In Netrunner, knowledge of available actions is an important part of the game (see the ICE shelf) as such it’s important to know what each faction can do when facing them, and therefore what changes you’ll need to make to your tactics.
Let’s start with the Corps:
Home of Tag ‘n Bag, be ready to get nuked from orbit even if that isn’t the main focus of the deck. Keep from getting tagged, and keep 4 cards in hand to minimize your risk. Also, to prevent Sea Source + Scorch + Scorch, keep your bit stack no lower than the Corp – 7. The other major watch for in faction is Archer. Once they have an agenda be wary of needing to take it down.
That said, Weyland has a fairly effective fast advance deck, especially since they can play a mostly operation based economy, leaving all of their ICE for centrals. Be prepared to attack their hand and deck if they seem disinterested in remote servers. They also have a lot of small agendas (the better to feed Archer) so don’t be surprised if you need to steal 5 agenda to win.
Switch Weyland. NBN has a strong fast advance, and an available Tag &/or Bag. For Tag Bag NBN is better at the tag half, and has some other options in faction once tagged, but having to import the nukes means they likely only have a pair. As such you may be better served defending against the nukes than trying to shake the tag.
Their fast advance is more dependent on SanSan. As such, take it out. I know it costs 5 to trash but it’s worth it for the slowness Fox News will now find. Also, once you determine it’s fast advance, take those tags. Unlike Weyland Speed NBN can’t really bring in the nukes for the lulz when they aren’t the main focus.
Slow and Steady, HB has few tricks but the ones they do have are doozies. Aggressive Secretary or even a poorly timed Rototurret can ruin your plans. Further, HB should be able to easily build giant walls of ICE, but as large chunks of that ICE will likely be click to break it’s not as insurmountable of a problem as you might think. Just make sure to run early in the turn so you have plenty of clicks for the breaking. Also, E3 feedback implants just plain eat bioroid ICE so they are an excellent meta choice for criminals, smooth or otherwise.
Home of the Trap burger. Always have a full grip when running as a poorly timed Snare might kill you otherwise. Also, play the cards you have to play before running. Even damage that doesn’t kill you might take out your ICE breakers leaving you shut out of forts. Personally when playing against Jinteki I like to lay out my full rig, then use actions to keep a full grip and just treat the cards as life, only playing if they’re somehow amazing. If you can keep from being flatlined you should have a good chance against Jinteki as their decks are relatively weak right now in comparison to the other Corps. As long as you play smart you shouldn’t have much issue with Jinteki. As they only have one “score in a turn” agenda in faction you don’t have to worry too much about surprise agendas: you can wait for it to gain a few counters before going in on it.
On to the Runners!
Shapers are slow and strong. Their best game plan is to build up a full rig before doing serious running. As such, if you can get running early you’ll either get the agenda or force them off-balance giving you more time until phase 3. You need to protect your deck as they have in faction access to Maker’s Eye. Also be aware of Notoriety, as I’ve seen many games won when the Runner gets to 6, then builds up for a central server turn. To protect against, throw unrezzed ICE in front of your centrals whenever possible so the Runner has to guess how much they need to pull it off. (Generally a good plan anyway)
Protect your hand. Protect your Archives as they can use it to get in your hand. If they get in your hand you’re gonna have a bad time. Criminals excel at costing you money, both with Account Siphon and by making you pay for ICE multiple times/when you’re not ready. As such it is vital to get your economy set as soon as possible, and also to get them paying as much as you can for their runs. Turn the tables if you will.
You will lose cards. Both Anarchs excel at this: Noise without seeing them and Whizzard by accessing them. Either way you’ll need to put ICE where you otherwise wouldn’t: Archives against Noise and your Assets against Whizz. With Parasite you’ll also see your ICE go away. Be ready to clear Virus counters. You need to clear Virus counters occasionally. If Yog shows up, just toss your code gates not named Tollbooth. And if it’s a Crypsis only deck like I showed off last week throw as much ICE as you can around R&D and the Archives since each piece means another Runner action to even try to get in.
Hopefully this has given you some idea of what each faction looks like, and how to deal with them. Of course, the whole point of the faction points is to let you splash something else to try and outwit your opponent. Everyone expects Project Junebug in Jinteki, but in NBN fast advance it can be a real surprise. Similarly, if they expect your noise deck to go R&D and Archives and leave HQ underdefended a splashed Emergency Shutdown or Account Siphon can do Wonders. And Parasite is just mean in a Criminal deck that’s already making you pay for ICE multiple times. Be prepared for anything, but knowing the basic factions should help you change your plans for your opponent.