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Scorched Earth


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#1 gokubb

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 09:48 AM

Anyone else think this should be one per turn? I have yet to be hit by it, but when building corp decks its definitely a card I always consider. I play NBN and have now won a couple of times finishing their cheap 2 cost Agenda that provides a one turn, two-tag situation and then playing Scorched Earth. As I've gotten more core sets, I see how to make two Scorched Earths in one turn a pretty consistent possibility. Just seems cheesy to me.

Then again, furture expansions will undoubtedly have better meat damage reduction cards that have secondary effects and make them not so worthless. So, the situation will probably work itself out.



#2 hollis

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 11:50 AM

Games for me certainly become much more stressful when I run on HQ or R&D and happen upon a scorched earth. There is something disheartening about the idea that a loss might end up being completely outside of my control if my opponent draws the right cards in the right order. In practice, though, there's lots of ways to fight back against scorched earth decks. The main method is to be very aggressive with your runs. Force the corp to be rezzing ice constantly (even if you don't have breakers) so they are never in a position where they can spare the money to land two scorched earths in one turn. Also, put heavy pressure on R&D; score those breaking news/posted bounties before your opponent gets them on the table. And always have a safety net. Decoy is such a cheap, effective card right now. It will stop the SEA source approach to scorched earth, as well as posted bounty. It *could* be that scorched earth is broken and will need to be limited to once-per-turn (or something like that), but personally I am not overwhelming convinced; there are currently effective ways to fight back against scorched earth decks.



#3 kaffis

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 01:02 PM

 Another good defense, particularly for Shapers, is to keep a high link. It won't counteract the possibility of Breaking News, but then, if you're up against NBN two Scorched Earths are seriously eating into their influence in the first place. But a high link is going to make tagging you expensive with only a few exceptions, especially if you also keep money on hand.



#4 juggler434

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 01:32 PM

I now run 3 Crash Spaces.  The two credits for removing traces is good on its own, but add in that you can trash it to avoid 3 meat damage and its a must have for me.   I do play criminal though, so its not taking up any precious influence.



#5 booored

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 03:53 PM

i completely disagree on this. The card is powerful yes, but well planned runner play can make it fairly useless and crash space is a hard counter that completely stops the auto kill. Posted bounty requires 2 turns to activate and cast 2 SE.. so you can also pretty much work out when this is happening and try and prevent it.

Is it powerful… yes… is it OP… no.

The core set is already showing great depth in deck building.. and this is proof of that, competitive decks require you to take things like this into account forcing consistent, rather than powerful deck choices. It may make some of the runner decks more homogeneous, but this is a result of the card pool being so small not the power of SE.

I think this is a great card as it forces me as a runner to have a game awareness that i wouldn't need normally. All this card dose is make the game more cool for both players.


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#6 db0

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 01:11 AM

Actually a smart corp can burn you, even if you have a crash space in play

Move the posted bounty to full advancement but don't score

Wait until you get 2 scortched earth in your hand and gather enough credits to be able to play them

At the start of your turn score Posted Bounty and give runner a tag. First action, pay 2 creds to trash Crash Space, 2nd/3rd action Burn the runner.

Also easier if the runner ever makes the mistake of staying with less than 4 cards in their hand.



#7 booored

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 02:28 AM

Well, obviously. This is the combo the entire thread is about isn't it? As I said… "Posted bounty requires 2 turns to activate and cast 2 SE" 1 turn to place a 2 counters, next turn 1 counter score then 2xSE. There is also Sea Source, this is probably the easier way to score this combo. Sea Source, Anon tip to draw the SE and Sea Source.. etc etc etc..

This doesn't invalidate what I was trying to say though. Combo decks are a good thing.


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#8 Toqtamish

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 02:32 AM

That combo requires an awful lot of things to go right. I really don't think that Scorched Earth is overpowered. Powerful yes, but not overpowered. It just seems more powerful likely due to the fact that we currently have a small card pool.



#9 booored

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 02:49 AM

 

exactly! A combo deck is just that… a powerful win condition that needs the perfect setup. I think combo decks are cool, they are never torny quality.. but they are fun o trot outr now and then. SE itself is easy to play around.. it just takes deck piloting skill and metagame awareness when creating a runner deck.. all this is good stuff. The fact that a combo deck (admittedly a weak combo deck) can even exists in the core set is awesome.


