This is a strategy article for Renegade, a game designed by Box of Delights and published by Victory Point Games, with artwork by Clark Miller.
There are five “colours” in the game. One is special, and we’ll leave that aside. Let’s look at the other four. Each represents a different type of COMMAND, CONTAMINANT and INSTALLATION, and each player profile is particularly strong in one of those colours.
Those four colours work in pairs (you’ll find a lot of ‘binary’ mechanisms in Renegade). Red and Yellow – Destruction and Deception – are one pair, and Green and Blue – Cognition and Information – are the other pair. The more destructive your attacks are, the fewer deceptive attacks become available, and the more data you use, the fewer cognitive attacks are available.
But more than that, each of those pairs complements on of the other pairs. Green and Red work well together, and Yellow and Blue work well together. Let’s find out how…
Destruction is particularly strong in the late game. Destructive commands are the only commands that can destroy the SMC’s countermeasures. Deceptive attacks are powerful, but only against less powerful countermeasures. The game’s countermeasures come in 1,2s and 4s. The strongest countermeasures in the game, the strength 4 “Guardian”, is impervious to Deception, but vulnerable to Destructive attacks. And Oshin Noro, the red ‘assassin’ player, is even more powerful when taking them on. In order to maximise the destructive ability of your command deck, seek out lots of destructive cards. You will also find that Destruction is the ONLY colour that will allow you to create contaminants that are still active outside of the command phase – they can attack the SMC’s countermeasures when they are trying to fight back!
Deception is particularly strong in the early game. You will find a deceptive attack is a double-strength attack – not only does it remove a spark (the SMC’s smallest atomic countermeasure), but it also adds a contaminant of your own. This ‘conversion’ ability is the strength of yellow. Hettie Magnetic, the Renegade who seems to be living a double-life, is master of the deceptive. She needs versatility in her deck, and is very effective if she keeps the network of countermeasures contained. But be warned, against the most powerful Guardians she can feel disarmed. If you are master of the deceptive then yellow is for you.
Information is every Renegade’s ally. Has anyone ever said, “Knowledge is power” ? Information will allow you to crack the network’s passwords, and gain easy access to the SMC’s servers. The only way to move about the network more quickly is to build a pathway of data nodes, where your Renegades have created access-ways, from partition to partition. You will find BLUE is useful throughout the whole game, and network ports will allow you to jump across the network to quickly respond to tactical threats. Tilda Sweet is the blue Renegade, and her data toolkit means she can exploit network paths like no other Renegade.
Possibly the most powerful command-set in the game, but the most difficult to control and master. Mind-bending devices alter the virtual reality Renegades operate in. You’ll find cognitive attacks powerful in the end-game, but you need to invest in them right from the beginning. Cognition rewards strategy over tactics, and is a skill only the most experienced of Renegades can use effectively. Monty Quantum is one of the most effective Renegades at twisting the 5th dimension. Monty is the only renegade who can make a virtual quantum shift and act on two places of the network simultaneously. Sound powerful? It is. But you will need to figure out how to use this ability effectively.
Good luck Renegades, and may you find your own true colour…