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Planned Attack: Is this a Problem Card?

I wanted to discuss Planned Attack in a new topic, because I am rather gloomy about the effect it will have on the meta, but I’m still a fairly new player and I’d be interested in hearing what the more experienced players here think about it. However, the forum said “no” so I’ll put my thoughts here instead.

For the record, the card is:

Geplanter Angriff / Planned Attack #36
2c Event Double
As an additional cost, pay click
Search your stack for a Run Event and play it (paying it’s cost), ignoring additional costs. Shuffle your stack.
2 inf

I think it will do three things to the environment.

For the most part I think people will run it as three more Siphons in faction or an extra Siphon out of faction (possibly dropping the third actual Siphon to run two of these, because it’s more flexible). I can also see it being used to support an early Maker’s Eye/Leg Work rush (and also Blackmail, but that’s a totally different deck). So I think the first thing it will do is seriously punish corps that can’t either secure HQ (and to a lesser extent R&D) from the first turn, or at least have a way of dumping cash and then recovering (e.g. Eve Campaign).

The other way that I think it will get used is to support a tool box approach to events that are powerful but either situational or have a high influence cost (Inside Job, Stimhack, Demolition Run, Vamp etc). Bottom line here is that remote servers become even less secure because the runner only needs to be running one Inside Job or Stimhack but can still effectively have four copies in the deck. So the second effect I think will be that Fast Advance becomes more prevalent because the scoring windows you used to get when the runner was broke have just become much riskier.

The third thing, which I think follows from the above but which I hope I am wrong about, is that the two impacts above will cancel out much of the fun Jinteki stuff. The way I generally beat Jinteki at the moment is Siphon/Vamp them (because they struggle to secure HQ early) and then go to town whilst they are broke and can’t use their traps or psi-games. Whilst they get a lot of good things in this set (especially the agendas which were badly needed) I don’t really see anything to change that fundamental dynamic except the PSI Identity. And the discussion is already mostly about fast advance Jinteki, which feels like an attempt to turn them into NBN/HB in a shade of red.

(In passing, I should say that Fast Track doesn’t fill me with joy either, but I think it is less of a problem since deck space is tighter in corp builds and you have to tip your hand to the runner by playing it, giving them the chance to respond.)

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I think there’s a bit too much hand-wringing on BGG about Planned Attack. Assuming a click is equivalent to two credits (a fair assumption especially for Criminals), you’re gaining 6 while the Corp loses 5 for Account Siphon, before factoring in the cost of getting into HQ. Every corp has the ability to mitigate Siphon, and everyone has a good enough economy to not crumble against it anyways (barring a bad opening start). Now factor in all the great new resources and the semi-decent tag punishment out there (Psychobeale comes to mind), and Account Siphon is starting to look as it should have from the start. I think it’s bananas for Gabe, but for everyone else, its “cons” list is starting to match the “pros” column.

Plus consider when the game was released, every faction had to incorporate filler into their decks due to the narrow cardpool. Now deck space is tight on both sides of the fence, and FFG has clearly sought to build on this by printing great cards that are tough to fit in. Sure, Fast Track looks great on paper, but it doesn’t do diddly for Astroscript (any more so than any other 3/2) after you’ve scored four points, and prior to that point, HQ is even less defended than in late-game. Plus in most games you’ll naturally draw into (or use NBN’s massive draw power) what you need, so Fast Track’s ability is essential in a small percentage of games, while being dead in others). It has some uses (great for getting that last Medical Breakthrough or Philotic Entanglement), but not broken.

Back to Planned Attack, I think as you said it’s great for taking advantage of timing windows, and a pretty solid splash in other factions. A Gabe that splashes for Indexing can look at the boardstate and decide he needs an Indexing against an undefended R&D, Siphon for undefended HQ, Special Order if he has everything but icebreakers, or an Inside Job if the opponent starts rushing agendas. An extremely potent ability, but I feel is actually wasted on Account Siphon in many cases.

I actually think the meta is slowly moving from Criminal to Anarch as the primary “Tag Me” faction, especially since it seems FFG has always intended for Criminals to get among the best resources, whereas Anarchs get bad resources, or ones that function with tags.


Yeah I completely agree with you Planned Attack is better for other cards. Siphon only auto wins when it is not expected or on bad corp draws.

The new resources will be awkward in Siphon heavy decks. Same old Thinging or Planned Attacking a Siphon is just bad if you ever want to clear tags. The natural Siphon (played from hand) might still be worth it.

I am really interested in trying out Central Breaker Criminals! It saves a lot of influence but I don´t know what to do with that influence yet.

Keyhole, Parasite, Imp
great cards but the MU requirement might be to much.

