News for March 2014
Change of Plans
A Preview of the Honor and Profit Deluxe Expansion for Android: Netrunner
Android: Netrunner The Card Game | Published 13 March 2014

“Young runners often overlook the importance of their offline connections. Most of them will never grow old.”
    –Iain Stirling

In our last preview of Honor and Profit, we took a closer look at what the expansion offers Jinteki fans. We also reviewed each of the faction’s three new identities and presented a deck list that illustrated why Honor and Profit is the perfect second step into the cyberstruggles of Android: Netrunner for any newer player drawn to Jinteki and its Corporate stylings.

Today, we turn our attention to the Runner’s side of the game and look at the Criminal activities taking place in Honor and Profit.

Three Steps Ahead

Professionals who view running as business, Criminals rely on speed and surprise when running against a corporation, and prefer not to be seen at all. They excel at making frequent runs, collecting credits, avoiding tags, and bypassing ice. They reserve their icebreakers for worst-case scenarios and, as a result, focus on icebreakers that can have their strengths boosted quickly, in large increments.

Honor and Profit reinforces this core identity, even as it pushes the faction to experiment with new tactics and strategies. The expansion’s sixty-nine Criminal cards (three copies each of twenty-one different cards) feature a host of new events, several new streams of revenue, and an icebreaker suite that offers tremendous efficiency during runs against a corporation’s central servers. Meanwhile, three new Runner identities provide the basis for a variety of new Criminal strategies.

  • Ken “Express” Tenma (Honor and Profit, 29) is the game’s first Clone Runner. The beneficiary of many of Jinteki’s finest gene mods, Express possesses reflex and thought processing speeds that far exceed the average human’s. In the game, these are expressed by the free credit that Express gains the first time each turn that he plays a run event, and because Honor and Profit introduces a number of potent, new run events like Early Bird (Honor and Profit, 32), it’s safe to assume that Express won’t be slowing down any time soon.
  • Some runners rely upon their programs to muscle through corporate servers. Others view running as the final step in a much larger process that involves a great deal of Legwork (Honor and Profit, 35), networking, planning, and implementation. One such runner is the mysterious Silhouette (Honor and Profit, 30). With her ability to expose a card after the first successful run she makes on HQ each turn, Silhouette is always investing the rewards from an earlier run into the preparation for her next one.
  • The third Runner in Honor and Profit is Iain Stirling (Honor and Profit, 28), a former NSCA spook, who learned all about the world’s most effective encryption and detection techniques by implementing them for the government. Now, as a Runner, he calls upon his knowledge of these techniques, and he calls upon the host of contacts he established during his time on the inside. The result is an ability that makes Iain Stirling truly unique among the game’s Criminals, and unique among all the game’s Runners: When his turn begins, if the Corp has scored more agenda points than he has, Iain Stirling gains two credits. Is this because he recognizes the protocols in use? Is this because he can identify the people who are likely managing the projects and can, thus, better determine how best to evade their attentions? It’s not certain exactly how Iain Stirling’s inside experience translates to his unique ability, but it is certain that his unique ability can translate into an entirely new Criminal strategy.

Reversal of Fortune

Historically, in Android: Netrunner, Criminals have relied heavily upon their events, including a good number of run events, like the ever-popular Account Siphon (Core Set, 18) and Inside Job (Core Set, 21). With a number of such events at their disposal, Criminals are never without surprises, and they can push hard and fast against Corporate servers. Accordingly, most Criminals maintain high-tempo, high-pressure strategies designed to attack a Corporation’s economy even as they plunder the Corp’s agenda points.

Such strategies, however, are also relatively high-risk. As a risk-adverse Runner, Iain Stirling presents another approach. Created from one copy of the Core Set and Honor and Profit, the sample deck below explores how Iain Stirling might call upon his network of contacts in order to stall the Corp, fund his runs, and dive deep toward the root of a corporation’s central servers.

Identity:
Iain Stirling, Retired Spook

Events (9):
2x Account Siphon
3x Calling in Favors (Honor and Profit, 31)
2x Forged Activation Orders
2x Legwork

Hardware (4):
1x Lemuria Codecracker
3x Logos (Honor and Profit, 37)

Resources (19):
1x Aesop’s Pawnshop **
3x Armitage Codebusting
2x Bank Job
2x Crash Space
1x Data Dealer
2x Decoy
2x Donut Taganes (Honor and Profit, 55) **
1x Oracle May (Honor and Profit, 54) *
2x Theophilius Bagbiter (Honor and Profit, 49)
3x Tri-Maf Contact (Honor and Profit, 50)

Programs (13):
3x Alias (Honor and Profit, 41)
3x Breach (Honor and Profit, 42)
2x Crypsis
1x Femme Fatale
1x Medium ***
3x Passport (Honor and Profit, 46)

As with the Corp deck that we posted in our earlier preview, nearly half of this deck comes from Honor and Profit, and it marks a radical departure from most existing strategies, especially those Criminal strategies that live and breathe events.

Much of this departure is due to the inclusion of Donut Taganes who increases the play cost of all events and operations by one. Even though Donut Taganes heavily punishes those Corporate economies that rely heavily upon their operations, few Criminals would ever call upon his services because he also increases the cost of the events that comprise a majority of most Criminal decks. Still, Donut will likely have a role to play in many Shaper and Anarch decks, and he plays a role in this deck, as well, because it doesn’t rely so heavily upon events.

Instead, in this deck, Iain Stirling focuses primarily upon calling together his resources, including the pool of contacts that will help him generate quick cash flow and increase his hand size. Then, as he uses his network to build his economy, Iain Stirling looks to stall the Corp through the use of Account Siphon, Forged Activation Orders (Core Set, 20), and Donut Taganes.

Ultimately, Iain Stirling is happy to let the Corp get ahead early in the race for agenda points. In fact, he’ll even help it get ahead early through the timely use of Data Dealer (Core Set, 31) because all the time that he’s behind, he gains two free credits at the beginning of his turn.

Traditionally, Android: Netrunner players recognize three different stages of a game. In the early game, the Runner has the advantage since he can run and feint and force the Corp to strain its economy rezzing ice or risk letting the Runner access valuable agenda points. In the midgame, the Corp has protected its servers with ice and bought itself some time to install and advance agendas while the Runner seeks to build a rig capable of breaking through the Corp’s defenses. Finally, in the late game, the Runner has fully developed his rig and his economy and can run once or more every turn, drilling through Corporate servers almost at will.

This is where Iain Stirling and this deck diverge from most Criminals and their strategies: While most Criminals seek to extend their early game advantage as long as possible, Iain Stirling seeks to race through the early game and midgame as quickly as possible in order to enjoy the benefits of an early and extended end game.

With Logos, Iain Stirling can apply the credits he gains from his ability directly toward the cards he wants the most. In turn, he can assemble a rig dedicated toward a strong end game. Using cards like Medium (Core Set, 10) and Legwork, Iain Stirling can quickly transform an early deficit into late game runs that quickly access numerous cards and secure final victory.

Start Planning Your Heist

Whether you gravitate toward the hyper-aggressive Ken “Express” Tenma, the cautious and mysterious Silhouette, or the deliberate advances made by ex-spook Iain Stirling, Honor and Profit offers a cache of events, programs, and resources large enough to excite any Criminal.

Head to your local retailer to pre-order your copy today. Then start planning your next heist!

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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