oldschoolgamr
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I had the opportunity to play test the Crime Wave Stand-Alone Expansion and two of the three new abductor packs: The Circle of Automa and The Rival.

Beyond the new - and completely different - Conversation Cards, beyond the new - and completely devious - Terror Cards, AND beyond the ability to custom build BOTH of these decks with cards from the Base Game and the Crime Wave Expansion to completely customize the experience, the new Abductors make old and new Hostage Negotiator content even more amazing.

The three abductors in the Crime Wave proper game totally push new styles of play AND have themes that seep from the mechanics in a way unique to how AJ does it.

The guest designed abductor packs double down on this and provide some of the most amazing emerging narrative and down-to-the-wire stand up roll excitement I have experienced. And it's doable without the marathon sessions required for similarly tense and exciting games.

Spoilers tagged - so if you want to be surprised on Abductor mechanics, don't click below.


One of the Expansion Abductors...
Spoiler (click to reveal)
Is hardcore fleeing - she has no Major Demands, but only Escape Demands, and once one is revealed, another takes its place... Made for a REALLY thematic and unique head-to-head.


The Automa Cult provides almost a completely new take on the game:

Spoiler (click to reveal)
The hostages ARE the abductors! They have different personalities each with a positive or negative affect on the game. Who is activated can be manipulated to your advantage - but when you rescue or kill one - careful who is next up to speak for the cult!


The Rival adds one key risk that can disable your usual strategies and force improvisation for clutch victories:

Spoiler (click to reveal)
Rivalry rolls MAY eliminate conversation cards form your pool - which AGAIN forces last minute changes to strategy and approach - totally cool.


Seriously - if you are on the fence about this game/expansion, pull the trigger now. The Abductor mechanics in this encore effort are NOT to be missed. I can't wait to see the glossy versions of these cards with full artwork...

OSG
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Pierre C
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oldschoolgamr wrote:
I can't wait to see the glossy versions of these cards with full artwork...

OSG


I'd agree with you there. I also was a play tester for the same base and packs as you. I didn't really realize how much the artwork makes a difference even if you think you're not paying attention to it. Not having artwork on the play test cards was a bit unusual.

Another graphic adjustment will be mixing the Conversation Cards assuming that you have both the original base and the Crime Wave Expansion. The zero and one CP cards are the same but with different flavour text. On the play test cards, it was still the male negotiator image. Now with the female negotiator pictures, it may pull some people out with the having both male and female photos. It would have been nice to have had double sided cards with both genders, but then it would have only been one way compatibility. But I'm pretty sure I'll get over that quickly. And you will want to mix up the conversation cards and try to customize it to the abductor. Somehow I like this method better than using the Negotiator Cards.

Granted all these are nitpicks. I'll write more later on the overall, but you're getting more variety of scenarios that will push how you interact with the game. A lot of thought out decisions were made at each stage and that you'll want to get your hands on all of it. It's also great that you can pick and choose your experience, if you don't want to go all in..... till you're ready to buy it all.
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oldschoolgamr
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Yes, the artwork on the corner of the conversation cards is different between sets, but it doesn't really interfere with game play at all. I like how the card backs are the same as it prompted me to come up with a challenging variant I love called "Unpredictable Resources".

In "Unpredictable Resources" I build a conversation deck from both sets EXCEPT the 4-7 value cards. Instead, I combine all the choices for these values from both sets and draw at random to complete the deck. Having the card backs makes this a ton easier and the added challenge of not controlling what comes up adds an extra kick to the game - for both old and new Abductors!

I am sure the community is going to continue to riff on all the possibilities - especially the Terror decks. I can see people posting a high difficulty deck and tracking scores for the punishing version of the Terror effects. The deck building aspect could really generate some cool community content for sure.

OSG
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Morten Monrad Pedersen
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oldschoolgamr wrote:
Yes, the artwork on the corner of the conversation cards is different between sets, but it doesn't really interfere with game play at all. I like how the card backs are the same as it prompted me to come up with a challenging variant I love called "Unpredictable Resources".

In "Unpredictable Resources" I build a conversation deck from both sets EXCEPT the 4-7 value cards. Instead, I combine all the choices for these values from both sets and draw at random to complete the deck. Having the card backs makes this a ton easier and the added challenge of not controlling what comes up adds an extra kick to the game - for both old and new Abductors!

I am sure the community is going to continue to riff on all the possibilities - especially the Terror decks. I can see people posting a high difficulty deck and tracking scores for the punishing version of the Terror effects. The deck building aspect could really generate some cool community content for sure.

OSG


Thank you, both of you, for the help on playtesting my Abductor Pack .
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mortenmdk wrote:
oldschoolgamr wrote:
Yes, the artwork on the corner of the conversation cards is different between sets, but it doesn't really interfere with game play at all. I like how the card backs are the same as it prompted me to come up with a challenging variant I love called "Unpredictable Resources".

In "Unpredictable Resources" I build a conversation deck from both sets EXCEPT the 4-7 value cards. Instead, I combine all the choices for these values from both sets and draw at random to complete the deck. Having the card backs makes this a ton easier and the added challenge of not controlling what comes up adds an extra kick to the game - for both old and new Abductors!

