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Subject: Playing as the runner? rss

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Hi everyone

I’m fairly new to card games in general but am so far loving Netrunner.

I just wondered if anyone had any advice for when playing as the Runner. I’m not an overly aggressive player though I know I have to be to stand a chance and am learning, but I really struggle on this side. I’m much better at Corp where I win by flatlining my opponent instead of scoring agendas (again, not aggressive enough to advance anything that isn’t ICE without panicking).

I think the main issue I have is that it seems so expensive to run, by the time I think I’ve got enough money and time my opponent is ready to stomp me with their defences. I know money is everything to the Corp but it seems almost as important to the Runner who’s also worrying about hand size, traces etc.

Maybe I’m approaching this a bit backwards, but if someone could help me change my way of thinking that would be great. I think I prefer the Shaper as the other two are a little aggressive to me, or maybe that’s how I should be. All I know is that the Criminal and I don’t see eye to eye. What kind of set up do you aim for mid-game? What’s a good opening hand? These are things I can’t seem to figure out.

I am having a lot of fun trying but I don’t think I’m learning what I should be from my losses ^^; Any advice would be awesome.

Thanks very much!
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Wesley Kinslow
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↳ Do one brain damage ↳ Do one brain damage ↳ End the run
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Just run.

A lot. Especially at unknown ice.

Ice isn't likely to kill you - it'll hurt you but oftentimes it won't kill you. If you keep the Corp broke for most of the game because he's rezzing ICE then you'll have a lot more time to catch up.
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Lawcomic
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Don't make a run without at least 4 cards in hand. Or Wesley will destroy you.
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Agent J
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He's looking real sharp in his 1940's fedora. He's got nerves of steel, an iron will, and several other metal-themed attributes. His fur is water tight and he's always up for a fight.
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You know that fear you get as the Corp when you try to advance an agenda for points?

That's how the other guy feels when you're running. He's scared of you. He's scared because he can't afford that ICE he installed, and that other ICE he has doesn't even end the run.

You don't know that, though.

So what do you do?

You run and find out!

But be patient, and make sure you don't get tagged or damaged without a way to deal with it.

Remember that agendas can tag you, and carry enough cards to defend against that scorched earth.

Other than that, run.

Run run run!

But not on the last click.
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Trevor Schadt
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Remember that you don't need an ICEbreaker installed to Run, and that Running in and of itself costs nothing. If a Corp has left a server (including R&D or HQ) unprotected, you should be Running them at least once every turn. Even if you Run and bounce off an "End the Run" ICE, you forced the Corp to spend the $ to Rez the ICE, and now you know what you need to get around it. That is, in my opinion, an excellent use of a Click.

Run EARLY and OFTEN. In the beginning of the game, the Runner has the advantage, as the Corp struggles to put up defenses. This was our main failing early on, and why the Corp won every one of the early games played at our table: we were all being too hesitant as the Runner, not wanting to Run until we had our breakers set and our rig basically set up. Press that advantage. If the Corp leaves R&D open, Run it until you place a card back on top (i.e., don't score an Agenda or trash an Asset). You've got about a 20% chance of scoring an Agenda every time you hit R&D, and even if you don't, you'll know what the Corp will be drawing next turn and can plan for it. Same thing goes for HQ: you'll know what the Corp already *has* in his hand, and can plan for that.

Keep an eye on the Corp's cred pool, and if it's low (3 or less) you're more likely to be able to Run through derezzed ICE (because they won't have the cash to Rez it).

Don't run on the last Click unless you're absolutely sure of the results. Give yourself that last action to draw cards, take $, or whatever you need to do (as another poster put it, "the last Click is 'me' time").

Know thine enemy. If you're playing with standard OOB decks, you know what you're up against:
HB will put up lots of ICE, and will get money for doing it. You need to Run early and force them to use the credits to Rez the ice. HB and Weyland are the best at getting Creds, so you need to stymie their economy whenever possible.
Jinteki will trap you. Keep a watch on how they advance cards, and try to sniff out if it's a trap or not. Keep a full Grip so that Snares and Junebugs won't Flatline you.
NBN throws around lots of Tags, but very few of them can actually hurt YOU unless (a) you have Resources out, or (b) they've scored a Private Security Force. Unless one of those is the case, you're allowing them to fast-track their Advancement, which will tip the game in their favor, but it's not as destructive as, say...
Weyland requires you to keep a full Grip, and be wary of tags. Scorched Earth is (in my opinion) a game-changing card, especially when combined with Posted Bounty (one of the few cards in the game that allows the Corp to give the Runner a tag on the Corp's turn). The Runner should do everything possible to end their turn with at least 4 cards in their Grip, and even that might not be enough (if the Corp has 2 SEs in their HQ).

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Wow, those replies were super quick, thanks!

