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ICE bake off: Fairchild 3.0 vs. Tollbooth

I’ve been trying to work out whether Fairchild 3.0 or Tollbooth is a better choice for my HB: ETF deck.

Both are Code Gates. Both are strength 5. Tollbooth costs two more to rez and has 2 influence.

Fairchild, however, has the click-through ability which means a runner with no cash can still get through it by giving up all their clicks.

How would you think through this question? How do experienced players make these kinds of evaluations?

I think the biggest difference is if you expect to see a lot of Yogsucker in your meta. If so, go with Tollbooth; otherwise I’d probably go with Fairchild. The facecheck punishment is severe, and the clickability is fixed by stacking Bioroids.

The bigger question is, why not both?

I would second what @hbarsquared said it really depends on the breaker suite that you expect to face, as to if the influence hit is worth it for Tollbooth:

Tollboth is significantly better against:

  • Yogsucker
  • Shaper stealth rigs (where real credits might be tighter +1 real credit to break is pretty large)

It is much worse against:

  • d4v1d (1 counter plus cash is worse than the whole d4v1d)
  • Femme Fetale (1 credit vs 3 credits is big)

For most other breaker suites it is just a one credit difference, in favor of tollbooth. Which might be of marginal gain if the runner is not trying for a remote, or R&D lock.

As for both it depends on how much shaper you expect to see, Atman is still in the wild and both being at the same strength hurts your ability to tax. Also Houdini may see a fair amount of play if Smoke comes out strong like some expect her to, Houdini and Gordian Blade do a very good job of hurting stacked code gate plays.

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Fairchild 3.0 and it’s not even close.

I’m not really sure I agree Tollbooth is better against a Refractor rig if the chance the code gate has a Caprice Nisei under it is being drastically reduced by that influence cost. Or rather, I’m sure I don’t agree.

I think a relevant question also is whether you’re looking for pure stopping power or tax. Tollbooth works better on a scoring remote as the runner will HAVE to break it to get through, whereas Fairchild can be clicked.

Do you need the influence or not? Influence is not as valuable as it used to be, so if you’re not using it for anything better, may as well use Tollbooth.

IMO, for power level Fairchild 3.0 is better in most situations. It punishes facechecking harder (losing cards/brain damage is stronger than losing credits.) However, it’s worse alone early when rushing agendas and costs 3 influence instead of 2. Costing 6 instead of 8 is a big deal, though.

In HB I don’t think it’s really a contest unless you have nothing else to spend influence on… but you can always slot Caprice Nisei/Eli’s. In NBN, you’re not going to spend 3 influence. In other factions, it’s a matter of how much better Fairchild is compared to spending extra influence.

2 influence is huge… Tollbooth wasn’t played in most EtF decks even before Fairchild 3.0 came out, I wouldn’t play it now. Glacier EtF decks want to spend influence on Eli, Architect, and Caprice, and fast advance decks want to spend it on SanSan City Grid and the like.

The real question is, in Weyland (which has no good code gates), do you splash Tollbooth, DNA Tracker, or Fairchild 3.0? And I think the answer is probably DNA Tracker, unless you really need to save 1 influence with Tollbooth.


Wrong: you run 17 barriers.


And one Destroyer.

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Fairchild 3.0 is really good and HB has a glut of playable code gates now (Turing, Fairchild 3.0, Ravana 1.0). I cannot imagine spending influence on one of the faction’s greatest strengths. Those two saved influence can be more Eli, Architect, Global Food, NAPD, or go towards Caprice.


Its true. I can see some HB glacier decks trying to jam jackson out and try floating the jackson replacement to get some influence back for other things. While Foodcoats is hurt by rumor mill, at least HB has in faction recursion and a great current.

The loss of draw hurts a little bit, but you can finally get back some of the toys MWL took away from you.

I cannot wait to try new HB with some of these tasty glacier pieces.

Using influence on ICE is not something I’m generally in favor of. Stay in faction / neutral for your ice, put those influence to work getting power cards from other factions.

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Because you’re a known Weyland aficionado I respect this statement even more… Especially since Weyland is the faction that has the worst ice and whose power cards chiefly get poached by other factions… Now that takes dedication to the faction!

Eh, “Worst ice”. Our ice is fine.

Like, Eli is so great that it is on the MWL. It costs 4 to break with corroder. You know what else costs 4 to break with corroder? Fire Wall. Yeah, you lose 2 creds on the rez, but you save yourself the influence. At the end of the day, it feels as though you will get more mileage out of using that influence on some cool operation or upgrade that is relevant to your deck, instead of basically buying a discount on your ice.

Same stuff up and down the line. Instead of pop up, Bailiff. Either way, they spend 1, you get one, and it is parasiteable. 2 cred Weyland tax.

Instead of Tollbooth, Hadrian’s. You spend 3 extra, 7 to bust either way (presuming they are on gordian’s/corroder).

You can spend influence to beat these taxes, but if you are weyland, you should be rich. (Babw transactions, Gag assets, BWBI commercialization) Over the course of the game, you typically rez…what, 6 ice? So maybe you lose 10ish creds on green ice? That’s bad, to be sure, but it is also something that your deck should be able to generate.

Trust in the barriers.

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