This card is actually really good. It just hides it well, with numbers that feel unexciting.
"But wait!", I hear you say. "It's just a wimpier Liberated Account!"
And you're sort of right. But the key is, it's a liberated account that is significantly cheaper to start up and provides the exact same click efficiency.
Liberated Account, you spend 6 and a click installing it, and then you spend to get 16. So ultimately, counting the install click, you spent 5x to get 10. Liberated accounts is basically renting a Magnum Opus. It lets you convert five of your clicks into 2 each.
Now let's look at Telework Contract. You spend and 1 to install it, and after spending , you gain 9. So overall, (counting the install click), you spend 4x, to gain a net 8. Again, 2 per .
The three big differences of course, are the total output, the cost, and the speed. We'll get to speed in a minute. Let's talk about the output first: Telework Contract gives you 9, which looks downright pathetic, compared to the massive 16 that Liberated Account provides.
But you have to factor in the cost! Liberated Account costs a whopping 6 to install, which makes it much harder to play, and cuts into the profit considerably. Telework Contract only costs you 1 to start, which means that even if you start the turn broke, you can click for 1, install, and then spend , ending the turn at 3, (same as if you had just clicked for credits three times), but with 6 left on the card for future turns. That's pretty good recovery when you're broke!
The speed is the one place where it is a bit behind Liberated Account. Liberated Account could be installed and clicked three times on one turn, to start out next turn with a net gain of +6. (And one more 4 click saved for later.)
Telework Contract cannot match that speed. If you need to pull more than 3 per turn from it, then you're just out of luck. That said though, the comparison is not as one-sided as it might look! As mentioned, if you spend a turn installing and clicking Liberated Accounts, your 4 clicks net you a total of +6 for next turn. If you install Telework Contract, and click it once on one turn, and then once more at the start of the next turn, you've spent 3 clicks, for a net gain of +5. It's hard to overstate how much the reduced pricetag helps out Telework Contract. It really frontloads a lot of the credit gain. For the first two clicks, Liberated Account is actually worse than just directly clicking for credits. (at two clicks you have gained a net 2, and spent 3 clicks installing and clicking.) Telepresence breaks even on the first click, and just goes up from there.
Don't be fooled by the low-seeming numbers. Telework Contract is a solid econ card.
I think you're exactly right about Telework being a solid card. The only difference between it and Liberated that you didn't mention is that Liberated can be used mostly in one turn. But you're getting total payout a turn later at best with Telework, since you can only click it once per turn. Just something to keep in mind, but still a solid card.— dnddmdb
Oh dang, I completely forgot about the "once per turn" aspect, and even used a bad example in my review! Thanks for the catch - I'll update accordingly!— Bwob
You can get a bit more efficiency if you use Aesop to the the 3 credits on the last 3 credits. Letting you get 8 credits for 3 clicks total.— Diogene
Nice review, and @Diogene made the comment that I was thinking as well. Keep up the good work Netrunner community.— FreqKing