I switched Android:Netrunner decks and played some games with the preconstructed Anarch runner vs the Haas-Bioroid corp.
The Anarch runners delight in trashing the corrupt corporate oligarchies. They are striking out on behalf of the oppressed millions.
The Haas-Bioroid corporation makes androids (called ‘bioroids’) and protects its monopoly using all possible means, both legal and illegal.
The Anarch (orange) faction’s strength is in risky quick runs and being able to reduce the strength of, and even trash, ICE.
Hass-Bioroid (purple) specialise in saving money and doing things cheaply, which fits with the idea of having a servile bioroid workforce.
I have a personal beef with Haas-Bioroid from the original Android board game because they ‘owned’ Floyd, a bioroid character I played and who was trying to find his humanity. On the other hand, I dislike Jinteki almost as much because they really messed with Caprice the psychic clone.
Anyway, back to Netrunner. I played three games and the scores were Anarch 2, Haas-Bioroid 1.
I think I should have recorded the actual agenda point scores, because in the proper tournament rules you get 10 match points for winning a game, and the loser gets a match point for each agenda point they scored.
I think the scores were something like: 7-3, 2-7 and 7-2. So that would make the final match point score 22-5.
This scoring system does give different results to simply scoring 1 for a win, but only in some instances.
For example, if you have agenda points scores of 7-6, 0-7 and 7-6, then the final match point score would actually be 20-22, and the player who only won one game would still win the match!
In my set of three games, the play went more or less the same way. The Haas-Bioroid corp kept building up lots of credits and tried to install stuff quickly, with PAD Campaigns and Adonis Campaigns generating funds each turn.
The Anarch runner was permanently low on funds. They don’t have much in the way of traditional income, only the neutral Sure Gamble and Armitage Codebreaking. What they do have is loads of card draw in the form of Wyldside which was great, and also situational credits that can be used during runs, such as from Cyberfeeder and the awesome Stimhack.
The Anarch runner won the first game by making runs on R&D and stealing agendas while Haas-Bioroid was short of ICE. Even with no credits, free runs on an unprotected R&D proved very fruitful.
In the second game, Haas-Bioroid drew plenty of ICE and could afford to install and rez it if necessary. The runner never got it together to finance runs against the ICE and so the corp could score its agendas easily.
For game three, as before, the runner had no funds but still managed to steal an agenda from HQ early on because by that point the corp had protected R&D and his remote servers, but HQ was still open.
Shortly after this, the runner made a huge run on a remote server with one advancement token on it. The server was protected by Heimdall, which is a very strong piece of barrier ICE.
The runner used Stimhack to boost his credits for the run, along with Cyberfeeder and some cash.
He used Wyrm as his icebreaker, as it could break the subroutines on a barrier. In all he spent 15 credits on the run, and stole the agenda.
The score was now 5-0. The runner was all out of steam and needed a couple of turns to build up again.
Haas-Bioroid took the opportunity to install another agenda behind the Heimdall, and quickly scored it the next turn.
It was Accelerated Beta Test, worth 2 points. The special effect of scoring this agenda is that you get to draw three cards from R&D and install and rez them for free if they are ICE.
The corp drew three cards. None of the cards were ICE, and so they were trashed. Unfortunately, one of them was an agenda.
This agenda was now in Archives (the corp’s discard pile). There was no ICE protecting the Archives. The corp had a click remaining, but no ICE in hand. They had to leave the Archives unprotected.
The runner simply ran against Archives the very next turn and stole the agenda to win.
Things I noticed:
- The Anarch runner has cheap, weak icebreakers.
- The cheap icebreakers depend on viruses to weaken the ICE.
- Agendas have advancement costs of 3 or 4, so a two-turn sequence of ICE-agenda-advance, then advance-advance-advance can work well to score the agenda quickly.
- Alternate financing, such as Cyberfeeder and Stimhack, is very good.
- Flexible icebreakers, such as Wyrm and Crypsis, are great to cover holes in your arsenal if you have the credits.
- Any unprotected central server is a serious weakness.
Rules I kept forgetting, or stuff I missed:
- Subroutines on some Haas-Bioroid ICE (such as Heimdall) can be broken by spending a click. This could have made using Wyrm a lot less expensive.
- Recurring credits do not add up. You only get that one credit on Cyberfeeder, for example.
- Need to pay more attention to tracking clicks during a turn.
- It took until game three to try using Stimhack for fear of the brain damage. It is definitely worth using for the amount of credits and the element of surprise.