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Subject: Specific Order for Breaking Subroutines? rss

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David O
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On a recent Breaking News podcast, one of the hosts mentioned that they had received clarification regarding how icebreakers are used to break ice. I can't recall the exact wording of it, but they said they had been doing it wrong the entire time, which makes me worry that I'm doing the same.

Is there a specific order for interacting and breaking subroutines on ice? If I have a breaker that can interact w/the ice, do I pick the subroutines I'm going to break first, then announce them and pay the total cost, or is there an additional step I'm missing?
 
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Pedraum
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A common misstep early in the game's learning curve is to interact with each subroutine individually, deciding then resolving 1 by 1. Or asking the corp if they plan on boosting a trace subroutine, then breaking it with icebreaker.

In a nutshell, the Runner breaks any or all subroutines, and then any unbroken subs will then fire.

The timing structure helps with this interaction.

3.0 Encounter ICE.
3.1 Icebreakers can interact (breaking none, any, or all subroutines)
3.2 Resolve all unbroken subroutines.
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Damien M
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This is how it works within the timing structure of a run as far as I'm aware:

3. Runner encounters ICE
3.1 Runner may activate paid abilities (such as increasing strength, breaking subroutines). You technically activate one at a time, and let it fully resolve (ie. clone chip, etc). Once you are done using paid abilities, you announce that you are done and the corp may activate paid abilities if able. Once the corp is done, he announces it and the runner still has an opportunity to activate more paid abilities. You continue once both players have passed.
3.2 Subroutines fire in order from top to bottom. Fully resolve one before going to the next.

etc. etc.
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David O
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cardsbydizzle wrote:
A common misstep early in the game's learning curve is to interact with each subroutine individually, deciding then resolving 1 by 1. Or asking the corp if they plan on boosting a trace subroutine, then breaking it with icebreaker.

In a nutshell, the Runner breaks any or all subroutines, and then any unbroken subs will then fire.

The timing structure helps with this interaction.

3.0 Encounter ICE.
3.1 Icebreakers can interact (breaking none, any, or all subroutines)
3.2 Resolve all unbroken subroutines.


So if I'm encountering a piece of ice with 3 subroutines that my icebreaker can break, I total how much it would cost to boost+break, then spend those credits and announce that I'm breaking all 3 subroutines?
 
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Damien M
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Basically, yes, although things like Tyr's Hand can mess that process up a bit (albeit not much).
 
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T. Rosen
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Another weirdness of this that came up for me recently is that you can use an icebreaker to break the End the Run subroutine on Archer even if you're not breaking the Trash a Program subroutines and the Corp uses those earlier subroutines to trash your Sentry breaker. Obviously this is unlikely to arise but if the Runner barely has enough money to raise strength and break the ETR and really wants to get in then this could happen and did recently for me. If you incorrectly resolved subroutines one at a time from top to bottom then you'd miss this possibility.
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Pedraum
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Yup, all goes back to the timing nature of the game. Gotta love the elegance of Garfield's original design.

A very similar situation is hitting a Grim over Archives while performing a Sneakdoor Beta run. Sneakdoor Beta is trashed, but the Sneakdoor run still continues (as Grim does not ETR).
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Pedraum
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Entice wrote:
....to activate more paid abilities. You continue once both players have passed.


Very common mistake, but it's not until both players pass. It is actually until 1 player passes, and both players have had an opportunity. Slight difference that might make a difference in certain situations.

For example, player 1 performs paid abilities after which player 2 passes. Player 1 would not then get another opportunity.
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Pedraum
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hwangman wrote:
So if I'm encountering a piece of ice with 3 subroutines that my icebreaker can break, I total how much it would cost to boost+break, then spend those credits and announce that I'm breaking all 3 subroutines?


Yes sir, that is correct. 3.1 is the paid ability window. So you could utilize your icebreaker (boosting & breaking subroutines), and perform any other paid abilities during this window (for example, use clone chip to install a program onto the ICE, pay to bring a program off Personal Workshop, etc), before passing the paid ability option to the Corp.
 
