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vermillian2

OK maybe I missed this earlier… Corporations DO win, right?

29 posts in this topic

Yes. Yes, they do. From winning the Agenda race to just killing the Runner, the Corp can and does win.

(Thinks about the time I got hit by a double Scorched Earth.)

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I was just thinking about opening a similar topic, only with a bit less sarcastic title… ;)

The thing is that out of 10+ games with corporations, I have yet to win a single one. I've won with the runner-side but never with a corp, and I began to wonder that maybe it is not a coincidense, and there may be a bigger issue here. I am not saying that the game is unbalanced and/or favors the runner, but maybe the corp-side requires more attention and strategy in order to win--i.e. harder to play.

Anyways, I would love to read corporation strategies, considerations, and just general advices from more experienced players who actually do win when they play with a corporation. :)

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Rince said:

 

I am not saying that the game is unbalanced and/or favors the runner, but maybe the corp-side requires more attention and strategy in order to win--i.e. harder to play.

 

 

 

I feel that that's true. I haven't played the original Netrunner, and I've found the runner side to be more intuitive and straight-forward to play, which I think makes it easier. A lot of the corporations defense lies in the hidden information aspect, so it's a lot of about adjusting your play style to stay unpredictable. If the runner picks up on where you always put which type of card and when, then it'll be easier for them to avoid traps and run on the agendas. I also feel like managing your economy is a bit more tricky on the corp side (making sure to have the credits to rez the ice when you need it vs. advancing agendas and traps, etc.). So I think it's more challenging for new players like us to play corporation.

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I tend to fall on the opposite side, but I do play mostly corporations. It really depends on the starts for both sides. If the corp can get 2-3 end run ice starting and some money card they can set themself up pretty well. Generaly I try and setup some early defense on the HQ and R&D then find a way to get off a few turns on Melange Mining Corp so my economy is up and running. Usually after I am doing well on that I just start laying ice and spending turns on Melange while making it the easiest to run on so they can remove it. After that I try and set up a mega server ala tons of ice and start advancing agendas under it.

 

Ya it isn't easy to always get this opening, but with some deck building it can be done. Generally it is much easier to do with HB and Wayland since they have much better in faction ice so you can get your ice count around 20+ so you are never digging for it. Also Adonis Campaign in HB along with their identiy makes it very easy to get a good economy going. Even with Adonis I still run Melange.


In general I think if you are learning Corp HB is probably the best one to play followed by Wayland. Their default decks are hands down better then NBN and Jinteki, and once you add deck building to it you can do nasty things like throw in Snare! and Tollbooth.


I need to work on playing Runner more because my experience with that side is severly lacking, at this point I probably play 4-5 corp games for every one runner. In the end I feel like if anything at worse the sides have a match up of 6/4 in favor of runners which isn't so bad and certainly winnable with practice.

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Personally I find it much easier to win games as the Corp than as the Runner. Maybe its just that the Corp fits my playstyle better.

~ Tim

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I think you do need to have a better understanding of your deck and objectives when playing as the corp. You should always be focused on achieving those goals and keeping track of everything on the table like the breakers the runner has and if ICE are worth rezzing or even worth keeping installed(looks at Enigma against any decoder). With the runner you don't know as much and have less to keep track of.

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Not only do I find that the Corp side is able to win, it wins far more regularly than the Runner. The players that I am playing with are both experienced players of multiple TCGs, and both also prior experience with O:NR, as well as A:NR. The runner at the moment does not have the tools available to achieve anything like a 50/50 matchup, which is a factor of the small pool of cards in Core (only 252 cards in the new version, vs.374 in the old game basic set), as well as the distribution model which I presume promotes small basic sets with rapid monthly release growth.

Splitting those 252 cards six (seven?) ways from Sunday with the Identities/Factions further limits the pool available to each Runner. Despite this I think that the Runner is slightly in a stronger position in the current game than in the old game - from an analytic consideration of the points of distinction between O:NR and A:NR - however, the play experience is not bearing that out. While the rules may have shifted slightly to better favour the Runner our sense is that the card pool is what's hindering the Runner from making a strong opponent against the better Corp decks that we're running.

So in one sense we're feeling quite the opposite. A dozen or so more games and we did start to see the naif Runner decks we were using move towards more sophisticated builds that did improve their chances of winning beyond a lucky pluck off R&D or two (or a screwed deal for the Corp - handful of Agenda and a hard-atttacking Runner), but overall the Runner is still the weaker of the two sides.

