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Subject: Tactics & Strategies for using tricky ICE...? rss

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Scott
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I'd like to experiment with some tricky/positional --- but presumably more difficult to play --- ICE in my Jinteki PE deck.
I'm wondering what you guys think are the basic tactics & strategies?
What are the advanced uses?
What new things to try with some of this forlorn ICE?

Here's the ICE I'm currently running:

Barrier (5)
2 Eli 1.0 x|x
1 Bastion
1 Ice Wall x
1 Wall of Static

Code Gate (8)
3 Chum
1 Datapike
2 Pop-up Window x|x
2 Tollbooth xx|xx

Sentry (4)
1 Data Raven xx
3 Neural Katana

(When Opening Moves comes out, I'll switch 1x Tollboth and 1x Bastion for 2x Himitsu-Bako --- need the influence for Jackson Howard.)

The 'tricky' ICE I'm thinking about includes: Whirlpool, Snowflake, Bullfrog, Sensei, Cell Portal http://netrunnercards.info/find/?q=t%3AICE+f%3Aj&sort=cost&v...
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Trevor Schadt
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mwanafalsafa wrote:
I'd like to experiment with some tricky/positional --- but presumably more difficult to play --- ICE in my Jinteki PE deck.
I'm wondering what you guys think are the basic tactics & strategies?
What are the advanced uses?
What new things to try with some of this forlorn ICE?

The 'tricky' ICE I'm thinking about includes: Whirlpool, Snowflake, Bullfrog, Sensei, Cell Portal
Whirlpool is great for one (or both) of two things:

1, using with Cell Portal (that you can rez at a discounted cost using Akitaro and/or an overadvanced scored Braintrust) to force the Runner into an infinite or near-infinite loop of damaging but not run-ending ICE in order to cause a flatline. An example of this would be the following server:
Whirlpool
Chum
Data Mine (optional, but fun)
Neural Katana
Cell Portal
Keep the Data Mine unrezzed until the Runner no longer has the credits necessary to break the Chum subroutine, then pop it for free for an extra 4 net damage.

2, used with Bullfrog to force the Runner to hit a trap (such as an advanced Junebug or Edge of World).

Again, the trick with Whirlpool is to avoid any ICE with an ETR subroutine, because the Runner can simply choose not to break that subroutine, and the run will end. (This does not count as jacking out, and is therefore a legal play when Whirlpool's subroutine has executed.)

If you want to put the Runner into a dilemma, and have the credits available to make it work, try putting Chum in front of a Wall of Thorns, then start a Whirlpool run. This gives the Runner the interesting choice of "do I give myself the out, or do I take 3 net damage because I let WoT's ETR run?"

You'll need a good number of cards to make "tricky ICE" plays work. As already mentioned, Akitaro and/or an overadvanced scored Braintrust will allow Jinteki's weak economy to rez the ICE needed to make the tricks work (especially in the case of a card like Cell Portal). Sunset is a good card for making sure that your ICE is all in the right place to make the trap execute correctly.
 
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Grish Noren
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mwanafalsafa wrote:
I'd like to experiment with some tricky/positional --- but presumably more difficult to play --- ICE in my Jinteki PE deck.
I'm wondering what you guys think are the basic tactics & strategies?
What are the advanced uses?
What new things to try with some of this forlorn ICE?

Here's the ICE I'm currently running:

Barrier (5)
2 Eli 1.0 x|x
1 Bastion
1 Ice Wall x
1 Wall of Static

Code Gate (8)
3 Chum
1 Datapike
2 Pop-up Window x|x
2 Tollbooth xx|xx

Sentry (4)
1 Data Raven xx
3 Neural Katana


(When Opening Moves comes out, I'll switch 1x Tollboth and 1x Bastion for 2x Himitsu-Bako --- need the influence for Jackson Howard.)

The 'tricky' ICE I'm thinking about includes: Whirlpool, Snowflake, Bullfrog, Sensei, Cell Portal http://netrunnercards.info/find/?q=t%3AICE+f%3Aj&sort=cost&v...


So first off, all of your ice fails the atman test. It looks like a 3 strength atman can take out a majority of your stuff and stretch for the tollbooths if necessary. Leaving a 1 strength to deal with the two remaining ice that actually end the run. This mix is worrying to me, so lets talk about the tricky ice and how they *could* work.