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#10 gokubb

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 03:40 AM

The original combo I had listed was with Breaking News and Scorched Earth. Posted Bounty and Sea Source don't bother me as much because Decoy gets around both. Breaking News adds two tags and is super cheap to complete (I know the deck using almost all its influence for the 3x SE). Then, two Scorched Earths. With NBN's ability to Anonymous Tip through their deck, it can be quite consistent. Crash Space and a five card hand aside, this combo goes off without the runner really feeling like they could have done anything to stop it.

I'm not screaming that this should be stopped. I like combo decks. Its just the first one that stands out that I can see being a real non-Player Experience for the runner. The extremely quick finality of it is just alarming.



#11 Toqtamish

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 03:50 AM

I believe you mean negative player experience.

I really don't think that combo is that. Annoying, yes it probably is that.



#12 hollis

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 04:33 AM

gokubb said:

 

The original combo I had listed was with Breaking News and Scorched Earth. Posted Bounty and Sea Source don't bother me as much because Decoy gets around both. Breaking News adds two tags and is super cheap to complete (I know the deck using almost all its influence for the 3x SE).

 

Breaking News is probably the best source for scorched earth tags, but by running x3 Scorched earth in NBN you are handicapping yourself in so many other ways. You will probably get a few more "jackpot" wins than running scorched earth in Weyland, but your overall win percent compared to a more influence-diverse NBN deck is probably going to go down -- you are sacrificing overall strength of the deck for a better shot at hitting your one-trick pony.

gokubb said:

 

Then, two Scorched Earths

 

 

Now you introduce to yourself the same problem runners are posed with when facing a Scorched Earth deck -- there will be some games where, when the runner draws the right cards in the right order, you will just simply lose without being able to do anything to prevent it. What happens if noise plays a virus and one of your two scorched earths are discarded? Game over, man. Game over. You'll probably have more wins running x2 SE and x3 anonymous tip than if you run x3 SE, but you are going to end up in some really crappy positions because of it.

So it seems that, like most other cards, there are real trade-offs to running scorched earth. There are also ways to deliberately play against a deck running scorched earth. Those are two pretty good reasons why a 1-per-turn limit wouldn't be required.



#13 subochre

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 05:07 AM

edit: n/m



#14 Buhallin

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 09:02 AM

So if you put 3 Scorched Earth in your deck, you automatically lose if you don't draw both of them?  Huh.  Hadn't thought of that.  But doesn't that mean that having to stock triple Crash Space makes your deck considerably weaker against anyone not trying to Scorched Earth you?

Two may be a guaranteed kill, but even one is brutal.  If the Runner knows it's coming, they can generally avoid it by just staying over 3 cards, but that becomes a serious drain on resources.  It also means even a slight bit of extra damage can end the game.

Honestly, the problem is not Scorched Earth itself, it's the auto-tags which are generated by certain corp cards, especially Breaking News and Data Raven.  They present very, VERY few options (if any) for the Runner to avoid the tags and combos.  The faction limitations just make it worse, because the counters that are available become faction-limited.  A corp can decide not to go with Scorched Earth, or tags at all, but a Shaper or Anarchist has to be able to deal with it, which means most of their influence get sucked up there.

Meh.  It'll probably smooth out as the card pool increases, but I'm not terribly impressed with the balance I'm seeing so far.

 



#15 jhaelen

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 09:15 PM

Buhallin said:

Meh.  It'll probably smooth out as the card pool increases, but I'm not terribly impressed with the balance I'm seeing so far.

 

Have you actually played it? The balance is fine. This is just theory-crafters babbling.



#16 Buhallin

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 06:15 AM

jhaelen said:

Have you actually played it? The balance is fine. This is just theory-crafters babbling.

 

Yes, I have actually played it.  Second game we played, the Corp dropped ICE on the first turn and installed an node.  I played a 5-for-nine to make money, installed Magnum Opus, and took the open runs at HQ and R&D - no icebreakers yet installed, Corp still had 5 bits and could probably rez whatever he had, so better to go for the open.  Pretty solid first turn - money machine already up and running, easy starting runs, good start for the runner.

Turn two, Corp takes two actions to advance Breaking News, and the last to drop Urban Renewal.  I only had 3 cards.  Bam.  Game Over.  It had all the elegance of an early Magic Channel/Fireball game, and fun was not had by any, much less all.

So no, not just theorycraft.  It's a clear problem in the interaction between the players, which was so elegant in the original, and FFG has thrown to chaos.  One of the major defining elements of the original was that the interactions were largely dependent on actions by the runner.  Until I made my first run, there wasn't really anything the corp could do to me.  Even then, most of the trace/tag options were generated by ICE.  This gave the runner a "safe" setup time to get their defenses in place.  You knew the corp was doing their things too, so there was still plenty of pressure, but there wasn't a chance for the game to just outright end before you ever made a run.

