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Subject: Fighting the Dragon rss

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Brian Roney
United States
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I finally cleared the dragon, I think on my fifth try and playing all four runners myself (since everybody else I played with wasn't quite so obsessed with it). I also had a lot of luck on my side.

I started with:
Human Street Samurai
Human Mage
Ork Decker
Ork Face

Everybody had Prime Runner and the 1 colored -> 2 colorless for their type.

I was really happy to see the initial Black Market - Hack the World and 2 Coordinated Assaults were very good draws for this. I normally try to do green first on the dragon, but all the obstacles had green on them (and I couldn't even clear them all in one round), so I decided to not worry about that idea and instead try to work through the obstacles until round 3.

First round went relatively straightforwardly, although I did take some damage from them. Face cleared off the last of the obstacles, and the Dragon decided to move to the Street Samurai.

Second round obstacles involved the one that moves from target to target based on the top card of the black market, and the one on the mage also hit the Decker. Neither of those got cleared, which was not particularly inspiring for my run. Decker down to 3 hp. Also the dragon moved to the Mage and then the Face (and then stayed on the Face, and in fact stayed there for the rest of the run). Face did get to clear his obstacle, though, leaving him with three basic reds in his hand (for a total of 4 red after Prime Runner), and with enough money to buy both Coordinated Assaults, figuring I could just use basic reds from allies in round three.

Round three starts up (with a relatively boring Crossfire - Human obstacles have +1 damage but there aren't any on the board) and I'm immediately struck with a concern- the Decker is about to Stagger and I can't clear off the obstacles without using all my Reds. I'd also really like to keep some Reds in my hand, because of the free cards (especially with Hack the World and a Lightning Bolt visible). Then it occurs to me that 1) The Decker doesn't have any good cards in his hand anyway, so it's not too bad if they stagger, 2) The assist on Doc Wagon does a Red, and 3) He's about to heal 2 for scene end and dragon reward. So I abandon the Decker to his fate and clear off obstacles to be able to have the money to do that. Street Samurai picks up a Negotiation and a Black Market Contacts to be able to discard to pick up a free card. Mage picks up a Doc Wagon and has a basic red in their hand. Decker staggers and has no cards, but is able to buy another Black Market Contacts (as well as some green cards, because I'm still kind of hoping to do the green aspect next round). And then it's the Face. And HERO MOVE is visible in the market.

I'd originally planned on using the Coordinated Assaults for reds... but now there's a Negotiation and a Doc Wagon that both do Red on Assist (which lets the Decker draw cards, and gets another red). Which means there's enough red around that the _Face_ can leave a red in his hand for the free card. So I figure I can just use the Coordinated Assaults to get some cards into people's hands and to clear off the obstacles on the Decker, so I do so. Down goes the Red aspect of the Dragon, and everybody has an extra red for a free card. Free cards: Hero Move, Hack the Planet, Lightning Bolt, and for the Street Samurai a relatively boring streetsweeper. Not a bad start.

And since that's a scene end, the crossfire event goes away, everybody heals, and everybody buys. This is mostly important for the Decker, since he's still a little short on green. And money, unfortunately. He's got 2 basic greens and Hack the Planet in his hand (as well as a basic black), and 3 nuyen. So somehow I need to get 3 extra green out of the world. There's an Icon Grab that I can buy, but that means that if I Hack the Planet I have to burn the Retrieval Agent out of the Black Market and that makes me really sad. But I suppose I must, so that's my plan.

Fourth round crossfire says that I can't damage obstacles in front of me. It doesn't clarify bosses, but the dragon's not on the Decker anyway so I'm good (although I do take some damage from obstacles). SS buys some random black cards from the market trying to open up any green assists for the Mage (and figuring he's next in line for dragon duty), but no such luck. On the flipside, I do get two of the "Draw 1/Discard 1", which means the Decker could cycle his black card... and there's not that many non-green cards in his deck yet. So I get both of those. I use the LitBolt to knock off an obstacle, since I still have no expectation of being able to clear Blue the round after this, and LitBolt doesn't help for that anyway.

So the Decker's up. 2 basic greens, Icon Grab and Hack the Planet is 6 green, plus Retrieval Agent WHICH I HAVE ONLY NOW JUST REALIZED I FORGOT TO USE THE TEXT OF AND WOULD HAVE MADE THE MAGE ASSIST CARDS POINTLESS make 7, and I use the mage cards to cycle the black into a green to get my 8. The extra damage on the assists, Icon Grab and the colorness actually even lets him clear off a few obstacles as well. And here's where I realize that I'm going to end up with 9 nuyen on the Decker. The SS has 4 black in his hand (A Katana and a basic black)... and with the scene end buy can make it to 5. If the Hero Move draw is lucky (which looking at his discard is probably likely), that takes him to 6. Which means I'm going to need another two. There's two Covering Fires in the market, but 9 isn't enough... so I'm just going to burn an allied Negotiation for completely wasted damage! Just to be able to buy the two Covering Fires for the Decker. Which is a hilarious place to have them but whatever, I'm on a roll.

That's a scene end, so crossfire goes away, more heals, more buys. Now the Dragon's pissed off, meaning the Face is going to take damage, but since he doesn't have any obstacles, that's fine. At least he stops discarding cards now. Hero Move does in fact give the SS another black.

Fifth round crossfire would've been kind of sad - no healing, but since since it goes away immediately on the SS turn, not that bad. So the SS chops off the black aspect of the dragon (and Covering Fire means the obstacle on the SS doesn't attack, so that's nice). Means I've got a pretty straightforward turn all around... except for the fact that the Mage has no blue in his hand for next round! He draws a basic blue, and is able to buy a Stunbolt, so that's a good start, but I don't think I'm going to be able to clear it immediately on round six. Still, I'm clearing obstacles fairly routinely. Heck, the Face has enough money to buy an Aztec Striker just for giggles.

Round six crossfire is also pretty irrelevant. Flipped obstacle cycles all hacking cards, which means those two beautiful Paired Programming cards go away... into two Stunbolts! Oh, this is silly. Now I just need the mage to have 8 nuyen and everybody to survive. And that's relatively straightforward at this point. I get my mage his 8 nuyen, I buy his extra Stunbolts (he's now sitting at 11 blue in his hand). Even the obstacles I can't clear with the SS/Mage/Decker go meet the Face for Aztec striker into Coordinated Assault to the SS into streetsweeper. Only thing that worries me at this point is whether the flipped crossfire and obstacles screw over the SS or Mage... since they are both at 1 hp, any damage could potentially screw us. If the crossfire is "any disabled runners are critical", and I can't clear the obstacle, that's a game over- if the mage takes any damage from the crossfire, that would cycle his hand and probably a game over. I figure the second is more likely, so I Doc Wagon the mage.

Round seven crossfire - highest health runner takes two damage and draws two cards. Oh, that's the Decker at 4 hp, so he's fine. SS shoots his obstacle to dead and doesn't even go to staggered, Mage completely destroys the dragon and just for style points uses the extra 9! damage from the stunbolts to wipe out all those big "5" uncolored dots on the obstacles I hadn't cleared yet. For amusement I let the Decker finish off the rest of the obstacles even though I've already won.

So yeah, really really good draw on Market, reasonable draws on obstacles and crossfires, and doing Face first instead of Decker, let me take out the Dragon. Yay!
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