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Android: Netrunner

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Android Netrunner is a Living Card Game (LCG) designed by Richard Garfield and Lukas Litzsinger and published by Fantasy Flight Games. It is a two player strategy card game. The game is set up in a cyberpunk dystopian futuristic theme, where the Runners (Hackers) try to acquire the digital independence by hacking into to Mega Corporations servers, who controls every facet of daily life, like food, music and career choices. The Runners try to reveal the evil intentions of the Mega Corporations.

Game Overview:

Android Netrunner is a two player card game where one plays as a Runner (hacker) attacks the corporation servers with his software, hardware and resources. On the other side, second player plays a Mega Corporation, who tries to stop the Runners attacking on their servers, tracing them and advancing agendas. Generally, the gameplay of Runners is more of attacking mode and the gameplay of Mega Corporations is a mix of both defensive and attacking mode, in which he has to carefully decide, when he should attack and when he should defend.
There are total seven factions in the game with different abilities which are mentioned on the card. There are four Corporate Factions and three Runner Factions.

Corporate Factions:

Haas – Bioroid
Weyland Consortium

Runner Factions:



A player who scores seven agenda points wins the game. Corporations have to score them and Runners have to steal them. A player who succeeds in doing first wins the game. If the Runner Flatlined (having no cards at the end of his turn) Corporation wins. If Corporations runs out of their R&D and any point then the Runners wins instantly.


The gameplay is asymmetric as both players play their cards differently and even the setup of Corporations and Runner is different from each other. The play progresses by counting the number of clicks both Corporation and Runner plays. Corporation have three clicks and Runners have four. The main actions of corporations are install an agenda, assets, upgrades or a piece of ice, trash the runner’s resources, trace him and make him stop the run. The Runners main actions are to install his Rig with programs, hardware and resources. The Runners get credits from the bank to install their rig. There are different kinds of cards, which have different meaning in the game, like identity card which is present in each different faction. In addition to this for Corporation there are cards like operations, agendas, ice, upgrades and assets, each have different roles in the play. In Runners, in addition to identity card there are hardware, resources, programs and events card. There are also Neutral cards, which helps in deck building. Deck building is most crucial part in the game as it gives the new experience every time you build a new deck. This way every time you play the game with different factions and different cards you will have new strategies and experience. To get a hang of how you should build you deck you must have a general idea of what various cards do.

Game Experience:

First game experience of the Netrunner was complete fun. We both do not know how to play, even though we read the rules of play from the book which were a plenty. The first game we end up constantly referring to both rules book and also to online tutorials. We switched the teams for next game and recollected all the rules that we learned from book and as well as from online tutorials. Once we got the hang of it, it was lot more fun, runner trying to run on the servers and me stopping him and me trashing his rig. It is all about getting a good start, when you are picking the first five cards after shuffling. Shuffling almost decides you win the game or loose. If all your agenda cards are stuck at bottom and you run out of all other cards, it becomes hard to win the game, which happened with me in the first game. It is also important how you build your decks, which brings the variety and new strategies to the game.

My view:

This is my first time playing a card game and that too asymmetric card game. It was bit tiring process to learn new terminology and remembering them. Once done with learning the new terms, you have to study book full of rules and how to play the game, which is a bit frustrating. But once you get to know how to play the game and deck management it’s really a fun game to play. I really enjoyed playing with corporation and controlling all the strings and the right time. I like the artwork and graphics of the game as it rightly sets to its futuristic dystopian look. I really liked the concept of deck building from different sectors, which open up the game play vastly and creates interest.

Final Score:

I rate this game 5 on a scale of 5. Though first one or two games are bit tiring and frustrating, you will love it if you get a hang of it. I definitely recommend to play this game, if you are a card game lover and looking to play some interesting strategic card game.
Asymmetric gameplay.
Great Graphics.
Deck building.
Lots of rules to study, in order to play.

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