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Subject: Rules, could be better. rss

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Mark Mitchell
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Sorry if a thread has already been posted I couldn't find one.

I do not feel the rules are very well laid out. One of the biggest offenders is Encountering Ice. Why did they not add about beating the ice Strength before discussing sub-routines. It's like a major chunk of the process is missed out.

Also Viruses are not explained very well at all. Particularly installing on ice.

I really think the mistakes people are making and the confusion about basic rules stems from a major lack of information about the basic processes of play in the rule book. I played my first 3 games wrong because of this and am tempted to actually re-write the damn rules; they are so annoying! I would add in clear examples and whole processes.

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prashant Maheshwari
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Oh Boy , watch out ,this thread is going to get populated very fast...
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Steven Tu
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Well, much has been said about the rules, being unclear, being difficult, whatever.

My thoughts:

1) Where there's smoke there's fire. The rules certainly could be done a bit better.

1b) But how much better? And are you sure you can do it? If you have the spare time, go for it. Then whether you can or can't spare the time there'll be endless attacks on your version of the rules and there'll never be a ruling on your rules from FFG, cos, well, why would they?

2) They're actually not terrible. Most things can be found quite easily if you just Ctrl+F on the pdf version.

3) It's the nature of the beast: Netrunner is one of the most complex games I've ever played (well, ok no, Chaos in the Old World trumps it), yet it marries theme and mechanic so well that after you learn it it becomes almost second nature easily. As such the rules will SEEM complex, as it's modelling a whole bunch of systems, but it's really not.

4) Interpretations are usually what makes the rules screwy - and half of those interpretations are people trying to be clever.

5) If everyone will just wait for the RULING FROM FFG then everyone would be happy.
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gamecat_uk wrote:
I do not feel the rules are very well laid out.

Can you give us an example ? Can you reword such a section in what you believe to be clearer ?
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Aaron s
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Tuism wrote:
2) They're actually not terrible. Most things can be found quite easily if you just Ctrl+F on the pdf version.


I'm going with this one. We never had a problem with any of the basic rules. I'm not quite sure what people didn't understand about subrountines.
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Ony Moose
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The main issue in the original rules for me was program trashing. The FAQ made it clear the Corp chooses the target of such effects from ICE subroutines.
 
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Patrick Jamet
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gamecat_uk wrote:
One of the biggest offenders is Encountering Ice. Why did they not add about beating the ice Strength before discussing sub-routines. It's like a major chunk of the process is missed out.

Probably because you do not have to beat the ice's strengh if don't want to break the subroutines with an icebreaker.
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Martin Presley
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One problem rules booklets often face is that you can write them aimed at new players learning the game, or aim them at veterans looking up specifics to determine how certain edge cases ought to be resolved (things like Chum and Femme Fatale). These two approaches require the writers to lay out and structure things differently, to an extent, and they seem to have gone with the latter. I agree it isn't easy as it could be to learn the game just from reading the manual, but it is excellent for looking up things after you understand the basic structure. In a game that is meant to be a competitive game played with constructed decks, choosing that direction doesn't strike me as odd in the slightest.
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Guido Gloor
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Tuism wrote:
4) Interpretations are usually what makes the rules screwy - and half of those interpretations are people trying to be clever.

I think that's the crux of the matter indeed.
 
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Daniel Hallinan
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Tuism wrote:
It's the nature of the beast: Netrunner is one of the most complex games I've ever played (well, ok no, Chaos in the Old World trumps it), yet it marries theme and mechanic so well that after you learn it it becomes almost second nature easily. As such the rules will SEEM complex, as it's modelling a whole bunch of systems, but it's really

MAN that game did something to traumatize you when you played it
(Ironic then, that you actually won it)

In my experience, you have four levels of difficulty when it comes to learning new games. This is a factor of both how well the rules are written, and just how many rules there actually are.

1: New player generally understands the game almost immediately in their first experience.

2: New player generally understands the game halfway through their first experience.

3: New player generally understands the game by the end of their first experience.

