News for May 2013
Building a Better Bioroid
Preview Haas-Bioroid's Corporate Interests in Creation and Control
Android: Netrunner The Card Game | Published 06 May 2013

“Faster, more flexible, more adaptive. Yes, they’re more expensive, but you get what you pay for, and this new generation of bioroids represents a significant breakthrough in Haas-Bioroid’s ability to wire the world’s greatest neural networks.”
   
–From “The Evolution of Thought”

Who will write the future?

In Creation and Control, the upcoming deluxe expansion for Android: Netrunner, some of the world’s most innovative programmers prepare themselves for their next runs on corporate servers. Meanwhile, the top-flight engineers and designers at Haas-Bioroid decide upon the best way to protect the corporation’s investments in its next generation of bioroids… Employ the bioroids!

Bioroids are constructed with synthetic bodies and given artificial intelligence based upon the world’s most powerful brain-taping technology. They don’t eat, they don’t sleep, they don’t tire, and their neural networks are streamlined for optimal performance in the tasks for which they’ve been programmed. Accordingly, bioroids are amazingly fast, powerful, and efficient.

Still, bioroids are machines, not people, and some runners exposed a number of weaknesses in Haas-Bioroid’s earlier security designs; they were too slow to adapt in their thinking, and runners were able to outmaneuver them. In game terms, this means that runners could anticipate the subroutines of first-generation bioroids, like Ichi 1.0 (Core Set, 62) and sacrifice one or more  to break the most threatening or frustrating of them, as they chose. Furthermore, only two first-generation bioroids, Heimdall 1.0 (Core Set, 61) and Viktor 1.0 (Core Set, 63), were actually programmed with subroutines to end runs. Thus, even though early bioroid ice could approximate human thought more closely than any other artificial intelligence, and even though they offered terrifically efficient service, they were still limited by their programming.

But the world of Android: Netrunner is always evolving, and when they wish, its megacorporations are able to channel vast fortunes into the research and development of new technologies.

Enter the next generation of bioroids!

More Expensive. More Efficient.

The improvements in Haas-Bioroid’s second generation of bioroids begins, but does not end, with its ice. As an example, Heimdall 2.0 (Creation and Control, 15) gains a point of strength over its first-generation counterpart, but that’s not all it offers for the three additional  that it takes to rez it. First, its second subroutine gains a point of brain damage in addition to its “end the run” effect. More importantly, though, is its modified text:

“The Runner can spend  to break up to 2 subroutines on Heimdall 2.0.”

How important is this change? It is important enough that Haas-Bioroid is willing to launch the release of a whole new wave of bioroids.

Each turn, the Runner starts with a pool of four . His whole turn is effectively a matter of finding the best, most impactful ways to spend those . Jacking in and beginning a run against a Corporate server costs one , so let’s explore the consequence of this new text by looking at it in the context of a Runner’s three remaining . Against first-generation bioroids, the Runner can break any number of subroutines by spending one  per subroutine. This means he can run, force the Corporation to spend its  to rez its ice, and then break any that would cause serious problems.

As an example, a Runner who slams into Heimdall 1.0 can force the Corp to pay eight  to rez it, spend one  to prevent the brain damage, and then end his run with no real damage done. He still has two  remaining and could run against another Corp server with a  in hand, ready to cancel the nastiest subroutine of the next bioroid – if the Corp can still afford to rez it.

On the other hand, if the Corp were to rez Heimdall 2.0 instead, the Runner would have to spend two  to prevent the brain damage he might suffer, and he’d only have a single  remaining. He could still run again, but he would no longer have a  to save him from the nastiest subroutine of the next bioroid.

The difference becomes more consequential when you consider that in the late game, the Corporation is more likely to have multiple servers, all running at once, and if the Runner gets behind and needs to find some agenda points, he’ll need to be able to run against multiple servers (or get lucky with his targeting). Also, if the Runner wants to save  to protect himself from bioroid subroutines, then he’ll have a maximum of one  to spend preparing for the run, rather than two. Finally, it’s worth noting that the cost to break all the subroutines on Heimdall 2.0 is four , rather than the three  it would take to break all subroutines on Heimdall 1.0.

Better Integration Yields Better Protection

Despite the improvements in its ice, Haas-Bioroid’s greatest advancements in bioroid technology derive from its fuller integration into its whole corporate structure, from its agendas to its upgrades.

Haas-Bioroid hopes to greatly reduce all the shortcomings of its artificial intelligence by continuing to improve the quality of the brain scans upon which it models its bioroids. Early results from Haas-Bioroid’s ongoing Project Wotan (Creation and Control, 6) have proven extremely optimistic, and when this agenda is scored, it will offer bioroid ice an unparalleled measure of flexibility. Once integrated into a company, this new technology could add “End the run” subroutines to any piece of bioroid ice, in any server, whenever it was needed (up to a total of three times). All those aggressive bioroids that don’t have “End the run” subroutines? Project Wotan “fixes” them, making them powerful stopping agents in your time of need.

And if the flexibility offered by Project Wotan isn’t enough to sell you on the second generation of bioroid technology, then Haas-Bioroid would like you to know that it has also developed two upgrades that permit all of your bioroids to behave in breathtaking new ways.

For two , the Awakening Center (Creation and Control, 21) can host any number of bioroid ice and rez one in a time of need…at a reduction of seven . While the ice is trashed after the run is completed, it’s worth noting that the Awakening Center permits an unparalleled level of Corporate flexibility. It allows the Corp player to choose which of its bioroid ice it will rez with full knowledge of the Runner’s rig. It even works if you have zero ice protecting the server. That’s a Corporate security officer’s dream come true.

If two seems like too much to spend for such amazing flexibility, then perhaps you’d consider an upgrade that costs only one …Tyr’s Hand (Creation and Control, 22). Less versatile than Awakening Center over the long haul, Tyr’s Hand is an amazing ace in the hole. Because you don’t need to rez it until you want to trigger its ability, it remains nicely “in the hole,” and because its ability prevents a bioroid subroutine of your choice from being broken, it’s pure trump.

These upgrades do nothing less than redefine the rules of net security; at least, that’s what Haas-Bioroid would have you believe. And the truth is that the only reason anyone might have to doubt Haas-Bioroid’s claims is that the abilities of these upgrades cannot work in tandem. Because the bioroid ice hosted by Awakening Center are installed to the upgrade, rather than installed protecting its server, they are not legal targets for the ability of Tyr’s Hand.

But don’t worry…Haas-Bioroid is committed to the ongoing evolution and improvement of its bioroids!

System Integration Now Complete

With the full system integration offered by Project Wotan and these two new upgrades, Haas-Bioroid’s bioroids are destined to become more effective than ever – not just the second generation, but the first generation, too, and all generations of bioroids to follow.

Prepare to integrate the new generation of bioroids into your games of Android: Netrunner. Head to your local retailer today to pre-order your copy of Creation and Control!

Based on the classic card game designed by Richard Garfield, Android: Netrunner The Card Game is a game for two players set in the dystopian future of Android. It pits monolothic megacorps against subversive netrunners in a high-stakes struggle for the control of valuable data.

Netrunner is a TM of R. Talsorian Games, Inc. Android is TM & ©2014 Fantasy Flight Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved. Netrunner is licensed by Wizards of the Coast LLC. ©2014 Wizards.
    
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