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Fundamental Strategy?


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#1 pwnguin

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Posted 11 August 2012 - 01:21 PM

In a symmetric card game like MtG, the fundamental strategy that seemed to emerge was "card advantage." The idea was if you were able to spend one card dealing with two of your opponent's cards, (or simply draw two cards outright) you'd generally improve your position, and having more such transactions than your opponent was a better sign of who was winning than life points.

Netrunner, however, is a dramatically different game, and this reboot doesn't wander very far. It's hard for me to map the card advantage concept over to the core NR set we've seen thus far.. As far as I know there's no mass destruction (of cards), and very few two-fers. Breaking ice doesn't remove it. Private security force offers card advantage at the base rate that runners gain it: one click per card.  Really, "card advantage" was more about constructing and playing decks keeping in mind to the mid-to-late game bottleneck; land untaps every turn, so there comes a point where you can play out your entire hand. That seems less the case in NR.

So my question to experienced NR players from the past is, is there a simple heuristic to evaluate card effects with? Is it card economy, or bit economy? Or more likely, click economy? Or does the asymmetric nature of the game mean there one for runners, and one for corps?

Probably there is no fundamental strategy for construction. Maybe the game is well balanced enough that corp players should aim to build a balanced pipeline capable of converting clicks to bits, bits installed cards and advancement counters, and runners should target the weakest point in the clicks -> bits -> advancement counter pipeline.



#2 Twn2dn

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Posted 11 August 2012 - 02:03 PM

 I was wondering the same thing.

To the extent possible, maximizing clicks (or their efficiency) feels like it would be the goal. In practical terms though, I'm thinking this may actually translate to maximizing credits, with the corp particularly focused on keeping the runner's credits low, while the runner is more concentrated with focusing primarily on the win condition. In conventional terms, that would make the corp the control player and the runner the aggro player, keeping in mind that different corps have different control mechanics and different runners have different aggro mechanics (early game rush vs late game big push with the "tricks" varying based on strategy).

I didn't play the original netrunner, so I'm really just guessing here, but that's more or less how it looks to me.



#3 AussieKSU

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Posted 11 August 2012 - 02:11 PM

Just a side note, and I understand I'm straying a little from the OP:

 

Card advantage can actually be a negative thing for the corp. Being in a situation where you have more than 5 cards in your hand, you can face the grim choice of having to keep a hand full of agendas, or installing one with little protection. Alternatively, you can try to install a decent amount of IC on archives, but this can give away an agenda, if one has been discarded.

There used to be virus counters that FORCED the corp to draw additional cards on their turn - kind of a counter intuitive practice for M:tg players (unless playing for mill). Loading the corps hand can be a very viable strategy as the runner.

 

To try and answer the question, I don't think you can purely look at card's glamour as their click effectivness. I am going to state something that probably all of you have considered, but you do need some low cost cards to get you to your big spenders. For example, there were two classic bit generation cards - same effect for runner and corp:

 

Operation cost 0 - gain 3 bits

Operation cost 5 - gain 9 bits

 

If you weigh the worth of card in hand and click effectivness, you go with the latter. This still may be the wise decision, but there are times you see yourself with below 5 bits. I guess my answer, once again is a straighforward one - you should build the deck for synergy, with utility sprinkled in.



#4 DeathByLiche

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Posted 11 August 2012 - 02:40 PM

 Also, a very core strategy of netrunner is the bluffing. The corp can install a card, ice it, and advance it and it looks the same to the runner whether it is an agenda, ambush, or even a piece of ice the corp can't rez. This is key to netrunner, where it is more important the way you play the cards as opposed to the cards themselves. This is a completely opposite idea when compared to magic. 

This is not to say that careful deck building is not required. A good deck will have a specific theme or strategy, whether it is the runner focusing on HQ with viruses, or the Corp fast advancing agenda. Clever card combinations and timing are key to netrunner. 



#5 cetiken

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Posted 11 August 2012 - 03:15 PM

In traditional netrunner assessment the core unit of worth is the click (or action in classic terms).  I also like the term effort to refer to general cost of cards.

