It's a Weyland's fast advance upgrade.
- Works on multiple turns for the same agenda.
- Can be used to advance ICE as well.
- Cheap enough to rez credit-wise (2).
- Very high additional cost (forfeit an agenda).
- Cheap to trash (2), which hurts all the more considering you had to give up an agenda for this.
- Unique. Not really that bad directly (do you really want to protect two servers with Oberth Protocol?) but it enables Rumor Mill. dedication cer Influence cost of Oberth Protocol (OP) to SanSan City Grid (SSG), taking into account the MWL:
Weyland: OP 0, SSG 4; NBN: OP 4, SSG 1; HB: OP 4, SSG 4; Jinteki: OP 4, SSG 4
While it's tempting to view Oberth Protocol as purely a way to fast advance agendas the ability to advance ICE is not to be underestimated. Often you will not have an agenda ready to advance and being able to use the ability to boost ICE instead can provide value in the long run. Additionally the ability to install and rez ICE like Wormhole in a single turn plus 2 and install cost can make protecting the scoring server much easier.
Note that Oberth Protocol is not a region, so you can combine it with e.g. Oaktown Grid to make trashing Oberth Protocol a bit more expensive. The usual defense upgrades work as well.
It's possible, though expensive, to side step with forfeiting of an agenda using Eliza's Toybox. If using this in NBN (why?) License Acquisition works. In Weyland you also have the, admittedly hard to pull off, option of New Construction.
Thematically this card belongs to Jemison Astronautics: Sacrifice. Audacity. Success. and in that identity the forfeiting of an agenda can be used to trade up an agenda:
- : Install Oberth Protocol
- : Install agenda to be scored (e.g. Global Food Initiative)
- Forfeit 3/2 agenda (e.g. Project Atlas
- Put 3 counters on the card to be scored
- : Advance GFI, Oberth Protocol adds a second token
- Score GFI
Presto, you've upgraded an agenda and rezzed Oberth Protocol for next turns.
There's one little rules thing you need to be aware of when playing Oberth Protocol. Per the rules on advancement putting an advancement counter on a card is not the same as advancing. So e.g. Shipment from Kaguya doesn't trigger Oberth Protocol.