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AlphariusXX

Can't win as corporation with core set

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My friend and I have both just started and we're learning together. Right now though it seems like the corporation is really hard to win with and it's kind of demoralising us.

 

So what happens in your games, I hear you ask:

 

Well, it seems like all the runner has to do is play cautiously. If he sees a card being advanced he jumps on it. If it's a trap, the consequences seem to be fairly minimal, whereas the corporation has everything to lose when he starts trying to advance agendas.

 

Ice seems way too easy to break, especially by the mid to late game when the runner has equipped all his chips and so on to give him free credits during runs. And he always seems to have more money anyway as long as he keeps farming cards like magnus opus etc.

 

Rushing early game for the corporation doesn't seem possible either. You only start with 5 credits and depending on the luck of the cards you might be poor for a long while. With only 5 creds, the chances of rezzing ice and advancing an agenda before the runner has stolen it seems unlikely.

 

Long story short, it seems like making headway toward victory early on is not very feasible and the longer the game goes on, the more all powerful the runner becomes.

 

I plan to buy more in the future but only if my friend and I can actually manage to have fun with the core game first, so saying get more stuff wouldn't be very helpful.

 

Thanks for all comments and feedback. Call me a noob if you like, as long as you say something helpful too. Thanks.

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The reaction of veteran Netrunner players to this sort of complaint is invariably, "You're being too nice to each other."  Either that, or you have misunderstood one of the fundamentals.

 

Have the Corp try this decklist from NetrunnerDB:

https://netrunnerdb.com/en/decklist/15757/hb-etf-economy-traps-deck-from-single-core-set-

 

You're going to have to put on your poker face and use your Jedi mind tricks, but that's what Corping is all about.

 

(For instance, when you first try this out, don't sit down at the table and tell the Runner, "I've got a new deck." And when you're done, don't explain what you were trying to do.)

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Well, and two other points:

 

First, I suppose it's only fair to acknowledge that the A:NR metagame is pretty powerful.  I'm sure it's no accident.  But that lopsidedness you feel will definitely be addressed when you gain access to new expansions.  If you like the game already, rest assured that you will have more fun with more cards.  They definitely expand the gamespace.

 

Second, keep in mind that a match consists of two games, with players switching roles between games.  So even when the metagame heavily favors one side, that doesn't mean that it necessarily favors one player.  In your situation, the smart Corp plays to maximize the agenda points earned.

 

Also, QFT:

 

 

the longer the game goes on, the more all powerful the runner becomes.

 

Yes. The Corp is on the clock.

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You have to have a strategy. Chances are the runner will get in soon enough. So what you have to do is either fast advance (score in the same turn as install) or rush out an agenda behind an end the run ice in the early game, or if you are Haas and have a lot of money, build a massive server so that the runner has to really work to get in.

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Another question: how many core sets are you using for deckbuilding? Corp game gets much better once you can have two SanSans, three Astroscripts, three Scorched Earth,

See the thing is, the OP shouldn't need to buy another core or any expansion, if they don't want to. The core set should be balanced. With that said, I have no idea if the OP is right because I can't get any of my friends into the game to learn it in and out. I've played a handful of games online, but the players are either to advanced and want to speed through the game, or I play people with very experimental decks. I'm guessing the core set is balanced because of all the work and passion for the game I know the devs put into it. So I'm going to guess the OP may not be playing right, or not bluffing enough.

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Another question: how many core sets are you using for deckbuilding? Corp game gets much better once you can have two SanSans, three Astroscripts, three Scorched Earth,

See the thing is, the OP shouldn't need to buy another core or any expansion, if they don't want to. The core set should be balanced.

The core set isn't "balanced" around play with a single core set. Its first priority is to give a taste of the game, an appetizer, at which job it performs adequately. Its second purpose is to provide a stable card base for the larger card pool assuming a full playset of each card. Full, balanced playability out of a single core set is not a consideration--in fact largely the opposite. It *should* cry out for more options, to drive future sales. You're supposed to build a deck and think, "man, I could do so much better if I just had _______". It has long been the consensus of the community that one core set isn't great, that two is the sweet spot. Three, if you're really wanting 3x of some of those single cards for competitive play.

