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Buddy Cop: Designer Diary 4 - The Operations

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.

In the last article, we took a look at the criminal factions of Buddy Cop. In this article, we’re going to take a closer look at exactly what those criminals are trying to do. We’re going to look at the operations.

Operation Overview

Each operation is a scenario of Buddy Cop, and is made up of six cards: a rules card, an operation condition, and 4 locations.

The rules card card presents players with the story text for the operation, which explains what the cops and criminals are doing in this particular scenario. It also describes how the criminals will win the operation if the cops aren’t able to stop them in time.

The operation condition, on the other hand, provides an effect that will activate at the end of each game round in order to advance the criminal plot and bring the cops one step closer to a devastating loss.

Finally, locations provide the setting for each operation. It’s in these locations that cops will confront and encounter the criminals, so they’ll have to learn to traverse them efficiently if they hope to succeed in finding the boss and bringing them down. However, each location has challenges of its own that the cops must contend with.

Let’s take a closer look at the locations to see what they have in store for our cops.

Location, Location, Location

Cops can only encounter criminals that share a location with them. Because of this, cops will have to learn to move effectively and efficiently around the table. Cops can move between locations as often as they want on their turn, but each time they move, they make themselves more vulnerable to criminal attacks.

This is because when cops move from one location to the next, they must come out of cover to do so. Each location has a cover cost that must be paid whenever a cop moves into it. The cover cost changes for each location, so cops will have to choose their destination with care, ensuring they only move to the most dangerous locations when absolutely necessary.

As you would expect, nothing is ever easy for these cops. Each operation presents players with a unique challenge and requires its own distinct strategy. But even the best laid plans can go awry, and improvisation will be required if players hope to succeed.

Next, let’s break down each of the three operations that come in this set.

The Operations

The Parasol Front

The word is out on Parasol Pharmaceuticals. What appeared to be the harmless headquarters of a burgeoning pharmaceutical company is actually a front for a money counterfeiting enterprise. The cops need to head into Parasol HQ and find out exactly what is going on in there.

Showdown at South Glen

After seeing what was going down at Parasol Pharmaceuticals, there’s no way to be sure that some of those counterfeit bills didn’t make it off the press and out of that building. The cops will need to make for the docks to find those bills before they can be shipped out of the city.

A Capital Rescue

There’s no doubt about where those counterfeit bills are going. Unfortunately, the criminals are expecting a raid and they’ve taken a hostage. The cops need to get into the Capital Hotel and find that hostage before it’s too late.


In the Exclusive Downtown Detour Operation, there’s trouble at City Hall and the mayor is breathing down your neck. It’s up to you and your partner to put an end to this mess by the end of the day, or you may end up losing more than just your badge and your gun.


And that concludes our series of developer diaries! Thanks for joining me on this deep dive into Buddy Cop. I had a lot of fun designing this game, and I can’t wait to hear what you all think once you’ve had a chance to play it.

Buddy Cop is available for pre-order right now; click here to get your copy of the game along with the exclusive Downtown Detour operation! You can also try the Buddy Cop demo on Tabletop Simulator, which allows you and a friend to try and take down one of the criminals from the game!

You can also watch our How to Play and Gameplay videos below!

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