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Trace amounts of Perfection - New Jinteki Identity


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#41 Runix

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 01:06 PM

TheRealLeo said:

And no, wall of static won't do the trick. Anything that simply ends the run doesn't force the runner to waste anything but an action, so you would have to do something like Archer, Tollbooth, maybe Neural Katana (though I wouldn't because of Mimic), and if you're feeling lucky, an Enigma or Bioroid of some sort. Heck, the best one in my opinion would be Janus, but good luck getting that thing up and running. atontado

OK, good point, Wall of Static isn't the best option.  But there are plenty of others - Enigma will absolutely cause trouble for the Runner, and any of the trace cards (Hunter, Draco) could be effective depending on link strength.  There are also some off-faction cards that would work great, like Matrix Analyzer and Shadow, either by draining Runner resources or building Corp up.  All of those are cheap, 3 credits or less, and all add to the cost of running on the central servers to open up the remote servers.



#42 TheRealLeo

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 02:41 PM

Runix said:

But there are plenty of others - Enigma will absolutely cause trouble for the Runner, and any of the trace cards (Hunter, Draco) could be effective depending on link strength.

Enigma is only good until the Runner gets their code gate breaker, at which point Enigma is most likely useless. Yog.0 breaks it for free, Gordian Blade can just break the click loss subroutine for 1 credit, ZU.13 and Peacock for 2… and if all they have is Crypsis or Wyrm, you've already won anyway burla.

As I said above, Hunter's stock is falling, with the need for link cards rising. I don't forsee Hunter being all that painful for the runner in this situation. Same for Draco.

I can see Shadow and Matrix Analyzer being somewhat useful, but not all that painful for the Runner, so if that's what you want, they aren't going to do you too much good.

One card that I do forsee being very useful is that Hourglass that's coming in A Study in Static, but that's still a few months away from release, so not going to help right now.



#43 Messenger

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 12:44 AM

TheRealLeo said:

But there really isn't anything that truly helps the new identity right now at all. If there had been at least one card that clearly was more useful with the new identity over the original, then I wouldn't have a problem with it, but there isn't. Something like an operation that can rearrange a piece of ice or two would have done the trick, but we haven't seen anything like that yet, so now we have to wait for this one to become more useful, and the more likely choice right now would be to stick with the original identity.

EQUAL support would have been optimal, so that anyone who wants to play Jinteki now has to think hard about which identity they want. Even just one card that works better with the new one would have been helpful. Of course, it probably wasn't as bad as releasing Imp alongside Whizzard. Still, though, I'm not feeling very encouraged to try this new identity, considering it is going to be too hard to maintain a solid arrangement of ice on my central servers, especially with the popularity of Parasite and Femme Fatale in my local meta.

It's not so much that there's nothing that helps Jinteki's new identity- the problem of saying that the new cards support the older identity- but that the new identity supports the specialization or style of Jinteki's ICE. Their ICE are supposed to work together and support each other. This is very problematic where a Jinteki player has to spread them around to cover so many servers since each ICE is rather weak individually. The new identity allows his player to focus his ICE on just 3 servers to produce one deadly string of traps, maxing their strength.

As for equal support for both identities, you can only ask so much from 20-card expansions. I can't deny that Jinteki seems weakest of the Corp factions because of their peculiarly specialized play style, but I do think that FFG has done its part in both supporting both the old and the new. I will concede that Jinteki remains hard to play, but it's just a short matter of time before enough cards are released via the monthly data packs to fix any gaps in Jinteki's powers.



#44 Messenger

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 12:53 AM

TheRealLeo said:

Penfold said:

 

Choosing an identity is a declaration of strategy, and possibly even play style preference.

 

 

I would certainly hope not. Otherwise, as the Corp player, you're gonna lose fairly often if you make yourself predictable just based on the identity you choose. Your identity (when playing Corp) should, at worst, not interfere with your overall deck strategy. Even better if it can be of great use, which is why HB's Core identity is so good. It works with basically any strategy (you always need money, and you'll always be installing things), and it doesn't give anything away about your setup or what you plan to do.

This new Jinteki identity has one downside in that regard, in that it's a significant tell about what strategy you are going to employ. Another downside is that it doesn't have any real support from the current cardbase. If you want to make it work well for you, you're going to have to do all the work yourself, and that's a tall order. Protecting your central servers effectively (because you should still protect your deck and hand) while keeping a mean piece of ice on the outside of each server is very hard to do, especially with a Corp that has credit problems.

I do agree that identities shouldn't be too specific as to narrow your deck to a very specific strategy. I don't mind predictability too much as long as you have the power to make whatever you do unstoppable or unassailable, but the bigger point is the strength of HB's and even Weyland's original identities. It's not so much that they're versatile (they are) but that they work on such a simple and necessary part of the game: the economy. In comparison, it's going to take awhile before HB's new identity has enough bioroid ICE to play with that maxes out its strength.

I've addressed the lack of support from the current cardbase for Jinteki's new identity: Jinteki's Core Set ICE is best when layered on top of each other as described in FFG's preview article about the Corp factions; the new identity makes doing that much easier and- more importantly- more effective.



#45 Penfold

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 02:08 PM

TheRealLeo said:

I would certainly hope not. Otherwise, as the Corp player, you're gonna lose fairly often if you make yourself predictable just based on the identity you choose. 

I think you are going to have a lot of room. If I want to run on HQ I'm going to choose Santiago. If I want a virus deck, I'm going to choose Noise. If I want to protect my remote servers I'm going to choose the new Jinteki ID, if I want to bluff and batter the Runner I'm playing core set Jinteki. If you are tyring to create large forts of ice stopping the Runner and gaining money while I do it then you do not want NBN. And that is why a lot of people suck at NBN and ocmplain that it is bad. They aren't trying to build an NBN deck, they are trying to build a Weyland deck using NBN cards.

Each of these ID's will eventually allow for a number of suites of tactical decisions that will make figuring out what your opponent wants to do next difficult, but the ID will definitely do a really good job of advancing your base strategy and choosing one which does not directly benefit your strategy is going to need to be a very powerful double bluff and I wouldn't expect for that to work very long in casual play and not more than a couple of rounds in  tournament play.

Time will tell though.



#46 TheRealLeo

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 10:36 PM

Messenger said:

 

It's not so much that there's nothing that helps Jinteki's new identity- the problem of saying that the new cards support the older identity- but that the new identity supports the specialization or style of Jinteki's ICE. Their ICE are supposed to work together and support each other. This is very problematic where a Jinteki player has to spread them around to cover so many servers since each ICE is rather weak individually. The new identity allows his player to focus his ICE on just 3 servers to produce one deadly string of traps, maxing their strength.

 

As for equal support for both identities, you can only ask so much from 20-card expansions. I can't deny that Jinteki seems weakest of the Corp factions because of their peculiarly specialized play style, but I do think that FFG has done its part in both supporting both the old and the new. I will concede that Jinteki remains hard to play, but it's just a short matter of time before enough cards are released via the monthly data packs to fix any gaps in Jinteki's powers.

 

 

Umm… no, it doesn't really allow the Corp to focus on just 3. The most it does is to alleviate the need for strong remote servers by one ice, and that's only if you manage your central servers well. If you don't have the means to do that (you didn't get the ice you needed, or couldn't get your economy going), the runner will only need to waste one action to get to your remote servers. Not very helpful.

And you don't have to have the entire pack devoted to supporting the identity. Just one card would have been nice. Something that allows the Corp player some breathing room in how they install and arrange their ice. That's all.



#47 TheRealLeo

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 10:56 PM

Messenger said:

I do agree that identities shouldn't be too specific as to narrow your deck to a very specific strategy. I don't mind predictability too much as long as you have the power to make whatever you do unstoppable or unassailable, but the bigger point is the strength of HB's and even Weyland's original identities. It's not so much that they're versatile (they are) but that they work on such a simple and necessary part of the game: the economy. In comparison, it's going to take awhile before HB's new identity has enough bioroid ICE to play with that maxes out its strength.

I've addressed the lack of support from the current cardbase for Jinteki's new identity: Jinteki's Core Set ICE is best when layered on top of each other as described in FFG's preview article about the Corp factions; the new identity makes doing that much easier and- more importantly- more effective.

If something is unstoppable or unassailable, it is usually termed "broken". That's not something you want for a game. complice

And like I said, your ice arrangement will only be slightly more effective, and certainly not easier. All it takes is a Parasite or two to throw a double-wrench in your machine, where normally it would have just been one, and this doesn't even take into consideration the fact that the new identity doesn't help to protect your central servers any more than the original. You still have to take care to keep a criminal out of your HQ, an anarch out of your R&D and discard, and a Shaper out of R&D, along with whatever other sensitive areas you need to protect. Your central servers will still be there. They will still be of value to the Runner to attack. And you still can't spread yourself too thin on your remotes.



#48 TheRealLeo

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 11:29 PM

Penfold said:

I think you are going to have a lot of room. If I want to run on HQ I'm going to choose Santiago. If I want a virus deck, I'm going to choose Noise. If I want to protect my remote servers I'm going to choose the new Jinteki ID, if I want to bluff and batter the Runner I'm playing core set Jinteki. If you are tyring to create large forts of ice stopping the Runner and gaining money while I do it then you do not want NBN. And that is why a lot of people suck at NBN and ocmplain that it is bad. They aren't trying to build an NBN deck, they are trying to build a Weyland deck using NBN cards.

Each of these ID's will eventually allow for a number of suites of tactical decisions that will make figuring out what your opponent wants to do next difficult, but the ID will definitely do a really good job of advancing your base strategy and choosing one which does not directly benefit your strategy is going to need to be a very powerful double bluff and I wouldn't expect for that to work very long in casual play and not more than a couple of rounds in  tournament play.

Time will tell though.

For the record, I did specify Corp player, not Runner. Runner is a different ballgame in terms of ID selection.

That said, if I'm playing a virus deck, Noise certainly would be useful, but so could Kate, since all the viruses are programs. She could give me a discount on the ones I decide to run, along with my Akamatsu Mem Chips that allow me to run a few extra. And most Corp players aren't going to expect a Shaper to start running Imps and rampage through HQ, so the surprise could certainly work to my advantage.

I built a Shaper deck that ran 3 copies of Bank Job, because most Corp players weren't as concerned with a Shaper having too easy access to a PAD Campaign or two, so getting an easy 8 credits seemed like a pretty good deal. That deck did pretty well for me.

Not to mention, I can't count the number of times that a Weyland identity has got Runners automatically thinking tag-n-bag. What happens if I decide to run Aggressive Secretaries and play them off as Posted Bounties? If the Runner doesn't have their Decoy or Carapace out, they may think they've got to steal my Bounty before I get the kill cards in my hand, so they blindly run at it, and instead lose their rig, while I just coast to an agenda victory.

I have played NBN successfully before, and not even bothered with all that much tracing. In fact, I didn't even use SEA Source. If I were to "maximize" my identity's ability, I would likely have been easily wrecked by any Shaper Runners that I faced, as the link strength would have just killed me.

That's what I mean by you shouldn't be predictable. Your opponent shouldn't be able to see your identity and automatically know that strategy x is what you will do, as opposed to strategy y, z, g, r, or even q. This especially applies to the Corp side, since the Corp is all about hidden information, surprise, and bluffing. If the Runner knows what strategy you are playing, they will know how to "handle" you, and you will likely lose. If you throw something unexpected their way, sometimes the surprise can be a game changer, and can win you the game.



#49 Messenger

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 01:29 AM

TheRealLeo said:

Umm… no, it doesn't really allow the Corp to focus on just 3. The most it does is to alleviate the need for strong remote servers by one ice, and that's only if you manage your central servers well. If you don't have the means to do that (you didn't get the ice you needed, or couldn't get your economy going), the runner will only need to waste one action to get to your remote servers. Not very helpful.

And you don't have to have the entire pack devoted to supporting the identity. Just one card would have been nice. Something that allows the Corp player some breathing room in how they install and arrange their ice. That's all.

Managing central servers is given regardless of what identity you choose play. Sure, the Runner can just bail after getting past the first piece of ICE on a central server, but the fact that remains that he has no choice but to encounter an extra piece of ice and waste a click in order to hit the remote server he wants. Even with their individually weak ice, Jinteki players can still make that outermost central server ice nasty, whether in-faction or "licensed" from another corp; any Netrunner player worth his salt running a Jinteki deck can be expected to do so. Furthermore, ice like Bullfrog and cards like Trick of the Light is a very strong hint of future shenanigans that Jinteki players can use.

