Discussion in 'Traditional Non-Video Gaming Gaming' started by Charles, Jan 4, 2012.
Finally broke this out for a whirl with a colleague, so I'll post some thoughts.
We played a couple of games; Jinteki vs Anarchs, NBN vs Anarchs, Criminal vs Weyland, and the assymetry definitely takes some getting used to. Neither one of us played the original version. It feels like the Corporations are at a disadvantage though, since they seem to be playing defensively most of the time, with very little to go on the attack. The game boils down to whether either side has enough credits to pull off what they need to, and after 3 games, it seems like the hackers have more options for getting credits than corporations not named Weyland. Even then, as long as they have the credits, ICE doesn't matter.
It feels weird, but I'm not sure why you don't just install all the ICE in front of one server you think the hacker is going to attack. There are a few decoy cards, but even so, once the hackers have their economic base, it's run, hacker, run all the way, with credits being the only limiting factor. In all 3 games, the hackers won.
The mechanics are definitely interesting and it gives off a nice cyberpunk feel, but i'm not sure if we were playing the game right, whether we missed a few key rules or not, or we just need more cards than the base set, but right now, it feels a little spare in what the Corps can do.
Maybe if I do some deckbuilding, it'll be more varied.
Thursday - I have many games I like. It's just that CAH is a fun and cheap game that appeals to gamers and non-gamers as long as they have the right mindset, and just like Dixit it's not really about winning or losing.
Equis - The key phrase there is "once the hackers have their economic base". You should be doing everything you can to stop, slow, or destroy that economic base by careful use of dummy servers and a lot of subterfuge. Get him to waste clicks and waste money, or outright damage him (meat / brain damage hurts!). One of my friends is an evil Corp player (we're both newbies like you guys) and I was repeatedly basically killing myself when going on runs because he was successfully bluffing and double bluffing me.
Yeah, I get that. Maybe it was the luck of the draw, but it didn't seem like I have enough cards to bluff when I was corp, and when I played hacker, I figured the easier way was just to run HQ as a criminal since that allowed me to play all my special cards.
I'd like more time with the game though, and I'd like more cards I think.
Sure, running HQ is a good idea as criminal. But soon he'll plug that hole, and attract your attention elsewhere with remote servers. You can keep banging your head against HQ or you can aim for his remote servers, and every corp has ways of hurting you if you run without doing some intelligence gathering first.
The corp can score agendas pretty quickly if left unchecked.
From an experiential perspective, I think CAH is really more like one of those Steve Jackson/Cheapass novelty games (Chez Geek is the one that quickly comes to mind from my experience), in that it's legitimately funny the first time you play it, and then decreasingly so over time, until eventually you want to slaughter people who suggest it.
Up until this last weekend, I was at "it's a moderately amusing game, but I'm done with it now," but after being force-exposed to another eight hours of it, I'm at murderous rage myself, so. I wish more geeks wouldn't share the toddler-style belief that anything funny should be repeated as often as possible.
(Apples to Apples, meanwhile, is a fine game for playing with grandparents and grandchildren, and should never be played in any situation where less than three generations are involved.)
I think the corp decks suck out of the box a lot more than the runner decks do.
NBN has a bunch of ways to tag a runner and jack-all to do to with the tags. Weyland can murder tagged folks, but have a hard time landing the tags. HB has good economy and can get extra clicks, but their ICE all has the same weakness. Jinteki... pretty much just is hoping you walk into a Junebug, because otherwise they've got jack-all plan for winning.
Here's the thing though - use your 15 points to shore up the weaknesses of the corp decks and they become 10x better. Why wouldn't you want to have the threat of Project Junebug in EVERY corp deck? It makes bluffing the other guy a lot easier if they realize that the server with 3 enhancements on it might just up and KILL THEM for running it. An NBN Data Raven becomes a MUST BREAK wall if it might be setting the runner up for an unavoidable double Scorched Earth. Accelerated Beta Test out that Archer? Yes please!
What I'm saying is that in grand FFG tradition, the decks that come out of the box are not balanced. Played competently, I'd expect the out-of-box Runner decks to beat the out-of-box Corp decks a huge majority of the time. Not because the Runner decks are particularly good, but because the Corp decks are laughably bad. The Corps have substantially more to gain from deckbuilding than the Runners do.
Jinteki hurts a bit, but it's a major bluffing corp and there's absolutely no way that newbies are going to be smart and experienced enough to avoid the traps.
I'm looking for the stats but IIRC the default set's balance is better than you think.
Here we go:
A very slight tilt towards the Runners if you're deck building (presumably with >1 copies of the base game, too). Starter packs are practically 50-50 in terms of wins. That's off 1500 OCTGN games.
Edit: Although, unsurprisingly, Criminal leads the way (it's harsh until you learn how to counter it) and Jinteki struggles a bit more than the rest. Overall that's pretty decent. Thing is, they've done over 5000 games now and we've not had a data export recently, which is a shame.
