I've just finished playing an advance copy of Terminal Directive, the most dramatic expansion that Android: Netrunner has ever received. This big box introduces not just a campaign to the superlative cyberpunk card game, but the dramatic "Legacy" elements that you might remember from Pandemic: Legacy. As the story unfolds players open new packs of cards, but also destroy cards and cover them with stickers.
Best of all, Terminal Directive is a long-awaited stepping stone for new Netrunner players! Previously if you bought the core set and liked it, you then faced the intimidating proposition of simply starting to buy up Netrunner's forty-two expansion packs. Now you can buy the core set, and then enjoy Terminal Directive's campaign, and then - erm - begin buying forty-two expansion packs.
There's just one problem. After being a zealous advocate for this game for years on end, today I don't play Netrunner anymore. Let's talk about why.
Fantasy Flight has announced the next big box expansion for the superb Android: Netrunner, and it's Netrunner Legacy.
The copywriting on the announcement page for Netrunner: Terminal Directive is a bit of a nightmare, but basically anyone who owns a Netrunner core set and the Terminal Directive expansion will be able to play through a narrative campaign of runners vs. corporations. Sealed packs of never-before-seen cards will be opened one after another as a cyberpunk murder mystery plays out, and players will apply new stickers to their faction's sheet as they win or lose games.
Going into this expansion blind sounds like a delight. Not only do you get the surprise of adding brand new cards to your deck, you then get to surprise your opponent as you unleash them mid-game!
Fun fact! At Practice I saw a talk by Leslie Scott, inventor of Jenga. Did you know that as Jenga is manufactured, they make sure the bricks are all of varying sizes and weights to make the game work better?
Ah, but you’ve been waiting so long for your Games News! Not to worry. I may have spent five hours asleep in a cold corner of LAX this morning, but I’ve fetched some black coffee and classic rock (won’t you do the same?) and I’m ready to get to work.
Quinns: I am slumped on the floor of the Birmingham Hilton. My head almost between my knees, I break into an orange by pressing my fingers into it until the skin splits. I begin eating. The flesh is both dry and watery in my mouth.
“I don’t know if I’ll make it,” I tell Leigh. Then a pause, weighing my next words with the pulp in my mouth. “And I don’t know if I want to play.”
Quinns: I’m sure it’ll be fine, just keep sending up the flares and don’t put any limbs in the water. Look, I managed to salvage a few of the more intact parts of Matt, which we can probably cook, and then there’s the…
Quinns: The Games News. I’m really sorry, Paul. We’re going to have to eat the Games News.
Now Quinns is back from the UK Games Expo, we slid a microphone under the door of the con-tamination chamber to record a new podcast!
Paul’s got questions about the sublime Welcome to the Dungeon, the prototype of Vlaada’s Codenames and Quinns’ performance at the UK Netrunner Nationals. But that’s not all! Quinns is starved for company and wants to know about the games Paul’s been playing: For the Crown and 7 Ronin, which both sound great. There’s also some discussion of Knightmare Chess, mostly along the lines of “Why haven’t we reviewed it yet?”
In a curious reminder of our hobby's boxy lil' nature, 29 United States west coast ports were shut down this week, delaying countless board game shipments. Spare a thought for the many games were stranded at sea this weekend, as well as containers of less important stuff like shoes and food.
Rumours that SU&SD's newly-formed American division were behind the delay have been grossly exaggerated. It's all down to a dispute between shipping companies and dockworkers.
This is a hand management game with the theme of ninjas throwing a bomb back and forth where you're trying to play gentle cards to at your team mate ("play a card higher than this 4, Paul!") and hardball your opponents ("play a card lower than this 2, Brendan.").
Blue cards can also be played that intercept a card being played between to other players, and there are a few clutch "emergency stop" cards in the deck. Best of all, players who fail to play the card expected of them are blown up, leading to dramatic dodgeball-like finishes where the one member of your team still standing takes on a whole team of three. In other words, it's a game where every play could literally blow up in your face with plenty of room for heroism. Doesn't that sound like our kind of thing?