last update 03.09.2006 12:01
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Frisky's Corner

by Frisco Del Rosario

Ambush Agenda: Kill Them with Kindness

In last week's look at bad publicity, I forgot to mention the corporate card which gives the corporation bad publicity -- Charity Takeover. The 4-difficulty Black Ops agenda awards one agenda point and nine bits when scored, and gives one point of BP.

I think it's a testament to the power of bad publicity that Charity Takeover is unused to the point of forgettability. Charity Takeover awards a bigger bit windfall than any agenda except Corporate War, but the single bad publicity point it confers is a nearly-prohibitve deterrent. Imagine being hit with six BP points, and then drawing no agenda but Charity Takeover.

You say your opponents aren't dealing any bad publicity? Lucky you. Charity Takeover's nine-bit reward is handsome, and doesn't come with Corporate War's stringent "have 12 bits or lose 'em" rule.

If Proteus gave the corporation anything, it's cool agenda, especially the ambushes. A 9-pack of Marked Accounts has become a common agenda makeup, for not only does a runner facing nine Marked Accounts have to build a suite of icebreakers, he has to construct a solid tag defense.

Omniscience Foundation, a node which gives a tag at the end of a turn in which the runner receives a tag, grew in stature with the debut of Marked Accounts. Conversely, Trojan Horse, the classic operation which tags a runner on the turn after he steals an agenda, seems to be losing value.

The cleverest card to combine with Marked Accounts? Bizarre Encryption Scheme. Give them a tag, and keep your agenda. Tell me why, though, does Marked Accounts still give a tag when accessed from the archives? Ambushes should always lose their venom when pitched into the trash (except for Stereogram Antibody, the specialized archive ambush).

Fetal AI is one of most bloody annoying cards a runner can access, extracting a toll of two bits and two net damage before its three agenda points can be liberated. Fetal AI was also the cornerstone of a new kind of deck, where Red Herrings are Edgerunner-installed in multiples, and Dieter Esslin is far more than a novelty.

When the successful (?) runner accesses Viral Breeding Ground, one program is returned to his hand for each advancement counter on it. Some runners immediately lose interest in a subsidiary fort when an advanced Viral Breeding Ground is detected.

This suggests to me an unusual plan. Most schemes which involve Falsified Transaction Expert include an advanceable ambush node -- that is, advance a Vacant Soulkiller several times, and if the runner doesn't kill himself on it, the advancement counters can be moved elsewhere with Falsified Transaction Expert.

I would like to try advancing Viral Breeding Ground up to and past its difficulty of four, and leaving the agenda unscored. After that, Falsified Transaction Expert is used to score agenda from HQ. Finally, after five agenda points are scored that way, *then* the original Breeding Ground is scored to win the game.


Frisky's Corner