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I don't want to deck-build - can I use the expansions?


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#1 Matias

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 02:17 AM

Me and my wife love playing netrunner. However, we do not want to customize the decks using the deck building rules. We like that the individual decks have a very distinct feel to them and would like to keep all seven decks functional. It would, however, be nice to be able to expand the collection and number of different cards through the available expansion sets. 

My question is, can I use the expansion sets without having to make any complex deck-building decisions? I don't mind just adding the new cards to the deck of their respective runner or corporation, and adding the new neutral cards to the pool of neutral cards used in every deck. But would that work? Or would it ruin the starter decks? Would it unbalance the game or destoy the theme? Or is there another way for me to use the expansions without resorting to complex deck building. 



#2 Nerdcore

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 02:48 AM

 With the way that the Data Packs are structured,  you could theoretically continually add the new cards for each Faction to their respective decks, at least for a while. If the game goes for a long time, eventually they are going to become very very large decks. 

Here's a quick breakdown if you're looking to avoid or simplify deckbuilding for now, and simply ignore the Influence costs. The numbers are for total physical cards, including copies of the cards picked:

Corp Deck:

45-49 cards, 3 copies of each.

20-21 Agenda points. (This will be 9 cards for every faction but Weyland/NBN, which it will be 10-12)

Pick 20 ICE 

Pick 11 Events 

Pick 9 Assets/Upgrades.   

 

Runner Deck

45 Cards, 3 copies of Each. 

Pick 10 Programs

Pick 10 Hardware

Pick 10 Resources

Pick 15 Events

 

When you feel more comfortable, mess with the ratios and then add in using the Influence system. Influence is what preserves most of the flavor of each faction, so I suggest moving to that before ratios.



#3 Saturnine

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 02:58 AM

Without knowing exactly how the expansions will be organized (outside of the 3x20 new cards pattern), I think there are ways for you to achieve what you're looking for without spending too much time. However, the more expansions come out, the more unwieldy it might become for you, depending on how you approach it.

What I gather is that you basically don't want to make use of the out-of-faction cards in your decks so as to keep the faction-specific flavor. In the beginning, this shouldn't be too hard to do just by putting in the new cards for each faction into the existing decks, possibly taking out neutral cards as necessary to keep within the deck-size/agenda point limits.

As expansions continue to be released, this mostly additive approach will likely cause the decks to play less smoothly as sub-themes for the different factions emerge and come into conflict with each other if you are not paying attention to them.

So either you stop buying expansion packs once you are satisfied with the decks you have, or you're gonna have to look more closely into what goes into each deck. Of course, people are posting deck lists all the time (here, and even more so over at cardgamedb.com), so as the card pool grows, you might just want to check out and copy some of the decks other people have built. And there may be some eager and helpful players on the forum that can help you put together thematic decks if you tell them what cards you have available.

Ultimately, the game is designed so there's no cut-and-dry way to put your decks together, so while you can get some mileage out of unscrupulous incorporation of new cards, I think it will only get you so far before your play experience begins to suffer.



#4 subochre

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 03:26 AM

In my opinion, there's no way to use the expansions without some amount of deckbuilding.  At the very least, you will need to maintain correct agenda point totals for the corps.  More importantly, however, a pack only adds a couple of cards for each faction, so it's likely that just adding whatever's available will result in very unbalanced decks.  It's hard to provide specifics, since we don't know much about the contents of each pack just yet, but, for example, it probably goes without saying that each runner will have a fairly uneven mix of icebreakers at any given time, depending on what's been released for them already.



#5 Matias

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 03:33 AM

It's not so much a question of trying to avoid deck-building because it's hard. I have been playing CCG's for nearly 20 years, and are quite used to building decks. The things I'm trying to avoid are:

 

1. The decks being MY decks. I don't mind playing with a deck I designed myself. But my opponents (my wife and friends) are not going to play with decks they build themselves. I want to give them a chance to play with (or against) THE Shaper deck instead of MY Shaper deck. Having build both decks myself gives me an unfair advantage.

 

2. I don't want to use out-of-faction cards. Mostly due to concerns about theme, but also because I don't want to use the other decks for spare parts. I like having 7 fully functional decks.

 

3. The starter decks seems somewhat balanced against one another. I don't want to ruin that by rebuilding the decks.

 



#6 Saturnine

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 04:14 AM

 I am less confident now that you will be able to do what you're looking to do. As has been said, the expansions will be there to offer new options for augmentation, not to simply expand the existing decks.

That being said, even if you make the decisions for what goes into each deck (as you would eventually have to), thus making it "your" deck, once another player is familiar with the deck, it becomes irrelevant who put together the cards (unless each player keeps playing the same faction and you actively make an effort to create imbalanced decks).



#7 Matias

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 04:27 AM

I did not know that the expansions were not available yet. I might ask again later on, when its clear what the content of the expansion pack are.

 



#8 Toqtamish

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 04:46 AM

every pack will be different so they won't be uniform throughout and won't easily add to the existing starter decks in how you want. You might be better off just sticking with the core set as is.



