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Subject: Wrong to let hostages die? rss

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Stefan Tymoshyshyn
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I have signed up for the new KS but am a little worried over one of the gameplay aspects which seem evident after watching some gameplay videos. Namely, when you have rescued at least half of the hostages you may just as well let the abductor kill the remaining ones then shoot him.
I know you could play it so that you had to rescue as many as possible but the way the game is setup it seems easier to just give in once you have enough hostages saved and race to the conclusion.
Can anyone tell me otherwise?
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Morten Monrad Pedersen
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steftymo wrote:
I have signed up for the new KS but am a little worried over one of the gameplay aspects which seem evident after watching some gameplay videos. Namely, when you have rescued at least half of the hostages you may just as well let the abductor kill the remaining ones then shoot him.
I know you could play it so that you had to rescue as many as possible but the way the game is setup it seems easier to just give in once you have enough hostages saved and race to the conclusion.
Can anyone tell me otherwise?


If you play with a razor sharp focus on winning, then yes you'll sometimes see the advantage of letting someone be killed. On the other hand if you want to play thematically and try to save as many as you can, then there's no one to stop you, since it's a solo game .

I've played both ways myself and prefer to play the thematic way. both because I like theme in games and because to be honest I get a bit squeamish about letting hostages die.
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A.J. Porfirio
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Technically you cannot LET hostages die. The conversation cards that kill hostages also save them so there is no reason not to try and save them. And you cannot choose to roll failures.

I think the more appropriate term would be "risk" hostages. And yes, there are times it is strategic to risk a hostage death to try to get more out of the pool.

I think when you play the game you will see this is not nearly as big of an issue as you think.
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Michael Kefauver
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I have to throw in with A.J here. There's no way to win by killing hostages.

I guess (hypothetically) in a VERY fringe case, last turn of the game, you have enough hostages in the pool you can't save them with the big cards that save hostages and eliminate the hostage taker, AND the gauge is on the K, AND you have no other way to save hostages, then, and only then, you MIGHT play a card or two and hope to roll fails in a way that makes the hostage taker kill a few hostages so you can call in the snipers/major extraction for the win once the hostage count falls low enough.


But if you're in that exact of a spot anyway, you pretty much had to try, and your odds of winning are already tiny.


It's a great game, and if you like solo stuff and resource management, you'll likely enjoy it.
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Morten Monrad Pedersen
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Nessmk2 wrote:
I have to throw in with A.J here. There's no way to win by killing hostages.


I don't think that anyone was saying that you could kill hostages. But there can be edge cases, where it's to your advantage to let the abductor kill a hostage instead of spending cards to reroll or turn a four into a success. E.g. there's one more hostage left than you could saved by the cost 8 card (the name escapes me), and with that card you'd have just the number of hostages saved you need to win, and you don't want to risk him taking more hostages, which could then make you lose since you had now no longer saved more than half the hostages.

It could also be a similar situation, where it's not that you're hanging in the balance with the number saved, but that want to end the game with a win now instead of having the second in command taking over and you need that one hostage out of the way to do that.
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Sam Cook
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I feel like The Negotiator is basically Mcgarnagle. At least I play him as such.

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A.J. Porfirio
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mortenmdk wrote:
Nessmk2 wrote:
I have to throw in with A.J here. There's no way to win by killing hostages.


I don't think that anyone was saying that you could kill hostages. But there can be edge cases, where it's to your advantage to let the abductor kill a hostage instead of spending cards to reroll or turn a four into a success. E.g. there's one more hostage left than you could saved by the cost 8 card (the name escapes me), and with that card you'd have just the number of hostages saved you need to win, and you don't want to risk him taking more hostages, which could then make you lose since you had now no longer saved more than half the hostages.

It could also be a similar situation, where it's not that you're hanging in the balance with the number saved, but that want to end the game with a win now instead of having the second in command taking over and you need that one hostage out of the way to do that.


That's fair, but I think that is a thematic and difficult decision that a negotiator might face. "Do I play all my cards now for a short term gain(save a hostage) or hold on to them because if I don't the Abductor might get away and this whole thing can happen again."

The fact that it invokes an emotional response at all really, really makes me happy. I WANT you to not want hostages to die, even if it may mean a slightly greater chance at losing the game overall. It makes for an agonizing decision (good).

