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Subject: Modded Thread: Ideas for strengthening weak cards rss

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Bob Bobberson
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Now that we’re almost through the second cycle, I think we have a good picture of which cards are solid, which are bad, and which are a bit too powerful. FFG has done a great job avoiding power creep as most of the best cards (Account Siphon, Astroscript, SanSan) are in the Core Set.

The tradeoff, though, has been a bit of bookmark creep. An increasing number of cards just aren’t good enough for competitive play. One of my favorite hobbies is thinking of ways to redesign the weaker cards so they are up to snuff with the stronger ones.

This thread will be dedicated to sharing ideas on how to beef up rarely played cards without throwing the balance of the game. I’m very interested in other’s ideas and would like feedback on my own.
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Bob Bobberson
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I’d like to open with a subset of cards that have always frustrated me: Corp econ assets and upgrades that are too conditional to warrant their rez costs, deck slots, and low trash costs.

I’ll start with the worst offender: Net Police.



This card is almost never worth the slot because earmarking credits only for traces is very constraining. Remember, all econ assets are competing with those that give you credits straight up, so Net Police has to be exceptional to be considered over a Marked Accounts or PAD. NP falls woefully short because it only gives you credits equal to the runner's link strength. Link never really caught on, so most of the time Net Police will have 0 or 1 reoccuring credit that can only be used for traces. That’s awful, and at a 1 trash cost Net Police is beyond unplayable.

The fix for Net Police first needs to pump up its ability. It could be a mini Making News, giving 2 reoccuring credits per turn. That still may not be impactful enough to justify its slot over PADs or Marked Accounts. Maybe if it gave the corp the equivalent of a link when rezzed, +1 to all traces, then it would be considered in many more decks.

Here’s a proposed fix for Net Police:

Net Police, Asset, NBN
Rez cost: 1
The Corp adds +1 strength to all traces
Trash Cost: 5
Influence: 1

I think the high trash cost is justified because its economic benefit is still conditional on other cards, which will most commonly be trace Ice. Assets like Melange are strong enough to justify a 1 trash cost because it’s extremely bursty. Net Police needs to be on the table for a while to do anything.

I’m not sure if even this beefed up version of Net Police would see competitive play. Traces can become obsolete fast, so I’m open to pumping up it up to +2 to all traces. The goal is to make this card viable in tier 1 decks. If the corp invests deck space in an econ card that is limited to traces only, it should all but guarantee that their Tracer Ice will hit every time unless broken. The runner has an out in that if they can’t afford to deal with the traces or trash cost, they always have the option of finding the right breakers.
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Rafał Cywicki
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0-cost Event:
Put 1 Card from HQ on the Bottom of R&D, then draw a card.

I'd use that.
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Roberta Yang
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Weyland: Because We Built It fell flat because it gives a recurring credit with a narrow use that doesn't directly contribute towards victory, while going up against an identity that gives non-recurring credits that can be used for anything. Not to mention the fact that it failed to combo with cards that place advancement tokens like Matrix Analyzer. Plus, Weyland has always been rich and the obstacle with advancing ice is finding the time to do it, not how to pay for it.

In my mind, an identity that would have been made advanceable ice sing and provided a better contrast from the core ID would have been one that saved you the Click instead of the Credit, such as:

Weyland: Because We Built It
At the beginning of your turn, you may spend 1 credit to place an advancement token on a piece of ICE that can be advanced.


If that proved too powerful, it could have its influence reduced, or have the cost in credits for the instant advance increased.
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Manuel Galdames
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kenobob wrote:

Here’s a proposed fix for Net Police:

Net Police, Asset, NBN
Rez cost: 1
The Corp adds +1 strength to all traces
Trash Cost: 5
Influence: 1



+1.

I love the tracing and tagging cards of NBN. Sadly, out of the bunch, only Bernice and ChiLo are worth the slot. Net Police would become interesting if more dangerous tracing cards come out down the road... but the way the card is printed makes absolutely no sense to me.

