NBN agenda seems a bit underwhelming. I'm gonna assume with all the focus on trace in this cycle there will be more ways for runners to get their link up, making a trace² seem a bit meh. Not horrible, but doesn't get me excited.
Are you kidding? That's a trace that happens on the Corp's turn! Which means if it succeeds, that's a tag. And there's no turn limit on the action, so the Corp can just go trace crazy. If the runner doesn't pay up or get some link, they're gonna be swamped with tags. Right now, NBN has the best use for multiple tags (Psychographics), so this works well for them.
It really just means that players are now going to have to consider boosting their link, though not just because of this card. Of course, it does present one significant reason for doing so.
As far as some of the other cards in the set, Imp looks pretty solid, but I wish they hadn't introduced it alongside Whizzard. It clearly outclasses Whizzard's trashing ability when you run into something high cost like PAD Campaign or SanSan. Granted it does take up memory and is not unlimited, but combining it with Grimoire for an extra use, Noise for a random trash, and the Pawnshop for some extra dough when you're done sounds more appealing than what Whizzard is offering right now.
Spinal Modem is a little too risky right now considering there's still no way to prevent or remove brain damage. Even if (when?) there does eventually become some way to prevent/remove brain damage, I would imagine it would be costly. Not sure if this card makes it worth it, especially considering the addition of some rather nasty trace abilities within this expansion alone.
Morning Star is a hard one to peg on usefulness. In comparison to Corroder, it seems like it would only save credits in a small and limited number of situations. Not sure that it's worth the 2 MU and 8 cost for situational gains.
And Peacock… ha, funny. Now nobody can complain that criminals don't have a code gate breaker… or maybe they could. Heck, even Key Master is better than that, and Key Master is probably only good for pairing with Yog.0, for those times when you can't use Yog, but don't want to spend extra memory on something else.
Helpful AI seems pretty good, but I rarely find myself making multiple runs into clutters of ice during a single turn, and that's simply because I don't often find a reason to be making more than one big run per turn. It seems like that would be the situation where it would really do well, so not sure if I would use it all that often, or even at all.
Plascrete Carapace is… interesting. Certainly would be handy against Weyland, but with no other effect than to prevent meat damage, not sure if I would run it all that often, especially if I'm playing criminal.
The new HB identity is interesting, but right now, its probably not as good as the original. Once we get into the neighborhood of 6+ Bioroid ice cards, then we're talking serious business, but right now, I think I would still prefer credit generation over a limited strength boost.
I definitely agree with the costing of Mandatory Upgrades, but it's probably gonna take me some time to figure out a solid way of playing this agenda, and eventually getting it scored consistently.
Janus… he's big.
Braintrust is definitely going to improve Jinteki's playability by a significant margin, but I have to admit that I kinda like their other card a little more (Snowflake). I like ice that offers the chance for playing head games.
TMI is pretty solid, and is definitely going to improve NBN's playability.
Project Atlas is really only good for one reason: it's worth 2 points. Now Weyland can really threaten that agenda victory… and maybe pull some cards from their deck while they're at it.
Fun stuff… now time to go rebuild my decks.