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Go to the Android: Netrunner page

Android: Netrunner

28 out of 32 gamers thought this was helpful

What is Netrunner?
Netrunner is a card game calling itself a living card game (LCG), which means it’s an expanding card game but unlike collectable card games(CCG), such as Magic, these expansions are sold in non-random booster packs.
2 player game. One person plays as a Corporation while the other plays as a Runner. The goal of the game is to score 7 agenda points to win. To score agenda points as a Corporation you must advance agenda card. To score as a Runner you must steal agenda cards. There are other ways to win as well, such as getting the Runner to hold no cards, or getting the Corporation to run out of cards to pick up.
Because this is a short review and I want to talk about the pros and cons of the game if you want details on how to play read the instruction manual or another resource.
I really like the deck building. Having the ability to use other fraction cards in your own deck leads to many different layouts and having a limit of influence (how many other cards from other fractions you can have in your deck) really making picking those last few cards a hard choice. I also enjoy the attack vs. defend style of game play. The Runners are almost always on the attack while the Corporation is playing defensively. The fractions are mixed up enough to give each one a different feel of play. Having the ability to win the game different ways also helps in different game strategies, as an example playing a Corporation with the ability to do massive damage to the Runner and winning that way instead of trying to score agendas, or as a Runner playing very passively and trying to get the Corporation to run out of cards. It adds a bit more depth to the game.
Having two different sides using two different terminologies causes a longer learning curve, which could have been handled better. I noticed on my play through with the Corporation that I had long periods of time where there was nothing I could do, I had no agendas down to advance, and I wasn’t picking up any ice, so I had to just take more credits and pass my turn. The 30 page instruction booklet is great at helping a new player set up and understand the basic play but it does a subpar job of explaining some of the more advanced things in the game. One major example is the Runner’s card Crypsis. The directions on how to use the card are vague and talking with my peers many used the card in different ways. Another frustrating example is when a Runner starts a run and approaches the first piece of ice. “The Runner cannot jack out while approaching the first piece of ice during a run. ”An icebreaker can only interact with ice that has equal or lower strength than the icebreaker.” So if the Runner doesn’t have a strong enough icebreaker then they take the ice’s hit, but if that ice doesn’t have a subroutine “End the run”, the Runner gets to continue onto the next ice. Again, if the Runner’s ice isn’t strong enough to interact with the ice they take the ice’s subroutine and again, if the ice doesn’t have “End run” then the Runner continues to advance. If I am correct on the rules of game play, then many of the ice’s strength do not matter. This is especially frustrating with NBN Corporation which has almost no ice that ends a run. I had to learn this the hard way because I originally misread the rules and thought a Runner couldn’t pass ice unless they had an icebreaker strong enough to pass (I created my deck based on this idea). Looking into the rule book resulted in the two references I used, which are not helpful. Going on-line didn’t help much either other than one post that said interacting is not the same as approaching.
The setting and art for the game are really well done (even if most of it is ripped from the book The Necromancer). The game play has many levels which I can see being very compelling to many. The game allows many different ways of play and strategies but has a deep learning curve with not the most explained directions. To fully understand the depth of each fraction (and rules) a player will need to play each one many times to understand their strengths and weaknesses. For me, my games were interrupted to many times to interpret the rules which caused too much frustration for the game to be enjoyable for me. Maybe with more time and a base understanding of the “conflict” rules, I could enjoy the game more. As of now I am giving the game 3 out of 5 stars.

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