Weyland: Our Way or the Highway

Weyland Consortium: Our Way or the Highway

06/01/15

Daniel Hughes

 

 

Taken from the Netrunner Rule Book:

Aside from its dramatic and public association with the New Angeles Space Elevator, better known as "Jack's Beanstalk" or simply "the Beanstalk" after designer Jack Weyland, the extent of the Weyland Consortium's holdings is little known among the general population. The shadowy organization owns or invests in other corporations, leveraging the enormous assets granted them by the Beanstalk to buy and sell smaller megacorps at an alarming rate.

 

 

For the past several decades, the Weyland Consortium's obvious specialty has been construction, a legacy of its involvement in the Space Elevator project. Many of its subsidiaries are construction companies, often on a local level, or suppliers for construction companies. By some estimates, half the arcologies in New Angeles were built by a Weyland Consortium-controlled company, and cunning accounting and business practices ensure that even when the client companies fold, the Consortium somehow comes out ahead.

 

Part of the secret of the Weyland Consortium's success lies in its ability to secure government contracts and lobby for favourable legislation, especially in the United States or China. It is often a war profiteer, securing lucrative reconstruction bids in the Mediterranean, United Korea, and the Sub-Saharan League nations. In the wake of the Lunar War, Weyland snatched up almost 70% of the orbital reconstruction contracts on Earth and nearly all of the Heinlein contracts.

 

Weyland remains confident that the bright future of the human race is in outer space. The Consortium is a major source of funding for space exploration and continues to acquire aerospace and orbital construction companies. Some suggest that the Weyland Consortium seeks a monopoly in outer space, that it wants to control all human habitation outside Earth's atmosphere.

 

Given the Weyland Consortium's proclivity for operating in war-torn regions, it should be no surprise the corporation is comfortable playing hardball. While little has been proven, some mysterious deaths are blamed on elements within the Consortium. Weyland favors a brute-force approach to most problems, using its vast resources to get its way.

 

 

So what is the Weyland Consortium all about?

Taken from the Reddit Players Guide

The Weyland Consortium is one of the four Corporation factions in Android: Netrunner. Weyland is as blunt as it is brutal: Their goals are to gain as many credits as possible via whatever means are necessary, to pour that capital into building ICE fortresses too daunting to breach, and to mercilessly punish any Runner foolish enough to try. Weyland's economy relies on large numbers of Operations and their powerful economic Agendas, which can give permanent bonuses once scored. Their ICE tend to be expensive to rez and relatively expensive to get through, and many can be advanced (just like agendas) to make them even more powerful. Finally, when it comes time to punish the runner, no one hands out meat damage like Weyland. Their decks fall into two categories: Tag-and-bag decks, which tend to rely on contracting with NBN to get a lock on their target and then delivering the punishment that only Weyland can provide; or ICE Fortress decks, which tend to utilize many pieces of advanceable ICE to construct impenetrable barriers between the Runner and the Agendas that Weyland is scoring.

 

 

Current Weyland ID’s

 

Weyland Consortium, Building a Better World: This ID is the one which appeared in the original core set. It ability suits the Weyland style of play by making operation economy that much better enabling the corporation to more easily “out money” the runner.

Weyland Consortium, Because We Built It: The Weyland Consortium is known for ice which can be advanced, so this ID would seem to be a good fit. However, this has long been seen as the weakest of the Weyland IDs. The advancable ice released up until this point just does not improve enough to warrant many advancements, and you are still required to use a click to use your free credit. This ID may become stronger with the release of Order and Chaos.

GRNDL, Power Unleashed: This ID trades a bit of bad publicity and a lower influence for an up-front cash advantage, and will be right at home in rushing decks. The ability to play a Turn 1 Restructure is also an added bonus.

Blue Sun, Powering the Future: This is my favourite of the Weyland ID’s, and one I have been playing heavily since its release. The ability to earn 13 credits from 2 clicks (Install Curtain Wall, Oversight AI) is insane. Any rezzed ice is an investment for Blue Sun, as it can be picked up at any time to return the credits. Similarly, Asset econ such as the Adonis or Eve Campaigns can be recycled infinitely until trashed. This is definitely a strong ID for a glacier style of play.

 

 

Weyland Card Pool

 

This section is a presentation of the current Weyland specific card pool.

