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Hour of Need Designer Diary #4

The Latest Issue

Every great comic book tale is told in issues, and in Hour of Need, players will tell their heroic tales through issue decks!

Each issue deck has a corresponding issue board that folds out and sets the scene for the heroes and villain.

The issue board is broken up into two main areas: the map and the scheme panels. The map is where the heroes will move around and keep all the various problems in check. It is also where the final showdown will take place once the heroes have revealed the villain. During the game, the villain deck will spawn Peril cards and Lackey cards, which will populate the map and provide tactical decisions for the heroes to make. Once the boss is revealed, players will have to position themselves cleverly on the map to avoid the villain’s deadly Showdown effects.

The scheme panels serve as a “threat track” in a way, where the villain will progress their dastardly plans until the heroes manage to reveal them. At the start of each issue, heroes are dealt a random Scheme card from the issue deck that will represent a piece of the villain’s overall plans. Each hero needs to solve their Scheme card in order to discard each hidden token from the Villain card—at that point, heroes need to solve the Villain card itself to reveal it and then begin the showdown.

Mechanically, the issue deck serves as the heroes’ overall loss condition, usually presented in one of two ways. The heroes can either lose by running out of time—if they must draw an issue card but none remain in the deck—or by special conditions outlined by the issue. For example, the “Century Heist” issue has the villain attempting to steal gold from the Century Bank in order to fund their nefarious plots. If the villain is able to collect 3 gold from the vault, then the heroes lose!

One of the best things about issues, too, is the introduction of new environments. Do you want to infiltrate the docks at night to prevent the villain from exporting dangerous cargo? Or would you rather venture into a hi-tech lab to bust up an experimental weapons heist? Each of these issues provides unique challenges and compelling narrative to create your own epic, suspenseful comic book tales! - Brady Sadler

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