For Truth and Justice!
Pull on your tights, affix your cape and get ready to fight for Truth and Justice against the nefarious criminal masterminds we’ve chronicled in the past, cause this time the game combines a super-powered hero board game concept with the villains from Villains for Kids.
Imagine the following:
Players take on the roles of super-powered heroes set to rid their fair city (depicted by the game board) of crime (identified by random card placement as well as set locations on the board.)
The board consists of a central location (The Hall of Truth and Justice) surrounded by two concentric rings:
- An internal ring that must be traveled once before moving out to the outer ring. This internal ring consists of board locations allowing the players to defeat small criminals and is described by: “Small Time Crime Fighters“
- An external ring denoted “Big Crime Big Time” that the players traverse while fighting mastermind criminals and learning their plans at various city locations such as:
- The Power Plant
- Police HQ
- The Prison
- City Park
- University Campus
- The Bank
- City Museum
- Hi-Rise Business
Four of these locations (The Power Plant, The Prison, University Campus, and City Museum) have secondary positions that can be traveled to only from these spots. These secondary spots grant special bonuses to upgrade player heroes or are necessary for capturing lesser Criminal Masterminds. These locations are:
- The Power Plant Nuclear Generator - landing on this spot for the first time provides the hero a bonus power.
- The Prison Cell - this is the location all villain masterminds must be escorted to. Doing so grants the player a Heroic Deed card that can be played to prevent their defeat.
- The University Campus Laboratory - landing on this spot for the first time provides the hero a bonus power.
- The City Museum Department of Antiquities - landing on this spot for the first time provides the hero a bonus power.
Superpowers are identified by cards and are generic in their description so that each player can decide how the power manifests such as:
- Flight - Whether by wings or by gravity defying power or perhaps by rocket boots it doesn’t really matter, you can fly. All movement dice rolls are doubled for you.
- Super Speed – You’re fast! Really, really fast! All movement dice rolls are doubled for you.
- Super Strong – WOW you’re one strong hero! All combat dice rolls are at +1 for you.
- Super Resilient – Are you made of steel? Do you have force fields? The bad guys will have trouble hurting you. All combat dice rolls against you are at -1.
Note that while they make some parts of the game easier, the game can be won without ever gaining a single superpower.
Arch fiends, Criminal Masterminds, Master Criminal cards will consist of those described in Villains for Kids such as:
- The Tricky Trickster
- The Slippery Little Guy
- The Goofy Goofer
- The Money Grubber
- The Drama Queen
- The Devil Bunny
- Rowena Pots the Queen of Snots
- Ego Boy
- Captain Contrary
- The Odor Eater
- The Croonosaurus
- The Frog-Slinger
Note that some Master Criminals will have a special feature that will activate when they are captured and brought to the Prison Cell such as:
- Hero gains an additional Heroic Deed card.
Crime Plan cards will consist of various super villain fare while matching the nature of the Villains for Kids genre such as:
- Turn everyone into animals
- Turn all gold into lead
- Put everyone to sleep
- Steal a building
Modus Operendi (how they’ll do it) cards will be from a list like:
- Using Alien Technology
- Traveling to the Past
- Casting a Magic Spell
- Building a Robot
- Blocking out the Sun
The Hidden Threat:
At the beginning of the game, the various cards are shuffled and one Villain card, one Crime card, one Modus Operendi card, and one Location card are removed from their respective decks. These represent the Hidden Threat to the city the players must uncover and their hero counterparts must prevent.
From what’s left in those stacks, one of each is placed at the various locations in the outer ring. These represent the Criminal Plans of lesser Master Criminals that will be uncovered if their Minions are defeated.
Minion cards are placed at various locations on the board, as well as leaving a small stack for random occurrences. If Minions are defeated at a Location, the player turns up the resulting Villain, Crime, Modus Operendi and Location cards at that Location and eliminates that crime as a possible Hidden Threat.
Defeating Minions is performed by rolling 2 dice (one for the hero, and one for the minions.) Whichever is greater wins the fight.
Defeated Heroes go back a number of spaces equal to the difference between the results.
For example, Kevin’s Hero is facing off against a group of Minions. He rolls 2 dice resulting in 2 for the Hero and 4 for the Minions – Kevin’s Hero is defeated! He moves back 2 spaces (4-2=2)
Players may spend a Heroic Deed card to turn the tide and win even if the dice roll indicates they were defeated.
Once a lesser Master Criminal’s Minions are defeated, he or she must be transported to the Prison Cell by the hero (performed by moving the hero playing piece to the Prison Cell Location). Any defeat along the way indicates that the Villain has escaped and returns to their original Location. In this case, their minions are returned to the board and must be defeated again.
Unraveling the Hidden Threat:
Discovering and overcoming the various other master criminals and discovering their activities helps to eliminate the possible hidden threat options. However, I’m toying with the possibility of having more possible combinations than can be deduced from strict elimination.
Heroes may accuse Master Criminals of Crime Plans and Modus Operendi by traveling to the Location they believe will be the target of the crime and publicly accuse the Criminal Mastermind. Heroes must be in the “Big Crime Big Time” ring to make an accusation.
Accusations come in the form of:
“I believe Master Criminal is planning to perform Crime by Modus Operendi at Location!”
“I believe The Frog-Slinger is planning to Steal a Building by Using Alien Technology at the City Museum!” – Kevin
Once a player makes an accusatory claim, they are allowed to look at the hidden threat cards one at a time.
- If they’ve deduced correctly (all the cards match their deduction), and their accusation is correct, they show the other players the cards, are given the key to the city and named Hero of the Day! and the game is over.
- If they’ve deduced incorrectly (any of the viewed cards fails to match their deduction), they return the cards to their initial face down position, have their hero token sent back to The Hall of Truth and Justice and must travel the inner ring before returning to the outer ring and being able to make another accusation.
Note that the only case where a player would encounter the situation where their accusation would grant them access to the full crime information is if they deduced all the other three parts of the crime correctly but failed on the fourth viewed card and they viewed the correct cards first before being proven wrong.