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Subject: Question about ideal card pool rss

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Jonathan Harrison
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I'm not so interested in playing Netrunner right now (someday, though, maybe!) as I am in the mechanics behind a CCG. I've been working on a game design, and although it isn't a CCG, or even an LCG, I'm considering including an element of building one's resources from a pool of powers/actions. However, I've never played Magic or another CCG—a little of the Game of Thrones LCG is the closest I've come. So I'm not as familiar with pre-game deck-building from a pool as I'd like to be. Certainly not enough to be sure to what extent, if any, I want to implement something similar in my own game.

I'd like to ask a couple quick questions about ideal power/action (in Netrunner's case, card) pool in a game that has such things available in varying frequencies. I picked Netrunner because it's the first CCG/LCG that comes to mind for which the card pool is closed—no new cards coming down the line. Magic, on the other hand, and the FFG LCGs ... I'm assuming the card pool is too dynamic to get a good answer to my question if I post in those fora.

As I understand it, Netrunner has four frequencies (?) of cards:

• commons
• rares
• uncommons
• vitals

First, what does each of these signify? What is different about the distribution (am I right that the differences are of frequency?) of each of these four kinds of cards?


I also understand, from the Netrunner Card Database, that there are nine different roles of card in Netrunner:

Corporation
· agendas
· ice
· nodes
· operations
· upgrades

Runner
· hardware
· preps
· programs
· resources


What role does each of these types of card play?


Okay.

Now that I've asked that, here's what I really want to know.

Suppose you were to have a pool of Netrunner cards from which to draw in which you had access to every card at least once.


Would three of every operation card be sufficient? Would four of every common? Two of every rare? One of every agenda?


In other words,

1. On average, how many of each individual...
___· common
___· rare
___· uncommon
___· vital
__would you like in your card pool?


2. On average, what is the minimum number of each individual...
___· common
___· rare
___· uncommon
___· vital
__that you would insist on having in your card pool?



3. On average, how many of each individual...
___· agenda
___· ice
___· node
___· operation
___· upgrade
___· hardware
___· preps
___· programs
___· resources
__would you like in your card pool?


4. On average, what is the minimum number of each individual...
___· agenda
___· ice
___· node
___· operation
___· upgrade
___· hardware
___· preps
___· programs
___· resources
__that you would insist on having in your card pool?



As you can see, I'm mainly curious about how, if you had all cards at your disposal, you'd like your available pool to look, both if you could have everything you liked and if you were restricted to what you'd consider your bare minimum. Because although I have a good idea about how to include a 'deck-building' mechanism in my own game, I'm not certain yet about how many of each power/role to include. As you can imagine, cost plays a large part in this. Easier as it would be to simply include lots of everything, price sets an upper limit on how many of each power/action item I can include in the game.

How do you decide how many of each frequency of individual card you'd like in your ideal pool? Minimum acceptable pool? How many of each individual card, per role, in your ideal pool? Minimum acceptable pool?

What considerations would you use when building an ideal pool of Netrunner cards from which to draft to build all your decks?


Hope I made my question clear enough. I guess the answer could just be as many as possible, so I guess I should ask a different way:

After how many of each individual frequency of Netrunner card would additional card copies be extras that you'd really never need?
After how many of each individual role of Netrunner card would additional card copies be extras that you'd really never need?



I know it won't apply to my game exactly, but since the exact numbers are still very much up in the air, I can at least read the Netrunner rules here on BGG and get ideas of what your answers mean in context. Thanks very much for any help you can give. I appreciate it.
 
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Eugene
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Netrunner is a bit of anomaly in the CCG world in that pre-game deckbuilding isn't a requirement -- it plays exceedingly well with stock starter decks. Yes, the starter decks demand certain cards in certain proportions for the game to function as a game. But to enjoy Netrunner, one needn't delve into acquiring a pool of cards from which to create a personalized deck. In fact, there are many who maintain that constructed decks ruin Netrunner.
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Eugene
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In answer to your question though, here's an informative suggestion by one player (can't find the original thread at the moment):

Quote:
In another thread, I mentioned how I had put together a set of Netrunner cards specifically to build starter-like decks for quick non-constructed play. The card set mimics starter deck play to some degree, but sorts and categorizes cards differently to provide a less chunky experience.

The Corp Deck
Corps cards are sorted by type. However, in my card set I emphasized income by including more copies of those cards that provided bits (whether Operations or Nodes or even Agendas). Here is the breakdown by type of the cards dealt out to form a Corp deck:
24 points worth of Agenda (averaging around 12 cards)
# Nodes and upgrades, where # = 21 minus the number of Agenda cards
15 Operations
10 Sentry ICE
7 Code Gate ICE
7 Wall ICE
=60 cards

Pretty straightforward.