1 Credit = 1 Click = 1 Card =1 effort
This equivalence is established with the core mechanics of the game.

Consider Hedge fund: It costs 5 credits and 1 action and 1 card (Hedge Fund itself) to play. That’s a total investment of 7 effort. For that you gain 9 credits. You're getting ahead by two playing this card.

It is worth noting that this is only useful for analyzing cards in a vacuum and actual utility will vary in game play. In the above case everyone starts the game with five credits so on the first turn Hedge Fund is much better than on later turns when you have to spend more effort replenishing your bit pool. Also it’s generally true that since the corp is required to draw a card each turn they tend to value cards a bit less than other resources.

Now compare this to Melange Mining Corp. MMC costs 1 credit, 1 click, and 1 card to install. That 3 effort investment gives you the ability to spend 3 clicks to gain 7 credits. The first time we use it we have converted 6 effort into 7 credits. That’s not super amazing. By the third time we’ve activated MMC 12 effort has yielded 21 credits. That's a much better result. Especially if we have an excess of clicks (like Hass-Bioroid) since 10 of the 12 invested effort was in click form. The thing to be aware of with Assets over Operations is that the runner may put a stop to the shenanigans if you don’t guard it. MMC only costs the runner 1 credit and 1 run (2 effort) to trash if you don’t ice it so a smart runner will not let you activate it three times. Unless the corp decided to protect MMC with some ice of its own at which point you’re now having to recover the ice investment before gaining a profit.

 

That's the basic card economy of Netrunner.



#6 pwnguin

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Posted 11 August 2012 - 03:43 PM

AussieKSU said:

 

Just a side note, and I understand I'm straying a little from the OP:

 Alternatively, you can try to install a decent amount of IC on archives, but this can give away an agenda, if one has been discarded.

There used to be virus counters that FORCED the corp to draw additional cards on their turn - kind of a counter intuitive practice for M:tg players (unless playing for mill). Loading the corps hand can be a very viable strategy as the runner.

 

 

Indeed. We haven't seen many virus programs yet, but Noiz does fill this role to some degree. The mill mechanic essentially requires the Corp to defend archives, spreading their defenses thinner than usual. At the very least, the corp needs to be prepared to draw, install and rez at least one extra ICE. We haven't seen the Criminal Identity yet, but Kate Mac's ability feels a bit underwhelming in comparison. Not that I've done any kind of quantitative analysis on how many bits the runner would expect to net from it. Ten? Fifteen?

Or perhaps Corp just need to be able to advance faster than the runner can mill archives. NBN, despite your suggestion, seems to be a very aggro (as in fast and risky, not as in damage focused (without mixins from Jinteki or Weyland)), and a counter to the obvious Noiz strategy (one big run on archives).



#7 Rashley

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Posted 11 August 2012 - 08:57 PM

I would have to say that in the original game, the more 'bits' (credits) you could get, the better chance you had to win.  That applied to both sides.  With plenty of 'bits' a Corp could afford more ICE, Upgrades, Traceing etc., while the Runner could afford more Programs, Hardware, Links etc..  Many a strategy was based around forceing/bluffing an opponent into reducing their 'bits' and thus weakening them.

I suspect the new version will be similar, although the different types of Corp and Runner Identities will undoubtedly lead to other approaches.  What I would like to know is:- will the 2 decks built know, before building, which Corp Type or Runner Identity it is faceing?  Will certain Corps do better or worse against certain Runner?  In the old game you had to TRY to cover everything.  We shall see!  As everything has a cost, no doubt I will be just as pleased as before if my 'bits' pour in at a steady rate.  Cheers! 



#8 byronczimmer

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Posted 12 August 2012 - 04:13 AM

Over on BGG in this article I touched on some of my economic analysis, with respect to establishing link, but the same tools can be used to analyze a number of the cards.

http://www.boardgame...a-new-base-link

Worth a read.