Anyhow, bullfrog is no good late game. He'll just be broken as an etr. I don't think I've ever seen a good use of him. Maybe 1 day... But if you do want to attempt it, you'll need to find a way to bankrupt the runner. Closed accounts, for instance.

Sensei is obviously good if you can force the runner to encounter more than one piece of ice. So, there's some potential with a Sensei followed by a bullfrog in the very early game to just shut down a run. But then your sensei is useless if you can't bring it back to your hand. Alternatively, sensei becomes very strong in a cell portal deck which we will shortly discuss. Each ice encounter adds end the run, and that subroutine doesn't go away until the run ends. If sensei goes off once, then each ice it encounters, even if it encounters that ice more than once, is going to get an additional end the run for every encounter.

Consider this line up: pop-window->sensei->cell portal; Sensei will add an end the run to cell portal, so if they break the first routine, they have to deal with the end the run; if not, then the end the run remains and they get booted back to the pop-window, which will get end the run. When they see sensei again, they'll have to deal with its routine (no etr), but when they get to cell portal it'll now have the loop routine and 3 end the run routines to break. Pop-window will similarly have 3. You can see that this creates a system by which the run can't be completed and as time goes on the server gets more expensive to break. But, the runner will just jack out if they can. (You can also use shadow,pop-up window, and akitaro to force an infinite rez loop. So long as you don't use whirlpool the runner is forcing the state to continue and must break the loop by not gaining access)

Which brings us to whirlpool. Whirlpool makes it so that the run can't be ended. You should plan to only have porous ice after this, ice which does not contain the words "end the run". Cell portal and chum tend to be good together for an auto kill. Two shadows and an akitaro with a cell portal will give you infinite money until you let the runner in. Pick some arbitrarily large number, say 1,337,000,000 credits (And tags!). Whirlpool can also force a runner into a trap; however whirpool is weak when the runner can break everything. Once again, you'll be relying on keeping the runner poor and hoping they don't have capable AIs or a Gordian blade to take out Cell Portal.

Cell Portal is often best with out of faction ice since it doubles the cost of running a server. If it doesn't keep them out, it will take up all of their money. Cell Portal's stopping power is reliant on the other ice in the server. Grim goes well with it to keep them off of the breakers which can end the loop. Cell portal is not all about combos, its about buying you time. If you want to use the portal you need money advantage. Weyland can do this if you'll take bad publicity and have enough ops. NBN can do it if you can land a tag and close accounts. HAAS can do it if you can keep your advertising campaigns on the table. But, Cell Portal once found is just a femme away from not mattering. This build around me card has potential because people don't expect it and archer appears to be scarier. But, Cell Portal after anything just makes the situation worse for the runner. Its a hard call. Its an expensive call. It can be worth it. It can be extremely disappointing.

Snowflake is great. Its static wall for 2 less. It will always be treated as an end the run. The economic shell game is a bit of a red herring. Snowflake is almost as good as ice wall if you just need an ETR. Icewall starts with a lower strength and can be modulated.

It turns out, however, that with the exception of snowflake, all of these cards get better with Coorporate Troubleshooter. This is a card you'll want to include because it offers the seal that will let your stuff go off. Keep a whirlpool on the outside and troubleshooter requires the runner to deal with everything else. Chum+Cell Portal you can deal with, but troubleshooter means cell portal is only that much stronger. If you want to play with tricks, you're going to need more tricks because everyone expects the tricks when playing against Jinteki. Jinteki tricks are otherwise better out of faction.

 
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Brodie
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The problem with tricky ice is that it's all dependent on other cards. There's no tricky ice that's good in and of itself. That means if you include too much tricky ice in your deck, you don't have enough of the other cards they require. Don't plan on making a deck with 3x Bullfrog, 3x Whirlpool, 3x Cell Portal, and 3x Chum; that's half your ice that doesn't do a bloody thing on its own. (OK, Bullfrog sorta does, in that you could move a run to Archives.) Pick the trick you want to use and build accordingly. I use Sensei in my HB deck with the cheaper bioroids (Eli, Viktor, Ichi) to make them tougher to click through; I could see a similar use with cheap, porous ice. I use Chum in my Jinteki deck because for 2 credits (1 install, 1 rez) it's Inside Job protection, Femme protection, and an extra tax on the Runner.

