Author Topic: Hostage Negotiator  (Read 182 times)

Offline Decar

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Hostage Negotiator
« on: April 27, 2019, 08:10:08 AM »
A new Hostage Negotiator kickstarter begins on the 30th April introducing a career mode that you play over several games.

I've not had much chance to player frequently, but Van Ryder Games are teasing the new campaign so I thought I'd take the opportunity to give it a go.

I've signed up as the rookie Officer Decar, and it's first day on the job.  C:-)
I wont post any spoilers, but the new content seems to have you make decisions, in a choose your own adventure style, where you adjust stats and events throughout the course of the campaign's progress.

Here's my wrap sheet:


My first game starts with the terrorist Arkayne, who is holding 7 hostages captive in a warehouse in Down Town.
Activists from his group were arrested a few days before and he wants them released!
Little does he know Officer Decar doesn't negotiate with terrorists.  No wait! That's exactly the whole point of the game.

If you're not familiar with Hostage Negotiator, your job is to save the hostages and capture an abductor over a limited number of rounds.
Each turn sees you plan your negotiation tactic, by playing a series of cards.  You must roll to see the outcome of each negotiation card you play.
When successful the cards allow you to lower the treat level (talking the captor down), or increase your rapour allowing you to access better cards.
When you're unsuccessful the threat level increases and the conversation may end abruptly; and if the threat level increases too much, the abductor starts to kill your hostages.
At the end of each turn a terror card comes out that usually impacts the game or the next turn.
Your job is to save the hostages and capture (or eliminate) the terrorist before the deck of terror cards run out!

Arkayne is a relatively easy character to start the game.  Our general strategy is to keep the threat level low, keep him calm and when possible build up my rapour to access good cards.

In the first turn, thanks to some good dice roll, I was able to attempt an early extraction, to manipulate my odds, I also got a card allowing me to treat partial success (a roll of 4) as success if I discard two cards instead of play them.  Thankfully, I saved 2 re-rolls from the previous round.

So I play the mitigation card first but only roll blanks!  What a total waste of a card!
I've got no back up now. It's time for my first Minor Extraction.... and I roll blanks again!  Gah!
I use my first re-roll....but I get ANOTHER BLANK!
My months at the academy aren't helping now....breath.....I have to make this last re-roll count:
"No that's not what I meant", I gingerly snap down the telephone.
I roll a partial success, I discard 2 Small Talk cards to claim my first victory.
Arkayne's mad, the threat level increases, but we've saved our first hostage!



No sooner than we draw breath, the terror card comes out and Arkayne takes his chance nabbing 2 additional hostages!  :o



Over the next few rounds, I struggle to acquire any powerful cards, but I manged to reduce the threat level right down and persuade Arkayne to let 2 hostages go.

I mange to wrack up 11 points to spend on cards, so the next round is likely to be make or break!


Over the next round or so, we successfully keep Arkayne cool, and rescue 3 more hostages.
But then, a terror card simply accelerates the game, towards the penultimate 2 rounds:



But, I should focus on the positives, Arkayne was calm, only 3 hostages to go and most importantly, no one had been killed...yet.

I was prepared for the penultimate round, essentially a replay of my first extraction.
Mitigate the dice and execute a minor extraction:


Officer Decar is clearly improving—all hostages saved, but only one round remains!

The pivotal terror card removed one of my negotiation dice!
After the last round the terror level had left me with only 2!
I was down to only one die!

I have to lower the threat level to gain an extra die, it's the only way I'll manage to eliminate the abductor.
I play a Keep Cool, but it fails.
I play my last Keep Cool: "Stay calm Arkayne, it'll all be over soon, the hostages are safe.", I stumble and use a re-roll: "No, no you don't understand..."—Success.

Officer Decar, pulls the mic away from his sweating brow....."Sniper, take the shot..."
"Damn it Jenkins! Execute Plan B!", my last re-roll; one die roll stands between the abductor's escape or elimination:


....
....
....
"Arkayne is down, repeat:  Arkayne is down."