The Source, Donut Taganes
definitely worth a try but tags might be terrible. (maybe use Crash Space instead of Plascrete and protect it with Fall Guys)

All in all I like the expansion.

Edit: since my post was moved to this topic I also want to address something else. Everybody who worries about planned attack worries this is Siphon 4-6 for criminals. This is not the case you cannot play more siphons through this event you can reliably get one early. This has not been a huge issue for criminals anyways Same Old Thing can be used as Siphon 4-6 and they cannot be fetched with this!

The benefit for criminals is beeing able to run 1-2x Indexing 1-2x Vamp… Including this strictly for Siphon will not be good in my opinion.

Outside of Criminal you could use this to get your one of Siphon and then recurr that with a Same Old Thing this saves some influence. But just to repeat myself Siphon is a great card for one action and no money it is a reasonable card for 2 actions and 2 money and people say it is still good at 3 actions and no money.

This event will act as SMC for shapers : you 're not gonna need 3 of OOF events anymore, cause you can search for them. That’s, IMHO, what makes kate so strong right now, ability to spend her influence on a lot of silver bullets from other faction while keeping some influence for her core deck mechanics.

In this regard, being able to only play 1of good run events (i m looking at you, indexing) will only make gabe stronger. I guess he deserves it (kappa)

FYI : run events available now http://netrunnerdb.com/find/?q=s%3ARun&sort=faction

imagine a tutorable 1of blackmail, sounds pretty strong against some deck, while not clogging your deck with useless cards if playing against 0 BP corps. Even a 1of stimhack could be huge, as an on demand 7 creds !

Why do I keep seeing this? It isn’t “three more siphons”, since it cannot tutor them from the Heap (like Test Run). It makes your siphoning more reliable, yes, but it is nowhere close to allowing crims to have 6 siphons + SOT.

That said, the card is probably going to be very strong because it can do more than just tutor up Siphon. Indexing, Blackmail, even Stimhack is going to be grand with this. Timing is key in pretty much every game, and both Fast Track and Planned Attack make it more likely you’ll be able to hit timing windows.

I’m a little concerned about them both :).


The main benefit for Planned Attack will not be Siphon, it’ll be Stimhack. Currently taxation + NAPD Contracts is extremely strong. Pulling your one Stimhack on command will solve this issue in many cases.

While it’s certainly a interesting card, I don’t see filtering as that great. many of the great run events become much less stellar (I’m especially looking at you Stimhack) when you add an additional click and a couple of credits to the cost.
Sure it has pretty good synergy with Same Old Thing, but that will probably not be enough for me to play it.
I guess those runners that really like Hostage will be using this :wink:

Hostage is in many ways better than Planned Attack. Hostage fills up turns that would not have mattered otherwise. If there is nothing good to run at you can use this turn to set up a resource that might help you in the future. There are a lot of great connections, that you don´t want to draw multiples of. Hostage lets you run one of each connection. (There are no unique run events drawing a second copy might be really good most of the time)

Planned Attack will be played to run so you use it in a turn in which every action counts a lot more, maybe you still want to click through a bioroid or you still want to remove tags or you still need some economy. The extra click and the 2 credits on Planned Attack make this a heavier investment.

2 clicks to gain 7 credits and run is way worse than 1 click to gain 9 and run.

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Honestly, you have to play assuming they have siphon most of the time anyway, especially against criminals. If you already assume they have it, it’s not going to get much stronger if they can tutor for it. I think this will lead to more 1of blowout events like escher, index and vamp being used, and probably slightly more consistent versions of out of faction siphon decks. I don’t think it’ll be a problem, although I do think CI decks now have to worry about vamp a lot more.

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Beat me to that on 2 clicks and 2 credits to get whatever is a heavier investment.

I think with the inner working that FFG has on this game’s mechanics, I think there will be times you have this card, when you rehearse your event, or mostly a run and you are going to end up short a credit or two and maybe even that click, at least a 33% of the time you want to play this.

I totally agree with the “will get your siphon in the early game more reliably” statement others have posted. One thing to note tho with Levys this can act as 6 siphons, Cause if you have 1 siphon and 2 of these in your top 20, and 2 siphon and 1 of these in the bottom 20 cards and you munch thru those first 20 cards, then Levy, in essence you are giving yourself 3 out of 20 cards off the top that can “be” siphon. It’s not 6 per say like 3 AS + 3 SoT, but 6 chances to pull it off the top is 6 copies, especially considering runners don’t usually go thru all 45 cards, I would say I dig thru about the top 30 counting my 5, and things are all setup, with or without Levy. But even if I Levy, I haven’t played enough where I would seem to Levy, with no cards in my Stack… I Levy to recycle the goods I have already played, you know?

