Sunday, 23 March 2014

Android: Netrunner #20: Reboot

And so we’ve reached part 20 of my blog series on Android: Netrunner. While the first few entries were an introduction to the game, the style of these articles has long since stopped holding your hand and assumed you know at least enough about the game for you to understand what I’m writing about.

Well it’s time to look back for the first time and if you’re new to the game, now’s a good chance to jump on board with this blog. We’re dropping the “Dystopian Journey” subtitle and rebooting with a new introduction to the game.

Android: Netrunner is a living card game from Fantasy Flight Games – “living” meaning all you need to play is in the core set, but it is supplemented by data packs on a monthly (if we’re lucky) basis, and deluxe expansions.
Set in a dystopian future where monolithic corporations control the vast majority of human interests, Netrunner is about the cyberpunk clashes between these big, bad corporations looking to advance and score their agendas and the subversive hackers known as Runners, who are trying to break through the corporations’ firewalls to find and steal those agendas.

Sound like fun? Of course it does. While the game is assymetrical and the two players are using very different methods to achieve their goals, ultimately, Android: Netrunner is a game of risk assessment, resource management and maths.
That may not sound as much fun, which is why I didn’t lead in with that description, but stick with me.

As the Corporation you'll be laying out assets and traps, playing operations and advancing agendas and as the Runner you'll be deploying the programs and hardware of the hacker trade and trying to break through the Corporation's defences. 
On either side there are calculations to be made. How many credits do I have? Can I afford to make this run? Will I be able to score this agenda on the next turn if I rez this piece of Ice?

It might sound very daunting, but don't be put off. Android: Netrunner is an exciting mix of bluffs and high-stakes maneuvering all wrapped up inside a vivid cyberpunk theme.
But don't take my word for it. Head over to the discussions on Boardgame Geek or Fantasy Flight's website and check out these two great articles from people more eloquent than me.

Android: Netrunner is a rabbit hole - get down there.

Cardboard Children: Android: Netrunner by Robert Florence.
Life Hacks: A Netrunner Story by Leigh Alexander

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