A solid form of punishment, but runners can play around it. Unfortunately, it doesn't trigger on Stargate, as the trashed card isn't accessed. If the runner doesn't see it coming, however, it is easy to bait with a naked piece of asset economy. This sort of thing depends upon the corp already having a credit lead, however, and if both players are floating around 15 credits, HBT probably isn't worth it. Where this really shines is against a built-up runner who has just pillaged the remote, perhaps trashing some defensive upgrades, a Rashida Jaheem, or some other asset meant to bait an agenda. In that case, the runner has likely expended a good chunk of credits passing ice, more trashing cards in the server root -- and they've certainly satisfied the trigger condition! Then, HBT can be a blowout, potentially trashing a console, another piece of important hardware or a resource like The Turning Wheel, and if the runner is now over MU from hardware trashing, they are likely to lose some programs as well. If the runner going through the remote didn't open a scoring window, a choice HBT certainly will; if there was already a window, HBT might stretch it to several turns -- or, frankly, win you the game, if the runner's deck was already low and they had binned important duplicates.

The bad pub clause is almost unimportant, but hurts one niche use-case for HBT: the situation where the corp can fork the runner by only bidding a middling amount of money on the trace (enough for the corp to keep cash for rezzing ice, say, or advancing cards), but enough to hurt the runner either paying through the trace or losing econ resources. Taking bad pub to do this makes the option less attractive, though it technically still exists for end-game scenarios.

Most corp decks would rather run Hard-Hitting News instead, given all that one can do with tags, and that HHN's trigger condition is easier to meet. Still, for a deck in HB that doesn't want to invest all the influence necessary for HHN and tag punishment, HBT can serve as an acceptable replacement for ways to punish a run.

Really bad against a runner with Citadel Sanctuary and some Link (e.g. Sunny Lebeau: Security Specialist, or any runner on Security Nexus). Also requires hard ETR subs deeper in the remote if it's going to protect your scoring server. Still, the raw numbers are fairly impressive: 6 strength, 3 subs on a sentry that rezzes for 7. Bukhgalter breaks for 6/8, MKUltra for an unbearable 12 (or 9 and a tag/click, or more likely, it doesn't break and pays through the traces and gives a click for the last sub). Engolo costs 7. It does make an excellent outer ice for HQ or R&D, both resistant to turning wheel and expensive to pass multiple times. Even so, probably not worth playing outside of Haas-Bioroid: Architects of Tomorrow, and even then not at 3x. The subs just don't bite enough.

For those unfamiliar, Manegarm Skunkworks makes for a powerful combo with Anoetic Void. The two cards synergize for an extremely hard-to-break server, outside of things like Political Operative from the runner.

But I want to talk about the card outside of that particular upgrade combo. It's still a good card -- but I would argue not quite as good as one would be led to believe by its effectiveness when combined with Anoetic. First, Manegarm doesn't combo with plenty of other effects that the corp can use to force an ETR, such as Border Control or Bio Vault. This is because the last paid ability window before breach of the server comes before the "approach" step during which Manegarm would trigger. So, although the corp can force the runner to pay for Manegarm before firing Anoetic to end the run, the corp cannot do the same thing with BC or BV; in those cases, Manegarm provides no additional tax.

In the default case for Manegarm, it asses a 5 or 2 tax on the runner to enter a server, and then likely another 3 tax to trash. This is roughly equivalent to an Ansel 1.0 as broken by Bukhgalter, or a Ravana 1.0 as broken by Gordian Blade. Economically, Manegarm is a like a mid-strength Bioroid ice that trades its cheaper cost for trash-ability. In its favor, it can be used to fake in the remote, and doesn't cost additional credits to install in taller servers; to its detriment, it makes R&D and HQ more porous by being trash-able, and does not persist in a remote after a run. Let's take the following theoretical Ice:

Manegarm 1.0 (Unique)

1, 5 Strength

When the runner breaches this server, they may pay 3 to trash this ice.

: Break subroutine on this ice.

End the run

End the run

Now that's a pretty good piece of ice! It's like a big Eli 1.0 with a downside. In short, Manegarm is good as an efficient way for the corp to deploy resources in the early and mid game. It is not a late-game defensive upgrade per se.

Cool concept but absolutely terrible numbers. An asset with a rez cost of 3 and trash cost of 2 is very hard to keep alive. You lose more tempo rezzing this than they do trashing this*, and Jinteki players tend to be poorer, so you're the least able to waste money on inefficient cards. This may have been playable if it had cost 1 in line with Daily Quest and Wall to Wall, or even 0 since revealing the top card of R+D is so costly.

Adding insult to a terrible card, Personalized Medical Portal came out at the same time as Daily Quest, which produces more money, has a much lower rez cost, doesn't reveal the top card of R+D, and has a sufficiently high influence cost that Jinteki usually can't run it.

*Let's say you spend an action playing and rezzing a PHP, and collect on it once. You are down 1 card, 1 click, 1 R+D card revealed, and -$1. The runner uses Dirty Laundry and trashes it, and now they are down 1 card, 1 click, and up +$1. Their card is just better than yours.

This was not play-tested well. It has no use in any archetype.

This card is a cool concept for scaling tag punishment cards. Unfortunately, Market Forces is never the best option and rarely a good option.

  • If the runner has no tags: Predictive Planogram is usually played on zero tags and Best Defense can target 0-cost cards (most usefully a Progenitor hosting Hivemind, a Misdirection, No One Home, and Tapwrm).
  • If they're on 1 tag: Exchange of Information is usually the most valuable option. For economic gain, a 1-tag Predictive Planogram (+$3 to Corp, +3 optional cards) is usually stronger than a 1-tag Market Forces ($3 to Corp, -$3 to Runner) or even.
  • If they're on 2+ tags: BOOM! is usually game-winning. In-faction, Exchange of Information and Psychographics are more likely to be game-winning than a 2-tag Market Forces.

In every scenario, there is a much better option than a 6 credit swing per tag. This card is blank for 90% of the game (no-tags) and not very useful in the remaining 10%.

As long as cards exist which can reliably win at 2 tags, it's hard to slot a scaling card like Market Forces unless it has some effect at 0 tags. I hope that we get a tag-optional version of this card like "The Corp takes $2 from the runner, plus $2 for each tag". This has more utility at 0-1 tags than the current Market Forces and is less likely to instantly bankrupt a wealthy runner on many tags. If this new card had a cost of $1, it'd be similar in impact at 0-1 tags to Predictive Planogram, which is strong enough to play in a variety of situations without creating balance problems or gutting any runner archetypes.