I am sure the community is going to continue to riff on all the possibilities - especially the Terror decks. I can see people posting a high difficulty deck and tracking scores for the punishing version of the Terror effects. The deck building aspect could really generate some cool community content for sure.

OSG


Thank you, both of you, for the help on playtesting my Abductor Pack .

It was my pleasure Morten!

Your pack really changes the game and ratchets the tension amazingly - nice job!

OSG
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oldschoolgamr wrote:
mortenmdk wrote:
oldschoolgamr wrote:
Yes, the artwork on the corner of the conversation cards is different between sets, but it doesn't really interfere with game play at all. I like how the card backs are the same as it prompted me to come up with a challenging variant I love called "Unpredictable Resources".

In "Unpredictable Resources" I build a conversation deck from both sets EXCEPT the 4-7 value cards. Instead, I combine all the choices for these values from both sets and draw at random to complete the deck. Having the card backs makes this a ton easier and the added challenge of not controlling what comes up adds an extra kick to the game - for both old and new Abductors!

I am sure the community is going to continue to riff on all the possibilities - especially the Terror decks. I can see people posting a high difficulty deck and tracking scores for the punishing version of the Terror effects. The deck building aspect could really generate some cool community content for sure.

OSG


Thank you, both of you, for the help on playtesting my Abductor Pack .

It was my pleasure Morten!

Your pack really changes the game and ratchets the tension amazingly - nice job!

OSG


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I've just been getting into binge watching Prison Break, my first time through,

Potential very vague possible spoiler





and let's just say the art on Mortens pack looks like a nod, perhaps . . .the whole, abductors are victims as well thing, might fit, too. I thought it was a nice touch. Familiar, without being too close to an exact likeness, though for me, the guy on the front will be, The Sink.

I'm partway through season two, just at Bolshoi Booze. I can say it's been weird to see Utah on the show, in parts. Anyway, nice touch.
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sarebear62 wrote:
I've just been getting into binge watching Prison Break, my first time through,

Potential very vague possible spoiler





and let's just say the art on Mortens pack looks like a nod, perhaps . . .the whole, abductors are victims as well thing, might fit, too. I thought it was a nice touch. Familiar, without being too close to an exact likeness, though for me, the guy on the front will be, The Sink.

I'm partway through season two, just at Bolshoi Booze. I can say it's been weird to see Utah on the show, in parts. Anyway, nice touch.


That's interesting. I haven't seen Prison Break, but then again I didn't make the artwork.

My Abductor Pack is actually inspired by the siege of the Branch Davidians in Waco, Texas back in 1993: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waco_siege
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I can't wait!!
 
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Fee Weasel
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…so do all who live to see such times but that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.
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mortenmdk wrote:


That's interesting. I haven't seen Prison Break, but then again I didn't make the artwork.

My Abductor Pack is actually inspired by the siege of the Branch Davidians in Waco, Texas back in 1993: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waco_siege


I'm curious to see this one even more now. I remember when that whole situation took place. The local media coverage was nonstop. Living about an hour away at the time it was all the TV, newspapers and talk radio would cover.

Did you use any thing specific from the stand off and siege or just use it as a general back drop for ideas?
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fee_weasel wrote:
mortenmdk wrote:


That's interesting. I haven't seen Prison Break, but then again I didn't make the artwork.

My Abductor Pack is actually inspired by the siege of the Branch Davidians in Waco, Texas back in 1993: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waco_siege


I'm curious to see this one even more now. I remember when that whole situation took place. The local media coverage was nonstop. Living about an hour away at the time it was all the TV, newspapers and talk radio would cover.

Did you use any thing specific from the stand off and siege or just use it as a general back drop for ideas?


I can imagine that it would be covered intensively in the area.

I used it to inspire (I also used Heaven's Gate as a source of inspiration). I didn't want to get it too real, with real life people being killed in the game.

In case you're interested, then here's a post I wrote about it on my blog:
https://boardgamegeek.com/blogpost/56779/cult-automa-how-the...
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Thanks for the link Morten.

I didn't mean to insinuate you used actual people, that would be in poor taste even for me. I was referring to specifics such as demands, situational events and the like. It can't be easy to design for a game like HN without offending some people. It's a really good game but its subject matter is not for everyone. Just like books and movies, games can hit too close to home for some.


EDIT: Morten's blog link does a great job of giving insight into what went on behind the scenes of designing this abductor pack. Great job Morten.
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fee_weasel wrote:
Thanks for the link Morten.

I didn't mean to insinuate you used actual people, that would be in poor taste even for me. I was referring to specifics such as demands, situational events and the like. It can't be easy to design for a game like HN without offending some people. It's a really good game but its subject matter is not for everyone. Just like books and movies, games can hit too close to home for some.


EDIT: Morten's blog link does a great job of giving insight into what went on behind the scenes of designing this abductor pack. Great job Morten.


No worries, I didn't take your question to insinuate anything bad . It was a good an relevant question.

I agree on the potential issues with the game's theme and I did check with AJ whether he'd be OK with the theme I had chosen.

I'm happy that you liked the post.
 
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