Unless you’ve been living under a rock in the Netrunner community, you’ve likely heard that Fantasy Flight is pulling the plug on the game. I won’t go on much about this other than I suspect that this wasn’t the planned outcome for the game under FFG’s reign. However it sort of leaves an interesting situation on what cards to use going forward.
One aspect is rotation. Aside from getting a few problematic cards out of the pool, rotation in the game would also facilitate release of new product. Since FFG could basically ignore a few expansions due to rotation, this could allow for similar cards in function but be designed to work with newer cards. You didn’t have to worry about some weird combo with a card from the Genesis Cycle, which also means you could flex card design muscle some exploring other combinations with new cards. That’s no longer an issue. The card pool is static now.
Another huge issue is the revised core set which removed cards from the game. Now some were underachievers but a few of these cards likely were a tad overpowered. I could see some not necessarily being broken, but severely limiting the design space for new cards. Every criminal console created after the core set had to compare to desperado and typically they failed to size up to it.
My Netrunner gang is tiny and I’ve been struggling to figure out how to go forward. With no further cards being released for the game, the idea of adhering to rotation is silly. Likewise abandoning older cards that were retired from the revised core and others on the recent MWL list also seemed not worthwhile. I have a pal that just jumped into the game and is buying stuff from a bunch of scattered expansions. Think it daft to tell him he can’t play with certain cards because they were banned.
On the flip side you have to recognize that some cards can/are broken and need to be restricted in some way. Getting rolled over from someone using a power deck isn’t fun. So I’ve been leaning towards using some type of Most Wanted List for our group.
I think going back to the idea of Universal Influence is a good way to move forward. Rather than restricting or banning cards, just implement a larger influence penalty. However I went a step further and really increased the cost for several cards. Essentially if a card was on the restricted list before, they now have 3 universal influence, and if banned they have an additional cost of 5 influence. Most cards removed from the game were also added to the 5 universal influence list. A first core cards had no additional cost and I also slipped some into the list adding one additional influence.
Most of the 1 universal influence cards are really there to nudge people into playing with other cards. Jackson Howard will likely be a staple for every deck, so having a little influence penalty might make people look for alternatives. Akamatsu Memchip is another example. Although it was removed from the game I’m not sure if it’s something worth throwing onto the 3 or 5 influence list, but it should have an increased cost just to push people into trying other hardware options.
The other pickle was to figure out what to do with IDs that were dropped from the game. I decided to give them a penalty to their influence totals. You could play Noise, but expect a small ding to your available influence. Not sure how this will work and it might have to be altered some in the future. I suspect Noise’s ability might have to be changed to once per turn instead.
I compiled this into a Terminal Most Wanted List which you can find in the downloads section. Very likely I’ll be tweaking this and keeping an ear to the ground on what cards folks are grousing in the newer expansions that need to be tinkered some with their costs. I’ll be sure to share how this MWL fares with the folks I play with.