I agree that you could play completely strategic and not reroll or convert 4's and it be to your benefit, but if you are immersed in the game you probably won't feel very good about it. And if you think you can still win, why wouldn't you go ahead and do it?

Mostly, I just get concerned when threads such as this pop up because without context for people who haven't played the game it sounds like a big problem, when it fact it isn't really or maybe for some a very minor one.
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Stefan Tymoshyshyn
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Thanks for the replies everyone, it has set my mind at rest now.
It has whet my appetite to start playing the game now.
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Morten Monrad Pedersen
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vanrydergames wrote:
mortenmdk wrote:
Nessmk2 wrote:
I have to throw in with A.J here. There's no way to win by killing hostages.


I don't think that anyone was saying that you could kill hostages. But there can be edge cases, where it's to your advantage to let the abductor kill a hostage instead of spending cards to reroll or turn a four into a success. E.g. there's one more hostage left than you could saved by the cost 8 card (the name escapes me), and with that card you'd have just the number of hostages saved you need to win, and you don't want to risk him taking more hostages, which could then make you lose since you had now no longer saved more than half the hostages.

It could also be a similar situation, where it's not that you're hanging in the balance with the number saved, but that want to end the game with a win now instead of having the second in command taking over and you need that one hostage out of the way to do that.


That's fair, but I think that is a thematic and difficult decision that a negotiator might face. "Do I play all my cards now for a short term gain(save a hostage) or hold on to them because if I don't the Abductor might get away and this whole thing can happen again."

The fact that it invokes an emotional response at all really, really makes me happy. I WANT you to not want hostages to die, even if it may mean a slightly greater chance at losing the game overall. It makes for an agonizing decision (good).

I agree that you could play completely strategic and not reroll or convert 4's and it be to your benefit, but if you are immersed in the game you probably won't feel very good about it. And if you think you can still win, why wouldn't you go ahead and do it?

Mostly, I just get concerned when threads such as this pop up because without context for people who haven't played the game it sounds like a big problem, when it fact it isn't really or maybe for some a very minor one.


Sorry, my intention was not to be negative about the game, and yes the fact that the game can make me squeamish is a testament to the fact that the theme works.
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A.J. Porfirio
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mortenmdk wrote:
vanrydergames wrote:
mortenmdk wrote:
Nessmk2 wrote:
I have to throw in with A.J here. There's no way to win by killing hostages.


I don't think that anyone was saying that you could kill hostages. But there can be edge cases, where it's to your advantage to let the abductor kill a hostage instead of spending cards to reroll or turn a four into a success. E.g. there's one more hostage left than you could saved by the cost 8 card (the name escapes me), and with that card you'd have just the number of hostages saved you need to win, and you don't want to risk him taking more hostages, which could then make you lose since you had now no longer saved more than half the hostages.

It could also be a similar situation, where it's not that you're hanging in the balance with the number saved, but that want to end the game with a win now instead of having the second in command taking over and you need that one hostage out of the way to do that.


That's fair, but I think that is a thematic and difficult decision that a negotiator might face. "Do I play all my cards now for a short term gain(save a hostage) or hold on to them because if I don't the Abductor might get away and this whole thing can happen again."

The fact that it invokes an emotional response at all really, really makes me happy. I WANT you to not want hostages to die, even if it may mean a slightly greater chance at losing the game overall. It makes for an agonizing decision (good).

I agree that you could play completely strategic and not reroll or convert 4's and it be to your benefit, but if you are immersed in the game you probably won't feel very good about it. And if you think you can still win, why wouldn't you go ahead and do it?

Mostly, I just get concerned when threads such as this pop up because without context for people who haven't played the game it sounds like a big problem, when it fact it isn't really or maybe for some a very minor one.


Sorry, my intention was not to be negative about the game, and yes the fact that the game can make me squeamish is a testament to the fact that the theme works.


No apologies necessary, your comments were all on point! I quoted you, but was mostly responding to the OP. Sorry for the confusion!

EDIT: And it is completely within anyone's right to be negative about the game. I don't want anyone to feel they will get any backlash from me. We all critique games! No reason HN should be any different!
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Got two game tables and a microphone
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I just opened my copy and read the rules before going to work. I hope to give this a go tomorrow.

Yeah, the only thing that did not seem thematic so far was the victory conditions. I don't think anyone in a SWAT team or a hostage negotiation thinks a 50% survival rate is a "win". I do want to check out the tension level this game brings.

 
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