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Logan Graves (

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Without further ado, here's my new, true-blue, review:

Following in the tradition of the wholly successful "Battletech Trading Card Game," FASA has released a collectable card game based on Shadowrun. But what, you ask, is this new game all about?
Well, . . .

This is a game for two or more players. (Although, any more than four tends to lead to a real 'space' problem as the game progresses -- 'round-robin tournaments' being one solution, here.) Like many other C.C.G's each player must purchase a starter deck (for around $8.99). This contains a basic assortment of cards, including Shadowrunners, Weapons, Armor, Ammo, Cyberware, Spells, Spirits, Vehicles, Drones, Cyberdecks, Matrix Programs, Locations, Contacts, Challenges, Specials, at least 6 Objective cards, plus a 70 page rule book. (15-card Booster Packs are luckily available for around $2.99.) You'll also need to supply a couple of D6's and a whole bunch of tokens or counters to keep track of nu¥en & damage points. (We've found that those "Roman numeral" pieces from later editions of Risk® work especially well for this.) And best of all, unlike those 'Wizards of the Coast'-type games, there are NO exchanges or permanent losses of cards in SRtTCG.

Players are instructed by the rules to "build" 60-70 card decks (not counting one's Objective cards). Fewer is usually better, since you can shuffle your Trash (discard) Pile if you run out, and too many cards just get in your way. This quickly becomes a major problem since, just as in the role-playing game, the TCG is also 'way-diverse' and contains so many different, cool cards, you'll also want to include lots and lots of 'em. (I think my current deck has 74 cards -- and that was after I pulled out all of the deckers along with their program cards!) Before the game begins, Objective cards are separated out from the rest of the deck.

Players start out with a hand of 7 cards and 4 Nuyen. Then they take turns building Runner teams, protecting Objectives with Challenge cards (like Security Troops, Rail Guns, Guard Monsters, etc.), reconn'ing (pronounced, "spying on") each others' cards (especially their Challenges), and generally fragging up the lives of the other players' Runners. The idea, here, is to keep 'em off yer back so you can equip your own Runners in preparation for your Shadowruns.

A player's turn consists of the following sequence:

  1. Deploying or revealing a face down Objective card.
  2. Drawing a salary of 4¥ OR drawing enough cards to fill the hand out to 7.
  3. Refreshing (or healing) all Runner cards used last turn AND drawing more 1 card.
  4. The Legwork Phase. Where a player may perform any of the following multiple times:
    Play Challenges on Objectives
    Pay nuyen to deploy Runners, Contacts, and/or Locations
    Pay nuyen to use a Contact or visit a Location
    Pay nuyen to play Gear on a Runner             (Do I detect a pattern here?)
    Swap Gear between Runners
    Pay nuyen to play Special cards
  5. Shadowrun Phase, when the team is strong enough, they may negotiate Challenges to gain an Objective.
  6. Discard the hand down to 7 & announce that turn is over, which permits opponents to play 'coups de grace.'
It is obvious that having lots & lots of the all-mighty ¥ is necessary to win. But fortunately, that's not the game's main objective. (And don't worry, there are a bunch of ways to augment your basic 4¥ per turn.)

Players win the game by being the first to reach an agreed-upon total of Reputation Points, which are earned by completing Shadowruns against Objectives. Some, like the "Amazonian Hunt," are harder & worth more points, while others, like the "Courier Run" are easier. A typical 2-player game to 100 Reputation Points takes a couple of hours, max. Whereas, a 4-player game to 100 pts takes upwards of an afternoon. So pack a lunch, omae!

All in all, this game is great!! And there are so many ways to custom-build or 'taylor' your deck to a specific playing style and so many great illustrations. Ya just wanna rush of and buy 'em all! (Guess I know where all o' *my* hard-earned nuyen's going -- once the local game store gets in some more Boosters in, that is!)

Besides Mike Nielsen, this (wholly FASA produced) game also features illustrations from Tim Bradstreet, Paul Bonner, Janet Aluisio, as well as FASA regulars, Jeff Laubenstein, Tom Baxa, Jim Nelson and Joel Biske. Get this game before your GM does--make him drool! Start hounding your local hobby stores now! Avoid the rush! Buy them out!! `;-)
this has been a wholly unpaid review & advertisement from Fenris (21:33:35/09-07-57)

Enough with the  colorful  hype, here are the samples from Mike "Skuzzy" Nielsen:

"Lord Torgo""Skwaaaark""Dr. Apocalypse"
"Wired Reflexes""Hatchetman""Cermak Blast"
"Ice Queen""Fire Elemental""False Mentor"
"Infected Chrome""Razorhead Turf""Media Chick"
"Dragon Hunt"

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