It’s Friday, and thus time for another NISEI Weekly Update. This week, RC is on vacation (or holiday, as he would call it), so he’s entrusted your pal Orbital to post up another one of these interviews with The Board. This week, we have a very special guest. You know him, you love him, it’s: … Well, it’s RC. Of course it is. If we’re going to have a filler week, might as well get this one out of the way, eh?
For the uninitiated, RC (aka Simon Westfield or @realitycheque) is the Community Manager for NISEI. He’s the one responsible for making sure news comes out on a weekly basis, interacting with the community, and generally being the public face of the org.
So, without further ado, let’s have RC do what he does best and talk at us for a few pages:
So, sir, how did you get into Netrunner?
At uni [college - Ed.], I lived in a house with 3 other massive geeks. We found ONR in a little game shop, decided to give it a try... 3 months later, we had bought the equivalent of 2 starter sets and a booster box each and if we aren't playing we would gamble rounds of toast on games we were watching.
When it got re-released, two of us (me and the ex housemate who lived locally) bought it but my friend was away with work a lot so we only started playing after about 18 months. We played at mine for until June 2016, and then after one small GNK we got hammered at - I only won two games, against him - we went to UK Nats 2016 and I caught the competitive bug.
ONR. Nice. Fond memories of any of those cards? Anything you'd bribe Greg to get back?
I have dropped more rocks on Paul than I would care to count. 15 meat damage is a big "you die now", and even makes a mockery of Armored Fridges.
Interesting. So, would you say that your playstyle on the Corp side leads more toward murder or scoring?
I like having the flexibility of both, although I tend more to net damage than meat nowadays. Why put all your eggs in one basket, when you can have two baskets and one of them is explosive? Damage is an excellent tempo hit, and sometimes just the fear of damage gives you a scoring window.
Sounds like you have a decent sense of how you like to play Netrunner. What are RC's other hobbies?
I like pretty much all games: board games, RPGs, console/PC games... preferably with some kind of story or narrative.
I also discovered a couple of years ago that I enjoy running, which came as a bit of a shock.
RPGs have been probably the most consistent hobby over my life though, I've been doing that since I was 13 and discovered 3 books were a lot easier to bring to school than 2lbs of lead 40K models!
Any RPGs in that you have a particular fancy for?
Oh hell yes. Exalted has been the game I have played most, it's been our game of choice since 1st edition (currently on 3rd) and I describe it as "if House of the Flying Daggers and Dragonball Z had a baby, as did Naruto with Norse gods, and those babies had a fight on top of a behemoth bred specifically to shuffle mountains around".
It is not hyperbolic to say I'd not be the same person I am today without that game.
Unfortunately I don't think we have the time and/or text space in a single article to unpack all that. So, uh, let's pivot and get into the Hard Hitting questions. But, wow, Exalted sounds incredible. How did you feel when you saw the announcement from FFG about the official support ending?
I went numb, and stayed that way for about a week. I struggled to believe it, this game has been hugely important to my sanity and I couldn't believe it was nearly over. Then I started making plans for Worlds, because I couldn't let myself miss the last one!
I feel you. Not going to lie, I shed a few tears myself. So, digging deeper, I have a multipart question: What was your involvement in the community prior to the announcement? What inspired you to get into it? And, finally, what inspired you to get into NISEI?
I've been community-adjacent for a while; I was involved in a few small meta groups (Milton Keynes and Peterborough being my main two, as my home county doesn't have a local scene), attended a lot of events around the UK and like most people I was in Dorks and Geeks, but I didn't actively start to spend time in places like stimslack until after the announcement. The UK scene is very tightly knit, and it seems a little impenetrable from the outside because everyone knows everyone else but actually i was pleasantly surprised at how welcoming everyone is to new people and wish I'd made the effort sooner! As to why I got involved with the community, it's simply because in times of sadness you need your people around you - and after The Announcement, we were all mourning together.
I got involved with NISEI because when I was separating from my ex-wife, this game gave me the distraction I needed and fun people to hang out with and for that, I refused to just let it die. NOT ON MY WATCH! I looked at the list of roles, and I saw a role in which I knew I could do some good - I've been a part of several volunteer community teams in the last 8 years, and I've had experienced Community Managers tell me that they'd give me a reference if I ever wanted to step into the field myself because of the work I'd done with them. So I applied, knowing that if I didn't get it then it must have gone to a better candidate than me and that would have been almost as good as getting the position myself!
