Backroom Machinations

Backroom Machinations 2[credit]

Operation: Gray Ops
Influence: ●●○○○

As an additional cost to play this operation, remove 1 tag.

Add this operation to your score area as an agenda worth 1 agenda point.

"Recording devices at the door, please!"
Illustrated by Olie Boldador
Decklists with this card

Midnight Sun (ms)

#55 • English
Startup Card Pool
Standard Card Pool
Standard Ban List (show history)
Midnight Sun

No rulings yet for this card.


This card is kinda bad. Compare to Exchange of Information. EoI allows you to make the Runner lose 2 points so that you gain 2, and if you gave the Runner 15 Minutes, then you can also make the Runner lose another point on top of that. Backroom Machinations costs 2 more credits than EoI's 0 credits, and also removes the tags. Simplifying things, Backroom is at most 25% the value of EoI.

So yeah, this card sucks. However, you don't have EoI anymore, so maybe you're so desperate for single tag punishment that you play this. Alternatively, you can also opt to not play any single tag punishment at all, which, in my opinion, is the route you want to be taking. In general, the three NISEI-original tag punishment cards are extremely lackluster, so you should think twice about putting any of them in your deck.

(Midnight Sun era)

Dubious. So many things have to be true for this card to be worth a deck slot:

  1. You need the runner tagged on your turn. MAYBE this is true 5-10% of the time, if you commit heavily.
  2. You're invested in tags but NOT running Boom. If you can win on 2 tags, a card which takes them from 1 tag to 0 tags is suboptimal.
  3. A single agenda point will reduce the number of agendas you need to score. This is possible if you score 2 Bellonas or 3 Beales but it's uncommon that you only have 5/3s or only have 3/2s.
  4. You don't plan on getting to 2 tags. Otherwise, Psychographics or Boom is way better.
  5. You don't have better things you could have been doing with that tag. This fights hard against #4 -- if tags are a scarce resource, giving them away hurts. If tags are not a scarce resource, this isn't the best card.

Even if all of these things frequently ARE true for your deck, then it's only a bit more efficient than the condition-less Echo Chamber. In addition, even if you find yourself on 5 agenda points and a single agenda point is not very useful, installing Echo Chamber without intending on using it might have some bluff value to lure out a run. At that point every install starts to look like a Beale. :-)

(Midnight Sun era)

Here is the 7th point for NBN. If you are cheeky, it could be the 6th and 7th point of your game. In the past meta, the easiest way to score this was to combo it with Public Trail, to put that single tag on the runner. But now, NBN has Drago Ivanov. Outside NBN: Reality Plus, it is one point for 4. In NBN: Reality Plus, it is a 1/2 scored from hand.

But 15 Minutes is still legal, why not just play that instead. If your cards slots are tight, you are correct. But here, you can make sure you get it early enough by putting more than one of this in your deck.

Outside of NBN: Controlling the Message and NBN: Reality Plus, it is probably not very good. With those ID, Backroom Machinations becomes desirable, if you go for the lowest amount of agendas possible.

Of note, I think it is the second "tag punishment" that remove the tag after its effect, after Observe and Destroy. I personnaly think it is a good balance mechanic around tag punishment cards.

This operation is quite fitting for the NBN faction. The nice art and good quote are perfectly aligned with the name and effect of the card. I wonder who those people are, anyone knows?

(Midnight Sun era)