Edited by Grimwalker

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Another question: how many core sets are you using for deckbuilding? Corp game gets much better once you can have two SanSans, three Astroscripts, three Scorched Earth,

See the thing is, the OP shouldn't need to buy another core or any expansion, if they don't want to. The core set should be balanced.

The core set isn't "balanced" around play with a single core set. Its first priority is to give a taste of the game, an appetizer, at which job it performs adequately. Its second purpose is to provide a stable card base for the larger card pool assuming a full playset of each card. Full, balanced playability out of a single core set is not a consideration--in fact largely the opposite. It *should* cry out for more options, to drive future sales. You're supposed to build a deck and think, "man, I could do so much better if I just had _______". It has long been the consensus of the community that one core set isn't great, that two is the sweet spot. Three, if you're really wanting 3x of some of those single cards for competitive play.

 

If it's a taste like you say, it should have been a free print and play game. I hope the core set wasn't sold just to get people to buy more into it. I think the core should be a self contained game, with the option to expand if you want. I don't think FF would do that to fans. I think ANR like many card games; players look for ways to make a beat em up deck (a deck that's just over powered, not crafty), so they put in the max amount of powerful cards. I think I remember an interview with one of the devs, they said the core was made with balance in mind. I'm not saying you're wrong because I haven't tested it myself, but I hope it's not true.

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Yeah, the core set is not perfectly balanced, nor is meant to be. If it were a self contained game, with expansion seeming strictly optional, and doesn't entice people to buy more into it, it's not doing its job.

For pete's sake, Criminal doesn't even have a Decoder.

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Yeah, the core set is not perfectly balanced, nor is meant to be. If it were a self contained game, with expansion seeming strictly optional, and doesn't entice people to buy more into it, it's not doing its job.

For pete's sake, Criminal doesn't even have a Decoder.

 

But you DO have the influence system, do that's not really a problem. Considering such a limited card pool, I always found the hardest part of building a single-core deck is filling out the last few cards with "padding" - which cards are 'least bad' in this deck?

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I'm having this very issue at the moment...I was winning with the pre-made corp decks about 50% of the time against my 12 yr old son...but when I went to play my best friend, who is a very strategic thinker and experienced gamer, I could not beat him. We played several games over the past weekend and even switched up decks (me always playing corp) and I couldn't win one game. I fast advanced/scored a few agendas, but it's just too easy for the runner to get through the ice mid-to-late game...and too dangerous to place remote servers before shoring up HQ, R&D and (and archives when facing Santiago with the sneak card or Noise and his virus R&D trash)

 

What are some good general strategies to keep in mind?

 

I was able to do some serious net-damage using the Jinteki deck, but couldn't pull off a flat-line. NBN can get some decent trace/tags out there, but all of the corps suffer from slow cash flow, except maybe HB (with their free credit/install/turn). My opponent knows how important that income is to the corp player and fanatically attacks any PAD Campaigns or Melange Mining Corps that I manage to get into a remote server. 

 

I have been slowly acquiring the deluxe expansions and data packs...but have not had time to really get into deck-building, having just finished organizing the cards into binders. So far I've got an additional core set (it was sent to me by mistake when I ordered the Android board game from an on-line retailer, and subsequently sold to me for a reduced cost to save mailing it back), all four deluxe expansions, and all 6 data packs for each of the Genesis, Spin, San San, and Flashpoint cycles.

 

I am really getting into the Android setting, and LOVE this game, so I really want to know the Corps have a decent chance of winning assuming experience level, and access to cards are about equal. I know there are 'net-decks' that I could just look up and build, but I'd like a real foundation understanding of what makes a great Corp deck and what strategies are essential for putting up a good fight against a decent runner deck/opponent. 

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Well, you definitely have a good card base for making decent decks, so I guess we should probably post your decklists to either the deckbuilding section here, or even better, join the Netrunner Dorks facebook group and you'll get lots of feedback. It's hard to say "what strategies are essential" because how you pilot and build decks varies wildly depending on your win condition and on recognizing your opponent's game plan.

From a ten-thousand-foot level though, I suppose one thing that both the original poster and yourself may not be cognizant of is that games of Netrunner *generally* (exceptions are extremely common) fall into early game, mid game and late game. 

