Crash Space – Dealing with Tunnel Vision

Crash Space - Dealing with Tunnel Vision

Hello again, everyone!  Today’s topic is a little more abstract than normal, supported by some example situations and decklists.  Have you ever found yourself focused on getting into R&D while the corp is scoring agendas out of hand?  Have you ever drawn 3+ cards two turns in a row?  Then this article might be for you!

What is Tunnel Vision?

R&D interfaceTunnel Vision is being overly focused on a single goal, often disregarding other potential avenues to victory in the process.

Let me pose to you a situation:  you are running a Kate deck, packing 3x R&D Interface and 3x Maker’s Eye playing against an NBN rush deck (which likes to score agendas early behind cheap, end-the-run ICE).  Let’s say it is mid-game, and your NBN opponent, seeing R&D interface and guessing you have Maker’s Eye, puts 3 pieces of ICE on R&D.  2 of the 3 ICE on R&D is rezzed, and they have different ICE types.  There is one ICE protecting HQ and one ICE protecting a remote with a face-up SanSan City Grid.

What do you do in this situation?  You’ve invested a lot of cards in your deck to pounding R&D.  Do you continue to focus on R&D, knowing that R&D lock is good against decks running SanSan City Grid?  Do you run HQ trying to snag any agendas your opponent might score next turn?  Or do you try and get into the remote and trash the SanSan City Grid, knowing it will take your opponent two turns to score any agenda without it?

It’s easy to give your answer right now, when you have time to thing objectively.  Most of the time in this situation, running the remote to trash the SanSan City Grid is the right answer, because it buys you the most amount of time.  There have been many times in my experience where I have just buckled down, and focused on getting the money and the tools to break into R&D efficiently.  While this is not a BAD choice, there is definitely a safer choice.  In this instance, if you disregard HQ and the face-up SanSan, you may prevent your opponent from drawing agendas from their deck, but they will be able to score all agendas that they have in their hand.

sansan city gridA good example of tunnel vision is the Finals of the World Championship 2013.  The scene is Andrew Veen, sporting the much maligned Kate+Atman deck, is playing against the future World Champion Jens Erickson, piloting a standard HB Fast Advance Deck (using SanSan City Grid and Biotic Labor to score agendas in one turn), linked HERE.  During the course of this first game, Andrew is able to make frequent runs into R&D, seeing nearly almost every card Jens draws throughout the game.  But Jens wins this game, 7 agenda points to 2.  The reason for this is, unbeknownst to Andrew, Jens starts the game with all agendas he needs to win in his hand.  A couple of peeks into HQ might have been enough to turn the tide in the game.

Spread your attacks across all servers

There is much to be said about planning around being able to attack many servers.  First of all, while you can adapt your in-game strategy on the fly to attack multiple servers, I think it’s better to plan for it ahead of time in the deckbuilding process.  Consider this Gabe deck:

Jason Flanzer's Gabe Deck

Gabriel Santiago: Consummate Professional (Core Set)

Event (24)
3x Account Siphon (Core Set)
2x Dirty Laundry (Creation and Control)
3x Emergency Shutdown (Cyber Exodus)
3x Forged Activation Orders (Core Set)
3x Indexing (Future Proof) ••••• ••••
3x Inside Job (Core Set)
2x Quality Time (Humanity’s Shadow) ••
2x Special Order (Core Set)
3x Sure Gamble (Core Set)

Hardware (5)
2x Desperado (Core Set)
3x Plascrete Carapace (What Lies Ahead)

Resource (6)
3x Armitage Codebusting (Core Set)
3x Same Old Thing (Creation and Control)

Icebreaker (7)
1x Corroder (Core Set) ••
3x Crypsis (Core Set)
1x Femme Fatale (Core Set)
1x Mimic (Core Set) •
1x Yog.0 (Core Set) •

Program (3)
3x Sneakdoor Beta (Core Set)

Deck built on

indexingHaving played this deck for several weeks, I can tell you several things.  Indexing in Criminal is very powerful.  If you have the capability of getting in multiple times in a turn, Indexing just might be more powerful that R&D Interface or Maker’s Eye.  Account Siphon is still good.  Sneakdoor Beta is also still very good.

