This session report is for two games played on 26 Feb 2013. Both players were new to the game and these are the first games using our own built decks and with a proper understanding of the rules. Each player has only one Core set and we each took a turn playing the Corp and the Runner.
First game: Kate vs NBN (Me)
Second game: Noise (Me) vs Weyland
I will describe the second game first as it was a bit of a blowout, while the first game was very close and could have gone either way a few times. At the end of this session report, I will also put out some lesson I learned so that you, gentle reader, will not make the same mistakes.
This is my first Noise Virus deck and it was built to run on R&D. My first draw is pretty good and I get Datasucker out there right away. By the first few turns I have all three of my Icebreakers out and 3 Cyberfeeders. Djinn comes out and I pull out Medium and start milling R&D. By this time I just running R&D and HQ, stealing agendas. Since Datasucker has nine counters on it, he refuses to rez any ice, knowing I will just walk through it. Archives has a Handrian's Wall up and there is 1 rezzed ice covering R&D, which I just walk through each time, breaking the 2 subs with Cyberfeeder. Medium is up to 5 counters and I steal my way to victory. Near to the end, the Corp sets up a remote and advances it a few times, but I don't bother running it since I am running R&D without a problem. I score seven points before he scores one. I find out the remote was a trap and the only two cards I did not see in Archives (there due to the Noise special and both there from turn 3) are both agendas worth a total of 3 points. I ask him why he did not clear out all the virus counters. He forgot about that ability. On my last run I stole 2 agendas from R&D to win, but I also reveal he had two Scorched Earths side by side. The game could have gone the other way. Although my initial economy was good (2 Sure Gambles and an Armitage out in the first 5 turns) after that my economy sucked. None of my 2 Magnum's came out and my last Sure Gamble I was unable to play as I couldn't build up the credits to play it. Not a good test of the deck, as the game could have been much different if he had cleared the vinus counters. Although I think I still would have won, as he was just too poor, had little ice rezzed and no agendas scored. In addition, I was holding 2 Parasites, saving them for a good target. With 3 Cybersfeeders in play even with no credits, I was still running once per turn at least. With a bit more economy (Magnum can't hide forever) and no viruses, I would have still been able to run R&D, it just might have taken a few extra turns.
The first game was a litany of noob mistakes. I am playing NBN with lots of taging ice against Kate. Not a good matchup for me. He has some virus programs, including a Crypsis and a Datasucker. Early on he gets his 2 Rabbit Holes up. That, combined with his reluctance to run, pretty much negates my ability to tag him. In fact, he doesn't even face a tag until the last run which wins him the game. After he gets his link up and it is obvious he is going to be very cautious when running, I start to advance agendas. I advance 6 agenda points but sacrifice one 2 point agenda to rez Archer. At this point my economy sucks again. No PAD Campaign has come up and 2 Closed Accounts have been useless. I have discarded a Sea Source and Psychographics due to my inability to get a tag on him. I had a Ghost Branch with 2 advancements in an unprotected server from the start of the game, hoping he would bite. He used Infiltration on it so I trashed it and replaced it with another Ghost Branch (I had six cards and had to get rid of it anyway). However, he plays 2 Bank Jobs and I forget about the unprotected remote. By this time he has stolen an agenda from R&D and one from HQ and we are tied at 4 agenda points each. He runs the remote and takes the tags and takes 7 credits each from the two Bank Jobs. This gives him the confidence to run my remote with 3 ice (one unrezzed). I am unable to rez my Tollbooth (not that it would have mattered). He goes through and takes the agenda for the three points and the win. This is very frustrating as I had Red Herring and Sansan City on the server. Red Herring doesn't matter as he has too many credits. However, he hits Matrix Analyze during the run and I spend a credit to advance Priority taking it to four. Sansan is unrezzed and I don't have the credits to rez it. If I had rezzed it earlier I would have needed only four to advance Priority and I would have won. Also, I had put through an Autoscript earlier that had 2 more tokens on it. If I had Sansan up for it, that third agenda counter might have made the difference.
Run early. Run often. - For the second game I pressed him right from the start. I worked out very well, although if he had remembered to use remove virus counters the game would not have been so one sided.
Finish him - At one point I had 4 agenda points and had Priority Req in the server. I could have been more aggressive in advancing it, but I wanted to let the game last and try some of the cool tagging tricks (like Closed Accounts and Psychographics). Soon after he was able to run R&D and HQ, get an agenda from each one, and win the game with the run on the remote. I had 2 credits and if he had not ended the game on that turn, I would have advanced and won on my next turn.
Other observations - When I first started playing I preferred the Corp due to its ability to lay traps. I was pretty frustrated after the first game. The runner would not run and the game lasted about 90 minutes. I see the advantage of being the runner and being able to set the pace.
Economy - I have to improve my economy. I have to look at replacing Sure Gamble. A four credit net is no good if you don't have the 5 credits. My NBN deck needs a few Melange Mining.
That said, it has been some time since I was this enthusiastic about a game. I highly recommend Android: Netrunner and I can't wait to tune my deck and try again.