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Android: Netrunner» Forums » General

Subject: Simplified teaching decks rss

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Remy Gibson
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A user who is interested in getting into the game made this comment to me:

Chip33az wrote:

I wish the games would come with some type of way to learn the game easier. Like start with these rules for simple play and add onto the complexity as you play.

I provided a longer answer than I had anticipated, but I thought there might be some benefit to providing a wider audience for it. I'd be interested in feedback on anything mentioned here.



Clearly they weren't interested in that for Netrunner, eh?

It is possible to construct a deck that lowers the steepness of the learning curve. There are numerous concepts that the preconstructed decks want you to absorb pretty much all at once, but it is possible to strip out some of the more confusing cards and play a simpler game. Unfortunately, that's all but impossible with just the core set; the more simple cards to use are spread out through various expansions.

Although, just with the core set, there might be some things you could try (if you're planning on picking it up, anyway). Let me see if I can set out a simplified structure for the game, and then suggest a basic deck that you could construct.

- The goal of the game is to score 7 points. This is true for both the Runner and the Corp. The catch is that all of the points are in the Corp's deck, so the Runner has to steal them by performing "runs" -- attacks on the Corp's servers (which you can think of as being like fortresses). Meanwhile, the Corp must advance its agenda to score points, which takes time and money.

- The two primary resources in the game are time and money (or in the lingo of the game, clicks and credits). It takes time and money for a Runner to install his hardware, install programs, connect with resources, or engage in events. In the same way, it also takes time and money for the Corp to create new servers, protect them with defenses (ICE), and advance its agendas.

- The cards in a Runner's deck will generally be either economic (they will generate you money) or will help you attack the Corp; a very few other cards are defensive in nature. The cards in a Corp's deck will generally be either economic or will help you defend against the Runner; a very few other cards are offensive in nature.

- A very basic, stripped-down version of the game would include only cards in the Corp's deck which make you money, score you points, or protect you. A very basic, stripped-down Runner deck would include only cards which make you money or enable you to attack the Corp.

With all of that in mind, here is a what you might call a "tutorial" deck for each side:

Runner: Kate "Mac" McCaffrey

Cards:

Icebreakers:
Corroder x1, Battering Ram x2 (Fracters, break Barriers)
Gordian Blade x3 (Decoder, breaks Code Gates)
Ninja x2, Pipeline x1 (Killers, break Sentries)

Economy: Sure Gamble x3, Armitage Codebusting x3


Corp: Haas-Bioroid: Engineering the Future

Cards:
ICE:
Wall of Static x3 (Barrier)
Enigma x3 (Code Gate)
Rototurret x1, Neural Katana x1 (Sentries)

Economy: Hedge Fund x3

Agendas: Priority Requisition x1, Private Security Force x1, Accelerated Beta Test x1


Target score: 4 agenda points


You should be able to play a game that will still feel like Netrunner with these teaching/learning decks. They introduce the core concepts I discussed above of gaining money, installing cards, and attacking/defending. They introduce these concepts by using cards that are as basic as they can be; even in the core set, many other cards tweak these ideas.

I have not actually played a game with these decks. I suspect that the Corp may be at a decided disadvantage here, since the Corp's real strength lies in having defenses that the Runner does not have the tools to breach ... and the Runner will find it easy to get the tools needed with this deck.

Additionally, the person who has read the rules should play as Corp, as Runner is significantly more straightforward to play.

Hopefully this helps if you decide to get the game.

--Remy
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Nice answer, but ffg did actually release a demo deck and simplified rules. See the support section of the ffg Netrunner page
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Remy Gibson
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rbelikov wrote:
Nice answer, but ffg did actually release a demo deck and simplified rules. See the support section of the ffg Netrunner page

I remembered that being true. But are those decks for sale somewhere?

Also: What I've proposed appears to be even simpler and more streamlined. (Perhaps to its detriment, I don't know.)
 
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Rich Charters
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My main advice for new players would be to print out one of the player mats (you can print on a regular 8.5"x11"), then write notes with more common terms on it (deck, discard, etc...).

The game is not very complex, it's the jargon and the deck building aspects that are the barrier to entry.

A good cheat-sheet (player mat) will go a long way.
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Hedyn Brand
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richcharters wrote:
The game is not very complex, it's the jargon and the deck building aspects that are the barrier to entry.

Yep, the core game is pretty easy. Just a lot of keywords to keep a reference to while learning, and a slightly different turn sequence for each side. Get new players used to playing both sides early, and print out a turn flow cheatsheet.

Point the newbies at deckbuilder tools only after they get the hang of demo decks. It's like a puzzle game of its own
 
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