Hi! I came up with a game idea for a Heist (although it could be a lot of things; I'm considering a hostage rescue theme instead) game and I would like to get some feedback from you guys. My basic idea is that there will be two players playing on a random(ish) board that represents a building. Each player controls either a security team, or a team that is trying to break into the building. You use cards for actions on your turn and try to either eliminate the other team, or, if you're the attacking team, capture and extract points from the building. I'll go into all the painful details below.
So there are 20 square pieces that make up the game board. They all have different doors on them and might have other things on them (e.g. cameras, locked doors, normal doors, computers, points). In the beginning, players take turns placing the pieces to make the building. All the tiles have to line up, and such. One special tile, that is always placed first, is the extraction point/where the attackers start. So, each player has a certain amount of cards in their hand that are used for actions and attacking. Each unit in your team has a some actions, and can either move or do some other basic action, or play an action card. (BTW, each player has their own deck because some cards can be used by attackers and not defenders and vice versa.) One type of action is hacking, which you can do at a computer, it can allow you to open locked doors, or take control of other things attached to the computer such as cameras (Help me think of a use for cameras; they see only the room they are in, but I don't know what they do. I'm thinking of a type of fog of war, but I can't think of a good way to do that. Maybe just give them an advantage in something). When you're done moving all your units, and unit that still has an action left and has line of sight can fire. Normally they have to be adjacent to an enemy unit to shoot it, but they can also use a better gun from your hand (one time use) to shoot farther/have a better chance of winning. They can also use special weapons such as grenades, riot shields, etc. The unit participating in the battle with more "battle points" from guns and cards, wins the battle. A victory of only 1 point more wounds or kills a wounded unit. Any more kills the unit. There are also special units. There are hackers that can perform a hack quicker/better (not sure) and there are also combat specialists that have one more battle point. The game ends when either one team is eliminated completely, or the attackers have all extracted/been killed. There are four tiles that have points on them (for now they are hostages). They have 1, 2, 3, 4 hostages on them depending on when they are placed in the beginning to insure that the one with most is farthest from the extraction point. At the end, if the attackers have extracted more hostages then there are on the board, they win. Otherwise, they lose.
Sorry for the rant, any feedback/suggestions is very welcome. Thanks.
BTW, after a few playtests I decided a hostage rescue theme works much better than a heist theme.
I like it... After watching a scene from Heat, I wondered why we hadn't really had many bank heist games, AFAIK. Way on the back burner I'd love to do something like this (and an associated jail break game, but I see there are already a couple jail break games coming out soon -- serendipity!)...
My concept was a co-op game against the board itself as a security system.
With your concept of players playing against each other, I think your new idea of hostage rescue fits even better. And it's interesting cuz in a sense it's the same thing (one side getting in to get "the goods" (money or hostages) and the other side trying to prevent that), but when looked at outside the game mechanic lens, they seem like vastly different things. Hmm...
I hope you can proceed further with this and provide more updates :)
In relation to the cameras you could simply switch their affect from conveying an advantage to a disadvantage.
If a player has control of a camera, via a computer, then any player in the room containing that camera is restricted in relation to the actions they can perform.
You could also make it so that the area of influence is linked to the characters computer skill. Computer skill level 1 can affect any camera on tiles bordering the computer room tile, skill level 2 can affect a two tile radius, skill level 3 a three tile radius and so on (fog of war)
A player in a monitored room can't hide, they can't manipulate a lock, or they simply miss a turn in full (you would need to consider missing a turn very carefully since it could result in a stalemate). A work around could be the inclusion of spray can cards, mirror cards or looped feeback cards which negate the camera affect.
These cards could also be played in advance, so players could knock out cameras even if they arent being actively monitored. This would be represented by placing a counter token on the camera tile.
Alternatively, and this would probably only work with the heist theme, you could link the cameras to the scoring mechanism. Every safe opened (or hostage rescued) gives the attacker a point in the final score. Being seen by a camera reveals something about the attacker to the defender - scoring a final point for them.
This could be represented by a marker board which split the attackers character portrait into 9 pieces - or featured spaces for 9 identification points (mannerisms, height, weight, distinguishing marks etc). After all, getting out of the building is only one aspect of getting away with the crime. Disguise cards could be available to the attacker to offset being identified.
If the defender completes the picture before the attacker completes their mission then the attacker looses the game. If the attacker gets away then the points are tallied to find the winner. Or, alternatively, the defender has one last chance to apprehend the attacker after the crime - with the number of identification points making it easier or harder for them to do this.
This would also add a push your luck element to the game, my identity has nearly been revealed should a push for another safe before extraction. It would also add a last minute finale to the game.
Alternatively it could impose a limitation on hacking. As the picture of the attacker becomes clearer the defender is assumed to have a greater knowledge of their opponent and this has a detrimental affect on their hacking ability.
I would also consider having multiple extraction points. A singular extraction point could be used as a kill zone. Set up a killing field, lay in wait for the other player to complete their tasks and make their way to the extraction point - and then simply take them out.
Multiple extraction points would remove this tactic. You could also include tiles/cards/objects that operated as keys for activating extraction points. A code is needed for the rear security exit, a hacksaw is needed for the bars on a window, a smoke flare is needed for a helicopter roof extraction and so on.
BubbleChucks, I really like your idea of piecing together the identity with the cameras. I'm going play with that idea a bit, it sounds like it could make it really fun. Right now the game plays out as more of an attack than a heist, that's why I switched it to a hostage rescue game. Your camera idea may have changed that. I'll have to try it.
Another idea for cameras, and this goes along more with the heist theme is to introduce hidden movement. The robbers recieve a number of face down tokens representing their team, with dummy tokens thrown in. The defenders rush to rooms with a token and can reveal them once they occupy the same room...or when they log into a computer and use the room's camera to reveal a token. Like Bubblechucks said, the attackers could disable a camera, but that would obviously give away their position. Instead of simply revealing a token, you could introduce some sort of hiding mechanic that the defenders have to overcome.