Edit the second: A quote!
"FYI, in 4892 games, the current win-ratio is:
Corporation Victories: 2365
Runner Victories: 2527"
The starter figures are not based on 1,500 games, they're based on ~150. Of these you have some radical swings like Criminal and Anarch beating NBN more than 2-1. I'm generally not going to put a lot of stock into the results of people playing games over OCTGN using the prebuilt starters, as the particular sample set of the gaming population that would go through the effort of getting Netrunner OCTGN setup and then just play starter decks against each other has a substantial amount of selection bias built in.
Basically, I think the balance is as off as I think, but that's not going to be readily apparent in a newbie slapfight where nobody is actually hammering home their advantages properly. Different players are going to progress to this point faster than others based upon their skill and previous experience with similar games.
In general I'll just condense my point to say that the prebuilt corp decks are at a disadvantage against runners who have a generally good idea of what the hell it is they're supposed to do. It's the Runner's game to lose. As the skill of both players increases and deckbuilding is introduced, the 55%/45% breakdown of Runner/Corp sounds about right.
The selection bias would mostly be "people who have probably played Netrunner before", which is a better set of people to use for balance than rank newbies.
A 5% swing is mostly an irrelevance, nor is it a "huge majority". You're announcing a flaw that doesn't exist based on the data we've got.
Re-reading that and I sound a bit of a confrontational arsehole. Sorry, lack of sleep making me a bit curt. Didn't mean to be quite so abrupt.
And I think the correlation data you're using to disprove my position is chock full of bias and is taken from an extremely low sample size from an unknown population. It's neither controlled enough nor large enough of a set of data to derive anything meaningful from that would approach proving or disproving anything whatsoever.
Disregarding balance then so as to avoid the pitfall of a confrontation over the subject - deckbuilding the Corp decks opens the bluffing game up substantially, because your opponent can no longer make assumptions about how dangerous getting tagged might be or what the worst case scenario would be from an unrezzed ICE/Ambush card. This forces a smart Runner to cool their heels a bit, and gives the Corp player more breathing room to operate within. The Runner ALWAYS needs to use clicks to have at least 4 cards in hand by turn's end and almost never can afford to risk their last click on a Run that might leave them tagged. This slows them down substantially.
Note I'm assuming a Runner player who knows what all the cards and card interactions in the game do and is aware of all the possible outcomes and ways the Corp player could win at all times. This is the point at which I'm contending the balance of the prebuilts is off, but it's also the point where most people aren't going to be playing with the prebuilts anymore.
I'm curious what bias you think there is in that data.
Edit: I completely agree with your last comment, and it certainly doesn't apply to the newbies asking about balance :)
I've started tweaking my scanner settings to build an uncensored set for both core and WLA. Anyone else besides
Bahimiron willing to test out how horribly biased this game is? :)
Sorry, from the post you made earlier it sounded like you actually were getting a pretty good grasp of the game in that you noted that the starting corp decks don't really have enough tools to bluff all that effectively and that as a Runner (with stock decks) you might as well just run the bejesus out of the corp.
Basically, take what you've figured out and splash a few cards around and I think you'll enjoy the game more because it will play up the bluffing element. As a basic level I'd recommend throwing Project Junebugs into any of the non-Jinteki decks and throwing Scorched Earth into the NBN deck and/or Data Ravens into the Weyland deck.
The cards from What Lies Ahead add quite a few Traces to non-HB decks. Spreading around that Scorched Earth and Data Ravens to any corp deck is a pretty good idea IMHO.
I picked up WLA and I haven't even gotten to play the core set.
I'm sick and sad. :(
I'd be up for some testing, though I'm not sure how much time I can put in.
Okay I've got my scanned working uncensored set for both the Core and WLA. I'm at UTC-8. Available weekends and late nights (2100 or later). Let's do this!
I played a couple of pub games of Netrunner over the weekend. I started with the base decks but quickly modded them with some out of faction cards to shore up weaknesses.
My economy is a little weak as a corp and I get too focused on one target as a runner. But I'm learning something new every game and the scene is pretty newbie friendly.
You can get the Trace Amount set on OCTGN now: http://octgn.gamersjudgement.com/viewtopic.php?f=52&t=508
Got my Core Worlds expansion last night. No going back now, since I sleeved 'em all, shuffled them into the base game, replaced all the cards that called for replacing (though I couldn't toss 'em, so I stuck them under the insert) and tossed the box for the base game. Heck, I even got a set of neat little containers at the container store so all I have to do is hand one container to each player and he has all of his team tokens, a replacement Raven homeworld aid and the necessary actions/energy trackers. So I guess now I should read both instruction books, since, despite having played the game like five times, I've never bothered reading the instructions or had to be the one teaching the game.
I agree. Monopoly is my least favorite card game.
Edit: Aw, now this post makes no sense.
