Monday, April 13, 2015

Welcome to Wyldside!

The Android: Netrunner web presence is huge. There a blogs, news sites, forums, videos, podcasts, and even more, each and every one vying for your attention. There are some written by top competitors, some written by the enthusiastic, and some by just your average Joe. All of them seek to provide information into the world of Android: Netrunner, and to help grow that web presence to even greater heights.

Enter into the scene Wyldside, a blog written by a mediocre player of middling skill (and luck). This is not a blog of deep and expansive strategy consideration of the current meta. This is not a blog where you will find top level discussion of the game.

This is, however, a blog where someone’s love of the game will show through.  This is a blog where the goal is to remind people that there is more to this game than ‘the best card’ or ‘the silver bullet’. This blog aims to show people a little more of the ‘Johnny’ side of Netrunner.  A little more of the self-expression, the love, the greatness that can come from the game; but all the while doing it with an understanding that the reasoning is to get better, to become a better player, to win more games. To do all of these things, but not fall into the sometimes single-minded focus of ‘the best card’ that can dominate the high end discussions. Sure, when writing it will be shown how dominate such cards were during their reign, like Account Siphon, Parasite, or Yog.0. It will also show, through bits and pieces here and there, how one can study a card and think about its effects on both the game state and the player. It will also show new players a bit of the history of Netrunner, and how a lot of the meta came to be. Perhaps, with a little luck, it will show enterprising players how to change that meta for the better, or take advantage of it to increase their own ability.

To start off this goal, and push the erstwhile and new readers that may wander in here, Wyldside will be starting off with a weekly discussion of cards. Not of the new cards, not of a single card at a time, but of old cards. All the old cards. We’ll go faction by faction, from each cycle and big box expansion, and talk about each card. We’ll list the pro’s, the con’s, the impact of those cards to the best of our (admittedly mediocre) ability. Hopefully not only will the readers learn something, but so too will the writer.  Hopefully we all gain a better understanding of the card pool of Netrunner, and a better understanding of the game itself.

Why Wyldside? Its ability is a great metaphor for the direction this blog is aimed. Draw two cards and loose a click. Look at all the wonderful cards in Netrunner, but doing so takes time. Look at all the amazing things that can come out of that draw, and learn from them – but again, doing so takes time.

For the next several months Wyldside will be doing a card by card, faction by faction, cycle by cycle review of cards and their impact. Sure, to most players out there this will be old news - and probably mostly news that is not considered important. There are however, two (three?) goals involved in this.

First and foremost is for new players who are overwhelmed by the amount of cards and their possible interactions. Wyldside may not be the writing space of a world class Netrunner champion, but there is a lot knowledge that has been built up since the game started, and for new players that can be hard to tap into. These articles will be stored on the internet for a long time to come, and a great, centralized location for new players to come and read up on cards they have in their hands and how the game evolved around them. The impact reviews will have information in them from, r/Netrunner on Reddit, and the Board Game Geek Netrunner pages, as well as the personal experience behind Wyldside. They will not be perfect, but they will attempt to be as open minded as possible about the effects and directions cards can go.

The second goal of Wyldside card impact reviews will be to remind more experienced players about older cards they may have put aside and not thought of for a while. These are the cards that a player may have thought "Hmm... interesting..." and then promptly forgotten for the new 'hotness'. While their impact will undoubtedly be low, that does not necessarily make them lesser cards. Perhaps only forgotten until mentioned again. If even one player will read a Wyldside article and remember a card they haven't used, finding a use for it now months, even years after it was released, then this goal will be met.

There is a third goal, but one that is more introspectively based. The writer of these articles will have a bit of experienced gained for reviewing cards and asking 'why wasn't this used? why didn't this make an impact?' Hopefully some of these questions asked will help the readers as well.
From Day One: A Set in Review

Each faction will receive its own article. These will be further divided up by cycles and expansions. We’ll start with the Anarch cards of the core set, and move on through each faction until the core set is finished. Then we’ll move onto the Genesis Cycle, and repeat the process. Creation and Control will come next, and so on, until we’ve reached Order and Chaos. Each article will be posted on Monday, and when we reach the end of Order and Chaos we’ll move on to other discussions, leaving the SanSan Cycle to sit for a while and see where it comes.  Hopefully we’ll return to the SanSan Cycle sometime after the NBN big box expansion is released, but that is a bit of a ways down the road.

Each card will be reviewed, but not for how ‘great’ it is but rather its impact on the game to the date of the article. A rating of 1-5 will be applied. A one means it had almost no noticeable impact, a five means you will undoubtedly see it in a large portion of decks, if not all, as of the printing of the article.

Feedback is of course welcome, but do remember these articles are only the opinion of one player.

These articles will be the starting point for the goal of Wyldside: Making the average (or even above average) Android: Netrunner player think.  Not only will the player’s reading this blog hopefully be pushed to think more, but the writer will be learning as well! We’ll revisit these things from time to time, as the game continues to evolve, and see how opinions, knowledge, and experience has changed them.

Welcome Netrunners to Wyldside: May your imaginations take you free!

Johnny side?

What’s that?

Check out this article about the three ‘types’ of Magic: The Gathering players as defined by the R&D team at WotC. For the purposes of Netrunner, consider the Johnny player one who often plays those kind of silly decks - the Cell Portal ICE trap Jinktei deck, or the Oracle May type decks that seem to be high on the power curve, but also seem to be lacking in just being able to make the cut. Maybe with a little push, a little understanding, the ‘Johnny’ writer and the ‘Johnny’ reader can get a little bit of ‘Spike’ in them and become better players.


  1. I actually think that doing each data pack individually will help people more then doing all the cards from a faction from the entire cycle. Seeing as people that want to buy data packs would want to know what is in each data pack.

    1. Personally I think the opposite. There are lots of Data Pack reviews out there already. I really learned a lot more from reading a more comprehensive exploration of a faction rather than the fragmented approach of a set review. Looking at a faction as a whole enables me to see how cards and game mechanics synergise and help me with deck ideas much more than a more fragmented examination of a data pack.