last update 03.09.2006 12:01
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Frisky's Corner

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 defense.

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 meteor.

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.


Frisky's Corner