The Perils of Pre-Order

The nice protective art sleeves for Netrunner have finally come out. These have lovely art from some of the cards and I have been waiting for a long time for these to arrive.

Here are two of the designs, Deep Red and Posted Bounty.

Art Sleeves

Deep Red is a console carried like a backpack. It is used to run programs which are named after chess pieces, hence the pun on ‘Deep Blue’.

Posted Bounty is a corp agenda that allows you to tag the runner on your own turn and opens them up to nasty meat damage shenanigans.

You will notice I have two sets of each design. These packs were first announced way back in early 2014. It seems that what happened is that I went ahead and preordered a set of each from amazon.

Then of course I forgot I had done this and when the actual shipping announcement came out at the end of the year I ordered them again.

Now they have shipped both orders together and I am getting two of each 🙂

Improving the corp

Most of the Haas ICE is bioroid, which means they are run by artificial intelligences. The effect of this is that the runner can usually break subroutines on the ICE by spending clicks rather than using a breaker. They can work around them, or talk their way past them.

This is a bit of a weakness, so I need to make sure I also have some ICE with requires the runner to spend credits.


Netrunner economy cards

It is very important in Netrunner to be able to pay for the cards you want to play. You pay using credits and you can get one credit by spending a click.

This is far too slow, so you will want to put economy cards in your deck to give you credits faster than this.

There are several different cards that give you credits, and they all work slightly differently.


Running with a better rig

After a few plays, I am looking at tweaking my runner deck.

This is pretty much just getting rid of cards I find I don’t play much, either because the time never seems right or because they don’t really fit into the overall strategy.

ffg_scavenge-creation-and-controlFirst off, I will get rid of Scavenge as I can tell it is more of a combo card and not used on its own.

Other cards up for review:

Escher – This could be good to create a path to an agenda but it is too conditional. Just having the full set of breakers and enough economy should do me.

Crypsis – Might be good as a general breaker but it is very expensive. It can hit a trap, but so can Tinkering at a pinch. Also the cost of a click is bad when facing lots of bioroid ice. You need your clicks to get past them for free.

ffg_inti-creation-and-controlInti – Cheap to install, but expensive to use, and the barriers are the strongest ice so the cost to break one can be extortionate. Maybe I need to consider another fracter option?

Personal touch – This is good on breakers like Inti, but is not essential to my strategy. I will keep it if I have enough slots.

Akamatsu Mem Chip – I do need mem units but is there another option?

Based on all this, the mods I made to my deck are:

-2 Scavenge
-1 Escher
-2 Crypsis
-2 Akamatsu Mem Chip
-2 Inti

ffg_battering-ram-core+2 Battering Ram – a less costly barrier-breaker.
+1 Levy AR Lab Access – as a late game reset.
+1 Omnidrive – to replace the mem chip.
+1 Toolbox – also replaces a mem chip.
+1 Freelance Coding Contract – to clear out duplicate cards in my hand.

This leaves 3 more slots:

+2 Modded – to help install my now more-expensive programs and hardware.
+1 Feedback Filter – as defence in late game final rushes.


Now to take a look at my H-B corp deck.

Building a corp

Now I have a custom runner deck, I need a custom corp deck to play against.

Taking the Haas-Bioroid cards from the core set and from the Creation and Control deluxe expansion will give me a range of possibilities.

Haas seems to specialise in using its bioroid workforce to do all the work and hence gain extra clicks. These extra clicks in a turn will allow the corp to do what is known as ‘fast advance’, which is to play an agenda then advance and score it all in one turn.


Netrunner deckbuilding

Moving on from playing with the core set sample decks, I am taking my first step into deckbuilding.

Seeing as I have the deluxe expansion Creation and Control, and this is based around the Shaper (green) runner faction and the Haas-Bioroid corp faction, my idea is to create two mono-faction decks. I won’t be using any influence at this stage.

I think I ought to be able to tweak the sample decks into something better, something that plays smoother.

Starting with the Shaper runner deck, I will stick with Kate as the runner identity. She makes it cheaper to install hardware and programs, which makes it easier to get her rig set up. (The rig is all the installed programs and hardware, including extra memory, icebreakers and other programs).

My plan is to select a specific set of icebreaker programs and then build around them to finance and support them.


The following takes place


“Zoe, get me out of here!”

Stirling skids around the corner and pelts towards the emergency exit. He slams into the door and swipes the stolen key card on the panel. The panel beeps at him disapprovingly.

“I hate on-premise datastores,” he mutters, “Why can’t everything be in the cloud where it’s easy to get at?”

Zoe’s voice pipes in his ear-bud.

“I can’t access the security seals on the door from here, you’ll have to hack them locally.” she says.

Stirling swings his backpack off his shoulder and pulls out his mini-console. “What’s going on behind me?” he asks.

“I’m accessing the cameras… I can see three Haas Corp-Sec units approaching from the south and west. 30 seconds out.”

“Can you keep them off my back while I do this?”

“Sure, Stirl. I’ll just distract them a moment.”

“Stop calling me Stirl.”


It’s good to talk

<in: hi>

<out: hello// please state your identity>

<in: Rielle// what’s your name?>

<out: ICE-Barrier Heimdall// please state your source>

Rielle relaxes. Heimdall is bioroid ICE with a cyborg AI behind it. She terminates her pending icebreaker thread, it won’t be needed. All she needs to do is talk.

It is an inverse Turing Test. She must convince the computer she is one of them, and she has a huge advantage.

She is a cyborg, too.


Stupid Boy

Director Haas crumples the data-foil in her fist. She continues to glare out of the panoramic window, her back to the conference room.

The last of the C-Levels closes the door hurriedly behind him. Only her virtual assistant remains in the room. Its holo-visage is deliberately bland and neutral.

At this altitude, the window looks out above the city smog. Sunlight streams into the room, highlighting the meeting table and chairs in a golden glow. Despite this, Haas’s face is dark.

“Where is he?” she snarls, “Where is my idiot son?”


‘Gateway’ games, like gateway drugs

I find a lot of people get the wrong idea when I tell them I like boardgames.

I suspect they immediately think of traumatic childhood family experiences playing Monopoly or Cluedo (known as ‘Clue’ in the US), or maybe they remember feeling dumb in Trivial Pursuit or having dinner parties that ended with couples bickering over Pictionary.

So when I say “I like boardgames”, I can see them taking a mental step back from the obvious loony stood in front of them 🙂