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Android: Netrunner» Forums » General

Subject: Android the Board Game on sale at FFG, and why you should get it! rss

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Peter O
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No I did not mistakenly post this in the wrong forum. The annual FFG sale on overproduced items once again gives the lucky and brave a chance to purchase with lowered risk one of the most misunderstood and underrated games, Android. With the popularity of the Netrunner retheme in the Android universe, I wanted to plug for the thematic predecessor to Android: Netrunner. Yes, I know the LCG's success has far more to do with its netrunner lineage than with Android. But the board game is fantastic!

Why should you try it? One, it's on sale for $25, down from an MSRP of $60 so you have less to lose if you don't like it. Why might you like it?

1) It's the best story in a box game I know of outside of full fledge RPGs.
2) It's asymmetric card play has character specific plot lines and events and the game provides enough incentive to use both positive and negative cards.
3) There are deep strategic decisions to be made which keeps the play interesting long after the story has been told enough different times.
4) There are three main areas of point scoring with some minor additional ones so that players are competing on multiple pursuits at once, making the assessment of which to compete for as important as the tactical choices within.
5) masterful implementation of Ameritrash theme on a Eurogame apparatus. Outside of card driven luck and theme, it's a pretty tight Euro. The theme makes it fun!

The game won't be for everyone.

1) It's a long game 3-4 hours.
2) It has a heavy take-that element which is needed to have negative plot developments happen to characters. This element can be somewhat mitigated with good play, mature undertanding that the characters are not you but in the midst of their own struggles, and the realization the characters are balanced with these negatives in mind.
3) It's not a deductive murder investigation. It's either a cynical frame job by the detectives or an abstracted uncovering of clues, take your pick.
4) It's heavy and complicated.

So why would a bunch of Netrunner LCG fans like it? Cause it's a cool board game in the same universe with some good things going on if you give it a chance. Some of the A:NR theme references come from the board game. You get to play some of the referenced characters (though not the runners). You might even work for Jinteki (as a cloned psychic struggling with her sanity and status as a human) , or Has Bioroids (as Floyd the bioroid who's trying to find his humanity). You might find that NBN was behind the hideous murder of some ordinary citizen nicknamed Noise who was just using the net. You might just be a member of a black ops team (well, more like a contract killer). You get to travel up and down the beanstalk. You get to visit many of the locations referenced by the cards.

I am not under any sort of contract or employment with FFG nor do I stand to gain in any way from this. Well, I guess I am hoping to gain by having more people to play the board game with...
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Mark Harris
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Re: Android the Board Game on sale at FFG
Wish I lived in US. I would be all over that FFG sale. Unfortunately shipping to UK makes it not worth it.
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Re: Android the Board Game on sale at FFG
I hardly play this game any more because it takes too long, but I am proud to have it on my shelf. The combined flavor text on all the cards is several short stories' worth.
 
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Paul Grogan
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3-4 hours? More like 5-7 hours...

I have the game and really tried to get into it. In terms of theme, I really did, and the game has usual excellent FFG art and production values.

The game itself.... Way too long, but also, and more importantly, unplayable as it is. Completely broken, with some things being worth lots of VP and easy to get, whilst other things are really hard and not worth as much. Some locations simply too powerful and others way too weak.

Its a story telling game, with a VP system at the end, but the take that mechanic of playing a negative counter on someone just at the end of the turn can totally ruin their entire plan, which is a bit harsh.

I've come up with a whole load of house rules to fix the game balance, but Bleached Lizard went one step further and wrote an almost entirely new game.

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Daniel Hadlock
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I've been considering it. It's on my wishlist for the very reasons (minus the sale) that you mentioned. I don't want to pull the trigger until my Secret Santa gift arrives, just in case. I don't mind missing the sale if I have too, FF does it every year, and if I recall correctly that's the same price they offered it last year.
 
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Peter O
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PaulGrogan wrote:
3-4 hours? More like 5-7 hours...

I have the game and really tried to get into it. In terms of theme, I really did, and the game has usual excellent FFG art and production values.

The game itself.... Way too long, but also, and more importantly, unplayable as it is. Completely broken, with some things being worth lots of VP and easy to get, whilst other things are really hard and not worth as much. Some locations simply too powerful and others way too weak.

Its a story telling game, with a VP system at the end, but the take that mechanic of playing a negative counter on someone just at the end of the turn can totally ruin their entire plan, which is a bit harsh.

I've come up with a whole load of house rules to fix the game balance, but Bleached Lizard went one step further and wrote an almost entirely new game.