Bullfrog's "underutilized" use I can think of is as Run Event protection. Keep it on HQ if you're afraid of Account Siphon; keep it on R&D if you're afraid of The Maker's Eye or Indexing. Even then, its subroutine can be broken, and I have to wonder how effective it is to slot ice in your deck that's really only useful to counter those Events. (If you rez it beforehand and it fires, you've lost your protection.)

Cell Portal works as a hard-stop ETR, if your server is a big enough pain. Ichi 1.0 => Tollbooth => Cell Portal => (server) is probably enough of a cost to the Runner that it'd be worth rezzing Cell Portal to make 'em run again, like spending 5 credits instead of a Nisei token. But the work you've gotta do to get that server set up, plus its vulnerability to Emergency Shutdown and such, makes me wonder how viable it is. I suppose, given some thought, you could arrive at the optimal balance between "Runner pain-in-the-ass" and "cost-effective/resistant to Shutdown" ice. I think planning on having an 8-ice-tall super-server is a pipe dream, though - if I were building the deck with this use of Cell Portal in mind, I'd focus on getting a 3-ice server, and if I got a 4th piece it's a bonus. It's dangerous enough having Cell Portal as the innermost ice on a server, because it means your server is vulnerable until you get something in front of it.
 
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Daine .

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I think tricky ICE is often a waste, but with chum even bad ICE can work pretty well.

If you're going to shoot for a trick kill, put a Midori or two in your deck.

Include a whirlpool if you're going for a cell portal kill.

Avoid bullfrog at all costs. It's a terrible card and can easily kill your otherwise perfect trap if you guess wrong.

People can get so wrapped up in complicated combos that they ignore cheaper, equally awesome combos with fewer pieces:

Whirlpool -> chum -> howler (don't replace howler unless trying this in HB). Chum -> howler is awesome even without whirlpool, especially if they don't have an AI out.

neural katana + corporate troubleshooter. The katana is obviously great early, and a troubleshooter makes it dangerous, or at least very expensive a second time.

Chum -> tollbooth prevents Femme from wasting your tollbooth.

Sensei + Draco or sensei + hunter is awesome. The Draco can be cheap early or can be pumped up later for legitimate defense.

Cell portal works best in HB, IMO. It's fun to see it work in Jinteki, but you'll lose games you could have won by trying to make it work, and I highly doubt you'll win a game you otherwise wouldn't have without it.

Never underestimate data mines. With Jackson Howard, you can easily throw a data mine in front of an agenda or in a larger combo to great effect.
 
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Evan
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Yeah, apart from some great hypothetical combos that require just the right draws, tons of time and money, and a runner obliging enough to let you set up a 5-card server and then facecheck it with an incomplete rig, Deflectors are really just watered-down ETRs in the current cardpool.

In that light, think of Bullfrog as a deeply confused Himitsu-Bako, and Cell Portal as a Chimera's positional big brother (huge brother). The latter, at least, benefits from either (or better yet, both) of the Jinteki sysops. Once you've got your big server set up, use Midori to turn that obsolete innermost Enigma into a Portal.

Snowflake is in a similar boat: ETR with a flourish. It's sort of like TMI in that it's a cheap-for-its-strength wall with hidden costs, and it's sort of like Eli in that it's porous but (as Grish says) will generally be treated as a "real" wall unless it's protecting a server singlehandedly.

Sensei is more interesting, but only in cases where the extra ETRs mean more than an extra credit per ice. As Allen and Daine say, it's better with porous ice like Draco or Bioroids. Also: Pop-Up gets a real ETR, Shadow becomes a money-making, tracing Ice Wall, and the 2.0 Bioroids in particular can force the runner into some interesting choices (unfortunately they're a bit costly for Jinteki, in both credits and influence).

Arguably Whirlpool is the only genuinely tricky one of the lot, but other people have said enough about that already.
 
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Brodie
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Oh, yeah - Sensei + Draco or Hunter! Good idea. I also like Chum as the only ice in a server containing Awakening Center hosting a nasty 2.0 bioroid, but that's a trick for HB.

Chum + Matrix Analyzer? Chum + Data Raven? Chum + Data Hound?

Looking at the ice that is cost-effective, I don't see much that is usable with Cell Portal to tax the Runner but cheap enough that Emergency Shutdown isn't a problem. Maybe if you used Midori to swap out an early piece of ice for Portal after you set up your server...seems iffy.
 
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