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Crazy Train - NEH (Turtles all the way down)

I’m really intrigued by the License Acquisition asset spam concept, plus the IT Department lock. It’s really possible for this to get tuned into something great.

I’m going to playtest with a few changes - not saying they’re right necessarily but they’re to my personal taste.

  • I feel that SanSan, Astro, and Sweeps are the best cards in the deck. So I want to play 49 and maximize my chance to draw them.
  • I want more early game ICE. I can find big ICE later with DBS and extra draws, but I need my opening hand to have enough early ICE to not bleed accesses.
  • I never connect with Archer around here against a good player. Everyone has Faerie, Sharpshooter, or D4V1D.

Based on this we have easy cuts of -1 Archer, -2 Breaking News, -2 Marked. To buff the early game I use the Archer influence on -1 Wall of Static, -1 Tollbooth, +2 Eli.

I’ll let you know how the tests pan out!


Thanks for the reasonable and laid out arguments. I can definitely see your changes being valuable. I have to say though that wall of static is superior to eli when using IT department if you need to maintain the lock. In most other cases eli wins out though. Interesting picks might instead be -1 tollbooth & then +1 Hive/IQ.

Looking forward to hearing how it runs.

Have you had any testing with this build in the last week?

I’ve since gone to league and played a SHL2 match with Calimsha (sp?). Deck is +6/+0 over the last 3 days with no changes. Though at this point I’m going to try a version that has:

-1 Wraparound, -1 tollbooth -1 marked, -1 sweeps, -1 napd

Aside: Changed the name because it was too click-baity and trollish.

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You can check out my Youtube channel, I have 6 videos up of playing it:

I think I am 6-3 overall, I didn’t post some games that were short roflstomps on either side. I don’t think I played the deck that well yet, so I should be able to win more with better play.

Some thoughts:

  • I think 49 cards is definitely right. I was never in any danger of milling out.

  • I don’t know how to make IT Department stick. The times I drew it, I didn’t have any ICE to spare on it after protecting R&D from multi-access and Parasite spam. Or they already had an SMC and could just go kill it before it could get out of control. I’m open to the idea that I am doing it wrong, but also it’s possible that it just doesn’t work against better players enough to justify the influence spend.

  • License Acquisition is funny, in a couple games I scored it off SanSan and then got a second SanSan for free. But then it’s still very possible to lose on R&D, especially with DBS refreshing the cards every turn for multi-access.

  • I miss having Fast Track a lot. Two rezzed SanSans aren’t very good when all your DBS died and they are R&D locking you. If we’re feeling too hipster to play Fast Track, even Anonymous Tip would be reasonable to also pull more assets into hand.

  • Rototurret didn’t ever do anything - people are prepared for Architect and this is just an Architect that instantly dies to Parasite. Seems like it’s only good if you can stick IT Department, which as I mentioned I don’t know how to do.

  • Archer was good exactly once so far. That’s arguably enough for me to keep it in there, but I definitely wouldn’t want more copies.

Did you beat Calimsha?


For some reason when I read “Turtles all the way down” I expected:


Yeah, I made a mistake not installing the Mimic i’ve got in my hand. The tempo loss was a bit shitty and my 3 clone chips were in the bottom 5 cards in my deck.

You pulled a mediohxcore!


Yeah, a single clone chip could have changed that game dramatically… (Also worth noting that most people won’t double sentry a central because of parasite, faerie, mimic, etc; so I’m an odd duck)

Also worth noting that IT didn’t come into the game at all. Even if I’d drawn it, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have had a window to really capitalize in that game. Which is fine. It’s only a 2x for that reason.

@Kiv I’ll look and maybe comment on videos if I see anything that’s different than I would have done.

I just built this in response to seeing what you had going on. The changes may amount to personal preference, but I’ll explain my choices anyways.

TMNT NBN LOL (49 cards)

Near-Earth Hub: Broadcast Center

Agenda (12)
3 AstroScript Pilot Program
2 Breaking News
2 License Acquisition
2 NAPD Contract
3 Project Beale

Asset (16)
2 Daily Business Show
2 IT Department
3 Jackson Howard
3 Marked Accounts
3 PAD Campaign
3 Turtlebacks

Upgrade (3)
3 SanSan City Grid

Operation (3)
3 Sweeps Week

Barrier (3)
3 Wraparound

Code Gate (6)
2 Lotus Field
2 Quandary
2 Tollbooth

Sentry (6)
2 Archer
2 Architect
2 Rototurret

ICE-wise, I made a few changes but kept most of what you had going on. Architect is great, but I don’t think 3 is necessary. Lotus field is good, but with IT Dept it’s silly. Irreducible strength means even those who are equipped to deal with Lotus will either be locked or pay through the nose to get in. Tollbooth is great but getting it early is almost never good, especially in conjunction with the lack of burst econ.

For the agendas I’m pretty sure I just brought them to the 49 card levels. License Acquisition is really strong here (or seems to be), so definitely keeping that around.

The assets have remained the same, though I’m not sure you need IT Department. You may be able to get some mileage out of Red Herrings or ASH that would allow for a little faster push compared to IT Dept. Plus you don’t have to defend these individually which is good for the relatively low ICE count.

I will update after I play some. I might take out 2x astro and see if this is a viable build for ChiLo grudge match this saturday.

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Perhaps Clot’s text should have been on NEH, as well.

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Re: Fast track, if you’re not hurting for Econ (I’ve yet to watch your games), I’m wondering if sweeps is necessary. There have been game moments where fast track would have been amazing; but the new shard that causes you to discard randomly hurts it, imo.

Isn’t it just too good in the Andromeda match-up to say no to? Especially in faction I think there are other cuts to make before sweeps for the fast track addition.

