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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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. —