 

Agendas: The current Weyland agendas are: Project Atlas, Hostile Takeover, Posted Bounty, The Cleaners, Government Contracts. Geothermal Fracking and Vulcan Coverup. It is clear that the Agenda abilities are focused around the core principles of the Weyland Corporation. Three of them earn additional credits and three help to flatline the runner. To round out the set is Project Atlas, considered one of the strongest agendas in the game (although little can compete with Astroscript Pilot Program). One final point to note is that four of the seven agendas have the potential to give out bad publicity.

 

Ice: The current Weyland specific ice are Hadrians Wall, Ice Wall, Curtain Wall, Archer, Caduceus, Shadow, Woodcutter, Tyrant, Taurus, Hive, Swarm, Burke Bugs, Salvage, Ireress and Wendigo. You will notice that this is a very limited pool, with the better ice being barriers. It is only in the latest cycle (Lunar Cycle) that a useable code gate (Wendigo) became available. As limited as the ice pool is, Archer, a piece of ice from the core set, is still, till this day, one of the most taxing and destructive ice in the game.

 

Upgrade: The currently released Weyland upgrades are Research Station, Amazon Industrial Zone, Off The Grid, Simone Diego and Crisium Grid. Not much to say here, really. Crisium Grid is probably the most usable, and has some obvious synergy with Off The Grid.

 

Operation: The current Weyland Operation card pool contains Shipment from Kaguya, Scorched Earth, Beanstalk Royalties, Aggressive Negotiation, Power Grid Overload, Commercialization, Oversight AI, Punitive Counterstrike, Witness Tampering, Power Shutdown and Paywall Implementation. For a faction focused on economy, there is a distinct lack of operation economy which really lets Weyland down. Yes, their Agendas help on this front, but you actually have to score these which requires a strong economy – a bit of a catch-22. Ask anyone, however, and they will tell you that Scorched Earth is still one of the most feared cards in the game.

 

Asset: The currently released Weyland assets are Dedicated Response Team, GRNDL Refinery, Elizabeth Mills, The Root, Sealed Vault and Security Subcontract. Like the upgrades, there is not a lot to say here. Elizabeth Mills is likely to see more play after the release of Order and Chaos, however.

 

 

 

Recommended Datapacks for Weyland

 

Here is my take on some of the better packs to get over and above the core set if you are interested in playing Weyland.

 

What Lies Ahead: Weyland want this for Project atlas, no question. Caduceus is also in this pack and is very solid if you are not accumulating too much bad publicity. If you are playing glacier Weyland, Ash 2X3ZB9CY is also in this pack.

 

Cyber Exodus: If Supermodernism takes your fancy, the mythic ice Chimera is in this pack and it is a staple in that deck. Otherwise, give it a miss.

 

A Study in Static: Government Contracts is a useful Weyland agenda for Glacier style decks. False Lead is great for Tag and Bag decks and as Archer fuel.

 

Opening Moves: Jackson Howard, the Lord and Saviour of the corporation is in this pack – if you aren’t familiar with how he works yet, I highly recommend you become familiar! Geothermal Fracking, a fantastic 4/2 Agenda for Weyland and also Grim is in this pack.

Second Thoughts: The Cleaners can breathe new life into Scorched Earth even in the face of Plascrete. This pack also gives us Restructure, another operation allowing Weyland to out-econ the Runner.

 

Mala Tempora: Power Shutdown lets Weyland put the kibosh on Faerie and SMC pre-emptively, as well as a host of other tasty targets (Corroder being the most desirable).

 

True Colors: This pack gives Weyland a new meat damage card, Punitive Counterstrike, which can give a runner pause to steal agendas early in the game.

 

Fear and Loathing: In this pack the Weyland Consortium got its (at the time) long awaited new ID, GRNDL.

 

Upstalk: The big splash this pack is Lotus Field, a hard counter to Yog.0 and a decently taxing ICE in its own right, particularly in Blue Sun where counters such as Knight and Femme Fatale can be negated. Taurus is a scary counter to Plascrete Carapace, and can eat a lot of other good rig builders along with it. The Root it also a great economy card if you build your deck around it.

 

Up and Over: Blue Sun, enough said!

 

 

 

Some Weyland Archetypes

 

 

Supermodernism

The following excerpt is taken from the superb anaylsis by David Sutcliffe from his now defunct 'Satellite Uplink' blog. Take a look at it if you haven't had the chance!