As for your second paragraph, that's what Jinteki: Replicating Perfection does.



#50 Messenger

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 02:02 AM

TheRealLeo said:

If something is unstoppable or unassailable, it is usually termed "broken". That's not something you want for a game. complice

And like I said, your ice arrangement will only be slightly more effective, and certainly not easier. All it takes is a Parasite or two to throw a double-wrench in your machine, where normally it would have just been one, and this doesn't even take into consideration the fact that the new identity doesn't help to protect your central servers any more than the original. You still have to take care to keep a criminal out of your HQ, an anarch out of your R&D and discard, and a Shaper out of R&D, along with whatever other sensitive areas you need to protect. Your central servers will still be there. They will still be of value to the Runner to attack. And you still can't spread yourself too thin on your remotes.

And yet it's quite possible to construct virtual fortresses with multiple layers of ICE that is nigh impossible for the Runner to crack. If neither WotC nor FFG in its updated version consider such broken, then neither do I.

Or, for that matter, we can also posit the speedy Criminal runner who gets through early defenses without resistance- or even the possibility of the Corp getting an awful mulligan, being vulnerable to being plundered for most of the early game and losing quickly because the Runner luckily got 3 agendas. It happens a lot but- again- neither WotC nor FFg consider it broken.

In short, unstoppable and unassasilable does happen in Netrunner and yet this is still one of the best designed- and now best updated- card games around.

As far as knowing what your opponent's first move has to be in order to hit you is concerned, the new identity does make ice arrangement eaiser.

Parasite takes time to grow and destroys itself when its host is trashed. A Corp player is simply not going to waste his time letting it do its thing and ultimately put a dent in his defenses. Or, for that matter, he can choose to "waste his time" to keep the things at bay with a purge.

Attacking central servers is a crap shoot. Like the rest of the game, it's a matter of gambling on the things you want actually being there. Without a Demolition Run, The Maker's Eye or Backdoor Beta, a Runner attacking R&D is metaphorically hitting a brick wall if they don't snag an agenda; even with those cards, you're still at mercy of Lady Luck reaping your rewards for you. Same for running on HQ especially where it's possible to access the same card over and over and over; and even HQ-based cards with sure rewards like Account Siphon come with stiff penalties. Archives would be your best bet but a Corp player is not going to be foolish enough to leave it unprotected for long, especially against an Anarch.

Don't get me wrong- I've won games by attacking central servers. I'm not ungrateful for those wins but they were lucky and I'm not proud.

And speaking of which, you're positing that the Runner decides to go through with the rest of the central server run. This brings us back to our other argument about fortifying Jinteki central servers- that would mean playing further into the machinations of the Jinteki player, adding more and more risk and peril to his assault.

At the very least, I see this new identity as letting Jinteki get an extra use out of its central server ice, whether just outermost or the entire line. Making the most out of your resources is useful and powerful. In Magic: the Gathering, you can see it in various examples of the concept of card advantage. I'm both not surprised and glad to see such here.



#51 TheRealLeo

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 01:03 PM

 

Messenger said:

And yet it's quite possible to construct virtual fortresses with multiple layers of ICE that is nigh impossible for the Runner to crack. If neither WotC nor FFG in its updated version consider such broken, then neither do I.

Or, for that matter, we can also posit the speedy Criminal runner who gets through early defenses without resistance- or even the possibility of the Corp getting an awful mulligan, being vulnerable to being plundered for most of the early game and losing quickly because the Runner luckily got 3 agendas. It happens a lot but- again- neither WotC nor FFg consider it broken.

In short, unstoppable and unassasilable does happen in Netrunner and yet this is still one of the best designed- and now best updated- card games around.

I get the feeling you're either having delusions of grandeur (i.e. 3 Janus, 3 Tollbooth, 3 Hadrians Wall, etc.) or you're not taking into consideration the Runner's perspective. Sometimes what seems like an impenetrable wall is not so impenetrable when you actually start to think about the weaknesses, and also what the Runner isn't going to care about when they absolutely have to get through. The only thing that makes a remote server unstoppable or unassailable is an empty root, or one that's hiding a trap.

Just yesterday, I was playing against an HB deck, and my opponent had built a remote server with (from outer to inner) Ice Wall, Ichi, Rototurret, and a second Ichi. Seemed pretty daunting to get through, but it occurred to me (a little too late unfortunately), that even with just my Corroder and Femme Fatale, I could get through it if I absolutely had to for only 8 credits (or 10 if he had rezzed his Experiential Data). Had I realized that during the game, I probably could have won, as I did have 10 credits while he had an agenda in there, but I wasn't thinking in terms of losing programs to Ichi and Rototurret, so I didn't run, and it lost me the game.

There was another game where I had gone crazy with one server, and had built up 7 ICE on it!!! 6 were rezzed, and it looked pretty darn impenetrable. However, at the time, I wasn't thinking from the perspective of the Runner, and when my opponent made his way through for only about 15 credits (may have been less), I was a bit dismayed.

You have to realize that unless you are constantly throwing new things into a remote server that cause the Runner to think he/she needs to get in there, they aren't going to be running remotes all that often, so during breaks in between, they'll either focus on central servers, or building up their economy/rig for future runs. So if you either can't keep throwing cards down to get the Runner's attention, or can't afford to protect the ones you need to protect, then the Runner is not going to feel like they need to run your remotes, and will instead prepare for a bigger run or two, and that is the downfall of seemingly big remote servers.

And for the record, I remember there being an infinite mulligan rule for the Corp player in the original Netrunner, where the Corp player could reveal a hand with 3 or more agendas to redraw, and they could do that any number of times. However, I'm not sure if that was a house rule or an actually existing rule. Futhermore, because there was no minimum deck size requirement (like in A:N), that would have been problematic in tournament play, so if it had existed once, it was cut. In A:N, I think such a rule would work fine and would help tournament play, and it couldn't really be abused because of the minimum deck requirements.

Messenger said:

As far as knowing what your opponent's first move has to be in order to hit you is concerned, the new identity does make ice arrangement eaiser.

Parasite takes time to grow and destroys itself when its host is trashed. A Corp player is simply not going to waste his time letting it do its thing and ultimately put a dent in his defenses. Or, for that matter, he can choose to "waste his time" to keep the things at bay with a purge.

Attacking central servers is a crap shoot. Like the rest of the game, it's a matter of gambling on the things you want actually being there. Without a Demolition Run, The Maker's Eye or Backdoor Beta, a Runner attacking R&D is metaphorically hitting a brick wall if they don't snag an agenda; even with those cards, you're still at mercy of Lady Luck reaping your rewards for you. Same for running on HQ especially where it's possible to access the same card over and over and over; and even HQ-based cards with sure rewards like Account Siphon come with stiff penalties. Archives would be your best bet but a Corp player is not going to be foolish enough to leave it unprotected for long, especially against an Anarch.

Don't get me wrong- I've won games by attacking central servers. I'm not ungrateful for those wins but they were lucky and I'm not proud.

And speaking of which, you're positing that the Runner decides to go through with the rest of the central server run. This brings us back to our other argument about fortifying Jinteki central servers- that would mean playing further into the machinations of the Jinteki player, adding more and more risk and peril to his assault.

At the very least, I see this new identity as letting Jinteki get an extra use out of its central server ice, whether just outermost or the entire line. Making the most out of your resources is useful and powerful. In Magic: the Gathering, you can see it in various examples of the concept of card advantage. I'm both not surprised and glad to see such here.

Your arrangement of ice is going to be dictated by 3 things: 1) The cards you draw; 2) The order in which you draw them; and 3) Your economy. To a large extent, the Corp player has little to no control over all of those things.

For #1, you draw what you draw, and if you don't draw what you need, tough luck. The only things that can help mitigate this right now are Anonymous Tip and Precognition, and that's only going to be 6 out of at least 45 cards in your deck, so not good odds of getting those when you need them.

For #2, you are basically faced with the same situation as #1, but order does matter as well. If you don't want to be discarding a bunch of cards, playing your cards in the order they come will become almost mandatory, which means if you don't get the cards you need in the right order, you may not be able to do what you want to do. If you don't get your Hedge Funds early so you can build up your economy, you might not be able to afford your Wall of Thorns. If you get your Katana before your Wall of Static, you can't have Katana be your outermost ice on R&D, with the Wall on the inside, unless you just hold on to Katana, but then your Katana is taking up room in your hand, and it's not in play to harass the Runner. If you decide to install Tollbooth on HQ to keep out a criminal, but that criminal later plays Femme Fatale, and you can't get a better replacement for your Tollbooth because you've been drawing all your junebugs and EMPs, you're likely hosed.

#3 becomes an extension of 1 and 2 to some degree, with the exception of the built-in credit per click, but we all know that's not going to cut it in a real game. If you can't afford to install and rez the ice you want, then 1 and 2 don't even matter. You might get the ice cards you want in exactly the right order, but if all you are getting is your ice, that means you're not getting anything to build your economy, which you'll need to afford that ice. Thus, you have a serious problem on your hands. Noise is probably going to start milling your agendas or credit generators (since you have all the ice). Gabriel will likely start Siphoning your accounts (since you can't afford to rez a good defense), which will put you even further in the hole. Kate might have a little more difficulty, but if she can use Maker's Eye to spot an agenda or two (since you clearly don't have them), that's also bad news. And we haven't even mentioned Imp, which would just ruin R&D, or maybe even HQ.

What Jinteki needs to really make this identity work well is something that can mitigate the randomness of the draw. Precognition is good, but it only works for 5 cards. Something akin to New Blood (http://www.netrunner...ards/new-blood/) or Jenny Jett (http://www.netrunner...rds/jenny-jett/) would be of use, though both would probably need to be toned down some. I think in this version of Netrunner, those cards would be a little too good as printed.

They also need something to build their economy that doesn't need to be borrowed from other factions. I've been using Melange quite extensively in my Jinteki decks because it's probably the best non-influence-required card available to them for building economy (outside of Hedge Fund). While it is decent, it has to be protected well, or it will get trashed. Furthermore, if all you are doing is gaining credits from Melange, that means your HQ is getting bigger, and your defenses aren't getting any higher. It makes you temporarily vulnerable to attack, and you might have to start discarding a card or two if you're still building up your economy. Something akin to an in-faction Adonis Campaign, or a Corp version of Armitage would help out a lot more. That way, you would have more control over how you spend your actions and build up your defenses while still having some semblance of an economy.

And I still don't get why people have such low expectations for running R&D and HQ. Running R&D is very valuable to the Runner. If the Corp player isn't spending actions to draw cards, a run against R&D each turn will reveal the next card that the Corp player is going to draw, or will net the Runner an agenda. If the card is trashable, then the Runner has the opportunity to distrupt the Corp's strategy, which is also valuable. Even if it is not trashable or an agenda, it is information, which is of great value to the Runner. If you can't figure out how to make use of that information, then you are crippling yourself as the Runner.

Even if the Corp player does spend actions to draw cards, that is still of value to the Runner, as the Corp player is not spending those actions to do something else, and they are probably in a position where they will need to do something with those cards, especially if the Runner has been applying pressure to the central servers as appropriate.

HQ is maybe a little less valuable to the Runner, but it still has its uses. Unfortunately, some of those uses are a little more subtle. Running HQ can potentially produce an agenda, or maybe something trashable. It can also give the Runner information, just like R&D. However, running HQ also has a hidden benefit: it puts pressure on the Corp player to dump things sooner than he/she would like. If the Corp player is holding any agendas, and the Runner proves they can get through to HQ, even if the Runner misses an agenda by a hair, it should still tell the Corp player that it's time to start thinking about getting that agenda (or those agendas) out of HQ. Otherwise, they might just get snagged on the next romp through HQ by the Runner. It also means that the Corp has to think long and hard about what non-agenda cards he/she plays from hand, and how valuable it is going to be to have their effects vs. having them in hand to dilute the random selection when the Runner hits HQ again. Even if the Corp is not holding any agendas, he/she might be holding some assets that they would rather have in play than in the Archives, so again, running HQ will pressure the Corp player into dumping those cards before they may want to, which puts the Corp player at a disadvantage. You should never discount the value of applying pressure. It can cause players to make mistakes, which is what the Runner needs the Corp player to do sometimes, in order to achieve victory.

And none of this has taken into account the existence of Imp, which is huge for the Runner right now. Trashing normally untrashable cards can be devastating for the Corp player, and can also make it potentially easier for the Runner to get to the agendas, either from HQ or from R&D. Imp is so good that it is almost likely to cause the Corp to purge as soon as possible, which can be used to the Runner's advantage.

