A member of the LCG community here in Colorado indulged me with a conversation about the new Android: Netrunner card restriction lists. This list is titled NAPD Most Wanted List, appropriately thematic for the game it self. The cards on the list are those which Fantasy Flight Games has deemed improperly balanced with the game and reduced the corp or runners influence limit by one for each copy they have in their deck.The two of us talked about the merits and demerits of card restriction lists and how they can affect a game. I would like to go over some of the finer points today on Boxed Culture.
The most negative thing that came to my mind was the list’s effect on new players. One of the best thing about an LCG (or at least ones that I have played) is that everything you need to know is in the box. A core set of Warhamemr 40k Conquest not only comes with enough cards to make numerous decks but all the rules in two separate rule books. One is a learn to play guide that walks you through the game and the other is a rules reference guide that explain the games finer points. In the learn to play guide it even give you the exact rules on how to build a deck. This is where my first issue comes in with a card restriction list. It causes a new barrier to entry to new players . Much like Magic the Gathering, Android: Netrunner now has a definitive “Kitchen Table” mode for all those players who don’t know that there are special rules that are not covered in the normal rule book. They may fix this later but for now it is frustrating to have to tell people that they have to get even more to keep up with the game.
On a positive note people who play the game and are fully invested now are opened up to a breadth of new deck building options. Since old combinations don’t really work anymore with the new list builders must rethink and retool efficiency and come up with new and inventive ways to make their old favorite decks work. It also opens up the possibility for new combination of cards that were not as efficient before. While this excites me to no end it means I have to rebuild all the decks I have been tuning for a long time. Insert Grumpy face here.
In the end I understand FFG’s reasoning but it makes me sad to have to admit they didn’t think the game through enough to keep it balanced the whole way through. This may not have ever been an option but a small part of me wished it was a possibility. While this isn’t the first implementation of a card restriction list in an LCG (see Game of Thrones 1st Edition and Call of Cthulhu) it does cause some issues when implemented. Hopefully the community will endure and everyone will enjoy the new deck that comes from this! Got any thoughts on the NAPD Most wanted Lists or any new deck ideas? Throw them in the comments below! See y’all next time!