You've got a group slower than ours by far. Must be some serious ap.

Certain characters have an easier time on some paths than others, but we've never had a problem with supposed "brokenness." To me its a matter of groupthink. If too many people are concentrating on one area then it becomes expensive compared to other areas. So go get your points somewhere else. Locations are fine. Why does every location need to be in perfect balance? Some barely get used, except when circumstances make them viable. That's fine by me.

I'm always skeptical of claims of brokenness by people who immediately start house-ruling the heck out of games. Perhaps in your case you did the prudent time investment in the game before adjusting to taste. Myself, I never assume I know a game as complex as Android well enough to house-rule it until after many plays. I've never seen a need to with Android.

Over in the Eclipse forum you see folks coming in with fixes to nonexistent problems all the time. I don't mind the house-rules per se, but I do mind the slandering of a game because someone feels the need to change something because they think its broken. If a game is too complex to understand in a fun way without a lot of play throughs, that can be a strike against it. Not everyone is in to that, but that needs to be the complaint and not "the game is unplayable as is." I play and enjoy it just fine as is.

I would prefer if people said "I personally prefer the dynamic created by this house rule of locations being more balanced, because I like as many location options as possible" Awesome! then I know where you're coming from and I can still be fine with a dynamic where some locations aren't always as useful as others.
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David Boeren
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The most common complaint I hear around here has nothing to do with time or broken rules.

It's simply that the feel is wrong. The theme is supposed to be that of solving a crime, but that's not what the actual game mechanics and scoring are about. It would be close to say that it's a game about trying to pin the crime on someone whether they did it or not.

I haven't played it myself, but I've heard this from several locals who have and most of them aren't interested in playing it any more.
 
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B C Z
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It's not about solving a crime!

It's the stories about the people who are solving the crime.
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Peter O
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dboeren wrote:
The most common complaint I hear around here has nothing to do with time or broken rules.

It's simply that the feel is wrong. The theme is supposed to be that of solving a crime, but that's not what the actual game mechanics and scoring are about. It would be close to say that it's a game about trying to pin the crime on someone whether they did it or not.

I haven't played it myself, but I've heard this from several locals who have and most of them aren't interested in playing it any more.


This is a very valid observation (see point 3 on the negatives above). I probably would have been disappointed with the game had I thought it was a classic who-dun-it. The game to me is more along the lines of Bladerunner (the movie) grittiness with broken detectives getting pressure from above to pin it on particular people. Its then personal role play (non game mechanic) on whether or not that person actually did it. Finding "evidence" is abstracted enough that you could totally view it as finding out part of the truth which isn't set until the end of the game. In strict game mechanic terms, you are collecting point values (positive, negative, or dependent upon other chits) and placing them on a specific set of suspects (non-player). The high evidence total on living suspects at the end is who did it. As characters can be rubbed out, only evidence on living characters is considered. These all combine for me personally to create a feeling of "framing" someone for the job. Even more when there is hard deadline of 2 weeks to "convict the killer."

It's set in a dystopic future. Whether you like this or not is certain subjective. It's just not a who-dun-it.
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mfl134
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byronczimmer wrote:
It's not about solving a crime!

It's the stories about the people who are solving the crime.


What he said. The plots are fun and I definitely encourage reading all the flavor text.

Also, I do think of it as a game where your goal is to frame somebody and clear another person. I definitely isn't a deduction game. Also, know your characters bad cards, or as you might guess, bad things will happen to you.
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Rayne Smith
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I definitely recommend this game as well! I have it in my collection and my group always loves it. With 4 players it plays in about 3-4 hours, with 5 I've heard it takes quite a bit longer, but my normal group is 4 so I haven't tried it.
 
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Peter O
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shadow9d9 wrote:
You'd need 3+ sets of it to even have enough cards to fool around with, not to mention buying 3+ of every expansion. No thanks!

Just in case people don't get it,
I believe this is sarcasm regarding A:NR core set and not about the Android boardgame.
 
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UA Darth
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tranenturm wrote:
shadow9d9 wrote:
You'd need 3+ sets of it to even have enough cards to fool around with, not to mention buying 3+ of every expansion. No thanks!

Just in case people don't get it,
I believe this is sarcasm regarding A:NR core set and not about the Android boardgame.


You are totally right, but it wasn't sarcasm.. I misread it! Deleting earlier post.
 
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James Allen
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byronczimmer wrote:
It's not about solving a crime!

It's the stories about the people who are solving the crime.


This.

In fact, that's almost exactly what I tell new players when introducing the game.
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