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Subject: Cannot win with Corp rss

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quantum collider
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Ever had a boardgame that you desperately want to love, but still only get frustrated with?

Android: Netrunner is that for me. There is so much I love about this game: the theme, the concept, the mechanics. In fact, I love it so much that I had bought most of the expansions just to see what was on the cards.

But I'm beginning to hate playing it.

I haven't played much, mind you. For a long time I occasionally played it with my wife, and we did not get past the Shaper-Jinteki matchup for beginners as advised in the original rulebook.

Victory was always very lopsided towards the runner; early in a game the corp struggled to get decent ice to protect its HQ, so R&D was wide open for the runner to acces and she managed to draw a Agendas at a steady rate from that pile. I could not put agendas in remote servers as I had no ice to protect them with, so in my HQ hand I sometimes held up to three agendas just hoping the runner would not run on it.

Midgame I generally was dead broke because I needed to rez cards and at least try to advance agendas, while the runner swam in credits and ran on my weak spots with impunity. The few times corp did win was mostly because the runner fell for a trap (while being incautiously low on hand cards).

Recently I tried to get into the game again, following advice from this forum to play Weyland-Criminal. The result are the same utterly disappointing playthroughts as before: early game runner accesses my barely protected HQ and R&D and regularly draws an agenda. Mid game she has a deck and software that can break any ice I have put down, and she swims in creds while I am broke. I cannot even get a trace on her to dish out some meat damage.

So, I am not yet ready to dump Netrunner, but getting frustrated with the passivity and impotence of the corp is not how I picture this game should be.



 
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Scott Saccenti
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I remember going through this moment at the very start of learning this game. If I recall, in core set, the vanilla matchups (shuffle in the neutrals and play!) felt tilted to the runner, agree.

For me, it didn't knock me off the rails, and as you introduce deckbuilding and additional card packs and so on, Corp gets stronger.

Also I think just the nature of the game, for less experienced players the Runner game is just more intuitive (build a rig and run) where as the Corp has to learn more subtleties of timing and bluffing to get those agendas scored.

Ah, to be just starting out in this game again. It's a great journey.
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Roel van der Hoorn
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How do you not get enough ice early game for HQ and R&D? You need only 2.
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Brian Long
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I mean, it’s a tournament competitive game, so I hope you trust that it’s not just fundamentally broken in some way...

Would be helpful if you posted your deck matchups or even a play log.

Who are you playing against btw? I think the game is pretty punishing to mismatched skill levels. At high levels of play, predicting your opponents cards becomes pretty important.
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Sebastian Zarzycki
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Netrunner at its heart is a game of tempo swings. It's quite hard to understand how to play it properly at first. You can read some advice, but ideally, it should be someone next to you, telling you what you could have done better at every point of the game, with context.

If you feel like playing on Jinteki.net sometime, let me know and I'm happy to share some bits with you.
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quantum collider
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saccenti wrote:

Ah, to be just starting out in this game again. It's a great journey.
I do not care much for a 'great journey' to master the game. I do not want to be a master; I simply want to have a quick and enjoyable game with my wife without much fuss. I have the expansions to experiment with my deck, but not the time or will to have games to 'try out' new combos. In fact, most of the cards are still in their box as I have no idea what to do with them.

RvdH83 wrote:
How do you not get enough ice early game for HQ and R&D? You need only 2.
I my experience one layer of ice is almost useless. Two layers of ice is necessary; not to keep out the runner, but at least to drain some credits. Even high level ice like Hadrian' wall hardly makes an impression. Then I also need ice to safely put down Agendas that I have in my hand. So I need at least six ice to just prevent the runner from robbing my agendas, and when her rig has good stuff and lots of credits, even that is easily bypassed.

newobj wrote:
I mean, it’s a tournament competitive game, so I hope you trust that it’s not just fundamentally broken in some way...

Would be helpful if you posted your deck matchups or even a play log.

Who are you playing against btw? I think the game is pretty punishing to mismatched skill levels. At high levels of play, predicting your opponents cards becomes pretty important.
I will not claim it is broken, but you are talking about tournament players who probably know their stuff. If one side is easy to play out of the box by a rookie and for the other side one needs to spend much time and effort to learn the subtleties and even added other cards to get to the same level, then for rookies it might as well be broken.

I play against my wife who is even more of a newbie than I am.

rattkin wrote:
Netrunner at its heart is a game of tempo swings. It's quite hard to understand how to play it properly at first. You can read some advice, but ideally, it should be someone next to you, telling you what you could have done better at every point of the game, with context.

If you feel like playing on Jinteki.net sometime, let me know and I'm happy to share some bits with you.
Thanks. I'll have a look.
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Craig Foster
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"So I need at least six ice to just prevent the runner from robbing my agendas" and "In my experience one layer of ice is almost useless."

