Category Archives: netrunner

netrunner

I like you but…

In a previous post I was pimping the page that I was selling some of my games on. It’s a once a year thing I do in the run up to the expo, with collection being at the expo. Mainly because I am too lazy to go through all the hassle of wrapping stuff up and arranging for it to be collected by a courier.

Anyway in this years clear out I sold two games I really like! If I really liked them why did I get rid of them? A very good question, and I’m glad you asked it. Let’s have a look at the two games and see why I decided to sell them.

First up and probably the easier to explain is Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn. I do like this game. I love the fact you can pick your starting five cards. It has deck construction, dice rolling, a nice back and forward flow to it when taking actions, with I take an action, then you take an action. You can mitigate poor dice rolls. The art is gorgeous. Stunning. I do like the art a lot.

But…

No one is playing it locally. There is no Ashes scene. Well unless you live in London that is, it seems that way. So I just wasn’t getting games in. Even if I got some-one interested in playing the game, supply has been an issue, especially on the expansions. Which brings me to another point. It’s coming up to a year now since the last expansion came out. There are a couple of expansions coming out (soon? I suspect being saved for GenCon). The tournament scene is on life support. Apparently there are events in London. But that’s too far. There was definitely no UK/EU Finals at this years UKGE. I didn’t see any one playing it either.

This decision to sell Android Netrunner did require a lot of soul searching. It was a very hard choice to make. I love this game. Spoiler alert, it just missed out on being in my Top 10.

Once again this is a game that has great art work. I love the art on the Day Job card. It’s why I didn’t sell the Day Job art work play mat I have. I love the flavour text on the cards.

Look at the flavour text on two of my other favourite cards Faust and DDoS.Isn’t that amazing? The theme really hits the spot for me. Cyberpunk, hacking, battling against big corporations. I love it.

So what made me send my collection off to a new home? The FFG Most Wanted List (MWL). Particularly the last update that introduced the extra three influence cost on some cards. I spend time building decks, finding combos, then to have FFG wreck my deck is not on. I could have just about lived with the cards being one extra influence. But making four of the cards in my runner deck an extra three influence, nope. They also did similar with the NBN stuff. “Ah but you could play games with others not using the MWL”, yeah but in reality it wouldn’t happen because the majority of players locally only play in the FLGS tournaments. And if I had made it to the Peterborough meet that is held to play then they are busy playing and testing decks to take part in tournaments (because they play at my FLGS tournies, and travel to play in them as well). So in reality I wouldn’t be able to play with those cards. It just felt FFG hated the factions I love playing in Netrunner. Plus I was not getting games in-between the FLGS tournaments. Like Ashes I really need to be playing it more.

I haven’t given up on this style/type of game. Dale and I play Star Wars:Destiny in our lunch breaks. And that’s the big difference, I am playing the game regularly, and we can buy product (now that it appears that FFG have solved the supply issue). Not sure there is a local meta for the game because I know that my FLGS doesn’t sell the game. I might have to see what is happening in Cambridge. Definitely won’t set foot in the LGS in Peterborough. And I think there is a tournament in Lincoln at the start of July. So Dale and I might try entering to see how that goes. But there definitely does seem to be more going on with Destiny than Ashes. I can see it catching up with and over taking Netrunner for FFG. I just hope they don’t ruin it like they have done with Netrunner.

There you have it, why I sold two games I really like and what I’m addicted to now! What are your thoughts on this. Do you agree with me, or do you think I have made a massive mistake?

The Cards Love Critical Twits 

So you’ve read all about how the cards hated me at the recent Store Championship held at my FLGS The Hobbit Hole. If that didn’t bore you to death, then you may be interested in hearing what the Store Championships were like from the perspective of a person who the cards liked. 

Yep the latest Critical Twits podcast is out where the guys talk about the day itself, and what it’s like to win!

Sadly Brian was a better person than me. I’d have been a far far worse winner to Aaron!

Cards hate me

After yesterday it’s the only conclusion I can come to. 

In the Fenland Gamers it’s a running joke for games like Memoir ’44, Dark Moon, that Jonathan rolls badly. I’m usually the anti-Jonathan in those games and roll really well. Sometimes unbelievably well. It was the same when I played Dice Masters. Dice love me!

But the evidence yesterday is cards most certainly don’t.

Yesterday saw the 2017 Android Netrunner Store Championship for my FLGS The Hobbit Hole. It was probably the best attended event for Netrunner at the shop that I’ve been to with ten participants. Up for grabs alt art cards, deck boxes, play mats and a by at the regionals.