One suggestion, and I know this is a weird-seeming one: want to be a better Corp player? Ignore the Mulligan rule. Even when we used house rules back in O:NR for the Corp to be able to call a "No-ICE Mulligan" you'd find that the better Corp players never used it, and it did not hurt their chances of winning.

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Good topic. Cmae here looking for threads of this nature. Glad my son and I aren't the only ones who feel this way… We'll continue to practice, read threads and advice, and hope to do better…

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Someone did a study of 1500 games

Runner won 55% of the time, Corp 45%

They also broke it down by each runner vs each corp

Criminal won 62% of his games
Anarch won 52%
Shaper won 48%

HB won 50% of its games
Jinteki won 41%
NBN won 39%
Weyland won 51%

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I think there might be a slight advantage to the runners right now because corporations have limited options for agendas right now and as a result are unable to customize quite as much as a runner.

That being said, I think that the sentiments in the responses to this thread hold true, the runner might simpyl be more intuitive to some people, while others find more success as a corp.  I think playing the corp as a new player can be daunting, and it certainly took me a few games to get the hang of it, but now I feel like my odds of winning are approximately the same as runner and corp.

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Going by the % in the study I found, It basically says that Runners are slightly better because Criminal decks can beat NBN and Jinteki more often than not

The other 4 (Shaper / Anarch & HB / Weyland) have near 50% win/lose ratios

So if we break it down, we can establish a quick pattern

By comparison, NBN and Jinteki when compared to Weyland and HB have the weak economy and they have the weak ICE to actually stop runs

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vermillian said:

Seriously? Someone recorded 1500 games? Not 1504? … How?Where was / is this database? This ANDROID netrunner or…

 

The results are from games played online using OCTGN.  The guy who developed the A:NR implementation has been tracking the game stats; here's a thread

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The Corp's best defense is neither ICE nor ambush assets. It's fear of the unknown.

To paraphrase the flavor text of a card from another game, the threat of power is itself power. More than carefully and strategically managing your actual defenses, a Corp player has to play his opponent.

You have to play up the danger of your cards against the Runner even if you can't actually use them (for example, rezzing ICE is too expensive). If your opponent knows you like to play with ambush cards, make it a point to remind him of that fact. If you only have weak derezzed ICE protecting your servers, show your opponent that you also have a ton of money, enough to activate any and all of them, especially the supposedly powerful ones that you don't actually have in play.

Simply put, you're perfectly safe if you're just never attacked.

A Runner who thinks the risk is too high will not make a run. Or, even if he does run, encountering derezzed ICE or a derezzed card in a remote server can cause him to jack out. In fact, that's why the game gives the Runner the choice to jack out at each encounter, and even before he accesses to heart of a server, the supposed prize of his endeavor, after he's already defeated all its defenses.

In a sense, rezzed ICE- even the high Strength ones with lots of dangerous subroutines- is actually pretty weak. The Runner will simply avoid it, accumulate resources to overpower it, then make a run when he's sure he's safe.

Ultimately, Netrunner is a bluffing game. The challenge for the Corp player is make the best bluffs he can. The challenger for the Runner is to do his best to see through it. The Corp wins by making the Runner too afraid to make a move.

(Of course, there are those brave, reckless souls who're not afraid of anything and run and run anyway. Sure, they will call your bluff, but the flipside is that they're also likely to get caught by your ICE and ambush cards.)

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Messenger said:

Ultimately, Netrunner is a bluffing game. The challenge for the Corp player is make the best bluffs he can. The challenger for the Runner is to do his best to see through it. The Corp wins by making the Runner too afraid to make a move.

 

This is a very good point, and something to keep in mind when looking at the percentages culled from games played with OCTGN.  I've played a few games using OCTGN (which is awesome btw, if you don't have it…get it), and one crucial element missing is the bluffing.  It's much harder to bluff a player you can't see and who can't see you.  If your opponent is sitting across the table, there are facial cues and things you can say to give your opponent a false impression of what you're doing.  I would wager that, if you did the same break down on live, face to face games, the percentages would be much different.

As for my personal experience, with a fairly limited number of plays thus far, Runners do tend to win more than Corp, but I have definitely seen decisive Corp victories, only one of which was a flat line. 

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Speaking as a somehwat experienced card flopper, Runners are a LOT more intuitive and play a lot closer to what the "average" TCG play is expected to feel like, like while Corp tends to play like a strange variation on what you would consider deep control or combo decks.

