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Android: Netrunner» Forums » General

Subject: Missed opportunity? Double-sided identity cards rss

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darksurtur
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As most people following this game know, it has been updated from the original version in several ways that reflect lessons learned from the past 15 years of CCG/TCG/LCG playtesting, marketing, and distribution. The LCG packaging model is perhaps the most notable example. The largest in-game change is perhaps the addition of identity cards that represent each side as a specific entity.

I think identity cards make a lot of sense, as they reflect the partitioning that has led to, in my opinion, the most robust and diverse CCG card pools. By drastically reduce the playtesting overheard, it opens up the possibility for more frequent releases, more diverse game options, and fewer card errata, restrictions, or bans. On the other hand, did FFG miss an opportunity in this game (as in LOTR) by not taking advantage of printing on both sides of identity cards, which are never shuffled into decks?

I can think of several ways this might happen. In descending order of preference:

1) Multiple identities. In this version, each identity card would contain two identities of the same faction, influence, and deckbuilding requirements, but distinct abilities. At the beginning of the game, either prior to or after card draws, the Corp player would choose an identity and the Runner would subsequently choose theirs. This would be thematic (a megacorp's general identity is well-known; criminal elements have both more hidden and more fluid identities). It would also add additional strategic depth and variability with at most 20 seconds of additional gameplay and a few lines of additional rules. Each match of the same deck would have four times as many ways to play out.

2) Built-in upgrades. These would essentially be built-in assets obtained by paying a cost and flipping your identity card over from its starting side. This would guarantee specific abilities at the cost of your opponent knowing about it and being able to plan around it.

3) Switchable abilities. These would be multiple identities, as in 1, with built-in text allowing identities to be switched during the game at some cost.

4) One-time abilities. These would be one-shot abilities obtained by paying a cost and flipping your card over to its "used" side, ala the Warcraft TCG. I see this as the least appealing because Netrunner does not have a cumulative resource mechanic requiring playing on a curve to keep pace, nor does it have instant-type actions that these kind of abilities would be most suited to.

I know printing double-sided cards involves slightly higher production costs. But would that be worth it?
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Jessey
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5) Same thing on both sides. Since the card is never shuffled into the deck, if it's got the identity on both sides then it's easier to keep apart from the rest.
 
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B C Z
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Kind of like the light/dark sides of the detectives in Android?

I'd say that maybe they're going to do that except for this:


 
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Wesley Kinslow
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This sounds pretty awesome, actually. Maybe something in a future expansion?
 
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Micheal Keane
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There's nothing to say they won't do that down the line. The Core Set needs to keep things reasonably simple after all for people to get used to the basic mechanics.

It's less "missed opportunity" and more "room for creative expansion".
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David Stahler Jr.
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A superb idea for all the possible uses you list.
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reed makamson
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Defiantly a good idea. I would love to see a "dark side" version of core set runners and corps in some kind of seedy-themed expansion. It would be a great homage to the android board game as well as an interesting addition to the card game. Still, I wouldn't call it a missed opportunity, not missed yet anyway.
 
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darksurtur
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ffaristocrat wrote:
There's nothing to say they won't do that down the line. The Core Set needs to keep things reasonably simple after all for people to get used to the basic mechanics.

It's less "missed opportunity" and more "room for creative expansion".


Maybe. I wouldn't count on it, though.

1) These are pretty simple to implement, rules-wise. As I said, it would take no more than a few lines of rules to incorporate two-sided identity cards into the game.

2) It's rare to make such a large change to a basic type of card in LCGs. It messes up a number of things, such as the compatibility of the base set and later expansion sets.

3) FFG has not done something similar in its other games with starting cards, such as LOTR, despite ample opportunities.
 
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darksurtur wrote:
2) It's rare to make such a large change to a basic type of card in LCGs. It messes up a number of things, such as the compatibility of the base set and later expansion sets.

In general, yes but I don't see what kinds of compatibility issues could come up for a future addition of double-sided identity cards. Unless they're planning to print something that shuffles an identity into a deck...or maybe plays Three-Card Monte with the identity and two other cards...

Magic actually did introduce double-sided creatures not that long ago. It seemed like a goofy move, but I don't really play any more, so I haven't used them...
 
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darksurtur
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Chrondeath wrote:
darksurtur wrote:
2) It's rare to make such a large change to a basic type of card in LCGs. It messes up a number of things, such as the compatibility of the base set and later expansion sets.

