Bad Press

It's all about money, whether you like it or not. Without a constant supply of Euro, you're nothing more than a spectator, but the converse is of course true - if your opponent doesn't have any money, or he can't afford anything, he's the spectator.

Certainly one of the best cards for implementing this sort of strategy is Bad Press. By using this card as the core theme in a Location destruction deck, and making use of the wonderful If At First You Don't Succeed, you can keep your opponent bogged down financially for almost the entire game. For Cops this is absolutely devastating, for Street Sponsors it's damn frustrating, and even for the well heeled Corporate Sponsor's its a pain in the ass.

One of the major pluses with Bad Press is that its effect lasts for more than just a single round. Your opponent has to pay an additional 2 Eb for EVERY card for his next 2 turns. If you can cycle in another every two rounds, then he will be playing at -2 Eb for the rest of the game basically. What makes this hurt even more is if you can cycle them in quicker than every second turn. Having to pay an extra 4 Eb just to bring a card into play means having to use an extra Location per turn, but if you can strip those Locations away as well, your opponent is literally at your mercy.

A deck that concentrates on Location destruction, and gains points through Demolition, Gangs Bring Down Property Values and Destroy That Plant, is the best way to use Bad Press. By stacking your Runs deck with Media as well, your opponent will find it hard to run anything and you can assert the control. The following is a good core for a Media Control Deck:

4x Demolition

4x Gangs Bring Down Property Values

3x Destroy That Plant

2x Headline Hijack

4x Bad Press

4x Trashin' The Corp Zone

4x If At First You Don't Succeed

4x Burning Down the House

As I discussed in an earlier article, the use of cards such as Headline Hijack negates any Ops Points your opponent accumulates before you manage to get your economic 'lock' into play.

Imagine on your opening turn you get one of these babies in your hand along with a couple of decent Locations - Sponsor, Mall, Braindance Arcade, Bad Press. Unless your opponent is playing a Corporate Sponsor, his heart just skipped at least a couple of beats. He's just lost any -2 Eb bonus on purchasing in-faction cards, and all non-faction cards now cost him an extra 2 Eb. That's almost certain to mean the difference between being able to play several cards or just one. If you're lucky he might not be able to play any. Such is the power of a well timed dose of bad publicity.

Next turn you have the ability to drop a high powered Solo, burn whatever Location he managed to put into play and ask him if he wants to concede and go home early. As soon as that big Solo hits the table, you can focus on your Gear Deck, pulling more cards to keep your opponent in check. It's a solid build that doesn't need any Cyber, any Equipment, and only a handful of runners.

As well as being used offensively, Bad Press is also a good card to use when you need to recover. Imagine you have just lost your big team to a well placed I Used to be a Bozo and your opponent is all over you. Dropping a couple of these will put a stop on anything he does for a couple of rounds, giving you time to draw six new cards and create some sort of defense.

One thing to note though, this card only hinders your opponent purchasing cards. It has no effect on a cost associated with a cards attribute or ability, so for example, it wont add Euro to the cost of using Long Range in a skirmish, but it will restrict your opponents ability to throw a surprise on you with Ace Up the Sleeve or Holdout. It also reduces their ability to initiate a Target Swap, a card that is the bane of Location destruction decks.

Bad Press is unfortunately one of those cards that gets overlooked when people construct decks, which is surprising. While I expect it's because most people wouldn't consider the idea of an extra 2 Eb on the cost of all cards much of a change, if a good recycling engine can be developed, this card surely has greater use than people realise. While I don't include them in every deck I play, I can safely say that I use them more often than I don't, and if your opponent has a tendancy to use the boys in blue a little too much, this card is pure evil.

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