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Subject: Another balance question from a new player rss

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Paul Walsh
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Hi

Very reluctant to ask this as it's a Jackson Howard question and no doubt you're all sick of them!

I'll never play in a tournament and will be playing 99% of the time with my girlfriend. We currently play mainly core and I have a few other data packs as I originally had the intention of getting all the deluxe packs and Genesis cycle eventually so we had a decent card pool to keep things interesting and I'd head that Genesis pretty much completes core Netrunner.

I've noticed Runner is winning a lot more than 50% of the time and from checking out some forums I'm reading that Jackson Howard pretty much fixes a fundamental problem, i.e. agenda flooding as well as being a generally useful addition.

I assume, as he's rotating out soon, that ways are being found to balance the game without JH but unless I'm willing to buy later packs is the lack of JH giving the Runner a clear advantage? I know people will say to just buy Opening Moves but I'd really rather not have a card that I need to include everywhere and recommend to my friends/gf that to stand an even chance they need to include in their decks.

So TLDR, is early ANR flawed without JH?

Edit: it's the Runner that's winning most of the time, not Corp, so fixed above.
 
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Dave Kudzma
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I've been playing the game, casually and competitively, since the game was released.

I think that I used Jackson more when I was less experienced. I used him as a way to cycle back agendas both due to flood and to simply have the chance to cycle back in a 5/3 that I didn't want at that point or at all.

These days, I'm far less reliant on him. Honestly, he's a big source of draw and baiting runs far more than for cycling agendas. He's also a good counter for Indexing.

There are also many other solutions for flood such as Sensi Actors Union. They're not Jackson, but I think some might argue that in the current card pool he's a bit too good.

I definitely think experience and bluffing out your agendas helps.
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Taylor Kitto
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No one really knows what the metagame will look like after rotation. damon did say in a podcast that all of the corps will get their own thematic agenda flood helper so no more splashing for it. I'm not really worried at balance in this game. Corp and runners have always have very close win rates at high levels of play. corp does win a bit more when inexperienced players are playing for a few reasons.

1. they have all the hidden information. This matters less when the runner is a veteran player and knows what all the ice are likely to be and how to spot bluffs.

2. the runner has a much wider decision tree during their turn so there's more opportunities to misplay on runner side.
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Paul Walsh
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Thanks for the feedback. I've edited my post above as it's the Runner player winning the most and I'm a bit concerned the answer is a straight "include JH".

More agenda-flood helpers would be great - if there were other cards that did the job it would be preferable to there just being the one auto-include.
 
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Roel van der Hoorn
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Jackson Howard is just as an auto-include as Hedge Fund and Sure Gamble are. You often include them, but there are decks in which you don't.

I presume you already include Archived Memories in (at least) your HB decks?

Of course, there's also the new Preemptive Action: https://netrunnerdb.com/en/card/11080.
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Tommy Roman
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There are already some cards in the active pool that do parts of JH's job, but Damon has stated that never again will all of those functions be printed on a single card, nor will JH see a reprinting in his current form. And most of these new cards are not great from a timing perspective- Preemptive Action requires a click which means that your overdrawn agendas are sitting in archives for a full turn before you get to shuffle them back in.

Is JH OP'd? Really depends upon who you ask- for there are those that see him as a crutch for weak players and those that feel his ability addresses some issues with corp gameplay (FWIW, I'm in the latter group). I'm sure there was a debate within the design team about whether or not JH would join the MWL list- and they opted not to do it. So IMHO, JH isn't op'd and he's probably played less now as people have become more comfortable using other techniques to compensate for his abilities.

You shouldn't feel like you absolutely need to have JH, in part because he's rotating out soon anyway and you'd be better off incorporating the most useful of his functions by selecting other cards.
 
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Andrew Brown
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Damon Stone said recently in an interview point blank that every faction will get their own unique way of dealing with agenda flood.

he has also stated in the past that once Jackson rotates out, there won't be anything nearly as powerful as him. that is, having so many effects in one card, at the speed in which you can use them, etc.

consider Preemptive Action



compared to Jackson, the effect is the same: shuffling 3 cards from archives into R&D for a click, but it's a terminal operation, so as soon as you play it, your turn ends, which means you likely want to play this last click, but also, being an operation, you can't play this after your discard phase, so for the purposes of helping agenda flood, you'd need to discard agendas, leave them a turn, then shuffle back into R&D

it also doesn't have a built in way to overdraw like Jackson does
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Kim Choy
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Contrary to the posters above, I'll say that JH definitely shores up weaknesses on the Corp side of the table more than they're letting on. During the release of the Genesis cycle the high-level competitive players were getting somewhere around 70/30 runner wins, IIRC.

