Brook City is a hotbed of criminal activity.
Thankfully, the men and women of the BCPD are ready to take out the trash. While each officer is highly-trained and more than capable of getting the job done on their own, the best cops know that you should always have someone watching your back.
Let’s get to work!
Hi there. My name is Mitch Schroeder and I’m the designer of Buddy Cop, the first small box experience from Blacklist Games, which is available now for pre-order. In my first designer diary entry, I gave you a brief overview of the game and what makes it special. In the remaining designer diaries I will be walking you through each of the distinct parts that make up Buddy Cop: the Cops, the Criminals, and the Operations. Today, I’ll be explaining how the cops work and how players can use their abilities to bring down the criminals.
Prepare and Encounter
In order to clean up the city, the cops will have to use every trick at their disposal to overcome the unruly criminals they face. To do this, they must piece together the most efficient way to play their cards and use their abilities.
Each turn, a cop will have access to 4 cards from their deck, and each of these cards will leave a cop with 2 choices: they can use a card to prepare or they can use it to encounter. To prepare, a cop can simply discard the card and gain the resources and actions listed at the bottom. To encounter, a cop must pay the required resource cost of the card and take the action list at the top of the card.
These two choices are at the heart of the cop turn. Players will have to balance their need to encounter criminals to clear them off the table with their need to gain the resources necessary to survive the oncoming onslaught of criminal attacks.
Managing your resources and timing your cards perfectly is the key to success in this blockbuster hit.
The Action Track
To guide the flow and set the pace of each cop turn, players will utilize each cop’s personalized Action Track. The Action Track contains a number of pieces of information, including a cop’s health value and special ability, while also dictating the cost of each available card.
Each of a cop’s 4 cards will be placed on the Action Track, and the cost to play and encounter with each card is set by its position on this track. Cards on the far left of the track have no cost and can be played for free each turn, whereas cards on the right are much more expensive and will require a lot of planning and preparation to play.
Encounters in Buddy Cop are fast and decisive, but only those who effectively prepare will be able to take the action they need exactly when they need it.
Rolling for Encounters
When a cop is able to encounter a criminal, they will roll a number of dice indicated by the card they played. These dice will, of course, allow the cops to place much-needed progress on the lowlifes they face, but will also help the cops interrogate the suspect in order to gain the information they need to disrupt the faction boss’s plans and draw them out of hiding.
The 6 faces of the encounter dice are: 3x successes, 1x critical success, 1x hunch, and 1x hunch+success.
When a hunch is rolled, a player will gain a hunch token, which represents a piece of information needed to find the boss and stop his scheming. Alternatively, a player may also choose to spend any hunches they already have to turn a hunch result into a success. Always be prepared!
As you can see, there are no bad rolls in Buddy Cop! Scoring successes always feels good, but gaining hunches is just as important and cannot be overlooked.
So, now you know how cops work. At this point, I’d say it’s time you meet the team you’ll be rolling with. First up: Ricky Lu.
Ricky is a veteran of the Brook City Police Department. He’s been around the block and helped save the city on more than one occasion. In spite of this experience, he’s still a bit of a hothead. Ricky likes nothing better than to jump into a situation and lay all his cards on the table. Literally.
Ricky is strongest when his Action Track is empty and he’s got nothing left to give. His deck specializes in discarding his cards for small gains and then finishing up with a decisive blow once his Action Track is empty.
He’s a bit of a loose canon, but his high risk, high reward play style is complemented perfectly by the more cautious and level-headed Kat Larson.
Another veteran of the force, Kat is also no stranger to intense situations. But unlike Ricky, her experience has taught her that the best way to diffuse these situations is to take her time and keep her cool. Kat would much rather take a defensive approach, encountering her enemies on her terms and using cover to her advantage.
Kat is most effective when she is able to use the environment to her advantage. She excels at finding cover from criminal attacks, and using that advantage to dish out as much damage as she’s prepared to take.
Her more thoughtful approach makes her perfect for players who want to take their time to find the best possible strategy for each and every situation.
That’s all for this diary entry. I hope you enjoyed this quick look at the stars of the game, Buddy Cop! In the next diary, we’ll be taking a closer look at the seedy underbelly of Brook City and the criminal factions that run it.