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Subject: Practices to Help Beginner Runners rss

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James Cartwright
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Nice idea
 
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Cj Mitchell
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I use crypsis with good results as a wildcard breaker (or big code gate breaker) in my light breaker criminal deck, but that's only now at 1 copy. Other than that I agree with most of this you have so far.

Especially sneak door beta, playing mostly crim from day 1 it pains me a little to see people play this card wrong. You don't need to install it turn 1. You use it to get into HQ once it gets over iced, now forcing the corp to either concede HQ or ICE up archives, once archives is as secure (or more so) than HQ, you don't need sneak door anymore and you've forced the corp to over extend double-protecting HQ.

Anyway such a guide would be a great idea.
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El-ad David Amir
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Excellent essay! I learned a couple of new ideas. Can't wait for the next article in the series.

FileAccess wrote:
In the grand scheme of things I'm relatively new to the game, having played close to one hundred games.

As I stated before, we are all n00bs here!! Even if someone played a thousand games, he played them vs. a young field populated with undeveloped decks and inexperienced players. Magic was released in 1993; only in 1996 Weissman published his seminal Taking Card Advantage article in The Duelist. It took another two years before people started discussing tempo. Despite A:NR's predecessor it is still a young game and there is much to be discovered.

FileAccess wrote:
Special Order - use it: ...
Crypsis - avoid it: ...

I think that an important part of teaching is to avoid delivering principles that will later need to be unlearned. I agree with your advice regarding Special Order and Crypsis, but would like to elaborate on possible exceptions. Special Order costs Influence, which is a precious resource which will only become more painful as expansions are released. Adding two Special Orders to your deck lowers your Influence budget to 11, limiting the strategic scope of your deck building choices. A good rule of thumb is to have Special Order, BUT, it is not necessary.

Let's think of some ways to avoid Special Order. Let's say your opponent just rezzed Wall of Static in front of his remote server. You know there's an agenda there. You do not have Corroder, Battering Ram or Aurora available. What do you do? Here are your options:

1) Carry on. You do not need to steal ALL of your opponent's agendas. Sometimes the best option is to let the Corp score his Agenda. Retreat now, fight another day.
2) Crypsis. Crypsis should not be your sole ICE breaker, but you should not avoid it. It is the most flexible breaker out there, and many decks still include one or two copies of it. Using Crypsis also teaches an important lesson in economics and efficiency. Counting Credits is crucial in A:NR.
3) Circumvent it. There are multiple tools at your disposable to achieve that aim. Shapers have Tinkering. Anarchs have Parasite. Criminals have Inside Job and Femme Fatale.
4) From a deck building persepctive: more copies of breakers! If you have three Gordian Blades in your deck, it is highly likely you will draw one during the game. Again, not guaranteed, just likely.

FileAccess wrote:
Know where your money is coming from:

Well said. Also, economy comes from unexpected places. Modded and Cyberfeeder are economy cards as well.

FileAccess wrote:
Draw first:

And a lemma- if you don't draw first, run first. Running an unrezzed piece of ICE might reveal new information that would direct the rest of your turn.

FileAccess wrote:
Take calculated risks:

To expand on this, it's not over until it's over!! Even if your entire rig just got trashed, even if the Runner snatched five Agenda points with a Maker's Eye- keep your cool and keep on playing. Surprising things can happen. More importantly, your opponent is just human, he might make mistakes that will turn the tables (especially if he gets overconfident).

FileAccess wrote:
Infiltration: Do use it to check whether or not assets are traps. Don't use it to peek at ICE. Don't use it on an agenda/asset on a server you can't run in the same turn.

While I love your general advice, disagreements erupt when you start discussing specific cards. There are so many ways to play A:NR ... Yes, checking for ambushes with Infiltration is important. So is peeking at ICE, especially when your opponent is light on ambushes (HB comes to mind). And DO, DO, DO use it on a server you cannot run! This is a crucial lesson later in the game and goes back to the previous point (it's not over till it's over!). Let's say your opponent has five points, plays a card and advances it. You cannot enter that server, but you could try suicide runs on HQ/R&D (for example, by smashing into Brain damage). Before frying your synapses, you might want to spend a Click and make sure the card is indeed an Agenda and not a bluff.

