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Subject: A preview (part 2) rss

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Roberto Di Meglio
Italy
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Let's talk now about the Trouble brewing in Manhattan.

The board of Manhattan is divided in Areas, each Area in turn being divided in districts.
The game includes a deck of Headlines (all of them based on comics stories, but generalized just a little bit so that you can have fun recognizing where they come from, and to make them work with different Teams and Villains). Each Headline has a 'flavor' element attached (the narrative text) and 3 values which affect gameplay: the Type (Crime, Danger, Mystery), a numerical Threat level, and a skill which is useful to have to solve the Headline. On top of this certain Headlines have a "Mastermind icon": these Headlines are more dangerous as Mastermind Villains may be involved in the Headline resolution (more on this later).

At the start of every game turn, new Headlines appear on the board for the Superheroes to solve: if an Area does not have an active Headline, a new one will appear and a symbol on the Headline itself will tell you which district in the area is the one where the events are happening.

'Ready' Heroes (i.e. Heroes for which you've paid their full activation cost) can move onto the district to try to Troubleshoot the area, and of course you will have to deal with the fact that your Heroes are more or less apt to that type of story, due to their skills and Troubleshooting ratings.
Your Heroes which are in the thick of action can receive the support of other superheroes. Most of the time, particularly in the early part of the game, you will be able to send only a single Hero into the trouble, but with the cost of one Plot Point you can put one of your Heroes in a Support position. He will not be involved directly, but can still use his skills and special abilities to help the main Hero - essentially he's a secondary character, or a sidekick, in the story.

When you decide to start the Troubleshooting action, that's the moment you will really understand the trouble is brewing. First of all, the Threat level of the Headline is used to generate the actual level of Trouble in the area, using the special dice included in the game.
The roll will be an 'open' roll, so much more dangerous, if the Hero does not have the right skill for the Headline. After the level of Trouble is set, the Hero may use his Troubleshooting ratings to lower it.

At this point, assuming that some Trouble is left, begins a part of the game which is for me one of the best ones, particularly in the multiplayer version, as all other players (playing as the Villains) will get the chance to use the Villain cards they have in hand to 'generate' the opposition to the Heroes.

I think there's a problem in most adventure games, where essentially all other players can just wander off the table, do a phone call or have a lunch break while other players are doing their turn. We wanted to avoid this problem and of course the way for us was to exploit the Hero/Villain duality to the maximum. So, all other players will be involved when you are playing as a Hero - to hinder you and make your life difficult, by playing Villains and other 'bonus' cards to set up the stage for the fight (could we do a Marvel game without any serious fighting?). Of course there is always that special enemy of yours - the Nemesis of your team - which will take a lead role in trying to make the life of your heroes as miserable as he can, particularly when you try to solve an Headline with a Mastermind icon.

But we will see in more detail in the 3rd preview a little more about how Headlines and Mastermind Villains work.
 
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Andrea Chiarvesio
Italy
Torino
Piemonte
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Wow! Roberto, this looks really exciting and promising!

As you may know, I can't wait to play this dreamy game any soon!

Another hit to the spot, it seems!


 
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Leonardo Greco
Italy
Nonantola (MO)
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I'm waiting for this game!

I wish to get in at the Modcon'06.

Some images?

Thanks

Leo
 
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Luca Iennaco
Italy
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Thanks again for the time you took to write this! meeple
 
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Ben Boersma
Australia
Clyde North
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...and that right there my friends, is a confirmation of my purchase of this game.

Tick in the win column for:

* Brilliant past games... tick
* Great support available for existing games... tick
* Designer's interest in the general public... TICK

Will get this game the second I get it!

Cheers for the effort in putting this together!

Ben.
 
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John B.
United States
Bothell
Washington
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A little linguistic nitpick here:

I'm not so enthused about the decision to have Marvel Heroes "Troubleshooting" areas of Manhattan. What are they, computer technicians?
 
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Cliff Fuller
United States
Brooklyn
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I just think of the "troubleshooting" that occurs in the Paranoia RPG, so for me the language isn't all that simpy.
 
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