I think you're right about ICE, I'll have to suck it in and see what it'll do. I know what happens when I just hang around. But yes ICE is scary to me but it won't kill me, need to get that through my head.

How come you advise against running on the last click? Perhaps that's where I'm going wrong a lot.
 
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j n
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PurikuraPose wrote:
How come you advise against running on the last click? Perhaps that's where I'm going wrong a lot.


If you get tagged or damaged on that last click, you have no way to repair before the opponent gets a turn.
 
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Agent J
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He's looking real sharp in his 1940's fedora. He's got nerves of steel, an iron will, and several other metal-themed attributes. His fur is water tight and he's always up for a fight.
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He's a semi-aquatic egg-laying mammal of action. He's a furry little flat-foot who'll never flinch from a fray. He's got more than just mad skills, he's got a beaver tail and a bill.
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PurikuraPose wrote:
Wow, those replies were super quick, thanks!

I think you're right about ICE, I'll have to suck it in and see what it'll do. I know what happens when I just hang around. But yes ICE is scary to me but it won't kill me, need to get that through my head.

How come you advise against running on the last click? Perhaps that's where I'm going wrong a lot.


Run on last click mean you'll lose cards/get tagged/hit a trap and then next turn, the corp has you dead.

Say you did that against an NBN deck, and I rez a Shadow - I get 2 bits, and trace you, and I have a trace of 5 (I think) due to my 2 bit NBN special thing. So I can boost so that you must take a tag, or I can just run it at 5 - either way, you're probably spending a couple credits that you don't want to. Then, you're through to my deck, or hand, and you draw... snare... and take 3 net damage, and a tag, anyway.

You now cannot get rid of that tag before my turn, you don't have enough cards, and I Scorched Earth you to death. Game over.

Run that on the 1st click, and you can lose the tag(s) on the next click(s).



 
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That makes sense. So much that I feel like I should've known already Thank you.

Thanks everyone for your advice. I'm going to try it out tonight and see what I would like to tweak.
 
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Agent J
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He's looking real sharp in his 1940's fedora. He's got nerves of steel, an iron will, and several other metal-themed attributes. His fur is water tight and he's always up for a fight.
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He's a semi-aquatic egg-laying mammal of action. He's a furry little flat-foot who'll never flinch from a fray. He's got more than just mad skills, he's got a beaver tail and a bill.
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Hey, I'm going to tell you though, I have gone up against a Shaper deck where the main strategy was to not run and wait to get all the stuff for her rig and THEN run.

See, the runner has the advantage to start with, but also when their rig is set up. There's a small mid-game window where they don't have ICEbreakers out and you have ICE out to end their runs. That's the time for agendas. Then again, it's always time for agendas.

I didn't understand what my opponent was doing, or I would have gone agenda-happy to start with, because he basically gave up the early game advantage to get to a late-game advantage faster. If I had acted accordingly, I could have advanced agendas quickly, which I did after building the fort up. Then, he easily broke through the fort to get to the last few points he needed - or he didn't. I don't remember the outcome.
 
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Mat Nowak
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Here are some other threads you may find helpful.

Beginning Runner Advice Needed
Just ordered my copies. Any tips for new players?
How to get better
 
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Trevor Schadt
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Jay brings up (albeit indirectly) another good point: Runner, know thyself. Each Runner faction has strengths and weaknesses, and if you're going to succeed, you need to know how to play each faction:

Anarchs solve problems by breaking them down. Noise's special ability gives Anarchs the best chance for a "decking win" (winning by draining the Corp's draw deck), and dumping all those cards into the Corp's Archives forces them to allocate ICE there. Medium forces more of the Corp's attention onto R&D. Several Anarch ICEbreakers cannot have their Strength upgraded, which means they are less powerful on their own, but as a concerted team, they are extremely powerful. All in all, the Anarchs are considered to have the "best" ICEbreakers, but their limitation is that you need to combine them with Datasucker, Parasite and/or Wyrm to really make them work.

Criminals solve problems by going around them. Gabe's special ability makes Corps allocate more ICE to HQ, especially in the beginning of the game, which means R&D remains a tasty target for you. Sneakdoor Beta, again, forces the Corp to allocate ICE to Archives, which can usually be left relatively open. Femme Fatale allows you to permanently sidestep a piece of ICE by spending credits (great against Tollbooth!), and Inside Job allows you to sidestep a piece of ICE entirely for one run, and will even out against an HQ with 1 ICE on it (the 2 Gabe gets for running HQ refunds the 2 you spent on IJ). Bank Job and Desperado, along with Gabe's ability, means that you should have more access to money than the other Runners. Their weakness, though, is that they have no ICEbreakers for Code Gates other than the generic Crypsis, and you can be sure that your opponent will know that and therefore favor CG ICE.

