by Frisco Del Rosario
The sky is falling
Meat damage is in.
After the advent of the "tag me" decks and their multiple Full
Body Conversions, decks which dealt meat damage went into decline.
However, clever corporate players are finding ways to bag previously-bulletproof
runners. Furthermore, these new strategies are proving especially
effective against runners which do not employ outstanding meat damage
The Lesley Major sysop can rough up a runner in a few different
ways. Lure a runner into a fort which contains Lesley Major and
Cybertech Think Tank, plus firestarter (Homewrecker or Cinderella)
ice. As the runner approaches the firestarter, Rez Lesley, pay five
bits to advance Cybertech two times. Rez the ice, then Cybertech
Think Tank to increase the unpreventable meat damage by two.
This combination may be more fancily achieved by use of other
sysops -- Pavit Bharat and Olivia Salazar -- and if Cybertech Think
Tank is advanced far enough, Lesley Major isn't needed at all.
The combination of Lesley Major and Pavit Bharat can soften up
the Full Body Converted runners by surprising them with Corprunner's
Shattered Remains. Of course, Lesley and Pavit may also be used
to harm a runner with Viral Breeding Ground and Bizarre Encryption
Scheme, or any other advanceable ambush.
One of the earliest attempts to flatline runners with unpreventable
meat damage centered around using Lisa Blight or Marcel deSoleil
to repeat a firestarter subroutine. The problem with that was that
Cindy and Homewrecker routines end the run, and save the runner
from dealing with the replicated damage. Lisa and Marcel went back
to work in the Bolter Cluster division.
Standard "tag and bag" decks took an evolutionary twist during
the age of full-bodied runners. In place of the Chance Observation/Urban
Renewal strike, many corporate players are turning to major explosions
-- Manhunt plus Schlaghund or I Got a Rock. (Speaking of Manhunt,
Byron Massey's observation bears repeating: Manhunt and Schlaghund
Pointers were obviously meant to bear each other's name.)
I suppose the idea is that the Full Body Converted runners are
going to get away, but we might be able to blow up a couple of guys
who merely sit in an Armored Fridge. I think these corporations
hope to blow away a couple of "tag me" runners as well, by doing
the big damage rapidly, before the defense is set.
I've enjoyed playing with Schlaghund (see Dog Whistle: Improving
the Siren Deck in the archives), but I have had a hard time taking
I Got a Rock seriously. A cost of three agenda points to
crush a twice-tagged weefle? Also, its rez cost is higher and its
trash cost is lower than Schlaghund's. But you know something? I'm
being converted by popular opinion. I've seen enough meteors fall
from the sky lately to believe that the card is enough fun to play
even if the rare runner has an Identity Donor.
Another factor which favors Rock over Schlaghund is that Rock
only requires the runner to be tagged twice. Occasionally a Schlaghund
die roll will fail. Have you considered this very fine distinction
between tag operations? When you play with Schlaghund, Datapool
by Zetatech adds tags for the purposes of the die roll, but when
you play with Rock, Netwatch Credit Voucher deals the last tag needed,
and awards what could possibly be the third bit needed to rez the
Empty Mailbag: I received no mail about last week's Frisky AI,
in which I wrote that the best thing to do about a card installed
in a subsidiary fort on the corp's first turn, then advanced twice,
is to ignore it. I suppose you all think I've gone completely out
of my mind.