Android Netrunner - Kala Ghoda Review

Right I got two packs to get on with this week so let's get a move on! Wanted to get these out earlier but let's just say my job has had me working 7am to 7pm days frequently lately and I've just not had the time. Here's hoping the worst is over! Now I started this series with Game of Thrones and will no doubt continue, but I also enjoy Android Netrunner and so will be giving my opinions on the cards for their packs as well starting from the Mumbad cycle, which is advertised by Fantasy Flight Games as being a meta changer - yeah we'll see about that shall we?

To repeat a previous disclaimer, I'm a casual player that enjoys the game and can hold my own in a local store tournament (came 6th out of 24 recently, that's not bad come on!) despite having much to learn myself. That's all. Take that for what its worth, but maybe that will allow me to consider combos and ideas that will be fun to use rather than simply dismissing anything that doesn't make a Tier 1 level deck or whatever! So that being said, let's start. You can already check out my Android Netrunner review on my site. If you want to see all the images for each card, I recommend you visit netrunnerdb.com and use their search engine.



Run Amok

This card I don't think will be a staple in ice-destruction decks as the current meta has opted for the "cutlery" killer cards instead for being cheaper and easier to use. This isn't the cheapest event in the world and there's no guarantee it will claim an ice. But what it can do is make your opponent think about rezzing his ice, because they know it's going to get trashed either way. For a cheap ice, it probably won't matter too much especially if they have plenty in their HQ. But if they had hopes for springing something expensive on you, the decision is less enticing. I can see this being splashed for a single copy at most.


Ramujan-Reliant 500 BMI

Besides having one of the most awkward names to say and type in this pack it's also a pretty lacklustre card anyway. This is bringing in a new card type that lets you put 6 of them in your deck and the more you have used, the better they get. This in itself is a nice concept and we'll see more later, but this has a hefty downside to it in trashing your deck constantly. As if Anarch doesn't already have a ton of ways to do that but for better rewards. With options such as I've Had Worse available to protect from too much net damage and brain damage being pretty rare in most Corp decks, I can't see anyone putting this to good use and thus will likely remain a coaster card.


Street Magic

Here's another coaster. Yeah simple as that. There are very few opportunities where changing the order of subroutines is going to drastically help you that this just won't fit in decks. There are some hilarious possibilities however like reversing Little Engine so that it pays the Runner money and then ends the run, but let's face it, is anyone even playing that card? This will need something else to boost it as currently it's just never going to see play fighting for memory space in your rig.


High Stakes Job

A potential 6 credit gain, but it carries a high risk. All the Corp has to do is rez an ice that will keep you out and you might be down 6 credits. Criminals already have Bank Job, which is a 7 credit gain and all you have to do is hit a remote server, something which is currently very easy to do when Corp's are packing multiple remote servers full of assets these days. Unless you have a means of making the card cheaper using Ren's identity (not the best that Criminal have however) and some Prepaid Pads, it doesn't seem like this one would be worth it.


Mongoose

A little restricted on only being able to crack one piece of ice, but this is starting to find its way into Criminal decks as a replacement sentry breaker. Given that a lot of sentries have multiple sub-routines, being able to break two for one credit is a nice bonus. The low strength hurts it, but a lot of sentries aren't very high strength themselves anyway. Certainly Jinteki are going to hate you using this with their wide array of low strength, yet deadly sentry ICE.


Jesminder Sareen

As identities go, she's a little boring with no link and the usual standard deck construction limits. But her ability makes NBN decks weep a little. Avoiding the first tag during a run can make some events much more enticing to use. Although this only works during a run, it works during multiple runs so Data Raven suddenly isn't a problem and Account Siphon only takes one click and two credits to get over the downside of the card. She's not one that's going to have me racing to try her out, even with her new console which is coming up next, but I'm already seeing decks try to make good on her ability so maybe she will become a big player in the long term.


Maya

The new console reserved primarily for Jesminder, this gives Shapers a nice means of messing around with R & D. If the card isn't anything you can trash, then stick it at the bottom to open up the way to dig deeper especially with some interfaces online. The downside is having to take a tag, however if you're using Jesminder then this can be avoided pretty easily. On top of that, an extra two memory units is a nice addition when Shaper's suck up the memory like no-body's business.


Panchatantra

At first glance you'd think this was a dud and for the most part it is. But what is amusing is that this has caused a resurgence in the meta with a certain near-useless icebreaker making one hell of a comeback, that being Gingerbread. Previously only able to reliably deal with tracer ICE, now all of a sudden you have a means of giving any ICE out there the tracer type and making it easier to break! I don't think it's the most powerful method of breaking ICE lately, but it's cool to see an old card make a resurgence, even if it's not for anything to do with its original intended purpose!


Artist Colony

I struggle to use cards that say to forfeit an agenda, but that's because I have much to learn about priorities in this game! There aren't many direct tutor effects though and this card is a great one to spring up if you are expecting to hit a News Team, 15 Minutes or a Shi-Kyu. -1 Agenda point? I don't think so and on top of that I just found that icebreaker I needed. I doubt anyone is ever going to run more than one copy in a deck, but I certainly don't think it's a dud. I'm just a bit gutted that it's got such a high influence cost as you just know Iain Stirling would like the look of this in conjunction with his Logos console.