(The above situation occurs surprisingly often. Remember: The Corp knows all. Bluffing is crucial)

And to clarify this once and for all, they're called Ambushes Traps are a type of ICE. Terminology is important.

FileAccess wrote:
Sneakdoor Beta: Do use it to surprise the corporation and to force protection on his/her archives server. Don't leave it in your rig taking up memory space if breaking through archives becomes too expensive.

In general, sometimes you need to trash your programs to free MUs. Many players lock into a mindset that programs cannot be removed. This could be detrimental to an inexperienced Runner but also an an unexpecting Corp! If you have 4mus of programs and no way to break Barriers, you could play a breaker and discard one of your other programs. If it gets you in at a crucial point in time then the lost program is irrelevant.

FileAccess wrote:
Hope you enjoyed the read! As always, feedback/thoughts/suggestions are welcome.

Can't wait for the Beginner Corporations bit
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Napoleon Bonaparte
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Tipped for a very good help!
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Orange Devil
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Go look at every piece of ice. Imagine running on this ice with no programs installed and with 2 credits and 1 click left after the run. Ask yourself the question: "Does rezzing this ice cost me or the corporation more?"

This may be the most important beginner lesson.
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Beyer
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Orange Devil wrote:
... "Does rezzing this ice cost me or the corporation more?"

This may be the most important beginner lesson.


This. Runs are also a way of bleeding the corp of money. Unrezzed ice is nearly free, rezzed ice costs dough. Less dough means less options, less options means less ambushes (when the corp has to choose between advancing ice and advancing ambushes that is).
You can easily run on R&D just in case you find something, or just want to know what the corp draws on his turn. With a bit of luck the corp player will rez whatever ice is in front to try and keep you out.
Even if hitting R&D wasn't your main goal, the money the corp just spent rezzing his R&D ice is not available next turn when you are going to hit that remote server...
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Great tips!

Only two things I sort of disagree with:

1) Sometimes there is cause to use Infiltration on ICE rather than something else (like identifying what it is in order to know if you should run there). But generally, yes it isn't best used on ICE.

2) It seems to be implied that running as a final action is a good thing, but I'd say make your runs earlier in the turn, saving your last action as a fall-back to recover from tags, trashed programs, net damage, ect.
 
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Atte Loikkanen
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FileAccess wrote:

That's actually exactly what I'm saying: "Run when you have a click left over" means that you have a click left over after the run.


I also misunderstood that part blush
 
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Paul Imboden
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You need to run.

However much you think you need to run as a beginning player... you need to run more often. Be willing to take the occasional hit (a tag that you can remove on your last action, a small amount of net damage you can heal through card draws, and so on) in order to plow through a remote server.

For example: On Turn 1, something is vulnerable in CorpLand; it's virtually impossible for the Corp to have both the credits and the ice to defend both R&D and HQ. Run them both. Set the mood early. Make them feel vulnerable.

If you don't run, you can't win. And beginning players don't run nearly enough. Run.
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Richard Dewsbery
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I was about to make a very similar post to Paul's.

If I could just give the runner three words of advice, they would be these - run, run, run.

You can't win the game without running. The Corp's life will be made very difficult if you run as much as you can - either because you're accessing (and potentially trashing) cards before he can use them, or because you're forcing him to rez ICE when he wants to be advancing Agendas.

Just two caveats - don't run with your last action unless you're pretty certain what you're going to run into - you really don't want to end the turn tagged, lest you start your next turn properly burned (if you even get one). And try to avoid running with few cards in hand, lest you run into something that deals damage. Ideally you want credits on hand to trash things you encounter, but that's a bonus - if the choice is between making a successful run now, or gaining credits and potentially running later, run NOW.
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Contig the fallen
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Opie wrote:

For example: On Turn 1, something is vulnerable in CorpLand; it's virtually impossible for the Corp to have both the credits and the ice to defend both R&D and HQ. Run them both. Set the mood early. Make them feel vulnerable.


This is what I noticed from the replays and videos I watched -- it's not something I would have realized from reading the rules.