@kiv I was thinking along a similar line as far as IT and it sticking. Can you think of any other good additions for the influence? I agree that Roto is probably IT Dept dependent too, so maybe 4 slots and 4 influence to play with?

I think the drip pad from jinteki (mental health clinic?) is probably an interesting replacement for marked. But if you’re losing IT, I don’t think the click sink of marked is as important. And you’ve got to consider the trash cost differential.

Without IT, Eli gains value again; but eli has no value in the match up where IT is live. I’ve heard of people using troll in combo with eli, but you have to consider link. It’s good against stealth because there’s nothing to break and requires real creds, but its bad without making news creds if link shows up.

I’ve also heard of similar decks working alright with Ash, there’s a user who mentions it over on BGG. If you’re going to lose the IT/destroyer threat, I think you need to figure out what’s replacing that threat in the deck or how you’re going to really enhance the the playing wide experience.

I can think of a 4 influence card that I could put in… something to do with humanoid robots performing tasks at a place of employment? I mean at some point the deck just turns into an existing deck that we all know and love, except it has Turtlebacks in it and a surprise Archer.

Other than that, Boot Camp has a nice interaction with License Acquisition - you can tutor the card you want to have a free rez on.

The jank dream would be to fit one Security Subcontract, and then do a play like:

  • Install useless Quandary in a new remote, get money from Turtlebacks and a card
  • Next turn, rez it for free with Boot Camp - rinse and repeat for a while
  • Tutor Subcontract and sell all your crap ICE.
  • Profit

The previous version of the deck was this:


The deck used less ice, hostile infrastructure, encryption protocol, and snare! to make remotes and DBS stick. Ultimately it was really weak on centrals, but sometimes really fun to play. With 4 influence some of those cards could come into this version. I’m not sure Hostile would be worth the money, but encryption protocol might be. That’s more slots though, so now you’ve got to cut something… :smile:

I’ve watched several of Kiv’s games and he’s playing differently than I would, though I can’t say that he’s playing it wrong. I do thing there are suboptimal choices. Basically, if a DBS comes up I will almost always choose to keep it and I will almost always choose to install and rez it. The deck is designed to abuse agenda scores and the low ice count of “rezzables” are massaged by DBS which often patches your weak point by letting you churn through more of your deck. I almost always choose DBS and I almost always choose to rez it. This is the biggest difference between my play style and Kiv’s.

2nd thing is icing remotes. Icing SanSan occasionally is fine. Icing jackson is probably a questionable move. If DBS is being left alone, jackson is rarely necessary for more draws or for fixing the hand.

3rd thing is there was a game where he grabbed turtlebacks over pad campaign. I probably would have made the other choice. Pad is important, but you install so many remotes that turtle backs is usually better; and it’s better at powering agenda scoring from broke if siphon does become a problem.

4th is that IT isn’t ever getting up and running, not even in games where it would have been helpful. I think this is largely because he’s using the ice to protect things I wouldn’t. Because of this R&D lock tends to be a more prevalent problem than I’m used to. Between IT & multiple DBS it should be possible to slow the runner down so that the lock doesn’t happen.

I do like the second sansan play. I feel like its often win more once you have the astro token, but it can break a runner. All of that said, Kiv is winning games with the deck, so my comments only go so far. I lean harder on turtle and DBS than he does, but if they get trashed I’m typically playing the same games the way he does, aside from forcing IT as an issue to distract the runner.

I think it’d be best at this point if I streamed some games, so I’ll try and find my mic and hook that up this weekend and have footage for everyone. Maybe its easier to show than explain.

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I feel Turtlebacks is almost always better than PAD in NEH, as long as you have the influence as it triggers when you want it, enabling double dipping in one turn, and also combos very well with License Acquisition and/or Architect if you are running them.


I am sure I made some wrong moves, but without timestamps I can’t remember exactly if they are the ones you’re saying.

I assume that all DBS will die immediately upon being rezzed, which is generally the correct Runner play. So rezzing it gives me 1 use and then makes both of us poorer, which is not always advantageous.

If you can show me one point in a game where I could have set up IT, that would help me understand. A couple times I put ICE on a remote to try and set up to IAA the IT department later, but it never came together. That might explain the icing of Jackson.

Or I might have Iced Jackson because I’m worried about Indexing, which is another great way for this deck to lose.

Looking forward to checking out some streamed games.

PAD vs Turtle - do you have any stats on this? You need to install > 1 remote per turn for Turtle to be better and my feeling was it was approximately 1 per turn, making it a wash.

  • If you do ever want to ICE a remote and repeatedly put stuff in it to tax the runner more, Turtle stops working.
  • On turns where you score off an existing SanSan, Turtle doesn’t work.
  • If installing more remotes becomes worse because you’re feeding cards to Runner via Astrolabe, PAD is certainly better.
  • If due to variance you just don’t draw enough assets, PAD is better.
  • The fact that Turtlebacks combos with Architect is irrelevant since Architect will fire once per game max unless your opponent is doing something wrong, or is on a game-winning glory run.
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I don’t understand what you’re saying here. Did you mean that kiv put Turtlebacks at the bottom, when you said “grabbed”? Are you saying Turtlebacks is better, but not in that game situation, so he should have grabbed PAD Campaign?

Kiv looked at both with DBS and choose to keep the pad campaign. I’ll look for the game when I can review them and post the video and time. There was a similar moment where he passed up a DBS.

And while you’re right Kiv that good runners trash this stuff, that’s all part of the plan. Its ok to invest into resources if it takes money from the runner because, like with redcoats, it ultimately means less runs of import that can cause interruption.

I love the title.

I laughed, really hard, at work. It was inappropriate.

Good job. XD