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Shadowrun: Crossfire – High Caliber Ops» Forums » Strategy

Subject: Karma builds rss

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Adam Pogatshnik
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I am just really curious to know how others build their runners and what setups they go for. Any karma level is okay, and whether High Caliber or base game, please share! Here are a few of mine:

Fast Orc
20 Karma, Orc, Any Base Class, Wired Reflexes.

This runner gets their whole starter deck in hand and thus can easily dispatch most Level-1 Obstacles, gaining money and neutralizing a threat. A great runner to go first.

Orc Magic
35 Karma, Orc, Mage Class or Social Adept, Juice.

Like the Fast Orc, this runner can dish out significant punishment right out of the gate by using Juice, ideally destroying an obstacle on the first turn. There is a stronger chance you might be stopped by a color you don't have, but on the other hand you get to use your Juice once every scene.

Big Money Dwarf
25 Karma, Dwarf, Any Class, High Roller, It's A Raid!

The idea is to focus on powerful 8 or 9 cost cards, buying them at effectively a discounted rate with High Roller. This can be a very powerful and fun build once it gets rolling, but is a bit slow to start. It's A Raid! is very helpful to try to ensure 8 or 9 cost cards show up in the Black Market.

BMD ver 2.0
40 Karma, Dwarf, Any Class, High Roller, Inventory Hack

A more powerful version of the Big Money Dwarf, replaces It's A Raid! with Inventory Hack. The goal is the same, but Inventory Hack is more powerful, but it costs considerably more Karma.


Scavenger
40 Karma, Non-elf, Any Class, The Long View, It's a Raid!

I really like It's a Raid! as an ability. The Scavenger is meant to take advantage of multiple runners with It's a Raid! in their character builds, with this build you will quickly have a huge array of buying options.

 
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Orion Anderson
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Orc Magic

Your Orc mage build seems like overkill for most scenarios. You shouldn't need 7 damage to pick off a normal obstacle, if there are several to choose from. 5 or 6 should be enough. If you want round-1 bonus damage would be inclined to look at cheaper options like Double Move or Stick To Your Guns. Since they're 25, there's actually no difference if you have exactly 35 karma, but with 40 or 45 you could add stuff like Shopping Agent, Combat Fu, or Diehard. I'd also consider going with something simple like In Training + Shopping Agent + Cigar Money.

Fast Orc
Similarly, I think the fast orc is fine, but I'd rather have Rich & Famous than Wired Reflexes.

Big Money Dwarf
High Roller is just terrible. I would take Cigar Money before High Roller in all cases. Cigar money gives you $1, guaranteed, up front. With High Roller, you not only have to wait for the card to come out, you have to save up the $8 or $9 on your own; it doesn't pay out until *after* you buy it. Buying 2 in one game is going to be very rare, so High Roller is basically a delayed +$2 at best, and I'll take the immediate +$1 every time.

BMD 2.0
Inventory Hack triggers every time you buy a card, so it's more effective the more cards you buy. High Roller is about holding money to buy big cards. I would recommend putting Inventory Hack on a runner who buys lots of cheap cards, and letting them dig through the market deck to reveal the big items for your high roller. Inventory Hack would be better combined with Cigar Money, Shopping Agent, Precision Tools, Luxury Option, or Timing.

ScavengerThe Long View / It's a Raid! combo is interesting, but I would recommend splitting those abilities up over 2 characters, so that each character could have an upgrade with direct numeric benefits. Also, because Long View gives you more options about what to buy, it goes very well with upgrades that help you buy things and/or reward you for buying specific things. You have 1-2 allies with it's a raid or inventory hack, and maybe one with shopping agent, then I'd recommend combining Long View with Precision Tools, Been There Killed There, or Timing, as Karma permits.

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Orion Anderson
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Exorcist (30 Karma)
Human Social Adept (Mage); Lifestyle Choice, Specialist; 2nd or 3rd seat.

Stack together 2 bonuses for killing your own color and it becomes worth it for other players to leave your targets alone. Any role *could* use this combo, but I prefer the mage for roleplaying reasons, and because, though I haven't actually checked, I feel like there are more blue cards that require only or mostly blue damage than similar cards in other colors. And, because mages are good at killing things. I recommend human or elf. Most people don't run ork and troll mages, and dwarf is a poor choice for this build. These upgrades reward you for killing stuff, but don't help you do it, so it goes badly with a dwarf's slow start. With the money from lifestyle choice, you shouldn't need the dwarven wealth.

Variants:With more points, substitute in Practiced Recovery for one of the others, and considering rolling Elf. Alternatively, add stuff like in training or combat fu to make sure you can get that first kill.

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Adam Pogatshnik
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thanks for sharing!

Regarding Fast Orc/ Orc Magic: Respectfully, I disagree here. With High Caliber Ops (I havent checked the base game only) there are 30 obstacles in the normal obstacle deck that require 6 or less damage to kill, and 42 that require 7 or more damage to kill. So for over half of your obstacles you need that extra damage! In the case of Fast Orc it's not just about powering through the damage either, it's about drawing your whole deck to make sure you have the right colors to handle anything.

