The Tax Shelter

SNAFU: Situation Normal All FUBARed Up

Deck of the Week by Scott Dickie

The idea started as a way to make Fubar playable. The Tax Shelter was born. It's all about being as efficient as possible with your bits. And to do that you take advantage of start-of-turn effects. Here's how it works:

  1. Play a Loan from Chiba or two early in the game to give yourself a few quick bursts of cash. Play additional Loans as necessary.
  2. You try to have something (preferably many things) installed on The Shell Traders at all times.
  3. At the end of the Corp turn, you spend all of your bits on The Shell Traders, removing shell counters from whatever you think you will need on your next turn. Since you get the last chance to do special card effects, the Corp won't be able to do anything after you do this.
  4. At your start-of-turn, you process the Loans from Chiba first. Since you don't have any bits, you can't pay the penalty. Bummer. :)
  5. Once the Chiba goons are out of the way, you process the Streetware Distributors, and collect a few bits.
  6. Repeat.
  7. After you have everything installed, you throw down any Loans you have in your hand, and then misc.for-sale all of your Shell Traders, Streetware Distributors (try to time it so you'll get you last bits off of them, though), MRAM Chips, and as many Loans as you can. Playing a Loan from Chiba right before you misc.for-sale it nets you an extra 5 bits for 1 extra action (in fact LfC/m.f-s/MIT is a great bit engine).

Early in the game you are trying to get a Fubar out. Put it on a Shell Traders if you can (even if you have to use Mantis to get one). Your first Fubar will give you great early strike capability if you can get it out early enough. And even if you can't get it out right away, it's still quite effective. You should also try to get The Deck in play and a Fall Guy.

The Shell Traders gives you two benefits. First, it allows you to play all your expensive programs and hardware with no initial cost. You can get the card out of your hand, and pay for it whenever you can. Secondly, it keeps the Tax Shelter very efficient. You rarely lose bits to the Chiba penalty, almost as if there were no penalty at all.

In the middle game, when you have a couple of Fubars in play and some tag protection, you start building support for those Fubars. Fubar is expensive to pump up, so you start digging out and playing (on the Shell Traders, of course) your clowns and MU chips. Clowns turn Fubars from nuissances into serious threats, especially if one or more of them are still "undefined".

Once you get into the later game, you'll start to realize that even your pumped up Fubars are starting to have trouble getting in to the deeper forts. You're starting to run out of things to install and your Tax Shelter is fizzling out. That's when you change tactics. Time to cash in that retirement plan! You misc.for-sale anything not nailed down. Then you install the Microtech AI Interface and the R&D Protocol Files and start concentrating on R&D. Your NGF is now your bit supplier. Pay off the loans when convenient.

Your Fubars should allow you to keep pressure on the Corp's subsidiary forts until you reach the last stage of the game.

The Tax Shelter works with just about any set that has expensive programs and/or hardware. It only produces a few bits per turn, so it's better with 'breakers that cost [0] or [1] per subroutine. Morphing Tools would probably not be a good choice.

Anyway, there it is. It's been refreshing talking about something besides World Domination! :)

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