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Subject: Agent Hobbes' Recipe Book - submit your ideas! rss

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Saar Shai
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The latest Stretch Goal ($160k) to swing into town is an idea originated by Agent Hobbes for a 'Recipe Book'.

Agent Hobbes' Recipe Book sounds like an Agents urban myth. The stuff of secret service legend. But is in fact, hopefully going to become a reality!

The Recipe Book is a compilation and guide to some recommended 'house rules', 'expansion mixes' and backer ideas that didn't make it into the final published game.

If you have a winning combination or awesome house rule that you want to nominate, please share your suggestions. The best ideas might just make it into the Recipe Book with full credit given to the inventors!

Be sure to give your recipe a suitably suspicious and enticing name!
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Avri
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MUST include a "Classic" / "Old School" mix . . .
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JT Schiavo
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Loose Cannons

Base
MaVericks
Events
(Spoofs Optional)

Special Rules:
When you draw an Event it goes into play immediately and you draw a replacement mission.



Wet Work

Base (Remove Medic, Blood Bath, Man Down)
Special Agents
Mission: Critical

Special Rules:
When an agent is killed, immediately retire that agent.



Tense Negotiations

Base
Bounties
Commanders
Sites

Special Rules:
Bribe tokens may also be used on Free Agents. Retire agent after use.
Bribe tokens may also be used on Commanders and Sites to gain that ability for one turn.



Best Kept Secrets

Base (Remove The Director, Moral High Ground)
Mission: Critical (Remove Gun to the Head, Disinformation, Witness)
Secret Agents (Remove The Informant, The Gambler)

Special Rules:
IP totals are hidden.
Missions are played face down. Reveal the mission to score points from that mission, then retire the mission and draw a replacement.



I also think it's be pretty awesome if there was an actual food recipe mixed in to the recipe book.
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Bradley Zakany
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The Great War Mixup:
All Expansions used.
IP Total hidden, but opponents may check for 2 IP.
End condition: Final Agent is played.
Discard Agent pile is never reshulfed in new draw deck, unless an agent's ability says otherwise.

Basically, the idea is that all the agents are at war with each other and it is only once all the agents have been revealed that it becomes clear which side each agent is on and who they have really been working for.

Also, I know a few recipes that I think may be a good fit.
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C B
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This idea courtesy of Elanor:

Secret Moves (or Without a Trace)
------------
A few (several) blank, lined pages for the user to write in their own recipes.
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Franco
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Strikes me as a great place to finally include a workable solitaire variant.
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David Christensen
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One of a Kind

Base Agents
Special Agents (remove The Engineer)
Secret Agents
Partners
Base Missions (remove Codebreaking and Stand United missions)
Mission Critical (remove The Take)
Black Ops

Remove any duplicate named Mission/Agent cards.
Faction agents should all match the same IP color (white or black).
No Sites/Safe Houses
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One thing for posters in this thread to consider.

If possible, please also include the type of game / playstyle one can expect from your recipe.

Thank you.
 
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Bradley Zakany
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For my war one, expect a long game with a much more thoughtful play style since it is no longer a race to a predetermined score, but an endurance run with whoever is farthest ahead at the end being the winner. Things done early will be felt all the way to the end. The best move might be the one that has the smallest immediate impact, but continues to provide turn after turn.
 
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Nathaniel Hobbes
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I am so stoked this got unlocked. I'm really excited to have this goal. I'm humbled and honored that Saar chose to not only include it, but give it a dubious name.

OK, who am I kidding. In true Agents style, I hacked into his Kickstarter account and added the stretch goal myself. Then, when he tried to change it back, I blackmailed him with pictures of his dog putting its mouth on it's own...delicate regions. Yeah, he didn't want THAT getting out on the Internet. devil

It seems like the Recipe book is getting bigger than I could have imagined, and I love the suggestions I'm seeing here. I'll post a basic outline of how I envision it, and we can go from there.

Section 1: For all Agents
Introduction to expansions. This is a very brief overview of how each expansion plays, and what kind of play style each adds to the game.

Ex. Partners adds an entirely new level of tactical decision making as agents now have other agents assigned to them. Some have abilities that allow you to manipulate the factions, and others act like personal missions that help you collect IPs in certain circumstances. Works best if your group likes to cruch numbers and maximize every advantage.

