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Neal's Last Words

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Emails to the Editor:
Bozomatic Again

by Byron "Neal" Massey

I read Daniel's letter about your Bozomatic review in the last TRQ issue, and I thought that I could answer a few of the questions he asked:

1) Part of this evaluation depends on how many turns you want to spend setting up. In my experience, Dennis never played a game that took nine turns to get running. We always figured on six and sometimes it was five. With that kind of time limitation, it turns out that Jack 'n' Joe, Valu-Pak and Zetatech Software Installer really are the best choices. Of course I would love to be proved wrong (and this was all right after Proteus came out, three years ago).

2) It's true that Dennis set out with a goal of an all-program, all-free stack. Daniel suggests that Bodyweight etc. is better without those goals. But after a lot of testing with Dennis and Rob Leachman, we found that the very best way to install all those Clowns quickly was to not take the actions to generate bits and pay for Bodyweight.
After four actions, Dennis has generally accomplished the following things:

  • Drawn nine new cards;
  • installed five cards; and
  • "generated" (in quotations because all the bits come from Zetatech Software Installers and Valu-Pak) about 6-9 bits.
That's remarkable production!

3) Everyone in the group that tested HyperClown, along with most tournament players in our region, agree that Toughonium Wall is a piece of junk. We never worry about it; we love to see the Corp spend that kind of money on a terrible piece of ice. If Dennis did encounter Toughonium - his six Clowns, along with a base 'breaker strength of 2, were more than enough to pass it for free.

4) Dennis chose his breakers just as Proteus was released. He eventually switched over to Wrecking Ball, but in practice, this microscopic change affected about one in twenty games (there just aren't many giant walls out there in tournament land). He chose Forward's Legacy to give himself a chance to handle huge sentries - he would have done the same thing if there was a similar breaker for Walls and Code Gates. Why not the cheaper Wild Card? Because the installation cost of the 'breaker is completely irrelevant in HyperClown. The multiple Zetatech Software Installers crank out huge amounts of bits. Going cheap has almost no meaning.

Having the higher-strength 'breakers in HyperClown (like Wizard's Book instead of Codecracker) has another advantage: Dennis could run with fewer Clowns installed. In those days, with Psycho Tycho being shunned on principle, it was an excellent choice, and it still is.

5) The strange mixture of Daemons was Dennis' personal decision, and it does look funny at first sight. The Succubi were chosen to hold the icebreakers, of course, and the Afreets to save slots in a stack that runs at 50 cards already. Dennis did a lot of trial and error with this deck, and he decided that this was the best mixture. Simply knowing his genius and the sheer number of games he played, I believe he must have arrived at the right mixture, or at least gotten very, very close.

Bozomatic did evolve. The original version had three Armageddons instead of three Viral Pipelines - that version is still legal in Revised Constructed play. It also added the Wrecking Ball mentioned earlier. The second Joan of Arc was Dennis' addition of caution: He really, really feared Chimera, and for good reason. In his stack, Joan of Arc can prevent the trashing of nearly all his cards - having two may not be necessary, but it is easy to understand the choice.

The biggest weakness of the deck was City Surveillance, and that was a big weakness. Dennis had to just ignore the tags, and when he got blown up, he lost his hand and an action per turn. The sooner that happened, the worse it was for him, and if he lost his MIT in the explosion, he usually resigned. Identity Donor had just come out at that time, and I think it makes a lot of sense (in addition to ESC) for a more secure plan.

P.S. I worked out a faster, riskier version of the idea that I never played, because it was Dennis' baby from the start. With Matador and Rent-I-Con out there, it might just be time to bring it back...

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TRQ #24
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TRQ #23
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TRQ #22
TRQ #21
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TRQ #20
TRQ #19
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TRQ #18
TRQ #17
TRQ #16
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TRQ #15
TRQ #14
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TRQ #12
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TRQ #11
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TRQ #09
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TRQ #08
TRQ #07
TRQ #06
TRQ #05
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TRQ #04
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TRQ #02
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TRQ #01