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Haunting Inquisition, Ice - Code Gate
Rez cost: 8 Set(s) Limited
Strength: 6 Rarity: Rare
    Artist: Robert McLees
(s) Runner cannot make another run during his or her next six actions. (s) End the run.
"It's just another nightmare, Johnny. Towel off and go back to sleep."

Card of the Day

Written by Foolkiller

Our first piece of ICE. I felt this should be a really good one, and Haunting Inquisition is as good as they come. A strength 6 Code Gate with two routines, the first of which has a unique effect which is extremely useful.

ICE is always subject to the drawback that its routines can be broken by a prepared Runner. All ICE also have the advantage that once they are in play, barring unusual circumstances, they stay in play, causing long-term headaches for the Runner.

So, considering these two things, ICE is best used on an unprepared Runner and to act as a long-term deterent. Haunting Inquisition (H.I.) is an excellent ambush if the Runner as no means of breaking a code gate. Spring this ICE on them and after they hit the card you will most likely have at least one free turn to install an agenda and then score it with no chance that the Runner will be able to access it.

Further, the high strength a two routines will cause the Runner to use a high strength breaker or pay high break costs each time they run. Since neither routine can be ignored without causing undo harm, they must break them each time.

Obviously this card benefits from all cards which improve ICE of all types, and specifically Encoder, Inc. and Encryption Breakthrough make targeted improvements to this card.

One caveat about the special ability granted by the first subroutine: Valu-Pak Software Bundle actions DO count towards the 6 action no-run penalty. So, if you suspect that your opponent might be using this card, don't leave a Tycho out in an unprotected fort where the Runner might end up getting to it.

Some ICE strategies which work well with H.I.:

(in front of H.I.)
Canis Major or Canis Minor
Shock.r, Data Darts, Neural Blade, or Bolter Cluster
Ball and Chain or Tutor
Fatal Attractor
Jack Attack

(behind H.I.)
Vacuum Link

Heavy Sentry strategy - Use lots of heavy sentries and a few wall and H.I. The Runner will expect most ICE to be sentry-style, thus they may wait on the code gate breaker, which gives you the opportunity to spring the trap on them.

All Code Gate strategy - using Encoder, Inc. and various agendas to make your code gates incredibly powerfull. Often throwing a Crystal Palace Station Grid behind your key forts to make the cost of getting in to any fort difficult to pay. Complimented nicely by Cortical Scanner.

A serious problem with Code Gates is the large number of cheap or free code gate breakers which make code gates difficult to rely on. Being the cheapest ICE to rez, gates are also the cheapest ICE to break. For this reason, sentry ICE are always a good compliment to code gates, especially in forced-break combos.

Overall, H.I. is a card with few drawbacks and a potentially very useful effect. Its effects in a limited environment are limited, but if planned as an ambush (Jenny Jett?) H.I. can be a great card in constructed decks.

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