#9 byronczimmer

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Posted 12 August 2012 - 04:14 AM

Rashley said:

I would have to say that in the original game, the more 'bits' (credits) you could get, the better chance you had to win.  That applied to both sides.  With plenty of 'bits' a Corp could afford more ICE, Upgrades, Traceing etc., while the Runner could afford more Programs, Hardware, Links etc..  Many a strategy was based around forceing/bluffing an opponent into reducing their 'bits' and thus weakening them.

I suspect the new version will be similar, although the different types of Corp and Runner Identities will undoubtedly lead to other approaches.  What I would like to know is:- will the 2 decks built know, before building, which Corp Type or Runner Identity it is faceing?  Will certain Corps do better or worse against certain Runner?  In the old game you had to TRY to cover everything.  We shall see!  As everything has a cost, no doubt I will be just as pleased as before if my 'bits' pour in at a steady rate.  Cheers! 

 

In a Tournament, you submit your deck lists blind of everyone else's, and cannot change them for the duration of the tournament.

So no, you should not have insight into what you're up against until you sit down to play.



#10 pwnguin

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Posted 12 August 2012 - 04:22 AM

Of course, as we tourney reports gather, a metagame will likely emerge.



#11 byronczimmer

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Posted 12 August 2012 - 06:24 AM

By definition.

There are obvious choices people will trend towards - the trick is disrupting those choices or blindsiding the decks built to disrupt them.

 

Let the Run begin.



#12 NuFenix

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Posted 12 August 2012 - 06:28 AM

Even though it will take a while for the game to come out properly, hopefully by next weekend the full contents of the core set will be available to look at, and a more detailed discussion of the cards, and the strategy available with them will be possible.



#13 byronczimmer

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Posted 12 August 2012 - 06:36 AM

That is the plan.

If you haven't tuned into the discussions on BGG, head over there and find the links for every card image we've been able to scrape together and the card manifest we've cobbled together so far.



#14 NuFenix

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Posted 12 August 2012 - 06:49 AM

I've been using the images on Cardgamedb - http://www.cardgamed...-card-spoilers/

They are up to 68 cards so far.

I use the site forAGoT discussions and deck ideas, so it has been my main port of call.

But I will have a look at the BGG discussions, haven't been on that site in years!



#15 byronczimmer

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Posted 12 August 2012 - 12:52 PM

AussieKSU said:

 

Operation cost 0 - gain 3 bits

Operation cost 5 - gain 9 bits

 

 

 

0 credits + card draw + card play (2 effort) to gain 3 credits // This advances you by 1 effort beyond normal effort levels..

5 credits + card draw + card play (7 effort) to gain 9 credits // This advances you by 2 effort beyond normal effort levels.

 

Since the Corp has a mandatory draw, that can often be discounted in practice, at which point 3 credits for 1 effort is actually more efficient than 9 credits for 6 effort in terms of percentage analysis.  Given the choice, the 5->9 is more desirable assuming you meet the threshhold.  It depends on how much cash you currently have.

What these cards do though, is allow an exchange that isn't governed by the basic functions listed in the rules.  You can always convert clicks into credits or clicks into cards, but you cannot convert cards into credits except through the card itself or another interaction such as Aesop's Pawnshop or Security Subcontract.

The other thing that's harder to quantify is that the cards get randomly distributed in your deck, so drawing into the right card is based on how many are in your deck and how many cards remain undrawn.

 

 



#16 Kristian_108

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Posted 13 August 2012 - 08:15 AM

 You have to remember, that where you in e.g. Magic very much decide yourself when to spend "effort" (=mana) this is very much decided by your opponent in Netrunner.

The runner should usually force the Corp to rez ICE whenever possible and the Corp on the other hand should try to make it prohibitively expensive for the runner to run by using the best possible ICE. Effect like "hosted agenda counter: End the run", which then means that the runner spent all those bits for nothing just adds to the fun.

One VERY big difference to Magic-style games is that you can save money between turns in Netrunner. This means that you will often spend parts of the games building up towards game winning turns. 






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