Lastly, I think the term you're searching for is board advantage. Card advantage usually refers to the relative differences in card plays between two opponents (i.e. I have 3 units in play to your 2, or I can play this unit at a cost of 1, while it would cost you 3, etc.). Since the Runner and Corp player have different kinds of cards, and also use them differently, the concept of card advantage doesn't really work for Netrunner.



#52 Messenger

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 08:39 PM

(Quotes of TheRealLeo in brackets: {})

{I get the feeling you're either having delusions of grandeur (i.e. 3 Janus, 3 Tollbooth, 3 Hadrians Wall, etc.) or you're not taking into consideration the Runner's perspective. Sometimes what seems like an impenetrable wall is not so impenetrable when you actually start to think about the weaknesses, and also what the Runner isn't going to care about when they absolutely have to get through. The only thing that makes a remote server unstoppable or unassailable is an empty root, or one that's hiding a trap.}

{Just yesterday, I was playing against an HB deck, and my opponent had built a remote server with (from outer to inner) Ice Wall, Ichi, Rototurret, and a second Ichi. Seemed pretty daunting to get through, but it occurred to me (a little too late unfortunately), that even with just my Corroder and Femme Fatale, I could get through it if I absolutely had to for only 8 credits (or 10 if he had rezzed his Experiential Data). Had I realized that during the game, I probably could have won, as I did have 10 credits while he had an agenda in there, but I wasn't thinking in terms of losing programs to Ichi and Rototurret, so I didn't run, and it lost me the game.}

Not at all. A Corp player doesn't need 3 Janus's, 3 Tollbooths, 3 Hadrian's Walls, etc. to make an unassailable server. He simply needs enough, whether in terms of lethality or in the ability to end runs, and that doesn't have to mean a grotesquely huge amount of ICE. A Runner can have all the programs and/or cash they need, but if they can't or are unwilling to make it through, then that server is, for all intents and purposes, safe.

In fact, your example raises a good point. Not to be snide about it, but the fact is that you didn't run and you lost the game. Netrunner is a game about bluffing and dealing with incomplete information. What's as good as a mechanically unassailable server? A server that's perceived to be unassailable. It is thus not attacked. In that situation, whether it's actually beyond reach or not, it effectively is unassailable anyway because the Runner is too intimidated to do it.

Furthermore, a server doesn't have to remain unassailable forever; that's impossible given the automatic loss incurred by Corp if R&D runs out of cards and neither should he take so long anyway to win.

On this topic, you can't define as unassailable a remote server hiding a trap. A remote server hiding a trap is only useful if the Runner indeed assails said server, succeeds in getting past the ICE, then accesses the ambush asset he thought was an agenda (or, in Jinteki's case, a Fetal AI that does him in). That would actually be the opposite of unassailable.

Remote servers don't have roots. If you mean by an empty server protected by ICE, sure, it's never going to be attacked, but what's the point anyway, whether from the Corp or Runner's perspective?

{There was another game where I had gone crazy with one server, and had built up 7 ICE on it!!! 6 were rezzed, and it looked pretty darn impenetrable. However, at the time, I wasn't thinking from the perspective of the Runner, and when my opponent made his way through for only about 15 credits (may have been less), I was a bit dismayed.}

{You have to realize that unless you are constantly throwing new things into a remote server that cause the Runner to think he/she needs to get in there, they aren't going to be running remotes all that often, so during breaks in between, they'll either focus on central servers, or building up their economy/rig for future runs. So if you either can't keep throwing cards down to get the Runner's attention, or can't afford to protect the ones you need to protect, then the Runner is not going to feel like they need to run your remotes, and will instead prepare for a bigger run or two, and that is the downfall of seemingly big remote servers.}

As I previously pointed out: a server doesn't have to be unassailable forever; just long enough. We may be discussing by how much we can fortify our servers, but the point of the game is to score or steal Agendas, and being unassailable or unstoppable is only relevant as far as reaching those goals is concerned.

I stand by what I said about hitting central servers being crap shoots. Just as I've won desperate games with them, I've had more instances of being disappointed by what I found.

As for the Runner taking breaks to build up, you can do the same anyway or proceed to advance agendas and put them away from the Runner's reach. It's all part of the game.

{And for the record, I remember there being an infinite mulligan rule for the Corp player in the original Netrunner, where the Corp player could reveal a hand with 3 or more agendas to redraw, and they could do that any number of times. However, I'm not sure if that was a house rule or an actually existing rule. Futhermore, because there was no minimum deck size requirement (like in A:N), that would have been problematic in tournament play, so if it had existed once, it was cut. In A:N, I think such a rule would work fine and would help tournament play, and it couldn't really be abused because of the minimum deck requirements.}

Whether official or a houserule, FFG disagrees with its own version of Netrunner. And I must point out that allowing a player to redraw infinitely can allow players to more easily set up an unassailable and unstoppable position by letting them look for ideal hands, not to mention allow them to stall games because they can legally keep changing what they start with. Hence the 1 mulligan limit we play with or how other card games penalize mulligans.

{Your arrangement of ice is going to be dictated by 3 things: 1) The cards you draw; 2) The order in which you draw them; and 3) Your economy. To a large extent, the Corp player has little to no control over all of those things.

For #1, you draw what you draw, and if you don't draw what you need, tough luck. The only things that can help mitigate this right now are Anonymous Tip and Precognition, and that's only going to be 6 out of at least 45 cards in your deck, so not good odds of getting those when you need them.

For #2, you are basically faced with the same situation as #1, but order does matter as well. If you don't want to be discarding a bunch of cards, playing your cards in the order they come will become almost mandatory, which means if you don't get the cards you need in the right order, you may not be able to do what you want to do. If you don't get your Hedge Funds early so you can build up your economy, you might not be able to afford your Wall of Thorns. If you get your Katana before your Wall of Static, you can't have Katana be your outermost ice on R&D, with the Wall on the inside, unless you just hold on to Katana, but then your Katana is taking up room in your hand, and it's not in play to harass the Runner. If you decide to install Tollbooth on HQ to keep out a criminal, but that criminal later plays Femme Fatale, and you can't get a better replacement for your Tollbooth because you've been drawing all your junebugs and EMPs, you're likely hosed.

#3 becomes an extension of 1 and 2 to some degree, with the exception of the built-in credit per click, but we all know that's not going to cut it in a real game. If you can't afford to install and rez the ice you want, then 1 and 2 don't even matter. You might get the ice cards you want in exactly the right order, but if all you are getting is your ice, that means you're not getting anything to build your economy, which you'll need to afford that ice. Thus, you have a serious problem on your hands. Noise is probably going to start milling your agendas or credit generators (since you have all the ice). Gabriel will likely start Siphoning your accounts (since you can't afford to rez a good defense), which will put you even further in the hole. Kate might have a little more difficulty, but if she can use Maker's Eye to spot an agenda or two (since you clearly don't have them), that's also bad news. And we haven't even mentioned Imp, which would just ruin R&D, or maybe even HQ.

What Jinteki needs to really make this identity work well is something that can mitigate the randomness of the draw. Precognition is good, but it only works for 5 cards. Something akin to New Blood (http://www.netrunner...ards/new-blood/) or Jenny Jett (http://www.netrunner...rds/jenny-jett/) would be of use, though both would probably need to be toned down some. I think in this version of Netrunner, those cards would be a little too good as printed.}

Actually, all players have access to a tool that allows them to mitigate the randomness of their draw:

It's called deck-buildingcomplice

Teasing aside, that's part of the math and science of constructing decks. That's why ratios and proportions and chances are studied so much in card games. That's why there's a minimum number of agenda points a deck must have and why the number of ICE per size of deck is so explicitly stated in the rulebook.

Yes, it leads to hard choices, but if the key to success for making a deck is packing in as much ICE as you can and keeping the number of agendas in it down, then do it.

{They also need something to build their economy that doesn't need to be borrowed from other factions. I've been using Melange quite extensively in my Jinteki decks because it's probably the best non-influence-required card available to them for building economy (outside of Hedge Fund). While it is decent, it has to be protected well, or it will get trashed. Furthermore, if all you are doing is gaining credits from Melange, that means your HQ is getting bigger, and your defenses aren't getting any higher. It makes you temporarily vulnerable to attack, and you might have to start discarding a card or two if you're still building up your economy. Something akin to an in-faction Adonis Campaign, or a Corp version of Armitage would help out a lot more. That way, you would have more control over how you spend your actions and build up your defenses while still having some semblance of an economy.}

I use PAD Campaigns instead.

{And I still don't get why people have such low expectations for running R&D and HQ. Running R&D is very valuable to the Runner. If the Corp player isn't spending actions to draw cards, a run against R&D each turn will reveal the next card that the Corp player is going to draw, or will net the Runner an agenda. If the card is trashable, then the Runner has the opportunity to distrupt the Corp's strategy, which is also valuable. Even if it is not trashable or an agenda, it is information, which is of great value to the Runner. If you can't figure out how to make use of that information, then you are crippling yourself as the Runner.}

I don't disagree with  the value of the foreknowledge gained if you don't find an agenda or an asset worth trashing, but it's still a crap shoot as opposed to the more likely score held by a remote server. I must also point out that the value of said information is based on whether you can actually do something with it.

{Even if the Corp player does spend actions to draw cards, that is still of value to the Runner, as the Corp player is not spending those actions to do something else, and they are probably in a position where they will need to do something with those cards, especially if the Runner has been applying pressure to the central servers as appropriate.

HQ is maybe a little less valuable to the Runner, but it still has its uses. Unfortunately, some of those uses are a little more subtle. Running HQ can potentially produce an agenda, or maybe something trashable. It can also give the Runner information, just like R&D. However, running HQ also has a hidden benefit: it puts pressure on the Corp player to dump things sooner than he/she would like. If the Corp player is holding any agendas, and the Runner proves they can get through to HQ, even if the Runner misses an agenda by a hair, it should still tell the Corp player that it's time to start thinking about getting that agenda (or those agendas) out of HQ. Otherwise, they might just get snagged on the next romp through HQ by the Runner. It also means that the Corp has to think long and hard about what non-agenda cards he/she plays from hand, and how valuable it is going to be to have their effects vs. having them in hand to dilute the random selection when the Runner hits HQ again. Even if the Corp is not holding any agendas, he/she might be holding some assets that they would rather have in play than in the Archives, so again, running HQ will pressure the Corp player into dumping those cards before they may want to, which puts the Corp player at a disadvantage. You should never discount the value of applying pressure. It can cause players to make mistakes, which is what the Runner needs the Corp player to do sometimes, in order to achieve victory.}

It will all depend on what you find.

Grabbing an agenda is luck. But finding out he's got ICE or an operation, like I said, is only good if you can put that knowledge to good use. For that matter, such knowledge can even be misleading to the Runner's detriment; just because you accessed ICE in his hand and he's now putting ICE down doesn't mean he's putting down the same ICE you saw.

As for assets and upgrades, take note that trashing them usually entails a cost or special ability of some sort. A Runner has to "pay" in some manner to do it. That cost can slow him down and give the Corp the win. That's why people like using PAD Campaigns and even don't protect them- 4 credits is a big chunk of the Runner's cash.

I am not above winning by plucking agenda from R&D, HQ or Archives but it's just and still a crap shoot.

{And none of this has taken into account the existence of Imp, which is huge for the Runner right now. Trashing normally untrashable cards can be devastating for the Corp player, and can also make it potentially easier for the Runner to get to the agendas, either from HQ or from R&D. Imp is so good that it is almost likely to cause the Corp to purge as soon as possible, which can be used to the Runner's advantage.}

Okay. TBH, though disruptive it can be, I'm not too threatened. I'm just not.

{Lastly, I think the term you're searching for is board advantage. Card advantage usually refers to the relative differences in card plays between two opponents (i.e. I have 3 units in play to your 2, or I can play this unit at a cost of 1, while it would cost you 3, etc.). Since the Runner and Corp player have different kinds of cards, and also use them differently, the concept of card advantage doesn't really work for Netrunner.}

No; I really do mean card advantage.

Card advantage isn't merely about who's got "more", especially in games that "trade" cards. It's about making the most out of what you have. It's about picking cards that can be used for more than one purpose- or finding ways to do that. It's about not allowing your cards to become dead and useless in your hand but always having a use for them to your benefit.

The subtle thing about the new Jinteki identity is that it effectively allows ICE guarding central servers to also guard remote servers because the Runner has to pass through at least on of the outermost central server ICE first. Sure, he has to pass through that ICE only once, but you're still effectively covering more than one server with a single piece of ICE.



