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From: Matb <mbreton@**.NETCOM.COM>
Subject: Card of the Week: Aztechnology!
Date: Fri, 10 Apr 1998 18:42:46 -0700
Out of all the megacorps represented in the Shadowrun universe,
Aztechnology is probably the most universally feared. Stretching past
the borders of 20th century Mexico, Aztechnology (or rather, the nation
it 'owns', Aztlan) wraps its arms around parts of the American Southwest
and the northern parts of South America. Given that it has an entire
country's economy to run, Aztechnology has branches in nearly every
industry, from military to Matrix, from financial to .. um .. to food.

Despite its seemingly ubiquitous nature, and despite its enormous size
and strength, Aztechnology is actually a fairly young company, having
incorporated only in the 2020s. Additionally, it seized most of its
power by nationalizing foreign industries, or literally stealing out of
the pockets of the other megacorps, an act which brought about the first
Omega Order, or Corporate Court injunction, against a megacorp.

Deep within its Central American valleys are, of course, Aztec and Olmec
ruins, where once blood sacrifices were made to, ahem, thirsty gods.
And such traditions are recreated today, as we visit the second in a
long series of postings:

AZTECHNOLOGY / Location (Corporate HQ) / 3Y
Each player may frag an unturned Runner that he controls to roll D6 at
the start of the Legwork phase. 1-4: No effect. 5-6: Trash target

Since you can only sacrifice a Runner upon the teocalli at the *start*
of the Legwork, you can't sacrifice two in a row. (The first would
happen at the start of the phase, but the second would therefore have to
be occuring *during* the phase, which goes against the card text.)

Still, the sac-to-trash ploy works best with lots of small Runners;
although Banzai from Underworld has a 1-in-6 higher chance of performing
an identical effect, the base cost (and inability to repeat the trick)
undercuts the usefulness of the card. For the same cost, I *could* play
Aztechnology and three Statics.. no, that'd be just plain silly.
Still, Aztechnology seems like a possible defense (or even attack) when
using a weenie deck against a larger, more aggressive deck - especially
one using Halloweeners, where your Runners are going to be fragged

But does fragged mean gone for good?

Both DocWagon cards are triggered by a Runner *dying* - a term which
seems to include both trashing and fragging. With low-cost Runners and
a handful of DW Golds, you can put a Runner into play, give them the DW,
frag them .. and put them *back* into play .. all in the same turn.
This, of course, works especially well with Runners who get a first
piece of Gear for lower cost, or who generate an effect when coming into
play (or without turning - such as Stiletto). (However, since
Aztechnology only accept virg.. er, unturned Runners, you can't use them
to generate a special effect which requires the Runner to turn.)

Aztechnology is also useful for removing 'useless' Runners from the game
-- a Runner made ineffectual by way of Insanity or Burnout tokens; a
heavily-cybered Runner with a Cyber-psychosis or Infected Chrome (or
several) played on him; or, of course, a Runner 'on loan' by way of
Better Offer or created through the Genetics Lab (perhaps the number one
key combo with Aztechnology).

One silly strategy I'd like to try out just for fun is to build an
'everything' deck -- all the major Runner types and all the Gear they
lug around with them, and all the hoser Specials. Once my opponent's
deck is known (twelve turns and 176 Rep later) I can synch my deck to
the strategy that works best against them, and use Aztechnology to
remove the 'extraneous' Runners, and Gutter Rat or the Elite Mage to
devour the 'useless' Specials. So while I might start off with Major
Drains, Brain-Freezes, and Infected Chromes all in my deck, I can
gradually weed out the cards that prove the least effective (and gain a
beneficial side-effect from all three.)

Still, Aztechnology has its own, rather obvious drawbacks: you're
trading a possible short-term gain for eventual long-term failure.
There can only be - even counting Tenaka - only so many Runners in a
deck. The use of Aztechnology can be thwarted through the use of
Squatter, so an Elven Hitman (who frags the Contact) is almost a
necessity as well. A player interested in creating a deck centered
around Aztechnology should also be using Deja Vus or Loaded Dice
(depending on the other cards in his deck) to make certain the proper
rituals are followed and the gods are pleased. A cute strategy, of
course, is to try your best to frag the other guy's deck completely -
using Better Offers, Elven Hitmen, Halloweeners, Cement Shoes,
Holmes/Suicidal Tendencies, and other combinations (Basilisk, Barney
Phyffe, Hell House...) to completely disintegrate your opponent's deck.

[Normally I would follow this up with a Deck of the Week; due to a very
busy schedule this week, however, I'm suspending it. There will be an
Aztechnology deck posted to my site Real Soon Now, however.

Tomorrow: Fictional cards based around Aztechnology.

Next Week: Again, a busy schedule, so no posts until Friday. Instead of
leaping to the next corporation - Fuchi - we'll take a look at the
Dunkelzahn Institute of Magic / the Draco Foundation, one of the
non-corporate megas of the Shadowrun universe.)

Comments, feedback (*eeeEEEeee*) and directed noise appreciated.

- Matt

Ask me tonight why love is strange
For I am drunk and full of reasons....

SRCard list.member.newbie
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