[Story time with H0tl1ne! Mostly legit lore this time.]

What is the Underway and how do you renovate it (and why flamethrowers included)?

In order to have the full scope, we need to trace back to what was going on in the Spin cycle.

Weyland Consortium's own GRNDL Division (which stands for Geostrategic Research and Neothermal Development Laboratories) is a corporation mostly infamous for some shady and really dangerous projects, amongst which there was Project Vulcan - basically, a huge suboceanic mining drill to be used in order to pierce towards the inner layers of the Earth, because who cares about core integrity if you can have free geothermal energy instead?

There was some huge beef around Project Vulcan - as it quickly became clear, GRNDL's new toy wasn't all that safe (a grevious constipation, Sherlock!) and several researchers involved issued warnings to the chief executives that its use might cause "major seismic events". As we can imagine, execs did what execs do - fired the damn thing up anyway. But, being Weyland execs, first they bought out the majority of the West Coast (that would be SanSan Megapolis) and insured it for some huge piles of money. Just to be safe.

Said major seismic event basically ruined a huge part of SanSan seaside in one huge earthquake. Roughly hundreds of thousands were presumed dead. Some dedicated individuals worked long and hard to make the truth known to public. Some got arrested, but eventually succeeded, even though the Consortium stopped at nothing to cover the thing up.

The consequences were dramatic. Apart from a huge PR blow, Weyland Consortium was forced to take up many costly renovation contracts in order to rebuild what their greed destroyed. Amongst the districts that were hit the most, there was industrial Oaktown, Hollywood and... The great SanSan monorail. That's where begins the SanSan cycle - and our trip around the third greatest city in the world, right behind NeoTokyo and New Angeles.

Now Underway is not a district per se. It is, more accurately, a slang name for the suburbs which span beneath the SanSan's longest monorail track. Also, quite coincidentally, not the nicest place to be, full of people of questionable motives, and significant presence of criminal element, now stirred up due to damage suffered in the Vulcan pandemonium. Basically, not anybody willing to comply with corporate interests.

That monorail was a landmark really important to the SanSan's infrastructure. It had to be repaired. But it couldn't be, with working poor all over the place. They wouldn't move, so they had to be moved.

Hence the trailer parks burning throughout the night.

This card is really well-designed in ludonarrative terms, as its mechanics and the story it tells are perfectly woven together. The further you advance your actions in Underway, the more of the Runners' possibilities dwindle, as their contacts are forcibly relocated to somewhere else or die in a fire. Which, of course, means the milling of the Stack.

I love to use this card in Argus Security: Protection Guaranteed deck, paired with Casting Call and some quick, cheap barriers - the faster you begin the mill, the higher the chance of hitting something important - for a damned-if-you-do-damned-if-you-don't-scenario. It's my way of challenging the runner: "Look, I'm killing everyone you've ever cared about. Come and stop me.

If you dare".


Evil Tetris

Ho boy this ICE gives me nightmares. It's a nice slap to the face for anyone using spooky scary skeletons or other nasty programs. 12 to rez might be difficult, but of course this ICE shines in the granddaddy of monies: Blue Sun. Oversight this baby and suddenly everything becomes a game of evil tetris. 4 net damage and an etr to boot, this is both serviceable as protection and faceslaps. With the recent addition of other noteworthy ICE like sounds like an NBN card, spiky ball, and Triangles with multiple scary subs, I feel this has a rightful place in any deck seeking to do some damage. Basically, the flavor text says it all: "Ice is not meant to kill; just slow or cripple the Runner. Killing is my job." - Tori Hanzō

Don't let that 'T' in the background fool you--Bryan has his offices at Titan, but he's a GRNDL man through and through. Yes, there's a lot of fancy tricks involving various cards with 'Account' in their name, or you can try taxing out the runner and hoping you can get them below 6 credits so that Bryan can work his magic. But that eats deck space, and more importantly takes time. But you get one turn in every game where Bryan Stinson is 100% guaranteed to be able to work his financial magic--your very first turn of the game. You can play a transaction, play Bryan, and then replay your transaction, and say go. It stands to reason, then, that you want to make that turn as big as possible.