You almost certainly have one or more rules wrong, maybe something about clicks per turn or card deployments or costs or how ice/breakers work.

Both players start out weak and build. Late game maybe you need lots of ice, but not early. Your opponent lacks time, resources, and a full range of breakers. Early on, the right ice can be impenetrable to your opponent and/or she just lacks the clicks/resources to do enough runs to keep you on the run.

And, Early on, you can absolutely score agendas without ice if you use the proper bluffs and distractions (and if your opponents knows or suspects you have traps in your deck).

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Tommy Roman
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quantumcollider wrote:
So, I am not yet ready to dump Netrunner, but getting frustrated with the passivity and impotence of the corp is not how I picture this game should be.

I'm sorry to hear about your frustrations, and can only reassure you that the work required to evolve a certain level of competence (not mastery) is worth it.

Your descriptions make me wonder if your deck has sufficient economic resources, ICE spectrum and other support. I also suspect you might be applying one or two rules incorrectly (I've heard of players paying the credits to break ICE and thinking that effect applied for the entire turn, etc.).

The game is asymmetric by design, and the typical course will slightly favor the Runner early on until the Corp establishes itself by mid-game. Late game will almost always swing back to the Runner, as they have a complete rig and can defeat any server with enough time and credits. The game's clock is the Corp deck- once it runs out you lose.

I would also share with you the notion that having a 'great deck' and piloting that deck are two different things. If you're looking for some insight into effective gameplay, I would like to recommend the following:

https://teamcovenant.com/learning/android-netrunner/how-to-p...

The TC crew offer some great advice to help build a balanced deck, and although they are referencing the previous Revised Core Set (not the current System Core 2019), the same principles apply.

Best of luck. Hope you continue to play this great game.
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Sebastian Zarzycki
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CHF_90265 wrote:
"So I need at least six ice to just prevent the runner from robbing my agendas" and "In my experience one layer of ice is almost useless."

You almost certainly have one or more rules wrong, maybe something about clicks per turn or card deployments or costs or how ice/breakers work.

Actually no, what he said makes sense. 2 ICE on R&D, 2 on HQ and 2 on remote. Obviously, different corps play differently, but that's not an unreasonable setup.
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Doc H
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I agree with all those posted that it would be helpful to play next to you. The next best thing (besides playing Jinteki.net with some people) might be to watch some of the videos on youtube that have similar cards to you. Team Covenant did a good job putting up their store tournaments on line; they also had two commentators. This is a good way to learn different aspets, as well as hear them talk about scoring windows, tempos, etc. I learned so much from their videos.

Regarding your experience, my Jinteki decks from early used very little ICE--I might put one in front of HQ and one in front of R&D and one in a scoring server. But I just want them to gently tax the runner. And I don't want shut them down from stumbling into all the traps!

I wonder if you are trying to make your fortress impregnable?
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Roel van der Hoorn
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rattkin wrote:
CHF_90265 wrote:
"So I need at least six ice to just prevent the runner from robbing my agendas" and "In my experience one layer of ice is almost useless."

You almost certainly have one or more rules wrong, maybe something about clicks per turn or card deployments or costs or how ice/breakers work.

Actually no, what he said makes sense. 2 ICE on R&D, 2 on HQ and 2 on remote. Obviously, different corps play differently, but that's not an unreasonable setup.
As setup? I would say then you’re already in the midgame.
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Brian Long
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When you said R&D was wide open and your wife had ready access to agendas there, it makes me wonder if you're playing the game right?

1) Do you have the legal # of agenda points for your deck size?

2) When your wife accesses R&D, assuming there are no cards allowing for multi-access, she looks at the top card. If she can trash it, she pays to do so, and it's trashed. If not, it goes back on top of R&D. In this way, without multi-access, if she hits a run of non-trashable cards, R&D is not very helpful to run. Are you sure you're playing this correctly?

3) You get that ICE breakers have to be brought up to proper strength to interact with ICE for *EACH* ICE encounter, right? Boosting breakers it not something that lasts for the whole run, to be clear.

4) You're auto-drawing as corp, right?

5) When your wife accesses HQ, she's randomly looking at only one card, right? (Again assuming no multi-access).
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Craig Foster
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rattkin wrote:
CHF_90265 wrote:
"So I need at least six ice to just prevent the runner from robbing my agendas" and "In my experience one layer of ice is almost useless."

You almost certainly have one or more rules wrong, maybe something about clicks per turn or card deployments or costs or how ice/breakers work.

Actually no, what he said makes sense. 2 ICE on R&D, 2 on HQ and 2 on remote. Obviously, different corps play differently, but that's not an unreasonable setup.

