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Subject: Question regarding ICE subroutines and multiple ICE breakers... rss

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Daniel
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Just had my first play with this excellent game, but there's one big question left, even after reading the well-written rulebook:


If one piece of ICE, e.g. a wall, has multiple subroutines, can the Runner use more than one ICE breaker Program to break them? Provided their power equals or surpasses the ICE's strength, of course.

Since there are Programs with the ability: (0): break a subroutine OR Programs with (2): break a subroutine (pay 2 Bits for each subroutine you want to break).

So if the Runner has two of these with abilities which let him bypass one routine at zero (0) cost, can he combine them and do it for zero Bits on ONE piece of ICE? Or does he have to use ONE seperate ICE breaker for each piece of ICE?

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Bob (he/him)
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Its been a while since I played, but if I recall correctly you can use any ice breaker on any piece of ice as needed.
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B C Z
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Each program in the runner's deck is a separate program.

Lets pretend you have two wall breakers:

The first is a Worm:
Strength 2
0: break a wall subroutine
3: +1 strength

The second is Hammer
Strength 2:
1: break a wall subroutine
1: +1 strength


Now you're approaching a wall of strength 0-2. Obviously you'd pick the Worm, because it costs 0 bits.

At wall strength of 3, it's cheaper to start using the Hammer (disregarding the lack of stealth penalty), because it costs less to raise the strength of the icebreaker. Pretend we're approaching a wall of strength 5:

Worm will need +3 strength (9 bits) and then breaks for 0.
Hammer needs +3 strength (3 bits) and then breaks for 1.

You may not raise HAMMER and then break with WORM, because WORM isn't strong enough, you didn't raise it.

Now lets look at a wall of strength 3 with 4 subroutines (all 'end run').
In this case, WORM will need:
+3 to raise from strength 2 to 3, and then +0 to break each routine, for a total of 3 bits.

HAMMER will need +1 to raise to 3 strength, and then +1 to break each routine, for a total of 5 bits.

-=-=-

In general, if the runner has a choice of two similar breakers (two wall breakers, two sentry breakers, two codebreakers), they will pick the overall cheaper option. Sometimes, with some of the random or weird breakers, there is value in trying something off the wall first before choosing to resort to 'the old fashioned' method.

Each breaker has its value, usually over a defined range of strengths, and takes into account the initial cost to deploy the program. If you don't pay for it up front, you'll probably be paying for it each time you go to use the program, so its' a 'pay me now or pay me later' gambit.

-=-=-

I hope that helps.
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Daniel
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Okay, thanks for the clarification, both of you.

But there's one thing I still don't get, could you help me out?

byronczimmer wrote:
(...)

Now lets look at a wall of strength 3 with 4 subroutines (all 'end run').
In this case, WORM will need:
+3 to raise from strength 2 to 3, and then +0 to break each routine, for a total of 3 bits.

HAMMER will need +1 to raise to 3 strength, and then +1 to break each routine, for a total of 5 bits.

Basically this means I can break an infinte amount of subroutines with a WORM, because breaking one costs 0 Bits? I assumed it was one, since you cannot raise it, and therefore only break multiple routines as long as you have enough Bits to raise a breaking ability in the first place (and you cannot raise or rather multiply zero Bits)?

Now that would be really mean... since you could "WORM" your way through multiple Walls (assuming there are just walls protecting a data fort) in one go, provided you have enough Bits to surpass their strength.surprise

Is that right?

Quote:
I hope that helps.

It sure did!
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Agent 57
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Engoduun wrote:
Just had my first play with this excellent game, but there's one big question left, even after reading the well-written rulebook


Well written? I love this game but the rulebook is easily the worst I've ever read.
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Daniel
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Agent 57 wrote:
Engoduun wrote:
Just had my first play with this excellent game, but there's one big question left, even after reading the well-written rulebook


Well written? I love this game but the rulebook is easily the worst I've ever read.

Really? Hmm... then I must be either weird, mad, or exceptionally geeky to have understood the game from reading it except the question in the OP.

I found it understandable and not confusing at all. YMMV.
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Rik Van Horn
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Engoduun wrote:
Okay, thanks for the clarification, both of you.

But there's one thing I still don't get, could you help me out?

byronczimmer wrote:
(...)

Now lets look at a wall of strength 3 with 4 subroutines (all 'end run').
In this case, WORM will need:
+3 to raise from strength 2 to 3, and then +0 to break each routine, for a total of 3 bits.

HAMMER will need +1 to raise to 3 strength, and then +1 to break each routine, for a total of 5 bits.

Basically this means I can break an infinte amount of subroutines with a WORM, because breaking one costs 0 Bits? I assumed it was one, since you cannot raise it, and therefore only break multiple routines as long as you have enough Bits to raise a breaking ability in the first place (and you cannot raise or rather multiply zero Bits)?

Now that would be really mean... since you could "WORM" your way through multiple Walls (assuming there are just walls protecting a data fort) in one go, provided you have enough Bits to surpass their strength.surprise

Is that right?

Quote:
I hope that helps.

It sure did!

No. Each piece of ice you encounter on a run resets any programs you used before the current piece of ice.

So to give an example, the Worm has to have its strength raised for EACH wall encountered. You can only break subroutines for each wall that Worm matches the strength for.
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Daniel
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Hehehe... okay, but given the Runner's got enough Bits to boost its strength he can use it for every Wall on his path and ignore all subroutines. Neat.
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Max Maloney
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"If trees could scream, would we be so cavalier about cutting them down? We might, if they screamed all the time, for no good reason." -Jack Handey
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Agent 57 wrote:
Engoduun wrote:
Just had my first play with this excellent game, but there's one big question left, even after reading the well-written rulebook

Well written? I love this game but the rulebook is easily the worst I've ever read.

I agree, it's terrible. It's really tough to look up specific rules in it, because it has no organizational structure. It's meant to be read all in one sitting and never referenced later. Even from that context, it does a poor job of defining terms and game structure early.
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B C Z
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Just as you may pay the bits associated with raising the strength of a program more than once, you may also pay the bits to break a subroutine more than once.

RAISE strength to match ICE
BREAK each subroutine on the ICE that you want.
suffer the effects of any unbroken subroutines
if still running, approach next piece of ICE (all programs reset to original strength)

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B C Z
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Engoduun wrote:
Hehehe... okay, but given the Runner's got enough Bits to ...


THIS is always the problem.
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Daniel
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byronczimmer wrote:
Engoduun wrote:
Hehehe... okay, but given the Runner's got enough Bits to ...


THIS is always the problem.

Would be boring if it weren't.
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