I guess this means chatta_box did not finarly do it.
Say what you will about Monopoly, but when you put down a three of kind of Boardwalks, it's a great feeling.
I like the original edition where it was earth all along.
I know you guys are kidding around, but Monopoly Deal is actually pretty fun.
Anybody try Building an Elder God? I kind of like the look of it, and that it's a 30 minute light kind of game, but $20 for a card game is a bit steep for me.
Anyone know if the print and play option would save me money? Given that I don't have a color inkjet, so I'd have to take it to kinko's or something.
Here's the official video tutorial for Netrunner if you're interested in how the game plays.
Massive changes to the environment for Game of Thrones LCG. They've doubled the size of the restricted list and included most of the staple cards people have been using for years, which is going to have an unknown effect on the game as some popular deck archetypes will have to change to adapt and others likely will fall by the wayside. I see these changes as actually being good for the game as a whole.
I had no idea there was a competitive scene for LCGs!
Well, Game of Thrones was a competitive CCG long before it became the first LCG, and a lot of that scene stuck it out through the transition. One of my favorite parts of the game is just how much there is out there with it. There's at least half a dozen deck designs out there that are all arguably top tier, and if you drop down to second tier decks (which on a good day and played very well could beat the top decks) you've got dozens of viable options. These latest changes will pretty well rock the metagame because it flat out kills most of the top tier decks and weakens even the ones that can adapt, which means a good number of the previously second tier decks are now competitively viable. And when I say competitive I don't mean in the sense that a "top" deck has a blowout against anything below it - generally what makes for "top" decks simply is the ability to be consistent enough in game after game to win tournaments, because in casual play a lot of things go.
For anyone unfamiliar with the game, AGoT's solution to overpowered cards is to put them on the game's Restricted list, which means that the cards aren't banned, but any given deck can only make use of one of the cards from the list. You still see people build decks around these power cards, but you don't see decks that are comprised of nothing but power cards, which is a welcome relief.
Holy crap that's a lot of restricted cards relative to what they had in the past. Now I'm glad I still haven't taken the time to do any deck-building.
With that long a list I'm surprised they don't re-work those cards and release the revised versions as a chapter pack.
I found a fantastic app for card games called "Card Warden". You can scan cards in or use the camera on your iPad and then create a virtual playing table to be able to play just about any card game you want. It even has tokens and die rolling, and is only $2.
I'm working on scanning in Death Angel right now, and already have scanned in Legendary's decks so I don't have to shuffle all that crap. I recommend checking it out; there's a big thread about it on BGG: http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/932496/playable-game-table-app-and-randomizer
I don't suppose there's an archive of scans for the lazy amongst us? <Thinks about raising hand, but is too lazy>
EDIT: Wow, I read through that thread you linked and the dev is updating this constantly. He's also listening to a lot of feedback from Eric Herman, which is never a bad thing. SOLD!
Maybe I'll scan Onirim as my first project. Shuffling in that game SUCKS.
I've heard some good feedback on Card Warden, but I've also heard that scanning is slow as hell. Any chance you'd be willing to share your Death Angel and Legendary scans if I can prove to you I already own both games?
Edit: And let us know how playing Death Angel goes. I tried playing some Death Angel solo on VASSAL and it was just so tedious I gave up halfway through a game. Which was similar to my attempt at playing LotR solo on OCTGN, so maybe I'm just too demanding.
I'd have no problem sending you my scans when I'm done; you won't be able to make much use of them without having the game to tell you how many of each card to put into a deck. (unless your Google fu is extremely fierce, I guess)
Also, just having the scans only saves you about half the time, the other half is spent capturing the card images and setting up the decks in the app.
So, I set up and played some Death Angel in Cardwarden. One of the things people are asking for is the ability to make only some cards smaller instead of just having all cards small or large, and that would help here. I used the extra drawers to hold the unused terrain, the event deck and one for each team's action cards. I also whipped up a card using just the dice results table the creator worked up as his background image in the thread above, and had that sitting off to the side.
It worked really well, I can see running this for a solo game with ease. The hardest part is to remember to switch between "Draw Face Up" and "Draw Face Down" in the upper left when making the blip decks. It's a little clunky in that you have to keep selecting cards for each command (select card, hit Make Deck, select card, hit Shuffle, select card, hit flip, why can't I just do all three without having to select the card over and over?), but easy after a couple of minutes. It can also be a little frustrating trying to shift swarms, as they will often grab the terrain along with them, but I'm willing to pay that price.
Woo, you weren't lying. This is kind of a pain in the butt.
Also, I wish I hadn't sold Onirim now. This thing was made for that game.
Edit: Okay, I thought Legendary was a pain. Space Hulk makes it look like a minor inconvenience. Once you start doing decks with tons of different backs the tedium level goes through the roof!
(So thanks for taking the pictures for me,
Rasputin Jim. It would have taken forever otherwise.)
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