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Jacob Morris
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hwangman wrote:
So if I'm encountering a piece of ice with 3 subroutines that my icebreaker can break, I total how much it would cost to boost+break, then spend those credits and announce that I'm breaking all 3 subroutines?


That's usually how it works out in practice, but if you're looking for the actual technicality of how the game works, then no that's a bit of a simplification.

The abilities on icebreakers to raise strengths and break subroutines are paid triggered abilities. So you use them one at a time and fully resolve them before activating another ability.

For example, using a corroder in an encounter with eli goes like this:

At step 3 of the run, the runner encounters eli. If there any "when encountered" effects, they resolve immediately.

At step 3.1 of the run, icebreakers can interact with eli and paid abilities can be used. It is the runner's turn, so s/he gets timing priority first.

The runner pays 1c to activate the first ability on corroder. It now has 3 strength until the end of the encounter.

The runner pays 1c to activate the first ability on corroder. It now has 4 strength until the end of the encounter.

The runner pays 1c to activate the second ability on corroder and chooses either the first or second subroutine on eli. That subroutine is now broken and will not fire.

The runner pays 1c to activate the second ability on corroder and chooses the remaining subroutine on eli. That subroutine is now broken and will not fire.

The runner passes priority to the corp.

The corp declines to trigger any paid abilities.

The paid ability window closes.

At step 3.1 of the run, any unbroken subroutines fire in order. There are none, so the runner passes the eli, then approaches the next piece of ice if there is one or approaches the server otherwise.



So, the net difference to the game state is what you described above, but each individual ability actually happens separately.

This is how things like Tyr's Hand and the recently spoiled Midway Station Grid trigger and work.
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John Thornby
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cardsbydizzle wrote:

Very common mistake, but it's not until both players pass. It is actually until 1 player passes, and both players have had an opportunity. Slight difference that might make a difference in certain situations.

For example, player 1 performs paid abilities after which player 2 passes. Player 1 would not then get another opportunity.


Those two situations are tantamount. If I've used all the paid abilities I want to and declare it's your go then I have, effectively, passed. If you now pass the window closes. Why would I pass to you and then decide I have more things to do after you've said you have no action? Doesn't make much sense.

The best way to think about it is that in any window the player whose turn it is acts first with as many paid abilities as they want to take. The other player then gets an opportunity to take actions. If they pass then the ability window is over, but if they take one or more actions then the first player gets another chance to reply and so on.
 
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Daniel Wray
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Quote:
Why would I pass to you and then decide I have more things to do after you've said you have no action? Doesn't make much sense.


There are reasons you might hold your paid ability until you see what the opponent does. I struggled to come up with a solid example on the fly, but basically you might want to hold off spending credits until you see if the Corp wants to react in some way. It might look something like this:

I would like to do paid ability A), but it's just advantageous, not critical
If Corp does B), doing A) puts me in a worse position
If Corp chooses not to do B), I want to do A)

The Corp always has the choice to do B) anyway, but is not likely to wait until then if they have the option. It's a form of hedging your bets, but as you correctly pointed out, if I pass to the Corp, and they do nothing, my opportunity is lost.
 
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Matt
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cynchwyrm wrote:
Quote:
Why would I pass to you and then decide I have more things to do after you've said you have no action? Doesn't make much sense.


There are reasons you might hold your paid ability until you see what the opponent does. I struggled to come up with a solid example on the fly, but basically you might want to hold off spending credits until you see if the Corp wants to react in some way. It might look something like this:

I would like to do paid ability A), but it's just advantageous, not critical
If Corp does B), doing A) puts me in a worse position
If Corp chooses not to do B), I want to do A)

The Corp always has the choice to do B) anyway, but is not likely to wait until then if they have the option. It's a form of hedging your bets, but as you correctly pointed out, if I pass to the Corp, and they do nothing, my opportunity is lost.


Worth noting, only for that timing window. Often during a run, separate Paid Ability windows are quite close together (eg: Run Timing Steps 2.3 and 3.1)
 
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