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Subject: What if I only roll 1s? - A Review rss

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Peter Howell
United Kingdom
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So, what is Police Precinct? In a simplistic analogy, it’s Pandemic: 5-0 edition. A murder has been committed and you have a finite number of days to gather up all the evidence to ensure you have a case and then arrest the murderer. Of course, it’s not that simple, you still have to deal with other emergencies each turn, if left unchecked the crime rate raises and if allowed to rise too much can mean losing the game.

So, how does it play? Each turn you can move 2 – 3 spaces, depending on whether you’re in a marked or un-marked police car. Both have their advantages and disadvantages – the unmarked car only moves 2 spaces but can draw an extra card for investigations. Once at your chosen location you can choose to handle an emergency, bust some street punks or carry out your investigation. How you carry these actions out is affected by your choice of player character, some are better at investigations whereas others are better at dealing with emergencies. Also helping you are Police Cards which offer you bonuses to how many attempts you have to deal with something or feature one-off actions that can aid you such as removing street punks from the board.

To conduct an investigation you reveal cards from the top of each deck, Witness Statement, Murder Weapon, Examine Body and Crime Scene Evidence. Depending on what your character’s Investigation Rating is dictates how many cards you will draw. If you find a piece of evidence, brilliant, if not, place a card back in the deck and shuffle it ready for the next investigation. Once you have all the evidence you can move to arrest the murderer if he is on the board, reveal all the evidence quickly enough and you’ll arrest him before he even attempts to flee!

The emergencies are drawn randomly from the Event deck at the end of each player’s turn and if 2 of the same colour are on the board then the first drawn become ‘urgent’. There can only ever be one ‘urgent’ emergency so if another of the same colour is drawn then the original is returned to the event deck and crime rate increases by 1. However if you successfully deal with the emergency then you gain a reward such as viewing the top 2 cards of an investigation or a doughnut, the game’s currency for upgrades and other benefits. Some emergencies also have ‘unknown circumstances’ which when revealed can see you have one less or one more attempt at handling the situation.

Some emergency cards also bring with it a number of street punks to be randomly allocated to 1 of 6 ‘bad hoods’. When 4 or more street punks are in the same ‘bad hood’ they become a gang and until dealt with will have a detrimental effect on the game – such as not being able to play any of your Police cards. There are only a finite number of street punks, if you are unable to place a new one on the board the crime rate rises!

So, how do I deal with emergencies and street punks? This is my least favourite part of the game. It’s an artificial difficulty in that you are required to roll a dice. Each emergency card has a number which you are required to roll in order to handle the situation; various cards can lower this number or add more dice to your attempts. For street punks you must roll a number equal to or higher than the amount of street punks present in the ‘hood’. Again, you can use cards to affect your attempts. Beat 3 or more punks in your turn and you get a free doughnut!

Now, don’t get me wrong, even though it’s my ‘least favourite’ part I still love this game. Indeed it can add to the tension of being one rise in the crime rate away from losing. That said, losing in this game is not a bitter pill, you will always look at the board and figure what you would do differently next time but at the same time you can see how you could have won if the dice rolled your way. I will be the first to admit, though that I couldn’t think a better method of resolving actions without the use of dice. Will I still be playing this game, absolutely!

So, how do I rate this game? As I already said, I love this game. My wife and me are big fans of cooperative games and this brings out the best of our tactics and strategising to deal with emergencies, gas leaks, riots, street punks and remembering that we still have a murderer to catch! The randomness of drawing from the decks is spot on, and the benefits of your Police Cards are just enough to help you without feeling overpowered, although being able to re-roll 3 dice comes close.

I will point out that unfortunately it is hard/expensive to find a copy outside of the USA but if you are lucky enough as I am to work in the UK with a member of the American Armed Forces who has access to an APO Box you can take advantage of lower prices/shipping. Hopefully this shortage will be addressed in future reprints.

Overall I would highly recommend this game for the cooperative crowd or even those willing to try it for the first time; you really have to work together as a team to succeed. The production is top notch, the gameplay is fun and it has become a regular during my gaming sessions.

But…

What if I only roll 1s?
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Common Man Games
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Thanks for taking the time to do this Peter!

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Peter Howell
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Common Man Games wrote:
Thanks for taking the time to do this Peter!

thumbsupthumbsupthumbsup


No, thank you for making this game!
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Common Man Games
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petehowell50 wrote:
Common Man Games wrote:
Thanks for taking the time to do this Peter!

thumbsupthumbsupthumbsup


No, thank you for making this game!


It was a labor of love for us and we have Ole to thank for bringing it to us and trusting us to handle his baby with care.

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Joseph Propati
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You can actually get the game for $19.95 on Amazon.

 
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Barry Miller
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petehowell50 wrote:
... but at the same time you can see how you could have won if the dice rolled your way.

I dunno.... sounds like real life to me.

For an example, one needs to look no further then how the Patriots won the Superbowl! The dice "rolled their way" on a few occasions, enabling them to win.


And on a side note: It's the above logic which is why I personally don't have a problem with dice being (smartly) used in thematic games. I know that a lot of people absolutely loath and despise (same thing, I know) having to live by the results of dice in their games, but to me, dice actually adds realism to a thematic game!

Yes, I said, "realism"!

Lovers of smartly designed dice results, unite!
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Peter Howell
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kingspud wrote:
You can actually get the game for $19.95 on Amazon.



You can indeed, and I did. Unfortunately Amazon.com won't ship it to the UK - the use of an APO box got around this for me.
 
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Peter Howell
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bgm1961 wrote:

And on a side note: It's the above logic which is why I personally don't have a problem with dice being (smartly) used in thematic games. I know that a lot of people absolutely loath and despise (same thing, I know) having to live by the results of dice in their games, but to me, dice actually adds realism to a thematic game!

Yes, I said, "realism"!

Lovers of smartly designed dice results, unite!


I completely agree, I don't have a problem because it is used smartly, it's just that sometimes losing a game on a run of poor dice rolls can be annoying.

You know what, I just started typing a sentence about how the method of drawing cards to deal with Investigations could be incorporated to deal with Emergencies. Then I had an epiphany. Where is the tension in drawing from an ever decreasing deck of cards to deal with an emergency that you get from a dice roll? I now don't believe there is another way, love it or hate it. (I don't hate it, I just don't love it either.)
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