Hostile Architecture

♦ Hostile Architecture 5[credit]

Asset: Hostile
Trash: 4
Influence: 3

The first time each turn the Runner trashes any of your installed cards (including this asset), do 2 meat damage.

When implemented at this sort of scale, these practices can keep away far more than a few unwanted citizens.
Illustrated by Dimik
Decklists with this card

Parhelion (ph)

#122 • English
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Not usually very good. At a glance, it vaguely looks like Hostile Infrastructure, a card which could convert large amounts of money into nearly impenetrable prisons. This isn't that. Outside of maybe Ob, it's a minor tempo hit. Assuming Hostile Architecture triggers only once, you're spending $5 to do 2 meat damage and up to $4 of their money. Draining $4 of their money is an effect worthy of a $0-cost card. If your deck gets enough value out of 2 meat damage and a semi-forced run to spend another $5 on this, you will love Architecture.

In Ob, you're already throwing around a slew of fast-paced threats and are more dangerous than normal on low credit totals. If there is life for this card, it's probably in an Ob deck on 3x Urban Renewals than in a more traditional horizontal-play deck trying to get a lot of value over time by installing too many assets for the runner to deal with.

Unlike its predecessor, Architecture only fires once a turn, only protects installed cards, can't stack with multiple copies, and is ~useless* against Apocalypse (which wrecks most of the decks which would want to use Hostile Architecture). Also, while a $4 trash cost might have been draining for runners back when Hostile Infrastructure was available, trash costs have been weakened as a tempo hit by cards like Miss Bones. I don't expect a card with this little upside to see much use outside of Weyland, 3 influence feels like a lot for this. In most non-Weyland horizontal decks, I'd pass on this for the same reason I'd pass on the (probably better) Urban Renewal: defending it for several turns usually isn't feasible, and 2-4 meat damage usually isn't enough value in an asset-oriented deck to justify spending a significant chunk of influence on it. If you're just looking for short-term value with more game-winning potential, for $4 a Snare causes an unpredictable 3 net damage and a tag, which is probably better value than you'd get from a Hostile Infrastructure (unless you're somehow keeping it alive several turns but I don't think that's a plausible scenario in most identities).

Additionally, it also has a trash-cost $1 less than Hostile Infrastructure, but I don't think that you'll notice the $1 as much as "I guess Miss Bones wrecks this either way." (Note, please accept "Ob is pretty good" as a disclaimer on every sentence in this review).


*Hostile Architecture vs. Apocalypse: if Architecture fires for 2 meat damage after the Apocalypse hits, you have probably lost the game as corp. (If you care enough about installed cards to play Hostile Architecture, surviving an Apocalypse looks grim except for maybe Ob). However... if you have a must-trash card like Crisium Grid or an early Urban Renewal, maybe you get lucky and Hostile Architecture snipes Apocalypse with 2 meat damage BEFORE the Apocalypse hits.

(Parhelion era)

This revive an older card, Hostile Infrastructure. The big difference is that it cost 1 less to trash (but 4 is still a lot), trigger only once a turn (instead of whenever) and do one more damage.

It is.a good card for asset spam decks. It actually synergize well with decks looking to do additional damage to kill the runner. At minimum, it will slow the runner by making them lose 2 cards and 4. But 5 is a lot to spend to do 2 meat damages. Usually, you will be able to trigger that damage twice. The first time to "protect" an asset that is about to get trashed, and a second time when the runner will trash this asset.

Hostile Architecture will go well with Jinteki traps and assets decks. At 3 influences, it is worthwhile and not too expensive, if you can ensure paying the cost. A good grinder card.

I enjoyed the art quite a bit, showing the idea that dark and hostile buildings, with enhanced security, becomes a great deterrent, as the quote indicate. Good design!

(Parhelion era)

Flavor/Art comments: Hostile Architecture is the practice of making deliberately uncomfortable (either psychologically or physically) and aggressive constructions in public spaces in order to deter unwanted behavior or to stake a claim about who is in charge of a specific location and who is/isn't welcome to use that space and in what ways they are/are not welcome to use it. All architecture necessitates aesthetic messaging and guides the people who see and use it to see and use it in a particular way, but Hostile Architecture in particular uses the brute force of reality to attempt to prevent certain activities from occurring. In the art, the benches near the gate are an example of real-world hostile architecture. While benches are ostensibly a place to sit and wait in a space, these benches are are deliberately uncomfortable, ugly, cold, and made of hard metal or concrete, all features intended to dissuade their use, especially for any length of time. More subtly, however, are the large, solid armrests between the seats, a common real-world example of Hostile Architecture intended to physically prevent people (especially the homeless) from sleeping there. This art by Dimik displays both sides of Hostile Architecture, the grandiose statement sent by the building, and the more subtle "guidance" to the flavor text's "unwanted citizens" provided out front.

Remember kids, it's illegal to remove armrests from public seating, but there aren't any rules about distributing appropriately sized Allen wrenches.

(The Automata Initiative era)