Event: Run • Cost: 0 • Influence: 1

Make a run, and gain 9credit, which you may use only during this run. After the run is completed, suffer 1 brain damage (cannot be prevented) and return to the bank any of the 9credit not spent.

Anarch • Rachel Borovic • Core Set 4
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(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.'

(23 Seconds era)
Great review! I think it is worth mentioning that in the Core Set, Anarchs can make very limited use of this card without splashing breakers from other factions since 2/3 of theirs are no boostable (no I'm not counting Wyrm). At one influence, this card really shines in Shaper and (especially core) Criminal, since their breakers are usually a lot less efficient, but can be boosted. Also worth mentioning that you can use the credits for trashing cards, not just getting in a server. —
Having had the chance to play a lot more recently, I absolutely agree! A fairly basic Core Kate running Gordians and Ninjas benefits hugely from this, and feels like an excellent alternative to running the full Anarch suite. —

Some newer players may think, that 1 brain damage is steep price for a succesful run. Maybe your runner will be a little dumber, but the fight against corporate secrets has its cost.

Corp may think they are safe, because you have only 10 credits at the beginning of your turn, and they need that last agenda to win. Three clicks later you have 13 credits. And then BAM with Stimhack you have 21 and you manage to run thru their defences.

1 brain damage it's not that much for a win.

(All That Remains era)

Stimhack is a great card, even for its cost. Many new players will consider the card dangerous - Brain damage helps the corp win, doesn’t it? But a sudden influx of 9 credits makes scoring windows dry up faster than water in the desert. It is also only one influence, making it a perfect fit for any deck with just one influence leftover - which can happen quite often.

Stimhack has been placed in many decks, and that ability to jump at least 12 credits in one turn if you wish (with clicking for 3 credits at the very minimum) is what makes it so powerful, and with such an impact. It has caused many corps to lose an Agenda they thought was safe, or for a runner to get that one last deep Medium dig on a turn the corp thought they were safe and didn’t purge

It is a simple card, with a heavy cost, but one that is well worth it. It also beautifully explains the theme of Anarchs - Self harm for profit, if that’s what it takes.

(Written during the meta of The Valley, part of the SanSan Cycle. For more reviews like it, visit wyldside.blogspot.com)

(The Valley era)
Huh. You might be onto something. The Anarch probably had more events during testing that didn't make the final cut. Wonder which ones made it into future sets. —

Hey! You're Anarch? Good!

Afraid your wages at StarDonald or MegaBuy won't be able to support your hobby? Good! I mean, not really, but stay with me.

If you can find what you need on a street market, why not just get high, and I mean REALLY high, the kind of high that leaves you braindead next morning, THEN go shopping while you're high?

You could wake up the next day and be like, whoa, where did all this stuff come from? And where are my pain pills?

Not a fan of grocery shopping? S'okay, man, me too. But I've got a perfect solution! Get high, turn on your favourite compiler, watch the static and repeat this short catchphrase: Christ, what an imagination I've got!

Or you could do as our homie Shieldwall said - you know when it's the best time to finish your science projects or writing these overdue essays? You know it, boie - when you are high! Smoke'em if you got'em, then go to work! What can possibly go wrong?

One more thing! Remember these stories everybody tells about a guy who swallowed some amphetamines and was found painting the fence at 3 AM? Since you're already bursting with energy, why not do some cleaning up in your basement? You could always find some long-missing backups!

Multitasking is the rage, so why not do all of them at the same time? It's nine creds for just a little headache, come on, get yourself a console, get some sweet breakers, and the most important thing of all, get psyched!

(tl;dr - use credits from Stimhack to install stuff from Street Peddler, Clone Chip or fire Self-modifying Code mid-run, to get exactly what you need and set up your rig in all these situations when your economy does not satisfy your pressing needs.)

(Business First era)
I feel like using Public Sympathy to compensate for the resulting brain damage is basically profiteering off public goodwill... —
When you are this high, you can finally try to finish those old projects you have in your Personal Workshop. I mean, what can go wrong? —
@Shieldwall: Absolutely nothing! I do all my projects when I'm high. As a matter of fact, this is how this review was conceived. // @LordRandomness Oh come on, let's face it: everybody likes a stoner, because everybody does it! —
Okay, true :v. Oh, also you can supercharge your Study Guide in one go with this and it'll even help you break into the server you're running on (hell, I assumed this was what you linked with the essay thing!) —
Aha! Post-cannabical random unintended insight struck again! Good point on the Study Guide. —