It's the trash cost. If link becomes popular, nullifying that bonus for the one trace that matters is still strong. But it'll never hit the table or stay on it for long with it's measly 1.
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FirstName LastName
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Yeah, I actually find recurring credits really fun and they create interesting decisions (do you spend them all now or save for a later trace this turn, etc.). Really only the trash cost is bogus IMHO.
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Benjamin W.
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How about Cell Portal, a whipping boy for most of the games existence? Well, people talk about the whirlpool/neural katana/ cell portal combo, but its way too hard to set up. So how about something simpler? We just add to Cell portal the following text "the runner cannot jack out for the remainder of the run". Now we can build all those fiendish damaging ice servers and cycle the runner through them as often as we can afford.

I doubt this is tier 1, but it is playable. After all, an innocuous 2 ice server now has the potential to be neural katana- cell portal, and kill an unprepared runner. Also combos nicely with Ichi- spend your clicks to break it, only to hit it a second time and lose your rig. Still requires a lot of money and some careful server construction, but at least now there is an upside if you can pull it off.
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Gabriel Sibley
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The second cycle of advanceable Weyland ice was pretty universally panned. It would be nice to see these cards bumped up to a usable power level, especially combined with other support cards such as BaBW, Simone Diego, or Shipment from Kaguya.

Salvage -- Replace card text with:
Salvage can be advanced.
When an installed piece of ice is trashed, if Salvage is unrezzed, you may rez it (ignoring all costs). If you do, place 2 advancement counters on it.
The cost to break subroutines on Salvage is increased by 1c for each advancement counter on it.
->Trace3: If successful, give the runner a tag.

Tyrant -- Replace card text with:
Tyrant can be advanced.
The rez cost of Tyrant is reduced by 1 for each advancement counter on it.
Tyrant gains "->End the run." for each advancement counter on it.

Woodcutter -- Replace card text with:
Woodcutter can be advanced.
Woodcutter gains "->Do 1 net damage." for each advancement counter on it.
When Woodcutter has 4 or more advancement counters on it, trash it and gain 10c.
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sunergy wrote:
In my mind, an identity that would have been made advanceable ice sing and provided a better contrast from the core ID would have been one that saved you the Click instead of the Credit, such as:

Weyland: Because We Built It
At the beginning of your turn, you may spend 1 credit to place an advancement token on a piece of ICE that can be advanced.


If that proved too powerful, it could have its influence reduced, or have the cost in credits for the instant advance increased.


I like that idea. Playing BABW, I found I very rarely advanced my advancable ICE, only when it was to outrun a fixed breaker or something like that. This would make it more than half as cheap. I doubt it'd be overpowered, and in fact I'd like to suggest one more change:

Weyland: Because We Built It
At the beginning of your turn, you may spend 1 credit to place an advancement token on a piece of ICE that can be advanced.

That way you can advance unrezzed ICE, including things like Woodcutter, which also gives a little more room for bluffing.
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Bob Bobberson
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chomoon wrote:


0-cost Event:
Put 1 Card from HQ on the Bottom of R&D, then draw a card.

I'd use that.

Rework definitely needs buffed. I like your idea as it could essentially put an unwanted agenda out of the game, unless of course the runner has Keyhole.

I had something a little more radical in mind for Rework:

Rework: Haas Event, Cost 0
Shuffle up to 5 cards from HQ and/or Archives back into R&D.
Influence 1

Jesus Howard taught us that giving the corp control over Archives is good for the game. Agenda floods usually don't make for interesting matches, and this card could act as a super relief valve, or just for the sheer recursion ability. 5 cards is probably too many, but I'm not sure if 3 would be good enough.

