“You can find just about anything you’d ever want in the Docklands. You just need to watch your back while you’re shopping.”
A lot of your standard Runner tricks don’t work on the moon. The Corps have the place locked down tight. Wave fields may fry your brain. Ice may change shape on you mid-run. Corps expand and contract their servers at will. It’s a tricky environment for any Runner to navigate, and the further you remain from your target, the more likely you’ll be caught off-guard.
With its sixty cards (three copies each of twenty different cards), Up and Overfurther develops the theme of lunar exploration that pervades the Lunar Cycle . In search of new means to bypass the Corporations’ ubiquitous defenses, the game’s Runners push further away from the center of Heinlein, out toward the Docklands, where illicit dealers supply anything to anyone… for the right price.
Navigating the Docklands
On the moon, Corps come first. They build the cities. They pump the air. They create the power. They run the surveillance, and they run Heinlein, the moon’s only fully established city.
Even so, there are places amid the lunar landscape where it’s easier than others to slip off-grid. In such places, like the Docklands, you’ll find Runners looking to catch a break, you’ll find smugglers, thieves, con men, and black marketeers. Sometimes, you’ll find cops and Corp security forces looking to crack down and enforce the law.
In Android: Netrunner , a timely Docklands Crackdown ( Up and Over , 72) can secure victory for the Corp, even against the most elusive Runners. While any Corp looking to coordinate a Docklands Crackdown will find that it requires a lot of resources and dedication, if it’s played correctly, the Crackdown can hinder the Runner’s development of his rig and help extend the Corp’s midgame advantage for a longer duration than previously thought possible.
By raising the install cost of the first card the Runner installs each turn, Docklands Crackdown can throw off the Runner’s tempo. For example, a Runner who ends his turn with two credits (and no immediate boost to his economy) after bouncing off your Wall of Static ( Core Set , 113), could normally play and use Corroder ( Core Set , 7). However, were you to power up Docklands Crackdown on your turn, the Runner wouldn’t be able to break through your ice and access cards on his next turn.
Of course, if the Corp player can find some extra clicks, through the use of cards like Efficiency Committee ( Creation and Control , 5), it’s possible to very swiftly levy some heavy taxes against the Runner.
Moreover, because Docklands Crackdown features a trash cost of three credits, you can install it and leave it undefended until you care to rez and use it. Should the Runner choose to run against it in order to trash it, you’ll be taxing him a minimum of one click (for the run) and three credits, as well as forcing the Runner to incur any expenses associated with encountering any ice that may be defending it.
By cracking down on the Docklands, you can seize control of the game’s tempo and force the Runner onto his heels.
Exploring an Alien Landscape
The ubiquitous surveillance and security forces of Heinlein make the city such an attractive destination for so many corporations that it’s easy to forget that there’s a dead zone outside of the city that, in many ways, is just begging to be explored. Naturally, if you plan to explore the dead zone, you want to make sure you have the right gear for the job, and the first person you’ll want to see when you want to get the right gear is Aesop.
In Up and Over , we find another echo of the infamous black marketeer who first appeared in the game’s Core Set . However, this time it’s through an event, Trade-In( Up and Over , 78), which allows a Runner to search his stack for a key piece of hardware.
This, of course, is an effect that’s perfectly in tune with the Shapers and their traditional modus operandi . Imagine, for example, how excited Rielle “Kit” Peddler (Creation and Control , 28) might be to get her Yog.0 ( Core Set , 14) installed on a Dinosaurus ( Cyber Exodus , 48) all that much earlier and more reliably.
You can imagine, also, how much mileage a Runner can get from fetching an early R&D Interface ( Future Proof , 107) or HQ Interface ( Humanity’s Shadow , 85).
Then, think of all the new tricks that this will afford Exile ( Creation and Control , 30), who thrives off of recurring hardware and programs from his heap.
Of course, to work a Trade-In, you must first have a piece of hardware that you’re willing to trash, and while you’ll get a modest return on your investment (half of what you paid for the hardware, rounded down), the cheaper the hardware you trash, the fewer credits you lose. That means that if you’re running Trade-In, you might also want to include some inexpensive hardware that you can install early.
One of the best of these options may be Astrolabe ( Up and Over , 79). Because Astrolabe costs only one credit, it’s arguably one of strongest early game consoles you can find; you can drop it on your first turn, even while carrying on with the rest of your actions, and then you draw a card whenever the Corp creates a server. Early on, fast-advance, bluff-heavy, and asset-based Corps are under heavy pressure to create remote servers, and when you have Astrolabe on the table, you derive constant benefits from their scripted plays.
Still, most Corps will only build horizontally for a short period of time, so after you’ve drawn a few cards from Astrolabe, you might find it best to trade it in for an R&D Interface or HQ Interface. Perhaps, you’d want to trade it in for The Personal Touch ( Core Set , 40) to boost one of your icebreakers. Alternately, you might choose to protect yourself with a Plascrete Carapace ( What Lies Ahead , 9), or you might increase the utility of your Overmind ( Honor and Profit , 53) by fetching e3 Feedback Implants ( Trace Amount , 24).
No matter which piece of hardware you hope to find, Aesop can help you find it. That’s the way things are; even though the lunar environment forces Runners to reevaluate so many of their standard tricks and tools, the nature of human nature, itself, remains unchanged. Everything remains available… for a price.
The Gravity of the Situation
Throughout the Lunar Cycle , Corps and Runners will find that the game’s shift to a lunar environment forces them to master a host of new challenges. Who will adapt fastest? Who will master the new environment? Will you pay for security sweeps or scour the black markets for custom hardware? The secret to success is going to be establishing yourself quickly in the altered gravity. Then, once you manage that feat, it’s Up and Over for the win.