4: New player generally understands the game after playing two or three games.

Netrunner is, in my experience, a type 2, along with games such as Dust Tactics, Space Hulk, and so on. Chaos in the Old World is arguably a type 3, while something like most big name Wargames are a type 4.

In regards to the OP...

It is almost guaranteed that, as a new player (and hell, even some experienced players), one will get rules wrong, and keep playing incorrectly for some time. How quickly one realizes this is the important part. In your example, I'd say realising mistakes after three games, without someone already having a good grasp of the rules to point you in the right way, sounds pretty much standard. It's a lot of info to take in, and it has to be re-absorbed several times.

Of course, I've been playing 40k tabletop for nearly five years, so I'm somewhat overly exposed to a plethora of rule disasters, FAQ's, and utter confusion - so I suppose these kind of things are fantastic by comparison
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Jean-Philippe Thériault
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Tuism wrote:
4) Interpretations are usually what makes the rules screwy - and half of those interpretations are people trying to be clever.


And failing.

I think the rules are excellent, in particular the diagram on the turn structure and run structure. Magic:TG could use a diagram like that! I basically read the rules in... October? when the game came out, didn't get a chance to play until January when I met with veteran Netrunner players for a sort-of tournament, pretty much had it all down pat. When I've had questions they were relatively easy to search up in the book. For instance, when I was looking at Adonis Campaign, I went "Hmm it would be nice if I can rez it at the end of my opp's turn, can I do that?" and it was as simple as turning to the turn structure page. The only things I messed up were strategy considerations that are not exactly self-evident from just looking at the rules, not rules mishaps (oh, you mean if I don't ICE up R&D then the Runner might get a turn of four runs on it and score two agendas?).
 
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Mark Mitchell
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Thanks for the various replies.

Just to give some information about my rules experience. I am quite used to complex games, (I played StarFleet Battles for years as well a many other weighty war games etc..) so am quite used to complex rules.

I don't think ANR is that complex in all honestly. Its just unclear. I've even watched videos etc.. but Viruses for example are not explained at all. Virus counters are referenced but I am thinking (WTH are virus counters and what do they do). Nowhere does it simply state "Virus counters are a way for you to track numerical virus effects, usually in a cumulative manner; such as Parasite where each virus counter represents a -1 to the ice it is hosted on". Or something to the effect of 'When a card says Install A Virus place that card on the target card(Usually Ice) remembering that it will continue to cost its MU until de-installed and replaced with another program (Either on Hosted Card or in your Rig).' Granted these are a bit crappy examples but this is the type of information I found missing. Simple stuff really as it isn't at heart that complex a game, terms just need proper examples of the procedure you take.

For example:

Quote:
Probably because you do not have to beat the ice's strength if don't want to break the subroutines with an icebreaker.


So I must have been wrong in my assumption (Now I still haven't played the game properly if this is correct). Basically I can walk through every piece of ice (Unless it has End the Run) triggering every sub-routine, if I survive or do not trigger End the Run I can access the installed card on the server? So the strength is ONLY for breaking sub-routines not to actually pass-through or interact with that ice! Blimey that would have been good to know!

It just feels like the rules require deductional skills due to lack of explicitness.

Looks like this game requires someone to fill in all the gaps, which I feel are quite a few, before you actually get to play a 'proper' game as such.

I even played the original game years ago, I'm getting old... help me...*sigh* lol
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El-ad David Amir
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gamecat_uk wrote:
Sorry if a thread has already been posted I couldn't find one.

*laughing* You have entered dangerous ground, my friend. While this subject was not raised in its own thread (at least as far as I remember), it was discussed in other threads. Despite the fact that new players repeatedly ask the same questions, some forum regulars have declared criticism as the rulebook as taboo.
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Matt
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Apart from leaving out how 'bypass' worked, I thought the rules were decent myself. Certainly better than the original.
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Mark Mitchell
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IirionClaus wrote:
gamecat_uk wrote:
Sorry if a thread has already been posted I couldn't find one.

