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Subject: Astroscript Pilot Program rss

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Simon Comtois
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Hello community.

Pure Noob here in the forum. Bought the game yesterday, played my first three games not more than an hour ago. I played Corp and did so with the vanilla core deck for NbN.

Read the instruction manual twice before starting, but then again, I could've missed something. In fact, I must have missed something...

Here it goes;

I am more than positive, at least I hope, that I am not the first person to have trouble understanding the Astroscript Pilot Program agenda card.

As I understand it the first "step" of the card is to place advancement counters (3) on it (as any other agenda cards for that matter...). When that is done, you can reveal it and score the 2 agenda points it confers.

Then second "step", again is easy. You do as the card states and you put an agenda counter on it at the moment when you score it.

So far so good...

Then, here is where the confusion hits the fan.

Here is the text as it is on the card:

Hosted agenda counter: Place an 1 advancement token on a card that can be advanced.


I believe that this ability is written in the "cost:effect" format.

My question would've been: Is the cost of putting 1 advancement token on an advancable card, the one and only Agenda Counter I have on Astroscript Pilot Program?

BUT...

I tried finding the answer myself surfing the endless waves of the internet but sadly, it only confused me even more.

I read everywhere how this agenda is so golden and powerful. How it is one of the best agendas out there, et cetera, et cetera...

At that moment I understood that the Agenda Counter is not expended when you use the ability to put an advancement token on an advancable card.

Can someone please explain to me what is it that I missed in the rules that has me so confused with this card??????

I hope my situation is clear enough and I hope this annoyingly HUGE post will be helping me out!

Thanks in advance! modest



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Ken Dilloo
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Everything is relative to perception, and your perception is limited.
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The Ginger Ninja
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You don't need to spend the token right away. It can sit there until you spend it. For instance, you can install another Astro, use the previous token, and advance twice to score. Powerful stuff. What folks call the Astro train.

Edit: Sorry, misread your post. Not sure I understand.
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Donnie Clark
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The hosted token is spent to activate the ability. Check the rule book under the section heading "Hosting".

"If a trigger cost requires one or more hosted counters, those counters must be spent (returned to the token bank) from the card that the ability appears on."
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Chris Wood
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The Agenda counter IS expended when you advance the card. (it's not much of a cost if it doesn't cost you anything)

The reason it is considered so powerful is that if you can chain Astroscripts, you effectively only have to advance them twice and then spend the scored agenda token to place a 3rd advancement token. (basically 2/2 instead of 3/2) and then you repeat with the next Astroscript.

Now add to that the power of San San City grid (reduce the required advancement tokens by 1) and with a scored Astroscript pilot program now you can score a 3/2 by only advancing it 1 time! (Advance, Astrocript token, San San)

So the power is in it's cascading effect. Yes, you can only use it one time, but that one time is all you need.

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Simon Comtois
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All right, all right!

Thanks everyone.

I misled myself with bad interpretation of what I read!

So the cost IS the agenda counter on the card.

Pretty combo-tastic indeed.

Perfect... Again thanks to everyone for the fast replies!

Love the game.

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Derrick Billings
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Taloncarde wrote:
The Agenda counter IS expended when you advance the card. (it's not much of a cost if it doesn't cost you anything)

The reason it is considered so powerful is that if you can chain Astroscripts, you effectively only have to advance them twice and then spend the scored agenda token to place a 3rd advancement token. (basically 2/2 instead of 3/2) and then you repeat with the next Astroscript.

Now add to that the power of San San City grid (reduce the required advancement tokens by 1) and with a scored Astroscript pilot program now you can score a 3/2 by only advancing it 1 time! (Advance, Astrocript token, San San)

So the power is in it's cascading effect. Yes, you can only use it one time, but that one time is all you need.


Not to mention it puts tremendous pressure on the Runner to check any facedown remote because you can even score a 4/2 by having an installed SanSan City grid.

Install Agenda. Rez SanSan. Advance. Advance. Use Astro token. Score.

Plus just paying the trash cost on SanSan itself is enough of a gut punch that it helps the corp to get a scoring window again sooner than later.

And that's why NBN isn't winning all the tournaments, but it's winning a LOT of them. And as the OP noted, Astroscript is getting a lot of hate right now.

Personally, I think a lot of it is psychological. Weyland? You know they're coming for you--they'll kill you but at least they're up front with how much they hate runners. Jinteki? You know that it's a deck full of short and long cons and it's beatable if you're smart. HB? They're going to get a bucket of money so they're going to pay for their toys.

