If you can get a Runner to smack into your Experimental AI or Viral Breeding ground, you will probably win the game.
Sifting for Victory
Gridlock Weekend II is upon us. On February 27, the Top Runners' Conference begins a weekend full of Netrunner tournaments held simultaneously around the globe. There is already a substantial list of tournaments, and more will be added as the event approaches.
The format for this tournament is limited. Voters who subscribe to the Netrunner electronic mailing list selected 75 cards for each side. The balloting rules were complicated, and generated a lot of controversy in the discussion list at the Floating Runner BBS. When the votes were counted, 90 cards were selected for each side as a "pool" that players must use to construct their decks.
The other restriction was that each card could only be used once in a deck. This form of tournament is called "Highlander", from the movie of the same name, whose slogan was "There can be only one." They were talking about omniscent immortals, but we're talking about any specific card in your stack or R&D.
My overall impression, when looking the cards over, was that many players would use very similar decks. I'd like to hear from people who used at least 10 cards I left out, on either side. That assumes that your stack is close to 45 cards and your R&D is 45 cards.
Here's the list of cards for each side.
|Programs (10)||Hardware (7)||Preps (16)||Resources (14)|
Sentry breakers were the hardest to pick. I went with Redecorator/Clown, trying to match the Clown to my other breakers. The lack of specific icebreakers like Flak or Dogcactcher took away a lot of the strategy in selecting the best Sentry-breaking program.
Hammer/Clown breaks all the Walls for 3 bits or less, and Wizard's Book/Clown pays 4 bits for Mazer and Ball and Chain, and 2 bits for Keeper. Everthing else is free.
Edited Shipping Manifests
Karl deVeres, Corporate Stooge
Loan from Chiba
Lucidrine Booster Drug
Zetatech Software Installer
I included just about every money card available. I left out Rigged Investments because it's so slow, and it looks like I'll have plenty of cash. The Silicon Saloon Franchise costs too much unless you make nine single draws. Hopefully I won't. The Streetware Distributor is marginal but if you are in the waiting stages of the game, it can pay off. Use the Databroker and Loan from Chiba carefully. The Loan payments, a tag death, and the loss of an agenda point are serious drawbacks to these huge bit sources.
Hunt Club BBS
Detection is necessary with the many ambushes in the card pool. Runners will repeatedly be dismantled by the Experimental AI and Viral Breeding Ground available to the Corp. Junkyard BBS is the only solution in my stack. I left out Smarteye and SeeYa as too weak and expensive, respectively.
MU and Hand Size (6):
Militech MRAM Chip
WuTech Mem Chip
Zetatech Mem Chip
I won't need to install all of these cards, but I want to make sure I draw one fairly early. The rest can be sacrificed to Crash Everett or used as a damage buffer.
Bodyweight Synthetic Blood
Crash Everett, Inventive Fixer
If You Want It Done Right...
Temple Microde Outlet
The Short Circuit
I included just about every card that could help me get something without drawing. It's almost always a good idea to use Mantis, Fixer-at-Large to get The Short Circuit. N.E.T.O. is really good in this deck, which consists mostly of preps and resources.
Tricks and Protection
Enterprise, Inc. Shields
The Technician Lover is so powerful that I decided to include all the cards that help access R&D. Try to use the Rush Hour early, before the Corp installs a Wall on R&D and your Hammer ruins the plan. The Enterprise Shields should be installed as soon as possible since the Corp can play Setup!, TRAP!, Virus Test Site, Vacant Soulkiller, and Fetal AI. The HQ interface is a backup. Use it if you get shut out of R&D somehow. It's also useful when you run HQ a few times near the end of a game to make sure that the winning agendas aren't being held back by a fearful CEO.
Access To Arasaka
Back Door to Hilliard
You could add Armored Fridge here if you wanted to. Install all of these cards as fast as you can, since the Corps are going to be playing Tag and Bag. One of the biggest imbalances in this card pool is the disparity between the Runner's protection and the Corp's ability to do meat damage. Run safe...
|ICE (18)||Nodes (7)||Operations (10)||Agendas (9)||Upgrades (1)|
Data Wall 2.0
Wall of Static
PI in the Face
I'm sure you noticed that I left out all the big Walls and Code gates. Without mulitple subroutines, Cyphermaster and Rammng Piston are too effective. It's not worth paying 6 bits for Rock is Strong when it can be broken for 2 or 3 bits.
I used nearly all the Sentries but Neural Blade. I wanted to use as much "@end the run" ICE as possible. Many runners will accept Neural Blade's Net damage without fear, so I prefer Bolter Cluster. Of course, most of the Net damage will be prevented by the Shield programs available to the Runner (all of them).
BBS Whispering Campaign
Department of Truth Enhancement
South Africa Mining Corp
I got stuck for space and left out Night Shift and Information Laundering, which are both good cards. Braindance Campaign and Holovid Campaign were omitted on purpose. They're too expensive and too slow in returning your investment.
Scoring agendas to generate bits is always a good idea, and you can see that 4 of the 8 agenda cards are bit generators.
Tagging and Bagging (8):
Netwatch Operations Office
On-Call Solo Team
This is the fun part. I included every card that can give a tag or damage the Runner. I originally left out Marked Accounts, but I needed two more agenda points. Marked Accounts is hard to use because the Runner gets the tag on his turn. It can be removed unless it was stolen on the Runner's fourth action. The same is true of TRAP!
Ambush and Access (2):
Viral Breeding Ground
The Runner is really crippled in this card pool, which lacks both Joan of Arc and Umbrella Policy. Microtech Backup Drive, Forgotten Backup Chip, Gideon's Pawnshop, and Junkyard BBS are the only options. None of them prevent a program from becoming uninstalled. If you can get a Runner to smack into your Experimental AI or Viral Breeding ground, you will probably win the game. It takes too long to retrieve a breaker suite and reinstall it, not to mention the expense. I left out Experimental AI here because the Runner has plenty of detection cards, and I didn't have room for Namatoki Plaza.
I left out Net and brain damage as an option because of the full complement of Shields available to the Runner.
Bizarre Encryption Scheme
This is the cheese factory. Remember, this is a chance to get into the World IRC Championships, so I have to try my hardest to win. I would be very surprised if any successful player is not using most of these cards.
The upgrades were quite disappointing. They included Jenny Jett, Olivia Salazar, and Dr. Dreff. These cards work best with large, dangerous ICE. Unfortunately, the card pool peaks out at Cerberus. With only one copy of Cerberus, these upgrades are marginal at best. A smart CEO might well include Namatoki Plaza, forcing the Runner to encounter the Experimental AI (paired with an agenda). Losing the agenda is okay if I win the game while the Runner rebuilds his kit.
My work is done here. Let me know what you are planning, and I trust I'll meet you in the Championships,
|Neal's previous Last Words||Rob's Netrunner Node|