 

"Supermodernism" is a style of Weyland which has long been championed by the US player Martin Presley ("Hoobajoo" on the Boardgamegeek forums). He used it to win several tournaments and revised versions of the deck have been picked up by several players. An example of this decklist is:

Weyland: Building A Better World

 

Agendas (12)

3 Hostile Takeover

2 False Lead

3 Project Atlas

3 Geothermal Fracking

1 Government Contracts

 

Operations (16)

2 Anonymous Tip **

3 Beanstalk Royalties

3 Green Level Clearance ***

2 Power Shutdown

2 SEA Source ****

3 Scorched Earth

3 Hedge Fund

 

Assets (3)

3 Snare! ******

 

Ice (16)

2 Chimera

3 Ice Wall

3 Wall of Static

3 Enigma

3 Archer

2 Grim

 

Supermodernism has some tremendous strengths - it's quick and powerful, bringing to bear some of the best early End The Run ice (Ice Wall, Chimera, Enigma, Wall of Static) and then pushing Agenda quickly to get to 7 Agenda Points, using cards like Green Level Clearance and Anonymous Tip to keep up the pace and ensure it's never short of Agendas to score. The hard ETR ice is supported by the threat of program destruction from Archer and Grim, bullying the runner into being cautious about running at unrezzed Ice unless they're really ready to tangle with a big Destroyer.

As well as being quick and powerful the deck is also dangerous, with 10 cards dedicated to putting an unwary runner into the ground (Snare, SEA Source, False Lead, Scorched Earth). The final kicker is that all the Agendas in this deck are EXCELLENT once scored, and feed back into the deck's momentum towards a win - Hostile Takeover is money and fodder for Archer, False Lead can prevent the runner drawing cards and clearing tags after hitting Snare!, Geothermal Fracking is two huge pay days and Project Atlas is, well... perhaps the best card in the deck as if you can force it through overadvanced (which you always try to do) it's either SEA Source + Scorched Earth, or Hostile Takeover x2, or Power Shutdown, or money... whatever you need.

This all puts the runner into a terrible position: they have to move fast because Supermodernism is scoring Agendas and isn't about to stop, but if they aren't careful they'll faceplant into an Archer or Snare! or leave themselves with too few cards in hand and get nailed by Scorched Earth. Run too slowly and the Corp scores out, run quickly and you die.

 

Those are all the strengths of the deck but it also has a couple of key weaknesses. Firstly, if I had to describe this deck as an animal I think it's probably a Bull - quick, powerful, and dangerous describes an angry Bull very well. But like a Bull it often lacks stamina and if it fails to get out to 7 Agenda Points, or fails to gore the runner with Scorched Earth, then it can become helpless. Once the runner is equipped with a full rig - once they can break your Ice and aren't scared of Archer - there's precious few tricks that can surprise the runner and turn things around. With your Bull reduced to a breathless standstill the runner can close in pick you off at will.

The second weakness of this deck is variance - in the pursuit of speed and power the deck takes a calculated risk and plays Anonymous Tip instead of Jackson Howard. The advantages are all about speed - in one click you see 2 extra cards, which with Jackson would take several clicks and a remote server. Those clicks can be the difference between drawing then Install-Advancing an Agenda, or having it sat in hand and doing everything a turn more slowly. It sounds good, but in going for speed the deck lives without the release valve of Jackson Howard for those occasions where it finds itself flooded with Agendas and unable to get them scored. When your hand is good Anonymous Tip is great, but in those games where your opening hand was 3 Agendas and no Ice you really want Jackson Howard like no other card in the game.

 

 

 

Variants

 

Corporate Troubleshooter: The idea of Corporate Troubleshooter is that it means you can guarantee hitting with Archer if you're prepared to stick enough credits into the Troubleshooter and raise Archer's strength.

 

The Cleaners: An option to Government Contracts, The Cleaners helps your Scorched Earths to pound through Plascrete Carapace. Suddenly SEA/Scorch/Scorch does 10 damage, which is more than a Runner with Plascrete Carapace and 5 cards in hand can survive. The problem with The Cleaners is that when you score your 5/3 you're usually quite close to winning on Agenda Points anyway, especially if you then score a Project Atlas with two counters so you can go and find your lethal double-Scorch combo. The difference between the two cards is personal taste.

