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Posted 13 December 2012 - 11:47 AM

“Your new optics are now ready. Enjoy.”
    –Nurse Hannah 3J4VN2

What Lies Ahead, the first Data Pack for Android: Netrunner, is now available at your local retailer!

As it issues players into the technological warfare of the Genesis Cycle, What Lies Ahead provides major boosts to all of the game’s seven factions, permitting the exploration of new strategies and more focused deck builds. New agendas, ice, icebreakers, hardware, and resources shake up the network, and fans of the Anarch and Haas-Bioroid factions should delight in the expansion’s two new identities.

A Different Breed of Machine

We’ve already seen the new Anarch identity, Whizzard (What Lies Ahead, 1) and how his approach to running differs greatly from that of the Core Set Anarch, Noise (Core Set, 1). Instead of sending the top card of R&D to the Archives each time he installs a virus program, Whizzard keeps three credits on hand each turn to trash cards directly when he accesses them. While his ability reinforces the Anarchs’ traditional strengths in trashing cards and their destructive tendencies, Whizzard steers the Anarchs toward economic supremacy, via the destruction of Corporate assets, and away from the Archive-diving and file depletion strategies that Noise better supports.

Likewise, What Lies Ahead also adds an extra dimension to Haas-Bioroid with the new identity card, Haas-Bioroid, Stronger Together (What Lies Ahead, 10).

In the Core Set, Haas-Bioroid’s identity, Engineering the Future (Core Set, 54), was all about the efficient installation of defenses. It allowed the Corp player to gain a credit the first time he installed a card each turn. Many Haas-Bioroid players took full advantage of the economic benefits by building tremendous defenses, tucking their agendas and assets deep within massive servers, layered with ice and upgrades.

However, those servers, as large as they were, were far from impregnable. Savvy Runners found ways to accelerate their economies to match. Thus, in What Lies Ahead, another competing section of Haas-Bioroid has promoted a new strategy, modifying the strength of every piece of ice it installs. This shift may slow Haas-Bioroid’s initial installment of its ice, but it leads toward greater advantages later in the game. For example, when the Runner has managed to install icebreakers for each type of ice, he needs only to generate the necessary resources to break subroutine after subroutine. When the game reaches that point, the extra cost the Runner must pay to match the strength of each piece of ice eventually outstrips the early advantages that Haas-Bioroid’s new identity forfeits.

This shift toward the late game appears not only in Haas-Bioroid’s new identity, but in its agenda, Mandatory Upgrades (What Lies Ahead, 11), which requires a heavy investment to advance to completion. Still, once the agenda has been scored, it pays off in dividends, granting the Haas-Bioroid player an extra click to spend each turn. It’s uncertain exactly how powerful this extra click will prove, but it’s safe to say that it will be highly impactful.

Forge Your Own Identity

With the sixty new cards (three copies each of twenty individual cards) from What Lies Ahead, you can use Whizzard and Haas-Bioroid, Stronger Together to explore the factions’ new potential, or you can explore the new strategies available to all of the Core Set identities.

Head to your local retailer today to pick up your copy, and discover What Lies Ahead!

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