18 December 2014 | Android: Netrunner LCG

Life and Death in the Virtual World

The Source Is Now Available for Android: Netrunner

#Netrunner

The drive was just a small block of metal. His hands were shaking.

Back on Earth, in the relative safety of his apartment, cyber-explorer Nasir Meidan stares at the quantum drive in his hand. He boots up his console. He wonders, was he able to complete his download? Does this drive truly contain the net’s legendary source protocols? What will he find?

After five Data Packs of thrilling lunar encounters, Corporate security measures, and armed mercenaries, all Nasir has left to do is pull up the files… The Source, the sixth and final Data Pack in the Lunar Cycle for Android: Netrunner, is now available at retailers and online through our webstore!

The Source brings the cat-and-mouse cyberstruggles of Android: Netrunner back to Earth, but its sixty new cards (three copies each of twenty different cards) ensure that game will be forever changed by your journeys. At the end of your lunar expedition, you’ll find a final look at the moon’s locations, grail ice, and Corporate divisions.

You’ll also find surprising new takes on life, evolution, and death in the virtual world. Corps gain new cards that power up their servers and others that can self-destruct. Meanwhile, self-propagating viruses explode into the network, even as talented Runners find new ways to summon programs out of the aether.

With The Source, it’s not a question of whether or not you’ll find the seeds of a new power; it’s a question of whether you’ll use that power to create or to destroy.

The Power to Create…

In Android: Netrunner, you build by developing your economy and board state, and you destroy by attacking your opponent’s economy and board state. The Source gives both Corp and Runner plenty of new tools to do both.

Corp players can quickly build up their servers and economies with ice like Errand Boy (The Source, 102) and Excalibur (The Source, 111), as well as operations like Shoot the Moon (The Source, 107).

  • Errand Boy is a piece of ice so apparently harmless that the Runner may simply never break any of its subroutines. However, the strength of Errand Boy isn’t in what it does to the Runner but what it does for the Corp. Weyland may use it to dig for copies of Scorched Earth (Core Set, 99) or Punitive Counterstrike (True Colors, 79), or it may simply collect the credits it will eventually need to pay for those cards. On the other hand, the ice’s low influence cost means that it is equally effective in a deck built around Jinteki: Replicating Perfection (Trace Amount, 31).
  • The last of the grail ice, Excalibur can only be broken by AI icebreakers, and this makes it a fantastic building block for a solid Corporate defense. You can pair it with Swordsman (Second Thoughts, 33) to slow down any Runner who wants to probe the server your Excalibur protects, or you could play it in a deck with Mother Goddess (Upstalk, 10) and Chimera (Cyber Exodus, 60), adding new measures of defense to a deck that forces the Runner to find unusual means of breaking or bypassing your ice. Of course, you can always hold one or two copies of Excalibur in your hand to add its subroutine to another piece of grail ice.
  • Shoot the Moon is just the latest in a long list of reasons that Runners simply do not want NBN to tag them. If the Runner’s foolish enough to end his turn with even a single tag, the Corp can then quickly convert it into three with Big Brother (Trace Amount, 35) before playing Shoot the Moon to rez any three pieces of its ice for free. Alternately, Shoot the Moon can played after Midseason Replacements (Future Proof, 116) to quickly slam shut the early game and open a scoring window by rezzing such intimidating ice as Tollbooth (Core Set, 90) and Flare (Future Proof, 117), or even out-of-faction ice like Janus 1.0 (What Lies Ahead, 12) and Wotan (Second Thoughts, 30).

Still, the game’s Runners aren’t about to concede any ground. Instead, they’re taking advantage of their new lunar resources, and taking advantage of events like Code Siphon (The Source, 115), to build rigs full of cards like Sage (The Source, 117) and Au Revoir (The Source, 119).

  • The game’s Shapers gain another powerful search effect in Code Siphon. After you run successfully against the Corp’s R&D, you can elect to search your stack for a program and install it, instead of accessing cards. It costs you a tag to siphon the data away from the Corp, but you can lower the cost of the program you install by three for each piece of ice protecting R&D. Notably, this works even if those ice aren’t rezzed.
  • Sage is effectively a two-for-one program and arguably one of the game’s most efficient icebreakers. For one card and two MU, Sage grants you the ability to break both code gate and barrier subroutines, and it gains strength as you gain memory. Though it doesn’t have the full versatility of the game’s AI icebreakers, it doesn’t suffer from their weaknesses. Moreover, as both a decoder and fracter, it offers efficient interactions with cards like Wraparound (Fear and Loathing, 96) and Lockpick (Opening Moves, 6).
  • Assembling a rig full of the best and most efficient programs and pieces of hardware is one way to gain an economic advantage over your rival, but you can gain advantages in other ways, as well. You might force the Corp into overspending by assembling a cost-effective early rig of Snitch (Cyber Exodus, 45) and multiple copies of Au Revoir. Will the Corp allow you to run straight through its ice? Or will it pay the cost to rez it, knowing that you’ll simply jack out and collect your credits anytime the ice might damage you? Either way, you win.

…Or to Destroy

The same tools that can be used to create can be used to destroy. For example, you can use the credits that your Errand Boy grants you to pay for Markus 1.0 (The Source, 104) and trash the Runner’s cards, or you could use them to boost the trace you initiate with Troll (The Source, 108). Likewise, a Criminal Runner gaining credits with Au Revoir might choose to spend them on Bribery (The Source, 118), making it prohibitively expensive for the Corp to rez its ice.

Still, there are destructive measures rooted in The Source that are even more drastic.

Runners can accelerate the potency of their virus programs with Incubator (The Source, 113), reducing the amount of time it takes a Parasite (Core Set, 12) to eat through a piece of ice or for a Medium (Core Set, 10) to power up a Demolition Run (Core Set, 3) that can immediately force the Corp into a desperate end game.

However, there’s no card from The Source that’s more flagrantly destructive than the Corp upgrade Self-destruct (The Source, 112). Not only does it trash all cards in or protecting the server it enhances, Self-destruct also stands a good chance of dealing three net damage to any Runner who stumbles into it. Even better, because it can be used at any point during a run on its server, Self-destruct ensures your agendas won’t fall into Runner hands, even if they’re protected only by a piece of ice as thin as a Paper Wall (Mala Tempora, 59) or Pop-up Window (Cyber Exodus, 56). Instead, you can blow up your Self-destruct as a properly equipped Runner approaches, blow up your ice, and blow up your agenda, leaving the Runner with nothing to find except a trace attempt with a base strength of three.

Unlock Your True Potential

Will you use The Source to create new virtual worlds or reduce them to ash? The choice is yours. The Source is now available at your local retailer and online through our webstore.

 

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