#53 TheRealLeo

TheRealLeo

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 05:20 PM

 

Messenger said:

As I previously pointed out: a server doesn't have to be unassailable forever; just long enough. We may be discussing by how much we can fortify our servers, but the point of the game is to score or steal Agendas, and being unassailable or unstoppable is only relevant as far as reaching those goals is concerned.

-

You did not previously point such things out. To quote your original statement:

Messenger said:

I don't mind predictability too much as long as you have the power to make whatever you do unstoppable or unassailable…

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That is a very general statement, which, as far as I can tell, can only be interpreted as suggesting that there are ways in which a player (in our discussion, a Corp player) can somehow create an impenetrable defense, and thus be guaranteed to win. My response (though I was not explicit) was simply to imply that that's a silly notion, and that it does not exist.

Then there was your response:

Messenger said:

And yet it's quite possible to construct virtual fortresses with multiple layers of ICE that is nigh impossible for the Runner to crack.

In short, unstoppable and unassasilable does happen in Netrunner and yet this is still one of the best designed- and now best updated- card games around.

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It definitely seemed to reiterate that notion of the possibility of a permanently impenetrable defense, again to which I responded that that is ridiculous, especially for a Corp player.

Now it seems you are attempting to go back on what you said, suggesting that such defenses are only impenetrable for a time… well, yeah. Everybody knows that. If it's the start of my turn and I have just corroder in play, no credits, no cards in hand or near the top of the deck which generate credits, and you have TMI guarding your HQ, for at least that one turn, I will not be able get into HQ. Thus, HQ is impenetrable for that one turn. You might be able to further install an Enigma (with credits to rez) to further make it impenetrable from me for even longer, but unless I'm an idiot and didn't include any code gate breakers in my deck, it won't be impenetrable forever.

Every Corp player who is "worth their salt" should know such things. Their defenses don't last forever, and there's nothing they can do about it. The only choice they have is to bluff the runner into wasting money and actions chasing phantoms. Then, while the runner is not in a position to strike, slip an agenda or two through. That is how to play the Corp. Supposing that you can create an indestructible wall and keep the Runner out forever is just ludicrous, and that was what my response was intended to suggest.

Messenger said:

On this topic, you can't define as unassailable a remote server hiding a trap. A remote server hiding a trap is only useful if the Runner indeed assails said server, succeeds in getting past the ICE, then accesses the ambush asset he thought was an agenda (or, in Jinteki's case, a Fetal AI that does him in). That would actually be the opposite of unassailable.

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If there is nothing of value in the server that the runner can attack, then that to me can be clearly defined as unassailable. Whether you see it that way or not is irrelevant. I am communicating a point that is valid. No runner has any use of running a server that is empty or that houses a trap if it is loaded with rezzed ice. Even Bank Job is of no use in such a situation. Whether or not they know that it holds no value to them (in terms of traps) is irrelevant. The terminology is not important, though I do believe my interpretation is quite valid.

I know that you are speaking in terms of the ice that is on the server, not what is in the server, but my definition is concerned with both, and in terms of the long run. Like was stated above, sure, something might not be penetrable by the runner now, but it is not impenetrable forever.

Messenger said:

In fact, your example raises a good point. Not to be snide about it, but the fact is that you didn't run and you lost the game. Netrunner is a game about bluffing and dealing with incomplete information. What's as good as a mechanically unassailable server? A server that's perceived to be unassailable. It is thus not attacked. In that situation, whether it's actually beyond reach or not, it effectively is unassailable anyway because the Runner is too intimidated to do it.

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I was hoping to avoid going into too much detail, but apparently that is not going to be the case. I did not tell you the whole story regarding this game. Here is the longer version:

knew that the server housed an agenda. I knew that scoring that agenda would win me the game. I knew that it didn't matter how I got in there; just that I needed to get in. I was not intimidated in the least. What went wrong for me was that I was too focused on the last Ichi, because I had tagged that Ichi with my Femme Fatale. My whole mindset at the time was, "how do I manage to keep 3 credits to bypass that Ichi?" I kept thinking about how I could conjure up the 3 credits so I could do what my deck was designed to do (it was the Triple Femme deck), never thinking for a moment that Ichi doesn't end the run. I didn't need to bypass it. I just needed to get past the Rototurret, and I was in. At the time, it did not occur to me. I only thought of it afterward, when the game was over.

thought at the time that it was a Priority Requisition, as my opponent needed 3 more points to win. It turned out it was not, but was instead a Private Security Force. On his next turn, he advanced it 3 more times, scored it, and with his last action (Mandatory Upgrades), he damaged me for 1, since I had left 3 tags on myself. That damage did not kill me, but it did leave me empty-handed, so I had no choice but to spend a large chunk of my remaining credits to ditch the tags. Otherwise, it would have been a guaranteed loss. Unfortunately, it put me in a position where I could no longer access HQ or R&D, and since none of his remotes were housing anything of consequence at the time, I had no option left but to try and build back up for another run. On his next turn, he played a Beta Test, advanced it 3 times, and scored it for the win.

It had nothing to do with the server looking "intimidating". My opponent did not pull off some amazing bluff. It had to do with me not thinking it all the way through, which is just something in my game that I still need to work on. I occasionally do that from time to time, and I always find it annoying when I think back on some situation that I thought was impossible, and then I realize there was, in fact, a solution that I had missed.

Messenger said:

A Runner can have all the programs and/or cash they need, but if they can't or are unwilling to make it through, then that server is, for all intents and purposes, safe.

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This is a logical fallacy. If the runner has "all the programs and/or cash they need," they can get through. There is no can't in such a situation. FFG did not design any ICE that can't have their subroutines broken in some way. Furthermore, just because the runner does not think they can get through, or, as you call it, are intimidated, does not mean that the server is safe. The server is only safe if the runner really cannot get through, either because they lack the cards, the credits, or both.

Of course, it is also safe if it houses a trap, or is empty, like I said.

Messenger said:

I stand by what I said about hitting central servers being crap shoots. Just as I've won desperate games with them, I've had more instances of being disappointed by what I found.

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But your statements led me to believe that it has no value, or very very little value. Such a notion would lead me to believe you would not value protecting R&D and HQ all that much as the Corp player. That is not a wise decision in my opinion. If you do not attach a high enough cost to running HQ or R&D, you'd better believe that the runner is going to run them often, and chances are that those many "crap shoots" are going to produce results. Another important aspect of playing the Corp player is figuring out what runs are important to the Runner, and then slapping enough ice down to make those runs more costly, so as to discourage the Runner from making those runs as often. When playing against a criminal, generally the Corp player should attach a high cost to running HQ, and possibly even Archives. When an anarch Runner drops a Medium or two, that should be a signal to the Corp to make R&D less accessible. If in either of those situations the Corp player simply ignores the capabilities of those Runners, that Corp player is almost certain to lose.

I stand by what I said: that running HQ and R&D is valuable. If the Corp player does nothing to reduce that value to the point where it is almost worthless, then it could potentially give the Runner a victory.

Messenger said:

And I must point out that allowing a player to redraw infinitely can allow players to more easily set up an unassailable and unstoppable position by letting them look for ideal hands, not to mention allow them to stall games because they can legally keep changing what they start with. Hence the 1 mulligan limit we play with or how other card games penalize mulligans.

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You didn't read what I said. It was not infinite in terms of a player could do it as often as they liked. It was only infinite if the Corp player managed to keep drawing into 3+ agendas and decided they still wanted to mulligan. It was further meant to be balanced by requiring that the Corp player reveal their hand, which meant revealing a bit of their strategy to the runner. Not something any Corp player would have liked.

The problem with it was that there was no minimum deck size requirements, so if I built a deck with 45 agendas in it, I could effectively stall out a game before it had even begun using this rule. That wasn't the intention for this rule, and it wasn't going to work in tournament play, for sure. With A:N having a minimum deck size requirement, an infinite mulligan rule of this kind would be perfectly feasible, as you could never build a deck with just agendas. In fact, you could never build a deck with even a majority of agendas, so it wouldn't allow you to augment your starting hand as you wished. You would still be at the mercy of the random shuffle, just not quite as badly as you are now.

Messenger said:

Actually, all players have access to a tool that allows them to mitigate the randomness of their draw:

It's called deck-buildingguinyo.gif

Teasing aside, that's part of the math and science of constructing decks. That's why ratios and proportions and chances are studied so much in card games. That's why there's a minimum number of agenda points a deck must have and why the number of ICE per size of deck is so explicitly stated in the rulebook.

Yes, it leads to hard choices, but if the key to success for making a deck is packing in as much ICE as you can and keeping the number of agendas in it down, then do it.

-

And yet it does very little to address my second point, that the player will be at the mercy of the random shuffle. Only card abilities can help to further mitigate the shuffle. I already mentioned that Precog and Anonymous Tip are cards that could help, but again, that's 6 out of a minimum of 45. Not helping with the random aspect all that much. Something like the cards I mentioned would help further, as they could come into play later to help remedy a poor board situation. Of course, the shuffle could make these cards ineffective as well, but when there are more cards that help counteract the shuffle, there's less chance of your strategy going to waste.

My point this whole time has been that there's nothing that supports this new identity in this regard, and yet this is the most critical element for making this identity work well. If you CANNOT get your cards in the order you need them, this identity will be less useful than the core set identity. The core set identity GUARANTEES usefulness, because somebody at some point in the game is going to be scoring or stealing agendas. And because (generally speaking) the cards in the Runner's hand are of use to the Runner, it should go without saying that the core set identity will cause the Runner to play their strategy differently (and more than likely in a worse manner) than they would normally have done. That is the crux of my argument.

Right now, this new identity is just ok. When Study in Static hits, that Hourglass will make this identity somewhat better. It still really needs some sort of upgrade or operation support though, which it doesn't have, and we haven't heard of anything on the horizon that will fill that gap as of yet. For now, the more useful and likely choice is the core set identity.

Messenger said:

I must also point out that the value of said information is based on whether you can actually do something with it.

Grabbing an agenda is luck. But finding out he's got ICE or an operation, like I said, is only good if you can put that knowledge to good use. For that matter, such knowledge can even be misleading to the Runner's detriment; just because you accessed ICE in his hand and he's now putting ICE down doesn't mean he's putting down the same ICE you saw.

-

There is always something you can do with the information. You just have to figure it out. Every card can tell you something about what the Corp may do on his or her next turn, or some future turn. Even if the Corp player doesn't use the card that you saw (such as in your ICE example), the information you gained tells you that you don't need to worry about that card right now. Although, you should still keep it in mind for future turns. You should never discount the value of the information you obtained, especially if you think you paid too much for it. Of course, if you did pay too much for it, then that's just another part of the game you're gonna have to work on.

Messenger said:

I use PAD Campaigns instead.

-

Ok.

Messenger said:

As for assets and upgrades, take note that trashing them usually entails a cost or special ability of some sort. A Runner has to "pay" in some manner to do it. That cost can slow him down and give the Corp the win. That's why people like using PAD Campaigns and even don't protect them- 4 credits is a big chunk of the Runner's cash.

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Of course that's a possibility, but if you know that the asset or upgrade is going to give your opponent an even better advantage than if they did not have it, then you really have no choice BUT to trash it. If you still lose, it doesn't mean that trashing that card was a mistake. It just means that either the deck shuffle was thoroughly against you, or you made too many mistakes up to that point… or maybe a combination of the two.

And around here (and especially for me), people do protect their PADs, if even just a little. Bank Job is fairly prevalent in the meta, and allowing your opponent access to such easy money is never a good idea. Furthermore, there are people in my local area who do regularly trash PADs, if they feel the time is right. Usually that time is when I'm very low on money, and I can tell you that it hurts when I have nothing else to boost my economy, which is quite common with Jinteki.

Messenger said:

Okay. TBH, though disruptive it can be, I'm not too threatened. I'm just not.

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That's kinda irrelevant though. So what if you don't feel threatened by something. That doesn't mean it can't disrupt your deck, or give your opponent better access to your agendas. And if you're not willing to take precautions to prevent such disruptions, you're likely going to lose on more than one occasion to such a card. Not necessarily every time, but the odds are against you.

Messenger said:

No; I really do mean card advantage.

Card advantage isn't merely about who's got "more", especially in games that "trade" cards. It's about making the most out of what you have. It's about picking cards that can be used for more than one purpose- or finding ways to do that. It's about not allowing your cards to become dead and useless in your hand but always having a use for them to your benefit.