I’d spent an hour before going building/tweaking my two decks. Nothing like last minute adjustments. I was trying to fit in some of the cards from the latest data packs.

Due to numbers we were due four rounds of swiss followed by a cut for the top four who would then play for the top spot.

But there was a “grudge” match also going on. There were three members of the Critical Twits podcast taking part. Two of them, Aaron and Brian were competing for bragging rights, having been coached by Jo and Jamie (more seasoned players). 

The day started off so well. I was playing Chris, and our first game had me running. My rig was working. Chris wasn’t rezzing any ice. I was jumping into servers using blackmail and making it appear like I had hundreds copies of the card with Deja Vu and Same Old Thing. Much to Chris’s frustration. He hated those cards. Especially when afterwards you can trash one of his nice advanced unrezzed ice by playing En Passant.

Our second game was in hindsight a gentle indication for how the rest of the day would go. I was tagging Chris but not getting to my cards that would allow me to make use of those tags. But our game went to time and Chris got a timed win. 

My second round was against Jo from the Critical Twits podcast. His Max and keyhole  deck just took my NEH to bits. It was really a joy to watch it happening. I wasn’t landing tags, or if I did they weren’t around long enough for me to use them. I was just spellbound with the beauty of this Anarch deck.

Our second game saw his Jenteki deck just tear me a new one. It was a nasty, horrid experience. Trashing cards was stupidly expensive. And Jo kindly put me out of my misery quickly. 

The third round was against some-one called Tom. 

Our second game saw my NEH deck fail to keep any tags around. But it did reduce the only agenda scored by Tom down to a point. The game went to time again, with Tom winning by that single agenda point.

My final match of the swiss was Brian from the Critical Twits.

I ran first, it seemed evenly match for a while. I think I had four agenda points to six, when Brian removed my two blackmails from the heap. I was wishing I played three at this point. Which I may well do. I know the card I can take out to make room for it. But now I needed the funds to go in and steal agendas. I’d ignored Brian’s scoring server because he hadn’t advanced the card sitting behind it. Then he installed over it. Not enough cash to get in. One more turn was needed. Sadly it wasn’t going to come. Brian scored the final points he needed for the win. 

One piece of ice was all I drew in our second game, and that was a pop up window! I was just unable to stop Brian stealing the agendas he needed to win. All my ice, cool ambush cards etc never got drawn. I had two booms in hand! Brian felt guilty winning this game. But the cards really did hate me in this game.

Brian actually made the top 4. While Aaron was at the bottom with me. Our only prizes were two copies of the alt art pad campaign (must get that third to make a set).  However we did get a pity deck box each. Kindly given to us from two of the top eight winners. 

Before I left I did give Brian some advice on how to be a bad winner (not that I’ve had a lot of practice) to Aaron.

So my final score was 1 win, 7 losses.

A fun day playing Netrunner. What more could you ask for?

Well Nan not having a bad back. When I got back home Nan had been suffering with a bad back. Which was not helped by my little terrors Nico and Loki jumping all over her. They like to play their version of a territory boardgame over prime snuggling positions.

With Nan ill I was unable to use her dog sitting services to allow me to play the prolog for Seafall in the evening. 

So that was my Saturday. Lady Luck left me, just to prove that cards hate me. 

Android Netrunner Store Champ Date For The Hobbit Hole

The Hobbit Hole (my FLGS) is holding their Android Netrunner Store Championship on the 4th February.

My FLGS is having their Android Netrunner store champs 4/2/17 for those who might be interested in taking part.

I think this is part of the November 2016 – February 2017 Store Championships. Which means from looking on the FFG website the following is up for grabs:

  • Top 32 – The top thirty-two players will each receive a copy of the alternate art card “Pad Campaign” – an easy, hands-off investment that can pay for itself…If you can protect it.
  • Top 8 – The top eight players will each receive a deckbox to hold your assets and hardware in.
  • Top 4 – The top four players will each receive a playmat depicting some Anarchs ready to run amok. 
  • Top 2 – The top two players will each receive a printed acrylic token to be used with the card “Femme Fatale”. 
  • First Place – The winner will receive a color printed plaque and a first round bye (not pictured) to a 2017 Android: Netrunner Regional Championship of their choice!

(Above taken from the FFG website)

I have to admit the Run Amok playmat and deck boxes are pretty sweet. 

Plus I do like the alt art Pad Campaign card. I may have to try and get a set of three. 

You can sign up for the store championship here if you are interested in fighting for that sweet sweet loot.

Legacy comes to Netrunner

FFG have just announced a new expansion for one of my favourite games of all time Android Netrunner. 

