“How do you visualize static? I see thieves prowling the net in slow-motion, their hacks disrupted, crawling down the paths we set before them. The greatest securities don’t stop these criminals and their progress but route them where we choose.”
–H.O. Murakami, Jinteki network designs
The seven different factions of Android: Netrunner continue to explore new space in program design; each of the four Corporations receives a new piece of ice, and all three Runners receive a new icebreaker. As part of the Genesis Cycle, A Study in Static focuses on developing each faction’s traditional strengths even as it opens up new strategies for players to explore. New resources and agendas permit players to pursue tightly focused deck builds centered around an increasing number of tricks and traps. Meanwhile, A Study in Static also allows players to reevaluate their existing decks and reconfigure them for greater efficiency.
With their advancements in ice, icebreakers, and hardware, the sixty new cards from A Study in Static (three copies each of twenty individual cards) escalate the game’s cyberstruggles to a new form of art. No longer do the factions content themselves to building and breaking snares and subroutines; they turn their attentions to the flow of time itself. So much as time is a matter of perception and of movement, A Study in Static is a study in the ability to accelerate and impede the passage of time.
In A Study in Static, all the Corporations gain new means of thwarting Runners’ efforts. Neutral consultants promote secure agendas meant to lure runners away from higher-priority agendas. Haas-Bioroid gains a piece of ice capable of wiping out a Runner’s whole turn. Meanwhile, the software engineers at Jinteki developed a piece of ice that employs a stall tactic built on misdirection rather than draining clicks.
Jinteki is a bit of an eccentric Corporation. Its security engineers have designed their defenses around subtlety, stealth, and misdirection rather than raw stopping power. Accordingly, it should surprise no one that their latest piece of ice, Bullfrog (A Study in Static, 73), is a code gate deflector full of devious potential.
In Android: Netrunner, as in real life, it’s impossible to create a lock that someone else can’t pick, a door that a Runner can’t open, or a wall that a Runner can’t break. Where other Corporations might employ their considerable economies to developing stronger and bigger barriers that strain the Runners’ abilities to break them, Jinteki’s security team recognizes that most Runners share a certain brash curiosity that they can use to their advantage. They don’t seek to stop the Runners, just guide them into the servers of their choice – preferably those loaded with a Snare! (Core Set, 70) or layers of punishing ice the Runner can’t break. As a last resort, Bullfrog can even be used to lead the Runner away from a server hosting an agenda and over to the archives or another remote server that hosts a less critical, more expendable asset.
Of course, even though Bullfrog has a solid strength for its cost, its subroutine can be broken. That’s a good reason to consider upgrading it with one of Haas-Bioroid’s Corporate Troubleshooters (Core Set, 65). Then, once you’ve used Bullfrog and moved it to its new server, you can overwrite the server with an unrezzed card – asset or agenda – and dare the Runner to make a play for it. Why? Because you’re Jinteki, and your company has been hard at work exploring and establishing the limits of time, space, and subterfuge on the net.
Backward, Forward, Standing Still
Look for Bullfrog and a host of new programs, resources, and other cards in A Study in Static to redefine the nature of time on the net. A Study in Static is scheduled to release in the first quarter of 2013!