-

From Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Card_advantage):

Card advantage (often abbreviated CA) is a term used in collectible card game strategy to indicate one player having access to more cards than another player, usually by drawing more cards through in-game effects. The concept was first discovered and described early in the evolution of Magic: The Gathering strategy. Many early decks relied on drawing more cards than their opponent and then using this advantage in order to play more cards and advance their position faster than their opponent.

By this definition, it IS a comparison of opposing players' cards, and what advantages/disadvantages they create for one player over the other. What it does NOT account for is non-card elements, such as rules-based resources (clicks and credits), positioning of cards on the board (central servers vs. remote servers), and the fact that "position" for one player could mean something entirely different for the other player, which is very true for this game, or most any asymmetrical game. That is why I said that, at the very least, the term card advantage would involve very complex analysis in this game, and doesn't really relate to the kind of advantage that this identity is meant to bestow.

An example of card advantage analysis in this game would be something along the lines of:
1) Do I have my Enigma? Yes
2) What does it do for me? It keeps the Runner out of my server
3) What does it do to the opponent? It makes them lose an action, if possible
4) Does my opponent have anything to counter it? Yes, Gordian Blade
5) What does it cost them to counter it? 2 credits to avoid both effects, 1 credit if they don't care to lose an action, or don't care to gain access this time.

There are two things that this analysis does not account for:
1) It does not account for where on the board I have my Enigma, thus no way to account for the value of its protective capabilities.
2) It could never in any imaginable way account for how many times my opponent will actually want to get by it. Even the Corp player cannot know its value in that regard, and sometimes not even the Runner.

That is why I say that board advantage is the more appropriate term. It's still something that is difficult to determine, but it accounts for the available resources of each player, the positioning of the cards, and the value of the cards in those positions.

I just want to reiterate that I don't think this identity is worthless. I don't think that it can't be good in certain situations. However, since you only get to choose one identity, and the other available identity for Jinteki is going to be of more use in more situations given the current card selection, this one is not going to see much use. I feel like that was a mistake to release it that way. Either it should have been delayed a bit until there was some cards in the available pool to make use of it, or it should have had at least one card in this expansion to promote its use over the core set version. That's all.



#54 Messenger

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 05:39 AM

I did point it out. "I previously pointed out" refers to my preceding paragraph that goes "Furthermore, a server doesn't have to remain unassailable forever…" and the reasoning behind it is found there.

And from that point, it remains possible for the Corp to make an unassailable defense and then be unstoppable in winning the game. It just amounts to him having enough ICE and the Runner not having enough resources- whether 'breakers, credits or events- to get past it. The "unassailable" need only last long enough for something like… laying down Accelerated Beta Test then using Biotic Labor to score it in the same turn it came down- which in this case would be the "unstoppable". And such can- and has- and does- happen.

Say what you like. Whether through skillful gaming, luck or- the most likely of all- both, such scenarios do pop up. It's not unfair. It's part of the game.

As for the remote server hiding a trap or nothing at all: um, NO. Whether there's anything of value or not in a remote server or not has absolutely nothing to do with any definition of the word "unassailable", whether within the context of this game or without. The only thing that makes an Android: Netrunner "unassailable" is if its defenses are such that a Runner cannot get through its ICE and make a successful run.

  • In the first place, if a remote server is hiding an Asset: Ambush card and the Runner can break through it's ICE, it is indeed assailable as per the meaning of the word. Of course, the Runner is about to get Corp-punk'd, but still.
  • In the second place, if the same remote server cannot be reached by the Runner then, sure, it's unassailable- but then, so much for wasting your trap.
  • In the third place, of course an empty server can be unassailable. But then, what would be the point of assailing it anyway? Which is still something completely different from unassailable.

If you're going to accuse me of not raising points previously or of backtracking, then I expect you to be honest enough to not try to alter the meaning of a word to suit your purposes rather than using it as it's really defined.

As for your example, you can blame forgetting about Ichi's inability to end runs all you want, but it actually did intimidate you. Yes, the threat was erroneous and imagined, but that threat still got you to lose sight of your goal right when it was within reach.

Also, even within your clarification, you just raised your own experience with ABT being dropped and scored in the same turn. I'll leave it at that.

No, it's not a logical fallacy. You're ignoring the very nature of the game. It is the difference between what the Runner player subjectively perceives and what is objectively true. It is the question that all of us grapple with when assessing if we can and should make a run: Is what I have enough? Or is that derezzed ICE over there something I can't handle? Is that agenda actually an Ambush the Corp is waiting to spring on me?

This game is hinged on the premise of incomplete information and taking risks as a result of that. It's a bluffing game, and one player has to call the bluff. It is possible to have all the resources you need to raid a server and win the game but not do so because you don't know it- and only find out once the other player has won and everyone's checking out what the face-down cards really were.

Go look up the meaning of the expression "crap shoot". It doesn't mean impossible. Though a Corp player shouldn't leave his central servers unguarded, in itself it is by no great frequency or reliability the source of the Runner's prize. Do it with Noise, Medium or The Maker's Eye or the like, but as it is, it's a crap shoot.

Regarding the original method of mulliganing: Nevertheless, FFG didn't agree with it, neither within the basic rules nor the tournament rules.

I go back to my point of deckbuilding. Altering and fine-tuning the proportions of your deck even by the smallest bit can do wonders for it. Jinteki, like Haas-Bioroid, was blessed by FFG with 2-point agendas- that means it can run the minimum number of agenda cards in a deck while drowning them in 49 cards- that actually does a lot to stall easy grabs by the Runner. And you're wrong that they only have Anyonymous Tip and Precognition to help with making their crazy ICE plans- there's also Aggressive Negotiation and Archived Memories. For that matter, even if you're forced to hold back your ICE so that you can arrange them correctly, you can bait the runner into Snare and Project Junebug.

To be honest, I now wonder if your objection to Jinteki's new identity isn't so much because of its weakness, whether in itself or in its fellow Jinteki cards, or simply because the faction is just not your style.

As for information: Hit R&D, see a copy of Beanstalk Royalties. Corp player draws it, uses it. And other situations like that.

(Shrugs regarding PAD Campaigns.)

Almost every card of your opponent is in its own way, to use the term loosely, disruptive. That's just part of Netrunner's premise, nature and mechanics. There's no point in being particular about it or in counting the odds it sets against me, whether I'm playing Jinteki or not.

Lastly, if that is all you care to understand about card advantage, then you're going to miss out on a lot of nifty tricks and tactics in this and many other card games. complice

Take note of the phrase "one player having access to more cards than another player". That is the key. This isn't applied only literally or strictly. As I said, make the most out of what you have, even if you have the same number of cards as your opponent does. complice



#55 TheRealLeo

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 04:20 PM

 

Messenger said:

did point it out. "I previously pointed out" refers to my preceding paragraph that goes "Furthermore, a server doesn't have to remain unassailable forever…" and the reasoning behind it is found there.

And from that point, it remains possible for the Corp to make an unassailable defense and then be unstoppable in winning the game. It just amounts to him having enough ICE and the Runner not having enough resources- whether 'breakers, credits or events- to get past it. The "unassailable" need only last long enough for something like… laying down Accelerated Beta Test then using Biotic Labor to score it in the same turn it came down- which in this case would be the "unstoppable". And such can- and has- and does- happen.

Say what you like. Whether through skillful gaming, luck or- the most likely of all- both, such scenarios do pop up. It's not unfair. It's part of the game.

-

You still missed my point: My responses all this time have been to your original comments, which seemed to suggest that somehow the Corp can construct a completely impenetrable defense, period. All my responses have been to suggest that that is impossible. Yes, I understand that defenses can indeed hold for a time. I think most everybody that plays this game knows that. That's nothing new. My only claim on this matter is that, given an indefinite length of a game and a runner that's not a dunce, they won't last forever. The Runner has been given the cards and the means to break through any defense that the Corp is capable of building. Whether or not that actually happens consistently in a real game does not mean that the defense is impossible to penetrate at all times.

You can keep arguing your more recent points that I think we both already agree upon for the most part, but that still doesn't change the fact that your original statements were suggestive of something that was quite false. If you're trying to tell me that those original statements were not meant to suggest such things, all I can tell you is that's not how they were perceived, at least not by me, and maybe a few others.

Messenger said:

As for the remote server hiding a trap or nothing at all: um, NO. Whether there's anything of value or not in a remote server or not has absolutely nothing to do with any definition of the word "unassailable", whether within the context of this game or without. The only thing that makes an Android: Netrunner "unassailable" is if its defenses are such that a Runner cannot get through its ICE and make a successful run.

  • In the first place, if a remote server is hiding an Asset: Ambush card and the Runner can break through it's ICE, it is indeed assailable as per the meaning of the word. Of course, the Runner is about to get Corp-punk'd, but still.
  • In the second place, if the same remote server cannot be reached by the Runner then, sure, it's unassailable- but then, so much for wasting your trap.
  • In the third place, of course an empty server can be unassailable. But then, what would be the point of assailing it anyway? Which is still something completely different from unassailable.

If you're going to accuse me of not raising points previously or of backtracking, then I expect you to be honest enough to not try to alter the meaning of a word to suit your purposes rather than using it as it's really defined.

-

My definition was intended to get you to return to the focus of the discussion. It was an outside-the-box definition, and it worked, but only if you got it. After all, that's what language is for: communicating. I was attempting to communicate a concept that was logical and made sense, or so I thought. At this point though, I'm not sure you got it. I thought maybe at one point you understood, but you keep going on about these silly semantics, which is only removing the conversation further from the point, so let me just try and steer the conversation back to my point by putting what I meant in clear terms:

My intention was to suggest to you that the only way a fully-iced server (what we were talking about at this point in our discussion) can prevent the Runner from furthering his or her goal of winning the game is by housing nothing, or housing a trap, and thus, the Corp player ran rest easy that the Runner is not going to win (or get closer to it) by running that server. If the server houses nothing, the Runner is not going to run it and magically score some virtual agenda points. If it houses a trap, the Runner is only going to be further in the hole after the run, or may have lost already, depending on the trap. Thus, that remote is indeed safe. Any attack on that server will produce no positive results, and can thus be considered a failure and a mistake before it has even begun.

There is no dishonesty in this definition. Its only purpose is to communicate what I mean. If you're not understanding what I mean, then that's just a breakdown in communication, which hopefully I have addressed now.

Lastly, nobody is accusing anybody of anything (at least I hope not). As I said above, I simply pointed out that your more recent statements do not line up with your original statements, thus my response to that effect.

Messenger said:

As for your example, you can blame forgetting about Ichi's inability to end runs all you want, but it actually did intimidate you. Yes, the threat was erroneous and imagined, but that threat still got you to lose sight of your goal right when it was within reach.

-

As I stated before, I was not intimidated. I was focused on making my deck work the way it was meant to work. It was a distraction on my part, not on the part of Ichi. Ichi just happened to appear in the equation because that's what I had tagged for Femme Fatale's ability. It had nothing to do with caring about losing my programs. It had everything to do with me wanting to make my deck work the way it was designed to work. There was no imagined or eroneous threat, just me focusing on a different goal that didn't really matter.

Messenger said:

Also, even within your clarification, you just raised your own experience with ABT being dropped and scored in the same turn. I'll leave it at that.

-

I have no idea what this means. If you're suggesting that I couldn't prevent it, well… yes, I could have. If I had focused my attention on trying to steal his Mandatory Upgrades earlier in the game, I might have prevented that situation, plus a lot of other things. All I can recall though, was thinking that it was a Priority Requisition, which I was not concerned about at the time. That didn't mean it was "out of my reach", or that I was helpless to do anything about it. I just didn't do anything about it.

If that's not what you're suggesting, then you've lost me.

Messenger said:

No, it's not a logical fallacy. You're ignoring the very nature of the game. It is the difference between what the Runner player subjectively perceives and what is objectively true. It is the question that all of us grapple with when assessing if we can and should make a run: Is what I have enough? Or is that derezzed ICE over there something I can't handle? Is that agenda actually an Ambush the Corp is waiting to spring on me?

This game is hinged on the premise of incomplete information and taking risks as a result of that. It's a bluffing game, and one player has to call the bluff. It is possible to have all the resources you need to raid a server and win the game but not do so because you don't know it- and only find out once the other player has won and everyone's checking out what the face-down cards really were.

-

I am not ignoring the nature of the game. I know about that very well, but that doesn't change the fact that the Runner's perception is irrelevant when considering what can and cannot be gotten through, and that is why it is a logical fallacy. Perceptions do not change or modify fact.