In general, yes but I don't see what kinds of compatibility issues could come up for a future addition of double-sided identity cards. Unless they're planning to print something that shuffles an identity into a deck...or maybe plays Three-Card Monte with the identity and two other cards...

Magic actually did introduce double-sided creatures not that long ago. It seemed like a goofy move, but I don't really play any more, so I haven't used them...


It means people who buy a base set + expansion pack will have double-sided cards but no understanding of how they work, unless FFG prints a rule supplement with every expansion pack. That is one reason I called it a "missed" opportunity - the base rules are the place to establish things like this.
 
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Drew Dallas
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darksurtur wrote:
Chrondeath wrote:
darksurtur wrote:
2) It's rare to make such a large change to a basic type of card in LCGs. It messes up a number of things, such as the compatibility of the base set and later expansion sets.

In general, yes but I don't see what kinds of compatibility issues could come up for a future addition of double-sided identity cards. Unless they're planning to print something that shuffles an identity into a deck...or maybe plays Three-Card Monte with the identity and two other cards...

Magic actually did introduce double-sided creatures not that long ago. It seemed like a goofy move, but I don't really play any more, so I haven't used them...


It means people who buy a base set + expansion pack will have double-sided cards but no understanding of how they work, unless FFG prints a rule supplement with every expansion pack. That is one reason I called it a "missed" opportunity - the base rules are the place to establish things like this.


They add mechanics to the LCGs like this frequently and yes they do put a rules supplement in the expansion packs to help players.
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Robbie M.
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With LotR, FFG already includes a rule suppliment inside every AP that explains new rules and concepts. They also post these on the support page of their site. It's really not as bad as you think.
 
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Enon Sci
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byronczimmer wrote:
Kind of like the light/dark sides of the detectives in Android?


This really needs to be included as expansion content. The Dark/Light dichotomy was a hallmark of Android's design (Android's presence shouldn't be relegated to mere setting and character references).

Since at least the Runners are individual identities, and not conglomerations like the Corporations, this is fertile ground to explore both the light/dark themes and some of the narrative characteristics of Android (the latter being arguably harder, but welcome if FFG figured out how it could mesh).

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James 3
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its an interesting idea, but the whole notion of identities is brand new, and I think its fitting to have a basic implementation of cards in the core set. I dont think having the starter more complicated than necessary is a good thing, but expansion content has many avenues it can explore...
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If you have a double sided card with an opaque sleeve, you have to reapply the sleeve every time you want to use the other side or use just use clear sleeves.

Multiple identities can be solved by having one additional card printed.

Built in upgrades, switchable abilities, and one-time abilities can all be done with a single-sided card and the use of a single counter on the card.
 
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B C Z
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GreatBucketGod wrote:
If you have a double sided card with an opaque sleeve, you have to reapply the sleeve every time you want to use the other side or use just use clear sleeves.

Multiple identities can be solved by having one additional card printed.

Built in upgrades, switchable abilities, and one-time abilities can all be done with a single-sided card and the use of a single counter on the card.


Identity cards are not required to be sleeved (for tournament purposes).
 
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byronczimmer wrote:
Identity cards are not required to be sleeved (for tournament purposes).


There are people who will sleeve identity cards to keep them protected though.
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B C Z
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GreatBucketGod wrote:
byronczimmer wrote:
Identity cards are not required to be sleeved (for tournament purposes).


There are people who will sleeve identity cards to keep them protected though.


Sure, was just short circuiting the inevitable tournament sleeve question.
 
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darksurtur
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GreatBucketGod wrote:
byronczimmer wrote:
Identity cards are not required to be sleeved (for tournament purposes).


There are people who will sleeve identity cards to keep them protected though.


This is really a non-issue to me. I think any serious Netrunner sleever would be willing to buy one 50-pack of transparent sleeves. After all, most likely they will be buying two colors of sleeves, one for each side, to simplify organization, deckbuilding, and transport.
 
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I think it is an intriguing idea, but Netrunner has such a firm hold in the imagination of so many players that I think this specific implementation would have been too drastic of a departure from the base rules of the game for a lot of people. Best I believe to be conservative in the changes being made and the new rules being added to the base set and introduce such ideas in expansions or data packs.

This definitely is a mechanic I hope they explore.
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