Enter GRNDL. While most corps have to settle for Hedge Fund, bringing them up to a 'mere' 17 credits (or 19 in the case of Building a Better World), GRNDL starts with enough credits to immediately Restructure, which becomes truly absurd with Bryan Stinson, catapulting you to 28 credits on turn one. That is a LUDICROUS pile of money that that the runner cannot hope to match--even the powerful Temüjin Contract is only going to get them to 21, and that's if they do nothing but install it and run. The best the runner can do is double Account Siphon, in which case they have made a conscious decision to float tags against GRNDL, and what happens next is just going to improve the average IQ of New Angeles residents.

Now that you are filthy stinkin' rich, the runner is trapped, even though you have no board to speak of, because the spectre of being Midseasoned for roughly infinity looms large over them. You can install a naked agenda, turn it face up to show the runner that this is indeed an agenda and not a trap, double advance it and ship turn, and the runner will have no choice but to let you score it (which, this being GRNDL, is probably just going to result in you getting even richer). They can run Stinson, but unless they're Whizzard, trashing him is just going to put them even further behind economically, and you'll be able to comfortably maintain your lead the old-fashioned way. And if they try to build up their rig, they either have to stay above 5 credits and watch you score out as they set up, or they can concede that your bank account statement is just going to read"Yes", and that they will be nailed the instant they steal points.

This plan isn't foolproof--it requires you to have Stinson and a good transaction in your opener, Film Critic continues to exist, and if the deck stacks against you and you don't see your kill cards. But that's all going to feel very distant indeed when you're busy buying the entire Cayman Islands.

Expanding on this, I'd like to point out the existence of Lateral Growth. It's probably no match for Restructure as the card to re-use first turn, but it can be played to install him rather than simply using a click to do so which nets you two extra monies and gives you a target for him next turn if he hasn't been dealt with. You CAN also recur it first turn in a pinch, letting you set up a board AND earn a little on the side (maybe you're sick of tag-me runners spamming Account Siphon/Vamp on THEIR first turn to drain out your entire earnings pool...) —

I really want to like this card. I am a Johnny and I really just want to brew. This card is built to appeal to people exactly like me.

It's just so disappointing, though. It costs 5 and does nothing by itself. You have to cast this first. It has base zero strength and that really matters when it goes back to zero strength every ice by default. That 5 cost is huge in the first turn, making this card very slow. There is so much not to like about this card. It uses up 40% - 60% of your influence before you add your 4th card. It costs an MU. Literally everything is working against it.

Still, it has so much promise. Look at it.

You really want to be using something like Gordian Blade or Houdini with this, so you can pump one time for the run and that's it. You really want something like Faerie to break many sub sentries for 0. You still need something that can break barrier subs for 1 after both of those. There probably isn't a better card to use The Personal Touch on, so you might as well use that if you are in Shaper. If you can get a Sharpshooter out, at least you might be able to prevent something from trashing this unexpectedly while still getting cheap pumps.

Ultimately, this is likely to end up as Johnny's Bane. One of those cards you spend 25 hours building a deck around and it all just turns out disappointing no matter what you do. No matter how much you try to make it work. That will be me.

Also with all the AI hate in recent packs, it seems like it had a window and saw the window shut in the same breath. —

This IS a crazy-powerful agenda if scored. Moreover, it works with Media Blitz making it, simply, a crazy-powerful agenda.

While less interesting for the rush NBNers this is a very interesting card for decks using Arya, Restructured Datapool and preferably its combination.

In combination with 2 creds on first trace, this means you erase an advantage of 0-5 creds of Runner link, and match that with a trace of 4+X for RDP, and a relative gain of 2-6 (1 gain for you, 1 loss for Runner) depending on the amount of Arya you have standing. That's just massive.

This and the amount of fun tracer ice that has come out suggests that this kind of slow and tracy NBN deck could have a future.