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Subject: Casual Corner: Sexybots & Notsexybots: Revisiting the HB Campaigns rss

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Tommy Roman
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I’d like to think I’m imaginative enough to create a hip-sounding nickname like “sexybots”, but I first heard it when I began watching Krystman from the great TeamworkCast. I’m not sure that he specifically coined the term, but I will always remember his "sexybot" references to Adonis and Eve while providing in-game commentary. Krystman puts out some great content.

My teenage daughter uses these nicknames (and while Adonis is apparently not her type I suspect she would play Corp more often if the bioroid model looked like Michael Fassbender).

The drip economy triumvirate will lose its prettiest member when Eve Campaign departs with rotation. Adonis and Marilyn will remain, of course, and I thought it would be a useful exercise to compare and contrast some of HB’s economic mainstays, evaluate their strengths, opportunity cost and predict their likely appearance in non-HB decks.

Adonis is a core set staple that retains much of its utility, yielding a net profit of 8 credits. His trash cost allows for a moderate degree of staying power (except in the presence of Whizzard). The timing structure permits Adonis to be rezzed at 1.1 of the Corp's turn and credits taken from him with the start-of-turn conditional trigger. Even if the Runner opts to trash it on the turn it’s rezzed, you’re only down one credit (versus the click and 3 credits spent by your opponent). Adonis pays out at a higher rate than either Eve or Marilyn, too. This is important because he can occupy a scoring server for a comfortable period of time and be gone when you’re ready to install an agenda.

Eve yields an impressive 11 credits over her life span, but soon reveals her true nature as a high maintenance woman- expensive to rez (5 credits) and a frustratingly lower return rate which means that she’ll often stick around longer than you’d prefer. There'll be times when you consider overwriting her in the remote, which while a situationally reasonable play it may also telegraph your intentions (especially if there are still a fair amount of credits when you elect to trash her). She's high maintenance for the Runner as well- 5 credits to trash is a considerable tempo hit.

Both of these cards provide decent economy, although at 2 and 3 influence respectively, only Adonis is really eligible to be splashed in other decks. Later data packs provided some very useful cards that mitigated the install cost of HB’s campaigns, thereby increasing potential profit.

Breaker Bay Grid is singularly phenomenal about maximizing profit potential. Coupled with the likes of Friends in High Places, Adonis and Eve became very sexy indeed as this diabolical economy combo could be reinstalled for minimal cost.

Enter Marilyn Campaign, and at first glance she appears to be the aesthetically-challenged quintessential unsexybot.

Even the flavor text on her card suggests it. “A happy childhood lasts a lifetime”, depicting Marilyn as the bioroid version of the farmer’s wife from American Gothic. Seriously, if you were the jealous-spouse type selecting a synthetic nanny for your child, would you pick Eve or Marilyn? Yep, Marilyn’s a much safer bet.

Marilyn is the cheapest of the three to rez, and her trash cost is decent. She breaks even on the turn that you rez her and doesn’t overstay her welcome. And, wait for it- she gets shuffled back into R&D when trashed. This feature may take on renewed importance once Jackson Howard leaves town. However, according to the UFAQ endorsed by Michael Boggs, Marilyn needs to be rezzed for this ability to function because that portion of text isn't considered active until you pay the rez cost.

Marilyn synergizes well with the likes of Estelle Moon, since her recycling ability permits additional install opportunities. At one influence, Marilyn will likely see some play outside of HB. Possessing the advertisement subtype, a Spark Agency deck could easily slot 3 copies and deny the Runner some credits while collecting their own.

Marilyn may have only joined the game recently, but I suspect we'll be seeing a lot of her. She’s a little better than Adonis and much better than Eve. Yes, it appears we have arrived at the twilight of the sexybots, with the plain-but-functional Marilyn waiting to take center-stage.

Then again, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

And lest I forget (actually, I kinda did), there's Rex Campaign. Yes, I know. I've never seen it played, either.

It is an HB campaign that awards either 5 credits or bad publicity removal after its 3 power counters are removed (over 3 turns). Like Marilyn, it has the advertisement sub-type and seems to be more at home with Spark Agency. I will say that there was a time not too long ago when the ability to remove bad pub was a good thing, but I don't see Valencia very often anymore.

When I look at the card art, I honestly can't tell if Rex is a macho action star or cyber-dog hero. So, not sure on the sexy vs notsexy status.
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