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From: Matb <mbreton@**.NETCOM.COM>
Subject: Card of the Week: Ares Macrotechnology
Date: Wed, 1 Apr 1998 17:31:44 -0800
[This continues an on-going series of deck strategies,
card-of-the-weeks, and fictional cards examining the Shadowrun
megacorporations in the SRTCG setting.]

True to its RPG counterpart, Ares Macrotechnology is a powerhouse when
it comes to eapons and military technology. Ares can provide a big
benefit to a team of low-cost Runners, making them competitive with the
Big Tough Guys. But, like the Gang Leader Contact, Ares has the
side-effect of determining actions for you: When the roll is on your
side, you make your actions; otherwise, it's sit tight and lie low.

ARES MACROTECHNOLOGY / Location (Corporate HQ) / 3Y
Each player must roll D6 at the start of his Legwork phase each turn.
1-2: +2/+0 to all Runners using Gear/Weapon cards.
3-4: No effect.
5-6: No Gear/Weapon cards may be used by Runners this turn.

The easiest use (which I use in my Ares Corporate Deck, posted earlier
this week) is to deploy strictly low-cost Weapons -- Streetline
Specials, Uzi IIIs, and the like. Although they normally provide only a
minimal benefit, with Ares on their side they can add +3 or +4 to a
Runner. Four Streetline Specials and one Ares has the same cost as a
Ruger Warhawk -- but can provide the same bonus to a greater number of
Runners. (With a Mr. Black on your side, you can pull out a large
number of Weapons from your draw pile very quickly; in fact, it helps
most when Mr. Black doesn't pay for new Weapons, just puts them into
your hand.)

Weapons able to be played as Stingers - namely the Walther Palm Pistol
and Switchblade - also work well with Ares. Because they only last a
round, they have a much lower deployment cost, and but can provide as
large an advantage.

Using larger weapons can be trickier: It's possible to crank out a +7
bonus from the FN Mag-5, giving Cannonball enough bones to take on Torgo
mano-a-mano; in fact, the clever player can make quite a deck
sacrificing small, pumped-up Runners in attacking much larger (and thus
higher costing) Runners. On the other hand, it can be psychologically
devestating to spend 5 or 6 nuyen only to have it provide no bonus for
several turns.

This, of course, brings us to Ares' defensive use: Put two or three in
play and watch any heavy Gear deck crumble. With two Ares in play, for
example, there is a 5-in-9 chance that no Weapons will provide bonuses.
This can be used as an effective defense against Yakuza using Shuriken,
for example.

This defensive use comes in handy for Decker and Mage decks, where
Runners are most likely to be equipped with Gear other than Weapons.
Cyberware, such as Cyberarms and Muscle Replacement, will still
increase your Runners' Threat Ratings even when Ares is "on strike,"
and other Gear, including Programs and Spells, are unaffected as well.

The lesson to be had, of course, is to prepare yourself, and play your
cards accordingly. In a low-Gear deck, multiple Ares can work as a
strong defense against a heavy Gear deck; in a high Gear deck, having
several will mean one will likely show up early to increase the value of
Weapons, and others are available if you need to switch to a more
defensive tactic. And if you have The Warehouse, you can move guns out
of your hand while Ares provides no bonus, and then deploy them when
things really get nasty.

- Matt

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