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The Arhus City Grid:
Netrunner in Denmark

by Christian B. L. Sorensen


After the Danish Magic wave back in '96 came some other CCGs, one of them being Netrunner. As a lot of the older gamers became tired of Magic, they looked for more interesting games - I'm not saying that Magic can't be interesting, but still they went looking.

One of the local roleplaying and conflict gamers once showed up at our small gaming club with some Netrunner cards, and we played a few games. Being miniature and roleplaying fanatics, however, we left it alone after a while, not to be tried again until Illuminati: New World Order brought our attention back to card games.

With Illuminati, the older of us realized that designing a deck was as complex as creating a roleplaying character, and having a card game with a balanced deck was as exiting as solving complex plots. With this in mind, we started to play a lot, but soon realized that Illuminati had long-term faults despite its startup qualities. We tried some other games and eventually came back to Netrunner, which proved to be the best of all the card games we ever tried. The fact that it is not symmetric, with both sides playing different roles, was what made it stick this time.

Since '98 we have played many Constructed and some Sealed-Deck tournaments in our local game club in Arhus. As old Magic players and even older lovers of tactical games, we played according to the 1-in-15 format, thus leaving no room for the money guys to dominate the gaming scene. The mere fact that some had 10 Roving Submarines, 5 Schlaghunds and 5 Blood Cats, while others had no The Deck, Access through Alpha or the like, was the reason for this.

Following the improved gaming level came the interest in WotC's website and other Internet-based information on Netrunner. Soon I joined the Netrunner-l listserv and printed out every mailing, to be perused in our club. In the midst of this I discovered that some players from Copenhagen were on the WotC player list. I emailed a girl called Nina and sent her approximately 600 assorted cards (C, U, R), so that she could start gaming and maybe open up a Copenhagen-based City Grid. Her studies in black holes and universal black stuff should make her an excellent megacorp boss, but also take up a lot of her time, so we'll have to wait on this one.

The year '99 saw a great step forward for the Danish Netrunner scene: I corresponded with Daniel Schneider and Stephen Holodinsky and arranged a trip to the German Netrunner Championship. The trip was made for fun, to learn how to conduct a CCG tournament - and to fly the Danish flag. Although I am one of Arhus' best players, I completely choked on the amount of cheese being served at an Unlimited tournament. As a better-than- average 1-in-15 player, I was stunned when I discovered the possibilities in Unlimited. So I ended up being beaten - but it was fun, and I learned a lot. I then went on to Holland and Belgium on a business trip before going back home, and it all added up to a great journey. Once back in Denmark, we discussed what had happened and planned the '99 Danish Championship in conjunction with the release of Classic. But Classic never came to Denmark, and so we waited and waited; the year passed by, and DM '99 did not happen.


So, where are we at by now? Well, the Arhus City Grid tends to buy up all the cards imported to Denmark (or so I have been told by our local shop, called Goblin Gate). We even have to buy from the Outpost in Germany to keep the 35-odd Arhus gamers supplied, and I don't know what to do if more Grids should be formed.

This summer, though, we plan to support nascent City Grids (I work at an Internet company), hold more tournaments with guests from Northern Germany, and eventually hold the first Danish Netrunner Championships in three millennia. We're also planning a Danish Netrunner site containing information on all Grids and featuring all sorts of stuff about Netrunner.

The idea of judges for Netrunner like the ones in Magic is also a matter of concern, now that the DCI has ceased supporting Netrunner. I think that the TRC should form its own judge staff. Our miniature-games umpire (TT) is ready to help in this matter. On June 17/18 at the Magic Grand Prix in Copenhagen, I will meet Matthias Nagy, talk about my thoughts and invite him to the Danish Netrunner Championship 2000 - and get 4 more Classic booster displays.

As the last point of this status report, I'd like to mention the Netrunner Dioscuri project headed by Doug Kaufman, which I am participating in. This gives Netrunner a completely new flavor, and I sincerely hope that it receives the approval of WotC.


As a lover of this grand game, it's my hope that WotC and local shops will start to sell and support this game again, countrywide. If no product is on the shelves, no newcomers will become hooked to the best card game ever. It's been sad for the Danish Netrunner players to read the discussion about the new Classic cards without being able to play them, until our local shop finally had some Classic delivered last week. This failure to distribute new releases kills a game.

Now that the DCI has dropped their support of Netrunner, I also have the hope that the TRC takes over - it's "our game" in a way, after all. And if WotC stops producing it - let's found a company that buys the rights and does a reprint of it all.

Everybody is invited to visit our City Grid at - and feel free to send your comments.

Regards, Christian B. L. Sorensen, Danish Netrunner enthusiast.

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