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How hard is this game to learn?


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#1 JCourtney

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 04:28 PM

How hard is this game to learn?  Both my friend and I have played Magic quite a bit, but this game seems to make Magic look like a cake-walk on rules and timing by quick read through of the rules sheet.

Will FFG ever make a quick and dirty video tutorial like they have for Lords and AGoT?



#2 BrotherBoil

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 05:01 PM

 I had been following this game for a while prior to release and had a rough concept of how everything worked once I finally picked it up. I was able to teach it to my friend (and learn it properly myself) who's also played Magic in the past and after one full game it sort of "clicked." Talking it all through beforehand and working out some examples (most importantly a mock-run on a server) took around forty minutes I'd guess, and while it is complicated that complexity mostly comes from all the choices you have, we loved it for that reason. 



#3 photogasm

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 05:39 PM

The rulebook makes the rules look more complicated than they are.

 

The game is very easy to get the hang of and play.  I suggest giving the rules a quick read through, then playing a game as you read the rules.  It makes learning much easier.  Look it up as you go along.  We learned 80% of the game in one play through this way (just because not all factions have access to traces/tags, et cetera).



#4 ffaristocrat

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 04:57 AM

 Timing rules in Magic are way worse and complicated. Way worse.

My gf didn't have much difficulty picking it up and she's not from a gaming background at all.

Read the rule book and don't play it with any preconceived notions from Magic. It's a fairly different game and I know some Magic players have gotten tripped up because they thought stuff should work one way (which was wrong) because that's how it works in Magic. 



#5 Mischief

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 07:49 AM

this doesn't hold a candle to all of Magic's idiosyncrasies. it's really pretty straightforward compared to a lot of card games. the biggest hurdle for me was remembering all the terminology.



#6 kaffis

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 09:42 AM

 It's actually very easy to learn; the biggest two places that will prove to be learning curves are initially learning and remembering the terms (so you can read the cards properly) and then the ongoing "Oh, I didn't know that could happen" kinds of things when your opponent plays a card you haven't seen before.

 

Once you've been exposed to the majority of the cards available, and you've got the terminology set in your head, it just becomes a game where you'll get better with experience, but have no trouble just playing.



#7 skwizzle

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 12:45 PM

If you're having trouble with the rulebook, it might be worth it to look up a video giving a demonstration of gameplay. (There should be some on BoardGameGeek.) Netrunner is quite different from most games in the genre, but I don't think it's horribly complicated.



#8 Super LoFi

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 12:24 PM

The biggest hurdle I had while reading the rulebook, was the asymmetrical board.  Every card game I have played before both players have the same board, but it is one of the things I like most about the game now.



#9 cleardave

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 12:53 PM

 For a new player, I would say that essentially there are two games in one that need to be learned.  I've found that someone starting out as the Runner has less to keep track of on their side, so as long as they can learn that they need to be running to win, and HOW to run (what the ICE types are and how Icebreakers interact with them), then it's not too bad.

The Corp is a little more tricky to "learn" to play, because you have to juggle a lot of things in your mind, so for a new player, especially new to games like this, or games in general, it might be overwhelming at first.

No matter how you tackle it though, once you have all the Netrunner jargon in your head, and you've experienced the flow of the game a couple of times, it gets really fun after that, as you spend less time being confused and looking things up, and more time trying to defeat your opponent.



#10 radioactivemouse

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 08:03 PM

BrotherBoil said:


I had been following this game for a while prior to release and had a rough concept of how everything worked once I finally picked it up. I was able to teach it to my friend (and learn it properly myself) who's also played Magic in the past and after one full game it sort of "clicked." Talking it all through beforehand and working out some examples (most importantly a mock-run on a server) took around forty minutes I'd guess, and while it is complicated that complexity mostly comes from all the choices you have, we loved it for that reason.

No offense, but Netrunner plays nothing like Magic: The Gathering and having experience in it will have no bearing on how easy or hard it is to learn. There's no tap mechanic, no life points, no creatures or monsters to control, and no "instant" cards…though one can argue there's "sorcery", but that's stretching it. Hell, there's not even identity cards in Magic representing "you", the player. 

 

But to address the original poster, there's a slight learning curve as it's not a typical card game. Most of it is nomenclature and learning the game, but once you learn the game, everything makes sense. As a Corporation, it makes sense that you're building servers and protecting them. As a Runner, it makes sense that you're "hacking" into the Corporation, using programs to get around various firewalls (ICE). 

As far as how "hard" it is to learn…it not very "hard" since we currently live in a computer world. Trying to get all the small details of the game (i.e. Traces and Links, individual strategy, Viruses, etc.) may take longer, but won't ruin your ability to learn the game. 

On a scale of 1-10 on "hard to learn", I'd say a 5. Magic is a 2, Legend of the Five Rings would be a 8.



#11 Toloran

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 06:27 AM

radioactivemouse said:

On a scale of 1-10 on "hard to learn", I'd say a 5. Magic is a 2, Legend of the Five Rings would be a 8.

