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Neal's Last Words


Neal's Last Words

by Byron "Neal" Massey

Really Big Dogs

Big forts! Sentries with strength 12 that do six Net damage! Agenda advanced in unprotected forts! A large staff of Sysops, including a Ph. D. ! Taking over third-world countries! More fun than legally allowed!

This week's R&D is designed to build a huge, expensive fort over a Rio City Grid, and generate bits in the process. Once the Siren is installed in the fort, the Runner has to stand helplessly by as we advance our agenda in Wilderspace.

13 Commons/3 Vitals/19 Uncommons/10 Rares

Agenda (5) Nodes (4) Upgrades (8) Operations (6) ICE (20)

3 Corporate Downsizing
2 Political Overthrow

4 Edgerunner, Inc., Temps
2 Off-Site Backups

4 Siren

13 Coyote
7 Dog Pile
3 Chester Mix
1 Lisa Blyte
3 Olivia Salazar
1 Omni Kismet, Ph. D.

1 Rio De Janeiro City Grid
1 Obfuscated Fortress

We must be willing to take some risks in the first few turns. We might lose a key upgrade or even an agenda from R&D or HQ. If we find a Political Overthrow in HQ before we get the Siren installed, it's usually better to put the Overthrow inside the big fort. We'll advance and protect it as fast as we can.

Meet The Staff

Olivia Salazar can rerez the top Coyote each time we activate the Siren, earning three bits. She can also flash a Coyote near the bottom of the fort to keep it unrezzed. Omni Kismet can replace that same Coyote with a Dog Pile later in the game.

Omni Kismet can place a Dog Pile on the bottom of the fort in the unlikely event that it arrives too late. If there is already a Dog Pile on the bottom of the fort, but we are able to avoid rezzing the first Coyote above it, Omni can swap in a second Dog Pile immediately above the first.

Lisa Blyte has been added to our staff as a nice surprise for confident Runners. Her work in the Obfuscated Fortress is quite impressive.

Chester Mix should be installed in the big fort as quickly as possible. His economic skill is essential to our success.

The Off-Site Backups should make us feel better about letting an upgrade or Siren go the Archives.

There is generally no need to save more than one Dog Pile in our HQ, so we'll discard any extras that are drawn.

This plan is fast enough to stop most Big Dig efforts, and once the Dog Pile is covered by seven or eight Coyotes, things start getting really interesting for the Runner. In almost every situation, each Coyote causes the Runner to spend 3 bits. That's a great ratio for a piece of ICE that has already paid us 3 bits.

"For those willing to take that risk, this plan offers great rewards."

Our choice of agenda is an area of concern. There is no way to win without scoring a Political Overthrow, so timing is essential. The upside is that, by playing with only 5 agenda cards, we reduce the early risk of an unprotected R&D and HQ. The opportunity to score a Corporate Downsizing with a Political Overthrow in HQ is excellent.

Things can get very difficult if we encounter a Runner who is destroying ICE. Our best defense might be to install as many Dog Piles as possible on a single fort.

This deck seems to play a little differently each time we try it. There is definitely some risk involved with early exposure of HQ and R&D. For those willing to take that risk, this plan offers great rewards.

Our best effort so far was a strength 12 Dog Pile that did 12 Net damage and ended runs. If the Runner had chosen not to break the Coyote subroutines, he would have created a strength 24 Dog Pile. There's something we can all be proud of!