I like the idea of Double Move or Stick to Your Guns, but I might pair either of those with another +1 so I could hit 7. I am now doing a similar build (with higher karma cost) that uses Prime Runner and In Training, handles most round-1 enemies. Could definitely do Double-Move/In training and get a similar effect for cheaper!


BMD Builds I don't find High Roller terrible at all, actually I usually get it to trigger at least twice, and often 3 times. Naturally it's more effective if your team is helping you with Inventory Hack or It's a Raid of their own, but not necessary. It's only a 5 karma upgrade, and when I get $4-6 out of it, it's very worth it over Cigar Money. You just have to make sure you get to use it at least twice, which is what the idea is all about. Precision Tools and Timing both seem like solid pairs with Inventory Hack, but that's a different build altogether. Good ideas both though, I will probably try them! (Incidentally, I really like precision tools).

Scavenger: yeah, there are definitely some great options for building your entire team around a powerful scavenger. I would love to try it, but I havent managed to do so yet. Didn't want to list builds in this thread that take an entire team, that's another discussion entirely! But some really good ideas here too. Although I'm not a fan of Been there Killed That, it's a 15 karma ability so you kind of want it to trigger at least twice a game to make it on par with starting with $+2 (which is 20 karma), and I found I haven not been able to do that.

Incidentally, there are 9 red cards, 7 black cards , 6 blue cards, and 6 green cards which cost 5 or more in the deck. There are 6 8+ cost cards (of any color) in the deck, So it seems your chances of seeing multiple 9 costs (relevant to High Roller) are at least as good as your chances of seeing multiple 5+ cost cards of your color unless you are the Face, and the rewards you reap with High Roller are much greater (and with cheaper karma cost).

Exorcist

I like it! I have been looking for ways to make these kinds of bonuses work, but I havent been able to do it effectively. Stacking two of them up on each other sounds like a great way to make them worth it. Maybe you think about Bribe the Guard somewhere on your team as well!





 
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Adam Pogatshnik
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If you ignore the Drake Assassin (black obstacle, 2 of each color required to defeat) than blue has 13 obstacles that require 2+ blue to defeat. Red is second with 12 obstacles with 2 or more red required to defeat (side note, one of these twelve is the Ghoul Adept, a blue card with 2 red on it's track, weird!).

As far as taking ONLY one color to defeat, green is first with 12 obstacles, and blue is second with 9.

Seems your hunch is pretty much correct.
 
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Orion Anderson
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High Roller applies to 6 cards. Been There Killed That applies to

6 cards for a Decker or Mage
7 for a Samurai
9 for a Face

It only gives you $1 per trigger, of course, but the cards themselves are cheaper and relatively likely to be optimal buys. If you can trigger high roller 2-3 times, I'm not sure how you can have trouble triggering Been There Killed That twice.

 
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Orion Anderson
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Okay, assume half the normal obstacles have 6 health and half have 7. If you flip 4 normal obstacles, you have a 15/16 chance of seeing at least one with 6 health. How likely you are to have the right colors depends on which abilities you took and what role you are, and would be a pain to calculate even for one case.

I suspect that with a 5-card hand and a +1 generic, if you pick a random obstacle with 6 or fewer health, you have about 50% chance of drawing what you need. You might think that would cut your odds of a turn-1 kill in half, but remember that if you flip at least one enemy with </= 6 HP, there's a an 11/15 chance you draw at least 2 (I think? I haven't done probability in a while) I don't feel like computing it all out, but all told I bet with a 5-card hand and double move there's at least a 75% you can take out an obstacle if you flip 4.

If your mission or difficulty modifiers make you flip 5 or more to start, the odds go up further.
 
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Orion Anderson
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Lead From The Front

Face or Social Adept/Face. First player. Any race except Elf.

Upgrades: Omae, Team Player, or Inventory Hack, plus whatever you need and can afford out of the following:

Got Your Backs, Die Hard, Selfish Chummer, +1 stats (Money for orcs or trolls, health for humans, cards for dwarves), True Pro (Thinking Ahead), One Step Ahead, Shopping Agent

Playstyle
: Play first and plan to take damage from your own obstacle. Kill something if you both can, and need to to buy something good. Otherwise, try to feed nuyen to other runners by weakening obstacles so that your allies can kill them on their own turns. If you focus on setting-up targets, you may also be able to improve the total number of obstacles your team clears in the first round.

At the end of your first turn, buy any and all assist cards that are available. Because you went first, you will be able to assist other players on their first turns. When deciding how to play your starting hand to set up kills, make sure to include the assist damage in your plans.

Got Your Backs is a generally useful power, but in this build it shines because it's one of the only ways to revive yourself from staggered. Selfish Chummer is a decent way to keep your cash flowing while you donate kills, but honestly It's a Jing Thing is almost certainly better. But if you have a compulsive desire to use every upgrade at least once, now is the time.

Inventory Hack, if you have it, gives you another kind of "assist." Instead of giving your allies more damage on their first turns, you're trying to make sure they have something good to buy with their starting coin.

A Note on Allies: Because you're specifically trying to set up kills rather than take kills yourself, this build would be a great partner for the Exorcist or anyone else with upgrades triggered by making kills.