I don’t normally write about Netrunner expansion announcements but the new one announced called Terminal Directive is warrants saying something.

Can you see those two words under the name of the expansion in the picture above?

Campaign Expansion!!!

Wow I never saw that one coming. But wow! The podcasts, forums etc are going to be buzzing about this.

163 new cards in the box. Split 86 for filthy corps and 77 for the heroic runners. Sadly no mention of Anarch specific ids, but I guess they thought Anarch have had a lot of love lately. 

This has legacy elements! Yes you read that correct. Like wow!!!!

When you open the box you will be faced with the choice of two sealed decks, red or blue.

I already know I’ll choose red. So I won’t find out what those corps will.

You are putting stickers on a board, opening even more sealed cards.

It will retail at $59.95, so not cheap. It won’t be far off that when it hits the UK as pounds. Plus (and this won’t be an issue for fans of the game) require a core box of the game to play.

This is exciting. But I’ve got to wait!!!! Not fair. I suppose first quarter 2017 will get here soon enough. My money is on we see it in March. Any sooner and I’m one happy bunny.

Tech and Magic

Yesterday six people with nothing better to do than play a few games of the rather excellent asynchronous living card game Android Netrunner gathered at The Hobbit Hole to compete for the Summer game night kits main prize of some plastic tokens. 

Match 1 Phil 2 – 0

The cards were really against me in this first match up. 

Take for example our second game when I was the corp. Two back to back runs on R&D hits three agendas for the win. Well that is the danger of the high value agendas. Up until that disasterous moment I thought everything was going to plan!

Phil does take part in a lot of the organised play like regionals etc. He also is an Ashes player. So that makes four I know in the area. That almost makes a local meta if we all managed to play together! Sadly we are dispersed a little over the area. So will need to work on how we can get together.

Match 2 Kar-Fai 1 – 1

Two runner wins this time. Kar-Fai is fantastic at deck building. He proves you don’t need every card going to be competitive. With core sets, a deluxe set I believe he builds very strong decks. His deck building and playing skills beat mine hands down.

Match 3 Jamie 1 – 1

At last facing off against Jamie. We managed not to play against each other in the last tourney.

I was confused a bit initially by Jamie’s tactics during our plays. For instance he happily took tags against my NBN deck! 

Which has in other games been an issue. Because most now know to avoid that with my deck, because that then allows me to start messin with the runner and eventually scorch earth them.

Which is exactly how I killed Jamie for the win.

Jamies Jinteki deck is very punishing. Making runs and scoring triggers damage of some kind. He leaves servers open, plays lots of little agendas, daring you to run and score. Black mail allowed me to hit servers easily, and with Same Old Thing and Deja Vu made it seem like I had more than two copies.

But then Jamie returned the favour killing my runner!

Two corp wins for the record.

Finished joint 4th with Jamie

Phil was the winner. So being beat comprehensively by the winner of the comp wasn’t too bad.

Final thoughts…

There was definitely a bias towards Jinteki and Shaper decks this time round. A lot of fun was had. Sadly the next tourney will be in the new year. Once Esdevium manage to get their act together and send the kits out.

So while waiting for the Netrunner tourney to start yesterday I caved and joined the new Magic the Gathering league that’s started up at The Hobbit Hole. 

Yes I know I’m an ultra ultra casual Magic player. Mainly playing the duel decks, I have a green/black deck I built. Which I played once, but the deck I think isn’t currently legal for standard, but might be for modern.

So why have I entered a league? Have a look at the rules below. As the way it’s been setup, it’s ideal for new players, and ultra ultra casual players like me.

You buy three boosters and construct a deck of thirty cards from them. It means I don’t have to have a large collection of Magic cards, or have been buying lots of the latest set to take part and stand a chance of doing well. It eliminates that how deep is your pocket element.


In my three packs I got one shiny and a Planeswalker. The Planeswalker according to Chris (a much much more experienced Magic player than me) in this format is potentially a very powerful card to have in a deck. 


Looking at the Planeswalker if she is going to be in my deck then she has made my deck a blue/red which after a quick Google is known as Izzet. 

Luckily with this colour combination I have enough cards to make up the suggested numbers from above. How well it plays is another thing.  

Now all I need to do is get along to the store and play some games!

Rock Bottom

Yesterday saw my FLGS The Hobbit Hole hold their third game night kit for Android Netrunner event.

I’d spent the early morning putting my decks together and filing away the last three data packs. 

My first match up was against John the store owner which saw us both making mistakes in play/decisions and winning a game each. I don’t know about the poor play part but the other match ups also ended up in draws.

