Gary Cooper's Revenge - Facing the High Noon

 This is the story of a man who was too proud to run

I guess then this is the second instalment on drilling the High Noon deck. There is a heated debate going on at this very moment on the Message Boards. The upshot is that this mechanic appears to have ground almost every other into the dust, and is now in jeopardy of causing a rules revision. Some of us aren't at all happy about it (yeah, OK, me really) because we feel the problem is the proverbial "Can't see the wood through all the tree's", and here I was swearing blind I wasn't going to turn this into a rant.

High Noon is a problem, yeah there's no doubt about that. It's Top Dog, King of the Hill, and therefore justifiably gets all the attention. I'm no different, I actually have to build into every deck now something that stops it, and that in itself has become depressingly frustrating as it prevents the full exploitation of some great ideas I have rattling round in the back of my head (Oh yeah, wouldn't you love to know how I can run a deck that can potentially get 6-8 runners out by round 3 with a total SR of over 70? - You'll have to wait for GenCon Indy to cry over that one. High Noon, eat my lead).

Anyway I'm getting all bent and twisted here, and digresing. I've made a bold statement, OK several bold statements, that needs backing up. High Noon is all about speed. From turn 2 its trashing your Locations for Ops points in an almost exponential manner, first one, then two, then five. As fast as you can lay them out, it's burning them, then doing a few simple Operations to finally bludgeon you into the floor.

Where does all this aggression come from you might ask, but the important question is what can you do to blunt it. I think High Noon is a victim of the current environment, if it can be considered a victim. It's a strategy that wont have nearly the same power in six months when a couple of new expansions have hit the shelves. Why? Simple, the card pool will enable its neutering fairly quickly. You can already go a long way to making its effectiveness less than expected. Your first two keys are 24-7 and Junk Yard. 24-7 cannot be run by your opponent, and Junk Yard will simply boomerang back to your hand. Sure you'll have to cough up the 7Eb to play it again, but your opponent gets a big fat zero Ops points as well for these two Locations. How many times can you bang your head against a wall before you realise it just isn't worth it any more? Hey Zane, you aint gonna find anything worth stealing in that Junk Yard.

If you decide on playing a small army of Rockerboys as well, then you can't look beyond Stadium either, another Location that gives your opponent no Ops points.

Your opponent should finally get the message that your Locations have no intrinsic value and can't be relied upon to give them that Ops point boost they so desperately rely on, so will sit back and try and run their Ops instead. Here's where your second phase attack comes into play. Your Gear deck needs to be filled with Events that will help to provide the Coup de Grace - Run and Hide, I Used to be a Bozo, and Nothing Left to Live For. In order for this second phase to be effective, you have to play NCPD as your Sponsor.

The simple strategy is use sacrificial drones to cyber up (your talentless army of Rockerboys or twenty-first century boy bands fits in perfectly here), enter the skirmish in defence, then blow them up with I Used to be a Bozo. A Run and Hide or a well timed Nothing Left to Live For can also be used to reduce the attacking team by one runner, potentially forcing them to abort the mission or suffer a trashing if they can't meet the required security levels to complete it. Make sure you have plenty of A Fool's Errand or I Don't Think So to counter any attempt to prevent you handing your opponent his ass in a body bag.

This doesn't require much in the way of an engine to be effective, and it allows you to customise your runner and Operation make-up to effect your own victory. The defensive nature of the cards also makes this a useful counter against most other Operation focused decks.

You can be a real nice guy and play Failed Deadlines to add a rather nasty surprise to all of this. Once you trash your opponents team as they try to run their own Bring Him Back to recover the runners you burnt last time you used the 'Bozo Bomb', you can play Failed Deadline to turn their Ops point total back. Coupling this with some other Events such as It Aint Really a Run, that also trashes Operations without them being scored, you can put your opponent in the unenviable position of not actually having enough Operations left in his deck to secure an Ops victory. Too bad, so sad.

Now, about that deck strategy that will allow me to potentially get 6-8 runners on the table inside three turns with over 70 combined SR......yeah, right, as if I'd give that one away......

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