I started playing Netrunner quite recently. Love it so far. However, we're finding it slow--or rather, I think Netrunner is finding us slow. I've only played a handful of games with one friend so far, but our fastest game has been close to 2 hours (and for a single game, not a match!). The impression I get from BGG and the tournament rules is that this is much to slow.

To encourage us to speed up, I thought using a clock would be a good idea. (Also open to other suggestions.) My question is, what time settings and rules should be used? The goal is just to encourage speedy play by introducing a small penalty for slow play.

Run out of time => forfeit doesn't sound like much fun, probably run out of time means your turn immediately ends (after current actions resolve) could work... which would mean having time that resets every turn. And maybe switch the clock while waiting for reactions, e.g., runner declares run on HQ, punches clock while corp decides whether or not to rez first piece of ICE.

How much time should go on the clock? What time settings and rules should we try? Are there established conventions for this?

1 Answer 1


To be honest, I wouldn't worry so much about slow play when learning, and I would not recommend complicating it further with a clock. Here are my thoughts:

1) This game requires lots of mental arithmetic, especially when playing as the runner. How much might that run cost? Do I have the breaker suite required to make success likely? What is the worst case scenario? When you are learning, you can easily fall into analysis paralysis, which will slow the game down.

2) Some more information: Are you playing core only? Which factions are you playing? You should know that if you are playing the "FFG Recommended" matchup, Shaper vs. Jinteki, Jinteki is a notoriously slow corp to play/win with, especially against a cautious runner.

3) About tournaments, yes - two hours per game is way too slow. In a tournament setting, you are typically allotted 65 minutes for two games (playing as both the runner and the corp). However, because of this, I want to emphasize: decks that play fast are more common in a tournament setting than those that play slower. For example, one of the most popular builds right now, the "Astrobiotics" deck (an NBN deck that relies on Biotic Labours to score agendas out of hand) is very light on defence and basically crumbles if it doesn't win within the first ten or so turns. So, there are definitely decks that are really fun to play in casual play, but aren't really brought to tournaments.

4) From the above, know your decks! If you know exactly what you have in the deck, you will know its strengths and weaknesses, and as you play more, you will start playing it much faster.

My recommendation? Play more. And against other people. I'm sure there are some playgroups in Seattle you and your friend can show up to. Learn the cardpool. Having to read each card as it is played will drastically increase playtime.

BUT, if you are set on using a clock, I would just use it to time how long my decisions took in a given match. If it is above ~35 minutes, consider what could have been played differently.

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    ... 3 months later, this was definitely a good answer. To get up to a decent speed, we just needed a bit more practice and to get familiar with the cards we were using. Commented Sep 19, 2014 at 16:03
  • So glad to hear! It is a fantastic game. Commented Sep 19, 2014 at 16:21
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    I will say, if this is a good answer, might I suggest you mark it as the accepted answer? :D Also, I agree with everything said here, but time does need to become a factor at some point. Wish my Kate deck was viable... :( Commented Sep 22, 2014 at 12:06

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