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 • Andreas Zafiratos • Revised Core Set 5
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Stimhack
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Reviews

(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)
528
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)
272

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)
356
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)
362
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. —

As someone that is currently playing a lot of Criminal and is far too anxious to change to something else, I always have a Stimhack on me in-case of an absolute emergency. I love this card, and I hope I can explain why.

Stimhack has very clear positives and negatives right from the start. Firstly, it's free to play, allowing for you to make a reasonably funded run for as little as one , even when your pool is completely empty. Next, it lets you boost your -- perhaps already hefty -- economy, and make a run so over-funded that not even the most advanced Weyland space-ice will stand in your way. Oh, you used your entire turn gaining 7 's from a Melange Mining Corp.? That's nice; I gained 9 's from a single and can still spend the other 3 kicking your ass; as long as I spend all the 's in this run, of course. Also, it's a Run event, meaning that it carries all the quirks of a Run event, such as the ability to use it in conjunction with Planned Assault, making it even more likely that you can play this card whenever you like. Lastly, it costs one influence to use in your deck, meaning that you can splash this thing rather freely, assuming you want to use it outside of the comfort of its home faction; Anarch.

On the more negative side, however, Stimhack lands you with an unavoidable, unpreventable, un... something else... chunk of brain damage. Once you deploy this bad boy you'd better make sure this run is worth it, because what you don't pay in 's you're going to be losing in IQ. This, to some people, is a massive turn off, and I can see why. Nobody wants to have their hand size permanently reduced by one, or worse, up to three if you really like to run it. I would like to make the case, however, that this negative side effect is what makes Stimhack truly special.

This card is not to be used lightly, y'see, and, in some circumstances, perhaps not at all. I've always felt it most suited to an end-game rush when perhaps yourself or the Corp are so close to winning that one poxy agenda could swing the game for either of you. If I want that agenda, you can bet your ass that I'm going to sacrifice the memory of my mother's face in order to get it. The punishment of Stimhack is what makes it such a remarkable tool, as you're going to be thinking VERY carefully before you even consider playing it. And, sometimes even the Corp's defences, assuming they have them, aren't going to stop you. If you're set up with, say, a Gordian Blade, an Aurora, and a Femme Fatale, any decent amount of 's is going to break through their ICE like there's no tomorrow; which there won't be, as you'll have stolen that agenda out from under them and won the game like it was nothing.

My own personal preference involves the use of the Silhouette: Stealth Operative ID as, with her, I almost always know exactly what I'm running before I do so, making the use of a Stimhack more of a risky yet well-informed and tactical decision than just an expensive shot in the dark.

To conclude, then, Stimhack is one of the biggest Risk=Reward cards going in Android: Netrunner that is easy to get your hands on. It's cheap to splash, free to play, and has the potential to win you the game in the right scenario; which comes up much more frequently than you might expect. Sure, you have to blow out a piece of your brain in order to achieve such a thing, but, if you're in such a dire situation that you need to make a well-funded run right this second, a spot of brain damage is probably the least of your worries.

(Down the White Nile era)
It is a great card, I'm not sure why I rarely slot it. —