Yes, this is a game of bluffing. That's obvious to everyone who plays it. However, when you say that a Runner cannot get through with all the cards and resources in the world, then you're talking about an imbalanced game. The bluffing, the intimidation factor, the selling-a-lie factor; none of that is imbalanced. A perceptive enough Runner can see through all of those things and make the plays that win them the game (or they could just get lucky), but to say that there is a situation where they can have everything they need and have no chance to win the game is a logical fallacy. If the Runner has what they need, they can win, and the bluffing can't remove that. It can only hope to cause the Runner to make enough mistakes to put them in a situation where they can no longer win the game, or at least put their goal temporarily out of reach.

Messenger said:

Though a Corp player shouldn't leave his central servers unguarded…

-

So you are aware that it does have value. That is all I was trying to say.

Messenger said:

There's also Aggressive Negotiation and Archived Memories.

-

That's true. I hadn't thought about Aggressive Negotiations, though that's primarily because it is rather difficult to score an agenda and get off another action in the same turn against a semi-decent Runner, of which there are many in my area. I'm used to having tough competition, so Aggressive Negotiations is something I usually will only consider for a Corp that can run 1-pointers. I'm more willing to take a risk with those agendas. However, I do see that that could come in handy.

Archived Memories doesn't really help as much, because that only pulls from the discard, which, for this identity, would assume that you're ok with throwing away ice that you can't use now to try and get them back later when they would be of more use. That doesn't seem like an efficient use of ice, or of Archived Memories. However, if it works for you, go for it.

Messenger said:

For that matter, even if you're forced to hold back your ICE so that you can arrange them correctly, you can bait the runner into Snare and Project Junebug.

-

I'm not seeing the logical connection here. pensativo

I also still don't see how this deals with point #2, the random shuffle. What if I don't get my Junebugs or Snares? What if I have several of my agendas right now? I have to do something to either try and protect them, or get them lost in the mix, and if they and several of my ice are competing for spots in my limited size hand, what can I do? I would have to start making use of the ice in ways that don't promote the use of my identity.

Messenger said:

To be honest, I now wonder if your objection to Jinteki's new identity isn't so much because of its weakness, whether in itself or in its fellow Jinteki cards, or simply because the faction is just not your style.

-

I find it funny that you speak of style in reference to an identity which drastically changes that style. burla

I have to go back and reiterate my original point on this discussion, which I thought was quite clear in my concluding remarks to my last post:

I don't object to this new identity. I don't think it's terrible either. I think in time it will become good, and maybe even surpass the core set identity (but I have no way to qualify such a statement). What I object to is the lack of clear support within even the expansion in which it is released. That just makes no sense to me from a design standpoint, or even from a marketing standpoint. When you design a card, especially a card as significant as an identity, you should give players other cards that can work well with it. This gives players incentive to actually use the card(s) in question over some other combination of cards that could be used in its place. If players are not incentivized to use it, then it is a wasted card, both in terms of design space and in terms of marketing.

In this case, I don't think it is a wasted card (as it will become better over time), but rather a wasted slot in the expansion. If I have little to no interest in using this identity over the original, then it would be better for me to have a different card in the expansion that I might actually use. I have never said that this identity is a bad card, just that given the current pool of cards, it is very hard to use effectively.

As for my personal play style, I have a deck built for each corporation, including Jinteki. I tend to try and play them all equally, though the Jinteki is probably in need of an overhaul. I've liked some of the concepts and strategies I've seen from some of the other local players, so I think I'm gonna try mixing it up some, maybe with some bioroids, and maybe a Cell Portal or two, just to mess with people's minds even further.

I am certainly not opposed to trying strange and crazy things. If anything, that's usually what I strive to do with most of my decks. I have yet to actually build a Weyland tag-n-bag, despite what I've seen of it, and how much everyone raves about it. My first HB deck made use of Research Stations, and they actually helped on a couple of occasions. I still have never used SEA Source in any deck, even though I don't deny it is a decent card, and it has its uses. My first Shaper deck was a virus deck. My most recent Criminal deck does not use Desperado. And I even ran a crazy Whizzard deck that used only Crypsis and Wyrm, and it even packed a set of Imps.

I have explored quite a few different approaches to playing this game with each of the different corporations, and I'm continually conjuring up new ideas for how to better approach each corporation, given their strengths and weaknesses. Jinteki does tend to be one of the most limiting, in that you can't really play too many different varieties of strategies, since some inherently require the funds to work, and that is one of Jinteki's weaknesses. However, I still think there are an abundance of variations to try, even within their limited situation. Just the few games I observed only last night tell me that I really haven't even scratched the surface of possibility with Jinteki. That said, I do try to build decks to win, and right now, I feel that this new identity will have more difficulty with producing a win than the original, just given the current card pool.

Messenger said:

As for information: Hit R&D, see a copy of Beanstalk Royalties. Corp player draws it, uses it. And other situations like that.

-

As the Runner, that information can tell me quite a few things, but it all depends on the circumstances. First and foremost, it tells me that the Corp is going to be coming into some easy money. It also tells me that I can most likely predict what one of their actions on their next turn will be, so they will have two actions they aren't taking to do something else, like maybe play more ice.

What can I do with that information? Well, if I'm a criminal, it may mean that I want to start gearing up to hit HQ. I don't want my opponent to have that 3 (4 with Weyland) credits, so I may want to Siphon it out of them. It also tells me that I don't want to Siphon them right now if they are low on credits, because this card can still dig them out of that hole. If I'm not Criminal, or I don't have a Siphon handy, but my opponent is currently low on credits, it may mean that this is my last opportunity to run some servers that have one or more unrezzed ice. Now I need to focus on whether I can/want to hit those servers. If I can, and I want to, I should run. If I can't, or I don't want to, then the one thing that it means is that I need to counter with some economic generation of my own. I can't let the Corp oust me in the money race, and I especially don't want to have a negative encounter with a trace on the Corp's turn. If I have nothing handy, I should draw to see if I can get my credit generators. Otherwise, I should use those credit generators to start making money.

The information will also further depend on the corporation you are facing. If you are facing Weyland, besides meaning that they will get an extra credit out of the card, it also means that they will be gaining 1 1/3 the cost of a Scorched Earth, 4/10 the cost of a Hadrian's Wall, and more trace fodder for Caduceus and the like. If I am facing Jinteki, it means that they are about to gain 3/4 the cost to activate a Snare, 3 possible exposure preventions with Zaibatsu, or the credits needed to activate up to 3 Junebugs. If I am facing NBN, it means they will have enough to advance to completion an Astroscript 1 times, a Breaking News 1 1/2 times, and will have more trace fodder for SEA Source, which might result in a Closed Accounts. If I'm playing against HB, it will mean they have the credits ro rez 1 1/2 Experiential Datas, 1 1/2 Ashes, the ability to pump an ice by 3 more strength with Corporate Troubleshooter, and more trace fodder for Ash or Ichi (you know, that one trace that most people forget about?). Lastly, in any case where the corporation is not Weyland, it means I know upon what at least 1 of their 15 influence has been spent, and there's a good chance I know upon what at least 3 of their influence has been spent.

One thing that it can also tell me: if the Corp player does not play it on their next turn, I will know there is at least one card I don't want to access in HQ, so there is one less reason to run HQ on my next turn.

That's all just based on seeing one card for which the information initially might appear useless. Of course, it is all context-dependent, as is just about every decision in this game, but that's why it is just as important to know how to make use of the information you have gained from accessing an untrashable and unscorable card from R&D as it is to know how to make use of the information you gain by the Corp just doing what they do: installing, rezzing, and advancing cards.

Messenger said:

Almost every card of your opponent is in its own way, to use the term loosely, disruptive. That's just part of Netrunner's premise, nature and mechanics. There's no point in being particular about it or in counting the odds it sets against me, whether I'm playing Jinteki or not.

-

Yes, but there's nothing on the Runner side more explicit, direct, and more powerful in its disruption right now than Imp. Anyone who has played (or played against) any kind of discard deck in any CCG, LCG, or any other card game where cards in hand or in play are of great value knows that discard mechanics can be very disruptive. While Netrunner does not adequately compare to most of these games, it is still quite like a lot of games, where having the cards in your hand or in play is better than having them in your discard pile.

Messenger said:

Lastly, if that is all you care to understand about card advantage, then you're going to miss out on a lot of nifty tricks and tactics in this and many other card games. 

-

I'm sorry. I missed where we were discussing how I felt about card advantage. I thought we were discussing the difference between card and board advantage. I explained simply why board advantage is the better term because card advantage doesn't account for all the elements that are of relevance to this identity's usage. How do incorrect assumptions about what I think about card advantage mean anything to this discussion? For that matter, how would it be relevant even if they were true? pensativo

Messenger said:

Take note of the phrase "one player having access to more cards than another player". That is the key. This isn't applied only literally or strictly. As I said, make the most out of what you have, even if you have the same number of cards as your opponent does. 

-

I still don't see how this accounts for any of the things I have mentioned about the difference between card advantage and board advantage.



#56 Saturnine

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 03:53 AM

[Redacted for preservation of own sanity]



#57 Messenger

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 10:03 PM

(Numbers refer to paragraphs of TheRealLeo's reply.)

1 & 2: All my statements and responses are made in the context of this game. Building an unassailable position and performing unstoppable acts are in reference to winning the game. They by themselves are not the goals or end-alls in A:NR, especially where you can spend all your energy in building a truly impenetrable server only to lose because you took too long and ran out of cards. Say what you like, but I've not missed the point in debating it.

3 to 6: No. "Out-of-the-box" would at least have some signifcant relation to the topic at hand. "Cannot be assailed" is simply different from "should or should not be assailed" within or without the in-game context of accessing a server's contents.

And I do think it was dishonest of you to redefine them as or pretend that they're the same thing when they simply are not. Now, I similarly find your blaming a "breakdown on miscommunication" and your explanation that it was an attempt "to return to the focus of the discussion" deceitful. Whether a Runner should make a run is not what we we're discussing. What we're discussing is whether it's possible for the Corp to create such tight defenses that the Runner can't possibly succeed if he were to try. You made a mistake, argued for it despite its error, and now are trying to come up with an excuse for it.

As for your accusation that I'm employing "silly semantics", please note that playing semantics involves using an ambiguous definitions and switching them around to gain an advantage in a debate. I have used "unassailable" and "unstoppable" as they are. I have not tried to change the meaning of a term to suit my own purposes and then try to explain it away after the mistake was noticed.

7: You admitted that you thought that Ichi ended the run when it actually didn't. That's imagined and erroneous no matter how you cut it.

8 & 9: No, you couldn't do anything about ABT. You didn't even see it until he dropped it on the board and it simply wasn't around long enough for you to steal it.

What you're addressing is not ABT but Mandatory Upgrades. You could have stopped that. But having scored MU, your opponent had the capabiliy to score ABT right away, without risking it in a remote server, protected by ICE or even completely defenseless. Even without MU, he could do it with Biotic Labor.

You can argue about trying to grab ABT from HQ or R&D; I'll address that topic a little later…

10 & 11: You just talked about and emphasized how:

  • mistakenly thinking Ichi could end runs, and
  • thinking that an agenda was Priority Requisition when it was actually Private Security Force

got you to LOSE.

You also talked about a game where your opponent did the math, realized he could survive a particular run despite taking a lot of hits, and go on to win as a result.

Those are examples of the difference between what is perceived to be real and what's actually real. As far as you cited these as the causes of your defeat, perception, in as far as Netrunner is a game involving missing information and bluffing, is relevant. As far as a Runner's peception heavily affects his decision- making- as it did yoursit's relevant.

12: It's still a crap shoot.

As such, there's no guarantee of stopping a 4-click ABT play by snagging it from HQ or R&D.

13 & 14: Sure.

15 & 16: Jinteki is the faction specializing the most in ambush assets. Lacking the right ICE to stop runs or being unwilling to put ICE in hand in certain positions, Jinteki can still be dangerous and win. Of all the factions, they're in the best position of setting up servers with content but with little or no defenses and then profitting from them. Whether it's a bluff (it's actually an agenda that your opponent fears is a trap) or an real trap (which kills or at least cripples the bold runner), Jinteki's ability to play the Runner is one of its best strengths.

17 & 18: Find it funny all you want, but you're overlooking the more important fact that both IDs use the same Jinteki ICE despite any differences between them . Both will actually be using the same strategy and planning in order to make the best of their ICE. They have to be sequenced, layered, and arranged in particular ways in order to be effective. What you say is a "change of style" as a result of a different ID is still playing the same Jinteki game.