Most of the games that I play with this deck go as follows:  Early game pound HQ as much as possible, getting in with an early Crypsis and hopefully getting an Account Siphon through.  Soon afterwards, HQ becomes difficult to get into, and I play Sneakdoor Beta, letting me back in, stealing agendas and Emergency Shutdown on ICE.  Finally, they ICE up Archives, and this becomes prime time for Indexing, getting me the last few agendas to win.

While you don’t necessarily need to be running the full suite of Indexing, Sneakdoor Beta, and Account Siphon to attack central servers, you can take the principles of the deck into other decks.  The standard Andromeda deck has similar pressure across all servers.  The combination of Desperado, Datasucker, and John Masanori means that running on Archives each turn can become very profitable.  You don’t access cards from HQ like you do using Sneakdoor Beta, but you become so rich in cards, credits, and resources that those Archive runs easily become agenda points through R&D, HQ, and remotes.  Andy most of the time uses R&D Interface and Account Siphon, and the occasional Running Interferance, to pressure the other centrals.

Taking these ideas to heart, I decided to create a Kit deck.  Here it is:

Kit Aggro

Rielle “Kit” Peddler: Transhuman (Creation and Control)

Event (20)
3x Diesel (Core Set)
3x Dirty Laundry (Creation and Control)
2x Scavenge (Creation and Control)
3x Sure Gamble (Core Set)
3x Test Run (Cyber Exodus)
3x The Maker’s Eye (Core Set)
3x Tinkering (Core Set)

Hardware (10)
3x Akamatsu Mem Chip (Core Set)
2x HQ Interface (Humanity’s Shadow) ••••
2x Plascrete Carapace (What Lies Ahead)
3x R&D Interface (Future Proof)

Resource (2)
2x John Masanori (Opening Moves)

Icebreaker (6)
1x Corroder (Core Set) ••
2x Cyber-Cypher (Creation and Control)
1x Femme Fatale (Core Set) •
2x Torch (Mala Tempora)

Program (7)
3x Magnum Opus (Core Set)
3x Self-modifying Code (Creation and Control)
1x Sneakdoor Beta (Core Set) •••

Deck built on

torchI attack HQ with the HQ Interfaces, R&D with The Maker’s Eye and R&D Interface, and Archives with John Masanori and Sneakdoor Beta.  John Masanori has been the unsung hero of the deck.  If there’s one this Kit does well, it’s make one good run each turn.  Consequently, that’s where John Masanori shines as well.  While I don’t have all of the tools of Andy like Datasucker or Desperado, or the powerful events like Account Siphon or Indexing, this deck is very good at running quick and HARD.  An early Torch feels like an Inside Job every turn.

Go ahead and give that deck a try, and tell me what you think.  It’s definitely a different side of Shaper, that feels reminiscent of Criminal.  It applies a lot of pressure across the board, and can steal the game away with a couple of lucky early agendas.

So you’re stuck and don’t know what to do

We’ve all had games where we thought we had a plan, and it didn’t go the way we wanted.  Let’s say you’ve been running R&D for 3 turns, seeing 2 cards each time, with no luck.  It’s easy to get frustrated and say that you’re unlucky.  You are unlucky, that’s true, but that might just mean that there are agendas in their hand.  Maybe it’s a good time to start running HQ a couple of times.  At this point in the game, you need to think about the situations in which you win the game, or the corp wins the game.