So yeah, over all you can have More Focused decks (combo decks if you will), or Toolbox decks with tons one ofs.

Going to be exciting tho, FOR A MONTH, and then it will find it’s place and we will all be accustomed to either needing them in every deck or maybe not.

That’s what’s so great about this game. plus everyone can have as many copies as they want for 0.12¢ a card or $6.66 a card depending on your “point of view” So if it powerful, we all get the power, if it’s average then whatever…

I think if there is any complaining at all about this game, the Reason is the inner feelings all of us as deck designers feel. we want our deck or our runner of choice to “be the best” but if at this current time they aren’t that makes us keep hammering away at deck lists, but if something else rears it’s ugly head and stands out as the over all GOD of the format, then we get bored.

Anyone bored yet? :smiley: I am about 5% bored with NB f-ing N. HAHA

I think you just made one of the best points possible for why Planned Attack isn’t a Problem Card™

For those of us dabbling into game design, that sentence translates to “it’s a healthy card that promotes decktype variety” :smile:

As a dramatic aside:

In yesterday’s Chronos my five runner games were… all against NBN. Good thing I was Whizzard, ended up making 87 credits off his ability over the course of the tournament :stuck_out_tongue:


Uh, that’s always how its referred when you have tutors AFAIK. Its not “I’m Siphoning six times” its I have six chances to draw Siphon in my deck, so you actually do have “three more siphons,” you just don’t play then all. If I had three Corroders and three Special Orders, I would likely think of it as having 6 Corroders though I could only have three in play (even if I had the memory to play 6).

How exactly is this not like having 6 siphon and three SOTs? Aside from costs obviously. If you tutored for Siphon, you can just SOT the Siphon you tutored. Yes, if you SOT the Planned Attack, you are limited to 4 Siphons, but I don’t understand why you’d do that.

Another Anarch card great in Criminals.

I disagree. I think that’s a very strong novel benefit (perhaps the strongest), but boring old “tutor for Account Siphon” is still use #1. You’re are not going to let it sit in your hand because you might need to Stimhack later on when you can Siphon now.

A lot of really interesting points made, thanks everyone. A few points that particularly caught my eye:

Firstly, on the “effective six Siphons”, what I really meant by that was short hand for “the primary purpose of including this in the deck is to increase the odds of being able to Siphon at a given point - particularly on the first turn.”

Secondly, I think the point that the opportunity cost of running tag-me in Criminal goes up with every strong resource released is a really good one that I hadn’t really taken in to account (comes of mostly playing Anarch). Will we see a divergence where Gabe and Ken go down the Siphon route whilst the other Criminals focus on a more resource-based approach?

Thirdly, I think the point about the additional costs impacting on its usefulness for Stimhack is very well made. Having to spend an entire turn to run a remote from zero (click 1, credit, click 2, credit, clicks 3 and 4 to play Planned Attack) is a much higher cost enterprise than Stimhacking from hand. And if you are on zero when you see NAPD Contact you can’t (without other economy cards) Planned Attack a Stimhack to score it in the same turn whereas you can from hand.

Finally, it will be interesting to see whether being able to fetch a splashed Blackmail will be sufficient to move corps away from splashing bad publicity generating cards like Grim without ways to then lose the BP.

I see the value in this card as acting as a placeholder for other high influence out of faction run events. Instead of paying the influence cost you pay to play those cards with additional credits and a click.

I’m going to test running it in Criminal to tutor for a 1x Indexing and I’m going to test it in Shaper as a way to tutor for Account Siphon. 2x Planned Attack + 2x Account Siphon. Obviously running 1x blackmail in both of these decks too.

In Criminal, I am certainly going to try one or two of them. If you haven’t already dropped down to 2 Inside Job, this is a good time. You also might want to find room for an infiltration or an Indexing/Maker’s Eye as well. I don’t think this does a whole lot for increasing the power level of criminal, as it was already very consistent, (especially Andromeda), but, like hostage, I think it’s going to be an option rather than an auto-include. Being able to tutor up Siphon is useful in some situations, but I don’t think it’s going to make things much worse than they already are. The cost for the tutor is right.


I think more than anything its a soft buff to Anarch, letting them run a single copy of Account Siphon and Indexing alongside Planned Attack, Deja Vu, and Same Old Thing. And Anarch is hurting for tournament wins still, so I like the card. Honestly, account siphon recursion in criminal is not amazing, if they use all their accessing tricks just to hit HQ, Shaper will be alright, making for more reliable use of the 1-of events (since the other factions don’t have any common 1-off inclusions).