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Android: Netrunner» Forums » Strategy

Subject: Tips on Ice arrangement for a rookie? rss

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David Hansen
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After much procrastination, I finally bit the bullet and started playing Netrunner (what timing!). I'm enjoying it, but I'm finding the runner's game much easier to understand and develop. The corp game remains a mystery.

In particular, I'm having a hard time knowing how to stack my Ice on my servers. I've snooped around various forums and guides, all of which say that properly ordering one's Ice is of great importance. What they mean by "properly" is still unclear to me.

I know the game is extremely fluid, and no one piece of advice applies to every situation or every deck. That said, I'd be very grateful for any general tips about what to to put near the bottom on a server and what to put near the top.

Some more specific questions, if you feel like getting specific with me:

1. I sense that you want your beefy, hard-stop Ice with a load of ETRs near the bottom, and you want your Pop-Up Windows near the top. Is this sound strategy?

2. How many copies of a big piece of Ice (Heimdall 2.0, for example) do you generally put in a deck? I'm feeling a deck should have more early- and mid-game ice than late-game, maybe 3x of your Ice Walls and your Walls of Static, but only 1x of your Heimdall 2.0s. Is this sound?

3. How far ahead should one generally think when building a remote server? Obviously, the outermost piece of Ice won't always be the outermost piece; so how does one know when to "cap" a stack of Ice with a Pop-Up Window (or somesuch thing that's effective only at or near the top of a stack)?

Thanks very much. And I'm quite sure a thread just like this one has existed many times before, but it seems to have been a while since it was on the front page. So, apologies if this clutters up anyone's feed.
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Sebastian Zarzycki
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In general, you get it all right. Just remember that ANR is a game of tempo. You can replace your ice. You need to protect HQ and RnD first. You must be able to rez both ice in first turn. This means that your innermost ice will most often be something cheap and relatively easy to break, but either annoying/significantly taxing for runner, or - more often - just stopping them. So your bigger ice won’t be innermost anymore, but that’s ok. Also remember that a) until rezzed, ice is unknown to runner in the early game and b) ice that you cannot threaten to rez in next turn (you can afford it) is probably badly placed/used (although not always). Use that to your advantage. Your early ice should be so called “gear checks” - easy to install and rez and cheap to break, but forcing runner to find and install appropriate icebreaker - which buys you precious time. Also remember that technically one ETR is as good as six, if runner doesn’t have proper icebreaker.

Now, it’s not the “right” strategy all the time, as it depends on the deck (I.e. sometimes you actually want runner to run), but it’s a good start. When in doubt, use cheap end the run ice and differentiate their types and strengths. Play with it few games and observe when the tempo switches to runner (all the breakers on the table plus money). Learn to recognize that moment - you should react few turns before that and try to lure runner to something bad or just invest in heavier defenses. If you drown in tons of money, just plop ice everywhere in centrals and on your scoring remote - discourage runner even more.

“Properly” is subjective. But you could say that you want all three types of ice on one server, ideally with high str or different str. But pay attention to what runner uses. If he has icebreaker with base str 1 and it costs him 3c to pump str by 4 (hypothetical example), then ice with 6 str will annoy him, as he has to pay additional credits to get through higher “boundary”. And so on. The idea is that “properly” means “enough for you to gain advantage / win”. A lot of it depends on the context.

Remember that runner eventually always will be able to break through. It’s the matter of time and cost. You need to use these windows of opportunity when they appear and if they don’t appear - create them somehow.
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I had my own question about placing ICE that seems like it could fit in here. I understand you can uninstall one when installing a new one. My question is when doing this do you have to still place the new ICE on the outtermost spot? For instance as below

HQ ICE_1 ICE_2

If I want to trash ICE_1 to install ICE_3 could I put it next to HQ or would I have to put it on the outside? Aka which of the following would be correct placement?

A. HQ ICE_3 ICE_2

or

B. HQ ICE_2 ICE_3
 
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Taylor Heffernan
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Option B.
 
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Sebastian Zarzycki
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You can thrash any ice(s) in the server, but install only on the outermost position.
 
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Sébastien A
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DeathMosque wrote:
1. I sense that you want your beefy, hard-stop Ice with a load of ETRs near the bottom, and you want your Pop-Up Windows near the top. Is this sound strategy?

95% of the time, the order of your ICE will be irrelevant. As Sebastian Z. explained in his post, focus instead on cheap ICE in your opening hand -- you ideally want 2. Place them wherever your agendas are most likely to be: Your opening hand is 2 agendas, 2 ICE and 1 operation? Protect HQ and start building a remote; No agendas in your opening hand? Protect R&D.
 
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Andrew Brown
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i would say that, instead of focusing on hard etr at the bottom with taxing stuff on the outside (although it is a sound strategy, it's hard to implement well due to not being able to easily change the order of your ice)

i would suggest instead to focus on taxing ice for central servers and hard etr ice on your remote (as a general rule, not 100% hard and fast)

but runners only have an incentive to run your remote when something is there. even if you install inside of it, they can occasionally ignore it for a turn unless you advance it twice. but R&D will always be there and HQ will usually be there.


for example:

ice wall, pop-up window, enigma, hunter, etc. are better for R&D
tollbooth, archer, wall of thorns are better for the remote

data raven can go on either depending on your strategy, but it can be a good idea to put some on R&D to tax tags

and like a changing strategy, if you are playing a rush deck (a corp deck that tries to win quickly by scoring points), ice wall and enigma are great for remote play. what you want are cheap-to-rez ice that end the run. ideally, what you'd want is to even try to score on the very first turn, establishing a remote before you even protect your centrals.
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David Hansen
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Thank you so much! This is the exact kind of info I've been looking for and failing to find elsewhere.
 
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Tim Vaduva
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This is definitely pretty old, but have you come across this article in your search:

https://runthenet.wordpress.com/2015/10/16/2-tips-for-improv...
(Tip #2)
 
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