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Hour of Need Designer Diary #2

A Need for Heroics

Welcome to another preview of Hour of Need with me, Brady (designer/writer), here to give you the latest details on Blacklist Games’ upcoming game of comic book adventure! Arguably, the greatest part of comic books is the struggle between iconic heroes and their long-standing rivalries with compelling villains. Hour of Need is built around this conflict, giving players a chance to play as brand-new costumed heroes inspired by classic comic all-stars as they chase down ruthless villains, all culminating in a climactic showdown. As a new entry into our Modular Deck System, Hour of Need is a card-driven tactical game. Each deck in the game drives the action, from the heroic player actions, villainous enemy machinations, and the latest bad-guy ploys that will drive the victory and loss conditions in the game. While issue decks provide the overarching story and situation—as well as the villain’s ultimate goal—first we will focus on the main players in these tales: heroes and villains. Today, we’ll focus on heroes.

Some of the many cards found in hero decks!

Hero decks are fixed decks of cards, including the hero’s double-sided Hero character card. Cards in each hero deck are broken up into Instant cards and Constant cards. Instant cards are simply played, resolved, and discarded, while Constant cards remain in play and offer new actions, passive abilities, or crucial exhaust effects. Heroes only have 2 actions during their turn, so they’ll need to make good use of their cards to do enough during their turn to thwart the villains plans. Hero character cards have 2 sides: a regular side and a Focused side. Players can spend 5 focus tokens (earned through dice rolls and card effects) to flip their Hero card to their Focused side to both give them an edge and also flesh out their heroic identity.

Stride's regular side, and Guerilla's Focused side.

Another important aspect to hero cards are heroic feat icons. Some hero cards will have a heroic feat icon on it. Heroes can discard cards from their hand to utilize these heroic feats (instead of playing the card for its ability). There are 4 heroic feat icons: Toughness, Deduction, Mobility, and Strength. Toughness allows heroes to avoid up to 3 damage from a single source. Deduction can be used to perform a free Solve action, which is essential in defeating problems in the game. Heroes may perform an additional Attack action by using a Strength heroic feat, or can move to any space on the map with a Mobility heroic feat.

Guerilla's Silent Knife card.

For example, Guerrilla—a genetically enhanced super-soldier who has heightened stealth abilities—can utilize his “Silent Knife” in two different ways. As an action (indicated by the action icon in the bottom-right corner of the card), he can play it into his play area to equip one of his trusty knives—Constant cards remain in play when played. This gives him a useful boost to his attacks, a flexible exhaust ability that can help eliminate minions, as well as a bonus Attack action just for playing it! Alternatively, if Guerrilla keeps that knife sheathed by keeping the card in his hand, he can avoid 3 incoming damage by discarding “Silent Knife” from his hand to trigger its Toughness heroic feat icon (indicated by the Toughness heroic feat icon next to the card's name). This can be a crucial choice, because heroes have no other inherent way to avoid damage… and each time a hero is defeated, each Crisis effect in the game will trigger which is good news for the villain! Now that you have a general idea how hero decks work in Hour of Need, next well tackle the dangers that lurk within villain decks. Until next time, heroes! - Brady Sadler

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