As I have discussed before, coop games in most cases can be no more than multi-player solitaires. This following idea tries to solve that and marry the best of Ameritrash (THEME) with the best of Euros (solid mechanics).
This idea was derived from conversations with David Short, a designer from Arizona.
- Science Fiction
- Team Leaders or Individuals separated in a base either trying to escape or maybe rescue someone – the key is they have a common goal!
- Heroes have either attacked an alien base or have escaped capture in an alien base and have no way of contacting each other
- Think Aliens – creepy stuff
- Players search rooms – in these rooms several things happen. They find items but also can build up movement points and health points. There is a search deck like Ticket to Ride or Pantheon. Three cards are revealed. Players may take 3 cards per search (per character search as you order each character). Take a movement card and it allows you to move, take a health card and it can heal you, or find some other resource. These may often have to be played as sets to activate the action.
- Role/Action selection – players command their individual or team of characters. There would be 6 action but if a team of 3 then only three actions could be chosen. These actions cannot be shared with other players. Actions are chosen and ordered. Each players first action is played simultaneously, then the second and so on…Some actions may counteract each other while others might help the teams that play them at the same time. For example, if two players play communication at the same time then they may communicate by asking one question and receiving one answer or maybe the exchange of cards.
- Other mechanics/ideas – one action might be to get one character to operate a computer terminal. This could scan a room and reveal what is there (more about this below).
- The board and communication – the board would be a plus sign. Five square pieces. Each player would have one square on which they would play and the centre square would be where the goal/game end scenario exists. However, to allow for the idea of no communication each board would be screened so that the other players cannot see the location of your character(s). Maybe there is an elevator or door that when you reach connects you to another player’s board and you remove the screen between your boards (?). The boards would all be different – possibly modular – and definitely reversible. Each plan would be different and each room lettered. That way other players may have a rough idea of where your team are but would not know where they are within the space. In each room would be a token placed face down that explains what kind of room it is…armoury, lab etc… Tokens resembling specific items would be placed face down in the rooms also…scans could unveil what is in the room.
- Event Cards – Alien event cards would be played at the beginning and the end of a round of play. These cards could deploy aliens in certain rooms, send instructions to the aliens to move, or maybe cut the power to certain rooms etc… etc… etc…