"Crapdamnit Bill, when do I get to kill a fool??"

"Hate to break it to ya kid, but probably never. You want action you shoulda joined one of those Single-purpose counteraction groups, volunteered for some incandescent structural alteration or specialised in non-medicinal trephining. We're just a security force."

If you're forced to play this (when using the Core Set, for example) and you're not focusing on flatlining the runner, this will probably seem a hard way to score 2 points. I certainly thought so, until I realised that whenever I scored this the runner would pay to remove every tag, even if they knew I had nothing else in hand to punish them. It's enough of a deterrent to make them pay that 4 after a Siphon, that extra kick from a Snare(!) and running through trace ice. It will shave small but frequent sums off the runner's account, keeping them from getting (too) far ahead and giving you the finger while the whole world watches. In the end, pretty much everyone clears tags anyway. This just glares and threatens to aggressively prod those who think they don't have to.

That said, there are fringe cases when it might actually have its moment, such as...

  • A careless 4th click run into a Snare(!) you can punish (probably fatally) the following turn.

and...erm...

  • Spending 8 on 2x Biotic Labor to hit them for 5 with a surprise robot army?

Nothing else really comes to mind.

531
Midseason Replacements. Then you simply click for 3 damage each turn. Repeat until death or deckout. —
If you're missing the second Scorched Earth component of a successful kill and the Runner is sitting on four cards, you can SEA him, Scorch him, then let Frank and D finish the job. Multi-layer warfare, ho! —

(Core Set Newbie (again!))

See that angry guy? Yeah, the one holding the paper, with the glasses... When you start playing, you'll think he's yelling at some poor, out-of-shot lackey. You have a little chuckle at the harsh corporate world, thankful that you don't have to be a part of it. Then after a few games you realise - nope, he's yelling at you, he's always been yelling at you. Why? For being a slacker. This card, particularly for new players, will rip you a new one for doing nothing but sitting on your ass and scooping sexbot money. When you lose it, you feel it more than any other agenda in the Core Set. When you score it, you don't feel victorious as much as relieved that you're out of danger. But well done you, have a free Wall of Static as a bonus. It teaches you the hard way that you need to be preparing from the start for when agendas appear, not if. It also teaches you to plan ahead for how you're going to use agenda reward.

Rezzing a low-cost code gate will make you feel like a chump,

He'll ask you, "So, where do you see us in 5 years...Timothy, is it?"

And you'll answer, "Um...well sir, I see us maybe discouraging further break-ins with some kind of... tricky crossword puzzle thing?"

"Hmm...fine, get on it. Now get out of my office. You're making me angry at what I might have become."

Rezzing a high-cost one on the other hand...

"Ha! Great work on meeting that deadline Timbo. You really came through - unlike that runner eh?? Haha! ahh.....drink? Being this awesome makes me thirsty. So, anyway, now that we've got all that boring stuff out the way, any thoughts on where we might go from here?"

"Funny you should ask that Geoff. I've actually been working on incorporating a high potency solution, featuring double-redundancies that will force a recurring and unavoidable tax in addition to the basic access denial package necessitated by the modern cyber crime environment. I've already secured the licenses from our media partners."

"My God Timbo you terrify me sometimes. Excellent! I'll leave it all to you then. And by the way why dont you come over for dinner with me and the family on Thursday? We're having moon lobster."

Basically this card was the main reason I started thinking more than a single turn ahead. Like a lot of cards in the Core Set, it will teach you some valuable lessons. In the end you will (probably) be glad you used it. And if you only have the Core Set, good news! You dont have a choice.

531
Solid review, good insight, cool narrative. Please write more. —
Thanks a lot! —
hahaha. moon lobster —

"Pfft, 1. What can you do with 1? I guess I'll put it down, if it comes up. Now, where did I put that Aurora..." Was my (and the people I suckered into playing with me's) first reaction to this card. Don't be me (or them (but mostly me)). Keep in mind the following:

  • 1 is a lot more valuable than you might first think. In your first few games, you're probably swimming in money you don't need and haven't been forced to use. Once you understand how the game works and you're both somewhat competent you'll realise how tight the economy in this game gets.

  • You won't think much of the 'Whenever...' on this card until you realise how most cards are limited to 'The first time' or 'once per turn'. This kind of availability is comparatively rare.

