A Preview of the Android: Netrunner Spin Cycle by Guest Writer El-ad David Amir
|Android: Netrunner The Card Game | Published 03 March 2014|
“…Item 37. Reina Roja. The vigilante known by the alias ‘Reina Roja’ is now classified as a code red threat.”
–from the minutes of The Board
GRNDL has been content to plow ahead with their geofracking operations, ignoring both public opinion and the anarch’s sabotage attempts. The Red Queen, however, refuses to relent and has taken responsibility for an aggressive virus that led to the temporary shutdown of GRNDL’s main rig. This and other escalations finally convinced the Weyland Board of Directors that inaction is no longer the most profitable route.
The final showdown between GRNDL and the Red Queen is now close at hand, and it is up to Android: Netrunner players to determine which side will win!
Profit Will Prevail
The black bird had been following Reina Roja incessantly, but she decided to deal with it later. To her surprise, the server she was running suddenly opened in front of her – this run was child’s play. There was a blinding white light, and with bated breath, the Red Queen ran a siphon to download the huge mass of data she had just exposed. An enormous catch! Someone was going to lose his job (or head) for leaving such a cache so lightly defended.
She jacked out just as her apartment door came crashing down. Two armed men rushed in, guns blazing. As the bullets pierced her chest, the full magnitude of the trap dawned upon her…
One of the most powerful Weyland divisions, GRNDL (Fear and Loathing, 97) generates an enormous profit for the Corp through its world-spanning chain of refineries. Its identity reflects this economic prowess with a starting pool of ten credits, double the usual amount. One approach to playing GRNDL is to mostly ignore agendas and leverage these ten credits through credit-generating events, quickly accumulating a dangerous treasury. Once the runner foolishly steals an agenda, the division can launch a swift and lethal Punitive Counterstrike (True Colors, 79).
Hive (Double Time, 117) is a new piece of Weyland ice that fits this strategy well. For a meager cost of five credits, Hive is a strength three barrier with an impressive five end-the-run subroutines. The ice loses one of these subroutines for each scored agenda point, a disadvantage that can be safely ignored when the goal is to flatline the runner rather than reach seven points.
“Hook, Line, and Sinker”
Identity: GRNDL, Power Unleashed
3 Geothermal Fracking (Opening Moves, 17)
2 Government Contracts
3 Priority Requisition
3 Jackson Howard (Opening Moves, 15) *
3 Melange Mining Corporation
3 Ice Wall
2 Quandary (Double Time, 120)
3 Restructure (Second Thoughts, 40)
3 Hedge Fund
3 Beanstalk Royalties
3 Punitive Counterstrike
3 Green Level Clearance *
3 Anonymous Tip *
"Hook, Line and Sinker" is a Weyland flatline deck that replaces Scorched Earth (Core Set, 99) with Punitive Counterstrike. Instead of tagging, you wait until the Runner steals three or more point’s worth of Agendas and then double Counterstrike them for the win. The downside is that you need money – a lot of money – to guarantee the success of the trace on Punitive Counterstrike. Thus, much of the deck is dedicated to generating the required funds. You have twelve, highly efficient credit-generation operations, and Jackson Howard and Anonymous Tip help you draw through them. Meanwhile, six of the deck’s seventeen pieces of ice can net credits, and the rest are efficient means to slowing down the runner.
By continuously drawing and playing events, “Hook, Line and Sinker” gets a lot of credits. Once you have the financial edge, feel free to trash a couple of agendas from HQ or to install-advance-advance one of your three-point agendas. In an ideal situation, the runner will steal six points from archives, and a single Punitive Counterstrike will seal the deal. Otherwise, follow a single-agenda steal with two or three copies of Counterstrike.
The Greatest of All Causes
Reina Roja just barely dodged the ice’s shimmering arrows. Her breakers were faltering and her resources were tapped out. None of this mattered, though. The Corp’s monolithic server opened before her. She allowed herself a quick glance at the glorious landscape before releasing her latest creation. A tiny dark speck appeared, floating in the virtual sky. It was stationary at first, but then started growing at an alarming speed. Whatever the black hole touched soon disintegrated into bits; in time, she knew even those bits would be annihilated. The Red Queen jacked out. Deep within the Earth’s crust, thousands of drills suddenly stopped – forever.
Reina Roja is the most flexible anarch identity to date. Her ability to increase the rez cost of the first piece of ice encountered each turn serves as constant economic pressure on the Corp. The following deck reinforces the identity’s ability with similar cards and complements it with cheap, fixed-strength icebreakers, and with Reina Roja’s signature Caïssa suite.
Now that we have reached the endgame, the Red Queen has seen fit to unveil her most terrifying creation: Singularity (Double Time, 101) is an expensive Double - Run event that completely destroys the contents of a remote server, leaving behind an empty shell of ice. It allows you to safely run servers that might include an ambush; you can trash the advanced card without accessing it and then sift archives to see what it was. Singularity also trashes any expensive upgrades like SanSan City Grid (Core Set, 92) and bypasses any upgrade-based security measures like Red Herrings (Core Set, 91) and Ash 2X3ZB9CY (What Lies Ahead, 13). Last but not least, it combines well with Queen’s Gambit (Double Time, 102), allowing you to gain the credits while still taking care of the advanced card.
Identity: Reina Roja, Freedom Fighter (Mala Tempora, 41)
3 Forged Activation Orders **
2 Lucky Find (Double Time, 109) **
2 Sure Gamble
3 Queen’s Gambit
3 Deep Red (Mala Tempora, 42)
2 Professional Contacts **
3 Liberated Account
3 Daily Casts
“Pressure Cooker” features Rook and Xanadu, both of which increase ice rez cost. Forged Activation Orders (Core Set, 20) should put the Corp in a difficult spot: If they raise some of their defenses, they will lose some of the rest. Since the deck limits the Corp’s ability to rez, its suite of icebreakers is tailored for aggressive running; the fixed-strength Knight, Mimic, and Yog.0 work with Corroder to facilitate risky runs as early as possible. “Pressure Cooker” is supported by an economy that includes Professional Contacts (Creation and Control, 49), Lucky Find, and Queen’s Gambit, one of Reina Roja’s signature moves.
A Time to Take Sides
As the Spin Cycle reaches its conclusion, the stakes are higher than ever. For years, the Corps have been exploiting anything and everything in their reach. GRNDL takes these exploits to all-new levels, however, with its spider’s web of refineries and rigs. The division is growing at an exponential rate, and they’ll soon grow beyond the reach of even the greatest runners. Will you take the role of this Corporate giant, or will you choose the path of Reina Roja and confront the rampant goliath?
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.