*laughing* You have entered dangerous ground, my friend. While this subject was not raised in its own thread (at least as far as I remember), it was discussed in other threads. Despite the fact that new players repeatedly ask the same questions, some forum regulars have declared criticism as the rulebook as taboo.


Oh great I'm in a minefield and didn't even know.

Seriously it's a great game... I just want to play the 'real' game and not my variation of it at the moment.

I like explicit, open, lots of example with terms properly explained and with a clear process, I know, I'm an idealist. I found Call of Cthulhu LCG (Even with its bit rubbishy little paper rulebook) easy to work out. This game is challenging me to even get the simplest of the base rules. I think I've got is sussed then read on here I'm wrong. I don't care if people think I'm wrong or right, I've played hundreds if not thousands of games over my 40 years on this earth, even Through the Ages led to less head scratching than this has. (In relative terms as its not a compelex game at heart like I said), Sure something MUST be off with the rules, or I'm suffering from thicky, moany, old, lazy sod syndrome which I'm sure people may accuse me of. They might be slightly right. But I feel I still have a point.

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Adrian Breuch
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I like the rulebook and had no problem with it.

After i got the core game, i read the rulebook two times, read every cardtext and the next day i played it with a friend (after explainig it to him) and the only mistake we had done, was the 'trash program' effect ( Corp choose the program to trash, not the runner).
And English is not my native language.

Sometimes i don't understand people having to much trouble to reread a rulebook more than once.
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Mark Mitchell
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Zyankalium wrote:
I like the rulebook and had no problem with it.

After i got the core game, i read the rulebook two times, read every cardtext and the next day i played it with a friend (after explainig it to him) and the only mistake we had done, was the 'trash program' effect ( Corp choose the program to trash, not the runner).
And English is not my native language.

Sometimes i don't understand people having to much trouble to reread a rulebook more than once.


I have read it more than once. I have re-read it 5-6 times, with reference to it when playing. You see, you wouldn't know you got things wrong but I bet you did...
 
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Mark Mitchell
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So could someone be kind enough to clarify for me:

So I must have been wrong in my assumption (Now I still haven't played the game properly if this is correct). Basically I can walk through every piece of ice (Unless it has End the Run) triggering every sub-routine, if I survive or do not trigger End the Run I can access the installed card on the server? So the strength is ONLY for breaking sub-routines not to actually pass-through or interact with that ice! Blimey that would have been good to know!

So is this correct I can go through every piece of ice without an ice breaker triggering all the Rezzed ice subroutines I encounter, until I am flatlined or hit an end the run? (Or Actually get to access the server as I survived/didn't get hit an 'end the run')
 
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Steven Tu
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gamecat_uk wrote:
So could someone be kind enough to clarify for me:

So I must have been wrong in my assumption (Now I still haven't played the game properly if this is correct). Basically I can walk through every piece of ice (Unless it has End the Run) triggering every sub-routine, if I survive or do not trigger End the Run I can access the installed card on the server? So the strength is ONLY for breaking sub-routines not to actually pass-through or interact with that ice! Blimey that would have been good to know!
So is this correct I can go through every piece of ice without an ice breaker triggering all the Rezzed ice subroutines I encounter, until I am flatlined or hit an end the run? (Or Actually get to access the server as I survived/didn't get hit an 'end the run')



Short answer: yes.

Long answer: Strength is used only for interacting between ice and icebreakers. You as the runner do not need strength to do anything. You are passing through the ice's subroutines and they affect you.

Strength matching is only of any use if an icebreaker wants to interact with a piece of ice.
 
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Jean-Philippe Thériault
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gamecat_uk wrote:
Viruses for example are not explained at all. Virus counters are referenced but I am thinking (WTH are virus counters and what do they do).


Well Virus counters don't DO anything, that's the point. What's a Virus counter? It's a counter. Like, a glass bead, or a penny, whatever. That you put on a card (the action of which is defined as 'hosted' in the rules book). It's called Virus. That's literally all that the rules has or needs to say about them, except for the reference in Corp actions about paying 3 clicks to remove all of them. Everything else that references Virus counters is a card-based exception to the rules.

