But it’s not really a dual Maker’s/Legwork. We have to step back and look at the actual cost, here. The Maker’s Eye/Legwork cost 2 credits and a click to play, plus the cost of breaking into the server once. The Turning Wheel costs 2 credits and a click to play, plus 4 more clicks, plus the cost of bouncing off the servers 4 times, plus the cost of breaking into the server once (additional costs over TME/LW are bolded). Plus it costs you an influence to include in your deck regardless of faction. I think it’s clear that no one is saying The Maker’s Eye and Legwork are broken/op, so I don’t see how The Turning Wheel could possibly be when it costs 4 more clicks to have the same effect plus whatever the bounce cost is.
This is an excellent point and the main reason why The Turning Wheel is even playable at all. You can use other effects that trigger off of the two central servers to mitigate the additional costs that The Turning Wheel has over TME/LW. You still get the value from those runs if you were just running TME/LW, though. Instead of the last run being The Turning Wheel, you just play a TME/LW instead and boom, same effect. Now, here I gloss over the fact that The Turning Wheel is reusable, but in this case if you’re letting them hit your R&D/HQ with 8+ value runs in the game then you have a bigger problem. If they’re hitting R&D/HQ 8+ times by just bouncing (non-value runs) and you’re not gaining board state and putting pressure on the runner, then you have a bigger problem.
This last bit is the part where I can’t follow your argument. It seems, to me, that here you are saying that defending HQ, R&D, and a remote is a somehow unattainable board state and… well it’s not. You’re never going to lock out the runner of all 3 servers 100% of the time. That would make for a bad competitive game! You can, however, make it taxing for the runner.
Well… yeah. You should have taxing ice on your centrals, rezzed to tax the runner. That’s just basic defensive play. If The Turning Wheel is on the table, then maybe don’t put out an additional ice on the server yet if the one you have is taxing them well. Or maybe do because, frankly, if they’re spending 4 clicks doing absolutely nothing so they can play a Maker’s Eye next round, then I’m either coming out ahead as the Corp or the Runner is so far ahead that they’d be winning the game even without The Turning Wheel on the table.
I defend my HQ, R&D, and often a remote almost every game I’m playing. If the runner is allowed to run those servers enough times to get a huge power The Turning Wheel, then they’d be in a good spot even without it. You only need one or two reasonably taxing ice to discourage hitting those servers constantly, it’s not a huge investment. You say the when the runner plays The Turning Wheel that there’s not much you can do, but that’s not true at all. You can make sure that your deck has good ice to defend your centrals with in the first place, and establish them early. You can start playing cards into your remote to force the runner to spend their clicks/credits challenging that server vs. going after your centrals.
Why can’t you rez that ice on your centrals? What is that ice then doing in your deck, then? What are you doing with the time the runner is hitting your centrals for The Turning Wheel tokens if it’s not shoring up your economy or forcing them to spend resources challenging your remote instead of your R&D? If they spend 4 clicks to charge a Turning Wheel, then why not spend your clicks on credits so you can rez that ice?
The arguments I see here is that if you’re already losing the battle in defending your centrals then The Turning Wheel just makes it worse. And, well, yeah that’s kind of the point. It’s a bit more of a Win-More card. But the investment needed compared to just regular Maker’s Eye/Legwork runs is high. High enough that I’d generally rather just use those. Frankly, most of the issues you bring up make me more concerned for the gameplan of the prototypical Corp deck you have in your mind rather than the power of The Turning Wheel its self.
Ultimate Conclusion: I could not disagree with you about the state of The Turning Wheel more. I reject your argument that you can’t do anything vs. The Turning Wheel. You can do a lot, most of it having to do with good fundamental play and smart deck building.
Also, I think stating you prefer Medium (an actually broken card, imo) to The Turning Wheel is straight bonkers and so I fear that there’s no hope for you .