Hello everyone and welcome to the first edition of “Script Kiddies”! This is a series that’s going to be focused on the beginning player, and will give them some helpful hints on how to take their game to the next level. We’re going to start off this series by going over a few simple, basic facts you’re going to need to get your head around before you can get out of the basement and start heading up the beanstalk. No more stalling, here we go!
Fact #1: You’re going to lose… Frequently.
The sooner you get comfortable with this, the better off you will be. Stand up from your desk, go over to the nearest mirror, look yourself in the eye, and repeat the following words:
“I am no good at Netrunner.”
There. Wasn’t so hard now, was it?
Netrunner is a brutal game for the beginning player. Unlike other card games, where simply having a strong (or expensive) deck can give you a leg up on the competition, you need to have experience with and a fundamental understanding of the deck you’re piloting before you will start to see positive results. A good player can and will cut you to ribbons with a pile of junk if he knows how to work it, and when you’re just starting off, there isn’t much you’re going to be able to do about it.
However, know this: Again, unlike other card games, where the person with the best cards is going to win way more times than not. If you do lose, it’s likely not because of card selection. It’s simply because you made a mistake somewhere along the way. This mistake should be easily identifiable. Perhaps you neglected to properly ice one of your servers. Maybe you were too lax on your economy. Maybe the cards you picked just don’t go as well with each other as you thought. Once you are able to figure you where your game went awry, you will be able to fix it, and you’ll be able to do so much more easily and cheaply than you would in some other games.
Fact #2: Netdecking is your friend.
In some circles, it’s a filthy, filthy word. Players take a certain pride in making their own creations. Toiling endlessly for the right combination of cards until they get the perfect fit. If that’s your thing, go for it, but don’t let the fact that you don’t have that level of card-knowledge stop you from playing a deck that’s going to help you improve. A deck is not a piece of art. It’s a musical instrument. Is every single person who ever picked up an electric guitar “stealing” from Adolph Rickenbacker? No! Besides, these “originators” are all just making modifications to the same 5-10 deck archetypes anyways. Archetypes the vast majority of them did not invent. Feel free to make your own tweaks as you see fit, but don’t feel the need to reinvent the wheel when you don’t understand the physics quite yet.
Fact #3: You must get OCTGN
I don’t care how strong your community is, you must download, become familiar with, and frequently use OCTGN. Netrunner is a game that, while the community is growing, the amount of people you play in the real world is going to be extremely limited. They will primarily play the same decks every time and, while they may build other decks for fun or playtesting, they aren’t going to play those decks as well as someone who uses them as their bread and butter. That’s where OCTGN comes in. Playing online using OCTGN will get your that experience playing a wide variety of players with a wide variety of decks who have been playing those decks for weeks, months, even years. There is simply no substitute currently for that sort of environment. OCTGN: Learn it, live it, love it.
Fact #4: Victory is so very, very sweet.
The learning curve to Netrunner is steep. There’s no doubt about it. The learning process is arduous, and you will take your lumps in spades. But with a whole lot of learning, and a little bit of luck, the victories will start to trickle in. Relish these wins. You’ve earned them. Think about the right plays you made, and the steps you took to shut your opponent down. Carry that knowledge and confidence with you into the next game. Keep it up and watch more and more wins start rolling in.
Fact #5: Pay it forward
Once you start getting a few wins, you’ll no longer be on the bottom level of play, and you’re going to face off with some other players who are total rookies to the game. Be gracious. Give advice. Help them have fun. Netrunner is an incredible game, and if we want that game to prosper and grow, we need to continue to bring new players in, and the best way to do that is to be kind to the people coming in the door and show them what they’ve been missing out on.
That’s gonna do it for this first column, folks. Hope you enjoyed. Be sure to hit me up on the forums, or check out my Twitch channel at twich.tv/Scorcho1108. Let me know what you think of the article and what you’d like to see for future topics. Cheers!