FFG pulled the plug on Netrunner, but the community has been hard at work keeping the game going. Two years ago Project NISEI (now Null Signal Games) released a brand new expansion which was pretty stellar for a fan made product. However a lingering issue was the lack of cards that could introduce new players to the game. You could work with getting a bunch of proxies made up but it was a fairly monumental task and not something a new player could navigate through.
Project NISEI understood this and at the end of March, 2021 will be releasing a brand new core product, System Gateway. It consists of 3 different products. The Starter set offers basic corp and runner tutorial decks with a few extra cards for some tinkering. Looks ideal for providing an easier experience learning the nuances and rules of Netrunner. It’s followed up by the Deckbuilding Pack which expands your pool to include all the factions allowing a taste of their different playstyles.
This is a nice implementation for a new player experience. You get a bare bones introduction offering a simpler, yet solid, means of learning the game, along with some additional cards to branch out into different deck construction options. This is further expanded with a third product, System Update. These are old Netrunner cards given a new design. For a brand new player they provide an even deeper delve into deckbuilding.
Time will tell how these sets fare. However I like that if you happen to get people into Netrunner, there are some options out there for people to build their own card collection. My one nitpick is that Netrunner does require a lot of tokens. I’ve got some simple turn and credit trackers, along with some other play aids to keep track of viruses, tags, and the like. They are ugly, bare bones designs but are functional. At least a cheap way to keep record of stuff with a handful of coins or glass beads.
For older players, there seems to be a lot of official formats out there. A reddit post summed the formats up in a nice graphic. Interestingly, I feel the System Gateway format of just NISEI products looks like it would be a lot of fun. A telling sign I hope which will encourage people to take up the mantle of getting new players into Netrunner. Knowing there are cards out there new folks can get if they like the game, that seems an endeavor worth pursuing.