#9 vermillian

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 03:47 AM

If you are trying to avoid having them be YOUR deck, why don't you just ask deckbuilding forums to have people build you one of each 'faction' of a deck for YOU. Now its NO one (in your playgroup's) deck!

I'm sure there are enough netrunner players that'll be more than willing to build ya a deck including the core deck and data packs.



#10 Epistemic

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 08:03 AM

vermillian said:

If you are trying to avoid having them be YOUR deck, why don't you just ask deckbuilding forums to have people build you one of each 'faction' of a deck for YOU. Now its NO one (in your playgroup's) deck!

I'm sure there are enough netrunner players that'll be more than willing to build ya a deck including the core deck and data packs.

I think his main concern is that his opponents have fun.  He is experienced with card games, so making a deck would be no problem, but if his opponents aren't as experienced, this would create an advantage for him, and likely be unfun for his opponents.  My roommate has played Magic for something like 14 years, I figured it would be fun to play with him, so I went and bought a starter deck.  He loves building decks, so he made a deck to play against me.  His deck was much stronger than mine, and by turn 3 the game was pretty much over.  When I bought Android: Netrunner though, he often commented during our first few games that he "didn't know what the optimal choice was", and that he "didn't know the cards well enough to judge" his moves.  This made for a more balanced, and more importantly, fun experience for me.  My roommate wanted to have a list of every single card with all card effects in my deck so that he could judge his moves; I feel like that's cheating, but he thinks that over time he would learn that anyways so it would be fair.  To each his own I guess. 

Matias said he feels the decks are fairly balanced, thus, having other people make decks for him might create an imbalance in the deck strength, or lead to a certain deck that wins consistently; this again would be unfun for both parties.  "If I use this deck I'll almost always win, and if I play against it I'll likely lose" is not much of a fun gaming situation for casual players (tournament play is a different story).

To address the original question, I guess you'll just have to wait and see unfortunately :(.  I can't imagine that the expansions would completely imbalance the starter decks if you simply added them in, but I'm not as experienced with card games as you guys, so I'm not sure if this is a common occurrence among card games. 



#11 Hdnggrnchrg

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 10:23 AM

 Your roommate, vermillian, is over-competitive. You wouldn't 'learn all the cards anyways' because the decks change. He needs to just accept that netrunner is a more skillful game, or he can go back to paying more every month.



#12 Malgamus

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 11:31 AM

 If he wants to learn the cards better, he needs to play the game more then he wouldn't need a cheat sheet. Also, once the data packs start releasing, it will be a constant cycle of learning new cards. I can't wait.



#13 Messenger

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 10:24 PM

Toqtamish said:

every pack will be different so they won't be uniform throughout and won't easily add to the existing starter decks in how you want. You might be better off just sticking with the core set as is.

I think this is the closest we can get to the OP's purpose, but there's a problem: not enough cards to truly explore and experience what each faction is about. For example, it's strongly hinted that Anarchs, being the "watch the world burn" faction, are supposed to have the option of going after the R&D destruction win condition. That's simply not possible (or, more accurately, practical) with only the Core Set. It's understandable given that the first set can only contain so many cards, but it still means missing out on a lot that is Netrunner.

At best, the OP may have to include cards from the first few expansions to make large decks, but he's going to have to be very careful in selecting which expansions to include.



#14 Messenger

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 10:28 PM

Epistemic said:

 

 

My roommate has played Magic for something like 14 years, I figured it would be fun to play with him, so I went and bought a starter deck.  He loves building decks, so he made a deck to play against me.  His deck was much stronger than mine, and by turn 3 the game was pretty much over.  When I bought Android: Netrunner though, he often commented during our first few games that he "didn't know what the optimal choice was", and that he "didn't know the cards well enough to judge" his moves.  This made for a more balanced, and more importantly, fun experience for me.  My roommate wanted to have a list of every single card with all card effects in my deck so that he could judge his moves; I feel like that's cheating, but he thinks that over time he would learn that anyways so it would be fair.  To each his own I guess. 

It's cheating. He should just play normally and learn cards from experience firsthand.



#15 byronczimmer

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 06:38 AM

To answer the original post, let me do a bit of guesswork.

For the Runners, sure - you can keep adding card forever.  It will dilute the deck a great deal after the first few datapacks though, creating an unfocused pool of cards.

 

The Corps have a different problem.  Their deck size is constrained and defined by the Agenda included.  We know that every faction gets a new Agenda in the first data pack (that's good), and then gets one other card, for a total of +6 cards.

In order to include 6 new cards, the existing Corp decks would need +2 (possibly +4) Agenda points.

And that's the problem.  3 Agenda cards will never be worth +2 or +4 Agenda points, they will have +3, +6 or +9

 

So to include the Expansion, the Corp MUST tune (deck build) in order to hit proper deck size based on included Agenda.

