“The stakes have gotten higher than you might have anticipated, Mr. Santiago. We’ll continue to support you as long as this partnership remains profitable, but we strongly recommend that you watch your step.”
–Mr. Li, broker
As the Genesis Cycle draws to a close, the cyberstruggles of Android: Netrunner escalate to the brink of full-scale war! Runners have used their new ice and upgraded hardware to launch series after series of runs, and Corps have respond by channeling funds into the development of new ice and server upgrades. In a world where the next, stronger piece of ice or game-changing icebreaker is just several lines of code away, what truly is Future Proof?
Future Proof concludes the Genesis Cycle with sixty new cards (three copies each of twenty different cards) that balance the latest upgrades in software with a renewed focus on resources in the meat world. In addition to their innovative new icebreakers, the game’s Runners get new resources and events while the Corporations focus on bolstering their servers and developing assets designed for open hostilities. When tricks, traps, and roadblocks don’t serve as sufficient deterrents, some Corporations will meet the Runners with swords in hand, ready for virtual duels.
“Runners? I’d like to offer them all some prime real estate at the bottom of the bay.”
–Weyland Consortium’s V.P. of Urban Planning commenting off the record
The Corporations of Android: Netrunner are megalithic conglomerations, vast empires of wealth built by code, credits, and plascrete. They’re dedicated to the pursuit of credits, they view all challenges in terms of credits, and some who manage them are unlikely to balk at taking ethically questionable actions to remove obstacles such as runners if those actions prove to increase the corp’s net gain.
Accordingly, Future Proof introduces the game’s first “Hostile” assets. Ronin (Future Proof, 112) and Dedicated Response Team (Future Proof, 118) illustrate the new, militant Corporate mindset shared by the Jinteki and Weyland Consortium factions.
Similar to traps, these assets are set apart by the fact that Runners don’t need to access them in order for the Corporation to trigger their effects. This means the Corp player can take a more active role in making use of these assets; he doesn’t need to rely so much upon bluffing. On the other hand, the cards are less efficient and immediately impactful than similarly priced traps and events.
As an example, Ronin must be advanced at least four times before it can be triggered, meaning that once it’s installed, it costs four clicks and four credits in order to function. Afterward, Ronin requires one more click, and the Corp must trash it in order to deal three net damage. By way of comparison, Jinteki’s Project Junebug (Core Set, 69) can deal six net damage for just three advancement and one credit held in reserve for such a time as when the Runner accesses it. Similarly, Dedicated Response Team packs only half the punch of Scorched Earth (Core Set, 99).
But the benefit of these hostile assets is that they allow Corporations to pursue more pro-active courses of action. Jinteki players can hold a Ronin in reserve for the moment they catch a Runner down to two cards in hand; then they can unleash the asset and win the game. Or, by advancing two Ronins, the Jinteki player can destroy his foe in a single flash of virtual violence. Likewise, a Dedicated Response Team allows the Weyland Consortium to shift its focus from “tagging and bagging” to advancing its agendas, protected by its mercenary security force.
When you look at how either these assets couples with its Corporation’s traditional strengths, you’ll see that the cyberstruggles of the Genesis Cycle are reaching the boiling point – especially when you consider that there’s no reason a Jinteki or Weyland Consortium player can’t run three copies of both in his deck!
The Data War Begins
There are no armies. There are no generals. No tanks. No planes. No battlefield, except that which is rendered digitally. Yet there are combatants, there are victors, and there are victims.
Warfare takes a new shape as the conflicts of Android: Netrunner are set to explode with the upcoming release of Future Proof!
Look for the exciting conclusion to the Genesis Cycle for Android: Netrunner to arrive at retailers everywhere early in the third quarter of 2013!