STARTING THE GAME
First, be sure to have followed the installation guide correctly. You can now use the library to make your own deck, or just use one of the preconstructed ones you can find in the Deck folder. Run MWSPlay.exe, chose a deck and start in solitary mode (you have to set it, since by default it tries to connect to another player). Unless you registered MWS, you can only do mirror matches in solitary mode (which make no sense in this game, I know); that's however the only serious disadvantage of having an unregistered copy, since there is no trial time limit anyway to the software. Before starting the game, you'll se you can decide the amount of life and cards in hand you are going to start with; set them both to 5. Some menu options, like those under the "Show" menu will be disabled in solitary mode, but it will be enough to get a general idea of the how things work.
Once game has started, you can see on the left side your avatar with a number on it (your life/bits), and from top to bottom: R&D/Stack, HQ/Hand, Archives/Trash, and cards removed from game; you can drag and drop cards to/from those icons, and right clicking on them brings out useful menus. Remember however that since MWS has borned to support Magic, you will have to learn its "slang": Library is your R&D/Stack, Graveyard is the Archives/Trash, Hand your HQ/Hand, while Life is your Bit Pool. Just to the right of those icons you'll see another group of pics, which can be used by left/right clicking on them to take count of, from top to bottom: Agenda points scored, MU left, Tags received, Brain Damage suffered, Justice and Bad Publicity counters. Depending on which side you are playing, some of them will be useless (Runner doesn't get Bad Publicity counters!), so in that case you can just leave those alone, or use them to count other things if needed, just explain your opponent what you're doing. Most of the actions can be done by clicking, double clicking, or right clicking on cards and on the empty table, just try and see; you can also draw arrows by right dragging a card onto another one or an avatar. Some more advanced actions can also be selected from the main menu.
On the bottom you can see your cards in hand, while on the right a zoom of the card you are hovering your mouse on; to see an even more detailed scan of the card (in case text results too tiny to be read), right click on it and select the "View Card" option. A very important role is taken by the log on the bottom right corner, where most of actions are tracked down, and where playes can chat to describe what they're doing. By clicking on the button with three dots you can also configure your own frequently used words, such as "Action 1", "Action 2", "Action 3", "Run on HQ", and so on.
You can easily drag cards into play, and just hold SHIFT to put them there face down if needed. Double click on them when they are in play to rotate them 90 degrees if they are ICE. Both players can right click on a face down card and peek it, just be sure your opponent doesn't look at yours (just check what happens in the game log on the bottom right corner).
If you are the Corporation, open your sideboard (View->My Sideboard) and drag the R&D, HQ and Archives cards into play (remember of course to add them to the sideboard when you build your deck!); they will be very useful to make you opponent understand which Ice are protecting the above forts: just put the ice above the corresponding one.
Agendas scored are best left into play, just a bit on the side of the play area, in order to be able to put counters on them, and have a general idea of how many points have been scored, and which effects are available to the player. In case an Agenda is stolen, just drag it to the Runner's side (important note: MWS can crash sometime if both players change the card's side at the same time, so it's better never to TAKE a card, and just let the opponent the time to GIVE it).
Right clicking on cards (and also through hot keys) you can add counters and notes to cards, which can help you in several ways, for instance to keep notes of different counter types on the same card.
Making a Trace is somehow more complicated: you open your sideboard (View->My Sideboard) and drag into play face down (holding SHIFT) the card corresponding to the chosen number of bits you want to spend for the trace. When both players have chosen their trace values, they just need to flip their cards in play, and then put them back in the sideboard. Remember of course to add to the sideboard the trace cards when you build your deck!
Player looking at an opponent's face down card can be done by the player itself, but since MWS doesn't log WHICH card is peeked but only own which side of the table, it's vital that it's is the opponet to temporary flip that particular card.
Runner accessing HQ: the Corp just need to select the option "Show random card from hand", look at the log to see which card has been selected, then put it into play if the Runner wants to read its text (in case he doesn't know the card). If the Runner needs to access multiple cards at once, it's important that the Corp leaves the chosen card into play before selecting the second one, otherwise the same one could be chosen by the program (and that's not how accessing multiple cards work).
Runner accessing R&D: this is the mostr tricky one, but it's rather quick when you get used to it. Corporation should select Show->Top Cards and enter the correct number (usually just 1); this way Runner will see the cards, but since he cannot manipulate them, in case he needs to steal/trash some of them, he has to tell the Corp to do that. For example: <<I steal the first card and trash the third>>. Since in this case the Corp must avoid to look at the second one doing the above, he has to put the top cards into play face down (holding SHIFT), don't mess up with the order, then trash/give the required ones, and put the others back on top. When the card accessed is just one, dragging cards into play face down is unnecessary however.
Miscellaneous counters: right click on an empty place of the table and choose the option to create a token. Make a token with the name you need (you're are also forced to set its color and P/T, since it was made for Magic cards), and a token will be created with that name; you can then add counters to that token to fulfill your needs. Tokens created often can be remembered by the program for faster use; tokens are also easily destroyed by moving them into another place, like the hand.
Running a fort: the quickest way is setting up a "Run" token. Create it, and use the right mouse button to drag it on the fort you whish to run. An arrow will be drawn; after the run, simply destroy the token.
CONNECTING TO AN OPPONENT
Now that you've taken a general overview of how things work, you need to find an opponent. You can go into this site's chat room and look for other players, or just set up a game with a friend of yours. There are two ways to connect: directly to your opponent's IP, or through a server.
To connect directly, one of the two players must load his deck, choose "Connect via the Internet or LAN", select the Waiting tab and push the waiting button. This will display his IP, which he must tell to his opponent. The other player will do the same, but selecting the Connecting tab, writing the given IP, and then pressing the connect button.
If one of the two player is behind a router or a firewall he is unable to configure, both can use a common server to connect. They just enter the server DNS/IP in the Connect tab and press the connect button; one of the two players will then create a game on the server, the other will be able to join, and then the first will just need to accept the incoming player.
This site offers a 24hours/day active server, which you can find at the address mws.runners-net.com. If we come to have good amounts of players, a quick way to find an opponent could just be creating a game on the server and waiting for an opponent there.
Netrunner is © 1996 Wizards of the Coast, Inc.
Cyberpunk 2020, Cyberpunk, and Netrunner therein are trademarks of R. Talsorian Games, Inc. Copyrights in certain text, graphic designs, characters, and places derived from Cyberpunk 2020 ® are the property of R. Talsorian Games, Inc., and are produced under license to Wizards of the Coast, Inc.