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Android: Netrunner» Forums » Rules

Subject: Trace query rss

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Tony D
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Hi all - played this casually 'back in the day' and am looking forward to having it available again.

I do however have a query about trace - and can't find my old cards to answer it.

How will simplifying this mechanic affect tha game? I can't recall if it was significant in many games or just part of one deck building option (tag and bag from memory?).
 
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Enon Sci
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Mind you, we still have no details on how it was simplified. However, this fantastic summary, reprinted from another thread, touches on most of your concerns:

byronczimmer wrote:

One of the original mechanics in the game was an interaction called the 'trace'.

Traces were initiated in one of two ways:

1) A defensive ICE had a subroutine that caused the trace, which the Runner did not break (either by choice or due to lack of correct ICE breaker). Runs always happened on the Runner's turn.
2) A Corporate Asset, Operation or other card that allowed the Corp to initiate a Trace against the Runner during the Corp's turn.

Regardless of what initiated the Trace, the mechanics were the same: The Corp had a 'trace limit' (established by whatever was running the Trace) which was the maximum number of bits the Corp could spend. The Runner had cards which 'established' a Base Link and dictated the rules for increasing their Link. For example "Spend $2 for Base Link of 3, increase link +1 for $1" (not an actual card to my knowledge). Bits were spent regardless of the outcome, so this was a way for a Runner to empty the coffers of the Corp, or for the Corp to force the Runner to spend resources on unnecessary precautions.

Runner and Corp announced their current bit totals and pulled them off the table. They then did a closed fist, simultaneous auction to Trace or Avoid. The Corp always spent at a $1:+1 Trace ratio and the Runner's costs were dictated by the card they indicated they were using. The Corporate Trace Value was compared to the Runner's Link value (with the Corp winning ties) and if the Trace was successful, a penalty was applied based on the card doing the trace. The most common penalty was a 'Tag', but other effects could occur as well, such as Net/Brain Damage or the destruction of Runner Hardware. Tags could later be used by the Corp to activate other actions, such as directly destroying resources or allowing some cards to be played.

After the very first set of five or six spoiler cards, there were some who hypothesized that the Trace mechanic had been removed, because we saw cards that directly gave Tags, bypassing any need for a Trace... but those types of cards existed in base Netrunner.

With Noise and the mysterious '0' with the two interlocking chain link pieces in the upper left hand corner, the new hypothesis is that every Runner character has some innate ability to avoid Traces and will not need a specific 'Base Link' card already deployed. In Original Netrunner, a Runner without a Base Link would automatically be traced by every trace attempt because they would not be able to spend bits to increase their Link.

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Tony D
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Ah - thanks - some of that is coming back to me now. Sounds like a bit of streamlining might not be too bad in this area given the new elements to the game which have been seen so far that look kinda nice.
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Micheal Keane
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Trace does need to be changed. It can get complicated when you start adding in other cards.

As it existed in classic NR, the trace itself was rarely relevant. You only saw "contested" traces during sealed tournaments. In constructed, the runner either prevented the trace from being done in the first place (by breaking the subroutine), or simply dealt with the consequences of the trace (usually tags). It was never worth installing and paying for a base link or other link cards. Just cheaper to break the routine or install tag prevention cards, especially since they were of more universal use against effects that tagged you without a trace.

Decoy (previously Fall Guy) is now more expensive and factioned so I've been thinking they might be upping the stakes of traces by making one end of the equation (tag prevention) more expensive and force the runner to chance and contest a trace.
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Trace was a really good idea, but NR has "too many moving parts", and Trace was the one that players sacrificed.

It would be great if the game is tuned so that Trace could be effectively included again.

We haven't seen enough cards to know if the FFG "tune up" is going to be good or bad. I wish they'd released more cards before they sent the game to the printers
 
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B C Z
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gyc365 wrote:
Trace was a really good idea, but NR has "too many moving parts", and Trace was the one that players sacrificed.

It would be great if the game is tuned so that Trace could be effectively included again.

We haven't seen enough cards to know if the FFG "tune up" is going to be good or bad. I wish they'd released more cards before they sent the game to the printers


Why? It wouldn't change anything.
 
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