It is also worth noting that the Corp is significantly more vulnerable in the event of a truly bad starting hand then the Runner.

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Now that we have quite a few general insights on the matter at hand, I though I would ask some specific questions to keep the ball rolling:

1. What is considered to be the optimum ICE count in a 45-49 card deck?

2. Approximately how many cards do experienced players put into their decs to keep their in-game economy going?

3. What are the most commonly used card for credit economy?

4. What is considered a good Ambush/Asset and/or Operation ratio?

Now, I do realize that the answers to these questions can vary greatly depending on the underlying strategy, but I am sure they can be answered in general. I would also love to see the above numbers tailored for specific decks and strategies.

So, if you have the time, I wold love to see y'all's insights.

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1. I believe the recommendation is ~20+ ICE.

2. Kinda deck dependent, but I want to say I see 6-12? 3x Hedge Fund and then some combination of Pad Campaign, Melange Mining Corp, and Adonis Campaign.

3. Hedge Fund is largely a no-brainer. Pad Campaign is solid, but losing popularity due to Bank Job. Melange Mining Corp is straight up sexy and a game winner if you can stick it and use it for a turn or two. Adonis Campaign is incredible, but requires Influence. Benstalk Royalties really shouldn't see much use outside of Weyland Consortium decks.

4. There isn't really a "ratio" to be used here. The main thing to keep in mind is that Assets/Ambushes are going to be taking up server slots and theoretically interfere with the placement of your agendas or will need to be highly exposed. So that's what you need to look at.

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Talamare said:

Someone did a study of 1500 games

Runner won 55% of the time, Corp 45%

They also broke it down by each runner vs each corp

Criminal won 62% of his games
Anarch won 52%
Shaper won 48%

HB won 50% of its games
Jinteki won 41%
NBN won 39%
Weyland won 51%

I have to point out:

The early game favors the Runner. The Corp has no defenses and is in a rush to protect multiple targets. In addition, he also has to set up additional servers that the Runner can hit. It is only by creating more stuff for the Runner to raid that the Corp can win. And though the Corp starts the game defenseless (which is why he gets the first turn), the Runner starts the game ready to attack (you don't need icebreakers to steal agendas).

The late game favors the Corp. Surviving the early onslaught, he'll probably have his economy up and running afterwards. Rezzing ICE is a one-time expense and it stays up and running, while the Runner has to pay his icebreakers each time he uses them. By then, the Corp will have built up multiple layers of ICE on each server, while the Runner has to struggle with marshalling enough resources to penetrate the Corp's defenses.

The reason for the statistics above is that Criminals, HB and Weyland have advantages when it comes to speed.

Criminals have fast cash (Bank Job, Easy Mark), can cripple the Corp (Account Siphon) early in the game, can expose or evade ICE (Forged Activation Orders, Inside Job, Lemuria Codecracker, Sneakdoor Beta). Those are cards that allow them to run frequently in the early game, even if they lack icebreakers.

On the other hand, both Anarchs and Shapers need time to build up. Anarchs need to organize their programs, whlie Shapers need to gather the resources to ultimately overpower the Corp's defenses. They still have the inherent early game advantage of the Runner side (and cards like Demolition Run, Medium and The Maker's Eye), but their stuff doesn't support it as much as the Criminals' do.

Weyland has huge economic advantages. Their ICE are pretty solid, especially where they can be advanced. When it comes to bagging the Runner after tagging, they can win the game decisively and suddenly thanks to Scorched Earth.

Haas-Bioroid's 1st identity (currently) gives the faction a good second place in economic advantage. Their bioroid ICE are cheaper to rez because of their penalty while being crippling in effect (brain damage, program destruction) or at least just straight up stopping the runner (almost all have the "End the run." subroutine). Their ability to do extra actions really helps (though I still think Shipment to Mirrormorph is sub-par), especially when it's time to rush the scoring of an Agenda. Lastly, they don't really do traces which is actually in their favor since it forces them to save their credits for other things.

NBN is supposed to be the agenda advancing specialist among the Corp factions, but I think that their ICE being mostly non-lethal and their lack of money generation hinders them. Jinteki really, really, really needs to coordinate its ICE for their defenses to be effective. While their net damage and trap-laying can be lethal, most of their ICE can't end runs. Ambush and Project Junebug are nasty, but not as decisive as Scorched Earth.

TLDR version: Criminals win most because they push their early game advantage. HB and Weyland succeed the most because they can go faster than other factions in setting up defenses and starting to work on their victory conditions early on.