Now, not only are those defenses seriously limited due to the faction/influence mechanic, several corps can tag you pretty much at will.  An installed agenda and 5 bits means the runner has to keep 4+ cards, or the game can end immediately.  That's not good balance, and it's honestly not a whole lot of fun.



#17 mothchoir

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 09:38 AM

Buhallin, I completely appreciate why that one particular game was no fun at all, but Tag/Scorched Earth isn't really comparable to Channel/Fireball. The difference, I would say, is that one of the virtues of NR is that most strategies can be counteracted by making the right play against them, whereas in early Magic there was no answer for the combo you mention if played on the first turn.

Although that particular game you experienced was short and unfun, I doubt you'd fall into the same trap again if the same situation arose, because there are ways round it.



#18 hollis

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 09:52 AM

Buhallin said:

It's a clear problem in the interaction between the players, which was so elegant in the original, and FFG has thrown to chaos.  One of the major defining elements of the original was that the interactions were largely dependent on actions by the runner.  Until I made my first run, there wasn't really anything the corp could do to me.  Even then, most of the trace/tag options were generated by ICE.  This gave the runner a "safe" setup time to get their defenses in place.  You knew the corp was doing their things too, so there was still plenty of pressure, but there wasn't a chance for the game to just outright end before you ever made a run.

 

Now, not only are those defenses seriously limited due to the faction/influence mechanic, several corps can tag you pretty much at will.  An installed agenda and 5 bits means the runner has to keep 4+ cards, or the game can end immediately.  That's not good balance, and it's honestly not a whole lot of fun.

 

 

From what you are saying, it sounds like the real problem -- if there is a problem -- is not with scorched earth but, rather, with cards like breaking news, SEA source, posted bounty, etc. Is that right?



#19 gokubb

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 10:38 AM

For the future, that's probably correct. Being able to tag on your turn and immediately use that tag is something that will definitely have to be balanced. Currently, the only way to really abuse that balance is 2x Scorched Earth (which I know, you have to draw). I think my main problem is that, yes, the runner can play differently and minimize the chance of getting hit by the combo. But, the combo can equally go off without the runner doing anything wrong, and can happen as early as turn two.

As I see it, its currently the only combo where the runner can play everything right and still have the game abruptly end. That's the only reason I brought it up and think a balancing mechanic of any type on the card would have been a good idea. Remove the tag, once per turn, cost more credits, etc. Any would have made the card fit in with the rest of the game better, in my opinion.



#20 Buhallin

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 11:16 AM

I don't know that I'd say the PROBLEM is the ability for certain corp cards to tag the runner without precondition; but it combines horribly with the direct-damage options that need tags.

In the original NetRunner, there were few ways for to tag the runner during the Corp's turn.  All of them relied on the Runner doing something the previous turn - make a run, usually - that depended on the card in question.  Even these almost universally functioned by allowing a Trace instead of simply handing out tags.  The only one that would directly tag the Runner was Trojan Horse, which required them to be tagged.

These were offset by some pretty robust options for the Runner to avoid tags - Nasuko Cycle, Fall Guy, Leland, Nomads, the Weeflerunner, etc, and most of those had an extra beneficial effect to go along with them.  These existed solely because cards like I Got A Rock and original Urban Renewal made tags so nasty.

What we're seeing now is an increase in the ability of the corp to dish out tags with no action on the part of the runner, combined with a card pool that restricts the options to avoid tags in the first place and then further restricts those options because of the new faction system.  Even if you consider the availability of those few counters sufficient, it means the game comes down to whether or not the Runner can get them and get them installed before the Corp comes across a mere two-card combo and flatlines them.

It doesn't have to be two Scorched Earth. It only takes one, unless the runner keeps their hand above 3 at all times. That's a huge burden. As has been pointed out, if they're playing right the Corp may have to stage it over an extra turn and have two more bits, but it's easy enough to trash Crash Space once they're tagged before you drop the Urban Renewal.

If we consider the original balanced (which I do - tag-n-bag was viable but hardly dominant as a corp style) the new system improves the corp's ability to tag, seriously degrades the runner's ability to avoid tags, makes those few abilities faction-dependent, and keeps the lethality of the "If runner is tagged" operations the same.  That's a bad combination.






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