Crazy Train

gumonshoe 2973

In my quest to abuse every card I love to abuse I built an interesting and very powerful lateral NBN deck. It's got everything in it except biotic, and it is really really really good at what it does.

Like other lateral taxers the point is to play out so many assets and upgrades that must be trashed that your opponent bankrupts theirself. Unlike other lateral taxers that I've built, this one has a solid ice suite and is intended to protect itself against central harrying. This deck gives you a lot of options, some of those options you have to ignore some games to take the prize that matters. Some of those options allow you to play shell games of "which asset matters most to me?"

Beyond that, there's just a ton of synergy in the deck. This one I wanted to share and I'd like to know how it does for you if you try it out.


First off you'll note that a lot of our influence is going right into sentries. This does put us at risk as the switch blade apocalypse comes into being, but there are other ice in the deck (unlike RP) and there's usually too much to worry about for switchblade to make a huge dent in our defenses. The other influence is going to IT department and Turtlebacks. Let's break down what this is all about, starting with turtle backs.

[Turtlebacks] - This deck is all about installing new servers and turtlebacks rewards us for doing this with a credit along with our card. It means we're not punished for going wide, which is awesome. It also is friends with architect and license acquisition. Beyond that, it's more drip econ. We don't have hedge funds, so this is important. Turtlebacks will also net you about twice the credits that a hedge fund will, and often more than a pad campaign if it lands early in the game. This card is not a mistake.

[Architect] - This card often gets people to stop trashing our stuff or recovers trashed stuff. It can't be gotten rid of either, so in general it's just a really good card synergictically. I don't have to tell you how it can open scoring windows. You know that, but that is also a good poing to make. Architect gives you 2 clicks for four credits possibly more than once. It is 100% better than biotic labor since it persists through the game.

[IT Department] - Mimic is a problem for deck's with architect and central accesses tend to be difficult to deal with as NBN. What's more, runners are saving their credits for the must trash sansan. IT Department offer's solutions for all of these problems. After centrals are sealed up I begin building a 2 ice remote, where I put IT department. It competes with a lot of click intensive abilities, but you'll know when it's the right game to be charging this puppy up. It turns on roto & archer which you'll see below and it's one more giant tax. That's really the point of it. I'm not so worried if the runner comes in and deals with it. I'll spend maybe 6 clicks on it the whole game, though if I spend more I will get that lock. Runner's hate this card, they have to deal with it. And it's just really hard to deal with. Note also that license acquisitiion can suddenly move a trashed sansan into IT's server where it is rezzed an ready to go. License acquisition can also turn IT department back on. It's a 4 credit tax that often taxes runs even more. We mostly want a bankrupt runner and not the lock, but occasionally you get both in an already strong deck.

[Roto/Archer] - Gear checking ice that really puts teeth into IT department. If a runner is going to town way too hard, these guys should help slow them down. There are six 1 point agendas in the deck to help with this plan, but any time you rob from the runner is worth your time.


[Astroscript] - No explanation necessary, but let's just say this thing is much stronger with Daily Business Show on the table. You'll be able to find and filter them much faster.


[Beale] - Solid 3/2 you can over advance during an IT lock.

[NAPD] - I pushed this deck up to 54 cards to keep the asset/ice balance where I wanted it and NAPD let me do this. Another 4 credit tax in a deck full of them. But I'll put it out when I'm remote spamming and then get it as my last agenda using an astro token occasionally. 54 hurts less when almost all of your influence is 1-2 point cards and you've got 17 of it.

[Breaking News] - Archer, Resource Damage, Final Score off of 6. Just a good card. Why not 3? Rachel & that new drip criminal card both suffer for it.

[License Acquisition] - Between IT, Jackson, & SanSan the value of this should be obvious, but if it's not, it allows you to go from 4 points of astro into 5 points with a live sansan. Or it lets you get econ back if you never advance it through remote spam.


Drip with a splash of sweeps week. Most people are digging for answers to this deck, so you don't often see them holding only 3 cards to hurt your sweeps, but more to the point sweeps is usually just a nice burst to keep you in the black as you rez some of your bigger ice. Also, Andromeda's a thing so I can't see dropping the best econ event in the game. Early game, you should be establishing taxing ice on centrals and drip economy.

At some point you're going to ask yourself, do I keep dumping time into marked accounts? And the answer is eventually no, but it's a great card for the early game, and it turns into money off of turtlebacks. Making a choice between this card an IT is sometimes difficult, but chances are the runner will make it for you and you'll be happy to have whichever is left.

[[General Notes on Play]]

General notes on play. Getting architect to fire is always worth it in this deck. It's the best support card in the deck, so I'll use IT on it most often if rig destruction isn't an option. But, I'll also use it on tollbooth because salt in wound is important for keeping runners off balance.