I agreed with your post until this point. The rules of netrunner are probably a 2-3 due to the asymmetrical nature of the game. The strategy brings up to a 5. The basic rules of Magic are probably a 2-3 as well, the strategy is a 4, but the COMPLETE rules are more of a 6-7 due to the massive amount of errata and nit-picking rules the game has (especially when dealing with layers). Over all, I'd say netrunner is probably the easier game to learn but strategy is more important.



#12 Messenger

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Posted 04 October 2012 - 02:47 AM

As someone who has played Magic since 1995, I’d say that Netrunner is a little harder to learn because of all its extra rules and mechanics. Magic is pretty simple when it comes to basic gameplay.

That said, all the extra rules defining Netrunner makes it a tighter, more reserved, more level game than Magic. It’s harder to run into a confusing or conflicting rules or mechanics scenario in Netrunner because of its extra rules that really do keep things in line and moving. In Magic, once you run into these situations (very likely once you move on from beginner level play), you end up consulting its rulings and minutiae which has become just voluminous over the years. Netrunner is just more precise and less confusing even when the combos fly.

I’d say that Magic is easier to learn but ultimately Netrunner is easier to play.



#13 radioactivemouse

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Posted 04 October 2012 - 07:31 PM

Toloran said:

radioactivemouse said:

 

On a scale of 1-10 on "hard to learn", I'd say a 5. Magic is a 2, Legend of the Five Rings would be a 8.

 

 

I agreed with your post until this point. The rules of netrunner are probably a 2-3 due to the asymmetrical nature of the game. The strategy brings up to a 5. The basic rules of Magic are probably a 2-3 as well, the strategy is a 4, but the COMPLETE rules are more of a 6-7 due to the massive amount of errata and nit-picking rules the game has (especially when dealing with layers). Over all, I'd say netrunner is probably the easier game to learn but strategy is more important.

You must have some really good way of explaining Netrunner because I can explain the rules of Magic in like 5 minutes…Netrunner takes at least 10-20 minutes just to get the initial mechanics through. Yea, I say there's an asymmetry to it, and yea I say it's Runners hacking servers, but the details of said actions and nomenclature is FAR more than Magic. 

 

I even tried to learn the game before this set came out. In watching videos of gameplay (of old Netrunner), I got bored and slept. I had to run through the new rules several times to "get it" and even then, I still review the rules constantly. 

 

I've taught this game to people, and I've taught Magic to people. Two…completely different monsters, but I know for sure Netrunner is the bigger monster…hence the 5.



#14 Toqtamish

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 12:55 AM

Magic is a lot simpler than Netrunner is. It is one of the reasons I refuse to play Magic. I like games with more substance.



#15 Djenn

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 07:42 PM

As someone who teaches people how to play L5R (i'm pretty useless in tournaments, as i tell my opponent how to beat me)

Picking up Netrunner was a challenge.
Saying that though as it's similar to L5R where you target a location with an attack, it's more about Strategy and knowing when/where to use limited resources. which is easier to pick up from a L5R background.

in Learning Netrunner, the entire group i play with are L5R players, and with that we use comparison of that games many strategies to get around the Lingo.
Where we play there's a coupld of the magic players that ask about both games, With that i'm always up for teaching.

The Simple way i've explained how to run Corp to a magic player, is you treat each Server as an individual game of Magic, you defend it as it was your entire field. The standard reply to this is "when do i attack?" in which i reply. "in your defence"

The opposite side of this tail is for the Hacker. "Go for the jugular" "See a weakness go for it" and "Don't hold back"

in a Show game between a friend, I unfortunately finished the game in 5 minutes with stupid attacks. As it was a demo, the magic player was happy that the games do have a difficulty curb (i was playing a unedited Shaper Deck against a Weyland Custom. As it was a Demo, we explained how the cards worked and how you had to attack to the weakness.

As a CCG instructor for L5R, i'm still learning all the differences with Netrunner, but it's a Fun challenge. Never will i call it hard.



#16 d4rkwing

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Posted 07 October 2012 - 10:56 AM

The basic concepts are easy to grasp. But realize it's easy to do things wrong, or miss things, the first few times. For instance, each runner starts with 4 memory units. That is only listed in the rule book once as far as I can tell. Also, some of the terms represent easy concepts, but use a more flavorful name. Like stack and heap. One of them is the draw pile, the other the discard pile. It's easy to confuse which is which the first few times playing but you should be able to tell from context. If a card says pick a card you want from the stack it will also say shuffle it afterwards (by this you can think, oh I have to shuffle it, therefore they must be talking about the draw pile). Or you can just look in the glossary. I know on my first time I accidentally paid the rez cost to install a card. Don't do that.

But overall, once you get a few games in, and especially if you're playing with other people that have experience, it should be pretty straight forward. If you don't have anyone experienced to play with, read the rules forum as a lot of the issues posters have are common ones. The good news is everything "makes sense" once you learn how it actually works, it's just not always obvious the first time you experience it.






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