19 to 23: And I return to my point: It's not that this ID lacks cards that support it; rather, that it supports Jinteki ICE more readily than the previous identity.

24 to 28: Those are not examples of acting on the information that the top card of R&D was Beanstalk Royalties. Rather, all you're talking about is acting on the readily available information of how much credits he has. The situation was discovering that the next card he was going to draw was BR and then moving on to the Corp's turn, where the Corp player draws and uses said card immediately.

The only example you got right is that, having used BR immediately, he doesn't need to have BR in his hand to protect its other contents from being randomly accessed. But even then, that doesn't mean he doesn't have an agenda you can steal or similarly vital card  you can trash there anyway. It doesn't even mean he needs the cash immediately; he could just be doing it because he doesn't want to fill up his hand or slow down his pace. He could even be doing it for the simple heck of it.

29: Meh. Imp, like Account Siphon, only weakens you; even if it is a particular threat to the way Jinteki's ICE plays, it doesn't actually and directly causes you to lose the game. I'm more threatened by Inside Job, Medium, Stimhack or even The Maker's Eye- yet I'm not losing any sleep over them either.

30 & 31: Card advantage, as defined by the phrase "having access to more cards than another player", isn't just about how the player with more cards is the stronger player. Any card in any card game is measured by its effects or, more truthfully, by what and by how much it can do in a game. Looking purely at cards by their physical number can be misleading and disadvantageous.

For example, Player A has three cards that individually do effects X, Y, and Z. However, his opponent, Player B has two cards, but each can do all three effects. At the least, it's not clear that Player A has an advantage over Player B even though he holds more cards. At most, it's quite possible that Player B's two cards trumps Player A's because they can do all they can do for much less.

This concept is harder to apply in Netrunner as Netrunner's asymmetrical gameplay doesn't really involve trading the same way that Magic: the Gathering and other card games with equally and identically operating players do. However, it is still possible for a single card in A:NR to do the work of two or more. This is why there's currently another thread topic discussin the Dyson Mem Chip.

Normally, a piece of ICE can only defend 1 server. In its own way, Jinteki's "Replicating Perfection" ID allows ICE on central servers to also protect remote servers because the Runner must encounter at least the outermost central server ICE as well as any ICE on the remote server. If that encounter is damaging enough, it can discourage the Runner from making the run he truly intended: against the remote server. It is one extra hazard for the Runner to pass than he normally would all at the price of one piece of ICE.

This isn't the same as board advantage or is at most only tangentially related to it. Having that nasty piece of outermost central server ICE isn't quite the same as having a dominant position in a game. The benefit that the new Jinteki ID brings is more about giving your ICE multiple uses than it is about directly making your servers unassailable. It makes it easier to get to that point, sure, but that is not its most direct consequence. It's most direct effect is that a Jinteki player can get more for less.



#58 Penfold

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 09:22 AM

TheRealLeo said:

That's what I mean by you shouldn't be predictable. Your opponent shouldn't be able to see your identity and automatically know that strategy x is what you will do, as opposed to strategy y, z, g, r, or even q. This especially applies to the Corp side, since the Corp is all about hidden information, surprise, and bluffing. If the Runner knows what strategy you are playing, they will know how to "handle" you, and you will likely lose. If you throw something unexpected their way, sometimes the surprise can be a game changer, and can win you the game.

That sounds more like  a case of trying to be clever or lacking an ID that does what you want. Playing Kate for a Virus heavy deck is going to be less expensive but the influence you are having to take in to make it a virus deck versus a deck that simply makes use of some viruses is going to leave you with some pretty easy to exploit holes (or an inability to exploit specific holes in the corps deck).

A double bluff as I said is great, for as long as your opponent makes assumptions based soley on your agenda… but every time you do that, you actually make it easier for me to do what I want when I choose an ID that does play into my core strategy.

Every corps deck I build is meant to win by way of 7 agenda points in the slow grind. They all also have a supplemental strategy that can be used if the matchup is right or the tactical opportunity presents itself… Listening to your explanation though, it sounds like we are actually closer than I originally thought.



#59 TheRealLeo

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 08:42 AM

 

 













Messenger said:

1 & 2: All my statements and responses are made in the context of this game. Building an unassailable position and performing unstoppable acts are in reference to winning the game. They by themselves are not the goals or end-alls in A:NR, especially where you can spend all your energy in building a truly impenetrable server only to lose because you took too long and ran out of cards. Say what you like, but I've not missed the point in debating it.

Let me wrap this part of the discussion up with a question, since you are still not following:

Did you, or did you not, mean to suggest with your original statements, shown here:

 

Messenger said:

I don't mind predictability too much as long as you have the power to make whatever you do unstoppable or unassailable…

and here:

 

Messenger said:

And yet it's quite possible to construct virtual fortresses with multiple layers of ICE that is nigh impossible for the Runner to crack. 

that the Corp player could possibly build an infinitely impenetrable wall of ice, so as to keep the Runner out forever? Forget perceived or imagined impossibilities. Forget just long enough. Forget until they win. I'm talking real, forever, and no time limit. Is this what you meant by these statements?

If that is not what you meant, then they were not stated clearly enough. That is all.

 

Messenger said:

What we're discussing is whether it's possible for the Corp to create such tight defenses that the Runner can't possibly succeed if he were to try.

Exactly, and my answer has always been that the Runner can succeed given the time to build up, thus, the only way to make a remote server safe from attack is to not fill it with anything of value to the Runner. To suggest that the Runner could never succeed is ludicrous. Otherwise, people would be ditching this game in droves. Creating a game where one side can auto-win with the right setup is not any game that I or many thousands of other Netrunner players want to be playing.

 

Messenger said:

7: You admitted that you thought that Ichi ended the run when it actually didn't. That's imagined and erroneous no matter how you cut it.

No I did not. I admitted that I was not thinking about the fact that it didn't end the run, but was focused on something else. There's a huge difference. You are not getting anywhere with this, so just let it go.

 

Messenger said:

8 & 9: No, you couldn't do anything about ABT. You didn't even see it until he dropped it on the board and it simply wasn't around long enough for you to steal it.

What you're addressing is not ABT but Mandatory Upgrades. You could have stopped that. But having scored MU, your opponent had the capabiliy to score ABT right away, without risking it in a remote server, protected by ICE or even completely defenseless. Even without MU, he could do it with Biotic Labor.

Changing possession of Mandatory Upgrades would have changed the whole game, not just that one-turn score of Beta Test. In fact, it probably would have assured my victory. How you can even care about Beta Test or try to suggest that I "coudn't do anything" in light of that fact is beyond me. So what about Biotic Labor? I don't know that he was even playing it. Even so, Biotic Labor requires the Corp to build up significantly in order to be used successfully. If the Runner is scoring agendas and winning the game during that time because the Corp doesn't want to play cards and spend credits to defend so that he can Biotic Labor an agenda through, then Biotic Labor becomes a wasted card. These points do not attest to any "invincibility" on the part of the Corp.

 

Messenger said:

You also talked about a game where your opponent did the math, realized he could survive a particular run despite taking a lot of hits, and go on to win as a result.

Actually, no, he didn't do the math and see that he could survive. As I said, I could have gotten through. That in and of itself means he couldn't have survived, had I made the winning move. Instead, he took a huge risk, and hoped that his defenses would hold.

 

Messenger said:

Those are examples of the difference between what is perceived to be real and what's actually real. As far as you cited these as the causes of your defeatperception, in as far as Netrunner is a game involving missing information and bluffing, is relevantAs far as a Runner's peception heavily affects his decision- making- as it did yoursit's relevant.

It's not relevant to the discussion about an invincible server. A bluff can succeed, or it can fail. That alone means that a bluff is not an invincible defense. It is a possible defense, but only if the Runner does not call the Corp on it. A truly invincible defense is one that cannot fail, which was something that you seemed to allude to with your initial comments… you know, the whole reason we had this tangential part of the conversation in the first place?

 

Messenger said:

As such, there's no guarantee of stopping a 4-click ABT play by snagging it from HQ or R&D.

But you do acknowledge that it is possible. The fact that it is possible means that it is not an invincible strategy. That's all I'm saying.

 

Messenger said:

15 & 16: Jinteki is the faction specializing the most in ambush assets. Lacking the right ICE to stop runs or being unwilling to put ICE in hand in certain positions, Jinteki can still be dangerous and win. Of all the factions, they're in the best position of setting up servers with content but with little or no defenses and then profitting from them. Whether it's a bluff (it's actually an agenda that your opponent fears is a trap) or an real trap (which kills or at least cripples the bold runner), Jinteki's ability to play the Runner is one of its best strengths.

They can also still be dangerous and lose. The fact is that they are less dangerous without their core set identity, in terms of the damage they can dish out. This makes them less threatening in both R&D and HQ, something the new identity probably does not want. That means they'll have to fortify a bit more on those servers than the old one, and since order matters even moreso for the new identity, you're going to be hard-pressed to keep your defenses strong enough to put a dent in the Runner's economy each time they want to get in somewhere. And now with Trick of Light, it might actually be to the Runner's advantage to run any advanced card, even if it turns out to be a Junebug, just to get rid of it and keep the Corp at the usual 1-advancement-per-action rate. Since it is basically impossible for Jinteki to triple-advance a Junebug in one turn, that's going to make it difficult to get them to lethal status before the Runner can ditch it.

The reality is that Jinteki is best played as a threatening, but not lethal Corp. Where Weyland usually just wants the Runner to drop dead at the first mistake, Jinteki is more interested in the war of attrition, with the occasional flatline thrown in. The war of attrition strategy has had the most success in my experience. I've seen several games where the Runner just made too many mistakes, and ran out of cards. They have also gotten the occasional flatline, but usually only when the Runner is on the ropes, and needs to make some gutsy calls that don't pan out. However, too often what ends up being Jinteki's undoing is the poor economy. If the Runner can keep Jinteki poor, they pretty much are as dangerous as a cat that's been declawed and muzzled. They pretty much always lose in such a situation, because they can't rez their more dangerous ice, they can't activate their snares, and more importantly, they can't protect and advance their agendas in order to score them and win the game.

With the new identity, the war of attrition strategy becomes a bit more difficult. No longer do you have the potential threat of 10 or more "traps" in your deck (Snares plus agendas), and anything with an advancement token is more likely to be run on (with cards in hand, of course, for the occasional Junebug). Your most menacing feature then becomes your outermost ice on your central servers, but if you can't fortify them well enough to encourage the Runner to keep out, you might be forced to install ice that's not very menacing, and then your identity is doing you little good. Furthermore, the Runner has several options for disruption, besides just keeping the Corp poor. Femme Fatale and Parasite can be two of the most annoying things for any Corp to face, and when the Corp is dependent upon specific pieces of ice to bolster its strategy, those two cards become a real problem.

If you're strategy is not tied to any specific pieces of ice, but is just net damage all the way, your only problem at this time is Net Shield, and that's not that big of a deal right now, since it doesn't prevent a whole lot of damage, unless the Runner is pacing themselves, in which case the pressure is off the Corp player a bit. Thus, the core identity still has more value at this time, since nothing was introduced with the new identity to give it some sort of boost.

This all, in fact, relates to the next point: change in style.

 

Messenger said:

17 & 18: Find it funny all you want, but you're overlooking the more important fact that both IDs use the same Jinteki ICE despite any differences between them . Both will actually be using the same strategy and planning in order to make the best of their ICE. They have to be sequenced, layered, and arranged in particular ways in order to be effective. What you say is a "change of style" as a result of a different ID is still playing the same Jinteki game.

Shocking. Jinteki uses Jinteki ice? Whoda thunk it?

Just because a Corp with two different identities has access to the same cards doesn't mean that they play the same way. Heck, Weyland doesn't even have two identities, and yet there are at least two different variations of Weyland decks (Tag-n-Bag vs Fast Advance for starters) that employ rather different styles of play.

Just as your Weyland strategy mandates a different style of play, so does your choice of identity for Jinteki. With the old identity, I would have been just fine leaving a Chum on the outside of a central server. It's a nice discouragement for the Runner to run there, especially if they haven't seen the next piece of ice yet, and it's cheap to rez, so the cost of installing it probably won't hurt as bad. Not so with the new identity. Now that slot has to be saved for something bigger, which means more difficulties for me if I want Chum on my central server. That basically means anything I want on the outside will have a minimum install cost of 2, and then I still need the credits to rez the thing, which is probably going to have a cost of 4+.

