Hello, and welcome to another Hack the Planet. Today we’ll be looking at Braintrust in depth: the Jinteki overload Agenda that makes your ICE cheaper.
What is Braintrust?
Braintrust is the Jinteki overload Agenda. When I say overload, I am referring to how this is one of several Agendas that can have advancement counters placed on it beyond its normal score cost to gain some sort of advantage. In this case, every other extra counter placed on it when scored makes your future ICE one point cheaper.
Why use Braintrust?
So what are the advantages of this Agenda? Firstly, it’s a 3 cost Agenda: this means you can score it from board without telegraphing it to the Runner: place it one turn, score it the next, and it never had advancement counters to indicate that it might be an Agenda.
But this is Jinteki: it’s overload ability is actually more powerful for them. Put it down and give it a few counters. Then leave it for a while: the Runner will therefore assume it to be a trap and ignore it. Slowly add counters to it, leading the Runner to question what it really is. When you finally score it you might end up with free ICE for the rest of the game. Also, if played the same as a Project Junebug you now have a confused Runner unsure of what is safe and what is a trap. One of my favorite moves in casual play to confuse the Runner is to put out 3 cards, then each turn advance all three by one. Those three can be Junebugs, Braintrusts, Fetal AIs, Ronins, really anything that could use a few advancement counters on it to score.
In short, Braintrust is excellent cover for your traps. Since it can be overloaded you can play it like a Junebug, put as many counters as you like on it, and still get benefit if you need to score it. It’s also flexible enough to hide as Snare! by placing it out and scoring it from zero on a later turn. It’s the perfect example of the types of mindgames you can play with Jinteki to keep the Runner on their toes.