A handful of the guys at the shop recently pitched together and bought me a copy of Netrunner: New Angeles. I’ve had my eye on this game for a while, but never picked it up because while it looked really interesting to me, I didn’t think I would be able to get enough other interest to fill out the four player minimum. That being said, the day I got it, we got a six player game in, so I think it may have the interest.
Netrunner: New Angeles is a semi-cooperative game, which is something a bit new to my collection. It’s not really true that the players are working together to achieve a common goal, so much as working together to avoid a total failure. Every player has a unique win condition to have more capital at the end of the game than one other player at the table, and there is a global lose condition of too many things going wrong in the city (usually due to the corps not meeting demand for various city needs). In this way, every game has at least one loser, but it’s entirely possible for there to be only one loser.
The main game loop in Netrunner: New Angeles is a bidding round where players vie for powerful assets by offering to do actions for the city. The player whose action gets the most votes gets the asset, and their action is resolved. This makes for some sticky situations where you may not want to vote for the action that is best for the city because you don’t want that player to become more powerful (especially if that person is your rival). I think this dichotomy will be the hardest part to learn and teach about this game – especially for me.
Overall, I certainly liked the experience of Netrunner: New Angeles. I really enjoyed playing as a corporation in the Android universe, and it was interesting to see another view into it. I suspect it will hit my table more often when people want a cutthroat game than when they want a cooperative game, but it has the potential to do a little bit of both.