Neal's Last Words
by Byron "Neal" Massey
Hacking on a Budget
Jim McCoy and I recently talked about building a stack with cheap
cards. If you've played Netrunner for very long, you know that "bits
are everything." The challenge is to construct a stack that
can perform on as little cash as possible.
Dennis Duncan's "Bozomatic" is the king of these decks.
It uses Zetatech Software Installers and Clowns to put the Runner
in a cash-free environment. It might be the coolest idea for a stack
in Netrunner's short history. I avoided Jack 'n' Joe and Zetatech
Software Installer out of respect for Bozomatic. You can add them
if you prefer.
This stack sets up quickly, but uses as few bits as possible. The
prototype costs 19 bits to install. It should generate about 70
bits in a game.
I tried to avoid multiples of powerful cards like Loan from Chiba.
You could replace the 15 bit-gaining cards with 11 Loans and 4 Access
through Alpha and have a much easier game. Not nearly as much fun,
The rarity distribution is Rares/Uncommons/Vitals/Commons: 4/8/11/24
Here's the stack:
Programs (14) Preps (17) Resources (11) Hardware (5)
3 Corolla Speed Chip
3 Livewire's Contacts
1 Loan from Chiba
1 Lucidrine Booster Drug
2 On the Fast Track
2 Short-Term Contract
3 Streetware Distributor
Wasn't this stack supposed to work without bits? The tradeoff for
a quick setup is using bits to break ICE. If you want to go completely
bitless, "Bozomatic" is as good as it gets.
An Organ Donor might help in the late game if your hand is full
of cards you don't need. I left out Smith's Pawnshop because there
aren't many cards that you will want to part with, once installed.
Poltergeist is a nice match for On the Fast Track.
2 WuTech Mem Chip
Even if you never get any of these cards, you should still be able
to function. There are 7 MU of programs in the stack, but you're
not likely to install them all.
1 Big Frackin' Gun
Plenty of room to experiment here. These breakers were chosen for
their low installation cost. Hammer might be an improvement, and
Pile Driver could save big money against large Walls. Breaking the
Sentries is going to be hard. The Corolla Speed Chips should help.
Card Access (9):
6 If You Want it Done Right...
3 Cruising for Netwatch
You won't get the bulk draws of Bodyweight Synthetic Blood, but
you should be able to pick and choose the cards you need with If
You Want it Done Right...
1 False Echo
1 Ice and Data's Guide to the Net
False Echo serves a dual purpose. It can force the Corp to spend
the bits it was saving, and it shows you the ICE you will encounter
next time you run the fort.
1 Access to Kiribati
1 Back Door to Hilliard
1 Emergency Self-Construct
1 Fall Guy
1 Weefle Initiation
This is minimal protection. If you have a bunch of cards, you could
replace these with Full Body Conversions and feel nearly as safe.
Make sure and install these if you have any fears at all. The Weefle
Initiation is designed to make it easier to pass Liche and other
horrors. It can also take the beating from a Vacant Soulkiller or
Virus Test Site. Just make sure you know it's coming (use the Mouse).
1 Preying Mantis
There is no MRAM in this stack. Use the Preying Mantis (and his
drug, Lucidrine) with extreme caution. Those brain cells aren't
going to be replaced.
For a Runner on a budget, this is a decent setup. There is no "lock"
here, which means difficulty in finishing a Corp off if the game
progresses to the later stages. If you want to spend big money,
you could add in a Corporate Ally to help slow the CEO down.
I hope you have fun with this stack. At worst, it may give you
some ideas for Gridlock II Weekend. Meanwhile, I'm going back to
the mailroom to earn another four bits.