By Source (WP:NFCC#4), Fair use, Link
Friday night a couple of my buddies came into town for a Guy's Weekend, so Saturday that meant hanging out at the local game shop for a little while - Board Game Barrister, Towne Center. Mark mentioned how he was really interested in the Netrunner game, so we got our hands on a demo copy there and played.
Having been a Cyberpunk 2020 fan from when it originally came out, I never did play the original Netrunner card game, but I'd been eyeing Android Netrunner for some time. The thing stopping me was the fact that I figured that it would be difficult to find someone to play with and I never went for it. Also, while this is a living card game (there are expansions, but no one has any advantage over the other due to having collected a better set of cards), the collectible card genre put a bad taste in my mouth, so even though they're different, subconsciously I associated one with the other.
Onto the game, this is one of those games where it's good to set it up and just play, learning as you need to in order to progress the game. I ended up playing the hacker while Mark played as the corp. You each have your own deck that has cards just for your side to use. My goal as hacker was to hack the corp servers and steal their agendas for victory. Mark, meanwhile, wanted to build enough of those agendas to win, while also trying to kill my hacker by damaging me with his intrusion countermeasures (ICE).
It was a pretty fun game and there was some good strategy involved. On my side, it was important to build up my resources - credits, cards in hand, clicks, and ice-breaker programs - and then launch an attack on one of Mark's servers. On his side, he was doing his best to protect his various servers with layers of ICE hoping to either fend me off (hitting a subroutine that ended my run on the server in question) or kill me by making me discard cards from my hand (zero cards in hand = flatlined hacker).
I ended up winning, but only because in an effort to learn the game Mark spread the ICE a bit thin on his servers and figuring out the server protection and advancement strategies too late in the game. Had we played another, there's little doubt that he would have flatlined this aspiring hacker!
All in all, a good game. I may do some research about groups in the area and then maybe it's time to just pull the proverbial trigger and get it. We shall see!