 

Caduceus: Caduceus is an amazing piece of Weyland Ice and it's great early game ETR so why isn't it in the deck? There's a couple of reasons why it doesn't quite fit; firstly you use a lot of Bad Publicity and that quickly wipes out the Trace value of Caduceus, and secondly with a bank of five Destroyer sentries you don't want to force the Runner to install a Sentry breaker before you spring your surprise destroyer (although most runners will install a sentry breaker as soon as the first Hostile Takeover is scored so they don’t faceplant Archer). The card in Caduceus' slot is probably Chimera, which is an excellent choice for temporarily holding the Runner away from a remote server long enough to score a big Agenda.

 

Jackson Howard: I've already touched on this above. If you are running with Anonymous Tip instead of Jackson Howard then you are playing Hardcore mode. Understand and accept the risk. If you're not comfortable with it then play Jackson Howard. Jackson is a great card that shores up a key weakness in the deck. If you are running without Jackson Howard make sure you are doing so in full knowledge of the possible consequences - the Tip will help you to win games but the absence of Jackson Howard WILL mean you lose a game at some point.

 

Punitive Counterstrike: Why are you not playing more Meat damage to support Scorched Earth? Well, because Punitive Counterstrike rarely actually helps you to kill the opponent in this deck, assuming they've got a Plascrete Carapace - you don't have the four clicks to play SEA-Scorch-Scorch-Counterstrike so you can still not do more than 8 Meat damage in a turn. If you Counterstrike ahead of the killing turn you MAY remove two counters from Plascrete but a good runner will simply take the damage and leave his Carapace intact. Further, the flatline win should be seen as a secondary win condition.

 

 

Final Word

My experience is that this deck is very strong and very competitive but if anything it has become a victim of its own success. The more it wins the more publicity it gets and the more Runners learn about it and how to beat it.

 

Supermodernism is very good against weak players who simply cannot cope with the speed of the rush and will make mistakes allowing you to flatline them. Against the best players you have to pretty much forget the flatline kill and play for 7AP right from the start. The deck definitely has the chops to win games against strong players who know it well because it can be too strong and too quick, but those wins are hard to come by.

 

 

 

Hypermodernism

Deck list and strategy taken from Donald Bowden's/Raveladvice recently sucessful GNK tournament win

 

Supermodernism has been around for a while now and has evolved since initial conception. The most recent version of the deck (up until the Up and Over datapack from the Lunar Cycle), now known as Hypermodernism, is:

 

GRNDL: Power Unleashed (Fear and Loathing)

 

Agenda (11)

2x Geothermal Fracking (Opening Moves)

1x Hades Fragment (Up and Over)

3x Hostile Takeover (Core Set)

1x Posted Bounty (Core Set)

3x Project Atlas (What Lies Ahead)

1x The Cleaners (Second Thoughts)

 

Asset (4)

2x Reversed Accounts (Up and Over) ••

2x Snare! (Core Set) ••••

 

Operation (16)

2x Fast Track (Honor and Profit)

3x Hedge Fund (Core Set)

2x Power Shutdown (Mala Tempora)

3x Restructure (Second Thoughts)

3x Scorched Earth (Core Set)

1x SEA Source (Core Set) ••

2x Targeted Marketing (The Spaces Between) ••

 

Barrier (5)

2x Changeling (Up and Over)

3x Ice Wall (Core Set)

 

Code Gate (5)

3x Enigma (Core Set)

1x Quandary (Double Time)

1x Wendigo (First Contact)

 

Sentry (6)

3x Archer (Core Set)

2x Grim (Opening Moves)

1x Taurus (Upstalk)

 

Other (2)

2x Chimera (Cyber Exodus)

 

The notable changes are the inclusion of Reversed Accounts to further enable you to out-econ the runner, Targeted Marketing (most often naming Plascrete) to give you a further economic advantage when the runner plays a key card and Taurus to allow you to target those Plascretes.

 

 

 

Glacier/Blue Sun

For those who don’t know, a Glacier deck is one which aims to score in a remote protected by lots of taxing ice. No fast advance tricks here and it tends to build slowly to a strong mid game. Since Blue Sun was released in the Lunar Cycle, I have been playing the ID extensively, and it lends itself well to this style of deck. What is more, its ability allows it to quickly dismantle a scoring remote, gaining a huge credit swing which then turns on a flatline play. Further, it allows a stronger early game as using credits to rez a mid range ice (5-7 credits) early game does not cripple you.

