Thursday, 27 June 2013

Android: Netrunner - My Journey in a Dystopian Future - Part 5: At its Core

So this blog series is now five parts strong and I wanted to give a shout out to everybody who has read it and those who have supported it on Twitter with retweets etc. It’s much appreciated.
Hopefully there will have been a few people who have read these articles who were unfamiliar with the game, and are now considering picking it up. If so, this one’s for you – we’re going to take a look at what you get in the core set.
Android: Netrunner is available for about £30 / $30 and for that you get the following:

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248 game cards, plus 2 reference and 2 click-tracker cards
51 one-credit / advancement tokens
8 five-credit tokens
6 Brain Damage tokens
12 Bad Publicity / Tag tokens
23 generic tokens (used as Agenda, Virus and Power Counters)
Rules of Play
With the cards you can make decks for 3 runners and 4 corporations, you’ll just have to swap a few neutral cards between them when needed.
Here are some quick intros to the various factions in the game – provided by Fantasy Flight Games in the Netrunner manual.

Anarchs have strong contempt for the oligarchs, the whole corrupt system, and often for society in general. Whatever the exact target of their rage, their unifying characteristic is their anger. At their best, Anarchs are tireless champions for the downtrodden and oppressed. They are very good at breaking things, spreading viruses and trashing Corporation assets and programs. At their worst, Anarchs just want to watch the world burn.
To others, Shapers seem like idealistic naïfs. They are not motivated by rage against the corporate injustice that is a daily fact of life for the underclass. They are not in it for the money. Many never understand why Shapers do what they do, but it isn’t actually that complicated. Shapers are motivated by curiosity and a certain amount of pride. A Shaper may orchestrate a data raid as underhanded and destructive as the most frothing Anarch, but his goals are different: the Shaper just wants to see if he can do it. Shapers are also tinkerers and builders, and they push their hardware and software beyond their limits.

Criminals are in it for themselves. All runners are technically criminals, at least if you ask the corps, but these runners embrace it. They make self-interest an art form and don’t care who gets hurt so long as they get ahead. Many Criminals engage in more traditional forms of crime as well, stealing data and money with equal gusto. Criminals are good at covering their tracks and employing a variety  of dirty tricks to attack from an unexpected angle.
Weyland Consortium
Aside from its dramatic and public association with the New Angeles Space Elevator, better known as “Jack’s Beanstalk” or simply “the Beanstalk” after designer Jack Weyland, the extent of the Weyland Consortium’s holdings is little known among the general population. This shadowy organisation owns or invests in other corporations, leveraging the enormous assets granted them by the Beanstalk to buy and sell smaller megacorps at an alarming rate.
With headquarters in New Angeles and major branch offices in Chicago, Cologne, Heinlein, Johannesburg and Sydney, Haas-Bioroid is the world leader in cybernetics and artificial intelligence. The most iconic and recognisable products made by Haas-Bioroid are the bioroids themselves, androids built with cybernetic technology and with artificially-intelligent minds designed around sophisticated imaging of human brains. 

The largest media conglomerate in the world is NBN, which at various times in the company’s history has stood for Network Broadcast News, Net Broadcast Network and Near-Earth Broadcast Network. Now simply known as NBN, the corporation is headquartered right on Broadcast Square in New Angeles after relocating from SanSan in the early 30s. NBN also has offices and broadcast equipment along the entire length of the New Angeles Space Elevator, particularly at Midway Station and the terminal space station known as the Castle.
Jinteki owns the patient on the process that creates human-like clones, biological androids tailor-made by the “genegineers” of Jinteki. As this controversial technology becomes cheaper and more robust, more and more humans find themselves replaced in the workforce by cheaper android labour.
As is to be expected from Fantasy Flight games, the box and all its contents - including the 36-page, full -colour rules of play - are of great quality and the art on the cards is stunning.
Stunning cards, for a stunning game.
So what are you waiting for?

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