Enduro

A playing Variant by Damian O'Dea

What is this "Enduro"-thing?

The Enduro format is one that tests the robustness of any Corporate plan, as well as the endurance of any Runner stack you might care to build. Those with a distinct upper limit on their bits might well find themselves at a disadvantage in this game.

The idea of the Enduro format is that you don't stop playing when the usual 7 points of Agenda have been scored. After all, there's so many more left in the deck! Game play continues until all the Agenda cards have been scored from the Corporate's deck, or until the game terminates from an unusual situation, such as the Corp being decked, the Runner flatlining or the Corp losing to seven points of Bad Publicity.

As such, games are going to be quite prolonged. If you're planning a tournament around this format, I would suggest that at least an hour and a half are needed for each round. Scoring for these games is purely Agenda-based. The one who walks away with the biggest share is the winner. In organising such an event you should also work to prevent the abuse of the format too much. If someone turns up with a 200+ card deck, you may find that person's opponents being a little upset at timing out in their games. Set an upper and lower limit to the Corp decks. Runner decks can be less constrained.

Ch-ch-ch-changes

This can change the strategy of a lot of decks; for example, Tag'n'Bag is less viable, as it does not net you a win should you flatline a pesky Runner. If he has more points of Agenda at the time, he wins. So there is less benefit in sacrificing Agenda to Trojan Horse the Runner unless the Corporate is already ahead and wants to stop a dangerous looking opponent.

Decks designed to win by decking the Corp might find that they lose of the Corp manages to score one or two opportunistic point here and there and then draws through itself to end the game. Potential new strategies abound in this format.

One interesting approach I noticed in an Enduro tournament we ran here was a Corp with a very efficient Agenda scheme has the option of overloading its deck. This might seem foolish at first; why put in more Agenda than you normally would? But if the Runner is struggling to stay ahead of the Bit War in the latter stage of the game, and the Corp has engineered the ability to draw and score Agenda in a single turn, this is a very viable strategy. By having more points in the deck than other Corps, the advantage is already in the hands of the overloaded Corp if it can score a majority of them.

Good strategies for Enduro

The best Corporate scheme is one planning to score every Agenda in the deck. Using expensive Fast Advance is going to cost you an awful lot of time and money along the way, and this gives a healthy Runner plenty of opportunity to exploit your paucity of bits at the worst times. Efficiency is the key here. Using cheap advance techniques and appropriate Agenda difficulties will pay off as you tear through the points scoring more and more Agenda before the horrified Runner. Chicago Branch and Washington DC City Grid can work well here.

Tag'n'Bag may be useful at times. The Runner will have to run eventually, and if they do not win at that point, it may be worthwhile taking the wind out of their sails. Tag and disrupt is also a potentially strong scheme, especially against decks that plan to finish you off in a single run (Big Dig or The Short Stack). Against these styles it may be valuable to be able to slip in a tag somewhere and mess with their bit supply and other resources.

A Corp deck that gets stronger as the game progresses is also a good bet. The Nasty Code Gate Deck and similar that drain the Runner of precious bits can prove to be strong contenders against normal schemes applied here.

A Strong Runner needs to know where to go and when. Expecting to be able to pick up Agenda from a Subsidiary Data Fort and still be able to win is likely to fail. The better Corp schemes won't leave Agenda lying about. Attacking their bit supply might work in the short term, but whatever road to victory you employ, it will need to be sustainable. Bit engines (such as Loan from Chiba) which have an inherent maximum limit to the number of bits they provide can often be waited out by a wily Corp who can then score almost at will while an impotent Runner watches infuriated.

Any plan of attack that invalidates the efforts of the Corp, especially those that cost a large number of bits, is potentially game winning. Ice Destruction and Ice Neutralisation can be very strong. Run-for-Free has the advantage that while the Corp may go unmolested for a few turns during setup time, after this the defences are very suspect. Ice destruction coupled with a plan to prevent the scoring of AI Chief Financial Officer can deplete a non-renewable resource as the game continues. If the Corp loses its permanent bitgainers (no Department of Truth Enhancement in a Roving Submarine, please) then again, a definite limit is placed on what it can achieve. Finally, attacking actions through Viral Pipeline, or available cyberspace through Precision Bribery and Restricted Net Zoning may work well.


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