A Note on Roles
: Because this build is based on buying assist cards, rather than on buying cards of a specific color, you don't actually need to be the Face. In a 4 person group, I do recommend the face, because there are more and cheaper assist cards that donate red damage than there are for any other color. This means that if none of your allies drew Street Smarts, there's a decent chance you can bail them out with Negotiate, Divination, or even a Doc Wagon, with some builds. On the other hand, if none of your allies drew a Mark, you'd need to hope for a Suzuki or a Backdoor, and using backdoor as an assist is pretty unexciting until hard obstacles come out.

If you wanted to try this with something other than a face, I'd recommend the mage, because you can snap up a Guiding Spirit or Shatter to make space for cards your allies will actually be able to buy. Also, Clairvoyance is a cheap and effective way to donate blue, that even orcs will be able to afford.

You could run this a samurai if you want.

Also, if there are fewer than 4 players there's no real reason to prefer any specific role.
 
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Adam Pogatshnik
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OrionJA wrote:
Okay, assume half the normal obstacles have 6 health and half have 7...


Not true, the odds are heavier in the favor of more health obstacles, but sure, I get the idea. If you have more obstacles, you have a better chance of being able to kill one.

But it's not always about being able to kill just anything. It's about being able to kill the *right* thing. Defeating a 2 damage obstacle is much more preferable than being able to defeat a 1 damage obstacle. You might want to attack an obstacle in front of a weaker elf player as well, or one that has a lot of money as a reward. These are all considerations which need to be taken into account. And in all these cases it is better to start with more damage. Further, if you don't need all of your damage, it's not like you are wasting it. You can harm other obstacles, or save your cards for the next turn.

About Been There, Killed That: It's not that I can't trigger it, it's that I need to trigger it at least 3 times to feel like I'm getting my money's worth. Otherwise I would have rather bought It's a Jing Thing. That's really tough to do, requiring you to purchase about half applicable the cards in the entire deck for most roles, although a bit less for the Face. However the Face has to deal with the fact that their cards are Hero Move, Double/Double, Doc Wagon x3, Powerball x2, Press the Advantage x2. You don't usually want to buy Doc Wagon multiple times, and Powerball and Press the Advantage are at odds with each other (one encourages you to stack a lot of blue/red in your deck, the other encourages you to diversify).

Overall, triggering it 3 times is hard. If I can trigger High Roller just once I'm as good as It's a Jing Thing, and twice I'm coming out ahead. And Its a Jing Thing is 20 Karma, High Roller is only 5.
 
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Orion Anderson
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awp832 wrote:
OrionJA wrote:
If I can trigger High Roller just once I'm as good as It's a Jing Thing.
No, if it triggers once it's much, much worse than It's a Jing Thing (which, given the cost, is fair).

IAJT gives you the money up front. If you set that money aside at the start of the game in a "big ticket savings fund," then you'd only need to save up an additional $6-7 to get your Double Double or Fireball. With High Roller, you need to save up $8-9 first, then get a rebate. IAJT will usually let you buy the big card one turn sooner, which can have a huge impact on the game. Plus, IAJT doesn't actually force you to bank that money. Even if you took it specifically because you wanted to buy the big cards, you still might want to invest it in a cheaper card, and use that card to kill something and earn the money back.

[quote]About Been There, Killed That: It's not that I can't trigger it, it's that I need to trigger it at least 3 times to feel like I'm getting my money's worth. Otherwise I would have rather bought It's a Jing Thing.
In general I would agree that IAJT is better. IAJT is honestly just really good, and tends to be better than any of the conditional money generators because in this game, momentum is everything, and IAJT kicks in on turn 1, guaranteed. It's only in the specific case where you have Long View and a team that cycles huge numbers of cards that I think it could be worth it.
Quote:
Powerball and Press the Advantage are at odds with each other (one encourages you to stack a lot of blue/red in your deck, the other encourages you to diversify).
I disagree, I think Powerball and Press the Advantage are pretty good together. Press the Advantage is itself a skill, and even if you have picked up a Jacked In and a Remington or something, it's still virtually guaranteed to draw you a skill or a spell, and sometimes both. Street Smarts contribues 2 damage to a powerball, but Press the Advantage generally contributes 4 to 5, and possible some color-fixing.

Also, I think there's room to view them as complementary rather than contradictory. You could say that PTA and Powerball pull your deck in different directions, or you could say that they patch up each other's weaknesses. Suppose that you've bought a Powerball and 2-4 other cards and are trying to decide whether PTA is worth buying. Either those cards are red and blue, or they're black and green.

If they're black and green, then you're going to have a hard time getting the full value of your Powerball. However, if you add PTA, you may be able to scoop up some of those off-color cards, which will not only help you get to the mana and street smarts you need to empower the Powerball with, but also add the off-color damage you may need to take full advantage of all that generic.

On the other hand, if the cards you've bought were all red and blue, then it's likely that some of them are Deathtouch, Clairaudience, Diviniation, Thinking Ahead, or other such cards, all of which make Press the Advantage much more useful.
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