 

Here is one of the versions of the deck that I have been piloting recently. I have been going to and fro on various aspects, but the core ideas remain the same.

 

Blue Sun: Powering the Future

 

Agenda (10)

2 Corporate War

1 Geothermal Fracking

2 Hostile Takeover

3 Project Atlas

2 The Cleaners

 

Asset (6)

1 Adonis Campaign

1 Executive Boot Camp

3 Jackson Howard

1 Private Contracts

 

ICE (17)

2 Archer

1 Changeling

2 Curtain Wall

3 Enigma

1 Hadrian's Wall

2 Hive

3 Ice Wall

1 Ichi 1.0

1 Mother Goddess

1 Taurus

 

Operation (14)

3 Hedge Fund

1 Midseason Replacements

3 Oversight AI

2 Power Shutdown

2 Restructure

3 Scorched Earth

 

Upgrade (2)

2 Ash 2X3ZB9CY

 

 

 

Looking to the Future

 

Current Weyland Issues:

 

1. Economy: Weyland’s non-neutral money is mostly tied to agendas (or GRNDL Refinery, which is a functional agenda), so without a safe scoring remote, you can’t actually play the money game that well. I know that sounds silly, as money is supposed to be in their colour pie, but HB/Jinteki do it better, and NBN can force the runner to spend money via threats. Most of their money is also tied to BP, which can be backbreaking once the runner is online.

 

2. Ice: The last really good one was caduceus (perhaps Changeling) and Weyland’s not great at running it due to their tendency to pick up bad publicity. Most of their ice just ends the run, so if the runner isn’t worried about archer/grim, your ice is pretty toothless. You’ll need to import if you want to tax the runner.

 

3. Opportunity Cost: There aren’t many decks you could make that you couldn’t build in CI or NBN, with very solid backup plans/more reliable economy. Scorched is better when you threaten scoring out and have more money.

 

4. No way to force the runner to lose money: This relates to economy, but basically there is no way to make the runner spend a bunch of money as Weyland without risking your agendas, and even then inside job/shutdown means that might not be an option. Most corporation decks run nasty ice (Komainu, Tollbooth), annoying assets and upgrades (Ash, SanSan City Grid, Pad Campaign), and agendas that require money to steal (NAPD, The Future Perfect), all to make the runner vulnerable. Weyland has very little access to any of those, which means once the runner gets ahead economically, they tend to stay there. This is the main reason why Weyland has fallen behind; you don’t need Plascretes because if your deck can keep up with Replicating Perfection, it can very easily pull ahead of Weyland, and then just stay there. Blue Sun has made the greatest leap towards alleviating this.

 

 

Order and Chaos

 

With Order and Chaos, Weyland are finally going to get their “big box” expansion, and with this is coming three new ID’s:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

each opening up a new and unique style for Weyland. What is more, the Weyland ice pool is going to swell drastically, gaining cards such as:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I think the volume of additions to Weyland’s currently meagre card pool is going to do to them what Honor and Profit did for Jinteki (although, admittedly, Blue Sun has already vastly improved their prospects, coming third at Worlds 2014).

 

Final Words

 

I will say that playing Weyland isn’t for everyone. Sometimes it can be a slog; you can be looking at a runner with a full breaker suite and tonnes of money wondering how the hell you are going to score your agendas behind what can look like just a set of dull barriers – I mean Ice Wall is negated by Corroder with 1 Bad Publicity. All I will say is that you should give them a try – nothing is more satisfying than being 6-0 down, barely keeping above water and then the runner making a mistake and you getting to blow up their house with Scorched Earth. This highlights the main reason why I think everyone should play a Weyland deck at some point in their Netrunner career; desperately wanting to play a Scorched Earth against a runner tells you, when you are running against a Scorched Earth deck, how to play around that threat and no, the answer is not just put down a Plascrete and go.

Discuss this article in our forums!

Copyright © 2016 netrunners.co.uk Header Design: David Moss

Contact

 

If you're looking for a Netrunner group near you in the UK please join us on our forums!

 

If you would like your own forum board to call home for your group, email me at:

 

admin(at)netrunners(dot)co(dot)uk