Corporations and Runners. Colonists and Clans. The Martian Colonial Authority and The Free Mars Movement—there are a lot of intersecting interests on Mars, and even more that conflict with each other.
The Red Sands Cycle Concludes
And then there’s the Crimson Dust. The Crimson Dust teaches that human life originated on Mars before colonizing Earth. Its members believe that their leader, Vasanti Smith, is the reincarnation of one of the first settlers on Mars. They believe in Martian independence, and they believe in augmenting human bodies with g-mods and cybernetics that allow them to endure the Red Planet’s atmosphere. They also believe that would-be martyrs armed with Taejo monofilament wire bombs can sneak past the security in most nodes and inflict tremendous amounts of damage on their protective domes. Unfortunately, they’re right about that last one.
The first five data packs in the Red Sands cycle explored the forces that are vying for control of Mars, what they hope to gain from the Red Planet, and how far they’ll go to get it. The sixty new cards (three copies each of twenty different cards) in Crimson Dust look at the consequences of this enduring conflict, which has taken lives, destroyed homes, and left an entire world vulnerable to extremists.
Safety Is Not Guaranteed
On Mars, you’re only as secure as your oxygen supply. For most of the population, that means you’re only as secure as the envirodome above your head. And on surface of the red planet, the fortification of any structure depends on how valuable it is to the Corp that built it. You can hire the best contractors, install the finest security measures, and pay all of your bills on time, but whether or not your dome breaches, your mineshaft collapses, or your home loses power is still just a matter of credits for the CEOs and their accountants back at HQ.
Cards like Breached Dome (Crimson Dust, 113), Mining Accident (Crimson Dust, 101), and MCA Austerity Policy (Crimson Dust, 111) portray both the everyday struggles of life on an alien world and how competing parties spin those struggles to their own advantage.
Dome breaches are an omnipresent threat on Mars. Faulty construction, everyday wear and tear, mercenaries employed by rival clans or corporations, and suicidal terrorists—all of them have been known to compromise the integrity of Mars’s oxygen-containing, radiation-blocking domes. But there are also rumors that some corporations have willingly compromised their own domes in order to root out suspected runners and other adversaries.
Hence, Breached Dome offers Jinteki a new Ambush, one designed to remind runners that even if they can steal the company’s data, it can literally take their breath away. Combined with the ID ability on Jinteki: Potential Unleashed (Escalation, 54), it also presents a serious threat to the Runner’s stack.
On the other side of the equation, Mining Accident shows how runners can punish corporations by exposing their negligence. After making a run on a Central Server, the Runner can play Mining Accident and force the Corp to either pay five credits or suffer the consequences of receiving some Bad Publicity. If they capitalize upon some Dirty Laundry (Creation and Control, 52) or a Temujin Contract (Blood Money, 26) during their initial run, the Runner can create a substantial credit swing with Mining Accident and potentially change the tempo of the game. Or, the Runner can use Vamp (Trace Amount, 21) to make sure that the Corp has to take a Bad Publicity.
And of course, it would only be fitting to use your knowledge of corporate negligence to Blackmail (Fear and Loathing, 89) your way into a more valuable server.
But too many accidents—too much oxygen lost, too much precious fuel wasted, or too much food misplaced—can lead to government intervention. And since the line between corporate plan and government policy is even thinner on Mars than it is on Earth, any new regulations are far more likely to restrict the Runner than the Corp. For example, a new MCA Austerity Policy can slowly drain the Runner’s capacity to act by denying them a click each turn. And if the Corp manages to keep the Policy in place for three turns, they can take advantage of the resources conserved by the MCA in a massive burst of efficiency that gives them an extra three clicks. A creative Jemison: Astronautics (Daedalus Complex, 16) player might find a way to take advantage of a rapidly advanced Helium-3 Deposit (The Source, 101) to place an additional two power counters on the Policy as soon as possible and effectively take two turns in a row.
But Reprisals Are Certain
The chief complaint among the discontented Clan members of Mars is that corporations are empowered to act with relative impunity. Although corporate representatives will argue that the threats posed by extremist groups like the Crimson Dust justify their defensive measures, the Clans know that these measures will be used against more than just the most extreme zealots. When NBN declares Vasanti Smith to be a Threat Level Alpha (Crimson Dust, 117), it can implement a massive range of surveillance measures that may catch Anarchs, Criminals, and Shapers in their sweeps—even before they engage in a real Run.
This unprecedented level of corporate intrusion leaves even the most cautious Runner vulnerable to being tagged and bagged, and criminals may lean on new resources like Caldera (Crimson Dust, 105) to protect their brains, and Shapers can create Dummy Boxes (Crimson Dust, 108) to preserve their install cards. But will it be enough?
Android: Netrunner Crimson Dust Data Pack
Item Code: FFGADN48
Pre-order Deadline: 6/5/17
Releases: Summer 2017
Don’t forget that the two previous Data Packs in the Red Sands cycle are still available for pre-order.
Android: Netrunner Free Mars Data Pack
Item Code: FFGADN47
Pre-order Deadline: 5/30/17
Releases: Summer 2017
Android: Netrunner Blood and Water Data Pack
Item Code: FFGADN46
Pre-order Deadline: 5/24/17
Releases: Summer 2017