  • As many have said before, you don't have to go out of your way to make it helpful. This card works with the fundementals of being a runner, any kind of runner. No matter how you do it, this card will reward you for it.

All of these things together add up to a console that will support you reliably however you decide to play. That's why its so good. It's only downside is blandness. There are so many inventive and potentially nifty things you could be doing, but instead you're getting money for running. "Well done, you." I end up thinking to myself, and feeling slightly dissapointed.

531
Well said! I agree that Desperado feels bland. There's plenty of room for some flavor text on this card, why there isn't any? —

(Core Set Newbie perspective! Please feel free to ignore/correct at your leisure)

With all the economy cards available to players now, this card can come across as underwhelming. It's not bad, it's just taking precious space that could be filled with more up-to-date alternatives.

When considered strictly within the Core Set this card becomes a lot more attractive. Like Beanstalk Royalties on the corporation side, it gives you a free, instant boost whenever you need it. In practice I've found it more helpful than its face value suggests.

Assume the worst. Say you find yourself at 0 after a taxing run, tag removal, being hit with a Closed Accounts. You have a Sure Gamble in hand but it's out of reach. Things might play out in some of the following ways:

  • Worst-case scenario: With no economy in play you'll spend a turn (probably closer to two) to even become a threat again. That Sure Gamble in hand, usually your smug partner in crime, will now look like it's going, 'Nahaha, look at you peasant! You cannot play at this table.' And the Corp player will be sighing, almost sorry for you, as you claw your way back to being respectable. Sad times.

  • Luke-warm scenario: You have an Armitage Codebusting either in-hand or on the table. Good for you! That'll be for the credit, to install, and , for anything meaningful (closer to three to get back above the magic 5). That's still a turn spend recovering. If it's already in play, you'll eat through half of it getting back into Sure Gamble range, assuming you still have that much left on it. Not terrible, but not great.

  • Easy Mark scenario: Even playing nothing but this and clicking for credits, you're back to 5 with a to spare for more economy, an install or a run. With Armitage down, you're back to 5 in two clicks, up to 9 in three with Gamble and still have time to run or install. It can bounce you back from a costly turn very quickly will keep you from losing any momentum.

Dedicating a whole turn to making scratch feels like you're on the back foot. Maintaining an offence feels like you're doing what you have to. Doing both (efficiently) feels awesome.

Basically that was a really long-winded way of saying, "It's good and like most 'burst economy', if you keep it for when you truly need it, it's value to you will increase hugely."

531

(Core Set newbie here, so take with pinch of salt)

This is one of those cards that seems essential when you start playing, because why would you ever do something dumb like run into a server without knowing what's there? Then as time goes by you realise how much this approach is slowing you down and costing you.

  • Best-case scenario, you're spending a click and a credit after an Account Siphon or similarly tasty run event to get information on a card that's bugging you. You have it as a backup for when running a server could mean the difference between winning points or leaving yourself broke and/or flatlined.

However...

  • In a lot of beginner cases (well, my case) you're spending at least half a turn, often more, gingerly pacing around the edge of all these servers like a corgi on a diving board, never running until 100% sure you can do it safely. The amount of time and credits wasted on this (mostly from breaking HQ ICE) builds up really quickly and it takes away from other more threatening things you could be doing.

What I ended up learning from this card was that rather than spending many clicks to check if a server is dangerous, you could spend fewer clicks checking and getting through it.

531
Pretty much yes. Also, you can compare this card with infiltration. Infiltration gives you the info right away. Was that card installed behind 2 ice worth your inside job? For beginners (criminals or otherwise) infiltration does the job quicker. For sure you only have up to 3 times but you don need the additional clic and credit to install this hardware. Nor the successful run to HQ. —
Its cases like these that you'd want huntclub BBS from the original netrunner game. Its a 1 credit event that exposes up to three cards, including ice. —
Tirranek : after more plays, you will find that expose effects are rarely needed and played. Runners grow antennas to detect traps (not that they never bite anymore) and it's better to play, say Faerie, than exposing unrezzed ices. The only expose card that deserve some interest is Drive By. —
You're not at all wrong, good review! However, there are still some Jinteki decks that make you want exposure effects, since they hard counter traps and Mushin plays. I used to think it was only for beginners, but get killed a few times from Ronin and then consider this (but just play Drive By since it is excellent). —