Your idea is probably better and more in spirit with the original card. I'd rearrange the text so the corp draws first, then puts the card at the bottom. That way the corp has more options as to what they put on the bottom. I'd also consider making it draw 2 cards, put 2 cards on the bottom.
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Bob Bobberson
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fireandblood wrote:

I love the tracing and tagging cards of NBN. Sadly, out of the bunch, only Bernice and ChiLo are worth the slot. Net Police would become interesting if more dangerous tracing cards come out down the road... but the way the card is printed makes absolutely no sense to me.

It's the trash cost. If link becomes popular, nullifying that bonus for the one trace that matters is still strong. But it'll never hit the table or stay on it for long with it's measly 1.

The 1 trash cost on Net Police is definitely an atrocity, but so is the ability. Making it a blank card if the runner doesn't have link is a sure fire way to keep it at coaster status.

I think Bernice pulls her own weight already, and Chilo could get stronger is some key trace Ice were strengthened, namely Data Hound (boost its strength to 4 and trace to 3), Uroboros (lower its rez cost to 5), and Sherlock (lower rez cost, make it not a Bioroid somehow).

Net Police could find a niche in making a Tracer Ice Suite very effective. Viper and Caduceus are already all stars in Making News, and a little reasonable tweaking of other Tracers could make Net Police desirable.

irstName LastName wrote:

Yeah, I actually find recurring credits really fun and they create interesting decisions (do you spend them all now or save for a later trace this turn, etc.). Really only the trash cost is bogus IMHO.

I do agree with the benefit of giving players more choices, but x credits based off of link is far too weak. Originally I thought a straight 2 credits would work, but it's lame to just put Making News's ability on an asset, and Making News is actually one of the weaker abilities anyhow. I think they nerfed NBN's ID to account for the power of Astroscript/Breaking News. Adding another Making News to any deck wouldn't really be worth it.

If Net Police had a straight 4 reoccurring credits it could be interesting. However, I am leaning towards the idea of a link for corps, and I think boosting it to +2 strength for all traces would be better. Multiple Net Polices could be fun to have out.
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Peter O
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Card sleeves.

or gluing to a piece of corrugated cardboard
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Bob Bobberson
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tranenturm wrote:
Card sleeves.

or gluing to a piece of corrugated cardboard


Lol. If there was every a card that needed some gluing or cardboard, it's Salvage. I love gsibley's suggestions for fixing the unholy trilogy of Salvage, Woodcutter, and Tyrant, but I think this suggestion may actually make Salvage too strong:

gsibley wrote:

Salvage -- Replace card text with:
Salvage can be advanced.
When an installed piece of ice is trashed, if Salvage is unrezzed, you may rez it (ignoring all costs). If you do, place 2 advancement counters on it.
The cost to break subroutines on Salvage is increased by 1c for each advancement counter on it.
->Trace3: If successful, give the runner a tag.

I do believe the wording on this card would make the runner have to pay with Yog, which would be great, but I can also see this improved Salvage quickly and easily having 3-4 counters on it. In that state it would cost 9+ credits to get through. Link, parasite, or extreme tag me would be the only answers.

Maybe some nerfs would be in order, like:

Salvage can only be rezzed when another piece of Ice is trashed
No automatic counters when Salvage is rezzed this way
Go back to a trace 2

What do you think?
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Nate K
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What about Bishop? I don't think I've ever seen it used once, or even mentioned as a possibility in a deck.

Also Disruptor.

Muresh Bodysuit.

Frame Job.

Bullfrog.

Hellion Alpha Test.

Ireress.
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Gabriel Sibley
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kenobob wrote:

I do believe the wording on this card would make the runner have to pay with Yog, which would be great, but I can also see this improved Salvage quickly and easily having 3-4 counters on it. In that state it would cost 9+ credits to get through. Link, parasite, or extreme tag me would be the only answers.


I think you've missed that this version of Salvage doesn't gain extra trace subroutines with advancement counters.
 
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Jonathan Trew
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kurthl33t wrote:
[snip]

Ireress.