 

  • In the Early game, the runner has the advantage as the corp is still setting up and either doesn't have or cannot rez all the ice and assets that he or she really wants to have up and running.
  • In the Middle game, the advantage swings to the Corp as early routes of aggression get cut off, the corp has ice or assets that must be answered, and the runner has to dig through their deck for answers.
  • In the Late game, the advantage swings back to the Runner, once he or she has installed a rig of icebreakers and enough economy to use them.

Some runner decks attempt to hold open the early game, Criminal decks may attempt to keep the corp poor, Anarch decks may attempt to ablate the corp's defenses, setting the clock back.

 

Some runner decks don't play to an early game, but instead charge straight toward an endgame relationship, hoping to get a lock on the critical servers before the corp can close out the game.

 

Corps can attempt to flatline the runner early by forcing errors and presenting unacceptable risks. The corp may attempt to tax the runner with ice or assets in order to prolong the midgame. Or, failing that, the corp may defend against an endgame state by either bluffing the runner into fruitless runs or scoring directly from hand.

There are three main corp strategies: Kill, Glacier, or Fast Advance, the latter two almost always blended to some degree. One thing to realize is that Ice almost never does what it says on the tin, or at least not more than once. End the run Ice doesn't end runs, it forces the runner not to run while he or she finds an icebreaker. Likewise Destroyer or AP ice--they force the runner to get answers and generally make runs inadvisable until they do. Once an icebreaker is found, ice changes to say "The runner loses $3" or whatever the break cost is with common breakers. Ice is generally judged on whether its cost to rez versus its cost to break is a favorable ratio, or whether its "facecheck punishment" sufficiently offsets an inefficient ratio. Neural Katana, which costs 3 to rez but only 1 to break with most Killers, is a terrible piece of ice which never sees competitive play. Eli 1.0 costs $3 to rez, but taxes the runner either 2 clicks or $3-5 to break, much better. Architect, which costs $3 to rez, $2 to break is less good but its immunity to destruction (and thus ability to repeatedly inflict that tax) and its massive punishment to being facechecked early game, make it prized.

 

(Eli and Architect are so good, in fact, that they're subject to some moderate restrictions in tournament play. Don't worry about it for now.)

 

So, if you tax the runner in credits or clicks enough, they could become vulnerable to a flatline. Large Glacier builds with lots of ice can simply make it difficult (but almost never impossible) to get in repeatedly. Or you can simply use cards like Biotic Labor and SanSan City Grid to score agendas from HQ in a single turn, so that the runner cannot pounce on them. 

 

Most importantly, you'll never win without presenting the runner with *choices*. If those choices are easy, you lose. If the choices are hard and you're clever, you win. If the choices are impossible, you control the game.

Say you're on five points. You have a two-ice server that the runner can break into for $8 credits. Anything you install in that server, the runner must check, because it could be an agenda that can win the game. Install assets, install a trap card, force the runner to react to your moves and once you see that the runner is likely to take a turn to catch his or her breath, that's when you can score out. It's not the fact that the runner can't get in, it's that the runner can get in but not always, and you play around that. 

Edited by Grimwalker

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An example of the last: You are NBN. Have a Breaking News and one other agenda scored, and you install a Global Food Program using Casting Call, a card which give the runner 2 tags if they take the agenda. Hopefully behind some ice that the runner has to deal with in some meaningful way, but it's not necessary. Advance it twice. What's the runner going to do...let you score a three point agenda next turn? No, of course not.

But, the runner knows that in order to score the agenda, they're going to basically have to clear 2 tags, and you may just decide to play 24/7 News Cycle to sacrifice your other agenda, triggering Breaking News, then using Exchange of Information to trade them your paltry 1-point agenda and take from them the GFI they just stole. (and leaving them with two tags, since BN's effect will be inactivated by being in the runner's score pile, and thus won't clear the tags when triggered at end of turn.)

 

The runner knows that the agenda steal is bait. The runner knows that the alternative is to let you score 3 points unchallenged. No good options, and none of it had anything to do with keeping the runner out or taxing the runner, just presenting no good options.