Being able to formulate a plan on the fly is something that takes experience and presence of mind to do.  It can be difficult to collect your thoughts when you’re getting really unlucky, but keeping calm and collected can let you think clearly and form a plan.  This is the most important aspect of breaking away from Tunnel Vision in-game.  Having the presence of mind to recognize that you’re tunnel visioned takes practice and experience.  Then, once you have realized that you’re tunnel visioned, you can formulate a plan that can lead you to victory.

Brandon wrote a wonderful article about being on ’tilt’ and how to deal with that.  Check it out HERE.


Well, that’s it for this week.  Let me know what you think!  How do you find yourself ‘Tunnel Visioned’ during a game?  What are things you do to prevent/fix tunnel vision?  What deckbuilding strategies do you use to help spread focus?

Image Credit: Top, ???; Body, Fantasy Flight Publishing, Inc.

5 Responses for this post

  1. David Sutcliffe
    David Sutcliffe
    | |

    Staying focused on your main goal can work against you on occasion and you have to keep re-evaluating your dedication to that goal. One game comes to mind where I was ploughing R&D and hitting nothing but left an unprotected Archives unchecked – there were 5 Agenda Points in there. It was a ridiculously ballsy play from my opponent but his Agenda-heavy draw had left him with little option and he read from my previous runs that I might ignore Archives. It’s a hard lesson, but I learnt it.

    What you need to work out is where your R&D lock fits into the game state. You know you’re onto something good when you’re R&D hits are working but as well as getting excited about how you’re going to win the game you have to remember how you could possibly lose it. Sometimes that means being extra-safe about drawing cards before running against Jinteki with False Lead scored, and other times that means hitting HQ just to be sure because the only way to really lose is to NOT check HQ.

    There’s three things you need to take into account when making these sort of endgame decisions?

    1) What Do You Know?
    You’ve seen a bunch of cards that the Corp has drawn. You’ve seen most of what he’s played. How many of the cards in HQ can you name and how many of those cards are unknown? How many of those cards are warning flags that a win could come from hand (eg. you know he’s holding 2 Biotic Labor)? One final thing is difficult to measure, but do you feel like the Corp has had windows to score Agendas and not used them? That’s probably a signal that they don’t have one, but if they’ve been on the back foot for 10 turns there’s a higher chance that they’ve been holding an Agenda all along.

    2) What Can You Do?
    What’s your best defense – is it worth the investment to check their hand for a 20% of seeing the key card? If you whiff is it worth going again? Is it better to play The Source? Is it better to hammer them with Vamp and keep the Corp poor? Or do you have no good option but to race the possibility of defeat by winning via R&D dig as rapidly as possible?

    3) What Does It Cost?
    If you switch from R&D to HQ for a turn or two what’s the risk in changing strategy? Do you lose more in allowing the Corp to draw cards you haven’t seen than you gain in hunting possible Agendas in hand? Do you give up your chance of winning by trying to avoid losing?

  2. Scott
    | |

    True story. I was in a tournament. It was the last round, last game, top table. If I won this game, I won the tournament. I was playing Weyland. I had already scored The Cleaners. I had scorches in hand. I had piles of money. I had a severe case of Tunnel Vision. I was focusing only on the flatline.

    I had an Atlas advanced in a remote that I could have scored at any time. I didn’t score it. My tunnel vision brain said “what will you get with those Atlas counters? You already have the flatline in your hand. They are useless. Ignore that.

    I ended up losing.

    Yes, I could have just used those Atlas counters for a win via Hostile Takeovers. People need to focus 1000x more on how they play than on deckbuilding.

  3. Craig
    | |

    I play netrunner almost exclusively with my best friend. I was on a 12+ (I lost count) winning streak. I broke my steak from tunnel vision. I was so focused on my r+d lock that I didn’t run anywhere else for a few turns. It was 6-6 I believe. In the end he had agendas in archives, HQ and one installed which he then scored for the win. He had played it a few turns earlier but I had (unknowingly) denied him the credits to advance it. In the end I realized if I would have ran anywhere else other than r+d I would have won. Tunnel vision man.


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