Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Android: Netrunner - My Journey in a Dystopian Future - Part 18: Mala Tempora

And so we reach the halfway point of the Spin cycle and the Mala Tempora data pack gives us a new Anarch identity. In fact, if you’re an Anarch player and want to try out the new Caissa cards we’ve been seeing, this pack is for you. My highlights for the Runner are all red…..

Reina Roja’s ability may not look like much, but costing the Corp an extra credit each turn should not be underestimated, particularly against poorer Corp’s like Jinteki and NBN.
Knight is our first Caissa icebreaker and it’s AI, so you can’t break anything except Swordsman. It is just 2 credits to put out, is 7 strength and costs you 2 credits to break a subroutine on the Ice it is hosted on. For a click, you can move the program around much like a Knight in chess. 
Once I get around to trying these movable Caissa cards out, I’ll be able to judge them better, but if you can get the setup right, I’m sure some good fun is to be had here.
Deep Red is an Anarch piece of hardware that gives you 3 extra memory for use only with Caissa programs. And on installing a Caissa program, you can trigger its click ability without spending a click. If you’re committed to a Caissa build, Deep Red is a must.
Unorthodox Predictions
A 3 for 1 Jinteki agenda that when scored allows you to name a type of Ice and then the Runner cannot break subroutines on that type until the beginning of your next turn. This is best used when you have another agenda in play and thus protecting it for a turn.
Interns is a 0 cost neutral card that takes two clicks to play. You can then install a card from archives or HQ, ignoring the install cost. While installing doesn't usually cost anything initially anyway, this card is still useful for getting a card you need back out of archives.

Power Shutdown
The problem card of the pack and one that has prompted a lot of discussion. Should the trash X cards here be limited? Will we see a restriction? Check out my blog post here for a run down of how this card can be used with possibly game-breaking potency and also the comments following my article over on Team Covenant for further discussion on the topic.

Next time, we'll be looking at the highlights of True Colours, as the Spin cycle rolls on.

Sunday, 2 February 2014

Android: Netrunner - My Journey in a Dystopian Future - Part 17: Second Thoughts

Second Thoughts is the second data pack in the Spin cycle and adds some key cards to the game of Netrunner. I think the Corporation benefits the most from this pack, but here are my highlights on the Runner’s side:

Scheherazade is an Anarch program that allows you to host any number of programs, gaining a credit whenever you install one onto this card. While the programs installed on Scheherazade will still count towards your memory limit, if you can get it out early game, this is a useful money earner if you have a deck with programs like Deus X, Self-Modifying Code and Crescentus that are installed temporarily.

Recon is a Criminal Run event giving you the option to jack out when you encounter the first piece of ice. Excellent if you’re a cautious runner.
Bishop is a new Caissa program that, emulating the movement of the Bishop in a game of chess can be hosted on a piece of ice on a central server and then moved to a remote server and vice versa. The host ice has -2 strength. I haven’t experimented with any of the Caissa cards as yet, but I think you could really get an efficient deck going if you can get all the moving parts working together.

Over on the Corp’s side then, Clone Retirement provides Jinteki with an agenda they can score out of hand, removing a bad publicity as an added bonus. You’ll receive a bad publicity should the Runner steal this agenda, but that didn’t put me off adding this straight into my deck.
Atman has been a strong build these past few months for Shaper, but now the Corp has a defence against it. And against Crypsis, Darwin and Wyrm for that matter. Swordsman is a Jinteki Ice that the Runner cannot break with AI programs. It will trash an AI program and do one net damage. With just the one influence, this will find its place in any Corp deck and could really derail an Atman deck if they have got any back up breakers or means to trash that the Ice.

Finally, I have chosen Off the Grid. I haven’t used it myself, but I have come up against it and it has brought my running to a grinding halt. Installed in a remote server and rezzed for 6 credits, Off the Grid will be trashed after the Runner makes a successful run on HQ, but here’s the thing – the Runner cannot initiate a run on the Off the Grid server until making the run on HQ. So if the Corp has got some great defences on HQ, he has a remote server from which to score his agendas. 
It may be vulnerable to Sneakdoor Beta and costs a lot to rez, Off the Grid is nevertheless a powerful card if the Corp can get this set up.

In Part 18, we’ll be looking at the highlights of the Spin cycle’s third data pack, Mala Tempora.