Kickstarter is heating up again! Lots of great-looking games are hitting the pipeline, including some smaller but very interesting games with campaigns that are finishing up in the next 7 days. I did quite the hopscotch on several titles before finally landing on the one that I would like to highlight as my F.O.M.O pick of the week — Crimopolis.
Crimopolis is designed by Sven Obermaier and illustrated by Sam Rodger. This is Cheap Sheep Games’ first Kickstarter campaign.
So, what was it about Crimopolis that stood out above some of the other excellent options? Of the games that looked interesting to me, Crimopolis looked the most novel. I would love to play this game, because it feels like it would be a unique experience.
Right off the bat, I like the action point system that everyone gets for each turn. There is a clock that shows hours. On each player’s turn, you get 7 hours of actions to perform. Some actions only take 1 hour, while others may take 2 or 3+. Thus, each turn it will make sense to maximize your time. ESPECIALLY, because you will be helping your opponents if you leave any time on the clock. If I use only 6 hours on a turn — not only will I be giving up an hour of actions, but I’m actually giving that hour to the next player, who will then have 8 hours to play with for his turn. You dirty rat!
The goal of Crimopolis is to get to 21 points, triggering final round end-game. The main way to achieve these points is by executing jobs. These cards will explain which building the job takes place in, how many mobsters are needed to complete the task, and the time that will be used for execution. If satisfied, victory points will be earned.
To complete a job will take coordination of various aspects of the game. You need mobsters available, so you may need to use your Recruit action to get more guys on the board. Then, Move actions can get your guys to the right location — if that location is even on the board. If it is not, then you will need to move to the edges of the board and start Exploring, which is how new location tiles are added. [You get to choose where to explore, so each game the city will grow and be shaped in differing patterns]
Now, when you get to that location, it might be occupied by another gang. In that case, you can move in up to three guys and take out the opposing gang. Battle in Crimopolis is fascinating because it is predeterministic. No dice, no cards, just gangsters killing gangsters. If one blue mobhand meets a red tough guy on the street and they battle, they shoot each other and both are removed. Thus, to Takeover a location, you need to move a higher number of guys into the scene. Looking at the Market job shown above, I need two guys to complete the job. Let’s say Red has one gangster holding down the Market currently. I would want to move three of my Blue guys in at once. When that happens, one Blue and one Red will shoot each other and get removed. That would then leave two of my guys in the Market to be able to complete the job (assuming I still have 2 hours left to utilize).
When a battle occurs, you definitely want to be the player enacting the Ambush. For each opposing Meeple that is removed from the board, you will receive a Tombstone in your portion of the graveyard. At the end of the game, you receive an extra victory point for every two tombstones acquired. Thematically, the more bodies your gang gets to put six-feet-under, the greater your prestige (VP).
It may be gruesome, but the church and graveyard provide an excellent tactile and visual addition to this game.
Beyond the gameplay, I love the artwork and detail put into Crimopolis, small details in every scene and fun flavor text. The theme also looks like it shines throughout the game so that every mechanism feels right in the course of acting out your gang’s goals and intentions.
My two main concerns about this Kickstarter — one is about the game, the other is about the campaign.
First, I’m concerned about the Take-That. I don’t mind that is occuring (it makes sense based on the theme) but my hope is that it is not overwhelming to the point it feels ‘too’ difficult to complete jobs. In the end, that will probably depend on the players. Do I spend time on Ambushing or do I focus on actively completing jobs? My guess is that the developers have this tweaked well, but still a concern until I feel it for myself.
Second, the shipping costs for this campaign are high. Most locations will be 39 NZD or higher, which translates to about $26 in the U.S. That is a significant amount for a game that will only cost about $40 to obtain through pledge.
Those concerns aside, I would love to put on my fedora (well, assuming I buy a fedora first) and sit down with some Meeple Mobsters to see if I can be the King of Crime.
Any games you are currently drooling over because of F.O.M.O.?
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