Event: Sabotage • Cost: 1 • Influence: 2

Choose an unrezzed piece of ice. The Corp must either rez that ice or trash it.

As the hysteria in the room climbed higher up the corporate chain, an uneasy feeling of joblessness began to sink in on the lower rungs.
Criminal • Ed Mattinian • Core Set 20
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Forged Activation Orders
MWL Entries

No MWL Entries for this card.

  • The Corp cannot rez Akitaro Watanabe in response to a Forged Activation Orders being played. The effect of Forged Activation Orders is immediately resolved unless prevented or avoided. [Official FAQ]


Early econ pressure which forces the Corp to spend credits and reveal ICE. Unlike facechecks, FAO is a definite way for the runner to discover an ICE. This comes with the added advantage that the corp will have to pay for them immediately. Very threatening when used in combination with Special Order and Account Siphon. Also gives the runner targets for Emergency Shutdown. The classic, back-to-basics sabotage suite.

(Business First era)


  • prevents nasty surprises - such as Archer, or Komainu
  • sometimes puts the Corporation between a rock and a hard place


  • might be a waste of resources if the ice ends up something tiny like Pop-up Window - although even then, now you know what it is


  • the big question is: would you rather trash one piece of Ice or have the Corp pay for it?
  • can aid an Ice destruction strategy, if you can keep the Corp poor (Account Siphon etc.). If you can get the Corp poor, you can use Emergency Shutdown to derez an ice, then follow up with this for a guaranteed outcome of an ice trash
  • can be useful to drain the Corps coffers on a different(!) server before making a run
  • As Corp: don't install Ice you can't rez (or afford to lose)
  • however play Forged Activation Orders wisely, if you have a Killer, then running on a server probably has the same effect (Corp rezzes Ice)
  • One dilemma though: In order to use Forged Activation Orders well, you have to have a good read on the Corp player. If you have a good read however, why do you need Forged Activation Orders?
  • So it is probably being put to good use when played on Ice behind some other Ice - e.g. What you got there after Chum?
(All That Remains era)
IMHO, using Emergency Shutdown to proc Forged Activation Orders is wasteful. Both cards are great for keeping the corp poor, but Forged Activation Orders has the added advantage of revealing an otherwise unknown piece of ICE. —

The effectiveness of this card is largely up to the Corporation and that's not great.

The default choice is "Rez THIS" or "Trash THIS". That the corporation gets to choose is straight downside. You get the effect that is least bad for the corporation every time. Between two effects, you generally want the one that's least bad for YOU every time, not the one that is least bad for the opponent.

For a card like this to be good, you really need to be able to have really good abilities on the card OR you need to be able to eliminate one of the two options that is least bad for you. At least to some extent, this card does actually do both of those things, and therefore this card isn't completely worthless.

It's possible to cast this when either option is really good for you. It could make them rez an ice you don't care about or lose money they need. The least bad of those for the corporation could still be worthwhile for you.

I want to focus more on the latter of those possibilities, though, the ability to turn one side off.

Ideally, at some point, the corporation is going to be low on money. You can control when you use this to correspond to that time. If you also have Account Siphon or Vamp, you have even more control. Additionally, early game is a time when both players really want more info and more money.

To a large extent, you can just face check and accomplish the same thing, but that puts you at risk of hitting face check ice. This can be a bit safer way to accomplish the same thing. Maybe you have a plan of face checking and then using Special Order and going back in. Using Forged Activation Orders is way better for that because you don't suffer the potentially massive resultant penalties.

It sucks to face check into a Brainstorm. This card is way better than face checking a Brainstorm.

Is it better enough to be worth deck slots? That's a tough one. Most of the time, probably not. Very possibly, though.

(Quorum era)

This is a very interesting card. Play it turn 1 or 2 to force the Corp to decide if they want to defend HQ or R&D and / or give you potential free access on the other Central especially if no Hedge Fund was played so far. On top it takes away the surprise factor and facecheck punishment, additionally in the early game crims can use Special Order to fetch the correct breaker to increase the pressure. On top it might enable Emergency Shutdown so corp rezzes ICE on Remote, you run HQ for free and derez it. So in this it's similar to Maxwell James and both have different purposes.

Playing against Archer this is nice, does the corp want to rez it, when you are not facechecking it? Probably no and if yes, it might prevent you from getting in, but without the corp getting 2 creds and you loosing potentially 2 breakers.

When the Corp tries to score an Agenda, like: Install, Advance, Advance, this card shines. You know they will likely use their creds to defend the remote. Usually you use this point in time to get free / cheap access to HQ and / or R&D. But with an FAO in hand you could use it put them in a lose lose position. You rez the ICE I get the agenda, you don't and you might need to find another ICE to protect this server. On top if the runner runs on a central in such a situation, the ICE might be crippling him and it might become impossible to run the remote (e.g. rezzing Tollbooth might make them lose the creds to install Paperclip & break Vanilla, but not anymore with FAO).

Also in the late game it can create such situations as it might remove 1 ICE from a central and you know the one rezzed is easy to break. But of course there it's more important to wait for the right moment to use it. Of course Los: Data Hijacker makes this even more interesting as it means he get's his ID ability creds without running so it's an auto include combined with Rubicon Switch he can get crazy.

(Revised Core Set era)