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Trace Mechanic

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 I'm reminded with cards like Audit of Call Records, Netwatch Voucher, and Trojan Horse, that there will always be more ways to give out tags than with traces. So I don't think the B&T concept will be obsolesced with this change.

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Wow… the 'call', 'raise', 'fold' terminology is really off in my mind and Ed's example is a bit of a run-on and hard to follow.

It was never intended to be a perfect analogy, just to show that the idea of knowing how much your opponent has bid does still allow for bluffing and keeps the focus on the what and why in regards to the run rather than a rather arbitrary blind bid system. I'll put up some translations so that you can see what I was referring to a bit easier… but remember it was never intended to be a statement that the two were identical, just that the process and bluffing aspects were similar.

The Corp is going to have Trace values in the 1-2 range (generally, I'm sure there will be a few bigger values) and the Runner will have links established of 0-1. Every TRACE routine gives the Runner a choice: Break it with Breakers (if available), or suffer the trace and try to outrun it.

Once the first decision (break or don't break) is made by the Runner, if the TRACE is happening, the CORP then gets a decision: Boost or don't boost. If they're already at +2, then that's 2 credits the Runner needs to spend in order to avoid the effect.

That Trace Value is like being big blind in poker, I've already got an investment in this hand. First bet goes to me and the question is do I wish to raise it or leave it as is.

Once the TRACE value (passive + spent credits) is established, the action is back on the Runner to spend credits to avoid the effect, or just accept things as are and accept the effect.

This is where the runner decides whether he wants to commit credits to the pot matching the trace attempt, or fold and let the attempt go through. In the process of making this decision the runner is going to have to start calculating how many credits he needs to make it through the rest of the exposed ICE as well as start figuring out how many credits the Corp has that they can spend on unrezzed ICE, and how much they can spend on any cards in their hand that may punish the Runner for being tagged. Added to this is deciding whether or not you have enough actions and credits after the run to remove any tags gained or draw any additional cards to make up for damage done during this run.

As the Runner installs LINK cards, the decisions will change because the Corp will go from not having to pay in order to have a higher TRACE to always needing to boost if they want a chance at the effect.

The Runner LINK cards we've seen so far have a 'payoff' value of about 3, meaning that it takes 3 uses in a TRACE/LINK war for them to break even, and more for them to 'pay off'.

As the game progresses the Corp goes from being the Big Blind to being the Small Blind, where he must devote extra credits to force the runner to even consider the need to spend credits.

Not a perfect analogy at all, but I thought it was decent enough. Sorry for confusing the matter.



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 I think it's a solid analogy… in order to avoid a run on as I've let myself do in the past, I'll break down the circumstances where a trace is taken into account in my views.

I am using bits as I cannot remember exactly what the terminology is going to be Creds perhaps, anyway, not important, but the ideas are what I'm trying to get across.

Runner runs into an ice with a trace subroutine that sie can break, it is hir decision to either break the subroutine (fold - The runner has folded as sie has paid the cost to break that trace and those bits are gone.) or allow it to go through [or not be able to stop it]  (call - The runner has entered into a pot.).    

Now, assuming the runner allows the trace to go through, we go to our actual pot. 

If the corporation is willing to outspend what the runner can do, the corporation tags the runner (wins the pot)


The corporation wants a tag on the runner because they have the cards in hand and resources on the table to take advantage of a tagged runner(They have the hole cards.), but cannot outspend what the runner can do, they commit as much to the trace as they are willing to.  The runner can either:

[runner misreads the corp and feels safe in having a tag] save their bits (call - The runner feels like the corp can't do anything to hir and is willing to have a tag as they don't believe the corp has the resources to hurt them, or doesn't have the hole cards to beat them to further the Poker analogy) or…

[runner correctly reads the corp] give enough bits to prevent the tag (fold - The runner is going to lose the bits.  Sie feels like the Corp has the resources in hand, on the board, etc to take advantage of the tag, furthering the Poker analogy the runner fee)






The corporation wants only to drain the bank account of the runner because they don't have the necessary cards in hand(They are bluffing), at this point they are trying to commit enough to the pot that the runner will still use what they can to avoid the trace.

[runner misreads the corp and feels threatened] gives enough bits to avoid the tag (fold - The runner loses the bits).

[runner correctly reads the corp] takes the tag (call - The runner saves their bits).


All of these are magnified the closer the bit pools of the runner and corp are.  (Just as in poker, hands mean much more when the players involved have closer stacks.)

The player that correctly reads the situations and can make more meaningful decisions will eventually have the proper currency to win the game, be it by making more effectual runs, or being able to more efficiently protect and advance their agendas.





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