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SAMPLE GAME

We and the Runner have each taken our starting bit pools ( 5) from our respective bit banks. As per standard operating procedure, we place our bit pool next to R&D, to represent the HQ data fort.

Next, we draw five cards from R&D, and the Runner draws five from his or her stack. Our cards turn out to be the sentry ice Code Corpse, the wall ice Fire Wall, the code gate ice Keeper, the node Rockerboy Promotion, and the upgrade Red Herrings. We then make the mandatory draw to begin our turn, which produces the operation Accounts Receivable as our sixth card. Now we are ready to take our three actions for the turn.

Our first priority is to put ice on vulnerable forts to keep the Runner from stealing our agendas. We are never quite sure what R&D is up to, and for all we know, the next card of R&D could be an agenda. Therefore it makes sense to install ice on that data fort. And while we have no agendas stored in HQ, we do have a node and an upgrade that the Runner could trash if they were accessed, so we would like to protect HQ as well.

Having determined that we must protect both our forts if possible, we consider the ice we have available. The first ice card on each fort is installed for free, but if we can't pay to rez a card, it won't stop the Runner if the Runner decides to ignore it and run the fort, so our first concern is whether we can rez our cards. Our Fire Wall costs 5 to rez, Keeper costs 4, and Code Corpse costs 10. Our starting 5 does not allow us to rez any two of these ice, but playing Accounts Receivable will increase our bit pool to 9, giving us just enough bits to rez Fire Wall and Keeper (as long as we don't install them both on the same data fort, which would cost us 1 for the second ice installed). So we decide to spend our three actions playing Accounts Receivable, installing Fire Wall on R&D, and then installing Keeper in front of HQ.
Running Bit Total: Runner: 5; Us: 9

While the Corp was going about its business, you were looking at your hand. The five cards you drew were The Short Circuit (a resource), the preps Score! and Livewire's Contacts, the program Force Shield, and Zetatech Mem Chip (hardware). Checking out the playing field, you see that the Corp has installed ice in front of R&D and in front of HQ, and has the bits to use them. Making a run on either fort right now would be risky, since either ice could be a sentry. Running into a code gate or wall wouldn't be too bad, though, as chances are the ice would simply end your run, but a sentry could easily trace you to your location or slap you with some Net damage--or do something just as depressing. Force Shield would help with the Net damage, but some sentries trash programs, and you wouldn't have any defense against that.

Luckily you have the resource The Short Circuit, which allows you to dig through your stack for programs, such as icebreakers. You spend the first action of your turn installing the Circuit, paying its installation cost of 1. As your second action, you pay 1 to use The Short Circuit's ability to search through your stack, and you quickly settle on Loony Goon, which is a relatively cheap, versatile icebreaker designed to defeat sentries. You show Loony Goon to the Corp before bringing it into your hand, as per The Short Circuit's card text, and then shuffle your stack.

Sadly, you can't afford the icebreaker's installation cost of 4 anymore, and you certainly can't afford to use Loony Goon once it's in play. So you spend your third and fourth actions playing Livewire's Contacts and Score!, bringing your bit pool first to 6 and then 10.
Running Bit Total: You: 10; Corp: 9

Turn 2:

As always, we begin our turn by drawing a card. This time we draw the agenda Employee Empowerment, which is worth 3 agenda points for the player who scores it. (It's a good thing we protected R&D last turn!) However, we must now decide how best to keep the Runner from accessing the data. Do we install it, and hope to process it quickly, or do we keep the agenda in HQ, and improve our defenses? If we install the agenda and then install the Code Corpse to protect it, the Runner may get the agenda, since the Runner can break sentries. We decide to consolidate our resources before creating any new data forts, so we spend our first action installing Code Corpse in front of HQ, just outside Keeper. Since we aren't trashing Keeper, we pay an installation cost of 1 to do this. We're just a couple bits shy of being able to rez Code Corpse, so we spend our second and third actions drawing a total of 2 from the bank.
Running Bit Total: Runner: 10; Us: 10

The Corp hasn't created a subsidiary data fort for you to plunder yet, so your options for running are limited to R&D and HQ, given that running the Archives is pointless. Since the Corp just installed a second piece of ice in front of HQ, it's unlikely that you'll have the right icebreakers to get through, or that you'd be able to afford to break the ice even if you did. You decide to run on R&D. But first, you install Loony Goon, at a cost of 4, giving you an option for breaking ice. This leaves you with 6, which is enough to use Loony Goon to break almost any seentry with a single subroutine. However, you could be in trouble if the ice is strong and has multiple routines, so you spend your second action drawing 1 from the bit bank to give yourself more of a cushion. For your third action, you run against R&D.

The Runner is making a run against R&D, and is fast approaching Fire Wall. Rezzing Fire Wall would leave us with only 5, and we need to plan ahead to the protection of HQ. 4 is enough to rez the Keeper ice on HQ, but not the Code Corpse. However, the Runner still can't break Keeper, and we have four cards in our hand, so even if the Runner gets through to HQ successfully, we might not lose our agenda. We decide to rez Fire Wall on R&D, paying its rez cost of 5.

Whoops! Sadly, Loony Goon can only break sentries, so you can't break Fire Wall's subroutine. However (as is usually the case with walls), the only subroutine is " Subroutine: End the run," so the only penalty you suffer is that your run is ended.

For your last action, you are not sure what to do. Should you use The Short Circuit to find a wall-buster that you can use to break into R&D? Now that the Corp has fewer bits and might not be able to rez both pieces of ice in front of HQ, maybe you should run HQ. In the end, however, you decide to draw a card. You hope to get a better source of income, but instead you draw the prep Inside Job. Inside Job lets you get past the first piece of ice you encounter, for free, so you could use it to raid R&D, or to help you get into HQ. Drawing this card is your last action this turn, but you are already thinking about what you will do next turn. Maybe you should continue your quest for more bits, or go search for that wall-buster. So many options, so little time to stop the Corp's nefarious plans....
Running Bit Total: You: 7; Corp: 5

Turn 3:

Well, R&D and HQ are relatively safe right now, but this won't last long, since the Runner can continue to search for programs with The Short Circuit. Loony Goon, however, is going to be very expensive to use against Code Corpse, so the Runner won't be able to get through to HQ very often; once we rez Code Corpse, we should have more time to build up our resources. With anticipation, we draw a card to start our turn, and we get the operation Trojan Horse. Now we have a nasty surprise waiting for the Runner! If the Runner does manage to steal our Employee Empowerment or another agenda, we can play Trojan Horse, which tags the Runner after he or she steals an agenda. If we get a tag on the Runner, we could pay 2 to get rid of the resource The Short Circuit, which is giving us real problems. And there's always a chance that we'll draw a card that will enable us to deal with a tagged Runner permanently....


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