Not to say that players then were completely on top of the game. It would be interesting if we could take the top players from today and restrict them to the Genesis card pool and see if the results are the same. A lot of technique has been discovered / developed and honed in that time.

Long story short, you will probably start finding ways to win with the Corp without JH. The game is very complex so don't worry if you seem to be getting stuck in a rut. Try different strategies with the Corp. Build rush decks, fast advance, shell game, glacier, and kill decks and see what works best for you. Give each style a few plays before moving on or dismissing them.
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Brendan Riley
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DeetSC2 wrote:
I'll never play in a tournament and will be playing 99% of the time with my girlfriend. We currently play mainly core and I have a few other data packs as I originally had the intention of getting all the deluxe packs and Genesis cycle eventually so we had a decent card pool to keep things interesting and I'd head that Genesis pretty much completes core Netrunner.


I think the other respondents did a fine job with your question overall, but I have to say I'm a bit confused -- if you've mostly/only stuck to the Genesis cycle and deluxe packs, why are you concerned about rotation?

Or are you mostly asking "what other strategies have people used to deal with agenda flooding"?

Not criticizing, just trying to understand where you're coming from.
 
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Paul Walsh
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wombat929 wrote:
I think the other respondents did a fine job with your question overall, but I have to say I'm a bit confused -- if you've mostly/only stuck to the Genesis cycle and deluxe packs, why are you concerned about rotation?

Or are you mostly asking "what other strategies have people used to deal with agenda flooding"?

Not criticizing, just trying to understand where you're coming from.


It's the latter (and thanks all for the answers above as they address it). For some reason I view the regular inclusion of JH in a very different way than I view e.g. Sure Gamble and Hedge Fund and I have no idea why!

It seems that it may well be the case that agenda flooding is an issue to which the answer is either (a) include Jackson Howard; or (b) include cards (including those yet to be) released in later packs that address the issue. I'm happy to do the latter if needs be and I'd be of course happy if the future design of the card pool resulted in agenda flooding being addressed in different ways so that it became a thing of the past. What I would prefer to avoid is playing a slightly outdated version of the game which relies on the inclusion of JH (thereby impacting deck-building flexibility). To try to clarify I would perhaps ask 'could someone legitimately say "oh core + genesis highlights a substantial game design flaw, if you're limited to one cycle you're better off going core + x as this negates that flaw in other ways and/or through other mechanics"'.
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Brendan Riley
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DeetSC2 wrote:
To try to clarify I would perhaps ask 'could someone legitimately say "oh core + genesis highlights a substantial game design flaw, if you're limited to one cycle you're better off going core + x as this negates that flaw in other ways and/or through other mechanics"'.


I'm still relatively new to keeping track of the competitive meta, but I'd say 3 Jacksons is still de rigueur for almost all decks, so I don't think there's been a substantive solution offered to solve the problem.
 
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Kim Choy
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DeetSC2 wrote:
To try to clarify I would perhaps ask 'could someone legitimately say "oh core + genesis highlights a substantial game design flaw, if you're limited to one cycle you're better off going core + x as this negates that flaw in other ways and/or through other mechanics"'.

I thought I addressed that, kind of.

One thing you won't get is a consensus of 'X' on 'you're better off going core + X'. The game was never designed to be complete or perfectly balanced (it's an LCG afterall), so you're chasing a white whale.

I forget if it was mentioned above, but you might be interested in the upcoming "Terminal Directive" expansion. It uses a core plus the cards in the set and creates a sort-of "Netrunner Legacy" game for two people. The cards contained in the set are legal for play afterward.
 
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Paul Walsh
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umchoyka wrote:
DeetSC2 wrote:
To try to clarify I would perhaps ask 'could someone legitimately say "oh core + genesis highlights a substantial game design flaw, if you're limited to one cycle you're better off going core + x as this negates that flaw in other ways and/or through other mechanics"'.

I thought I addressed that, kind of.

One thing you won't get is a consensus of 'X' on 'you're better off going core + X'. The game was never designed to be complete or perfectly balanced (it's an LCG afterall), so you're chasing a white whale.

I forget if it was mentioned above, but you might be interested in the upcoming "Terminal Directive" expansion. It uses a core plus the cards in the set and creates a sort-of "Netrunner Legacy" game for two people. The cards contained in the set are legal for play afterward.


Yes thanks, to a large extent you did, I just thought I'd clarify it for a couple of the other people who answered. I've definitely got my eye out for the release of Terminal Directive - looking forward to it.
 
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Brendan Riley
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umchoyka wrote:
One thing you won't get is a consensus of 'X' on 'you're better off going core + X'. The game was never designed to be complete or perfectly balanced (it's an LCG afterall), so you're chasing a white whale.


More like chasing a LEVIATHAN.

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