Shapers solve problems by having the right tool at hand. Kate's special ability makes installing stuff easier, which means she can have a fully pimped-out Rig sooner than the others. (Hence Jay's comment about the Shaper deck designed not to run early, but rather to build up the Rig first, which inspired this post in the first place. Of all the Runners, Shapers are the best equipped to do that.) Unfortunately, Shapers don't have as reliable a source of money as, say, Criminals, and their ICE is generally more expensive to install and use.
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Agent J
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He's looking real sharp in his 1940's fedora. He's got nerves of steel, an iron will, and several other metal-themed attributes. His fur is water tight and he's always up for a fight.
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He's a semi-aquatic egg-laying mammal of action. He's a furry little flat-foot who'll never flinch from a fray. He's got more than just mad skills, he's got a beaver tail and a bill.
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I despise playing against Shapers with their excess linkage and their pretty rebates... bah.
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Joel Gardner
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Heh, "linkage and rebates..."

I'm going to start calling it that
 
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ryudoowaru wrote:
Shapers solve problems by having the right tool at hand. Kate's special ability makes installing stuff easier, which means she can have a fully pimped-out Rig sooner than the others. (Hence Jay's comment about the Shaper deck designed not to run early, but rather to build up the Rig first, which inspired this post in the first place. Of all the Runners, Shapers are the best equipped to do that.) Unfortunately, Shapers don't have as reliable a source of money as, say, Criminals, and their ICE is generally more expensive to install and use.


Whaaatttt?
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Trevor Schadt
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I didn't say they had *any* source of money.

To attempt to actually continue a meaningful conversation: what would you say is the Shapers' weakness, then? They are, after all, the Runner that I've played least often.
 
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Scott C
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ryudoowaru wrote:
I didn't say they had *any* source of money.

To attempt to actually continue a meaningful conversation: what would you say is the Shapers' weakness, then? They are, after all, the Runner that I've played least often.

They're a slow starter, and Shaper icebreakers are inefficient on a per-ice basis unless they're running at deep forts. So I think it's better to suggest that Shapers *need* money more than they are bad at *making* it. They're also prompted to install a lot of high-ticket hardware and software to really leverage their strengths. Mac and Modded mitigate some of that, but not all of it by any means. Finally, their signature programs are MU hogs, so they rely on getting Akasatu Memory Chips or a console out more than the others, IMO.
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Thank you everyone for all of the advice and the links. I have a go yesterday with a more aggressive mindset and it paid off, I won a game! And in the ones I didn’t win I saw an improvement, my opponent was paying out to rez his ICE, spreading his defences more and for the first time I saw him have to wait and think carefully about what he was doing. And you’re right, ICE isn’t so scary now that I think to deal with it in my later clicks. I think my opponent was surprised that I just kept running at him blind with no icebreakers sometimes

I think I may be leaning towards the anarch now that I’m actively going for things, I’ve always liked the idea of milling someone out but I’ll experiment with this new outlook and see what fits.

Now I just need to find out a strategy to deal with his pesky Crypsis when it’s his turn to run. I don’t value it much for my deck, but he plays it well I might learn from him too.

You’re all amazing, what a good group of people to help new players! Thank you.
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Agent J
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He's looking real sharp in his 1940's fedora. He's got nerves of steel, an iron will, and several other metal-themed attributes. His fur is water tight and he's always up for a fight.
badge
He's a semi-aquatic egg-laying mammal of action. He's a furry little flat-foot who'll never flinch from a fray. He's got more than just mad skills, he's got a beaver tail and a bill.
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PurikuraPose wrote:
Thank you everyone for all of the advice and the links. I have a go yesterday with a more aggressive mindset and it paid off, I won a game! And in the ones I didn’t win I saw an improvement, my opponent was paying out to rez his ICE, spreading his defences more and for the first time I saw him have to wait and think carefully about what he was doing. And you’re right, ICE isn’t so scary now that I think to deal with it in my later clicks. I think my opponent was surprised that I just kept running at him blind with no icebreakers sometimes

I think I may be leaning towards the anarch now that I’m actively going for things, I’ve always liked the idea of milling someone out but I’ll experiment with this new outlook and see what fits.

Now I just need to find out a strategy to deal with his pesky Crypsis when it’s his turn to run. I don’t value it much for my deck, but he plays it well I might learn from him too.

You’re all amazing, what a good group of people to help new players! Thank you.


Glad to hear it's paying off. Now the metagame will shift to aggressive runners, which, by the way, makes it a lot more fun to be the corporation.

What I like about this game is that it forces both players to take initiative - runners have to run, corps have to ICE their servers and advance agendas, or tag n' bag.

But it also forces both players to be reactionary to the other's initiative. You put out this type of ICE, I need to dig for this type of breaker. You got that type of breaker, I need to put out a new type of ICE. Through all this is an economy of gaining credits in different ways, and trying to get ahead of the opponents - the corp to rez ICE, the runner to break through that ICE.

And you can only do 3-4 things before your opponent gets his shot at you.
 
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