Android: Netrunner or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Losses



It’s game point. The winning agenda is face down on the table, advanced twice. This is it, time for my Glory Run. I spend three quarters of my turn collecting as many credits as possible from my connections, and use my last action plunging face first into a fort made of ICE. I spend all of my credits getting into the server, only to be brutally flatlined by a Project Junebug. Cheers and laughter abound.

Far and few between are the games where I can work so hard for a massive loss, and be genuinely glad about it. The asymmetrical warfare of Netrunner is as much a battle of wits as it is a comparison of deck strength.  A theoretical “Best Possible Deck” can always be played poorly, and a mediocre deck can be piloted effectively in the right hands. Knowing your deck is well built can help ease your nerves, but my heart always races when the game is in its final stages.

What truly sets Netrunner apart as far as I’m concerned though is the LCG format.  In Fantasy Flight’s Living Card Games, all of the card packs are Non-Random. You know exactly what you’re getting when you buy each pack. That means instead of shelling out $60 for 4 copies of a single card for another popular card game, that same $60 gets you full sets of 80 different cards. Netrunner’s cost of entry is a pittance compared to most Constructed Deck games.

These are all factors in why I love this game so much, but I think the biggest thing I’ve gained from Netrunner is the camaraderie.  Never before have I played a competitive game that formed friendships rather than damaging them. Half of the fun of playing is getting to know your opponent better. Sometimes you might see off the wall card choices, or bold plays that pay off, but you’ll almost always leave the table knowing something  more about your opponent than when you sat down.

I’d recommend this game to anyone who plays TCGs or the like. It’s an exciting game for 2 that places a lot more emphasis on Luck and Skillful Choices than most other card games. Even just a single Core Set can provide hours of game time as you try to master all 7 factions and their different play styles.  Give it a chance, you just might find your new favorite game.

-Garrett Kunkel