Attitude is everything
The release of Cyberpunk 2077 is 6 months away so we decided to list our top 6 Cyberpunk tabletop products to keep you going until release. Cyberpunk 2077 is the video game adaptation of the Cyberpunk RPG by Mike Pondsmith, which was first published in 1988. 2077 is a first-person, open-world RPG and is set for release on 16 April 2020.
Cyberpunk 2020 / Cyberpunk Red - Roleplaying Game
The most obvious place to start in getting your Cyberpunk fix is where it all began. But you don’t need to track down a 30-year-old rulebook to experience it. R. Talsorian Games have re-released the 2020 Rulebook, and most expansion sourcebooks are still available in print.
If you want something more recent, Cyberpunk Red is a brand new release of the Cyberpunk system and is a prequel to the 2077 video game. The Jumpstart Kit contains everything players need to get started with Cyberpunk Red, including a quickstart rulebook, sourcebook, dice, card stand-ups, and some maps.
The Jumpstart Kit will be followed up with a full Cyberpunk Red RPG release, which will have lore covering the time between 2020 and 2077.
Why play Cyberpunk 2020 / Cyberpunk Red? - To get right into the feel of 2077. The system is fast, brutal and stylish, just like you’ll need to be to survive in Night City.
What do you need? - Get the Cyberpunk 2020 rulebook and some 10-sided dice (D10s) and you’re good to go, or you can get the Cyberpunk Red Jumpstart Kit which has everything you need to start your first few games.
Infinity - Skirmish Game
Infinity is a Sci-Fi miniatures skirmish game. Skirmish games are different from full-blown wargames in that you control a small number of individuals and units, rather than large fighting squads or ranks of soldiers. This makes the games relatively quick and easy to get in to.
Infinity has several factions available, and a few 2-player starter sets to help get you into the game. The latest set, Operation WildFire, sees the security force of the O-12 battling against an alien covert unit. The pack has everything you need to get going with Infinity.
If you really want to go full Cyberpunk, my faction of choice, the JSA are for you. The JSA faction starter has 2 characters that may be familiar to fans of Ghost in the Shell, along with a scythe-wielding bike rider, a Daiyokai and a cyber ninja. You can read our full report on the JSA starter pack here.
You can also go full hacker with the Tunguska Sectorial army. They not only look ridiculously Cyberpunk, but hacking is their strength and it can be used for taking out enemy equipment, or defending against other hackers.
Why play Infinity? - Infinity has a lot of Cyberpunk elements, and not just in looks. Hacking and protecting against hacking is hugely important. It does have a steep learning curve, but the starter packs have an awesome onboarding process to get you playing quickly, as well as everything you need to play in a handy box.
What do you need? The Infinity Starter Packs and Army Packs have everything you need to play, which are starter rules, dice, scenery, tokens and templates, and some incredible miniatures. The full rules are available for free in their entirety online and the profiles for all units are available for free on Infinity Army, so you can get going with just some miniatures and a few 20-sided dice (D20s).
There is also an Infinity RPG produced by Corvus Belli and Modiphius. You can read our review of the core book here.
Android Netrunner - Card Game
Android Netrunner, which is now unfortunately out of print, is included here simply because of how good it is. The original Netrunner was released by Wizards of the Coast and was based in the 2020 setting. Android Netrunner was a Living Card Game released by Fantasy Flight Games and set in their own Android universe. The game featured cyber combat between hackers and mega-corporations.
A Cyberpunk 2020 supplement, Brainware Blowout, included the rules for using the original Netrunner cards instead of the RPG rules for hacking.
Fantasy Flight’s Android Netrunner, based in their own Android setting, shares a lot of similarities on theme with Cyberpunk but is set in different cities (universes) due to the licenses between the companies.
Why play Android Netrunner? - It’s an incredible, deep and exciting card game. Its grasp of theme is awesome and it’s reported that some of the development team of Cyberpunk 2077 are fans of the game.
What do you need? - If you can get hold of some of the original Netrunner, you’d need some starter decks to get going. If you want to play Android Netrunner, getting hold of the full experience now is difficult now it’s out of print, but the secondhand market has them available. You can start with just the core set and build up your collection from there if you like it.
It’s worth noting that FFG have their own Android RPG, called Shadow of the Beanstalk, within their Genesys rules system. We covered it in an On The Tabletop article here.
Human Interface Be A Better Human - Board Game
Human Interface Be A Better Human is the 2nd Kickstarter for Human Interface. The first, Nakamura Tower, is available through the second hand-market, but Be A Better Human is the most up to date release. Both, however, are compatible with each other.