I mean, I get it, games with exceptions-based rulesets are complex because you need to know the card pool to really figure them out, but that's basically every CCG or LCG out there.

gamecat_uk wrote:
Basically I can walk through every piece of ice (Unless it has End the Run) triggering every sub-routine, if I survive or do not trigger End the Run I can access the installed card on the server?


Why would you need the "End the run" subroutines if you couldn't just go to the next ICE after executing the subroutines? How do you point out an *absence* of a rule? Like, literally, if you read the entire run structure, at which point does it say "if the Runner doesn't break all subroutines, end the run"? How is someone supposed to know that people will just insert rules willy nilly? I mean, they're not saying you should discard all your hand and draw a new hand of 5 at the end of turn, so I guess maybe you should?
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Guido Gloor
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gamecat_uk wrote:
So could someone be kind enough to clarify for me:

So I must have been wrong in my assumption (Now I still haven't played the game properly if this is correct). Basically I can walk through every piece of ice (Unless it has End the Run) triggering every sub-routine, if I survive or do not trigger End the Run I can access the installed card on the server? So the strength is ONLY for breaking sub-routines not to actually pass-through or interact with that ice! Blimey that would have been good to know!

So is this correct I can go through every piece of ice without an ice breaker triggering all the Rezzed ice subroutines I encounter, until I am flatlined or hit an end the run? (Or Actually get to access the server as I survived/didn't get hit an 'end the run')


When the Runner encounters a piece of ice, he has the opportunity to break any subroutines on that piece of ice. After the Runner finishes breaking any subroutines that he wishes to break, each unbroken subroutine on that ice triggers in the order as listed on the card. If a subroutine ends the run, then the run ends immediately and no further subroutines on that piece of ice trigger.

After the Runner breaks all of the ice’s subroutines and/or any effects from unbroken subroutines resolve without ending the run, he has passed that piece of ice. He then continues the run by either approaching the next piece of ice protecting the server or proceeding to the Access phase if there is no more ice to approach.

Those two paragraphs are in the rulebook, on page 18.
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Mark Mitchell
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XDarkAngelX wrote:
gamecat_uk wrote:
Viruses for example are not explained at all. Virus counters are referenced but I am thinking (WTH are virus counters and what do they do).


Well Virus counters don't DO anything, that's the point. What's a Virus counter? It's a counter. Like, a glass bead, or a penny, whatever. That you put on a card (the action of which is defined as 'hosted' in the rules book). It's called Virus. That's literally all that the rules has or needs to say about them, except for the reference in Corp actions about paying 3 clicks to remove all of them. Everything else that references Virus counters is a card-based exception to the rules.

I mean, I get it, games with exceptions-based rulesets are complex because you need to know the card pool to really figure them out, but that's basically every CCG or LCG out there.

gamecat_uk wrote:
Basically I can walk through every piece of ice (Unless it has End the Run) triggering every sub-routine, if I survive or do not trigger End the Run I can access the installed card on the server?


Why would you need the "End the run" subroutines if you couldn't just go to the next ICE after executing the subroutines? How do you point out an *absence* of a rule? Like, literally, if you read the entire run structure, at which point does it say "if the Runner doesn't break all subroutines, end the run"? How is someone supposed to know that people will just insert rules willy nilly? I mean, they're not saying you should discard all your hand and draw a new hand of 5 at the end of turn, so I guess maybe you should?


Its because I had assumed that to even interact and pass a piece of ice and to even have a chance to trigger the sub-routines you had to match the strength of the ice with an icebreaker.

Here is why I assumed that:

"Icebreakers are programs with the icebreaker subtype that
the Runner can use to overcome ice encountered during a run. "

Overcome? What does that mean? I had assumed it meant to pass it. So I assumed that you needed to match the strength to even have a chance to trigger or interact with the sub-routines (ICE as a whole), not that you needed the strength purely to interact with the subroutines on it and then break the sub-routines.

