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V For Victory!: Early design

Recently *waiting* for news about "Tradewars - Homeworld" had got me to work on "M.I.A." (Working title). And so I had been inspired to create a NEW "mash-up" which would be based on these three (3) games:

  1. Pandemic
  2. Risk
  3. Clue

These are VERY POPULAR game titles and mostly everyone knows the last two (2) and Pandemic is known to most board gamers (with 36781 votes on BGG: www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/30549/pandemic).

M.I.A. was supposed to be an "interrogation" game where players would try to uncover Nazi plans while one (1) player, the Interrogator would try to uncover the location of allied bases.

Well M.I.A. was replaced by the "V For Victory!" mash-up. I have permanently remove "M.I.A." as a design and replaced it with "V For Victory!"

More on this game soon...!

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Number of Player

"V For Victory!" can be played by:

  • 2 Players
  • 3 Players
  • 4 Players
  • 6 Players

A five (5) player game is NOT recommended because initial card distribution is not even among all the players. In the above player combinations, card distribution is IDENTICAL and therefore FAIR.

Players are Special Operatives (SOs)

The early design of player roles looks something like this:

  • Commando: Reduces the Nazi army count by one (no battle)
  • Bomber: Can fly to any Player Deck card location and bomb it (50% odds of killing all Nazi armies at that location)
  • Explosives Expert: Add +1 bonus explosive token (White), if drawn kills all Nazi armies at that location
  • Engineer: Can transport up to three (3) allied armies
  • Scout: More APs than other roles
  • Medic: Second (2x) chance on battle draws (do-over)

Note: I have revised roles and limited them to six (6) because of the availability of wooden token colors.

More about the game

The purpose of the game is to uncover the ULTRA SECRET Nazi plans for their design, manufacturing and launching of the V-Bomb.

However while players compete to find this information, players must COLLABORATE to try to stop the Nazis from getting TOO MUCH control over Europe...

For the Nazis to WIN the game, all they need is 10 Strongholds. For a player to WIN the game, he/she must find out the THREE (3) secret locations used for the building of the V-Bombs.

And therefore players COMPETE to try to solve the secret plans before their Allied allies...

Contents of the game

The game will have 51 locations spread across Europe. These locations will be cities, towns and villages.

The Warpath Deck contains all the locations at which the Nazis will launch an attack to attempt to demoralize the location and force it to become a Nazi Stronghold.

A "Stronghold" has three (3) stationed Nazi armies and it will produce troops to be sent to neighboring locations to try to spread out the Nazi forces and take over more of Europe.

The Player's Deck contains all but the ultra secret Nazi V-Bomb locations and is comprised of 48 locations (+3 for the V-Bomb plans). In addition, this deck also has the *escalation* cards which will intensify the Nazi forces (AI/Game Rules) to become more aggressive in their efforts to take full control of Europe.

Some people may find some of these mechanics to be similar to those used in Pandemic (Outbreaks and Epidemic cards).

Taking a Risk

As mentioned the game is one part "Risk". Unlike Pandemic where there is a "Treat Disease" Action, "V" (For short), has battles. Battles are done using odds-based combat. Let me explain.

So let's say one of the Allies decides to storm Berlin which has three (3) Nazi armies. That player uses four (4) of HIS OWN armies and therefore the odds are 3:4 in favor of the player. A RANDOM draw is performed and the token pulled out of the draw is the WINNER.

What this does is REDUCE the opponent's armies by ONE (1). So the next battle would be even more favorable (2:4).

Some roles like the "Infiltrator" don't need to do battle. They work in similar fashion to the "Treat Disease" Action, which means that an opposing Nazi forces are reduced by one (1) army (Per Action Point used).

Risk uses DICE, where as "V" uses wooden tokens and a bag (or cup) to do battles. Battles are even simpler than Risk but MORE favorable depending on the troop counts used at a location! So the mechanics are SIMILAR to Risk without the use of dice...

A major distinction with Risk is that it is a "majority/area control" game: the player with the most territory when the cease fire occurs is declared the winner. "V" has battles but instead focuses on CONTROLLING the Nazi forces such that they don't take control of the entire board.

Have a Clue

Another part of the game is based on a variant of the very popular game "Clue".

As one of the design members on BGDF pointed out, this mechanic is based on LUCK. Well the truth is that Clue is about luck. How so? Well a player can ride on the fortunes of another player. For example if a player finds both the weapon and person who committed the crime, all the other players need to do is determine the location. This process then becomes LUCK of the draw...

So how does "V" mimic Clue? Well at the beginning of the game, the Player's Deck gets shuffled and three (3) cards are removed from it (similar to Clue). Next the deck is dealt (48 cards) to all the players such that each player has an identical amount of cards. Players then check off locations on their SECRET LOCATIONS reminder.

During the game, players reveal location cards from the Player's Deck. When they do so, opponents and themselves can mark off locations until they are left with only three (3) locations!

HOW does this mechanic work? Well the trick is that certain card in the Player's Deck will be useful for some players meanwhile not for other players. So say a Player #1 draw Paris but had already drawn Paris at the beginning of play. This card would be useless to him BUT useful to all the other players who did not have Paris...

Randomizing vs. Luck

I just wanted to point out that although the "Clue" mechanics seem to be somewhat based on LUCK, it's not that obvious. See it has to do with how the Player's Deck get randomly sorted. If all players were to share their locations with their other allied friends, the game would end since all players would know which three (3) locations are part of the Nazi ultra secret V-Bomb plans.

But putting this aside for a moment, the way the deck is randomized is what will ultimately lead to one (1) player winning the game. But it is very hard to predict from the gecko which player that will be. Actually it is IMPOSSIBLE to do early in the game and only possible towards the end if a player's LOCATION SHEET gets revealed.

So I think this mechanic can stand on it's own two feet even if LUCK is a part of the game...

Allied bases

There is only one (1) base at the start of the game and it is randomly chosen at the beginning of the game. This is the place all players will begin the game at. [Note: I am unsure about this. Maybe it should be London, England - TBD]

If this location ever get converted to a Nazi stronghold, the game ends and all players LOSE the game.

Each player can build ONE (1) ADDITIONAL base. But again the same above rule can be applied: if ANY allied base gets subverted to a Nazi stronghold, the game end and all players LOSE.

To build a base, you need the Location card and three (3) armies. Once you decide to build, you discard the three (3) armies and place the allied base at that location. You can then recruit new armies on your next turn...

During the game it is possible to *relocate* a base in the event that it might be surrounded by Nazi forces and be threatened. Same rules apply, you must have the Location card and three (3) armies to relocate the allied base.

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blog | by Dr. Radut