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The Dioscuri: We Hardly Know Them

by Jens Kreutzer

In this TRQ issue, I'm presenting the final two Dioscuri cards (see below). There are now six cards for both the Corp and the Runner side, almost all of which were created by Douglas Kaufman - since there were only five Runner cards in the Dioscuri submitted by him, I thought up a sixth Runner card myself: Check it out below.

Though it is only now that all the Dioscuri cards can be seen in context, the response to this design experiment has been rather underwhelming, which is a pity. Maybe it's because everybody is still coming to grips with Classic? Please feel free to send your emails and express your thoughts now. Here are mine for a start. Basically, the idea behind the Dioscuri is sound: Create "factions" to encourage otherwise underused strategic approaches. We know this from quite a number of other TCGs (like Legend of the Five Rings, 7th Sea etc.), so there is no reason why it should not work for Netrunner, too.

What I (still) see as a flaw (I'm repeating myself here), is that some of the Dioscuri come without any drawback. The Corp card below is a good example. Now, the premise was to draw the Dioscuri randomly in a Sealed-deck or Booster Draft environment, so that everybody was guaranteed to play with one. Given this, you'd have to make sure that even with such a limited card pool, each Dioscuri would make a difference. In that sense, if, for example, "Mu Nu Gamma" depends on Black Ops or Black Ice to even work, while "Paranoid Bob" works automatically and all the time, I can understand that designing a Dioscuri with only positive effects (and that is even increasing hand size to boot) might be a wise decision to counteract the more versatile Dioscuri. In this way, you could say that the Dioscuri are balanced against each other.

What doesn't work, however, is one player playing with a Dioscuri and the other without one. If the Dioscuri used has only positive effects, the player using it has an unfair advantage over his opponent. Consequently, when playing with Dioscuri cards, both players would have to use them to create a fair environment, and both players would have to prepare accordingly. This narrows down the opportunities for using the Dioscuri, which is bad, but as long as everybody is aware of the problem, we can live with it.

That said, I think that Sealed tournaments where Dioscuri were either randomly distributed or could be picked to match up with what you drew would be quite interesting, as would be a Constructed tournament where everybody could build decks beforehand around their favorite Dioscuri incarnation. Now that all twelve of them are available, tournament directors are more than welcome to organize such events (and to tell about their experiences). The card texts would have to be printed out as text (as of now, there is one laudable project of creating artwork for the Dioscuri on the Internet, but it is unfinished) and perhaps be inserted into card sleeves (with also cards in them) for randomization. I'll put a file with all twelve card texts on my website so that you can download it (in the Goodies section).

One last remark: The names we have given the Dioscuri are working names only. If you have any better suggestions, please make them heard. And now: Have fun trying out the Dioscuri!

Jens Kreutzer (and Douglas Kaufman)

The Dioscuri (Part Six)

Mu Nu Gamma - DIOSCURI - Corp

0: Discard a Black Ops or Black Ice card face-up into the Archives to either gain 3* or remove one Bad Publicity counter.

A, trash a rezzed piece of Black Ice: Gain 5* or remove four Bad Publicity counters.

Starting Hand: 6
Starting Bits: 5

Paranoid Bob, Ex-Combat Runner - DIOSCURI - Runner

At the start of each of your turns, for each installed unrevealed Corporation card, pay either 2* or forfeit your next action. Then, reveal all of these cards.

A: Reveal an installed Corporation card.

"Third Corporate War, Militech Special Ops. Used to tag along with the solo team. They hit the perimeter defense and the other Corp's solos; I hit the first terminal I could find. Then, they'd clear up meatspace resistance, I'd clear the 'Net. One day, damn sysops set me up. Liche nearly ate me up alive. Now, I always look where I go. I'm not cannon fodder anymore, ya know?"
- Paranoid Bob, Ex-Combat Runner

[The Dioscuri - Part Five] [Close file]

TRQ #24
- 2005 -
TRQ #23
- 2004 -
TRQ #22
TRQ #21
- 2003 -
TRQ #20
TRQ #19
- 2002 -
TRQ #18
TRQ #17
TRQ #16
- 2001 -
TRQ #15
TRQ #14
TRQ #13
TRQ #12
- 2000 -
TRQ #11
TRQ #10
TRQ #09
- 1999 -
TRQ #08
TRQ #07
TRQ #06
TRQ #05
- 1998 -
TRQ #04
TRQ #03
TRQ #02
- 1997 -
TRQ #01