Actually, no to your no.

As I said and has been said better in other posts, both sides increase in capability over time. In the early game, the corp can’t, won’t and doesn’t need this much ice. Later, there’s a time when that much ice is pretty effective. And then, later, it’s unlikely to be enough. So which part of the game are we talking about?

And that’s my original point: corp victory is about creating friction (costs, threats, damage, confusion, fear, uncertainty) not invulnerability. If the op thinks he “needs” but does not have “2 ICE on R&D, 2 on HQ and 2 on remote,” he’s doing something wrong. When he really needs that deployment, he should be close to or mostly capable of deploying it. It’s an importantly an economic game, there are NEVER “enough” resources on either side but, if played right, there are ALWAYS nearly enough. Played right there is an escalating and more or less equal balance.

The fact that he feels systematically and consistently underpowered is likely a function of an incorrect understanding of the rules (assuming he’s playing with a stock deck, not some gimped mess of his own creation).
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Sebastian Zarzycki
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CHF_90265 wrote:


Actually, no to your no.

As I said and has been said better in other posts, both sides increase in capability over time. In the early game, the corp can’t, won’t and doesn’t need this much ice. Later, there’s a time when that much ice is pretty effective. And then, later, it’s unlikely to be enough. So which part of the game are we talking about?

I'm pretty sure we're talking about mid to late game, and by "setup" I meant "intended board state in that phase".

As mentioned before - discussion about this can quickly become unproductive or hit a wall, if they don't have a common context of the game, that they can refer to. We don't know how the game looks like, whether they follow all the rules, etc, etc. I've taught Netrunner to dozens of people - and it always was a process of sitting with them and, by their approval, providing them insight about current state of the game and possible paths they could take. I've "raised" a few waves of big fans and competitive players this way. That's why I offered "training" via Jinteki.net - I believe it's the best (remote, that is) way to learn. But I can understand that if someone is unwilling to invest some time into understanding the flow of the game, he/she might end up frustrated with the game and blaming it for the poor experience. It is an acquired taste. But, boy, what a taste it is!
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Mike B
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One thing that I think new players don't realize is that it's ok for the runner to steal an agenda sometimes. If you have good money and 1-2 pieces of ICE early, sometimes it's worthwhile to build a remote and just start stuffing agendas in there and forget about your central servers.

Especially with the core set, there's not a lot of consistent, sustained damage that can be done to the corp, unless you just get really bad draws.

Corp takes some time to realize when it's useful to install ICE and sometimes even when it's useful to rez ICE. If you have an unrezed ICE on HQ, but no agendas there, it's often useful to just let the runner in, especially if the ICE is something like an ice wall. Spending a credit to keep the runner from seeing a card they can't steal, but then the runner also knows which breaker they need to get in next time.

Here is an example: you install an ICE in a remote, a Project Atlas behind that ICE, and then play Hedge Fund to get some money. All centrals are open. On the runner's turn, they might run the remote, they run HQ 3 times and R&D once. You may lose one or 0 agendas depending on luck, and the runner has spent an entire turn effectively doing nothing. They have not gained money, or installed any programs. Then you score an agenda next turn, while you have money, ICE and an agenda.
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C&H Schmidt
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One more tip that wasn't mentioned and that I think you should definitely do (on top of watching videos and reading a list of common mistakes to make sure you're not playing wrong, it sounds like you might be):

Swap sides.

You may not naturally want to, but playing as the role you keep losing to really helps you understand what its weaknesses are and how to beat it.
Corp is tougher to play well early on; playing as the runner will help you see how to challenge them.

Here is a list of mistakes you might want to check out:
https://cryoffrustration.wordpress.com/2017/07/09/netrunner-...
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Doc H
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I think we scared the OP away.
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Andrew Brown
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quantumcollider wrote:


RvdH83 wrote:
How do you not get enough ice early game for HQ and R&D? You need only 2.
I my experience one layer of ice is almost useless. Two layers of ice is necessary; not to keep out the runner, but at least to drain some credits. Even high level ice like Hadrian' wall hardly makes an impression. Then I also need ice to safely put down Agendas that I have in my hand. So I need at least six ice to just prevent the runner from robbing my agendas, and when her rig has good stuff and lots of credits, even that is easily bypassed.


do you find that you put enough ice on your centrals, that your opponent stops running there as often? this is the mistake. ice on centrals is merely meant to tax the runner. you don't need anything with end the run and in fact, you really do need something else. dealing damage, draining credits, etc.

hadrian's wall is a great piece of ice for your remote, but terrible for centrals. you want the runner to waste time hitting centrals. you have one agenda in hand, that's an 80% chance every time they run they won't hit anything.
if they're running your deck early, there's such an enormous chance there's no agendas


of course they will hit agendas at times, but that's why you're playing to 7 points.