I quite like Ireress, or at least the idea of it.
Going 3x into a BP heavy deck to either cover HQ,R&D and a scoring remote to offset the BP, or just 3 deep on a scoring remote before an ETR to strip the runner of all creds if they try to run it.
It also deters runners from running when broke if the corp has ended up with lots of BP somehow.
2 main problems are:
- only 3 of in the deck (means you probably still need BP removal, and unlikely that this can be circumvented)
- its effectiveness relies on it being the outer-most ICE, but it also needs to be used as early-game ICE and therefore will get buried.

How about adding this text before the subs:
"Whenever the corp installs ICE on the same server as Ireress, once all costs are paid, the corp may move Ireress to the outer-most space."

That way the corp still has to pay the price of the ICE tower but can move Ireress to a better position if they wish (they may be installing Chum or Sensei and want that out front...).
It's also not messing with the strength or cost which is what makes the dynamic important and means that it would still be susceptible to Parasites.
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Bob Bobberson
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gsibley wrote:
kenobob wrote:

I do believe the wording on this card would make the runner have to pay with Yog, which would be great, but I can also see this improved Salvage quickly and easily having 3-4 counters on it. In that state it would cost 9+ credits to get through. Link, parasite, or extreme tag me would be the only answers.


I think you've missed that this version of Salvage doesn't gain extra trace subroutines with advancement counters.

Ah, I see that now. The thing about Salvage is your form is that it almost has an identical effect as Hunter, which is also a trace 3 to tag that is cheap to rez and a pain in the butt to break.

Perhaps if the cost to break salvage as well as the trace amount went up with each advancement it could be interesting. When charged up with 4 or 5 advancements it would function as kind of an in-faction Data Raven for Weyland.

By the way, I really like the your ideas for Tyrant and Woodcutter. BWBI needs some advanceable Ice that pays off. I also like the fix to that ID which lets you gain a click each turn to advance an Ice instead of a credit.
 
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Tarquelne
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Imgur gallery of cards changed for the local group.


http://imgur.com/a/PlA7w#0

These cards aren't necessarily weak, but no one was using them despite thinking they were interesting. Seeking to minimize the changes, we played a sort of Netrunner "Name that tune." For example, somebody said they'd play Dedicated Server if it's trash cost were just 1 higher, so that's what was changed.

They're all generally seen at least occasionally now. Interesting that the first card discussed was Net Police - it's the exception. We increased the trash cost by 2, and I don't think anyone's played it for quite awhile. Maybe just once or twice after the initial change. We already have a custom card that adds 2 to traces, so I'd just up the trash cost of NP even higher. At least 5. Or, space permitting, allow a counter-trace of some sort when the Runner trashes the card, or runs on the server. Or something.

The point about the card being blank against a link-less runner is a good one. Heck, a server-slot is hard to justify even against a Runner with some link. Link-based recurring credits might be put to good use in an Upgrade.
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Bob Bobberson
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Tarquelne wrote:
Imgur gallery of cards changed for the local group.


http://imgur.com/a/PlA7w#0

These cards aren't necessarily weak, but no one was using them despite thinking they were interesting. Seeking to minimize the changes, we played a sort of Netrunner "Name that tune." For example, somebody said they'd play Dedicated Server if it's trash cost were just 1 higher, so that's what was changed.

They're all generally seen at least occasionally now. Interesting that the first card discussed was Net Police - it's the exception. We increased the trash cost by 2, and I don't think anyone's played it for quite awhile. Maybe just once or twice after the initial change. We already have a custom card that adds 2 to traces, so I'd just up the trash cost of NP even higher. At least 5. Or, space permitting, allow a counter-trace of some sort when the Runner trashes the card, or runs on the server. Or something.

These are great. Most of these are on my mod list as well.

Surprised and a bit pleased you buffed Closed Accounts. Never thought it needed it, but I agree and like the mechanic of actions reclaiming their click; reminds me of playing Dominion.

