last update 03.09.2006 12:01
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Neal's Last Words

Frisky's Corner

by Frisco Del Rosario

Spring Break

It's vacation time. I've put in for the time off, I've booked a flight and reserved a room. In a month, I'm headed to Eugene, Oregon, for the Northwest NetRunner Championship. I'm not even sure if Wizards of the Coast is sanctioning this event, even though it will be conducted in WC's backyard, but I'm willing to invest time and money just to satisfy the jones.

In a sense, I feel obligated to go -- to spread the word, to evangelize. The EuCon organizers are committed to conducting NetRunner demonstrations throughout -- I think we who love the game and believe it's worth promoting should descend on EuCon and show the Wizards folks that we believe, by teaching and volunteering.

It's been seven *long* months since I've attended a Wizards-sanctioned NetRunner event. NetRunner almost died. Wizards claims poor sales; I think Proteus unbalanced it nearly to death. Meanwhile, Magic players are jetting all over the world to sling $350 cards in their global Pro Tour, and dating supermodels.

All we can do is build support at the grassroots level. Give cards away. Teach. Write.

That concludes today's sermon. Let's begin making our plans to win the Northwest NetRunner Championship.

What do we know about the opposition? I imagine that the corporate style in Oregon leans towards strong defense, given local hero Byron Massey's mean Highlighter/Demolition Run-based "Short Stack." Maybe I'll load up on Social Engineerings and Senatorial Field Trips to counter all the expected big ice.

I'm certainly going to pack a Terrorist Reprisal, which I think is as strong as other super runner cards like Loan from Chiba and Top Runners Conference, but much more stylish. Terrorist Reprisal is a counterpunch, smacking the evil corporation for its Executive Extraction.

In opposition to Terrorist Reprisal, it's easy to state the fact that the prep only counters Black Ops agenda, but, c'mon, we all play with Corporate War, whether we like it or not. Three agenda points for three difficulty -- difficulty which can be reduced! -- *plus* a 12-bit bonus (the occasional penalty is not relevant). Corporate War is a stupid munchkin card, but it's also the only three-point Black agenda, so if you don't want to play with too many small agenda and can't plan for Political Overthrow, you have to play with War.

Along with Terrorist Reprisal, I also plan to play with Deal with Militech, since all of my decks must include at least one crappy card.

Why is it that Desperate Competitor and Hot Tip for WNS reward agenda points for specific agenda liberation, but Deal with Militech confers nothing but a +1 strength counter on installed icebreakers? That's not even as good as a Clown, since Clown aids icebreakers played later.

Deal with Militech fits well in Clown decks in particular, since Clown schemes employ icebreakers with low strength. Part of Deal's reward is that a Clown not installed might also mean saving the cost of playing a daemon or memory chip.

One argument against Deal with Militech was that Artificial Security Directors was the only Research agenda in play, but with the advent of the mighty code gate plans, Encryption Breakthrough is increasingly encountered.


Frisky's Corner