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Rince said:

Now that we have quite a few general insights on the matter at hand, I though I would ask some specific questions to keep the ball rolling:

1. What is considered to be the optimum ICE count in a 45-49 card deck?

2. Approximately how many cards do experienced players put into their decs to keep their in-game economy going?

3. What are the most commonly used card for credit economy?

4. What is considered a good Ambush/Asset and/or Operation ratio?

Now, I do realize that the answers to these questions can vary greatly depending on the underlying strategy, but I am sure they can be answered in general. I would also love to see the above numbers tailored for specific decks and strategies.

So, if you have the time, I wold love to see y'all's insights.

1. The rulebook recommends at least 17 for a 45 card deck; I agree. You can get away with that minimum if you pack cards that draw, search or filter your R&D (Anonymous Tip, Aggressive Negotiation, Precognition, even Accelerated Beta Test for HB). Note that such cards can usually also be used to bring you non-ICE cards when you need them.

Not having enough ICE is bad but there's also such a thing as too much. Remember that adding more and more ICE to a server gets progressively more expensive. Having too much ICE in a deck will slow you down and eat up resources. 

2. It would depend on your identity and the other cards in the deck. Weyland and HB can get away with using less money-making cards than Jinteki and NBN because their identities (and ICE for Weyland) also make money. You also have to differentiate between fast but limited (Beanstalk Royalties, Hedge Fund) and slow but unlimited (PAD Campaign, Melange Mining Corp) credit generation; I'd say pack a lot of the former and a little less of the latter.

Also consider keeping your costs low. Don't focus on ICE or cards that are expensive to rez or use.

3. I disagree with AndrewRogue; Beanstalk Royalties are easy to use outside of Weyland (low influence cost) and is in fact easier to use than Hedge Fund; the Fund requires you to have 5 credits in order to use, while the Royalties don't. The different in effect between them is only 1 credit. It's wiser to be prepared for worse times than better, and you're likely to have less than 5 credits most of the time than 5 or more.

4. You shouldn't think of them in terms of ratios. Rather, you should look at assets and operations in terms of what they can do. Also, given the requirement for a minimum of agenda points in a deck and the number of ICE you need to include, you won't have much choice in the ratio you select.

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Clarification on my answer for #3: If you can include both Beanstalk Royalties and Hedge Fund in your deck, then go for it if you want. But if you have to choose between those two, I suggest the Royalties.

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Messenger said:

I have to point out:

 

The early game favors the Runner. The Corp has no defenses and is in a rush to protect multiple targets. In addition, he also has to set up additional servers that the Runner can hit. It is only by creating more stuff for the Runner to raid that the Corp can win. And though the Corp starts the game defenseless (which is why he gets the first turn), the Runner starts the game ready to attack (you don't need icebreakers to steal agendas).

The late game favors the Corp. Surviving the early onslaught, he'll probably have his economy up and running afterwards. Rezzing ICE is a one-time expense and it stays up and running, while the Runner has to pay his icebreakers each time he uses them. By then, the Corp will have built up multiple layers of ICE on each server, while the Runner has to struggle with marshalling enough resources to penetrate the Corp's defenses.

 

Slight, but important, disagreement.

Early game favours the runner. Mid game favours the corp. Late game favours the runner.

In the early game, the corp has insufficient assets to protect everything, let alone properly advance agendas. The corp is focusing on keeping the runner out of central servers, and building up enough credits to actually do something useful.

In the mid game, the corp has protected the relevant central servers and has at least one decent remote server, as well as some credits. The runner, having focused on attacking the corp early, is now unable to access anything, and is scrambling to assemble their full rig and generate the credits necessary to actually break into the servers.

In the late game, the runner has a full rig, and credits to spend. Keep in mind that the cost/benefit ratio of ICE drops off dramatically as more pieces are added to a server, so the runner is always going to catch up to the corp, given time. In most late games, the runner can actually break into any server they chose, so the corp is on the back foot. Instead, the corp must focus on misdirection and tricks, unsually by tempting the runner into making unproductive runs, and then scoring something while the runner rebuilds their credit pool.

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@Messenger

You are right regarding the relative value difference with Beanstalk Royalties. I just think the added Influence cost (even though it is low) makes it unfeasible for most decks.

And you are dead on regarding the late-game dynamic. Once a runner has their rig set-up, about the only thing that can really keep them out of a server they want to get into is well-timed Corporate Troubleshooter.

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