I'd imagine it also allows you to start forming a counter strategy as the Runner.
 
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Patrick Jamet
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Opie wrote:
For example: On Turn 1, something is vulnerable in CorpLand; it's virtually impossible for the Corp to have both the credits and the ice to defend both R&D and HQ. Run them both. Set the mood early. Make them feel vulnerable.


1. Install Wall of Static on HQ.
2. Install Enigma on R&D.
3. Take 1 credit.

Although, indeed, the runner must run on both server. most of the time.
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El-ad David Amir
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Pyjam wrote:

1. Install Wall of Static on HQ.
2. Install Enigma on R&D.
3. Take 1 credit.

Although, indeed, the runner must run on both server. most of the time.

I was about to suggest a double Enigma (which I seem to encounter way too often!). The good news is that the Corp is broke after rezzing both of these and unable to defend a Remote Server.

(Unless he also had Hedge Fund or Beanstalk Loyalties, of course...)
 
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Justin
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Pyjam wrote:
Opie wrote:
For example: On Turn 1, something is vulnerable in CorpLand; it's virtually impossible for the Corp to have both the credits and the ice to defend both R&D and HQ. Run them both. Set the mood early. Make them feel vulnerable.


1. Install Wall of Static on HQ.
2. Install Enigma on R&D.
3. Take 1 credit.

Although, indeed, the runner must run on both server. most of the time.

And Ice Wall (1 influence) only costs 1 credit to rez.
 
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Patrick Jamet
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IirionClaus wrote:
I was about to suggest a double Enigma (which I seem to encounter way too often!).

When I do not protect R&D on turn 1, Priority Requisition is very likely to be on top. It rarely fails. shake It's my curse.
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Paul Imboden
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Pyjam wrote:
Opie wrote:
For example: On Turn 1, something is vulnerable in CorpLand; it's virtually impossible for the Corp to have both the credits and the ice to defend both R&D and HQ. Run them both. Set the mood early. Make them feel vulnerable.


1. Install Wall of Static on HQ.
2. Install Enigma on R&D.
3. Take 1 credit.

Although, indeed, the runner must run on both server. most of the time.


1) I *did* say virtually. You'd need to draw 2 of 6 possible cards in a 45-49 card deck to make this happen on Turn 1. But it *can* happen.

2) Once the Corp is forced to rez this ice early, the Runner leads in the early money race, the place where the runner traditionally lags. He then also knows exactly which icebreakers are most important to install first. This forces the mid-game much faster and throws all the momentum toward the runner.

3) A, always. B, be. C, running.
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B C Z
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Though I appreciate the rules of thumbs and guidelines, it is equally important to know when to ignore these suggestions.

Some examples.

Special Order is all well and good for decks running a low number of icebreakers, but if you have to spend influence to bring it in, it better be more useful than whatever else you didn't put in because of Special Order. Once you have a full suite of icebreakers up and running, Special Order becomes worthless except as the card you hope you discard when you take damage.

Anarchs running a full x3 suite of their own breakers don't need Special Orders, for example.

-=-=-

Crypsis is the only Breaker capable of handling WHATEVER is in its way, including Data Mine. He's fine for short servers or emergency situations and isn't to be 'avoided at all costs'. To Noise, he's a Virus that will mill a card. To Gabriel he's a zero cost code-gate breaker that acts as a good backup for whatever code-gate breaker you paid influence for. In my first OCTGN tournament game, a Crypsis as the LAST CARD in my deck won me the game.

-=-=-

I agree that you should know your deck well enough to know if you should mulligan. Mulligan's are free, and for a Runner, you know if you'll get a better "early game" hand than what you already drew.

I also agree that money makes the world go 'round, and you need to know how much your deck 'costs' to get a rig online and useful, and how much money you'll need 'per run'. That depends on which corp your opponent is playing and a number of other factors - but understanding your money sources (and considering cards like Aesop, Modded, Cyberfeeder, Consoles, etc as 'money') is key. Too much money and you don't have anything to use it on. Too little money and you can't be effective.