I'd further buff Dedicated Server by lowering its rez cost to 2. Even after its first use you'd still be down the click for installing it, and it can be a dead or very weak econ card if not played very early.

Your version of Salvage is brutal! Do you find that it's overpowered?

My dream is to have a modded pool on OCTGN someday as there's not much of a ANR community where I live. It's very cool your group agrees on these cards and can print out the artwork. Thanks for sharing!

Edit: Also, could you explain how the reoccurring credits work on your Muresh Bodysuit? Are they for any action?
 
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Jonathan Trew
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kenobob wrote:

[snip] like the mechanic of actions reclaiming their click; reminds me of playing Dominion.

[snip]

Edit: Also, could you explain how the reoccurring credits work on your Muresh Bodysuit? Are they for any action?


I wonder if the "no time" actions may be coming in a future set (as we've got the doubles in the current cycle, but I agree that adding the clause to some of the less used ops would help them see more play.

I believe the recurring credits was a way for them to create a "Recurring counter" as it were. A sort of plascrete that had half the counters, doesn't trash itself and refills the counters each turn...
 
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Lucas Townsend
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Your Swarm-Burke BUgs Idea was really cool, I wish FFG would do more like this.
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Tarquelne
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I just realized I forgot Disrupter. I've added it to the gallery. To save you the click: We made it a virus, you can pay 1 cr to add a virus counter, and if it has a virus counter it adds 1 to link.

So: It's link that can be searched for by (among other cards) Djinn, and retains the ability to reset a trace if trashed. We were tempted to make it a cloud program, but it might be good enough as-is and didn't want to step on Shaper toes unnecessarily.

Hmm, I also forgot Access to Globalsec. An easy to forget card, yes? It still has the link, and we added "Click, Trash: Remove a Tag."
Decoy for amateurs.

Heck: Anonymous Tip, too. Added: "Expose 2 cards in the Runner's Grip." Just lagniappe, really. I guess that should be "reveal" rather than "expose."

kenobob wrote:
Surprised and a bit pleased you buffed Closed Accounts. Never thought it needed it,


Yeah, it was strengthened more as part of the anti-TagMe package than because of inherent weakness, but I like this version much better. It's a fun card, and as a 0-cost action it's a lot easier to justify the deck space.

Quote:

but I agree and like the mechanic of actions reclaiming their click; reminds me of playing Dominion.


The idea's popular here, too. I think it opens up the design space quite a bit. Note that our Recon uses a similar idea.

Quote:

I'd further buff Dedicated Server by lowering its rez cost to 2.


I agree with that. At least in it's current state I never use it, and am generally pleased to see my opponent play it. I was excited when I first saw the card. When it came to playing it, however, defending it didn't seem worth the effort.

I suppose FFG might have given us so many low-trash Assets because they were worried that high-trash cost cards behind taxing ice would be too strong a combination. I, however, generally have trouble justifying more than a single remote. (I hope Breach, Alias and Passport will actually encourage remote play more than they require the Corp to defend centrals even more heavily.)

Quote:

Your version of Salvage is brutal! Do you find that it's overpowered?


I think it is. IIRC it's the 3rd version we tried, and I doubt anyone's particularly married to it. I suspect we simply got tired of changing it. We wanted to keep the basic concept intact, which turned out to be tough. I think this latest iteration is pretty good. For one thing, I feel it's what FFG's Swarm should have been: Cheap enough to justify having a pay-to-pass clause built into the ice.

But at 2 credits/sub it'd still be fine, and likely better, I believe. Or lower strength.

I know there are metas where ice ends up getting advanced much more than I see here. Even the Weyland Genesis cycle stuff. If that starts happening I imagine we'll have to re-jigger all the no-advance-untill-rezzed ice.

In fact, I think I'll try making a deck that abuses it and see what happens. :) It's been awhile.

I like sunergy's idea for BWBI. I wish I'd thought if it. Though it might make our Salvage, Tyrant and Woodcutter OP.