The Runner Deck
Here's where it gets a little tricky. I categorized every Runner card according to its function, rather than its type. I found that sorting by type can leave a randomly dealt Runner deck with not enough tools to really get going. Anyway, here are the categories and the breakdown:
12 Draw cards (cards whose primary function is to get the runner more cards, including search cards)
12 Income cards (anything that generates bits)
8 Attack cards (stuff to mess with the Corp directly, whether Viruses or Preps like Edited Shipping Manifests)
8 Defense cards (prevention cards, links, etc.)
8 Enhancement cards (mem chips, miscellaneous decks, anything toolboxy)
4 Sentry ICEbreakers
3 Code Gate ICEbreakers
3 Wall ICEbreakers
2 Special ICEbreakers (multi-type, generic, or very specific)
=60 cards
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Scott Muldoon (silentdibs)
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Hey, that's my post! I don't remember where it is either... goo
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Jonathan Harrison
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garygarison wrote:
In answer to your question though, here's an informative suggestion by one player (can't find the original thread at the moment):

Thanks. So I'm wondering:

In AGoT LCG, you can't have more than 3 of any individual card in your deck. And of some cards you include in your deck, you wouldn't want even that many, sometimes. At any rate, however many of any particular card you put in your deck, you might have more than that (up to 3 total) available in your pool, for eventualities in which you do want them all.



I get how a person decides how many of a particular card to put in a deck they're building, but I don't understand as well how a person decides how many copies of that card they'd like to own in total.

In other words, I understand how a person might say,

"I want to put 3 copies of 'ICEbreaker' in my deck,"

but not I'm as clear on how a person comes to the conclusion

"I only want to put 1 copy of 'ICEbreaker' in this particular deck, but I want to own X copies of it in my card collection."

Do you really have to individually know each card, or is there a general rule of thumb (how much duplication of individual cards) for particular types of cards, or rarities of cards?



For example, then, in general, for any one, individual, unique card in Netrunner, how many of that one card would you want available to be put in your deck on this one or another? Is this answer different for rares/commons/vitals/commons? For agendas/ice/nodes/operations/upgrades/hardware/preps/programs/resources?


Say, would you consider yourself to have a good pool of available cards if you had
5 of any given vital
3 of any given common
2 of any given uncommon
1 of any given rare
or are these numbers too low? too high? right in some places, wrong in others?


Similarly, but with less reliance on specific numbers, for which types of cards do you want the most duplicates of individual cards?

I'm guessing again, with very little basis except some quick reading:

Corp, for any given card
ice: much duplication of a single given card
node: some duplication
upgrade: slight duplication
operation: no duplication
agenda: no duplication

Runner, for any given card
program: much duplication
resource: some duplication
hardware: slight duplication
prep: no duplication


I'm trying to get my head around some of this deck-building stuff to figure out how players figure out how many copies of each card to put in their pool of owned cards, and thus how designers figure out how many copies of each card to put in the game (non-CCG format), or how common to make each card (CCG format). The latter hampers me only in that (I imagine) the publisher loads players down with too many duplicates of lower-level cards.

How much duplication would you want of any given vital/common/uncommon/rare card, in general?

And, in general, what degree of duplication would you want for ice/node/upgrade/operation/agenda/program/resource/hardware/prep cards?

Thanks for the comments so far. Understanding a good rule of thumb for good levels of card (or whatever) duplication is more difficult than I was anticipating...
 
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Eugene
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The thing is, even if this questioning were answered to your satisfaction, how transferable this information would be to other CCG's -- be they dead ones, current ones, or future ones -- is in itself questionable. Case in point, the rules for constructed decks in Netrunner place no limitations on the number of a particular card in a deck, if I remember correctly. This is not typical. Magic sets the limit to four, for example.
 
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Jonathan Harrison
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garygarison wrote:
The thing is, even if this questioning were answered to your satisfaction, how transferable this information would be to other CCG's -- be they dead ones, current ones, or future ones -- is in itself questionable. Case in point, the rules for constructed decks in Netrunner place no limitations on the number of a particular card in a deck, if I remember correctly. This is not typical. Magic sets the limit to four, for example.

Thanks. That does indeed (I think) answer my question to my satisfaction right there. I was curious whether, for deckbuilder players, there's a few general rules of thumb by which a player new to (say) Netrunner would have a good idea of the importance of a card, and to what degree he wanted to duplicate it, merely after looking over the cards themselves.

Sounds like that isn't the case—and like it will be a lot of trial and error on my part during the design process trying to figure out the minimum number of duplicate actions/resources to make available in order to incur minimum manufacturing cost while providing the players with at least the minimum amount of resources/actions they'll be wanting to use. Oh, well. Guess it was trial and error for everybody else, too.

Guess there's no quick answers in playtesting...

Thanks!
 
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