It’s a trap!

The world falls away. Momentary vertigo lurches in his stomach as his senses adjust, the adrenaline spike riding on the rush of the ‘phettes.

Orienting himself, Noise aims for the clonefarmocology district. His mouth is dry and sweat beads on his neck, but here in cyberspace none of that matters. He hits the GoTo and the sensation of speed thrills down his spine.

This will be the biggest run of his career. The target is a new datafort on the outskirts of the Jinteki infrastructure. Newly-installed, its defences are incomplete. Trashing its storage and corrupting its data will bleed back into the rest of their corporate datamines, teaching Jinteki a well-deserved lesson.

ICEAt the periphery of his vision he sees spiralling spider-forms, crystal trees of knife-bright menace. The ICE of the Jinteki Corporation has woken up and is coming to meet him.

Noise shifts slightly in his virtual trajectory. The kaleidoscope blades shift to follow him. He approaches the borders of the Jinteki domain and slows. The ICE radiates outwards into a sparkling crystalline net and prepares to engulf him.

Nice ICE. Easy ICE. Easy, boy.

He snaps a command and searing veins of virus code shoot out and puncture its core. Cracks appear in the glassy superstructure and it shatters in a diamond spray of broken subroutines.

Noise leaves the code cloud behind and kicks up the speed as he curves down towards the vulnerable datafort. It sits exposed on a spur of data-pathways. Noise readies his icebreakers as he moves in to interface.

A sparkle starts by the target server. More ICE. He circles, scanning the scintillating form as it pulses with energy. He doesn’t recognise the pattern.

There shouldn’t be much protection on a server this new and remote, so he glides forwards and approaches the ICE, keying his icebreaker ahead of him.

A shadow suddenly appears in the centre of the glittering mass. It grows quickly, tendrils of dark ICE spearing out towards him.

Noise’s heart leaps to his throat. A trap! It was all a Jinteki trap, the server, the data, the whole run!

He jams into reverse, but the tentacles of killer ICE lance after him faster and faster. The colours of cyberspace are eclipsed by darkness as they swoop around him.

His last thought is to jack out.

It all goes black.


Noise vs Jinteki

This match is Noise, the Anarch runner, against Jinteki Corporation.

(See the glossary section at the end for explanations of cards and game terms).

In game 1, Noise managed to install a Medium and started building up virus tokens on it. This allows him to access more cards when running against R&D.

The game was more or less even until he ran against a remote server and was foiled by Jinteki rezzing a Wall of Thorns, a big piece of ICE. However this used up all the corp’s credits so Noise decided run against R&D the same turn.

With no credits, Jinteki couldn’t rez the ICE on the R&D server and Noise could use the Medium virus to view five cards!

Game score 10-3.

The Key and the GateGame 2 began with Jinteki getting lots of credits and ICE and managing to protect Archives, R&D and their remote server. When they started to advance an agenda, Noise installed YOG.0 and instead pushed through to R&D with Medium to access multiple cards again.

Jinteki needed more ICE to protect its central servers since YOG.0 beats code gates for free. They spent a couple of clicks trying to draw some but failed to do so.

Having wasted clicks on draws, Jinteki could only advance their agenda by 1, and Noise promptly ran YOG.0 into R&D with Medium to access many many cards.

Game score 10-0.

Game 3 was very short. Noise faceplanted into a Chum. He couldn’t break the subsequent Enigma’s subroutines and took 3 net damage from the Chum. Flatlined. A typical Jinteki trap.

Chum and Enigma

The Chum is in front of the Enigma, so you need to break both Enigma subroutines to avoid the Chum damage.

Game score 0-10.

Match score 20-13. Noise won.

Things I noticed:

  • The corp action to purge viruses removes ALL viruses on ALL programs, but wastes a whole turn.
  • I am thinking the corp should avoid drawing a card on his last click, as he could end up with an agenda stuck in hand, but then it does get it out of R&D which is a prime target for runners. Not sure about this.

Rules I kept forgetting:

  • None this game (I hope).



Medium allows you to access more cards from R&D, making it more likely to hit an agenda.

Medium: A virus program that grows every time you use it, allowing you to access more and more cards from R&D.

Wall of Thorns: A piece of big ICE. Tough, but costly for the corp to rez.

YOG.0: An icebreaker which breaks code gate subroutines for nothing. Its name is a reference to Yog-Sothoth, the Cthulhu Great Old One known as “The Key and the Gate”.

Faceplant: To ‘facecheck’ a piece of ICE is to run against it when it is unrezzed purely to find out what it is. ‘Faceplanting’ is when that ICE turns out to be bad. Facechecking Jinteki ICE is generally a bad idea.

Chum: ICE that does nothing itself, but requires the runner to break all the subroutines on the next piece of ICE or else the runner takes 3 net damage. If you don’t have the right icebreakers to handle the next piece of ICE, you are caught.

Enigma: A fairly standard piece of ICE.

Net Damage: All damage is a loss of cards from the runner’s hand. Damage you take during a run is Net Damage. Damage you take outside a run is usually Meat Damage. Runners have different cards and effects to protect against each type.

Flatlined: Dead. When the line goes flat on an ECG. The runner loses, having taken more damage than they have cards in hand.