But NBN? Their poster boy is a smiling man-child. They score agendas with such heedless insouciance. It's not like you're "beaten"--you just all of a sudden lose the game.
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Simon Comtois
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Thanks for the breakdown.
 
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Ned Smoredog
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Noob here too. So when it says "Place one advancement token on a card that can be advanced" does that mean you take the counter from the shared pile and place it on the Astroscript card or do you take one from your credit pile? The former is how we've been playing

Another card that is similar and confuses me (along the same lines) is Psychographics (NBN Core set, card 85). It says "Place X advancement tokens on a card that can be advanced". Does this mean I take X (I understand the X, that's straightforward) advancement tokens from the shared pile and just put them on a card or do I take them from my credits and turn them over into advancement tokens (again, basically just giving me free advancement options). Again, we've been playing the former.
 
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Chris Wood
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needs_more_dog wrote:
Noob here too. So when it says "Place one advancement token on a card that can be advanced" does that mean you take the counter from the shared pile and place it on the Astroscript card or do you take one from your credit pile? The former is how we've been playing

Another card that is similar and confuses me (along the same lines) is Psychographics (NBN Core set, card 85). It says "Place X advancement tokens on a card that can be advanced". Does this mean I take X (I understand the X, that's straightforward) advancement tokens from the shared pile and just put them on a card or do I take them from my credits and turn them over into advancement tokens (again, basically just giving me free advancement options). Again, we've been playing the former.


Advancement tokens always come from the shared pile. Now, considering it typically costs one credit, most people just flip the credit they spend over and call it an advancement token. But in reality you are returning 1 credit to the bank and then taking an advancement token.

So in the case of Psychographics, if you spend 5 credits to get 5 tokens, it's a pretty easy 1 for 1 conversion.

Now Astroscript works slightly different then you said here. When the agenda is scored, it's placed in your score pile which an "agenda" token on it (whatever you want to use to track it) Now what that does is it gives you a paid ability, that you can use to spend the "Agenda" token to place an advancement on another card that can be advanced (And again, this comes from the central counter bank)
 
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Ned Smoredog
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Quote:
Now what that does is it gives you a paid ability


Okay, so this is what confuses me. So that counter (maybe it's blue counter if I understand you correctly) I can use at any time on my turn and doesn't count as a click? Are you saying that spending this counter lets me advance an agenda by one by paying one credit? Is that what you mean by "paid ability". Or by "paid" ability do you mean I'm "spending" the counter (zero cost in credits and clicks)? The wording confuses me on the card because it says "place 1 advancement token..." instead of something more clear like "you may advance an agenda by 1 without spending a click" in which case it would be clear I need to spend 1 credit. Is my latter statement correct or am I still misunderstanding you?
 
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Andrew Keddie
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needs_more_dog wrote:
Quote:
Now what that does is it gives you a paid ability


Okay, so this is what confuses me. So that counter (maybe it's blue counter if I understand you correctly) I can use at any time on my turn and doesn't count as a click? Are you saying that spending this counter lets me advance an agenda by one by paying one credit? Is that what you mean by "paid ability". Or by "paid" ability do you mean I'm "spending" the counter (zero cost in credits and clicks)? The wording confuses me on the card because it says "place 1 advancement token..." instead of something more clear like "you may advance an agenda by 1 without spending a click" in which case it would be clear I need to spend 1 credit. Is my latter statement correct or am I still misunderstanding you?


Paid abilities are anything with the format of

[COST] : [EFFECT]

Unless a click is part of the cost, then they can be done without spending clicks and at any time that Paid Abilities may be used (see your timing chart in the latest FAQ for specifics). If an ability includes one or more clicks in the cost, then it is also an Action, and may only be played during the Take Actions step of your turn (unlike other Paid Abilities which may occur during any Paid Ability window, even during the opponent's turn).

With AstroScript, the Agenda Counter is the cost, as shown by the wording:

AstroScript Pilot Program wrote:
Hosted Agenda Counter : Place an advancement token on a card that can be advanced.


So the ONLY thing you expend is that token - you don't even spend a credit. However, as you must pay the token as the cost to use the ability, it can only be used once per scored AstroScript.

