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Ignoring all the dairy related answers - what the heck is Cheese?

Baby don't hurt me, don't hurt me, no more.. - PlasmonPerson

Who is the Cheese?
Heh.  WebComics/ItsWalky knows.

You know it when you see it, but what are its defining characteristics?

Here's a shot at it.

Well, I'm lost.  IKnowItWhenISeeIt??
I'll have to opt myself out of this discussion, because the way I've heard it used in a CCG/gaming context is pretty much the reverse. A cheesy MtG deck is a very stereotyped one, like the way ABBA is cheese music: lots of big green creatures or something. I assume that's not what's meant here, though? --AlexChurchill
Does "lots of big green creatures or something" refer to the cheesy deck, or to ABBA? --MJ
Both, really. Mmm... cheese. It's a word that can seem random and funny for no reason. Cheese! Cheese! Cheese!

Cheese decks that I've seen and would call cheesy (not of the MtG variety, as I don't play that and know nothing) have tended to be ridiculously tuned to doing one thing.  Incredibly well, and efficiently, but still quite one-trick pony.  In NetRunner the beauty was that although cheese decks could be built, there were inevitably a couple of very simple get-outs that could be based upon essentially common cards, and so though you might get beaten once by the fromage, adding one card could essentially stop that from happening again, and encouraged deck balance.  Thus the DanceOfTheManyCheeses was quite short.  This might be one of the reasons I really like NetRunner. --Jumlian

That definition includes the green critters one.  Don't opt out, I want to hear differing viewpoints!  Perhaps the definition of cheese is in the eye of the beholder - a deck doesn't need to seem cheesy to the user to be cheesy?  Big combination decks I would always deem to be cheese - but their users would not.  Or maybe I should consider them as being more about how interactive they are.  Or maybe how close a victory they can provide.  If it is never a close run thing, it's always a complete victory one way or the other, it is cheese?  --Vitenka
The thing is, I gather that describing a deck thusly is usually an insult. And I have no problem with big-green-Timmy decks. I guess I would call a dedicated counterspell or land-destruction deck cheesy though (which do have the "win horribly or lose horribly, nothing in between" property). I believe some of qqzm's acquaintainces use the term in more the way you do, so it may be good to hear from him. This is also where I wonder how closely linked this kind of cheese is with cheesy strategies" in RTS games. Or with using RulesCheese on your opponents. --AlexChurchill

I've heard people describe just about anything as "Cheese". Sore losers use it as a way to put down any deck that beats his/her own. I've never heard a timmy deck called cheesy. Combo decks often are, but nowhere near as much as Counter/Burn? decks or even just individual counter and burn cards. "He played one Counterspell - It must be a Cheesy counter deck" etc. "Cheese" is one of my two instant-block keywords on MTGO (i.e.: say it to anyone whilst I'm watching and I'll block you). --qqzm
Mmmm.. certainly agree that the word is used as a generic insult.  Can you really call a single card Cheese? ([Of course] --SF) Does it happen when most of its uses are cheesy, or just when it has a single cheese use?  What did the term mean before it was used as abuse?  --Vitenka

I'd definately compare it to cheese strategies in RTS.  Can you reify RulesCheese?  --Vitenka

Looking back nowadays with the benefit of hindsight, I feel that my MarcelDeSoleil? NetRunner deck was pretty cheesy.  (To summarise, the runner in NetRunner can be killed by damage, and can normally take "handsize" of damage before dying.  Handsize is standardly 5.  My Marcel deck did 48 damage in tournament competition once.  Because it could.).  The runner could have survived with either a laaaarge number of fairly common cards or one very very rare one, but I very rarely lost a game with that card in the deck.  And it was only a 2 card combo as well.  I got rather disappointed with it because it was such a killer card that it reduced the options for winning to one route.  Hmmm.  --Jumlian
But aren't the two "Oh look, I survive!" cards, cheese themselves?  --Vitenka
Briefly, yes and no.  To get all technical, Simulacrum was the one-carder I recall, pretty cheesy but no worse than carefully placed Social Engineering.  It has its place.  And it is the only inherent risk in using Marcel.  Microtech 'trode set made Marcel pointless but no-one played with that card.  Lots of NetDamage? prevention is the other getout, but hardly cheese - a Blink deck was about the only thing that could routinely decimate the Marcel deck by being the only thing equipped to take the damage it dished.  But I was the only person who was loony enough to play with a Blink deck. --Jumlian
To add for those not players of NetRunner - although the runner can lose this way, it is not the usual way by a long shot.  Um, I was thinking Emergency self construct as the get-out card - but there are a couple of other 'from hand' no death cards that no one ever used.  Shields would work, but not against 48 damage ;)  --Vitenka
ESC doesn't work; IIRC Marcel inflicted 12*4 Net damage; ESC would trigger after the second 4 Net damage and then the fourth would kill you.  Skullcap also doesn't work for the same reason.  Anyone could (theoretically) break the routines, if they had the cash. BFG would laugh at it (comparatively speaking).  "Enterprise Inc Shields" again work - based on cash. -- Volkazz
You could also use Dropp or a zero-breaker deck as used by Gwyntar - so it wasn't an invulnerable deck, it just won very frequently by the same mechanism because most people didn't have that level of counteract, soak, avoidance or escape.  ESC was very rarely used also as it had big inherent disadvantages and was very rare, IIRC. --Jumlian
Although it did leave you very vulnerable if it didn't work.  --Volkazz
Whilst we're breaking it, mouse or hunt club let you avoid it...  Esc (and its better, rarer bad-publicity counterpart) weren't used primarily due to MetaGame.  When TagAndBag? was common, you saw them a lot - and they rendered that strategy completely moot too.  Which, of course, led to TagAndBag? being labelled cheesy...  --Vitenka
IIRC, "ID Donor" only works on meat damage.  "Arasaka Owns You" might work, but I think, again, it triggers in the middle of the ICE, and you continue taking damage.  --Volkazz
Ack, I think you're right.  I forgot that in NetRunner you die as soon as you die, rather than at end of turn.  --Vitenka
I think the allegation T&B is cheesy is flawed; it is survivable with a bit of preparation in your deck without using ESC.  ESC is cheese because it renders the entire strategy worthless without resorting to pure obsessive psychosis (cf Gwyntar's iceless Corp) at the cost of including one easily searched for, zero installation cost, one MU program, which did not only prevent the damage but rendered you immune to any more. Not to mention the uses in multiple suicide decks... --Volkazz
Perhaps - but what part of it?  It's certainly a strategy out of the norm, one that is easily countered, that always wins in the same way, and either wins big or loses big.  So we must be missing something from the definition of chees to exclude it.  Any ideas what?  --Vitenka

WhatIsCheese?  That stuff made from milk.  You know, when yoghurt goes off... --M-A

SeeAlsoHighEnergyCheeseLab, DanceOfTheManyCheeses

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