For the Runner, they WILL WANT to tune (deck build) to remove redundancy or otherwise get back down to near the minimum deck size.

And that's just if you want to pare down and stay within a single faction.

Once you've started tuning, including cards from other factions by using influence is the next logical step.

 



#16 Hannibal_pjv

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 08:15 AM

Hard question. Android Netrunner is one of the best "out of the box" games. It is very difficult to avoid deckbuiding with this game with expansions. Maybe you can take of neutral cards and replase them with faction specifick, but many neutral cards are essential because they produce gredits…

You just have to hope that there will be "balanced" prebuild decks with expansions from netforums etc. By adding cards you can really fast go to the illegal deck type with corporates. And allso not so balanced decks allso.

My best advice would be to wait for the first cycle to end, and then make netforum for making balanced "single" faction decks by netcommunity. Not an easy task I have to say, but the best option in here IMHO.

 



#17 steelwulf99

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 04:06 PM

Matias said:

It's not so much a question of trying to avoid deck-building because it's hard. I have been playing CCG's for nearly 20 years, and are quite used to building decks. The things I'm trying to avoid are:

 

1. The decks being MY decks. I don't mind playing with a deck I designed myself. But my opponents (my wife and friends) are not going to play with decks they build themselves. I want to give them a chance to play with (or against) THE Shaper deck instead of MY Shaper deck. Having build both decks myself gives me an unfair advantage.

 

2. I don't want to use out-of-faction cards. Mostly due to concerns about theme, but also because I don't want to use the other decks for spare parts. I like having 7 fully functional decks.

 

3. The starter decks seems somewhat balanced against one another. I don't want to ruin that by rebuilding the decks.

 

 

I get where you're coming from, particularly with point #1. As the only LCG/CCG player in my local player pool, I've had to struggle with this. Here's how I overcome it.

1. Expand your card pool so you can experiment. The 7 starter decks are satisfying you and your play group? Perfect - keep them as they are, and get a second core set. That, along with some expansions, will set you up to experiment.

2. To experiment with the expansions, take a starter deck from your second set, and remove a set of cards from it. That could be 1 card (Wyldside, perhaps), or 3 cards (Hedge Funds) - whatever. Replace those cards with an equal number of cards from the expansion. i.e. if the card you took out had two copies, you remove them both and you put back two copies from the expansion.

3. Be sure to stay like-for-like with regards to Faction. If you remove neutral, replace with neutral. If you remove Jinteki, replace with Jinteki etc.

I reckon that'll meet your gamer needs for new toys, will give your players the opportunity to see new cards, and won't throw the game balance out of whack, nor will it kill the themes. It'll let you tweak, but it's nowhere near the realms of full-blown deck construction.

 



#18 etherial

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 04:32 PM

Messenger said:

It's cheating. He should just play normally and learn cards from experience firsthand.

 

At least among the VTES tournament scene, it's not cheating, though it certainly is grounds for the TO to issue you a warning for stalling if you spend too much time looking at it.



#19 zenstar

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 05:33 AM

If you're not going to do any deckbuilding then I don't suggest getting any expansions, or only getting a couple of them. If you just add the new cards into the starter decks you're slowly going to bloat the decks to the point where they no longer function well.

Imagine Magic (you said you played magic) where you have your tuned RG destruction deck. It's quick and works well and almost every card you draw is valuable and helps you win the game because it's a part of your deck's theme / stucture. Then a new expack comes out and you take 10 new green cards and 10 new red cards and just add them in. Now your deck is bloated by 20 cards and those cards may not actually work in the deck properly because they may use different themes and have no synergy with the rest of the deck. Then another expac comes out and you add another 10 & 10…. now when you draw a card there's a 40% chance that the card isn't "in tune" with the deck and the game becomes slower and less focused.

Same thing with netrunner if you don't want to do any deckbuilding. 

Perhaps you should slowly introduce the other players to deckbuilding and have everyone work together on making a new "default" deck with each expansion? Then you get to include new cards and everyone is still happy playing a known deck.



#20 TraderJB

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 06:11 AM

I think you can do a reasonably good job of random deck construction. This is how I'd do it:

 

For your corp:

- All the Hedge Fund, Melange Mining Corp, and PADs (8 cards)

- 10 Random Agendas

- 20 Random ICEs

- 10 Random Upgrades/ICEs/Operations

 

For your runner:

- All the Armitage Codebusting, Cyrpsis, and Sure Gambles (9 cards)

- 40 other cards

 

Now it's very important that neither player look at their deck or the remainder before play; A large part of what gives the better deck the advantage is the strategy to play it.

 

This will not nessisarly produce tournament legal decks, nor will it produce very good decks. However, it should create decks that are perfectly playable and roughly balanced for casual play. Certianly, if you switch decks and play a second game you should have a balanced set.

 

Note about the Agendas. Right now the minimum number of Agenda points in 10 cards is 15 for Weyland. The game should still function if this number doesn't fall below 14. So, if they publish more 1 point agendas for Weyland, this system may need some adjustment. 






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