My next game was against Jo from the Critical Twits podcast. In our first game where I was playing NBN against Apex we were both pulling off our tricks. Jo took my tags early which meant I was able to play with him! Jo scored first and once I scored an agenda, which was a one pointer I was able to swap that over with him for his higher valued agenda. 

I repeated this later in the game also but with 15 minutes. But this was the fun but I force the swap of agendas giving Jo my scored 15 minutes (one I had been hoping he would score) and taking a three point agenda. I then spent the click to take 15 minutes back and shuffled it back into R&D. Loved that combo. 

I found Apex frustrating. Early on with the tags on Jo who had three cards in hand, I played scorched earth. But due to heartbeat I think it was, or whatever it’s called, he avoided the kill. Plus apocalypse was fired twice. That was annoying and the second time left me exposed and let Jo get the points he needed to win.

It’s fun thinking back on that game that I technically only scored two agenda points, but actually ended up with five due to the tags that landed.

Our next match saw Null getting killed, and giving Jo the clear two nil win.

My final match up was Kar-Fai winner of our first store competition.

Once again I started off as NBN. Kar-Fai did a great job avoiding my attempts to land tags on him. But he did fall for the traps! But eventually my weak ice could no longer delay the inevitable Kar-Fai victory.

Our second game saw me get reminded by Kar-Fai that fortune favours the brave, when I chickened out of a remote server that had been advanced once on his first turn, and then scored it on his next go. I suspected a trap, and instead hit R&D, and archives to pump up Datasucker. 

An early System Outage slowed Kar-Fai down a bit. But he had built a five deep protected scoring server. I just wasn’t finding my Faust or David to be able to start attacking it. I ended up having to do a same old thing to bring back a disguarded Levy AR Lab Access to force a reshuffle of my stack. Which worked I soon hit Faust but it was too late by that time. 

We did have our Doctor Who regeneration moment when I played rebirth. 

So a second loss that put me in last place. Jamie was the winner of today’s tournament, which he rightly deserved. 

My ccg/lcg play has been awful recently. Les hope this bad run ends soon. But despite hitting bottom, I had a blast playing.

Never a truer word said


I just love the above bit from the rules/flavour sheet included with the latest data pack Blood Money from the Flsshpoint cycle.

It appeals to my anarch soul. 

The Android world is so rich. FFG do such a great job bringing it to life with Netrunner, using amazing art (which has Easter eggs hidden in it sometimes), flavour text, and mechanics.

Just love it.

All Change – Again!

Last week seemed the week that FFG and PlaidHat decided they would release errata to their LCG/miniature games.

First up PlaidHat have released an errata for one of the cards from Ashes. Not much of an inconvience for me as I'm not deckbuilding yet (although I need to start pdq). But what I like about this announcement is that although people are going to have to print out the correction, and use sleeves, PlaidHat are looking at ways to make replacement cards available. My suggestion would be to make the updated card available from Drive Thru Cards, it takes the production costs away from PlaidHat. I wish FFG would use something like this, or make the errata'd cards they announce available to buy somehow.

Above: original card on left, errata version middle & right, right OP kit alt art errata version

Naturally the errata'd version of Enhanted Violinist will be the only version allows at the OP event I'm organising in a months time.

PlaidHat have also released “improved” draft rules for Ashes too. I've not played the game in draft format, but they do seem better than the ones in the included rule book.

Oh oh oh, just thought please please PlaidHat could we have another alt art Enchanted Violinist but this time using Lindsey Stirling as the art? It would be soooo uber cool if you did that.

Right FFG have released a LOT of errata and updates. For me this means I have to look at the Imperial Assault (IA) and Netrunner ones. I've not looked at the changes for IA, but would expect to see new tournament legal skirmish maps to include the wave 6 skirmish maps. Plus more cards being “tweaked” so they are not breaking the game any more.

The one I have looked at naturally is the Netrunner updates. I play anarch and NBN and it seems these updates are specifically aimed at nerfing them. On the most wanted list, Faust and David have been added along with Wyldside. Which hits my Noise deck big time. I've got some decisions to make now if I want to keep playing them. I'd just been looking at Mumba Temple for my NEH deck, but hey guess what is now on the list? Things are even tighter on my NEH deck, not sure I can get rid of anything to give me the two influence I'd need. Plus Breaking News has been added to the list. And that really screws me. I may have to review the use of this agenda. But what to replace it with?

Plus we have errata for some cards, these don't hit me, well I'm pretty sure they don't. But the fast advance NEH has had the breaks put on it with the Astroscript Pilot Program being limited to one per deck now.

