Alright, kids. First time poster, long time troller here at Stimhack.com, I decided that I needed a release for my creative juices, and that writing an article may be the best outlet for that . For those of you who don’t know me, I’ve been playing card games for 20+ years now, and have always enjoyed the competitive nature of them. I started on Magic: the Gathering, taught to me by legendary game designer Tom Wham, and moved on to a variety of others, including Legend of the Five Rings, original Netrunner, Jhyad/Vampire, Doomtown, and many more. While I took a break in the 2000’s, the re-release of Netrunner in the much-preferred LCG format brought me back. Finding such an elegant designer, sublimely refined for modern card gaming audiences, really hooked me.
After attending a number of tournaments in 2013, including Gencon, Aaron Andries (my sparring partner) and I found we were pretty good at the game, and have only been working at it since. Placing high in Worlds the last two years, we have really enjoyed not only the high level of play and competitiveness at such events, but the competition itself. We have made a number of friends within the scene, and found it to be pretty enjoyable and laid-back, while also full of an aggressive desire to improve and succeed. I would probably go to war with a fair amount of these fools.
Enough about myself. Let us get on to the meat of the matter, which is this game we all know and love. I have played it since its inception, and find it in as rich a place as ever following the latest release, Order & Chaos (O&C). Stealing is flattery, I have heard, so I will re-use the format of my fave basketball writer Zach Lowe, and give you 10 thoughts and feelings about O&C, and the meta and game in general post-release. (not going to breakdown too many archtypes and whatnot; see @gumOnshoe’s excellent write-up here)
1. – The Return of Red
Anarch has been gone for some time. Perhaps you thought Jesus’ time in the wilderness was a long time away, or that Tom Hanks’ island time in ‘Castaway’ was sad. Anarch has them beat. Now, before you come noting that Noise has been relevant for a while, and has always been an annoyance to the Corps, even immediately post-Howard, I would agree. The thing is, Noise is almost a faction unto himself. His ability is unlike any in the game, and his reliance on a type of card makes him unique and always dangerous. Outside of him, and Steven Wooley’s brave run with Anatomy of Anarchy, the Red Runners have by-and-large been ignored and downtrodden upon by the ANR crowd.
The big boxes always provide some new injection of life into the factions within them; hard not to with that many cards focused on a color. However, unlike past big boxes, all three Runners (don’t click here) included in this one had immediate strengths and viability from the get. MaxX has the most powerful and useful ability, but the others are not slouches. Plus, there are tons of new toys for the Anarchs included in O&C, that perhaps will help to resurrect their older IDs.
2. – MaxX
I do love this ID. A lot. Having once been fairly deep in the punk rawk scene, I get it.