I wanted to make a thread about HQ aggression. I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. In my experience, not too many Runners since I have been playing seriously (Lunar Cycle) focus on HQ. It is important versus Fast Advance, but besides that the only Runner I really see go for HQ is Gabe. RND lock seems all the rage, and for good reason.
I know the advantages of RND lock. Seeing cards before the Corp has a chance to, most importantly agendas, is huge. But what about those Agendas that could be lurking in HQ? Maybe it all comes down to Legwork. If you have Legwork, you can wait until you score enough from RND to check HQ.
That said, I think HQ aggression is undervalued. Obviously it works a little differently than RND lock. To make HQ lock effective, you have to be able to threaten a scoring remote, otherwise the Corp can just toss agendas they draw into the remote. Legwork may be a reason why HQ lock isn’t really a thing, but even Legwork can miss sometimes. Another reason is possibly that it is difficult to achieve a true HQ lock, if the Corp keeps 5 cards in hand. Not even 3 HQI guarantees you’ll see everything.
Maybe this is a stupid thread, but consider it a place to discuss the merits or lack thereof of aggressively targeting HQ as a Runner. Anarchs have all the best tools I think (Imp/Lamprey/Nerve Agent come to mind), but Criminals have HQI/Sneakdoor and Shapers can easily splash for things.
Is HQ lock never worthwhile? Has HQ ever been more of a target in the meta than RND? Being able to threaten both HQ and RND is ideal, and I think Anarch can do that, but I think the more standard move is to pressure RND before HQ. Why is this? Am I wrong to think that (outside of a surprise Legwork) HQ is becoming more and more safe for the Corp, not necessarily due to changes in the card pool but due to Runner behavior? The best course to me would seem to be heavy HQ aggression early, and then shift to RND aggression, but more often I see Runners skip HQ and go straight for RND.