"The greatest casualty of the early corporate wars was the middle class."
Flavor text for the Corporate War card
is a card game that depicts cyberspace combat
between a global mega-corporation
(the Corp) and a hacker (the Runner). The Corp's goal is to complete their secret agendas
before the Runner can hack in and spoil their secret plans for world domination. It isn't easy, though, as the Corp has strong defensive data forts protected by malevolent computer programs known as ICE
(once again short for Intrusion Countermeasures Electronics
). The Runner must use special programs of their own (called icebreakers) to break through and steal the hidden plans - to keep the Corp from taking over completely.
In 2012, Fantasy Flight Games bought the rights to Netrunner
, updated it to be consistent with its cyberpunk-noir board game Android
, and reissued the game as the Living Card Game Android: Netrunner
. Though there have been some changes (making the game an LCG and not a CCG, of course; providing "identities" for the Corp and the Runner, each with their own abilities; lots of flavor text overhauls with references to the Android
universe as well as lots of other sci-fi and fantasy), the game has been very well received so far.
This game provides examples of:
- Cast from Hit Points: There are several cards that give the Runner a significant boost, in exchange for unpreventable brain damage.
- And one that gives you money in exchange for brain damage.
- The Cracker: The runner, possibly. In Android: Netrunner, the Anarch faction.
- Dangerous Forbidden Technology: The "Omnitech Spinal Tap Cybermodem" card is a cheap, powerful computer... that has a 1 in 6 chance of causing unpreventable brain damage at the start of each of your turns. It also causes brain damage if you try to remove it.
- Everything Is Online
- Fan Nickname: Lots of them.
- Fan Sequel: Fan expansions to the original were common after it was no longer printed.
- Hollywood Hacking: You can kill programs with a virtual samurai or gangster, or bash down firewalls with a wrecking ball made of binary.
- Mind Rape: Several of the cards that deal brain damage.
- Must Have Caffeine: The card "Jack n' Joe": "There's too much blood in my caffeine system."
- Never Say "Die" / Deadly Euphemism: 'Flatlining'.
- Playful Hacker: The runner, possibly. In Android: Netrunner, the Shaper faction.
- Shout Out: Several; many to Magic: The Gathering, with whom the game shares a creator. Lots of references to other science fiction (especially Cyberpunk) and fantasy, too.
- Unusual User Interface: 'Decks', the computers that Runners use, can be anything from a juiced-up PC, to a cybernetic implant that runs off of your thoughts.
- Take Over the World: The card "World Domination". If the corp manages to score the card, it wins the game.
- The Verse: The original was set in the same universe as Cyberpunk 2020 (complete with rules for using the card game in the RPG). Android: Netrunner is set in the universe of Android.
- Villain with Good Publicity: One of the Runner's possible victory conditions is giving the Corp enough Bad Publicity points that this trope no longer applies to them.
- Viral Marketing: The Corp Advertisement card "BBS Whispering Campaign".