I hold off on license acquisition until maybe agenda 3/4, though a window to get a sansan up and running shouldn't be ignored.

Daily Business Show is another card I can't value highly enough. It is stronger than jackson in this deck. Getting it up and running will let you have more control over the game than architect, but combined with architect it's the nuts.

Turtlebacks sets you back a little bit when you get it up and running, and it feels that way more than PAD campaign at times. But the secret to this card is that once you get 2 of them up your astro train is a slow ride that doesn't cost you too much even as your crazy train is coming off the rails. It's just, hard to describe.

Archer is a very last resort in this deck, it's there to scare the hell out of the runner and make them respect IT department and just to stretch them too far. That's what this deck does is stretch the runner too far. Pick something to deal with: econ, IT, shitacular ice, sansan, daily business show. Then cry when the rest of the deck rolls you over.


Final note, this deck is very strong. I'm not saying it'll win world's, but I am saying that when you get the hang of it it's very hard to respond to unless you're packing 3 imps and clone chips [and] whizzard money.

Anyhow, enjoy. Let me know how testing goes and if you have any questions after that dump of knowledge.

8 Jan 2015 gumonshoe

The same question was asked on BGG. Take it for a spin if you have time and let me know.

Here are my thoughts: Sweeps week tends to be an early game card for me to help me reach thresholds that make rezzing a tollbooth more comfortable or getting those asset's up and running. I might only have one or two asset's down on the board when I play sweeps. I might have zero. In my mind Diversified Portfolio is a mid-late game card for a deck like this, but at that point my clicks tend to be tied up with advancing agendas, advancing IT department, getting more ice out on the table, etc. Most of my economy is passive by that point in the game because of turtle backs, pad, & to an extent marked accounts.

So, in my mind, I'm not sure that diversified portfolio would be as solid of an include as it was in my lateral taxer that needed to maintain enough credits to rez hostile infrastructure and fire a snare! if it were accessed.

I've published the deck I'm talking about which was from a few months ago:

12 Jan 2015 sruman

Interesting deck, a few questions (if you prefer BGG I can also post there).

  • Given the huge problem that IT department can be with a few tokens and the investment to get it there -- 2 creds + X actions -- most good runners I play my Foundry IT dept. deck against will trash it once I've invested 1+ tokens into it. What do you find you're typically protecting it with? 1, 2, or 0 ice (just left them pay the 4) ?

  • Why quandaries over pop-ups? There is 50% etr ice in the list already and the econ from pop-up would help with getting those tollbooths up.

  • Other than a bunch of great cards you don't want to cut, any reason for 54 cards? Given only 12 ice you could rez in turn or 2 (not counting archer or tollbooth there), seems that the variability of 54 could leave you vulnerable to first turn nastiness on open server -- siphon, indexing, legwork, etc. What would you cut to make 49 -- my first take would be 1 marked, 1 DBS, 1 License Acquisition, 1 breaking news, 1 archer. Just curious on your thoughts there.

21 Jan 2015 gumonshoe

Feel free to post bgg/stimhack in future, I will see it there first.

1) Depends on the opponent. If it's criminal 2 ice is a must and sometimes 3. At least 1 binary and 1 painful ice. Painful is tollbooth, roto, & archer. If it's shaper and they don't have the credits, I'm going to go up with a single ice and add a second one on if I feel they're going to drop an answer. Ultimately, i'm ok if they've spent a bunch of turns trying to kill IT department and they finally do it. While I do lock players, this is mostly about abusing the runner's resources so that other win conditions can come online. If it wins the game itself, then horray!

2) Qaundary stops accesses and I don't need the extra cash in most games. There are games where rezzing tollbooth might be difficult, but a strong majority of the time quandary patches the hole with a codegate etr that I can afford to rez before I go into lock down mode.

3) Siphon isn't very rough usually since there's usually a remote to dump credits into. Indexing is harder to deal with, as is legwork. But given a choice, I always protect HQ. I must say DBS is a never cut card. It's what makes 54 possible. Think about access rates. It makes it possible to see more of your deck than the runner does to find those few ice that you can rez. So, never a DBS. 1 archer would risk the teeth of this deck, but it's possibly a good idea. Marked accounts is a solid target. With less archer, the 1 pointers aren't as big of a deal, though they're still strong in the deck. IMO, this 54 card deck plays at least as well as the average non-neh 49 card deck. Cutting cards is an open question that I'm open to hearing solutions to.

At this point I might make the following changes: -1 wraparound -1 Tollbooth -1 NAPD -1 Marked Accounts -1 Sweeps Week

One of the wraparounds might become another wall of static as well...

Archer & Roto are teeth, so I think I'd prefer to keep all copies of them.