Erector Decks

A playing Variant by Scott Dickie

Okay guys, here's my latest play variant. It's designed for the would-be card lord who's looking to spice things up a bit. Heck, I think even Frisco will like this one! The idea is that you build a deck out of parts, just like an erector set.

For the Runner

You divide your 45-card deck into five 9-card units. You design each unit to handle one task or responsibility in the stack, like cash, icebreakers, card drawing, etc. For each unit, you put together 3 different sets of cards. For example, you create 3 different sets for your card drawing unit, maybe 1 using JnJ and Stakeout, 1 using BSB, and so on. The catch is that no card may be in more than 1 set, although you may use multiples within a single set. If you put JnJ in a card drawing set, then JnJ cannot appear anywhere else in the whole mess. So, for each unit, you'll have 3 unique options to choose from, each using different cards, but accomplishing basically the same task. Once you have all the sets made, then you select 1 set at random from each of the 5 units and make a deck out of it. If you have 3 sets for each unit, that should make 3^5 (or 243) possible combinations. Each deck should be workable, since each unit addresses a vital function of a successful deck. But also each deck will be different. The idea when making the sets is to *not* include card combos, but include *parts of combos*. That way, when you combine it with other sets, you'll get a wide variety of combos. Also, I'd have at least 2 (or parts of 2) units be designated as "theme" units, having things like R&D access, HQ access, viruses, and so on. Mix things up so that different combinations make radically different decks.

For the Corporation

Do the same thing. The problem will be agendas. You may want to have 18 pts in one unit (meaning you'll need to have cards averaging 2 AP per card), or you can spread it out to 2 or 3 units. The important thing to remember is to have the same number of agenda points in all sets in a unit, so that you can't accidentally build an illegal deck. Also, try spreading the ice around so that each combination will have different configurations.

The Point

When designing your units, make them so that there will be a maximum amount of variety (that's the whole idea for doing this after all). Also, having a card in only one set at a time may be harder than it looks. That means that you'll probably have to use multiples in each set. Playing options for this range from 1 person just using a randomized deck for each game, to many players each designing their own combinations and playing that way, to up to 6 players using one player's cards to play a "mini-tourney", each picking one set out of each unit. You'll need to spend a few minutes after each game sorting your cards back out, but I think that it'll be worth the trouble. Try it! Let me know how it goes! :)

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