Name: Rescheduler
Commonality: Uncommon
Rezzingcost: 0
Type: Node - Gray Ops
Game Text: A: Note the number of cards stored in HQ. Shuffle those cards into R&D, and then draw that many cards.
Trashingcost: 3
Illustrator: Mike Kimble
Sets: v1.0

Card Spotlight by David Mar

Oft-times Corporate CEOs will lament the seemingly inescapable fact that Runners have far superior stack-searching capabilities, while they must rely on relatively ineffectual Planning Consultants to order their own future, or Annual Reviews to find out what R&D is up to. Such CEOs have overlooked a relatively powerful, though fickle, tool in their Coporate arsenal.

The humble Rescheduler is a node which allows Corps to reshuffle their HQs into R&D and draw to restock HQ to its former level. Basically, this achieves two things: Drawing new cards, and ridding HQ of existing cards.

Drawing new cards

Simply put, Rescheduler can be the most efficient card drawing, and hence R&D searching, tool available to the Corp. Consider an HQ with 5 cards at the start of the turn. After two draw actions we can reschedule 7 cards, giving effectively 9 draws in 3 actions.

The actual expectation value of "new" cards drawn is slightly less than this, because of the possibility of redrawing the same cards that were shuffled in from HQ, but the payoff is still close to the playing of three Annual Reviews. And if we Reschedule on the fourth action, we've upped the payoff to 16 cards drawn in 3 actions. Again the expectation value of "new" cards is less than 20, but still good compared to Annual Reviews.

Of course, if we find what we are looking for we can just go ahead and use it - no need to keep Rescheduling. In fact, this is one of the good uses to which a Tag'n'Bag Corp can put the Rescheduler. When the Runner happens to be tagged and there are no Operations at hand to flatline or otherwise inconvenience the Runner, a Rescheduling or two is often the best chance to bring the required card/s to HQ.

Drawing cards becomes even more efficient with an artificially inflated HQ size. To this end, a Main-Office Relocation or two become preferred agendas for the Rescheduling Corp. The 3 agenda points for 4 difficulty is a relatively good ratio, and the additional hand size is much more useful than normal with Rescheduling in mind. There are also nodes that can help. Establishing a Rustbelt HQ Branch similarly increases HQ size and is cheap at zero cost. Tying in with the Euromarket Consortium is more expensive, and only adds an ability that is relatively useless compared to the power of the Rescheduler itself, so this is not recommended.

Ridding HQ of cards

On the other side of the coin is the fact that what was held in HQ gets shuffled back into R&D when a Rescheduling is ordered. In some cases there are obvious reasons for wanting to empty HQ in this way.

An HQ full of agenda is many a CEO's nightmare. In such situations we usually like to implement a Corporate Downsizing, but if this option is not immediately available then Rescheduling is the next best solution.

Another situation where removing cards from HQ is useful is if there are plentiful nodes and upgrades available, but little or no ice to protect them. Rescheduling accomplishes the dual goal of putting the cards vulnerable to trashing into a possibly more secure location and filling HQ with new cards which can hopefully provide some protection.

Other notes

The ability to make a profit from Corporate Downsizing suggests a novel use for the Rescheduler in a Corp packed with an overcomplement of Agenda. Multiple Tycho Extensions and even Political Overthrows can be included merely for their bit-gaining potential. In such a Corp, R&D will need to be protected extremely heavily at all times, but HQ can be more lightly defended. Rescheduler can be used in two roles: Removing excess Agenda from HQ when no Downsizing is imminent, and to boost the number of agenda in HQ just prior to scoring a Corporate Downsizing. An obvious complement to this is a Corporate Negotiating Center, which gains the Corp even more bits for agenda held in HQ. Combined with a Trojan Horse/Urban Renewal flatlining suite (which can be Rescheduled into HQ when required), this Corp has serious potential.

Another agenda which combines well with Rescheduler is AI Chief Financial Officer. And deck which utilises the effect of Rescheduler can also make do with the similar power of AI Chief Financial Officer. Shuffling the Archives back into R&D as well can be a bonus in the right Corps, especially if early Reschedulings have forced the discard of some cards early in the game. In this case the Rescheduler can be looked upon as a temporary solution until an AI Chief Financial Officer is scored, at which point maintaining the Rescheduler is unnecessary.

Rescheduler can be a key card in Sealed Deck tournaments, where the overall synergy of the Corp is limited. In this case, finding the right cards for the right application can be frustrating, but Rescheduling regularly can help ease some of the pain. It also provides a way out of the agenda-filled HQ problem which can plague Sealed Decks with an overabundance of small Agenda.

Summary

With a rez cost of zero, Rescheduler can be installed and operated early. The trash cost of 3 bits is not a trifle for an average Runner, and some Runners may even neglect to trash an accessed Rescheduler if they are unaware of its utility. Relatively light ice should suffice to protect a Rescheduler in many cases.

If playing with a Rescheduler, it is important to have no qualms in using its ability. Holding four currently useless cards in HQ for the sake of one that "might come in handy next turn" is not good policy. Better to Reschedule and replace those four useless cards with maybe two or three that can be used immediately.

While not for every Corp, and requiring some thought to work most efficiently, Rescheduler can be an effective way to manage HQ, eliminating cards not wanted and finding those that are. And as a Runner, think of Rescheduler as something akin to a free Jack 'n' Joe or Bodyweight Synthetic Blood, every action, with the added bonus of removing cards from your hand to somewhere where they can be drawn again later rather than forcing discards, and you might get an idea of what the Corp using one is up to...

Inspired by a comment by Frisco Del Rosario, and using ideas suggested by Frisco, Byron Massey, Micheal Keane, Wyatt Cheng.

Addendum: I found an empirical formula for the expected number of "new" cards drawn when Rescheduling k cards into a R&D containing n cards. It works on test cases for k up to 4, but I haven't managed to prove the formula in general. :-( Anyway, here it is:

expected number of new cards = k - (k^2)/(n+k)

Examples:
Rescheduling 5 cards into a 30 card R&D -> 4.286 new cards expected
Rescheduling 7 cards into a 30 card R&D -> 5.676 new cards expected
Rescheduling 9 cards into a 30 card R&D -> 6.923 new cards expected


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