So as threatened this is part one of the Netrunner series and uncharacteristically for me it’s an unboxing. I don’t normally go in for these as they rarely seem to say much of actual use but it’s a very logical starting point. Hopefully I shall not disappoint, myself as much as any of you!
The first thing you come across, other than the push board of tokens, is the rulebook. I say book rather than pamphlet as it’s A4 and almost thirty six pages of high end gloss finish. I’ve had the bonus of being lead through a few games by others. This procedure comes highly recommended. It’s not a difficult game, more technical if that makes sense?
In honesty I’m not going to try to give a detailed description of gameplay, I doubt I can with any clarity. In summary Corporations attempt to complete Agendas whilst defending them from the Runners with ICE programs (firewalls), or simply killing the runner. Runners attack the Corporations to steal the Agendas using hacking Programs whilst avoiding being traced and hunted down.
In a full game each player brings a deck for each side and takes a turn at each role.
As mentioned previously it’s a very claustrophobic, atmospheric game of skullduggery, bluff and nefariousness. Very, very good fun but fairly brutal with it.
Stealing a quote;
‘Getting your head around Netrunner is like trying to grab a fish in a river. It slips always just out of your reach, lets you seize it only for a moment. And just when you think you’ve really got it, brand-new cards are released, making new mechanics possible. It is not about the climb to dominance. It is not about getting better and better until you’re impervious. It’s not about winning, but about growing, laterally, like you’re sketching a map of a world that will never be finished being born.
I fell in love with this game because becoming good at it, and having fun at it, and making it mine, meant that winning stopped mattering at all.’
Onto the cards; On the corporation side you get four Corp specific starter sets (Haas-Bioroid, Jinteki, NBN and Weyland) along with a set of Neutral cards, mainly the all important Agendas. With the Runners you get three stater sets (Anarch, Criminal and Shaper) with a similar set of Neutral cards.
Each faction is neatly themed, as are their faction cards. Haas-Bioroid and Jinteki specialise in biotech and clones respectively while NBN runs world media and Weyalnd runs the numbers. The runner factions are self explanatory with Shapers out to build a better world for everyone.
In short, you get plenty in the core set to dip a toe or two, play a bunch of games and see where you want to go with the game. For £30 that’s a very good deal. So far I’ve only played as Weyland, Jinteki and Shapers. I’ll get plenty more games out of the set before NEEDING to pick anything else up. Wanting is different…..obviously!
Having played a bunch more games down at Enfield Gamers last night I understand the principles and tactics of the game far better. For the moment I want to try out each of the factions in the core set and what tactics suit them best. Also, having read around the net a bit this seems to be general advice i.e. try before you buy. There’s quite a few cycles out there now so it makes sense to go into things forearmed.
Hopefully some of that was useful, for you as well as me