On Friday night I had a board game marathon. I know how to party hard. We kicked things off with a few cans of soda and a riveting game of Carcassonne. After trying it at PAX for the first time it has become an instant favorite. Good thing one of my housemates owns a copy! After winning the game by two little points (which was marvelous because originally we thought that he had won by one point, but it turned out that one of my farmers round-about-ly connected to three completed cities, booyah) we moved onto a surprisingly confusing session of Toboggans of Doom. I've had that for a while, a PAX of yore purchase. It's fun for the most part, but needed more play testing before it emerged into the heaving world of sleek gameplay instructions and cards that are fully colored in.
Bear with me as I attempt to explain my experience playing Netrunner. It's not untrue to say that I was extremely confused for the majority of the game. It was tons of fun though! The story here is that one player is a hacker of sorts, and the other is an evil corporation. The hacker must steal Agendas from the corporation, and the corporation sets up Programs to keep the hacker out. This is the sort of game that would benefit greatly from a playing mat, at least to start out. It was difficult for me to keep track of which cards were supposed to go where.
KNOW THIS! Netrunner is a lot of fun, but, as with all complex board and card games, make sure you have a solid understanding of the rules before playing. Also, go in with a lot of patience. Since my housemate was such a fan of the original CCG, and loves reading game manuals, he knew a lot about the gameplay process and he helped me along. There was a lot of me showing him my cards going, "Will this be useful?"
Ultimately he won because he set me a mega trap. As the hacker hacks into the Programs set by the corporation, the hacker doesn't know what he or she will find. The corporation can be protecting valuable Assets and Agendas, or it can be creating a trap. As I executed a Run, what ended up being my last Run, I uncovered a deathly trap, one that caused six net damage and destroyed me. If only I had picked a different Program to Run through.
Thanks for sticking around, I know that this probably made no sense whatsoever. In order to get better at writing about board, card, and tabletop games I guess I'll have to play them more. What a drag!
*all pictures are property of abitofgeek/MJ. Netrunner is property of Fantasy Flight!