by Alex Beck
It is late in the 21st Century and life in the West Coast Sprawl is dominated by powerful mega-corporations, rebellious punks and blazing neon. Mirrorshades is a cyberpunk megagame in the tradition of Neuromancer, Altered Carbon and Netrunner, in which players take on the roles of the senior leadership of the megacorps and the punks which both despise and serve them.
The game begins when the former Chair of the Corporate Court, the closest the world has to a functioning government, dies and triggers an election, set for a year later. Jockeying for position are the four CEOs of the megacorps, each desperate to have the power and prestige of the vacant position. Few can even guess which of Ares Technology, Tyrell-Ashpool, Haas Biomechanics or Greater Hong Kong Security will win but all are sure it will be one of them. Yet there is another contender too - the hacker messiah and punk activist, Fastjack - who is looking for real change and an end to corp dominance.
There are a variety of roles in the game - on the corp side we have “CEOs”, business leaders and politicians, who aim to run the most profitable and popular company, increase their share price and win the election. Reporting to them are Division Managers, each of whom is responsible for all the Corps activities in one district of the city. This includes vital R&D, protection of corporate property, dealing with the threat of Cyber-flu and undertaking more covert activities. Each Corp team is made up of four players with one CEO and three Division Managers. They must work closely together at all times to further the corps goals in the election, the R&D lab and on the streets.
The focus of the punks’ game is around the targeted attacks against the megacorps - usually in the employ of rival corps but for their own reasons on occasion too. These “runs” are complex operations and to succeed will require punks with a variety of skill sets - vital are the “Hackers” who crack security systems and make their way through the neon landscape of VR to find the valuable paydata; protecting them are the “Guns”, violent mercenaries with a range of combat skills; but it’s not all computer systems and shoot outs, sometimes all that is needed are the right words said in just the right way and that is where the “Faces” comes in - con artists, seducers and smooth talkers, they are not to be trusted; lastly the team need the right electronic tools to bust security, surveillance drones to monitor their foes and the fastest vehicles to make their escape, and for that they turn to the “Riggers”, mechanics, speed freaks and drone lovers who manage all the physical tech for the team.
Finally we have one last important team - for watching both groups, uncovering their clandestine activities and, most importantly, bringing the truth to the people are the outlaw journalists - Arachnid Bethlehem and the filthy assistants. A trio of truthsayers, troublemakers and icons to the new scum they work with underground media outlets to bring the stories that matter to the people of the sprawl.
The game is played across four maps, each representing a section of the West Coast Sprawl, with each map split into two - one half the streets and buildings in which the corps jostle for position and the other showing the associated VR space. For making it through the layers of physical security in the corp HQ and getting access to the R&D server is only the start of a run - someone then needs to go into VR, make their way through the endless walls of ICE before finally hitting the paydata - if they are lucky anyway….
What Kind of Megagame is it?
Mirrorshades, like many megagames, has rules of moderate complexity with some background material to be read and a central political game. However it is a game heavy on roleplaying and requires many players to play a single, unique character much like in a tabletop RPG with the character’s personal views and objectives a key part of the game. This also means there are limited operational elements (especially outside of the Corp roles) with players often only controlling the actions of their own role.
Sign Up to Mirrorshades 2.1
The game is on the 11th December at the London Irish Centre in Camden and we are taking sign-ups now. Just complete the form below letting us know you are interested in playing and if you have any preference in team or role. We absolutely welcome team sign ups too - so if you want to play with a group of friends that let us know all their names and email addresses at the same time. Please note teams have a maximum size of 4 players but can split larger groups over two teams if needed.
As with all our games a player role is priced at £30 for the whole day (those selected for Control will play for free) - you can sign up now and we'll ask for payment about two months before the event. This delay is included to ensure players are still able to play the game and avoid unnecessary cancellations. However it is still possible to cancel after payment and you can read our refund policy here.
As with all our games we will be sending out the cast list a month before the game and handbooks two weeks before the game.