Kickstart This! #15: Hostage Negotiator: Career
Designer: A.J. Porfirio (The Big Score, Hostage Negotiator, Hostage Negotiator: Crime Wave)
Artists: Rick Hershey (Hostage Negotiator, Hostage Negotiator: Crime Wave, Process: Evolution of Technology), Ivan Pushkov (Hostage Negotiator: Crime Wave)
Publisher: Van Ryder Games (Hostage Negotiator, Hostage Negotiator: Crime Wave, Saloon Tycoon)
Genre/Mechanisms: card drafting, dice rolling, hand management, solo game
Funding Status: At the time of this posting, Hostage Negotiator: Career is already fully-funded. In fact, pledges currently total more than 4.5x the initial funding goal.
Player Count: 1
Solo Mode: yes
What It’s About: Expansion for solo-play-only “hand builder” Hostage Negotiatior, where the player uses various card tactics in a battle of wits against an array of hostage takers.
How It Works: Each turn is made up of 3 phases: Conversation, Spend, and Terror. In the Conversation Phase, the player plays Conversation Cards to influence the Abductor’s Threat Level, earn Conversation Points, and save Hostages. Most Conversation Cards require a Threat Roll with the Threat Dice. In the Spend Phase, the player can use their Conversation Points to buy more Conversation Cards, up to a hand limit of 10. Points do not carry over from one turn to the next, so spend them while you’ve got ’em. The Terror Phase involved drawing cards from the Terror Deck that involve negative effects, and the Terror Deck itself functions as a timer; when the deck runs out, the Hostages are all killed. To win the game, the player either needs to save all Hostages, or save half the Hostages and capture or eliminate the Abductor.
The new Career expansion requires the base game, the Crime Wave expansion, and several Abductor packs to play. Career is a campaign over 10 years in the life of a Hostage Negotiator with each game representing one year.
Comparisons: While many game revolving primarily around card mechanics feature solo play as an option (The 7th Continent, Arkham Horror LCG, Wingspan, Aeon’s End, and most of the Legendary games), Friday is another hand management game designed exclusively for 1 player; and One Deck Dungeon is designed for 1-2 players but reportedly plays best with 1.
What Should I Pledge?:
$40 Sergeant: a copy of the new Career expansion, Abductor Packs #9 and #10, and all applicable stretch goals.
$60 Sergeant + Game Mat: the Sergeant pledge level plus a custom game mat.
$100 Lieutenant: the base game, the Crime Wave and Career expansions, and your choice of 7 from the 10 available Abductor Packs.
$130 Commissioner: the base game, the Crime Wave and Career expansions, all 10 Abductor Packs, Demand Pack #1, Maple Sets #1-2, Negotiator Cards #1-2, & Anna and the Defender Crime Wave Promo Cards.
$150 Commissioner + Game Mat: the Commissioner pledge level plus a custom game mat.
$20 Hostage Negotiator (Base Game)
$25 Hostage Negotiator: Crime Wave
$30 Hostage Negotiator: Career
$5 (each) Negotiator Packs #1-10
$5 Demand Pack #1
$5 Negotiator Cards #1-2
$3 Anna and the Defender Crime Wave Promo Cards
$3 Dice Tower Promos
$2 Secret Cabal Promo
$10 Meeple Series #1
$10 Meeple Series #2
$20 Game Mat (from a choice of 4)
All-In Total: In the continental U.S., you’re looking at $150 for the Commissioner + Game Mat pledge, $3 for the Dice Tower Promos, $2 for the Secret Cabal Promo, and $16 in shipping for a grand total of $171.
Hostage Negotiator completes its Kickstarter on Friday, May 17th and tentatively ships in March 2020.