Android:Netrunner on OCTGN

Android:Netrunner logo. A woman under a blue light, wielding virtual interfaces with both handsI mentioned a while ago that the first and most basic version of Android:Netrunner has been released on OCTGN, and you haven’t really heard from me since. Well the reason is that I was too busy coding improvements for it. I think it’s time to give my latest creation the usual treatment and announce it here.

So Android:Netrunner is a new reimplementation of the Classic Netrunner, but given a really good polishing in the rules and art by Fantasy Flight Games. The game has not been released yet1 and it already seems like it’s going to be a runaway success! There an absurd amount of excitement for the new version online and the game has been sitting in the hottest games of Board Game Geek for weeks now. It’s sitting in the second rank for customizable games, even before people has a chance to really make decks with it.

The game is a unique blend of asymmetric gameplay combined with a significant element of bluff. This combination, along with the Cyberpunk setting and the (now) Noir flair of the Android universe, makes it a very interesting and exciting game to play.

At the moment of release there’s going to be  7 factions to play with. 4 Corporations, and 3 Runners. One of the runners is even going to be an anarchist2 playing around with computer viruses. The game comes out with 113 unique cards which is light for a first expansion, but not particularly limiting. You can check out this thread for some in-depth and in-flavor analysis on the runner factions.

I’ve played about 8 games on OCTGN until now, just with the starter decks, and I’m really liking what I see. The feeling I get when I play this game is that it has more cohesion within each faction. They each have a specific style of play that they favor and their faction cards complement it. In deck construction you can use cards from other factions to complement your strength and perhaps even do something completely uncharacteristic and throw your opponent off. I think this cohesion is good because it allows some natural balance as it’s impossible to defend from all angles, so it comes down more to whoever can use their limited tools and some good bluffing to avoid exposing their weak points and hit their opponent where they can defend the least.

So, for anyone interested in trying it out, here’s some instructions on how to get it to work with OCTGN

A Game of Android:Netrunner on OCTGN in progress

The Jinteki Corporation VS a Shaper runner. The runner has just stolen an agenda and the Jinteki is punishing her by doing net damage.

Once everything is set up, you need to find someone to play with. You can go to the Host/Join tab to see if anyone has a game waiting. If nobody does, host your own and put in the title that you’re a new player. There’s a lot of people who will help you learn

Once you find someone, one of you hosts and game and the other joins. Leave the two-sided checkbox checked and make sure that whoever is going to play the Corp is set as player [A] (the host can click on the letter to switch it) and once the game is started, load your starter decks. Things should be fairly intuitive but keep in mind these basic things in relation to the OCTGN engine plugin.

  • First thing you do after you load a deck is Setup (Ctrl+Shift+S). This will check if your version is up to date, show you the Message of the Day, and also give you some Tips on playing the game.
  • At the start of your turn, declare it with F1.
  • At the end of your turn, declare it with F12. Make sure the game announces that your turn has ended and is not expecting you to discard down to your max hand size ;)
  • If you’re a runner, start a run with [F5] – [F8], or by playing cards. Once your run has ended, finish it with [Esc] is unsuccessful, or with [F3] if successful.
  • Double-clicking is your friends. Almost everything you want to do, you do it by double-clicking on the card in question.

The below video will take you through a step-by-step tutorial on using OCTGN to play Android:Netrunner

There’s a lot of other tricks you can use in the engine and most of them have been put into the “Did you Know” starting tips. So pay attention and you’ll be flying through the controls in no-time. Any new innovations I add to it, are also going to appear in the changelog and future MotDs, so you’ll know when good stuff has arrived. In fact I’ve been coding like crazy for the last few weeks, much to the annoyingment of the wifey. So much so that I’m starting to feel like this.

A card from Android:Netrunner. A hacker jacked into his interface is using powerful drugs to focus and bypass corporate defenses

Coding an ANR plugin is kinda like this.

There’s already a large group of players using the Android:Netrunner OCTGN plugin daily, since unlike my other plugins, this game is hot stuff. You’ll find a lot of potential opponents to test your deck-building and bluffing mettle.

If you’ve enjoyed this plugin, feel free to give a diesel tip, to fund further caffeine-fueled development ;)

Good Running!
  1. Release Date is mid September 2012 []
  2. Supposedly. I’m not convinced FFG understand anarchism enough to do it justice. Noise, the first Anarch runner seems more bent on mindless destruction rather than anything else. Lets hope future expansions show us a better aspect of the movement. []

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