Fantasy Flight Games has just revealed the first Data Pack expansion for Android: Netrunner. The pack is called “What Lies Ahead” and it adds a total of sixty cards (three copies of 20 new cards) to the game. These cards will be for specific factions as well as neutral to add some fluff to decks.
What Lies Ahead adds some muscle and a touch of theme to each of the game’s seven factions. Each of the Corporations receive a new agenda and flavorful piece of ice, each one with abilities tailored to their Corp’s strengths. The Runner factions dive headfirst into their struggle with new icrbreakers and support cards. For Anarch and Haas-Bioroid players will find the Data Pack to their liking, as each faction gains two additional cards in this expansion, including a new identity. The new identity for the Anarchs is Whizzard, who puts focus on trashing accessed cards.
One of the coolest and most interesting things about Netrunner is that, while games do depend on card draw, there’s a whole new mechanic that drives gameplay, and that’s with the actions players take. On each turn a player, depending on whether they’re the Runner or Corporation, has a certain number of actions or “clicks” they can take per turn. This feature adds a brand new strategic system to the card game. What Lies Ahead is full of cards that definitely impact this sort of “economic balancing act.”
With that in mind, the Trace system is empowered with the new expansion. When a Corporation runs a Trace on a Runner, they establish a link to them that keeps track of what they’re doing and the Runner gains a tag. When the Runner is tagged, the Corporation can do things to hurt them. A new piece of ice that’s been revealed for What Lies Ahead is “Draco.” This ice allows the Corporation to gauge how important it is for them to Trace the Runner. It allows them to pump credits into the ice, making it nigh unbreakable. If the Runner cannot break the subroutine on the ice they then immediately get Traced, take a tag, and end their run. It’s definitely a card that can be the end-all-beat-all for games.
What Lies Ahead will be available during the last quarter of this year, so we’re looking at a time frame from now until March. More previews from the expansion will be coming soon, and I can’t wait to see what’s in store. I need to get some time in as the Runner, and I may even give Haas-Bioroid a shot!