I do like this approach by FFG and PlaidHat, I wouldn't like a card to be banned. At least this way I can still play the cards. It's just I have to make decisions about how much I really want to play them, and how I can fit them in, whilst working out what has to go to make way for them.

Here is the Ashes ERRATA

Here is the FFG ERRATA

 

Chatteris Drive By

Yesterday saw the second Android Netrunner event being held at my FLGS The Hobbit Hole. Once again we would be competing over the spoils from the Spring 2016 OP kit.

The decks I'd be playing for the tournament would be my usual NEH with a couple of tweaks on the ice front, plus my janky Criminal deck.

My first match up was against Chris from the store/Warlords. You remember Chris he's the only person I have ever had a turn two win with. I'm just saying that because it makes me feel better that he beat me two nothing today.

Our first match up was my criminal deck against his Jinteki. I swapped from Andromeda to Silouette. With two Gang Signs out, scoring an agenda was going to punish Chris. And this bit of jank worked really well once in place. When Chris scored his second agenda I think it was, he only had two cards in HQ, both agendas! Which caught me up fast. Early on in the match up Chris quite rightly iced up HQ and Archives. Especially after I'd used Archives and Sneakdoor Beta to circumvent his ice on HQ. In the end Chris scored a third agenda to get the win.

My NEH is a tag/kill deck, with little tricks firing off the tags. Chris knew this and played accordingly, avoiding my tags. Which if I'd played my Breaking News better (as I did in my next match up) might have given me a win. Instead I just scored it as quick as possible to keep me in the points race, that this time Chris won.

My second match up was against a new player both to the store and the game. I was facing off against his NEH kill deck first with my Criminal deck. My opponent failed to ice up HQ! So I was picking off agendas, and was happily sitting on five points to one. My jank was working, I was avoiding being tagged. In all rights I should have kept the faith. Instead I did a reclass run on R&D to try and hopefully nab the winning. Instead I took tags, failed to get an agenda, and got murdered!

Our next game was Noise against my NEH. The runner scored a two point agenda Private Security Force. I scored a Chronos Project early in reply taking out about two cards from his heap. However I did land a tag briefly allowing me to play Exchange of Information. Yep I liked swapping our agendas over. Guess what the runner decide to clear the tag then. I had two Scorched Earth in hand. I just needed the credits and a tag to kill the runner. Wait if I played Breaking News properly I would have the tags I needed, and the clicks. I had enough credits to play the two scorched earths, and advance the agenda once, but was short a credit for the plan to work.

I installed Breaking News behind a couple of bits of ice ( that fortunately had been rezzed earlier), I advanced it once, and took a credit. I had the money I needed, I just needed the runner to ignore that server and think it was a trap. The runner did indeed ignore my server on his turn. My turn, murder was ago. Advance and score Breaking News for my first click. Two tags delivered. Click two play one Scorched Earth, click three play second Scorched Earth. Smouldering runner corpse on the floor.

My third and final match up was against the winner of the last OP event. Boy was our first game a long game. My jank was working to the max. I was cash rich, I got Femme Fatale out for free using Test Run and Scavenge. I was exposing cards. The old Gang Sign, Leela Patel combo was making the runner reluctant to score agendas. Leela had returned some ice back to HQ to help me get into servers. We were both sitting on four points each. Drive By, Infiltration and Satelite Uplink had helped me avoid some traps, and trash the odd asset.

But the game was drawing on! I was down to three cards in my stack. There was an installed card that had been advanced and was behind three unrezed ice. The corp had more than enough credits to rez them, I didn't have enough to get through. I used my last same old thing to pull back an Infiltration. Bugger it was an agenda. Game to the corp.

A quick time check, we had less than six minutes to get our second game in!

A tactical error and the runners lucky draw cost me the game. I had agendas in hand, so I put both my ice in front of HQ leaving R&D open! Should have put one on each. The runner naturally ran R&D, scored a two point agenda. I quickly scored out a one point agenda. I hit the runner twice with News Team traps on remote servers. Both were cleared and getting the runner nine credits in the bargain! Bugger. That was time and I'd lost. I had done well to be able to compensate for the initial tactile error, sadly my opponent had an answer in hand. A great intense, second game. Wow the pressure of time.

So in the end I ended up fourth in the tournament. I had a blast with my criminal deck. I got such a kick when the jank paid off. It was a fun deck to play. I've got it out of my system and can now return back to my true runner home, Anarchs. It was cool when I got the NEH murder in also. I need to master this deck and how I should be playing it. At the moment I'm making silly tactical decisions that are costing me games.

Such a great day playing Netrunner. Great, friendly competitors. Just great fun.