Section 2: Confidential Clearance
Break the Rules: Unlike the other expansions, BtR can completely change the feel of the game with just one card, so I think it is important enough to merit its own section. This will include different options for how to use BtR cards with details on each. I'll put my first four ideas in another post.

Section 3: Secret Clearance
Recipes: This section will include specific combinations of expansions and BtR cards together. The important thing here is to capture a certain play style. We want to show that The Agents is flexible enough to appeal to both Munchkin and Agricola fans (hyperbole. Put those pitchforks down).

Section 4: Top Secret Clearance
House Rules and variants: As above, but even more granular. This section can include house rules that are not on a BtR card, and recipes that go by the card instead of by the expansion.

Section 5: Field Notes
Blank Pages for user content (As suggested by Elanor on the Kickstarter).

What do you think? Do we need a better name? "Recipe Book" was a placeholder name; is "Field Guide" more appropriate? Another section? Do you want to include a "Strategy Guide" section? Let's make this the best it can be!
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I think Recipe Book is quirky and on point at the same time. I think the name should stay.

It also opens the door for people to add in their favorite gaming night recipes - even if it's just another variation on Chex Mix.

Sprinkle a real recipe here, a game recipe there. I think the RB can be great like that.
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Nathaniel Hobbes
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Section 2: Confidential Clearance
Break the Rules: I have not seen the official rules for BtR, so this entire section could become irrelevant and/or some of these ideas might migrate there naturally. Having said that, let's break some rules!

Option 1: Field Experience
The Recruit: No Broken Rules
The Rookie: 1 Broken Rule
The Field Agent: 2 Broken Rules
The Principal Agent: 3 Broken Rules

Option 2: The Unstable Region
Draw 1 BtR card before the first round. Use that rule for the entire round of play. When play returns to the start player, discard that rule card and draw a new card from the top of the BtR deck.

Option 3: The Despotic Regime
Round 1: 0 Broken Rules, Round 2: 1 Broken Rule, Round 3: 2 Broken Rules, etc.

Option 4: Advantageous Terrain*
Choose the specific BtR cards you wish to use before the game. Start with all of them in play and use them for the entire game. Players may vote on them if there are disagreements, though we encourage concensus building—divided agents are less effective.
*This is the option we will use for the recipes in Sections 3 & 4.
 
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Nathaniel Hobbes
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pishposh wrote:
One of a Kind

I like it, and I'm looking forward to playing it. Can you tell me the story behind this? Is it a civil war or coup? Is it a housecleaning or IA op? I like to put a slim narrative thread behind them to engage players' imaginations.

demonbunny3po wrote:
The Great War Mixup:

Sounds intense. You'd probably have to abolish faction size limits. Have you tried this one out? How did it work?

crinaya wrote:
Loose Cannons, Wet Work, Tense Negotiations, Best Kept Secrets

Love them. Had many of the same ideas. Like your names too.

nycavri wrote:
MUST include a "Classic" / "Old School" mix...

Of course! I argued the same thing when I introduced the concept. We must keep our veteran agents happy.

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Daniel Theuerkaufer
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crinaya wrote:
I also think it's be pretty awesome if there was an actual food recipe mixed in to the recipe book.

That!
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Nathaniel Hobbes
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snake2shake wrote:
crinaya wrote:
I also think it's be pretty awesome if there was an actual food recipe mixed in to the recipe book.

That!

Section 6: Field Rations
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Nathaniel Hobbes
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loquitur wrote:
Strikes me as a great place to finally include a workable solitaire variant.

If you have created such a variant, please submit it here cool I think this is the perfect kind of thing to include.
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Franco
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hobbesvii wrote:
loquitur wrote:
Strikes me as a great place to finally include a workable solitaire variant.

If you have created such a variant, please submit it here cool I think this is the perfect kind of thing to include.


I haven't. Saar said he was going to think about it during the first campaign and I've seen some requests, but I don't think a variant exists yet.
 
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David Christensen
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Data Integrity Check

Your informants are no longer trustworthy. Conflicting intel has your agents going in circles. Where was the dead drop? Who was the target? Better confirm that with another source.

