Okay guys, here's my latest play variant. It's designed for the would-be
card lord who's looking to spice things up a bit. Heck, I think even Frisco
will like this one!
The idea is that you build a deck out of parts, just like an erector set.
For the Runner
You divide your 45-card deck into five 9-card units. You design each unit to
handle one task or responsibility in the stack, like cash, icebreakers, card
drawing, etc. For each unit, you put together 3 different sets of cards. For
example, you create 3 different sets for your card drawing unit, maybe 1
using JnJ and Stakeout, 1 using BSB, and so on. The catch is that no card
may be in more than 1 set, although you may use multiples within a single
set. If you put JnJ in a card drawing set, then JnJ cannot appear anywhere
else in the whole mess. So, for each unit, you'll have 3 unique options to
choose from, each using different cards, but accomplishing basically the
Once you have all the sets made, then you select 1 set at random from each
of the 5 units and make a deck out of it. If you have 3 sets for each unit,
that should make 3^5 (or 243) possible combinations. Each deck should be
workable, since each unit addresses a vital function of a successful deck.
But also each deck will be different.
The idea when making the sets is to *not* include card combos, but include
*parts of combos*. That way, when you combine it with other sets, you'll get
a wide variety of combos. Also, I'd have at least 2 (or parts of 2) units be
designated as "theme" units, having things like R&D access, HQ access,
viruses, and so on. Mix things up so that different combinations make
radically different decks.
For the Corporation
Do the same thing. The problem will be agendas. You may want to have 18 pts
in one unit (meaning you'll need to have cards averaging 2 AP per card), or
you can spread it out to 2 or 3 units. The important thing to remember is to
have the same number of agenda points in all sets in a unit, so that you
can't accidentally build an illegal deck. Also, try spreading the ice around
so that each combination will have different configurations.
When designing your units, make them so that there will be a maximum amount
of variety (that's the whole idea for doing this after all). Also, having a
card in only one set at a time may be harder than it looks. That means that
you'll probably have to use multiples in each set.
Playing options for this range from 1 person just using a randomized deck
for each game, to many players each designing their own combinations and
playing that way, to up to 6 players using one player's cards to play a
"mini-tourney", each picking one set out of each unit.
You'll need to spend a few minutes after each game sorting your cards back
out, but I think that it'll be worth the trouble.
Try it! Let me know how it goes! :)