I suffered from HB problems. I got three games in with the Stronger Together deck (two against my Null deck from last week and one against an Omar running Bhagat, Maw, and Temujin.
My very first game saw a Surat combo rez an Adonis on the runner’s turn (before spent clicks) giving me a two-credit discount on the Adonis, and a 10-credit discount on my ice. I got a Wotan and an Eli 1.0 rezzed on my scoring remote and a Heimdall 2.0 rezzed over HQ. It was glorious. Unfortunately for the runner, he didn’t see Sifr out that game, and so had a hell of a time trying to get in.
The second game was a lot, a lot closer. Sifr was out, agendas were being scored and stolen back and forth, and Nulls Nfr got five counters on it. I looked at that, looked at his credit pool, and knew I had to score my fourth 3/2 next turn, or else he could just slice through my scoring remote. (Which at that point included a Heimdall 1.0, some Eli 1.0s, a Ravana, and some type of Fairchild.) If he got his Nfr up to strength to break my Heimdall 1.0, then he could use Null and Sifr to make up the difference with Yog.0.
So I go for it.
He goes to play the Pushing the Envelope and my heart. Just. Sinks.
But he has too many cards in hand!
But if he plays cards, then he won’t have the cash to play PTE and make it through the ice!
Symmetrical Visage draw. Draw. Credit. Run. I rezzed a Howler at the top of the server to drop another big Code Gate in front of him and that was the end.
My third game (against Omar this time) was also exciting. There had been a major hiccup early on when he’d run into Howler and I’d gotten a Fairchild rezzed then derezzed in front of R&D. He knew what it was. I scored an ABT and plopped a Zed 2.0 in front of R&D. Really, it did nothing until I could get some clickable ice in front of it or he dropped his console (which he never did), but you know… free ice. And maybe that was a deterrent for him never installing his Maw? It would’ve turned Zed 2.0 on.
So here, he knew he had pretty much free access to R&D. He runs first click while I’m on three credits after the ABT score. He’s planning to En Passant my Fairchild and hammer me with Medium digs.
No such luck.
I’ve got two Brain Taping Warehouses rezzed that he’d forgotten to take into account. That’s a six-credit discount, and he smacks into a Fairchild as I go to 0. But it lets me stabilize.
He took an ABT, I scored a Vitruvius. He stole a different Vitruvius.
By this point, I know I’m out of options. His rig is assembled. Fairchild is keeping him from repeatedly running R&D, but Omar’s getting in once a turn through Archives. I build my remote as big as I can, and I pad my cash as much as I can. He draws down to the bottom of his deck looking for his third Temujin (it’s the last card). He draws it then passes turn.
I top deck into my GFI. Slam it into remote, advance twice.
He can’t get in. He just doesn’t have the credits. I read the scoring window correctly and had prepared enough in advance.
Final thoughts? With Surat/Brain Taping combo you can make just about as much money (if not more) than Engineering the Future. For high-strength ice like Fairchild and Heimdall 2.0, the +1 strength isn’t really a big deal, but it’s a huge deal with stacked Eli 1.0s. Paperclip spending four credits instead of three really adds up.
I really liked the deck. But, it suffered from HB problems. I got to game point and then… didn’t know how to win. Had to be really tricky and use assets as bluffs then read the scoring windows correctly (or else get really lucky). If I’d have had Biotic Labor, Ash, or Caprice in the deck, it would’ve been a much easier win.
As for Valencia, this deck was amazing. I played it against a Spark deck and felt in near-total control all game. Blackmail made his scoring remote redundant, and Maw was pulling cards from hand after hitting and not trashing PAD Campaigns. I also landed a second bad pub, so I was killing his Sensies for zero credits.
I never ran R&D once because I was always afraid of Hard Hitting News. If I actually made runs that required me to install my Conspiracy breakers, I’d go too low to deal with it. As it was, he hit me with the HHN twice in the game. Also a Macrophage that mostly kept me out of HQ.
In the end, I won because I was Val. With a little bit of support from Maw. I checked every facedown card to make sure it wasn’t a Chronos Project (two of them were), and I mostly ignored his money since I wasn’t running his ICE.
I think the deck absolutely needs to go for three Datasuckers. Otherwise, the Black Orchestra and MKUltra are just too damned expensive against high-strength ICE. Even with Bad Publicity.
Next up The Archivist tomorrow and Defense Construct on Friday!