Satellite Launch Facility

 I've said it before, and I'll say it again, and yes you can quote me as much as you like on this, but Satellite Launch Facility is perhaps the best Location in the game. It's certainly one of the most underrated Locations, and in the right environment is definitely a card that will win you the game.

Whether you choose to use it offensively or defensively, it is a card that can single-handedly put a run or hit within any team's grasp. With more than one of these in play, you can realistically thwart an opponent indefinitely or make your own job almost the proverbial cake-walk. I am sure that much like my comment regarding Guido the Bouncer, most people immediately look at the cost to resource ration of 9:1 and throw it straight into the 'to be looked at later' basket, which is a big mistake. We are already starting to see decks play with this card, particularly as a means to thwart big solo decks such as High Noon.

The mark of a good card is its flexibility. Most cards only have a single purpose and can only be used as either a defensive ploy or an offensive manouver, but Satellite Launch Facility can be used as both. With some powerful Corps in play you can permanently recycle this card if your opponent elects to use Demolition on it, plus those Corps will allow you to generate just that extra bit of money from it if need be, but a Location such as this is in your deck for more than just its ability to produce money.

Being able to add +5 to or reduce -5 from the E-Sec total of any hit or run target is a huge each way bet, and what makes it better is that if you play a Corporate faction, you can get this card out on your first turn. Any Location that you play after it will be under the facilities protection. Your cheap money producing Locations such as The Mall and Corporate Housing have just gained from an additional +10 security - that's one more solo needed by your opponent to hit it, and one more potential victim of an I Used to be a Bozo.

If you want to be an even bigger defensive pain in the ass, you can stack your deck with Corps and Media (and play Network 54 News Studio as backup) and boost the M-Sec by rediculous amounts as well. Your opponent is going to get frustrated very soon if he has to face 50+ security when trying to take out a simple Taco Hut. The double bonus with the Media is then that if he decides hitting your super tough Locations is not worth it, you can switch your Media over to boosting his Operations. A well tuned NCPD deck that uses Cops and Media can make any run your opponent attempts extremely difficult.

Satellite Launch Facility is perhaps the ultimate stalling card. If you use Info Brokers, you might be looking to have 2-3 of these Locations in play by your 4th turn. That's an additional 15 E-Sec. And you know what makes this card king? It's ability to raise or lower the E-Sec can be performed at ANY time in the game. Whereas the Media boost must be declared in the Legwork phase, Satellite Launch Facility can wait until your opponent has declared his intent, and then you can use the card to stop him. Packing Failed Deadlines with this can hurt even the best tuned solo deck.

Another neat trick is to use Satellite Launch Facility to boost its own E-Sec. Smart players know this cards power, and as soon as they see one come into play, its going to be public enemy number one. If they try and run it, you can boost its security to a total of 65. Two tricks here to use as safety precautions - firstly play with Target Swaps just in case they have the damage ability on hand (particularly toward the end game phase), and secondly ensure you have cheap cybered runners and I Used to be a Bozo - a Media with a Micro Video Optic or a Cop with a Chipware Socket going into defend in a Skirmish is a worrying time for any opponent (REMEMBER - make the bust first, then blow your Cop up!)

Want to score a big Op, but only want to build a small team, or a team of non-Solo runners because you want to focus on the Corps, Media or Cops mentioned above? Consider combining Satellite Launch Facility with Every Place has a Weakness. Use the Launch Facility to reduce the E-Sec of Every Place so your small team can run it, then hit something like Take Him Out Quietly for 20 Ops points, by using the -20 M-Sec bonus from Every Place, and the -5 E-Sec per Facility. With 3 Satellite Launch Facilities in play, that's 20 Ops points for overcoming 32 points of security. Using a couple of Danzen's on the run and that total comes down to 20 - enough for 2 Danzen's and a relatively average solo, or a couple of Cops.

Most people are still focusing too hard on the fact that it's Runners that win you games - either through their hitting or running, or their accumulation of cards and the accumulated Style points that those cards give. With this focus comes the necessity to generate cash and therefore include in a deck only cards that have a great Cost:Resource ratio. This does not necessarilly have to be true. Three or four Locations working in synergy can provide even a low-powered deck of non-combat oriented runners a path to victory.

Take a look at this card again, and see what it can do for you, I know you wont be disappointed, especially if you can get it to work in with other cards. Before long this card will become as much a staple card as Zane Red is in a solo oriented build.

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