Operation: Terminal • Cost: 3 • Influence: 2

After you resolve this operation, end your action phase.

Play only if the Runner made a run during his or her last turn.

Trace [4]– If successful, give the Runner 4 tags.

NBN • Sander Mosk • 23 Seconds 16
All sets:
Links: Decklists | ANCUR
Hard-Hitting News
MWL Entries

No MWL Entries for this card.

  • UFAQ [Damon Stone]

    How does "After you resolve this operation, end your action phase." on terminal operations like Hard-Hitting News work?

    Immediately after the operation resolves and is trashed from playing it, "after you resolve this operation" triggers meet their trigger condition. Ending the action phase then advances the game to the discard phase. This skips the paid ability window that would normally follow the end of an action, ceases the resolution of any other pending abilities or effects, and invalidates any conditional abilities. If the operation was played as part of a card ability, any remaining effects from that card ability immediately stop resolving as well.

    If the Corp plays Hard-Hitting News as the first operation for Subcontract, what happens?

    The game advances to the discard phase following the resolution and trashing of Hard-Hitting News. The paid ability window that would normally follow the action of playing Subcontract is skipped, and no pending abilities or triggers are resolved - including the playing of a second operation with Subcontract. The played Subcontract is immediately trashed by the game because its resolution is ceased and considered complete.

    If the Corp plays Hard-Hitting News as one of the operations looked at by Accelerated Diagnostics, what happens?

    The game advances to the discard phase following the resolution and trashing of Hard-Hitting News. The paid ability window that would normally follow the action of playing Accelerated Diagnostics is skipped, and no pending abilities or triggers are resolved - including the playing or trashing of any remaining cards looked at by Accelerated Diagnostics. The played Accelerated Diagnostics is immediately trashed by the game because its resolution is ceased and considered complete.


I'm not sure what it says about the Netrunner universe that runners get "Priority" events (Fisk Investment Seminar, e.g.) while corps get "Terminal" operations. But certainly, the "Terminal" status of this card makes it a wholly different animal than it's close relatives SEA Source and Midseason Replacements.

SEA Source has been around since the core set, and is used for essentially one thing: Scorched Earth. Click one SEA Source, click two and three double Scorch is a kill shot against any deck not running protection. Tag n' bag, mate.

The other option used for tag 'n bag was Midseason Replacements. This is an interesting tradeoff. The activation cost of 5 is more restrictive (although the base trace strength is higher to compensate), and it requires an actual stolen agenda rather than just a successful run, making baiting plays harder. It was also higher influence, making it harder to squeeze into the home faction of murder (although putting murder in yellow remains easy).

But, Midseasons could be used in ways that SEA Source could not. SEA source only put a single tag on the runner--enough for Scorched Earth, but if the kill didn't immediately follow the runner would just clear the tag and move on. This meant that you needed to have money, SEA Source, and two Scorches in hand, all at the same time. But a successful Midseasons could easily dump 5 or more tags on the runner all at once. Clearing this many tags is essentially impossible (unless you meet the one person running Paper Tripping), guaranteeing that you would win when you do eventually draw it.

There are also other uses to a perma-tagged runner. Closed Accounts and The All-Seeing I let you cripple a runner's economy if it looks like they might be able to dig themselves out. Psychographics lets you speed out agendas. Resistor and Pachinko become much nastier pieces of ice. Lily Lockwell can find you your murder and still have tags left over to use it. There are lots of ways to creatively torture the runner once they go tag-me.

Hard-Hitting News fits in a weird place between these two. In terms of cost and trigger restrictions, it's very similar to SEA Source--one credit more expensive, but it has a 4-trace instead of a 3-trace and the run doesn't have to be successful to qualify. Except that it gives four tags instead of one.

And crucially, you cannot Scorch the same turn you play this card. Nor can you Exchange of Information or Subcontract. You play Hard Hitting News, pass turn. That means the runner has a full four clicks before you get a chance to actually make use of these tags. With that in mind, you can never use Hard Hitting News to kill a runner with no tags and 8+ credits. Even if you win the trace, they can always spend their next turn going "clear, clear, clear, clear". This means that its utility as a kill-enabler is severely limited. It's not enough to just be richer than the runner--the runner has to be actively poor. You can bring about that situation with oppressive cards like Reversed Accounts or advertisements in Spark, or raise the cost to 12 credits with SYNC, but this is a bit tricky.

No, in general, Hard-Hitting News is best used to crush a runner's tempo. Force them to clear those tags--losing a turn and spending 8 credits is a massive hit, and it will put the runner behind. Of course, they need some incentive to actually clear the tags--if you aren't running some form of punishment they'll just shrug and ignore them.

And you'll also need to actually win the trace. If able, a wise runner would gladly spend 8 credits to beat this trace, since they'd have to spend that anyway to clear the tags. Which means you're going to have to spend a minimum of 7 credits playing Hard-Hitting News against a runner with money; three for base cost, four to get the strength up.

So before you throw this card into a deck, you need to ask yourself--is my deck willing to pay 7 credits to make the runner lose 8? Or do I have a way to guarantee the runner will be broke, letting me stick the tags for cheap?

(23 Seconds era)
Another interaction 1) Install a card. 2) Advance it. 3) Play Hard Hitting News. Now the runner has to choose between running that server with tags and then keeping at least 1 tag until next turn OR cleaning all tags and letting the corp score. —
Or play HHN and rez Zealous Judge. —
Your estimate as to how much money this costs the Runner is a tad too conservative. Yes, it costs 8 creds to remove the tags, but it also costs 4 clicks - considering opportunity cost, that is at the very least 12 credits, arguably 14-16 or even more against most decks. With SYNC, these figures go to 16 and 18-20, respectively - opportunity costs are a huge deal in this game. Of course, there's a bit of opportunity cost for the Corp to play this, but the speed bump is significantly larger than you are suggesting. Runners should absolutely be willing to spend as much as those 14-ish creds to beat this trace, and if they can't they stand to lose around that much. —
It should be noted that revealing Hard Hitting News with a Celebrity Gift early game will hand you the next several turns on a platter unless the runner has a buttload of money early game. —
Besides Sync, this card is absolutely brutal in Controlling the Message. The cost to trash a Commercial Bankers Group is very high, especially early game as the runner is setting up. And they basically have to trash that card. This can very likely cause the runner to end their turn with 4 or less credits. Hard-hitting News then becomes an easy play, and a massive hit to the runner. Use with Mumbad Virtual Tour to make even a somewhat wealthy runner prone. I'm going to have to say, after only running into this a couple times, that like Midseason Replacements, I don't like this card. —
as quailman said, this card is just stupid out of CtM (and other NBN tag, and a fair bit of Weyland) —
... it's a 3cr operation which reads "if runner doesn't have 10+ credits, put them 3 turns behind" and that's if you don't have scorched earth to finish off the combo. Its a death knell for any type of runner who is willing to end their turn below 15 credits, and if pulled first turn with hedge fund puts the corp a guaranteed 3 turns ahead. I truly do not understand how this card got printed. —
I concur with a lot of the above. The biggest use by far of HHN is the amount of disruption the card itself causes long before you ever put it on the table. It is difficult to measure the turns not taken and the runs not made because the runner was hoarding credits to clear impending tags, or to avoid seeing the card in the first place. If you really want to screw with the runner, drop the card during your shuffel and then on your last click each turn thumb a card in your hand and look speculatively at the board state for a minute before you finish. —
This is a stupid card! —