Jake Smiley is a crutch

Cost less that 5, no upkeep, real influence, natural stud, skill >0. Okay, I’ll take stud -OR- skill. Please give these to all factions.

Ebenezer is a bit of an oddball. I do agree that if nothing else changed but to give him +1 influence he’d probably be undercosted. As is though I feel he is overcosted. He’s probably more of a 3/0 right now but would be like a 5/0 with influence.

A.) Except Smiley isn’t limited to only that scenario, as pointed out above. He shapes the environment above-and-beyond just shoring up “zany” decks.

B.) He’ll still be around when alternative archetypes develop and will continue to shape and warp the environment then. I feel a poor precedent has been set by having such a ubiquitously cheap dude that prevents game loss.

C.) Just because someone wants to attempt something doesn’t mean you should prop it up. That’s literally the definition of a crutch card. Part of the fun and drive for experimenting with off-the-wall ideas is trying to make unconventional things work. Jake diminishes that, not enhance it.

They go hand-in-hand. Jake allows that design to more easily “work”. However, I generally agree with your assessment. I think 0 influence dudes need to have pretty compelling reasons to be 0 influence, like Inbody or Quaterman for example.

It’s also not that those particular dudes you cited really need to have influence. They work as-is, in my opinion. The higher-view problem I think we’ve been inundated with too many of them in too short a span of time, personally. I would prefer if Design was focusing more on fleshing out the cores of each faction and their sub-faction/archetypes rather than putting out so many dudes that feel rather extraneous.

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They do! They’re friggin cheap!

There are already similarly costed dudes with influence…so I don’t think that’s particularly compelling.

Show me all those 3-cost high value studs with inf o.O

If anyone is a crutch it’s Steve Wiles…


Well, just for only one turn…

I often can afford his upkeep, but that’s ok cycle another :grinning:

A.) That wasn’t your initial argument it was simply that they are cheap. If we are going to discuss the “cheap for what you get” aspect of each “cheap” dude, that’s a pretty large and tangential discussion.

B.) But since you asked: Jen, Ramiro, and Steven Wiles all spring to mind. You also have Barton and Valeria as 4-cost studs with influence and good abilities/keywords/traits.

Smiley isn’t a crutch he is good for some decks and other decks don’t need him. If he warps a meta grab a shotgun and go kidnap him. I think he is a good starter for decks that need an extra turn.

‘Cheap’ is always relative. Cheap compared to what? To other high-value studs.

None of these are high value. The faction dudes are getting a discount for their low value and they are also non-drifters as I said. Valeria is furthermore slightly undercosted. Ramiro is low value and has extra detriments to make up for his influence.Steven is a completely different beast.

These are not good comparisons. By all means though, play those if you prefer, but they are not at all drop in replacements for any of the high value studs, either due to abilities and synergies, or because they’re shotgun bait :wink:

Cheap compared to my starting wealth.

High value is overrated. 4 value is good enough for a starter. I need influence more that I need protection from Paralysis Mark.

OK then,that’s your decision to make, but that doesn’t change the fact that high value costs.

(Seems I’m a bit late to this discussion, but anyway…)

My view on deckbuilding is that if I can put together a starting posse that supports what I want to do and has enough influence to get by (generally four), then I don’t also need Jake Smiley. If I have it to spare, I’d rather have the extra ghost rock available for first turn actions. If I can afford the extra upkeep cost (and I’m the right faction) I’d rather go for Lucy Clover or Dulf Zug for my starting posse, as they bring the same influence but can have more of an impact on the game with the ability to control deeds during noon, and in Lucy’s case work with the Law Dogs home to spread bounty around.

Jake’s handy for those starts where the dudes you need to make things work don’t have the influence you’d need to survive a good first turn from your opponent.

(Also, since it has been mentioned, I’m another who thinks Phil Swinford’s trait is awesome!)


I’ve played games with Crutches. Smiley isn’t a crutch. He’s completely answerable, and isn’t powerful enough to do anything if he’s the only dude on the table.

This is what a crutch looks like.

Every Corp Faction plays the max playset of him, he reduces variance, and draws you a million cards and forces the runner to answer, which isn’t going to matter anyways. This is a crutch. An equivalent card in doomtown would draw you extra cards, let you lady luck as along as it’s in play, and ace it cover casualties.


Heh, I really don’t like comparing DTR to other games. Jake as a card is ok, there are few strategies in a game that almost guarantee 5,6 CP at the end of day two if you get good or better starting hand, so anything that counters it is fine with me. Also he has almost no “board” presence.


I understand. It is a very different animal. But I wanted to extrapolate my experiences gaming. Jackson being the only card on my board has won me games. Jake being alone means I’m staring down the gun. To me that’s what a crutch is.

In principle Jake’s fine, but the fact that sooooo many decks start him suggests he might be a hair undercosted, IMO.

I kinda wish he had been a grifter, honestly.


We have Paralysis Mark and Faster on the Draw in a game and you need Jackson as an example :slight_smile: ?

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I don’t consider either of those cards to be crutches either, they only get full power in 1 faction/deck each. Jackson is EVERYWHERE in Netrunner. To the point that the community scoffs at players who don’t use him. That’s not healthy for a game imho. I don’t start Smiley in every deck, or even include him in every deck. Honestly I play him when I have a little extra GR and a starting slot and want to start with more money.

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