Sunday, 25 August 2013

Android: Netrunner - My Journey in a Dystopian Future - Part 9: A Study in Static

Cyber Exodus is the third data pack released for Android: Netrunner and to say it had a big impact on the game is something of an understatement. Let’s take a look at my choices from the pack: 


1. Test Run
A 3 influence Shaper Event that can be played at a cost of 3 credits, take a look at Test Run’s ability in the picture here. It says it all really. There are many ways in which this could be utilised. Just one that springs to mind – You play Test Run and search your stack for Femme Fatale. You install it for nothing (instead of 9 credits) and select the piece of Ice the Femme can break through using credits. You use her during a run. At the end of the turn, she is placed at the top of your stack for you to draw the next turn, install if you have the credits and select a different piece of Ice to run on. Or if you have another Test run, you could trash Femme, only to then play if for free again out of your heap.

2. Personal Workshop
You can put this card into play at a cost of 1 and from there you can host any number of programs or hardware on Personal Workshop, each just costing you a click. You place power counters on these programs equal to their install cost and at the beginning of each turn, you choose one of the cards to remove a power counter. When all power counters on a card have gone, the card is immediately installed. You can also pay a credit to remove a power counter.
The power of this is not immediately apparent – but the key lies in the fact that paying a credit to remove a counter is not also costing you a click – which means it can be done mid-run. Let’s say you have a Sentry icebreaker in play (a Fractor). On your Personal Workshop you have a Decoder progam hosted, which will break Code Gate subroutines. You spend a click and make a run on a server protected by two pieces of Ice – the outermost piece being a Sentry. You break through this and the Corporation decides to rez the next piece of Ice. It is a Code Gate. So at this point, you can pay credits equal to the number of power counters still on your Decoder Icebreaker, remove them and install it. You can now break that Code gate Ice with this newly installed program.
This card may be 4 influence, but it is so good it has seen plenty of play in other decks, namely Noise – utilising Personal Workshop to more efficiently install Virus programs and forcing the Corp to trash R & D cards with Noise’s ability.
The card’s weakness? It is a resource, so if you’re tagged on the Corp’s turn, your opponent can trash this – along with all the cards hosted on it.

3. Emergency Shutdown
A zero cost, 2 influence, Criminal Event that you can play if you made a successfully run on HQ that turn. Then you can derez a piece of Ice. Best used on the more expensive Ice, this can completely mess with the Corporate player’s economy plans. On the your next turn, the Corporation may not have enough money to rez that Ice again, and you’ve got your way in.

1. Pop-up Window
At first glance this may seem a weak choice. The Runner sails past this Ice by paying a single credit. But it doesn’t cost the Corporation to rez it and every time the Runner encounters Pop-up Window, the Corp gains a credit. So if placed on a server you know the Runner is going to be targeting frequently – like R & D – it can be a nice little earner for you.

2. Project Vitruvius
Has Noise trashed something to archives that you needed? Well if you advance this agenda beyond its score limit of 3, you’ll be able to use hosted power counters to go and retrieve it. Indeed, the Corporation could willingly trash cards to archives in order to collect them later with this – Scorched Earth springing to mind. An excellent agenda for HB, as long as you can protect it long enough to advance it.

3. Commercialization
A Weyland Transaction card (so already a bonus for Weyland’s core ability of gaining a credit whenever a Transaction is played), Commercialization can be played for free and you’ll gain a credit for each advancement token on a piece of Ice. Considering that serveral of Weyland’s Ice can be advanced, this can be a good injection of income if you draw it at the right time.

A Study in Static – the fourth data pack in the Genesis cycle. Here are some of the highlights:


1. Deus X
A 1 influence Shaper Program that can be installed at a cost of 3 credits and a memory unit. Got an AP piece of Ice you need to get by? Trash this and you’re through. Jinteki about to flatline you with net damage? Trash this card to prevent it. Nice to have in play just in case – if you can spare the memory slot that is.

2. Doppelganger
A Criminal piece of Hardware that gives you 1 extra MU. Great. But it gets better. After a successful run ends, once per turn, you may use Doppelganger to make another run (without costing you a click). A brilliant ability if you have can make that second run successful. Could work really well with Anarch – make a run on R & D (trashing cards with Demolition Run or Imp), make another run on R & D with Doppelganger to see if there is now an Agenda waiting for you.

3. Scrubber
2 recurring credits to use for trashing cards. This Anarch card has a cost of 2 and to many it meant there was little reason to play as the Wizzard identity. Of course, you could play both Wizzard and Scrubber and be trashing cards left right and centre.


1. Weyland: Because We Built It
A new Weyland identity with 1 recurring credit to use to advance Ice. With Shadow and Ice Wall as in-faction Ice – both of which can be advanced – these cards are going to get stronger every turn, for free. An excellent ability if you’re already happy with your economy and don’t need that extra credit for playing transaction cards that Weyland’s original agenda offers.

2. Oversight AI
This card allows you to put out that piece of Ice you can’t really afford to rez otherwise. Great if it’s going to stop the Runner (and probably do some damage), not so great once the Runner breaks the subroutines on that Ice, because the Ice is then trashed, along with Oversight AI.

3. Uroboros
A strong piece of NBN Ice that if placed well and if you have the money for the traces, can stop the Runner from doing what comes naturally for the rest of his turn. Expensive to use, but affective.

In the next post in the series, we’ll be completing our round up of the Genesis cycle with the final two data packs – Humanity’s Shadow and Future Proof.

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