After quite a bit of debate, btw, we decided that increasing a piece of ice's subs is inherently worse than increasing it's strength. (I now forget exactly why. It might be as simple as the cost-to-break on the most frequently used breakers.)

Quote:

My dream is to have a modded pool on OCTGN someday as there's not much of a ANR community where I live. It's very cool your group agrees on these cards and can print out the artwork.


I'd love to see a modded pool there, too.

Modding here started as a one-off custom card night. After we realized how easy and fun it was (or, really *could be* if someone bought something better than scissors for cutting the cards), we added more and started fiddling around with published cards. Not modding a game seems so confining! From RPGs we're all used to changing anything we don't like, and with some PC games I've probably spent more time modding than playing.

Quote:

Edit: Also, could you explain how the reoccurring credits work on your Muresh Bodysuit? Are they for any action?


The poster above got it right. The card is phrased poorly. Perhaps: "Use these credits to prevent meat damage, at 1 cr. per point of damage."

I was worried about Muresh for awhile, since 2 equals 1 inexhaustible Plascrete. But it seems to be working out, and with the last few datapacks we've had quite a bit of meat-damage potential added.

Quote:

Your Swarm-Burke BUgs Idea was really cool, I wish FFG would do more like this.


It'd be a good way to revitalize other not-quite-worth it cards. Convenient for us that Swarm and BB fit together so well.

It's neat to see someone Parasite a BB just to make breaking a Swarm cheaper.
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Tarquelne
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salty53 wrote:
2 cost Hard At Work


I wanted to mention: We tried this. (Mostly me - I play Anarchs the most in our group.)

Didn't like it. The problem isn't really so much that the card is "weak." Though after playing with it I came to the conclusion that the extra credit is not at all worth committing a click. The problem is it's just so boring compared to the Wyldside wildride. Maybe this is more about how much fun I think Wyldside is compared to HaW, but if I'm going to commit a click a turn to something it'll be drawing an extra card, or this,



Not a routine credit.

In the end we turned Starlight Crusade Funding into a super-HaW and retired HaW. We'll change it if someone really wants to try FFG's SCF, but ATM nobody misses it.
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The Starlight Crusaders bufffing you guys have thought up is interesting, but they're more like new card design rather than modding.

It seems FFG has a double-event runner build in mind, and I think we should let the card pool develop more before scrapping Starlight, though it certainly does seem a poor enough card to need help even once we get a huge pool or double events.

On the topic of fixing


I love the idea of having specific Ice aiding other specific Ice in Tarqueln's mods (here's the link http://imgur.com/a/PlA7w#0). Burke Bugs being little brother to Swarm is a perfect thematic fit (and BBugs is better with the Trace 1 Tarqueln gave it).

However, I like the idea of Swarm being the granddaddy of advanceable Ice and a taxing nightmare once fully charged. I think that's in-line what the designers had in mind.

How's this, keep Swarm the same as the original with this Burke interaction line added:

"The corp may trash any number of rezzed Burke Bugs when rezzing Swarm. For each trashed Burke Bugs, lower Swarm's rez cost by 3."

I'd also take the Illicit label off Swarm, it's still not potent enough to warrant it. This fixes Swarm's biggest weakness, being too expensive for what it does.

For another piece of this advanceable combo, here's an idea for


Keep the rez and trash costs the same. Then add:

"When you rez Salvage, you may trash a rezzed piece of Ice to place 3 advancement tokens on Salvage."

"Trash Salvage, move any advancement tokens on it to another piece of Ice."

I think these fixes add more thematic flavor to Salvage's name.

Even with its weak trace of 2, Salvage isn't too shabby if it's coming online with 3 routines just from trashing something like an Ice Wall. Paid abilities are also very strong, and being able to "salvage" any advancement tokens on Salvage for nothing is worth it and fun. Swarm would be its best target, but also slamming the tokens on an Ice Wall or Hadrian's Wall could keep the runner out of a remote in a pinch.
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