Chatterjee University

♦ Chatterjee University 1[credit]

Resource: Location - Ritzy
Influence: 0

[click]: Place 1 power counter on Chatterjee University.

[click]: Install a program from your grip, lowering the install cost by 1 for each power counter on Chatterjee University. Remove 1 hosted power counter.

Legions of software engineers have been manufactured within its halls.
Illustrated by Johan Törnlund
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Kala Ghoda (kg)

#10 • English
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Kala Ghoda
  • Updated 2017-05-01

    UFAQ [Damon Stone]

    Does the counter spent to install a program with Chatterjee University count toward reducing the program's cost?

    Yes. The text of the ability resolves in order, so the counter is only removed after the program is installed. Therefore the counter is still on Chatterjee University when the install cost must be paid, and reduces the cost.

    Can the Runner use Chatterjee University's ability to install a program when there are no counters on it?



Netrunner, at its cold, black center, is a game of economics. Runners are trying to turn credits into accesses into steals. Corps are trying to turn their credits into ice into scoring windows into scored agendas. And in this brutal, capitalist wasteland, you need to be able to eke every credit you can out of your economic engine.

Chatterjee University is a new, single-card economic engine. And its simple surface belies an unbelievable amount of mathematical complexity.

(Here's a quick review for the math-phobic: it's probably not as good as Armitage Codebusting in your deck. Play that one instead. Review over, stop reading.)

Now that they're gone, lets take a look here. If you install the University, click it X times, and then use it to install a program that costs X or more, you have done no better than simply clicking for credits. Worse, since it cost you a click to install the University, and worse still because it's unique, filling your deck with dead draws.

But, when you install that first card, you are left with X-1 counters. This could potentially save you up to another X-1 credits, for no additional investment. Suddenly you've spent X clicks charging up, and saved 2X-1 credits. That's a pretty good payout; but Armitage Codebusting offers you an even 2X credits for X clicks (so long as X is six or less), and those credits can be used for anything, not just installing programs.

So for Chatterjee to have a greater payout, you need to either be installing at least two REALLY BIG programs (Femme Fatale, Garrote, Torch, Morning Star, Alpha, or Omega), or you need to install at least three programs.

But as you start increasing the number of programs you intend to use it for, we run into a problem. Sure, if you click it to 5, and then install Shrike, followed by Striker, followed by Sherman, you're getting a return of 12 credits on your 5-click chargeup, which is slightly better than the 10 credits you would have gotten on Armitage. But order matters. If you click to five, and then install Sherman then Striker then Shrike, you're only saving 3+4+3=10 credits, meaning you're back into Armitage range.

Suppose, however, that you do it. You click it up X times, and you then install X programs of descending install cost, making sure that you get the full value every time. That means, for X = {1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7...} your total return increases according to the so-called "triangle numbers", that is, Y= {1, 3, 6, 10, 15, 21, 28...}. Converting that into credits per click you get Y/X = {1, 1.5, 2, 2.5, 3, 3.5, 4 ...}

Your best case scenario starts to look really, REALLY good. Getting 4 credits per click, for seven clicks, on an initial investment of only a 1 resource, is disgustingly efficient. It makes Liberated Account look foolish, and Magnum Opus cries a little. But too pull that off, you need to install seven programs, with your most expensive programs being played first and your cheap programs being played last.

Most decks don't want to play seven programs. Even fewer decks want to be playing giant programs like Torch. Even fewer decks want to spend the first 2 or 3 turns of the game doing nothing but clicking up the University. Chatterjee U also doesn't synergize with either Modded or Self-modifying Code, two staples in the Shaper arsenal. And on top of that, the mental energy required to pilot a CU deck will burn out most players as they fight through three or more rounds of Swiss.

So, in conclusion: Armitage Codebusting is easier to include, more versatile, gives roughly equivalent returns, and won't fry your brain like an egg. But for the truly ambitious, Chatterjee University will be waiting, with promises of untold riches in its eyes.

(Kala Ghoda era)
Now, what if you say, click CU 5 times for 5 counters, install Shrike, click CU again, install Femme, click CU again, install...I dunno, Torch. Those last 3 clicks on CU were each worth a lot, and didn't require installing those programs in a certain order. Aren't you approaching a recurring Modded at that point? That's kind of cool. I suppose I would most closely compare this to Kati in terms of drip-click-investment. —
...another reason to run Armitage? It'd be worth the bad pub (assuming this wasn't splashed into Valencia) for Liz Mills to bulldoze your fully loaded CU, turning your invested tempo loss into a real one. —
NBN is gonna Breaking News-tag-kill this after you just finished clicking it up. —
There might be some limited usefulness with the criminal icebreaker Golden. A significant drawback for Golden is that the cost of installing it, breaking ice, de-rezzing ice, and reinstalling it is so high that there are few sentries worth derezzing. —
@jiriku try derezzing Archer. I've done it twice and it is pure pleasure. —