(Core Set Perspective)
First important message to all new players: this card is very good. Yes, one brain damage is a high price tag, and yes that does suggest that you definitely shouldn't be foolish with it, but you must also not be too shy to use it when an opportunity presents itself. Within the Core Set it's one of your best ways to threaten the corporation; nothing else gives you this much money upfront this quickly.
I've got to that point now where I think Stimhack is great, so I want to write this down before I forget the feeling of it being terrible. Because this card is frightening when you start. It oozes a sense of venom and self-harm. 9 temporary credits in exchange for losing both a card and your maximum hand size seems crazy.
'Who would use this?' you may think, and for your first few games you'll probably hold it in your hand when it comes up and go,
'Uh, yeah...hi. You look very...juiced. I'm going to just going toooo...put you in this heap heeere. No no, I'm fine without the brain damaging stims thanks. Yes, I know it's a lot of money, but money isn't everything right? Ha hahh...Yeah mmmkay, bye...'
And you play your third Armitage Codebusting instead and tap for precious life monies, feeling good about yourself that you made the right choice and said no to drugs. And, sure, that's a perfectly reasonable response. Then over time another voice will chime in, an angry, dissapointed voice. And it will say,
'Sure it's reasonable...if you're LAME! You're an Anarch, damn it! Why are you pussy-footing around worrying about things like 'money' and 'brains'? You know what else cares about brains? Zombies. Are you a zombie? You look like a zombie...I can almost hear the corporate buzzing.'
(Don't think zombies have wings actually Gus)
'Shut up! I know a corporate bug-zombie when I see one. Whatever, you might as well be. Thanks to you being a massive wuss, the Corporations won. Their plans all went through, but oh goodo, you're fine. The world is now f*cked, but at least you have your brain right? Better enjoy it, because there'll be a bullet in it soon now that nothing can stop them. Know what? You might just be the most selfish assh@le I've ever met. Better a little braindead than all dead brain!' and then he probably passes out.
Nevertheless, inspired by this you bite the metaphorical bullet and put worries about personal safety aside. You stim up, plug in and run, and you do it, you save the day. Becuase you were willing to take risks, you've just thwarted the Corporations evil plans to...request something in a hurry or speed up the Q&A process...ah, who cares. Points are points right?
To sum up, with one of these in hand you can burst through most of even the steepest ICE match ups. Its presence alone can influence a corp player and make their decisions for them. Whatever your target might be, they need to keep in mind that they will at some point need more protection for it than they expect. And the fun thing is this target server could be anywhere, because the boost it gives you is univeral, good for any breaker and any program requring credits. You know where an Account Siphon or Maker's Eye will hit you, you don't know where a Stimhack will. It can turn a seemingly suicidal 'hail mary' run on an impenetrable server into a glorious victory, snatching the winning agenda from right under the corps nose, and suddenly they're not so smug, because you've just won the game. And if you win the game, you won't even care about the brain damage.
'Good job, kid.' that angry Anarch will then grunt, 'You saved just saved the world.'