With the release of Creation & Control big box expansion, Haas-Bioroid got some big upgrades to their arsenal (even though they didn’t need it), along with three new Identities to play with. Today we will take a look at one of the Identities, Next Design: Guarding the Net.
At a quick glance, we see that Next Design gives you a standard minimum hand size of 45, so nothing new there. Next we see that the influence limit has dropped from 15, to 12. Now we have to look at its ability. Is it worth the 3 influence cost? I think so.
“Before taking your first turn, you may install up to 3 pieces of ice, with no more than a single piece of ice per server. Draw until you have 5 cards in HQ. ”
It actually took me a couple reads to completely understand the card’s ability. I thought it was too good to be true. It seemed too powerful, and I thought I was reading it wrong. I wasn’t. It is exactly what it says.
What essentially happens is, at the very beginning of the game, after both you and runner shuffles and cuts their decks, you draw your opening hand. Then BEFORE you start your first turn, you are able to install any 3 ICE that you have in your opening hand, no more than 1 per server, then draw back up to 5 cards. THEN you start your first turn as normal (draw a card, take 3 actions).
You’re basically given 6 free clicks at the beginning of the game to setup. 3 clicks to install ICE, 3 clicks to draw back up to 5 cards. If Haas-Bioroid: Engineering the Future is comparable to Gabriel Santiago: Consummate Professional, then Next Design: Guarding the Net is comparable to Andromeda: Dispossessed Ristie. Now is the initial setup worth it? We shall see.
First and foremost, you will have to have the ICE in your opening hand to even take advantage of your special ability. Can’t install 3 ICE if you didn’t draw any. Let’s do a little math to see what our chances are to draw ICE in our opening hand. Hope my math is right >_<
20 ICE in a 49-card deck:
- 3+ Ice: 32.453% of the time
- 2 Ice: 36.408% of the time
- 1 Ice: 24.911% of the time
- 0 Ice: 6.228% of the time
25 ICE in a 49-card deck:
- 3+ Ice: 51.994% of the time
- 2 Ice: 31.846% of the time
- 1 Ice: 13.931% of the time
- 0 Ice: 2.229% of the time
30 ICE in a 49-card deck:
- 3+ Ice: 71.187% of the time
- 2 Ice: 22.105% of the time
- 1 Ice: 6.098% of the time
- 0 Ice: 0.610% of the time
This is without using your mulligan. So you will need to have enough ICE in your deck to make this Identity work. Card slots are valuable, so more ICE means less operations, assets, and upgrades. Having around 20 ICE is pretty standard for most 49-card corporation decks. If you really want to make this Identity work, you are looking at a minimum of around 25 ICE in your deck.
Now that you have enough ICE in your deck, what next? Sure it is great to be able to have your central servers all ICE’d up already before you start your turn, but you have to remember, you still only start with 5 credits. Will you be able to rez them all? With most of your deck space occupied by ICE, will you have enough economy cards to afford all your ICE? Or maybe cards that rez your ICE? Here are some cards to consider.
- Green Level Clearance
- Beanstalk Royalties
- Eve Campaign
- Adonis Campaign
- PAD Campaign
- Marked Accounts
- Bioroid Efficiency Research
- Oversight AI
By having some instant economy or ICE rezzer cards in your hand on the first turn can ensure that you will be able to rez your initial installed ICE. Remember, using Bioroid Efficiency Research only works on Bioroid ICE, but that shouldn’t be a problem since you are Haas-Bioroid. That should buy you time to get the economy you need by the time they break your ICE and force you to rez it again.
So sure, you can make it work. You just have to build around it. Make sure you have plenty of ICE and the means to rez them. Now is it better than HB:EtF? I personally don’t think so. EtF is still an efficient Identity that gives you a great economy. I do think that Next Design: Guarding the Net is a very interesting Identity though. I played with it a bit, but eventually switched back to HB:EtF.
Having the 3 ICE installed at the beginning is pretty awesome, especially if they were big ICE that you were able to rez with Bioroid Efficiency Research or Oversight AI. It puts pressure on the Runner to scramble for their ICE breakers, and gave them no early free access to your servers. Remember, you don’t have to have the ICE installed only to your central servers. You could install them in your remote servers as well.
I think it is a great Identity, but still falls to second place behind Engineering the Future, as far as Haas-Bioroid Identity goes. It is very playable, and fun to play. Since you will be playing with lots of ICE, you could even make your Accelerated Beta Test work wonders.
Well those were my thoughts on the new Identity. If you have any comments or questions, please feel free to do so. See you next time!