There are some other ways to use the token (such as adding +1 Str to an Ice Wall mid-run to make the Runner unable to break into your server, or adding an Advancement to a Junebug or Aggressive Secretary after the Runner has committed to access) but in practice these are much more rarely seen.
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Chris Wood
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needs_more_dog wrote:
Quote:
Now what that does is it gives you a paid ability


Okay, so this is what confuses me. So that counter (maybe it's blue counter if I understand you correctly) I can use at any time on my turn and doesn't count as a click? Are you saying that spending this counter lets me advance an agenda by one by paying one credit? Is that what you mean by "paid ability". Or by "paid" ability do you mean I'm "spending" the counter (zero cost in credits and clicks)? The wording confuses me on the card because it says "place 1 advancement token..." instead of something more clear like "you may advance an agenda by 1 without spending a click" in which case it would be clear I need to spend 1 credit. Is my latter statement correct or am I still misunderstanding you?


you are still misunderstanding.

When you see text in cost: effect format, that is a paid ability. you spend the hosted agenda counter for effect of placing an advancement token. unless the cost of a paid ability says it costs a click it doesn't! and the advancement counter is free

you are not advancing a card, you are activating an ability which results in you placing an advancement token.

There are specific windows "paid abilities" can be spent, typically during a turn between each click, or during a run according to the timing structure of a run

http://netrunnerdb.com/en/rules#tsr
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Adrian Breuch
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needs_more_dog wrote:
The wording confuses me on the card because it says "place 1 advancement token..." instead of something more clear like "you may advance an agenda by 1 without spending a click" in which case it would be clear I need to spend 1 credit. Is my latter statement correct or am I still misunderstanding you?

Why would you have to spend 1 credit?

"Cost: Effect"
1 Click, 1 Credit: Advance a card.
If resolving the effect "Advance a card" cost 1 credit then the standart action would cost 2 credits (and a click).

"Advance a card" is the effect, not the cost.
But there is the Action to advance a card.
The Action has the same format as any paid ability "Cost: Effect".

Resolving the effect of advancing a card or placing advancement counters does not cost any credits.
But before you are allowed to resolve the effect you have to pay the cost.
Hosted Agenda Counter: Place an advancement token on a card that can be advanced.
 
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Peter Hopkins
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needs_more_dog wrote:
Quote:
Now what that does is it gives you a paid ability


Okay, so this is what confuses me. So that counter (maybe it's blue counter if I understand you correctly) I can use at any time on my turn and doesn't count as a click? Are you saying that spending this counter lets me advance an agenda by one by paying one credit? Is that what you mean by "paid ability". Or by "paid" ability do you mean I'm "spending" the counter (zero cost in credits and clicks)? The wording confuses me on the card because it says "place 1 advancement token..." instead of something more clear like "you may advance an agenda by 1 without spending a click" in which case it would be clear I need to spend 1 credit. Is my latter statement correct or am I still misunderstanding you?


Maybe an example is the best way of helping you here.

Turn X, let's say 5, I install my Astroscipt click one, then I take a couple of creds (or do whatever). The runner has their turn, and doesn't steal the Agenda. Turn 6, I spend 3 clicks and 3 credits to advance my Astroscipt 3 times and I score it. I put it in my score area, giving me 2 agenda points, and I put a counter on it as instructed on the card (one of the blue/red tokens is ideal for this). It's cost me 3 credits, and 4 clicks (including the install) to score my agenda.

Turn 7, I install another Astroscipt I happen to have in my hand. Install is click one. After spending that first click, I have a window for *paid abilities*. I decide to use my scored agenda counter here; I take the counter off my scored agenda and return it to the bank. The ability says I can advance a card that can be advanced, so I take an advancement token from the bank and put it on my facedown agenda. I spend click 2 and 1 credit to advance it again, and click 3 and another credit to advance it a third time. I can then score the facedown agenda. As it's another Astroscript, it gets its own counter. It's also cost me just 2 credits and 3 clicks (including the install) to score my agenda.

You can probably see the strength of this card; once you get the first one scored, you can score the second one much more easily, and use the second one to score a third (if you have three in your deck). You're then on 6 Agenda points and just need something like a Breaking News agenda to win!
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Ned Smoredog
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Thanks everyone. After only having 4 people explain the same thing I get it now. It's very clear. Thanks a bunch.
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Colin Sibo
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Sorry another noob here (but 2 1/2 years later than the OP) with the latest FAQ 3.1.2 I see the text on the card has now changed to read "Limit 1 per deck". So I guess this nullifies the above tactic with multiple copies of Autoscript Pilot Program in your deck.
 
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Andrew Keddie
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Sibowitz wrote:
Sorry another noob here (but 2 1/2 years later than the OP) with the latest FAQ 3.1.2 I see the text on the card has now changed to read "Limit 1 per deck". So I guess this nullifies the above tactic with multiple copies of Autoscript Pilot Program in your deck.


That is indeed the intention. The "Astrotrain", as it was colloquially known, has been derailled.
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