Pretty intense for a first day on the job!
I'm not quite sure how I feel about shooting terrorists, I didn't seem to have an option to capture him, so it was only going to end in one of two ways.
But at least the public is safe.

There are at least two more scenarios to play in the campaign during the kickstarter, so if I have time, I'll be keeping you posted!

Officer Decar chalks down the events on his crib sheet:




EDIT: I realize now that in order to capture the abductor, all I needed to do was successfully rescue another hostage.  I hope taking that sniper's shot doesn't reflect badly on Officer Decar's permanent record :(

Linkback: http://www.carcassonnecentral.com/community/index.php?topic=4281.0
« Last Edit: April 28, 2019, 05:42:54 AM by Decar »

Offline Decar

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Re: Hostage Negotiator
« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2019, 08:10:21 AM »
Year 2

The Kickstarter campaign has started: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/vanrydergames/hostage-negotiator-career/

Also, the next part of the teaser campaign is released.  I won't spoil anything, but it went ok:


I reduced Personal Stress and received a Merit for my first mission.

I received a recognition card too:



It's been a year since my negotiation with Arkayne; I've been now the rank of Officer.

I've been called to a local fast food joint (McBozos), where a local down-and-out, Lijah Ramone, has taken 8 diners hostage.

I kept my cool and talked Lijah down, she explained that she was going through a difficult time and had hit the bottle before getting behind the wheel the night before.  She never saw the officer and pedestrian she hit.  I heard her demands, then I told her A bold lie, allowing us to saves our first two hostages, but with every hostage saved, more demands came out, and it was clear the threat level was ramping up!



I spent the next few minutes calming her back down, and thought I'd try my luck at another bold lie.  Damn, she saw right through me, and though I told her I meant something else, it was no good.  She was fuming!



Over the next hour, I successfully talked Lijah into releasing another two hostages, and with that more demands!  I tried to hear them, but instead I just annoyed her more.  The situation was worsening and now I was running out of time.



By all accounts, I only had two more exchanges before a pivotal event saw the end of this traumatic negotiation.  With 4 hostages still in the building, I couldn't see how I could save everyone, the conversation become dire and Lijah snapped.  She murdered a hostage in cold blood.  With seconds remaining, we had to try a minor extraction, I told her to keep her cool but we only saved one.  There were was silence.

The team entered the building but Lijah had Vanished into Thin Air.  Three bodies remained.  During the debrief, it was clear I hadn't listened to Lijah's demands fast enough, and was unable to mitigate how quickly she'd escalate the situation.  I don't think I'll be eating at McBozos any time soon.



The impact of this negotiation will mean I don't make Detective grade this year.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2019, 09:21:00 AM by Decar »

Offline Decar

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Re: Hostage Negotiator
« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2019, 08:10:30 AM »
Year 3:

With no Stressors in my deck, I'm called to take part in the After Action Review of a fallen colleague.

Again don't want to spoil anything in the story, but I got +1 Merit, but still not enough to make Detective.

I receive a call... Lijah Ramone has been seen at SFC with another 8 hostages....
« Last Edit: May 18, 2019, 09:29:28 AM by Decar »

Offline danisthirty

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Re: Hostage Negotiator
« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2019, 03:51:45 AM »
Arkayne was my brother. Be seeing you real soon Rookie Officer Decar...

EDIT: In all seriousness, I really enjoyed reading this little account of your game. The theme of negotiating with terrorists isn't something that immediately grabbed me as I have an 8 y/o daughter so I'm used to it. But I liked the sound of the mechanics as you described them, and the way the campaigns and challenges of each scenario play out. Thanks for your great review Decar! Looking forward to hearing more! :(y)
« Last Edit: April 29, 2019, 03:56:06 AM by danisthirty »
Heroically snatching defeat from the jaws of victory since 2018

Offline Decar

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Re: Hostage Negotiator
« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2019, 09:33:51 AM »
Thanks Dan, I guess I should get this negotiation practice in now!

I've just posted year 2


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