Why can’t I find a spoon around here? Sure, it’s a beat-up, boarded-up, ransacked house, but you’d think there would be an old spoon laying around. I guess not. I’ll go back to that convenience store where I bought my ramen, and along the way I’ll tell you all about being a Face.
The Face is the Shadowrun: Crossfire role with the people skills. While a Decker hacks into a terminal and searches the net for data and the Mage uses Arcane wisdom to come up with obscure info (and the Street Samurai looks for a fight), the Face is talking to their friend just around the corner to get that crucial piece of intel that will make the difference.
The Face’s role color is Red and playing the role is all about cooperation and increasing your options and those of the other runners. It also has one of the best healing cards in the game—Doc Wagon Contract. It’s such a good card that it works well in anyone’s deck.
It’s usually better to spread Doc Wagon Contract cards around rather than having one runner keep them all. That way no matter which player becomes staggered there always another player that can patch them up.
And speaking of more options, one of the best group cards in the game is in red; it’s called Hero Move.
Hero Move is all about teamwork. It does a lot of damage but more important is the fact that it gives every runner another card outside of their normal draw step. And more cards means more options on what a runner can do on their turn.
And if that isn’t cooperative enough, Coordinated Attack should do the trick for you.
This card allows another runner to not only draw one more card, but then play any card from their hand (even the one they just drew) on your turn. If multiple runners have Coordinated Attack cards in hand, it can do some crazy (and fun) stuff.
Most of the red cards are good for any role, so there is often a lot of competition for them among the team. If you run into the problem of not being able to buy red cards because everyone else is buying them, Press the Advantage is your solution:
This card allows you to draw a bunch of cards (sometimes) and rewards you for building your deck with cards from other colors. One trick is to keep 3 Street Smarts in your hand so your deck isn’t stuffed full of red cards. Then when you play Press the Advantage, you improve your chances of not drawing a bunch of red cards that would cut your card drawing short.
The next two red cards are about Black Market manipulation. If the Decker gets lucky, they can hack into the Black Market and maybe apply the digital five-finger discount. But the Face uses the art of negotiation to get huge discounts nearly every time.
The main ability on this card allows you to buy a red Skill card for cheap. Keep track of how many red cards you play on your turn, and that’s how much you can discount your first Skill card purchase from the Black Market. So a red-heavy deck really makes this work. Negotiation also has a good assist ability, and actually does more damage when you use it as an assist, because it lets the runner you play it on get a discount of 1 nuyen when they want to buy a card.
And finally we have . . .
This card allows you to buy something immediately instead of waiting until the end of your turn. It essentially makes the entire Black Market part of your hand (well, if you can afford it). And on top of that you can play the card you bought during the same turn, which can be really useful for finishing off that pesky store clerk that didn’t give you a spoon with the cup of noodles you bought.
The last thing that I like about this card is its usefulness when you’re in danger of being staggered. Usually that means you end up with money you can’t spend as you get knocked down before you can buy from the Black Market. With Black Market Contacts in hand, you can spend before you bite it. And who knows? That card just might save your hide for another turn!
Well, I don’t have black market contacts, and the store clerk is being belligerent about giving me a spoon. Let me deal with him and then we can go. Oh, and bonus karma for getting the reference in the title.
-Conan E. Chamberlain