-=-=-

Drawing early can be very useful, but if you saved your last click for clearing tags and didn't end up needing to, drawing then isn't a bad idea.

-=-=-

Infiltration is a remarkably versatile card. Claiming it should never be used to check ICE is bad advice - since there are definitely times that playing the 'right breaker' right now is critical.

-=-=-

Stimhack is +9 money right now for -1 card from hand AND -1 hand size for ever after. Make sure that's worth it. 5 cards is hard to kill with one Scorched Earth and an already scored Private Security Force. 4 cards is not nearly so difficult.

-=-=-

Sneakdoor Beta is a threat, expected from Criminals, unexpected from the other factions. It's handy when running HQ gives additional benefits (like the Criminals) and less so for other factions.

-=-=-

And... the most important tip to Runner's isn't mentioned.

RUN! It's your unique ability and it only costs a click! Runners who don't Run are Sitters, not Runners.

A Corp that has a lot of unrezzed ICE has a lot of money. If you're not harassing them they are in control. Look at the current ICE and its rez costs and you'll find a threshhold of credits when the ICE stops doing simple things like 'end the run' and starts doing nasty things like damage and program destruction. The Corp's finances are public knowledge, and you'll know when they're able to defend or not. If they keep a certain threshhold of cash around, ask yourself why. 4? Expect that they have Snares in HQ. 8? Lots of nasty ICE available at that level.
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Justin
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byronczimmer wrote:
5 cards is hard to kill with one Scorched Earth and an already scored Private Security Force. 4 cards is not nearly so difficult.

Click for PSF, click for PSF, SE is 6 meat damage. How is that hard?
 
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El-ad David Amir
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astroglide wrote:
Click for PSF, click for PSF, SE is 6 meat damage. How is that hard?

Assuming a Click for actually giving the Tag? (Last advancement on Posted Bounty or SEA Source?)
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Justin
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IirionClaus wrote:
astroglide wrote:
Click for PSF, click for PSF, SE is 6 meat damage. How is that hard?

Assuming a Click for actually giving the Tag? (Last advancement on Posted Bounty or SEA Source?)

Good point on SEA Source, which I don't often use. I don't find the third advancement on PB to be too disruptive.
 
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Justin
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IirionClaus wrote:
astroglide wrote:
Click for PSF, click for PSF, SE is 6 meat damage. How is that hard?

Assuming a Click for actually giving the Tag? (Last advancement on Posted Bounty or SEA Source?)

As I was just screwing around with a bag-or-die NBN build, Aggressive Negotiation is another one that would want that click.
 
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Exactly. Six damage requires the Corp to have an already finished bounty or news ready to go. Five doesn't. Either way, brain damage is a long term liability so it needs to pay off in the short term and not create a long term.
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IirionClaus wrote:
[...]I think that an important part of teaching is to avoid delivering principles that will later need to be unlearned. [...]

This is a good principle, but in a lot of situations, including non-trivial games, it's nearly impossible to apply.

For a lot of human activities, participants are incapable of doing the correct moves right away. Think about learning to ice skate as an easy example. First a new way to balance, then you can learn to move. Teaching the best moves before waiting out the time it takes to learn balance is pointless, so you show something else (**).

Complex games are like that: a player can't decide what to do next (even on turn one) unless they have quite deep knowledge and experience of the game. A teacher can't explain the whole thing for three hours and expect a beginner to remember more than the first ten minutes. So they have to teach something simple.

For NR Runners it's "Runner must Run"

It doesn't matter if they get nuked once or twice. It doesn't matter if they don't see the "money/resource battle" for the first few games. Runners should still Run. This is enough to learn about ICE, Tags, running Corp out of ready cash. It motivates Runner to count Clicks, generate cash, defend against Tags, think about MU, think about the odds of getting an agenda from R&D, HQ, Secondary Servers.



***
"Bend your knees, get your weight off the inside edges of your skates"
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Sorry to bump an old (but hugely popular) topic, but did the OP in this thread get deleted? Why? I'm trying to put together a collection of strategy resources for new players and this and its Corp companion seemed to be near the top of the list.
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Adam vanLangenberg
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Yeah, where's it gone?
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