It's a Punknaught Baby! - Strategies for building that Uber Vehicle, June 2004

Note: At present this strategy is to some degree broken because of the card Hijacked Satellite which has as one of its abilities:

//Opponent must control a card with the Space attribute and pay 10 Eb to assign Runners to Hit this Location.

What this essentially means is that unless your opponent is using Hijacked Satellite's himself, you just need to be able to defend against cards like Burning Down the House. For a deck that relies on taking Locations through a Hit or run rather than destroying them (these decks currently dominate the game environment), such offensive cards are traditionally rare.

Ever wondered why you would want to build a Punknaught? Ever wondered how difficult the actual task is? You've probably thought "..if ever there was a carrot on a Location..", and you'd be right. The thing is, if that Location is almost impossible to hit, even for a team of Zane Red's, should it really concern you that much? The answer is no.

Punknaughts aren't really that difficult to build. Like everything else it requires a degree of skill to know what to use and when to use it, so I thought I'd put down a few random thoughts in an attempt to get people to thinking that a huge mobile monstrosity is something they can be proud to show their friends.

The first thing we need to look at is the actual minimum number of cards required to build a 'Naught, after all why make one out of ten cards when you can make one out of seven.

The Punknaught needs 8 wheels, 2 sets of armor, 2 sets of lift gear and a heavy weapon. The minimum card configuration for this is 2 cars, 2 trucks, 2 helicopters, Hovers or AV's and a heavy weapon, or seven cards total. The next major concern is cost. We don't want to bring out cards that will require us to use two Locations in order to generate enough Eb to play them. As we're playing the Gangs Sponsor here, cash will always be tight, so if we can buy all our equipment for 5 Eb per card or less, we're doing well.

Remember we're not interested in any of the additional things such as SR or LR or even Def. The object of this is to build a vehicle. We don't need to use it to run an Operation or meet some security requirements or even hose a team of runners, all we need is to have enough cash to play a Trashin' the Corp Zone, so stick with the program. Necessity might be the mother of invention, but distraction is the mother of defeat, or something like that.

Looking at the cards available to us, here's a list of what we should be packing - Nomad Bugs, Cruisers, Muscleman Mini's, BMW Cross-Country, and Kenshiri Flamethrowers. Nothing too flash, nothing too expensive, and surprisingly nothing too cheesy. The Muscleman Mini's are the pick of the bunch for their ability to move gear round the table. One of the things you want to be careful about is taking your time to assemble your behemoth. You're already going to have to wait 3 turns until you can move it from your building site, but the last thing you want to do is spend 5 further turns waiting to draw that final set of wheels or piece of armor. The name of the game is preparation.

A couple of Mob Errand Boys driving Muscleman Mini's and you can effectively move all your gear from the Stash in a single turn. Voila! Instant Punknaught.

So, what sort of support cards do we need in order to get this deck cranking out vehicles? Location wise the first thing we need to look at is where we're actually going to build our Punknaught. It needs to be somewhere cheap to get out that has a good security rating, and if it can provide an additional bonus, that's cool too! Anything with a combined security (2x E-Sec + M-Sec) of over 40 is good. If it costs 6 or less, even better. The main contenders here then are Borg Conversion Center, Short Circuit, Night City Bank and Dojo of Hard Knocks, although special mention must be made to Hijacked Satellite for the reason that even though it's total security is only 28, it costs nothing and is virtually indestructible unless your opponent has a card in play with the Space attribute.

Night City Bank is a rare that costs nothing as well, and allows you to store excess Eb in tokens, very useful for a cash-strapped Sponsor like Gangs. Short Circuit is useful if you want to play Hijacked Satellite's as it gives your Netrunners +3 power, half the requirement to put Hijacked Satellite into play. Borg Conversion Center isn't particularly helpful and nor is the Dojo, especially when you will need additional support Locations to make vehicles cheaper to purchase.

Bob's Used AV's is good for reducing the cost of your vehicles, and should be good for a bank token every time it's used, and Combat Zone Bone Yard is critical in that it helps you compile a 'Naught in a single turn s long as you have Techies in play. Tech Shop is also a great card that can be used to preserve your vehicles should your opponent have something against them. Finally Garage Landing Pad is useful, especially if you want to use the Muscleman Mini to move equipment cards round the table.

Events are fairly critical to this deck, and considering you will need to fill your Gear Deck with a lot of Equipment, you have to be very specific in what you want them to do - help you achieve your goal, or use them to stall your opponent, giving you the time to assemble in various places (Hand, Stash and Trash) your coup de grace. Remember also that you will need at least a few defensive cards while your tokens are removed on your Chassis once it comes into play and that you will need 4 copies (perhaps 3 will suffice) of Trashing the Corp Zone in order to complete your Special Victory.

I would look at a few Target Swaps as these are a perfect foil for an opponent who zeroes in on your half-built vehicle. If At First You Don't Succeed is always a staple, and something like I Don't Think So or A Fool's Errand to counter your opponent if he tries to burn your runner or Location that the 'Naught is attached to.

Be willing to sacrifice Runners in defending your Location. Bodies are cheap, and not critical to your final objective (although you will need one goon to attach your 'Naught to when you finally Trash the Corp Zone). It's easier to play a lot of cheap runners then to squeeze anti-opponent cards like Assassin or I Used to be a Bozo into your Gear Deck. If you opt for next to no Ops, then this frees up a lot more space for those sacrificial lambs. If you want to include Operations, and it makes for a more rounded deck, then Arms Race is a winner. Load up all your runners, play an Arms Race putting all your gear back into your Stash, then use your Mob Errand Boys and your Muscleman Minis to move it back out. Another Arms Race? Watch your opponent stand up shakily and leave the table to cry in private. Add a couple of Demolitions into the mix as well, after all we absolutely hate Data Terms, Junk Yards, Satellite Launch Facilities, Sewers and the Night City Bank.

As for the runners, the Mob Errand Boy is a nice card in that he can move gear between targets, plus he's a Fixer which means he can pull stuff out of the trash. The only problem is that he's down on power (at only +2) so either give him some Nomad friends or find another way to boost him. Nomads are useful in this build and runners such as Carrie Laison and Nomad Driver compliment the MEB and a few Corporate Recruiters (the +7 power here is extremely useful).

The idea with this deck is simple - speed. Get all your ducks in a row before attempting to assemble the Punknaught in a single turn. Don't try assembly until you have Trashin' The Corp Zone in hand, along with some defensive cards, like an I Don't Think So. The focus here is on the Gear Deck. You only need a couple of runners in play in order to manipulate the Gear and jump into defending buildings if necessary, although as long as your building site is protected, you can sacrifice pretty much everything else.

This is a cool strategy to use, and with the Arms Race in the deck can have a nasty 35+ Ops point sting in the tail, which can be recycled nicely within the next turn. It provides a secondary victory avenue other than building the Punknaught, and if you opt to remove a few Events and some of those extra Locations, a Style victory is also conceivable.

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