another thing too is, you need to give your opponent something to do, otherwise they're only going to hit centrals
install pad campaigns. don't protect them. you want the runner to waste time trashing these.
build a scoring remote, but just install your defensive upgrades one at a time, so the runner has to go in through everything just to see there were no points



and most importantly, threaten a kill.
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Simon Andersen
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Quote:
I do not care much for a 'great journey' to master the game. I do not want to be a master; I simply want to have a quick and enjoyable game with my wife without much fuss. I have the expansions to experiment with my deck, but not the time or will to have games to 'try out' new combos. In fact, most of the cards are still in their box as I have no idea what to do with them.


This game is quite possibly not for you.

It's a deck construction game and a living card game. While the gameplay in and of itself is fun and challenging, half the fun is learning new factions, new cards and new combos - and how to deal with those of other players. So learning the game - grasping how to play corp - and mastering it, becoming better at it, is what it's about.

I'm a noob, still only playing the Revised Core. Learning the game with a small card pool is essential for me). It was frustrating and non-sensical to begin with. The runner shot straight through me before I got any kind of decent defence op and running as the corp.

Slowly though, the bluffing and hidden information aspect of the corp side of the game began to make sense, and I actually started winning. Now I enjoy playing corp the most, as laying traps and experiencing the nerve wrecking probabilities of the runner snatching an agenda from me is just a thrill ride.

- - -

Also, if the wife is not into it, you can play it online
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Craig Foster
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Hi Simon!

No doubt you are right in that there is a whole amazing world of fun in deck construction. However, it is not necessary to immerse oneself into deck construction to enjoy ANR. Using a pool of roughly equivalent premade decks, two or more players can simply enjoy the asymmetrical card game that is ANR sans deckbuilding. It's still a brilliant game taken at that level.

Best,

Craig
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Simon Andersen
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CHF_90265 wrote:
Hi Simon!

No doubt you are right in that there is a whole amazing world of fun in deck construction. However, it is not necessary to immerse oneself into deck construction to enjoy ANR. Using a pool of roughly equivalent premade decks, two or more players can simply enjoy the asymmetrical card game that is ANR sans deckbuilding. It's still a brilliant game taken at that level.

Absolutely!

But it's still only half the game
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Sebastian Zarzycki
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CHF_90265 wrote:
Using a pool of roughly equivalent premade decks, two or more players can simply enjoy the asymmetrical card game that is ANR sans deckbuilding.

Only if they know what cards the have, why they have them and how to pilot it. So, in a way, if they understand the deckbuilding part. So... not really, no. ANR is simply more demanding. If you don't understand the subtleties of the deck and the gameplay, chances are you won't be able to just "sit to the game and enjoy it". History would rather suggest that in such case people get away from the table frustrated and confused.
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Your mistake is not thinking like a megacorp! Megacorps are unflappable. They're monolithic. They do not care about a gnat of a runner poking at their HQ. You don't rez ANY ice unless there's a REAL threat coming your way. For instance, 3 of the 5 cards in your hand are agendas. There's an Account Siphon coming. They played a Maker's Eye.

Save your money to rez ice on the remote. Rush, rush, rush. Against Criminal, you probably need 2 ice to safely score on the remote due to Inside Job, but against everyone else one cheap end the run ice is enough. Leave ice on centrals unrezzed, or don't even bother icing them at all if you only find enough ice to protect your remote, and start scoring agendas. You win by scoring, not by stopping the runner from stealing. Stop thinking about making the perfect impenetrable remote, and just bluff out agendas as fast as possible, even if the ice protecting them doesn't end the run! The runner probably thinks it's something horrid like an Archer anyway, and might not even try to run!
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C&H Schmidt
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I don't think the OP is reading this anymore, but that's a good point nonetheless: The runner doesn't know what your face-down cards are, so until the mid-to-late game, it doesn't actually matter whether they can get through your ice. What matters is whether they'll dare trying.
If you're playing against a runner who will just run everything, you need to include cards that will punish this: Ice that deals damage and trashes programs or tags them, maybe even traps, operations like Punitive Counterstrike and Closed Accounts.
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Mike Cook
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I played about 7 times with my son. We got some rules wrong originally. We tried all the Runners and all the Corps at least once.

The runner won all 7 times, mostly easy. Finally gave up.

We mostly used 1 core set. Eventually got a few more cards trying to get better cards for Corps.

If I recall, ice doesn't stop anything usually, just costs more money or gives runner damage.

The question is - can the Corps win with two even 1-core beginner decks?

If it can't, then yes, the game is broken.
 
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