We're glad to have you. I have to say, personally, that you've been excellent so far and very fast (perhaps too fast, but that's another discussion ;-P ). What is your favorite thing about the game and/or the community?
Too fast!? If we stop... Netrunner could die. Not worth the risk :grin:
My favourite thing about the game itself is the out of nowhere plays that completely turn the game around. Had one at worlds where the corp thought they had me in Tag Hell, but at the end of my next turn I had no tags and two more breakers installed that I did at the start... although I still lost cos it was Joe Schupp. Still love me some Shaper Bullshit though :grin:
If you'd asked me my favourite thing about the community 6 months ago, I'd have said how friendly everyone was... but it turns out that the talent levels are even further off the scale. As an example, hanging out in #artist-colony is equal parts awe inspiring and humbling! I wish I had even a tenth of the artistic skills I see demonstrated in there.
Hmm. Shaper Bullshit is indeed great, and so are the talents of our fellow Runners. Speaking of making runs: If you were a Runner what faction do you think you'd be?
I have no doubt in my mind I would be a Shaper... while I have some Anarch tendencies, I would run just to see how things worked and to prove that I could.
What Anarch tenancies, RC? You have an investigative journalism streak we don't know about? A penchant for smashing things Whizzard style?
Let's just say I like my mischief... that and I'm not a fan of big corporations.
Fair enough. Well, I am about to ask you to comment on a Corp you do like, albeit fictional. If OP was to issue a ruling tomorrow that you could only play one Corp ID and one Runner from here until the end of time, what are you picking?
Well it's definitely a Jinteki/Shaper direction! My favourite is Tennin but I do want to win occasionally so either PE or Mti... let's say Mti. PE doesn't have the oomph that dropping a Chiashi on someone does.
For runner, Akiko looks fun but Hayley is just too damn efficient and enables so much of the Shaper Bullshit I love to do.
I see. Keeping up with the murder-y score-y and Shaper BS theme you've established already.
I am nothing if not consistent.
As a Shaper you probably don't faceplant ice much but, if you somehow did, what would be your least favorite?
Tithonium, ugh. Losing programs is bad enough, although I can get them back... resources are harder to recur. And then it goes and ends the run, just to rub salt into the wound.
Do. Not. Like.
Good call. I suppose it's also incredibly taxing for just about anything, and has the optional free-to-rez text. Alright. The hardest of the Hard Hitting questions: Geist. Blue Shaper or Criminal Mini-Faction?
He's a blue Shaper. The dude has some SERIOUS bullshit going on. I think he's only blue so he has to pay influence for Levy, otherwise he'd be just too damn good.
Have we a Geist fan, then? You've mentioned you are a fan of BS.
I'm both a fan and a not-fan. Anyone sat near me at the Dark Sphere regional this year would have heard me cursing his name because he repeatedly failed to deliver cards in any useful order.
I think he'd got some beef with Tech Traders on that day, because they kept hiding from me.
I believe many a Geist player know exactly the feeling. Where do you land on the 2x Levy or 1x Levy and 1x Wasteland divide?
2x Levy. I've seen too many Deadlers to risk just the one (that's a Dead Peddler, if you're not up on UK Slack lingo).
Concise, definitive answer that one. Final question and then you can go grab a cuppa: If you were to un-rotate a card, which one are we getting?
Bad for the game: Medium, cos I used to love hitting people with a Demolition Run, Maker's Eye, Showing Off combo when you start the turn with a few counters.
Good for the game: PrePaid Voicepad, because I never got to play PrePaid Kate and I'd like to try it with either of her newer shaper sisters.
There we go. A bit long winded there, but if you made it this far you now know a lot more about RC than you did coming in. Please come back next week, when our dear Community Manager will be ready with another article!
Time for some other business…
Playtesting responses continue to be enthusiastic and plentiful, but we could always use more! If you were thinking about applying but haven't done it yet then there's still time! Just fill in this survey and we'll be in touch with you soon.
The survey on running events is also still open, give us some details if you’re interested in buying kits and running events at your FLGS, game club, or dining room! This is open to ALL, not just stores and distributors!
You can anonymously submit questions and they’ll be answered publicly here. You can also ask them directly in that thread if you wish. Keep them coming and we'll do our best to answer them when we can.
And with that, we're done! RC will be back to his regularly scheduled updates next week, and ol' Orbs will retreat to the shadows from whence I came. Until then share this where you will, stay plugged in, and...