Non-matching data tokens are -1 point
Matching data tokens are still +2 points
Optional: Play to 30 points


Provides a more Take That feel as card orientation could give negative points to opponent. May make gameplay longer as point accumulation is slowed.
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Bradley Zakany
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hobbesvii wrote:
demonbunny3po wrote:
The Great War Mixup:

Sounds intense. You'd probably have to abolish faction size limits. Have you tried this one out? How did it work?


I have not tried it out yet. I have not tried the game yet. I do not have the game. I just thought I would participate and let those who have played it explain why my idea may be a bad one. Or a great one. Or how to modify it to work better.

And I got some actual food recipes that may work. One that I am particularly proud of is a pastry cup filled with a cream cheese and marshmallow fluff mixture and topped with a berry sauce. It is so good. Then there is my recipe for a chocolate chip bread. I also have a recipe for an apple pie cider. It is a hard cider. And it is good.
 
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JT Schiavo
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Slow Burn

Base (Remove Code of Honor and all Free Agents)
Special (Remove all Free Agents)
Partners (Remove The Escort)

Special Rules:
No Starting IP.
No Safehouses.
Players draw one agent at no cost at the start of each turn.
Gain 1 IP if you choose to take less than two actions on your turn.
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JT Schiavo
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Puppet Strings

Base
Events
Bounties (No Bribes)

Special Rules:
Players must activate commands played towards them if possible.
Every time you reactivate an agent's command, you must place a bounty on the agent if it doesn't already have one. If there is already a bounty on the agent, you must increase it.



Shifting Sands and Stray Bullets

Base
Break The Rules
(Optional: Any Miniature)

Special Rules:
Start the game with three random Break The Rules cards in play. Each turn the active player draws a new Break The Rules card and must replace one of the existing rules. If there are no Break the Rules cards to draw, shuffle the retired rules.
At any time, a player may use both actions to kill any agent in any faction. (This is essentially a special kill MaVerick ability, but the miniature makes a great reminder of this.)
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Søren Fischer Jepsen
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I love the suggestions for tweaking the game play - here's one from up north where everybody is equal.

The Jante incident
You're not to think you are more important than we are.

Faction agents can always choose to ignore the THIS/OTHER restriction and choose to influence an agent in one of the factions of the player with the most points.

Expect a prolonged game

Best with 4 or 5 players.
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Andrew McGrath
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Interesting discussion so far, I particularly like the suggestions that would change the 'break the rules' cards throughout the game.

I'd love to see a solo play variant as I'm not sure how often I'll be able to round up a group. I'm very new to BGG & just recently stumbled across the SoloPlay Variants list posted by user GameRulesforOne who seems like a real expert on the topic. It might be worth trying to contact him or post in his Suggestion thread to see if we can get him on board.
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Franco
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As long as the variant doesn't get too complicated to use. I find that's the downfall of many of them.
 
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The Agents doesn't lend itself to being a solo game. So much of the game play is about messing with your opponents.

Shooting from the hip, here's a couple...

Solo Variant 1:
* you build up your 2 factions as normal
* each "off-turn" draw 2 agents and execute their commands to do the most harm as possible to your factions
* you don't get any IP for Free Agents played against you
* you win if you get X IP by turn Y

#1 doesn't seem appealing to me since you will (probably) always place the data tokens towards you. Nothing really to do except when "the game" attacks you.


Solo Variant 2:
* you build 1 faction, "the game" builds 1 faction - same 2 player limit of 7 agents per faction
* you each start with X IP (choose a number for how long of a game you want)
* here's the twist... the data tokens played away from you attack the other player, reducing their IP pool instead of increasing it
* free agents do not score nor attack IPs - but their command gets used
* * if the command is not possible, draw another agent
* if a faction is at 7 agents, on your turn...
* * if any are dead, remove all dead agents instead of drawing
* * if all are alive, draw as usual and treat the agent as a free agent
* winner is the player who reduces their opponent to 0
* start with 0 agents and 0 missions
* draw 2 agents, play one and retire the other
* you can choose to play your agent either direction
* if you point the data token towards yourself and have a match you can gain IP - but then "the game" gets the command
* you may draw missions instead of agents, keeping one, retiring the other - as a gamble to try and gain IP
* "the game" draws one agent and always places the data tokens towards you, matching black to to black and white to white
* "the game" will use the command on each agent to be as destructive to you as possible

#2 possibly has some potential - and probably needs some tweaking. As I said this is shooting from the hip.
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