Announcing the Third Data Pack in the SanSan Cycle
Lopez is part of a fast-growing community in Chrome City and across the West Coast. They call themselves chromeheads, and they wear their implants as fashion accessories.
Function breeds fashion in Chrome City. The Data Pack’s sixty new cards (three copies each of twenty individual cards) introduce players to the northern SanSan borough of Chrome City. Here, among the sketchy chop shops planted in the shadow of Haas-Bioroid’s genetics division, a growing community of chromeheads have begun to transform cybernetics into fashion statements.
If the surgery’s good, the latest cybernetics don’t just make you trendy; they also make you smarter, stronger, and more resilient. But a bad chopper’s just as likely to cause you irreparable brain damage as outfit you for the runways. Accordingly, Chrome City and its cybernetic hardware introduce a volatile mixture of risks and rewards, many of which are centered around protecting or damaging the Runner’s brain.
As an example of the benefits a Runner’s cybernetics might provide, we can look at the neutral card, Brain Cage (Chrome City, 49). For just one resource, this unique piece of hardware increases your maximum hand size by three. In that respect, it compares quite favorably with the two-cost resource Public Sympathy (Cyber Exodus, 50), which increases your hand size by two.
It also compares favorably in the sense that it’s a piece of hardware rather than a resource. Resources are generally easier to trash, as if it tags you, the Corp can hit any of them for a click and two credits just by making use of the game’s standard actions. Hardware, on the other hand, can’t be targeted by the Corp’s framework actions and are targeted by only an extremely limited number of Corp cards.
On the other hand, Brain Cage also comes with a nasty install cost: when you install it, you suffer one brain damage. Since this brain damage is both random and permanent, you risk losing any one of the key cards you may be holding when you install your Brain Cage, and your newly increased maximum hand size is effectively increased by two, rather than three.
You can, however, prevent this brain damage if you find a good Chrome Parlor (Chrome City, 44) and a truly skilled chopper. They say that if you find a good chopper, you should stick with her for life. While you may be able to debate the merits of that advice, there’s no doubt that a good Chrome Parlor can greatly increase the efficiency of any deck that makes use of cybernetics.
Each of the game’s Runner factions gains a piece of two-influence cybernetic hardware in Chrome City, and each forces you to suffer brain or meat damage when it’s installed. Thus, if you want to take advantage of Brain Cage, Net-Ready Eyes (Chrome City, 47), and the other trendy cybernetic upgrades included within the Data Pack, it’s certainly worth your time to find a reliable Chrome Parlor.
Even as it offers Runners the chance to expand their abilities as they sample the latest trends in cybernetic technology, Chrome City introduces a new identity for the leading name in cybernetics, Haas-Bioroid.
With its Cybernetics Division (Chrome City, 50) identity, Haas-Bioroid gains a new way to apply fast, constant pressure upon the Runner. In effect, it forces the Runner to suffer one point of brain damage right out of the portal, and this early reduction in hand size can change the whole shape of a game.
For starters, it makes every other point of damage all the more menacing.
- It quickly adds up with any brain damage caused by bioroid ice such as Heimdall 1.0 (Core Set, 61), Viktor 1.0 (Core Set, 63), and Janus 1.0 (What Lies Ahead, 12).
- It almost forces the Runner to draw up to his maximum hand size every turn lest he find himself flatlined by a single Scorched Earth (Core Set, 99).
Then, the fact that Cybernetics Division features a smaller minimum deck size means that it should be easier to draw into an early copy of Self-Destruct Chips (Chrome City, 51), along with the ice you need to protect it as you advance it.
And if an unwary Runner runs out of clicks as he barges through your server, you can deal yet another point of brain damage by rezzing and trashing the sysop Ryon Knight (Chrome City, 54).
Altogether, then, Haas-Bioroid’s Cybernetics Division doesn’t just shrink the Runner’s hand size; it reduces his options. It impacts the order in which he uses his clicks. It puts him on a timer, potentially prompting him to run earlier than he’d like. And it may even force him to reevaluate the metagame as a whole; can he still afford to run without adding Brain Cage or Public Sympathy to his deck?
Upgrade Yourself. Upgrade Your Deck.
Join the chrome revolution. Chrome City is scheduled to arrive at retailers early in the second quarter of 2015!