Be A Better Human is a cooperative board game that’s extremely Cyberpunk. The miniatures and equipment have a firm grasp on the setting. It also blends the hacking phase with the real world phase extremely well. You can read our On The Tabletop report for it here.
Human Interface has several different playstyle options. You can play solo or co-operative against the AI. One player can take control of the NPCs and play it like an RPG with the other players working together against them, or you can play a skirmish mode, with players building their own forces and fighting against each other. Hacking in all modes has an impact on the game, and securing doors, infecting enemy systems and controlling the TAC value, which has a direct effect on combat effectiveness, is all integral to the game.
Why play Human Interface Be A Better Human? - It’s a system that as a lot of options for how you want to play it. The Cyberwarfare phase is directly linked to the real world phase and it has a great grasp of the Cyberpunk theme. The miniatures are also incredible.
What do you need? The core Be A Better Human set is available through Postindustrial Game’s website, but for the full experience, get the Blood on the Floor and Kickstarter Exclusive’s as it has some incredible miniatures and extra options.
Battle Systems Cyberpunk Scenery / Core Space - Scenery/Board Game
If you want some scenery for your Cyberpunk tabletop games, Battle Systems have you covered. Their modular Cyberpunk scenery set is extremely versatile and easy to set up as well as being full of detail and very durable.
The walls for their scenery easily clip together and can be combined with their other sets. There are also spaces on the walls for clip-on accessories like signs and girders. The other scenery that comes in the set—the bunks, lockers, and computers—also clip onto the walls as well to give you a secure battlefield scene. The doors and windows for the set pop out and can be replaced for control of entry points and line of sight blocking terrain.
Battle Systems' own Core Space game comes with the same Cyberpunk Scenery set included, so if you’re looking to pick up the scenery, for a little extra, you get can get an incredible game on top. Core Space is a sci-fi game of salvage and survival. Each player controls a team of traders, trying to gather equipment and complete missions while avoiding the Purge, a cybernetic force of harvesters collecting organic matter. Games are semi-cooperative and a lot of fun.
Why play Core Space? - As well as coming with a great amount of versatile Cyberpunk-esque scenery, it’s an incredibly versatile game. It can be played solo against the AI, semi-cooperatively, cooperatively, a player can control the enemies like an RPG GM, or you can just play skirmish against each other if that’s what you want. The game is as versatile as the scenery and there are creation tools available for you to create your own crew, missions, enemies, or you can use those available in the sets. The rules are simple, allowing you to concentrate on the action in-game.
What do you need? The Core Space starter set has 2 crews, some civilian non-player characters (NPCs), a range of enemies, a neoprene gaming mat, loads of incredible scenery, all the tokens, cards and boards you need to play and the rulebook. There are also several expansion packs available to add more crews, enemies, NPCs, and missions. If you want to get further into Core Space, a Deluxe rulebook, that has an expanded rules system, along with a detailed campaign system is available, but the rulebook in the starter set is enough to get you going.
Reality’s Edge - Skirmish Game Rulebook
Reality’s Edge is a Cyberpunk skirmish game rules-set. It doesn’t have its own range of miniatures or anything pre-determined beyond the rules it details. As long as you adjust the scale (it’s designed for 28-32mm miniatures) to suit, you can play it with anything. You can mix the miniatures from any of the above games we’ve talked about, or any system of your choosing if it suits the characters you want to put in your crew.
What Reality’s Edge does, is give you a simple but effective skirmish system, followed by a huge amount of detail about weapons, cyberware and gear, along with skill details and apps that hackers can use in-game to have an effect on the real world.
The system requires a single D10 for tests, with players rolling off and adding their traits and any modifiers, which keeps the system fast-paced and straight-forward to run.
Games of Reality’s Edge can be played as one-off battles, but a full campaign system is included so that you can build your crew from an entry-level group of hopers to a high-level corporate powerhouse.
The setting for Reality’s Edge details all the Cyberpunk you need but keeps it vague enough that it can be set nearly anywhere, giving you a truly open system to explore and adapt for your own experience.
Why play Reality’s Edge? - It’s a fast and simple system, that lets you focus on the details of your crew. The weapons, equipment and apps details in the book give a huge amount of crew design flexibility and are great if you’re looking for a system that doesn’t constrict you to predetermined miniatures or forces.
What do you need? - You need the Reality’s Edge rulebook, a D10, a D6 and then miniatures to represent yours and your opponent’s forces and possibly those of any non-player characters you want in your games.