In a previous post about Android:Netrunner I shared my early thoughts on the game and why I was drawn towards the runners.
In Netrunner there are three types of runner, anarchs, criminals and shapers.
Anarchs are described in the rule book as having a “strong contempt for the corporate oligarchs, the whole corrupt system, and often for society in general”. Anarchs like to watch the world burn, but also stand up for the downtrodden and oppressed.
Criminals on the other hand are “make self-interest an art form and don't care who gets hurt so long as they get ahead.” They embrace the criminal side and partake in other forms of criminal activity.
Lastly Shapers “are motivated by curiosity and a certain amount of pride.” “Because I can” would be the moto of a shaper. Raging against the machine or criminal activities are of little interest to the them.
Out of the three types of runner I'm drawn more to the anarchs and shapers than the criminals. But the type I'd opt to play more than the rest would be anarchs. The whole rage against the machine, standing up for the downtrodden appeals to me. It's me politically! The distrust of corporations, corrupt politicians, not having respect for authority all make up part of my paranoid delusional view point of the world.
In a world where mass government survaliance of the people goes on everyday, yet pass laws that hide their activities from exposure to the public. Corporations avoid paying taxes, and have a cosy relationship with those that are meant to be making sure they pay the correct taxes, where they buy politicians like a person buys hotels on a monopoly board to shape laws that favour them over the rights of the people. Where our elected officials spend more time and money hunting down petty looters at a riot and setting up kangaroo courts to send them to jail, and yet spend nothing bringing to justice and jail bankers that fixed global markets, laundered money for criminals and terrorists, or bought about a world wide economic recession due to shadey practices. At a time where a nations armies are more like corporate enforcers, invading other nations to further economic interests of corporations under false pretenses that they are a threat. With a complicit mainstream media gladly pushing the agenda of the politicians and corporations.
You would think I was describing the dystopian world of Android:Netrunner but in reality it's the world we live in today. I think that is one of the reasons I like cyberpunk. In the cyberpunk world a lone individual can make a difference, hit back at the oppressive regimes against the odds. It's Robin Hood, The Lone Ranger or any other character who stands up to be counted and takes a stand against corruption and injustice in the world.
I grew up watching the black and white Lone Ranger tv series. As a little boy one of the few childhood memories I haven't had erased is of my dad reading the story of Robin Hood to me and my brother at bedtime. There is this strong vein of social justice, standing up for the little guy in my DNA. Which I can trace back to these stories and my early days of reading Marvel comics.
So as you can see with my paranoid delusions of the current ill state of our society, its injustices and biases towards the rich and powerful, why I would be drawn strongly towards playing anarch. It's as if anarchs were modelled on me! Anarchs are like the Heath Ledger Joker but with a social conscious.
At the moment not having all the expansions for Netrunner I have a limited choice of runners, and an even more limited choice of anarch runners of just Whizzard and Noise.
So which anarch runner will I go with? Noise has been in Netrunner since the beginning being in the core set. And after listening to episode 28 of Run Last Click, Noise at the moment seems a popular choice in some of the local meta the hosts take part in. There is a nice piece of “flavour” text in the rule book about Noise. Noise also gets mentioned in the book Android:Free Fall. The image that comes across is that he is an elite runner, if not THE elite runner, who leaves no evidence behind that he was involved in breaking into corporate ice.
As for Whizzard I know very little about him. Well nothing! So if he were to go up against Noise who would win? It's hard to say but my gut says Noise.
Both runners have an ability that trashes corp cards. Noise everytime you install a virus program the corp player has to trash the top card of R&D. While Whizzard gets 3 recurring credits to trash cards with each round.
Each ability has its attractions. Indescriminate trashing or targeted trashing? That's the choice really. I'm going to choose the runner I know a bit about, or at least have an idea what he is about and that's Noise for my first deck.
I hope my political leanings haven't put you off. And that you have a better understanding why for totally non gaming reasons I have gone with Noise the anarch runner.