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Thanks Grimwalker, that really does help. I find that I like the theme and 'fluff' behind all of the corp factions, so finding a play-style that I enjoy will be my first step...so far, I like the money making ability that HB seems to have, and the sneaky tricks that Jinteki employs, so I will probably start out with one of those.

 

Maybe I didn't read the rules carefully enough, but I didn't realize that competitive play required you having a corp AND a runner deck and that you play each other twice, reversing roles, to determine a winner...but that only makes sense, because otherwise you'd have more people with one or the other, and players left without opponents...not to mention players that never face each other due to having the same type of deck. 

 

I will start dabbling in some deck building this weekend and keep your advice in mind.

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I'm autistic so bluffing not really a skill I have access to.. Is it possible to win as a corp while being a bit blunt? I man I know that the Corp is kinda "right there in the manual" on being bluff oriented (and I think my biggest problem is not doing the right thing along with Grim's above game state issues) but I mean is it possible to trick the Runner into screwing up? My favorite factions tend to have little to no money to abuse for Ice.. (NBN and Jintiki Jintiki I hear is psychotically notorious for lack of credits to holy hell)

Also I think my biggest problem is not managing serves correctly.

Edited by CEOWolf

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Tricking the runner into screwing up is not so important as presenting the runner with bad choices. It shouldn't really be part of your game plan that your opponent is dumb. But, that doesn't mean the runner had all the information he or she needs to make the best decision. 

 

Unfortunately your two favorite corp factions are the ones who often rely the most on bluffing and misdirection. If you want a corp that wears its intentions on its sleeve, HB and Weyland are much more "blunt".

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I know which SUCKS and the ones I'd probably be good at I don't like (I know Corps are evil bastards but Weyland is the Mob turned up brutally to eleven and ruthless as hell and HB is just like a mix of NBN and JT just more product placement happy and in general all around upitty pricks if I want to side with powerful bad guys who rule the world I'd want the more subtle ones)

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The whole point of the setting is that no corporation and no runner are wholly good or wholly evil. All of the corps do good things and bad things: Weyland has given us the whole solar system, and major advances in energy production. If they're ruthless, it's because their work is too beneficial and too important to brook interference. And they're not wrong.

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10 minutes ago, Grimwalker said:

The whole point of the setting is that no corporation and no runner are wholly good or wholly evil. All of the corps do good things and bad things: Weyland has given us the whole solar system, and major advances in energy production. If they're ruthless, it's because their work is too beneficial and too important to brook interference. And they're not wrong.

 

I only know the info of Core Set which paints them to be evil bastards who have no goal other than ultimate power.

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Quote

Still, Weyland remains confident that the bright future of the human race is in outer space. The Consortium is a major source of funding for space exploration and continues to acquire aerospace and orbital construction companies. Some suggest that the Weyland Consortium seeks a monopoly in outer space, that it wants to control all human habitation outside Earth’s atmosphere. Many of these alarmists are Martians who distrust the Weyland Consortium on principle.

Cards like Gagarin Deep Space and Jemison Aeronautics depict their exploration initiatives, and comet jockeys engaged in Meteor Mining are transforming Mars into a habitable world. Weyland has nothing to hide, and many of their projects in Hollywood, Oaktown, the Underway, and Mumbad are entirely transparent public-private partnerships. And if from time to time one of their satellite disposal deorbitings has had a calculation error, press releases have been quick to point out that several of the buildings lost were in fact owned by the Weyland Consortium. 

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It's more balanced when with 49 cards in your corp's decks you have 18 or 19 agenda pts (and not 20-21). Just remove one Priority Requisition and try again.

Edited by Dicepool

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I mean there is #nowrongwaytoplay but I can't really get behind cheating as a solution. 

We are talking on a thread that says "Can't win as corporation with core set." The core set isn't a standalone product. It's not intended to be. It's intended not to be standalone. If you sit down to design a living card game and your core set is entirely self-contained, if it doesn't incentivize the players to make more purchases, then you really haven't met your design requirements. 

Recently, there was an article published by a veteran competitive player, which I wish I could find, which posited that, all things being equal, the runner has the advantage. In a balanced match, the ability to install icebreakers, get money, and run servers means that it is unlikely for the corporation to be able to get ahead of the runner and score out.

