Designer Diary: Playstyles Part 2
by Audrey Jaeger on Sep 21, 2023
Designer Diary: Playstyles Part 2
By Mack Martin
Last time, I chatted a bit about four of the factions (Lawmen, Zoners, Maelstrom, and Tyger Claws) in Cyberpunk RED: Combat Zone, and I thought today I’d cover a few more! So, without further intro, let’s get into the playstyles and strengths of four more factions, Arasaka, Bozos, Danger Gals, and Gen Red!
There are four A’s in the name Arasaka, and those stand for “Armed, Armored, Allies, & Aggressive”. The first two As are pretty self-explanatory in that most characters have both an SMG (or other weapon) and an Armor value. In addition to the built-in gear, Arasaka characters have a variety of passive abilities that allow them to [RE]act for each other, take free moves, or just share tokens. Working together, these models are more than the sum of their parts.
But teamwork only works with the last A… Aggressive. This faction needs to strike opponents in their weak spots, all while maintaining their own positional advantages. Typically, this sees the team working in pairs, if not trios. These smaller groups must move carefully using triggers from allies when possible to allow Action tokens to be saved for Attacks.
Luck is the buzzword for all Bozos, as the faction has more ways to spend Luck and ways to gain new Luck tokens. Luck tokens are so strong in a Bozo’s hands that they might try to run their team at a few Eddies under the game’s total just to ensure an extra Luck token comes their way. In addition, Fumbles may mean failure, but they also can mean up to two Luck tokens under the right circumstances (Organ Grinder within sight of Prankster). Lucky you!
The Bozos must manage their steady stream of Luck tokens pretty carefully, as they can go quickly when overused. In addition, ranged attacks aren’t the Bozo’s strong suit. Most have low-ranged skills, and powerful long-range weapons are harder to acquire for them. Then again, nobody else gets a Pie Grenade, so…
If expert marksmen are what you’re looking for, then the Danger Gals are your… uh… gals. Not only do they have a wide variety of weapons, from a Rocket Launcher to Assault Rifles, but they’re also all Mercs, so they can bring those guns to other teams! In addition, many of these gals have abilities that trigger off using items, either discarded gear cards or loot. This combines with their penchant for grenades, which gives the team flexibility in their ranged options.
All of this comes at a cost, and that cost is Eddies! There are few inexpensive Danger Gals and even fewer designed around melee. This brings target priority to the forefront, as taking out melee models, or at least reducing their effectiveness, will be a top priority for any firing line!
Like the kids themselves, the Gen Red faction is a bit of a grab-bag of abilities. Each one is unique and works fairly well on its own, but a good leader is always looking for opportunities to capitalize on the kid’s table position. Think of the Gen Red characters like a box of counter-solutions for enemy models. You’ll need to harass the grown-ups where they are weakest and bring firepower against the big guns you don’t have a direct answer for.
This makes the Gen Red a finesse faction to play, and they can really start feeling the pressure if they lose a couple of key models. You’ll also need to spread out the gear. Rattle Cans, for instance, are a great piece of cheap gear for locking down powerful enemies, but you have to choose who gets ‘em and where to use them properly!
Ok, Chooms, that’s it for these four factions. Next time, we’ll discuss Edgerunners, our largest and most Merc-filled faction!