The Icebreaker section should be in the approaching ice section and state more clearly something like this (for idiots like me):

If a runner cannot match the strength of a piece of ice with an icebreaker they forfeit the opportunity to interact and break the sub-routines on that Ice. They may pass that piece of Ice but they would trigger every sub-routine in the order listed. The strength of ice does not block a runner it merely protects the sub-routines from being interacted with by an ice-breaker.

Its just that I had assumed the ICE was more than just its subroutines, I had assumed that the strength was a kind of wall in itself.

Surely this isn't something obvious from the rules? It has really been the only major problem I had with the rules, the other stuff is relatively minor.

 
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Trevor Schadt
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gamecat_uk wrote:
So could someone be kind enough to clarify for me:

So I must have been wrong in my assumption (Now I still haven't played the game properly if this is correct). Basically I can walk through every piece of ice (Unless it has End the Run) triggering every sub-routine, if I survive or do not trigger End the Run I can access the installed card on the server? So the strength is ONLY for breaking sub-routines not to actually pass-through or interact with that ice! Blimey that would have been good to know!


Here's the rule:
Rulebook, p:18 wrote:
After the Runner breaks all of the ice’s subroutines and/or any effects from unbroken subroutines resolve without ending the run, he has passed that piece of ice. He then continues the run by either approaching the next piece of ice protecting the server or proceeding to the Access phase if there is no more ice to approach.

And here's an example:
Rulebook, p.19 wrote:
Bart encounters Wall of Thorns, spending 1c from The Toolbox and 4c from his pool to boost the strength of Crypsis to 5 (4). With only 1c left he cannot break both subroutines on the Wall of Thorns. He breaks the “End the run” subroutine by spending 1c (5), and then must either remove 1 hosted virus counter from Crypsis or trash it. Since there are no virus counters on Crypsis, Bart decides to use his Sacrificial Construct and triggers its prevent effect, trashing it instead of Crypsis (6).

The first subroutine on Wall of Thorns then triggers and resolves, doing 2 net damage. Bart must trash two random cards from his grip. He does so, leaving him with a single card.

Now that Bart has passed every piece of ice protecting the server, he has one last opportunity to jack out. He once again decides to continue the run.

From those two, it seems eminently clear that unless a subroutine ends the run, having subroutines fire on a piece of ICE does not end the run.

gamecat_uk wrote:
So is this correct I can go through every piece of ice without an ice breaker triggering all the Rezzed ice subroutines I encounter, until I am flatlined or hit an end the run? (Or Actually get to access the server as I survived/didn't get hit an 'end the run')
Here are (to the best of my recollection, as of the writing of this comment) the list of things that can end the run:
1) An "End the Run" subroutine fires on a piece of ICE.
2) The Runner chooses to jack out. This can happen after any piece of ICE has been encountered. (For more information on jacking out, see "Approaching Ice" on page 17.)
3) The Runner flatlines.
4) The Corp uses an Agenda Counter from Nisei Mk II to end a run.
5) A piece of ICE has a (non-subroutine) condition that forces the Runner to end the run. (Example: when the Runner encounters Toolbooth, the Runner must pay 3c; if the Runner cannot pay, they must end the run.)
6) The Runner passes every piece of ICE protecting a server. This is the only instance where the run is considered "successful." After a successful run, the Runner may access 1 or more cards, in accordance with the rules relating to which server the Runner was running.
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Mark Mitchell
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ryudoowaru wrote:
gamecat_uk wrote:
So could someone be kind enough to clarify for me:

So I must have been wrong in my assumption (Now I still haven't played the game properly if this is correct). Basically I can walk through every piece of ice (Unless it has End the Run) triggering every sub-routine, if I survive or do not trigger End the Run I can access the installed card on the server? So the strength is ONLY for breaking sub-routines not to actually pass-through or interact with that ice! Blimey that would have been good to know!


Here's the rule:
Rulebook, p:18 wrote:
After the Runner breaks all of the ice’s subroutines and/or any effects from unbroken subroutines resolve without ending the run, he has passed that piece of ice. He then continues the run by either approaching the next piece of ice protecting the server or proceeding to the Access phase if there is no more ice to approach.