If the job of the runner's deck is to balance the match by installing counters to corp defenses, then job of the corporation's deck is, in the words of The Oracle, "to unbalance it." Fast Advancing, Tag Punishment, Kill, Prison, and Combo strategies endeavor to either reset the match to an earlier state or else create lines of play that the runner cannot always answer. This is what i was trying to get at in earlier posts: you can't beat the runner straight up. A corp deck that aims to install ice, end runs, and advance agendas the runner can't get to is going to lose almost all the time. 

And, fortunately or unfortunately depending on your point of view, the options to do more than that in a Core Set environment are somewhat limited. If you buy 2 core sets, you get a lot more flexibility, and also it is sometimes hard for core-set-only players to see that some cards on the corp side are as powerful as they are. SanSan City Grid and Biotic Labor tend to be two cards which don't seem great initially but are game-winning when properly wielded.

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As a player that's purchased all the cards, I'll look back and say the core set's corp is pretty bad. It's *almost* always led to a negative player experience for me.

Whenever I showed the game to newbs, I'd play as Corp, because it seems the more complicated of the two sides. If the person I'm showing it to is completely new, then the game is quite tense, because the player doesn't know the strength of the traps. Once they start getting a hang of it, or muster some courage, they'll learn that face-checking is really too good.

This led to some negative player experiences for me that stuck with me for a few years because I blamed *myself* for my failures as corp; surely despite the game being asymmetrical, they'd've balanced the core set, right? Not really. Over time, even after I got a bunch of cards for the game, I kept revisiting core corp decks, and the outcome is the same. Corp always loses. Corp has no Jackson Howard for agenda flood, nor any nasty tricks to stop the runner. You can re-optimize the core set deck with its own cards, but then the runner gets to do that too, meaning the runner still wins.

If you're playing Core Corp without modifying the deck lists, you lose.

If you build a corp deck with just 1x core set, and allow the runner the same privledge, you lose.

You might stand a chance if you cherry pick 3 core sets with a nice non-eratta'd triple astroscript deck, but why don't you just buy more data packs at that point?

If you play against a newb, of course you'll win if you want to.

If you play the Core set with the intention of "tasting" the full netrunner experience, you'd better like losing as corp.

I guess the core set was successful though, I mean look who's talking, I ended up buying a lot more cards. If you're going to buy the core set, chalk it up as a fun learning experience, and don't worry about it if you lose.

 

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Based on some recent conversations I've had I think it needs to be said outright, because unrealistic expectations are formed otherwise. The Core Set has two purposes:

 

1. Teach how to play the game

2. Provide a set of staple cards that are the start of a collection.

 

A single core set should not be expected to provide a balanced or complete game experience. Netrunner's failing is that its large numbers of 2x and 3x cards give the impression that it can, and that's not true.

 

the more recent core sets for Conquest, AGOT, and Arkham Horror are mostly 1x cards, and it's more immediately obvious that once you've learned the rules, you just need to add more cards--a second core set certainly, and whatever packs/deluxes your decks call for.

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On 05/02/2017 at 1:39 AM, CEOWolf said:

I'm autistic so bluffing not really a skill I have access to.. Is it possible to win as a corp while being a bit blunt? I man I know that the Corp is kinda "right there in the manual" on being bluff oriented (and I think my biggest problem is not doing the right thing along with Grim's above game state issues) but I mean is it possible to trick the Runner into screwing up? My favorite factions tend to have little to no money to abuse for Ice.. (NBN and Jintiki Jintiki I hear is psychotically notorious for lack of credits to holy hell)

Also I think my biggest problem is not managing serves correctly.

the more you play, the less bluffing happens and seems to matter.  every decision is super meta dependent, and it's all about who makes a mistake or a wrong prediction, not who fails on the bluff

 

for example, Weyland has no faction-specific advanceable traps and even have face-up agendas.  they pressure the runner to make the best of two bad decisions: run and steal this agenda and risk getting blown up by Scorched Earth or let the corp score out?  if you use taxing ICE and rush out agendas quickly with the backup plan of killing a runner who gets too greedy/aggressive, there's absolutely no bluffing involved, but you're still playing solid corp strategy

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