break it. Is it a different type than the one he has out? Does he have a way to fetch the breaker he needs or is it on the table? How efficient is his breaker?

All of that and MUCH more, including reading your opponent's playstyle and body language goes into the decision to rez or not rez a piece of ice.

It takes time and familiarity with the cards to get better at it. Stick with it - and PLAY BOTH SIDES. I cannot stress that enough.
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Account Siphon deserves a strategy article all its own!

Account Siphon only lands if A) they get past your HQ ice, B) the run is successful, and C) you have 5 or more credits when AS triggers.

A) ALWAYS ICE HQ FIRST. There are times when you can get away with not, but that will come later. Doesn't matter what it is, and don't rez it until you have to. Good Siphoners will do a regular run on HQ first to see if you've got ice worth rezzing, then use Special Order to go dig up the breaker they need to start Siphoning you proper. Jerks.

B) Crisium Grid is an upgrade specifically to ruin Account Siphon's day. Checkpoint is ice that punishes the runner for making a successful run.

C) You have a window to rez assets and upgrades after they pass your ice but before Siphon triggers- use it! I've ruined many a Siphon by going broke or near broke rezzing Eve Campaigns. If you give them less than 8 credits, it's generally no longer worth the trouble to get in then spend the clicks dropping the tags.

You can combine strategies A and C by including tracing ice. Hunter and Data Raven are my favorite choices for this.

All AI has a weakness. Crypsis is relatively expensive, IF they don't Siphon you beforehand XD. Sounds like you big problem was digging yourself out from under the Siphon. I recommend Melange Mining Corp. Just plop it down, and if you have at least 1 credit and they didn't run it, hooray +6 credits next turn!
 
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Sebastian Zarzycki
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Data Raven on HQ and let them Siphon all the way. Have punishing Scorched Earth on hand, just make sure you can get some money fast, if they got you to 0 (Beanstalk Royalties, Reuse, Melange, dripping money from assets, etc.). Even if you don't Scorch, recovering from siphon costs them 3 clicks and 6 credits, which all of sudden makes it less of a good deal.
And of course: if you have assets that you can rez before Siphon hits during a run, rez them, get yourself as close to 0 as possible. Since you would lose the money anyway, it's better to at least use them to rez. Plus, runner will earn less, if they decide to stick with it.
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Stephen Parkes
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Amphiprison wrote:
Account Siphon only lands if A) they get past your HQ ice, B) the run is successful, and C) you have 5 or more credits when AS triggers.

Eh? Are you saying that AS is only likely if the corp has enough money for the runner took scalp the full 10c from them? Reads like you think it's only possible if the corp has 5c+, which isn't true.

I'd definitely siphon for 4c, maybe even 3c as it means bankrupting the corp (unless they had a load of asset econ rezzed).

OP: Don't forget there's a window to rez cards before the siphon run is successful. You can always dump your cash into rezzing assets/upgrades to deprive the runner of being able to rob the full 5c. I quite like to leave 2c in the bank if possible, to be an annoying wank.
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Brad Gravett
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The first step to Netrunner strategy, I think, is economic strategy. Both sides can always take one credit for one click, and will use cards to make credits faster than that. Sometimes, if one side is economically dominant, no amount of cleverness can get around it.

In the early game, the runner is just guessing where to attack, because failed runs (ie, runs that don't produce points or trash cards etc) are cheap. This phase you have two options, either grin and bear it while building up ice and credits; or, try to catch the runner off-guard with a Destroyer or Ambush that sets them way back and allows you to develop your board faster.

In the mid and late games, the corp is responding to the runner's pacing. Runners sort of signal when they're going to run by saving up credits and stocking up on resources. Build up defenses at that time: ice, upgrades and credits. After a runner runs and they've spent their credits and played their good Events, then you have a window to surge ahead and score an agenda.

Try to identify where the runner will run. Shapers like to run R&D, Criminals like to run HQ, and Anarchs like to run Archives (generally - pay attention to the runner's board). If and when the runner develops their rig, you'll never be able to keep them out - you make it more expensive to run. Economically speaking, that's why ice works - you pay once up front for it, but the runner pays every time they encounter it.

There's also an intangible benefit to ice and upgrades - they're intimidating. Face-down cards do that. It gets worse when there are more face-down cards on the table. Bad and inexperienced runners are risk-averse, if you can shake their confidence and make them fear your secrets, you'll have an advantage.

This leads into my last point, the mind games. The corp takes the lead in this dance of lies. At a basic level, you're presenting the runner with two opposite options - either this thing I'm installing is something the runner wants, or something the runner will regret getting. At a more advanced level, you're telling a plausible (but false) story that the runner gets wrapped up in and never doubts. Don't try either unless you understand the runner's strategy and how they perceive the board and perceive you.
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David Jensen
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Your friend is very mean to be teaching you while playing Account Siphon. If you can ask him to play a game without Siphon while you learn.

Against Siphon.
Cover HQ with ICE early, first turn preferably.
Don't Rez the ICE if you can avoid doing so until he plays Account Siphon and you stop it.
Consider keeping an unrezzed asset in a remote. Then Rez it while he siphons to diminish his score.


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