I also usually don't mind playing a Neural Katana as my first ice on a central server, since it also lends itself to discouraging runs on that server, and since it doesn't really matter where the Katana sits in the order, no worries about it being in the innermost spot. Not so with the new identity. Instead, it's one of the few ice that makes more sense as the outside piece (against Mimic being the exception), so now I have to wait and build up the server as much as I think is necessary to discourage the Runner from running it, and since I won't know what my opponent thinks about that server until around the mid game, my identity's value will not be fully realized until later.

There's also the new Sensei, which absolutely demands that it be the outermost piece of ice. Definitely not usable in a Jinteki deck that's running the new identity, or at the very least, you probably only want 1,  maybe 2 copies, since that will really only be of use on a remote server.

Again, same ice, different way of using it. And that's just the ice.

 

Messenger said:

19 to 23: And I return to my point: It's not that this ID lacks cards that support it; rather, that it supports Jinteki ICE more readily than the previous identity.

Maybe it does, but it's not a two-way street. The ice that is available to this identity (along with everything else) does not support it well enough, and that is my point. This identity is arguably the first example of an identity that mandates a certain style of play.

Before, with the original Jinteki, you could say that it requires a certain style of play, but even if you were not going the war of attrition route, it still is guaranteed to do something for you. That threat of losing a card from a steal is going to force the Runner to either spend more time unloading his hand of stuff he doesn't want to lose, or is going to require them to take risks that might turn out for the worse. Either way, it's doing something for you just by having that identity around. The Weyland identity doesn't really dictate anything about a Weyland player's strategy, other than they are most likely running a few particular operations that most decks usually run anyway. The core set HB identity is just generically good, and doesn't dictate any kind of strategy whatsoever. I'm going to install cards at some point, so at some point, it's going to provide a benefit for me. The newer one, in theory, dictates some sort of particular strategy, but given the current card pool, that "particular" strategy is basically "play HB ice", which is essentially already mandated by the faction restrictions.

The only other identity which could possibly be construed as an identity which requires a certain style of play is NBN's core set identity. However, until we have another identity for NBN, that doesn't really ring true, as most people who play NBN don't usually make much use of the ability. They just want access to the good cards and the solid strategy (Fast Advance). I've seen very few people play NBN for the tracing and tag effects, at least as a main focus for the strategy. Given the new stuff, that might change a bit, but I honestly don't expect it to change drastically until we see the next NBN identity.

 

Messenger said:

24 to 28: Those are not examples of acting on the information that the top card of R&D was Beanstalk Royalties. Rather, all you're talking about is acting on the readily available information of how much credits he has. The situation was discovering that the next card he was going to draw was BR and then moving on to the Corp's turn, where the Corp player draws and uses said card immediately.

The only example you got right is that, having used BR immediately, he doesn't need to have BR in his hand to protect its other contents from being randomly accessed. But even then, that doesn't mean he doesn't have an agenda you can steal or similarly vital card  you can trash there anyway. It doesn't even mean he needs the cash immediately; he could just be doing it because he doesn't want to fill up his hand or slow down his pace. He could even be doing it for the simple heck of it.

And yet, if you let the opportunity slip away, you've wasted it completely. Maybe it won't turn out to be all that useful in the end, but to just shrug it off and say that it is not useful is purely wasteful.

I know from watching myself play the Corp that even something as simple as playing (or not playing) a Beanstalk Royalties can relay something about what is going on inside my hand, or on my side of the board. Sometimes, a Beanstalk Royalties isn't as useful to me as keeping my hand full of cards to help prevent theft of an agenda from HQ. Sometimes, an action spent gaining money isn't as useful as laying down some ice, or setting a trap, or doing something else that is important to my strategy. If my opponent knows I have the card, but am not using it, at the very least, that should be a cue to them to wake up and pay attention to why I might pass up some easy money, even moreso if I'm low on credits.

I'm sorry, but you just haven't convinced me that this information is useless or irrelevant.

 

Messenger said:

29: Meh. Imp, like Account Siphon, only weakens you; even if it is a particular threat to the way Jinteki's ICE plays, it doesn't actually and directly causes you to lose the game. I'm more threatened by Inside Job, Medium, Stimhack or even The Maker's Eye- yet I'm not losing any sleep over them either.

I don't lose sleep over anything Netrunner, other than maybe excitement and anticipation for the next expansion.

But on topic, of course they don't directly cause you to lose the game. If they did, that would be broken too… just like an invincible server. complice

However, they do weaken you, and sometimes in very painful ways. You even acknowledged that. So that tells me that you at least know of or have experienced their devastating effects before.

Messenger said:

30 & 31: Card advantage, as defined by the phrase "having access to more cards than another player", isn't just about how the player with more cards is the stronger player. Any card in any card game is measured by its effects or, more truthfully, by what and by how much it can do in a game. Looking purely at cards by their physical number can be misleading and disadvantageous.

For example, Player A has three cards that individually do effects X, Y, and Z. However, his opponent, Player B has two cards, but each can do all three effects. At the least, it's not clear that Player A has an advantage over Player B even though he holds more cards. At most, it's quite possible that Player B's two cards trumps Player A's because they can do all they can do for much less.

This concept is harder to apply in Netrunner as Netrunner's asymmetrical gameplay doesn't really involve trading the same way that Magic: the Gathering and other card games with equally and identically operating players do. However, it is still possible for a single card in A:NR to do the work of two or more. This is why there's currently another thread topic discussin the Dyson Mem Chip.

Normally, a piece of ICE can only defend 1 server. In its own way, Jinteki's "Replicating Perfection" ID allows ICE on central servers to also protect remote servers because the Runner must encounter at least the outermost central server ICE as well as any ICE on the remote server. If that encounter is damaging enough, it can discourage the Runner from making the run he truly intended: against the remote server. It is one extra hazard for the Runner to pass than he normally would all at the price of one piece of ICE.

This isn't the same as board advantage or is at most only tangentially related to it. Having that nasty piece of outermost central server ICE isn't quite the same as having a dominant position in a game. The benefit that the new Jinteki ID brings is more about giving your ICE multiple uses than it is about directly making your servers unassailable. It makes it easier to get to that point, sure, but that is not its most direct consequence. It's most direct effect is that a Jinteki player can get more for less.

Whatever. Call it what you like. I know what you're saying. You (hopefully) know what I'm saying. They're both relevant to what we're discussing, but if calling it card advantage helps you understand it better, so be it. I'm not going to debate the value of one name over another, as long as you understand it just fine.

I really think this discussion has been interesting, but now that I have the new expansion in my hands, I think it would be best to just drop the discussion and let our opinions be further shaped by our experiences actually playing with the cards. I've already built one deck with the new identity, just to give it a try, but I don't hold out much hope. I still think my modified version of my old Jinteki deck stands a much better chance, but that won't keep me from at least trying it.

Good luck to you and your deck.



#60 Messenger

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 03:26 AM

1, 2, 3, 4, 5: Yes.

6. And my answer is always in light of making moves and plays that bring the Corp player victory. It will always be with in view of my defenses are currently  uncrackable long enough that, gather what programs and hardwares and resources the Runner can, I will be able to score enough agenda points to win the game.

For that matter, since you're pushing things that far (and I must thank you for pushing me this far, because you made me realize…), if you want an absolute situation where the Runner can never succeed, try looking at ICE as locks and icebreakers as keys (or lock picks, but "key" is punchier). What happens when the locks and the guy who owns the locks and the guy's other tools are capable of destroying said keys?

Because said key-destroyers are in the game, in most of HB's ICE and its currently one and only ambush asset, in Weyland's Archer, and even in every Corp faction capable of dealing damage to the Runner. The Corp doesn't even need to destroy all the keys- just most of them.

And yet, people aren't ditching this game in droves like you said. In fact, people were eagerly awaiting for this revival because of how good the original was, and even the original had a lot of those key-destroyers. The risk of those key-destroyers going off and crippling you is part of the challenge and fun of Netrunner. Those things are a welcome part of the game.

7. No, I'm not going to drop it. It's something you put up that reinforces my points.

8. No. Snagging MU would indeed have changed the dynamic of your game, but attacking that in itself is not addressing a all-in-one-turn quickly scored ABT or similar 3 advancement requirement plays. That MU is not necessary to do it also makes stopping MU not as relevant as it's only one way out of two to do it.

Furthermore, where your challenge to my point on constructing unassailable servers is based on time, then neither can you challenge the use of Biotic Labor to make such scores with "Biotic Labor requires the Corp to build up significantly in order to be used successfully." where time is the key. It's the same thing for the Corp: he just needs time as well to build up the credits to do the same. And it's not that likely for him to be spending too many clicks to do it since part of building a good Corp deck is investing in a good economy.

And now you even miss the power and advantage of that play: It's the ability to quickly take agenda points out of the servers and put it right into the scored agenda points area. That's why I raised it: it's a great example.

Also, be honest enough not to put words in my mouth. I never said the Corp was invincible. I just said that: "I don't mind predictability too much as long as long as you have the power to make whatever you do unstoppable or unassailable." And that happens with every run where the Corp set a defense but the Runner broke through, or the Runner doesn't have the resources to successfully make a run to stop the Corp from scoring.

9. And he won and you lost. That's what counts, and more than any of your "could have"s.

10. It's part of the game and this discussion, thus it is. Either the Corp manages to put himself in a situation where he can't be attacked and can safely score, or he manages to convince the Runner one way or another that it's such as situation. Of course they're not the same and yet they lead to the same effect for the Corp. And that's what counts.

11. The only time agenda of any kind becomes a threat to the Runner is when it's installed in a server and being advanced. Grabbing ABT from R&D and HQ isn't as much addressing a threat as it is just being plain ol' unlucky for the Corp.

12 to 16. As far as Jinteki is the ambush asset faction, being seen as less dangerous would be a good thing as that gets the Runner to make more risky moves. That makes stepping on Project Junebug or Snare more likely than less and makes either identity as lethal as the other.

A Jinteki player isn't going to be hard pressed to keep up defenses given the big shell game that is part of their style (http://www.fantasyfl...s.asp?eidn=3833, paragraph begins with "Other corporations…"). With that strategy, you can save ICE in your hand while putting out stuff. As far as shell games are actually cons, then note that a Jinteki player doesn't even have to put out the prize the Runner is looking for. This does mean that more solid defenses can be allotted to central servers. At the same time, seeing so many remote servers out- even if undefended- is both very psychologically intimidating and paralyzing, a plus for tricky Jinteki players.

I disagree with what you said about running any advanced card. If non-lethal, it's still going to slow the Runner down by taking cards away from his grip. On the other hand, simply being lethal is possible and a great, decisive way to end the game for Jinteki, especially with Junebug and Snare. In fact, Trick of the Light is going to make such more feasible as far as advancement tokens serve both as bait and power source for Project Junebug.

Yes, attacking a Corp's cash works, but that's the same with any other Corp faction. And even where Jinteki has to be stingier with its ICE, it's no different from Corp factions that run undefended PAD Campaigns.

Take note that the idea "If your strategy is not tied to any specific pieces of ice…" is not very specific to any particular Jinteki ID, "net damage all the way" or not. What change the new ID brings isn't so big and particular that the old and new IDs play differently. The style practically doesn't change at all.

17 to 22. If you're going to talk about how a single ID can have two completely different play styles then you have to realize that the change in style is not so much in the ID but in how a deck is built. Even where the ID does influence the building of a deck, by no means does it automatically and immediately mandate a change of style in play or strategy where two IDs are involved. What's given is that the same set of tools are going to be used- as such, they must be used similarly.

23 to 25: It doesn't have to be a 2-way street for the set to be good. It simply has to provide the Jinteki an advantage by which he can win.

26 to 28: It's useless or irrelevant in that nothing could be done about it and nothing could be taken advantage from knowing that the Corp was about to draw BR in that scenario. Definitely, the run gave you info, but there was no opportunity to act from it.

Similarly, a lot of the knowledge you glean in a game is based on interpretation. How much of it is true and certain, and how much is personal bias and wishful thinking? Many - if not all- of the inferences a player makes is going to be a gamble. The game can be punishing and lethal to the smallest of mistakes. To assume that there's useful information all around and to constantly go from there can and will likely lead you to defeat.

I'm sorry, but you haven't convinced me that "there is always something you can do with the information." In fact, I'm now more convinced that information has to be sifted between what's useful and what's not rather than assuming it's always material I can use.

29 to 31: If you think that they can't directly cause you lose the game, then I suggest you read what they do and how the Runner wins the game.

32 to 34: And good luck to you too.






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