Crossfire: Taking Out The Trash

Shadowrun 5 Crossfire Logo

Deck-building games have a tradition of allowing you to remove cards from your deck (“trashing” them) during the course of the game. That allows you to remove the least significant cards from your deck and therefore gain greater access to your best cards. Shadowrun: Crossfire doesn’t have trashing, and I’m here to explain why.

1) No drawback. In games like Dominion or Thunderstone, the ultimate goal of the game is to fill your deck with cards that are worth victory points. These cards dilute your deck as the game nears its end . . . and they dilute your deck the most if you’ve made it small by trashing! But Shadowrun: Crossfire is about adventuring, and there is no end-game dilution effect. Trashing under these conditions would be incredibly powerful.

2) Loss of identity. In Shadowrun: Crossfire, each runner gets a different starting deck, depending on your role. These cards aren’t strong, and you’d sure like to trash them after you’ve bought a few replacements, but they define your identity! So instead of trashing, we added various black market cards that key off your starting cards—either by enhancing them, or by depending on their presence for best effect. Your starting cards end up staying relevant throughout the game.

3) Variety. It’s cool in Dominion if you can draw and play your whole deck every turn, but it wouldn’t be quite as cool in Shadowrun: Crossfire, where you’re supposed to be facing new and unpredictable challenges and situations every turn. Instead of letting you draw your whole deck every turn, we went for making each individual card powerful and significant.

—Sean McCarthy

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