It’s drafty

At the weekly Chatteris Warlords meetup last night there was a Netrunner Draft going on, whilst some X-Wing and historical ship miniatures games were being played, amongst other stuff.

I've done two or three drafts before, a D&D Dicemasters one at last years UK Games Expo, and a couple of Epic drafts (one with Nath and one at this weekly meetup).

I'm still kind of undecided how I really feel about drafts. I like them, nay enjoy them even. Do I love them?

Netrunner is a LCG where you pre-construct decks to play with. Everyone has the same pool of cards to build from. There are no blind boosters. So Netrunner doesn't lend itself to being able to do drafting like you can with say Magic the Gathering or Dicemasters.

So FFG came up with a solution to this that allows Netrunner players to draft.

Basically FFG sell you three decks that go together. The first deck is a base one that contains a draft runner id, a draft corp id, and a few core cards. Everyone gets the same cards in this base deck. The other two decks are made up of one for the corp and one for the runner.

Each of these two decks are made up of forty random cards chosen from a card pool of two hundred odd cards I believe. They are randomly chosen at time of printing at the FFG card printing shop they own in the US (they use this for the small run stuff like these draft decks, promo cards etc).

Starting with the corp deck you split the four cards into “packs” of ten by dealing from the top of the deck without looking at them or shuffling before hand. You then follow normal drafting rules using the four packs. You then repeat this for the runner deck.

After drafting you go off to your private spot to build a corp and runner deck from the cards you drafted. Having built your decks you pair up and duke it out as per normal in Netrunner, except you play to six agenda points instead of seven.

So having been through all of the above I played Ben. Our first game was my corp against his runner. Which ended in a victory for Ben. However I had an early Sundew and pad campaign giving me lots of credits, plus some ice out. Ben hit my snare in R&D. Unluckily he scored agendas that were in my HQ to get the win.

Our second game the roles were reversed. Ben had a scoring server iced up, had iced up his HQ and left R&D wide open. Ben had a card on his scoring server that he was advancing big time. It was either an ambush that was going to hurt me big time when I ran into it, or an agenda that gained extra points the more advancement tokens on it. It turned out to be the later, a Project Beale scored as four agenda points. I soon caught up scoring from the unprotected R&D. I was hitting R&D at least once a turn for free!

Ben installed a new card on his scoring server and advanced it once and iced up his R&D. Too little too late, I ran on his R&D, I couldn't break the ice or its subroutines, but there was no end of run, so I was through and scored the winning agenda.

So the evening ended a draw between myself and Ben.

It certainly was interesting drafting in Netrunner. Not having to worry about influence, or number of copies of cards whilst building your deck, certainly make for some interesting decisions and combinations.

For instance I drafted Wyldside, which gave me card draw, but also costs me a click. I ended up with Rachel Beckman (seemed to be a card no one wanted, I think due to cost, eight credit cost to install is expensive). With no pancakes to get the click back, Rachel Beckman is a costly but effective alternative in this limited card pool. You get one extra click to spend each turn, plus she gets discarded when you take a tag. So a little tag protection. The synergy didn't occur to me while drafting, but when deck building from my drafted cards.

Drafting I think makes a fun break from the regular deck building. I think it might be more popular if Esdevium/FFG didn't price the latest draft set so expensively. At the moment for those that want to draft the only way people can play it cost effectively is to buy the older sets.

Another great evening running.

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