And here's an example:
Rulebook, p.19 wrote:
Bart encounters Wall of Thorns, spending 1c from The Toolbox and 4c from his pool to boost the strength of Crypsis to 5 (4). With only 1c left he cannot break both subroutines on the Wall of Thorns. He breaks the “End the run” subroutine by spending 1c (5), and then must either remove 1 hosted virus counter from Crypsis or trash it. Since there are no virus counters on Crypsis, Bart decides to use his Sacrificial Construct and triggers its prevent effect, trashing it instead of Crypsis (6).

The first subroutine on Wall of Thorns then triggers and resolves, doing 2 net damage. Bart must trash two random cards from his grip. He does so, leaving him with a single card.

Now that Bart has passed every piece of ice protecting the server, he has one last opportunity to jack out. He once again decides to continue the run.

From those two, it seems eminently clear that unless a subroutine ends the run, having subroutines fire on a piece of ICE does not end the run.

gamecat_uk wrote:
So is this correct I can go through every piece of ice without an ice breaker triggering all the Rezzed ice subroutines I encounter, until I am flatlined or hit an end the run? (Or Actually get to access the server as I survived/didn't get hit an 'end the run')
Here are (to the best of my recollection, as of the writing of this comment) the list of things that can end the run:
1) An "End the Run" subroutine fires on a piece of ICE.
2) The Runner chooses to jack out. This can happen after any piece of ICE has been encountered. (For more information on jacking out, see "Approaching Ice" on page 17.)
3) The Runner flatlines.
4) The Corp uses an Agenda Counter from Nisei Mk II to end a run.
5) A piece of ICE has a (non-subroutine) condition that forces the Runner to end the run. (Example: when the Runner encounters Toolbooth, the Runner must pay 3c; if the Runner cannot pay, they must end the run.)
6) The Runner passes every piece of ICE protecting a server. This is the only instance where the run is considered "successful." After a successful run, the Runner may access 1 or more cards, in accordance with the rules relating to which server the Runner was running.


I understand all of that read my post, its the strength issue I had a problem with not the sub-routine. I thought you had to match the strength to pass a piece of ice not just to interact with it's subroutines. As you can imagine my running was extremely expensive!!!
 
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gamecat_uk wrote:
Quote:
Probably because you do not have to beat the ice's strength if don't want to break the subroutines with an icebreaker.


So I must have been wrong in my assumption (Now I still haven't played the game properly if this is correct). Basically I can walk through every piece of ice (Unless it has End the Run) triggering every sub-routine, if I survive or do not trigger End the Run I can access the installed card on the server? So the strength is ONLY for breaking sub-routines not to actually pass-through or interact with that ice! Blimey that would have been good to know!

It just feels like the rules require deductional skills due to lack of explicitness.

Looks like this game requires someone to fill in all the gaps, which I feel are quite a few, before you actually get to play a 'proper' game as such.


So, you feel the rulebook is bad because it didn't list an imaginary rule that doesn't exist?

See, this is getting right back to what a couple people mentioned already - the problem is not the rulebook. Play it as written and you won't have any trouble. The problem is people trying to "interpret" the rulebook and add their own rules because they think they make sense even if they aren't printed anywhere. Stop doing that!

So your other example of the virus counters. The rules and cards say everything that needs to be said already. Look at Parasite, or any other virus card. It tells you exactly what that card has to do to place a virus counter, and exactly what that card can do with those virus counters. The only core rule that has anything to do with viruses is that the Corp can spend 3 actions to remove all virus counters.

It doesn't need to say that the virus takes memory. It's a Program card, it has the usual Program card MU icon and associated number. the very idea that it *might not* is purely of your own mind. Play the rules as written and cease making up your own.

Part of the problem I think is that this is an LCG, being played by a lot of people who are accustomed to boardgames. They're not used to the idea that the "rules" are not just in one booklet but are also spread across hundreds of cards with more of them coming out all the time.
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