Chatterjee University

I had hopes that this would be worth it, unfortunately when you do the maths on this, it seems that cards such as Armitage Codebusting are more efficient still unless you're really going nuts on installing large programs because it takes a while to build it up and clicks are a precious resource. It's also going up against the likes of Technical Writer, a card I much prefer. I can't see this being used without some extra support.




Advanced Concept Hopper

This is a powerful ability if you can score this agenda netting you a good amount of credits and/or cards. The flexibility is also a plus. The only thing that hurts it is the 4/2 part. 4/2 agenda's get put on the shelf a lot because it's much easier to score a 3/2 and there are some great 5/3's about. However at my last tournament I saw this being used in HB decks and I was very glad to steal one of these as I would have not had such a good game had it being scored by the Corp. You'll never see 3 copies of it in a deck, but I think it's going to be popular to have at least one of them for most HB glacier decks.


Vikram 1.0

Nice to see another Bioroid ICE enter the mix, and this is a good one. Fairly expensive traces and a high strength value for a sentry will mean that the Runner will need to make good use of clicks and run early to guarantee getting through. If this is the outermost piece of ICE on the server they won't be able to allow that first sub-routine from firing as it will mess up the rest of the run. And no-one wants to take brain damage period. An auto-include in any HB deck in general I believe let alone one that focuses on bioroids.


Heritage Committee

This is the first of many cards this pack gives us that made Industrial Geonomics and Jinteki in general giddy in excitement, myself included for being a Jinteki fan. This uses another new mechanic where the influence cost is zero if you have 6 or more non-alliance cards from a single faction in your deck. Obviously if you're playing that faction who cares, but if you are using your influence primarily from one different faction, this becomes another free card you can splice. This will make for some fun deck-building in the future. But as for the card itself, this is fantastic for any Jinteki player. A Diesel equivalent card draw for cheap, but with a twist of putting one card back on HQ. In any other faction it's usually a non-agenda, but in Jinteki, your opponent is creasing in fear because you can bluff just about anything at this point with all your traps. Snare is a fantastic card to use to make them regret running your R & D. If you use traps en-masse, you will want this card!


Mumbad City Grid

Put simply this means that you can have a Runner encounter the same piece of ICE twice, getting more mileage from those expensive cards you install. It's a bit of a "janky" card as you need to have a purpose built server for it, but oh man this can really frustrate a Runner if used correctly. A three-ICE server with only a Tollbooth rezzed on the outside can mean that the Runner is forced to encounter it three times in one single run! That's just mean with a capital ME! I don't know how easily it will be able to fit in Jinteki decks currently, but we might be looking at a funky type of Jinteki glacier build not seen before! Other factions may find a use though. Imagine Quicksand if you kept swapping it and adding counters to it. Or Grail ICE even?


Khala Ghoda Real TV

The benefit this card offers is very subtle. However it's going to benefit a regular Netrunner player who knows exactly what he's looking for. Doesn't cost anything to rez and isn't cheap to trash so if you're fortunate it will stick around. However aside from gaining some temporary information there is not as much use to gain from this. One I can think of is using the Chronos Protocol ID to snipe cards out of the Runner's grip with net damage. It would force the Runner to play it on the next turn or risk losing it. However if it's that good chances are they already would have played it before you get the chance. Maybe something to keep on hold in case more support comes out, but I'm not using it right now.

Interrupt 0

This ICE will make it incredibly taxing for a Runner to get past a multi-sub ice. However it begs the question why you don't just simply add another ICE in general to the server. Weyland would be the best person to get a lot from this ice, being able to afford to rez many multi-sub ice like Spiderweb for example. But even then, why not just have another Spiderweb and keep it in the same faction? I don't expect to see much from this one.


Dedication Ceremony

There are a lot of potential uses for this card. The Titan identity from Weyland gets to do some crazy fast advance shenanigans with the Hollywood face-up agenda when played right. Setting up a quick Ronin kill is also a good choice. But the best one I've seen by far is using a very under-used card from NBN called Reversed Accounts. Rez the card, play Dedication, advance one and then click to trash it. The Runner loses 4 credits for each counter on the Reversed Accounts. It is a serious bankruptcy concern for them, and they don't even have to be tagged so who needs Closed Accounts? A lot of cool uses for this, expect it to see play often.


Mumba Temple

I love these cards where you have a deck-building restriction to gain a benefit. Please make more of these. But as for the card itself, it's another great one and I mentioned Industrial Geonomics before, this card is perfect. Having less than 15 ICE is not usually difficult in Jinteki and the increased trash cost will help. But even in other decks it's a great fit if you're playing with lots of servers so obviously a glacier deck will get little use from this unless they can spare the influence. If you're happy to run remotes mostly naked then any asset-spam deck will also work well, so Weyland or NBN could be used well too.


Museum of History

And here's the crowning glory of the pack for Industrial Geonomics. Again having 50 or more cards might encourage some intriguing deck builds, but IG love this card right now. Hard to trash, not unique and allows you to play some serious shenanigans with your giant Archives pile. It's almost a must-include for IG, but I think any faction could see a benefit here as recursion outside of Jackson Howard isn't common.


Summary

At first I was a bit hesitant over this pack, but after some plays, there are some real gems here that have brought some old identities back into the high level games. . . at least for the Corp side. The Runner's cards were a bit of a mess in this pack and I hope this will be improved on. If you're a Corp, it's worth grabbing. If you're a Runner, only grab if you're a Shaper!


If you are interested in this game you can find a copy at your friendly local gaming store - http://www.findyourgamestore.co.uk/

0 comments: