Burning Down the House - Location Destruction 101


Watch out you might get what you're after

Cool babies strange but not a stranger

I'm an ordinary guy

Burning down the house

Hold tight wait till the party's over

Hold tight We're in for nasty weather

There has got to be a way

Burning down the house

Burning Down the House - Talking Heads

If you're a music fan like I am, you'll certainly grin at some of the card titles in the Cyberpunk CCG - Too Drunk to.. (courtesy of the Dead Kennedy's), Run and Hide (The Watchmen) and Burning Down the House (Talking Heads). I thought I'd take the opportunity in this article to look a little deeper into an alternate strategy that I believe is viable at present as a partial strategy, but am sure will be more so in future expansions - Location Destruction or for a more technical term - Resource Denial.

There are essentially two ways to approach this type of engine, and at present it makes sense to use both to capitalize - running Ops to destroy Locations and get points, or play Events to remove annoying Locations that your Ops can't get at. Whichever way you play it, this is resource denial at its meanest. Couple your Ops and Events with legitimate Hits on your opponents Locations and a good deck can see you removing at least 1-2 a round, probably as fast as your opponent can put them down. An average deck would expect to put down around 3 Locations every 2 rounds. The objective is to better this in destruction in order to keep your opponent on the back foot.

Resource denial in its simplest form is a key mentality in the Cyberpunk CCG, especially if you face NCPD. By removing their Locations you force them to use their Sponsor to generate cash, which prevents them using their Sponsor in defending Ops or Locations. Few Government Locations generate more than a few paltry Eb, so the surest strategy against NCPD is Location destruction. They might get a couple of Cops out before you start hurting them, but a well timed Assassin can throw the proverbial spanner in their works.

Picking a Sponsor is at the moment more of a personal preference, although obviously the Corporate ones produce more cash and give your runners additional SR bonus's that can be useful when making your own runs. For this deck I have selected NCPD though for the main reason of being able to defend your opponents Operations and Locations. This allows you the full flexibility of I Used to be a Bozo, a critical card in this deck.

The key Operations in this deck are Demolition and either Bringing Down the House or Destroying the Plant - the selection of these is determined by the prevailing meta-game in the area in which you play - whether it's a strong Street or Corporate area. To be on the safe side, maybe it would be wise to play a couple of each, afterall people still seem to play cards not aligned to their faction, particularly where Locations and Operations are concerned.

Switching over to Events, we have Burning Down the House, expensive for some at 12 Eb, but a guaranteed destruction without having to be run or hit. You can couple this with There'll be Time for Sleep When you're Dead to go on multiple Hits, and it makes sense to include several If at First You Don't Succeed's as well to recycle all your Events. If you have the slots open it might pay to put in there a couple of Cyber Oracles. This card will give you the flexibility to be able to go searching for that key card.

Your opponents in a lot of trouble if you have a Demolition, Burning Down the House and an If at First You Don't succeed in your hand - potentially 4 Locations gone in a single round. Sure you only score 5-10 Ops points in total, but think how long it will take him to recover.

Your biggest enemy is the Junk Yard. A Location that if trashed goes back to your opponents hand for him to play in the next round. Your only saving grace is that for a Street Location it will cost him 7 to play it again, 5 if he's playing Street. If he doesn't have any Locations able to produce that, it forces him to use his Sponsor. You will also need to prepare for Locations that give you no net value in trashing them (like Junk Yard and 24-7), so having your own Operations to run is crucial. There may come a time when there are enough Locations in the game that provide no Ops points for trashing them, so this needs to be taken into account now if you intend to develop this strategy over time.

Resource depletion or Location destruction is also pretty devastating against the Mob who base their Special Victory on having plenty of Locations in play which they can extort their cash from. Remember they need 50 Eb production and one each of the 7 Location types. As long as you can target a specific type, they should never be able to fulfill their Special Victory. You'll find that the Mob will now begin to rely on Casino as well so in this example it pays to pick off the highest Eb earner.

Against a Corporate Sponsor, you have to be a little more selective. Taking down the biggest Eb producing Location might not always be the smartest thing to do. Corporate Locations are notorious for having special abilities that certain deck engines rely on. Kill Cloning Centers and Satellite Launch Facilities. Eliminate Holoshop or Night City Bank. But the biggest target has to be the Casino. Any of these are used more for their ability than their use as a cash cow, but remember that every good offensive deck needs a series of defensive cards at the ready. Always have an I Don't Think So or A Fool's Errand in your hand when playing Events - your opponent will soon realize what your key cards are and target them themselves.

The deck to the left is a fairly rudimentary one, but one that can be tuned for your own specific style or nuances. It contains the cards I feel are crucial to this strategy and nothing more.

Strategy is simple, Hit the Locations that your support runners can take out with little M-Sec and E-Sec, run your Ops to target their specialized Locations, then complete the turn by using an Event to remove the biggest baddest money earner on the table. Before long they'll be in a position where they will be ignoring their Gear Deck in order to recover. Pulling from the Gear Deck only hinders them getting runners on the table. Make use of this, take advantage of their inferior firepower and run your own Ops. Make them small and simple. No need to extend your own resources.

As an accompanying strategy to this - where Location denial means that your opponent needs to squeeze every dollar out of what they have, another nasty card to include is Bad Press. Overlooked by almost everyone, stacking your deck with Media's can add +2 Eb to the cost of every card for a couple of rounds each time you play a Bad Press. Play more than one, then recycle them with If at First You Don't Succeed. If these 2 ideas can get going, your opponent could be stalled almost indefinitely.

So while the High Noon deck still seems to be the main brunt of most people's arsenal, this is an alternative that certainly warrant's people's time to look at. A well tuned Resource Denial deck such as this can hurt a High Noon, that relies on speed and lots of Corporate cash to get it rolling.

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